Doomsday is not on Saturday after all, writer says after predicting end of the world

David Meade, who claimed the world is ending Saturday when a mysterious planet collides with Earth, is now backtracking on the calamitous claim.

Meade said the world won’t end on Sept. 23 after all, but instead Saturday will only mark the beginning of a series of catastrophic events to occur over several weeks.

“The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending,” he told the Washington Post. “A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October.”

Meade said his prediction is based on verses and numerical codes found in the Bible, specifically in the apocalyptic Book of Revelation. He said recent events, such as the solar eclipse and Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, are omens of the approaching apocalypse.

The significant number is 33, according to Meade.

“Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God for the Jews, was mentioned 33 times [in the Bible],” he said. “It’s a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number. I’m talking astronomy. I’m talking the Bible…and merging the two.”

Sept. 23 is also 33 days since the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

Meade has also built his theory on the so-called Planet X, which is also known as Nibiru, which he believes will pass Earth on Sept. 23. This will cause volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes, he claims.

NASA has repeatedly said Planet X does not exist.

Meade’s prediction has been dismissed by people of faith including the Roman Catholic and Protestant branches of Christianity.

The end is still nigh -- just not as nigh as it was earlier this week, a Christian conspiracy theorist says.

Ed Stetzer, a professor and executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, slammed Meade’s theory on Friday, calling it “fake news” and asked Christians to be critical.

“It’s simply fake news that a lot of Christians believe the world will end on September 23,” Stetzer wrote in Christianity Today. “Yet, it is still a reminder that we need to think critically about all the news.”



Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

WASHINGTON – Many Muslim immigrants express a sentiment of entitlement, believing they one day will replace the natives and the land in which they are strangers will come under the authority of Islamic law.

It’s already happening in France, according to a report published by the Gatestone Institute by Giuliu Meotti, cultural editor for Il Folgio.

He says, in the last 30 years, more mosques and Muslim prayer centers “have been built in France than all the Catholic churches built in the last century.”

At the same time, Christian churches are being bulldozed.

Meotti notes that France has laws protecting old trees, but “the state is free to flatten old Christian churches” and “the vacuums created in the French landscape are already being filled by the booming mosques.”

“House of War: Islam’s Jihad Against the World” conveys what the West needs to know about Islam and the violent, expansionist ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government

France is able to demolish old churches because the government appropriated all church property and the cost of maintaining them in 1907, the Gatestone Institute report said.

But local officials are reluctant to spend money on the buildings, so they are being turned in activity centers, offices, apartments and even mosques. Or, they simply are being demolished.

France could lose 5,000 to 10,000 religious buildings by 2030, according to a report from the Observatory of Religious Heritage.

Seven churches were demolished in France in 2016 alone.

The same year, Father Jacques Hamel died at the hands of ISIS-allied terrorists at the foot of the altar while celebrating morning Mass in Normandy, France. He had served as a priest for almost six decades.

But just weeks after Hamel’s death, French police interrupted a Mass at the Church of Santa Rita, dragging priests out of the cathedral by their legs, to prepare for the church’s demolishment.

It’s now a parking lot.

See an example of the destruction of a church:

Last month, a wrecking crew bulldozed the Saint-Nicaise Church’s presbytery after the local authorities claimed the weight of its bells were a safety hazard.

A few days later, the Chapel of Saint Martin in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, the famed cathedral that was built in 1880-1886, was replaced with a parking lot.

Some 20 churches are reportedly sold and converted in France every year, the report said.

And according to Patrimoine-en-blog, a website that provides regular inventory of demolished churches, 26 churches were put up for sale in 2016 and 12 churches in 2015.

Meanwhile, nearly indiscriminate construction of mosques is being allowed, the report said, even subsidized.

“The municipality of Evreux voted for the provision of 5,000 square meters of land, for one symbolic euro, for the project of the Union of the Muslim faith,” a report said.

In fact, journalist Elizabeth Schemia details how French mayors have now become “builders of mosques.”

Meotti said that recently police shot a Muslim outside a cathedral after he tried to attack them with a hammer. And there was another terror cell that was foiled in a planned attack on Notre Dame.

