“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
A Resolution to Not Act as One’s Own 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 7:23
Henceforth, I am not to act, in any respect, as my own. I shall act as my own if I ever make use of any of my powers to anything that is not to the glory of God, and do not make the glorifying of him my whole and entire business—if I murmur in the least at affliction; if I grieve at the prosperity of others; if I am in any way uncharitable; if I am angry because of injuries; if I revenge them; if I do anything purely to please myself, or if I avoid anything for the sake of my own ease; if I omit anything because it is great self-denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any of the praise of the good that I do, or that God does by me; or if I am in any way proud.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
The Danger of Inquiring Into Predestination Job 9:10; Psalm 103:11; Isaiah 55:8; Romans 11:33–34
When they inquire into predestination, let them remember that they are penetrating into the recesses of the divine wisdom, where he who rushes forward securely and confidently, instead of satisfying his curiosity will enter an inextricable labyrinth. For it is not right that man should with impunity pry into things that the Lord has been pleased to conceal within himself, and scan that sublime eternal wisdom that it is his pleasure that we should not apprehend but adore, that therein also his perfections may appear. Those secrets of his will, which he has seen it meet to manifest, are revealed in his word—revealed insofar as he knew to be conducive to our interest and welfare.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Bible stories are often wonderfully descriptive. They help us visualize men like Jacob and Moses who were known for their faithfulness to God. Hear about the life-defining moments of these Old Testament figures on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.
We could all use encouragement in difficult times. Discover how the early Christians were emboldened by the inspiring stories of their faithful predecessors. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg takes a closer look at Hebrews 11.
Jesus taught about treasures in Heaven on several occasions. This is not simply a matter of wisdom and good works applied to money and possessions. Our attitude to treasure analyses and reveals the state of our hearts. His promises reveal an enticing vision of our gospel inheritance.
In the following passage notice the parallel negative and positive instructions accompanied by an illustration.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:19-21).
There is also a play on words which might be missed in our English translations. Literally it reads: ‘Do/do not treasure up treasures’ or ‘Do/do not store up stores’. This translation helps us to think about treasure in two distinct but related ways. There are those things which are precious and there are those things which we store or stockpile.
The stockpiles of my security
The negative side of storing things up is illustrated in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus tells the parable of a wealthy landowner. His land produced abundant crops, so he decided to build bigger barns and take life easy. There is nothing wrong with barns or storing crops, that is just good sense for a farmer. Joseph was commended for his wisdom when building food reserves for an entire empire (Genesis 47). It is not unreasonable to have savings for the future. It is prudent to have something set by for fixing the roof and to manage our money well.
The mistake was building bigger barns. He was not a wise steward but had become a foolish hoarder. In place of thanksgiving and dependence on God, trusting him for future harvests, the man trusted his bigger barns. Instead of acting with generosity towards those who had few resources or less successful harvests, the eyes of his heart were fixed on his own comfort. His life ends and he cannot benefit from what he stored. Saving for a rainy day may be wise, but saving so much that we forget our God will prove to be a futile investment strategy.
The danger of wealth is further illustrated in the story of a young man who met Jesus (Matt. 19:16-22). We learn that he had great possessions and that he was a religious man asking about eternal life. Jesus gives him an answer which he was not expecting and which he did not like. He should follow Jesus, and a specific application to him was selling his possessions and giving to the poor. He was promised treasure in Heaven, but he could not let go of his treasures on earth. They had become a snare for him. It is a sad scene as he walks away from the path of life. He was offered a great deal. His wealth was at risk from destruction or theft. The treasures of Heaven are everlasting.
At this point we must acknowledge that riches do not necessarily become a snare to everyone. They do however come with a serious health and safety warning. We must not sidestep the serious warnings which Jesus brings.
Last year I visited the Tutankhamun exhibition in London. It contained an impressive array of artifacts including gold and precious gems, buried with the Pharaoh to help him in the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians believed that the essence of the treasure would somehow be translated to the heavenly realm. This is not what Jesus is talking about! Do not think that there will be a pot of gold waiting for you in eternity. What use would it be to you?
Perhaps you have seen the British crown jewels or a great work of art in a museum. At the Millennium Exhibition there was a display of blue diamonds which were worth millions. This is not the treasure of Heaven. Pure gold and precious stones are building materials in the heavenly city (Rev. 21:9-21). The treasures of earth and the treasures of Heaven are not the same. We must think in a different way.
Do you have prized possessions?
My answer to this question mainly includes items which were given to me by people whom I love: my wedding ring, a watch which belonged to my grandfather and my dad, pictures painted by my children. These are things which I am going to store up and look after.
You may also have heard the question, ‘What would you save first if your house were burning down?’ The answer for most people would be their family. The people we love are treasures which we want to keep safe.
These questions can help us to understand at least two things which might be considered heavenly treasures. They are things which are precious to the Father and valuable in his kingdom. We can also begin to understand how to go about laying up these treasures.
The service offered by his people is worthy of reward.
Without specifying precisely what those rewards are, Jesus makes several promises about them. This includes giving to the poor, prayer, fasting and suffering for the sake of righteousness (Matt. 5:12; 6:4,6,16). This can almost sound selfish but the instruction about treasures explicitly tells us to store them up for ourselves. We are humbly and simply responding in faith to the gracious generosity found in the promises of God. We can look forward to good things in his kingdom.
He sent his Son because he counts his people as precious.
The apostle Paul can help us to understand this. He refers to the Christians at Philippi and Thessalonica as his crown (Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19). As we serve together in the gospel, we can hope to see eternal fruit in the heavenly kingdom. As sinners are rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of God we will rejoice together for all eternity. There will be no decay and we cannot be stolen away.
The treasure that is Heaven
In Matthew chapter 13:44-46 we read two short parables.
The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The kingdom of Heaven itself is worth more than all we own or ever could own. Being part of the kingdom through faith in Jesus is the most important treasure. Nevertheless, such is the astonishing generosity of God we are instructed to lay up even more. In Christ we are rich beyond measure.
