Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Going Direct

100,000 People Seeking Tickets to Trump’s ‘Keep America Great’ Rally in NJ

Katherine Rodriguez
Breitbart News

More than 100,000 people are seeking tickets to President Donald Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, on January 28.  Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) announced that 100,000 people are looking for tickets to the rally, which is being held at the Wildwoods Convention Center, a 7,500-seat venue, NJ.com reported.

“It’s exciting. And I’m proud to say for this event — of all the events President Trump has done — we’ve had the most ticket requests,” Van Drew told Fox News on Sunday.  The last time a president visited Wildwood was in 1891 when Benjamin Harrison traveled to the area.

Trump and Van Drew are slated to appear together at the rally at 7 p.m. on January 28. Trump’s re-election campaign announced this month he was coming to Cape May County to hold a rally in support of Van Drew.

Van Drew was one of two Democrats who voted against Trump’s impeachment and switched parties over the issue.  “We’re proud to have him,” Van Drew told NJ.com. “It shows he cares about the big towns and big places, and he also cares about the little places.”

Tickets for the Wildwood rally were made available online for free, and event organizers are already expecting there will be overflow crowds.

Daily Meditation

Defining Our Relationship

At the heart of Christianity is the doctrine of the mystical union of the believer with Christ. The New Testament does not only call us to believe in Christ, but to believe into Christ. Faith links us directly into Christ. We become in Him and He in us. This mysterious union is carried over into the relationship between Christ and the church. The church is His bride, whom He has brought into a real, profound, and powerful union.
We normally assume that the image of the church as the bride of Christ is a metaphor borrowed from the institution of human marriage. In this case, the earthly serves as the model for the heavenly. Perhaps that is the intent of Scripture. I am not sure. It may well be the other way around. It may be that the earthly estate of marriage is based on the heavenly model of the mystical union of Christ and His bride. Marriage is the reflection of the heavenly reality, not the basis for a heavenly image.
The perfect unity of persons existed in eternity in the nature of the Trinity itself. Though the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not “one flesh,” they are one being in perfect eternal harmony. In the Godhead, there is no possibility of divorce. It is a union that cannot and will not be broken. It is the eternal pattern of relationship that defines our human relationship. We share with God not only an analogy of being, but also an analogy of relationship. It is found in the mystery of marriage.

Coram Deo

Reflect on the mysterious union of Christ and the church as illustrated by the marriage relationship.

Passages for Further Study

A Select Few

At Last--An Superb Actor Who Thinks

OK.  Confessions first.  In our household the adults are all devoted to most UK detective and crime movies. As everyone knows who follows series that can last for years, if not decades, the individual personalities can become part of the social discourse of the family.  

That's the general acknowledgement.  Then comes the specific matter of the various Morse series.  We fans and and have been so for years.  The actors have grown older with us, as it were.  They are part of the fabric of our lives.  And now this lightning bolt.

‘Will This Kill My Career?’ Actor Laurence Fox Comes Out as Pro-Trump!

James Delingpole
Breitbart London

WATCH: ‘Will This Kill My Career?’ Actor Laurence Fox Comes Out as Pro-Trump!

Meet your new favourite actor Laurence Fox, currently trending on Twitter because of his shocking appearance on BBC’s Question Time last night.  It was shocking because instead of spouting the usual leftist pabulum, Fox boldly revealed himself as an anti-woke crusader.

On the hypocrisy of actors who rack up air miles:

“Yeah the carbon footprint’s huge. But we make up for it by preaching to everyone how they should change their lives.”

On Meghan and Harry wanting to keep the perks of royalty while having independent lives:

“I do think there’s a little bit of having cake and eating it, which I don’t enjoy.”

On the racism industry:

“One of the dangerous things about throwing racism around in this country which we’re doing a lot at the moment is that people become so conscious of it that things like the Manchester grooming scandal get ignored. We… should not call someone racist just when they don’t agree with you.”

Monday, 27 January 2020

Self-Delusion On A Grand Scale

The Cult Of Pelosi

A Deadly Thing For Democrats’ Future

The cult of Pelosi isn't just a 'hot take' or a 'be smart,' it's a mindset through which Washington's media elites interpret the world. It's false, and the harsh light of reality easily shows as much.

Christopher Bedford
The Federalist

There are many cults in Washington, D.C. The Founding Church of Scientology sits between Dupont and Logan Circles. The earth-worshiping Defenders of Wildlife are just a few blocks south, their entrance guarded by imposing bronze grey wolves. One block north, the Human Rights Campaign dispatches starry-eyed adherents with clipboards to recruit followers, and to the east lie the child-harvesters. Two blocks away, the remnants of the Church of Her keep Hillary’s flame burning; and crowning them all: the mighty cult of SoulCycle.

