Thursday, 27 February 2020

A Rare Occurrence

Leave of Absence

We are taking a week or so off--the first time in many weeks.

We will get back blogging again as soon as possible.  In the meantime, Go in Peace.


John Tertullian

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

By the Year 2020 . . .

Remembering Climate Alarmists’ False Prophecies

Thomas D Williams
Breitbart News

The Guardian newspaper famously predicted back in 1999 that by the year 2020, “Spain will be ridden with malaria, the eastern Mediterranean will be as hot as the Sahara desert, flash floods will swamp parts of the American coastline and there will be almost no snow in the Alps.”

While there is no way to definitively debunk current predictions of a coming climate apocalypse, fortunately we do possess failed past predictions to help put things in perspective. 

In a Guardian article titled “Tourist spots could be too hot to handle,” Jamie Wilson — since promoted to “head of International news” at the paper — reflected on a doomsday scenario painted in a report on the effects of global warming.

Profitable tourist destinations could be turned into “holiday horror stories,” found the study, which was commissioned by the World Wild Fund for Nature.

“By 2020, visitors to the Costa del Sol could risk contracting malaria as global warming brings more frequent heatwaves, making the country a suitable habitat for malaria-bearing mosquitoes, while increases in summer temperatures to more than 40C (104F) could make parts of Turkey and Greece no-go areas in July and August,” Mr. Wilson solemnly pronounced.

The report suggested that tour operators and countries which rely on tourism for revenue will need to “take account of the changing climate when planning new resorts or upgrading facilities.”

“The tourism industry could be faced with huge costs as global warming begins to influence decisions about when and where people are going to go on holiday. We must see real action from government to tackle the problem of global climate change now,” warned Ute Collier, the WWF’s head of climate change.

Tourism will not just suffer the negative effects of global warming, the article insisted, it also “contributes to the causes of climate change itself.”

“Air travel is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore increases the risk of continued global warming,” it stated. 

The essay went on to describe the disastrous effects of climate change on hotspots ranging from Australia to the Alps to Austria to the Florida everglades.

“Safari holidays in east and southern Africa may also be affected as droughts and changes in temperature alter the distribution of wildlife,” it declared, while “some islands in the Maldives could disappear as they are submerged by rising sea levels.”

And all of this by… 2020.

Kudos to the Guardian for not expunging their archives of its cringeworthy climate predictions. All of this would be nothing more than an anecdotal source of humor, examples of the silliness of a past generation, if newspapers did not make the mistake of continuing to double-down on their commitment to the climate crisis.

At least they have learned one thing from their mistakes: they now project their forecasts sufficiently into the future that their purveyors will assuredly have died before their bluff can been unmasked.

For the unfortunate Mr. Wilson, this is not the case.

Controlling the Dictionary

Hardly the Charge of the Light Brigade

Douglas Wilson


So just over a week ago, our college ministry hosted an event on the University of Idaho campus entitled The Lost Virtue of Sexism. About 250 people came, along with a medium-sized cadre of disruption agents and hecklers. The Internet audience has been much larger, coming in around 15K so far.

What’s Not to Like?

From my perspective, the whole thing went swimmingly. The planning was great, the UI security team was smooth and professional, the hecklers were not numerous enough to risk shutting it down entirely, but were disruptive enough to attract the attention of many to the event, free speech actually happened at a state university, and the gospel was presented. What’s not to like?

But a question nevertheless arises. Why do we do things like that in the first place?

Counter-intuitive Effectiveness

In a moment, I will get to the reasons for doing such things, but something else must really come first. Questions assuming the ineffectiveness of such tactics generally arise when they have proven themselves astonishingly effective. When something is working, there is usually going to be a push — originating somewhere in the strategy offices of the other team — to get it to stop. When something is not working, usually nobody cares enough about it to explain why it isn’t. That game is not worth the candle. But when something is just blowing down the road with a full tank of gas, there will be no shortage of explanations about how it is somehow the wrong road, or the curves are being taken too fast, or the bridge might be out, or something.

Why Then?

So the first reason for doing something like this is that it presents a genuine evangelistic opportunity. Jesus said to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), and this is a really good way of getting to that place. But on this point, don’t be distracted by the protesters. It would be wonderful if any of the hecklers were touched by the message and converted, and so we don’t forget them, but they are not the principal audience. Whenever there is a debate, or collision, or a bit of interpersonal drama like this, the apologist should always remember that his principal audience is made up of the onlookers.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Democrat Party Is the House of Death for Unwanted Children

No Room for Pro-Lifers

Bernie Sanders Says Being Pro-Abortion Is ‘Absolutely Essential’ for Democrats

By Tré Goins-Phillips

February 10, 2020

Much like Perez has in the past, Sanders made clear over the weekend he sees no place in the Democratic Party for pro-life voters.  “I think being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat, if you’re asking me,” said Sanders, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

He made the comment during a candidate forum in New Hampshire on Saturday, when the emcee asked him if there is “such a thing as a pro-life Democrat in your vision of the party.” 

“I may be wrong on this, I think, in the Senate probably 95% of the Democrats are pro-choice, you have a few who are not,” added Sanders, noting there’s likely an even higher percentage of pro-abortion Democrats in the House.

“That’s kind of what my view is,” he said. “I think by this time in history, I think, when we talk about what a Democrat is, I think being pro-choice is essentially, an essential part of that.”

Sanders’ position is hardly surprising. In fact, it’s not even outside the mainstream of the Democratic Party these days. In 2017, Perez said support for abortion among Democrats “is not negotiable.”

The Need for a Medical Cure Increases

UK Declares Coronavirus ‘Serious and Imminent Threat’

 Activates Emergency Powers

Oliver J J Lane
Breitbart London

The British government has declared Coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat”, a classification which gives the secretary of state for health emergency powers to detain people suspected of being infected, as four more cases emerge.

Until now, the roughly 250 Britons quarantined at two hospitals after arriving back into the United Kingdom from China have been in isolation voluntarily on the advice of the government. But with the declaration “that the incidence or transmission of novel Coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health”, the hospitals in the UK become legally recognised as “isolation” areas, the Department of Health said in a statement.

This means the government can now keep people in isolation “for their own safety”, even if it is against their will, a spokesman for the department said.

State broadcaster the BBC reports this change in stance from the government came as one individual in the Wirral quarantine hospital was planning to leave against the advice of doctors before his two week incubation period isolation was complete. The Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock declaring Coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat” permits the government to detail that individual and others to prevent the spread of the disease.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Hacks Who Have Lost Rational Perspective

Being Fired by Trump Does Not A Holocaust Victim Make

By David Harsanyi
National Review Online

Get a grip: The president’s critics are not being rounded up and sent to death camps. They’re landing book deals and TV gigs.

Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes, one of the media’s favorite Donald Trump antagonists, took to Twitter this weekend to pen a transcendently nonsensical thread comparing the firing of a handful of bureaucrats to the rounding up of political undesirables in the lead-up to the Holocaust.

It’s wouldn’t be a huge deal, except that this kind of hysterical reaction has now been normalized in American discourse, illustrating that once-rational people have either lost all sense of history or are willing to belittle the past for short-term political gain. My bet is on the latter.

Here’s how Wittes begins his updated version of Martin Niemöller’s famous poem:

Benjamin Wittes

First he came for @comey, and I said nothing because I was mad at @comey because of the Clinton email investigation and I blamed him for Trump’s election.

When fellow Hungarians came for my grandfather — he was one of the first to be deported from the country — they sent him to sweep mines on the Eastern Front before handing him over to the Germans at Mauthausen and then Gunskirchen.

At some point he perished, no doubt, in a vile and undignified manner, perhaps succumbing to starvation or typhoid or dysentery, or maybe he was shot in the head and left in a shallow unmarked grave. We don’t know.

We Love the Historical References

Booting Alex Vindman

President Trump directed the transfer of both Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny Vindman from the National Security Council.

Adam Mill
The Federalist

Barely a day passed after the president’s acquittal in the Senate before he took action to transfer three figures connected with the effort to oust him. President Trump directed the transfer of both Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother Yevgeny Vindman from the National Security Council. He also directed the recall of Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The president had a duty to make these changes to ensure the integrity of our system of self-government the same way presidents have immediately acted to expel past administration officials who used their posts to undermine and criticize the policies of the elected president.

10 U.S.C. 888, Article 88 makes it a crime for a commissioned officer to use contemptuous words against the president. The importance of this law can be traced back to the destruction of representative democracy in Rome, when the man who would be later crowned Julius Caesar used his military post to delegitimize and neuter the Roman Senate.

Roman law specified that only elected magistrates (consuls and praetors) could command armies within Italy. Any unelected commander who led forces within striking distance of Rome itself (by crossing the boundary set at the Rubicon River) would be considered a traitor.

The founding fathers similarly demanded the military submit to its elected leader. Article II, Section 2 provides that “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.” The founders feared a military that answered only to itself. To preserve self-government, the military must subordinate to elections. That means upholding the primacy of civilian control over the military.

Vindman is not a whistleblower. He’s an officer who attempted to usurp presidential leadership on Ukraine policy. He did not identify a rule, law, or regulation that the president violated. He was unable to identify any “crime” he thought the president might have committed. Vindman held a strong opinion that what the president did was “wrong” under Vindman’s conception of proper U.S. foreign policy.

“My core function is to coordinate U.S. government policy,” Vindman testified. That’s wrong. The president is the focal point of all foreign policy.

Perhaps the next president might seek Vindman’s policy expertise regarding Ukraine. But this president does not agree with Vindman’s conception of policy. Further, Vindman couldn’t content himself with registering a confidential objection to the president’s legal actions. He put on his military uniform to criticize the president’s policies to another branch of government. Vindman crossed the Rubicon, and he should not be allowed to do it again.

Many Americans do not agree with Vindman’s belief that the Bidens should be immune from inquiry. I want to abolish the two-tiered justice system that protects powerful people from the same laws under which the rest of us live. The Bidens should be investigated. That might offend the swamp. But there are legitimate swamp-draining reasons for asking about the Bidens.

Maybe Vindman can run for president to set different policy goals. But until then, Vidman should not be allowed to abuse his sensitive advisory position to thwart and criticize the president’s policies. He’s free to exercise his freedom of speech criticizing the president, but not as a military officer. Vindman hasn’t been “fired,” as the talking heads misleadingly report. He was transferred out of the sensitive National Security Council because he’s proven that he cannot be trusted to provide confidential advice to the president.

The voters, not Vindman, should have ultimate control over U.S. policy towards Ukraine. The golden thread connecting the ballot box to Ukraine policy passes through the president. Vindman’s attempt to break free of that control is counter to the Constitution and he should not be left in a position to do it again.

The president’s actions are consistent with historical precedent. For example, President Lincoln feared the impetuousness of his generals. He wrote to Gen. Joseph Hooker, “I think it best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which, I am not quite satisfied with you. …you have taken counsel of your ambition…What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship…I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the Army of criticizing their Commander, and withholding confidence from him….”

We can also recall the examples of Gen. Douglas MacArthur defying President Truman and Gen. Stanley McChrystal criticizing President Obama. We can add to the list generals fired for criticizing President Clinton. The president, and through him the voters, are in charge of American foreign policy. That principle must be jealously guarded.

Whether they admit it or not, future Democrat presidents will benefit from this president’s bold action to protect the supremacy of civilian control over the military. All countries have elections. In most countries, however, those elections do not change power. For elections to matter, the elected leaders must be allowed to wield control; men like Vindman must be shown the door.

Adam Mill is a pen name. He works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. Adam has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

The Costs of Globalism--Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

The Coronavirus Exposes the True Cost of the China Price

Curtis Ellis
Breitbart News

We are now paying the true cost of the China price.

The China price is the ultimatum Walmart buyers give vendors: this is the price we will pay – if your factory in the U.S. can’t meet it, we have one in China that will, and we’ll be happy to help you move there.

The China price gave us an endless stream of cheap consumer goods. It was made possible by global supply chains, transoceanic containerized shipping, and just-in-time inventory management to control warehouse and carrying costs, all part of the logic of relentless cost-cutting Wall Street demanded of multinational corporations.

But the coronavirus has its own logic, and it does not respect the logic of Wall Street bankers, logistics managers, and mass merchandisers.  The pandemic has exposed the frailty of global supply chains and the fallacy of the management theory calling for intercontinental supply chains and just-in-time inventory management.

Quarantining more than 60 million people in over a dozen cities as a public health measure, the Chinese government has closed thousands of factories.

Competition The Best Stimulus

The Gummint Does Not Do It Best

Decades ago the government in New Zealand dumped its broadcasting tax.  Some public funding remained for a few public-sector broadcasters.  It is high time these subsidies also went the way of the Dodo.  

But if New Zealand's state-funded broadcasting system needs the kiss of death, the situation is far more desperate in the UK.  In that country, public broadcasting is sustained by a tax on every TV.  How quaint.  How stupid.
Culture secretary Nicky Morgan has warned that the BBC could go the way of Blockbuster — becoming a total irrelevancy and going bust — unless it evolves.

Baroness Morgan made the remarks as her department launches a consultation on decriminalising payment of the licence fee which funds the British Broadcasting Corporation, saying  “accountability and value for money must be at the heart of how the BBC is funded”.

