“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 Evil of Grasping at the World Matthew 4:8–9; Luke 4:5–7; 1 Timothy 6:10; 2 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:15–17
Thorns will not prick of themselves, but when they are grasped in a man’s hand they prick deep. So this world and the things thereof are all good, and were all made by God for the benefit of his creatures, if our immoderate affection did not make them hurtful, which indeed embitters every sweet unto us. This is the root of all evil. When once a man’s heart is set upon the world, how does he set light by God, and the peace of his conscience, to attain his ends!
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Sooner Endure Persecution Than Lead an Easy Life Matthew 13:21; 16:26; Mark 4:17; 8:36; Luke 8:13; 9:25; Romans 8:35; 2 Corinthians 11:23–29; 2 Timothy 3:12
We will sooner endure, in our mortal bodies, misery, poverty, tribulation, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, bonds and death, and adhere to the word of the Lord, than lead secure easy lives with the world, and for the sake of a short and temporal life, ruin our souls.
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
What distinguishes Reformed theology from the doctrine held by other Christian groups? From one of our Ask Ligonier events, W. Robert Godfrey explains that being Reformed involves much more than a rejection of Arminianism.
If you have a biblical or theological question, just visit ask.Ligonier.org to ask your question live online.
It still both terrifies and convicts me every time I watch it.
A Letter from Hell! is a very short video that fictionalizes an exchange between a young guy named Josh who resides in hell and his friend Zach who is still alive on earth. Josh’s letter to Zach decries his friend’s neglect where telling him about Jesus is concerned. Josh’s agony and fury at his friend are summed up at the end where he writes, “P.S. Wish you were here.”
Even though I used the video nearly a decade ago when teaching through the subject of hell, it continues to chill me when I listen to it. It reminds me of the seriousness of hell and my responsibility to warn unbelievers about it.
A frightening reality
In a New York Times opinion piece, theologian/philosopher David Bentley Hart writes: “The idea of eternal damnation is neither biblically, philosophically nor morally justified.” Hart (a universalist) has plenty of company these days, which is not so surprising considering the very first Christian doctrine to be denied was judgment:
“The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die … The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!” (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:4).
Lots of people say the same thing today. Even C.S. Lewis admitted, “There is no doctrine I would more willingly remove from Christianity than [hell], if it lay in my power…”
But hell is there in black and white in both the Old and New Testaments. Contrary to what some think, hell is referenced a number of times in the Old Testament (e.g., Dan. 12:2, Is. 66:24, Ps. 9:17, Ps. 16:10). Hell is also referenced by name 15 times in the gospels and mentioned in other ways too (e.g., eternal fire, outer darkness). We also find it in the epistles as well as the book of Revelation.
Simply put, there is no expunging hell from Scripture. It’s as if the Bible is impressing upon us that you cannot tell a person to be saved without answering the question, saved from what?
As to the charge that hell is not morally justifiable (a belief shared by many), the argument fails to recognize that God’s nature consists of attributes that are equal in kind. God is indeed love, but He is also righteous and just; He is not more loving than He is just.
Moreover, understanding the antecedent and consequent wills of God helps to negate the not-morally-justified contention. Thomas Aquinas explains it this way: “Hence it may be said of a just judge, that antecedently he wills all men to live; but consequently wills the murderer to be hanged. In the same way God antecedently wills all men to be saved, but consequently wills some to be damned, as His justice exacts.”
Scripture and theology proper (the study of God) show hell to be a frightening reality and one that has no contradiction with Christian teaching. On an American troopship, soldiers crowded around their chaplain, asking, “Do you believe in hell?” “I do not”, he replied. The soldiers responded, “Well, then, will you please resign, for if there is no hell, we do not need you, and if there is a hell, we do not wish to be led astray.”
Charlie Peace was a notorious English criminal who lived in the 1800’s. When he was being taken to the gallows, a priest followed him reading about heaven and hell.
At the mention of hell, Peace reportedly said: “Sir, if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!”
Charles Spurgeon captures that same sense of gravity when he says, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
This doesn’t mean that we necessarily sit unbelievers down and read through Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God message, but rather that we move ourselves far beyond the flippant take-it-or-leave-it attitude we often have about others’ salvation. As A. W. Tozer wrote, we shouldn’t think of ourselves as neutral diplomats “but prophets; we are not delivering a compromise, but an ultimatum.”
That sounds arrogant at first, but properly understood, it is anything but. In discussing the thorny subject of hell with others, it’s important that we convey to them that, contrary to what many believe, hell is not a place where God sends people who are especially bad. The truth is, it’s everyone’s default destination (including us).
Even so, many will bristle at the thought they deserve hell, but that’s been the historical reception to the warnings of all God’s prophets. For example, when Ahab finally came face to face with Elijah he said, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17).
That said, it helps when people get that the “ultimatum” we bring has the fear of hell as secondary, and the love/grace of God as primary. As I tell folks when we get on the subject, it’s not that I’m trying to scare you with hell, but more persuade you about heaven – an eternity with God, which is something so good I don’t want you to miss it.
Of course, there is a cost that comes from following Jesus (Luke 14:25-33), but as Søren Kierkegaard said, “It costs a person even more to go to hell.” That being true, it’s my hope that we all can take the subject serious enough so that we never are in a position to receive a loved one’s letter from hell.
Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has written many articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at apologetic events. He holds a BS in Business, Master’s in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament. His latest book is, A Confident Faith: Winning people to Christ with the apologetics of the Apostle Paul.
12:9 The sufficiency of divine grace may be easier to grasp intellectually than through experience, especially for those who are naturally inclined to self-reliance. God ensured that Paul never got away from grace (see note at 1:2). God’s glorious power is more evident when it is displayed in weak vessels (see note at 4:7).
12:9 Here is recorded one of the greatest spiritual truths in all of Scripture: God’s strength is made perfect (complete, mature) in our weakness. Verse 10 expresses it again in summary fashion: “For when I am weak, then I [through Christ’s power] am strong.”
12:9 my power is made perfect in weakness. God will accomplish His purposes without taking from His servant the thorn that seems to hinder him. Despite human weaknesses, God’s grace attains His purposes in a fallen world. This promise from God no doubt gave Paul strength and encouragement in subsequent sufferings. Paul shortly ties the general principle to its source—the cross of Christ (13:4). Paul’s whole response to attacks on his apostolic authority has been patterned consciously on Christ, and Him crucified, and not on the so-called “Jesus” and the different “gospel” that his opponents have foisted on the erring Corinthians (11:4 note).
12:9grace In this context, the Greek word used here, charis, refers to Christ’s power to help Paul endure hardship, be strengthened when struggling (physically, mentally, or spiritually), or experience forgiveness.
God’s grace enables Paul to participate in Christ’s sufferings for the gospel and the Church and to still demonstrate God’s power despite his weaknesses. Despite Paul’s troubles, God will help him. Paul acknowledges this to set up a contrast between his ministry and that of the so-called super-apostles. Paul does his work because God chose to empower Him. The super-apostles emphasize self-sufficiency (see note on 2 Cor 11:5).
power is perfected in weakness Weakness provides the opportunity for God to show His power. For this reason, Paul can boast about his weaknesses even though others may mock him (see 10:10).
