“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
The “good times” were supposed to be rolling by now, but instead the wheels are starting to come off, and the economic outlook for the rest of the year is not good at all. Just yesterday, I warned my readers that things were about to get worse, and it only took exactly a single day for that to actually happen. As you will see below, major factory shutdowns were just announced, and that is going to make shortages even worse. Fear of COVID is restricting production all over the globe, and meanwhile national governments and central banks have been absolutely flooding their systems with fresh cash. As a result, we now have way too much money chasing way too few goods and services, and anyone that has taken ECON 101 will tell you that will inevitably result in higher prices and shortages.
As I discussed yesterday, if there is something that you need to buy, run out and get it now because the shortages are only going to get worse in the coming months.
General Motors will idle nearly all its assembly plants in North America starting Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic affects production of semiconductor chips overseas.
GM said its Arlington Assembly in Texas, where it makes its highly profitable full-size SUVs, will run regular production next week, along with Flint Assembly in Michigan, where it makes its heavy-duty pickups, Bowling Green Assembly in Kentucky, where it makes its Corvette, and a portion of Lansing Grand River Assembly in Michigan, where it will make some Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac Blackwing cars.
I knew that things were bad, but I didn’t know that they had gotten this bad.
Ford Motor is once again cutting production of its F-150 pickup truck and other highly profitable vehicles due to the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips.
The automaker informed employees Wednesday of the cuts, which also impact production of its larger Super Duty pickups and Expedition SUV.
This was supposed to be a time when vehicle sales were soaring to all-time highs, but thanks to a lack of chips the number of new Ford vehicles that were sold last month was down by a whopping 33 percent compared to a year ago…
U.S. sales of Ford Motor’s new vehicles last month declined by 33.1% from a year earlier due to an ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips that’s wreaking havoc on the automotive industry, the company said Thursday.
The Detroit automaker’s sales capped off a dismal month of U.S. auto sales in August, which plummeted to an adjusted selling rate of 13.09 million vehicles. That’s the worst pace since June 2020 and down from this year’s peak of 18.5 million in April, according to auto data firm Motor Intelligence.
Dealers only have about 942,000 vehicles in inventory for retail sale, compared with roughly 3 million before the coronavirus pandemic two years ago, according to Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power.
Of course it isn’t just the auto industry that is dealing with these sorts of problems.
Supply chains all over the globe are in a state of complete and utter chaos, and it just seems to keep getting worse with each passing day. I really like how Wolf Richter has described the current state of affairs…
Yesterday, just outside the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a record 44 container ships were anchored, waiting. And there are hundreds of these ships hung up somewhere globally, trying to get into a port, or they’re being rerouted to different ports. And all this takes time.
And containers are stuck in ports because railroads are backlogged, trucking companies are troubled by driver shortages, and containers are hung up in railyards and clog them up to where some railroads have stopped routing trains to those particular railyards until the backlog is cleared, thereby further contributing to the pileup of containers at ports.
And each extra day that a loaded container doesn’t get to its destination is a day that it cannot be unloaded and returned to the flow of containers, and cannot be sent to a manufacturer that has goods ready to ship but cannot ship them because they cannot get empty containers.
In my last article, I discussed the fact that experts are already warning that Christmas has been ruined because of all the mayhem.
And now fear of Delta and other variants threatens to gum up the works even more. Most Americans had assumed that we would be “returning to normal” by now, but instead we seem to be going in reverse in a lot of ways…
The delta variant of the coronavirus is preventing a return to normal and pumping the brakes on the economic recovery. Major corporations such as Apple, Facebook and Ford have pushed back their return-to-office dates from September to January. Schools are reinstating mask mandates and, in some cases, dealing with virus outbreaks, sending students home to quarantine. Restaurants and retailers are scaling back hours, as workers remain hesitant to return to lower-paying service jobs in which they are also more exposed to the virus. Meanwhile, brands including Nike and Gap are warning that factories in Vietnam and elsewhere aren’t operating at full capacity and that some items may not be available as the coronavirus surges around the world.
Authorities thought that they would be able to have the pandemic under control by now, but they have dramatically failed.
As long as these variants are sweeping across the globe like wildfire, there definitely will not be a return to “normal” any time soon.
May the Lord Shape Us as Stones John 14:2; Revelation 3:12
O thrice fools are we, who, like newborn princes weeping in the cradle, do not know that there is a kingdom before them! Then let our Lord’s sweet hand square us and hammer us, and strike off the knots of pride, self-love, and world-worship, and infidelity, that He may make us stones and pillars in His Father’s house.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Preachers Should Be Certain of Their Calling Romans 15:17; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 6:20
Let the preacher of the gospel be certain that his calling is from God. And it is expedient that according to the example of Paul, he should magnify this his calling, to the end that he may win credit and authority among the people, just as the king’s ambassador magnifies his office and calling. And thus to glory is not vain, but a necessary kind of glorying, because he does not glory in himself, but in the king who has sent him, whose authority he desires to be honored and magnified.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
A couple weeks ago, the largest wildfire in California history ravaged the northern part of the state. I learned to appreciate the magnitude and impact of wildfires when my family lived in southern California for a little over four years. The fire’s size, speed, and impact are stunning. Even more amazing are the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to fight them.
A tension must be maintained when fighting a wildfire. Firefighters have to get close enough to the fire to be able to “fight” it, while maintaining a safe enough distance to avoid the danger of the blaze. That tension can be instructive for believers. It’s not unlike the task God has for believers. They must influence the culture, while avoiding the explicit and implicit dangers that are part of life in a fallen world.
There’s a target space for believers somewhere between assimilating to the culture and influencing nonbelievers for the sake of the gospel. This has always been a challenge for Christ followers. The friction is baked into our lives by nature of our calling in the world.
To manage this tension, Christians have always depended on certain biblical images. Perhaps no biblical metaphors have guided believer’s relationship to the culture more than the salt and light metaphors of Matthew 5:13-16. Yet, it’s often difficult to pinpoint exactly what Jesus was calling His followers to in these verses. People have found justification for all sorts of activities in these metaphors, including evangelism, political action, art, and feeding the poor.
I’d like to revisit these important metaphors and help you understand and apply them to this ever-present tension in your life. To do this, I will go back to the biblical text and utilize two basic Bible study tools to shed light on the meaning of both salt and light.
Context is King, Queen, and the entire royal family when it comes to Bible study. The meaning of the text can’t be known apart from its context. If this is true, then we can’t begin to grasp the point of the salt and light metaphors without broadening our reading out to at least the near context. Of course, these metaphors come fairly close to the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, which covers Matthew 5-7. The Sermon on the Mount is a work of art. The structure is breathtaking. Where the salt and light metaphors are situated within the sermon sheds light on their meaning and importance.
