“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
Anxiety is not mere concern. It is not the type of fear that helps us survive in a dangerous situation. It is not concern for the moment that we put our sixteen-year-old behind the wheel for the first time or for our sick child’s health. Rather, it is an ongoing, fearful restlessness wherein we imagine hypothetical circumstances of loss. The anxious one is playing the prophet by looking into the possible futures and imagining what it might feel like to lose something we love. Therein, common anxiety develops when we fear losing something we find truly precious. That over-concern spirals into a vicious circle of spiritual—and oftentimes physical—damage.
In 1947 and less than two years after Germany’s surrender in World War II, W.H. Auden published an epic poem that encapsulated in its title the condition of the twentieth-century Western heart: “The Age of Anxiety.” While Auden himself said it was “frightfully long,” he does from the very beginning capture in verse the human quest to find an identity and purpose in a mechanical, lonely world. Auden was correct. Anxiety is an ever-increasing and prevailing quality of contemporary Western culture. But while anxiety has been on the increase for the last seventy years, it is indeed a problem of the universal human condition. The good news is that long before figures such as Sigmund Freud or B.F. Skinner would develop the modern science of psychology, the Bible addressed this monumental problem of the human psyche in its own prescription for a life of wisdom.
One of the most important and yet simplest questions we can ask as we try to address the problem of anxiety is, What is anxiety? As soon as our hands get sweaty, our stomach turns in knots, or pins and needles strike our fingertips, we know that we are experiencing a worry that has become damaging even to our bodies. Anxiety, as many scientific studies point out, takes a toll on our health. In Luke 12:32, Jesus says, “Fear not, little flock,” using a synonym of the Greek word for anxiety. We must hear the God-man’s gentle tone when we come to that famous moment in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gives us the command, “Do not be anxious” (Matt. 6:25). Christ is saying to His people that on the one hand, anxiety is so serious (hence, the command) that we must fight against it for the life of our souls. On the other hand, as Ed Welch has pointed out, Jesus is saying it like this: “I’ve come to help you, little flock.” In other words, anxiety is not good. It is not OK. It is a psychological condition resulting from living in a cursed, fallen reality. Yet, Jesus knows that no one wants to be anxious, and that most often it feels as if it is happening to us more than we are actively choosing to be anxious.
The Word of God first helps us by defining anxiety so that we will understand precisely what we are up against. In Jeremiah 17:8, there is a revelatory instance that puts flesh on the concept. Echoing the blessed man of Psalm 1, Jeremiah writes, “He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and it is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” This is an example of Hebrew poetry where two terms are used in parallel and therefore should be taken as synonyms. The terms are “fear” and “anxious.” Whenever circumstances get hot or when the world outside of us seems to be like a wave crashing down on our heads, the one who fears God is enabled to float. To use the metaphor of Jeremiah 17, the one who fears the Lord has roots deep enough that circumstances do not wither the leaves of his heart. Alternatively, the more our roots are planted in temporary and fleeting desires, the more we will be overcome with fear or anxiety. Jeremiah is saying that anxiety is a type of fear.
Here is our main problem: we prefer darkness to light:
Yesterday I spoke to a group of people at a church about the dangers of cultural Marxism. During the Q&A one fellow asked what the endgame of all this was. I replied by saying that there are two answers that can be given. First, the end being sought by all Marxist is of course the classless society, one in which private property and capitalism no longer exists, and a ‘socialist utopia’ comes about. Dream on.
But secondly – and more importantly, because it deals with the bigger picture – the end is what Satan exists for: he seeks to steal, kill and destroy, as Jesus said in John 10:10. The cultural Marxist war on faith, family and freedom is at bottom a spiritual campaign instigated and led by Satan himself.
Everything God loves and values Satan hates. So if God loves and values the sanctity of life, the institutions of marriage and family, and so on, then Satan hates these things. And he has plenty of his minions carrying out his hatred and warfare on God’s people.
In other words, there is real evil in the world, and there are people fully committed to real evil. I told my audience yesterday that evil people exist who really do hate Christianity, Christians, and everything that we hold near and dear. We dare not be naïve about the reality of evil, and those who are fully committed to it.
But sadly, far too many Christian ARE naïve and clueless about the reality of Satan, of evil, and of the fact that we are in an all-out war. The spiritual war that is taking place all around us is of course manifest at all levels: social, political, ideological, moral, cultural, and so on.
In the light of all this, let me point out this sad fact: One of the great problems of the Christian church today is that everyone knows John 3:16 by heart and can easily recite it anytime, anywhere. But the great majority of Christians do NOT know what the very next five verses say.
To fully be aware of verse 16 while not having a clue what the following verses say is much like a five-year-old knowing how to put a key in the car’s ignition, stepping on the gas, but not knowing what to do next. Nothing but trouble can come of that.
While we can all rejoice in the truth of John 3:16, that God does love us enough to send his only Son to rescue us from sin and self, it becomes a half truth when divorced from the verses that immediately follow. Indeed, it becomes a real distortion of biblical reality.
So let me present to you the entire passage, John 3:16-21:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.
The same gospel that speaks of God’s love for mankind also speaks about God’s wrath and just judgment on those who refuse his offer of reconciliation and forgiveness. There is salvation for the one, but condemnation for the other. Both truths must always be affirmed together.