The TV tax is compulsory for anyone who watches live or records live television or uses BBC iPlayer. Payment is mandatory even if you watch live programming on a computer, phone, or other device and even if you watch live television from other providers but do not watch BBC programming at all.  [Breitbart London]
It is not just that when broadcasting is funded by a state imposed tax the quality of programming declines.  It also is the case that the content inevitably becomes more and more statist.  Programmes reflect this dependency by endorsing the State's growing involvement in society.   Moreover, the funds that flow to the State broadcaster become wastefully spent.

Friday, 21 February 2020

A Neat Piece (as we say in NZ) on the Influence of Rush Limbaugh

How Rush Limbaugh Made Millennials Like Me Conservative

Along with the one-on-one time with my dad, three hours of Rush Limbaugh’s observations, wit, and humor provided everything I needed for a foundation in conservative thought.

Nicole Russell
The Federalist

I grew up in Minnesota, the heart of the Midwest: a blue state of really nice, hard-working people who love winter, lefse, and Al Franken. Starting at about 13 years old until college, I worked for my dad, a successful remodeling contractor, over school breaks.

I hated the work. Often the only female on a construction site or a hotel in the midst of remodeling, I felt awkward. I got dirty. I wasn’t good at painting or wallpapering. The hours were longer than anything I’d ever experienced, and we rarely ate out during the day. (Somehow cold granola bars just added to the laboriousness.)

I know, I sound like a wimp. I was. I gained great respect for hard-working men and blue-collar workers during that period. The only glimmer of happiness in the job was that I got quality time with my dad and this other guy: Rush Limbaugh, who recently announced he has been diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.”

At every job site, the routine was the same: I’d dress in painters’ clothes, drive to the site with my dad, and along with all the tools we set up, we plugged in the radio set to AM 1500 KSTP. If memory serves, Limbaugh didn’t come on until 11 a.m. The next three hours were a respite of opinion, intellectual stimulation, and philosophical and political concepts I’d barely thought of yet.

As other workers labored nearby, I forgot the sounds of construction and my self-pity faded. Over time I started looking forward to this part of the day more than anything else.

A Higher, Greater Good

Love the Life You Never Wanted

Marshall Segal
Staff writer,

We tend to define our life based on our perception of our progress. Am I where I thought I would be at this age? Have I achieved what I thought I would? Are my dreams more or less real today? Am I happy in my marriage, my family, my position at work? Is my life successful?

In reality, life is never defined by our performance or circumstances. What really makes any life worth living today is the presence and protection and pleasure of the almighty, all-satisfying God.

After being sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph surprisingly rose to power in perhaps the most powerful empire in the world.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. (Genesis 39:2–4)

Potiphar put Joseph in charge of everything. But Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph and tried to seduce him. When he faithfully refused her advances, she framed him, claiming he had come to her. Her lies ripped him from all his power and responsibility and landed him in prison (Genesis 39:20). He committed no sin (at least not with Potiphar’s wife), neither was deceit found in his mouth, and yet he was treated as worse than a slave, locked away without hope of release.

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. . . . And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed. (Genesis 39:21–23)

Whether in power or in prison, Joseph’s life was hope-filled, meaningful, and successful, not because he worked so hard or received what he deserved, but because God was with him. The Lord was with him in success — and the Lord was with him in prison.

How Good Is Your Life?

Is the life you’re currently living the one you always wanted for yourself?

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Glimpses of Sanity's Restoration in the UK

Al-Qaeda Member Turned MI6 Spy

‘Deradicalisation’ of Terrorists Doesn’t Work

Kurt Zindulka
Breitbart London

A former member of al-Qaeda turned MI6 spy said that there “is no such thing as a rehabilitated jihadist” and that efforts by the British authorities to deradicalise convicted terrorists will not work.

Aimen Dean, who joined the Mujahideen at the age of fifteen and was later recruited into al-Qaeda by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who helped mastermind the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York, said that he doesn’t “believe in deradicalisation”.

The former terrorist, who went on to work as a spy for the British intelligence service MI6, told The Telegraph that Islamist terrorists are “extremely treacherous” and that if they don’t confess and help to do “damage” to their jihadist cause of their own volition like he did, “you can’t trust them.”

“The only way [a jihadist] can demonstrate that they’ve renounced violent extremism is if they have sung like a canary and provided damaging intelligence on the networks that recruited them,” said Dean.

Raaaaacism in the UK

Laurence Fox and the Woke McCarthyists

Disagree with the cultural elites and they will try to destroy you.

Brendan O'Neill

The ongoing fallout from Laurence Fox’s appearance on Question Time last Thursday is nothing short of staggering. It confirms, in a chilling way, how intolerant the cultural elites have become and how viciously they will pounce on anyone who deviates from their political and moral script. Actors, singers, artists and the rest of us, too, have been put on notice: ‘Disagree with us, the righteous woke people, and you will be destroyed.’

Fox, an actor and singer-songwriter, is now essentially a speechcriminal. Members of the actors’ union Equity have effectively called for him to be blacklisted, like PC incarnations of Joe McCarthy. Leading journalists have denounced him as ‘far right’ even though he said not one single thing that could be deemed ‘far right’. But then, the ‘far right’ insult is rarely intended to be accurate these days. Instead, it is a means of marking someone out as evil, as disobedient, as too questioning of correct-thought as defined by PC elites. Calling Fox ‘far right’ is another species of blacklisting, the foul intention being to discourage producers from ever employing him again.

And what, precisely, were Fox’s speechcrimes? This is where it gets genuinely scary. Everything he said on QT was perfectly reasonable. Great numbers of people will have been cheering him on. He said he was bored of the idea that the media criticism of Meghan Markle is driven by racism. He questioned the idea that the next Labour leader should be chosen on the basis of sex and said instead that we should judge politicians by their beliefs and achievements. He mocked celebs for lecturing everyone about climate change. He pushed back against an audience member who suggested he enjoyed white privilege, pointing out that it wasn’t him, Fox, who mentioned people’s skin colour, but them, his voluble detractors.

Not only is this not far right – it is also sensible and refreshing.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Uplifting Example

National Pride

We were impressed and gratified to hear that professionalism and courage are still "alive and well".  Air New Zealand was able to put on a special flight from NZ to China to evacuate tourists and travellers back to NZ.  Here's how it went down: 
The flight bringing home New Zealanders from China during the Coronavirus outbreak is expected to land in Auckland on Wednesday afternoon.  The Air New Zealand flight has just arrived in Hong Kong and is expected to depart around midnight on Tuesday.

