Thursday, 31 January 2019

Fake News Is a Real Phenomenon

Four Massive Media Hoaxes in First Three Weeks of 2019

John Nolte
YouTube, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images, Breitbart News Composite
YouTube, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images, Breitbart News Composite

We are only three weeks into 2019, a mere 22 days, and already the establishment media have hit us with four massive hoaxes, four flaming piles of fake news.

Led primarily by CNN, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, NBC News, and the New York Times — the same media that have spent two years crybabying about being labeled fake news — have already run these cons on the American people with a full week still left in the first month of this new year.
Worst still, the media continue to stand by these debunked hoaxes, including one that resulted in death threats against children.
Does anyone still want to argue fake news is not the enemy of the people?
After this trip down memory lane, I doubt it:

Daily Meditatoin

Giving Meaning to Life

The broad question that the writer of Ecclesiastes seeks to answer is, “Is there any meaning to the time that I spend in this world?” We put on a man’s tombstone that he was born on a certain date and that he died on a certain date. Between these two poles of time we live our lives. The basic question is, “Does my life have meaning?”
A common refrain echoed in Ecclesiastes is that there is futility, vanity, and “nothing new under the sun.” If our lives begin under the sun as a cosmic accident, a result of random collisions and mutations of inert matter, and if our ultimate destiny is to return to the dust that bore us, there can be no purpose.
When we cease to look “under the sun” and seek our destiny “under heaven,” we find our purpose. Our origin was not in the primordial soup but in the very hands of God, who shaped us and breathed life into us. Our destiny is not to return to dust, but to give honor and praise to God forever. Under heaven we find purpose. If we have God as our origin and as our destiny, between those poles there is purpose and meaning.
The writer answers the question with a resounding “Yes!” There is a reason for our lives. There is a reason for our suffering and a reason for our pain. There is also a reason for our joy.

Coram Deo

Are you living your life “under the sun” or “under heaven?” Have you found true purpose and meaning to life?

Daily Meditation

Looking through the Mirror

When Paul declared the mysterious and breathtaking promise that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8: 28), he was musing in teleology. He was dealing with the realm of the remote rather than the proximate. This suggests that the proximate must be judged in light of the remote.
Our problem is this: We do not yet possess the full light of the remote. We are still looking in a dark mirror. We are not utterly devoid of light, though. We have enough light to know that God has a good purpose even when we are ignorant of that good purpose.
It is the good purpose of God that gives the final answer to the appearance of vanity and futility in this world. To trust in the good purpose of God is the very essence of godly faith. This is why no Christian can be an ultimate pessimist.
The world in which we live is not a world of chance. Its beginning was not an accident, its operation is not an accident, and its telos, or goal, is not an accident. This is my Father’s world and He rules it without caprice. As long as God exists, vanity is a manifest impossibility.

Coram Deo

Spend some time reflecting on the goodness of God. In what specific ways is His goodness being manifested to you right now?

Passages for Further Study

We Warned What Would Happen. . .

More Than a Quarter of Deaths in Holland are "Induced"

John Burger

Fifteen years after the Netherlands decriminalized euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, more than 25 percent of all deaths in the nation are induced, rather than by illness or other natural causes.

That figure is based on statistics from 2017 and includes almost 6,600 cases of euthanasia; 1,900 suicides and some 32,000 people killed through a practice called palliative sedation, according to an article in the Guardian

In the article, journalist Christopher de Bellaigue traces the history of euthanasia in the Netherlands from when it was introduced for extreme cases (“unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement”) to the point where some are advocating for a legal pill that practically anyone can take in case they are tired of living.

“The process of bringing in euthanasia legislation began with a desire to deal with the most heartbreaking cases—really terrible forms of death,” said Theo Boer, who teaches ethics at the Theological University of Kampen. “But there have been important changes in the way the law is applied. We have put in motion something that we have now discovered has more consequences than we ever imagined.”  Boer is a former member of one of the five regional boards that were set up to review every act of euthanasia and hand cases over to prosecutors if irregularities are detected, de Bellaigue explained.

