Thursday, 18 January 2018

Those Hating Wisdom, Love Death

Prothanasia Arguments Cannot Be Limited To One Class of People

A euthanasia debate is now underway in New Zealand.  Parliament is now considering a bill which would make the practice lawful.  

In writing about "euthanasia" we can't help but feel the lily has already been gilded.  The word is derived from Greek.  "Thanatos" means death; "eu" is an adverb meaning "good".  Thus, euthanasia means, literally "good death".  Since we believe that there is nothing good about the deliberate killing of another human being, we propose a new word would serve us much better.  Instead of "euthanasia" we will refer to "prothanasia", which literally means "for death", or "in favour of death".

Philip Matthews summarises what the new Bill intends:
The details may change but the bill presently would allow for a New Zealand citizen or resident over 18, who is suffering from a terminal illness that is expected to end their life within 6 months or has a grievous and untreatable medical condition, to opt for an assisted death. There are safeguards of informed consent and assessment by two doctors.  The pro-euthanasia camps argue that civilised countries like ours at this point in history should allow for death without suffering, a painless option. You hear a lot about the dignity of the dying.  [Stuff]
One of the strong advocates for the prothanasia is Maryanne Street.  She quickly exposes the Achilles heel of the position:

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

False Debt Scams

Scam Alert

False debt scamming is on the rise, we are told.  Drawing on the plethora of information which is available on-line, false debts are created, which are then often sold to criminal gangs at a fraction of the alleged outstanding debt, and the gangs then go to work.  Often the "tools" used to get people to pay up on the bogus demand include intimidation and threats.  

Here is an article/case-study of one "target" in the United States who fought back. 
On the morning a debt collector threatened to rape his wife, Andrew Therrien was working from home, in a house with green shutters on a cul-de-sac in a small Rhode Island town. Tall and stocky, with a buzz cut and a square, friendly face, Therrien was a salesman for a promotions company. He'd always had an easy rapport with people over the phone, and on that day, in February 2015, he was calling food vendors to talk about grocery store giveaways.

Therrien was interrupted mid-pitch by a call from his wife. She'd gotten a voicemail from an authoritative-sounding man saying Therrien was in some kind of trouble. "I need to verify an address to present you with your formal claim," the man had said. "Andrew Therrien, you are officially notified."

A few minutes later, Therrien's phone buzzed. It was the same guy. He gave his name as Charles Cartwright and said Therrien owed $700 on a payday loan. But Therrien knew he didn't owe anyone anything. Suspecting a scam, he told Cartwright just what he thought of his scare tactics.  Cartwright hung up, then called back, mad. He said he wanted to meet face-to-face to teach Therrien a lesson.

"Come on by, asshole," Therrien says he replied.  "I will," Cartwright said, "and I hope your wife is at home."  That's when he made the rape threat.

Daily Meditation

An Especially Reserved Portion

There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness. 2 Timothy 4:8

Charles H. Spurgeon

Doubting one! thou hast often said, "I fear I shall never enter heaven." Fear not! all the people of God shall enter there. I love the quaint saying of a dying man, who exclaimed, "I have no fear of going home; I have sent all before me; God's finger is on the latch of my door, and I am ready for him to enter." "But," said one, "are you not afraid lest you should miss your inheritance?" "Nay," said he, "nay; there is one crown in heaven which the angel Gabriel could not wear, it will fit no head but mine. There is one throne in heaven which Paul the apostle could not fill; it was made for me, and I shall have it." O Christian, what a joyous thought! thy portion is secure; "there remaineth a rest." "But cannot I forfeit it?" No, it is entailed.

If I be a child of God I shall not lose it. It is mine as securely as if I were there. Come with me, believer, and let us sit upon the top of Nebo, and view the goodly land, even Canaan. Seest thou that little river of death glistening in the sunlight, and across it dost thou see the pinnacles of the eternal city? Dost thou mark the pleasant country, and all its joyous inhabitants? Know, then, that if thou couldst fly across thou wouldst see written upon one of its many mansions, "This remaineth for such a one; preserved for him only. He shall be caught up to dwell forever with God."