The sermon has three major parts. The main body begins in 5:17 and goes to 7:12 and is bookended by the phrase “law and the prophets.” Jesus situates this sermon, and His entire ministry, as the fulfillment of the story of Israel in the OT. The major theme of the sermon, I’m convinced, is the righteousness of Jesus’s kingdom citizens which leads to human flourishing. He develops this theme from three distinct angles in the body. First, in 5:17-48 Jesus speaks to transformative righteousness. His followers will recognize the true intent of the law as they move from legality to wholeness, grounded in love. Second, in 6:1-21, Jesus shows how a heart shaped by genuine righteousness practices its religion in three ways that are distinct from hypocrites. Third, in 6:19-7:12, Jesus turns his disciple’s attention outward so they can live out a social righteousness in how they relate to the material world and others.
After the main body, Jesus brings the Sermon to a conclusion with three images that drive home his point. With these words, he is showing kingdom citizens how to live out what they heard, how to display the righteousness He has defined in the Sermon. He speaks of two gates (vv. 13-14), two trees (vv. 15-23), and two houses (vv. 24-27). Those who hear this Sermon cannot ride the fence. They must actively put into practice what they have heard.
I’ve intentionally kept the sermon’s introduction till third because that is where we find the salt and light metaphors. The introduction comes in two parts. Verses 3-12 give us nine macarisms, each beginning with the Greek word makarios, that paint a counter-cultural picture of a life well lived. These 9 qualities are virtues that characterize citizens of God’s kingdom. Then, in verses 13-16, Jesus defines His kingdom followers as salt and light.
To properly understand the salt and light metaphors we need to grasp the overall theme of the Sermon and recognize these metaphors form the second half of the introduction. Here’s the point: you cannot make sense of what it means to be salt and light unless you see these metaphors as vitally connected to the Beatitudes and the overall theme of righteousness. If the Beatitudes are the qualities that define righteousness in kingdom citizens, then to be salt and light means that these virtues must shape how you live in the world. You can see this in verse 16. It says people are supposed to see the good works of those who are light. Those who embody the way of being articulated in verses 3-12 are salt and light.
Analogy of Faith
The London Baptist Confession describes this important tool for interpretation like this: “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which are not many, but one), it must be searched by other places that speak more clearly.” (1.9)
Clearly, we can’t rightly understand the metaphors of salt and light by thinking about how we use salt and benefit from light in this cultural moment. We have to understand how these images are used in Scripture. Of the two metaphors, salt is the more difficult to connect with other passages of Scripture. This is probably because the Bible uses salt in a variety of ways. A helpful article by Andrew Wilson at The Gospel Coalition lists five of these purposes in the ancient world.
And yet, it’s possible to bring the majority of the ways the Bible speaks of salt together under one heading.
“(1) As ‘salt,’ the disciples exhibit covenant fidelity and so preserve the continuance of the covenant. This category includes the probability that Jesus’ followers are conceived of as sacrifices in their own persons. (2) By virtue of their identification as salt, the disciples share in covenant fellowship, including that of the table, and thus form a society in communion with the covenant Lord. (3) The disciples impart purity to the creation, thereby causing it to be better than before—a new creation. (4) There is the punitive function of salt. If the world rejects the message of the disciples, their witness to the blessings of salvation turns into a condemnation of it.”[i]
Salt is most often and most clearly used in a covenantal context to signify the reality and presence of a covenant. So, when Jesus calls his kingdom disciples the salt of the earth, he is saying their presence in the world indicates the existence and perpetuity of God’s covenant.
In other words, the disciple’s presence in the world, living out the Beatitudes and the realities of the sermon, show God’s desire for the nations to come to him and embrace the covenant He is offering.
While the metaphor of light receives a longer treatment by Jesus (vv. 14-16), and seems to be clearer, I think we too often fail to let Scripture guide our understanding of how Jesus uses the image of light. A few verses earlier, in Matthew 4:12-17, Jesus’s preaching ministry is introduced. When he arrives on the scene, he fulfills an OT expectation found in Isaiah 9:1-2. Twice in this passage the promised true Davidic King is called the light.
If you were to stop your study of the image of light in the book of Isaiah with Isaiah 9, you would be left wondering if there’s any connection to Jesus’s use of this metaphor to describe His followers. It’s no coincidence that Matthew put these two occurrences of “light” so close together in his book.
Jesus was so influenced and shaped by the Old Testament that He utilizes language from the Hebrew Scriptures more than we often realize. The navigation program on my phone has my work and home addresses permanently set at the top for easy access. Perhaps we should read the NT with our home addresses set to navigate our study back through the pages of the OT, particularly when we are reading Jesus. Far too often our journey toward the authorial intent of the passage bypasses the Bible Jesus knew and used during His earthly ministry.
So, what does the book of Isaiah reveal concerning the meaning of this image of light? As we’ve seen, the future Davidic king is called the light in Isaiah 9. As you move forward to the First Servant Song in Isaiah 42, you find God speaking to His servant and saying that He will give Him “as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.” This passage connects God’s covenant with His servant’s role as a light for the people. Isaiah 49:6 and 51:4 continue to describe the work of the servant of God as a covenantal light for the nations, but when you reach Isaiah 58 there’s a subtle shift in the language used. Now, instead of directly associating the spreading light with an individual, it will emanate from the people. In Isaiah 58:8 it is the light of the people that will break forth, and this illumination to others will be associated with their healing. Verse 10 describes their light going forth as they do good works such as feeding the hungry and helping the afflicted.
Finally, Isaiah’s theology of light culminates in chapter 60 when the future restoration of Israel is described. Israel’s final destiny brings together both the individual servant’s light shining on Israel as well as Israel’s light going forth to the nations. Isaiah 60:1 commands the people of Israel to arise and shine precisely because the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. Verse 2 indicates that the Lord will arise upon them and that His glory will be seen upon them. Then verse 3 brings the original mission of Israel into focus as “the nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
So, when Jesus uses this language of light in Matthew 5:14-16 to describe the mission of His followers, He’s saying He fulfills these servant songs and His followers take up this mission to extend God’s glory to the nations.
Both salt and light present kingdom citizens, who are living out the Beatitudes, as covenantal representatives of Christ.
The implications of this are far reaching. Understanding the main point of these metaphors pushes us beyond the simple application of influence or evangelism to more clearly fleshing out our role as covenantal representatives by the way we live in the world.
[i] Don B Garlington, “‘The Salt of the Earth’ in Covenantal Perspective,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 54, no. 4 (December 2011): 748.
