Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The Turks, the Kurds, and Everyone Else

Knowing  One's Limitations

It is pretty clear that Donald Trump does not like going to war.  He wants to bring US soldiers and their support personnel and equipment.  But he has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for US withdrawals from Iraq and and Syria, whilst refusing to get involved in defending the Kurds against the war-mongering President of Turkey.  

But the simplistic, black and white approach to world affairs apparently championed by the Democrats and the Republicans in House and Senate cannot withstand scrutiny.  Trump is right not to commit US "treasure" to defending the Kurds against Turkish aggression.  Why?  It's complex, man!

John Hayward explains why a simplistic, black and white approach, which the US military would always represent, would be destined to fail.
Turkey’s invasion of northeastern Syria to drive the Kurds away from the Turkish border is bringing more Western attention to the Kurds than they received during the long and bloody Syrian civil war, where they played a key role in defeating the Islamic State.

Here are some important things to know about the Kurds.

Daily Meditation

Best Passage Ever

John Piper

God put [Jesus] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:25–26)

  • Romans 3:25–26 may be the most important verses in the Bible.   
  • God is wholly just! And He justifies the ungodly!  Not either/or! Both! He acquits the guilty, but is not guilty in doing so. This is the greatest news in the world!
  • “[God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:3)
  • “[Christ] bore our sins in his body on the tree.” (1 Peter 2:24)
  • “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)
  • “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:5)

If the most terrifying news in the world is that we have fallen under the condemnation of our Creator and that he is bound by his own righteous character to preserve the worth of his glory by pouring out his wrath on our sin . . .

. . . Then the best news in all the world (the gospel!) is that God has decreed a way of salvation that also upholds the worth of his glory, the honor of his Son, and the eternal salvation of his elect. He has given his Son to die for sinners and to conquer their death by his own resurrection.

It Cannot Be Untied, so . . . Bring Out the Sword

The Brexit Knot

By Douglas Murray
National Review Online

[An excellent summary of Brexit and its opponents; the issues and the pettifoggery. Ed.]

Being a classicist, Boris Johnson would be familiar with the Gordian knot. But for anybody whose schoolroom memories need refreshing, the knot in question was put in place by Gordius, king of Phrygia. Reputedly only a ruler of Asia would be able to untie the knot — making it a slightly less glamorous version of King Arthur’s sword in the stone. In any case, when confronted by the knot, Alexander the Great is said to have spotted the fast way to undo the problem and simply whacked at it with his sword, so proving that he should become the king of Asia.

If ever there was a fearsome knot in modern politics it is the question of Brexit. Not that the knot was as completely tied in 2016, when the British people were given a straightforward choice. The question the public was then asked was whether it wanted to “remain” in or “leave” the European Union. The public voted by a majority (52 percent to 48 percent) to leave, though it has since appeared that for those who set the question this was the wrong answer. Or at least not the answer that the political class expected the public to select. And so the knot tightened and became ever more knotty with each resulting effort to untie it.

The civil service, it turned out, had not been instructed to prepare for the eventuality of a “leave” vote. Then–prime minister David Cameron and his colleagues may simply have expected the “remain” side to win. Or they may have feared that if word had got out that the civil servants were preparing for the possibility of a “leave” vote then that would have bolstered that side of the campaign. Whatever the reason, on June 24, 2016, Whitehall turned out to be unprepared for what was one of only two possible results.

With Cameron having resigned just hours after that vote, the stunned victors plunged into a bout of fratricide. The lead Brexiteer — Boris Johnson — was politically assassinated by his own leadership-campaign chief, the second most prominent Brexiteer — Michael Gove — who then made an unsuccessful bid for the leadership himself. Unsuccessful because, with the victors in disarray, a path through the middle of the Conservative-party membership (who vote in leadership elections) was created for Theresa May. And so the former home secretary who had given a single half-hearted speech in favor of Remain ended up becoming the Conservative-party leader, the prime minister, and the person responsible for making sure that Britain exited the European Union.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Evil On Steroids

Using Puberty Blockers on Children ‘Is a Crime Against Humanity’

Camille Paglia Speaks Out

Robert Kraychik
Breitbart News

Using puberty-blocking drugs on pre-pubescent children in order to stultify their sexual development “is a crime against humanity,” said Camille Paglia, professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She offered her remarks on Tuesday’s edition of Dennis Prager’s eponymous radio show while discussing her latest book, Provocations: Collected Essays on Art, Feminism, Politics, Sex, and Education.

