“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
Taliban fighters watched the last U.S. planes disappear into the sky over Afghanistan around midnight Monday and then fired their guns into the air, celebrating victory after a 20-year insurgency that drove the world’s most powerful military out of one of the poorest countries. Walkaway Joe Biden, take a victory lap.
“And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” Daniel 5:25,26 (KJB)
To call America a nation in decline would be almost a compliment at this point, such is the cataclysmic disarray we find ourselves in as the United States drifts leaderless into a uncertain future. Joe Biden impatiently checked his watch during the ceremony the other day of transferring the dead bodies of the slain US soldiers, putting the cherry on top of his already fine work. What would our Founding Fathers think of all this? I think you already know the answer to that, but in case you don’t, here it is.IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Taliban celebrate victory as U.S. troops leave Afghanistan
FROM THE AP: The departure of the U.S. cargo planes marked the end of a massive airlift in which tens of thousands of people fled Afghanistan, fearful of the return of Taliban rule after the militants took over most of the country and rolled into the capital earlier this month. “The last five aircraft have left, it’s over!” said Hemad Sherzad, a Taliban fighter stationed at Kabul’s international airport. “I cannot express my happiness in words. … Our 20 years of sacrifice worked.”
In Washington, Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, announced the completion of America’s longest war and the evacuation effort, saying the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29 p.m. EDT — one minute before midnight Monday in Kabul.
“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” he said.
With its last troops gone, the U.S. ended its 20-year war with the Taliban back in power. Many Afghans remain fearful of their rule or of further instability, and there have been sporadic reports of killings and other abuses in areas under Taliban control despite the group’s pledges to restore peace and security.
“American soldiers left the Kabul airport, and our nation got its full independence,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said early Tuesday.
The U.S. and its allies invaded Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack on the United States, which al-Qaida orchestrated while sheltering under Taliban rule. The invasion drove the Taliban from power in a matter of weeks and scattered Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaida leaders. The U.S. and its allies launched an ambitious effort to rebuild Afghanistan after decades of war, investing billions of dollars in a Western-style government and security forces. Women, who had been largely confined to their homes under the Taliban’s hard-line rule, benefitted from access to education and came to assume prominent roles in public life.
But the Taliban never went away.
In the coming years, as the U.S. focused on another troubled war in Iraq and the Afghan government became mired in corruption, the Taliban regrouped in the countryside and in neighboring Pakistan. In recent years, they seized large parts of rural Afghanistan and carried out near-daily assaults on Afghan security forces. Eager to end the war, the Trump administration signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020 that paved the way for the withdrawal. President Joe Biden extended the deadline from May to August and continued with the pullout despite the Taliban’s rapid blitz across the country earlier this month.
Now the Taliban control all of Afghanistan except for the mountainous Panjshir province, where a few thousand local fighters and remnants of Afghanistan’s collapsed security forces have pledged to resist them. The Taliban say they are seeking a peaceful resolution there. They face much graver challenges now that they govern one of the poorest and most war-ravaged nations on Earth.
In recent days Afghans have lined up outside banks as an economic crisis that predates the Taliban takeover worsens. A string of attacks by the Islamic State extremist group’s local affiliate, including a barrage of rockets fired at the airport Monday, shows the security challenges the Taliban face.
On Thursday, an Islamic State suicide attack at an airport gate killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members. The extremist group is far more radical than the Taliban, and the two groups have fought each other before. The Taliban say they will prevent Afghanistan from again being used as a base for terror attacks, a pledge that will likely be tested soon. McKenzie said the Taliban were “significantly helpful” in enabling the airlift but will have difficulty securing Kabul in the coming days, not least because of the threat they face from IS. He said the Taliban had freed IS fighters from prisons, swelling their ranks to an estimated 2,000.
“Now they are going to be able to reap what they sowed,” the American general said.
Many Afghans fear the Taliban themselves, who governed the country under a harsh interpretation of Islamic law from 1996 until 2001. In those years they banned television and music, barred women from attending school or working outside the home, and carried out public executions. The Taliban have sought to project a more moderate image since the takeover. They say women will be able to attend school and work, and have renounced any revenge attacks on Afghans who worked with the former government, the U.S. or its allies.
Many Afghans are deeply skeptical of such promises, and fear of the Taliban’s rule drove tens of thousands to flee the country over the past two weeks. Thousands more waited in vain outside the airport, many of them standing for hours in a sewage canal. The Kabul international airport had been one of the few ways out. At one point people flooded onto the tarmac and seven fell to their deaths after clinging to a plane that was taking off. Another seven died in a stampede of people outside an airport gate.
Walkaway Joe Leaves Americans Stranded In Afghanistan
The Taliban have said they will allow normal travel, but it is unclear how they will run the airport and which commercial carriers will begin flying in, given security concerns. Qatar, a close U.S. ally that has long hosted a Taliban political office, has been taking part in negotiations about operations at the airport with Afghan and international parties, mainly the U.S. and Turkey. Qatari Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwa al-Khater said its main priority is restoring regular operations while maintaining security at the airport.
The last known U.S. military operation in Afghanistan came Sunday, when American officials said a drone strike blew up a vehicle carrying IS suicide bombers who were planning to attack the airport. But like so much about the Afghanistan war, it may not have gone as planned. Relatives of those killed in Sunday’s strike said it killed civilians who had nothing to do with the extremist group. Najibullah Ismailzada said his brother-in-law, Zemarai Ahmadi, had just arrived home from his job working with a Korean charity. As he drove into the garage, his children came out to greet him, and that is when the missile struck.
“We lost 10 members of our family,” Ismailzada said, including six children raging in age from 2 to 8. He said another relative, Naser Nejrabi, who was a former soldier in the Afghan army and a former interpreter for the U.S. military, also was killed, along with two teenagers. U.S. officials have acknowledged the reports of civilian casualties without confirming them. READ MORE
Joe Biden abandoned hundreds, if not thousands of Americans in Afghanistan behind enemy lines in what will no doubt turn into a hostage situation.
Biden was at Camp David and Blinken was sunning himself in the Hamptons when Kabul fell to the Taliban.
Blinken admitted Joe Biden withdrew from Afghanistan before the administration even knew how many Americans they were leaving behind.
“More than 123,000 people have been safely flown out of Afghanistan. That includes about 6,000 American citizens. This has been a massive military, diplomatic and humanitarian undertaking – one of the most difficult in our nation’s history,” Blinken said.
“The military mission is over. A new diplomatic mission has begun,” he added.
After his speech on Biden’s botched withdrawal, Blinken bolted from the lectern and refused to answer any questions from reporters.
Blinken turned his back and walked away as a reporter asked about Americans left behind by the Biden regime.
Now, just two weeks before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Taliban are armed to the teeth with the fattest pockets they’ve ever seen.
Reporter: The President said he believed, and recently you followed and said the same that, “We believe that they were on pace,” this was before the attack, “On pace for the achievement of our objective.” So as we approach that deadline either tonight or tomorrow night, whatever it is, did the US accomplish its objective knowing that there will be likely thousands of SIV applicants and others still there and certainly some Americans as well? Did we achieve our objective?
Psaki: I think first we have to date evacuated more than 120,000 people. That’s 120,000 lives that we have saved, including 6,000 Americans and their families, many of them dual nationals. And we are continuing, our commitment is enduring to Afghan partners, to American citizens who may not have decided to leave. That is their right to determine when they want to leave. That commitment is enduring. But we have saved more than 120,000 lives and I would let you evaluate that for yourself. Go ahead.
Reporter: Can we talk about as the US prepares to leave, whether tonight or tomorrow, there are going to be billions of dollars worth of US-made munitions, arms, military aircraft, armored vehicles that have fallen in the hands of the Taliban here, giving them new capabilities they didn’t have before this. Are Americans less safe now because the Taliban now has access to billions of dollars worth of American-made weaponry?
Psaki: Well, let me unpack your question a little bit. Because the US military, part of their retrograde effort is to reduce the amount of military equipment or apparatus that anyone on the ground has access to. I’m not going to get into the details of how they do that, but that is part of their effort. I will also reiterate something that our National Security Advisor said just last week, we had to make an assessment several weeks ago about whether we provide materials to the Afghan National Security Forces so that they could fight the fight — obviously, they decided not to fight — or not. And we made the decision to provide them with that equipment and the material.
The third piece I would note that’s very important here is that we have not assessed that any group on the ground, whether it’s ISIS-K or the Taliban has the ability to attack the United States. Whoa. We clearly need to… Sorry, that was an aggressive bug. We need to ensure that remains the case, but that is not a capability that we have assessed to be the case at this point in time. There’s a difference between the threat that is posed to US men and women serving or people who are gathering outside of the gates in Kabul, and whether these individuals can attack the United States.
Psaki is proud of the evacuation numbers, 5% of which were actual Americans and only lord knows how many are Taliban affiliates.
Meanwhile, hundreds, if not thousands of Americans will be left behind in the war zone with no hope of returning.
Former British politician and Brexit leader Nigel Farage joined Carl Higbie on The Kelly Report on Monday to discuss Joe Biden’s historic failures in Afghanisan.
During their discussion on the US exit from Kabul Nigel Farage warned that the UK will refuse any military interventions with the US as long as Joe Biden is in charge.
Nigel Farage: “When Boris Johnson made a desperate phone call to Biden he didn’t get a response for 40 hours… The result of this is any new military engagements that they want us to engage in we simply will not do with this man in charge… I can’t even see a future for NATO… I would not trust America under this administration.”
President Biden is facing heavy criticism from Republican lawmakers for completing the pullout of U.S. forces from Afghanistan while leaving some American citizens stranded in the country where the Taliban has seized control.
“My heart is heavy today, knowing the Biden Administration has left behind thousands of Afghan allies and hundreds of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan, including constituents from the 2nd district,” GOP Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska said in a statement.
“This was completely avoidable, and the disgraceful actions by this Administration are on full display and they should be ashamed. This is the worst display of incompetence and weakness I’ve seen from any Administration in my lifetime,” Bacon declared. “Our national honor is tarnished, our credibility with our allies is in tatters, and our country is more vulnerable to potential attacks than at any time since 2001. China, Russia, and Iran are emboldened, and the strategic repercussions will be felt for years to come.”
The U.S. has now completed its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, but some American citizens remain stranded there.
“We believe there are still a small number of Americans — under 200, and likely closer to 100 — who remain in Afghanistan and want to leave,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday.
