Daily Archives: May 30, 2020

President Trump Addresses Recent Riots In One Of His Greatest Speeches (VIDEO)

The post President Trump Addresses Recent Riots In One Of His Greatest Speeches (VIDEO) appeared first on American Lookout.

President Trump gave a speech after the successful launch of the SpaceX rocket.

Before that however, he addressed the recent riots unfolding in American cities.

He talked about George Floyd and how some people are dishonoring his memory.

He also spoke about the importance of law and order. It was one of his best speeches ever.

The Hill has highlights:

Trump calls Floyd death ‘grave tragedy,’ decries violent protests in Florida speech

President Trump on Saturday called the death of George Floyd a “grave tragedy” while decrying “violence and vandalism” as protests rippled across the country in the aftermath of the incident.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody on Monday in Minneapolis.

“The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy. It should never have happened. It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief,” Trump said at the outset of remarks at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., after viewing the historic SpaceX launch.

“I understand the pain that people are feeling. We support the right of peaceful protesters and we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace,” Trump continued. “The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters, and anarchists.”…

“No one is more upset than fellow law enforcement officers by the small handful who fail to abide by their oath to serve and protect,” Trump said.

“In America justice is never achieved at the hand of an angry mob. I will not allow angry mobs to dominate,” Trump said, declaring it “essential” that the “rule of law” and independent justice system be protected.

Watch the whole thing below:

That speech will be remembered as one of his greatest.

The message and the delivery were top rate.

— Read on americanlookout.com/president-trump-addresses-recent-riots-in-one-of-his-greatest-speeches-video/

What We Do — and Don’t — Know Now about George Floyd’s Death — National Review

Protesters outside the Orlando, Fla., home of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, May 29, 2020 (Scott Audette/Reuters)

The official complaint submitted to a Minnesota district court answers some questions, but raises others.

Things are often more complicated than they appear at first blush. That is certainly the case with the murder of George Floyd, with which former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged in a complaint filed on Friday.

For one thing, contrary to most people’s assumption, Mr. Floyd appears not to have died from asphyxia or strangulation as Chauvin pinned him to the ground, knee to the neck. Rather, as alleged in the complaint, Floyd suffered from coronary-artery disease and hypertensive-heart disease. The complaint further intimates, but does not come out and allege, that Floyd may have had “intoxicants” in his system. The effects of these underlying health conditions and “any potential intoxicants” are said to have “combined” with the physical restraint by three police officers, most prominently Chauvin, to cause Floyd’s death.

As I’ve noted in a column on the homepage, Hennepin County prosecutors have charged Chauvin with third-degree depraved-indifference homicide. Now that the complaint has been released publicly, we see that a lesser offense was also charged: second-degree manslaughter. This homicide charge involves “culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk” of serious bodily harm, and carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

It is easy to see why prosecutors added this charge (and why they shied away from more serious grades of murder described in my column). The case is tougher for prosecutors if there is doubt about whether Chauvin’s unorthodox and unnecessary pressure on Floyd’s neck caused him to die. Had he been strangled, causative effect of the neck pressure would be patent. But if the neck pressure instead just contributed to the stress of the situation that triggered death because of unusual underlying medical problems (possibly in conjunction with intoxicants Floyd may have consumed), it becomes a harder murder prosecution.

The manslaughter charge requires only findings that Chauvin acted negligently, rather than with depraved indifference to human life, and that his negligence both created an unreasonable risk and contributed in some way to death. To be clear, I am not arguing against the murder charge. I am providing a legal analysis of why a jury could find that the manslaughter offense — which is a homicide charge — better fits the facts of the case.

via What We Do — and Don’t — Know Now about George Floyd’s Death — National Review

Barr Calls Out Antifa and Other Far Left Groups Over Riots, Warns of Federal Prosecutions — The Gateway Pundit

Attorney General William Barr made a televised statement Saturday on the riots around the country in reaction to the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd that called out Antifa and other far left groups, saying they had hijacked the protests and warned of federal prosecutions for crossing state lines triot.

Video (transcript below):

“Good afternoon. The greatness of our nation comes from our commitment to the rule of law.

The outrage of our national community about what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is real and legitimate. Accountability for his death must be addressed, and is being addressed, through the regular process of our criminal justice system, both at the state and at the federal level. That system is working and moving at exceptional speed. Already initial charges have been filed by the state. That process continues to move forward. And justice will be served.

Unfortunately, with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements.

Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.

In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchic and left extremist groups, far left extremist groups, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence.

We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities, and it is the responsibility of the local and state leadership, in the first instance, to halt this violence. The Department of Justice, including the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, the ATF, the DEA and our 93 United States Attorneys office, U.S. Attorneys offices around the country, uh, are supporting these local efforts–will continue to support them–and take all action necessary to enforce federal law.

In that regard, it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting. And we will enforce those laws. Thank you”

Statement edited by TGP to read as delivered by A.G. Barr. Original text of statement released by DOJ at this link.

via Barr Calls Out Antifa and Other Far Left Groups Over Riots, Warns of Federal Prosecutions — The Gateway Pundit

AG Bill Barr Identifies Antifa Activists as Organizers of National Mob Violence, Looting and Arson… — The Last Refuge

 

Earlier today U.S. Attorney Bill Barr made a public statement about the George Floyd killing and the opportunistic mob violence that has taken place over the last three days. Within the statement the attorney general correctly identified Antifa as the primary organizing mobbehind the riots, looting and mayhem.

[Transcript] – “The greatness of our nation comes from our commitment to the rule of law.

The outrage of our national community about what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is real and legitimate. Accountability for his death must be addressed, and is being addressed, through the regular process of our criminal justice system, both at the state and at the federal level. That system is working and moving at exceptional speed. Already initial charges have been filed. That process continues to move forward. Justice will be served.

Unfortunately, with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements.

Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.

In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence.

We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities, and it is the responsibility of the local and state leadership, in the first instance, to halt this violence. The Department of Justice (including the FBI, Marshals, ATF, and DEA), and all of our 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country, will support these local efforts and take all action necessary to enforce federal law.

In that regard, it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting. We will enforce these laws.” (link)

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said Saturday the majority of the people causing destruction in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are “outsiders.”

According to Walz, an estimated roughly 80% of the people acting violently and destroying businesses are from outside the state. “Our best estimate right now that I heard is about 20%, is what we think are Minnesotans, and about 80% are outside,” he said.