“France’s most famous Catholic house of worship is a prime target for the jihadists. At the same time, France has been dismissing the religious and cultural heritage of France’s Catholic patrimony, which, in a time of religious clashes and revival, should instead be protected as treasures and sources of strength,” he said.

Officials note France has the second largest Muslim population in Europe after Germany. Pew Research estimated in 2016 that France had a Muslim population of 4.71 million, comprising 7.5 percent of the French population.

In 2030, the Muslim population of France will be 10.3 percent and in Britain 8.2 percent, according to Pew.

Citing a report by the magazine Valeurs Actuelles, Meotti pointed out that nearly two new mosques are developed per week as the Muslim population rapidly grows in France.

“Nearly 2,400 mosques today, compared to 1,500 in 2003, is the most visible sign of the rapid growth of Islam in France, a consequence of a population of immigrant origin and the process of strong re-Islamization,” Valeurs Actuelles noted in an article warning about Islamic “invasion.”

Earlier this month, the archbishop of Strasbourg warned that France’s large Muslim population combined with its high birth rate and migration will soon lead to the country’s cultural demise.

“Muslim believers know very well that their birth rate is such that today, they call it … the Great Replacement,” the archbishop told Valeurs Actuelles. “They tell you in a very calm, very positive way that, ‘One day, all this, it will be ours.’”

Concluded Meotti: “Cowardly French authorities would never treat Islam as they are now treating Christianity. Marine Le Pen pointedly asked: ‘What if we built parking lots on top of Salafist mosques, instead of our churches?’”


Christian pastor in Bible Belt admits personally worshiping Allah

Muslim deity takes over church as leaders claim to honor ‘same god’
This former Pentecostal church in Smithfield, N.C., has had its crosses removed and converted to a mosque on Saturday, May 13, 2017

This former Pentecostal church in Smithfield, North Carolina, has had its crosses removed and converted to a mosque on May 13, 2017

Crosses have been removed from the former church’s facade and steeple, and mosque leader Ali Muhammad turned them over to the group of pastors.

“What they were attempting to do is honor our tradition and so they wanted to turn the crosses over to us,” said the Rev. Jim Melnyk, pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Smithfield, a small town in Johnston County about 45 minutes south of Raleigh. “They were reaching out to us, and we were reaching out to them.”

Melnyk said he was joined by pastors from the United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ and three different Baptist congregations at Saturday’s ceremony, which marked the official conversion of a former Pentecostal church into a mosque. One lay person from the local Presbyterian Church was also present for the “celebration.”

Melnyk said the mosque had reached out to the local churches through an interfaith group in Raleigh and was hoping to strike a welcoming and respectful tone for the two faiths.

Melnyk said Christianity and Islam “share common origins and scriptures” and that he felt it was the right thing to do to participate in the mosque opening as a show of respect for Islam, a fellow monotheistic faith.

“Christians, Jews and Muslims are all people of the book, and we all claim what the Hebrew Scriptures call the Abrahamic faith,” Melnyk told WND. “We call it the Old Testament, and Muslims also claim the Bible.”

“All of us humans are imperfect. We all struggle and we all look to the divine for inspiration, and we don’t always get it right,” he said.Islam teaches the Bible was corrupted by Jews and Christians and that the Quran was the final, perfected revelation of Allah as given by the Angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. Melnyk said he is aware of these teachings.

But, he said despite being “imperfect,” the Islamic faith worships the “same god” as Christianity and Judaism.

Melnyk said he has personally worshiped Allah with Muslims during interfaith gatherings in Raleigh.

Proof that Allah is the same as God the Father in Christianity is that Coptic and Palestinian Christians use the Arabic word “Allah” for God, he said.

The Quran teaches that Jesus was not the Son of God and did not die on a cross to save humanity from sin. In fact, the Quran teaches Jesus faked his death on the cross, when one of his followers died in his place. In the mainstream of Islamic doctrine, Jesus will return in the last days to “break the crosses” and convert the world’s Christians to Islam, by force if necessary.

But Melnyk said he would not be deterred by any of these doctrinal differences.