President Biden said in a statement that he has “asked the Secretary of State to lead the continued coordination with our international partners to ensure safe passage for any Americans, Afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan.”
Republican Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, who is a military veteran himself, described the abandonment of Americans and others as “unforgivable.”
“This is a dark moment — a stain — in our country’s history. Hundreds of Americans and thousands of Afghan allies were left behind enemy lines. This is unforgivable. Make no mistake: No one wants a forever war, but this is far from over. The Taliban are a sadistic enemy, and the American citizens and Afghan allies left behind will be their prisoners,” Green said in a statement.
“Joe Biden has dishonored this country, and his incompetence has cost American lives and our national security. Our troops performed honorably. And we will never forget the men and women — my brothers and sisters in arms — who gave their lives so we may live free,” Green said.
Republican Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois described leaving Americans behind as “morally indefensible.”
“It is morally indefensible that President Biden abandoned Americans stranded in Afghanistan,” LaHood tweeted. “President Biden made the decision that adhering to his arbitrary deadline and keeping his promise to the Taliban was more important than keeping his promise to stranded Americans.”
A group of nearly 90 retired generals and admirals called for the resignations of the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff over the disaster of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The letter was released as the Pentagon announced on Monday that the last flight out of Kabul airport had taken off to the skies, ending the war that lasted two decades.
The letter accused Defense Secretary Gen. Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley of culpability in the disastrous withdrawal that has already cost the lives of 13 U.S. service members.
The consequences of this disaster are enormous and will reverberate for decades beginning with the safety of Americans and Afghans who are unable to move safely to evacuation points; therefore, being de facto hostages of the Taliban at this time. The death and torture of Afghans has already begun and will result in a human tragedy of major proportions. The loss of billions of dollars in advanced military equipment and supplies falling into the hands of our enemies is catastrophic. The damage to the reputation of the United States is indescribable. We are now seen, and will be seen for many years, as an unreliable partner in any multinational agreement or operation. Trust in the United States is irreparably damaged.
The letter went on to say that the terrorist enemies of America had been emboldened by the show of weakness and ineffectuality in Afghanistan. They cited recent reports criticizing Milley for defending military training that included critical race theory.
“Our military exists to fight and win our Nation’s wars and that must be the sole focus of our top military leaders,” the letter read.
Also on Monday President Joe Biden issued a statement, citing commitments that the Taliban had made to providing “safe passage” to the hundreds of Americans who were stuck in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Taliban was declaring victory after seizing control of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. military equipment and vehicles.
Twenty years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Taliban is back in control of the war-torn nation.
Here’s more about the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal:
U.S. completes withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan
Grace Tried Is Glory in Infancy Psalm 84:11; John 1:14; Romans 5:2; 2 Corinthians 4:15
Grace tried is better than grace, and it is more than grace; it is glory in its infancy.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Nothing More Dangerous Than Being Weary of the Word Psalm 50:16–17; Matthew 4:4; Romans 1:21; 1 Peter 2:2–3
There is nothing more dangerous than to be weary of the Word. He therefore that is so cold, that he thinks himself to know enough, and begins by little and little to loathe the Word, that man has lost Christ and the Gospel, and that which he thinks himself to know, he attains only by bare speculation.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
2:1 Petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings are several different terms for prayer. Paul was referring to “all sorts of prayer.”
2:1 Four of the seven Greek words for prayer occur in this verse. “Supplications” contains the idea of asking for definite needs. “Prayers” is the most general word. “Intercessions” indicates freedom of access to God, by which one may boldly make requests for others. “Giving of thanks” is the expression of gratitude for God’s abundant grace and is treated as an integral part of prayer (cf. 1 Thess. 5:17, 18).
2:1 all people. As can be seen from the next expression (“for kings and all who are in high positions”), this does not mean “every human being,” but rather “all types of people,” whatever their station in life.
2:1petitions The Greek word used here, deēsis, refers to requests made on the basis of urgency or need. Sometimes these requests are made on behalf of others as an act of intercession (see Luke 22:32; Acts 8:24). Believers demonstrate their dependence on God and love for others through intercession. Intercession also presents believers with an opportunity to show their unity.
Prayers in Paul’s Letters Table
thanksgiving An expression of gratitude for God’s generosity in Christ.
all people Regardless of race, social status, or gender. God does not discriminate between persons; neither should the believers in Ephesus (compare Rom 2:10–11; Gal 3:26–29). The prayers offered on behalf of all people become an expression of faith in God and love for others (1 Tim 1:14). This is the kind of good work Timothy should encourage among believers.
2:1supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings. Paul’s point is not to list all the ways to pray but to pile up various terms in reference to prayer for their cumulative impact. This is a call for all sorts of prayer for all sorts of people.
2:1 entreaties. The Gr. word is from a root that means “to lack,” “to be deprived,” or “to be without.” Thus this kind of prayer occurs because of a need. The lost have a great need for salvation, and believers should always be asking God to meet that need. petitions. This word comes from a root meaning “to fall in with someone,” or “to draw near so as to speak intimately.” The verb from which this word derives is used of Christ’s and the Spirit’s intercession for believers (Ro 8:26; Heb 7:25). Paul’s desire is for the Ephesian Christians to have compassion for the lost, to understand the depths of their pain and misery, and to come intimately to God pleading for their salvation. See notes on Tit 3:3, 4.all men. The lost in general, not the elect only. God’s decree of election is secret—believers have no way of knowing who is elect until they respond. The scope of God’s evangelistic efforts is broader than election (Mt 22:14; Jn 17:21, 23; see note on v. 4).
2:1 Prayer for all men is both a privilege and an obligation. It is a sheer privilege for us to have audience with God in behalf of our fellow men. And it is an obligation, too, for we are debtors to all with reference to the good news of salvation.
The apostle lists four aspects of prayer—supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks. It is rather difficult to distinguish between the first three. In modern usage, supplication has the thought of strong and earnest pleading, but here the thought is more that of specific requests for specific needs. The word here translated prayers is a very general term, covering all kinds of reverent approaches to God. Intercessions describe those forms of petition in which we address God as our Superior in behalf of others. Giving of thanks describes prayer in which we rehearse the grace and kindness of our Lord, and pour out our hearts in gratitude to Him.
We might summarize the verse, then, by saying that in praying for all men, we should be humble, worshipful, trustful, and thankful.
2:1. From his concerns about false teachers Paul turned to matters relating to the conduct of the church broadly (cf. 3:14–15). Paul began with what he considered most important: prayer. What too often comes last in a church’s priorities should actually come first. Not much weight should be placed on the presumed distinctions between requests, prayers, and intercession. The terms are more likely designed to build on one another for emphasis. It should be noted, however, that thanksgiving should have a prominent place in the church’s prayer life.
2:1“First of all” This Greek idiom means “of first importance.” The context asserts that this is meant to control and limit the affect of the false teachers.
1. First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings be made in behalf of all men.
Paul has something to “urge” upon Timothy. He is, as it were, “calling him aside” in order to exhort him with respect to a matter of utmost significance (note “first of all”). It concerns the relation of the church to the state. If churches are to flourish spiritually, public worship is highly desirable, to say the least; but such public worship cannot be conducted to the best advantage (calmly, without disturbance; see on verse 2b) unless the church does its duty with respect to the state. Besides, the church is a light shining in the darkness. It must seek to win others for Christ and his kingdom. Is it possible that Paul, on his visit to Ephesus, had noticed that prayer for rulers was being neglected?
So the apostle urges his representative to see to it that wherever in the Ephesian territory God’s people may gather for public worship, kings and all that are in high positions be remembered in prayer, in fact that supplications prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings be made in behalf of all men.
The four synonyms that are used here do not amount to meaningless repetitions.
The first word, supplications, means petitions for the fulfilment of certain definite needs which are keenly felt. Fully aware of his complete dependence on God, one asks that this particular illness may be removed, or that these disturbing tidings may be over-ruled for good, etc. Supplications, then, are humble requests which one makes in the light of this or that concrete situation in which God, he alone, can furnish the help that is needed.
The next word, prayers, is more general in meaning. As often used, it covers every form of reverent address directed to the Deity. Whether we “take hold on God” by means of confession, intercession, supplication, adoration, or thanksgiving, we can in each instance speak of being engaged in prayer. Both the Greek and the English word have that general meaning. However, in view of the fact that the word is here used as one of a list of four synonyms, and since it is clear that each of the other three stresses a particular aspect of prayer-life, the conclusion seems warranted that its meaning in this particular passage (and probably also in 1 Tim. 5:5 and Phil. 4:6) must be somewhat restricted. I venture the thought that it here refers to requests for the fulfilment of needs that are always present (in contrast with supplications in specific situations): the need for more wisdom, greater consecration, progress in the administration of justice, etc. Even when thus interpreted, the meaning is still very broad.
The noun intercessions occurs only here and in 1 Tim. 4:5. I have hesitated a long time before adopting as my own (for the present passage) the translation of the A.V., A.R.V., R.S.V., and many others. It is perhaps impossible to find one word in the English language which will be the full equivalent of the original. I might begin by stressing the fact that it is by no means true that the noun (used in the original: ἔντευξις) in and by itself (that is, apart from the context) necessarily conveys the thought which we today generally associate with the word intercession: “a pleading in the interest of others.” In the only other New Testament passage in which it is used (1 Tim. 4:5) it does not necessarily have that meaning. And the related verb (ἐντυγχάνω) can be used in connections in which (together with a preposition) it indicates a pleading against rather than a pleading in behalf of (Rom. 11:2; and cf. Acts 25:24).
The basic idea contained in both verb and noun is rather that of “falling in with,” “meeting with in order to converse freely,” hence, “freedom of access.” A person (or Person) finds himself in the very audience-chamber of God the Father. The privilege of having a sacred interview with him is his own, whether by nature, as in the case of Christ or of the Holy Spirit, or by grace, as in the case of a believer.
But though this is the basic idea of the word, the particular context in which it is used changes the meaning slightly. Thus it is indeed true that the verbal form in the New Testament passages not yet referred to indicates a confident interview which is “in the interest of others.” Hence, it takes on the meaning of intercession. According to Rom. 8:27 the Holy Spirit, having come to our assistance, intercedes for us. Christ, upon his heavenly throne, remembers us similarly (Rom. 8:34). In fact, he evermore lives to intercede for us (Heb. 7:25). In our present passage (1 Tim. 2:1) this meaning—namely, pleading in the interest of others, and doing this without “holding back” in any way—fits exactly, as is shown by what immediately follows: “in behalf of all men, in behalf of kings and all who are in high positions.”
