Daily Archives: May 3, 2020

May 3d The D. L. Moody Year Book

Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.—John 5:24.

I WOULD a thousand times rather stand on that verse than all the frames and feelings I ever had. I took my stand there twenty years ago. Since then the dark waves of hell have come dashing up against me; the waves of persecution have broken all around me; doubts, fears, and unbelief in turn have assailed me; but I have been able to stand firm on this short word of God. It is a sure footing for eternity.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 82). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Sunday Talks – Maria Bartiromo Questions Senator Graham: “Why Do You Continue To Do Nothing”?… — The Last Refuge

Ms. Maria Bartiromo interviews Senator Lindsey Graham, yet again, about the surveillance coup effort and the recent documents released in the Flynn case.  Once again, Senator Graham claims he will use his position as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman to initiate an investigation of those in the DOJ and FBI who have continually lied to the FISA court, the U.S. judicial system (various judges), and the America people.

Bartiromo calls Graham out on his lack of action; however, once again Senator Graham hides behind an “ongoing investigation.”  This “I’m not going to interfere in an ongoing criminal matter” is the exact same excuse Graham used previously in: (1) the Mueller investigation; (2) the Horowitz investigation; (3) the IG review of the FBI FISA abuse; (4) the IG review of Andrew McCabe; (4) the IG review of Comey’s memos; and now the Durham investigation into the origins of Obama’s political targeting and Flynn.

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I will keep repeating this until the Hope-Porn sellers catch up. Graham cannot, and will not, take any investigation action within the Senate because senators were involved in the FBI/DOJ and Intelligence Community operations. His own chamber, and the Senators on his own committee, were participants in the schemes.

[John McCain, Richard Burr, Dianne Feinstein, Mark Warner, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and every person sitting on the SSCI know what happened and who was participating. The SSCI controls who is allowed to be CIA Director, NSA Director, FBI Director, Director of National Intelligence and Intel Community Inspector General. The nominees must pass through this committee. Senator Burr and Senator Warner are the Chairman and Vice-Chair respectively. Both blocked Ratcliffe.]

Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, about the inaction behind politicians, DC, the intel community, the current FBI and the Current DOJ, showing their unwillingness to do anything….. all of it…. circles back to the Summer of 2018 when:

(1) WHEN the decision was made not to prosecute James Wolfe for leaking the top-secret and classified FISA application (that contained the lies needed to continue surveillance operations).

(2) WHEN the DOJ/FBI lied to the FISA court; they didn’t mislead – they lied in July 2018; about the continued valid predication for the FISA application.

(3) WHEN the DOJ/FBI and SSCI operated in unison to protect Mueller’s investigation as a tool to cover-up their own participation in an effort to target and remove Donald Trump.

(4) WHEN the DOJ/FBI and Intelligence Community threw a bag over Julian Assange; anticipating in advance and preparing for the Mueller report to come out.

(5) WHEN the DOJ/FBI and total IC continued to hide, mislead, stall, redact and remove damaging information that would have outlined the intent and purpose of the surveillance effort against Donald Trump.

Those 2018 decision were an inflection point; a massive signal flare fired from the epicenter of Washington DC; that should have alerted everyone to think carefully about the ramifications and WHY the institutions were going to take no action.

The consequences from those decisions are only just now starting to come out because some of the material connects to the Flynn case.

Unless and until John Durham or Bill Barr are going to admit what took place within the DOJ/FBI and Intelligence Community in the summer of 2018, nothing is going to change.

Nothing.

If Durham and Barr decide to allow the truth to come out; Bill Barr is going to have to reverse all of his support for the 2018 participants which includes: Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray, Dana Boente and all of the DC politicians who were/are attached to the fraud and scheme.

That reality is what CTH previously called The Big Ugly.

As soon as CTH saw all five of those points above; and as soon as we accepted the ramifications of the 2018 actions identified; CTH stopped outlining the possibility of a quest for justice and started accepting that, unless a complete change in top-level officials were instituted, no justice would be delivered.   We are asking the participants to prosecute themselves.

Do you see AG Bill Barr positioning toward telling those truths?…

Or do you see AG Bill Barr positioning to mitigate for survival against those truths?…

Be honest with yourself.

Codependent no more !

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via Sunday Talks – Maria Bartiromo Questions Senator Graham: “Why Do You Continue To Do Nothing”?… — The Last Refuge

Joe Biden Reads Prepared Answers to Questions in MSNBC Interview (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Joe Biden appeared to be reading prepared answers during his ‘interview’ on MSNBC.

Al Sharpton tossed Biden a softball Saturday evening when discussing the economic impact the Coronavirus shutdown has had on minority communities.

Biden immediately responded with prepared answers, reading from a Teleprompter during a supposed live “interview.”

Nothing to see here…it’s just a coincidence that the answers on Biden’s Teleprompter match up perfectly with Al Sharpton’s questions!

WATCH:

via Joe Biden Reads Prepared Answers to Questions in MSNBC Interview (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump Virtual Town Hall – 7:00pm Fox News Channel (No Proprietary Livestreams)… — The Last Refuge

President Trump will be participating in a Fox News ‘virtual town hall’ today at 7:00pm ET as it is broadcast on Fox News. Unfortunately, as w/previous Fox ‘town hall’ formats, there is no proprietary Fox livestream available for on-line viewing. [Option Here] However, if you are watching the broadcast feel free to add your comments on the event below.

UPDATE: Video Added

Part 2

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via President Trump Virtual Town Hall – 7:00pm Fox News Channel (No Proprietary Livestreams)… — The Last Refuge

Sunday Talks: Jim Jordan and Trey Gowdy React to Latest Flynn Developments… — The Last Refuge

Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and former representative Trey Gowdy appear on Fox News to share their review of the latest Flynn documents with Maria Bartiromo.

Both Jordan and Gowdy note the driver of the FBI effort appears to be Peter Strzok who worked around his immediate superior, Bill Priestap, to work with the more politically aligned FBI Director James Comey and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

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Interesting juxtaposition in this interview.  Roosterhead really wanted to avoid criticizing current FBI Director Chris Wray, and he was successful talkin’ circles.  As long as the Rooster “knows” things he is satisfied and content.  Why? Because it takes an actual connection with “deplorables” and “MAGA” to really fight with all they have for the greater cause…. an emotional connection missing in the Rooster yet evident in Jim Jordan.

From the Rooster’s perspective, the problem is not that people and families have continued to suffer due to ongoing DOJ prosecutorial terror-tactics; and/or the fact that fake media has fooled 50% or more of the public with their deep state fiction narrative; from the perch of the Rooster it’s all just a puzzle to outline and satisfy the appearance.

The Rooster types tell Jordan privately he’s too “ate up with it”…

via Sunday Talks: Jim Jordan and Trey Gowdy React to Latest Flynn Developments… — The Last Refuge

May—3 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

The eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord.—Zechariah 9:1.