Paglia highlighted left-wing denial of the biological origins of sex, including left-wing framing of sex as an arbitrary and subjective social construct. “These ideas aren’t based on any actual study of biology,” she said. 

Paglia noted much of the news media’s ambivalence towards the aforementioned experimentation on children: 
I think that experiments of unproven drugs — drug protocols — on children is a crime against humanity, and it should not be tolerated.

Daily Meditation

Developing a Passion for God

I remember a stained-glass window that adorned the library of my alma mater. It was situated above the stairwell at the second-floor landing. In leaded letters, the words in the window declared, “Knowledge is power.”
Every time I ascended or descended that staircase I cringed at those words. I did not like them. There was something arrogant about them. I could not deny that the words were true. Knowledge is power. But the lust for power is not a sound motivation to gain knowledge. The Bible is right: Knowledge puffs up; love builds up (1 Cor. 8:1).
Even the pursuit of the knowledge of God can become a snare of arrogance. Theology can become a game, a power game to see who can display the most erudition. When it is such a game it proceeds from an unholy passion.
A holy passion is a passion inflamed by a godly motive. To pursue the knowledge of God to further our understanding of Him and deepen our love for Him is to embark on a quest that delights Him. Jesus encouraged such a pursuit (John 8:31–32). Jesus linked knowledge not with power but with freedom. Knowing the truth is the most liberating power in the world. Not the power to dominate; not the power to impress: These are not the powers we seek. But the power to set free—to give true liberty—is tied to a knowledge of the truth.
We all want liberty. We want to be free of the chains that bind us. That liberty comes from knowing God. But the pursuit of that knowledge may not be casual. Jesus spoke of “abiding” in His Word. The pursuit of God is not a part-time, weekend exercise. If it is, chances are you will experience a part-time, weekend freedom. Abiding requires a kind of staying power. The pursuit is relentless. It hungers and thirsts. It pants as the deer after the mountain brook. It takes the kingdom by storm, pressing with violence to get in.
It is a pursuit of passion. Indifference will not do. To abide in the Word is to hang on tenaciously. A weak grip will soon slip away. Discipleship requires staying power. We sign up for the duration. We do not graduate until heaven.

Coram Deo

Echo this prayer of the apostle Paul: “… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10).

Passages for Further Study

Mockery Is The Appropriate Response

Silly Billies

Radiometric dating is all the rage these days.  Here is the University of Waikato's take on this important tool used to establish precisely just how old rocks are:

Radiometric measurements of time

Since the early twentieth century scientists have found ways to accurately measure geological time. The discovery of radioactivity in uranium by the French physicist, Henri Becquerel, in 1896 paved the way of measuring absolute time. Shortly after Becquerel's find, Marie Curie, a French chemist, isolated another highly radioactive element, radium. The realisation that radioactive materials emit rays indicated a constant change of those materials from one element to another.

The New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford, suggested in 1905 that the exact age of a rock could be measured by means of radioactivity. For the first time he was able to exactly measure the age of a uranium mineral. When Rutherford announced his findings it soon became clear that Earth is millions of years old.
We now have hard scientific data which enable us to measure with accuracy and precision the date of rocks.  Wowee. 

Not so fast.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Corrupted by Ineptitude--More Views on UK Policing Stupidity

"The Met Police Have Failed Us" 

Shut Them Down and Start Again

By Peter Hitchens
Mail On Sunday

Britain’s biggest police force is now institutionally unjust, and so is not fit for the task we have entrusted to it. The report by Sir Richard Henriques into its ‘VIP paedophiles’ investigation is one of the most devastating ever published about any official body.

If any other organisation was involved, we would disband it and start again, as I increasingly believe we should do with the police. This horrible mess is closely linked to their failure to control or deal with the crimes they increasingly regard as petty, of theft and disorder. The same sort of mind that ignores these things is all-too-readily convinced by mad claims that the country is beset with high-level paedophile plots.

The Met’s Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, did not respond to the report in person, but instead sent her deputy, Sir Stephen House, out on to the doorstep. He gave a sort of railway apology, pungent with insincerity. He was ‘deeply sorry’ for mistakes that ‘were made’ – not mistakes that he had made or the force had made. They had ‘been made’ passively by somebody or other, not named.

The force, he explained, did not agree with everything Sir Richard Henriques had said. I’ll bet it doesn’t. People who have been caught bang to rights tend not to agree. And why should they? The officers involved have escaped any serious action against them despite withering criticism.