The final word, thanksgivings (that is, completing the circle, so that the blessings that come from God return to him again in the form of expressed gratitude) is clear enough. Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that not only supplications, prayers, and intercessions but also thanksgivings must be made in behalf of all men, including kings, etc.
Indeed, such invocations must be made “in behalf of” or “for” (see N.T.C. on John 10:11, for the meaning of the preposition) all men. Several expositors feel certain that this means every member of the whole human race; every man, woman, and child, without any exception whatever. And it must be readily admitted that taken by itself the expression all men is capable of this interpretation. Nevertheless, every calm and unbiased interpreter also admits that in certain contexts this simply cannot be the meaning.
Does Titus 2:11 really teach that the saving grace of God has appeared to every member of the human race without any exception? Of course not! It matters little whether one interprets “the appearance of the saving grace” as referring to the bestowal of salvation itself, or to the fact that the gospel of saving grace has been preached to every person on earth. In either case it is impossible to make “all men” mean “every individual on the globe without exception.”
Again, does Rom. 5:18 really teach that “every member of the human race” is “justified”?
Does 1 Cor. 15:22 really intend to tell us that “every member of the human race” is “made alive in Christ”?
But if that be true, then it follows that Christ did not only die for every member of the human race, but that he also actually saved every one without any exception whatever. Most conservatives would hesitate to go that far.
Moreover, if, wherever it occurs, the expression “all men” or its equivalent has this absolutely universalistic connotation, then would not the following be true:
(a) Every member of the human race regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (Mark 11:32).
(b) Every member of the human race wondered whether John was, perhaps, the Christ (Luke 3:15).
(c) Every member of the human race marveled about the Gadarene demoniac (Mark 5:20).
(d) Every member of the human race was searching for Jesus (Mark 1:37).
(e) It was reported to the Baptist that all members of the human race were flocking to Jesus (John 3:26).
And so one could easily continue. Even today, how often do we not use the expression “all men” or “everybody” without referring to every member of the human race? When we say, “If everybody is ready, the meeting can begin,” we do not refer to everybody on earth!
Thus also in the present passage (1 Tim. 2:1), it is the context that must decide. In this case the context is clear. Paul definitely mentions groups or classes of men: kings (verse 2), those in high position (verse 2), the Gentiles (verse 7). He is thinking of rulers and (by implication) subjects, of Gentiles and (again by implication) Jews, and he is urging Timothy to see to it that in public worship not a single group be omitted. In other words, the expression “all men” as here used means “all men without distinction of race, nationality, or social position,” not “all men individually, one by one.”
Besides, how would it even be possible, except in a very vague and global manner (the very opposite of Paul’s constant emphasis!), to remember in prayer every person on earth?
1. The words first of all relate not to primacy of time but primacy of importance. It is essential, at the outset, to ensure the noblest approach to public worship. While the verb translated urge (parakaleō) can bear the sense ‘entreat’ or ‘encourage’, the former meaning is probably intended in view of its association with the strong verb parangellō (command) in 1:3.
It is not possible to distinguish precisely the meanings covered by the four words here used for prayer. The first three have so much in common that little useful purpose is served in defining their respective meanings; yet there may be significance in the fact that requests (deēseis) brings out a clearer sense of need than prayers (proseuchai), which represents the more general word for prayer (in the New Testament used only of prayers to God), while intercession (enteuxeis) is a regular term for petition to a superior. The very variety of terms serves to emphasize the richness of this spiritual exercise. Thanksgiving, as in Paul’s earlier Epistles, is regarded as an integral part of prayer, yet it is an element which has been too often in the background in modern Christian devotions. The reminder that prayer is for everyone is timely in view of the temptation to confine our prayers to our own narrow interests. The wider the subjects for prayer the larger becomes the vision of the soul that prays.
2:1. Therefore, I urge first of all that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people …
Paul urges ‘first of all’ that the church pray. Prayer, in other words, is to be a first priority. Prayer is an urgent necessity. But how is this a response to the false teaching? There are two possible ways to answer that question, neither of which is necessarily exclusive of the other. First, prayer is vitally important for the people of God, especially in times of crisis. Paul could simply be encouraging the church, in the face of heresy, to pray. But, secondly, the emphasis here could be on the fact that this prayer is to be offered ‘for all people’. The false teachers were Jewish in their orientation, expounding on the law. Their teaching also had a speculative, esoteric and even ascetic character to it (cf. 4:1–6). Thus, their intent may well have been exclusivistic. Paul here is emphasizing that the gospel is for all, not for Jews only, or for adherents to the Mosaic law, but for Gentiles as well; not for those in the in-group, but even for those whom we might not expect. The qualification in verse 2 indicates that the phrase ‘all people’ (Greek, pantōn, anthrōpōn) means ‘all kinds of people’.
Paul uses four different words for prayer in this verse. The first term, ‘requests’, refers to asking God to meet a need, usually with a sense of urgency. The second term, ‘prayers’, is a general word used for prayers of different types. ‘Intercessions’ are petitions on behalf of others, usually made to those in positions of authority. ‘Thanksgivings’ are expressions of gratitude to God for his blessings and benefits. Together, these four terms seem to bring out the necessity for comprehensive prayer. Not only is prayer vital, but all kinds of prayers are to be offered for all kinds of people. God’s people are to be a praying people, and all of our praying should be characterized by a spirit of thankfulness.
2:1 / Although this sentence clearly begins something new, the then (better, “therefore”) also ties it to what has gone before. But what? Most likely it goes all the way back to the charge in 1:3, but now by way of verses 18–20. What Paul says, then, is: “Even as I urged you, stay there in Ephesus to stop the false teachers. I now urge, therefore, first of all, that …” The first of all suggests not so much that prayer itself is the first thing that needs to be discussed, but that offering prayers of all kinds for “all people” is the matter of first urgency.
Four different words for prayer are used; however, the distinctions often made between them are usually oversubtle. Paul’s point is not to define or distinguish the various kinds of prayer that should mark Christian worship, but to urge that prayers of all kinds be made for everyone, with the emphasis on everyone. That becomes clear in verses 3–7.
1 As in 1:3, Paul opens his exhortation with the term parakaleō (“I urge,” GK 4151), a verb used regularly by Paul in transitioning to the “business portion” of a letter (1 Co 1:10; 2 Co 2:8; 6:1; Eph 4:1; 1 Th 4:1; Phm 10). The terms “then” and “first of all” indicate that Paul is now moving past preliminaries and starting with the main body of his letter. “Then” loosely connects what follows with what has preceded; “first of all” may imply a series of exhortations or, more likely, mean “above all” or “especially,” since it is never followed by “second,” etc. (cf. 5:4; Ro 1:8; 3:2).
The apostle’s initial instruction in this section pertains to prayers being offered for “everyone” (v. 1; cf. vv. 4, 6), particularly “those in authority” (v. 2). Paul uses a series of four expressions (of a total of seven found in the NT), denoting the different elements of which such prayer may consist (NIDNTT 2:855–85): “requests” (deēseis, GK 1255) for specific needs directed toward God; general “prayers” (proseuchas, GK 4666); “intercession” (enteuxeis, GK 1950), i.e., the issuing of earnest, urgent, and bold appeals for divine action in behalf of others (cf. entynchanō in Ro 8:27, 34; 11:2); and “thanksgiving” (eucharistias, GK 2374; the order may be incidental).
All four terms are plural, indicating the variety and frequency of prayers to be lifted up to God. The term “thanksgiving” recurs in 4:3–4 (cf. enteuxeōs in v. 5). Paul himself engages in the regular offering of deēsesin (“requests”; NIV, “prayers,” 2 Ti 1:3). The first two terms (“requests” and “prayers”) are specifically applied to godly widows in 5:5. The close parallel of Philippians 4:6 features three of these four terms (“intercession” is replaced by “requests,” aitēmata, GK 161).
“For everyone” probably means “for all kinds of people” and is further specified (note the repeated hyper, “for,” in v. 2) by the subgroup of governmental authorities.
The Nature of Evangelistic Prayer
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, (2:1a)
While the first three terms Paul uses are virtually synonymous, there are some subtle shades of meaning that enrich our concept of prayer. Entreaties is from deēsis, the root meaning of which is ‘‘to lack,” “to be deprived,” or “to be without something.” This kind of prayer arises from the sense of need. Knowing what is lacking, we plead with God to supply it. As we look out on the masses of lost humanity, the enormity of the need should drive us to our knees in evangelistic prayer.
The seventeenth-century English Puritan Richard Baxter wrote,
Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians or of men in you, let them yearn towards your poor ignorant, ungodly neighbours. Alas, there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell; many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost forever. Have you hearts of rock, that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the Word of God, and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves? If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned, so you be saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace.… Dost thou live close by them, or meet them in the streets, or labour with them, or travel with them, or sit and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their souls, or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them; and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell? (Cited in I. D. E. Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], 92–93)
Proseuchē (prayers) is a general word for prayer. Unlike entreaties, in Scripture it is used only in reference to God. It thus carries with it a unique element of worship and reverence. Prayer for the lost is ultimately directed at God as an act of worship, because the salvation of sinners causes them to give glory to Him. In 2 Corinthians 4:15, Paul reveals that all his efforts at reaching the ungodly were to spread saving grace to more and more people so they could give thanks to God, which would abound to His glory.
Enteuxis (petitions) appears only here and in 4:5 in the New Testament. It comes from a root word meaning “to fall in with someone,” or get involved with them. The verb from which enteuxis derives is used to speak of both Christ’s and the Spirit’s intercession for us (Rom. 8:26; Heb. 7:25). They identify with our needs, and become involved in our struggles. Enteuxis, then, is a word not only of advocacy, but also of empathy, sympathy, compassion, and involvement. Evangelistic prayer is not cold, detached, or impersonal, like a public defender assigned to represent a defendant. Understanding the depths of their misery and pain, and their coming doom, we cry to God for the salvation of sinners.
Thanksgivings are a fourth element in evangelistic prayers. They call for us to pray with a spirit of gratitude to God that the gospel offer has been extended, that we have the privilege of reaching the lost with that gospel, and that some respond with faith and repentance. Thanksgiving is the only element of prayer that will continue forever.