“We run a danger when we paint any faith tradition with a broad brush,” he said. “I don’t know that faking his death on a cross is a belief held by everyone in Islam. I do know they see Jesus very differently than we do; they see him as a prophet, not the Son of God. And like other monotheistic faiths, they are challenged by the doctrine of the Trinity. I would challenge any Christian theologian to define the mystery of what we call the Trinity. It’s just a doctrine that is in many ways incomprehensible. We all struggle with it.

“Obviously I’m a Christian, and I would not live comfortably within the full teachings of Islam, but I can recognize where we share teachings, and recognize the call to treat one another mercifully, and as the one God treats us mercifully, and that translates equally into Christianity as well as it does Islam.”

The mosque purchased the former church building on four acres for $230,000.

The Rev. Jim Melnyk with wife Lorraine are both priests in the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Jim Melnyk with wife Lorraine

are both priests in the Episcopal Church.
Not all Christians are buying the interfaith sentiments expressed by Melnyk and the other pastors who participated in the mosque conversion ceremony.

“Similar origins?” asks an incredulous Ralph Sidway, author of the book “Facing Islam” and a blog by the same name. “Common origins and scriptures? Dhimmitude and ignorance have kissed each other.”

“This pathetic, deceived ‘pastor’ should be severely reprimanded by his bishop, if not defrocked and excommunicated for deceiving his flock and denying Christ in such a blatant manner,” Sidway, who is Orthodox Christian, writes in his blog. “Read my book ‘Facing Islam’ for a clear explanation of why the ‘Same God Heresy’ (which this pastor Jim Melnyk undoubtedly follows) presents a ‘different gospel,’ a ‘different Jesus’ and a ‘different Spirit’ (cf. Galatians 1:6-8 and 2 Corinthians 11:3-4).”

A growing Muslim community in rural eastern North Carolina

Ali Mohammed, born in Venezuela to Palestinian parents, told the News & Observer he arrived in Smithfield 20 years ago and is now president of the local Islamic organization that is opening the new mosque. At that time, the local Muslim community consisted of three or four families. It has grown steadily since, and he expects the mosque membership to be around 60.

“Part of it is destiny; it’s the will of God that we’re here and we’ve done well,” Mohammad told the N&O.

“We’re Americans,” Mohammad added. “This is my land, this is my right as an American. If a Christian or a Jew or any other culture has the right to have some kind of community center, why not us? … My faith is peaceful. It teaches us to love our neighbor and be friendly with everyone. That’s what religion teaches us.”

As a historian of Islam and a Christian, Timothy Furnish told WND he can see two sides to this touchy issue, even though the Raleigh newspaper only covered the one side that is politically correct.

“Christians are to be welcoming to strangers in a strange land and we are called on to love all, equally. However, these pastors, especially the Episcopal priest – unsurprisingly, knowing the ECUSA’s obsession with ‘open-mindedness’ and ecumenism – are being kind as doves but forgetting the wise as serpents part of Christ’s instructions in Matthew 10:16,”

Sam Rohrer, president and founder of the American Pastors Network, said there are many lessons to be drawn from the North Carolina mosque conversion.

“The logical question should be this: What would the Bible say about this? What does the Bible say about bidding God-speed to those who oppose the Bible and even more so to those who teach the submission or death to all those who refuse to bow the knee to Allah and Muhammad?” Rohrer told WND. “The Bible is clear.”

A sign of submission?

Turning over a former church to be made into a mosque is, historically and theologically, seen by Muslims as proof that their religion is superior to Christianity and, in fact, as part of their destiny as adherents of Islam, Furnish said.

The Middle East is full of churches and synagogues turned into Islamic sites, such as the Umayyad in Damascus, the Ibn Tulun in Cairo and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. In Hebron and on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Muslim conquerors built their sites atop the Jewish ones.

Likewise, in post-Christian Europe, hundreds of churches and synagogues have been converted to mosques in recent years. But the phenomenon is only just beginning in the U.S.

In 2010, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board agreed to a plan to convert the landmark Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Syracuse, New York, into a mosque.

Mohammad, the mosque leader in Smithfield, said Saturday’s service would feature readings from the Quran and the Bible and remarks from members of both faiths.