The flight, NZ1942, will land at Auckland International Airport around 4.15pm and will have a 20-person team including five pilots and 11 cabin crew, medical and engineering staff.  New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Island citizens on the flight will be quarantined for 14 days at a military facility on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, north of Auckland. . . .

Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and standards officer Captain David Morgan said the airline was pleased to support the government in getting Kiwis and other foreign nationals out of Wuhan.  "The Air New Zealand crew who have volunteered for this flight are amongst some of our most experienced pilots and crew. They will be under the command of a captain who has more than 30 years experience with the airline."  [NZ Herald]
When the most senior pilots and staff volunteer for a mercy mission it speaks volumes about the professionalism and positive corporate culture of Air New Zealand. 

Hats off to you all--and thanks from the nation. 

Demographic Time Bomb

China’s Declining Birth Rate Threatens Its Globalist Plan

Bob Adelmann

The number of babies born in China in 2019 was the lowest since 1961, during the forced implementation of Mao Tse-tung's “Great Leap Forward.” That effort to turn China’s agrarian society into a purely communist one not only cost the lives of an estimated 45 million people through starvation but dropped the number of births to less than 12 million in a year.

Afterward, policies were implemented by Mao’s followers to rein in China’s population growth, which soared following that greatest famine in all of human history. Chinese officials implemented a “two child policy” in 1969, but changed it 10 years later to “one child” per family, with some exceptions.

That policy worked so well that Chinese officials celebrated the news that 400 million births were prevented. Actual births prevented, including the families not created, approached a billion, according to more reliable outside sources. 

It set in motion what Yuanj Xin, a demographer at Nankai University, told Financial Times is “an irreversible trend.”

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Weed The "Woke" Mob Out . . . One by One

MP Daniel Kawczynski’s Trial by Media

A Witch Hunt Against Conservatives

Calvin Robinson
Breitbart London

UK Conservative politician Daniel Kawczynski is the focus of an intense witch-hunt by left-leaning elements within his own party for attending a National Conservativism conference in Rome.

Kawczynski’s trial-by-media pursuers are demanding the Polish-born Tory MP is suspended for speaking at a European conference. The event was attended by social conservatives such Viktor Orban, the pro-family, anti-mass migration Prime Minister of Hungary; and Matteo Salvini, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior in Italy, best known for slashing illegal migration through an Australia-style “stop the boats, stop the drownings” policy during his time in office.

Fellow Conservative parliamentarian Andrew Percy, cheerleaded enthusiastically by BuzzFeed UK political correspondent Alex Wickham, who previously attempted to “cancel” the late conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, appears to be leading the public charge to have Kawczynski censored for associating with European political leaders — who hold many political positions in common with, no doubt, the vast majority of ordinary Conservative voters.

Wickham’s reports hinge in particular around allegations of antisemitism on the part of Prime Minister Orban and Mr Salvini, supported by some Jewish groups, such as the Jewish Labour Movement.

The pair are not short of supporters among Jewish leaders, however, with the World Jewish Congress has commended the Hungarian government for its action on antisemitism in the United Nations, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised Prime Minister Orban as being “at the forefront” of the global fight against antisemitism and described Mr Salvini as a “great friend of Israel”.

Standing With Biblical Morality

Rev. Franklin Graham Banned by Venues in the UK

Ignorant Folk Protest Over His "Anti-LGBT" Views

Kurt Zindulka
Beritbart London

Franklin Graham, the Evangelical preacher and son of the late Billy Graham, has been barred from all seven planned venues in his upcoming tour of the United Kingdom.

The eldest son of famed American evangelist Billy Graham and ally of President Donald Trump, the Reverend Franklin Graham, said that he still intends to tour the UK to preach the gospel, despite the cancellations which came following a backlash against his supposed anti-LGBT views.

The Utilita Arena in Newcastle was the latest venue to cancel Graham’s appearance, following cancellations in Birmingham, Newport, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, and Liverpool, according to Pink News.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes, who campaigned against the city hosting the preacher, said that he was “delighted” that the Arena cancelled the event.  “Pastor Graham peddles controversial, repulsive views about LGBT people which are in direct conflict with the values we hold dear in Newcastle,” Forbes told Chronicle Live.

Nearly 9,000 people signed a petition by the activist group ‘All Out’ to bar Graham from appearing in London at the O2 Arena. On its website, the group said: “Let’s send a clear message to this US hate monger that he is not welcome in London or the UK!”

In response to the backlash Rev. Graham said: “When my father first came to [the London Borough of] Harringay, there was a petition circulated by many churches demanding that he not be allowed in the country. Throughout history, the Gospel has consistently faced opposition.”

Thomas D. Williams

Franklin Graham: I Will Not Worship ‘Rainbow Pride Flag’  via @BreitbartNews

Franklin Graham: I Will Not Worship ‘Rainbow Pride Flag’ | Breitbart
Celebrated evangelist Franklin Graham has criticized the Democrats’ LGBT agenda push, saying he will stand with biblical morality.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Associaton (BGEA) is planning on taking legal action against the venues, telling CBN News: “Since the original venues have broken our legal contract with them, we are pursuing appropriate actions based on grounds of religious discrimination and freedom of speech.”

In an open letter to the UK LGBTQ community on his Facebook page, Mr Graham denied accusations of hate speech, writing:
It is said by some that I am coming to the UK to bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true. I am coming to share the Gospel, which is the Good News that God loves the people of the UK, and that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from our sins.

The rub, I think, comes in whether God defines homosexuality as sin. The answer is yes. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners—myself included. The Bible says that every human being is guilty of sin and in need of forgiveness and cleansing. The penalty of sin is spiritual death—separation from God for eternity.

I invite everyone in the LGBTQ community to come and hear for yourselves the Gospel messages that I will be bringing from God’s Word, the Bible. You are absolutely welcome.

In a statement on the website for the UK tour, the reverend said that the tour will go ahead despite the cancellations; however, new venues are still being finalised.

Reverend Graham has been a vocal supporter of  Donald Trump, even delivering a prayer at the president’s inauguration in 2017.

Following the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Franklin Graham wrote: “Thank you, Mr President, for reminding Americans why they voted for you in the last election. May God bless you and your family, President Donald J. Trump, as you continue to lead our nation.”

Monday, 17 February 2020

Agreement and Disagreement

The Lost Virtue of Sexism

Douglas Wilson

Last Tuesday night I spoke on the campus of the University of Idaho on the subject mentioned above. There were some protesters there, and I want to thank the UI for the excellent job they did on security. The protesters worked hard at being a nuisance (clickers, rustling papers, dropping things, etc.), but I was able to complete my talk without any problem. My wife just mentioned to me that we need a word for what they were doing, and so I nominate “totalitantrum.” My notes for the talk are below, but please note that there was a good bit more than this that went on. The video from the evening should be available soon, and I will let everybody when that happens.