Poor doubting one, see the fair inheritance; it is thine. If thou believest in the Lord Jesus, if thou hast repented of sin, if thou hast been renewed in heart, thou art one of the Lord's people, and there is a place reserved for thee, a crown laid up for thee, a harp specially provided for thee. No one else shall have thy portion, it is reserved in heaven for thee, and thou shalt have it ere long, for there shall be no vacant thrones in glory when all the chosen are gathered in.

Smart Money

There is Coin on the Table

Climate change is not a scientific proposition.  The reason is straightforward.  For any scientific discipline or inquiry, propositions must be falsifiable.  

Climate change, we are told, is universal.  It happens all the time.  A climatic event, such as recent snow storms in the United States or heat waves in Australia, are said to be "outside the norm", above average, even extreme events.  But, then the archives and databases are searched and we are told the recent heat wave in Australia produced temperatures that had not been recorded for over eighty years.  In other words, eighty years ago similar temperatures were experienced.

So far, so good.  Now, however, overlay another paradigm: global warming.  The reigning belief amongst politicians, world leaders, some scientists, and the media is that the globe is warming.  For most of us this means we are to expect temperatures to rise.  The cause is put down to humanity releasing ever growing amounts of carbon based gases into the atmosphere.  This creates a "greenhouse" effect.  Or so the scientific proposition has it.  But if that theory is truly scientific, it must be testable, and subject to data or experimentation that would make it is untrue or false.

At this point the card sharp joins the game.  He blithely tells us that global warming is so universal that any climatic event , whether hot or cold, flood or drought, storm or calm, manifests global warming.  Climate change means global warming.  Suddenly a false, marked card has been slipped into the deck.

So the "scientific" proposition has now morphed.  Global warming actually is the same as climate change.  Release of carbon dioxide causes climate change which is the same as global warming.  So, absolutely freezing temperatures in the United States represents climate change (things have changed from a few weeks ago when temperatures in Detroit were warmer).  And climate change is the same as global warming.  Therefore, freezing cold temperatures are in fact an evidence of  global warming!

We kid you not.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Last "Bigger Fool" Collapses a Market

Be Warned, Beware

The Bigger Fool theory states that there is little risk when one invests in nothingness or empty air as long as a bigger fool will come along to invest afterwards.  Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies have all the makings of a classic Bigger Fool bubble.  It works, until it doesn't.  In other words, it works as long as there are bigger fools willing to invest in the bubble and purchase what you bought yesterday. 

Crypto wipeout: Market loses $200 billion

Frank Chung
NZ Herald

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies including ethereum, litecoin and ripple plummeted in value on Monday after Coinmarketcap removed prices from South Korean exchanges without warning.

Prices on South Korean exchanges are typically up to 30 per cent higher than in other countries. The widely used research site's decision to exclude average price data from Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit resulted in a sudden drop in displayed prices.

That caused confusion among investors and partly contributed to a major sell-off, which was also fuelled by news that South Korean and Chinese regulators planned to increase oversight on cryptocurrency trading and mining. . . .

Daily Meditation

How Believers Will Be Judged

I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (Revelation 20:12)

John Piper

What about the last judgment? Will our sins be remembered? Will they be revealed? Anthony Hoekema puts it wisely like this: “The failures and shortcomings of . . . believers . . . will enter into the picture on the Day of Judgment. But — and this is the important point — the sins and shortcomings of believers will be revealed in the judgment as forgiven sins, whose guilt has been totally covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.”

Picture it like this. God has a file on every person (“the books” of Revelation 20:12). All you’ve ever done or said (Matthew 12:36) is recorded there with a grade (from “A” to “F”). When you stand before the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:1) to be judged “according to what you have done, whether good or bad,” God will open the file and lay out the tests with their grades. He will pull out all the “F’s” and put them in a pile. Then he will take all the “D’s” and “C’s” and pull the good parts of the test out and place them with the “A’s”, then put the bad with the “F’s”. Then he will take all the “B’s” and “A’s” and pull the bad parts out of them and put them in the “F” pile, and put all the good parts in the “A” pile.