These four nuances enrich our prayers as we pray effectively for the lost. If they are missing, we need to examine our hearts. Do we fully realize the desperate condition the lost are in? Do we really want to see God glorified by the salvation of souls? Do we sympathize with the compelling reality of their lostness, both for time and eternity? Are we thankful the gospel message is extended to all and for our privilege of sharing it? If those components are lacking in our hearts we will be indifferent. If we are indifferent, it is because we are not obedient to these urgings.
The Scope of Evangelistic Prayer
be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority (2:1b–2a)
Our prayers are all too often narrowly confined to personal needs and wants and rarely extend beyond those of our immediate circle of friends and family. In sharp contrast, however, Paul calls for evangelistic prayer on behalf of all men. There is no place for selfishness or exclusivity. We are not to try to limit either the gospel call or our evangelistic prayers to the elect only. After all, we have no means of knowing who are elect until they respond to the gospel call. Moreover, we are told that God desires all to be saved (2:4). He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather delights when sinners turn from their evil ways and live (Ezek. 33:11). So prayer for the salvation of the lost is perfectly consistent with the heart of God. He has commanded all men to repent (Acts 17:30). We must pray that they will do so and embrace the salvation offered to all (Titus 2:11).
Preaching to unbelieving Jews, Peter said in Acts 3:26, “For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways” (emphasis added). God’s purpose in raising up Jesus was to declare that everyone should turn from his or her sins. There was no exclusivism; no one was left out. The gospel call was not restricted to the elect alone. Many are called who are not chosen (Matt. 22:14).
Out of the universal group of all men, Paul specifically singles out some who might otherwise be neglected in evangelistic prayer, kings and all who are in authority. Because ancient (and modern) rulers are so often tyrannical, and even disrespectful of the Lord and His people, they are targets of bitterness and animosity. They are also remote, not part of the everyday lives of believers. Hence there is a tendency to be indifferent toward them.
Such neglect is a serious sin because of the authority and responsibility leaders have. The injunction here calls for the Ephesian assembly to pray for the emperor, who at that time was the cruel and vicious blasphemer, Nero. Although he was a vile, debauched persecutor of the faith, they were still to pray for his redemption. The request for kings and all who are in authority is not limited to just a petition that they would be wise and just, but that they would repent of their sins and believe the gospel for the sake of their eternal souls.
Paul does not command us to pray for the removal from office of evil rulers, or those with whom we disagree politically. Believers are to be loyal and submissive to their government (Rom. 13:1–5; 1 Peter 2:17). If the church today took the time and energy it spends on political maneuvering and lobbying and poured them into intercessory prayer, we might see a profound impact on our nation. We have all too often forgotten that “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Cor. 10:4). The key to changing a nation is the salvation of sinners, and that calls for faithful prayer.
While the contemporary church may have forgotten that lesson, the early church knew it well. The late second- and early third-century theologian Tertullian wrote,
Without ceasing, for all our emperors we offer prayer. We pray for life prolonged; for security to the empire; for protection to the imperial house; for brave armies, a faithful senate, a virtuous people, the world at rest, whatever, as man or Caesar, an emperor would wish. These things I cannot ask from any but the God from whom I know I shall obtain them, both because He alone bestows them and because I have claims upon Him for their gift, as being a servant of His, rendering homage to Him alone.…
Do you, then, who think that we care nothing for the welfare of Caesar, look into God’s revelations, examine our sacred books, which we do not keep in hiding, and which many accidents put into the hands of those who are not of us. Learn from them that a large benevolence is enjoined upon us, even so far as to supplicate God for our enemies, and to beseech blessings on our persecutors. Who, then, are greater enemies and persecutors of Christians, than the very parties with treason against whom we are charged? Nay, even in terms, and most clearly, the Scripture says, “Pray for kings, and rulers, and powers, that all may be peace with you.”
We know that a mighty shock impending over the whole earth—in fact, the very end of all things threatening dreadful woes—is only retarded by the continued existence of the Roman empire. We have no desire, then, to be overtaken by these dire events; and in praying that their coming may be delayed, we are lending our aid to Rome’s duration. (Apology, XXX, XXXI, XXXII; The Ante-Nicene Fathers [reprint; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973], 3:42–43)
With that sentiment the second-century apologist Theophilus of Antioch agreed:
I will rather honor the king [than your gods], not, indeed, worshipping him, but praying for him. But God, the living and true God, I worship, knowing that the king is made by Him.… Honour the king, be subject to him, and pray for him with loyal mind; for if you do this, you do the will of God. (Theophilus to Autolycus, I.xi; The Ante-Nicene Fathers [reprint; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971], 2:92)
Moreover, concerning subjection to authorities and powers, and prayer for them, the divine word gives us instructions, in order that “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.” And it teaches us to render all things to all, “honour to whom honour, fear to whom fear, tribute to whom tribute; to owe no man anything, but to love all.” (Theophilus to Autolycus, III.xiv; The Ante-Nicene Fathers [reprint; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971], 2:115)
From those examples we learn that the ancient church, often in the worst eras of persecution, prayed for Christless rulers. If we would influence our society the way earlier Christians did theirs, we must follow their example.
 Van Neste, R. (2017). 1 Timothy. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1921). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., 1 Ti 2:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 510). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 61–65). Chicago: Moody Press.
“Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” Proverbs 3:5&6
Maybe it’s a Texas thing, but often the same street has two different names. Several do in my section of town. You can be driving down the same street and suddenly you realize you aren’t on the same one as before. But, aren’t you? One block can make a difference
I sat at the traffic light, waiting it to turn green, and pondered a moment. There are other streets that stop, then start up again. You have to zig or zag a bit to find them again. We have a few of these in my neighborhood as well.
Isn’t that the way it often is on this road we call life? It is so easy to think we are heading in the right direction, on God’s path. Then something subtle changes. We look up and see signs telling us we are headed a new way, even if we did not realize anything had changed. How did we get here and how do we get on the right path again? Or, are we still on it and yet God has changed it in some way?
I have been concentrating on the car in front of me for several miles in traffic, sort of half-dazed, and missed my turn off, haven’t you? Or been deeply distracted by a song on the radio or my passenger’s conversation. Yes, easy then to see I’ve messed up and figure out how to turn around.
But life can be more subtle than that.
How can we know we are on the correct path, even if it seems to have changed names?
A passion to obey God doesn’t come naturally. Salvation may spark love and a desire to please Him, but a passionate fire is built slowly from the timbers of spiritual knowledge, faith, and devotion.
Obedience usually begins with a fear of the consequences of disobeying. That is, newer believers can at least enjoy the safety of avoiding repercussions until they develop better reasons to follow God. Thankfully, as we mature and build a scriptural foundation, fear is replaced by both recognition of God’s sovereignty and submission to His wisdom.
Over time, following the Lord becomes less about consequences for disobeying and more about blessings for obeying. Once we taste His goodness, we learn that obedience and God’s best are natural partners—good derives from following divine commands, while suffering results when we demand our own way. This irrevocable principle plays out in the Bible as well as in day-to-day life, and the more we observe it, the more we realize the Lord’s will is the wisest choice.
All the promised blessings in the world cannot make a believer follow God into some frightening places. But that’s where love for our Father comes in, as it compels us toward obedience no matter what is at stake.
Romans 6:16-23 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. 20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, “No, certainly not.” We ask them the next question—Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer “No.” They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say “No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if”—and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say, then, we will just go back to the old statement—Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did he? You must say “No”; you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace, and perish.
Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ’s death; we say, “No, my dear sir, it is you that do it. We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement, you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.”
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
When the Grace of God Is Not Evident Psalm 22:1–2; 27:14; 37:34; 88:15–18; 130:6; Proverbs 13:12; Ezekiel 37:11; Acts 27:20; 2 Corinthians 1:8; James 5:7
When the grace of God comes to a man he can do all things, but when it leaves him he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction. Yet, in this condition he should not become dejected or despair. On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ, for after winter comes summer, after night, the day, and after the storm, a great calm.
THOMAS À KEMPIS*
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Given all the ways that skeptics object to Christianity, which objections are most common and how can we respond to them? J. Warner joins Tim Stratton from Free Thinking Ministries in this Q and A session. Together they respond to this question.
To see more training videos with J. Warner and Jimmy Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.
For more information about the impact Jesus and His followers had on science, read Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World That Rejects the Bible. This unique and innovative book makes a case for the historicity and Deity of Jesus from history alone, without relying on the New Testament manuscripts. It contains over 400 illustrations and is accompanied by a ten-session Person of Interest DVD Set (and Investigator’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.
Is Hurricane Ida divine retribution for Biden’s treatment of Israel? For thus said the lord of Hosts—He who sent me after glory—concerning the nations that have taken you as spoil: “Whoever touches you touches the pupil of his own eye. Zechariah 2:12 In February 2020, Israel365 News predicted that any attempts by a White House administration to institute an “anti-covenant” policy that divided the land of Israel would inevitably result in a natural catastrophe of historic proportions. That prediction came true this week as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with President Biden for the first time and as Bennett flew home, Hurricane Ida made landfall. This prediction was not the result of prescience or prophecy but is simply the latest in a historical series so compelling that it verges on absolute certainty.
Hurricane Ida slammed Gulf Coast so hard it reversed the flow of the Mississippi River Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., blowing off roofs and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River as it rushed from the Louisiana coast toward New Orleans and one of the nation’s most important industrial corridors. The Category 4 storm hit on the same date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years earlier, coming ashore about 45 miles west of where Category 3 Katrina first struck land.
Texas House passes election reform measure after months of delays Passage comes roughly six months after the Senate bill was filed and after Democrats fled the state for nearly six weeks in an attempt to sabotage it. Lawmakers debated the bill for 12 hours Thursday, casting dozens of initials votes, before final passage came in a mostly partisan, 80 to 41 vote Friday.
Uniformed U.S. soldier threatens Americans’ lives if they don’t obey An American soldier, in uniform, is on video threatening the lives of Americans if they don’t obey her. Under certain circumstances. The threat comes from Army Sgt. Cindy Bronson, who reportedly was responding to comments about martial law. That scenario periodically is raised by “woke” leftists who are intent on having the entire nation follow their personal agenda.
The West must wake up to the threat of Jihad It’s not by accident that Bennett’s postponed meeting with Biden coincided with the deadly attack on Kabul airport, which showed how ruthless radical Islam is, having no qualms about killing the poor and downtrodden, even their own Muslims brethren.
Macron to visit Kurdistan region, Iraq to show commitment to region Erbil Citadel, the historic heart of the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, was lit up with the colors of the French flag for a historic visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Kurdistan this weekend. It is an important visit. France has been a key supporter of the Kurds and in general supports minorities in the Middle East. Macron arrived in Baghdad on Friday night and will stay through Saturday.
