Saturday, 6 June 2020

Success Measured By Biden's Standards And Aspirations

Biden as Paradox

His weaknesses are his strength, and he’s not running for the presidency.

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president.

Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given recent poor performances, Biden’s promise to select a woman or minority or both on the ticket is a wink-and-nod admission that she or he will soon be the real president while on the ballot as vice president.

In 2019–20, Biden had moved hard left to get nominated and more or less renounced all his previous old-style liberal voting record, such as tough sentencing of drug dealers, opposition to court-mandated school busing, opposition to illegal immigration, and support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His contrition over his most recent offensive putdown (“If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black”), alongside the nationwide protesting and rioting, will make it even more likely that Biden will select a progressive with the sort of agendas that went nowhere even in liberal Democrat primaries, and will stay nowhere after the rioting.

Yet Biden apparently believes that his dilemmas and personal foibles will soon be turned upside down, and that his weakness somehow will be seen as strength. A limp Biden in seclusion believes he is far more effective than fighting Joe Biden on the stump. And in a strange way, he could be sort of right.

Aussie PM Light Years Ahead of New Zealand PM In Some Critical Matters

A Man of Faith

Aussie PM Scott Morrison Backs ‘Straight Up’ Donald Trump: 

Simon Kent
Breitbart News

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday outlined the dynamics behind his warm relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump, saying he is a straight talker and a good friend who is open about his Christian faith.

Asked in a TV interview what he thinks of Trump, Morrison was quick to point out the positives of their relationship as a partnership between equals. As reports, Morrison said: 
It is my job to have very good relationships with all our key partners and allies. I have done that as have my predecessors. That is important, that is in Australia’s national interest.  That is what matters and keeps Australia safe, it protects Australia’s interests, particularly in this part of the world.
Pushed as to what he liked about Trump, Morrison said the United States had been a good friend to Australia for over a century and that was not about to change.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Here's More From the Weird and Weirder Class

NASA Scientist on a Bender

‘Climate Catastrophe Is White Supremacy’ 

James Delingpole
Breitbart News

Climate change is a product of white supremacy, a NASA scientist has claimed on Twitter.

Dr Kate Marvel, associate research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, tweeted to her 41,000 followers that:
Climate justice and racial justice are the same thing, and we’ll never head off climate catastrophe without dismantling white supremacy
As Marvel says in her Twitter biography “Views do not reflect the positions of my employers…”  Then she spoils it by adding: “(but they should)”.  Should they though?

NASA GISS is a taxpayer-funded institution whose job it is to provide reliable, unbiased information on matters like climate change.  But Marvel, to judge by her tweets, is at least as much a political activist as she is a scientist.

As Marc Morano reports at Climate Depot she has a track record of political activism:

"Incompetent," Then.

Senator Cruz Unloads On Rosenstein

"Your Handling Of Mueller Probe Proves You Were Either Corrupt Or Incompetent"

Madeline Osburn
The Federalist

[The following piece reveals the extent to which some of the opponents of Donald Trump and his staff had become subject to secretive, conniving  "Group Think" where integrity and truth had long ago made a disgraceful exit.]

When questioned by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein admitted that at the time of his involvement in the FBI’s Russia investigation, he was unaware of the ongoing misbehavior at the highest levels of law enforcement.

“You came into a profoundly politicized world [at DOJ], and yet all of this was allowed to go forward under your leadership. That unfortunately only leads to two possible conclusions,” Cruz said. “Either you were complicit in the wrongdoing, which I don’t believe is the case, or that the performance of your duties was grossly negligent.”

In getting to the bottom of Rosenstein’s alleged negligence to the crimes committed at the highest levels of law enforcement under his watch, Cruz asked, “Was there any more important case the Department of Justice had than an investigation into whether the president of the United States is a Russian asset colluding against the United States?”

“There was certainly lots of important investigations, but I viewed this as one of the most important,” Rosenstein said.

Rosenstein’s involvement at the top of the Department of Justice included appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel and signing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant renewals based off fraudulent material, but he testified Wednesday he was unaware at the time of much of the wrongdoing he signed off on.

“At the time you read the FISA application, did you know the primary source behind the Steele dossier had disavowed it and said it’s not true?” Cruz asked.

“At the time I reviewed it, no I did not know that,” Rosenstein said.

“Did you know there was significant exculpatory evidence omitted from it?” Cruz asked.

“Absolutely not,” Rosenstein said.

“Did you know a lawyer on your staff had fraudulently altered material as a basis for a FISA application?” Cruz asked.