Daily Meditation

We Wait, He Works

John Piper

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)

Only a few things have gripped me with greater joy than the truth that God loves to show his God-ness by working for me, and that his working for me is always before and under and in any working I do for him.

At first it may sound arrogant of us, and belittling to God, to say that he works for us. But that’s only because of the connotation that I am an employer and God needs a job. That’s not the connotation when the Bible talks about God’s working for us. As in: “God works for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4).

The proper connotation of saying God works for me is that I am bankrupt and need a bailout. I am weak and need someone strong. I am endangered and need a protector. I am foolish and need someone wise. I am lost and need a Rescuer.  “God works for me” means I can’t do the work.  And this glorifies him not me. The Giver gets the glory. The Powerful One gets the praise.

Read and be freed from the burden of bearing your own load. Let him do that work.

  1. “No eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:4)
  2. “God is not served by human hands as though he needed anything, but he himself gives life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25).
  3. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
  4. “The eyes of the LORD run through the earth, to show himself strong for those who trust him” (2 Chronicles. 16:9).
  5. “If I were hungry, I wouldn't tell you. Call on me, I will deliver you. You will glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).
  6. “To old age I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).
  7. “I worked harder than any, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians. 15:10).
  8. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
  9. “Whoever serves, let him serve by the strength God supplies, so that in everything God may be glorified” (1 Peter 4:11).
  10. “Work out your own salvation, for it is God who works in you, to will and to work” (Philippians 2:12–13).
  11. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6–7).

Disgraceful Chapter in the History of UK Policing

Police Were Blind, Deaf, Dumb And Prejudiced!

Here is a story which (to our knowledge) got zero coverage in New Zealand.  Why should it?  We Downunder are far too sophisticated and smart to get taken in the way the Met in London was duped.

The HuffPost ran the numbers on what went down:

UK Pedophile Sentenced To 18 Years 

Made Up VIP Pedophile Ring Abuse Story

Ex–child advocate Carl Beech said he’d been abused by a murderous pedophile ring, but it turned out he was the pedophile.

By Chris York

A former UK child advocate who lied about being abused by a murderous VIP Westminster pedophile ring has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.  Carl Beech, 51, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud on Monday, over the lies which ruined the reputations of a number of political figures.

He repeatedly told officers he had been abused in the 1970s and 1980s by a string of high-profile figures from the worlds of politics, the military and security services.  His claims about being sexually abused as a boy and witnessing three child murders at the hands of the group led the Metropolitan Police to raid the homes of 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshall Lord Bramall, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

The force has come under widespread criticism for the investigation, which closed in 2016 without making a single arrest and was described by Proctor as a “truly disgraceful chapter in the history of British policing”.

Among Beech’s allegations were claims that his stepfather, an Army major, raped him and passed him on to generals to be tortured and sadistically abused at military bases by other establishment figures.  Lord Bramall said the impact of Beech’s “monstrous allegations” were worse than any of the injuries he had received in the Army.  He said: “I thought I could be hurt no more. I was never as badly wounded in all my time in the military as I was by the allegations made by ‘Nick’.”

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Brexit Now Becomes More and More Likely

Merkel Says Deal ‘Overwhelmingly Unlikely’

A Brexiteer Says EU ‘Setting up Narrative You Can’t Leave’

Victoria Friedman
Breitbart London

A Downing Street source has revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a new exit treaty is “overwhelmingly unlikely”.  The source told media that negotiations over a new Brexit deal — which eliminates the Irish backstop — “are close to breaking down” following a 30-minute phone call between the two leaders on Tuesday morning.

“The call with Merkel showed the EU has adopted a new position,” the source said, saying the conversation “means a deal is essentially impossible not just now but ever”.  The source said: “She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the Customs Union.  Merkel said that if Germany wanted to leave the EU they could do it no problem, but the UK cannot leave without leaving Northern Ireland behind in a customs union and in full alignment forever.

“She said that Ireland is the government’s special problem and Ireland must at least have a veto on Northern Ireland leaving.

Daily Meditaton

The Happy God

Sound doctrine [is] in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the [happy] God (1 Timothy 1:10–11)
John Piper

A great part of God’s glory is his happiness.

It was inconceivable to the apostle Paul that God could be denied infinite joy and still be all glorious. To be infinitely glorious was to be infinitely happy. He used the phrase, “the glory of the happy God,” because it is a glorious thing for God to be as happy as he is.