And a man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind and a covert from the tempest. (Isaiah 32:2)
Who this Man is we all know. Who could He be but the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, the man of sorrows, the Son of Man? What a hiding place He has been to His people! He bears the full force of the wind Himself, and so He shelters those who hide themselves in Him. We have thus escaped the wrath of God, and we shall thus escape the anger of men, the cares of this life, and the dread of death. Why do we stand in the wind when we may so readily and so surely get out of it by hiding behind our Lord? Let us this day run to Him and be at peace.
Often the common wind of trouble rises in its force and becomes a tempest, sweeping everything before it. Things which looked firm and stable rock in the blast, and many and great are the falls among our carnal confidences. Our Lord Jesus, the glorious man, is a covert which is never blown down. In Him we mark the tempest sweeping by, but we ourselves rest in delightful serenity.
This day let us just stow ourselves away in our hiding place and sit and sing under the protection of our Covert. Blessed Jesus! Blessed Jesus! How we love Thee! Well we may, for Thou art to us a shelter in the time of storm.
“But Lord,’ Gideon asked, ‘How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my family.’ The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you …’” Judges 6:15
How often do I look within or to another before I look up? Gideon looked at where he came from. He looked at his own accomplishments and his personal sense of identity, trying to establish whether he was equipped for the task, but God had a different answer: “I will be with you,” God told Gideon.
Sometimes, living in our fearlessly independent society, we forget that we don’t have to rely on self. We don’t need the perfect credentials to walk in the call God has for us.
Instead, we are partnered with the God of the Universe who promises: “I will be with you.” It’s the promise of Emmanuel—God with us. We don’t have to do it alone. We can look up and fix our eyes on this God who can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us …”
Thank you, Lord, that You are my partner and my strength. Thank You for the promise that You will be with me as I set out to do what You are calling me to today. Amen.
“The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.” John 1:14 (TEV)
The love of God is intimate and personal.
He came up-close in Christ, and that means we cannot hide our imperfections and faults from him. He knows about them anyway.
This model from God means we need to love each other intimately and personally, looking past the faults and weaknesses of one another, seeing the handiwork of God in each one of us, knowing that we also have weaknesses and faults but that God is active in our lives, too.
When we know and believe that God is determined to love us no matter what, we can stop being concerned about our faults and conform to Christ instead of our fears (Romans 12:2). When we don’t believe that God loves us no matter what, we try to put on masks that make us look perfect in order to hide our faults. When we try to hide behind masks, we undermine God’s plan that we live together in transparent, loving communities, such as small groups.
The reality is, God’s love is perfect, and he wants to cover our faults with Jesus Christ.
God goes beyond merely diagnosing our problems or judging our faults (Psalm 103:10); instead, he steps forward to address the areas of our lives that are broken:
• Into our emptiness, he brings fullness and completion (Colossians 2:9-10).
• Into our deficit, he brings supply (Philippians 4:19).
• Into our death, he brings life (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
• Into our separation, he brings reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11).
• Into our imperfect love, he brings perfect love (1 John 4:10).
The more we’re conscious of God’s love, the less self-conscious we become about ourselves. We spend less time and energy looking to appear perfect and have a life where everything is exactly the way we want it to be; instead, we invest more time and energy pouring ourselves into other people, who, along with us, make an imperfect community, but one infused with God’s love.
We see his smile of love even when others see nothing but the black hand of Death smiting our best beloved.
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Why Some Were So Perfect and Given to Contemplation Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5–11
Why were some of the saints so perfect and so given to contemplation? Because they tried to mortify entirely in themselves all earthly desires, and thus they were able to attach themselves to God with all their heart and freely to concentrate their innermost thoughts.
THOMAS À KEMPIS*
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
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.
50,000 People Evacuated As Firepocalypse Ravages South Lake Tahoe By the day, the fire situation on the ground of South Lake Tahoe continues to worsen, with more than 200,000 acres burned, 50,000 people evacuated, and a red flag warning that remains in effect for a swath of eastern California. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, otherwise known as CAL Fire, the Caldor Fire has burned 204,390 acres as of Wednesday morning and is only 20% contained. The fire is rapidly expanding because of favorable weather conditions, such as low humidity, hot temperatures, and winds. Another large wildfire burning in the state is the Dixie Fire, which has already scorched 844,000 acres across five counties and is a little more than half contained. The silver lining is that the fire will wipe out chipmunks infected with the plague.
“Don’t Forget Me’: Interpreter Who Helped Save Biden In 2008 Stranded In Afghanistan The interpreter, who was identified only by his first name of Mohammed, helped rescue then-Sen. Joe Biden and two other U.S. lawmakers when their helicopter made an emergency landing in the Afghanistan mountains in 2008. Mohammed is stuck in the Taliban-held country after U.S. troops withdrew on Aug. 30. He appealed to Biden for help. “Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family,” Mohammed told The Wall Street Journal. “Don’t forget me here.”
Texas’s near-total abortion ban takes effect after Supreme Court inaction Texas on Wednesday enacted the strictest anti-abortion law in the country after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to act on a request by abortion-rights groups to block the law banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. It was a victory for conservatives, who have long sought to eliminate abortion access in the United States.
In Hurricane Ida’s wake: Jews of New Orleans prepare for High Holy Days New Orleans’ Jewish community, along with the rest of the city and region, contends with the effects of this week’s storm. Though the winds were stronger than Katrina’s in 2005 and the city does not know when it will get its power back, a strengthened levee system prevented devastating flooding, meaning that recovery will likely take weeks, not months or years. But those weeks include the Jewish High Holy Days, so the region’s Jewish communities are likely to be scattered at a time when Jews typically come together.
Fatah-Hamas rift deepens as Abbas moves closer to US, Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s visit on Sunday to Ramallah is yet another sign of improved relations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. The visit, however, has also derailed any hope of resolving the dispute between the PA and its archrival, Hamas, in the foreseeable future.
PA-Egypt-Jordan summit to discuss peace talks with Israel Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday arrived in Cairo, where he is scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss ways to internationalize talks toward a two-state resolution. The Abbas-Sisi-Abdullah summit, which is expected to take place on Thursday, will discuss common issues and ways of unifying the Palestinian-Egyptian-Jordanian position in order to follow up on the political activities at the international level and seek to revive the peace process with Israel, senior Palestinian official Azzam al-Ahmed said.
The US Withdrawal from Afghanistan Empowers International Terrorism In a stunning statement last Friday in which he defended his withdrawal decision, … Joe Biden claimed that Al-Qaeda was “gone” from Afghanistan. The glaring problem with that claim is that Biden did not have the backing of the American security establishment to make it. An hour after Biden spoke, Defense Department Press Secretary John Kirby stated, “We know Al-Qaeda is a presence in Afghanistan.”