The governor said he believes Minnesota residents were the catalyst for protests, but that the situation has since evolved and grown violent. (link)  Additionally, the mayor of St. Paul noted that every person arrested last night was from out of town.

via AG Bill Barr Identifies Antifa Activists as Organizers of National Mob Violence, Looting and Arson… — The Last Refuge

Anger Games Night 4 – Saturday Night Riots – Open Discussion Thread… — The Last Refuge

The riots, arson, looting and related violence has spread from Minneapolis Minnesota to many urban areas around the nation. From ground reports it appears Antifa groups (aka White ISIS) have organized for chaos in Minneapolis and beyond.

Democrat strongholds in Nashville (TN), Atlanta (GA), Chicago (IL), Washington DC, Houston (TX), New York City (NY), Los Angeles (CA), and other deep blue metropolitan areas are now seeing organized riots, anti-police violence and chaos organized by Antifa and elements within the Black Lives Matter groups.

Many people are calling for federal intervention; however, that type of confrontation is the intended goal of the social anarchy crowd. The leftist chaos is purposeful bait.

Politically speaking, the merging of Antifa (revolution communists) & Black Lives Matter (sub-text political Islam), has a purposeful agenda unknown to the standard brick thrower. Suburban white liberals, essentially modern affiliates of the former Bill Ayers Weather Underground, are the organizing entities. Most of the people on the street are oblivious.

Local authorities in/around the urban danger zones have the primary responsibility to maintain domestic tranquility. Federal intervention to replace local political ineptitude, and lack of desire to confront a crisis of their own creation, is short-sighted.

If local officials and/or state governors are not going to take action; factually they do not want to take action because they are fearful of backlash from their own tribe; then federal assistance doesn’t work. It is better for President Trump to watch from a distance and keep reminding the U.S. electorate how he supports, but will not replace, local officials.

The 2020 Anger Games were predictable.

via Anger Games Night 4 – Saturday Night Riots – Open Discussion Thread… — The Last Refuge

What is the Relationship Between Social Justice and Apologetics? — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

Unless you have been living under a rock, you might have noticed there is a lot of debate about how local churches and campus ministries can integrate social justice issues into their teaching and outreach. Yes, some say no to any social justice issues while others make it the primary issue. One thing that comes to mind is the relationship between apologetics and social justice. One thing for sure: people that fight for social justice care about people, and believe in equality, rights, and the dignity of humans. I think that apologetics can help explain ‘why’ we care about these issues. This means we are back to the topic of worldview.

Some of the fundamental questions that make up a worldview are the following:

• Origins: How did it all begin? Where did we come from?
• Fall: What went wrong? What is the source of evil and suffering?
• Redemption: What can we do about it? How can the world be set right again?
• Morality: What is the basis for morality? In other words, how do we know what is right and wrong?
• History: What is the meaning of history? Where is history going?
• Death: What happens to a person at death?
• Epistemology: Why is it possible to know anything at all?
• Ontology: What is reality? What is the nature of the external reality around us?
• Purpose: What is man’s purpose in the world? (3)

In addition to these primary questions, there are three major narratives :

  1. Identity: You have to be true to yourself.
  2. Freedom: I should be free to live any way I want as long as I’m not harming anyone else.
  3. Happiness: You’ve got to do what makes you happy in the end. Morality: No one has the right to tell anyone else what is  right or wrong for him or her.

Does this sound like the thoughts you have about yourself and about life? If so, then you have drunk deeply from the well of Western culture. But we think that if you ponder the Big Questions noted above, you will see the connection between these and the four aforementioned narratives. And if God does exist, well—that has ramifications for all of the questions and narratives we have. Our worldview speaks not only to questions about origins, meaning, morality, and destiny, but also to secondary questions about family, career and calling, politics, economics, education, the arts—all of life. Our worldview is all-encompassing, and the different components fit together like the strands of a web. We ask ourselves a lot of questions: What am I supposed to do with my life? What is ‘the good life’ and how can I be happy? Who am I and what is my identity?

Let’s look at some worldview questions and provide some comparisons here:

  1. Origins
    1. Are we simply further evolved animals that came about through the interplay of matter, time, and chance?
    2. Are we created in the image and likeness of a personal God?
  2. What is the nature of humanity?
    1. Is humanity a highly complex meat machine, or a person made in the image of God?
    2. Are we created in the image and likeness of a personal God?
  3. Morality
    1. What’s wrong with the human condition?
    2. Is God the foundation of moral values and moral duties, or do humans/society create their own moral values and moral duties?
  4. Purpose
    1. Is there any objective meaning and purpose in life, or are we simply random creatures in a purposeless, meaningless universe?
    2. Do we create our own purpose and meaning?
  5. Identity/What Defines Us
    1. Being an Image Bearer of God?
    2. What I own? Where I live? My career? My sexuality? My political position?
  6. Destiny 
    1.What is our end? The Greek word ‘telos’ carries connotations of purpose, end, goal, and destination.2. Personal extinction, transformation to a higher state, reincarnation, or resurrection?
  7. History: Does history have a beginning and an end?
    1.Does history begin with God’s creation of the world and end with the return of Jesus?
    2. Is history headed in a specific direction?

Why do humans matter? 

These worldview issues are all related to the issue of social justice. But back to the issue of fighting for humans.  Why humans matter so much if all of reality is reducible to matter, chance, and the laws of nature? Biological reductionism, metaphysical materialism, and psychological behaviorism say that impersonal, physical, and valueless processes cause valuable, rights-bearing persons to be.

Humans, therefore, can assign value to fellow humans by sheer choice. However, this assignment of value to human life is subjective, not objective. Assigning value to people based on personal choice leads us to ask, “What if someone doesn’t think a group of people are valuable?” Rights, it seems, are linked to personhood. The Bible, for example, says that humans are made in the likeness and image of God, and that they are therefore intrinsically valuable. Rights come by virtue of who human beings are by nature, as opposed to function, productivity, or ‘usefulness. One thing is for sure: the concern over such a topic demonstrates that people live as if they care about justice, equality, and human rights. But to atheist and skeptics, why do humans matter so much and why would they be outraged over all the mistreatment of their fellow humans? Why fight so hard for humans?

There are five options other than grounding human value in anything other than a view that  humans are made in the likeness and image of God, and that they are therefore intrinsically valuable. Rights come by virtue of who human beings are by nature, as opposed to function, productivity, or ‘usefulness. Here they are:

First option: Peter Singer and others describe any attempt to see humans as more significant than any other part of the animal world as arrogant speciesism (the view that one’s own species is the superior one).