“One of the reasons why euthanasia became more common after 2007 is that the range of conditions considered eligible expanded, while the definition of ‘unbearable suffering’ that is central to the law was also loosened,” wrote de Bellaigue.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A New Iteration On Civil Oppression

Today’s Left  Aims To Make Christians Second-Class Citizens

Centuries ago, the British imposed penal laws on Irish Catholics and dissenting Protestant minorities. Might we be moving in a similar direction here?

Nathanael Blake
The Federalist

The left wants to penalize Christians for their faith. The most recent example is the freakout over the vice president’s wife, Karen Pence, teaching part-time at a Christian school that holds students and staff to traditional Christian standards of doctrine and conduct, including sexual conduct.

These requirements are not exceptional among Christian schools (and those of other religions often have similar restrictions), but they have been treated as the vilest bigotry, deserving censure and punishment. CNN’s John King even suggested that teaching at this school should mean forfeiting Pence’s government-provided security.

As a practical pastoral matter, the school is almost certainly more focused on fornication and adultery than on denouncing sodomy. But the media is obsessed over the aspects of traditional Christian sexual ethics that relate to LGBT identity and actions.

The Washington Post, for example, flatly asserts that Pence has been hired by an “anti-LGBT Christian school” that “seeks to exclude homosexual and transgender students and staff members”—as an aside, note how LGBT ideology sexualizes children and defines them by their still-developing sense of sexuality—but that is not how traditional Christians view these matters.

Christian Perspectives On Sexual Morality

The Christian perspective distinguishes between, on one hand, same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria as psychological states experienced by individuals, and, on the other, behavior, identity, and ideology. Thus, the reality of same-sex attraction is acknowledged, but considered a temptation to be resisted, not an identity to be embraced. Gender dysphoria, like other sorts of dysphoria, is viewed as an affliction that should be treated with compassion in accord with biological reality, rather than a metaphysical truth to which physical bodies must be molded.

Daily Meditation

Probing the Remote Purpose

Why did God allow it to happen?” This question seeks to probe the remote or ultimate purpose. The question assumes something crucial to our understanding of God. It assumes that God could have prevented the thing that happened. If we deny this verity, we deny the very character of God. If God could not have prevented it, He would no longer be God. By asking why, we also assume something else that is vital. We assume there is an answer to the question. We assume that God had a reason or a purpose for the thing that occurred.
The question remains—“Was God’s reason or purpose a good one?” To ask the question is to answer it—if we know anything about God. We err in our reason. We establish futile goals. We rush off on fools’ errands. We pursue sinful ends. Let us not project the same kind of vicious intentionality of God.
The only purpose or intention God ever has is altogether good. When the Bible speaks of the sovereign exercise of the pleasure of His will, there is no hint of arbitrariness or wicked intent. The pleasure of His will is always the good pleasure of His will. His pleasure is always good, His will is always good, and His intentions are always good.

Coram Deo

What past or present circumstances in your life have caused you to ask “Why?” Ask God to show you how His good intentions are reflected in these situations.

The Murder of Citizens

Two Hundred and Sixty-Two Million

We recently came across the site of Professor R. J. Rummel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii.  His most recent book is Death by Government.

The focus of his life's work has been the role of governments in the death of civilians.  According to the website, Professor Rummel's brief bio is as follows:

Wrote about two-dozen books and over 100 professional articles. Most recent books: Death By Government(Transaction Publications, 1994), The Miracle That Is Freedom (Martin Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, University of Idaho, 1996), Power Kills (Transaction Publications, 1997), and Statistics of Democide (Center for National Security Law, 1997).

Through his undergraduate term papers, MA Thesis, Ph.D. dissertation, and academic career, R.J. Rummel has focused his research on the causes and conditions of collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. He published his major results in Understanding Conflict and War, Vols. 1-5 (Sage Publications, 1975197619771979, and 1981). His conclusion was that "To eliminate war, to restrain violence, to nurture universal peace and justice, is to foster freedom (liberal democracy)." Given the supreme importance of this conclusion published in 1981, Rummel then spent the next fifteen years refining the underlying theory and testing it empirically on new data, against the empirical results of others, and on case studies (as in his Death By Government). All this theoretical, empirical, and comparative research is documented in his final work, Power Kills, nominated for the 1998 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