And note that my title comes from John 3:19: “people loved the darkness rather than the light”. Until we get this vital truth into our heads, we will forever be impotent in understanding and dealing with evil, and we will never be well-placed in the spiritual and cultural wars that everywhere exist.
As long as we foolishly believe that people are basically nice, that everyone is really a good guy, and God is quite happy with us all just as we are, we will be of no use for Christ and the Kingdom. Only a fully biblical view of mankind will suffice.
And that view is quite straightforward: while we re all created in God’s image, and therefore of great worth and value, we are also all fallen, and therefore are all grotesquely sinful, evil and selfish. The difference between you and me and a Hitler or a Stalin is only one of degree, not essence.
Those two tyrants gave full vent to their sinful and fallen condition. They were evil men who did evil things, because they preferred darkness to light. But all of us likewise prefer darkness to light. That is our default position, and only the miraculous work of conversion can change us from evil and selfish sinners, to saved and holy saints.
Let me offer a bit of commentary here on this text from John 3. I will make use of just one source here: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, drawing upon two of his important works. The first comes from his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. Commenting on Matthew 5:14 he says this:
When you come back to the great basic and fundamental problems of life and living, of being and existence, is it not obvious that our Lord’s statement is still true, that the world is in a state of terrible darkness? Think of it in the realm of personal life and conduct and behaviour. There are many men with great knowledge in many departments of thought who are just tragic failures in their own personal lives. Look at it in the realm of relationships between person and person. At the very time when we have been boasting of our enlightenment and knowledge and understanding, there is this tragic breakdown in personal relationships. It is one of the major moral and social problems of society. Observe how we have multiplied our institutions and organizations. We have to give instruction now concerning things about which people were never instructed in the past. For instance, we now have to have Marriage Guidance classes. Up to this century men and women were married without this expert advice which now seems to be so essential. It all proclaims very eloquently that as regards the great momentous questions of how to live, how to avoid evil, and sin, and all that is base and unworthy, how to be clean, and straight, and pure, and chaste, and wholesome, there is gross darkness. Then, as you come up the scale and look at the relationships between group and group, there is obviously again the same condition and so we have these great industrial and economic problems. On a still higher level, look at the relationships between nation and nation. This century, of all centuries, when we talk so much about our knowledge and enlightenment, is proving that the world is in a state of unutterable darkness with regard to these vital and fundamental problems.
We must go even further than that, however. Our Lord not only pronounces that the world is in a state of darkness, He goes so far as to say that nobody but a Christian can give any helpful advice, knowledge or instruction with respect to it. That is our proud claim and boast as Christian people. The greatest thinkers and philosophers are completely baffled at this present time and I could easily give you many quotations from their writings to prove that. I care not where you look in the realm of pure science or philosophy with regard to these ultimate questions; the writers are completely at a loss to explain or understand their own century. This is because their controlling theory was that all man needed was more knowledge. They believed that if man had knowledge he would inevitably apply it to the solution of his difficulties. But, patently, man is not doing that. He has the knowledge, but he is not applying it; and that is exactly where the “thinkers” are baffled. They do not understand the real problem of man; they are not able to tell us what is responsible for the present state of the world, and still less, therefore, are they able to tell us what can be done about it.
I remember some years ago, reading a review by a well-known teacher of philosophy in this country of a book which was meant to deal with these problems. He put it very significantly like this. “This book as regards analysis is very good, but it does not go beyond analysis and therefore it does not help. We can all analyse, but the vital question we want answered is, What is the ultimate source of the trouble? What can be done about it? There it has nothing to say,” he said, “though it bears the imposing title of The Condition of Man.” Now that is very true. You can turn today to the greatest philosophers and thinkers and again and again you will find they will never take you beyond analysis. They are very good at laying out the problem and showing the various factors which operate. But when you ask them what is ultimately responsible for this, and what they propose to do, they just leave you unanswered. Clearly they have nothing to say. There is obviously no light at all in this world apart from the light that is provided by Christian people and the Christian faith. That is no exaggeration. I am suggesting that if we want to be realistic we just have to face that, and realize that when our Lord spoke, nearly two thousand years ago, He not only spoke the simple, startling truth about His own age, but He also spoke the truth with regard to every subsequent age. Let us never forget that Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and the rest, had given their full teaching several centuries before these words were uttered. It was after that amazing flowering of the mind and the intellect that our Lord made this statement. He looked at this band of ordinary, insignificant people and said, “You and you alone are the light of the world.” Now this is a tremendous and most thrilling statement; and I would say again that there are many respects in which I thank God that I am preaching this gospel today and not a hundred years ago. If I had made that statement a hundred years ago people would have smiled, but they do not smile today. History itself is now proving, more and more, the truth of the gospel. The darkness of the world has never been more evident than it is now, and here comes this astonishing and startling statement.
Secondly, let me quote from a series of sermons he preached on Galatians 6:14 back in 1963. Published in book form as The Cross, he said this in part:
If you want to know what this world is like, look what it did to him. There was the Son of God. He had left the throne of heaven, he had come and humbled himself, and he gave himself to healing people, and to instructing them. He never did anyone any harm. He went about doing good. What was the response of the world? It hated him, it persecuted him, it rejected him. It chose a murderer before him. It crucified him, it killed him. And there on the cross he exposed the world for what it is. And the clever men of the world today are laughing at the cross, they are mocking it, they are jeering at it, they are making fun of the blood of Christ, and they are trying to ridicule it. They are only doing what their prototypes did in the first century. That is what the world has always done to him.