Then he will open another file (“the book of life”) and find your name. Behind your name will be a wood-stick match made from the cross of Jesus. He will take the match, light it and set the “F” pile, with all your failures and deficiencies, on fire and burn them up. They will not condemn you, and they will not reward you.

Then he will take from your “book of life” file a sealed envelope marked “free and gracious bonus” and put it on the “A” pile (see Mark 4:24 and Luke 6:38). Then he will hold up the entire pile and declare: “By this your life bears witness to the grace of my Father, the worth of my blood and the fruit of my Spirit. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

Our Schools Have Die-Back Disease

The State and Education Do Not Mix

The clip below is about a principal of a school highlighting a problem in the government education system.  The state system is premised upon a belief that government schools are both the authority and the expert when it comes to education.  The entire government school system is built upon the premise that parents are both incompetent and ignorant when it comes to educating their children.  The state is the expert.

In fact the opposite is the truth.  The government is thoroughly incompetent when it comes to education.  The less it has to do with the education of the nation's children the better.  In the (Christian) schools we have been associated with over the years, we have believed in and applied the Triangle of Pedagogical Power.  Effective, potent education involves three parties, and no more: the school teacher(s), the parents, and the pupil.  These three are equally vital and necessary.

The intrusion of any other power or authority in that triangle makes for ineffective, impotent education.  The involvement of the State is worst of all because it squashes and drives out the influence of parents, and their fellow-team members: the school, and the pupil himself.  The State commands, it does not "partner".  More and more the State looks to its educational institution (the government school) to be responsible for, and drive, the welfare and social programmes of the State.  Almost every social problem amongst youth has the Government pushing for more of its schools' involvement in the child's life--usually over the battered and crippled bodies of its parents.

Richard Hall, rector of Otago Boys' High School spoke out about these matters.
Another Dunedin school principal has publicly aired concerns about growing expectations that schools act as social as well as educational institutions.   In a recent Otago Boys' High School newsletter, rector Richard Hall said he agreed there had been a "definite increase" in the number of issues involving pupils outside school hours which schools were being asked to deal with.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Join the Resistance

Facing Reality

Rod Dreher
The American Conservative

A fundamental mistake people make in interpreting The Benedict Option is to think that I am counseling escapism. That’s not true. It’s rather that I believe that orthodox Catholics and other conservative Christians should understand very clearly that at best we are fighting a rear-guard action . . . .  We live in a post-Christian society, one in which a far more serious conflict than we’ve seen so far between Church and State is inevitable. To think that we’re going to win these conflicts because we can’t afford to lose them is the worst kind of magical thinking.

That doesn’t mean we can’t afford to fight.

Daily Meditation

Putting Things to Right

C. S. Lewis

If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God. But, of course, if you think some things really bad, and God really good, then you cannot talk like that. You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will.

Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, ‘If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realise that this also is God.’ The Christian replies, ‘Don’t talk damned nonsense.’ For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world—that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God ‘made up out of His head’ as a man makes up a story.

But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Landlords Heading For the Hills

The Certainty of Ignorant Left Ideologues

For the Left (and sadly much of the professed Right) the State is the avatar of deity, if not the deity itself.  If the gummint does something or runs a programme it is axiomatic that State involvement will have a much better outcome than if private individuals or corporations were to do it.  This is a deeply ingrained belief.  It is religiously held.

There are a number of beliefs which buttress this religious mantra.  Firstly, State run and controlled businesses appear to be riskless.  The gummint can enforce the rules and regulations and trading conditions in favour of the State to ensure its success.  Moreover, the gummint is not constrained for money: it can always borrow, and when its credit worthiness runs out, it can then resort to printing money.  Venezuela is an apt contemporary example of this thought pattern running to its logical and practical conclusions.  Destitution and starvation.

Secondly, State run businesses are believed to be more pure or holy.  Private business is inherently immoral.  It allows--nay, requires--people to make profits  This amounts to trafficking in filthy lucre, since (by definition) profits represent gain at the expense of customers.  If the customer or user were charged a "fair" price the provider of the service would be just clearing costs, and no more.  That is what the State (purportedly) does when it goes into business--clears its costs and no more.  In reality, the State layers costs upon costs throughout the activity in question, glorying in waste and inefficiency.

