Saturday, 14 September 2019

Daleiden Hearing

StemExpress CEO Admits Selling Beating Baby Hearts, Intact Baby Heads

SAN FRANCISCO, September 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The CEO of StemExpress essentially admitted in court Thursday that her biotech company supplies beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers.

She also admitted at the preliminary hearing of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress that the baby’s head could be procured attached to the baby’s body or “could be torn away.”

“That is an especially gruesome admission, but it begs the question: how did they get these fully intact human children?” says Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, which is representing Daleiden at the hearing.

“If you have a fetus with an intact head and an intact body, and intact extremities, that is something that would indicate that child was born alive, and then had their organs cut out of them, or that that child was the victim of an illegal partial-birth abortion,” he told LifeSiteNews.  “Both of these are gruesome and violent acts.”

Pragmatic Versus Principled Liberty

Why This Debate Between Christian Conservatives Matters for Everyone

C C Pecknold
Catholic Herald

In an age of increased hostility, should Christians simply defend 'viewpoint neutrality', or must they do more?

Last night, Ross Douthat told a packed hall at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. that the heated disagreement which emerged this past summer between Sohrab Ahmari and David French looks to The New York Times reader like a mere squabble “between radically Christian conservatives.” But Douthat cautioned that in an age of secularism which is increasingly hostile to both conservativism and Christianity itself, the arguments between Christian conservatives matters for everyone.

On a surface level, the dispute is occasioned by the election of Donald Trump, and whether Christians must or must not support him. Several times, David French highlighted this aspect of the dispute, stating in so many words that Christians who support Donald Trump have “compromised Christian witness” in the public square. “Don’t wreck your moral public witness for Trump,” French counseled Ahmari. But Ahmari repeatedly refused this way of framing the debate, highlighting that Christians should not sit idly by while neighbors use cultural and legal power to force Christians to accept false and immoral sexual standards.

A deeper level of the dispute was clarified, however, around French and Ahmari’s discussion of “Drag Queen Story Hour” which uses public library resources to teach transgressive and disordered accounts of gender and human sexuality to children. Ahmari wants conservatives to use the administrative power of the state to enforce obscenity laws, and defend a substantive vision of the good.

Daily Meditation

Moving Out of the Temple

On the mountain of transfiguration, the disciples were stunned by the breakthrough of the dazzling glory of Christ. What previously was veiled by His humanity, hidden from the sight of mortals, suddenly burst through the veil in translucent radiance. With but one glimpse, the disciples were paralyzed. They had but one consuming desire—to abide in that place, basking forever in the light of His countenance. Jesus would have none of it. As Lord of the church, He commanded His disciples to forget about pitching tents and sent them down the mountain and into the world.
The day Christ died, those same disciples went into hiding. They retreated to the shelter of the upper room, where they huddled together in fear. When Jesus broke the bonds of death, He went to the upper room. In a sense, He broke down the door—not so much to get in, but to get His disciples out. His mandate to them was to await the Spirit and then to go—to move out of the temple and into the world.
The New Testament word for “marketplace” is agora. The agora was not only the shopping district, but was also the center of civic life. The agora was surrounded by public buildings, shops, and colonnades. Here the children played, the idle loafed, lawsuits were heard, and public events were produced. It was public, not private; open, not secret; dangerous, not safe.
The cradle of the church was the marketplace. From the preaching and public ministry of Jesus to the daily acts of the apostles, the central scene was the marketplace.

Coram Deo

Are you actively moving outside the walls of the church and taking your faith to the world?

Passages for Further Study

"You Are Now the Nation's Greatest Grievance"

The Current Shambles in the UK Parliament

Conrad Black
National Review Online

. . . The current absurd state of affairs arose when former prime minister David Cameron (2010–2016) promised a referendum on staying in Europe or leaving, certain that there could not be a vote to leave.  But there was, 52 to 48 percent, in 2016. Cameron had to resign and was replaced by Theresa May, who claimed to be leaving when she was really advocating an arrangement of remaining in Europe with some modifications.