12:9 My grace is sufficient for you. The present tense of the verb translated “is sufficient” reveals the constant availability of divine grace. God would not remove the thorn, as Paul had requested, but would continually supply him with grace to endure it (cf. 1Co 15:10; Php 4:13; Col 1:29). power is perfected in weakness. Cf. 4:7–11. The weaker the human instrument, the more clearly God’s grace shines forth.
12:9 — Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The gospel is full of seeming contradictions. If you want to be first, you must be last. If you want to save your life, you must lose it. And if you want to be strong, you must glory in your weakness.
What value could there possibly be in weakness?
2 Cor. 12:9
None of us can escape the pressures of life. Most of us know what it feels like to be disappointed. We know the painfulness of embarrassment, the sting of rejection, and the sorrow of failure. There always comes a time when the lids come boiling off the pots and pans and crash to the floor. What pots are boiling out of control in your life? Is there a financial need? Maybe you face a relationship crisis and are urgently praying for God’s wisdom. Regardless of your situation, you can trust this principle: Whatever brings you to your knees in weakness carries the greatest potential for your personal success and spiritual victory. Even though Paul could have listed many personal accomplishments, he chose to tell his audience what he saw as the key to experiencing a victorious life: accepting his weakness so that the strength of Christ might live fully in him. “I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9). We do not know the trial that Paul faced; he called it a “thorn in the flesh” (v. 7). In the Greek, the word thorn means a stake used for torturing or impaling someone—no gentle affliction! He writes that it buffeted him, indicating that the trial was either ongoing or recurring. When Paul felt he could no longer withstand the blows, God reassured him that His grace was sufficient for anything he faced. Strength that withstands the stresses and blows of this life comes from only one Source—the eternal, indwelling presence of God. What the world views as strong is really nothing more than weakness under wraps. When we accept our weaknesses and the fact that we cannot handle life on our own, God goes to work. He sends encouragement and a sense of creativity, helping us to try new avenues that lead to hope and fresh beginnings. Are you weary from trying? Has exhaustion left its mark? Are you afraid others will see your weaknesses and laugh? Could a thorn in your life expose your deepest fear? Let it go. Release your fears to Jesus who loves you. Let Him strengthen you. Nothing compares to the freedom that waits for you within His loving arms. Nothing will ever bring more completion to your heart and soul than knowing the unconditional love of God. It is yours today—if you choose it.
12:9infirmities … power: When believers are without strength and look to the Lord (v. 8), He provides power by His grace.
12:9 Paul’s prayer was answered, but not in the way he had hoped. In effect, God said to Paul, “I will not remove the thorn, but I will do something better: I will give you grace to bear it. And just remember, Paul, that although I have not given you what you asked for, yet I am giving you what you need most deeply. You want my power and strength to accompany your preaching, don’t you? Well, the best way to have that happen is for you to be kept in a place of weakness.”
This was God’s repeated answer to Paul’s thrice repeated prayer. And it continues to be God’s answer to his suffering people throughout the world. Better than the removal of trials and sufferings is the companionship of the Son of God in them, and the assurance of His strength and enabling grace.
Notice that God says, My grace IS sufficient for you. We don’t have to ask Him to make His grace sufficient. It already IS!
The apostle is completely satisfied with the Lord’s answer, so he says, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
When the Lord explained the wisdom of His actions, Paul said in effect that that was the only way he would want it to be. So instead of complaining and grumbling about the thorn, he would rather boast in his infirmities. He would get down on his knees and thank the Lord for them. He would gladly endure them if only the power of Christ might rest upon him. J. Oswald Sanders puts it well:
The world’s philosophy is, “What can’t be cured must be endured.” But Paul radiantly testifies, “What can’t be cured can be enjoyed. I enjoy weakness, sufferings, privations, and difficulties.” So wonderful did he prove God’s grace to be, that he even welcomed fresh occasions of drawing upon its fullness. “I gladly glory … I even enjoy”—my thorn.”
Emma Piechynska, the wife of a Polish nobleman, led a long life of frustration and disappointment. Yet her biographer paid a remarkable tribute to her triumphant faith: “She made magnificent bouquets out of the refusals of God!”
12:9 “He has said” This is PERFECT TENSE, idiomatic for “He said finally.”
This is the Greek term episkēnoō (epi plus skēnē [tent]) which is metaphorical for “overshadow” or “abide upon.” This same root is used of the virgin birth of Jesus (cf. Luke 1:35) the transfiguration of Jesus (cf. Matt. 17:5), and of the Apostles’ shadows falling on people and their being healed (cf. Acts 5:15).
Paul knew that the rabbi’s called the cloud during the wilderness wandering period (cf. Exod. 40:35) “the shekinah cloud of glory.” Shekinah means “to dwell with permanently.” Paul wanted God’s personal presence, fully and completely revealed and embodied in Christ, with him. This is the goal of Christianity, not personal power, personal prestige, a special knowledge or experience (“To know Him came through weakness and suffering,” cf. Phil. 3:10).
9. He said to me. It is not certain, whether he had this answer by a special revelation, and it is not of great importance. For God answers us, when he strengthens us inwardly by his Spirit, and sustains us by his consolation, so that we do not give up hope and patience. He bids Paul be satisfied with his grace, and, in the mean time, not refuse chastisement. Hence we must bear up under evil of ever so long continuance, because we are admirably well dealt with, when we have the grace of God to be our support. The term grace, here, does not mean here, as it does elsewhere, the favour of God, but by metonymy, the aid of the Holy Spirit, which comes to us from the unmerited favour of God; and it ought to be sufficient for the pious, inasmuch as it is a sure and invincible support against their ever giving way.
For my strength. Our weakness may seem, as if it were an obstacle in the way of God’s perfecting his strength in us. Paul does not merely deny this, but maintains, on the other hand, that it is only when our weakness becomes apparent, that God’s strength is duly perfected. To understand this more distinctly, we must distinguish between God’s strength and ours; for the word my is emphatic. “My strength,” says the Lord, (meaning that which helps man’s need—which raises them up when they have fallen down, and refreshes them when they are faint,) “is perfected in the weakness of men;” that is, it has occasion to exert itself, when the weakness of men becomes manifest; and not only so, but it is more distinctly recognised as it ought to be. For the word perfected has a reference to the perception and apprehension of mankind, because it is not perfected unless it openly shines forth, so as to receive its due praise. For mankind have no taste of it, unless they are first convinced of the need of it, and they quickly lose sight of its value, if they are not constantly exercised with a feeling of their own weakness.
Most gladly, therefore. This latter statement confirms the exposition that I have given. I will glory, says he, in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Hence, the man that is ashamed of this glorying, shuts the door upon Christ’s grace, and, in a manner, puts it away from him. For then do we make room for Christ’s grace, when in true humility of mind, we feel and confess our own weakness. The valleys are watered with rain to make them fruitful, while in the mean time, the high summits of the lofty mountains remain dry. Let that man, therefore, become a valley, who is desirous to receive the heavenly rain of God’s spiritual grace.
He adds most gladly, to show that he is influenced by such an eager desire for the grace of Christ, that he refuses nothing for the sake of obtaining it. For we see very many yielding, indeed, submission to God, as being afraid of incurring sacrilege in coveting his glory, but, at the same time, not without reluctance, or at least, less cheerfully than were becoming.