But today, the city has another faith working reporters into a fervor, and her name is Nancy Pelosi.

Reporters have called her “basically invincible,” a “political grandmaster,” an “icon of female power,” a “rockstar” and, time and time again, “a fashion icon.” Reporters have venerated “her clothes, her hand gestures, her facial expression” and placed a halo ’round her head. Activists projected her image on San Francisco’s city hall and a D.C. restaurant dedicated a Christmas tree in her honor.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing to President Donald Trump what no one else has in the nearly three years since he took office: She’s making him squirm.” Business Insider pronounced two days after Christmas. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has managed to accomplish what no one else has even tried in the past three years: sticking it right back to Trump,” RawStory echoed the same day in an article that includes “squirm” in its headline.

Daily Meditation

Growing into Conformity

The modern distinction between the “carnal Christian” and the “Spirit-filled Christian” is a dangerous one. If a carnal Christian is described as one whose fallen nature has not yet been changed by grace, it is a contradiction in terms. If a person is carnal in the sense that the Holy Spirit resides in him without affecting his constituent nature in any way, then he is simply not a Christian. To view regeneration as not effecting any real change in the person is a serious distortion of regeneration. Here the Holy Spirit indwells but does nothing to effect change in the person.
If a Spirit-filled Christian is defined as one in whom the flesh is absent entirely, then the only Spirit-filled Christians are those now in heaven. Every Christian is to some degree carnal in this world, insofar as the remnants of the flesh are still there provoking warfare. In this sense, the Apostle Paul, after his conversion, was a carnal Christian. Every Christian is also spiritual in that the Holy Spirit indwells him and works in him, through him, and on him.
The biblical view involves the indwelling of a divine person within a human person who has been truly regenerated by the power of the divine person. The human person has changed. His old nature is dying, and by cooperation with the grace of the Holy Spirit, the new man is growing into conformity to Christ.

Coram Deo

Thank God for the ministry of the Holy Spirit working in, through, and on you.

Passages for Further Study

Rolling Back Environmentalist Taxes in the UK

Eco Loons Spit Green Bile

Boris Saves Budget Airline Flybe

James Delingpole
Breitbart London

Who represents real Britain?

a) Solitary Green MP Caroline Lucas; Guardian readers; other tofu-munching eco-freaks; anyone else who lives in Brighton or Totnes; Greenpeace; Fiends of the Earth; Greta Thunberg; Extinction Rebellion.

b) Normal people who like driving in their cars, taking regular holidays, being able to afford to keep their houses warm when it’s cold, and who are bored rigid with being lectured by hectoring little nobodies with crappy pretend science degrees from the University of East Anglia about how the planet’s dying and it’s all their fault and something must be done by yesterday or we’re all doomed.

Boris Johnson is no fool and he seems to have worked out using his Oxford Classics mega-brain that the correct answer is b). At least this is what we can infer from his most significant environmental decision since his landslide general election victory — bailing out the stricken airline company Flybe.

Flybe is the kind of cheap and cheerful budget airline that normal British people use for their holidays. That’s why it is so important that it should not be allowed to die, and why Boris Johnson has just done the right thing by saving the cash-strapped airline with a government rescue package.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Utopian Greenism Is Destroying the Planet

Don’t Blame Climate Change For Raging Wildfires

Blame Bad Management

Despite common sense, the historic record, and scientific evidence, leftist environmentalists would fight and protest for a utopia we will never see, all while the world burns.

Krystina Skurk
The Federalist

California and Australia share a common enemy: overzealous environmental regulation. In both places, the unintended consequences of a radical environmentalist agenda has been massive wildfires.

California suffered from two horrible fire seasons in the last three years, one of which burned down an entire town. Australia has been battling fires for months. More than 135 fires are still burning currently. So far, the fires have scorched 12 million acres, killed 25 people, caused 240,000 Australians to evacuate their homes, burned alive an estimated half a billion animals, and caused $3.4 billion worth of damage.

The big question isn’t necessarily how these wildfires started. In both cases, most of the fires were likely man-made, whether through downed electrical lines in California or arsonists in Australia. The real question, however, is what factors have contributed to making these fires into “mega catastrophes,” or fires that cause over a billion dollars of damage?

Many on the left will name climate change as the bogeyman. For example, a recent opinion article in The New York Times reads, “Australia Is Committing Climate Suicide.” Yet more evidence points to failed environmental policies.