Yes exactly. Until Christians get a firm grasp on just how God views fallen mankind, we will not be in a position to offer it the necessary hope and help. Unrepentant sinners are in an utterly diabolical and hopeless situation. Only when faced with the stark reality of their situation will the message of the cross make any sense.
As Lloyd-Jones also said, “Superficial views of the work of Christ produce superficial Christian lives.” We can understand the world having a poor view of sin and salvation. But there is no excuse for God’s people to have such an anaemic and unbiblical view.
Do you want to know why the world is in such a mess? Jesus told us 2000 years ago: ‘Men love darkness rather than light.’
David Young, author of the book, “A Grand Illusion: How Progressive Christianity Undermines Biblical Faith,” joins me to talk about the history of progressive Christianity, specifically traced through the Unitarian movement in New England in the 1700’s. David shares his story of getting his Phd from Vanderbilt, a theologically liberal university, and how that helped him recognize progressive Christianity and its influence in the church.
In light of many prominent pastors and Christian leaders stepping down, I decided to re-release this article.
Why do they fall? They fall for the same reason that all Christians fall. Each of us are drawn away by our own evil desires and enticed. When these desires are acted upon, they lead to sin (cf. James 1:14-15). Sin has a life cycle—it either grows or withers depending on whether we feed or starve it. John Owen, the prolific Puritan author wrote, “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.”
Consider the following ways that sin gains entrance:
1. “It will never happen to me.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us that if we think that we are standing firm, we should be careful that we don’t fall. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Pride says, “I’ve never committed adultery. It will never happen to me.” Humility says, “By the grace of God, I haven’t, but I can.”
Strength is found in admitting our weaknesses: “For when I am weak I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Pride opens the door to compromise and unwise decisions; it ignores conviction. Conviction is not always a hammer to the head, it’s a still small voice to the heart.
Sadly, many confuse God’s patience with His approval. C.H. Spurgeon rightly noted, “We are never, never so much in danger of being proud as when we think we are humble.”
2. I’m “too busy.” We are all susceptible to putting God second and ministry first. If we’re too busy to cultivate a prayer life that places God first—we’re too busy. Men would live better if they prayed better. We’re often too busy because we’re doing too much. “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live” (E.M. Bounds). It’s hard to fall when you’re always on your knees. Moral failing cannot gain a stronghold in a broken, praying heart that spends time in the Word and obedience to it (cf. James 1:22). Nine times out of ten, when a leader falls, he or she has no meaningful prayer or devotional life.
3. Holiness is compromised. The enemy attempts to draw us away from God’s holy standard. I vividly remember a story of a young boy who kept falling out of his bed. He finally asked his mother why he kept falling. She wisely answered, “It’s because you don’t stay far enough in.” In the same way, many of us fall back into sin because we don’t get far enough into God’s framework of safety and protection via holiness. In the words of Isaac Watts, “True Christianity, where it reigns in the heart, will make itself appear in the purity of life.”
Of all the attributes of God described in the Bible, holiness is seen most often. Holiness is a vital weapon of defense against the enemies attack (cf. Ephesians 6:14). But holiness must come from brokenness and humility not legalism. A low view of holiness always damages morality . . . we rationalize instead of repent. I’m convinced that today’s media plays a significant role in the decline of holiness. Sadly, hollywood, not the Holy Spirit, influences many. We cannot fill our mind with darkness all week and expect the light of Christ to shine in our lives.
4. Many build unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex. We must be on high alert in this area and have tremendous steps of accountability in place. The devil doesn’t show those involved in counseling appointments, inner office meetings, and private “fellowship” the pain and anguish and the years of regret that moral failure brings; he deceives them with a false sense of freedom in ministry . . . that we are simply “helping” the other person.
If you are married and attracted to another person, or if the potential is there, take steps now and remove yourself from the environment. Adultery begins with small compromises. We’re often too smart to take deliberate plunges, but we’re easily enticed to take one step at a time, one compromise at a time, one bad choice at a time until we’re at the bottom. Don’t fight sexual desires; don’t entertain them . . . flee (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18).
5. We fail to strengthen weak areas. The demands of life often tempt us to seek gratification in alcohol and other things. We must be on high alert. The enemy uses “opportune times” to draw us away from God. (cf. Luke 4:13.) The line is so thin that it is often hard to determine when we cross over. Weak areas such as drugs, alcohol, pain meds, sex, anger, marriage issues, and so on are “opportune times” for the enemy to strike.
We must expose these areas through repentance, and install safeguards and accountability. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
6. Accountability is often breached or minimized. Accountability is a safeguard, but its not bullet-proof. Accountability, by itself, doesn’t work—it’s not realistic to ask others to hold you accountable. Your heart must be focused on honoring God’s Word. Accountability simply adds another level of security in the battle against sin. It’s healthy to say to those we trust, “I’m struggling in this area. Can you pray with me and ask the hard questions from time to time.”
I also have accountability software that sends all websites visited to my wife’s email every week. This is a major deterrent and it makes me very conscious of even seemingly innocent sites. To some, this may seem extreme, but we need to be armed for the enemy who steals, kills, and destroys. The greater our influence, the greater the need for accountability: spiritually, financially, and relationally.