She never indicated there was any chance of leaving without any departing arrangements, so Brussels made minimal concessions on behalf of the EU. Mrs. May’s proposed deal, which would have been approved if Cameron had taken the trouble to negotiate it, was rejected by Parliament three times, all after she called an unnecessary election and lost her majority.

Theresa May finally had no support left and retired earlier this year, and former London mayor Boris Johnson was chosen by the Conservative party to replace her. He has said he will try to negotiate a satisfactory arrangement with Brussels, but that he will leave without a compromise departure arrangement if he can’t reach an acceptable one. . . .  (H)e will not seek another extension of the departure date, which was supposed to occur last March.

A bloc of 21 of his M.P.’s defected on the issue of possibly leaving without a negotiated agreement after Johnson secured Queen Elizabeth’s agreement to prorogue (suspend) Parliament from next week to mid-October, just two weeks before the October 31 departure date.  The Conservative rebels have joined with the five opposition parties (one Scottish and two Northern Irish parties and the Labour and Liberal Democratic parties) to deny the government’s move to dissolve Parliament for new elections. They are going to legislate a requirement that there not be a “no-deal Brexit,” as “crashing out of Europe” is called.

Thus the opposition groups who could not agree on much else, will try to dictate and adopt legislation without attempting to remove the government. This is now the most absurd depth British parliamentary government has plumbed since the English Civil War in the mid-17th century.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Ineptitude or Lies or Both

"The Moment I Found Out That You Found Out, I Acted Swiftly"

By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
The Civilian

[The Prime Minister explains how and why she acted and reacted to the allegations of sexual abuse from within her office.]

I am every bit as angry as you are.

I am every bit as disappointed as you must be.

The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I am running out of patience with them, and the way they continually let us down, while helpless people like you and me stand by and can only watch failure after failure.

I can assure you, earnestly, that the moment I found out about the fact that you had found out about the facts, I acted immediately to see what the situation was.  I would never sit on my hands if it ever became apparent to me that something had become apparent to you, and that’s my promise.

I was immensely disappointed to learn that our party president, Nigel Haworth, had conducted himself this way. Again.

If I had foreseen that he could do something like this (again), then I would never have let him get away with it in the first place again.

Some of you are still not satisfied with the extent of my involvement in this, and that’s okay (legally).

But it was only on Monday that I learned that you had learned that Paula Bennett had learned that others had learned, and the moment I heard that others had heard, and that Grant had heard, and that Mike had heard and Rob had heard, then I acted swiftly to wait for Nigel to resign.

I was fixing myself a coffee on Monday night and Clarke said to me “What’s all this about? Didn’t you know about this five weeks ago?”

And I said “I didn’t know the extent of it! I thought it was just bullying!”

I never promised that our party would be free of bullying. Government is about compromise, and we are in a coalition with New Zealand First.

I know that many of you are sceptical of us now, in large part because this has happened not once, but twice. But if you can find it in yourself to put your trust in me once again, then I promise you there will not be a fourth time.

Daily Meditation

Becoming a Witness

The more the laity is involved in ministry, the more they want to deepen their understanding of the Word of God. The more they deepen their understanding of the Word of God, the more they want to put that understanding to work in ministry.
One thing that disturbs me about contemporary Christian jargon is the inexact use of the word witness. Too often people use the terms evangelism and witnessing interchangeably, as if they were synonyms. They are not.
All evangelism is witness, but not all witness is evangelism. Evangelism is a specific type of witnessing. Not everyone is called to be a pastor or teacher. Not everyone is called to administration or specialized ministries of mercy. Not everyone is called to be an evangelist (though we are all called to verbalize our faith). We are all called to be witnesses to Christ, to make His invisible kingdom visible. We witness by doing the ministry of Christ. We witness by being the church, the people of God.
Some of us can plant. Some of us can water. When we plant and water, God will bring an increase.

Coram Deo

How are you actively fulfilling your divine mandate to be a witness for Christ?