Thank you all for coming.

What I thought I should do—given the fact that there will be plenty of disagreement tonight—is to begin with something where there should be widespread agreement, and across the board.

There is a large collection of behaviors toward women which no responsible person would ever want to defend. I am speaking here of misogynistic and abusive behavior—rape, battery, molestation, harassment, gaslighting and so on. The admittedly provocative title of my talk was not trying to provoke anyone into thinking that I came here tonight in order to defend the indefensible, as represented by anything like that.

So, thus far we agree.

So Why Defend Any Kind of Sexism?

In the secular lexicon, sexism is simply a bad thing. It goes without saying. So why would I undertake to defend the lost virtue of sexism? Should this not be considered to be an unprovoked attack on my part, disturbing the general tranquility of the Palouse?

This brings us to a second point of agreement, but it is not like the first one. I think that we can also agree that by the standards of our contemporary secular society, the Bible is a sexist book. Now it is not a sexist book in the sense of tolerating any of the intolerable and malicious things I mentioned earlier. That should be clear enough.

But it is a sexist book in some of the following ways. For example, wives are required to be submissive to their own husbands (Eph. 5:22). For another, women are not permitted to participate in the rule of the church—women are excluded from the pastoral office (1 Tim. 2:12). And for a third example, women are barred from combat roles in the military (Dt. 22:5).

So, if it is sexist to grant headship to the husband in marriage, and to limit leadership in the church to qualified males, and to keep women out of combat roles in the military, then we can all agree there as well. The Bible is sexist, at least by that standard.

So according to the standards of modern secularism, conservative Christians who accept the scriptural teaching on such things must be thought to share in the sexism. This is because faithful Christians consider the Bible to be the Word of God. It is like silver, purified seven times (Ps. 12:6). The Scriptures are the very exhalation of God (2 Tim. 3:16), and profitable for training in righteousness. Man should not live by bread alone, as Jesus testified, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4; Dt. 8:3).

Now put these two facts together, and the implication should be obvious. If the Bible is a “sexist” book, and I am now putting scare quotes around sexist, and the Bible is a perfect book, then it must follow that there is some sense in which these purportedly sexist attitudes are actually virtuous. We should endeavor to live by them.

This explains why I might want to talk about the lost virtue of sexism. I did not pick out a secular sin at random in order to arbitrarily make it into a virtue—in order to tick off you guys. Rather, the Scripture has been our sacred book for the last two thousand years, and within just the last generation or so, we have found ourselves declared to be “haters” simply because we want to continue to live as Christians who actually believe it.

Yes, But . . .

Now by this time, perhaps you feel like we are playing what I like to call paradigm bumper cars. We began by agreeing that when a man beats his girlfriend up, this is to be roundly condemned by everyone—and also rigorously punished. We all agree there.

We have now come to the place where our differences show. I would point to the fact that I believe that women are not dishonored by the aforementioned doctrines, but are rather highly honored. Before explaining this, however, I go into it knowing that what I call “honoring,” you might call “patronizing.”

But by the same token, there are things that you might applaud that I would think appalling. For a recent example, let us take the half time show at the Super Bowl, which some of you might consider “empowering for women,” but which I would consider a skankfest. You might think women are being elevated by an activity that I would regard as degrading. Even though you can shinny up it, a stripper pole is not the way of promotion for women.

I would point to the fact that the apostle Peter said that husbands were required to honor their wives (1 Pet. 3:7). A virtuous wife is a crown to her husband (Prov. 12:4), not a foot scraper for his muddy boots. A virtuous wife has a value far beyond rubies (Prov. 31:10). She is a treasure.

Yes, you might reply. She is treasure in the way that a porcelain doll might be a treasure. She is an artificial treasure placed on top of an artificial pedestal.

And there we are, looking at one another across a chasm. There are some abuses that we can all agree to call abuses, but when it comes to this, what I see as white, you see as black, and vice versa. Now what? Do we just shrug and go our separate ways? Do we return to our battle stations in the culture wars? Is it time to man the barricades again?

When We Agree and When We Differ

Whenever there is consensus or agreement, it is perilously easy for us to forget that we need to justify the standard we are using. This is because the agreement means that no one challenges us.

When we differ, both sides then insist that the other side produce their standard. By what standard? I have alluded to the standard I am appealing to already, but allow me to make it explicit. God created the heavens and the earth, and all the animals, and He gave mankind dominion over the earth. Mankind was constituted in His image, and this image included the inviolable distinction between male and female (Gen. 1:27). Because He was the one who created us, He has the authority to tell us how to live, which He has done in the Holy Scriptures.

There is one other thing, a crucial point. In the third chapter of Genesis, it describes how we rebelled against His authority, and it describes how our first parents fell into sin. Theologians call this the Fall, but it might as well be called the Crash.

Since Darwin, our secular culture has increasingly based everything on its own authority, on the words of man. So the ethical system of the Christians is based on the Word of God and the ethical system of the secularists is based on the words of men. Now it should be obvious that ethical systems are going to mirror or reflect the nature of the god of that system.

The triune God of Scripture is simultaneously holy and unchanging. This means that the standard derived from His character will also be holy and unchanging. This is why Christians are ethical absolutists. It is because our God is the Absolute.

The standard that secularists appeal to is based on the nature of mankind. But the contrast here is sharp. Where God is holy, man is unholy, and where God is unchanging, mankind is unstable, like water. So the secular standard is going to be unholy, and it is fickle. It is going to change, and when it changes, it will be from one form of unholiness to another.

This is why I am not all that concerned about declaring “sexism”—in the senses described above—to be a virtue. It is currently a “sin” in the secular lexicon, but it won’t be for very long. 

So Then, Come to Jesus

I would like to finish my remarks this way. The good news is that reality is not optional. God made the world, and He made the way the world must run.

We can decide that we don’t want to do it that way, but in our revolt against Him, we encounter difficulties almost immediately. If He made you a woman, this means it is His will for you to live your life as a woman. If He made you a man, this means He wants you to live your life as a man. Not only so, but He wants to forgive you your sins so that you might live as a forgiven man, or a forgiven woman.

Because you have been living in a way that is contrary to His appointed standard, this explains the accumulated misery and guilt. He is holy, and if our lives are unholy, and if His holiness pervades the whole world, then of necessity, we are going to be miserable. Sin is what we call it when we fall short of God’s impeccable standards. Fortunately, God has made a way out for you. This is what it is.