A second option is some form of rationalist autonomy, in which one of the properties that make humans significant is the use of reason—specifically people’s capacity to set ends for themselves.

A third option is to see human significance as somehow grounded in an evolutionary framework through adaptability and survival, though humans’ place at the top of the evolutionary ladder could well be temporary. This outlook opens the door to a view that is the subject of transhumanism (the view that it might be possible for human beings to surpass their humanity and become something different than merely human).

A fourth option is a type of naturalistic Platonism, which recognizes that some necessary things about human beings are built into the structure of the world but does not necessarily acknowledge that there is a designer who placed them there.

A final option, which moves toward the discussion of postmodern individualism addressed in the previous chapter, would be to see the grounding for human significance collapse into some form of subjectivism. In this outlook, significance is a matter of personal preference or is conferred by some external authority such as the state.

See Why People Matter: A Christian Engagement with Rival Views of Human Significance, John F. Kilner, Russell DiSilvestro, David Gushee, Amy Hall, John Kilner, Gilbert Meilaender, and Patrick Smith.

Conclusion

Apologetics can help Christians be informed about why they fight so hard for social justice. Yes, atheists and secularists and fight for social justice issues as well.  But I think a theistic worldview lays the groundwork for why we fight for the equality of humans, dignity, value,  and a better world.

via What is the Relationship Between Social Justice and Apologetics? — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

On the George Floyd Rioting — CultureWatch

What should we make of the rioting in American cities?

Most folk are aware of the tragic death of George Floyd that happened nearly a week ago in Minnesota. The 46yo African-American man was arrested by police but died soon afterwards while in custody. Since then rioting in American cities has been taking place.

It is hoped that all the facts and details of his death will fully come out in a court of law, and justice will prevail – for everyone involved. So that aspect of the case I will not comment on here. But I can discuss the rioting that has ensued – first in Minneapolis and now in numerous other American cities.

It is one thing to have a peaceful protest over perceived injustice, possible racism, or what might be police overreaction. But rioting, looting, arson attacks, and assaults on police and innocent bystanders is NOT the appropriate response. That is domestic terrorism, not protesting. Michael Brendan Dougherty puts it this way:

We must distinguish rioting and looting from protesting. People do not loot seeking justice for George Floyd, they loot for the loot. People don’t commit arson to make a political statement. What does burning an AutoZone even communicate if it could be translated into politics? People don’t assault those citizens standing in the way of looting and arson as a cry for help or to draw attention to social problems, they do so because looting and arson offer satisfactions to a reprobate will. http://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/anger-is-justified-riots-never-are/

And as is also so often the case, we have the usual rent-a-crowd activists involved. Militants from interstate are happy to show up and foment trouble and violence. As US Attorney General Bill Barr said:

Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda. In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far-left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence. We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities, and it is the responsibility of the local and state leadership, in the first instance, to halt this violence. http://www.theblaze.com/news/ag-barr-riots-far-left-antifa

Or as Dominic Green puts it:

There is no right to burn down your neighborhood, but it’s always an option. Freedom means choice, and real freedom must include the choice of self-destruction — but not destroying someone else’s neighborhood. Especially not when the neighborhood is mostly black and poor. That is what the privileged whites of antifa are doing by instigating disorder and destruction in Minneapolis’s 3rd precinct and elsewhere. ‘Every single person we arrested last night, I’m told, was from out of state,’ says Melvin Carter, Mayor of St Paul. Cost-free kicks at black people’s expense: the height of white privilege. spectator.us/antifa-white-privilege-race-minneapolis/

Indeed, as is so often the case in these sorts of situations, the radical left, including groups like Antifa, are more than happy to exploit these incidents for their own ends. And their ends usually entail the same old thing: the dismantling of America. So much of the rioting is based on the same old motivations: hatred of America, hatred of Trump, hatred of police, hatred of whites, and so on.

Sure, not all involved in the riots may have feel this way – but clearly many do. Enough is enough already. And recall that a similar situation occurred in Minneapolis in July 2017 – but with a role reversal. White Australian woman Justine Damond was shot and killed by black policeman Mohamed Noor. Recall that there were no riots that followed this action. Cities were not burning and widescale looting did not occur.

Thankfully some voices are being heard, calling for the end of the destruction and carnage. Of interest, some family and friends of Floyd have also decried the senseless violence:

Courteney Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend of three years, told the Star Tribune that she is “heartbroken” over the chaos that broke out in the city Tuesday night. “Waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate Floyd,” she said. “He loved the city. He came here [from Houston, Texas] and stayed here for the people and the opportunities … Floyd was a gentle giant. He was about love and about peace.” Although she “understands their frustration,” Ross added that she wants people to “protest in a peaceful way.” activistmommy.com/george-floyds-family-calls-for-an-end-to-riots-seeing-minneapolis-on-fire-would-devastate-him/

Also, some well-known Americans have also made a plea for calm:

Reacting to the death of George Floyd, rapper Lil Wayne said Friday that folks need to be “very specific” when reacting to perceived injustices, warning not to blame the “entire force” or an “entire race.” Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., noted that he’s unimpressed by “hashtag” and “t-shirt” activism if you don’t actually help the person you’re claiming to get justice for. The rapper also implored activists to “know” what they’re “protesting about” before they advocate a cause. “It’s a bunch of facts that we think we know that we don’t know,” he said. http://www.dailywire.com/news/lil-wayne-on-floyd-death-stop-blaming-entire-police-force-entire-race-there-are-a-bunch-of-facts-we-think-we-know-that-we-dont-know

As mentioned, it is hoped that the criminal justice system will prevail in the end and we will learn all the facts of this sad case. But the old maxim applies here: two wrongs do not make a right. Police overreaction does not justify crowd overreaction. As Steven Crowder tweeted: “If you’re a police officer violently abusing your power, you’re a THUG. If you’re a citizen looting local businesses for personal profit, you’re a THUG. Any questions?”

Oh, and one last thing, just to show how bizarre all this is: Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey said that his government was giving face masks to rioters in an effort to slow coronavirus spread. Um, I think most folks who live there would much rather prefer that he worked to slow – and stop – the rioting instead. Too often the police are just standing by watching as all the rioting is taking place.

Christian assessment

Let me conclude with a few obvious points that all believers should be able to agree upon. One, racism is always wrong, and biblical Christians should not be involved in it. Two, violent rioting is wrong. Peaceful protests of course are one thing, but destructive and wanton acts of rage and violence are not an option for the Christian.