Iran has taken over Syrian Golan and is now at Israel’s border, top Middle East expert says just across the northern border, the Iranian military is becoming firmly entrenched in the Syrian Golan. Yaari noted that for the past two months, these combined forces besieged the city of Daraa, occasionally shelling the city. Inside the city are rebel groups who refuse to surrender. The Syrian army intends to exile the rebels to the Turkish-controlled region to the north. Russian attempts at mediation have failed.
Like venom coursing through the body: Researchers identify mechanism driving COVID-19 mortality Researchers from the University of Arizona, in collaboration with Stony Brook University and Wake Forest University School of Medicine, analyzed blood samples from two COVID-19 patient cohorts and found that circulation of the enzyme — secreted phospholipase A2 group IIA, or sPLA2-IIA — may be the most important factor in predicting which patients with severe COVID-19 eventually succumb to the virus.
Tracking genetically modified animals McGill University researchers have discovered a new way to track genetically modified animals using the artificial transgenes they leave behind in the environment. The discovery provides a powerful new tool to locate and manage genetically modified animals that have escaped or been released into the wild.
Iranian fuel ship enters Syrian waters to help Hezbollah – report An Iranian ship carrying fuel reportedly reached Syria’s territorial waters, according to Iranian media and Lebanese media on Thursday. Al-Akhbar was the first to report the arrival. This will be a major gamechanger for Lebanon and Hezbollah, which aims to profit off the Iranian fuel that is being shipped. The fuel will supposedly be offloaded at a Syrian port and then transferred to Lebanon.
Iran, Russia and other adversaries hope US has new ‘Vietnam syndrome’ – analysis In the wake of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States is now charting a new course in which it will refrain from military interventions and “nation building.” That is what US President Joe Biden has said. “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan, it’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,” the president said.
Spain hit with severe flooding after storm An intense rain storm has led to severe flooding in Spain. Thousands of homes are without electricity, and roads and rail links have been forced to close. Coastal towns in the north-eastern region of Catalonia bore the brunt of the storm, as well as parts of central Spain near Madrid.
South America’s drought-hit Paraná river at 77-year low The water levels of the Paraná river, the second-longest in South America after the Amazon, are at their lowest since 1944. The river is key to commercial shipping and fishing but also provides 40 million people with drinking water. A drought in the region means water levels have dipped so low that fishers’ livelihoods are at risk.
Palestinian President Abbas holds rare talks with Israeli minister Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has held his first official meeting with a senior Israeli in more than a decade. Defence Minister Benny Gantz said he travelled to Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on Sunday night to discuss security, civilian and economic issues. He told Mr Abbas that Israel would seek to strengthen the Palestinian economy.
Storm Ida: Flash flooding in New York and New Jersey kills nine At least nine people have died after flash flooding and tornadoes hit the north-eastern US, local media report. Some people were trapped in flooded basements of their homes, while one body was found in a vehicle that was swept away. The governors of New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called it a “historic weather event”.
Israel opens Chinese-operated port in Haifa to boost regional trade links Israel has opened a new shipping port along its Mediterranean coast that will bring much needed competition to a sector plagued by delays and boost the country’s standing as a regional trade hub. The 5.5 billion shekel ($1.7 billion) Bay Port at Haifa, which will be operated by Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), will enable larger classes of cargo ships, carrying 18,000 containers or more, to dock in Israel.
Israel opposes U.S. plan to reopen Jerusalem consulate as ‘destabilizing’ Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Wednesday that a U.S. plan to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem that has traditionally been a base for diplomatic outreach to Palestinians is a “bad idea” and could destabilize Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s new government. “We think this is a bad idea and told the U.S. as much,” he said.
Remnants of Ida and Nora bring dangerous flash flood threats to U.S. As the remnants of Tropical Cyclone “Ida” move into the northeast U.S., potentially life-threatening flash flooding is possible Wednesday into early Thursday, September 1 and 2, 2021, across portions of the Mid-Atlantic to Southern New England. In addition, there will be a threat of tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday. A threat of flash flooding will also exist across the southwest U.S. as moisture from the remnants of Nora remain.
‘Cash For Criminals’: San Francisco Will Start Paying People Not To Shoot Each Other San Francisco may be best known for its poo and needle-covered streets (requiring six-figure ‘poop patrollers’), but the liberal stronghold – driven into the ground under decades of Democrat leadership – is about to experiment with yet another ‘fix’ for its self-inflicted wounds….Using taxpayer money to pay criminals not to shoot people.
Million Dollars Offered For Proving COVID-19 Exists A millionaire journalist and former evangelical preacher, Sam Eckert, is among many who doubt the veracity of cases listing COVID-19 as a cause of death. It’s now being reported that Eckert is offering €1 million (about $1.7 million) to anyone who can prove that the novel coronavirus exists and can cause disease.
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of speculation about impeaching Joe Biden for his abject ineptitude as commander-in-chief — his recklessly squandering of all the blood and treasure we have spent in Afghanistan in order to complete our mission. That mission was most succinctly: To put down Afghanistan’s Taliban invaders in order that they not provide a launchpad for terrorist strikes against the U.S.
As a result of his ineptitude, Biden has insured that mission is now wholly failed. He has reseeded the al-Qa’ida and ISIL turf, putting the U.S. homeland at high risk of another terrorist attack. And he did so in order to meet his compressed Afghan exit schedule, which has been for months, been predicated on his political objective to take an “I got the troops out” victory lap ahead of the 20th observance of the 9/11 Islamist attack on our nation.
Unfortunately, Biden’s gross malfeasance is not an impeachable offense. That removal occurs by way of the ballot box, if that is still possible given the Democrat’s bulk-mail ballot fraud strategy.
However, amid all the catastrophic Afghan exfil news of the last three weeks, there was a largely overlooked leaked transcript of a phone call that provided what I believe to be an impeachable offense — a call in which Biden offered an assurance bribe of additional military assistance to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani if he would deceive the world in order to facilitate the Biden’s domestic political agenda.
A month before the Taliban took over Kabul, Biden said to Ghani: “I have been meeting with our Pentagon folks, and our national security people, as you have with ours and yours, and as you know and I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban.” That was a very different perception than he was portraying to the American people.
He then demanded that Ghani participate in Biden’s obfuscation and deception: “There’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
This conversation occurred a month after Biden had waived a federally required mandate that the Department of Defense provide a detailed assessment of risks if the U.S. leaves Afghanistan. Again, that could have derailed the timing of Biden’s victory lap.