7. Loneliness becomes an excuse. Ministry is hard and can easily take it’s toll. Feeling a sense of entitlement if often the beginning of justifying wrong choices. We can easily become jealous and judgmental of those who seem to have “all the fun.” As Oswald Chambers states: “God buries His men [and women] in the midst of paltry things, no monuments are erected to them; they are ignored, not because they are unworthy, but because they are in the place where they cannot be seen.”
Luke 16:10 should be a great encouragement, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’.” Sin can be silenced in a thankful heart set on worshiping God. God has given us the privilege to serve Him, proclaim His truth, and help others. Don’t allow frustration and negativity to lead you down the wrong path.
In closing, if you are on the cliff or have already fallen, take time now and repent. It will hurt, but the fruit of repentance far outweighs the fruit of exposure that will surely come (cf. Numbers 32:23). God’s grace will see you through. A penitent person turns from sin. They accept full responsibility for their actions without blame, resentment, or bitterness. They seek forgiveness without conditions and stipulations. They take full (not partial) responsibility for their actions. There can be no “but’s” when repentance is genuine. “I am sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me,” are often (although not always) healing words and signs of repentance. Excuses need to stop before healing can occur.
There are consequences for past mistakes, but it’s best to live in God’s healing arms of forgiveness, rather than to live broken outside of His will. Which way will you turn?
Cold prayers are as arrows without heads, as swords without edges, as birds without wings. They pierce not, they cut not, they fly not up to heaven. Cold prayers always freeze before they reach heaven.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Too Easily Finding Fault with Churches Titus 3:10; Hebrews 10:25; Jude 16
I cannot marvel enough at the corrupt and schismatical manners of certain men, who separate themselves for every light cause from the most wholesome and pleasant company or society of the church. For you shall find in these days not a few captious and fantastical men, who of many years have had fellowship with no church, nor as yet have fellowship with any; for in every man that is they find some kind of fault; in themselves only they find nothing worthy of reprehension.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
7:21 Paul confesses that he is carnal, sold unto sin (v. 14), that more specifically the problem is in his flesh in which nothing good dwells (v. 18) and now that evil (Gk. kakon) is present.
7:21 He finds a principle or law at work in his life causing all his good intentions to end in failure. When he wants to do what is right, he ends up by sinning.
21. So I discover this law: When I want to do good, evil lies close at hand.
The word “So” shows that the apostle here summarizes the contents of the preceding verses (14–20). It is immediately clear that when he here uses the word “law,” he is not thinking of the Ten Commandments. “Law,” as here used, must mean something like operating rule or governing principle. For more on this see verse 23.
The inflexible “law” to which reference is here made, and which the author of this epistle—as well as every believer—is constantly discovering, is this: “When I want to do good, evil lies close at hand.” In view of the fact that, according to verses 17, 20, sinful human nature has established its residence in Paul’s own house (his soul), and has done this with a wicked purpose, the statement “evil lies close at hand,” is indeed very logical. This “evil,” here personified, may be lying down, but is certainly not sleeping. It is pictured as if it were watching the apostle to see whether he is about to carry out a good intention. Whenever such a noble thought or suggestion enters Paul’s heart, evil immediately interrupts in order to turn the good deed into its opposite.
21 On the basis of the unsuccessful struggle to do the good demanded by the Mosaic law, Paul now draws a conclusion: “Therefore [Gk. ara] I find this law: when I will to do the good, evil is present there with me.” Consistency would suggest that the “law” (nomos) Paul refers to here is the Mosaic law, in accordance with his usual use of the term and its meaning throughout 7:4–20. We would then translate “I find, with respect to the law, that.…” But it makes better sense to give nomos here its well-established meaning “principle.”
21 The question on which interpreters are greatly divided is the denotation of “the law” in this verse, whether it refers to the law of God (vs. 22) or to the “other law”, “the law of sin” in our members (vs. 23). Either interpretation makes good sense and is both grammatically and syntactically acceptable. On the former view, namely, that “the law” refers to the law of God, the thought would be as follows: “For me willing conformity to the law in order to do the good I find that the evil is present with me”. Hence what he finds is that evil is present notwithstanding his determinate will to the good which the law of God requires. This fits in well with verse 22 in which he defines this determinate will to the good as delight in the law of God after the inward man. And it is also in accord with verse 23 where the opposing law of sin in his members is called “another law” in contrast with the law of God which, up to this point it is maintained, is the only law referred to in the passage. There is, however, no conclusive objection to the other interpretation, namely, that “the law of sin” (vss. 23, 25) is in view here and that it is defined in terms of the presence of evil in opposition to the determinate will to good. This is the view adopted in the version and, if followed, means that “law” in this instance is used in the sense of rule or principle of action. The usual signification of law, however, as that which propounds and demands action need not be suppressed. “The law of sin” may be conceived of as not only impelling to action that is antithetical to the law of God but also as dictating such action.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. (7:21)
The continuing presence of evil in a believer’s life is so universal that Paul refers to it not as an uncommon thing but as such a common reality as to be called a continually operating spiritual principle. Lingering sin does battle with every good thing a believer desires to do, every good thought, every good intention, every good motive, every good word, every good deed.