This isn’t to say weather or climate doesn’t create dangerous fire conditions. Droughts create drier conditions, and hot air worsens wildfires, but there is even contention over the supposition that Australia is hotter and drier now than in the past. One researcher argues that, with a few exceptions, most of Australia has become wetter since 1910.

Daily Meditation

Becoming a New Creation

As Christians, we are new creations. Our hearts of stone have been turned into hearts of flesh. In this metaphor, flesh is used as a positive figure, not a pejorative one. Where once my heart was cold and recalcitrant, dead and inert to the things of God, now it throbs and pulsates with spiritual life. Once I was biologically alive but spiritually dead. Now I am biologically alive and spiritually alive as well. I am a new person.
There is radical discontinuity between my new self and my old self. This radical discontinuity, however, is not total discontinuity. A link between the old man and the new man remains. The old man has been dealt a mortal blow. His total destruction is certain, but he is not yet dead.
The conflict of the Christian life is a struggle with sin. Sin no longer has dominion over us if we are in Christ, yet sin is still in us. Regeneration liberates us from the bondage of original sin, but our corrupt nature is not totally annihilated this side of heaven.
Paul speaks of the warfare that goes on between the flesh and the spirit. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Gal. 5:17).

Coram Deo

Thank God for the new heart of flesh He has implanted in your spiritual being.

Passages for Further Study

"It Takes One to Know One"

White House Counsel Nukes Jerry Nadler

‘This Is the United States Senate. You’re Not in Charge Here.’

Joel B. Pollak
Breitbart News

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone blasted House impeachment manager Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on the floor of the Senate early Wednesday morning during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump for making “false accusations” against the president and the Senate.

“The only one who should be embarrassed, Mr. Nadler, is you, for the way you addressed this body. This is the United States Senate. You’re not in charge here,” Cipollone said.

The White House counsel was responding to Nadler’s lengthy speech advocating for an amendment to subpoena former National Security Advisor John Bolton. Bolton has said he would be willing to testify, though the House failed to call him to testify during its own impeachment inquiry. Democrats hope that he will shed light on what impeachment managers called a “scheme” by the president to pressure Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election.

But Nadler began by accusing the White House counsel of lying — a striking breach that would likely have been disciplined in any ordinary court of law. “They lie,” he claimed. “And lie, and lie, and lie,” he repeated.

Nadler went on to argue that if the Senate voted against the Democrats’ proposed amendment to a procedural resolution — which would only accelerate the decision on Bolton to an earlier stage of the trial — they would be “voting against the United States.” When it was Cipollone’s turn to respond, he had clearly had enough.

He said:

Friday, 24 January 2020

A Velvet Glove Revolution

The New Post-Trump Constitution

By Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

The new normal: Impeachment as a routine partisan tool, endless investigations, lying under oath with impunity, surveillance of political enemies, zero accountability …

The Left sees Donald Trump’s comportment, rallies, and tweets as a new low in presidential behavior that justifies extraordinary countermeasures. But Trump’s personal characteristics are idiosyncratic and may or may not become institutionalized by subsequent presidents. And it is not as if liberal icons such as FDR, LBJ, JFK, and Bill Clinton suddenly became saintly in office.

What is far scarier is the reaction to Trump, in both the constitutional and political sense. What follows are likely the new norms for the next generation of presidents, and they will probably be equally applied to Democrats who implemented them in the Trump era.

1) Private presidential phone calls with foreign leaders will be leaked and printed in the major media. The point will be not so much to air breaking news as to embarrass the president or to use such disclosures to stymie his foreign policy. Those who leak such information will be canonized as part of a “resistance.” Prominent officials in government will publish anonymous op-eds in the New York Times bragging about how they are daily undermining a new president’s administration.

2) Impeachment is now a casual affair. It requires no report of illegal or unethical behavior by a special counsel or special prosecutor. It will not be bipartisan but solely the action of the opposition party in the House when it is in the majority.

Public support will not matter. Much less will it be needed. Impeachment will be applied equally to a first- or second-term presidency. And it will become useful in a reelection year to help drive down an incumbent’s popularity.

Even when there is no chance of conviction in the Senate — as when the impeachment indictment is weak and the president’s own party controls the upper House — impeachment will nonetheless proceed, because it is now seen as a banal, politicized vote of no confidence and thus an occasionally useful political tool.