Gantz meets Abbas in Ramallah after Bennett’s US visit In rare move, Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah just hours after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett returned from Washington DC. “This evening I met with PA [President] Mahmoud Abbas to discuss security-policy, civilian and economic issues,” Gantz tweeted after the late night meeting, the details of which were published just after midnight on Monday. It’s the first time in a decade that such a high level face-to-face public conversation on policy has taken place between Abbas and an Israeli official.
Biden falls asleep as Bennett reveals Isaiah’s prophecy Bennett then explained to his American counterpart how during prayer services on the Sabbath, the Jewish people read a portion of the Torah as well as its corresponding portion from the Prophets … Raise your eyes and look about: They have all gathered and come to you. Your sons shall be brought from afar, Your daughters like babes on shoulders. (Isaiah 60:4) Biden, whose head dropped and eyes closed appeared to have fallen asleep as Bennett relayed those prophetic words.
Scientists Question Evidence Supporting Booster Shots The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been granted full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and more and more businesses and organizations are pushing for mandates for their employees to get inoculated, with a third booster shot being pushed aggressively by officials.
Is Joe Biden’s boss the enemy of all goodness? Darwin, evolution, atheism, global warming, gender transitioning, and the list goes on – ad infinitum. And what does it all amount to? Distraction. Nothing more than that. The very real enemy of our souls, satan, knows he has only fleeting moments remaining before his jig is entirely up.
CDC’s ‘inclusive’ language guide discourages saying ‘alcoholic,’ ‘smoker,’ ‘uninsured,’ ‘elderly’Posted: 29 Aug 2021 02:12 PM PDT(ETH) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a guide to “inclusive language” in order to promote “health equity” and “inclusive communication.”According to Fox News, “Language in communication products should reflect and speak to the needs of people in the audience of focus.,” the CDC guide reads. The guide has multiple sections with suggestions for more inclusive language, including a section dedicated to “Corrections & Detentions” that suggests replacing terms such as “Inmate,” “Prisoner,” “Convict/ex-convict,” and “Criminal” with terms such as “People/persons,”“Persons in pre-trial or with charge,” “Persons on parole or probation,” or “People in immigration detention facilities.” Other sections in the guide include “Disability,” “Drug/Substance Abuse,” “Healthcare Access & Access to Services and Resources,”“Homelessness,” “Lower Socioeconomic Status,” “Mental Health / Behavioral Health,” “Non-U.S.-born Persons / Immigration Status,” “Older Adults,” “People Who are at Increased / Higher Risk,” “Race & Ethnicity,” “Rural,” and “Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity,” all which suggests replacement terms for common language typically used to refer to the groups.Continue reading CDC’s ‘inclusive’ language guide discourages saying ‘alcoholic,’ ‘smoker,’ ‘uninsured,’ ‘elderly’ at End Time Headlines.
In the wake of last Thursday’s murderous attack, we owe ourselves a look back at the warriors we’ve lost.
There’s a belief, commonly held by older generations, that the ones behind them don’t quite measure up. Then, sometimes and sadly, we’re reminded just how wrong we are. Such is the case when we read about the 13 warriors taken from us in Afghanistan last Thursday in a murderous attack that we knew was coming. They are:
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas, who Congressman Henry Cuellar said “is certainly one of those examples of what we have here at the border: a young man that went across the world trying to get Americans and allies of the U.S. to safety.”
Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole Gee, 23, of Roseville, California, who’s featured in a viral image that speaks a thousand words, and about whom a dear friend wrote: “I find peace knowing that she left this world doing what she loved. She was a Marine’s Marine. She cared about people. She loved fiercely. She was a light in this dark world.”
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, 31, of Utah, the oldest of the fallen, who, in his dad’s words, “did what he loved doing, serving the United States.”
Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee, who when he was in second grade drew himself in uniform and wrote in his yearbook, “I want to be a Marine.”
Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California, whose mother is a deputy sheriff and whose father is a sheriff’s captain, and who had plans to join them as a sheriff’s deputy after his deployment.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, Jackson, Wyoming, who got married earlier this year on Valentine’s Day, who “signed up the day he turned 18,” said his sister Roice, and who was “cast-iron tough,” said his longtime wrestling coach.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, whose two great-grandfathers fought in the Korean War and who “wanted to serve his country,” said his grandmother. “It’s all he talked about in high school.”
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California, who was “an incredible individual with a great heart,” said a close family friend, and whose death leaves his family devastated and calling on their faith to help them persevere.
Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska, who was a Boy Scout, an animal lover, and a Chicago Blackhawks fan, and who his family says “will always be remembered for his tough outer shell and giant heart.”
Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario, 25, Lawrence, Massachusetts, who friends and fellow Marines described as “a beautiful person inside and out” and “a great mentor to her junior Marines.”
Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, 22, Logansport, Indiana, who a lifelong friend says “was a light that was on 24/7” and “was constantly joking, constantly laughing, constantly trying to make people smile.”
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri, who, according to his father, was on his first deployment and had always wanted to serve his country. “His life meant so much more,” he said. “I’m so incredibly devastated that I won’t be able to see the man that he was very quickly growing into becoming.”
Navy Hospital Corpsman Max Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, who, as a corpsman, was a medic for combat Marines, who was an accomplished wrestler and football player, who was a “beautiful, intelligent … annoying, charming baby brother,” and whose parents, perhaps in the spirit of a corpsman, were selfless enough “to offer condolences to the families that also lost a loved one [and] a speedy recovery to those that were injured.”
The New York Post also has a rich series of pictures and profiles here.
Let’s mourn these fine young Americans gone. Then let’s collect ourselves. Then let’s think about them fondly, and thank God that they lived.
Mom of deceased Marine: “That feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap just sent my son to die.”
Last week, before the Kabul bombing, our national security analyst Gen. B.B. Bell (USA, Ret.) strongly condemned Joe Biden’s disgraceful exit debacle from Afghanistan. Bell noted Biden’s “shameful presidential dereliction of duty” and declared emphatically that not only should Biden’s military leaders resign, but that “he should be impeached and removed from office immediately, and criminal charges should be considered.”
It is unlikely that SecDef Lloyd Austin or CJCS Mark Milley will demonstrate the honor and integrity to resign, but in the wake of the attack killing 13 military personnel (the first deaths in 18 moths) and more than 155 Afghan civilian men, women, and children, a distinguished active-duty combat-hardened Marine officer called out his failed leadership, understanding that in doing so, it would end his career.
In a public video on social media he titled “Your Move,” Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller, commander of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, said:
People are upset because their senior leaders let them down and none of them are raising their hands and accepting accountability or saying “we messed this up.” If an O-5 battalion commander has the simplest live fire incident, EO complaint. Boom. Fired. But we have a secretary of defense that testified to Congress in May that the Afghan National Security Forces could withstand the Taliban advance. We have Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs — [our] commandant is a member — who’s supposed to advise on military policy. We have a Marine combatant commander. All of these people are supposed to advise. I’m not saying we’ve got to be in Afghanistan forever, but I am saying: Did any of you throw your rank on the table and say, “Hey, it’s a bad idea to evacuate Bagram Airfield, a strategic airbase, before we evacuate everyone”? Did anyone do that? And when you didn’t think to do that, did anyone raise their hand and say “we completely messed this up”?
I’ve got battalion commander friends … who are wondering if all the lives were lost and it was in vain [over] the last 20 years. Potentially all those people did die in vain if we don’t have senior leaders that own up and raise their hand and say, “We did not do this well in the end.” And I will say that as a person who’s not at 20 years, I feel like I have a lot to lose. … I thought through, “If I post this video, what might happen to me?” … But I think what you believe in can only be defined by what you’re willing to risk. So if I’m willing to risk my current battalion commander seat, my retirement, my family’s stability to say some of the things I want to say, I think it gives me some moral high ground to demand the same honesty, integrity, [and] accountability from my senior leaders. I have been fighting for 17 years, and I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders, “I demand accountability.”
Recall that Milley said two months ago that Bagram “wasn’t tactically or operationally necessary” for the U.S. military’s exit from AFG.
After posting his remarks, Lt. Col. Scheller said: “I immediately had multiple Marines call and ask me to take down the post. ‘We all agree with you, Stu, but nothing will change, and it will come at a huge personal cost to you.’” But he understood that — including that he was sacrificing his career on behalf of all Marines.
It is important to note here that while Scheller represents the views of a great many of his fellow Marine officers and has stepped up and out to speak for them, don’t confuse the fact that there is no wave of Marine resignations to follow with a lack of their honor or commitment. The fact is, the best Marine officers should not resign precisely because of their honor and commitment — they are, first and foremost, devoted to leading Marines, ensuring those Marines do their best to defend our nation and come home. Scheller represents them.
Regarding his decision to go public, Scheller said, “I demand accountability at all levels. If we don’t get it, I’m bringing it.” Predictably, Scheller was immediately relieved of command for “loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command.” Which is to say, at 17 years in, he could have remained and retired at 20. But he is now resigning his commission, which means this married father of three boys will lose his pension and retirement support.
Of his resignation, Scheller said:
I am forfeiting retirements, all entitlements, I don’t want a single dollar. I don’t want any money from the VA. I don’t want any VA benefits. … I want to be clear that I love the Marine Corps. … All I asked for was accountability of my senior leaders when there are clear, obvious mistakes that were made. I’m not saying we can take back what has been done. All I asked for was accountability, for people to comment on what I said and to say, “Yes, mistakes were made.”
Scheller’s father said his son was “the real deal, a Marine’s Marine,” adding: “People will follow him to the ends of the earth. He has put his life on the line for fellow Marines so putting his career on the line like this does not surprise us.”
Indeed, he is a Marine’s Marine, and as fellow veteran and former SEAL Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said: “This guy is all class. He knew what the consequences would be. His concerns are not wrong. Many people feeling the same lack of accountability.” Gen. Bell likewise praised Scheller.
Beyond Scheller’s resignation, I note in regard to Biden’s failed leadership that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some opinions matter more than others.