Our sins require the death penalty. God told Adam that the day he ate from the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, he would surely die. God told us through Ezekiel that the soul that sins shall die. The apostle Paul told us in Romans that the wages of sin is death. Because this was the penalty, and because we were unable to pay that penalty in a way that was followed by resurrection, God sent His Son into the world to make that way sure for us. Jesus was crucified so that you and your sins could be crucified with Him. Jesus was buried so that you and your sins could be buried with Him. And Jesus rose from the dead so that you—and not your sins—could come back from the dead with Him and in Him, world without end, forever and ever, amen.

So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.

A Man of Great Honour

Clarence Thomas’s Life Repudiates The Left’s Hatred Of America

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas faced down a 'high-tech lynching' by the same people who now claim to be America's arbiters of racial justice. He has every reason to be vindictive and chooses not to be.

Joy Pullmann
The Federalist

Clarence Thomas’s life is an emotional testament to the persistence of God’s grace amid the highs and lows of the American story. “I come from regular stock,” says the highest-ranking, longest-serving African-American public servant in a new documentary, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words.” His story is at once the epitome of the best and the worst of America.

Its depiction in “Created Equal” and his 2008 autobiography, “My Grandfather’s Son,” deserve a prominent place among public knowledge of the civil rights movement, the Supreme Court, black American history, and great Americans. Thomas has earned his place in his country’s history, which means he deserves focus in Black History Month curricula and similar celebrations and inquiries.

Image result for clarence thomas pictures

Without shying from the serious reasons he and many other unjustly treated Americans might have for cynicism about the project of “liberty and justice for all,” the associate Supreme Court justice also demonstrates how to transcend hatred with magnanimity. It’s a lesson we all can stand to learn better.

Justice Thomas has legitimate reasons to hate America.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Understanding Trump's Foreign Policy

Is Trump’s Unorthodoxy Becoming Orthodox?

By Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

The U.S. has become no better friend to an increasing number of allies and neutrals, and no worse an adversary to a shrinking group of enemies.

When candidate Donald Trump campaigned on calling China to account for its trade piracy, observers thought he was either crazy or dangerous.  Conventional Washington wisdom had assumed that an ascendant Beijing was almost preordained to world hegemony. Trump’s tariffs and polarization of China were considered about the worst thing an American president could do.

The accepted bipartisan strategy was to accommodate, not oppose, China’s growing power. The hope was that its newfound wealth and global influence would liberalize the ruling Communist government.  Four years later, only a naif believes that. Instead, there is an emerging consensus that China’s cutthroat violations of international norms were long ago overdue for an accounting.

China’s re-education camps, its Orwellian internal surveillance, its crackdown on Hong Kong democracy activists, and its secrecy about the deadly coronavirus outbreak have all convinced the world that China has now become a dangerous international outlier.

Trump courted moderate Arab nations in forming an anti-Iranian coalition opposed to Iran’s terrorist and nuclear agendas. His policies utterly reversed the Obama administration’s estrangement from Israel and outreach to Tehran.

Last week, Trump nonchalantly offered the Palestinians a take-it-or-leave-it independent state on the West Bank, but without believing that a West Bank settlement was the key to peace in the entire Middle East.

Trump’s cancelation of the Iran deal, in particular, was met with international outrage. More global anger followed after the targeted killing of Iranian terrorist leader general Qasem Soleimani.

In short, Trump’s Middle East recalibrations won few supporters among the bipartisan establishment.

But recently, Europeans have privately started to agree that more sanctions are needed on Iran, that the world is better off with Soleimani gone, and that the West Bank is not central to regional peace.

Mitt Romney--A Strange Person

What Does Mitt Romney Stand For? 

Asking just shy of two dozen Senate staffers, reporters, and observers what they thought of the question, on background, the answers ranged from bewildered to hysterical to depressing.

Christopher Bedford
The Federalist

What does Mitt Romney stand for? Not what is he against — we know that — but does he stand for.

It’s a serious question: What motivates Mitt? Why did the junior Republican from Utah come to Washington? Was it for the military? Families? Business? Abortion? Guns? The old Reagan-Republican way? It’s truly hard to say.

He’s generally toed the line on the military, failing to distinguish himself as either a hawk or a dove. He sure likes his family, but he voted to shut down Catholic adoption in Massachusetts a full 13 years before President Barack Obama followed suit. He’s generally pro-business but no outspoken champion, and he actively opposed an Arizona law that protected religious business owners from having to violate their consciences.

On abortion, he went after nuns for opposing it in Massachusetts (once again, before Obama made that policy popular), but voted against federal funding for abortion when he came to D.C. He’s gone back and forth on guns as well, and was actually against Ronald Reagan before he was for him.

See? This is hard work. When he launched his Senate bid two years ago this month, Romney touted his experience from the Winter Olympics, called Utah beautiful, lauded its character, expressed an open-armed embrace of immigrants, and made a promise: “If you give me this opportunity, I will owe the Senate seat to no one but the people of Utah.”

Friday, 14 February 2020

Faithful, Courageous Christians

Christian Witness to Christ Amidst Coronavirus

CBN News

Roughly 350 Americans are arriving home from China after leaving the coronavirus hot zone, touching down in California where they’ll be quarantined. The evacuations come as the virus is still spreading, infecting more than 24,000 people. China admits nearly 500 people are dead from the virus, but the actual numbers are unverifiable. 

At the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, surgical masks are being used in two ways to further the spread of the Gospel.

First, Christians wear the mask themselves as they talk about Jesus to people on the streets. This not only helps prevent disease, but can also prevent prosecution by the Chinese government since the masks help conceal a person’s identity.

There are an estimated 100 million Christians in China, who often face persecution in the Communist nation. For that reason, most operate underground. 

Second, Chinese Christians are handing out masks to people on the street. Along with the masks, they’re also handing out Gospel tracts. 

CBN News Asia Correspondent Lucille Talusan said since the people of Wuhan are facing fearful uncertainty in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, some have become more receptive to Christ at this time.

“There are Christians, a ministry in Wuhan, they go out to the streets. They’re very courageous,” she said. “They give out masks and they say that they are Christians and they share the love of Christ and point to Jesus to bring hope to them and their families and the whole of China… This is really a break-through.”

Statist Abuse And Leninist Tyranny

State of Victoria Threatens Citizens

Victorian Preachers Could Soon be Imprisoned for Preaching Biblical Sexuality

Murray Campbell

As a Victorian, I have a moral obligation to report to authorities personal knowledge of alleged child abuse. As a pastor of a church, I have both a moral and legal duty to report knowledge of or suspicions of child abuse. Mandatory reporting is a social good. Even without the legal requirement, one’s natural concerns for a child’s wellbeing would automate contacting the police.