“God, they say you love us, but do you really mean me?”
“God loves you!” We hear it from time to time. Sometimes it is offered as somewhat of a Band-Aid to a difficult problem we face. Sometimes it’s on a billboard or on a grandmother’s lips. But does it really make much difference if He does or if He doesn’t? And if God really does love me, does it actually affect me where I live and walk today? Does God’s love matter in any practical way to me?
Most of us have no trouble believing in a higher power. Nearly every 10-step help program acknowledges the need of it. Most people say, “Yes” when asked if they believe in God, but that’s often about as far as it goes. Little rituals, memorized prayers, desperate pleas for God to get us out of the scrapes we get ourselves into, seems to be the extent most of us know God.
Yet His Word, the Holy Bible, tells of a very loving God who longs to be in relationship with us. The Father’s heart, to us, His children, is tender. His arms are open and His invitation is “Come”..
“Come to me all you who are heavy burdened and I will give you rest for your souls.” Matthew 28 & 29
Sometimes we cannot hear His call to “come”. Sometimes our filters are clogged with the sad truth that our own father may not have provided a good example of loving us. Sometimes we do not believe His love could be for us as an individual. Oh, we know others whom God could surely love, but me? “No”, we think, “not if He really knew me.”
There are times in our lives when God calls our name. He asks us not to harden our hearts to Him, but to respond and to come.
“God loves you” is a deeply profound statement that will change your life if you will let it. Dare to explore with me the depth of this love. Dare to turn your head and hear Him calling your name. You will never be sorry.
God is waiting to show His love and kindness to you and to guide your life. He wants to make something beautiful of your life. And you can open your heart and life to Him today by praying this prayer with a sincere attitude.
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
Do you know someone with a hostile attitude toward God? It can be hard to imagine such a person accepting the Lord’s salvation, but no one is beyond the reach of our loving heavenly Father.
Saul of Tarsus is a perfect example. This self-righteous Pharisee was so confident of his obedience to God’s Law that he couldn’t see his need for a Savior. His goal was to get rid of Christians, but God had other plans for his life. Jesus appeared to him in a blinding light and confronted him about his persecution of the church. Saul repented, placed his trust in the Savior, and spent the rest of his life spreading the good news that salvation comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Conviction of sin is an uncomfortable but important step for a life of faith. Before we can understand our need for a Savior, we must recognize the hopelessness of our sinful condition. Then we can repent and receive the forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ.
Like Paul, we are saved only because God reached down to rescue us. And He will never leave or forsake us but is always present to mold us into Christlikeness.
Hebrews 13:5 “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”
Conditions of Membership and Salvation Romans 15:7
A Church has no right to make anything a condition of membership which Christ has not made a condition of salvation.
A. A. HODGE
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Humility and Patience Are Shown When Tested Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12
How much interior patience and humility a servant of God may have cannot be known so long as he is contented. But when the time comes that those who ought to please him go against him, as much patience and humility as he then shows, so much has he and no more.
FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Iran elected to UN’s Commission on Status of Women Iran was elected Monday to the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year term along with China, Japan, Lebanon and Pakistan who were elected for similar terms. Cabo Verde, Egypt, Mauritania and Tunisia, and Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago were also elected to the commission for four-year terms. “Electing the Islamic Republic of Iran to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible.”
Missile fired from Syria towards the Negev A Red Color siren was sounded in the vicinity of the Bedouin village of Abu Qrenat in the Negev overnight Wednesday. Residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding area reported hearing loud explosions. Explosions were also reportedly heard in the area of Modi’in, Rehovot, Kiryat Ono, Be’er Sheva and other localities.
Mideast countries top 2020 global executions list Four states in the region — Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia — topped the global list and pressed on with shootings, beheadings and hangings, ignoring pleas by rights groups to halt executions during the pandemic, the report said. Although counts in the nations fell in line with global trends, largely due to Saudi legal reforms, the countries carried out 88% of the world’s total known executions in 2020,
Scientists Recreating Days Of The Nephilim With Species Mixing Researchers are injecting human stem cells into monkey embryos and even scientists are disturbed by the ethical implications. For the Biblically minded, the implications are clear. “My first question is: Why?” Kirstin Matthews, a fellow for science and technology at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told NPR. “I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we’re just kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do.” “I don’t see this type of research being ethically problematic,” said Insoo Hyun, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University and Harvard University. “It’s aimed at lofty humanitarian goals.”
Danon: US Jewish leaders must choose between supporting Iran deal or Israel Israel’s 17th Permanent Representative to the United Nations and current Chairman of the World Likud, Danny Danon, clarified at a recent conference on Israeli-US relations that there is an expectation that the Jewish leadership in the United States will side with Israel in the struggle against the emerging agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue.
Biden prepares for Nuclear War As tensions in the Black Sea rise between Russia and Ukraine, the Pentagon isn’t taking any chances and has publicized that they are preparing for the worst-case scenario. In a tweet on Tuesday, the United States Strategic Command released a statement on Twitter writing: “Posture Statement Preview: The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable. We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option.”
In-Person religious services have been banned in Ireland, Considered a “Criminal Offense”Posted: 22 Apr 2021 07:46 AM PDT(ETH) – Faith leaders are furious following the outlawing of public Mass and other religious services in Ireland. The report indicated that Health Minister Stephan Donnelly recently signed a regulation last week making in-person services temporarily a criminal offense and will mandate religious services to virtual services only.At least four Catholic archbishops are not taking the new mandate sitting down. Catholic archbishops, Eamon Martin, the archbishop of Armagh and primate of all-Ireland, Dermot Farrell of Dublin, Michael Neary of Tuam and Kieran O’Reilly of Cashel and Emly reportedly told The Times that they would be taking legal advice following the recent move which they have all described as “a breach of trust” and “a potential infringement of religious freedom and constitutional rights.”They have also pointed out that this ban on services with congregations, other than funerals and weddings, was never mentioned during a meeting last Thursday between the taoiseach and bishops, including Martin.Continue reading In-Person religious services have been banned in Ireland, Considered a “Criminal Offense” at End Time Headlines.