Precious Jesus! when shall this blessed scripture be accomplished? “The eyes of man!” What man? Surely, as the Church’s glorious head, and as her glorious representative, the eyes of our Lord Jesus himself were always from everlasting directed to Jehovah his Father. But secondarily, and subordinately, the eyes of thy redeemed, blessed Jesus, the eyes of man, the eyes of every man, must ultimately, as the tribes of Israel, be all toward thee for salvation. Thou indeed hast said, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22.) Pause, my soul! this evening, over this view of thy Jesus, for it is a very blessed one, and see what improvements, under divine teaching, thou canst draw from it. It is said, that as one of the tribes, yea, all the tribes of Israel, every eye shall be upon Jesus. And how suitable is it that it should be so! Is not God the Father unceasingly beholding his dear Son in his engagements, as the Mediator and Surety of his Church and people? Oh! who shall be competent to describe with what complacency and delight he beholds him, in his glorious person, as the God and man, the Glory-man; and in all his offices, characters, and relations? Somewhat of this we may gather from what Jesus hath himself said concerning the Father’s love for his undertaking, and accomplishing redemption by his blood. “Therefore” (saith our Jesus) “doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” (John 10:17.) But the full apprehension of the love of the Father on this one account, cannot perhaps be brought within the capacity of the human mind. But if God the Father loves Jesus as Mediator, and for his undertaking, and is unceasingly beholding him with rapture on this account, it may serve at least to teach thee, my soul, how exceedingly it becomes thee to look to Jesus for the same; and that thine eyes, as the eyes of all the tribes of Israel, should be towards the Lord. Dearest Lord Jesus! let mine eyes, mine heart, my whole soul be fixed on thee, until every affection be going out in desires after thee. I would trace thee, as the Old Testament saints, who saw thy day “afar off, rejoiced, and were glad.” I would see thee as New Testament believers, who are looking to thee, and “are enlightened, and their faces are not ashamed.” I would see thee with the first dawn of the morning; yea, before the morning light, and “until the day break, and the shadows flee away;” and until my beloved come to me “as a roe, or a young hart, upon the mountains of Bether!” Yes, precious Lord Jesus! I would be sending the earnest longings of my soul through the windows of the eye after thee, and never give rest to my eyes, nor slumber to my eye-lids, until that blessed hour arrive, when no medium shall intervene to prevent the full enjoyment of my soul in thee; and when a body of sin and death shall no longer weary my soul, in her enjoyment of thee; but I shall then see Jesus as he is, and never more lose sight of his lovely person, but live in his presence, and Jesus in mine, for evermore.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 135–136). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

May 3, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

Ver. 8.—The quotation is from the Septuagint Version, with a slight variation from the text at the end. The Hebrew also differs a little; but the general meaning is not affected. With their mouth. They use the prescribed forms of worship, guard with much care the letter of Scripture, observe its legal and ceremonial enactments, are strict in the practice of all outward formalities. But their heart. This is what the prophets so constantly object. Prayers, sacrifices, etc., are altogether unacceptable unless inspired by inward devotion, and accompanied by purity of heart.[1]


15:8 — “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.”

Human beings have a natural fondness for pomp and ceremony and ritual, and there’s nothing wrong with that—unless it begins to replace a genuine connection to the living God. Our Lord wants our hearts.[2]


8. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, &c.—By putting the commandments of men on a level with the divine requirements, their whole worship was rendered vain—a principle of deep moment in the service of God. “For,” it is added in Mk 7:8, “laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups; and many other such like things ye do.” The drivelling nature of their multitudinous observances is here pointedly exposed, in contrast with the manly observance of “the commandment of God”; and when our Lord says, “Many other such like things ye do,” it is implied that He had but given a specimen of the hideous treatment which the divine law received, and the grasping disposition which, under the mask of piety, was manifested by the ecclesiastics of that day.[3]


[1] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Matthew (Vol. 2, p. 96). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[2] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Mt 15:8). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[3] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 46). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

May 3 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

May 3.—Morning. [Or September 2.]
“Keep me as the apple of the eye.”

Psalm 17

A Prayer of David.

SO much in this Psalm is illustrated by David’s condition in the forests and mountains of Ziph, that it is most appropriate to read it at this time.

Hear the right, O Lord (Do not suffer might to crush right. Judge my cause and suffer not King Saul to do me wrong), attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal. (David felt his cause to be so just that he was confident that equity would give a verdict in his favour. We cannot take an unrighteous cause before the Lord, that would be blasphemy; but we may confidently leave a just cause in his hands.)

Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; (Like Peter, David uses the argument, “Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.” It is a most assuring thing to be able to appeal at once to the Lord, and call upon our judge to be a witness for our defence. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God.” “Thou hast visited me in the night.” As if he had said, “Lord, thou hast entered my house at all hours; and thou hast seen me when no one else was nigh; thou hast come upon me unawares and marked my unrestrained actions, and thou knowest whether or no I am guilty of the crimes laid at my door.” Happy man, who can thus remember the omniscient eye, and the omnipresent visitor, and find comfort in the remembrance. We too have had our midnight visits from our Lord, and truly they are sweet; so sweet that the recollection of them sets us longing for more of such condescending communings. Lord, if indeed we had been hypocrites, should we have had such fellowship, or have felt such hungerings after a renewal of it?); thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. (Divine guidance had kept him in a safe way, as it will us also, if we seek it.)

Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.

8, 9 Keep me as the apple of the eye (No part of the body is more precious, more tender, and more carefully guarded than the eye; and of the eye no portion is more peculiarly protected than the central apple, the pupil, or, as the Hebrew calls it, “the daughter of the eye.” The All-wise Creator has placed the eye in a well-protected position; it stands surrounded by projecting bones, like Jerusalem encircled by mountains. Moreover, its great Author has surrounded it with many tunics of inward covering, besides the hedge of the eyebrows, the curtain of the eyelids, and the fence of the eyelashes; and, in addition to this, he has given to every man so high a value for his eyes, and so quick an apprehension of danger that no member of the body is more faithfully cared for than the organ of sight. Thus, Lord, keep thou me, for I trust I am one with Jesus, and so a member of his mystical body), hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

10 They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

11 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;

12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. (A vivid picture of Saul’s pursuit of him. He and his men were surrounded, and their enemies followed after them like wild beasts eager in the hunt, tracking their every step.)

13 Arise, O Lord, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

14 From men which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

May 3.—Evening. [Or September 3.]
“God judgeth the righteous.”

PROBABLY it was in these dark days, when David was still under the fierce displeasure of Saul, that he penned

Psalm 7

This Psalm bears the title of

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.

It appears probable that Cush had accused David of treasonable conspiracy against Saul’s authority, or of some other crime. This the King would be ready enough to credit, both from his jealousy of David, and from the relationship which existed between himself, the son of Kish, and this Cush or Kish the Benjamite.

O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;

If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)

Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

From these verses we may learn that no innocence can shield a man from the calumnies of the wicked. David had been scrupulously careful to avoid any appearance of rebellion against Saul, whom he constantly styled “the Lord’s Anointed”; but all this could not protect him from lying tongues. As the shadow follows the substance, so envy pursues goodness. It is only at the tree laden with fruit that men throw stones. If we would live without being slandered, we must wait till we get to heaven. Let us be very heedful not to believe the flying rumours which are always assailing gracious men. If there are no believers in slander, there will be but a dull market in falsehood, and good men’s characters will be safe. Ill-will never spoke well. Sinners have an ill-will to saints, and therefore, we may be sure they will not speak well of them.

Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.

So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.

The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.

13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.

15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

17 I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

Oh, how good to have a true and upright heart. Crooked sinners, with all their craftiness, are foiled by honest spirits. God defends the right. Filth will not long abide on the pure white garments of the saints, but shall be brushed off by divine providence, to the vexation of the men by whose base hands it was thrown. The believer should not fear anything which his foes can do or say against him, for the tree which God plants no winds can uproot. God judgeth the righteous, he hath not given them up to their persecutors.

Delight thyself in God, he’ll give

Thine heart’s desire to thee:

Commit thy way to God alone,

It brought to pass shall be.

And like unto the light he shall

Thy righteousness display;

And he thy judgment shall bring forth,

Like noontide of the day.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 258–259). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

May 3 Life-Changing Moments With God

You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

You are Almighty God; I walk before You and am blameless. I shall be holy to You, for You the Lord are holy, and have separated me from the peoples, that I should be Yours.

I was bought at a price; therefore I glorify You, my God, in my body and in my spirit, which are Yours.

I am complete in You, the head of all principality and power … who gave Yourself for me, that You might redeem me from every lawless deed. I will be diligent to be found by You in peace, without spot and blameless.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, those who walk in Your law, Lord God! I look into the perfect law of liberty and continue in it, and am not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, I will be blessed in what I do. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

You call me to a holy life.

Empower me, Lord, to obey Your law and glorify You.

Matthew 5:48; Genesis 17:1; Leviticus 20:26; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Colossians 2:10; Titus 2:14; 2 Peter 3:14; Psalm 119:1; James 1:25; Psalm 139:23–24[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 138). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

‘Scaring people into obeying’: Brit Hume shares COVID-19 findings from Nobel prize-winning scientist contradicting lockdowns | Twitchy

Brit Hume has really done his part in making sure the American people get to see valid and pertinent information about COVID-19, especially if it goes against the notion that locking people into their homes for months on end is the only solution.

This time, Brit shared a piece from Nobel prize-winning scientist, Professor Michael Leavitt, who claims the virus was never exponential and that mitigation efforts were not the main reason the curves were flattened. This is fascinating:

From unherd.com:

His observation is a simple one: that in outbreak after outbreak of this disease, a similar mathematical pattern is observable regardless of government interventions. After around a two-week exponential growth of cases (and, subsequently, deaths) some kind of break kicks in, and growth starts slowing down. The curve quickly becomes “sub-exponential”.

This may seem like a technical distinction, but its implications are profound. The ‘unmitigated’ scenarios modeled by (among others) Imperial College, and which tilted governments across the world into drastic action, relied on a presumption of continued exponential growth — that with a consistent R number of significantly above 1 and a consistent death rate, very quickly the majority of the population would be infected and huge numbers of deaths would be recorded. But Professor Levitt’s point is that that hasn’t actually happened anywhere, even in countries that have been relatively lax in their responses.

End the lockdowns.

More generally, he complains that epidemiologists only seem to be called wrong if they underestimate deaths, and so there is an intrinsic bias towards caution. “They see their role as scaring people into doing something, and I understand that… but in my work, if I say a number is too small and I’m wrong, or too big and I’m wrong, both of those errors are the same.”

Scaring people into doing something.

Scaring them into obeying.

Like locking down.

And they succeeded, there are millions of Americans who have been terrified so badly they get angry at other Americans who are not terrified.

Protect the vulnerable.

Which is what we’ve always done … until now.

Lockdowns are destroying lives in other ways and unlike the virus, it is indeed exponential.

Would be nice to hear from these experts more often, doncha think?

It’s time.

#ReOpenAmerica

Source: ‘Scaring people into obeying’: Brit Hume shares COVID-19 findings from Nobel prize-winning scientist contradicting lockdowns

‘Wasteful’ US and China-chasing India: What 5 biggest military powers are spending more than a TRILLION DOLLARS on | RT – Daily news

Global defense spending saw its largest annual increase in a decade in 2019, proving that the trend for bloated military budgets is here to stay – but expenditure doesn’t always correlate simply with power, analysts told RT.

With military budgets peaking at a colossal $1.9 trillion last year (a 3.6 percent increase on 2018), it is clear that governments are still deeply in love with throwing massive amounts of money into the production and acquisition of the latest and fanciest new weapons of war. We have now reached the “highest level of spending since the 2008 global financial crisis,” according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) latest annual report.

So, who are the biggest players, and more importantly, do their budgets really reflect their military capabilities and power?

Also on rt.com

To feel safe, does the world need more weapons or better healthcare? The coronavirus pandemic proves it’s the latter

The top five and the ‘Asian century’?

The clearest trend from the latest SIPRI data is that the US is still leading the pack in terms of numbers, boosting its spending to record levels. Meanwhile, Asian powers like China and India spend far less, but are steadily building on earlier increases. After cuts in 2017 and 2018, US bugbear Russia also increased its spending by 4.5 percent in 2019, while fifth-biggest spender Saudi Arabia’s budget fell by 16 percent.

Spending by the top five military giants accounted for 62 percent of the total global expenditure of $1.9 trillion last year. Put another way, that equates to approximately $249 for every person on Earth.

Last year’s spending was also significant in another way, as it marked the first time that two Asian states (China and India) have featured in the top three spenders.

While the coming decades will certainly see China and India emerge as even more significant military powers, that “does not automatically nullify or decrease the role of other non-Asian military powers” like the US, which will remain the foremost military superpower “for the observable future,” Dmitry Suslov, deputy director at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at HSE, told RT.

Likewise, the rise of Asia won’t diminish the power of Russia, which has “significantly improved its conventional military capabilities and modernized its nuclear capabilities,” Suslov added. Ultimately, we will probably see “a military multipolarity in the world with India and China being full-fledged members and full-fledged poles of the multipolar system.”

Also on rt.com

Cutting military spending to fund human security is ‘THE LEAST’ world leaders can do after pandemic – Gorbachev

‘Wasteful’ United States

The US spent a gargantuan sum of $732 billion on its military in 2019, accounting for 38 percent of the global spend. Putting that in context, the budgets of the next four countries (China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia) combined were still almost $300 billion less than Washington’s expenditure. Always eager to prove it has the deepest pockets when it comes to the military, the US has remained the top spender for several decades – but has it paid off?

The US is an example of a country which has spent a massive amount while experiencing a relative decline in power and capabilities, Suslov said.

“You can spend less money but do it wisely and effectively and you can spend a lot of money but less effectively and more irrationally – and in this case, your military capacity will be decreased,” he said. Effectiveness is key, “not just the sheer size” of the budget. For instance, Washington “wastes money on false priorities” like state-building in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, he added.

Steadily growing China

China allocated about $261 billion to its military last year. The Asian giant’s military expenditure has increased continuously since 1994. Taking a snapshot of the past decade, Beijing’s spend was 85 percent higher in 2019 than it was in 2010 – showing that the country’s growth in military spending has closely matched its recent economic growth.