Power Kills sums up Rummel's research on violence and reaffirms and extends his earlier work. In theory and fact, democracies do not (or virtually never) make war on each other; the more democratic two regimes, the less likely violence between them; the more democratic a regime, the less its overall foreign violence; and the more democratic a regime, the less its genocide and mass murder (which in this century has killed about four times the battle dead of all its foreign and domestic wars).
According to his research, he argues that the twentieth century was an exceedingly bloody affair with governments being responsible for the death of 262 million citizens.  (Note--this does not include death through war.) The deadly table below says it all

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Ignorant Idiots--And We Are Not Referring to the School Kids

The Bigotry Belongs To The Left

After days of outrage and condemnations, the Covington affair has revealed a disturbing bigotry among far too many media figures and outlets on the left.

John Daniel Davidson
The Federalist

At a few days’ remove from the Covington Catholic High School incident at the Lincoln Memorial, we can be reasonably sure there will be no apologies or corrections forthcoming from the major media outlets that rushed to vilify the students involved. The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and dozens of lesser news organizations that condemned the high schoolers from Kentucky have not retracted or walked back their initial, warped narrative: that racist white teens harassed an elderly Native American man.

Nor will there be any public contrition from many individual members of the media who were in the vanguard of the online mob. CNN’s Reza Aslan tweeted an image of one of the boys and asked, “Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” Filmmaker Michael Green tweeted the same image with the comment, “A face like that never changes. This image will define his life. No one need ever forgive him.”

Despite additional video footage that largely exonerated the students, neither of those public figures have deleted their tweets or apologized.

Daily Meditation

Pursuing the Quest for Purpose

In the quest for purpose, we must distinguish between proximate and remote purposes. The proximate refers to that which is close at hand. The remote refers to the distant, far-off, ultimate purpose. The football player’s proximate goal is to make a first down. The more remote goal is a touchdown. The even more remote goal is to win the game. The ultimate goal is to win a championship.
We remember the poignant meeting between Joseph and his brothers, when the brothers feared recriminations from their powerful brother for the treachery they had committed against him. But Joseph saw a remarkable concurrence at work between proximate and remote intentions. He said, “ You meant it for evil; God meant it for good.”
Here the proximate and the remote seemed to be mutually exclusive. The divine intention was the exact opposite of the human intention. Joseph’s brothers had one goal; God had a different one. The amazing truth here is that the remote purpose was served by the proximate one. This does not diminish the culpability of the brothers. Their intent and their actions were evil. Yet it seemed good to God to let it happen that His purpose might be fulfilled.

Coram Deo

Think about how proximate purpose may be contributing to God’s remote purpose in your life.

Passages for Further Study

She goes . . . she goes . . . she goes. She just went.

Extremist Politician Declares War on the US

It is well known historically that when countries go to war they both require and demand special draconian and authoritarian powers.  Emergencies require urgent action.  Normal democratic service no longer applies--at least until the vital threat passes.

Everyone generally understands this and submits to it.  Take the draft, as an example.  It is commonplace in modern history for the state to interdict in the lives of citizens and draft them into the armed forces (whether they want to go or not).  The urgent defence of the nation requires it.

This motif now dominates contemporary (usually left-wing) political rhetoric.  It is used by such venal politicians who want emergency powers.  And why "emergency" we hear you ask.  Because, unless the "threats" can be painted with an urgent brush, there is no chance of overriding the law, and making special powers normal.  Always, always it exposes the offending politician or political party in the dull hues of ignorance.  Failing to make their case, they just  demand power because the alleged threat is sooooo huge.

Let us introduce you to the latest example--extreme Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez, who is a card carrying, highly honoured member of the Democratic Party in the United States.  Here is her claim:
'Like, the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change'.  Only twelve years to go, folks.  The world is going to end, mark my words.  To remove the threat we need powers like you have never seen before.

"And like," she continued, "this is the war, this is our World War II. And I think for younger people, we're looking at this and we're like 'how how are we saying, let's take it easy when 3,000 people died last year?'"