 Easley, K. H. (2017). 2 Corinthians. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1853). 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., 2 Co 12:9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
“People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.”
The above quote by John Harriganhas become a principle of life for me. At the same time, it’s one of the hardest things for most of us to do, in our humanness, to love someone when they deserve it the least.
Have you ever had times when your behavior was so out of control that you couldn’t stand yourself? When I was a young mother and wife, there would be one day most months when I was “PMS”ing, in which I would find myself either yelling and screaming uncontrollably all day, or crying all day. I was so miserable I couldn’t stand myself, I felt just plain unlovable! It’s times like that when I think if someone had been able to just grab me and hug me it would have helped to get me out of that nasty mood, in spite of the hormones that were working against me.
I believe that loving someone to that extent takes a supernatural love. It takes the love of Christ flowing through us to be able to reach out to the unlovable. Jesus was criticized often for associating with “sinners,” those people who others thought of as unlovable, not worthy of their time and attention – tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, etc.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:19, “We love because he first loved us.”
Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32 & 35.
Prayer: Most gracious and loving Lord, how grateful I am that the you loved me enough to die for my sins, so that through you, I am able to stand before a just God and live in His presence throughout eternity. I thank you that your love compels me and pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit within me, you will enable me to love those who seem unlovable, as you have loved me. Through your power grant me the grace to extend mercy to all. Amen.
We love others because God has first loved us. Our Heavenly Father taught us how to love in Jesus. Our Abba Father has given us security and confidence so we can love more fully. Our Holy and Almighty God loved us boldly and sacrificially so we could properly understand and define love. We are not the source of love: God is. We are not the great example of love: God is. We tend to be careful and share our love with only those with whom we want to share it: God’s love is expansive and open to all. We love because he first loved us.
Forgive me, Righteous Father, for the times that I have been careful and guarded with my love of your children. Please help me to love others as you have loved me. I ask especially for today, that I might touch someone’s life with love that especially needs it whether they respond favourably to that love or not. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
When I was young, I was sure of everything: In a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before. At present I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to man.
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Society Impossible Without Truthfulness Zechariah 8:16; Ephesians 4:25
Since man is a social animal, one man naturally owes another whatever is necessary for the preservation of human society. Now it would be impossible for men to live together, unless they believed one another, as declaring the truth one to another.
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Pelosi’s archbishop: Abortion bill is what you’d expect ‘from a Satanist’ One Catholic Bishop has come out strongly against an abortion bill, and he’s not holding back, calling it “child sacrifice.” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, issued a statement that many view as a rebuke of Nancy Pelosi, who hails from the Archbishop’s diocese. Indeed, HR 3755 is surely the type of legislation one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic.”
US Supreme Court Gets Set to Address Abortion, Guns & Religion The Supreme Court begins its annual term on October 4, 2021, with a packed agenda highlighted by three claims of violations of constitutional rights. One is about religious rights. A second is about gun rights. And the biggest case this year is a challenge to abortion rights.
Reports Of Military Planes At Bagram Air Base Fuel Speculation Of Chinese-Afghan Alliance the planes landing at Bagram belong to the Chinese army, their arrival follows the resumption of power at the airfield for the first time since U.S. forces departed in August. The resumption of operations at Bagram follows Taliban forces blocking off public access to the Chinese Embassy in Kabul. The fortification of that embassy is reported to have been in advance of meetings between Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and Chen Wenqing, the Minister of State Security for the Chinese since 2016.
Corporate Insiders With Impeccable Trading Records Send Clear Signal “Stock Market Is Rigged” It comes as no surprise that insider activity may sometimes be a good indication of the future price movement of a particular stock mainly because those in the know are likely basing decisions off nonpublic information, which outlines what our readers have known all along: the stock market is not a level playing field. Mississippi College School of Law professor John Anderson said, “it’s really easy to say that our markets should be a level playing field, but the reality is that they never have been.”
The Next “Lehman Moment” – Will China Try To Create A Dangerous Diversion? The happy talk out of Wall Street would have you believe that the Evergrande financial collapse in China is under control and that responsible parties have taken steps to avoid a “Lehman moment” in Chinese capital markets. Western analysts don’t understand this dynamic because they view events through the lens of Wall Street and Washington norms. But the Communist Party of China does not care if Chinese oligarchs or investors in BlackRock ETFs lose money. That suits them fine. They’re communists.
90,000 Educators Beg Biden: We Need FBI Protection From “Mobs” Of Parents Irate Over Mask Mandates The National School Boards Association, which represents more than 90,000 school officials, “begged” President Biden on Wednesday for FBI and Secret Service agents to help protect against “mobs” of angry parents protesting the mandates, according to the Daily Mail. The NSBA wrote a letter asking the government to stand up against “mobs of angry parents”, labeling them “domestic terrorism” and “extremist hate organizations”.
Panama Official Warned Biden Admin Months Before Haitian Migrant Surge Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes told Axios that Panama warned the Biden administration months in advance about a surge of Haitian migrants headed toward the southern border. Mouynes also said Wednesday that another wave of migrants from Haiti, this one numbering as many as 60,000, is currently headed toward the United States.
Dealings of Jordan’s King, Former Jerusalem Mayor Among Those Exposed by ‘Pandora Papers’ Jordan’s King Abdullah II, former Jerusalem Mayor and current Likud MK Nir Barkat are among hundreds of top-flight global leaders whose affairs were exposed Sunday by the publication of the “Pandora Papers”. According to the report, the monarch secretly owned 14 luxury homes in the UK and US, worth a total of more than $106 million, in addition to at least 36 front companies in tax havens. The purpose and/or assets of some of the companies is unclear.
Pro-Trump candidate could win Brooklyn council seat Candidate Inna Vernikov, a 37-year-old lawyer and Jewish Ukrainian native, is running against Democrat Steve Saperstein in the 48th Council District. Both are vying to succeed ex-Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who forfeited his seat earlier this year after getting convicted of tax fraud.
Israeli businessmen targeted by attempted assassinations in Cyprus According to the report, a 38-year-old Russian national of Azeri descent is suspected of plotting to assassinate a number of Israeli businessmen living in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The case is being kept tightly under wraps due to national security concerns, according to Kathimerini.
Fmr Google executive warns: “We’re creating God” via artificial intelligence A former Google exec described how one experience developing artificial intelligence frightened him, forcing him to realize that the new technology was God-like and, as such, a threat to humanity. “And I suddenly realized this is really scary,” Gawdat said. “It completely froze me. Like we had those things for a week. And they’re doing what children will take two years to do. And then it hit me that they are children. But very, very fast children. “The singularity is approaching,” he stated adding that it threatens humanity.
Actual location of Mt Sinai discovered, researchers now claim The Doubting Thomas Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating the historicity of Biblical accounts, claims to have found the location of Biblical Mount Sinai. The foundation claims the true location is Jabal Maqla, which lies in the Jabal al-Lawz mountain range in northwestern Saudi Arabia.