“That lawyer was not on my staff, but I was not aware of it,” Rosenstein said.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Exposing Unbelief In The Military Chaplaincy

Army Controversy Over John Piper’s Book

It  Isn’t About Homophobia — It’s About Jesus

Caroline D'Agati
The Federalist

A senior Army chaplain earlier this month emailed other chaplains the text of “Coronavirus and Christ,” a brief book by famed author, podcaster, and pastor John Piper. The command chaplain of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea, Col. Moon H. Kim, wrote in his email: “This book has helped me refocus my sacred calling to my savior Jesus Christ to finish strong. Hopefully this small booklet would help you and your Soldiers, their Families, and others who you serve.”

This email and the attached book have led to complaints from 22 other chaplains, who’ve enlisted the help of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). The MRFF, which consistently targets theologically conservative Christians, wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, saying Moon must be “officially, swiftly, aggressively, and visibly investigated and disciplined in punishment for his deplorable actions.”

Since then, Moon’s comments have come under review, prompting a letter from 20 members of Congress — including Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Steve King of Iowa — calling for the Army not to buckle to this agenda-pushing third-party organization. The letter also outlines several other recent attacks of the MRFF on theologically conservative Christian chaplains.

If you read the entire text of Piper’s book, which is available for free, you will see its most incendiary idea is not the single paragraph about homosexuality. This short book ruffles feathers because it affirms the most offensive message in the history of the world: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Can't Come Soon Enough

EU Threatens UK

"Be More Realistic, or Else"

Kurt Zindulka
Breitbart London

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, threatened that if the United Kingdom does not capitulate to “more realistic demands” then the EU will forgo further negotiations in favour of a no-deal Brexit.  The French eurocrat accused Britain of “cherry-picking” in Brexit negotiations.

“It needs to be more realistic. Because we will not accept cherry-picking. Nor will we accept an agreement which would go to the detriment and the integrity of the Single Market,” Barnier said in an interview with The Times.  “We haven’t accepted it and we will not accept cherry-picking to the detriment of the EU Single Market and the member-states because they themselves accept a number of rules, the Court of Justice, contributions to the European budget and the rules of the EU,” he claimed.

Divine Things Never Change

According to Plan

"It is an inexpressible comfort in these days of upheaval and turmoil to know that all events, great and small, are embraced in God's sovereign providence. 

"Present history is not moving toward chaos.  It is moving in the grand drama of God's plan and purpose to the accomplishment of His holy designs and to the vindication of His glory." 

John Murray

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A Flickering Light

The End of Hong Kong?

By The Editors
National Review Online

The 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to the People’s Republic of China marked the end of Western colonial rule in the region. Optimistic Western policy hands hoped that the final mending of the “unequal treaties,” as they were called by the Chinese Communist Party, would initiate Beijing’s integration into the rules-based world order.

Recent events in Hong Kong put paid to this hope.

The days of China’s “peaceful rise,” when the CCP steadfastly denied its hegemonic ambitions, are long gone. In light of China’s clampdown on Hong Kong, the transfer of the autonomous region now appears to have entailed swapping one imperial government for another. As if to remove any doubt, China’s National People’s Congress bypassed the Hong Kong Legislative Council this week and imposed a new national-security law. The law, which bans all “seditious activity,” effectively nullifies the Hong Kong Basic Law according to which the territory is guaranteed autonomy from the Mainland until 2047.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded appropriately in announcing that, under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed last year, Washington would no longer consider Hong Kong independent of China. The White House will reconsider the privileges and immunities granted to the autonomous region, including its preferential trade status, visa exemptions, and flexible foreign-exchange regime.

Critics argue that the measures will cause undue economic harm to the region. Hong Kong’s economy will suffer, but the millions of Hong Kongers who have taken to the streets in protest have demonstrated in no uncertain terms that they value freedom over GDP growth.

Not Worth a "Time of Day"

Twitter And Social Media Are A Cancer On Our Civic Life. 

They Don’t Deserve Protection

The debate about whether social media companies should have protection from liability misses a larger question about their role in American society.

John Daniel Davidson
The Federalist

There’s nothing like a row between Twitter and President Trump to turn everyone into an expert on 47 U.S. Code § 230, a heretofore obscure section of federal law that deals with liability protections for companies like Twitter.

Go on social media right now and you’re bound to find friends, neighbors, and colleagues opining on federal statutes and citing old Supreme Court cases to bolster their arguments that we have to do this or that right now to save the internet or protect free speech.

So let me just say up front, I am not an expert on Section 230 or on federal liability law generally. I don’t have a strong opinion on exactly how the law should be reformed or what the mechanisms of a successful reform might be, nor do I think there aren’t real trade-offs to consider here.

But I don’t need to be an expert in liability law to know this: social media are corrosive to our civic life, and social media companies like Twitter are largely unaccountable for their actions in that regard. Without question, Twitter and Facebook and YouTube have harmed democratic life in America, eroded our civic values, and exacerbated divisions and distrust between citizens. If they all disappeared tomorrow, the country would be better off.