Kathy McCollum, the mother of 20-year-old U.S. Marine Rylee McCollum, who was killed in Kabul, said through her anguish yesterday:
I woke up at four o’clock this morning with two Marines at my door telling me my son was dead. Twenty years and six months old, getting ready to … be home with his wife to watch the birth of his son, and that feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap just sent my son to die. I never thought in a million years [my son] would die for nothing, for nothing, because of that … piece of crap decided he wanted a photo-op on September 11th. … I just want all you Democrats … who voted for him [to know] you just killed my son.“
If you disagree, take it up with her. Further, tens of thousands of Afghan men, women, and children are now being targeted for slaughter, and their blood is also on the hands of Biden’s nescient supporters.
Finally, regarding the two attacks in response to the Kabul bombing, I am aware of the complexities of these operations, the potential for civilian deaths, etc. Under the circumstances, despite concerns that these targets were nothigh-value ISK terrorists, I will leave the official assessments to stand. My only observation would be that it is unfortunate that these strikes were reactive rather than proactive.
The Taliban will eviscerate women’s rights while fashionable politicos claim to defend them here.
While Democrats commemorated the 101st anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with soaring rhetoric — Whitehouse.gov declared it “Women’s Equality Day” — they were astonishingly quiet about the crimes committed against women by the Taliban during the breaking of the agreement signed between the U.S., Afghanistan, and the Taliban to begin the removal of troops. Once again, the women of Afghanistan are only just beginning their descent into oppression.
Feminists in America are shamefully focused on banning voter ID and advocating for the “healthcare right” to kill their preborn children. These first-world problems are not the real struggle of women around the globe. That much was made abundantly clear in the vivid images that came from the fall of Kabul last week. An example of the Taliban’s view of women came when CNN reporter Clarissa Ward continued her job while wearing a body-covering black hijab, now the Taliban-mandated dress for women in public spaces in Afghanistan.
Other prominent women’s rights activists fear for their future as they remember the Taliban’s crimes against their mothers that they have spent 20 years working to eradicate. “If I wear the burqa, it means that I have accepted the Taliban’s government,” grieved a female Afghani student. “I’m afraid of losing the accomplishments I fought for so hard.”
Instead of singing the praises of these brave women, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi twittered, “We also remember the many heroic women of color, too often unsung, who carried on the fight for decades more to overcome discrimination and injustice to win fair access to the ballot for every community.” While Nancy pandered, Marine Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, had just posted a photo holding a baby while declaring, “I love my job.” Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, performed a volunteer assignment assisting women and children attempting to flee the radical Islamic takeover. Both are now listed among the 13 American service personnel killed by a suicide bomber.
Kamala Harris, the first female vice president of the United States, not only supported Joe Biden’s decision to ignore intelligence briefings, but her blessing was given after a two-page memo from the National Intelligence Council warned that the Taliban’s return to power would bring about the systematic abuse of women.
The requirements of the agreement Donald Trump signed in February 2020 included a ceasefire between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban, counterterrorism assurances, as well as intra-Afghan negotiations that included protecting women’s rights that had been established over the 20 years of U.S. involvement. This included opening schools to girls and young women and permitting women to work. Only after these conditions were met did the Trump administration agree to reduce the number of U.S. troops in the country from roughly 12,000 to 8,600 over a period of four and a half months to assess the integrity of the agreement. Only then would the remaining American military presence be removed over 14 months. Months, not days, not hours.
Ironically, it was American women who ignored the historic gains in wages, economic growth, and security under Trump’s leadership. It was the “educated suburban female” who looked past the historic stability and diplomacy in the Middle East that had occurred not only due to strong leadership but because of energy independence established and forged in America — independence that also came with high-paying jobs. Many woke women, even a large number in the “Republican Middle,” cared more about Trump’s mean tweets and inexcusably gruff behavior than what truly mattered, and thus voted to ensure the 45th president was removed from leadership.
Eighty percent of Afghan women older than 15 are illiterate. A generation of women who are now being educated will be turned into property at the hands of radical Islamists … if they live. Woke women in America spoke. Now, those in Afghanistan have no voice.
Journalists finally press Biden and refuse to accept his administration’s attempt to shift blame.
It must come as a bit of a shock to Joe Biden that even Leftmedia outfits have refused to simply imbibe his administration’s equivocating on the Afghanistan disaster. In fact, some of the president’s biggest defenders in the mainstream media have actually dropped their fanboy status to engage in actual journalism, pressing him and his administration with probing questions that drop the typical Beltway spin.
For example, CNN featured former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod, who argued: “You cannot defend the execution here. This has been a disaster. … [Biden] needs to own that failure.” And that was far from the only criticism CNN offered. The network’s presidential historian, Tim Naftali, observed, “This is the Saigon moment for President Biden, and this will be a legacy, an albatross around his neck for the rest of time.”
ABC’s Martha Raddatz called it a “massive intelligence failure.” She noted: “We have been there for 20 years. We know the Taliban. We have people on the ground, and yet the U.S. was caught unaware and completely off-guard.”
Even MSNBC piled on, with Richard Engel calling Kabul “100 times worse than the humiliating American pullout from Saigon.” Bloomberg op-ed board member Bobby Ghosh blasted Biden for blaming Afghans for the collapse, telling MSNBC’s Joy Reid: “Sixty-six thousand Afghan soldiers and policemen have died in the past 20 years. Sixty-six thousand have died fighting the Taliban. It is dishonorable to claim that they didn’t do their part. … It’s very distressing to hear.”
What has a usually compliant media hitting Biden over this Afghanistan debacle is the fact that mere weeks prior, he predicted that things would play out exactly the opposite of how they’ve gone. Biden infamously declared that Afghanistan would not be another Saigon — only for it to be even worse. Even partisan Leftmedia hacks can’t dismiss the reality unfolding before their eyes.
On the one hand, Biden blames Donald Trump for setting a timeline for exiting Afghanistan, as if his hands were tied by only this Trump policy when Biden undid so many others immediately upon taking office. At the same time, Biden changed and extended Trump’s exit deadline. Then the administration blames media criticism on supposed proponents of “endless war,” as if any really existed.
Finally, perhaps media figures are noticing that Biden himself appears entirely lost and his degenerating mind is increasingly hard to ignore. He demonstrates his puppet status by continually referencing his behind-the-scenes coaching with comments to reporters like “I was told to call on you first” or “I’m not supposed to take any questions.” Biden checked his watch while on the tarmac receiving the caskets of the 13 U.S. military personnel murdered in Kabul, which further demonstrates an astounding lack of self-awareness. That was also true of his walking away from a reporter’s question on Afghanistan while visiting FEMA headquarters.
Biden’s leadership (or lack thereof) has gotten so bad that even the MSM can’t help but notice. The trouble is that his would-be replacement, who is conveniently out of the country, wouldn’t be any better. And the other unfortunate truth is that we shouldn’t expect the Leftmedia to keep doing actual journalism for long.
A huge new study offers hope that previous infection is better than vaccination.
Follow The Science™, they tell us. What about this science?
A large study in Israel gives some information that most American “experts” and media parrots have been ignoring: The 39 million Americans with recorded cases of COVID (and who knows what the actual number of COVID cases has been) are likely better immunized than the nearly 170 million Americans who are fully vaccinated. Some number of people have had both COVID and the vaccine, and they have greater immunity still.
(It’s important to note that the statistics here don’t disprove the anecdotes we all know. Your mom or your uncle had the shot and still got COVID, or your cousin had COVID twice. Yes, those cases still happen, but the data is what it is.)
“The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” reports Science magazine. “The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than never-infected, vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.”
Immunologist Michel Nussenzweig expressed the reason that no doubt motivates much of the suppression of this type of information: “What we don’t want people to say is: ‘All right, I should go out and get infected, I should have an infection party.’” Fair enough. It’s not far-fetched to imagine that such a thing is exactly what some folks might do, and COVID does, in fact, still kill people.
A huge caveat is that the Israeli study is observational and not a randomized controlled trial, which would provide a more accurate picture by better isolating variables. The same bias toward observational studies is what has millions of Americans re-saddled with mask mandates, despite the fact that over a dozen randomized control studies show masking is ineffective and possibly counterproductive.
As researcher Jeffrey Anderson explains, “Observational studies are not only of lower quality than RCTs but also are more likely to be politicized, as they can inject the researcher’s judgment more prominently into the inquiry and lend themselves, far more than RCTs, to finding what one wants to find.”
If that’s the case, does the Israeli study matter? Yes, for many reasons. It involved 700,000 people, so it’s statistically significant. It backs up results from 14 other studies, and it comports with what is known about COVID and other viruses in other studies. “For many infectious diseases,” Science magazine says, “naturally acquired immunity is known to be more powerful than vaccine-induced immunity and it often lasts a lifetime.” Ask the CDC if you should receive the chicken pox vaccine if you’ve already had chicken pox. Go ahead — ask.
The Israeli study is also important because so many mandates completely disregard all variables. If you’re human, you must mask up, socially distance, test for COVID, etc. Many companies are requiring vaccines regardless of prior infection. The Pentagon has done likewise, and many schools may be next.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says, “Mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea.” If the science above is correct, Fauci at least needs to admit the nuance and caveats. He doesn’t, and we suspect it’s because Joe Biden’s dictum is vaccinating every American. Fauci may be a bureaucrat, but he’s also a political animal. That’s why he shrewdly blames criticism of him on the “politicization of what should be a purely public health issue.” Who politicized it, again? Vaccines aren’t the problem; mandates are.
The bottom line is that our COVID policies have generally been a mess. We’ve not done enough to protect the most vulnerable, while at the same time masking and quarantining the most healthy, which has delayed the process of reaching herd immunity. The result is prolonging misery during a never-ending pandemic.
The once-proud bureau’s leftward bias is an affront to the principle of equal justice under the law.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The Left ruins everything it touches. This is a brilliant point put forth by conservative talk-show host and author Dennis Prager, and we’ve yet to find a single instance where it isn’t true. You name it, and the Left has likely ruined it: warfighting, education, religion, free speech, film, literature, the arts, sports, social media, late-night TV, the Boy Scouts — even ice cream, for Pete’s sake.
Now it’s gone and wrecked the FBI.
The bureau’s slide into rank partisanship didn’t happen overnight, though; it happened over the course of years. It was obvious that at least the leadership of the FBI had become corruptly partisan during the Barack Obama years, when it slow-walked the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s “private” email server and then launched a phony investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump — an investigation that hinged on a piece of uncorroborated oppo-research garbage called the Steele dossier, which was put together by a Trump-hating British spy, was chock-full of Russian disinformation, was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, was vouched for by smarmy, scummy, slippery FBI Director James Comey, and was used with devastating effect to secure FISA warrants for spying on Trump’s campaign.