NASA set to simulate “tabletop exercise” asteroid collision impact scenarioPosted: 22 Apr 2021 06:53 AM PDT(ETH) – NASA is reportedly about to undergo a simulation called “tabletop exercise” during the week of April 26th, where members of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) will all participate in a simulation involving an asteroid impact scenario.According to the report, The exercise is being led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), allowing NASA’s PDCO and other U.S. agencies and space science institutions, along with international space agencies and partners, to use a hypothetical scenario to investigate how near-Earth object (NEO) observers, space agency officials, emergency managers, decision-makers, as well citizens may respond and work together to an actual impact prediction.Continue reading NASA set to simulate “tabletop exercise” asteroid collision impact scenario at End Time Headlines.
The press secretary falsely spun the blame for a black teenager being shot by a cop as more evidence of “systemic racism.”
As the jury gave its verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, police in Columbus, Ohio, were called to a scene of young people behaving badly, which eventually led to a white officer shooting and killing a 16-year-old black girl. The Leftmedia, without even a cursory investigation of the facts, immediately jumped on the story, declaring it as yet more “evidence” of America’s “systemic racism.” Joining the outrage mob were celebrities like LeBron James, who posted and then deleted an image of the police officer involved in the incident with the message, “YOU’RE NEXT.” The usual suspects are always quick to add their weight to a fraudulent message, especially when an “unarmed” black girl is killed by police. As we’ll soon explain, however, the truth is awfully inconvenient.
Worst of all was that the Biden-Harris administration immediately pushed a demonstrably false story. “We know that police violence disproportionately impacts black and Latino people,” asserted White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, “and that black women and girls, like black men and boys, experience higher rates of police violence. We also know that there are particular vulnerabilities that children in foster care like Ma’Khia [Bryant] face, and her death came, as you noted, just as America was hopeful of a step forward after the traumatic and exhausting trial of Derek Chauvin, and the verdict that was reached.”
Psaki added, “So our focus is on working to address systemic racism and implicit bias head-on, and of course to passing laws and legislation that will put much-needed reforms into place at police departments around the country.” Attorney General Merrick Garland and President Joe Biden’s Social Justice Department will see to that.
Members of the Biden-Harris administration might want to focus on their own racism and anti-cop bias before deigning to “fix” the rest of the country’s supposed racism. Furthermore, they might want to actually engage with the truth before claiming to have the “answers” to solve “systemic racism.”
The fact is that the 16-year-old black girl, Ma’Khia Bryant, was attacking another teenage black girl with a knife, as the cop’s body-cam footage clearly shows. Bryant’s actions directly led to the officer responding with deadly force to protect the victim of her attack. The truth is that Bryant was engaged in attempted murder. There’s no evidence supporting the claim that race had anything to do with the officer’s response.
If there’s anything about race that can be noted here, it’s to point out the biggest cause of violence plaguing the black community — the actions of other blacks. But that doesn’t comport with the Left’s “social justice” narrative of “systemic racism,” so it’s ignored or, like everything else, offered as “proof” of systemic racism.
The White House should be commending the police officer, who acted in accordance with his duty to serve and protect. In this instance, he protected a vulnerable teenage black girl from a potentially fatal attack. In other words, he did his job. The only reason that Bryant is not alive right now is because of her own actions. She brought this upon herself.
Yet even as the facts surrounding the incident came to light, it didn’t stop leftists like Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett from continuing to push the “systemic racism” narrative. Jarrett ridiculously wrote, “A Black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability. Fight for justice.” How about demanding accountability from those who excuse murderous behavior and then turn and blame law enforcement who are forced to engage these individuals? How about holding up the standard that all people follow the law or face the consequences, rather than excusing people from the responsibility to abide by the law simply because they have black or brown skin?
Derek Chauvin’s sentence hasn’t even been issued, but Merrick Garland sees racism everywhere.
Six years ago, Barack Obama’s Social Justice Department investigated the Ferguson Police Department for “systemic racism” after the police-shooting death of Michael Brown. Remember, Brown was a large black thug who bull-rushed white Police Officer Darren Wilson and fought for his gun before Wilson shot and killed him. Yet somehow Brown became the Left’s poster child for the whole “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative and one of the earliest martyrs in the profitable Black Lives Matter crusade.
While the DOJ ultimately cleared Wilson of racism or civil rights violations, then-Attorney General Eric Holder’s social justice warriors predictably found exactly what they were looking for — systemic racism in the Ferguson PD. The department certainly had legitimate problems, and no officer or department is above accountability, but Holder’s report offered no real solutions and it was just one of an eyebrow-raising 23 pattern-or-practice investigations conducted by Obama’s DOJ as part of his war on cops.
Unfortunately, it seems we’re about to see that same movie again.
On Wednesday, the day after Derek Chauvin was found guilty for the murder of George Floyd, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Social Justice Department will take a look at possible “unconstitutional” practices in the Minneapolis Police Department.
The Chauvin verdict, Garland insisted, “does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis.” Well, of course not. Chauvin was on trial for his specific actions — none of which included racism, despite leftist fever dreams. Nevertheless, Garland effectively indicted the entire department, saying, “The Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.”
Note for context that Joe “Unity” Biden’s nominee to lead the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which will handle this investigation, is Kristen Clarke, an utterly racist and deplorable cop-hater. In other words, the deck is stacked.
To the Left, Chauvin’s guilt was a foregone conclusion, and the trial was a mere formality to reach the “correct” verdict. Even if Garland insists that good officers “welcome accountability,” the entire Minneapolis PD can be forgiven for thinking the same thing will play out with the DOJ.
Such guilty-until-proven-innocent probes inevitably result in less policing. It’s been called the Ferguson Effect for obvious reasons, and it ends up with more crime and more lost lives. Such is the price of leftists finding their racist bogeyman.