In New Zealand we have an alleged housing crisis.  The new Labour Government has decided to crack down on what it believes are private individuals and businesses taking advantage of people wanting to buy houses.  The Gummint is going to exercise more control over the market so as to force landlords to accept lower profits.  Remember, profit is tantamount to theft.  It is inherently immoral in the Left's mindset.

This, from Eric Frykberg of RadioNZ:

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow (On the Image of God)

The Image of God and Life Between the Sexes

Douglas Wilson


People of course disagree about things, and one of the biggest things they differ on is the meaning and magnitude of their disagreements. One man’s adiaphora is another man’s summum bonum, one man’s mox nix is another man’s—oh I don’t know— buttterfly’s boots. I hope I am making myself clear.

Let me start over.

Unbelievers have grown so accustomed to their patterns of sexual license that they have come to regard the pattern of faithful monogamy among believers as just one more weird choice in a world full of weird choices. And—recognizing the differences between us—they (charitably, or so they think) want to relegate the importance of this particular difference to the museum of quaint religious opinions. Certainly we differ, they say soothingly, but surely, shouldn’t we be able to agree that it is no big deal? They allow that we can live this way if we want, but any hint from us that they ought to be doing so as well brings out all heir ire, not to mention the lawsuits.


Now because we Christians understand that the two sexes coming together in a particular way bears the image of God, the response from us always has to be—no, this is necessarily a big deal. It is central, a true fundamental article of the faith. You can have true Christian churches that don’t baptize the right way. You can have real Christian churches that sing the wrong kind of songs. You can have genuine Christian churches that have adopted unedifying forms of church government. But you can’t have Christian churches that have the wrong God. And biblical marriage is one of the creationally-established and central confessions of faith concerning the nature of God.

Daily Meditation

Ready For Work Or Sacrifice

For me to live is Christ.  Philippians 1:21

Charles H. Spurgeon

The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Saviour making a propitiation for his guilt. From the moment of the new and celestial birth the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our love, that it beats alone for him; to his glory we would live, and in defence of his gospel we would die; he is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character.

Paul's words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ--nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life. Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business--are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self- aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, "Is that a mean reason?" For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery?

Many there are who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet, this alone is the true life of a Christian--its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word--Christ Jesus. Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in thee and to thee. Let me be as the bullock which stands between the plough and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, "Ready for either."

A Shooting Star

The Deconstruction of Thomas Paine

The late eighteenth century has been called the decades of revolutions.  In the course of that particular season we are treated to a luminary, Thomas Paine rising brightly in the eastern sky only rapidly to become a burning, falling star in the west.

Paine had played an active role in the American Revolution.  He advocated strongly the merits and justice of the American colonies against the belligerence of England.  He based his argument upon the ground of universal human rights in the abstract.  He took his arguments and assertions to England itself and called for a similar revolt against the lords and the monarchy.  Whilst he found many supporters, there were not nearly enough to produce a revolution.

Then events in France undid his arguments and appeals.  The French Revolution, which Paine supported ardently, turned bloody and people saw first hand what radical revolution sanctioned by appeals to abstract human rights and inflamed with violence could accomplish.  It was not a pretty sight.  Paine's popularity in England evaporated.
. . . the gruesome "September Massacres" of 1792 (in France), when hundreds of men, women and children were butchered in the streets and prisons of Paris as suspected traitors, the execution of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette in 1793, the escalating Terror, war and economic disaster mocked Paine's confidence that "they order these things better in France."  He himself, at first feted in Paris, was imprisoned and sentenced to the guillotine--a fate he narrowly escaped due to a change of government.  [Robert Tombs, The English and Their History (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), p.387]
Suddenly the abstractions of Paine's Rights of Man had come face to face with human depravity at its worst and Paine, overnight, was exposed as little more than a deluded fanatic.   The effect upon England was substantial.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Loving One's Neighbour Rather Than "Global Mankind"

Poland and Hungary Unite Against Eurocrats

‘We Don’t Want to Live in an Empire’

Jack Montgomery


Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland have predicted a “year of great battles” with the EU establishment at a summit in Budapest.  “We don’t want to live in an empire. For us, the European Union is still the alliance of free European nations”, declared the veteran Orbán, who has been in office since 2010.