God’s glory consists much in the fact that he is happy beyond our wildest imagination.  This is the gospel: “The gospel of the glory of the happy God.” It is good news that God is gloriously happy.

No one would want to spend eternity with an unhappy God. If God is unhappy then the goal of the gospel is not a happy goal, and that means it would be no gospel at all.

But, in fact, Jesus invites us to spend eternity with a happy God when he says, “Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). Jesus lived and died that his joy — God’s joy — might be in us and our joy might be full (John 15:11; 17:13). Therefore the gospel is “the gospel of the glory of the happy God.”

. . . The happiness of God is first and foremost a happiness in his Son. Thus when we share in the happiness of God we share in the very pleasure that the Father has in the Son.

This is why Jesus made the Father known to us. At the end of his great prayer in John 17, he said to his Father, “I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (verse 26). He made God known so that God’s pleasure in his Son might be in us and become our pleasure.

Starve the Beast!

U.N. Pleads for Money

Finances Poised to Run Dry by Month’s End

Simon Kent
Breitbart News

The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million, Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday, and may run out of money by the end of October unless world governments immediately meet their financial obligations.

U.S. taxpayers would most likely be hardest hit by any immediate cash injection into the global organization.  The United States is by far the U.N.’s biggest financial contributor, providing 22 percent of its operating budget and funding 28 percent of peacekeeping missions, which currently cost $8 billion annually.  The next two major contributors are Germany and the U.K.

In a letter intended for the 37,000 employees at the U.N. secretariat and obtained by AFP, Guterres said unspecified, “additional stop-gap measures” would have to be taken to ensure salaries and entitilements are met.  These might include holding fewer meetings and cutting back on travel and associated entitlements.

“Member States have paid only 70 per cent of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019. This translates into a cash shortage of $230 million at the end of September. We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month,” he wrote.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Why I Believe in God (2)

The Bankruptcy of the Alternatives

Donald MacLeod

As I mentioned in my last posting, Saint Paul’s statement that every human being is by nature aware of God’s eternal power and godhead is an entirely apt description of my own experience.   Many others, however, will emphatically deny that it is an apt description of theirs.  There is no seed of religion, they say, in their hearts, or any sense of accountability to a deity; and in any case, ‘We don’t need him: the idea of a creator is superfluous.  There are perfectly valid alternatives.’

But when I began to reflect on these alternatives, they seemed to me utterly bankrupt.

One very basic definition of God is that he or it is whoever or whatever accounts for the existence of the universe, and on this the Christian faith is clear.  The universe was created by God, the Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth.  This, too, I have believed since childhood; and not only had he made it, but he had filled it with millions of life-forms.  Later on, inevitably, I encountered alternative explanations for the existence of the world, and for a while they shook me.  But what struck me was, first, how limited the alternatives were; and, secondly, how unconvincing.  They are represented by many -isms, but in the last analysis there is but one basic question, What was there before there was a world?  And to that question there are only three possible answers.

First, before there was a world there was Nothing.  Before there was Anything there was Nothing.  The nothing-ness of this Nothing must be taken with absolute seriousness.  There was no matter, no mass, no energy, no light, no gravity, no electro-magnetic field, no protein, no amino acid: nothing but nothing, and surely the ancients spoke truth when they said, ‘Out of nothing, nothing comes’ (Ex nihilo nihil fit).  There was no one to make anything, and nothing to make it with: nothing, in terms of the Big Bang Theory, to bang; and no one to press the button.  A mind seeking understanding cannot rest here.           

The second possibility is that before there was a universe, and even before there was light, there was some form of self-existent matter, untouched and un-programmed by mind, and somehow containing in itself everything that was needed to produce the world as we know it today, although only after endless accidents and countless billions of years.

Daily Meditation

Justice Will Be Done

John Piper

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

All of you have been wronged at one time or another. Most of you, probably, have been wronged seriously by someone who has never apologized or done anything sufficient to make it right.

And one of the deep hindrances to your letting that hurt and bitterness go is the conviction — the justified conviction — that justice should be done, that the fabric of the universe will unravel if people can just get away with horrible wrongs and deceive everyone.

That is one of the hindrances to forgiveness and letting grudges go. It’s not the only one. We have our own sin to deal with. But it is a real one.

We feel that just to let it go would be to admit that justice simply won’t be done. And we can’t do it.