Trump asks judge to force Twitter to restore his account President Donald Trump has asked a federal judge in Florida to force Twitter to restore his account, which the company suspended in January following the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol. Trump’s attorneys on Friday filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Miami seeking a preliminary injunction against Twitter and its CEO, Jack Dorsey. They argue that Twitter is censoring Trump in violation of his First Amendment rights, according to the motion.
China sends more warplanes into Taiwan’s defense zone; 93 in 3 days On Sunday, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent 16 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), continuing a trend of daily military flights around Taiwan that has continued for months but which seen a recent uptick in intensity in recent days. In the last three days, China has sent at 93 warplanes into Taiwan’s ADIZ.
Minnesota Motorist Survives Lightning Strike It was a close call for a Minnesota motorist. The Minnesota State Patrol sent one of its troopers to check a report of a stalled vehicle in the town of Lengby. The trooper arrived to find the vehicle was stalled for a good reason – it had been hit by a bolt of lightning.
Major oil spill hits Orange County coast, California A major oil spill, believed to have originated from a pipeline leak, hit parts of California’s Orange County, including Huntington Beach on October 2, 2021. The event triggered coastal closures and emergency responses. Wildlife officials warned residents not to approach wildlife affected by the oil slick.
COVID, The Grinch Who’s Stealing Christmas COVID doesn’t go to church, and yet more than a year and a half after its outbreak, people can’t get into a church in their home towns without being ‘registered’ or are held back from worship of God by other government virus ‘restrictions’. COVID doesn’t hang out down at town and city liquor stores, which have been doing brisk business ever since the pandemic first broke out
Regulations Are STOPPING Doctors From Treating COVID — and People Are Dying It’s an all-too-common story. A teen I know currently has COVID-19 and is fairly sick. After an emergency-room examination yesterday, he was released from the hospital and he and his mother were simply told, “There’s no treatment protocol for COVID.” Actually, there are effective treatments for COVID.
D’oh: Twitter Fact Checkers Just Revealed Their Whole Entire Backside as Shameless Shills For Big Pharma Fact checkers at Twitter and elsewhere furiously took to their keyboards yesterday in defense of America’s Big Pharma Covid profiteers. This time, the fact checkers circled the wagons around Pfizer, which is developing an expensive drug that serves a suspiciously similar function to the cheap, time-tested, generic drug ivermectin. This time, Twitter’s approved fact checkers trafficked in deception, misinformation, and carefully worded lies, as they so often do, in order to “debunk” an article from ZeroHedge.
Orwell’s Covid USA! Killer Hospitals, Gov-Induced Socio-Economic Disaster George Orwell’s 1984 is the script for what is happening today in America. An all-powerful government that is dictating life-and-death decisions upon the uneducated masses who appear powerless or unwilling to exercise their God-given and Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and happiness.
His job has devolved into little more than continuously feeding COVID panic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci continued his long-running routine of moving the COVID goalposts when he was asked over the weekend about the prospect of Americans “gathering for Christmas.” Fauci dropped what has become his go-to phrase, saying it’s “too soon to tell,” before offering the always moveable goal: “We have to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time.”
Fauci’s “wait and see” language is deliberate for two reasons. First, he wants to avoid the problem of declarations that don’t aren’t allowed to come to pass. Recall that Joe Biden declared on July 4: “Today, while the virus hasn’t been vanquished we know this: It no longer controls our lives. It no longer paralyzes or nation. And it’s within our power to make sure it never does again.” A mere two months later, Biden was ordering his infamous vaccine mandate, threatening Americans’ freedoms and livelihoods all in the name of combating COVID.
Biden was inadvertently right about one thing: It’s not COVID that’s controlling Americans’ lives; it’s his authoritarian diktats. The American spirit that Biden ironically invoked in his Independence Day speech is a spirit that is opposed to precisely the kind of government tyranny his administration has pushed. And one of the biggest supporters of Biden’s authoritarianism has been Fauci.
Fauci’s second reason for using “wait and see” language is that it keeps the COVID panic alive. Keep people scared, because it’s easier to control them.
There are many ways to do that, but Fauci dropped what might be the most chilling statement yet from a government bureaucrat. Defending Biden’s COVID vaccine mandates — mandates, by the way, that just months prior Fauci claimed would never happen — Fauci said, “There comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society.”
There hasn’t been a single tinpot dictator in world history that wouldn’t wholeheartedly agree with Fauci. This is the very hubris undergirding every authoritarian’s justification for power lust. This view epitomizes the mindset of an elitist.
Fauci was recently confronted by radio host Hugh Hewitt, who wanted to know if Fauci would essentially put into practice what he was calling on all Americans to do. After listing the myriad of examples in which Fauci has been demonstrably and repeatedly wrong throughout the COVID pandemic, Hewitt asked, “Is there a point where you will say: ‘I have done more harm than good because people don’t listen to me anymore’ and step aside?” Fauci answered, “No. Absolutely, unequivocally no.”
Fauci’s failure to acknowledge his own complicity in undermining Americans’ trust in government officials, medical professionals, and scientific research is reason enough to place him in lockdown until this era of government malfeasance has passed.
It’s been one banner day after another for our hopelessly biased mainstream media.
By now, the only people who believe there was any legitimacy to the whole Trump-Russia collusion story are Flat-Earthers, 9/11 Truthers, Detroit Lions Dead-Enders, and members of the Pulitzer Prize Board. And it’s this last group, this most credulous group of the four, that we want to focus on.
Yesterday, former President Donald Trump called on the Pulitzer Board to rescind the 2018 “National Reporting” awards it bestowed upon The New York Times and The Washington Post for their coverage of the phony, fake, false, fraudulent, fabricated “Russian” “collusion” “story,” which Trump rightly says was built upon one shoddy piece of reporting after another. Or, as an indignant elf might put it, These reporters sit on a throne of lies.
In an open letter to interim award administrator Bud Kliment, Trump wrote:
The coverage was no more than a politically motivated farce which attempted to spin a false narrative that my campaign supposedly colluded with Russia despite a complete lack of evidence underpinning this allegation. … It has since been confirmed that the allegations were false and I have been exonerated of these charges. Most recently, John Durham’s indictment of former cybersecurity attorney and Hillary Clinton Campaign attorney Michael Sussman serves as a damning repudiation of the media’s obsession with the collusion story. The indictment pointedly accuses Mr. Sussman of making false statements to the FBI when he presented “evidence” purporting to show secret communications between my organization and the Russia-based Alfa Bank.
Trump closes by calling on the reporters themselves to do the right thing: to voluntarily surrender their prizes, noting that the Pulitzer is supposed to symbolize work that’s “credible, well-sourced, and trustworthy.” You know, just like the Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to symbolize those “who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations” — those like Yasser Arafat, Al Gore, and Barack Obama.
We can’t imagine Trump is holding his breath. These are the Leftmedia and its sycophants, after all. But perhaps rather than calling for an outright rescission, Trump might instead ask Mr. Kliment to simply reassign the awards within the Pulitzer Board’s fiction category.
In other disgraceful journalistic behavior from The Washington Post, we learned that the newspaper’s vaunted fact-checker, Glen Kessler, couldn’t summon the integrity to award Joe Biden a full four Pinocchios for the administration’s oft-repeated whopper that his Bernie Sanders’s ruinous $3.5 trillion spending plan “costs zero dollars.”