There is a recent precedent for suggesting Biden’s quid pro quo with Ghani is an impeachable offense — in early 2020 when Democrats attempted to impeach Donald Trump. If you recall, Democrats claimed that Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he encouraged him to complete investigations into corrupt Ukrainian companies funneling millions to Hunter Biden, was impeachable because Joe Biden was a primary presidential contender. Demos claimed that if Zelensky did not do Trump’s bidding, $391 million in proposed military aid would be withheld.
However, as Thomas Gallatin noted at the time, the corruption connected to the Bidens was already public (though ignored by the Leftmedia propagandists) and the military aid was already being scrutinized to determine if the new Zelensky administration would use it for defense — or syphon it off to their secret bank accounts.
In fact, it was clear that Trump was being impeached for what Biden actually did when he was Barack Obama’s vice president. Biden demanded the Ukrainian president fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin who was leading the investigation into Hunter Biden — because protecting Hunter protected his own presidential aspirations. He brazenly bragged about withholding a BILLION dollars if the prosecutor was not fired: “I said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”
I revisit that incident to note that Biden has a track record of making quid pro quo demands of foreign leaders to do what is best for his personal political agenda.
Legal analyst Andrew McCarthy argues that the conversation is not an impeachable offense: “There’s much to condemn in President Biden’s disgraceful orchestration and dishonest defense of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. But it is meritless to berate the president over a phone conversation he had with the former president of the then-U.S.-backed (and now-deposed) Afghan government.” He insists that this call was similar to the aforementioned call between Trump and Zelensky, for which Trump should not have been impeached.
However, I believe there are significant distinctions between those calls, and thus legal distinctions. As political analyst Miranda Devine opines: “Biden offered conditional air support, in return for Ghani going along with his ruse, but only until his Aug. 31 deadline. After that, ‘who knows?’ said Biden.”
But I also believe the political considerations should prevail. The reality is, with the House and Senate controlled by Demos Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, an impeachment would be little more than a political gesture — though perhaps not a bad one ahead of the midterm election. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “The president is not going to be removed from office. There’s a Democratic House, a narrowly Democratic Senate. That’s not going to happen. There isn’t going to be an impeachment.” McConnell added, “In this country, the report card you get is every two years.”
Currently, Biden’s public approval polling has tanked — and views on Kamala Harris are equally bad. Reputable polling indicates that 52% of likely voters believe Biden should resign. Moreover, according to the most recent Rasmussen survey, 60% believed if he did not resign, he should be impeached.
But will the current polling stick? There is a lot of political pundit speculation about whether the public outrage over Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal will subside as the MSM news cycle focus subsides. But here is what the pundits are missing: The 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attack, the one year anniversary of Biden’s Afghan retreat disaster and all of its consequences, will occur just before the midterm elections next year.
Biden’s debacle may bring terrorists stateside while leaving allies behind.
One of the looming ramifications of Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan pullout is the potential of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil carried out by a few jihadis who may have infiltrated the ranks of the thousands of Afghan allies the U.S. hurriedly worked to extradite prior to the August 31 deadline. The U.S. evacuated about 120,000 people since the end of July, including roughly 6,000 Americans. In his self-contradictory speech Tuesday, Joe Biden happily boasted about this “extraordinary success.” That might be a bit premature.
Due to Biden’s malfeasance in pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan before ensuring that all Americans and genuine Afghan allies were safely, orderly, and completely removed from the country, the Taliban quickly swept back into power. That not only forced the U.S. to scramble and negotiate from a weakened position, but it left the entire country under enemy control while the U.S. tried to figure out who to evacuate.
This debacle cost the lives of 13 American Patriots and more than a hundred Afghan civilians. And the sad reality is that it may indirectly lead to the loss of more American lives. How so? As Kenneth Gray of the University of New Haven, Connecticut, explained: “The threat of having Islamic State or al Qaeda come into the country is not increased through the southwest border. It’s the entry of al Qaeda and Islamic State in the groups of refugees that are being taken out of Afghanistan and possibly to the United States because of the lack of vetting procedures that would normally go on to expedite getting all of these people out of Afghanistan.”
In the rush to evacuate as many Americans and Afghan allies as possible, the U.S. State Department passed out blank Special Immigrant Visa forms. And as Gray noted, “When you provide blank visas without specific names already on them and without going through the vetting process, don’t be surprised when you end up with ISIS or al Qaeda showing up with those visas in hand.”
Because the situation in Afghanistan was rushed, and with the Taliban surrounding (uh, we mean “securing”) the only means of escape at the Kabul airport, verification became a secondary issue. How do we know these Afghans are who they claim to be? How do we know which ones are terrorists incognito? The short answer is that, in many cases, we don’t know. Yet now the Biden administration is looking to bring in some 50,000 Afghan refugees into the U.S. Roughly 20,000 are already here, with the balance at U.S. military installations overseas.
To be clear, those Afghans who put their lives on the line fighting alongside the U.S. and against the Taliban should be welcomed here. They’ve earned it. But Joe Biden betrayed tens of thousands of them by leaving them behind. In fact, among the abandoned is a man who in 2008 helped rescue several U.S. senators, including Joe Biden. “Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family,” Mohammed said. “Don’t forget me here.”
In fact, despite Biden’s boasting, his State Department admits the U.S. left behind a majority of our allies. Next time we need help within a hostile country, who’s going to trust us? Instead, they’ll tell us to pound sand.
As Mark Alexander wrote yesterday: “Assuming the American citizens Biden abandoned behind enemy lines get out safe, this war is far from over for the Afghan allies we left behind, some 80,000 of whom were already approved ‘special immigration visa’ holders, and who will now be targeted for extinction. And this war is far from over for those who will become targets of violence perpetrated the Taliban’s terrorist surrogates worldwide in the coming years.”
So who were the evacuees? “The U.S. still doesn’t have reliable data on who was evacuated, nor for what type of visas they may qualify,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
The “extraordinary success” colossal failure of Biden’s abandonment leaves the trouble of determining who is friend and who is foe. The last thing America needs is a terrorist posing as an Afghan refugee launching a terror attack on U.S. soil — perhaps even on the upcoming anniversary of 9/11. Yet that might be exactly what Biden’s blunder will bring.
When the mother of a fallen Marine took to social media to share her grief, it was apparently too much for Instagram.
Last year, in the run-up to the presidential election, we at The Patriot Post saw the bottom fall out of our social media readership statistics. It happened virtually overnight, from one day to the next, as if Facebook had thrown a switch. And that’s essentially what they did, thereby reducing our reach, and the reach of other conservative publications on social media.