Regional tensions in Asia and rivalry with Washington are clearly key drivers of Beijing’s growth in spending. With the Covid-19 crisis exacerbating US-China tensions even more, some Republicans in Congress are seeking to create a dedicated fund specifically designed to counter China as a rising military force.

Also on rt.com

Why China is US’ number one adversary

China’s increasing budget is also a driver of higher spending in the wider Asian region, as its growing power forces other neighboring states to ramp up their own capabilities. For example, “Chinese military expenditure automatically translates to a rise in India’s spending,” Suslov said.

Another indicator that the US’ massive budget hasn’t translated into absolute superiority is the fact that China has managed to “asymmetrically challenge” Washington in the South China Sea and around Taiwan in recent years despite not boasting the same level of overall military might, Dinkar Peri, defense analyst and The Hindu journalist told RT.

Incoming India

India, which is now the world’s fifth-largest economy, had the third-largest defense budget in 2019 at $71.1 billion – representing a significant 6.8 percent increase over last year, overtaking both Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The country’s defense expenditure has grown 259 percent over the past 30 years (by 37 percent since 2010) – and the increase is “absolutely logical,” according to Suslov, since it is also a major growing economy.

“All great powers who pursue independent policies, who do not outsource their security and defense to the others, who refuse to accept the hegemony of the others obviously translate their economic success and rise into military power,” he said.

Also on rt.com

Balancing act: How India is modernizing its military by buying latest tech from BOTH Russia & the West

In addition, India finds itself in a “very uneasy regional and global environment” facing its traditional rivalry and struggle with Pakistan and now strategic competition with China, which makes it feel the “necessity to catch up,” Suslov added.

India’s armed forces have been undergoing modernization under Prime Minister Narendra Modi – and as the world’s second-largest arms importer, New Delhi purchases equipment from both Russian and Western manufacturers, balancing both East and West in a way that it hopes will give it a military edge in the region.

One of India’s main ambitions now is to build its own domestic defense capabilities. Though it still has limited abilities in this regard, it has made strides in recent years, setting a target goal of $5 billion in exports over five years

It’s also important to look at allocations within India’s spending, Peri said. The country has “a ballooning segment of military pensions.” In fact, pensions and salaries account for more than half of the country’s defence spending – the highest among the top spenders – leaving a much smaller budget for procurement of arms.

Transforming Russia?

Moscow was the fourth-biggest spender in 2019 with expenditure of $65.1 billion. Its military expenditure has grown significantly across the past 20 years, increasing in real terms by 30 percent between 2010 and 2019. Yet, while it is regularly framed by the US and its NATO allies as ‘the world’s greatest aggressor,’ Russia is the only country in the top five spenders whose budget has declined at all in recent years (seeing decreases in both 2017 and 2018). Overall, US spending was 11 times greater than Russia’s, while China’s was four times greater.

Also on rt.com

‘Game-changing machine’: Russian military get first batch of modernized T-90M tanks (VIDEO)

Russia is an example of a country which spends less money but allocates it more effectively and in a “much more targeted way,” Suslov said. Despite its relatively small military budget, Moscow has, for example, become a “global leader” in hypersonic and strategic nuclear weapons. Russia is also still “far more advanced and far ahead of China in terms of both nuclear force and conventional power projection capacity,” Suslov explained.

The gap between Moscow and Beijing will disappear in the next couple of decades and China will surpass Russia in terms of military capacity “but it will take time,” Suslov said.

Slipping Saudi Arabia

In fifth spot is Saudi Arabia with a $61.9 billion spend in 2019, falling 16 percent from third place the year before. The drop in 2019 was “unexpected” according to SIPRI, after Riyadh continued its military operations in Yemen and following increasing tensions with Iran after attacks on its oil fields in September which it blamed on Tehran. It seems falling oil prices may have forced Saudi Arabia to cut military spending.

Read more

Saudi Arabia to take on billions in debt to survive the oil price crisis

While defense spending and conventional military might is usually seen as the best indicator of power, there are other factors to consider, too. “Investment and capabilities in hard infrastructure, and critical sectors like cyber, space and artificial intelligence” should be looked at in combination with military spending, Peri said.

Indeed, “defense spending” itself may be a misnomer, Phyllis Bennis, program director of the New Internationalism Project at IPS, believes. The term is used to make “military spending” sound more acceptable, when in fact protection of people is an entirely different thing. “Those are issues of healthcare, as we now know [with] this pandemic. It means taking care of the environment, it means jobs, education; those are the things that protect and defend people,” she said.

With total global spend of $1.9 trillion, it seems military expenditure in the pre-Covid-19 world had peaked – but following the pandemic and the resultant humanitarian and economic crisis that is expected to unfold, it looks more than likely that defense spending will decline in most places.

It seems certain, however, that given regional tensions and growing global competition between military superpowers like the US and China, the world’s top five big spenders are unlikely to change much over the coming decade.

Source: ‘Wasteful’ US and China-chasing India: What 5 biggest military powers are spending more than a TRILLION DOLLARS on

May 3, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Theological Component of Prayer (11:22)

The Lord’s response to Peter’s comment, “Have faith in God,” is a call to trust in God and not doubt Him (Matt. 21:20). The theological component of prayer is not concerned with the nature of personal faith but the character of the living God. To have an effective prayer life requires trusting God’s power, purpose, promise, plans, and will. Prayer focuses on honoring God’s name, advancing His kingdom, and accomplishing His will (Matt. 6:9–10). In contrast, selfish prayer will not be answered. “You ask and do not receive,” James warned, “because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3; cf. v. 15). In his first epistle the apostle John stressed that prayer must be consistent with God’s will: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14; cf. John 14:13–14).

In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul provided an example of trusting God because of what He has done:

Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. (Phil. 1:12–14; cf. 1 Peter 4:19)

God’s faithfulness in allowing Paul’s powerful witness to the Word of God despite his circumstances encouraged other Christians in Rome to trust in God and boldly preach the gospel.[1]


22 We have noted that the cursing of the fig tree is closely related to the cleansing of the temple, with both symbolizing God’s judgment against Israel. Yet oddly, Jesus does not make this connection explicit. Instead, in this verse and in the teaching that follows, he links the miracle of the fig tree’s destruction to the power of faith and prayer. This feature suggests to some commentators that the sayings of vv. 22–25 have no historical connection with what precedes and that Mark (or the tradition before them) has added them out of a misunderstanding of the symbolism of the fig tree’s destruction. While this is possible, it is more likely that Jesus took this opportunity to draw a second application from the miracle and that Mark (and Matthew, who follows him) has retained this application. Jesus uses the incident of the fig tree to teach critical lessons on faith and prayer. The source of the power for performing the miracle is God. He must be the object of our faith.[2]


11:22 Have faith in God. It is commonly thought that this was not originally a part of this section and was added by Mark. However, the sayings of verses 22–26 constitute a valid response to Peter’s statement in verse 21, and Jesus builds on the authority behind his actions and invites the disciples to participate in that authority by faith. It makes perfect sense here. Prayer enables us to tap into the same power source that was behind Jesus. As David Garland concludes, “these sayings … are integrally related to context. They reveal the essence of the new order that replaces the old. The new order is based on faith in God (11:22) that overcomes insurmountable odds (11:23), is sustained by grace (11:24), and is characterized by forgiveness (11:25).” Jesus’s statement could be an indicative (“You have the faithfulness of God,” assuring them that God is on their side) but in this context is better seen as a command, exhorting them to a greater awareness of God and presenting faith as the only way they can participate in the authority that Jesus has just demonstrated. In Mark faith is more than trust in God; it is a completely God-dependent perspective on life. R. T. France notes that the plural verbs in verses 22, 24–25 emphasize the importance of communal prayer.[3]


Ver. 22. Have faith in God.