The investigation also included the falsification of evidence by FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who willfully changed the language in an email to help the bureau secure those same spy warrants. The whole investigative episode, called Crossfire Hurricane, plagued Trump’s entire presidency and will go down in history as one of the FBI’s darkest hours. On the bright side, the illegitimacy of that investigation is still being probed by special prosecutor John Durham, and indictments may be forthcoming. On the not-so-bright side, it’s unlikely that the scumbags most responsible for wrecking the bureau’s reputation — Comey, Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, and Special Agent Peter Strzok — will ever do time.
As to the FBI’s conduct during the course of that investigation, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who found “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications,” wrote in his 476-page report: “Our review revealed instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first application targeting Carter Page were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.”
Translation: The FBI is either pathetically sloppy, or willfully dirty. You be the judge.
We take no joy in saying that. The once-proud bureau, which has 37,000 employees, was for decades the world’s premier investigative and law enforcement agency. But what a mess the scumbags on the seventh floor have made of things lately — and not just any mess, but a politically biased mess.
For example, where, why, and how you engage in political protests will likely determine whether the FBI considers you to be worth investigating. Earlier this year the bureau ignored the repeated attempts by antifa rioters to burn down the federal courthouse building in Portland, Oregon. In June 2020, at the height of the “mostly peaceful” George Floyd riots, it also ignored the successful efforts of Black Lives Matter protesters to burn down the 3rd Precinct police building in Minneapolis.
Heck, if you’re a Democrat, the FBI won’t even investigate you for fraudulently marrying your brother in order to skirt U.S. immigration laws — which is precisely what radical-left Congresswoman Ilhan Omar did, a crime for which she has never been held accountable. (In fairness to the FBI, perhaps investigators thought there was still plenty of reasonable doubt in the results of the DNA match between Omar and her husband/brother. After all, the likelihood that they’re siblings is only 99.999998%.)
Of course, if you’re the son of a prominent Democrat, you can peddle influence with foreign governments with absolute impunity. And you can lie through your teeth on a federal gun form. Heck, you can even leave your incriminating laptop computer with the FBI for a year or more without a worry in the world. (The jury’s still out on whether you can evade taxes, too.)
On the other side of the political spectrum, the FBI sent multiple agents to raid the home of Paul and Marilyn Hueper. They barged in at 9 a.m. with guns drawn, handcuffed and separated them, interrogated them for hours, then took their laptop computers and their cell phones, all in a case of mistaken identity over what the bureau believed was the Huepers’ involvement in the January 6 breach of the Capitol building.
Actually, the Huepers got off easy. Take the case of Karl Dresch, for example. Dresch, 40, from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, came to Washington to attend Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally. As Byron York reports: “[He then] joined a crowd heading down the Mall toward the Capitol. And when he got there, he … walked in through an open door. He wandered around for perhaps 20 or 25 minutes, and then left.”
Dresch was arrested and jailed in Michigan on January 15, then he was moved to Oklahoma, and finally to Washington, DC. He was charged with five crimes and was confined to his cell, cruelly and unusually, for 23 hours per day, even though a DOJ memo confirms that Dresch “did not engage in physical violence or destruction of property, nor join others attempting to enter the U.S. Capitol in physical violence.” As York continues, “He pleaded guilty to one charge — Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building. It was a misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of six months. Dresch was quickly sentenced to time served, fined $500, and set free.”
Thus, Dresch spent more than six months in jail for a misdemeanor whose maximum sentence was less time than he’d already served. And there are approximately 600 January 6 defendants, most of whom have stories similar to Dresch’s.
Finally, let’s consider the case of some other Michiganders: those who allegedly plotted to kidnap the state’s governor, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer. The first of these defendants was sentenced last week to six years in prison, well below the guidelines of 14 to 17 years, for agreeing to turn state’s evidence against his fellow plotters, who call themselves the Wolverine Watchmen.
It appears, though, that more than a dozen FBI agents had infiltrated the group and played a much bigger role in the plot than had been previously reported. One of the FBI’s informants, the defendants’ lawyers claim, was so deeply involved in the group that he rose to become its second-in-command. And one FBI agent allegedly instructed an informant to lie and to delete text messages that would reveal the bureau was unlawfully furthering the conspiracy.
In sum, where the FBI is concerned, you’re perfectly free to talk about punching, maiming, or killing President Donald Trump, but if you think the 2020 election was deeply flawed and improperly adjudicated, well, let’s just say, You have the right to remain silent…
And if you suspect a family member of being a Trump supporter or flying the American flag too patriotically, the FBI invites you to rat him out.
There is no self-limiting moral code when it comes to the championing of the transgender identity.
The transgender community stakes its identity in gender. It has taken identity to the extreme and has sought to claim that, despite biology and despite physical characteristics, “transgender” people are whatever gender they feel like on the inside.
In Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage, she tackles the recent phenomenon in teen girls coming out as “trans” and why this is happening in such great numbers. Teen girls have always faced challenges and pressures that come with the transition from child to adult. Shrier writes that in other generations, this same push for control was seen throughout the ages — the 17th-century Salem witch trials, 19th-century female hysteria, and 20th-century anorexia/bulimia and cutting. When girls today declare they are trans, most of them are actually saying what so many teen girls have said in other iterations of this distress over the centuries — that navigating life as a teenager feels uncontrollable and horrible. Coming out as trans gives them a sense of belonging and acceptance that they have not hitherto felt. It gives them a sense of identity and control.
Another explanation — though, arguably, this is exceedingly rare — is that some of these people are too afraid to come out as gay or lesbian. People who tend to fall into this category are those who are also teens. It is illogical reasoning that coming out as trans now makes them heteronormative. I.e., if they are a man but identify as a woman, they can claim heterosexuality in a roundabout way.
The most classic explanation, however, is that for some of these people, transgenderism truly is a mental illness called gender dysphoria. The sufferer has a feeling of being trapped in the wrong body. This is more typically seen in male children.
Shrier, who has interviewed a plethora of trans adults, argues that this community at large wishes to simply fit in and live in peace. She also suggests that most would not fall into the category of activists who are exceedingly heinous in their tactics against their dissenters (see J.K. Rowling).
This is too simple a view because there is no self-limiting moral code when it comes to the championing of the transgender identity.
Case in point: Transgenderism leads to irreversible damage in teens through abuse of hormone treatment and mutilation of their bodies. It leads to parental rights being thrown by the wayside if they show any signs of objection. It leads to the breaking down of families. It leads to disingenuous and perverted sexual deviants getting into private spaces. It leads to deranged activists threatening anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It leads to bad medical and psychological practices, namely, enabling the delusion as opposed to helping treat it via rooting out the actual causes of their distress. In other words, it creates more problems and solves none.
If we define the American identity as freedom within the law, and if we define achievement based on merit, use of a common language, and liberty, then the transgender identity would embody none of these attributes.
Freedom within the law can only be achieved if we agree as a people to base our law on truth. Calling a man a woman (and vice versa) is not the truth. It is a lie that can be disproven with a simple blood test: XY or XX.
As far as achievement based on merit, one could argue that advocating for this mental illness instead of giving sufferers the help that would actually fulfill them has no merit at all. In Irreversible Damage, one pattern that emerges again and again with these young girls who are wanting to transition is that the more they are enabled, the more depressed and anxious they become and the worse their familial relationships get.
The transgender activists insist on convoluting language by blurring the definitions of pronouns and adding new words to the English lexicon. How many of us who disagree with their worldview have heard the words, “Well, you’re just a transphobe,” or, “That’s your cisgender privilege talking”? They have weaponized language to the extent that they want to outlaw so-called “hate speech.” Not only is this a violation of the First Amendment, but it’s like that old adage: If you say a lie enough, it eventually becomes the “truth.”
Could an argument be made that we all simply share a desire for liberty? In an ideal world, by letting people be free to practice what they believe within the bounds of the law, and by affording others the same courtesy in return, perhaps transgenderism would not be such a divisive cultural phenomenon. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible because activists don’t play by the rules. Instead, they delight in forcing people to use preferred pronouns, undermining parental rights, and violating biological women’s private spaces.
Until there is a reassertion of truth and sanity instead of enabling masked as compassion, the fissure of the American identity is only going to broaden.