Consider for a moment the disconnect between what social media promised us and what we actually got.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Once Again, "Something Rotten in the State of Denmark"

Police Officer Has Form

MN State Authorities Have a Record of Not Prosecuting Its Police Officers 

Haris Alic
Breitbart News

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), as a Minnesota county prosecutor in the early 2000s, refused to prosecute the police officer now at the center of the controversy surrounding the death of George Floyd.

Klobuchar, who served as the chief legal officer of Hennepin County, Minnesota, before ascending to the United States Senate, declined to charge Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin for his role in the shooting death of Wayne Reyes in October 2006.

Reyes allegedly “stabbed his girlfriend and a male friend,” before fleeing in his vehicle and setting off a chase by law enforcement, according to a report on police brutality from the Minneapolis-based Communities United Against Police Brutality.

Chauvin, who at the time had been on the Minneapolis police force since 1999, was one of six officers involved in the pursuit. When Reyes was eventually stopped, Chauvin and the other officers claimed he aimed a shotgun towards them in a threatening manner. Reyes’s alleged burnishing of the weapon resulted in all six officers opening fire and killing him.

The incident, which was reported by The Guardian on Thursday, elicited widespread concern among Minneapolis residents at the time of Reyes’s death for what was seen as too strong a use of force.

EU Predictably Robotic and Obtuse

Hungarian Justice Minister Confronts EU

‘Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word’

Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart London

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga confronted European Union officials over Hungary’s Wuhan coronavirus response, saying the globalist campaign against the country had no basis.

Minister Varga spoke at a meeting of European Union ministers by teleconference on Tuesday, stating that Hungary should expect an apology from critics who had argued Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had become a “dictator”. 

Prime Minister Orbán had relinquished his emergency powers earlier this week, handing the parliament back its authority.  “It wasn’t the first time that we have fell victim to a campaign that had no basis whatsoever. But fortunately, in this case, the misleading and false information spread about us has obviously been proven wrong,” Minister Varga said.

She added that in an “ideal world” Hungary would be on the receiving end of apologies from critics, but given the silence so far she invoked British singer Elton John, saying: “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

Saturday, 30 May 2020

But What About Obama . . .?

The Remains of an Administration

By Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

Obama’s policies are in tatters, and the worst scandals of his White House are coming to light.

“One is not struck by the truth until prompted quite accidentally by some external event.”
— Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

Each day that the Obama administration fades into the past, its wrongdoings manage to wander back into the present.

After years of suppression, all sorts of strange events keep popping up to remind us of what little is left of the Obama years — the Susan Rice memo, Christopher Steele deleting his computer records, FBI-doctored and lost 302s, text messages wiped clean, the bizarre Obama January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting, the ambush interview of Michael Flynn, the unmasking and leaking of redacted names swept up in reverse-targeting surveillance operations, the administration fraud perpetrated on the FISA courts. The list is so overwhelming and bizarre that it ensures that anything at any time can now appear. And the result keeps reminding Americans of how corrupt were the years between 2009 and 2017 and how untruthful was the coverage of such institutionalized wrongdoing.

Feet of Clay

Emeritus Barack Obama now and then ventures out to go through the motions of an enfeebled defense for what is becoming an increasingly discredited administration. But his heart is not in it. His mind is elsewhere. His cause is no longer social activism and community organizing, if it ever was, but lucre and the perceived well-earned good life. The arc of his moralizing universe is long, but for the anointed like him, it apparently bends toward the just deserts of riches and material bounty.

EU Doomsaying Comes Unstuck

Nissan Backs Britain as It Pulls out of EU

Victoria Friedman
Breitbart London

Japanese carmaker Nissan has announced that it will retain its plant in Sunderland, England, but will be closing its factories in Spain, signalling that it may pull out of more locations across the European Union.

Project Fear mongers have, since the before the vote to leave the EU in 2016, claimed that leaving the bloc would result in Britain’s car manufacturing base being decimated.  However, in the years following the referendum, the opposite has proven true with Aston Martin, Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, among others, committing to Brexit Britain, with the Institute of the Motor Industry saying in 2018 that new technology could add 320,000 jobs to the domestic car industry by 2030.

A Nissan spokesman said, according to Sky News, on Thursday:  “Sunderland remains an important part of our plans for the European business.  The new Juke was recently launched, and the plant is now preparing for the arrival of the new Qashqai.”

The Sunderland plant employs some 6,700 people and is Britain’s largest car plant. It produces the Qashqai, which is the best-selling British-made car, the Juke, and the Leaf, which is the world’s best-selling electric car.  Nissan is also reportedly in talks to build two models for Renault — part of the French-Japanese alliance along with Nissan and Mitsubishi — in Sunderland.