“The EU’s immigration policy is not working. What is more, it is not only not working but it has failed spectacularly,” he said.  “It’s clear that European people don’t want immigration, while some European leaders are still enforcing the failed immigration policy.

“The Hungarian standpoint is that we have to protect the borders [and] migration must be stopped. We shouldn’t bring migrants here, but we should bring the help where it’s needed,” he added, referring to his country’s ‘Hungary Helps’ programme of works to help people in the countries migrants typically originate from, particularly Christian minorities.

Daily Meditation

Being Unveiled

C. S. Lewis

We are always completely, and therefore equally, known to God. That is our destiny whether we like it or not.

But though this knowledge never varies, the quality of our being known can. A school of thought holds that ‘freedom is willed necessity’. Never mind if they are right or not. I want this idea only as an analogy. Ordinarily, to be known by God is to be, for this purpose, in the category of things. We are, like earthworms, cabbages, and nebulae, objects of Divine knowledge.

But when we (a) become aware of the fact—the present fact, not the generalization—and (b) assent with all our will to be so known, then we treat ourselves, in relation to God, not as things but as persons. We have unveiled. Not that any veil could have baffled His sight. The change is in us. The passive changes to the active. Instead of merely being known, we show, we tell, we offer ourselves to view.

From Letters to Malcolm Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer. Copyright © 1964, 1963 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1992, 1991 by Arthur Owen Barfield. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Dishonest UNICEF

A Front Organization For the Left

Lindsay Mitchell writes a blog covering the perversions of New Zealand's welfare state.  She recently had the temerity to make some critical observations about UNICEF.  At this point we must issue a warning.  Mitchell's subject matter, coupled with her critical mien, draw us very close to what can only be called heresy according to present received wisdom.  

We acknowledge that UNICEF is the United Kingdom's secular version of the Anglican Church.  More accurate may be the observation that UNICEF is the Anglican Church's "welfare" arm.  The thing flows out to the colonies.

Mitchell approaches being labelled a heretic because of her sarcasm towards UNICEF.  She points out that in June 2017 (that is, a mere six months ago) UNICEF launched the following jeremiad:
New Zealand has performed poorly in a global report card on children’s well-being, and Kiwi kids will continue to miss out unless there is a massive upheaval in how children’s best interests are served, says child rights organisation UNICEF NZ.
Child poverty, child poverty, child poverty.  New Zealand was failing badly.  The implication was the gummint was evil.  It was run by neo-liberals (whatever that sobriquet may mean).  The vulnerable were on the scrapheap.

Now, six month's later, UNICEF is singing from a different song sheet:

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Transgender Utopia In the UK

UK NHS Patient Asks for Female Nurse for Cervical Smear . . . 

Gets Tattooed Trans Man With Stubble Instead

Jack Montgomery
Breitbart London

A woman who requested a female nurse for an intimate procedure was given an “obviously male” member of staff with stubble and tattoos, who claimed to be a transsexual.  The National Health Service (NHS) patient said she was “embarrassed and distressed” when summoned by a nurse with “an obviously male appearance … close-cropped hair, a male facial appearance and voice, large number of tattoos and facial stubble” to carry out a cervical smear, The Times reports.

When she pointed out what she thought was a mistake, the nurse told her off: “My gender is not male. I’m a transsexual.”  Speaking after the examination, which she ultimately decided to abandon, the patient said it was “weird where somebody says to you: ‘My gender is not male’ and you think: ‘Well, what does that even mean? You are clearly a man.’ ”

In a formal letter of complaint, she objected that “People who are not comfortable about this are presented as bigots and this is … kind of how I was made to feel about it.”

The incident raises concerns about the governing Tory Party’s proposed Gender Recognition Act, spearheaded by lesbian Education Secretary Justine Greening, which seeks to “de-medicalise” the gender transition process and allow men to legally change gender with a simple self-declaration.