“This imam may mouth soothing words about all just getting along, but the symbolism of Islam triumphant is just being reinforced,” Furnish said. “Most disturbing is a joint Christian-Muslim ‘service,’ which includes readings from the Bible and Quran. Any Christian priest or pastor who participates in such is deluded.”

Furnish said he doubts the joint “service” included any of the passages of the Quran such as Sura IV:171, which denies and condemns the Trinity. Or Sura IV:157, which denies that Christ died on the cross.

“We Christians in America can be welcoming to Muslims without going overboard and pretending that our faith and Islam are virtually the same – or that both are equally valid paths to salvation,” he said.

But Melnyk said he is not concerned about any backlash from the joint service or his accommodating remarks about Islam as equally valid with Christianity.

“Christianity is meant to be hard, to challenge you to go into the tough places. I see this as a very positive thing, and if anyone is hurt or offended by it I challenge them to read the gospels a little more closely.

“My job is not to judge whether another faith tradition is right or wrong but to live as well as I can within the faith tradition I belong, and for that I’m a Christian,” he added. “The reality is, I can only judge by the folks I have come to know in Johnston County and in Raleigh, where we have come together in union and we have not proselytized one another and, in fact, we have had meaningful worship together.”

5778: A Year of Great Expectations

Indeed, in 5777 the IDF and Israeli security forces prevented PA Arab terrorists from committing as many deadly or serious attacks as they had the year before — unfortunately, the ones that succeeded were still horrific. And the radicalized Israeli-Arab terror, while still limited, became far more extreme, setting the country on fire, in some cases quite literally.

Just so no-one misunderstands the statement above, the majority of Israeli-Arabs are law-abiding and appreciate living in Israel as opposed to living in any Arab or Islamic country. A survey by IDI in May of this year found that 51.1% of Israeli-Arabs felt proud to be Israeli (compared to 86.1% of Jews).

Former US President Obama’s anti-Israel November Surprise at the UN wasn’t much of a surprise, but, in the end, his words had no effect in the real world.

His actions, on the other hand, Obama’s massive financial contribution to the radical Islamic Iranian regime, which then used that fortune to consolidate their terror network forged a tectonic shift across the Middle East.

I don’t know if we’ll be facing off in a full-scale war this year with Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies (or even Iran itself), but it appears we are headed in that direction. It will be a serious conflict on multiple fronts when it finally breaks out, this coming year or next.

I hope that the newly emerging reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas will go the way of all their previous reconciliations — I would be surprised and worried if it survives the inherently tribal nature of the Arabs of the Land of Israel. There is reason to suspect that Hamas is trying to adopt the Hezbollah model of government.

As predicted, BDS and other anti-Zionist NGOs spewed their venomous propaganda against Israel’s celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation, and as predicted, no one paid attention.

Unexpectedly, MK Betzalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi/Ichud Leumi) introduced a real chance for progress towards resolving the Middle East conflict with his “One Hope” peace plan. If nothing else, it has opened up the tired, 50-year-old conversation to new ideas other than the “two-state solution.” The radical left was duly shocked and outraged.

Economically, Israel had some spectacular successes, and the country’s economy is doing well, despite Finance Minister Kachlon’s failed social engineering experiments in the real estate market.

My urgent concerns in 5778 are not for Israel, but for American Jewry.

Open anti-Semitism from the Left and the Right (talk about intersectionality) is on the rise in the US, and as the Lubavitcher Rebbe once said regarding a new Holocaust, “It can happen again overnight.”

Trump’s election (and equally, Hillary’s loss) has made the progressive/”liberal”/Reform Jewish community a little crazy, while the 2013 Pew study has forced them to face their denominational mortality.

With few exceptions, the Reform movement has avoided any real introspection as to why their ideas are failing — while their membership become less and less Jewish. Indeed, they no longer believe having a fast growing non-Jewish membership is a bad thing.

Instead, the Reform leadership has chosen to unite their dwindling community in a religious war against Israel and traditional Judaism, using Israel’s High Court as the battlefield where they attempt to force their failed and divisive ideologies and practices onto the Jewish State.

Israel has always struggled over issues of religion and the state, but the Reform and anti-Zionist NGO insurgency is helping to radicalize what most Israelis have been adept at working out — because we live here together and have no choice but to get along.