Passages for Further Study

The PM's Mien of "Bumbling Bureaucrat"

Jacinda Ardern Appears Way, Way Out of Her Depth

The more we read about the actions and declarations of New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern the more troubled we become.  This is a serious business.  A high-up Labour Party staff member has (now) had numerous allegations of gross sexual abuse of work colleagues laid at his door.  The Labour Party decided to handle it in-house--despite the allegations of crimes being committed against the complainants.  

Meanwhile, Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly engaged the ever ludicrous Sergeant Schultz response--"WHAT?  I KNOW NOTHING!  NOTHING!". 

Herald Columnist, Heather Du Plessis-Allan puts the matter into perspective:

We’ve asked the Prime Minister to come on the show this evening to answer questions about the Labour party staffer sex allegations.  Our requests went unanswered.

This is what we want to ask her: When did she know that the allegations against a staffer in her office were of an alleged sex crime?  She told media yesterday: ”I was informed in the very beginning that the allegations made were not sexual.”  She told RNZ this morning that she found out yesterday.

“The first I’ve seen the complaints of that nature was when I read then." Asked when that was, she said "When I saw them in the Spinoff.”  That is very hard to believe.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Threatening the Monopoly of "Soft Justice"

Guess Who was Punished...

A judge told a career crook to slim down and get a job 

Peter Hitchens
The Mail On Sunday

Here is a perfect story of modern Britain. A judge has been publicly reprimanded by a Tory Cabinet Minister for advising a criminal to lose weight and get a job.

I do not know if the allegedly overweight offender took the well-meant advice, but I somehow doubt it. Having spotted the way power and morals are going in modern Britain, he made a formal complaint that the judge had used 'abusive language' – and it succeeded. I wonder if he is now also entitled to compensation?

The judge, Recorder Julian Malins QC, flatly refused to agree that he had done anything wrong. Partly because he stood up for himself in this way, he was given a formal warning by the then Justice Minister and Lord Chancellor, David Gauke. Mr Gauke has since left this post but is, I believe, still a member of the 'Conservative' Party.

The official public notice from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO), highly damaging to a judge's career, says that, in reaching their decision, Mr Gauke and the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, 'took into consideration that the Recorder failed to acknowledge the inappropriateness of his conduct'.

The JCIO posted the reprimand on its website, but refuses to discuss the matter. I asked Mr Gauke to comment, asking him what was conservative about his action, and in what way he differed from the most politically correct wing of the Labour Party, but he has so far chosen not to do so. I do not know the identity of the criminal.

Mr Malins, 69, an experienced barrister, tells me he still has no regrets.

Daily Meditation

Taking Your Faith to the Marketplace

I have seen extraordinary examples of laypeople who have taken their faith to the marketplace in the form of ministry.
Charles Colson went from the White House to prison. When he was released from prison, he was not released from ministry. Indeed, from his experience grew a vision to minister to prison inmates in the name of Christ, a ministry that now reaches tens of thousands of people in virtually every country.
Wayne Alderson, a layman, put his faith to work in the violent arena of labor-management relations. He has taken that ministry around this nation ministering to people in corporate boardrooms, coal mines, and labor union halls.
The list could easily include a multitude of ministries that involve the laity. Without the laity, the church would not have conquered the ancient world. The Reformers understood that for real reformation to happen, the laity had to be educated, trained, and mobilized. Martin Luther took a leave of absence from the university in order to translate the Bible into German—so that every believer could personally read the Scriptures.
John Calvin’s Institutes was originally penned as an instruction manual for the laity. Many of the works of Jonathan Edwards were originally composed for the benefit of his congregation, many of whom were known to be studying their Greek New Testaments while they were plowing their fields.

Coram Deo

Reflect on some ways you can take Christ into the marketplace of your occupation or profession.

Passages for Further Study

New Zealand's Prime Minister Has Neither Courage Nor Wisdom

Ardern Lacks Decisiveness and  Moral Courage

There is something rotten in the senior echelons of NZ's Labour Party.  The malodorous stench offends the olfactory senses far beyond Shakespeare's rotten state of Denmark. 

Two things stand out.  The first is that the senior leaders, including politicians, have given effective consent for "valuable" staff members to break the laws of the land and engage in sexual predation. 