Daily Meditation

Gain What You Cannot Lose

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

John Piper

Here are two great incentives from Jesus to become a World Christian and to dedicate yourself to the cause of Frontier Missions.

  • Every impossibility with men is possible with God (Mark 10:27). The conversion of hardened sinners will be the work of God and will accord with his sovereign plan. We need not fear or fret over our weakness. The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give the victory.

  • Christ promises to work for us and to be for us so much that when our missionary life is over, we will not be able to say we’ve sacrificed anything (Mark 10:29–30).

When we follow his missionary prescription, we discover that even the painful side effects work to improve our condition. Our spiritual health, our joy, improves a hundredfold. And when we die, we do not die. We gain eternal life.

I do not appeal to you to screw up your courage and sacrifice for Christ. I appeal to you to renounce all you have to obtain life that satisfies your deepest longings. I appeal to you to count all things as rubbish for the surpassing value of standing in service of the King of kings. I appeal to you to take off your store bought rags and put on the garments of God’s ambassadors.

I promise you persecutions and privations — but “remember the joy”! “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

On January 8, 1956, five Auca Indians of Ecuador killed Jim Elliot and his four missionary companions as they were trying to bring the gospel to the Auca tribe of sixty people.

Four young wives lost husbands and nine children lost their fathers. Elisabeth Elliot wrote that the world called it a nightmare of tragedy. Then she added, “The world did not recognize the truth of the second clause in Jim Elliot’s credo: ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’”

Giving Thanks to God

Honouring One Of the Heroes

In New Zealand we have a "People's Choice" for the "New Zealander of the Year".  This year the choice was made to give the recognition to the late Steve Askin.  

Here is the NZ Herald's introduction, together with a tribute from his wife, Elizabeth Askin.

Decorated ex-SAS soldier and helicopter pilot Steve Askin died fighting February's devastating Port Hills fire from the air.  The 38-year-old father of two had been drafted in to combat the blaze that threatened hillside homes. At the height of the fire, the experienced pilot was heading to a pond to refill his monsoon bucket when its cable struck the tail rotor causing the helicopter to crash.

Today, his widow Elizabeth Askin speaks for the time first and pays tribute to the man Kiwis voted the Herald's New Zealander of the Year People's Choice winner.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Letter From America (About the Curse of Abortion in India)

India Performs 15.6 Million Abortions per Year

Dr Susan Berry

A new study finds that about 15.6 million abortions were performed in India in 2015, making the abortion rate in that country 47 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49.
The study is published at Lancet Global Health and was conducted by the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute – which was founded by former Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher – the Population Council of New Delhi, and the International Institute for Population Sciences.

According to the study, 81 percent of the abortions performed in India are via medication, and 14 percent are surgical abortions.

Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains that during a medication abortion – usually occurring within the first trimester – the mother takes Mifepristone (also known as RU-486), a drug that blocks the action of the hormone progesterone, which is naturally produced during pregnancy, to enable her to nourish the baby. Without progesterone, the lining of the mother’s uterus breaks down, and the baby dies inside her womb after being denied blood and nourishment.

Within the next day or two, the mother takes another drug called Misoprostol (also called Cytotec) that causes contractions and bleeding, forcing the baby from her uterus.

The study also finds that of the 48.1 million pregnancies in India in 2015, about half were unintended, leading to an unintended pregnancy rate of about 70 per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49. The researchers note India’s unintended pregnancy rate is comparable to those of Bangladesh (67) and Nepal (68) but lower than that of Pakistan (93).

Daily Meditation

Our Toothless Enemy

You, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (Colossians 2:13–15)

John Piper

The reason that union with Christ makes a great difference for the believer is that Christ achieved a decisive triumph over the devil at Calvary. He did not remove Satan from the world, but he disarmed him to the extent that the weapon of damnation was stripped from his hand.

He cannot accuse believers of unforgiven sin. And therefore, he cannot bring them to utter ruin. He can hurt them physically and emotionally, even kill them. He can tempt them and incite others against them. But he cannot destroy them.