Have faith in God:

  1. What faith is. 1. Taking God at His word, about things unknown (Heb. 11:7), unlikely (Heb. 11:17–19), untried (Heb. 11:28). 2. Trusting Jesus at His invitation. Trust your soul to His care; your sins to His cleansing; your life to His keeping.
  2. Whence faith comes. 1. From God’s grace (Eph. 2:8; Rom. 12:3) 2. From God’s Word (Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:15). 3. From God’s working (1 John 5:1; Col. 2:12). 4. Out of the heart (Rom. 10:10).

III. How faith works. 1. It overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). 2. It purifies the heart (Acts 15:8, 9). 3. It works by love (Gal. 5:6). (J. Richardson, M.A.)

Have faith in God—God will not desert those who trust in Him:—Many years ago, when in my country charge, I returned one afternoon from a funeral, fatigued with the day’s work. After a long ride, I had accompanied the mourners to the churchyard. As I neared my stable-door, I felt a strange prompting to visit a poor widow who, with her invalid daughter, lived in a lonely cottage in an outlying part of the parish. My natural reluctance to make another visit was overcome by a feeling which I could not resist, and I turned my horse’s head towards the cottage. I was thinking only of the widow’s spiritual needs; but, when I reached her little house, I was struck with its look of unwonted bareness and poverty. After putting a little money into her hand, I began to inquire into their circumstances, and found that their supplies had been utterly exhausted since the night before. I asked them what they had done. “I just spread it out before the Lord!” “Did you tell your case to any friend?” “Oh no, sir; nobody knows but Himself and me. I knew He wouldn’t forget, though I didn’t know how He would help me, till I saw you coming riding over the hill, and then I said, “There’s the Lord’s answer.” Many a time has the recollection of this incident encouraged me to trust in the loving care of my heavenly Father. (G. Macdonald, D.D.) One winter morning, a poor little orphan boy of six or eight years begged a lady to allow him to clean away the snow from her door. “Do you get much to do, my little boy?” said the lady. “Sometimes I do,” he replied, “but often I get very little.” “And are you never afraid that you will not get enough to live on?” The child looked perplexed a moment, and then answered, “Don’t you think God will take care of a boy if he puts his trust in Him, and does the best he can?”

Have faith in God:—Gotthold saw several sailors step into a boat to cross a river. Two took the oars, and, as usual, turned their backs upon the shore to which they intended to sail. A third stood and kept his face unaverted on the place where they wished to land, and which they very speedily reached. “See here,” he said, to those about him, “what may well remind us of our condition. Life is a mighty river, rapidly flowing into the ocean of eternity, and returning no more. On this river we are all afloat in the bark of our vocation, which we must urge forward with the oars of industry and toil. Like these sailors, therefore, we ought to turn our back upon the future, put our confidence in God, who stands at the helm, and by His mighty power steers the vessel to where happiness and salvation await us, and diligently labour, unconcerned about anything else. We would smile, were these men to turn round and pretend that they could not row blindfold, but must needs see the place to which their course was directed; and it is no less foolish in us to insist on apprehending, with our anxieties and thoughts, all things, whether future or at hand. Let it be our part to ply the oar and toil and pray; but let us leave it to God to steer and bless and govern. O my God, be with me in my little bark, and bless it according to Thy good pleasure! I will turn my face to Thee, and, as Thou shalt enable me, I will diligently and faithfully labour; for all else Thou wilt provide.”

The orphan’s prayer:—A little child, whose father and mother had died, was taken into another family. The first night she asked if she might pray, as she used to do. They said, “Oh, yes.” So she knelt down, and prayed as her mother had taught her; and when that was ended, she added a little prayer of her own: “O God, make these people as kind to me as father and mother were.” Then she paused, and looked up, as if expecting an answer, and then added, “Of course you will.” How sweetly simple was that little one’s faith; she expected God to “do”; and, of course, she got her request.

Have faith in God—Never give up in despair:—An industrious tradesman had fallen on bad times; his business would not prosper, and he lost heart. His wife, however, kept cheerful; she went on praying, and tried to hearten up her husband. But it was no use; he kept on saying there was no hope for him, and he might as well go out of life, for there was nothing good to be looked for. One morning the cheery wife came down with a face as sad as her husband’s. “What’s the matter?” said he. “Oh,” she replied, with a shudder, “I’ve had such a dreadful dream. I dreamt God was dead, and all the angels were going to His funeral!” “What nonsense!” said her husband. “How can you be so silly? Don’t you know God can’t die?” She thought a moment, and then brightened up. “That’s true,” she answered. “But, oh, husband! if He can’t die, He can’t change, either. He has taken care of us all our lives: why should we begin to think He has forgotten us now? It’ll only be a passing cloud, may be, that’s hiding the sun, just to try us. Let us trust Him through it all.” “You’re right, wife,” said the man. “Seems to me I’ve believed in God without trusting Him. Let us ask Him to forgive me this sin of mistrust. May be my ill-luck has been a punishment for that same, sent to open my eyes.” However that may have been, the tide did turn, and neither man nor wife ever mistrusted God again.

Have faith in God—Wonder-working faith:—It is not only to faith, as a general spiritual force of boundless potency and value, that our Lord here directs our thoughts; but also, and more particularly, to the faith which sees what things are useless and ready to die, and puts them out of the way; the faith which confronts obstacles as big as solid mountains, and yet is sure that it can remove or surmount them; the faith which faints at no difficulty, no apparent impossibility even, but attacks even the greatest of them with courage and good hope. This is the faith to which Christ here invites us—the faith which He Himself exercised, not only when He banned the fig-tree, but also when He set Himself to save and raise the world against its will, and had therefore to face a world in arms. It is the faith which believes truth to be stronger than error, righteousness than unrighteousness, good than evil, even though all the world should have espoused the losing cause. It is the faith which believes not only that spiritual energies are stronger than material forces, but also that the good spiritual forces of the universe are stronger than its evil forces, and are sure to overcome them in the end. Nothing seems more doubtful to us at times than the victory of faith over the world; yet nothing is more certain. The whole history of the world is one long continuous testimony to the fact, that it is by faith in great principles that men are really swayed. What is the history of every great movement by which the world, or any portion of it, has been raised, purified, reformed, and renewed, but just this: Faith in some great truth or principle—faith in justice, faith in freedom, faith in wise laws and deep convictions—has grown to enthusiasm in a few hearts; and in the power of this faith they have spoken and toiled, facing and gradually beating down all opposition, detecting signs of decay in the most venerable and solidly established institutions, customs, statutes, and dooming them to perish; encountering whole mountains of obstacle and difficulty, yet taking them up and at last casting them into the sea. (S. Cox, D.D.)