Instead, Kessler gave our cognitively declining and compulsively lying president a paltry two Pinocchios, rendering all but meaningless straight-up doubled-down falsehoods such as, “My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars.” Instead, Kessler hedged because the details aren’t worked out yet.
And Biden didn’t misspeak. He also said: “We talk about price tags. It is zero price tag on the debt. We’re paying — we’re going to pay for everything we spend.” This from a guy who’s poised to push our national debt to over $29 trillion — which is more than $86,000 per citizen, or $228,000 per taxpayer.
And last, as proof that lefty journalists are conditioned to hear only what they want to hear, consider what happened this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, where Xfinity Series race winner Brandon Brown was being interviewed by a NBC sports reporter.
While fans are clearly yelling the newly popular “f*** Joe Biden” chant overtaking sports stadiums everywhere, NBC’s reporter lamely attempted to claim they were cheering for Brown.
No, ma’am, no. They’re definitely not chanting, “Let’s go, Brandon!”
The supposed infighting is just theater meant to disguise just how radical an agenda it is.
When Joe Biden first pitched the idea that his massive spending agenda would actually cost “zero dollars,” most Americans laughed. Then people realized he was serious, and other Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began repeating it. Then the Leftmedia “fact-checkers” hedged, calling the claim misleading but essentially insisting Biden needs time to see how things shake out before declaring it the whopper it really is. For the moment at least, whether Biden intends to spend $0, $3.5 trillion, or the more realistic $5-6 trillion, his agenda is stalled on Capitol Hill.
We’ll admit the bickering between Democrat factions has been entertaining, though we’re also keenly aware that it’s mostly theater. Bernie Sanders and his faithful Socialist Squad disciples are pushing hard for a big agenda. They know that even if Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema succeed in reducing the price tag, even by a couple of trillion dollars, they will have built or introduced the entitlement state objectives they set.
The story of ObamaCare over the last decade proves how difficult it is to end a new entitlement.
Let’s be clear: Biden outsourced his agenda to Sanders. Even though he began his presidency by championing the “infrastructure” spending bill — only a fraction of which is actually infrastructure — he has now thrown it under the bus in favor of Sanders’s larger bill. According to Fox News, “Biden now claims that his Build Back Better agenda does not include the bipartisan infrastructure bill but only the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, even though Democrats have attempted to use the former to pass the latter.”
So-called Democrat moderates must be feeling some whiplash. They’ve been demanding the bipartisan infrastructure package pass before even considering anything further. The radical leftists who actually run the party want just the opposite, and Biden has joined them.
“I wrote the damn bill,” Biden insisted of the larger one when he traveled to Congress to twist some arms. “Even a smaller bill can make historic investments in child care, day care, clean energy. You get a whole hell of a lot of things done.” He told them he doesn’t mind sacrificing infrastructure on the altar of socialism.
But can Democrats get this done? Despite a public pledge to hold a vote by September 27, Pelosi keeps having to delay a vote on the “infrastructure” bill that already passed the Senate because the far-left wing is holding it hostage to the bigger bill. Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have now extended the debate for another month.
Meanwhile, leftist activists are chasing Sinema into a bathroom and kayaking to Manchin’s houseboat to heckle and harass them. Neither senator seems phased — other than doublingdown.
Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden have all seemingly concluded that losing their congressional majority in 2022 is likelier than not, so they better enact their fundamental transformation now. And as for the supposed conscientious objectors in the middle, they may talk a tough game, but it’s largely a theatrical farce.
Veteran political analyst Philip Klein zeroed in on Manchin, writing: “To sum up, in the past year and a half, Manchin has already voted in favor of $6.5 trillion worth of spending, and he has indicated a willingness to vote for at least another $1.5 trillion, which would bring the total to $8 trillion. And he is trying to portray himself as the voice of fiscal sanity, because he is not willing to go from $8 trillion to $10 trillion. Call Manchin whatever you want, but responsible budget hawk, he is not.”
Democrats have the votes to pass whatever they like, and the bickering is little more than theater to make the final product seem somehow less radical. That’s why Democrats chose Joe Biden instead of Bernie Sanders — only to allow Sanders to steer the ship from the Senate Budget Committee anyway. Fighting over a trillion bucks here or there is just for show.
The rulers of the silver screen hold too much power and wealth to be redeemed anytime soon.
Hollywood and the actors and actresses are the original “influencers” of our society. They have a platform based on fame and varying amounts of talent that they use to hawk political opinions. But all that fame and influence has done them no good at all.
According to a recent Rasmussen survey, the public isn’t at all impressed by Hollywood’s activism — in fact, most respondents thought it was not a positive influence on society. Of course, this isn’t shocking to anyone who’s not part of this country’s elite class. Aside from Hollywood’s political activism, the core concepts and ideas it depicts in its films and the out-of-touch lives that actors lead contribute to this sentiment.
Most respondents to the Rasmussen survey (56%) recognize that Hollywood is full of political leftists. To be sure, its political activism ranges from completely nonsensical to outright evil. Take actress Busy Philipps, who back in 2020 screamed her abortion in front of the Supreme Court building, saying any success she had was because she had an abortion at 15 years of age.
Or take vocal actresses Alyssa Milano and Amy Schumer of the #MeToo movement, which claims to support women who are victims of sexual assault … yet is now deafeningly silent as horrors are enacted on the women of Afghanistan. Most recently, actress Uma Thurman reacted to Texas’s Heartbeat Act by first saying she herself had an abortion and that she regrets it and mourns the loss to this day — and yet she condemns the legislation. Each of these women in their own way has declared that their worldviews are based on getting ahead career-wise.
Hollywood hasn’t put out a truly worthwhile film in many years. Not only is it ruining old films with remakes by infusing woke agendas (i.e., “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Beauty and the Beast”), but films with fresh ideas are hard to watch because the content is hopeless (i.e., “Our Friend” and “Judas and the Black Messiah”). The vision of the world it tends to portray is often the most dark and least wholesome. Furthermore, films that are marketed for teens and children have mature themes and profane language that would have warranted an R rating in a bygone time. Naturally, audiences are tired of it.
Hollywood bigwigs no longer understand how to communicate with the average American. Their solutions to some of the perceived problems in this world illustrate as much. Joaquin Phoenix said in a recent Oscar speech: “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby. We take her milk that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. And I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something.” Such condescension is typical for people like him who don’t live in the real world. Going vegan or buying milk alternatives is not always a viable option for the average American — nor is it necessary or somehow the “moral” choice. This is just one of many examples of these celebrities’ comically obtuse attitudes.
Hollywood is a bad influence on culture, and most of the “bourgeoisie,” if you will, recognize this fact. America needs a renaissance in our filmmaking, and we need a media that doesn’t reward the Hollywood elite with attention to their bad ideas. Sadly, though, the rulers of the silver screen hold too much power and wealth to be redeemed anytime soon.
Joe Biden’s inept and unpopular vice president has been keeping a low profile, and it’s paying off.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder — at least that’s the thinking in the Kamala Harris camp. How else to explain the vice president’s disappearing act during the most trying time of Joe Biden’s presidency?