The Lord warned Cain when he became angry that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted but his own was not: “Sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Gen. 4:7). Sin continues to crouch at the door, even of believers, in order to lead people into disobedience.
 Moo, D. J. (2018). The Letter to the Romans. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (Second Edition, pp. 483–484). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
After the swap: Russia’s role in Syria and Israel’s policy
Russia played a key role in releasing an Israeli woman held in Syria. The full details of the exchange are not known, but the central role of Moscow is clear. This is a reminder of Russia’s overall role in Syria and how it is able to facilitate aspects of the conflict. It’s important to understand how Russia does this to potentially see where Syria is going in the future.
‘America First’ Diplomacy Is Over, Biden Tells G-7 Summit
President Biden told leaders at the G-7 summit on Friday, the same day the U.S. reentered the Paris Agreement, that the days of “America First” diplomacy championed by former President Trump were over, according to The New York Times. As the New York Post, which cited Biden’s intent to declare on Friday that the “America First” era was over, noted, “Biden has swiftly dismantled Trump’s foreign policy agenda…
Bird flu: Russia detects first case of H5N8 bird flu in humans
Russia has reported the first case of a bird flu strain, H5N8, being passed from poultry to humans. Officials said seven workers at a poultry plant in the south of the country had been infected following an outbreak there in December. “All seven people… are now feeling well,” said the head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog, Anna Popova.
Iran says studying EU-proposed informal meeting with U.S.
Iran is studying a European Union proposal for an informal meeting between current members of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal and the United States, but has yet to respond to it, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday. Iran and the United States have been at odds over who should take the first step to revive the 2015 accord.
Rockets hit Iraq military airbase hosting US contractors
At least four rockets struck an Iraqi airbase on Saturday night, the Iraqi military said in a statement, while other officials said one person was wounded at the base where a United States defence company services combat aircraft. The wounded individual worked for the US company, the Associated Press news agency reported…
New Libyan PM seeks to develop ties with Italy
Libya’s new Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has expressed his wish to develop ties with Italy, including increasing cooperation in managing migration in the Mediterranean. “We intend to develop our privileged relationship with neighboring Italy, as we share many common challenges, including the management of migration,” tweeted Dbeibah…
Egypt to begin implementation of Sinai spiritual shrine project
Egypt is to begin implementing a spiritual shrine project in the Sinai Peninsula. The Greater Transfiguration Project will develop the Monastery of Saint Catherine, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List…Egyptian Housing Minister Assem El-Gazzar instructed officials to quickly implement the project, saying the project’s site was unique and…political leadership was following the project’s implementation.
Oil spill stains Israeli shoreline; investigations underway
Hundreds of volunteers took part Saturday in a cleanup operation of the Israeli shoreline as investigations are underway to determine the cause of an oil spill that threatens the beach and wildlife. Israeli media reported that several volunteers were hospitalized after inhaling fumes. Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority urged people to stay away from the beach at 16 of the communities that are most polluted.
Extreme monsoon rains submerge parts of capital Jakarta under 2.7 m (8.8 feet) of water, Indonesia
Extreme monsoon rains brought massive flooding to the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Saturday, February 20, 2021, with parts of the city (population 30 million) under 1.2 to 2.7 m (3.9 – 8.8 feet) of water. The floods forced the evacuation of some 1 380 residents to temporary shelters. The waters are now receding, but more heavy rain is expected in the week ahead, and Jakarta remains on alert for the next 4 days.
US Customs seized millions of counterfeit masks, test kits from China Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers confiscated nearly 13 million counterfeit face masks since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency reported on Thursday, Feb. 4. Officers also seized some 178,000 prohibited COVID-19 test kits and 38,000 chloroquine tablets. Chloroquine is commonly used to treat malaria. It hasn’t been proven to be effective against COVID-19.
Big Tech Spending Big To Replace Smart Phones With Wearable Augmented Reality Devices That Will Allow User To Create Their Own World The future is rushing at us so fast it feels more like time is standing still, and big tech is about to bring in another paradigm shift with next-level technology. The first step took place back in 1994 when they got everyone in front of the computer and the world wide web, it was fantastically successful. We are now in the midst of the second step which is to get the computer on us, smart phones in our pockets leading to augmented reality devices on our faces. I daresay that that effort will be fantastically successful as well.
‘Never before’ has the leader of the free world been ‘so cognitively compromised’
It is clear US President Joe Biden is not up to the task he has been “sworn in to do”, according to Sky News host Cory Bernardi. “Never before has the leader of the free world been so cognitively compromised,” Mr Bernardi said. “It’s clear to me at the least that US President Joe Biden is struggling with dementia and is clearly not up to the task he’s been sworn in to do.”