Daily Meditation

Understanding the Basic Conflict

The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde could be an allegory for the Christian life. There is a war in our members, a constant conflict between the old and the new, between vice and virtue, sin and obedience. We seem to be moral schizoids. It is a struggle between what the Bible calls the “old man” and the “new man.”
Whenever I hear an evangelist declare, “Come to Jesus and all your problems will be over,” I cringe because I am hearing false advertising. I cringe because this promise conflicts with my experience and my spiritual pilgrimage.
In one sense, my life didn’t become complicated until I became a Christian. Before my conversion, I only had one man with which to contendthe old man. My spiritual life was one-dimensional. I was Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll never showed up to bother me.
Prior to my conversion, I was dead in trespasses and sins. As Paul describes the course of the unregenerate person in Ephesians 2, I “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (v. 2).
But now I am a Christian. I have been made alive to the things of God, being quickened to new life by the regenerating grace of God.

Coram Deo

Thank God that you no longer walk according to the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air.

Passages for Further Study

Living In An Alternative Universe

The Impeachment Trial Begins 

Democrats Are Losing Their Minds

Having realized their impeachment gambit is failing, Democrats have resorted to accusing Sen. Mitch McConnell of a coverup and calling the trial 'rigged.'

John Daniel Davidson
The Federalist

On Monday, as senators and House impeachment managers prepared for the opening of President Trump’s impeachment trial Tuesday, Democrats and their courtiers in the mainstream press decided to ratchet up the their rhetoric to the point of delusional hysteria.

The House managers—led by Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler—issued a statement that essentially accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of a coverup, saying his proposed rules for the trial are “rigged,” nothing more than an “effort to prevent the full truth of the President’s misconduct from coming to light.”

That wasn’t all. Schiff and the impeachment managers also called on Trump’s lead impeachment lawyer, Pat A. Cipollone, to disclose what he knows about the president’s alleged behavior underlying the two articles of impeachment, saying Cipollone is a “material fact witness,” and that, “The ethical rules generally preclude a lawyer from acting as an advocate at a trial in which he is likely also a necessary witness.”

Funny they should mention that. As my colleague Mollie Hemingway pointed out on Twitter, Schiff is himself a material fact witness to this entire impeachment imbroglio, beginning with his office’s coordination with the whistleblower.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

A Hopeful Bunch

John Bolton’s Testimony Vs Democratic Derangement

No Smoking Guns Here.  Never Mind.  Let's Move On, Shall We?

David Marcus
The Federalist

You have to give credit to congressional Democrats for one thing: They are an extremely hopeful bunch. After years of Russia investigations aimed at toppling Donald Trump, they came away with what Grandmother would have called “bupkis.” But, not daunted, they quickly latched onto a whistleblower report about a phone call with Ukraine, and launched an up tempo effort, one last-ditch attempt to take the president down.

The result of this exertion did include a vote to impeach Trump, but did not attract a single GOP vote. This is also almost certain to the result in the senate trial as well. But wait! Now former National Security Adviser John Bolton has agreed to testify if called, and the Democrats are racing toward Lucy again, confident this time she won’t move the football.

The excitement from Democrats comes from the fact that Bolton in the past few months has sent a few mysterious tweets and said through lawyers that he does have information that did not come up in impeachment. Bolton may well have new information, but the idea that he is going walk into the Senate chamber if subpoenaed with a smoking gun is pure wish casting.

Daily Meditation

Waiting in Faith

When Abraham arrived in Canaan, it was by no means a great nation. But he dwelt there, living in tents. God may have prepared a mansion for him in heaven, but in Canaan all he had was a tent. The only parcel of Canaan he ever actually owned was his burial plot.
Most importantly, Abraham waited. This is perhaps the hardest test of faith. Unrealized expectations make for bitterness and despair in many people’s lives. But Abraham waited in faith, just as God later required of the prophet Habakkuk, when He said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab. 2:2–3).
Abraham waited in faith and died in faith. With the rest of the Old Testament saints, it was said: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Heb. 11:39–40).

Coram Deo

Do you have a good testimony of faith? Have you learned to wait in faith for God to move on your behalf?

Passages for Further Study

Conspiracies Alive

In the End, Who Knows?

The problem with conspiracy theories is that they are almost impossible to falsify.  The lack of evidence is taken to "prove" that indeed a conspiracy exists.  After all, if there is little or scant evidence to hand, it becomes a signal, if not evidence, that a grand conspiracy is afoot.  Little evidence indicates that someone is hiding something, which in turn, goes some way to "prove" the claim.  

We have seen this trope playing out over the case of  Dieuwe de Boer.  Here is a summary of what "went down". 
Dieuwe de Boer, who co-founded the Right Minds NZ website, posted of his experience to his site. He said he was at his Auckland home with his wife and three young children when half a dozen armed police officers "swarmed in the front door" and searched his house.