Whatever the reason for her recent invisibility, it appears to be working. A September 22 Gallup poll showed 49% of folks approve of the job she’s doing, which is six points higher than Biden’s 43%. But it’s not hard to poll higher than Scranton Joe these days. According to Gallup, he’s dropped six points since August and a whopping 13 points since June, which is about what we’d expect for a guy whose presidency has gone off the rails.
Of course, Harris, who herself has managed to become remarkably unpopular in relatively short order, hasn’t done Biden any favors. She cackles, and she condescends, and she fails miserably as our nation’s Border Czar — although a strong counterargument can be made that she’s succeeding wildly in this role, since her party’s unstated goal is to keep the borders open and permanently change the nation’s demography.
Surely her handlers know that every time she appears in public, she loses a few points of popularity. The most recent example of this occurred just last week, when she made a surprise visit to a political science class at nearby George Mason University. What could go wrong, right? Well, if you’re Kamala Harris, plenty. When a student claimed that Israel is engaged in “ethnic genocide and displacement of people, the same that happened in America,” Harris neither corrected the petulant child’s slander against Israel nor the one against her native land. Instead, she shamefully threw up a straw man and then dutifully knocked it down: “Unity should never be at the expense of telling anyone personally that, for the sake of unity, ‘Oh, you be quiet about that thing. You suppress that thing. Let’s not deal with that thing.’ That’s not unity. True unity is everyone in that room has a voice.”
Huh? Who said anything about being suppressed? Answer: no one. Harris’s handlers did a fine cleanup on Aisle 6 afterward, but she’d already shown her true colors — the colors of an America-hating San Francisco leftist.
Harris’s seeming inability to keep from rubbing folks the wrong way might be one reason why she’s hired two seasoned flacks, Lorraine Voles and Adam Frankel, “to help finesse messaging and long-term planning after a rocky first nine months in office.” Voles is a crisis communications expert, and Frankel is a former speechwriter for Barack Obama.
We’re not sure what sort of “long-term planning” these spin doctors have in mind for Harris, but they might want to hedge their bets. A July survey of likely voters found that 59% of respondents were “not confident at all” that she’s ready to be president “based on her performance as vice president,” and an additional 5% said they were “not very confident” in her. Thus, nearly two-thirds of likely voters had significant concerns about the woman who’s one heartbeat away from the presidency.
Subpoenas have been issued to several members of the Democrat law firm Perkins Coie.
Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origin of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax finally appears to be picking up some steam. Just two weeks ago, Durham indicted longtime Democrat lawyer Michael Sussmann for lying to the FBI. Sussmann’s indictment represents only the second individual charged thus far in Durham’s two-plus-year investigation, the first being the FBI’s Kevin Clinesmith. Both indictments center on lying — lying to build arguably the biggest hoax our nation has ever seen.
Now we’ve learned that Durham has issued several subpoenas to individuals working for Sussmann’s former law firm, Perkins Coie. That’s the same law firm that happens to represent the Democratic National Committee and represented Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign. And by “represented,” we mean she funneled money through the firm to get the collusion hoax off the ground.
While Sussmann’s charge for one count of lying to the FBI appears to be rather small potatoes, Durham’s unusually long 27-page indictment reveals that the special counsel is looking to put together a much bigger conspiracy. That’s underscored by the news of the subpoenas, and it may indicate that more charges are coming against Sussmann.
However, the bigger fish that both Sussmann and Perkins Coie establish is their direct connection to the Clinton campaign. We already know that the bogus anti-Trump dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele and used by the FBI to secure a FISA warrant to surveil Trump’s campaign adviser Carter Page was paid for by the Clinton campaign.
We now know that Sussmann, who also happened to be employed by the Clinton campaign, shared what turned out to be bogus information with the FBI — a concocted story about an alleged covert connection between the Trump campaign and Kremlin via the Russian-owned Alfa Bank. Sussmann billed his client for this service while denying to the FBI that he had any connection to Hillary.
What we don’t know yet is how many more individuals connected to Clinton’s campaign are in Durham’s crosshairs, though it’s abundantly clear that those responsible for originating the Trump/Russia collusion hoax sit squarely in the Clinton camp. It’s as simple as this: Hillary, stinging from Donald Trump mocking her over her illegal server scandal and FBI investigation, worked hard to tie him into a Russia scandal and FBI probe of her own making.
Team Biden spin doctors cling to reconciliation bill zero-cost claim (Fox News) | WaPo runs interference for Biden, gives him just two Pinocchios for the “zero dollars” whopper (Washington Post)
“We can get you out of office if you don’t support what you promised us”: Kyrsten Sinema pestered by immigration activists (Fox News) | “This is insane”: Outrage erupts after Sinema chased into bathroom and recorded (Daily Wire)
Dems tuck multibillion-dollar handout to illegal immigrants into reconciliation (Free Beacon)
Friendly fire: House Democrats blast Nancy Pelosi after spending bills holdup (New York Post)
Insight: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” —Pericles (495-429 BC)
“If Biden fires the Border Patrol Officers who were securing the border on horseback, Texas will offer them a job. They can bring their horses too.” —Texas Governor Greg Abbott
“This freight train of big-government socialism, the price tag of which is maybe $5.5 trillion — probably many times that at the end of the day — is just one more example of that kind of politics that really is grinding everything to a halt and represents a failure of leadership by the administration, by the president, and by the soon-to-be former speaker of the House.” —Mike Pence
“Senators Manchin and Sinema are not a pair of uninvited interlopers who are unexpectedly gumming up the gears; they, themselves, are among the gears. This being so, the duo cannot be said to be ‘blocking’ the Democrats’ de facto Senate majority so much as they are sustaining the Democrats’ de facto Senate majority. Why? Because their decision to caucus with the Democrats rather than the Republicans is the only reason that majority exists in the first place. To hear progressives talk, one would assume that in order to take one’s place within the firmament one must first swear a blood oath to Dick Durbin. Shockingly enough, one is obliged to do no such thing.” —Charles C. W. Cooke
“Only in America would an illegal alien be able to attend a taxpayer funded university, chase a US Senator into a bathroom to harass her, brag about it publicly, and be praised rather than instantly deported. Seriously, if an American went to any foreign country and tried something like this, they would be arrested and deported. And that would be fair. Also, the illegal immigration activists in this video are saying that they knocked on doors to get Sinema elected in the first place. How is that NOT foreign election interference, if they aren’t citizens? Did they vote?” —Ron DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw
“An illegal alien is stalking a US Senator to demand passage of Biden’s reconciliation bill b/c it includes mass amnesty for illegals. In a functioning democracy, ICE would swiftly deport this person, but under Biden’s new edict (as the lawbreaker knows) she’s immune from removal. We’re now the sole country in world where illegal aliens freely harass lawmakers, demand lavish benefits, & do so with total impunity from removal. As this appalling video shows, the ‘build back better’ plan is a Trojan Horse for amnesty & sovereign dissolution.” —Stephen Miller
Friendly fire: “Senator Sinema has been treated like a head of state. I’ve never requested or met with the president in the Oval Office. I meet with his staff. She meets with him like every other day.” —Congressman Ro Khanna
Non sequitur: “2 senators cannot be allowed to defeat what 48 senators and 210 House members want. We must stand with the working families of our country. We must combat climate change. We must delay passing the Infrastructure Bill until we pass a strong Reconciliation Bill.” —Senator Bernie Sanders (“Um the Senate has 100 members and the House has 435 members. So Bernie is saying that 48% of the Senate and House should now make policy. Which is pretty good news for Republicans, who have 50 seats in the Senate and 212 seats in the House, I guess!” —Ben Shapiro)