In Victoria, under new laws being proposed by the Andrews Government, I can be imprisoned for 12-18 months, for speaking up against the psychological and physical trauma inflicted upon children by gender warriors and dangerous medicos who work to change a child’s gender or sex.

Last year the Victorian Government revealed plans to ban conversion practices. While the original issue was gay conversion therapy, the scope has been broadened to include any and all sexualities, including transgenderism. In November, I exposed the biased and flawed reports upon which the Government is basing its definition. I also noted at the time that the proposed definition of conversion therapy is so broad that it includes normal Church preaching from the Bible where topics of sexuality are mentioned. Indeed, a Christian wedding could also fall foul for Christian Churches define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. In what would be an extraordinary attack on Christianity, an Australian State Government is arguing that Classical Christian teaching is harmful and can be banned.

Earlier in January, retired Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Stuart Lindsay, wrote an article where he alerts Victorians to another serious implication of Government’s planned laws.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Which Way Will Brexit Go?

Brexit: A Realm, If They Can Keep It

Iain Murray
National Review Online

At 11 p.m. tonight London time, Britain will cease to be a member of the European Union. Three and a half years of indecision, incompetence, and stonewalling will finally end the way it always should have, with the implementation of the mandate of a majority of British voters. It is a cause for some celebration, but also for some reflection, and for a steeling of the nerves as to what is to come.

The main cause for celebration is that British institutions have been saved. This was, to my mind, always the primary reason for Brexit, as I wrote here on the eve of the vote. They have been weakened over the past few decades, as I mentioned, but the impetus to Europeanize British institutions will end. One would hope that this will go hand in hand with a restoration of the traditional approach to the judiciary, and in particular the abolition of the very un-British institution of a Supreme Court.

A second cause for celebration is that Britain has beaten the heretofore unfailing European Union tactic of forcing a dissenting country from voting again on an issue. Ireland, the Netherlands, even France, had been forced to hold second referenda after a democratic rejection of an EU proposal. These “neverenda” served to confirm that the EU project was a ratchet that only ever went in one direction.

More Progress

Cleaning Out the Swamp

Trump Administration Has Removed 70 Obama Holdovers at NSC

Hannah Bleau

President Trump and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien have removed 70 Obama holdovers from the NSC, which previously boasted a staff of roughly 200 people, according to the Washington Examiner.

 The news follows Saturday’s CNN report, which indicated “major cuts” to NSC staff in the coming days, citing “two sources familiar with the matter.”

It comes days after the contentious impeachment battle on Capitol Hill — a battle ignited by a complaint from a so-called “whistleblower.” The “whistleblower’s” complaint, regarding Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, sparked the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry, which ultimately ended in a full acquittal.

The administration removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, from his post at the NSC last week. It also removed his twin brother Yevgeny, who worked as a lawyer on the NSC.

While Vindman has denied knowing the identity of the “whistleblower,” he has been suspected of being a leaker in the past.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

What Goes Around . . .

Twitter Outrage at the Church of England’s Views on Sex

By Madeleine Kearns
National Review Online

Look who’s being intolerant and humorless now.

The three main Abrahamic world religions have all taught for thousands of years that sex is for marriage and that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. (For most of human history society did not define people by their dominant sexual desires, and the word “heterosexual” did not appear in print until 1892.) Unpopular though these and other ancient religious doctrines often are, they’ve never been easier to ignore. Until this week, that is, when the Guardian delivered the news straight from the mouth of Moses that the Church of England considers sex to be “for married heterosexual couples only.” Then, lo! The bowls of Twitter erupted and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But why?

Since British values are now overwhelmingly progressive, institutional Christianity has never been less of a cultural threat. According to recent statistics from the pollsters at YouGov, just 4 percent of Britons believe that sex is acceptable only within marriage, and just 5 percent of those who identify as Church of England do. Meanwhile, YouGov reports, 66 percent of Britons support same-sex marriage, as do 57 percent of those who identify as Church of England. This might suggest that the Church of England is out of step with its flock. Except, isn’t the point of a flock that they follow? So why don’t those unhappy with the direction of their leaders follow a different church, perhaps one with a rainbow flag, instead? Or, they might even do what the Church of England’s founder Henry VIII did and start their own.

What’s even stranger about the overreaction to the Church of England’s fairly standard reassertion of Judeo-Christian sexual morality is that the same people often appear to be less exercised by what are — objectively— more consequential clashes between their code of ethics and that of an established religion. Islam, for instance. A 2009 Gallup survey of 500 participants found that zero percent of British Muslims thought that homosexuality was morally acceptable, while another survey conducted in 2016 discovered that 52 percent of British Muslims thought that homosexuality ought to be illegal.

Daily Meditation

Redeeming Your Time

Time is the great leveler. It is the one resource that is allocated in absolute egalitarian terms. Every living person has the same number of hours to use in every day. Busy people are not given a special bonus added on to the hours of the day. The clock plays no favorites.
We all have an equal measure of time in every day. Where we differ from one another is in how we redeem the time allotted. When something is redeemed, it is rescued or purchased from some negative condition. The basic negative condition we are concerned with is the condition of waste. To waste time is to spend it on that which has little or no value.
The late Vince Lombardi introduced the adage, “I never lost a game; I just ran out of time.” This explanation points me to one of the most dramatic elements of sports—the race against the clock. The team that is most productive in the allotted time is the team that wins the game. Of course, in sports, unlike life, there are provisions for calling timeout. The clock in a sports contest can be temporarily halted. But in real life, there are not timeouts.

Coram Deo

Ask God to reveal ways you can redeem time that is being wasted on things of little or no value.

Passages for Further Study

Beyond Predictable Boredom

Disarray and the Democrats

Douglas Wilson


Whichever apprentice angel it was who was tasked to write out the rough script for this last week or so has been warned repeatedly. Twice the script was sent back with red ink all over it, and “too contrived” scribbled in the margin, but then finally the decision was made to just go with the latest draft because of approaching deadlines. But the warning has been clear — this kind of thing cannot continue.

Atrocious theology, is it not? But it covers the facts, does it not?

Consider the pile-up from just the last week or so. First the DNC introduced a rule change that would allow Bloomberg to buy his way onto the debate platform. That foreboding sense that the Dems are going to stick it to Sanders AGAIN starts to form in the back of one’s mind. They are no doubt purchasing themselves some Biden meltdown insurance (which looks to have been needed), as well as to guarantee a third party run by a very sore Sanders.

Then the impeachment fiasco came down to the point of deciding whether to call witnesses, and the case presented by the House managers was so lame that they couldn’t even flip all the Republican squishes. And if you can’t flip a Republican squish, I am here to inform you that your flipping skills are seriously deficient. And then the day after that, the people who want to manage everybody’s health care for us gave us the treat of the Iowa Election Debacle (IED) that somebody left by the side of the road, just waiting for all the unwitting Dems to drive by. They want to run the free world, and were jockeying for that honored position by demonstrating that they couldn’t organize a two-car funeral.