Then again, this is a leftist regime investigating a police department in one of the most leftist cities in the country. In fact, the Minneapolis City Council voted to disband its police department last year before thinking better of it, though the city still settled with Floyd’s family for an absurd $27 million, even as Chauvin’s jurors were being chosen. National Democrats are no better. As one example, recall that then-Senator Joe Biden wrote the 1994 crime bill, which many blame for the disproportionate incarceration of black people.
Come to think of it, leftists control most of the real power centers in this country — the federal government, media, public schools and academia, Hollywood, Big Tech, and increasingly even the corporate world.
So if there’s “systemic racism,” who runs the system?
The woke NBA superstar continues to get a pass for his kowtowing ignorance and double standards.
Poor LeBron James. He’s still the most famous basketball player on the planet, but with his best balling days behind him, he seems to be struggling with what to do when he grows up. Should he continue to hone his skills as an apologist for the murderous and genocidal communist Chinese? Or should he instead focus his efforts on being a full-time stooge for the corrupt and racially poisonous racket called Black Lives Matter?
Dude has some broad shoulders. Maybe he can do both.
As we noted last year, and as Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis and conservative analyst Ben Shapiro noted again earlier this week, James and his fellow NBA multimillionaires are happy to promote every social justice cause in America, but when the topic is genocide or slave labor perpetrated by their shoemaking ChiCom benefactors, they just can’t seem to stay a-woke.
“LeBron James for years has been a Chinese apologist,” Shapiro said on his radio show. “He obviously was very upset that anybody had anything to say about the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong. LeBron had no statements on that, but he does have statements every other day how living as a black American means you’re [under] existential threat thanks to American white supremacy.”
And, as Travis added, “There is cotton being produced from the Xinjiang region in China by the Muslim Uyghurs that is considered to be slave-produced cotton.”
Think about that: Dozens of NBA mega-millionaires falsely claim that blacks are being “hunted down in the streets” of America while at the same time taking money from a murderous regime that uses slave labor to pick its cotton.
And then there was the police-involved shooting Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, in which a white cop made a split-second decision to use deadly force against Ma’Khia Bryant, a knife-wielding 16-year-old black girl who, as police body-cam footage reveals, appeared just about to plunge the blade into an unarmed black girl she’d pinned against a car.
It was a tragic loss of life — one that would seem to call for a cool-headed response until all the facts had been gathered.
But no. LeBron James, whose annual income is somewhere around $80 million, saw fit to tweet out to his 50 million Twitter followers a death threat to the cop whose annual salary is less than one one-thousandth that of his own. “YOU’RE NEXT,” he typed above a picture of the otherwise-anonymous police officer. (Which reminds us: Does anyone know the name of the cop who shot Ashli Babbitt on January 6 in the Capitol?)
James’s handlers must’ve talked some sense into him, because he yanked his despicable tweet in relatively short order. But he didn’t apologize. Instead, he tried to rationalize it with a follow-up tweet: “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police,” he huffed. “I took the tweet down because its being used to create more hate — This isn’t about one officer,” James explained. “it’s about the entire system and they always use our words to create more racism. I am so desperate for more ACCOUNTABILITY.”
Yeah, LeBron, damn that white supremacist system for making you accountable for your very own words.
And speaking of ACCOUNTABILITY, where are the Twitter police? They quickly silenced a sitting U.S. president for telling his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” yet appear unwilling to so much as slap the hand of this loudmouthed leftist stooge who publicly threatened the life of a cop.
For a long time now, we’ve known that our nation has a two-tiered justice system: one for the rich, and one for the poor. Increasingly, though, we’re seeing two more tiers: one for the Left, and one for the Right.
A young Chicago girl was killed over the weekend, but her death has become a mere statistic.
Last Sunday, seven-year-old Jaslyn Adams was shot to death at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Homan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Her father, 29-year-old Jontae Adams, was also shot and seriously wounded. According to police, Jaslyn, who has three siblings, was hit “multiple times” in the body, and her dad was struck in the torso. A McDonald’s employee who asked not to be named told reporters that two people got out of a gray car in the drive-thru and started shooting at Adams’s car.
Chances are good that by the time one reads this column, this atrocity will have been swept aside by the news media. A news media that sees neither a narrative that can be exploited nor a ratings enhancer that would keep people watching.
But there is far more to this story than that. “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic,” Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin allegedly once stated. And much like Jaslyn Adams, a similar number of tragedies quickly becomes statistics in the city of Chicago, where just this year alone 864 people have been shot and 163 people have been killed as of April 14.
Both numbers represent a dramatic increase in a city where more than 4,100 people were shot and 769 people were killed last year.
Unsurprisingly, much of the violence is gang-related. In 2020, Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown stated there were 117,000 gang members in the city who are part of 55 known gangs. Of those 55 gangs, there are 747 factions that have 2,500 subsets. “Any day of the week, any hour of the day,” Brown added, there are “several hundred gang conflicts related to that 117,000 gang members.”
The demographic breakdowns of the victims and perpetrators of the violence are equally unsurprising. In 2020, 80% of Chicago’s “gun violence” victims were black. Between 2010 and July 8, 2020, 4,374 blacks were killed in the Windy City. Nationally, more than 90% of black homicide victims are killed by a black offender.
Police believe Jaslyn’s murder was gang-related, because less than three hours later, two people were shot in their car at a Popeyes restaurant in Humboldt Park, which investigators believe is connected to the McDonald’s shooting. One of the onlookers at the McDonald’s shooting expressed what ought to be a wholly untenable reality. “Unbelievable. They did this in front of all those cameras,” the man who asked to remain anonymous stated. “These kids are getting bold.”
Getting bold? These “kids” have been bold for a long time. In 2011, data officially released by the Chicago Police revealed that 90% of the city’s murder victims were male, and 53% were between the ages of 17 and 25. This year? The number of shootings and shooting victims in Chicago in the month of March alone are at their highest levels in four years.