The particular story coming in to the public eye has been written up by Alex Casey, a Senior Writer for The Spinoff.  It is inconceivable that such egregious breaking of the criminal code has been allegedly covered over.  The perpetrator remains a high official in good standing.  Our readers can appraise themselves of the details.  Just be prepared to be both offended and ropeable. 

Secondly, the perp works in the PM's office.  So far Jacinda Ardern has failed to fire the creep.  Ardern is too weak to act; rather she goes into a tear jerking soliloquy about how frustrated she is with the process.  Pathetic. 

Jacinda Ardern has responded to a series of questions relating to this story at her weekly post-cabinet press conference this afternoon. She said:

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Human Life Begins at Conception

Standing For Truth

Pastor Rhyan Glezman:
God places a very high value on all human life. Everyone is created fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God with intrinsic value. That doesn't start at the first breath, it starts when we enter our mother's womb.

If we're going to say we're for all people and we love all people, but we don't value human life in the womb, that's being a hypocrite. You're hypocritical if you don't stand up for all life. So that's why I'm speaking out.  [Washington Examiner]

Daily Meditation

Being Christ to Your Neighbor

The book of Acts records a curious phenomenon: “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria… . Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (8:1, 4, NIV).
It is clear that all of the believers, save the apostolic leaders, were scattered. Those who were scattered (the whole church) went about preaching the Word.
Christians must participate in the ministry of the church, and every Christian must endeavor “to be Christ to his neighbor.” To be Christ to your neighbor is not to be your neighbor’s lord and savior. Rather, it is to be Christ’s representative to your neighbor. We are to represent the mercy and ministry of Jesus to all who are around us.
We do not need volunteers driven by guilty manipulation or looking for merits to be redeemed. Christ has taken our guilt and supplied all the merit we need. We need volunteers because in the least of His brothers, Jesus is hungry, Jesus is thirsty, Jesus is homeless, Jesus is sick, and Jesus is imprisoned. We need volunteers who love Jesus in the afflictions of His least brethren.

Coram Deo

In what ways can you be Jesus to your neighbor? What are you doing for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, or imprisoned?

Passages for Further Study

Unemployment in NZ Vs the US

A Soft Revolution

The unemployment rate for Maori in NZ is persistently higher than for non-Maori. 
In 1986, the Māori unemployment rate was 2.57 times the Pākehā unemployment rate. According to the September 2017 Household Labour Force Survey, the Māori unemployment rate is currently 2.83 times the Pākehā unemployment rate. After 30 years of economic reform, two Labour governments, and nine years of Māori Party influence, the inequality of employment between Māori and Pākeha has gotten worse.

The unemployment rates have come down over that time, from 14.9% to 9.9% for Māori and from 5.8% to 3.5% for Pākehā. But the gap has remained. At least the situation is not getting much worse, right? Wrong. Yes, the Māori unemployment rate dipped below 10% for the first time since 2008 last quarter but the persistent gap between Māori and Pākehā means that all 30 years of economic reforms have managed to achieve is to entrench the institutional discrimination of Māori in the workforce. 34,400 Māori are unemployed. We comprise 16% of the New Zealand population but account for 27% of the number of unemployed.  [Joshua Hitchcock, The Spinoff]
When faced with such stats and trends, the reflexive response in New Zealand is to call for the state to "do something". 

In the United States, however, black employment is looking pretty good--at least so far as the trend-line indicates.  Maybe there is something that the Chattering Classes in New Zealand could learn from Donald Trump's alleged Dystopia.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

UK Now In Uncharted Territory

Making Sense of the Brexit Chaos

Madeleine Kearns
National Review Online

Cast your mind back, if you can bear it. Back three years to the summer of 2016, after the people of Britain made history in voting to leave the European Union. Back to when every political party promised to honor the result of that vote. Back to when we Brits had something resembling a functional parliamentary democracy, and something resembling a room full of adults leading it.

The years that followed were the “surely” years. Surely “taking back control” of our money, borders, laws, and trade — as was promised by the Leave campaign — means being outside the EU’s single market and customs union. Surely the Remain-voting Theresa May is sincere when she says time and time again that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” Surely all parties will honor the referendum result as they’ve promised to, delivering a moderate Brexit while unifying the country.