Suppressing the speech of one’s political opponents is both vile and cowardly, but at least it’s understandable. Censorship, in fact, is now leftists’ weapon of choice whenever they’re afraid of losing the argument. Or, if you’re a sitting president, it’s impeachment and censorship.
But censoring a grieving Gold Star mom, a Marine Corps mother whose young son was just ripped away from her in a Kabul bomb blast? All because she had some harsh things to say about the conduct of our nation’s commander-in-chief at a solemn ceremony at Dover Air Force Base?
Censorship like that is a special kind of despicable.
We’re looking at you, Facebook.
The victim here was Shana Chappell, whose son, Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, was killed by a suicide bomber outside Hamid Karzai International Airport one week ago today. As the Washington Free Beacon reports:
In a post deleted by Facebook, Chappell claims that Biden interrupted her as she tried to speak to him about her son at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where the dignified transfer of the service members’ remains took place on Sunday. “You then rolled your f**king eyes in your head like you were annoyed with me,” Chappell wrote, “and you threw your hand up behind you as you walked away from me like you were saying ‘ok whatever.’” That post was restored by Facebook, but another remains restricted.
Chappell also criticized Biden for being distracted during the ceremony, saying she watched the president “disrespect us all five different times” by checking his watch.
Chappell says that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, began deleting her old posts and warned that they’d delete her account if she continued posting. Caught red-handed, Facebook now claims that Chappell’s posts didn’t violate the site’s policies, and that her account was “incorrectly deleted.”
Shana Chappell violated an unwritten Facebook policy: She tried to hold a Democrat president accountable for his actions. And her comment began to trend.
“It seems Instagram took it upon themselves to delete my account” she wrote on Facebook next to a screenshot of her deleted Instagram post, “because I gained so many followers over my son’s death due to Biden’s negligence, ignorance and him being a traitor! I’m gonna assume that Facebook is gonna delete me next! Funny how these leftist one sided pieces of crap don’t want the truth to come out!”
Shana Chappell is indeed a Marine Corps mom, and she’s gotten the attention of at least one other such mom, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney of New York, whose son Trey is a 2013 U.S. Naval Academy graduate and now serves as a captain in the Corps. As the Free Beacon reports, “Tenney is calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri to explain why the social media sites removed posts by Shana Chappell that criticized Biden for the debacle in Afghanistan and his allegedly callous behavior at the transfer of her son’s remains.”
We’ll see if anything comes of this. And, in the meantime, we’d ask that Tenney and her Republican colleagues continue to press for the reading of the names of the 13 fallen warriors in Congress, a measure that has, to this point, been disgracefully censored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
As Congressman Brian Mast, a combat veteran who was himself seriously wounded in Afghanistan, said: “We gaveled in, had a prayer, said the Pledge of Allegiance, took a moment of silence with pretty much all Republican veterans, then asked to be recognized to read names and bring up Afghanistan legislation. They did not acknowledge us, and just closed the House down.”
Whether it’s soon-to-be-former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or the Democrat lickspittles who run Big Tech social media platforms, the Left is trying to do everything possible to keep the American people from focusing on and thinking about the disaster of Afghanistan. We have a hunch, though, that the American people aren’t inclined to forget this particular outrage.
The Lone Star State is on the cusp of securing Texans’ voting rights, as Gov. Abbott promises to sign it into law.
Delayed for months due to the shenanigans of Democrat state lawmakers who fled the state in July to prevent its passage, the Texas House has finally passed the Republicans’ election integrity measure that aims to secure the voting rights of all Texans. Governor Greg Abbott, who stood firm against the Democrats’ underhanded tactics and misinformation campaign, will soon sign the bill into law. The legislation has passed to the Senate for final revisions.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick noted the primary purpose of the legislation: “It is about ensuring that all Texans trust the outcome of every election in Texas.”
Republicans were finally able to gain a House quorum with 99 members present, as the 100 normally needed was reduced to 99 after the resignation of Democrat Representative Leo Pacheco. Some of the 49 absent Democrats expressed their frustration with party colleagues who elected to return to the state house. Representative Michelle Beckley lamented, “This is how Texas Democrats lose elections.”
Well, here’s hoping that more of these fleeing Democrats lose their elections, and if they do lose they can be confident it was the true will of the voters thanks to this new election integrity law.
You’ll have to pardon our letting facts get in the way of a narrative, but due to the massive disinformation campaign against election integrity laws launched by Democrats both in Texas and nationally, it’s important to note what the Texas law actually does. This law is not, as Joe Biden falsely asserts, “Jim Crow 2.0.” In fact, it goes a long away to prevent any such Jim Crow-era electioneering abuses. What it does do is implement integrity standards to stymie as much corruption and cheating as possible, while at the same time expanding the opportunities for legitimate voters to cast their votes.
The law eliminates 24-hour voting and drive-through voting, policies that were hastily implemented during the pandemic. (Drive-through voting will still be permitted for those with physical disabilities). There is no good reason to keep these obviously suspect policies in place (who needs to vote a 3 a.m.?), especially since the new law expands the early voting options to include voting on Sundays.
The other major upgrade that Democrats have dubiously labeled as “racist” is the ID requirement for casting a vote — including particularly mail-in ballots. To verify the veracity of mail-in ballots, a voter will need to include a valid ID number that can either be a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. This eliminates the far more problematic and subjective signature verification system.
Other changes include the banning of ballot harvesting “in exchange for compensation”; the required auditing every two years of four random counties; the live streaming of counting stations in counties with populations over 100,000; reporting the results of mailing-in versus election day ballots separately; the barring of election officials from sending unsolicited absentee forms to voters; and the empowering of poll watchers who will be required to take a state “training program” and swear not to “disrupt the voting process,” while also making it a criminal offense for an elections official to “knowingly refuse to accept a watcher” or “knowingly prevent a watcher from observing an activity or procedure the person knows the watcher is entitled to observe.”
Democrats now plan to use Texas’s passage of its voter integrity law to pressure the two holdout Democrat U.S. senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, to drop their opposition to eliminating the filibuster. As House Democrat Caucus Chair Chris Turner declared, “Now that it has come, we need the U.S. Senate to act immediately.” He means to pass HR 1 or HR 4, the Democrats’ effort to rewrite election laws so they win.
Clearly, the fight for Americans’ voting rights and to ensure election integrity against the Democrats’ underhanded power-grabbing plans is far from over.
Speaking of Texas and protecting rights, the U.S. Supreme Court did not intervene to block a Texas law that effectively limits abortion to the first six weeks of pregnancy. “The American people are eager to humanize our extreme, outdated abortion laws,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “This law reflects the scientific reality that unborn children are human beings, with beating hearts by six weeks.” Eventually, the Supreme Court will take this up as more states test Roe v. Wade’s limits.