So we hold on to anger, and play the story over and over again with the feelings: It shouldn’t have happened; it shouldn’t have happened; it was wrong; it was wrong. How can he be so happy now when I am so miserable? It is so wrong. It is so wrong!

This word in Romans 12:19 is given to you by God to lift that burden from you.  “Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God.” What does this mean for you?

Laying down the burden of anger, laying down the practice of nursing your hurt with feelings of being wronged — laying that down — does not mean there was no great wrong against you.  It does not mean there is no justice. It does not mean you will not be vindicated. It does not mean they just got away with it. No.  It means, when you lay down the burden of vengeance, God will pick it up.

This is not a subtle way of getting revenge. This is a way of giving vengeance to the one to whom it belongs.  It is taking a deep breath, perhaps for the first time in decades, and feeling like now at last you may be free to love.

Lipstick on a Pig

The Folly Of It All

We are working through a book entitled The Deep Time Deception.  It contains a paragraph on Darwin and his infamous Origin of the Species.  It reads:
Darwin was essentially using rhetorical arguments and speculation elevated to "truth" to convince his readers.  Numerous challenges over the years have been simply accommodated or shoved under the rug.  For instance, a new book by Michael Denton states that there are about 100,000 biological novelties that help define different organisms, such as the wings of birds, which cannot be adaptive while "evolving" and cannot be explained by natural selection, the basis of Darwin's theory.  One wonders whether there really are any intellectually defensible claims when it comes to the subject of evolution.  [Michael J. Oard, The Deep Time Deception: Examining the Case For Millions of Years (Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 2019). p. 30.]
For our part, evolutionism lost all its integrity when we came across the following syllogism (originally Karl Popper's we believe):  if evolutionism were true it could never be described; if it can be described it cannot possibly be true.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Why I believe in God (1):

A Sense of Deity

Prof Donald MacLeod

All my life I’ve believed in God.  That may sound like a dangerous admission.  Does it not immediately confirm the suspicion that religious belief is a matter of historical accident: of early upbringing, perhaps, or even, at its crudest, a desire to please your parents.  That argument cuts both ways, of course.  Atheism, too, can be learned at your mother’s knee.  But even so, my admission suggests that I did not come to faith in God by way of rational argument and careful examination of the evidence.

To that charge, I must immediately plead guilty.  I believed in God long before I ever heard of the so-called theistic proofs which from the days of Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) have been wheeled out to prove that there is ‘a god’.  But in this I am not alone.  Few people, if any, have come to faith in God as the result of a long and rigorous process of philosophical reasoning; and the Bible itself never sets out to prove that God exists.  Instead, it takes him for granted, simply announcing, ‘In the beginning, God …’ (Gen. 1:1) and then going on to account for what it sees as the real mystery: not the existence of God, but the existence of the ‘heavens and the earth.’ 

According to the Psalmist, the heavens declare the glory of God (Ps. 19:1), but that doesn’t mean that they are the proof that he exists, far less that they are the proof that he ‘probably’ exists.

Daily Meditation

Joy Unbound

John Piper

“I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)
Imagine being able to enjoy what is most enjoyable with unbounded energy and passion forever. This is not now our experience. Three things stand in the way of our complete satisfaction in this world.

One is that nothing has a personal worth great enough to meet the deepest longings of our hearts.

Another is that we lack the strength to savor the best treasures to their maximum worth.

And the third obstacle to complete satisfaction is that our joys here come to an end. Nothing lasts. But if the aim of Jesus in John 17:26 comes true, all this will change.

If God’s pleasure in the Son becomes our pleasure, then the object of our pleasure, Jesus, will be inexhaustible in personal worth. He will never become boring or disappointing or frustrating.

No greater treasure can be conceived than the Son of God.

Moreover, our ability to savor this inexhaustible treasure will not be limited by human weaknesses. We will enjoy the Son of God with the very enjoyment of his Father.

God’s delight in his Son will be in us and it will be ours. And this will never end, because neither the Father nor the Son ever ends.

Their love for each other will be our love for them and therefore our loving them will never die.

We Are Going To See More of This

What The First Nonbinary American Wants The Supreme Court To Know About Transgenderism

‘After a good-faith period of participation in the grand gender experiment, I came to believe the whole thing was smoke and mirrors, complete quackery,’ says Jamie Shupe.

By Nicole Russell
The Federalist

The U.S. Supreme Court hears a landmark case on gender identity and sex Tuesday, in oral arguments for R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. James Shupe offered his perspective in an amicus brief for that case.