Three, we need to be aware of the spiritual battles taking place here. What do we see in all this rioting? We see theft, we see killing, and we see destruction. What did Jesus say about the devil in John 10:10? He said this: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Four, and most obviously, we need to pray. Franklin Graham, has called for an urgent day of prayer on this:

As our nation convulses with pain, anger, and hatred, this is a moment for Christians to shine for our Lord, who is the Prince of Peace. The Bible says, “…do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26), yet each sundown is bringing with it the darkness of more violence and destruction in more cities. Scripture also tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). This means doing what we personally can do to right wrongs and help the hurting. It also means praying fervently to our Heavenly Father for Him to change hearts and heal our land. The One “who is in you”—Christ—“is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Because this is true, I am calling on all churches across our nation to make tomorrow morning—Sunday, May 31—a time for special intercession for our nation in their Sunday morning services, whether in person or online.

We need to pray for PEACE, because “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

Pray for PERSPECTIVE, because “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17).

Pray for PATIENCE, because of God’s “kindness and forbearance and patience” toward us all (Romans 2:4). And pray for an OUTPOURING of His wisdom and direction for our leaders and officials who are dealing with this crisis. Ask God to change hearts and heal this divide in our nation.

Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday, which marks the day the Holy Spirit filled Christ’s followers after He ascended back to the Father. There is no better time for us to seek a fresh visitation from God upon our lives, homes, churches, communities, and country. billygraham.org/story/franklin-graham-calls-for-nationwide-prayer-tomorrow/

Yes, please do pray.

via On the George Floyd Rioting — CultureWatch

Saturday Sampler: May 24 – May 30 — The Outspoken TULIP

In her Sunday series for The End Time, Elizabeth Prata turns to one of the pre-Reformers. Her post, Sunday Martyr Moment: John Huss, ‘The goose is cooked”reminds us how costly — and how necessary — it is to firmly stand for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s hear it for Michelle Lesley and her continued ability to combine common sense with Scriptural direction! She presents The Mailbag: Why no COVID weigh-in? with grace and strength, guiding her readers to respond Biblically. Her reasons for not blogging about this topic pretty much resemble my own.

Jordan Standridge reflects on The Dumbest Conspiracy Theory in History for The Cripplegate this week. His appeal to sound reason only supports the reliability of Scripture.

I appreciate Leslie A for using Growing 4 Life to help me examine myself before the Lord. Swimming Up a Waterfall provides another such opportunity. If you want to do some spiritual inventory, this blog post is for you!

This second essay by Elizabeth Prata may be difficult for some of you to read. It’s the 1960s all over again. I hated the ’60s demands our attention though, perhaps precisely because Elizabeth says difficult things that we need to hear. She also reminds us of the hope we have as Christians.

J.K. Wall shows us that We Are All Exiles Now in his article for Gentle Reformation. His devotional raises some interesting ideas that you may want to ponder.

via Saturday Sampler: May 24 – May 30 — The Outspoken TULIP

May 30 Single Peace

 

1 Corinthians 7:32

He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord.

People are single for four kinds of reasons: physical, medical, spiritual, or they just want to be single—not everybody wants to be married and apparently that is a part of God’s plan. Some of the greatest people who ever served God were single. Rejoice in all the gifts God has given you, including your singleness.

Seeking marriage is not wrong, but don’t let that search dominate your life. We must not make finding a marriage partner the supreme goal of our lives by putting all our energies into searching for a mate. We must learn to be in God’s will. A very wise person said, “There is something far worse than single loneliness, and that is marital misery.” Learn contentment, for it is great gain.

If God has a mate for you, He knows how to bring the two of you together. Don’t take things into your own hands.

Wherever you are, whatever your situation, use the time to grow both mentally and spiritually.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 157). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

May 30 Never Quit

 

Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes.
(Psalm 44:5, NIV)

Only when you accept failure as final are you finally a failure. Any time you learn from a mistake, you’ve taken a major step towards success. You can’t hit a home run unless you get out of the dugout and face the pitcher. Baseball legend Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, but he also struck out 1,330 times. During a low period, an interviewer asked him how he overcame discouragement. He replied, “If I just keep swinging the bat, the law of averages says I’ll catch up. In fact, when I’m in a slump, I feel sorry for the pitcher, because I know that, sooner or later, he’s going to pay for it.” What a great attitude!

It’s your attitude that determines whether failure makes you or breaks you. Imagine, Henry Ford actually forgot to put a reverse gear into his first car. But instead of giving up, he just said, “Failure is only a necessary step to success!” If Abraham could start out as an idol worshiper and finish up as “the friend of God,” then there’s hope for all of us. When Benjamin Disraeli attempted to speak in Parliament for the first time, they booed him into silence. But he said, “Though I sit down now, the time will come when you will all hear me.” He was right! His critics are forgotten, but his words live on. David said, “Through You we [will] push back our enemies” (Psalms 44:5).

 

That means, through God, you can get back up, you can prevail, and you can win![1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 150). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

William Lane Craig explains the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement — WINTERY KNIGHT

Probably one of the most common questions that you hear from people who don’t fully understand Christianity is this question: “why did Jesus have to die?”. The answer that most Christians seem to hold to is that 1) humans are rebelling against God, 2) Humans deserve punishment for their rebellion, 3) Humans cannot escape the punishment for their rebellion on their own, 4) Jesus was punished in the place of the rebellious humans, 5) Those who accept this sacrifice are forgiven for their rebelling.

Are humans rebellious?

Some people think that humans are not really rebellious at all, but it’s actually easy to see. You can see it just by looking at how people spend their time. Some of us have no time for God at all, and instead try to fill our lives with material possessions and experiences in order to have happy feelings. Some of us embrace just the parts of God that make us feel happy, like church and singing and feelings of comfort, while avoiding the hard parts of that vertical relationship; reading, thinking and disagreeing with people who don’t believe the truth about God. And so on.

This condition of being in rebellion is universal, and all of us are guilty of breaking the law at some point. All of us deserve to be separated from God’s goodness and love. Even if we wanted to stop rebelling, we would not be able to make up for the times where we do rebel by being good at other times, any more than we could get out of a speeding ticket by appealing to the times when we drove at the speed limit, (something that I never do, in any case).