In a better nation, the reality that certain neighborhoods in Chicago and other American cities are arguably less safe than war zones would elicit serious introspection and pushback. In this one, one either advances an ideologically driven agenda that serves the “systemic racism” narrative, or one is wholly expendable.
Jaslyn Adams and the thousands of other Chicagoans killed and wounded?
Statistics, one and all.
And it’s going to get worse. Murder is up in every major city across America, even as clueless progressive politicians call for defunding police forces. Even worse, their media handmaidens push an utterly false narrative about systemic police brutality, turn thugs into martyrs, pretend seven months of arson, looting, and murder were mostly protests that “intensified,” and gin up so much anger among already angry and largely misinformed Americans that the verdict in a single trial — if it hadn’t satisfied the bloodlust of thoroughly contemptible race-baiters like Maxine Waters — likely would have precipitated nationwide violence on an unprecedented scale.
Whose interests are served by calamity? Black Lives Matter — which doesn’t give a damn about the de facto black killing fields many Democrat-controlled cities have become — raked in $90 million last year, courtesy of its “woke” corporate enablers. BLM cofounder Patrisse Cullors insists the foundation is focused on a “need to reinvest into Black communities.” That the same Patrisse Cullors recently invested in a house in Los Angeles’s Topanga Canyon, where 88% of residents are white and just 1.8% are black?
Some revolutionaries are “more equal” than others.
Maxine Waters is equally abhorrent. The congresswoman who insisted Derek Chauvin is guilty of “first-degree murder” and urged rioters to “get more confrontational” is the one who requested an armed police escort to the anti-protest in Brooklyn Station. And if riots had occurred? Waters would have been far away, perhaps behind the barricades and barbed wire erected in Washington, DC, where equally feckless members of her party who have either countenanced or abetted the seven months of rioting last summer would also have remained if the almost inevitable results of their own race-baiting were realized.
Instead, Chauvin was convicted on all counts, while convicted felon and drug addict George Floyd was elevated to sainthood by Nancy Pelosi, and an equally reprehensible Joe Biden amplified how his empty promise was to unite the country by revisiting the lie that the nation is systemically racist.
Jaslyn Adams was a student at Cameron Elementary School. According to family members, she was nicknamed Pinky “because she was bright” and pink was her favorite color. “You just took away somebody’s queen. You just took away a mother’s daughter. You just put hurt on the father — for what?” asked community activist Andrew Holmes. “Every parent has taken a child to McDonald’s to get something to eat,” he added. “Not to get some bullets.”
Tragically, the bullets will continue flying, because demonized police will be reticent to enforce the law where most lawlessness occurs — and because there is simply no impetus to have a genuine conservation about race. That would require introspection among a black American community that has been convinced by progressives that all of its problems are externally generated. Thus, the glorification of thug culture, an out-of-wedlock birthrate approaching 70%, more than 50 years of a black-white education gap, and the reality that black Americans commit crimes at percentages far in excess of their representation in the general population will be wholly dismissed in terms of anything remotely resembling personal responsibility and/or bad life choices. Everything, no matter how dysfunctional or heinous, will continue being explained — and ultimately excused — by “systemic racism,” “white privilege/supremacy,” “gun violence,” and/or a “legacy of slavery.”
The family of Jaslyn Adams is dealing with the worst thing that can happen to any family. They won’t be the last, not as long as the status quo remains politically and financially useful for those with a vested interest in orchestrated division.
For such contemptible people, dead children like Jaslyn Adams, who don’t advance an agenda, are simply acceptable collateral damage.
Burgess Owens slams Democrats on reparations and race-baiting in general.
Utah Republican Congressman Burgess Owens is a black man who is the descendent of slaves. His grandfather proudly served in World War I, and his father served in World War II. Undeterred by living in the actual Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, Owens attended college and became an all-star football player. He went on to have a respectable career in the NFL, earning a Super Bowl ring along the way. Owens knows the value of hard work. He also knows racism when he sees it. And Burgess Owens will tell you straight away that today’s Democrat Party is exhibiting “true racism.”
Since taking office, Owens has proudly stood on the front line to fight against the Democrats’ incessant race-baiting. He had the chance to speak his mind at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s sham hearings into voter election laws this week, where he called out President Joe Biden and the Democrat Party for using the memory of Jim Crow as leverage in their attempt to defeat Georgia’s voting law.
“What I find extremely offensive,” Owens said, “is the narrative from the Left that black people are not smart enough, not educated enough, not desirous enough of education to do what every other culture and race does in this country: get an ID.”
Owens further explained that Georgia’s election law does not even come close to establishing the systemic hurdles to minority voting that were present during the Jim Crow era in the Deep South. And he speaks from experience — something Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are sorely lacking.
It’s not just voting, though. Owens also spoke out against reparations for blacks, pointing out the impracticality and logistical impossibility of calculating and distributing taxpayer money and who should get it.
More importantly, says Owens, “Reparations teach separation and convey a narrative that black Americans are a hopeless, hapless, and oppressed race entitled to handouts. The core of the debate certainly does not represent black America’s potential, nor the 150 years of legal, social, and economic progress achieved by millions of American minorities.”
Owens’s words drive right to the fact that the Democrat Party doesn’t think very highly of blacks in America. At every turn, under the guise of protecting them, Democrats portray blacks as needing special attention and privileges when it comes to getting a job, obtaining a college education, buying a home, and many other tasks. Blacks in America should not feel soothed by this rhetoric. They should feel insulted.
The extent of concern Democrats truly have for blacks is directly proportional to how many votes they can draw from them. Democrats buy those votes with free stuff and the promise of better education and job opportunities that they never seem to deliver. They use victimology and race-baiting as a means of convincing blacks that the Democrat Party is the only way blacks will get ahead in this country. They conveniently sweep aside the fact that Democrats were the slave owners, Jim Crow was a Democrat creation, Democrats fought against civil rights legislation for decades, and their current policies have repeatedly failed to improve the lives of blacks in America.