The following is an interview between me and Shape, who made waves for being the first “legally non-binary person” in the United States. Shupe achieved clarity through therapy, and returned to life as his birth sex even though the LGBT community shunned him. He’s begun to share his story and speak out against the dangers of transgender medicine.

In 2016, an Oregon circuit court ruled Shupe could change his gender to nonbinary, the first legal ruling of his kind. LGBT activists lauded it as a landmark decision that now plagues Shupe.

Here’s a closer look at his experience living as the opposite sex, regretting it, returning to live as his birth sex, and becoming a vocal opponent of transgender medicine altogether. This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

For readers who may be unaware of your journey, describe why you decided to become the “first legally non-binary person” in the United States?

I experienced a major mental health crisis at age 49. I began researching psychiatric issues on the internet. It didn’t take very long for me to stumble upon gender identity disorder, transgenderism, and transsexualism.

At first, I was skeptical that I could actually be a female based on this newly discovered thing called “gender identity,” something I’d never heard of before because I’d always understood myself to be a male. But numerous medical and media articles describing mental health issues disappearing after undergoing a gender transition quickly convinced me that I was a woman and that transition would fix me. I also discovered the Department of Veterans Affairs had a newly launched transgender medical care program [that] erased all of my doubts completely.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

The Dangers of Globalist Organizations

"Mind Your Own Business"

Aussie PM Scott Morrison Takes Swipe at U.N.’s ‘Negative Globalism’

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at the Lowy Lecture at the Town Hall in Sydney on October 3, 2019. - The annual Lowy Lecture is the foreign affairs think-tank Lowy Institute's flagship event where the speaker delivers a speech on Australia's place in the world. (Photo by PETER PARKS …

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at the Lowy Lecture at the Town Hall in Sydney on October 3, 2019. - The annual Lowy Lecture is the foreign affairs think-tank Lowy Institute's flagship event where the speaker delivers a speech on Australia's place in the world.

Simon Kent
Breitbart News

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit out at the United Nations on Thursday, saying he did not want to see global organisations interfering in the governance of independent nations and “demanding conformity” of words, thoughts and actions. 

The leader of the country’s governing conservative coalition spoke in Sydney a week after using an address at the U.N. to confront “internal and global” critics of Australia’s climate change policy. 
“The world works best, we believe, I believe, when the character and distinctiveness of independent nations is preserved within a framework of mutual respect,” Morrison said. “This includes respecting the electoral mandates of their constituencies.”

The prime minister warned more broadly that freedom of “exchange”, “open markets”, “capital” and “ideas” had never been more important, but were under threat by “unaccountable globalist bodies.”

Daily Meditation

Seeking After God

How many times have you heard Christians say (or heard the words from your own mouth), “So-and-so is not a Christian but he’s searching”? It is a common statement among Christians. The idea is that there are people all over the place who are searching for God. Their problem is that they just haven’t been able to find Him. He is playing hide-and-seek. He is elusive.
In the Garden of Eden, when sin came into the world, who hid? Jesus came into the world to seek and to save the lost. Jesus wasn’t the one who was hiding. God is not a fugitive. We are the ones on the run. Scripture declares that the wicked flee when no man pursues. As Martin Luther remarked: “The pagan trembles at the rustling of a leaf. The uniform teaching of Scripture is that fallen men are fleeing from God.”
People do not seek God. They seek after the benefits that only God can give them. The sin of fallen man is this: Man seeks the benefits of God while fleeing from God Himself. We are, by nature, fugitives.
The Bible tells us repeatedly to seek after God. The conclusion we draw from these texts is that since we are called to seek after God it must mean that we, even in our fallen state, have the moral capacity to do that seeking. But who is being addressed in these texts? In the case of the Old Testament, it is the people of Israel who are called to seek the Lord. In the New Testament, it is believers who are called to seek the kingdom.

Coram Deo

Are you seeking the benefits God can give you or seeking after God alone?

Passages for Further Study

Winter Forecasts In the North

Britain Braces for ‘Coldest Winter in 30 Years’

"Global Warming" Likely To Be Exposed Yet Again as a False Narrative

Thomas D. Williams PhD
Breitbart London

Researchers from University College London are forecasting an average temperature in the UK of just 3.9ºC (39ºF) for January to February in what is expected to be “the coldest weather in 30 years.”
Yahoo News reported Saturday that temperatures in Great Britain could reach as low as -14C with “snow event after snow event” expected to hit various parts of the territory.