Well, my dear reader, surely has left the building. In fact, last I heard, surely had boarded a boat with some elves and was sailing off into the Middle Earth sunset.

Parliament this week is a picture of pure chaos. MPs voted yesterday to take control of the parliamentary agenda. The government withdrew the whip from 21 of its own rebels, effectively kicking them out of the Tory party. Today, MPs voted 329 to 300 to back a bill designed to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay Brexit if Parliament cannot agree on a way forward by October 19. It was the first of several legislative steps they are expected to take that would block the government from forcing through a no-deal Brexit, in effect once again postponing Brexit altogether. Johnson has responded in the only way he can, signaling that he intends to call an election.

Daily Meditation

Quenching Satan’s Darts

Satan is powerful. He is more powerful than we are. That is why we desperately need the armor of God. But as powerful as he is, he is far less powerful than God. That is why the Bible declares that greater is He who is in you (the Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world (Satan) (1 John 4:4). Satan’s darts are quenchable; God’s are not. You can flee the presence of Satan; you cannot flee the presence of God.
We must be wary of Satan’s right and left fists. He is a kick-boxer as well. Just when we shield ourselves from his hands, he cheats and uses his feet. Here his guile is most effective.
One characteristic of Satan is his metamorphic power. He has the cunning and uncanny ability to appear under the auspices of good. He can transform himself into the appearance of an angel of light. You don’t find him so much in the Saddam Husseins of this world. He is not so crass. He appears as a saint, a paragon of virtue, waiting to seduce you.
He is, above all, a fraud. His work is anti-Christ not merely in the sense of working against Christ but in the sense of seeking to act as a substitute for Christ.
The good news about Satan is this: his doom is sure, and one little word will fell him.

Coram Deo

Think about ways Satan has deceived you in times past as an “angel of light.” Ask God to make you more perceptive to his deception in the future.

Passages for Further Study

The Importance of Niacin--a B-Group Vitamin

Worth Consideration

A close friend suggested some months ago that we should read a book about the importance of niacin, a naturally occurring vitamin.  She has an adult child whose health improved remarkably when she began to take regular doses of this substance. 

Eventually, we secured a copy of the book and read it.  [Hoffer, Abram; Saul, Andrew; and Foster, Harold, Niacin: the Real Story, (Basic Health Publications, Inc.)]  All three authors have PhD's.  We have no medical, nor scientific training.  But knowing the struggles of my friend and her daughter over the years, and also hearing about the striking improvement of her daughter once she began to take Niacin (with her doctor's approval and encouragement), we were more than curious to read Hoffer, et al's book. 

Niacin: the Real Story does indeed contain remarkable accounts.  The general layman's position should probably be something like a recognition that Niacin is a B-group vitamin and that it has remarkable properties to assist the health and well being of humans--that is, us.  It is certainly worth while having a discussion with one's doctor on the subject.  Niacin is widely available as a health supplement on the open market.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Vive La Resistance

A Knife Through the Heart of Man-Made Global Warming


When my better half watched a documentary on solar flare, which is a sudden unpredictable flash of increased brightness on the sun, we talked about the possible correlation between the sun’s variability and global warming. It just makes sense.

We are curious people but not scientists, and Wikipedia says even the most powerful solar flares are barely detectable in the total solar irradiance. So could the sun’s variability actually affect global warming?

This month, two independent Irish scientists, Ronan and Michael Connelly, along with Willie Soon from Harvard, submitted their research “Re-evaluating the role of solar variability on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th century” to Earth Science Reviews. Christopher Monckton introduces their findings in this video.

Obviously global warming scientists have examined solar variability before. This new research uses the same dataset but re-examines the solar variability factor.