Responding to the news, Brexit campaign veteran Nigel Farage said: “For over 20 years we were told if we join the Euro and then left the EU that Nissan would close, a common BBC headline. Here is the happy reality.”

Serious Corruption

Obamagate Is Not a Conspiracy Theory

By David Harsanyi
National Review Online

There’s no reason to ignore the mounting evidence that Obama administration officials were corrupt in their handling of the Trump–Russia investigation.

Those sharing #Obamagate hashtags on Twitter would do best to avoid the hysterics we saw from Russian-collusion believers, but they have no reason to ignore the mounting evidence that suggests the Obama administration engaged in serious corruption.

Democrats and their allies, who like to pretend that President Obama’s only scandalous act was wearing a tan suit, are going spend the next few months gaslighting the public by focusing on the most feverish accusations against Obama. But the fact is that we already have more compelling evidence that the Obama administration engaged in misconduct than we ever did for opening the Russian-collusion investigation.

It is not conspiracy-mongering to note that the investigation into Trump was predicated on an opposition-research document filled with fabulism and, most likely, Russian disinformation. We know the DOJ withheld contradictory evidence when it began spying on those in Trump’s orbit. We have proof that many of the relevant FISA-warrant applications — almost every one of them, actually — were based on “fabricated” evidence or riddled with errors. We know that members of the Obama administration, who had no genuine role in counterintelligence operations, repeatedly unmasked Trump’s allies. And we now know that, despite a dearth of evidence, the FBI railroaded Michael Flynn into a guilty plea so it could keep the investigation going.

Friday, 29 May 2020

The Day the Police State Came

They Have Made Us All Prisoners

The new authoritarian State’s dream has come true thanks to the repulsive word 'lockdown'

Peter Hitchens
Mail on Sunday

We will never get out of this now. It will go on for ever. We will not be free people again.   Even when we seem to be free we will be like prisoners on parole, who can be snatched back to their cells at a moment’s notice.

I think I now understand why this period has come to be known by the repulsive word ‘lockdown’, an American term which describes the punishment of rioting convicts in a penitentiary, by confining them in their cells for long periods.   I hate this word, because it does not seem to me to be fitting to describe free people in a free country.

But we are no longer such people, or such a country. We have become muzzled, mouthless, voiceless, humiliated, regimented prisoners, shuffling about at the command of others, stopping when told to stop, moving when told to move, shouted at by jacks-in-office against whom we have no appeal.  We are learning, during this induction period, to do what we are told and to become obedient, servile citizens of a new authoritarian State. We are unlearning the old rules of freedom.

Another Sign of Europe's Dying Civilization

Eat Bugs: New EU Food Policy 

Promotes Less Meat, More ‘Alternative Proteins’

Virginia Hale
Breitbart London

Europeans must move to a “more plant-based diet”, according to new EU food policy, which also revealed the bloc will promote “insect-based proteins and meat substitutes”.

The European Commission’s Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy for creating a “fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly” food system insists that such a transition “will not happen without a shift in people’s diets”.  “Moving to a more plant-based diet with less red and processed meat and with more fruits and vegetables will reduce not only risks of life-threatening diseases, but also the environmental impact of the food system,” asserts the strategy, which was unveiled Wednesday.

In order to promote such a diet, the strategy said research in Europe will focus on “increasing the availability and source of alternative proteins such as plant, microbial, marine, and insect-based proteins and meat substitutes.”  A change in eating habits is “critical” to reducing obesity, according to the Commission, which also acknowledges in its F2F Strategy that Europeans want food that is “fresh [and] less processed”.

The Bug Burger

It is unclear how promoting a move to eat less meat will address these concerns, however, as plant-based meat substitutes are considered to be “ultra-processed” foods, which research has linked to weight gain as well as poor health and early death.

Some activists were disappointed with the strategy, an earlier draft of which reportedly suggested that the Commission would propose to “stop stimulating production or consumption of meat”.

The Good Food Institute Europe (GFI Europe), which lobbies on behalf of the plant-based meat substitute industry, hailed the strategy as a “significant step forward”, claiming so-called alternative proteins “play a critical role in Europe’s transition to a more sustainable, healthy and just food system”.

According to the EU document, the F2F Strategy is “at the heart of” the European Green Deal, the Commission’s “roadmap” to making Europe “the first climate-neutral continent by 2050”. 

“It maps a new, sustainable and inclusive growth strategy to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, care for nature, and leave no one behind,” boasts the unelected EU executive.

Many scientists are sceptical about plans to drastically slash carbon emissions, however, with Cambridge engineering professor Michael Kelly warning that scrapping reliable energy sources such as coal and nuclear in favour of renewables would be an act of “total madness” that would necessarily result in a collapse of living standards.