This is not to say that all sinners are punished equally – the degree of punishment is proportional to the sins a person commits. However, the standard is perfection. And worse than that, the most important moral obligation is a vertical moral obligation. You can’t satisfy the demands of the moral law just by making your neighbor happy, while treating God like a pariah. The first commandment is to love God, the second is to love your neighbor. Even loving your neighbor requires you to tell your neighbor the truth – not just to make them feel good. The vertical relationship is more important than the horizontal one, and we’ve all screwed up the vertical relationship. We all don’t want God to be there, telling us what’s best for us, interfering with our fun. We don’t want to relate to a loving God if it means having to care what he thinks about anything that we are doing.

Who is going to pay for our rebellion?

The Christian answer to the problem of our rebellion is that Jesus takes the punishment we deserve in our place.

However, I’ve noticed that on some atheist blogs, they don’t like the idea that someone else can take our punishment for us to exonerate us for crimes that we’ve committed. So I’ll quote from this post by the great William Lane Craig, to respond to that objection.

Excerpt:

The central problem of the Penal Theory is, as you point out, understanding how punishing a person other than the perpetrator of the wrong can meet the demands of justice. Indeed, we might even say that it would be wrong to punish some innocent person for the crimes I commit!

It seems to me, however, that in other aspects of human life we do recognize this practice. I remember once sharing the Gospel with a businessman. When I explained that Christ had died to pay the penalty for our sins, he responded, “Oh, yes, that’s imputation.” I was stunned, as I never expected this theological concept to be familiar to this non-Christian businessman. When I asked him how he came to be familiar with this idea, he replied, “Oh, we use imputation all the time in the insurance business.” He explained to me that certain sorts of insurance policy are written so that, for example, if someone else drives my car and gets in an accident, the responsibility is imputed to me rather than to the driver. Even though the driver behaved recklessly, I am the one held liable; it is just as if I had done it.

Now this is parallel to substitutionary atonement. Normally I would be liable for the misdeeds I have done. But through my faith in Christ, I am, as it were, covered by his divine insurance policy, whereby he assumes the liability for my actions. My sin is imputed to him, and he pays its penalty. The demands of justice are fulfilled, just as they are in mundane affairs in which someone pays the penalty for something imputed to him. This is as literal a transaction as those that transpire regularly in the insurance industry.

So, it turns out that the doctrine of substitionary atonement is not as mysterious or as objectionable as everyone seems to think it is.

via William Lane Craig explains the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement — WINTERY KNIGHT

May—30 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord! behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.—John 11:3, 4.

My soul! ponder these words. It may be said now, as it was then, Lord! behold he whom thou lovest, yea, many our Lord Jesus loveth, are at this present hour sick! Who shall calculate the number? Who shall mark down the tears of the sorrowful of the Lord’s people? But Jesus knows them all; yea, appoints all; and he it is of whom it is said, “He putteth their tears into his bottle: Are not these things noted in thy book?” These words suggest another sweet thought. The sorrowful sisters, in their message to the Lord Jesus, did not tell him that one whom they loved was sick, but one whom Jesus loved. There could be no doubt of their love to their brother; but their application to Jesus was on account of his love. My soul! do not overlook this. It is the most blessed and the most powerful of all arguments in prayer, when we come to a throne of grace for those that are near and dear to us, when we can and do tell the Lord, that they for whom we seek his mercy are the objects of his love. The observation of our Lord, on receiving the message, is most delightful. Sit down, this evening, and ponder it well. It is what may with safety be applied to every case, and every exercise of the Lord’s people, in all their eventful pilgrimage through life, whether in one trial or another. “This sickness,” this sorrow, this temptation, be it what it may, “is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Now, my soul, bring it to the proof. Every rod of Jesus hath a voice, and speaks as well as corrects; and when at any time he exerciseth it, this is the invariable language: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” And when the voice is heard, and the soul is thereby brought to listen to the Redeemer, then the close of the dispensation proves that it is not indeed unto death but for the divine glory. So that, let the exercise be what it may, we then see Jesus in it. His wisdom sent it, his love is in it, and his strength will carry the believer through it: yea so much of the Lord’s presence will accompany every step we take during the dark hour, that, dark as things are around, there will be constant daylight in the soul. And so truly blessed are those dispensations, which, in their first view, carry a frowning aspect with them, that, when the sable covering is thus taken off by the hand of faith, on hearing Jesus’s voice under all, they have been tenfold more productive of the Redeemer’s glory and the soul’s happiness, than in the smoother providences where such exercises have not been given. My soul! what saith thine own experience to this statement? Doth the Redeemer lay crosses in thy way? Are they marked with his inscription, “Bring them unto me?” Art thou visited with sickness, and doth Jesus perform the part of the tenderest nurse, and sit up by thee? Dost thou hear his well-known voice, saying, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you?” Surely, then, thou wilt fully subscribe to the sweet words of Jesus, in his answer to the sorrowful sisters. Every exercise and every trial of the Lord’s people, which he sweetens and sanctifies, “is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” For if it teach creature-weakness, and Creator-strength—if the believer is made sensible of his helplessness, and of Jesus’s all-sufficiency—if renewed feelings add one testimony more, that there is nothing but sickness, sin, and sorrow, in us, and therefore in Jesus alone all our resources of health, and righteousness, and joy, are found, these improvements will always give glory to God, and magnify the riches of his grace, that “the Son of God may be glorified thereby.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 166–167). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Virtual Vacation Bible School, WOW VBS Offering Free Registration for Churches and Families — CBN News feeds

Image Credit: WOW VBS/YouTube

A four-day online Vacation Bible School (VBS) scheduled for June is offering free registration for churches and families.

The WOW VBS global online event will feature hosts from around the world, celebrity appearances, and kid’s ministry guest artists.

New Dimensions Evangelism and Faith Kidz Ministries are sponsoring the live-streamed event that will include worship, teaching, Bible stories, engaging activities, and some surprise guests.

Scott Humston, president of New Dimensions says these events will be free of charge for churches to host and share with their children’s ministries.

Churches from 17 different countries have already registered for WOW VBS and Humston predicts this could be the “largest online Vacation Bible School event ever created. WOW can be used by churches of all denominations, even if they already have virtual Vacation Bible School plans,” Humston added. “WOW is flexible enough to be combined with Zoom parties, crafts and game activities or any other programs churches want to offer to their families.”

“These kids ministry performers have lent their time and talent to make these shows fun, engaging, and highly entertaining,” says Steve Pennington, director of Faith Kidz. “Though the events are completely free to everyone, we are accepting donations that will help cover the production costs as well as pay these incredible ministry leaders. We hope to also raise funds and awareness for our sponsoring partners World Vision, Because International, New Missions, Sunday Cool, and All Star Kids Club.”