“Although our new composite implies different trends from previous estimates, we note that it is compatible with Northern Hemisphere temperature trends derived from (a) sea surface temperatures; (b) glacier length records; (c) tree ring widths.  
"However, the recent multi model means of the CMIP5 Global Climate Model hindcasts failed to adequately reproduce the temperature trends implied by our composite, even when they included both “anthropogenic and natural forcings”.  Researchgate

See note below for a definition of “forcings”. The CMIP5 is the global climate database and model the IPCC uses for its global warming projections. It underpins the Paris Accord that costs NZ taxpayers $1.4B a year and is the basis of subsequent global warming studies.

Daily Meditation

Denying Dualism

The Devil-as-myth view is Satan’s right-hand punch. If that one doesn’t get you, then watch out for his left hook. The left-hand attack moves the disinformation to the opposite extreme. If Satan can’t get you to ignore him by denying his very existence, he will cunningly lead you to attribute power to him far beyond what he actually possesses. He will seek to persuade you that he is virtually equal to God.
Dualism, as a philosophy and a religion, has vied with Christianity from the beginning. Dualism affirms that the universe is the staging area, the combat zone, for two equal and opposite beings who struggle with each other eternally.
Satan is falsely described in terms of omniscience, omnipresence, and the power to do actual, not merely counterfeit, miracles. He is given attributes orthodox Christianity labels as the incommunicable attributes of God and he is assigned power over nature that rivals the Creator’s.
The Bible teaches that Satan is a finite spiritual being. He is temporal and created. In a word, he is a creature. He is more powerful that we, but he is not omnipotent. He is not immutable, as God is. Indeed, Satan’s mutability is profound. His most obvious mutation is his fall. He was created a good angel. He fell from his original righteousness and is now totally malevolent.

Coram Deo

Have you been attributing power to Satan beyond what the Bible indicates he possesses?

Passages for Further Study

Faux Freedoms That Destroy and Tear Societies Apart

Idiots And Their Allies

We now live in a culture which has boldly asserted that one's identity--including self-constructed identity--is reality.  It represents the human rights of an individual.  This perspective has been officially recognized by the US Supreme Court. 

One's personal self-image represents one's self-esteem.  Modern secularist society frowns on the idea that one's self-esteem may be traduced by the law, or by anything else for that matter. 
In the 1992 Planned Parenthood case, Justice Kennedy notoriously stated: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life."  [Augusto Zimmermann, Christian Foundations of the Common Law. Volume 2: The United States.  (Brisbane: Connor Court Publishing, 2018), p. 182.]
But there is a sub-text lurking behind in the shadows.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

When Police Become Social Workers

A Deadly Error... Committed by Cops

Peter Hitchens
The Daily Mail

It’s the way things cease to be shocking that is so fascinating. If, even 30 years ago, a police force had proposed to let off drug dealers and give them free driving lessons and gym memberships, the Chief Constable involved would have had to resign in about two hours.

Now, when Avon and Somerset Police announce this mad scheme, there’s barely a tremor. To me, the interesting thing here is that those targeted for this crime-rewarding programme are drug dealers. For years, police have excused their cowardly, lawless and disastrous failure to pursue criminal drug users by saying this would free them to catch the evil dealers.

I knew they never really meant it.

Daily Meditation

Recognizing Satan’s Reality

I once asked a college philosophy class, “How many of you believe in God?” Out of thirty students, twenty-seven raised their hands in the affirmative; three abstained.
Then I asked, “How many of you believe in Satan as a personal reality?” This time the vote was reversed.
I pursued my inquiry. I asked, “Why do you believe in a supernatural being who has the capacity to influence us for good (God) and not in a supernatural personal being who has the capacity to influence us for evil (Satan)?” Their answers indicated that the Devil they were rejecting was what they perceived to be a nonexistent mythical caricature.
Many qualified their positions by saying, “I do believe in the reality of an impersonal force of evil in the world.” I found this response fascinating. I asked them, “How can an impersonal force be evil?”
What is this mysterious impersonal force? Cosmic dust? Radioactivity? Impersonal objects, forces, or powers can be many things. One thing they cannot be is morally evil. Here the attempt to be modern and sophisticated becomes an exercise in intellectual regression.

Coram Deo

Do you believe Satan is a personal reality? Why do you believe as you do? How has your belief affected your response to him?

Passages for Further Study