"How are we saying let's take it easy when the nth person has just died from our cruel and unjust criminal justice system?" Ocasio-Cortez asked. "How are we saying take it easy when the America that we're living in today is so dystopian with people sleeping in their cars so that they can work a second job without health care."  [The Blaze]
Give us power.  Give us the gun.  We will put things right. We are all looking forward to the Ocasio-Cortez Emergency Powers Bill being introduced into the US Congress any day now.  Oh, but the war is right now.  People are dying right now.  Putting legislation through Congress and making it subject to the Supreme Court--that will  take time.  Too much time.  This is an EMERGENCY.  Let's take up the gun now!

Monday, 28 January 2019

Douglas Wilson's Letter From America

A Few Brief Words on Behalf of Karen Pence

Douglas Wilson
Blog & Mablog


Some might wonder why I am not writing about Martin Luther King today. It is actually one of my initial forays into intersectionality.

I do need to grant at the outset that Karen Pence has done a great deal to bring on the enmity that is currently being aimed at her. After all, she has a husband who loves her and is faithful to her, and who will not put himself into situations that are potentially compromising. Not only does she have a husband like this, but they have had the effrontery to hold to these “devoted-to-one-woman” standards throughout the entire course of the #MeToo era, which threw hurtful shade on our leading lechers who wanted to lecture us all about the necessity of moral probity. And this is not to mention the women who can’t remember whose bed they were in a month and a half ago, as they were trying to act offended and appalled by the behavior of their men.

It turns out that the sexual revolution, like all revolutions, devours its own. But the Pences, because of their consistent personal standards, have been for the most part indigestible. That’s bound to irritate all kinds of notable and important people. 


So the most recent ruckus started the other day when it was revealed that Karen Pence is teaching an art class at a Christian school that does not permit all the de rigueur LGBTQ+ shenanigans. All teachers must agree to abide by the school’s code of conduct, which Karen Pence has agreed to do, and among other things it follows that the school will have no LGBTQ+ faculty or students. Sounds like yet one more moral atrocity, right?

So Twitter went nuts, as might be expected.

#Pencewife must resign from teaching at her school or #Pence must resign as VP. There is no justice for her actions!!!!!

#Pence What kind of @VP makes it clear thru the #SecondLady’s employment that a large bloc of #Americans & allies who don’t believe in treating their #kids as a disease if they feel they may be #LGBTQ aren’t entitled to #education or #art? #ExposeChristianSchools—#Evangelicals

Does @VP know how deeply offensive it is to us that 2nd lady is so prejudiced, insensitive and disrespectful of American values that she took a job at a school that discriminates against #LGBTQ students, employees & families? #Pence is offensive!


And then there was another thing that went and happened. A gent named Clay Cane, a leader among the indignati, wrote a piece for CNN called “Karen and Mike Pence’s astonishing moral hypocrisy.” I will say something about the hypocrisy charge a bit later on, but we should begin by noting the high wickedness that the Second Lady has inexplicably fallen into.

Daily Meditation

Answering the Ultimate Question

Why?” This simple question, which we utter many times a day, is loaded with assumptions of what philosophers call teleology. Teleology is the study of design and purpose. It comes from the Greek word telos, which is sprinkled liberally through the New Testament.
We seek to discover the reason things happen as they do. Why does the rain fall? Why does the earth turn on its axis? Why did you say what you said? When we raise the question of purpose, we are concerned with ends, aims, and goals. All of these terms suggest intent. They assume meaning rather than meaninglessness.
The cynic may respond to the question “Why?” with a glib retort: “Why not?” Yet even in this response there is a thinly veiled commitment to purpose. If we give a reason for not doing something, we are saying that the negative serves a purpose or fulfills a goal. Human beings are creatures committed to purpose. Intent informs our actions.

Coram Deo

How does purpose affect your daily life—your priorities, plans, and activities?

Passages for Further Study

The Other Side

A Corrective to Trump Derangement Syndrome

Christian and conservative folk in New Zealand will be delighted that retired radio talk-back host, Leighton Smith will be writing a regular opinion piece in the NZ Herald.  His first effort was published recently.  

Conservative voices are all too few and far between.  Hence our welcome to the new Herald columnist.  Just how radical he will turn out to be is evident from his first article.  He has risked facing the worst and most vitriolic horde who have spent the last two years maligning the current US President, Donald Trump.  Imagine the extent of Trump Derangement Syndrome unleashes on our fair shores by Smith's first article.  In the Herald it was titled "The case for Donald Trump". 