“In energy terms the current generation of renewable energy technologies alone will not enable a civilized modern society to continue,” the Hughes Medal-decorated physicist wrote, in a 2016 paper which noted that renewables supplied only seven per cent of global electricity needs while “the rate at which fossil fuels are growing is seven times that at which the low carbon energies are growing”.

“The call to decarbonize the global economy by 80 per cent by 2050 can now only be described as glib in my opinion, as the underlying analysis shows it is only possible if we wish to see large parts of the population die from starvation, destitution or violence in the absence of enough low-carbon energy to sustain society,” he warned.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

"It's All About Me" Says The Atheist

Christians Receive a Back Handed Compliment

Harvard sociologist, Steven Pinker jumped to the heart of the matter.  Claiming the high moral ground for atheism, he removed all doubt when he argued that Christianity was a malignant religion. 

It took us about ten minutes to stop laughing.  What a dumb position to take! 
Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker said Thursday that the push for reopening society from lockdowns comes from Christianity’s “malignant delusion” of belief in an afterlife.  Atheists who believe in this life alone are more concerned with health and safety, Professor Pinker suggested in a Tweet, while Christians tend to devalue “actual lives” and live a riskier existence.  [Breitbart]
Of course Pinker had to disclose the underlying principles of his world view in order to reach such a bizarre conclusion.  He has to acknowledge that selfish preoccupation with one's own life and existence is the true and reasonable starting position for atheistic morality.  Because of this selfist view he is able to argue that the only ground for true happiness and fulfilment is to go through life with a world-view that reads something like:
Get all you can
Can all you get,
Poison the rest.
In other words, it's all about ME. 
Pinker was responding to an article this week in the Washington Post, which examined findings that Democrats take the virus “more seriously” than Republicans and are more willing to support restrictive government edicts in response to the pandemic.
Consequently, government edicts can justify all sorts of abuse and neglect of the elderly, the weak, the sick, and the bereft. 

But Christian march to the beat of a very different Drummer.  Their hope is not to be found in this world, but in the one to come.  As a result, Christians are far more caring and concerned about the welfare of others than chaps like Pinker.   
Therefore, while we are warned that it profits a man nothing if he gain the whole world and lose himself, the expectation of a new earth must not weaken but rather stimulate our concern for cultivating this one. For here grows the body of a new human family, a body which even now is able to give some kind of foreshadowing of the new age.

Study after study has found that such “theory” is borne out in practice as well, with religious people proving far more generous with their time and money than atheists.

In one of the largest studies of its kind, the massive Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey in 2000 found that religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money and 23 points more likely to volunteer their time.

A Plague In Its Own Right

Trump Derangement Syndrome

By now we are all be familiar with what is known as "Trump Derangement Syndrome" [TDS].  It designates a state of affairs where reflexively anything which President Trump says or does immediately becomes verboten or subject to ridicule.  

If, for example, Trump were to say on national TV, "I believe it is important for humans to breathe" a phalanx of dedicated Trump Derangement Syndrome types would mock, ridicule, and reject breathing.  In other words whatever Trump says or does, it is is immediately rejected.  Well, hyperbolically at least. 

What follows is a classic example of TDS  First, the story:

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

It’s About Time

Thousands Of Churches Are About To Defy Lockdown Orders. 

Churchgoers across the country are reasserting their fundamental rights of conscience—rights that too many political leaders have forgotten or denied.

John Daniel Davidson
The Federalist

On Friday, President Trump said churches and houses of worship are “essential” and called on governors nationwide to allow them to open this weekend. If they don’t, Trump said he would “override” governors, citing forthcoming guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In remarks Thursday, the president criticized some governors who have “deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential” but not churches. “It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.”

Trump is right, but churches are already taking action on their own. This week in Minnesota, thousands of Catholics and Lutherans will gather in their churches in defiance of the governor, whose plan for reopening the state relegates churches and houses of worship to the status of tattoo parlors and hair salons.

It’s about time.

The Spirit of Timothy Lives On . . .

The World is Not my Parish

Matt Scheffer

We quote our heroes for inspiration. Or we sometimes mis-quote them, but nevertheless, still feel inspired. Sometimes the quote of a well-known Christian helps add clarity or meaning to a sermon or Bible study. Maybe it gives us a sense of inspiration so we stick it on our wall, or on a mug, or on Facebook.

“The world is my parish” is one of these quotes. Depending on which biographer you read, the quote either comes from the 18th century evangelist, John Wesley, or from Wesley’s friend and colleague George Whitefield. Either way, the quote is intended to inspire us to see the whole world as needing to hear the proclamation of the gospel, not just our parochial ‘patch’.