Burgess Owens speaks the truth about the real source of racism in this country. More voices should join him.
This is the Biden/Harris regime’s rebuttal to a growing conservative effort to reintroduce genuine civics classes promoting a better understanding of American Liberty — which would be antithetical to the Left’s statist control agenda. Fact is, the most consequential “systemic racism” in America is the institutionalization of leftist Democrat social policies, which have enslaved black citizens on the Demos’ urban poverty plantations for generations. Among governors rejecting the Left’s woke curriculum is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who declared his state’s schools will “expressly exclude” teaching Critical Race Theory. “There’s no room in our classrooms for things like Critical Race Theory,” DeSantis contends. “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”
But one parent is taking on the miseducation of America’s elites, rejecting CRT in his child’s school. Andrew Gutmann wrote the administration and more than 600 parents of the exclusive Brearley girls school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan about why he was taking his daughter out of the school. His letter is an outstanding exposition on Critical Race Theory curriculum, and it should be read by every parent of school children.
USPS is running a “covert operations program” that monitors Americans’ social media posts (Yahoo! News)
“The work involves having analysts trawl through social media sites to look for what [a] document describes as ‘inflammatory’ postings and then sharing that information across government agencies. … Civil liberties experts expressed alarm at the post office’s surveillance program. ‘It’s a mystery,’ said University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone, whom President Barack Obama appointed to review the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks. ‘I don’t understand why the government would go to the Postal Service for examining the internet for security issues.’”
Senate GOP symbolically preserves earmark ban (Politico)
“Senate Republicans kept their decade-long earmarks ban on Wednesday but installed a new internal GOP rule that demands spending cuts as a condition for raising the debt ceiling. … Both the earmark ban and the new debt ceiling posture keep the Senate Republicans on track with tea party-era attitudes toward spending, diverging from a majority of House Republicans who voted in a secret ballot to back Democrats’ return to earmarking, with extra guardrails. Still, neither the earmark ban nor the debt ceiling language is binding — and that means there’s nothing to prevent individual senators from requesting earmarks or voting to raise the debt ceiling without corresponding cuts.”
Government & Politics
Lisa Murkowski bucks her party to back Vanita Gupta, Biden’s pick for DOJ No. 3 (Politico)
Bernie Sanders launches bill for tuition-free college that disproportionately helps wealthier families (Breitbart)
House set to vote on DC statehood, but all eyes are on the Senate (Roll Call)
DOJ indicts Illinois professor for secretly working for China while getting U.S. government grants (Washington Examiner)
Retired general picked by Nancy Pelosi to review Capitol security appears on Chinese propaganda network CGTN America (Daily Caller)
Daily Beast ripped for publishing misinformation about Columbus police shooting (Fox News)
NPR posts disclaimer on report saying it may be getting the facts wrong (Disrn)
Annals of the “Social Justice” Caliphate
Black Lives Matter activists: “We’re never gonna be satisfied”; “burn it down!” (Daily Wire)
New York City will no longer prosecute prostitution, dismisses 900+ cases (CNS News)
Insight: “To the size of the state there is a limit, as there is to plants, animals and implements, for none of these retain their facility when they are too large.” —Aristotle (384-322 BC)
For the record I: “LeBron James for years has been a Chinese apologist. He obviously was very upset that anybody had anything to say about the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong. LeBron had no statements on that but he does have statements every other day how living as a black American means you’re an existential threat thanks to American white supremacy.” —Ben Shapiro
For the record II: “LeBron is unwilling to say anything about China. … If LeBron ever spoke out and said something simple like, ‘I’m in favor of human rights around the world,’ China would pull his movie as well as his product and his ability to make money off of Chinese corporations.” —Clay Travis
Editorial exegesis: “George Floyd died because Derek Chauvin was a bad cop. We are, of course, mindful that police have a very tough job, dealing with uncooperative and often dangerous suspects, many with drug-abuse and health problems — such as the ones Floyd had, which likely contributed to his death. But the police power to use necessary force, which must necessarily be superior force, never justifies excessive force. That is the message of this emphatic verdict.” —National Review
Friendly fire I: “In a recent Gallup survey, Democrats did much worse than Republicans in getting the right answer to the fundamental question: What are the chances that someone who gets COVID will need to be hospitalized? The answer is between one and five percent — 41 percent of Democrats thought it was over 50 percent. Another 28 percent put the chances at 20 to 49 [percent]. So if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for ‘How did your audience end up believing such a bunch of crap about COVID?’” —Bill Maher
Friendly fire II: “Apparently the [Florida] governor is also a voracious consumer of the scientific literature, and maybe that’s why he protected his most vulnerable population — the elderly — way better than did the governor of New York.” —Bill Maher
The BIG Lie: “[Voting reform] is a full-fledged assault on voting rights, unlike anything we’ve seen since the era of Jim Crow.” —Senator Raphael Warnock
Demagogue: “We are delivering real, real relief, and the American people are now able to breathe easier and sleep better.” —Kamala Harris
Grand delusions: “[The 2018 gubernatorial election] was stolen from the voters of Georgia. We do not know what they would have done because not every eligible Georgian was permitted to participate fully in the election.” —Stacey Abrams
Non compos mentis: “The trampling of indigenous rights is a cause of climate change. The trampling of racial justice is a cause of climate change.” —AOC
Race bait I: “While [Tuesday’s] verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one. We cannot rest. We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system.” —Barack and Michelle Obama
Race bait II: “Ohio police fatally shoot Black teenage girl just before Chauvin verdict.” —The Washington Post
And last… “White House is repeating the lie that Ma’Khia Bryant was shot by police because she was black. Reality: She was shot because she had a knife and was in the act of attempting to kill another girl. Unbelievable.” —Katie Pavlich
US-dominated Western governments lie and otherwise mass deceive their people on key domestic and geopolitical issues.
So do their press agent media.