Faith in God:—1. There is Christ’s command itself. 2. God’s own character demands this faith. 3. God’s gifts claim and warrant faith. 4. The way in which we specially honour Him is by having faith in Him. 5. Unbelief profits nothing. 6. Faith has done wonders in time past, and it can do wonders still. (H. Bonar, D.D.)[4]


11:22 “Jesus answered saying to them” Peter again acted as the spokesman for what all of the disciples were thinking.

“ ‘Have faith in God’ ” This is a PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE. This is a common theme in the Gospel. Faith/trust/belief (i.e. noun, pistis; verb, pisteuō in YHWH (and His Messiah) is fallen mankind’s only hope. This current world system and its power structures must not attract our attention and concern. God is with us and for us. Look to Him; only to Him!

This symbolic act of judgment and rejection affected their entire traditional belief system. We can only imagine how radical Jesus’ new teachings and perspectives were to these traditional first century Jewish men! Jesus powerfully and obviously rejected the Temple (as it was functioning) and the leadership, both Sadducees and Pharisees (both liberal, Hillel, and conservative, Shammai).

There is a Greek manuscript variant which adds the Greek conditional particle ei (i.e. “if”) in MSS א and D. This would make it a FIRST CLASS CONDITIONAL sentence. However, its presence could be a Hebraic idiom denoting a direct quote. It is not included in MSS A, B, C, L, or W, nor in any of the English translations used in this commentary. It probably came from scribes wanting to make it exactly like Luke 17:6 or even Matt. 21:21 (which has ean instead of Luke’s ei).[5]


11:22. The Bible translations have this verse as the beginning of a new paragraph and a new section on the teaching of prayer. But this verse is actually a response to Peter and should finish the scene of the withered fig tree. Brooks links this verse more closely with the following teaching on prayer. “Mark evidently was saying, ‘Despite the cursing of the fig tree (i.e., Israel), continue to trust in God’ because faith and prayer and not the temple are now the way to God” (Brooks, Mark, p. 182).

The disciples understood Jesus’ metaphor and knew that the temple would be destroyed some day. Peter’s fear would have been a natural reaction to the loss of a way of life, no matter how burdensome. This is reminiscent of Habakkuk 2:4. Habakkuk learned that God would punish Israel by using the invasion of the Babylonians. He was horrified but testifies, “The righteous will live by his faith.”[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2015). Mark 9–16 (p. 144). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Wessel, W. W., & Strauss, M. L. (2010). Mark. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 891–892). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Osborne, G. R. (2014). Mark. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (p. 201). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: St. Mark (pp. 455–457). London: James Nisbet & Co.

[5] Utley, R. J. D. (2000). The Gospel according to Peter: Mark and I & II Peter (Vol. Volume 2, p. 132). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[6] Cooper, R. L. (2000). Mark (Vol. 2, pp. 187–188). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

CNN IS A CANCER: Jake Tapper to Governor Whitmer: Do You See Michigan Stay-at-Home Protesters in the Same Vein as Charlottesville Neo-Nazis? — The Gateway Pundit

Thousands of freedom protesters converged on the Michigan capitol in Lansing in late April to protest Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her tyrannical orders during the state economic lockdown.

Whitmer’s orders were some of the strictest and illogical in the nation. The governor banned shopping at JC Penney’s but Walmart shopping was approved. Motor boats were not allowed by canoes were allowed. Seeds were not allowed for sale during the April planting season. The governor was drunk on her new-found power.
Thousands protested the dictatorial governor.

Last week another protest was held and several protesters with guns entered the capitol building to condemn the governor.

On Sunday Jake Tapper had the governor on and asked her if she sees the Michigan protesters “in the same vein as the Charlottesville Neo-Nazis?”

Whitmer went on to claim the lockdown protesters depicted some of the “worst racism and awful parts of our history.”

CNN really is a cancer on America.
And Whitmer just grouped ALL of the protesters in the Nazi category.
What awful people.

Via Benny Johnson:

Jake Tapper says this guy is a Nazi.

via CNN IS A CANCER: Jake Tapper to Governor Whitmer: Do You See Michigan Stay-at-Home Protesters in the Same Vein as Charlottesville Neo-Nazis? — The Gateway Pundit

Pritzker and Lightfoot — Illinois’ Hypocritical Tyrants – American Thinker

Pritzker and Lightfoot deem themselves more important than the people they represent. Laws are for the little people.  

As the bailout-seeking billionaire Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker resists lawsuits saying his lockdown order extension exceeds his authority and is unconstitutional, his wife jets to their estate in opened up Florida to enjoy life without being arrested for leaving your house. Meanwhile Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot keeps barbershops and hair salons closed under penalty of imprisonment as she visits her hair stylist on the grounds she is “the public face of Illinois” and must look her best. Both deem themselves more important than the people they represent. Laws are for the little people. It’s good to be king and queen

Despite his slogan “All In” which he preaches to Illinois residents under virtual house arrest, Pritzker’s wife isn’t content to hunker down with the peasantry and watch Netflix:

M.K. Pritzker, the billionaire wife of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), is reportedly skipping out on her husband’s stringent lockdown orders, jetting off to their $12.1 million equestrian estate in South Florida — a state that has refused to implement what Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) described as “draconian” measures as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While Pritzker finds himself in the middle of a legal battle over his extension of his lockdown order, extending it until May 30 and promoting his All-in Illinois initiative, his wife is nowhere to be seen, at least in the Prairie State.

No draconian existence for this royal couple. Like our absentee House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Mrs. Pritzer probably is enjoying $13-a-pint gourmet ice cream as we speak.  As  Mark Konkol, recipient of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting and Emmy-nominated producer, reports on local news outlet Patch:

In Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz’s day-in-the life tale of Illinois’ rookie governor amid the pandemic, we learned Pritzker watched “Tiger King” on Netflix, and how he usually ends his day — “a little dinner, then he chats with his son and makes more calls” — but nothing of the first lady or his daughter…

As things turn out, as the governor makes regular public pleas for Illinoisans to be “All In” during the extended stay-at-home fight to slow the spread of COVID-19, Mrs. Pritzker has been out of state, sources told Patch.

Specifically, the first lady has been spending time at their $12-million equestrian estate in Wellington, just down the horse trail from Bruce Springsteen, Bill Gates and Billy Joel, the family purchased shortly after J.B. was elected governor last year…

She has no obligation to sequester herself in their Astor Street mansion in the Gold Coast when her family can hop on a private plane to stay-at-home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the family estate in the Bahamas (close to the governor’s off-shore bank accounts) and, of course, their place in the “winter equestrian capital of the world” in Florida. 