For Whitefield and Wesley, this quote meant outdoor preaching, since they were not allowed to preach in established church pulpits (not only because of the chaotic emotional effects displayed by those converted in their gatherings, but because they were not licensed to other churches). So Whitefield (or Wesley’s) response was, I will preach outdoors, since the whole world is my parish.

The quote appears on memes, mugs and inspirational posters. Sometimes it’s hung on church office walls, alongside quotes from the likes of Jim Elliot, or Corrie Ten Boom, etc.

Yet, as inspiring as it sounds, I think it’s wrong. “The world is not my parish”. By all means, yes, let us be passionate for the Great Commission. By all means, let us plant new churches and ‘re-pot’ or revive established churches and ‘do the work of an evangelist’ (2 Tim. 4:5). By all means, yes! But at the same time, the world is not my parish.

As inspiring as it sounds, I think it’s wrong. ‘The world is not my parish’ … my job is to be faithful to the Lord Jesus in the place he has put me, with the gifts he has given me: to serve the people he’s given me to love.

For most of us, the part we have to play in the Great Commission is to be faithful in the place where God has placed us; either in the church or fellowship group we happen to belong to (whether that’s a church or AFES group, etc).

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

NZ's Disproportionate Response

The Value of a Life

[A guest post by Alwyn Poole.  This was reprinted in Kiwiblog.  We reproduce it below:]

It is astonishing how quickly key foundations of education and society can become twisted or subverted. A genuine proponent of education advocates important foundations; question everything, critique everything, suggest and evaluate counter scenarios (and other “experts”), ask who gains and who loses from particular actions, attack the argument and not the person. Children, youth and indeed all citizens need to apply these principles to current events and what appears to be deep moral confusion.

Everyone dies. It is maybe the least digestible fact of life but the rate of death in every generation is 100%. I complained about this to my mother once and she placated me by saying that it wouldn’t happen to me. I was 8 years old and, at that stage accepted my immortality. In NZ in 2018 33,225 human-beings died. That is a little over 91 people per day. Apart from reporting on road deaths and murders these deaths, by and large, pass unnoticed except for those close enough to attend the funeral.

In 2020 we have suddenly decided, as a society taking part in a global emergency, that these lives are more important than ever before. We have decided this to the extent that we have destroyed significant sections of the economy, drastically restricted human rights, and allowed a very small sector of government to create edicts without due process or challenge.

Dumb and Dumber

Trump Hate Is Making It Harder to Study Hydroxychloroquine

By David Harsanyi
National Review Online

Yesterday, I pointed out the potential consequences of having an overwrought, childish, partisan debate over a lifesaving drug that’s used by millions of Americans. Today, I see, Joe Biden is comparing hydroxychloroquine to poison. “It’s like saying maybe if you inject Clorox into your blood it may cure you,” Biden said of Donald Trump’s admission that he takes the drug. “C’mon, man! What is he doing? What in God’s name is he doing?”

Now, I get that Biden thinks it’s cute to merge the myth that Trump wants Americans to inject themselves with bleach and the president’s unproven prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine. It’s worth noting, however, that the presumptive Democratic Party nominee is also now telling Americans — including those who need this low-risk prescribed drug that has been approved for all public use for over 70 years — that taking hydroxychloroquine is tantamount to injecting yourself with bleach.

Listen to this NPR interview with some doctors trying to conduct tests of hydroxychloroquine effectiveness. Dr. John Giles, a rheumatologist at Columbia University, who says that the partisan fight over hydroxychloroquine has made it virtually impossible for him to find people to test the effectiveness of the drug against coronavirus. Why would anyone want to swallow Clorox, right?

“We are hearing now from some participants that the study and the drug feel too political and they just don’t want to participate at all,” says Dr. Christine Johnston at the University of Washington.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Asinine "Debate"

The Hydroxychloroquine Meltdown

The president claims he’s taking it as a prophylactic. The media met that with hysteria instead of conscientious coverage.

By David Harsanyi
National Review Online

President Donald Trump claims that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure against contracting coronavirus, and that he has taken zinc and antibiotic azithromycin as well.

There’s no consensus that hydroxychloroquine is an effective therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 (early studies have yielded different results, and the NIH recently began a controlled clinical trial). Few people I’ve read argue that it’s a useful prophylactic. Nevertheless, the frenzied and childish reaction to Trump’s championing what amounts to a commonly used prescription drug is more destructive than his annoying habit of bringing it up.

A CNN columnist warns of “the danger in Trump’s decision to self-medicate.” If Trump is taking the drug, it’s been prescribed and presumably he’s being monitored, yet the CNN piece tries to create impression that the president is popping hydroxychloroquine tablets like mints to soothe his anxieties.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called Trump’s remarks about hydroxychloroquine “dangerous,” though for the general public, the drug itself is no more dangerous than a vast number of pharmaceuticals used every day by millions of Americans to help them live with less pain or to keep them alive.