I am also concerned with the permanent damage Reform clergy are causing the traditional ties of their congregations with Israel, with their campaigns to grab more real estate at the Western Wall. Their decision to snub a sitting US President on the eve of Rosh Hashanah may also harm those same congregations. Their arrogance cannot but yield disaster and I can only hope they realize this and step back from the brink.

Here’s an uplifting note: more Jews have visited the Temple Mount in 5777 than in past years going back to 70 CE, and those numbers continue to grow. Israeli police have become more sensitive to the Jewish visitor than in the past (though far from perfect), and for one week this year we tasted how peaceful the Temple Mount could be without Muslim agitators on our holiest site.

As I write these words I’m thinking of the Israeli volunteers who recently flew to Houston to help after the hurricane, and the search and rescue team Prime Minister Netanyahu is sending right now to Mexico to assist after the earthquake. Our hearts are with the victims. It makes me proud to live in Israel, in a country that is able and willing to provide aid and assistance to those in need around the world.

After Harvey Criticism, Joel Osteen Opens Church to Jews for High Holy Days

After Harvey Criticism, Joel Osteen Opens Church to Jews for High Holy Days

Joel and Victoria Osteen, leaders of Houston’s Lakewood Church, are offering that Hebrew “happy new year” greeting to a displaced Jewish congregation. The offer comes just a few weeks after the couple were criticized for not immediately opening their stadiumlike downtown megachurch as a Hurricane Harvey shelter.

“Congregation Beth Yeshurun experienced devastating flooding,” an announcement on the church’s website says beneath a picture of the smiling Osteens. “This came at an especially bad time for Beth Yeshurun as the Jewish High Holy Days, (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), are this week. Beth Yeshurun’s leadership reached out to us and Pastors Joel & Victoria offered to help.”

The Osteens came under fire while Harvey’s rain was still falling when pictures shared on social media of a dry church seemed to contradict Lakewood’s Facebook post declaring the church “inaccessible due to severe flooding.”

The Osteens opened their 16,800-seat church as a shelter a few days later and have described the whole situation as a “mix-up.”

“Every square inch of the temple flooded,” Senior Rabbi David Rosen told Houston’s KHOU-TV.

It is not unusual for synagogues to use usually larger church sanctuaries for the High Holy Days, when the house is packed and services may require tickets.

The Osteens are televangelists who preach a form of “prosperity gospel”. Recent sermon titles include “Living Joyful,” “Yes Is Coming” and “Better Together.” Their nondenominational Sunday services draw about 25,000 people and are broadcast to more than 100 countries in a program rated by Nielsen Media Research as the top inspirational program in the U.S.

Beth Yeshurun is a Conservative congregation, a branch of Judaism noted for its respect for Jewish traditions and law, including dietary laws. Its services are livestreamed.

After the High Holy Days, Beth Yeshurun will hold their regular services at another Houston synagogue.

“I cannot thank Joel Osteen enough for his sensitivity and his encouragement,” Rosen told KHOU. “It’s a reaffirmation of the beautiful spirit of collegiality and interfaith conversation we have here in Houston.”

ACLU Outrages Christians In Recent Move Against Children

“The end game is to rid the public sector of religious organizations unless they capitulate to the LGBT agenda,” writes the National Review about a recent action taken by the ACLU against faith-based adoption agencies.

It was recently reported that the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court against the State of Michigan on behalf of two gay couples. The goal is to overturn a Michigan law that permits child placement agencies to offer adoption services in accordance with religious beliefs. This law violates the First Amendment and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, they argue.

On these constitutional grounds, they say that the law should be reversed and that religious institutions should be forced to give children to anybody who wants them — including LGBTQ singles or couples. In other words, the ACLU wishes to effectively deprive many children of the possibility of growing up with two married man-and-women parents.

In particular, Michigan and like-minded states have implemented laws protecting foster and adoption services from being forced to violate their consciences and religious beliefs by placing children in single-parent, same-sex or transgender households.

“That’s the end game for the ACLU: Rid the public sector of religious organizations unless they capitulate to the LGBT agenda,” they continue. “But when you force faith-based organizations out, as one Boston-area adoption consultant and lobbyist lamented, ‘ultimately, the only losers are the kids.’ And religious liberty.”