On most all things mattering most, nothing they claim can be taken at face value. Secret motives are concealed.
Geopolitically, US-dominated NATO and their imperial allies are at war by hot and/or other means against nations free from their control — invented enemies, not real ones.
Domestically, their ruling regimes are at war on their own people.
On all things covid, everything mandated and recommended since last year is based on Big Lies and mass deception — what I call the mother of all scams.
What’s going on most likely will worsen ahead.
It’s part of the diabolical new world order Great Reset scam to transform world community nations into ruler/serf societies — eliminating free and open ones everywhere.
It’s to benefit privileged interests by exploiting ordinary people everywhere.
It’s to plunder planet earth, not preserve and improve it for the betterment of humanity.
It’s also likely about depopulation worldwide — eliminating what Henry Kissinger once called “useless eaters.”
In 1974, his secret National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) called for drastic global depopulation.
Resource rich developing nations are vital to US growth, he said, adding:
“Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the third world.”
Western policies instituted after seasonal flu was renamed covid last year aim to harm ordinary people everywhere.
Nearly half a century ago, Kissinger urged elimination of hundreds of millions of people by year-2000.
Today, he and likeminded ideologues likely want the global population reduced by billions.
A new Stanford University study — conducted under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) — concluded that face masks don’t protect against covid (or other) viral droplets and risk serious harm to health if worn longterm.
The NCBI study’s abstract said the following:
“Many countries across the globe utilized medical and non-medical facemasks as non-pharmaceutical intervention for reducing the transmission and infectivity of coronavirus disease-2019 (covid).”
“(S)cientific evidence supporting facemasks’ efficacy is lacking…”
“(A)dverse physiological, psychological and health effects are established.”
It’s “hypothesized that facemasks have compromised safety and efficacy profile and should be avoided from use.”
“The current (assessment) comprehensively summarizes scientific evidence with respect to wearing facemasks in the (covid) era…”
It “provid(es) information for public health and decision making.”
The NCBI study concludes as follows:
“(E)xisting scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for (covid).”
“The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such (as) SARS-CoV-2 and (covid), supporting against the usage of facemasks.”
“Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects.”
“These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression.”
“Long-term consequences of wearing facemask(s) can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death.”
“Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize (a) scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.”
Face masks can’t protect. They’re porous to permit breathing. Otherwise, they’d hermetically seal wearers and suffocate them.
Peer-reviewed studies showed no relationship between their use in public and protection from covid.
Aerosolized viral droplets are too minute to be blocked.
If exposed when masked, they penetrate what’s worn and accumulate inside.
Pathogens are then inhaled into lungs in concentrated form.
Nations and local communities with the lowest incidence of mask-wearing had fewer outbreaks.
The NCBI study and considerable other scientific evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that virtually everything mandated and recommended by US-dominated Western countries on all things covid risks serious harm to health — not the other way around.
Countless millions of people in the US, West, and elsewhere have been — and continue to be — conned to believe what’s shown up annually for time immemorial with no fear-mongering created mass hysteria became harmful to health and well-being like never before.
So it became necessary to institute draconian policies to address it.
Countless numbers of medical and scientific experts profoundly disagree.
What’s gone on since last year is state-sponsored/media supported madness.
Ignored is that the survival rate for seasonal flu-renamed covid for individuals under age-70 is 99.95% — 95% for people over age-70.
Since last year in the West, countless numbers of reported deaths from causes unrelated to covid were falsely attributed to the renamed viral illness.
Artificially inflating numbers is all about fear-mongering ordinary people to self-inflict harm by going along with draconian/harmful to health policies.
They include multiple inoculations with experimental, high-risk, unapproved, rushed to market, DNA altering mRNA technology and vaccines for covid.
When taken as directed, they risk serious harm to health — including contraction of the illness they’re claimed to protect against.
If ongoing madness continues unchecked — what’s highly likely in the West — the toll on health and well-being may be catastrophic.
Congresswoman’s office would not comment on ranking A recent study by a pair of political science professors concluded that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the least effective members of Congress on the Democratic side of the aisle.
The Prosperity Gospel–also known as “Health and Wealth Gospel,” “Name it and Claim it,” and “Word of Faith”–is a perversion of the biblical gospel that teaches that the primary purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection is to create material gain for those who have enough “faith.”
Adherents to this false gospel are found primarily in the charismatic movement and include prominent figures such as Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and T.D. Jakes. But the movement also includes as Joel Osteen who isn’t as focused on the charismaticism as much as he is the financial prosperity of his movement.
“We can’t possibly deny that demonic experiences are real and that the Devil is actively working to deceive people with real experiences dripping with sinister lies. Therefore, discernment is crucial.”
(Costi Hinn – For the Gospel) When it comes to analyzing dreams and visions, very few people are short on opinion.
Some seek dreams, visions, and other mystical experiences constantly yet don’t even know their Bible….
Others dismiss every supernatural claim and prefer rationalism at all costs; unwilling to even accept any possibility that supernatural experiences could either be demonic or that God could providentially use a very normal dream to move someone into realistic action once they wake up.
There are landmines on all sides of this subject, and one of those is that it tends to become a tier 1 issue. In other words, people will make railing judgments about the salvation of an individual based on their position regarding how God may or may not use dreams, or if it is possible for someone to have some supernatural experience. It’s important to navigate these hotly debated waters with a great deal of grace, while still holding fast to the truth of God’s word…. crn_link url=”https://thelogcollege.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/how-to-view-claims-of-dreams-and-visions-by-costi-hinn/”]
Things are moving fast. Great reset. Build back better. Cancel culture. Media power. Big tech. How can we search for truth in what appears to be a time of deception? RPI Board Member, filmmaker, and philanthropist Gary Heavin joins today’s program.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who recently donned combat gear to join his government’s troops on the battle line with the Donbass, on Wednesday addressed the nation in a televised address in which he conjured up the specter of Russian troops on his nation’s eastern border. He asked and answered a number of rhetorical questions, among them: “Do Ukraine and its international partners demand that troops be withdrawn from our borders? Yes.” The international partners in question are the US and its NATO allies and partners.