The decisive triumph of Colossians 2:13–15 is owing to “the record of debt that stood against us” being nailed to the cross. The devil made that record his chief accusation against us. Now he has no accusation that holds. He is helpless to do the one thing he wants most to do — damn us. He can’t. Christ bore our damnation. The devil is disarmed.

Another way to say it is in Hebrews 2:14–15: “[Christ became human] that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

Death is still our enemy. But it is defanged. The sting is gone. The sting of death was sin. And the damning power of sin was in the demand of the law. But thanks be to Christ who satisfied the law’s demand (1 Corinthians 15:56–57).

The End of Slavery Models How Abortion Could End

Pragmatic Cunning of the Abolitionists

The official end to British slaving came as a result of the Napoleonic wars.  Napoleon had been thwarted in his long-held ambition to cross the Channel and invade England.  So, he returned to Europe to continue the war against the British army on that continent.  As part of the struggle he instituted a trade war against Britain in 1806.

It is one of the curios of history that this move set in train a series of events which led to the end of Britain's involvement in the slave trade, and to outlawing slavery in Britain per se.  The irony is that this was an unintended outcome.  Yet it was one of the greatest "fruits" of the Napoleonic Wars.  The British abolished the slave trade in 1806-7.  This sequence of events provides a very useful case study in the greatest moral and humanitarian struggle of our day--the abolition of abortion.

The moral campaign against slavery had been boiling away for years but it was resisted by powerful commercial interests in England which earned money from involuntary human cargo.  Cracks in the British resolution to continue slaving began to appear as a result of the great Saint-Domingue slave revolt in 1791.  Appalling fighting in the Caribbean had thrown the atrocities and costs of slavery into sharp relief.  Consciences in Britain were pricked even further. Public opinion became more resolute against the slave trade, particularly now that its evils were more exposed and because of French interests in, and support of, the trade.  The French were using slaves to sustain their war effort.

This provided another argument to Wilberforce and the abolitionists.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

We Feel Tony's Pain

Globalism Shobalism

The creases on Tony Blair's brow have deepened.  He is facing up to the failure of his particular plan of redemption for mankind--which is to oversee the demise of nation states, and the triumph of internationalist globalism (with guys and gals like Tony running the show, for the good of all the peons like you and us.)

Over the New Year holiday, the following piece was one of the more satisfying that we read:

The "Populist Surge" Shows No Sign of Ending

Oliver J J Lane

The “populist surge” in Europe has far from peaked and is the most significant change to the European order since the end of the Cold War, a new report by former British left-wing Prime Minister Tony Blair’s own think tank has claimed.

Assessing what the report identifies as a “populist threat” as a means to defeat it and “renew the centre”, the globalist Institute for Global Change document questions widely-held assumptions that right-populist politics is an “interlude”, or blip in history which “optimistic” observers believe will burn out.

To the contrary, the Institute’s own research shows “the trend line suggests that populists will continue to gain strength in the next round of elections”, and particularly in Eastern Europe, the report noting: “Populists are strongest in Eastern Europe. They routinely out-compete the political mainstream and have already taken power in seven countries: Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Slovakia.”

Populism could instead prove to be “the new normal” and may “drive European politics into a more nationalist and protectionist direction… governments would move decisively towards restricting net migration flows; make access to some social benefits conditional on citizenship status; and undermine minority rights in key respects.”

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Looking forward, the paper predicted that should the next decade see populist parties enjoying the same growth as they had in the past ten years, then nations like Germany and Sweden could too see themselves “vulnerable” to such movements.

The report comes as left-wing papers including The Guardian and New York Times mourned the “demise of Europe’s centre-left”, at the expense of the populist right, noting surging right-wing parties across the continent.

Beyond protecting Europe’s borders, one of the areas of right-populist influence that apparently most concerned the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change authors was changes to institutions, across Europe often created or shaped in the post-war period and widely acknowledged to be totally in the hands of mainstream, politically-left management as a result of the famed “long march through the institutions”. One prominent example of such change being presently wrought by a European populist government is reform of the judiciary in conservative Poland.

