Be armed and vigilant

This is not ‘protesting:’

If you confront these groups, you need to be prepared with more than just a tire wrench, or whatever it was the husband was holding.

For all the people who’ve asked in recent years “why does anyone need an AR-15 with 30-round magazines:” here’s your answer.  No matter how unjust the treatment of George Floyd was, there is no justification for randomly attacking a business and its owners with deadly weapons (and yes, a 2×4 is potentially a deadly weapon).

This is not a game.  If you find yourself in this situation, you are on your own.  The past three nights have shown the authorities are incapable or unwilling to provide a defense.  Don’t be a soft target.  Be a rooftop Korean.

Most of all, don’t let yourself be harmed for fear of what people might call you for defending yourself.  The inherent right of self-defense is the foundation of all other rights we have.  What we’ve been seeing is organized violence.  Anyone foolish enough to volunteer to be a foot soldier for it has no room to complain when they get hurt or killed.  Play stupid games, win stupid prizes (warning: language).

May God break this fever before our society tears itself apart.

Wait, what?

The U.S. government recently arrested senior academics for being in cahoots with China:

Three people tied to universities and a hospital in the Boston area were indicted on charges they lied about their ties to China or tried to help the Chinese government. Among them was Dr. Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology…

Federal agents said Lieber lied about his ties to China when he bid for [U.S. government] contracts.

“It appears China paid Lieber hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for his involvement with the Chinese entities and for his work on research for Chinese gain,” said U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling.

All well and good — the U.S. government has finally begun pushing back against Chinese influence in academia and their efforts to steal technology and intellectual property.  But don’t skip the second paragraph of the linked story:

Prosecutors said Lieber had a contract with Wuhan Institute of Technology. He also ran a group that had contracts with the Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health.

Wuhan…. now where have I been hearing that name recently?  Oh, yeah:
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Doctor Who?

Not long ago, Vox Day wrote a book called “SJWs Always Double Down,” detailing the fact that rather than admit being wrong, the typical Social Justice Warrior will just push harder in their desired direction in an effort to steamroll opposition.  Unfortunately, the British TV series “Doctor Who” seems to be providing a picture-perfect example of this in action:

2018: Controversially casts Jodie Whitaker as the first female incarnation of the Doctor in the half-century history of the show

2018 – 2019: Ratings for the show drop dramatically

2020: Casts Jo Martin as the first *black* female incarnation of the Doctor…

My family enjoyed the show’s “modern” run episodes until it started going downhill in the Capaldi era, about 2014.  There were always secondary characters and subtexts I could have lived without (Captain Jack being exhibit A).  But when the producers decided to gender-swap the long-running “Master” character into “Missy,” I had a strong feeling it was a trial balloon to prep viewers for doing the same with the Master’s long-time nemesis, the titular Doctor himself.  We’ve not watched a single episode since Capaldi left, although I’ve kept up with some of the reviews, which only confirmed my decision.  From the furor on fan forums, we’re far from the only ones to have jumped Tardis.  The younger crowd, having been thoroughly indoctrinated, reflexively dismisses critics of these changes as badthinkers.

The destruction of various franchises by “rebooting” them with characters who are now the opposite sex, or some LGBTQXYZABC specimen is increasingly pernicious.  It demonstrates yet again how evil is parasitical.  It doesn’t create – it only consumes, degrades and destroys.  Fortunately, there are still those who seek to create, preserve and enjoy the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

Appetite for destruction

How joyless must life be for anyone who believes humanity to be merely a plague?

Fifty years ago, I concluded that the best thing for the planet would be a peaceful phase-out of human existence. We’re causing the extinction of hundreds of thousands of other species. With us gone, I believe ecosystems will be restored and there will be enough of everything…

At 25, I wanted to show I was serious. A medical school gave me a discounted vasectomy in exchange for being a student doctor’s first try at the procedure, which was successful…

Procreation today is the moral equivalent of selling berths on a sinking ship.  It’s true that society would be greatly diminished without children, but it isn’t right to create them just because we like having them around.

And on the flip side, if they’re inconvenient, just abort them, right?  The author doesn’t say this, but one can deduce enough of his worldview that it’s a good bet he supports abortion on demand. (“Marriage never made sense to me anyway: I would have missed getting to know many wonderful women had I stuck with one.”)

This desire to destroy humanity comes straight from The Enemy, who sees in us the imago dei and strikes at it in any way possible: war, murder, abortion, suicide — anything that snuffs out the physical vessel carrying the lifebreath of God.