Three hundred Americans still trying to flee Afghanistan as withdrawal enters final stage (Washington Times) | What could possibly go wrong? State Department announces joint arrangement with the Taliban to evacuate Afghan allies after deadline (Washington Examiner)
Here are the identities of the 13 American heroes killed in Kabul suicide bombings (AMN) | Incompetent Joe Biden checks his watch during transfer of bodies (Townhall)
Pentagon prepared for “mass casualty” attack at Kabul airport hours before bombings (Politico)
Drone thwarts terrorist attack in Kabul; car loaded with bombs was headed to airport (Washington Times) | Kabul airport targeted in rocket attack foiled by U.S. system (Fox News)
CENTCOM investigating reported civilian casualties after drone strike on ISIS-K suicide vehicle (AP)
U.S. handed out blank copies of visas in Afghanistan, setting terrorists up (Washington Examiner)
Marine battalion commander fired after blasting “inept” military leadership over Afghanistan withdrawal (Free Beacon) | “This guy is all class,” says Congressman and former SEAL Dan Crenshaw (Daily Wire)
More than 3,000 pediatricians and medical professionals sue Biden admin over transgender mandate (Daily Wire)
Now that COVID is solved… CDC restarts discontinued gun violence research program (National Review)
Having COVID-19 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine (Science)
Amherst College’s new COVID restrictions are almost too insane to be real (Townhall)
Around the Nation
Hurricane Ida plunges New Orleans into total darkness (TWC)
Florida judge rejects Ron DeSantis’s ban on mask mandates in schools (Fox News)
Wisconsin lost track of 82,000 ballots in state Biden won by 20,000 (Daily Signal)
Key inflation gauge rises 3.6% from a year ago to tie biggest jump since the early 1990s (CNBC)
North Korea appears to have restarted key nuclear reactor (Fox News)
Billionaire progressives fund Weather Underground terrorist’s Ivy League think tank (Free Beacon)
Gavin Newsom praised pro-Chinese Communist Party newspaper for “journalistic integrity” (Free Beacon)
Mother of slain U.S. Marine unloads on “feckless, dementia-ridden” Biden (Daily Wire)
Policy: The case for Democrats’ spending binge doesn’t hold up (National Review)
Satire: Biden drone strikes White House after vowing to kill those responsible for American military deaths in Kabul (Babylon Bee)
Related satire: Taliban buys Hunter Biden painting for presidential palace (Babylon Bee)
Insight: “Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own.” —John Jay Chapman (1862-1933)
Re: The Left: “Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates wasn’t kidding when he noted that Biden has ‘been wrong on nearly every major foreign-policy and national-security issue over the past four decades.’ … It’s surreal that a person so uncannily incompetent, so tenaciously wrong on foreign policy, could rise to the presidency, but here we are.” —David Harsanyi
For the record I: “The most saddening part about all this is that many U.S. citizens are not even in possession of their passports. Prior to initial departure, many citizens sent their passports to the embassy, hoping for an exit visa, but when the embassy evacuated, they burned everything inside — including the passports. That means that thousands of American citizens no longer have any proof that they are even American. Now, the Taliban controls the embassy, so there is no way to even get anything processed.” —Armstrong Williams
For the record II: “We all witnessed the horrors of the Vietnam withdrawal, but those on the ground in Afghanistan say this is much worse. In Vietnam, we were able to get everyone out. In Afghanistan, images and videos will be broadcasted around the world of American citizens and Afghans who assisted our military being slaughtered in the streets like they are animals. It will be a sickening sight and a travesty on behalf of the Biden administration. It is sad that our leadership is nonexistent today. Instead of taking any material steps to remedy the situation and save our citizens, the Biden administration is only focused on the political aspects of the move. They are stuck focused on the potential fallout the administration is facing as opposed to saving American lives — what Biden is sworn to do. I have covered seven presidents, and never before has there been anything as tragic as what is happening in Afghanistan today.” —Armstrong Williams
Firsthand experience: “We cannot trust [the Taliban]. Their actions are unforgivable for all Afghans. … My heart goes out for all the women in Afghanistan. They won’t have the opportunity to go to school, to go to college, and to have a right to work or just leave their house without a male. It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking.” —former Afghan journalist Rukhar Azamee
Friendly fire I: “The state of our union is watching a tragic foreign policy disaster unfold before our eyes. … The rapid crumbling of [Afghanistan] has caught the Biden White House flat-footed.. .. It seems shocking that President Biden could’ve been so wrong.” —CNN’s Jake Tapper
Friendly fire II: “The U.S. embassy is shuttered, and we’re told the American flag has been lowered and removed. It will likely be replaced with a Taliban banner in the coming days — a humiliating symbol of two decades of American and coalition sacrifice that now appear to have been in vain.” —CNN’s Jim Acosta
Friendly fire III: “The scenes are terrible for America’s image. They’re terrible for Biden’s image. Did Biden have a plan to get our allies out, to rescue those who risked their lives, for American troops? Why didn’t his plan call for leaving a small force to keep the peace, to ward off any terrorist development? Doesn’t not doing that invalidate the sacrifice of so much and so many?” —CNN’s Chris Cuomo
Friendly fire IV: “The president can say that he planned for every contingency, but he knows that’s not true, the White House knows that’s not true, and the American people know that’s not true. And that’s how a 75% proposition has devolved into a political disaster for this White House.” —MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough
Friendly fire V: “This betrayal will live in infamy. The burden of shame falls on President Joe Biden.” —The Atlantic’s George Packer
Friendly fire VI: “You cannot defend the execution here. This has been a disaster. … It is heartbreaking, it is depressing, and it’s a failure. And he needs to own that failure.” —former Obama adviser David Axelrod
Friendly fire VII: “It’s really disheartening … to hear President Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan now say, ‘Well, the Afghans didn’t stand in and fight.’ Sixty-six thousand Afghan soldiers and policemen have died in the past 20 years. Sixty-six thousand have died fighting the Taliban. It is dishonorable to claim that they didn’t do their part. That is — to give you context, that is 20 times the American casualties in Afghanistan. These people have fought, fought bravely, fought to the best of their abilities.” —Bloomberg op-ed board member Bobby Ghosh
Friendly fire VIII: “There is another generation … of Islamists who are willing to do harm to the rest of the world. Are they going to find a home in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan? That is the great challenge. And if that occurs, this is the Saigon moment for President Biden and … this will be a legacy, an albatross around his neck for the rest of time.” —Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library
The BIG Lie: “Over the last week, the media has hammered Joe Biden with relentlessly critical coverage of his pullout from Afghanistan, resulting in noticeable drops in his approval ratings. Put aside for a moment whether this reflects failures by Biden or biases by the media. One conclusion we can draw is that this sort of dynamic is a regular feature of Democratic presidencies, and — as the Trump administration showed — a near impossibility during Republican ones.” —New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait
Non compos mentis: “Have you noticed how strikingly similar both the mindsets and actions are between the suicide bombers at Kabul’s airport, and the anti-mask and anti-vax people here? They both blow themselves up, inflict harm on those around them, and are convinced they are fighting for freedom.” —former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
And last… “We have not seen a president this incompetent. We haven’t seen a president surrender to an enemy in the way that Joe Biden has. And he’s allowed a seventh-century tribal group to defeat the most powerful country in the 21st century. It’s an astonishing outcome.” —former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Hundreds of students at the American University of Afghanistan have been left “terrified” for their lives after being denied evacuation from Kabul and told that the U.S. government gave their names to the Taliban. What are the details?
In the “pandemonium” that followed a suicide bombing at Kabul Airport, witnesses have told RT reporter Murad Gazdiev, US troops fired “indiscriminately” into the panicked crowd, with civilians shot in the head and stomach.
The bomb blast ripped through a crowd of people outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday, killing more than 150 people, including 13 American troops. In the chaos that followed the explosion, early reports from the ground suggested that American forces opened fire on the panicked crowd of Afghans at the airport gate.
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RT reporter Murad Gazdiev heard the gruesome details from eyewitnesses he spoke to, and he described the grisly events on Monday.
“The American troops there at the gate were stood in a line, shoulder to shoulder,” he explained. “The ISIS suicide bomber…managed to get very very close to them, just metres away, and surrounding him was a crowd. People were jam packed together.”
“Once his suicide vest went off, there was absolute pandemonium. People started running in all directions, including into the airport,” Gazdiev continued. “That is when American troops, according to the witnesses, began firing into the crowds. They began shooting indiscriminately.”
The gate where the bombing took place is hemmed in on two sides by concrete walls, a feature that likely amplified the effects of the blast. According to recent reports, troops at the airport had been told to expect an attack, and Gazdiev said that, in the panicked aftermath, they kept firing into the throng of people, “fearful that there could be more suicide bombers in the crowd.”
“We saw that they were shooting people in the stomach and in the head from all sides, not just into the air,” one witness told RT. “Mostly Americans were shooting.”
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“The explosion killed few Afghans because it happened on the side where the Americans were,” another witness explained. “So people died in the crowd, with the shooting from different sides.”
Doctors Gazdiev spoke to described treating victims with wounds from both shrapnel and bullets. One victim was shot in the chest, abdomen, leg and hand, and later died in hospital. At least two others were admitted to hospital with bullet wounds.
“Others had no mark on them, but they were trodden underfoot” as the crowd fled from the scene, Gazdiev reported. Other witnesses described how some civilians were shot after they fell to the ground in the stampede.
The Pentagon has refused to either confirm or deny the details set out by Gazdiev. Such a policy is standard practice for the US military, whose own investigation into the incident may take more than a year to conclude.
ISIS-K, a regional offshoot of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terror group, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
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The scenes that played out at the airport on Thursday, coupled with a US response that saw two allegedly high-ranking ISIS-K members killed in one drone strike and an Afghan family and children wiped out in another, made for a bitter denouement to the US’ 20-year war in Afghanistan. After two weeks of haphazard evacuation, the final US troops and civilian staff are set to leave Kabul on Tuesday, with the Taliban back in power and warning of “consequences” should Tuesday’s deadline not be met.
With Taliban fighters standing behind him brandishing guns, an Afghan news anchor nervously urged viewers over the weekend not to be “afraid” amid the fall of the Afghan government and the formation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The bizarre scene demonstrates the danger that Afghan journalists are likely to face under Taliban rule and foreshadows the end of journalistic freedom in the country.
Armed Taliban militants stormed into the building of Afghan television network Peace Studio during a live recording on Sunday, proceeding to hold the anchor hostage while he granted favorable coverage to the new regime, Republic World reported.
“Don’t be afraid,” the anchor reportedly said during the broadcast.
“With the Taliban militants breathing down his neck, the TV anchor addressed the news bulletin, talking about the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani-led government and the formation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the news outlet reported. “Visibly afraid and uncomfortable, the presenter then went on to tell the nation to not be scared of the Taliban.”
Video of the incident has since gone viral, having been viewed more than one million times on social media.
Afghanistan TV – surreal This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watch… https://t.co/htlNQvcjqW— Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) 1630262717.0
“Afghanistan TV – surreal,” tweeted BBC World News anchor Yalda Hakim along with a video of the incident.
“This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host,” she added. “The presenter talks about the collapse of the Ghani govt & says the Islamic Emirate says the Afghan people should not be afraid.”
A subsequent photo posted on Twitter by Afghan journalist Zaki Daryabi shows that at least eight Taliban fighters were involved in the news station storming.
This is what [we] can’t accept,” she tweeted along with the image. “If so, we will stop our work.”
Amid its takeover of Afghanistan in recent weeks, Taliban leaders promised a “lenient” government and “amnesty” for individuals who worked with Western governments and organizations over the last 20 years of U.S. military occupation.
But their promises have been empty ones. In reality, Taliban fighters have been “hunting down” journalists and persecuting women and religious minorities, including Christians.
The bloodthirsty militants reportedly murdered the relative of an Afghan journalist partnered with German news outlet Deutsche Welle last week. They also killed a 33-year-old Afghan who had translated for U.S. Special Forces and who worked with newspaper Die Zeit.
Republic World added that “the Taliban barred two women journalists … who worked with the public broadcaster Radio Television Afghanistan” and “also attacked two other members of the press for covering the anti-Taliban protests taking place in the eastern Nangarhar province.”
Their actions have reportedly caused many journalists and activists to flee the nation in fear.
Only seven months into his four-year term, many voices are saying the country has had all it can take of President Joe Biden. According to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of […] The post appeared first on The Western Journal .
Human rights group ADF International has urged the international community to address the “dire plight” of religious minority communities in Afghanistan, including 10,000 Christians who are now “at extreme risk of being targeted with deadly violence.” They also need to be evacuated, the group says.