De Boer says they were looking for a now-prohibited magazine fitted to a .22 lever-action rifle, which he had said he owned during a submission to Parliament when the arms reforms were being discussed. He's now wondering if the raid was "politically motivated" in order to make an example of him.  [Newshub]
The police, on their part, have made the raid out to be a pretty routine matter.  See if you think this rings true:
 A statement from police said they executed a search warrant and armed officers attended as a precaution.  "As has been well-signalled, the Arms Act has been amended and it is the role of police to ensure compliance with the new legislation," the statement said.  "This means we will investigate and act on information or concerns about now-prohibited firearms, to ensure the safety of our community." . . . .

In a statement to Newshub, Police said they "did not use any information from the select committee process". [Emphasis, ours.]
So, the speculations will likely continue to grow because it appears the Police are covering up the reasons why they targeted and raided De Boer.  [There is no other word.  No information via the select committee process implies that information or a "tip" would have to have come from someone else.] 

Or, maybe, the NZ Police were engaged in a practice raid.  After all, the new firearms law is, well, new and some senior officer may have decided it would be prudent to have a few practice raids to fine tune Police procedures.  De Boer just happened to  be an unfortunate guinea pig. 

And so the speculations roll which is normal when a conspiracy is alive and well.  Mistrust grows like a mushroom.  When that happens, no-one wins--at least no responsible person or entity wins.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Politico: A Sandwich Short of a Picnic

Record Farm Crops Contradict 

Contradict Climate Doomsayers’ Claims

James Taylor
Breitbart News

U.S. and global crop production continue to set new records, even as climate activists ramp up a campaign to convince people that climate change is decimating crop production and forcing farmers out of business.

The latest misinformation was spread by Politico. Politico in October published an article titled, “‘I’m standing right here in the middle of climate change’: How USDA is failing farmers.” On December 9, Politico followed up with an article titled, “How a closed-door meeting shows farmers are waking up on climate change.” The October article claimed “American farmers are reeling” from extreme weather caused by climate change. The article also complained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is not devoting more money toward climate change programs. The December article asserted horrible “destruction wrought by catastrophic weather this year.” The article placed the blame on climate change and then trumpeted efforts to change government agriculture policy to focus on climate change.

The Politico articles generated substantial attention from the media echo chamber, including Google News searches for “climate change” placing the Politico articles at the top of search results. Unfortunately for climate activists – but fortunately for farmers and the rest of us – the climate change crop scare is pure fiction.

Presenting crop data collected by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Economy website documents that U.S. crop yields are enjoying excellent short-term, mid-term, and long-term growth, with new records being set almost every year.

Daily Meditation

Putting Faith into Action

The author of Hebrews defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith fills the vacuum of hope. Hope, when coupled with faith, has substance, and substance is something rather than nothing. Faith also provides evidence for that which is not visible. Faith is not blind. Indeed far from being blind, it is both far-sighted and sharp-sighted. Its evidence rests not on speculation but on confidence in a God who sees what we cannot see. It rests on trust in the reliability of every promise that is uttered by God.
It is one thing to believe in God. It is quite another to believe God. Abraham believed God when He said He would show him a better country. He believed God again later when God dramatized His covenant promise in Genesis 15, and by this faith Abraham was counted righteous. He was justified by his faith.
That Abraham’s faith was genuine is seen in that he obeyed God by faith. True faith is always obedient faith. Abraham obeyed the call of God on his lifeand he demonstrated this obedience when he “went out.” His faith issued in action.

Coram Deo

How can you put your faith into action today?

Passages for Further Study

Honouring the Fallen

Sir Roger Scruton

Philosopher of a ‘Humane and Moderate Politics’

The Editors
National Review Online

In May 1968, visiting his girlfriend in Paris, Roger Scruton, age 24, watched from an apartment window as students overturned cars and lampposts and threw stones at police. For seven weeks the civil unrest raged, paralyzing France. “That’s when I became a conservative,” he observed years later. “I knew I wanted to conserve things rather than pull them down.”

Scruton soon found himself in good though embattled company, as across the Western world dissenters from the Spirit of 1968 compared notes. A countermovement began to form. By the early 1980s the fruit of its efforts could be found in the Thatcher government and the Reagan administration. Scruton, who had written his dissertation on aesthetics and received his Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1973, was teaching at Birkenbeck College, London, when he published his third book, The Meaning of Conservatism (1980), which met with furrowed brows among his left-leaning academic peers. He had already helped found a dining club called the Conservative Philosophy Group. In 1982 the founders of The Salisbury Review named him its first editor, trusting him to advance a more traditional, cultural conservatism than that preferred by certain Thatcherites who stressed free-market economics. Good-bye, academe.

Thus liberated, Scruton went on a tear.