As the Genesis account makes clear, we were entrusted with the stewardship of the Earth.  One cannot steward if one is not around.  Are there areas in which we can do better?  Most certainly.  But the root cause of the world’s problems is not our existence.  It’s our fallen, sinful state – the same state that causes so many to worship the creation instead of the Creator.

Regarding this business of “selling berths on a sinking ship:” I can understand people who wonder about the wisdom of bringing a child into the world.  I first became an uncle days after 9/11, and I wondered what sort of world my niece and my own (then young) children would grow up in.  In many ways it hasn’t been what I would have wished for them.  But one of the advantages of studying history is a realization there truly is nothing new under the sun.  Did Americans in 1942, or 1917, or 1863 have any less reason to wonder about the world they’d leave to their posterity?  What about earlier Europeans facing the plagues, or invasion by the Mongols?  The West has enjoyed such a high standard of living since the 1950s that we forget what a rare exception to the rule this has been (and how much a Biblical worldview has been instrumental).

The West has all but lost the hope that comes from Christ.  Churches are emptying.  Bibles are unread ornaments.  People trust their own wisdom rather than that of the ages.  Other worldviews are not necessarily devoid of logic — their logic simply produces different conclusions.  If we believe our physical environment is all there is, then preserving it at any cost – even human extinction – can seem a reasonable conclusion.

Modern environmentalism (as opposed to Biblical stewardship) is a religion.  It seeks to answer “the big questions:” how did we get here (chance/evolution), why are things imperfect (human activity), and what is the solution (in this case, complete elimination of humanity).  The writer of the linked article clearly takes comfort and derives purpose from adherence to the logic of his beliefs.

But if we believe this is just a stopover on the way to eternity, then the value of each individual human being becomes infinitely greater than a world already subject to entropy, whether we’re around or not.

It behooves us not to knowingly or carelessly foul our temporary home.  It profits us even more to remember it’s just that: temporary.  But love — true, sacrificial love: that between spouses, between parents and children, between those who belong to the Body — is eternal.

Straining credulity to infinity and beyond

There’s been plenty of memery online about Jeffrey Epstein.  It’s so easy even I can do it:

AP Explains Iran Revolutionary Guard

While all this has done a good job of keeping the story of Epstein alive, it’s really not all that funny when you look closely as his alleged “suicide,” as the CBS program “60 Minutes” did Sunday.  Attorney General William Barr himself said there were “serious irregularities” involved in the case.  There are just too many “monumental failures at all levels,” in the words of former Federal prison warden interviewed by CBS.  As the saying goes, once is chance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action.  So exactly how many ‘failures’ were there in this so-called suicide?

1. After what was reported as an earlier attempt, Epstein was placed on suicide watch… for only a week.

2. Epstein claimed the first incident was actually an attack by his cellmate, a former police officer jailed for a murder believed to be related to drugs and Mexican organized crime. The cellmate’s lawyer obviously denies the accusation.

3. After release from suicide watch, Epstein was returned to a cell and required to have a cellmate. The night before his death, though, his cellmate was released, and no new one was assigned.  Epstein’s lawyers say during their visit the day before his death, their client was “upbeat” and looking forward to an upcoming bail hearing.

4. The night of his death, two guards required to check on him every 30 minutes failed to do so for over 10 hours, and are now facing charges of falsifying logs to conceal the fact (revealed by video) they were web surfing or sleeping instead.

5. Regarding video, however, in response to requests from the lawyer for the inmate Epstein said attacked him, the Feds have now given differing explanations for why footage from the day of the first incident isn’t available. The latest story is that they preserved video from the wrong cell.

6. The camera that should have captured footage of Epstein’s cell door and of the other cells in the block the night of his death was “corrupted,” and no footage exists.

7. Though there are photos from Epstein’s cell showing nooses and other items after his death, there are no photos of his dead body inside the cell, even though such an incident requires preservation of evidence as a crime scene.  Instead, Epstein’s body was taken to an emergency room before any photography occurred.  Did the 6-foot Epstein hang himself by a sheet attached to his bed frame a mere four feet off the floor?  Nobody’s saying, and there’s no photos to explain how he pulled off his own demise in a facility allegedly designed to minimize the chances of such.

8. The forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s family says the noose sketched in the autopsy report doesn’t match the wounds on Epstein’s neck, which appear more consistent with strangulation by a wire.  The wound was also on the middle of the neck, rather than just below the jawline, as would be expected in a hanging, and says he has never seen the three fractures present in Epstein’s neck in a case of suicidal hanging.  The pathologist acknowledges the public might believe he is biased by working for the family.  But he also says he’s hesitant to make a final judgment until all the evidence is in.