Liberal California fails at fighting poverty, conservative Texas succeeds

California’s poverty rate is 20.4 percent and the Texas rate is only 14.7 percent, based on the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for the regional cost of living, out-of-pocket medical expenses and other items.

A plane flies over a homeless motorhome and tent encampment near LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, United States, October 26, 2015. Los Angeles is grappling with a massive homelessness problem, as forecasted El Nino downpours threaten to add to the misery of thousands of people who sleep on the streets. Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed spending $100 million to combat the problem in the sprawling metropolis but stopped short of declaring a state of emergency. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson PICTURE 1 OF 17 - SEARCH "NICHOLSON MOTORHOME" FOR ALL IMAGES - GF10000270539

A plane flies over a homeless motor home and tent encampment near LAX airport in Los Angeles, California.  (homeless02)

Why the dramatic difference in poverty between California and Texas – proportionately 38.8 percent higher in the Golden State, and affecting the lives of millions of people? And what can we as a nation learn from the success of Texas and the failure of California to hold down their poverty rates?

Three big factors are responsible for California having more poor people and Texas having fewer as a portion of their state populations:

  • California has high state and local tax rates, while the rates in Texas are low.
  • California has a generous welfare system that acts as a disincentive to work, while Texas incentivizes people to get jobs.
A homeless man reads the Los Angeles Times in the window of the building of Los Angeles Times newspaper, which is owned by Tribune Publishing Co, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - GF10000397608

A homeless man reads the Los Angeles Times in the window of the building of Los Angeles Times newspaper, in Los Angeles, California  (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

  • And California’s many burdensome regulations raise the cost of living and act as roadblocks to development, while inflating housing costs. So a family needs to have a higher income to get out of poverty in California than it needs in Texas.

California has the nation’s highest marginal state income tax rate – 13.3 percent. Texas is one of seven states without a state income tax. A ranking of all state and local taxes for median income households in every state shows that California ranks No. 8, while Texas comes in at No. 30 on the list.

The higher taxes are, the less money families have. And higher taxes mean employers have less money to hire new workers and raise the salaries of workers already on their payrolls.

California has a generous and costly safety net that discourages work, while raising state spending and the need for high taxes.

Some 1 out of 3 Americans who receive federally qualified welfare payments –Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – are Californians. And California has expanded Medicaid (called Medi-Cal there), to cover 13.5 million people. About one-third of state residents are enrolled in the health insurance program for the poor funded by the federal government and the state.

On the jobs front, California’s environmental and energy policies have created costly and burdensome regulations that have accelerated the shift of manufacturing and other jobs out of the state and out of the country to China and other nations.

When combined with generous welfare payments, this has resulted in fewer adults participating in the workforce in California than the national average. If Californians 16 and older worked at the same rate as they do in Texas, 550,000 more Californians would be earning a paycheck and many of them would be self-sufficient instead of dependent on government.

A man sleeps on a bench in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RC137DF5AB60

A man sleeps on a bench in downtown Los Angeles, California, May 31, 2017  (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

As for affordable housing, California lawmakers know they have a problem. But their proposals to fix it are more of the same: bigger government, more borrowing, and higher taxes to pay for more government housing – while telling homebuilders what to build.

Instead of continuing on this course, elected officials should fix the terrible state of property rights in California. After New Jersey and Maryland, California is the third least-free state when it comes to housing regulation.

Development fees, global warming carbon dioxide concerns, restrictive zoning, and other barriers act to create a massive artificial scarcity of housing in California. This pushes the cost of a home beyond reach for the middle class, while making rent virtually impossible for the poor.

In sharp contrast, housing costs in Texas are far more affordable. While the average listing price for a home in California is nearly $698,000, the average listing price for a home in Texas is less than half that – $320,000.

California’s defenders claim that the Golden State provides a great deal for its diverse population. Only 52.5 percent of California residents are non-Hispanic whites or Asian – the two large racial or ethnic groups with above-average income in America – compared to 66 percent nationwide.