“Side effects of hydroxychloroquine include paranoia, hallucinations and psychosis,” notes the New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg, reading one of the many rare side effects of the drug. Wait until she reads the warning labels on the abortifacients that she wants the government to subsidize.

For that matter, we’re often lectured that killing an unborn baby is a decision made solely by a woman in conjunction with her doctor. Yet taking hydroxychloroquine is apparently a joint decision between a man, his doctor, every Democrat in congress, all the anchors on CNN, and an entire slate of New York Times op-ed columnists.

EU In A Fit of Pique

UK Slams EU’s ‘Low-Quality’ Deal 

No ‘Democratic Country Could Sign’

Victoria Friedman
Breitbart London

In a scathing letter to Brussels bureaucrat Michel Barnier, David Frost criticised the European Union’s offer of a “low-quality trade agreement” which contains provisions that no “democratic country could sign”.

The UK’s chief EU adviser wrote to his Brussels counterpart, Mr Barnier, on Tuesday, calling for the EU to deal with the UK in trade negotiations as a partner on equal terms. He also criticised the bloc for trying to pressure Brexit Britain into accepting worse deal conditions than it had offered other nations around the world in a forensic, four-page breakdown of Europe’s offer.

Mr Frost said that the UK has been clear and consistent in its intentions in seeking a free trade agreement with the European Union. However, he said he found it “perplexing” that Brussels treats the UK as an “unworthy” partner, forced to accept restrictive provisions as a precondition for a deal despite Brussels not making similar demands when negotiating FTAs with countries like Mexico, New Zealand, or South Korea.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Spurious Genderism: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Hungary Defines Sex as Biological

Media, NGOs Outraged 

Virginia Hale
Breitbart News

Activists and the media claim Hungary is being driven “back towards the dark ages” after the country voted to define gender based on biological sex.

According to the latest wave of establishment fury against the central European nation, transgender people will “flee” Hungary or else be driven to suicide by the law, which passed on Tuesday after a 134 to 56 parliamentary vote.

Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás, had responded to attacks with a letter last month insisting that Hungary “guarantees everybody’s fundamental rights”, adding that the measures relating to gender would ensure “legal clarity in harmony with the constitution”.    NGOs and mainstream media outlets characterised the country’s right-wing populist leader, Viktor Orbán, as an “autocrat” in pushing through the legislation, which defines gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes”.

"Dumb and Dumber" Taking A Hit

The Tide Is Turning Back 

Biological Definitions Of Gender Regain Support

David Marcus
The Federalist

In 2014 Kevin Williamson wrote a column in the Chicago Tribune titled “Laverne Cox Is Not A Woman.” The premise of the piece, focused on the actor, was that trans women are not women but rather individuals who believe they are women. In what was at the time one of the biggest victories of the trans advocacy movement the Tribune retracted the piece for misleading facts and a poor tone. The message had been sent. Saying trans women are not women was forbidden and style guides were changed across the country.

But in the past week or so events in a Connecticut courthouse have ushered in a dramatic change to this rule. Mainstream outlets like the New York Post and Newsweek published pieces explicitly advocating the position that got Williamson’s piece banned six years ago. Both are written by women and both make clear that the authors believe in a biological definition of sex. An article from February in the Wall Street Journal also took this stance even earlier. What is emerging is a more concerted effort to defend biological gender in the news media space.

This is really pretty remarkable. Progressives and trans advocates had every reason to believe that the arc of history could only move in their direction. After all, once defining gender based on biology became offensive, even a slur, how could it ever make its way back into polite society? But what they didn’t understand was just how massive the gap was between their beliefs about the nature of gender and those of the American people.

What was always bound to happen, and was predicted for years in these pages, was that public policy was going to intersect with the fiction that men can become women in entirely untenable ways.

Friday, 22 May 2020

The Truth Versus The Lie

Not Very Much Feck At All

Douglas Wilson
Blog & Mablog


What have we learned in the COVID panic? Or, closer to the point, what have some of us learned, and what should the rest of us be learning shortly?

We have learned that the establishment is bankrupt. We have seen that the scientific establishment is bankrupt. The public health system is bankrupt. The media is bankrupt. The educational system is bankrupt. Our politicians are bankrupt. The end result is that the general public has been fed the most shameless lies, and (thus far) are still largely willing to have it so.

There was a time, early on, when the lies had at least a veneer of plausibility, but now, the whole mendacious scam is out in the open, naked and covered with goose bumps. The falsehoods are now so apparent that we are in a position to count the goose bumps.

The stupidity has grown to epic proportions, and I believe that as time goes on, we will discover that we are just now beginning to catch a glimpse of merely the half of it.