Lawsuits have been filed claiming Pritzer’s lockdown does what protestors all over the country have claimed — unconstitutionally infringe on our basic constitutional rights such as freedom of assembly, the right to petition for redress of grievances, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, and even freedom of speech. Pritzker claims he is just violating our rights for our own good:

Pritzker finds himself in the middle of a legal battle over his extension of the lockdown order. Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney sided with State Rep. Darren Bailey (R), who filed a lawsuit alleging that Pritzker exceeded his authority. While McHaney issued a temporary restraining order pausing the extended lockdown orders, it only exempts Bailey, leading to action from State Rep. John Cabello (R). He plans to issue a similar lawsuit, but in a way that will apply to everyone in Illinois. 

Illinois, like New York, California and other blue states, were hemorrhaging population and jobs and wringing up huge debt long before the Wuhan virus escaped from a Chinese lab. Yet, believing firmly in the admonition  by former Chicago Mayor and Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, Pritzer, like other blue state governors, seeks a federal bailout of the state’s debt which would include a huge pension bailout:

Illinois Democrats are demanding $41 billion from the federal government for coronavirus relief, including $10 billion for Illinois’s cash-strapped and underfunded public pension plan. The most fiscally mismanaged state in the union, which has criminally neglected funding its public pension fund for two decades, wants Washington to pull its chestnuts out of the fire?…

There should be no bailout of the public pension fund in Illinois. For two decades, which have seen Democrats largely in control, the state refused to fully fund its pension system. Now, with the stock market in the toilet and the shortfall becoming critical, the bill for Illinois politicians’ criminal negligence and shady dealings is coming due.

As toilet paper becomes a crypto-currency all its own, dubbed “butt-coin” by some, it is worth remembering how Pritzker once pulled all the toilets out of a mansion he owned so he could get a huge property tax break on the grounds his mansion was “uninhabitable”  The Chicago Sun-Times called it Pritzker’s “Game of Thrones”:

Cook County’s chief watchdog has concluded that more than $330,000 in property tax breaks and refunds that Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker received on one of his Gold Coast mansions — in part by removing toilets — constituted a “scheme to defraud.”

Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard also recommends in the confidential report that Cook County should try to recover the money from the billionaire.

Making the taxpayers pay for his mistakes is a habit for Pritzker, and this was a cheapskate move by a guy flush with cash:

In 2007, Pritzker and his wife bought a second mansion next to the one they live in on Chicago’s Astor Street, for $3.7 million. As The Chicago Sun-Timesreported, that mansion remained vacant and was allowed to fall into disrepair.

And then in October 2015, according to a report by Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard, the Pritzkers had five toilets removed from the second house so that it would be classified as “uninhabitable” in a property tax appeal filed by the Pritzkers. Cook County assesses vacant properties at 10 percent of the market value.

The toilets were removed shortly before the affidavits in the property tax appeal were submitted. The county assessor’s office “lowered the 6,378-square-foot mansion’s assessed value from $6.3 million to about $1.1 million,” The Chicago Tribune reports.

This sense of above-the-law entitlement is shared by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the current caretaker of the third-world city Chicago is rapidly becoming. Lightfoot decided a pandemic was a perfect time to get a trim and style her hair — all those press conferences under the hot lights, you know. She, like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, is important and we are not, she tells us by her words and actions:

Democrats are hypocrites, especially when it comes to “rules for thee but not for me.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to use a public gymminutes before public facilities were ordered to close to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. Apparently the order was important enough for every other New Yorker to follow but not for him.  

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot decided to follow in de Blasio’s footsteps and put herself above Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. Even though salons and barbershops across the state are currently closed, Lightfoot decided to get a haircut, the Chicago Tribune reported. …

“I’m a person who, I take my personal hygiene very seriously. As I said, I felt like I needed to have a haircut,” Lightfoot said. “I’m not able to do that myself, so I got a haircut. You want to talk more about that?”

I want a haircut too, as do many of my brethren in the People’s Republic of Chicago. There are many barbers and hair stylists who would gladly take our money in order to do silly things like keep their businesses  open, pay their rent, mortgage, and put food on the family table. But they dare not under penalty of Pritzker’s and Lightfoot’s shut-up-and-stay-at home orders:

After a judge in Southern Illinois ruled that a state representative was exempt from Governor J.B. Pritzker’s extended “stay-at-home” order, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the city intends to continue enforcing the restrictions.

“Continued compliance will be needed to keep flattening the curve and ultimately lead to a decrease in cases,” she said. “Contrary to what this ruling suggests, we must all be in this together, and only through cooperation and collaboration can we contain and limit the effects of the virus.”

Except that we are not all in this together. Lockdowns are for the little people. Pritzker is not. Lightfoot is not. DeBlasio is not. They do what they want when they want and to whomever they want. Maybe when this is over, if they let it be over, they can all meet for drinks and giggles and $13-a-pint ice cream at Mrs. Pritzker’s equestrian estate in Florida.

Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

— Read on www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/pritzker_and_lightfoot__illinois_hypocritical_tyrants.html

‘Enormous evidence’ coronavirus came from Wuhan lab, says Mike Pompeo | WND

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Video screenshot)

By Andrew Kerr
Daily Caller News Foundation

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that there’s “enormous evidence” backing the theory that the novel coronavirus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“There’s enormous evidence that that’s where this began,” Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We have said from the beginning, this virus originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outset. But I think the whole world can see now.”

“Remember, China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running sub-standard laboratories,” Pompeo added. These aren’t the first times that we have had the world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab.”

Pompeo was likely referring to the fact that SARS leaked at least twice from the Beijing Institute of Virology in 2004.

The secretary of state added that China “did all that it could to make sure the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion” about the coronavirus outbreak at its onset.

“We’ve seen the fact that they kicked journalists out, we saw the fact that those who were trying to report on this — medical professionals — inside of China were silenced,” Pompeo said. “All the kind of things that authoritarian regimes do.”

“It’s the way communist parties operate,” he added. “This is classic communist disinformation effort.”

Pompeo’s comments come after President Donald Trump said Friday he’s seen evidence that strongly suggests coronavirus came from a Wuhan lab.

The majority of the 17 U.S. intelligence community agencies believe coronavirus accidentally leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, a senior intelligence official told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Saturday.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement Thursday confirming it is “rigorously examining emerging information and intelligence” to determine whether the coronavirus outbreak originated through natural human contact with infected animals or through a laboratory accident in Wuhan.

The ODNI made clear in its statement that it agrees with the widespread scientific consensus that the coronavirus “was not manmade or genetically modified,” a blow to the conspiracy theory that the virus could be a Chinese-manufactured bioweapon.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Source: ‘Enormous evidence’ coronavirus came from Wuhan lab, says Mike Pompeo

Report: Omar’s felonies worst of any lawmaker … ever

Despite the mainstream media’s failure to cover numerous scandals involving Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one report itemizing her alleged crimes asserts she has pulled off the “worst string of felonies committed by a congressperson in United States history.”

Source: Report: Omar’s felonies worst of any lawmaker … ever

Don’t Expect Answers From Washington As The Fabric Of Society Unravels | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog,

One Face Of Unemployment Is Lost GDP

Unemployment has several faces. It will be interesting to see how America handles the massive unemployment caused not so much by COVID-19 but the government’s effort to hold employers responsible for the cost. When the government passed a law increasing employers’ responsibility for paying workers even when there was no work for them, businesses countered by mass firings. This was both the logical move and the only way most businesses could survive.