Braying jenny: “We’re in the middle of a pandemic, which, by the way, we would’ve made progress on had the former president actually addressed the pandemic and not suggested people inject bleach.” —White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
What could possibly go wrong? “There comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society.” —Dr. Anthony Fauci
Nanny state: “I believe parents are important stakeholders, but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming.” —Education Secretary Miguel Cardona
You’ve been warned: “As governor, I vetoed every single piece of legislation that would have restricted abortion access here in Virginia. I will always defend your right to choose.” —gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe
Irony alert: “In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic that robbed us of more than 690,000 lives and disproportionately impacted our most vulnerable and black and brown communities, anti-abortion legislators in 47 states focused on legislating hurt and harm to push this critical health care out of reach.” —Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
Theater of the absurd: “These misguided [abortion] bans will not actually prevent all abortions. They simply put safe and necessary abortion care out of reach for our most vulnerable, specifically our lowest income sisters, our queer, trans and non-binary siblings, black, LatinX, AAPI immigrants, disabled, and indigenous folks. And none of this is happenstance. It is precise. Like the roots of the antiabortion movement, these bans are rooted in patriarchy and white supremacy.” —Ayanna Pressley
Non compos mentis I: “I know firsthand that abortion saves lives. For the thousands of people I’ve cared for, abortion is a blessing, abortion is an act of love, abortion is freedom.” —Texas OB-GYN Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi
Non compos mentis II: “Our country is actually founded on reproductive control and coercion of enslaved Africans and of indigenous people. So this is actually a historical tactic in our country and a method of upholding white supremacy, so that has not changed and continues today.” —Ghazaleh Moayedi
Non compos mentis III: “I do not regret any of my abortions. I do regret my experience at the crisis pregnancy center. The most traumatic part of my experience was one of those centers and how I was treated there, and I hope that they all shut down because they exist to manipulate and prey on vulnerable pregnant people. And I just wanted to acknowledge a lot of people are being left out of this conversation today because, as we know, people get pregnant and not just women.” —abortion activist Maleeha Aziz
Non compos mentis IV: “Historically, the anatomy and physiology of bodies with vaginas have been neglected.” —the once-esteemed Lancet medical journal
And last… “What does ‘economic justice’ mean, except that you want something that someone else produced, without having to produce anything yourself in return?” —Thomas Sowell
Milley, Fauci, and Biden are soulless men who reveal the bankruptcy of our ruling class.
(Victor Davis Hanson – American Greatness) As we watch events unfold in 2021, obvious questions about the fitness of our national leaders present themselves. Who are these new woke national icons and how did they come to lord it over the rest of us? Here are some observations by way of preliminary explanation.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley conceded to Congress last week that he has been an anonymous source to controversial “inside” progressive muckrakers detailing the supposed dysfunctions of the prior administration. He strangely characterizes such anonymous, self-serving, behind-the-scenes leaking as some sort of public-service transparency. Evidently, it is now a part of the chairman’s duties to serve the media.
Among the many “background” quotes that Milley provided to meet his journalistic obligations were his various comparisons of his commander-in-chief to Nazis—a violation of Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He reportedly offered further allegations to journalists that news outlets like the Epoch Times and Newsmax were “terrorist” organizations. When pressed on such details the usually punctilious Milley shrugs, in the fashion of James Comey’s under-oath testimonies, that he does “not recall” such specifics. Such is the honor of the nation’s most visible military officer. View article →
Social media can be great; it provides a bridge to people with whom we might otherwise rarely — if ever — connect. As believers, it can also give us access to specific details, so that our prayers can be more attuned to the myriad needs that exist in the world. But if ever there was a double-edged sword, this is it.
There is all kinds of research showing social media use is inextricably linked to increases in depression and anxiety. It’s no wonder: we’re trying to force a round peg into a square hole. As image bearers of God, we are designed to be co-creators through communication, but social media is a poor tool for that. Rather than establishing space to create, social media calls upon our worst instincts: to react, repress, and retreat.
We are unendingly assailed by the churn of social media, constantly bombarded with discouraging, complex, and sometimes even scary information, left with only a small arsenal of often unhelpful options: reacting rather than acting, repressing rather than expressing and processing, and retreating or isolating instead of pressing in and adapting.
Human beings weren’t designed to take in so much information, particularly when there is little immediate action we can take to address it. There’s no doubt in social media’s usefulness, but we have to learn to master it so it doesn’t master us, and that starts with setting boundaries, such as taking time away from it all, limiting who we follow, and remembering we don’t always have to engage, and focusing on our purpose, which is to glorify God in all things, to simply do the next right thing in front of us, and take our burdens to the Lord in prayer.
The 20th century pastor and author A.W. Tozer once wrote, “Sometimes, when we get overwhelmed, we forget how big God is.” What a profound truth, particularly in the social media age.
Below are five Bible passages to keep in mind as you use social media:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Main takeaway: We don’t have to carry our concerns, worries, and fears in isolation. The Apostle Paul said that in every single circumstance, we can tell God what we are feeling and, as a result, the Lord will protect our hearts and minds from the weight of this world.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Main takeaway: More often than not, it seems, the issues before us are too complex and troubling to understand. In this passage, Paul made it clear the Holy Spirit helps us communicate our requests to God. We can rest assured He is advocating for us in our confusion and lack.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Main takeaway: While we should certainly be informed and engaged, we should not despair as if we have no hope. Ultimately, as Paul wrote, our lives are not determined or controlled by forces on this earth. Our security is in Jesus, and that should guide our thinking.
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you — you of little faith?”
Main takeaway: Even if His provision doesn’t look the way we think it should, God can be trusted to meet our greatest needs. If He cares enough about the earth to cover it in brilliant colors that quickly fade, how much more does God care for you, for whom He sent His Son, Jesus, to die?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Main takeaway: While we certainly ought to engage in the world, Paul warned against becoming so consumed by its trappings that we begin to mirror it. Instead, we should set boundaries and see the temporary circumstances around us through the lens of our renewed minds, which come through sanctification as a result of salvation through Jesus.
The Lord is eager to meet us in every situation and circumstance, including when we’re overwhelmed by the constant flow of information fed to us by our newsfeeds. Take some time today to turn off your phone and focus on our priority: Jesus.
As long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Him, he was able to walk on the water.
Seven in 10 Americans are less likely to support President Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion budget bill if they hear it increases taxes and the national debt, a conservative group said Monday after polling more than 1,000 likely general election voters.
President Joe Biden did what his three predecessors could or would not: halt a seemingly endless war. It took two decades, but American troops no longer are fighting in Afghanistan.
An important aspect of the US withdrawal was closing Washington’s bases, which once spread across the country. Uncle Sam left Bagram Air Base, America’s biggest facility in Afghanistan, on his way home.