Entertainment during WOW VBS will include magicians, comedians, bands, and singers from New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Australia.

There are a number of ways to join the live stream and those who register will receive free materials and instructions to share with their church and family.

“We are hoping to get 10,000 churches to join the WOW live streams,” says Humston. “Our goal is to have one million kids be part of this incredible, first-time event. In a scary, uncertain time when our children need some laughter and fun in their lives, we are also mindful that our kids also need to hear the Good News that can change their lives forever. That’s what WOW is all about.”

WOW VBS is scheduled from June 22 – June 25. To find out more, click here.

via Virtual Vacation Bible School, WOW VBS Offering Free Registration for Churches and Families — CBN News feeds

May 30 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest.

Lord God, I enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction. Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and few find it. Your kingdom suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. I do not labor for the food which perishes, but for that which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give me. I will be even more diligent to make my calling and election sure, for so an entrance will be supplied to me abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I will run in such a way that I may obtain it. Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but I for an imperishable crown.

For I who have entered Your rest have myself also ceased from my works as You, God, did from Yours. You, Lord, will be to me an everlasting light, and You, God, my glory.

Help me, Lord God, live for You and walk the narrow path so I may rest in You.

Hebrews 4:11; Matthew 7:13–14; Matthew 11:12; John 6:27; 2 Peter 1:10–11; 1 Corinthians 9:24–25; Hebrews 4:10; Isaiah 60:19[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 165). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

India Extends Lockdown For 4th Time As New Cases, Deaths Surge; 5 Upstate New York Regions Enter “Phase 2”: Virus Updates | ZeroHedge News

Summary:

  • Pope Francis urges countries to divert weapons spending to pandemic prevention
  • Belgian prince tests postiive
  • Italy reports just 117 deaths Saturday
  • 3rd UK gov’t scientist cautions against Johnson’s reopening plan
  • Cuomo says 5 upstate regions can move into ‘Phase 2’
  • Spain reports just 4 deaths
  • India extends lockdown for 4th time
  • Modi warns country “besieged” by virus
  • India reports record jump in new cases
  • Global cases pass 6 million
  • Russia reports highest daily case tally in a week as lockdown eases
  • CDC admits antibody tests extremely unreliable
  • Brazil now has fifth-highest death toll, pushing aside Spain, with ~28k deaths
  • UK PM BoJo to start easing lockdown measures Monday
  • US economic data paints a mixed picture of recovery

* * *

Update (1415ET): In addition to his other announcements earlier, NY Gov Andrew Cuomo unveiled plans to provide “death benefits” to families of front-line workers who died during the pandemic.

* * *

Update (1350ET): Pope Francis urged politicians to divert money spent on weapons to research into how to prevent another pandemic.
On Saturday, Francis presided over an outdoor prayer service with about 130 people, including many directly affected by the pandemic, praying the rosary in the Vatican gardens while others from about 50 catholic shrines from around the world joined in via videolink. Francis urged leaders to take a “far-sighted approach” that puts the most needy first.

In other news, a nephew of Belgium’s King Philippe, Prince Joachim, tested positive for coronavirus after traveling to a party in Spain.

* * *

Update (1230ET): Indian PM Narendra Modi warned last night that India’s suffering isn’t yet over, while also acknowledging the hardships that migrant workers and others have endured due to the lockdown.

“Our country (is) besieged with problems amidst a vast population and limited resources,” Modi said in an open letter marking the end of the first year of his second term.

The prime minister also acknowledged laborers and migrant workers had “undergone tremendous suffering” due to the lockdowns.

India reported 7,964 new coronavirus cases, a 24-hour high, on Saturday bringing the total number of infections to 174,020, while nearly 5,000 people have died across the country of 1.4 billion due to coronavirus.

In other news, Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health confirmed 2,355 new  cases over the past 24 hours on Saturday, bringing the total number of positive COVID-19 cases to 55,262, marking the largest daily jump on record since the outbreak began. No new deaths were announced, but 36 people in the country have so died so far

Italy reported another 111 COVID-19 linked deaths on Saturday, more than the 87 reported on the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new cases fell to 416 from 516 on Friday. The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 33,340 the agency said. The number of confirmed cases amounts to 232,664.

Spain’s death toll increased by just four to 27,125, the health ministry said Saturday, as the country’s gradual reopening continued. The total number of infections, meanwhile, increased by 664 on Saturday to 239,228.

A third member of a scientific advisory body to the British government has warned that it is too soon to lift the COVID-19 lockdown because the test and trace system is not yet fully operational. Professor Peter Horby, chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, warned that the UK couldn’t risk allowing the virus to spread uncontrolled.

“We really can’t go back to a situation where we’ve got the numbers of cases and deaths we’ve had in the past…As we know, [test and trace is] not yet fully operational so that is where the risk lies.”

The UK death toll from people who have tested positive for COVID-19 rose by 215 to 38,376, the government said Saturday.

In NY, Cuomo said the state is now focused on 10 ‘hotspots’ as the reopening continues, and advised that he would have the state AG Letitia James investigate the destabilizing protests that have rocked the state this weekend.

Watch the press briefing below:

Cuomo also announced that five upstate regions which reopened two weeks ago can now move into Phase 2 of the reopening plan. This includes the Finger Lakes (including Rochester), Mohawk Valley (including Utica), Central New York (including Syracuse), the Southern Tier and the North Country. Under Phase 2, all office-based jobs can reopen with 50% capacity, in-store shopping can return to 50% capacity though employees must wear face masks, but malls will remain closed. Real estate services can also reopen as well as hair salons and barber shops, though these must use restrictions.

* * *

With Americans fixated on the civil unrest spreading to dozens of cities around the country following the latest officer-involved killing of an unarmed black man, the CDC has released some alarming conclusions about the antibody tests that are being rolled out by states as part of sprawling surveillance efforts to try and stop a second wave of COVID-19.

As the global coronavirus case count passes 6 million, Indian PM Narendra Modi announced on Saturday that he would once again be extending a restrictive lockdown that has helped keep the number of confirmed cases in the world’s second-largest country to just ~150k. A recent uptick in new cases prompted the decision – which some Indians are calling “Lockdown 5”, given that it’s the fourth extension.

A paper published just yesterday by a team of analysts at Goldman Sachs shows how India’s easing – moderate though it was – has seemingly led to a rebound in new cases. This underlines two themes: 1) that the strict lockdown imposed by Modi – which is broadly popular even if it has left many disillusioned – appears to have been effective…and the notion that many Indians are still afraid to venture back out into society.