A hangover of the old Communist system, the Polish government was elected on a platform of judicial reform to increase accountability in the courts, but has been relentlessly attacked by globalist institutions such as the European Commission for attempting to rebalance. Poland and Hungary are both key points of interest in the Tony Blair report, where the ruling parties of both nations are accused of emphasising “a nationalism based on soil, blood, or culture”.

Despite the criticism, the report concedes “populist governments in Hungary and Poland are as popular as ever”.

Daily Meditation

God Preserves The Light Within Us

And God saw the light.  Genesis 1:4

Charles H. Spurgeon

[In Genesis 1] we noticed the goodness of the light, and the Lord's dividing it from the darkness, we now note the special eye which the Lord had for the light. "God saw the light"--he looked at it with complacency, gazed upon it with pleasure, saw that it "was good."

If the Lord has given you light, dear reader, he looks on that light with peculiar interest; for not only is it dear to him as his own handiwork, but because it is like himself, for "He is light." Pleasant it is to the believer to know that God's eye is thus tenderly observant of that work of grace which he has begun. He never loses sight of the treasure which he has placed in our earthen vessels.

Sometimes we cannot see the light, but God always sees the light, and that is much better than our seeing it. Better for the judge to see my innocence than for me to think I see it. It is very comfortable for me to know that I am one of God's people--but whether I know it or not, if the Lord knows it, I am still safe. This is the foundation, "The Lord knoweth them that are his."

You may be sighing and groaning because of inbred sin, and mourning over your darkness, yet the Lord sees "light" in your heart, for he has put it there, and all the cloudiness and gloom of your soul cannot conceal your light from his gracious eye. You may have sunk low in despondency, and even despair; but if your soul has any longing towards Christ, and if you are seeking to rest in his finished work, God sees the "light." He not only sees it, but he also preserves it in you. "I, the Lord, do keep it."

This is a precious thought to those who, after anxious watching and guarding of themselves, feel their own powerlessness to do so. The light thus preserved by his grace, he will one day develop into the splendour of noonday, and the fullness of glory. The light within is the dawn of the eternal day.

Bloody Hands

The Legacy of Tariana Turia

Most politicians would like to leave a legacy.  Their ego requires it.  In New Zealand, Tariana Turia has wanted to leave one of the most ambitious legacies ever seen.  She decided she wanted to leave New Zealand tobacco-smoke-free by 2025.  It is now 2018: only seven years to go for the aspiring saviour to  be canonised. 

Turia's key technique to achieve this goal was to legislate progressive excise taxes upon tobacco in all its shapes and sizes.  In the December just passed, the price of a pack of 20's was NZ$26.00.  As of January 1st this new year, the excise tax went up by 10 percent, making the new price $28.60.  This annual ten percent increase will continue until 2020.  The present price target then will be over $30.

Does this stop smoking?  Yes and no.  During the time when the prices began to rise under this "stamp out" policy, those already inclined to stop smoking made an extra effort.   They were the "low hanging fruit" if you would.  Now, the price rise impact is having little to no effect on smoking.  It is causing terrible consequences, however.  Aspirant Saint Tariana is not deterred: a little bit of suffering is not a bad thing when you have the lofty goal of making New Zealand tobacco free by 2025.

What are the evil consequences of this utopian policy?

Firstly, the poor face greater hardships.

Monday, 8 January 2018

No Laughing Gear Amongst Climate Fundamentalists

Trump Trolls Climate Loons

Climate Loons Take Bait

James Delingpole
Breitbart London

President Trump has not let the tedious gap between Christmas and New Year go to waste.
As usual, he has been trolling his enemies like a boss:

In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!

Here’s how a few of them took the bait:

Believe it or not, global climate change is very real even if it’s cold outside Trump Tower right now. Just like there is still hunger in the world, even if you just had a Big Mac. 
Global warming is fake because it is cold where I am
No one in the world is starving because I have food in my kitchen
Poverty isn't real because I just got paid 
And around we go

In our free course 'Climate Change: Science', we'll learn the difference between weather events and climate change and review the evidence for our influence on this change. It's easy to confuse the two, even if you're a president. 

What none of these goons ever seems to realize is that they are all being played.