Let's be clear.  That headline was as volatile as high octane aviation fuel.  It would inevitably ignite in splenetic vitriol rarely seen or heard.  We were already chuckling.  Here is a sample from Leighton Smith's piece:

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Last Year's Most Controversial Movie Makes History

‘Gosnell’ DVD Hits #1 New Drama On Amazon

Cracks Top 10 Overall Weeks Before Release Date

By Paul Bois
The Daily Wire

"Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer" will not be available on DVD until February 5 but that certainly has not prevented the film from earning the number 1 spot in New Drama at Amazon from presales alone.

"One of last year's most controversial movies has made history with record-breaking DVD pre-sales on Amazon - topping the best-seller list and overtaking big Studio backed films," the "Gosnell' marketing team said in a press release given exclusively to The Daily Wire. "With three weeks until the film’s release date, pre-sales have already put it as the number one drama and number 4 best selling DVD on all of Amazon."

As of this writing, "Gosnell" stands at number 3 in the Dramas and number 12 in bestselling DVDs overall. Screenshots were provided of the film's placing prior to this report.

Written by The Daily Wire's own Andrew Klavan and directed by actor Nick Searcy ("Justified"), the movie tells the horrific story of the arrest, trial, and eventual conviction of notorious abortion butcher Kermit Gosnell, who was found guilty on three counts of murder in the first degree against three babies born alive during his procedures. The film primarily focuses on the mainstream media's disinterest in Gosnell's trial throughout its run.

Producer Phelim McAleer said in a statement that the film's presale success on Amazon provides a solid indication that people are hungry to learn about the truth. "There is an enormous appetite for this kind of film that tells the truth," he said. "People are fed up with being fed movies that attack their values and misrepresent the world. There is a real hunger for Gosnell and our record breaking sales prove this."

"Gosnell" surpassed box-office expectations on its first weekend of release back in October 2018 by entering into the Top 10 grossing films with a revenue of $1,235,000 on just 668 screens. As the film entered week 2, however, the film was inexplicably dropped from nearly 200 theaters, including those in major cities where it was performing the strongest.

John Sullivan, the film's marketing director who also served as a producer, told The Daily Wire at the time the drop could not be written off as a mere coincidence or "business as usual."

"I can tell you from my experience in 15 years of releasing movies independently, we’re in uncharted territories," Sullivan told DW in October. "It is an impacted fall, no doubt about it, but the fact that we’ve been dropped from theaters where the movie is the number 6 or number 9 movie is just something you don’t see."

The makers also allege that media outlets refused to carry advertising for the film while Facebook outright blocked ads from being shared.

"NPR and the New York Times refused to carry advertising for the film and Facebook blocked over 50 advertisements on their platform," read the statement released on Monday.  The film grossed $3.6 million during its theatrical run on a production budget of $2.4 million that was spearheaded by a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign.

Daily Meditation

Distinguishing the Active and Passive Wills of God

Ligonier Ministries

Joseph said about the treachery perpetrated by his brothers, “You meant it for evil; God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). God’s good will was served through the bad will of Joseph’s brothers. This does not mean that since they were only doing the will of God the acts of the brothers were actually virtuous. All acts must be judged together with their intentions, and the actions of Joseph’s brothers were rightly judged by God to be evil. That God brings good out of evil only underscores the power and the excellence of His sovereign, decretive will.
We sometimes get at this same problem by distinguishing between God’s active will and His passive will. Again we face difficulties. When God is “passive,” He is, in a sense, actively passive. I do not mean to speak nonsense but merely to show that God is never totally passive. When He seems to be passive, He is actively choosing not to intercede directly.
Augustine addressed the problem this way: “Man sometimes with a good will wishes something which God does not will, as when a good son wishes his father to live, while God wishes him to die. Again it may happen that man with a bad will wishes what God wills righteously, as when a bad son wishes his father to die, and God also wills it …For the things which God rightly wills, He accomplishes by the evil wills of bad men.”

Coram Deo

Can you remember when God used what was intended for evil to accomplish good in your life? Give Him thanks for those times.

Passages for Further Study