And so then, the day after that, Trump sailed into the halls of Congress to deliver the SOTU speech with the wind at his back.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Plain Speaking By Oliver Cromwell

Truths and Verities

In New Zealand we have been afflicted with a politician who is well passed his "use by" date.  Winston Peters clings to political power and influence with a never-ebbing passion.  One of the major political parties (National) recently announced that they would not contemplate working with Peters to form a coalition because (in its view) Peters is fundamentally dishonest.  He cannot be trusted.  

One commentator in a local blog said National's stand reminded him of Oliver Cromwell's dismissal of the Rump Parliament.

'It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God's help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.
Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go.'
One may hope Winston Peters takes note.  But it would be a hope forlorn.  Where is Oliver Cromwell when he is needed?

Will Traditional Orthodox Christianity Fill the Void?

Goodbye To the European Union

Peter Hitchens
First Things

Even when I was excited about the European Union, I was bored by it. It came into my life as an issue after the Cold War ended. Until then, I had rudely brushed aside a friend of mine who insisted, with the desperate passion of the ignored prophet, that it was important. When the U.S.S.R.’s Third Shock Army still sat in East Germany and lovely Prague was still frozen in despotism, it just didn’t seem to matter. Somebody recently unearthed a recording of me saying so as late as 1994, so I cannot claim, even if I wanted to, to be an ancient combatant in this controversy. You could see the Cold War as a material force, wrought in rough concrete and rusty steel, and I had done so. You could even smell it in the East Berlin perfume of brown coal and two-stroke exhaust. And you would have to be very slow to miss the U.S.S.R.’s morally simple challenge to the conscience, its abuse of psychiatry to torture and crush dissent being perhaps the most repulsive of its many crimes.

You couldn’t really see the European project. If you went to Brussels, it gave you a nice lunch and told you not to worry. You caught it at the end of a document, in a peevish speech by a German politician, in the fine print of life. It expressed itself quite often in absences, the abolished frontier posts that followed the Schengen Agreement, the disappearance of the national currencies of the continent.

Only once did I really see it spitting, oppressive, and harshly demanding—and that was over an issue that I was almost alone in caring about. I watched a British shopkeeper called Steve Thoburn be spitefully, relentlessly prosecuted for the crime of selling bananas to his customers in English pounds rather than continental kilograms.

Daily Meditation

Using Your Time Productively

When I was a child in elementary school, people often asked me, “What is your favorite subject?” Invariably my response was one of two things. I either said, “recess” or “gym.” My answer revealed my deepest predilections. I preferred play to work. Indeed, my nascent philosophical musing regarding the cosmic “Why?” questions took place as I made a game of walking to school via tiptoeing along a long path, pretending I was a high-wire walker in a circus.
I asked myself the meaning of life wherein I had to spend five days a week doing what I didn’t want to do just so I could play on the weekends. I was always at the schoolyard a full hour before school began—not out of a zeal for getting a head start on my studies, but so I could “redeem” the daily grind by having an hour’s worth of fun on the playground before the school bell rang. For me, time redemption meant rescuing precious minutes of play from the required hours of work.
I’ve come to realize that when the apostle Paul exhorted his readers to “[redeem] the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16), my practices are not exactly what he had in mind. His was a solemn call to the productive use of one’s time in the labor of Christ’s kingdom. 

Coram Deo

Do you use your time productively for the kingdom of God?

Monday, 10 February 2020

Unbearable Vanity of a Terrible Prosecutor

Impeachment Opened With Primal Screams, And Died With A Whimper

The Get-Trump forces have deflated. Like a primal scream ending in soft whimpers, the impeachment charade has been a bust.

Adam Mill
The Federalist

On Friday, the arguable climax of Rep. Adam Schiff’s Senate trial of Donald Trump, The New York Times and The Washington Post published barely anything regarding impeachment. CNN published not one but two editorials suggesting it was time to move on.

The Get-Trump forces have deflated. Like a primal scream ending in soft whimpers, the impeachment charade has been a bust. “We are lost,” moaned Dana Milbank in his article in the Washington Post. 

Milbank seems to have forgotten there’s an election in just a few months. The Democratic Party will soon have the opportunity to legally unseat the president. Milbank apparently hoped to skip a competitive election to award the presidency to his political ally. The Constitution can be so inconvenient to those seeking permanent power.

Milbank, like so many others in the left, argued that president’s Senate acquittal will be illegitimate. He argues, in the same article, no less, that “Once…prospects faded that [John] Bolton would be called as a witness. The trial degenerated into farce,” but that, “House managers tried their case too well. Evidence piled up on the Senate floor over the past 10 days that the president withheld military aid to force Ukraine to announce probes of his political foes. And former national security adviser John Bolton’s firsthand account leaked about the quid pro quo.”

Just to recap, he’s arguing the House managers proved their case so well that they were denied a fair opportunity to prove their case.

Daily Meditation

Experiencing Transformation

We are all born with the same malady. Love for God and affection for Christ are not natural to us. Before we can love God, something must happen to us. Our hearts of stone must be changed into hearts of flesh, hearts that pulsate with new life and new affection for God. When one speaks of being “born again,”he is speaking of his change of heart.
When God quickens us from spiritual death, when He regenerates us by His Holy Spirit, He does radical surgery on our hearts. He turns the stone into living tissue. To be converted is to gain a new disposition, a new inclination, a new bent to our hearts. Where formerly we were hostile, cold, or indifferent to God, now we are warmly attracted to Him.
To be a Christian is to be a new person. We have undergone a transformation that is rooted in the heart.
The more we know of God, the greater is our capacity to love Him. The more we love Him, the greater is our capacity to obey Him. Our new affection, however, must be made to grow. We are called to love God with our whole hearts. The new heart of flesh must be nurtured. It must be fed by the Word of God. If we neglect our new hearts, they too can undergo a kind of hardening. They will not revert once more to a total heart of stone, but they can get a bit leathery.
The new heart is the creation of the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit is working within us to yield His fruit. As our hearts are more inclined to God, so the fruit of His Spirit is multiplied in our lives. Unregenerate people can perform external acts of righteousness, but no man with a heart of stone can yield the authentic fruit of the Spirit.
Our sanctification is a matter of the heart. It is a process that flows from intimate fellowship with God. Jesus summarized the matter by showing the link between love and law: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Coram Deo

The more you know God, the greater is your capacity to love Him. How well do you know Him? Your obedience or lack thereof reflects the answer to this question.

Passages for Further Study