Over time the lack of gainful employment acts as a cancer upon society. Some of the poorly crafted legislation recently passed in the capital of our nation could be considered incentivizing people not to work. The evidence of this can be found in the reports of employees not wanting to return to work because they see themselves making just as much or even more money staying home or being unemployed. When we couple this with the fact many people are unmotivated when it comes to rushing off and working for “the man” it is fair to understand why some people have adopted the attitude, I won’t do that.

The evolution of the covid-19 crisis has disrupted supply chains and is starting to trigger food shortages across the country. It is causing many people to question whether an economic depression is unfolding as over 30 million people are now out of work after only six weeks. A matter of great speculation is just how rapidly the unemployment rate will fall back once this pandemic begins to subside.  Congress has decided to make it rather financially rewarding not to work, and millions upon millions of Americans are going to be more than happy to take advantage of that opportunity for as long as it lasts. It is only by creating a pathway that rewards those that wish to move upward on the social-economic ladder that this attitude can be changed.

People tend to forget or push aside the matter of just how much unemployment cost society.

This cost takes many forms. There are economic and social costs in this situation. They include a slew of things from, lower on-the-job training to things such as alienation and lost GDP. This can result in homelessness, depression, and even increase drug or alcohol addiction.

Lurking behind all this is the fact that State governments get the money to pay claims by debiting the employer’s Unemployment Insurance account or by raising the employer’s UI taxes. A deduction in the account balance may also cause a rate increase, this means each claim assessed to an employer’s account can result in a tax rate increase in future years. The cost of an individual claim can be significant but the higher tax rate for a business often has a much greater long-term impact. Many states use a three-year moving period to assign a tax rate and an awarded unemployment claim can affect three years of UI tax rates. This means the average claim can increase an employer’s state tax premium from $4,000 to $7,000 over the course of three years.

These increased UI tax rates will have a huge impact on an employer’s bottom line in the near future and this is something that is not being addressed. Instead, the focus is on unemployment. The situation is considered so significant that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has expanded unemployment benefits to self-employed and part-time workers through Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance, which provides up to 39 weeks of benefits beginning on or after Jan. 27, 2020, and ending on or before Dec. 31, 2020.

Above is a chart of what was paid out in recently in benefits. In March 2020, 3.89 billion U.S. dollars were paid out in unemployment benefits in the United States. This is an increase from February 2020, when 2.75 billion U.S. dollars were paid in unemployment benefits. This pales next to the more than 50 to 100 billion dollars we should expect to be paid out each month until this abates.

The ramifications resulting from this surge in unemployment have not yet been fully internalized, this is a huge deal.

In the blink of an eye, the U.S. economy has wiped out all the job gains since the Great Recession and more. There were already 7.1 million unemployed Americans as of March 13, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When this figure is combined with the newest job losses, we are looking at more than 33 million unemployed, or a real unemployment rate of 20.6%. This would be the highest level since 1934.

History shows that creating good sustainable jobs is no easy task. Considering the cost of massive unemployment is increased tax rates and social decay, it is time we face the great-conundrum of how best to save jobs. This massive unemployment surge poses a huge cultural shock that must not be ignored.

During the time ahead we should expect the fabric of society to be tested, it may even  unravel. Do not expect the answers to flow out of Washington but understand, now is the time we level the playing field between small and big business.

When all is said and done, Main Street matters more to most Americans than Wall Street.

Source: Don’t Expect Answers From Washington As The Fabric Of Society Unravels

Tim Graham: Michelle and Barack Obama rake in millions of dollars, as adoration by liberal media continues | Fox News

The Obamas were awarded a book deal worth an estimated $65 million for their memoirs, hers and then his. They also struck an estimated $50 million production deal with Netflix. (We don’t have actual numbers. Could someone in the media ask for a tax return?) 

Obamas pay close to $12M for Martha’s Vineyard home on nearly 30 acres

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have purchased a massive piece of real estate on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts for $11.75 million. The couple spent this past summer renting the 7,000-square-foot home before making an offer.

The Hollywood Reporter recently broke a scoop about the latest Netflix documentary from the Obamas, designed to offer us an oasis of joy as we suffer through the coronavirus pandemic.

The documentary is called “Becoming” and it will be available worldwide Wednesday. As the title suggests, it promotes Michelle Obama’s memoir of the same name, which has sold more than 10 million copies.

So let’s get this straight. The Obamas were awarded a book deal worth an estimated $65 million for their memoirs, hers and then his. They also struck an estimated $50 million production deal with Netflix. (We don’t have actual numbers. Could someone in the media ask for a tax return?)

With this self-aggrandizing documentary, the second deal is being used to accentuate the profits of the first. The buck raking here is intense.

President Trump surely must admire the self-promotional moxie of the Obamas that enabled them to quickly become superrich after President Obama’s term in office ended.

Vanity Fair celebrated these “Obamoguls” and hailed Michelle Obama for her “saintly popularity.”

This so-called saint doesn’t spurn the finer things. Last August, TMZ reported the Obamas were buying a $15 million mansion on the coast of Martha’s Vineyard to match their $8 million Washington, D.C., mansion.

How much network coverage did this get in the liberal media? Zero.

In December, the Obamas actually bought said Martha’s Vineyard mansion for $11.75 million. Liberal network coverage? Again, zero. There would be no denting halos by asking how much the Obamas are giving to charity.

The new documentary celebrates Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” book tour events at stadiums that charged Obama superfans $300 or more for a ticket, often with celebrities like Oprah Winfrey along for the ride.

Liberal media outlets repeated Obama’s self-puffery without rebuttal.

“Those months I spent traveling – meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe – drove home the idea that what we have in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with,” Michelle Obama said in a statement.

Mrs. Obama augmented her new status as a self-help guru with a workbook of sorts: “Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice,” complete with “an intimate and inspiring introduction by the former First Lady and more than 150 inspiring questions and quotes to help you discover – and rediscover – your story.”

Not everyone famous is praised for self-help books for women. The current president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, wrote one in 2017. The New York Times review was brutal. “It reads more like the scrambled Tumblr feed of a demented 12-year-old who just checked out a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations from the library,” according to the Times.

There are never Republican critics of Obama in the “news” these days. In a Washington Post story on the documentary, writer Sonia Rao quoted Anita McBride, chief of staff to former first lady Laura Bush, who said Obama was “a reluctant first lady” but then formed lasting public connections through her “extraordinary use of media and pop culture and television.”

Is that Michelle’s gift to the media? No, it’s the media’s gift to Michelle. The infatuated titans of “news” and entertainment media appear to have granted her every “extraordinary” wish in building this “billion-dollar brand.”

The cheers are always presumed to be unanimous. Dissent from this party line is ignored. And no one asks about the profits. For the Obamas, greed is cast as just another inspiring voyage of self-discovery.

Tim Graham is the Executive Editor of NewsBusters.org and co-author with Brent Bozell of “Unmasked: Big Media’s War Against Trump.”