Case in point: electricity generation tumbled again the week before last…

…and mobility and other activity indicators remain weak…

…even as lockdown measures have eased across the country.

Source: GS

According to the FT, the new timeline will allow restaurants, hotels, malls and places of worship to open from June 8 as it looks to resume economic activity despite the country’s rising coronavirus caseload.

Though some reopening measures have been introduced around India in recent weeks, the government said Saturday that strict lockdown measures will remain in effect in designated “containment zones” – neighborhoods where the virus is said to be especially prevalent.

Widespread rioting is the latest obstacle for the US economy. At this point, every state has at least started the process of reopening their economies, even as the number of cases reported daily continues to rise in some (though the gulf between the worst-hit states and virtually every other state remains vast).

With a headline trumpeting more promising “green shoots” now that the nadir of what one analyst called “our 2 month recession” has supposedly been reached, the FT heralded data showing an increase in traffic and a fall in panic purchases at US supermarkets as “signs that Americans are taking their first cautious steps back to normality after coronavirus flatlined the economy.”

However, economic data released over the last few days offer a decidedly more mixed picture. As a plunge in private wages continues to crimp spending, traumatized Americans are putting more money aside, and a recent gauge of consumer sentiment suggests that while most Americans believe the economy will continue to improve, they expect economic conditions, broadly speaking, will remain “unfavorable” in the coming year.

Brussels’ unelected bureaucrats bristle at accusations they are “out of touch” with the common man, but on Saturday, as some of America’s largest cities burned, the EU leadership called on President Trump to reconsider his decision to cut ties with the WHO.

Meanwhile, in the UK, PM Boris Johnson is facing growing criticism over his plan to start reopening Britain in earnest on Monday…after receiving torrents of criticism that his lockdown measures were overly restrictive.

Finally, some more bad news for Russia as its lockdown measures finally start to lift. After a long streak of slowing cases, the country recorded its highest daily jump in new coronavirus cases in more than a week on Saturday, as the total number of infections closed in on 400k. Brazil also reported another harrowing statistic on Friday evening as it overtook Spain to become the country with the fifth-highest death toll in the world, with ~28k confirmed deaths.

Russian public health officials recorded 8,952 new cases of Covid-19 and 181 deaths from the virus. Official figures on Saturday showed a total of 396,575 infections and 4,555 deaths.

Source: India Extends Lockdown For 4th Time As New Cases, Deaths Surge; 5 Upstate New York Regions Enter “Phase 2”: Virus Updates

Ex-NYPD lieutenant warns about ‘paid agitators’ during George Floyd riots

Former NYPD Lt. Darrin Porcher warned about paid demonstrators infiltrating ongoing riots and emphasized the importance of communities working with law enforcement.

Source: Ex-NYPD lieutenant warns about ‘paid agitators’ during George Floyd riots

‘We need some perspective’ on U.S. COVID-19 death toll | WND

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Timothy Allen & John Lott

Real Clear Politics

The latest Centers for Disease Control data show that the COVID-19 fatality rate is 0.26% — four times higher than the worst rate for the seasonal flu over the past decade. That is dramatically lower than the World Health Organization’s estimate of 3.4% and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s initial guess of about 2%.

When the CDC projected 1.7 million deaths back in March, it used an estimated death rate of 0.8%. Imperial College’s estimate of 2.2 million deaths assumed a rate of 0.9%. The fear generated by the projections drives the public policy debate. The Washington Post headline, “As deaths mount, Trump tries to convince Americans it’s safe to inch back to normal,” were part of a steady diet of such fare. When Georgia opened up over a month ago, the Post warned: “Georgia leads the race to become America’s No. 1 Death Destination.”

The CDC currently puts the number of confirmed deaths at about 100,000. But even the “best estimate” 0.26% fatality rate is a significant overestimate because of how the CDC is counting deaths. The actual rate is fairly close to a recent bad year for the seasonal flu. And though public health officials have been transparent about how they are counting coronavirus deaths, the implications for calculating the infection fatality rate are not appreciated.

“The case definition is very simplistic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, explains. “It means, at the time of death, it was a COVID positive diagnosis. That means, that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means, technically even if you died of [a] clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.”

Medical examiners from Colorado to Michigan use the same definition. In Macomb and Oakland counties in Michigan, where most of the deaths in that state occurred, medical examiners classify any death as a coronavirus death when the postmortem test is positive. Even people who died in suicides and automobile accidents meet that definition.

Such expansive definitions are not due to rogue public health officials. The rules direct them to do this. “If someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx recently noted.

Beyond including people with the virus who clearly didn’t die from it, the numbers are inflated by counting people who don’t even have the virus. New York has classified many cases as coronavirus deaths even when postmortem tests have been negative. The diagnosis can be based on symptoms, even though the symptoms are often similar to those of the seasonal flu.

The Centers for Disease Control guidance explicitly acknowledges the uncertainty that doctors can face when identifying the cause of death. When coronavirus cases are “suspected,” the agency counsels doctors that “it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate.” This advice has produced a predictable inflation in the numbers. When New York City’s death toll rose above 10,000 on April 21, the New York Times reported that the city included “3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive” – more than a 50% increase in the number of cases.

Nor can this be explained by false-negative results in the tests. For the five most commonly used tests, the least reliable test still scored a 96% accuracy rate in laboratory settings. Some doctors report feeling pressure from hospitals to list deaths as being due to the coronavirus, even when the doctors don’t believe that is the case “to make it look a little bit worse than it is.” That is pressure they say they never previously faced in reporting deaths from the seasonal flu.

There are financial incentives that might make a difference for hospitals and doctors. The CARES Act adds a 20% premium for COVID-19 Medicare patients. Birx and others are also concerned that the CDC’s “antiquated” accounting system is double-counting cases and inflating mortality and case counts “by as much as 25%.” When all these anomalies are added up, it becomes apparent that we simply don’t have an accurate death toll from this new coronavirus. But it seems clear that the correct rate is just a little worse than the rate for the 2017-2018 flu.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post, New York Times, and others claim that we are undercounting the true number of deaths. They reach that conclusion by showing that the total number of deaths from all causes is about 30% greater than we would typically expect from March through early May. They then conclude that the excess is due to deaths not being accurately labeled as due to the coronavirus.