The keynote of his address was this: “Does Ukraine want a war? No. Is it ready for it? Yes. Will Ukraine stop fighting for peace through diplomacy? Never. Will Ukraine defend itself if it needs to? Always.”
The utility of such phrasing is that the statement can be interpreted differently according to where the stress is laid. And a threat of war can be couched within a seeming pledge of peace. His “international partners” can portray his comments as reflecting a desperate plea for peace while confronted with the threat of war. That is, Zelensky projects himself simultaneously as a peace-loving statesman and a resolute (if reluctant) warrior.
The message was addressed to three capitals in particular. Moscow, Washington and Brussels.
Meanwhile on Thursday a Russian troop draw down is being widely reported…
A press release on the signing was posted on the president’s website, which states:
“This document improves the requirements for manning the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations with reservists (military-trained persons with combat experience) in a special period without announcing mobilization. This will make it possible to quickly equip the military units of all the defense forces of the state with reservists, which will significantly increase their combat capability during a military aggression, as well as rapidly increase the combat potential of the defense forces and allow timely response to sudden threats to national security.”
Ready for war in fact.
The country’s Defense Minister, Andriy Taran, said the act also will augment the professionalization of the nation’s armed forces, a key NATO demand for countries aspiring to membership of the military bloc. He also said that part of that process is increasing the percentage of military-age citizens “contracting” with the military. He further explained the intent of the act in saying, “We count on increasing the efficiency of recruiting military units in a special period by recruiting reservists, motivated, trained soldiers with combat experience.”
And Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba reported that he had a phone conversation with Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which the latter said he expected a vote today on the Ukraine Security Partnership Act to increase military assistance to the country, “which includes the supply of lethal weapons.”
After the reported Russian troop build-up along Ukraine’s border which thrust the half-decade long Donbass conflict back into media headlines late last month, the Kremlin this week has been conducting major naval and aerial military drills on the southern coast of Crimea and in the Black Sea.
Amid threats and counter-threats between Moscow and NATO, which also witnessed a rare overture from Biden for a bilateral summit with Putin to be held over the summer, Russia’s defense minister on Thursday announced the close of the drills and ordered the additional troops back to the their permanent bases.
Speculation has been rampant and the actual numbers of additional Russian troops near Ukraine has differed wildly – from claims of multiple tens of thousands to 100,000 – and all the way up to fantastical projections of 150,000. It remains unclear to what degree Russia will fully draw down these ‘extra’ forces near Ukraine’s border and in Crimea.
Russia’s position all along has been that the initially reported “build-up” which was considered a severe “threat” to Ukrainian sovereignty (as Kiev accused Moscow of preparing an offensive) was in reality related to regularly scheduled military exercises in the region.
“I consider the goals of the snap check of readiness fulfilled,” Defense Minister Shoigu announced Thursday. “The troops have shown their defense capability and I decided to complete the drills in the South and Western military districts.”
Are we finally witnessing rapid de-escalation? Or is it just the calm before the storm?
The Russian Defence Ministry said the manoeuvrs in Crimea involved more than 60 ships, over 10,000 troops, around 200 aircraft and about 1,200 military vehicles.
The exercise featured the landing of more than 2,000 paratroopers and 60 military vehicles on Thursday. Fighter jets covered the airborne operation.
Shoigu flew in a helicopter over the Opuk firing range in Crimea to oversee the exercise. He later declared the drills over, but ordered the military to stand ready to respond to any “adverse developments” during NATO’s Defender Europe 2021 exercise.
Earlier this week Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba informed Western allies that the “continued” Russian troop mustering was “expected to reach a combined force of over 120,000 troops” in about a week.
He argued that sanctions on Moscow must be ratcheted up – this even after Biden’s last Thursday sanctions rollout targeting Russian officials and companies over the SolarWinds hack and alleged election interference.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has announced that troops deployed in the west and south of the country in recent days will soon begin returning to base, saying they have now passed tests of their combat readiness.
The chief of the country’s military revealed on Thursday that a number of units of the regular army and airborne divisions had been transferred to the area, near the shared border with Ukraine, as part of surprise military exercises. The buildup had caused alarm in Kiev, and been cited by Western nations as a potential precursor to an invasion, which the Kremlin repeatedly denied.
According to Shoigu, “the goals of the sudden inspection have been fully achieved. The troops demonstrated their ability to ensure reliable defense of the country.”
Also on rt.com
As a result, he has now ordered commanders to “plan and begin the return of troops to their places of regular deployment, beginning from April 23.” By the end of the month, the minister said, “the personnel of the 58th Army of the Southern Military District, the 41st Army of the Central Military District, the 7th, 76th Air Assault and 98th Airborne Divisions of the Airborne Forces” will return to their normal bases.
However, he warned that the army would “react and respond adequately to all changes in the situation near Russian borders.”
Earlier the same day, the Ministry of Defense released footage of troops storming the beaches in Crimea in simulated wargames, with amphibious landing ships making ground on the disputed peninsula. In a statement, it said that the exercises “allow you to practice the tasks of landing troops and overcoming the anti-landing defenses of the conditional enemy.”
Earlier this month, Shoigu paid a visit to troops stationed near the border with Ukraine and said they were showing “full readiness and ability to fulfill the tasks of ensuring the country’s military security.”
“Currently, these associations and formations are engaged in drills and exercises,” he added, explaining that the move came after increased tensions with NATO and “in response to the military activity of the alliance, which threatens Russia.”
On Wednesday, Western media reported that Washington was mulling expanding its shipments of weaponry to Ukraine, including handing over missiles and anti-air equipment. The country has previously requested support from NATO in defending against what it claims is Russian “aggression.”
Fighting between Kiev’s forces and soldiers loyal to two breakaway republics in the east has escalated in recent weeks, and Moscow has warned it could intervene to prevent a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.