However, in Texas, only 47.4 percent of the population is made up of non-Hispanic whites or Asians. Using this metric, demographers would predict that Texas, not California, should have a higher poverty rate.

Clearly, the poverty reduction policy in California is badly broken.

I’m a former Republican member of the California state Assembly. I saw firsthand how big-spending Democrats in the state Legislature raised taxes and increased regulations with the intention of helping poor people – but wound up hurting them instead.

As the old saying goes: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

In Texas, where I now live, small government, low taxes, and a regulatory environment that encourages job creation and economic growth have turned out to be a better way to hold down the poverty rate and create pathways to the middle class.

Other states and our national government should learn from the experience of California and Texas if they want to replace poverty with prosperity for more Americans.

North Korea could test hydrogen bomb in Pacific, top diplomat says

North Korea could test hydrogen bomb in Pacific, top diplomat says

North Korea’s foreign minister has said the Communist nation may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean after dictator Kim Jong Un vowed he would take the “highest-level” action against the United States, South Korean media reported Thursday.

The Yonhap news agency reported on comments made to reporters by Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un,” Ri was quoted as saying by Yonhap.

Such a test would be considered a major provocation by the U.S., South Korea and Japan. Ri was scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday, a day later than previously scheduled.

Ri’s comments followed Kim’s extraordinary statement lashing out at President Trump, calling the American leader “deranged” and vowing that Trump would “pay dearly” for his threat to destroy North Korea.

Kim’s first-person statement was published by North Korea’s state propaganda arm in response to Trump’s fiery speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. South Korean media called it the first such direct address to the world by Kim.

Kim said Trump was “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country.” He also described the U.S. president as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire.”

Some analysts saw Kim’s statement as a clear announcement that North Korea would ramp up its already brisk pace of weapons testing, which has included missiles meant to target U.S. forces throughout Asia and the U.S. mainland.

On Tuesday, Trump mocked Kim as a “rocket man” on a “suicide mission,” and said that if “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Kim characterized Trump’s speech to the world body as “mentally deranged behavior.”

He said Trump’s remarks “have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.”

Kim said he was “thinking hard” about his response and that Trump “will face results beyond his expectation.”

Kim Dong-yub, a former South Korean military official who is now an analyst at Seoul’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies, said Kim’s statement indicated that North Korea would respond to Trump with its most aggressive missile test yet. That might include firing a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile over Japan to a range of around 4,349 miles to display a capability to reach Hawaii or Alaska.

In recent months, the North has launched a pair of still-developmental ICBMs it said were capable of striking the continental United States and a pair of intermediate-range missiles that soared over Japanese territory. Earlier this month, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, drawing stiffer U.N. sanctions.

2 hours ago TV programs in California interrupted with end-of-world prediction

Will a doomsday prediction for Saturday prove true? Time will tell. Pictured: Aurora Borealis in the night sky over the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway.

Television broadcasts in Southern California were interrupted late Thursday morning with an end-of-the-world prediction, startling viewers and setting off a firestorm on social media.

Erin Mireles told the Orange County Register that she was watching Bravo on Spectrum when the alert appeared.

“I was definitely startled, ’cause the volume increased exponentially,” she said. “I wasn’t alarmed in the sense of thinking something was wrong, ’cause I assumed it was some sort of hack,” she said.

A man’s voice could reportedly be heard saying: “Realize this, extremely violent times will come.”

One person said the voice sounded like Hitler.

A spokesman for Cox Communications told the paper that the problem occurred because one or more radio stations conducted an emergency test.

“With these tests, an emergency tone is sent out to initiate the test,” Joe Camero told the paper. “After the tone is transmitted, another tone is sent to end the message. It appears that the radio station (or stations) did not transmit the end tone to complete the test.”

The report said it was unclear if the alert had anything to do with the Christian numerologist who recently claimed the world will end Saturday when a planet will, supposedly, collide with Earth.

According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 signify that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, portend the apocalypse.

The verses read:

“25: There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“’26: Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.’

Saturday’s date, Sept. 23 was pinpointed using codes from the Bible, as well as a “date marker” in the pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

Meade’s views are not endorsed by Roman Catholic, Protestant or eastern Orthodox branches of Christianity.