But these are not normal times. Many people with heart problems aren’t going to the hospital for fear of the virus. Delaying cancer surgeries and other serious medical treatments for months has real impacts on life expectancies. The stress of the situation is almost certainly increasing suicides and other illnesses. Which is not to minimize the threat: Even if the true death toll is now closer to 50,000 than 100,000, this pandemic is a big deal. But we need some perspective. During the 2017-18 flu season, 61,000 Americans died from the flu.

Public health officials need to face a lot of serious questions about how they counted Coronavirus deaths. We don’t have all the answers yet, but it’s clear the inflated numbers have helped mislead people into a state of alarmism.

Timothy Allen is a governor of the College of American Pathologists and chairs the Department of Pathology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

John Lott is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

Source: ‘We need some perspective’ on U.S. COVID-19 death toll

Trump Blasts “Antifa, Radical Left” After Minneapolis Officials Blame “White Supremacists, Foreign Actors & Terror Cells” For Rioting, Looting | ZeroHedge News

Update (1440ET): After blaming “outsiders” for instigating the riots that have left swaths of Minneapolis in ruins, the city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, is now also blaming “foreign actors”…

…while warning that the nat’l guard has been “fully mobilized”.

Of course! Nobody would be looting if it weren’t for the KGB, duh.

* * *

Update (1200ET): Perhaps confirming his reasoning for maintaining his Twitter feed (to counter the ‘fake news’ media), President Trump has tweeted in response to the blame-scaping occurring below:

*  *  *

There is a delicate tightrope of a path to tread here as politicians, officials, media are forced to admit that these “protests” are now “riots” and while the death of George Flynn at the hands of an over-zealous cop to say the least was egregious, the rioting, looting, and shooting across the nation last night is hard for even the most ardent member of the ‘Resistance’ to defend.

So, what they need is a narrative-shifting bump, to get back to the “it’s racism and it’s Trump’s fault” narrative that Biden began yesterday.

And cue this morning’s Minneapolis, St.Pauls, Minnesote officials press conference this morning to set up the pretense…

First, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz summed-up the current chaos erupting nationwide perfectly:

“These are outsiders… This is absolutely no longer about George Floyd or addressing inequities anymore. This is an organized attack designed to destabilize civil society.”

Then Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirmed that the people who are coming to Minneapolis to protest are not residents and are “coming in largely from outside the city.”

Our Minneapolis residents are scared and rightfully so. We’ve seen longterm institutional businesses overridden. We’ve seen community institutions set on fire. And I want to be very, very clear. The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents,” he said at a news briefing on Saturday. He said the protests earlier this week that were mostly peaceful and were largely attended by those who lived in the city, but “the dynamic has changed.”

“Gradually that shift was made and we saw more and more people coming from outside of the city. We saw more and more people looking to cause violence in our communities, and I have to say, it is not acceptable,” Frey said. “This is no longer about verbal expression. This is about violence and we need to make sure that it stops,” he added. St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said everyone who was arrested in his city last night was from outside the state.“What we are seeing right now is a group of people who are not from here,” he said.

And then finally, Minneapolis Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington once again confirmed that narrative:

“…I’m not seeing peaceful demonstrations. And I am not seeing, frankly, any empathy or any heart for Mr. Floyd”

And added that last night we saw a change in the temperament and the approach:

“…they are what I call rioters…they are not demonstrating for a case, they are not protesting injustice, they were simply bent on destruction.”

So the question is – who are “they”? These rioters that suddenly appeared out of nowhere to instill anarchy in the peace-loving people of Minneapolis (and 35 other cities around the nation)? Harrington appears to have an answer – it’s a white supremacist terror cell…

“…as we have made arrests, we have done contract-tracing similar to our covid response… who are they associated with? what platforms are they advocating for? …and we have seen things like white supremacy… part of an organized criminal organization and we are looking at whether this is an organized cell of terror.

Which also backed up what the Minnesota AG said: “Yes there are infiltrators…They are white & probably white supremacists…”

So, there it is folks. Despite scenes of 1000s of black folks looting stores and firebombing police precincts, this is white supremacists’ fault… probably using Facebook to brainwash otherwise-peaceful Americans who just wanted to go about their day (and definitely not antifa! Don’t you dare suggest that, because that would be racist… just asking an awkward question though – how likely is it that a group of young white nationalists would burn a precinct to the ground?).

Source: Trump Blasts “Antifa, Radical Left” After Minneapolis Officials Blame “White Supremacists, Foreign Actors & Terror Cells” For Rioting, Looting

Protesters, Rioters, Looters, and Revolutionaries, Be Aware There Are Government Agents Among You | Ron Paul Institute

With protests, riots, looting, and revolutionary acts rising over the last few days across the country, here is a bit of information for participants in these activities to keep in mind: There are likely government agents among you. These government agents are undercover and taking part in the activities with you. Their role may be to take down names and inform on activities; their role may to act as provocateurs, seeking to lead you and others to do or say particular things; their role may be to make arrests.

This fact of life in America came to mind when I looked at a Friday Twitter post by journalist Luke Rudkowski. Rudkowski’s tweet includes a video clip in which a uniformed cop is among a group of people, many of whom seem to not be too happy with the cop. The cop is doling out some physical abuse, particularly on an individual he is trying to restrain, and receiving some physical abuse as well from several people in the crowd. It appears that the cop may be on the verge of being overpowered and seriously hurt. Indeed, it looks like a situation where he may pull out a gun to protect himself.

In the latter part of the video, one more person rushes into the area of conflict and seems to engage in a scuffle with the cop, drawing the cop out of the area and even chasing the cop off. At least that is how it seemed the first time I watched the video.

Something seemed off about how the two men interacted in the latter part of the video, so I watched a few more times.

Watching the video over and over, it looks more and more like the man who had seemed to come in to scuffle with the cop is actually pulling the cop out of the fray as a friend or coworker may do, while maybe putting on some ruse of conflict to ensure the extraction works. Indeed, at the end of the video clip, after a few viewings, it sure looks like neither man is chasing after the other. Instead, once clear of the danger that had confronted the cop, both men appear to jog off together.

It seems impossible to be certain just from looking at the video clip, but what appears to be happening here is an undercover cop, posing as a member of the protest, riot, or whatever came in to save the uniformed cop’s bacon or to prevent a further escalation of the physical conflict.

Undercover government agents are out there, and they are not out there just to protect the uniformed police. They are also there for purposes including surveilling and foiling the protesters, rioters, looters, or revolutionaries, as well as both provoking people to commit crimes and making arrests.

Source: Protesters, Rioters, Looters, and Revolutionaries, Be Aware There Are Government Agents Among You