Maria Bartiromo interviewed former Trump administration senior adviser Stephen Miller Sunday on FOX News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” about how the Biden administration is changing policy: Stephen Miller – talking about Biden Admin reopening up the border to illegal immigrants
STEPHEN MILLER: The reason why I have studied immigration so closely is that it’s so fundamental to what it is to be a nation, the right of the people living in a country to decide who enters that country, on what conditions, for how long, and how to establish national boundaries and borders. That’s fundamental to what it means to be a country. The legislation put forward by President Biden and congressional Democrats would fundamentally erase the very essence of America’s nationhood. For the first time, I believe in human history, this legislation proposes sending applications to previously deported illegal immigrants and giving them the chance to reenter the country on a rapid path to citizenship. This is unheard of. These are the people that ICE officers, at great time and expense, found, large numbers of them with criminal records, returned to their home countries at taxpayer expense. And now we’re going to have the secretary of state and homeland security mailing applications for readmission and amnesty to previously deported illegal immigrants? This is madness. Now, this is on top of the fact that the current administration has already dismantled border security, canceling President Trump’s historic agreements with Mexico and with the Northern Triangle countries, restoring catch and release, and, additionally, gutting interior enforcement, issuing a memo preventing ICE from removing the vast majority of criminal illegal immigrants that it encounters. And the last thing I will say about that memo is that they have engaged in a fraudulent representation to the court in the Texas litigation, because they are claiming this is a resources issue. I know for a fact that ICE has the resources to remove these public safety threats. This is a policy choice disguised falsely to the court and to the country as a resource issue. That is a lie. And it’s a lie that threatens public safety. And I know that the ICE, Border Patrol men and women are now being told that they have to get authority to make any moves. They need authority from above before detaining anyone. I spoke with Mark Morgan, the head — the former head of Customs and Border Patrol, and he told me that we are averaging 3,500 apprehensions every day. So, you’re talking — and then another 500 turned back. So, you’re talking about 4,000 people coming to our border areas every day. Let’s take a look at this map, because we have a map showing all of — the most porous areas pretty much. And as we zero in on this map, we see Texas, as well as California and the Rio Grande area. This is the area, Rio Grande, that is — the Rio Grande River — that is most vulnerable. I actually took the show to El Paso and witnessed people coming across then. I wanted to mention this, because this is one of those pocketbook issues where it impacts people’s families and their lives. You can talk about it as a headline immigration bill, but when you zero in on what this means, with 4,000 illegals coming in every day, you really get a sense of how this impacts the American families. Walk us through it. Tell us what’s most important for our viewers to understand. MILLER: Yes, well, I will give you a — give you a simple example. So, right now, under the current administration, they are failing to abide by the CDC guidance, and they are processing for entry and release 100 percent of illegal immigrants under the age of 18. In other words, any illegal aliens 17 or younger who is smuggled to the border or trafficked to the border is being processed for admission through Health and Human Services and then resettlement in the country. So, ask yourself, who is going to pay for the education? What does it mean — when classrooms, God willing, reopen, what does it mean for classroom size? What does it mean for health care? Then you add on top of that the families that are being released. Who’s paying for the medical bills? Who’s paying for the health care costs? You pay with your local property taxes in many cases, and your sales tax, and many other forms of local tax on your rent, on everything that you do in your life. And one way or another, you’re paying for those local services. So, when people show up illegally, having never lived here a day in their lives, that’s coming out of your pocketbook. And it’s a public safety issue. As I mentioned, ICE is now disallowed from removing the vast majority of illegal immigrants with criminal records. So, whether you’re in Louisiana, or whether you’re in Arkansas, whether you’re in Montana, whether in New York state, illegal immigrants are being re-released into the community who have already committed crimes, and we know there’s a high recidivism rate. That’s going to cost lives. That’s a public safety calamity in real time happening now. This is not theoretical.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said Sunday on FNC’s “Sunday Morning futures” saying that he still has not seen what defense authorities knew about the January 6 riot at the Capitol Buiding:
JOHNSON: Well, first of all, I was disappointed that the joint committees that I was told are going to investigate this — remember, I lost my chairmanship to Homeland Security with the new Congress — that they were going to do a thorough investigation. But they didn’t even send their letter out to about 22 different individuals until February 4, which is one of the reasons I sent out a letter on January 21 to the two former and the two acting sergeant of arms of the House and Senate. And I have gotten no response whatsoever. So, it would be far better if we were having this hearing on Tuesday with a lot of information being returned and testimony from the people that were involved, other than just news accounts. But, right now, we’re going to be going into that hearing with what we have read in the newspaper and I guess what the House managers presented in, I don’t even want to call it a trial. There are so many parts of their case against the president that are just simply dishonest, the selective editing, editing out of context, that type of thing. So, we don’t have the base of information I would like to have before I would go into a hearing. But I guess this will be the first hearing. There will be a follow-up hearing. And I’m hoping we start getting some information from the people that were actually there and we get a full accounting of what actually happened. BARTIROMO: So, what you’re saying is that you don’t have any documented testimony. And had you gotten answers to those letters that you sent, you would have had documentation and you would have known going in what would be covered. You don’t have that now? JOHNSON: No, about the only thing we have seen is Steven Sund, who sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi detailing an awful lot of the actions he took, what due diligence he undertook prior to the events. But we see conflicting testimony. There’s apparently a branch of the FBI that got some pretty disconcerting warnings about this. But then, the day after that, there was a briefing the same day that FBI folks involved in a joint session, planning session, said there was really no suspected harmful activity. People really were caught by surprise. This was not predictable. This was not foreseeable, as the House managers continued to talk about it. I just don’t believe it was. BARTIROMO: You have also spoken about this term that Speaker Pelosi has been using, and that is that it was an armed insurrection. And I know that you have talked pretty widely about this, because there’s in no way that you are downplaying what took place. In no way are you looking at this and saying that that’s OK. But the term armed insurrection, you think, is the wrong term. Why? JOHNSON: Yes, I have been lambasted in the press pretty bad for just really saying what the president’s defense team was talking about. The fact of the matter is, when I hear armed insurrection, I think of firearms. I was just asking the question, well, how many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I know of one. And I will defend that law enforcement official. One thing about conservatives, one thing about Republicans is, we are consistent in our condemnation of violence, of peaceful protests that turn into riots. We condemn it. We want to see those people that were involved in violent acts prosecuted to the full extent of the law. That’s not the same standard that the Democrats use that really sat by, in many cases encouraged the riots that occurred over the summer, where there was $1 to $2 billion of property damage, 12 to 19 people killed in those peaceful protests that turned to riots, no condemnation. In fact, there was actually encouragement of that, for example, by the vice president, who encouraged people to donate to a fund that would bail out the rioters. How does that make sense? So, the double standard, the unequal enforcement of the law is really what troubles an awful lot of people on our side of the aisle.