Forecasters expect the lasting cold spell to begin sometime this month and to continue at least through March.  “October is now looking like it will turn out to be colder than average with more of a chance of something wintery setting in through the second half of the month,” according to Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden.

“There is a strong chance of widespread frosts and the chance of snowfall which will set the scene for November,” Madden said. ““This will pave the way for what is shaping up to be a colder than average winter with some extreme cold weather events.  Snow events have been few and far between in recent years, but this winter is looking favourable to bring snow event after snow event as weather systems from the Atlantic clash with cold stagnated air over the UK,” he said.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Trying to Make Sense Of It All

Boris Johnson Is Stymied, but So Are His Opponents

By John O'Sullivan
National Review Online

The anti-Brexit coalition is split on how soon to hold a new election and on who their candidate should be.

After delivering a Tory conference speech that knocked off the nation’s socks yesterday and presenting a new U.K.–EU Brexit deal today that might conceivably be endorsed by Parliament, Boris Johnson should perhaps be enjoying a good press. But the message of most media commentary is that Boris is stymied yet again, or still, or maybe forever — the Prisoner of Downing Street kept confined by a slim majority of MPs united on nothing except their opposition to him, to Brexit, and to holding a new election.

So Paul Goodman’s epigram that Boris and the Tories can’t win an election without getting Brexit and they can’t get Brexit without winning an election remains the only significant truth as other events related to Brexit come and go. What is less noticed, however, is that Boris’s enemies in the anti-Brexit coalition (henceforth the ABC coalition) are equally stymied. They can’t win an election if they vote Brexit down and they can’t vote Brexit down without winning an election. That’s because most of the signs are that Boris would win an election in which Brexit was at issue.

Indeed, the longer-term prospects for the ABC coalition are even more discouraging. Even if they manage to halt or reverse Brexit, they would have to hold an election not long afterward, which Boris would be heavily favored to win. If elected, he could then simply cancel their cancellation and bring in whatever kind of Brexit he wanted. He would then have five years in power to make Brexit work.

In these circumstances, the interests of the ABC parties favor keeping Boris in power (i.e., by not passing a vote of no confidence in him) but tying his hands ever more securely so that he can do little or nothing to obtain either Brexit or the election he craves. Their device for doing so is the so-called Benn bill, which instructs the prime minister to request an extension of U.K. membership in the EU to next year, to avert the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

At least their interests did favor that. But in the last few weeks the ABC parties have thoroughly frightened themselves with a new Project Fear: They have convinced themselves that Boris might produce a rabbit from a hat that would finally get Brexit done — or, rather, two rabbits from a hat.

Daily Meditation

Yearning for God

In a sense we are fortunate that we cannot see God. If for one second the veil were removed and we caught a brief glimpse of the face of God, we would perish instantly. His effulgence is so brilliant, His glory so dazzling, that in our present corrupted state we could not bear the sight of Him. He remains invisible both as a curse and as an act of protecting grace. As long as we remain infected by sin we are doomed to wander in His world sightless with respect to Him. We may be comforted by His Word and healed by the secret ministration of His Spirit, but we cannot see the supreme beauty of His face.
But we have a dream; nay, more than a dream. We have the sure and certain promise that someday we will see Him face to face. The heart of every Christian longs for the face of Christ. We yearn to look directly at God Himself without fear of being consumed. That deep yearning will be fulfilled one day.
The future vision of God is called the “Beatific Vision” because it will bring in its wake the consummate blessedness for which we were created and redeemed. One of the Beatitudes spoken by Jesus was, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). In heaven we will be pure in heart. In heaven we will see God.

Coram Deo

Do you yearn to see God? Reflect on His promise: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Passages for Further Study