It is time to drop all references to coronavirus or COVID-19, but not because the virus was imaginary. It was really there, but it was not really doing what the authorities said it was going to do. Rather, we should start referring to this tangled series of events as simply the Panic of 2020. What set everybody off is not the central item of interest right now. The main thing is for us to recognize that it was in fact an irrational panic, and not an apocalyptic pandemic. What set the chain of unreason off in the first place is a matter of lesser importance. This is because the real story is found in why we were all so spookable — when a people are that spookable, pretty much anything might do it.

A Climate of Lies

I think we all understand what goes into the making of an individual lie. Someone does something he ought not to have done, the voice of authority asks an awkward question, and the easiest way out appears to be that of lying about it. But what are the ingredients when we find ourselves living in a climate of lies? When lying appears to be as natural as eating, or sleeping, or walking? When lies and lying are the very air we breathe?

The Curse of Rising National Debt

Rishi's "Free Furlough" Billions 

Just a Giant Payday Loan in YOUR Name 

Peter Hitchens
Mail on Sunday

Think of Chancellor Rishi Sunak as a smiling salesman of payday loans, and you will begin to get the picture.   ‘Yes, of course you can have the money. Happy to help!’ he says as he hands over the wads of notes.

But it will not be the cheery face of Mr Sunak that you see when the time comes for repayment, but the hard and relentless agents of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

We cannot know the exact details of what lies ahead, though I would not rule out a sudden raid on savings as well as severe local and national taxation, direct and indirect, and inflation of the currency.

And don’t think that the repayment boys will only be going after those who have accepted the various forms of government handout during the throttling of the economy.   Even if you have yourself kept working and stayed above water, they’ll still be after you.

It is time the media began to ask Mr Sunak exactly when he plans to announce his first emergency budget (the first of many, I fancy) to a stunned nation.  As my much-esteemed Daily Mail colleague Alex Brummer, a man who understands the national finances better than most, said last week: ‘The hugely expensive decision to turn an emergency measure, designed to see UK Plc through the peak of Covid-19, into a commitment that could stretch to six months suggests a public health crisis and economic meltdown far worse than first imagined.’

Thursday, 21 May 2020

More Idiocy From UK Police

Police Hunt Driver For Sexual Assault

Kissed Elderly Woman on Cheek

Jack Montgomery
Breitbart London

Derbyshire Police are trying to hunt down a lorry driver who gave a woman in her seventies a thank-you kiss on the cheek after she helped guide his vehicle out from under a bridge.

The police force, which drew criticism in recent months for deploying a special drone team to harass lone ramblers and dog-walkers for taking socially-distanced exercise in the middle of nowhere, tweeted that the gesture “would be classed as a sexual assault as the woman did not [ask] the man to kiss her on the cheek.”

“We want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and may be able to help our enquiries into the incident. Of particular interest are any drivers who were in the area at the time and may have captured the lorry on dashcam,” they wrote in an online appeal for information — now deleted, as a result of the public derision which they received.

“We issued an appeal for information this morning after a woman was kissed on the cheek in an unwanted gesture from a man she did not know,” the force said in a statement quoted by the Telegraph.  “The social media post drew a significant number of comments that were counterproductive to the nature of the appeal and as a result, the decision was made to remove it,” they confirmed.

They were clear that they have not given up the hunt for the driver, however, adding: “It is important to note that people with information related to the incident can still get in touch with us if they can help.”

Derbyshire Police are alleged to have been less zealous in their pursuit of other criminals, such as “Asian” grooming gang rapists — with a 2011 report by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) suggesting that their crimes were not properly investigated.

Britain At Its Worst

At the Anti-Lockdown Rally I Saw the Best – and Worst – of Britain

James Delingpole
Breitbart London

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

That’s how it felt at the anti-lockdown rally in Hyde Park, London, yesterday, where I was threatened with a fine and arrest for the crime of doing my job. It’s also where I got to see Britain at its best – and worst.

There weren’t many protestors but those who were made me proud to be British. We were a very mixed crowd, very representative of the melting pot that London has become – and definitely considerably less white and middle class than the crowd you’d find at an Extinction Rebellion rally.

I met a black working-class couple who were both bus drivers; several smartly dressed, well-spoken elderly people; an American former US diplomat and former Democrat voter; a very distressed French-sounding girl distraught that she’d been harassed by police simply for remaining in the same area for more than 45 minutes; a woman who had grown up in 70s Czechoslavakia and recognised the symptoms of Communism all too easily. There were anti-vaxxers, yes, and people who felt that all the world’s current ills could be traced back to Bill Gates, yes. But mostly this was a rally about freedom, where everyone present could not quite believe just how easily so many British people had surrendered willingly to the most flagrant assault on liberty in centuries.

This ought not to be a weird, eccentric thing to want to protest.