Former NFL player Herschel Walker last Wednesday said that Black Americans should not receive reparations for slavery during a congressional hearing on the issue.
The virtual hearing was being held for House Resolution 40, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, which would create a commission to study reparation proposals.
Walker, a standout athlete at the University of Georgia who won the Heisman Trophy in 1982 before launching a longtime professional football career, said that reparations could force Black Americans to use genetics companies to determine payouts based on their ancestry and while also claiming that some Black Americans had involvement in the slave trade.
“We use Black power to create white guilt,” he argued. “My approach is biblical…how can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can’t forgive my brother? America is the greatest country in the world for me, a melting pot of a lot of great races, a lot of great minds that have come together with different ideas to make Americans the greatest country on Earth.”
He added: “Many have died trying to get into America. No one is dying trying to get out.”
Walker, a longtime friend of former President Donald Trump and a featured speaker at the 2020 Republican National Convention, then launched into the practicality of making reparation payments.
“Reparations, where does the money come from?,” he asked the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee. “Does it come from all the other races except the Black taxpayers? Who is Black? What percentage of Black must you be to receive reparations? Do you go to 23andMe or a DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness? Some Black immigrants weren’t here during slavery, nor their ancestors. Some states didn’t even have slavery.”
He added: “Reparations teach separation. Slavery ended over 130 years ago. How can a father ask his son to spend prison time for a crime he committed? I feel it continues to let us know we’re still African American, rather than just American. Reparation or atonement is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ.”
Reparations have been part of the national dialogue for years, with supporters arguing that the United States has never atoned for the forced labor of slavery and lands taken away from Black Americans over the course of generations.
The author Ta-Nehisi Coates explored the idea in “The Case for Reparations,” his 2014 article for The Atlantic, which urged the country to confront its past.
“An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane,” he wrote. “An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. More important than any single check cut to any African American, the payment of reparations would represent America’s maturation out of the childhood myth of its innocence into a wisdom worthy of its founders.”
The issue became a focal line of questioning for Democratic candidates as they started to enter into the 2020 presidential race, especially with Black Americans serving as a bedrock of the party.
After the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, which launched a wave of racial and social justice reckonings across the country, the issue became even more prominent during a summer when the Black Lives Matter movement and other racial equity movements reached a societal apex.
The Review of Black Political Economy estimated that a reparations package that sufficiently addresses past injustices would cost roughly $12 trillion and give each descendant of slavery $254,782.
Democratic House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York said that there’s a possibility that reparations might not involve financial payments, but argued that the proposal “sets forth a process by which a diverse group of experts and stakeholders can study the complex issues involved and make recommendations.”
“The discussion of reparations is a journey in which the road traveled is almost more important than the exact destination,” he added.
The White House said last week that President Joe Biden would back a study of the issue.
“He certainly would support a study of reparations,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. “He understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime.”
An Australian commentator on Friday said the only thing worse than President Joe Biden’s mental condition is the extent to which the mainstream media covers it up. “It is clear U.S. President Joe Biden is not up to the task he has been sworn in to do,” Sky News host Cory Bernardi, a former Australian… The post appeared first on The Western Journal .
White House health adviser Anthony Fauci has triggered a fresh round of rage online by saying people in the US may be required to wear face masks to protect themselves and others from Covid-19 even in 2022.
Appearing on CNN, Fauci was asked on Sunday to define the “normality” he and President Joe Biden have promised towards the end of this year as more and more people are vaccinated. Pressed specifically as to whether masks would be an everyday part of life next year, Fauci declared himself open to the possibility.
“It is possible that that’s the case,” he said, “and it depends on what you mean by normality.”
Also on rt.com
Fauci added that, while he couldn’t “predict” whether the US would have a return to the type of “normality” experienced before the pandemic hit, he predicted the fall and winter of 2021 would be the time when many of the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus would be eased back, thanks to the vaccine program.
“I think we’re going to have a significant degree of normality beyond the terrible burden that all of us have been through over the last year,” he said.
As for mask-wearing, Fauci said he was not “comfortable” advising that the US should ease mandates until “the overwhelming majority in the population are vaccinated.”
Like many of his statements on the likely future course of the pandemic, Fauci’s comments set off a wave of anger on social media, with critics accusing him of shifting the “goalposts” and redefining “normal.”
“When this man talks, everything should be understood in the context that 2020 was the best year of Fauci’s life. ‘Normality’ to him means the show is over,” journalist Jordan Schachtel tweeted in reaction to Sunday’s interview.