However, some 750 American military facilities remain open in 80 nations and territories around the world. No other country in human history has had such a dominant presence. Great Britain was the leading colonial power, but its army was small. London had to supplement its own troops with foreign mercenaries, as in the American Revolution. In wars with great powers Britain provided its allies with financial subsidies rather than soldiers.
Previous empires, such as Rome, Persia, and China, were powerful in their own realms but had little reach beyond. The latter never reached outside Asia. Persia was twice halted by the Greek city states. As great as Rome became, its writ never went much beyond the Mediterranean, with Central Europe, North Africa, and the Mideast its boundaries. The New World remained beyond the knowledge let alone control of all three.
A new Quincy Institute study by American University’s David Vine and World Beyond War’s Patterson Deppen and Leah Bolger details the global US military presence. Washington has nearly three times as many bases as embassies and consulates. America also has three times as many installations as all other countries combined. The United Kingdom has 145. Russia two to three dozen. China five. Although the number of US facilities has fallen in half since the end of the Cold War, the number of nations hosting American bases has doubled. Washington is as willing to station forces in undemocratic as democratic countries.
The study figures the annual cost of this expansive base structure to be about $55 billion.Adding increased personnel expenses takes the total up to $80 billion. Wealthier countries, which needlessly enjoy what amounts to defense welfare, typically cover a portion of the cost through “host nation support.” Not so Washington’s newest clients. Indeed, through the Global War on Terror over the last two decades the US military spent as much as $100 billion on new construction, mostly in countries, like Iraq and Afghanistan, which were financial black holes.
Although American bases face intense local opposition in some areas, such as Okinawa, facilities are seen as welcome money-makers in others. When President Donald Trump proposed pulling US forces out of Germany many locals’ greatest concernwas economic. Indeed, the whining of local politicians who saw America’s presence as a financial rather than security issue was loud enough to heard across “the Pond.” [That’s one way to justify their servility.] Not only did they believe that Americans owed them military protection. In their view Americans also had a duty to bolster their economies.
However, the price of Washington’s globe-spanning is more than economic. Explained Vine, et al.: “These bases are costly in a number of ways: financially, politically, socially, and environmentally. US bases in foreign lands often raise geopolitical tensions, support undemocratic regimes, and serve as a recruiting tool for militant groups opposed to the US presence and the governments its presence bolsters. In other cases, foreign bases are being used and have made it easier for the United States to launch and execute disastrous wars, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.”
Perhaps the most expensive installations were those established in Saudi Arabia after the first Gulf War. By renting out members of the US military as bodyguards for the Saudi royals Washington underwrote one of the most vile dictatorships in existence, a veritable totalitarian state with no political, religious, or social liberty. Although Crown Prince Mohammed “Slice & Dice” bin Salman, responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi three years ago, has loosened some social strictures, he has greatly tightened political controls.
Worse from a foreign policy standpoint, America’s presence is one of the grievances which motivated Osama bin Laden to target the US Then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz admitted in February 2003, before the invasion of Iraq, that America’s regional presence had cost “far more than money.” US bombing of Iraq and US troops in Saudi Arabia had “been Osama bin Laden’s principal recruiting device.” After the planned invasion, he added: “I can’t imagine anyone here wanting to … be there for another 12 years to continue helping recruit terrorists.”
Perhaps the most serious price of endless bases has been endless wars. Obviously, causation is complex. However, going to war usually leads to creation of new facilities. Such installations encourage a continuing military presence. Existence of nearby bases reduces the marginal cost of intervening and increases the maximal temptation to make new commitments, meddle in local controversies, and enter nearby conflicts. Observed the Quincy study: “Since 1980, US bases in the greater Middle East have been used at least 25 times to launch wars or other combat actions in at least 15 countries in that region alone. Since 2001, the US military has been involved in combat in at least 25 countries worldwide.”
American military facilities also raise expectations of host and neighboring nations. After Iran attacked Saudi oil facilities in September 2019 the well-pampered Saudi royals expected US retaliation but were sorely disappointed. Although President Donald Trump was right to allow the Saudis to “fight their own wars,” as he had tweeted five years before, America’s military presence, which Trump had increased, encouraged Riyadh to expect more – and might have motivated a more conventional president to act.
Vine, et al. point to other costs as well. The Department of Defense is a terrible environmental actor. Although its practices have much improved in recent years, the accumulated damage is enormous. There also are questions about Washington’s tendency to load up US territories, such as Guam, with military installations. Such areas are not exactly foreign, but the Quincy report contended that the heavy base presence “helped perpetuate their colonial relationship with the rest of the United States and their peoples’ second class US citizenship.”
Alas, DOD is less than forthcoming about the number of bases it maintains overseas. According to the report: “Until Fiscal Year 2018, the Pentagon produced and published an annual report in accordance with US law. Even when it produced this report, the Pentagon provided incomplete or inaccurate data, failing to document dozens of well-known installations. For example, the Pentagon has long claimed it has only one base in Africa – in Djibouti. But research shows that there are now around 40 installations of varying sizes on the continent; one military official acknowledged 46 installations in 2017.”
The Biden administration should make rationalizing the US base network a priority. Indeed, this should be an integral part of the Global Posture Review that the president announced in his February speech to State Department employees. He explained that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin would lead the process “so that our military footprint is appropriately aligned with our foreign policy and national security priorities. It will be coordinated across all elements of our national security.”
The initial task should be publicly listing military installations and their purposes. Then facilities should be consolidated, even if doing so angers local politicians and communities. After all, this process should be relatively painless overseas, in contrast to domestic base closures, which inevitably trigger fevered local and congressional opposition.
The next step would be tougher but necessary. The administration should rethink the underlying commitments used to justify the bases. Europe has no need of a US military presence for defense: the continent enjoys an 11-1 economic advantage and more than 3-1 population edge over Russia. South Korea has a 55-1 economic and 2-1 population superiority over the North. The Mideast Gulf monarchies are well-armed and now working with Israel as well as each other. Washington’s presence in Iraq is unnecessary, since it and its neighbors could together confront any remaining threats from the Islamic State. America’s intervention in the Syrian civil war never made sense. The Marine Expeditionary Force stationed on Okinawa is tied to Korean rather than Chinese contingencies and America’s bases there unfairly burden the local population.
Ending US security guarantees and avoiding fights not America’s own would allow Washington to shutter many existing military facilities. Halting endless wars in the Mideast would diminish the importance of logistical nodes in Germany and elsewhere. In appropriate cases the US could replace its bases with emergency access to foreign facilities to deal with unexpected contingencies. In broad sweep Washington should move from frontline to reserve status around the world.
The international threat environment has changed dramatically since the end of World War II, yet America’s global network persists. The impact of the Soviet collapse and Warsaw Pact dissolution was too great not to have eliminated some US facilities, but otherwise the Pentagon has been reluctant to leave existing bases.
The only sure way to close a local installation, it seems, is to lose a war, as in Vietnam and Afghanistan. That needs to change. America no longer can afford to garrison the globe. The Biden administration should make the US into a normal country again. And that means no more imperial legions stationed around the world for purposes other than America’s defense.
DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING PART 1 (0:0 – 11:42):
U. S. Controversy Over Abortion Heats Up As House Panel in Washington Hears Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion Testimonies and a Federal Court Considers the Texas Abortion Bill