Naturally, Democrats will fight against the right to life for the preborn just as hard as they will to steal elections. We’re fortunate to have a few brave Texans to stand against that tide.
The FBI’s latest report reveals an upward trend, but the question is why.
Hate crimes in America have reached a 12-year high, according to figures released earlier this week by the FBI. That’s a 6% jump over last year. Breaking it down by category, reported hate crimes against blacks rose 42%, while reported crimes against Asians were up 73%. These look like earth-shattering spikes — some might even say explosive.
Just how many hate crimes were there in 2020? The FBI counted 7,759. That includes all ethnic, religious, and political groups in the entire country — everybody. And there were only 445 more of these crimes than last year, which is what the much trumpeted 6% spike translates to in the real world. Does that sound like an epic wave of hate sweeping a country of 330 million people? Hardly. In fact, we surpassed this number all the way back in Barack Obama’s coronation year of 2008, that last supposed banner year for hate, when there were 7,783 reported hate crimes. That means that 2020 is still only second place in the hate stakes.
These barbs are certainly not meant to downplay crime, or to disparage victims of real crimes. Democrat-run inner cities are indeed declining at an alarming rate.
But let’s face it. Hate crime statistics are merely fodder for leftists’ attempt to portray America as a hopelessly, endlessly racist country that must be destroyed. The entire concept of the hate crime was born out of the politically correct revolution of the 1990s. The intent was to portray crimes motivated by racism or bigotry as more dangerous to the social fabric than regular, old-fashioned murder, rape, and assault. The result was to introduce into the halls of justice a socially constructed imbalance that treated certain victims (and perpetrators) differently from other victims despite them having the same crime in common. And now, all crime data is put through the prism of whether it’s a hate crime. Even stealing a MAGA hat from a kid is a hate crime. Granted, anyone who steals a kid’s hat is a lowlife, but do they deserve to be charged with a hate crime because of what was printed on it?
America is not a “systemically racist” country, and we do not have a hate crime problem. The Left knows this, which is why the media twists itself into knots to make it seem like hate crimes are out of control. Manipulation of data is a valuable tool in this regard.
Let’s take another look at the FBI report for 2020. Hate crimes against blacks rose from 1,930 incidences in 2019 to 2,755 in 2020, a year-over-year increase of 825 crimes. The total year-over-year increase in hate crimes against Asians rose from 158 to 274. In 2020, the year in which Asians were supposedly “targeted,” to use a choice word of the media, the raw number of reported hate crimes against them doesn’t seem to support a wave of hate.
Again, some perspective. In 2020, there was a year-over-year increase of 1,117 shootings in the city Chicago, most of them involving minorities shooting other minorities. In New York, the number of shootings more than doubled to 1,824, again with predominantly minority perpetrators and victims. 2020 was a violent year, but it had nothing to do with “hate” crimes. It was mostly the fault of Democrat knuckleheads who reduced police presence in major cities to please the woke mob and an all-but-sanctioned spree of leftist-inspired violence against police, property, and the public at large.
Hate crimes are not a significant problem, not statistically speaking and not realistically speaking. When attention-starved C-list celebrities like Jussie Smollett and Bubba Wallace have to fake hate crimes, then the problem lies with them, not with the American public.
We are led to believe that hate crimes are rampant because of how often they are reported. Since they fit the leftist narrative, the media can’t seem to generate enough coverage. Even Smollett’s story, which was debunked a couple of days after it was reported, stayed in the news for weeks. In fact, with the political divisiveness in America today, and the lack of respect people seem to have for other points of view, you might also think there would be more hate crime than the few thousand they can drum up in the counting.
Maybe all these views about violence are overblown, and Americans are more even-tempered than we give ourselves credit for. It’s worth pondering.
The ranks of retired generals and admirals calling for the resignation of Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley have swelled from 87 to 130.
The open letter cuts right to the chase: “The retired Flag Officers signing this letter are calling for the resignation and retirement of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. The hasty retreat has left initial estimates at ~15,000 Americans stranded in dangerous areas controlled by a brutal enemy along with ~25,000 Afghan citizens who supported American forces.”
The collective group behind the letter calls itself “Flag Officers 4 America,” and it sports a simple website whose homepage reads, “We are retired military leaders who pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Although retired from active service, each of us feels bound by that oath to do what we can, in our capacity today, to protect our nation from the threats to her freedom.”
Earlier this year, the group posted another letter that focused on the growing threat of socialism and Marxism, and the need for free and fair elections. It began: “Our Nation is in deep peril. We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776. The conflict is between supporters of Socialism and Marxism vs. supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty. During the 2020 election an ‘Open Letter from Senior Military Leaders’ was signed by 317 retired Generals and Admirals, and it said the 2020 election could be the most important election since our country was founded. ‘With the Democrat Party welcoming Socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.’ Unfortunately, that statement’s truth was quickly revealed, beginning with the election process itself.”
This time, the flag officers are demanding accountability for the disaster in Afghanistan, which included a hasty, chaotic, and deadly withdrawal and the abandonment of a key air base at Bagram. “As principal military advisors to the CINC/President, the SECDEF and CJCS should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms. If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign.” The letter continues:
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.
Moreover, now our adversaries are emboldened to move against America due to the weakness displayed in Afghanistan. China benefits the most followed by Russia, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and others. Terrorists around the world are emboldened and able to pass freely into our country through our open border with Mexico.
Later on in the letter, they name names: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley — the former who in the wake of the January 6 riot at the Capitol ordered a DOD-wide stand-down in order to discuss the problem of “extremism” in the ranks, and the latter who recently went before Congress to explain the military’s fixation with radical teachings such as Critical Race Theory and his own desire to better understand “white rage” in the ranks.
The flag officer — whose ranks have swelled from 87 yesterday to 130 (and counting) today — believe Austin and Milley must go sooner rather than later, “A fundamental principle in the military,” they write in closing, “is holding those in charge responsible and accountable for their actions or inactions. There must be accountability at all levels for this tragic and avoidable debacle.”
Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.