Warning Bells Are Sounding

EXCLUSIVE: New UN Treaty May Put Gender Ideology in International Law

By  | October 4, 2019
NEW YORK, October 4 (C-Fam) 
In a new treaty, the General Assembly may scrap the definition of gender as “male and female” currently in international law and endorse a definition of gender as “socially constructed.” The new definition would open the door to 100+ “genders” in binding law.
The International Law Commission has asked the General Assembly to discard the legal definition of gender in international law as “the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society.” That hard-fought definition was decided in the Rome Statues creating the International Criminal Court and excludes any “meaning different from the above.”
The left-leaning commission proposed the change in a new treaty on the prosecution of crimes against humanity that will be reviewed by the General Assembly’s legal experts later this month.
In making the recommendation, the commission cites “several developments in international human rights law and international criminal law.” As evidence, the commission lists the non-binding opinions of human rights bodies and other international law entities who promote gender as a social construct, including the notions of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
The commission cites, for instance, the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, who has written that gender is “each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth.”
The report also cites the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, according to whom gender is not a biological reality but a “social construction” related to the “accompanying roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes assigned to women and men, and girls and boys.”
The legal effect of discarding the Rome Statute’s definition of gender will be to enshrine gender as a social construct in international law. It wouldn’t merely leave the definition of gender open to each country’s national legislation to define, as some may believe. Far from it. Because of the elaborate rationale in the report of the commission, dropping the definition will have the legal effect of defining gender in international law very broadly.
The request is likely to attract controversy in the General Assembly. The Commission told the General Assembly in the last two years that it would not change any of the definitions from the Rome Statute in this new treaty. And it has gone back on its word because of intense lobbying from LGBT groups.
Moreover, the commission wholly overlooks the fact that a majority of countries do not consider gender as a social construct. Indeed, the UN entities and bodies cited by the commission go further than most countries’ laws.
Through 2019, only seven countries allow gender change based on self-identification alone, according to the pro-LGBT group Amnesty International.
Even in the roughly 40 other countries where individuals are allowed to legally assume an identity different from their biological sex, countries restrict who may do so and under what circumstance.
In most countries identity change is only permitted after a psychiatric determination of gender dysphoria or a surgical operation to mutate the sexual physiognomy of an individual. In addition, some countries require individuals to divorce their spouses and do not allow individuals with children to change their gender.
The sixth committee of the General Assembly is scheduled to review the report of the International Law Commission, where the new treaty is contained between October 28 and November 6.

Monday, 7 October 2019

The Mien of a Tin Pot Dictator

Shane Jones has Run Out of Second Chances

Heather du Plessis-Allan
Newstalk ZB

I don’t think we should for one minute tolerate what Shane Jones has just done.  It’s very easy to applaud him because he stands up for the provinces or give him latitude because he’s witty.  But what he’s just done is reprehensible and deserves no place in our parliament.

Shane Jones has now threatened revenge against whoever it was who complained to the Herald about his comments at the forestry awards evening.  He says he knows who went to the Herald and he’s going to “deal to them”.

"When the election comes around and the Cabinet restrictions have been loosened, then I am personally going to deal to these National Party sympathisers who thought that it was a smart idea to try and have me quivering in a corner by racing to the media," he said.  "At the appropriate time, I will deal to them as a big-time, New Zealand First wrestler."

That is not OK.  It is not OK for a minister in Cabinet to threaten utu.

Daily Meditation

Seeing God

Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18KJV). We hear this verse quoted frequently in order that we may be inspired and challenged to move with intensity toward a future goal. We applaud the leader who is a visionary, one who can paint a picture of a better future and show us the way to attain it. We are a goal-oriented society. We need a dream, a target to aim for if we are to get our adrenaline moving and our passions stirred.
Every goal, every short-range vision must be measured against the supreme and final norm of all future Christian visions. We must keep before us the ultimate vision of the people of God. We cannot see God because He is holy and we are not. I have never seen God. I have felt His presence and reasoned through His existence. I have read His Word and heard of dazzling displays of His glory. But I have never seen Him. He is invisible. Not only have I never seen Him face to face, but no one else has seen Him either. The creation heralds His majesty; the stars declare His handiwork. We can view the work of the Artist, but the Artist Himself remains unseen.
Why can’t we see God? It is not because He is a spirit, nor is it because He is not present. He is here; there is no question about that. We live in a world of real entities that we cannot see with the naked eye. What is invisible to our eyes can have dramatic effects on us.
The forces of electricity and nuclear power affect our daily lives though we do not see them. Our bodies may be invaded at any moment by life-threatening microorganisms. The sophisticated instruments of telescopes and microscopes reveal a dimension of reality that escapes our naked glance.
There is no microscope powerful enough, though, to penetrate the veil that covers the face of God. There is no lens capable of magnifying our weak eyesight to the level of seeing God. Our problem is not a weakness of visual strength. It is not the optic nerve that is deficient. The deficiency is in our hearts, not our eyes. We cannot see God because He is holy and we are not. It is because of sin that we are told, “No man can see God and live.”

Coram Deo

Read and compare the visions of God seen by Isaiah (Isa. 6:1–5) and John (Rev. 1).

Passages for Further Study