Also on rt.com
“I’m starting to wonder if we’ll ever get back to normal at this rate. The goalposts always keep shifting,” the Daily Caller’s David Hookstead added.
“I’m sorry, Fauci, but ‘hurry up and get vaccinated so that we can return to some degree of normalcy in 8-10 months maybe’ is not going to cut it,” Tablet Magazine editor Noah Blum wrote.
In cahoots with US dark forces and Pharma, establishment media are guilty of grossly inflating numbers of covid cases and deaths. See below.
According to CDC data, annual numbers of US seasonal flu/influenza cases range from 9 to 45 million, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations, and from 12,000 – 61,000 deaths.
The longstanding pattern repeats annually.
Last year, seasonal flu practically disappeared, according to the WHO.
Why? Because it was renamed covid, part of a media proliferated mass deception campaign that’s been ongoing since early last year.
Reported numbers of covid cases and deaths were and continue to be grossly fabricated.
What’s going on is part of a diabolical state-sponsored scheme to terrify, traumatize, and dupe Americans into being mass-jabbed with hazardous to health toxins that don’t protect an risk serious harm to health or death when taken as directed.
Fake news about covid is pushed daily, Big Media the main culprit.
They’re promoting the greatest ever public health scam in modern memory — mass casualties showing up after two months of jabbing with what demands rejection to stay safe.
Instead of explaining an epidemic of harm from mass-jabbing, Big Media suppressed what’s vital for everyone to know while pushing fake news instead.
In its latest edition, the NYT falsely claimed that “500,000” Americans died since covid showed up early last year.
As explained by the above CDC data, the true number of cases are a small fraction of the fabricated number reported by the Times.
It’s part of the broadsheet’s mass deception campaign to destroy public health, not protect it, enriching Pharma at the same time.
The Big Lie of the Times was compounded by falsely claiming that deaths from covid far exceed US battlefield casualties from “World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined (sic).”
No responsible publisher would touch the above rubbish. The Times featured it, adding:
The “milestone” is at a time when “virus cases are down sharply, deaths are slowing and vaccines are steadily being administered (sic).”
Numbers of seasonal flu-renamed covid cases and deaths over the past year are within the range of the above CDC data as happens every year.
Claims by the Times and other establishment media otherwise are fabricated to serve diabolical deep state and Pharma interests.
The so-called “pandemic” shows up annually in similar form — unaccompanied by what’s been going on since early last year with no end of it in prospect.
Numbers of covid cases have been and continue to be grossly inflated by a tsunami of false positive PCR test results.
Hospitals are incentivized to inflate numbers because they can charge more for renamed flu.
Deaths are greatly inflated by including pneumonia and other diseases to the total.
Pharma benefits greatly from inflated numbers that convince duped Americans to be jabbed with what doesn’t protect and risks great harm to health.
Big Media should be criminalized and prosecuted for promoting the scam that’s responsible for a devastating toll on human health.
The worst of it is surely ahead if mass-jabbing is not challenged and stopped.
Tune out establishment media fake new. Ignore their Big Lies and mass deception.
The self-styled newspaper of record NYT is the worst of what shows up in print.
Big Media are criminally liable for pushing toxic drugs — neighbor dope peddlers benign by comparison.
We are health professionals of the international collective : United Health Professionals, composed of more than 1,500 members (including professors of medicine, intensive care physicians and infectious disease specialists) from different countries of Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Oceania and, on August 26, 2020, we addressed to governments and citizens of countries around the world an alert message regarding the COVID outbreak.
First, let’s start with the conclusions of the 2010 report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the management of the H1N1 epidemic :
« The Parliamentary Assembly is alarmed about the way in which the H1N1 influenza pandemic has been handled, ot only by the World Health Organization (WHO) but also by the competent health authorities at the level of the European Union and at national level. It is particularly troubled by some of the consequences of decisions taken and advice given leading to distortion of priorities of public health services across Europe, waste of large sums of public money and also unjustified scares and fears about health risks…grave shortcomings have been identified regarding the transparency of decision-making processes relating to the pandemic which have generated concerns about the possible influence of the pharmaceutical industry on some of the major decisions….unregulated or secret lobbying may be a danger and can undermine democratic principles and good governance ».
Know that the same mistakes made in the H1N1 epidemic are being repeated today in the COVID epidemic. You are the victims of the biggest health scam of the 21st century regarding the real danger of the virus, the measures to be taken, the figures, the tests and the treatments, and this was done with the same techniques of manipulation used during the epidemic of H1N1 or the Iraq war. Experts, professors of medicine as well as scientific and medical collectives began to alert others of this as early as March 2020.
Census Bureau data indicated in December that 20% of renters across the country are now are unable to pay their rent, and 14-million were behind on rent. 40-million people were at risk for eviction, and total unpaid rent was estimated at $70-billion. Landlords will not be able to recover the lost revenue, and the situation continues to worsen.
Farmlands and private property are targeted as the US has committed to tripling its so-called protected lands. President Biden signed an executive order to “protect” 30% of US land and 30% of US oceans by 2030 in the name of environmentalism and biodiversity. Much of the land now is privately owned, so the plan is to put an end to private property by any means necessary, including confiscatory taxation and regulation. -GEG