Insight: “Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.” —Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)
“All through history, there have always been groups of people pointing to other groups of people and claiming that those people are not real people. In our age, the pro-abortion side makes this argument. And it’s just as wrong as it’s always been.” —Matt Walsh
“People who say they ‘follow the science’ are invariably authoritarian morons who have panic attacks at the notion that someone, somewhere may be exercising the rights of a free individual in contravention of the soulless herd.” —Buck Sexton
“The Taliban have now seized one of the greatest caches of advanced military equipment ever. If we ever must fight them again, we will be fighting an enemy that is using our own weapons against us.” —Jim Geraghty
“There’s nothing wrong with the administration attempting to pressure the Taliban into upholding commitments. It was trusting them with American lives that was insane.” —David Harsanyi
“How badly do Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats want to cover up this Afghanistan debacle? They just blocked Members of Congress from reading the names of the service members who sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan last week.” —Congressman Carlos Gimenez
“We took a moment of silence with pretty much all Republican veterans, then asked to be recognized to read names [of those killed]. [Democrat leaders] did not acknowledge us, and just closed the House down.” —Congressman Brian Mast, a combat veteran who was severely wounded in Afghanistan
“House Democrats just refused to recognize Republican veterans on the House Floor to read the names of our fallen service members in Afghanistan. That’s how far our nation has fallen.” —combat veteran Congressman Greg Steube
“Democrats just shut down the House Floor when Afghanistan veterans stood up to speak. Shameful.” —Congresswoman Mary Miller
Friendly fire: “[Biden] was conflating the withdrawal with the evacuation. The evacuation occurred because … they did not realize the Taliban would take over so quickly. They did not realize that the [Afghan government] would fall in 11 days and that’s why you ended up with this chaos.” —ABC News’s Martha Raddatz
Spin doctor: “We have just concluded the largest air evacuation of civilians in American history. It was heroic. It was historic.” —Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
Non compos mentis: “I’m thinking about the Black, brown, low-income, queer, and young folks in Texas. The folks this abortion health care ban will disproportionately harm. Wealthy white folks will have the means to access abortion care. Our communities won’t.” —Congresswoman Cori Bush
Non sequitur: “It’s worth noting that many of the same people attacking the Biden Administration for leaving women’s rights behind in Afghanistan are eager to control women’s bodies and choices in the United States.” —Dan Rather
Dezinformatsiya I: “Republicans are wielding the issue as a political weapon against President Biden in the hope that it will damage the Democratic Party and help them recapture control of Congress next fall. But will Afghanistan matter to voters? Experts doubt it.” —NBC News
Dezinformatsiya II: “Biden’s poll numbers have fallen as the Afghanistan exit was engulfed by chaos and tragedy. Now, Republicans are seizing the moment in hopes of making it a defining issue ahead of the midterms.” —Axios
And last… “Compare Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats blocking the reading of the names of the 13 US servicemen killed in #Afghanistan with their obsequious kneeling and bowing to ‘Saint’ George Floyd. This is who these people are and they should never be entrusted with power again.” —Dinesh D’Souza
The list of retired admirals and generals demanding resignations from Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Mark Milley has grown significantly in the last few days, going from under 90 just a few days ago to ballooning to 130 by Thursday.
Former President Donald Trump told Breitbart News that all states should ditch voting machines and return solely to paper ballots, in addition to eliminating early voting and instituting voter ID requirements coast to coast.
While the United States has evacuated more than 123,000 people out of Afghanistan, the majority of Afghan interpreters who are at risk of Taliban reprisal for helping the U.S. and up to 200 Americans have been left behind, a senior State Department official and other government officials said.
Afghanistan (MNN) — After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, a caravan of over 100 Afghan Christians left their homes to move to Pakistan. Bruce Allen of FMI says they have reached their destination safely. “They have the challenge of resettling. We have six partners who are helping with their resettlement. So even though it’s a good place for them to get to, having 15 families to resettle is an enormous task.”
Pray these Christians would be able to get jobs, and that their children, both boys and girls, would have educational opportunities. In Afghanistan, the Taliban has a history of limiting education, especially for girls and women. Since the takeover, they have already cracked down on coeducation. Read more here.
This photo shows members of the first convoy after they reached Pakistan. (Photo provided and approved by FMI)
Pakistan might not seem like the best place for Christians. Religious minorities often receive mistreatment in different parts of the country. But Allen says, “It is their neighbor. And life can be fairly similar for them there because the tribes are the same. You have Dari tribes and Pashto tribes in both places. So languages are the same and the customs can be the same in those tribes. Really, the resettle there can be fairly good.”
A second convoy
Meanwhile, Allen says another convoy of Afghan Christians will be moving to Pakistan soon. “One of our partners has been going back and forth into Afghanistan over the years and making disciples there. He’s helping another set of about 100 Christians evacuate. This one has 16 families. So the work is not finished yet, even as we celebrate the success of the arrival of the first convoy into Pakistan.”
You can help this second convoy. Visit FMI’s website to give directly to these Christians.
And ask God to give wisdom to the leaders of this convoy. Allen says, “I was really impressed during my visit a few weeks ago with even what was happening in our partners’ lives leading up to this historic moment. They’re prepared to be handling it.”
The survey found that only 30% of U.S. voters “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of how Biden handled the Afghanistan withdrawal, while 61% said they “strongly” or “somewhat” disapproved.
Voters were asked, “How well, if at all, do you think the withdrawal of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is going?” An overwhelming 72% of respondents declared the troop removal was not going favorably, including 49% who said it was “not well at all.”
The evacuation of Kabul was made worse by the suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport that killed 13 U.S. service members and 169 Afghans. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said fewer than 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan, and the number is “likely closer to 100.”
There were 75% who are pessimistic about the future of Afghanistan now that the Taliban have regained control of the country.
President Biden’s approach on national security received 50% disapproval and 41% approval.
When it came to immigration, 55% said they disapproved of Biden’s job performance.
There were 52% of voters who said they “strongly approve” or “somewhat approve” of Biden’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, versus 44% who disapprove.
There were 44% of poll participants who approve of Biden’s oversight of the economy, while 49% were not satisfied with his effort. On the topic of jobs, 46% said they approve of Biden’s direction, and 45% disapprove.
The survey also found that President Biden has hit a record-low approval rating with 47%, while 49% disapprove of the president’s overall job performance.
A USA Today/Suffolk University poll from Aug. 24 noted that Biden’s job approval plummeted to 41%, with 55% disapproving of the president’s performance.
The latest RealClearPolitics presidential job approval tracker shows Biden is under water. Biden’s job approval is at 49.4% disapproval and 45.4% approval, which is the worst of his presidency. Biden’s first job ratings on Jan. 27 were at 55.7% approval and 36% disapproval.
A Rasmussen Reports poll published this week found that 52% of likely U.S. voters said Biden should resign.
Afghanistan is on the third day of its post-US reality, with Kabul airport now devoid of Western troops, and under the full control of the Taliban. US armored vehicles, helicopters, and ammunition can now be seen abandoned outside the terminals.