9. The government declines to give the pathologist video and additional forensic reporting, citing the ongoing criminal case against the two guards. ((Convenient, no??))

Given the high-profile nature of the Epstein case, the fact his jet was dubbed the “Lolita Express,” and his known connections to many famous and powerful people, it’s simply inconceivable that his incarceration was just bedeviled by all-around shoddy administration.  Two guards are on trial, but the warden was ‘reassigned.’  Why not fired outright?  What about the psychologist who cleared Epstein off suicide watch?

The day Epstein’s death was reported, I was at a relative’s house.  I was immediately infuriated, saying “they got to him.”  I’ve never even entertained the idea it was a suicide.  Evil is only too willing to hide behind perceptions of incompetence.  It’s said the devil cannot abide being mocked, but he’s happy for you to think he’s an impotent fool — the better to help you drop your guard.  The most aggravating thing about this is the lack of public outcry and demand for accountability.  Sure, Ricky Gervais may have slapped Hollywood with Epstein’s name at the Golden Globe Awards.  But like all the memes online, this is simply acknowledging the public’s not buying the official line this time.

How do we get from joking to justice?

Hopeful New Year!

We enter the Year of Our Lord 2020 with political storm clouds gathering.  We know, however, The One Whom even the winds and the sea obey.

Storm clouds and hope copy

No matter what the year may bring, remember His words: “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Happiness is fleeting.  Hope endures.

Hopeful New Year!

Decorum and Defeat

The Christianity Today news site weighs in on impeachment:

Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.

Translation: “yes, Trump managed to put a wedge between Planned Parenthood’s abortion empire and federal funding; yes, Trump has reversed some of Obama’s specific policy targeting of Christian groups; yes, minorities and the underprivileged are faring better economically than they have in ages; yes, Trump is completely reshaping the Federal judiciary by appointing people who respect the Constitution; yes, Trump is resetting trade policy to protect the U.S., and pressing allies to shoulder their share of the defense burden… despite all that, he’s crude, rude, uncouth and must be removed.”

In other words, better to go down to polite defeat than to get dirty while fighting.  What a joke.  I remind this magazine of the personality contrasts between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.  The former was fond of alcohol and cigars (which killed him), was notoriously unkempt, and lacked any political polish whatsoever.  In contrast, Lee was the so-called “marble man,” — the West Point graduate who did four years without a single demerit… the consummate gentleman of refined manners and a personal ethos that inspired others to follow him.

Lee lost.

When confronted after the battle of Shiloh about Grant possibly crawling back into the bottle, Lincoln refused to remove him, saying “I can’t spare him… he fights.”  For anyone who wants to see America safe and strong, the same is true of Trump.  I don’t idolize the man (or any other, for that matter).  But results matter.

I would be remiss if I didn’t address one other part of the editorial:

…the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

That is but one interpretation of what happened, and I don’t believe it to be the correct one.  Here’s an “unambiguous fact:” former Vice President Joe Biden openly (and profanely) admitted in a public forum that he withheld U.S. aid from the Ukraine until they agreed to fire a prosecutor.  One who just happened to be looking into a company for which Biden’s son was paid thousands a month to “consult,” despite having no relevant experience.  This is what Trump asked Ukraine to look into — whether the former U.S. vice president had abused his office.  Looking after the nation’s vital interests surely must include investigating possible corruption, right?

To the writers of the editorial, though, that’s abuse of power by Trump.  Sorry, that position is more alchemy than Christianity.  The same people screaming “no one is above the law” are also yelling it’s wrong to look into actions Biden has acknowledged, because he’s a presidential candidate.  So which is it?  Can one now avoid scrutiny simply by throwing their hat in the ring?  The writers of this editorial have swallowed a Democratic talking point without showing any discernment whatsoever.

It’s proper to be concerned about our witness, individually and as the Church.  And it’s a good thing to strive for leaders we can emulate.  We must be careful, however, of allowing the Enemy to use that concern to neuter effective resistance to godless globalism.  I hope Christianity Today is enjoying all the temporary plaudits they’re receiving from people who detest everything Christianity actually represents.  They fell for the trap, creating yet another crossfire that can only benefit the other side.

For all the public fables of Washington and the apple tree, or Lincoln and his log cabin, we never have or ever will elect a perfect man.  I would love Trump to be more Christ-like as a person.  But I need him to be an effective defender of America, its people and its traditions as a president.  I don’t know why that is so hard to figure out.

What respect for the Founding looks like

If Attorney General Bill Barr approaches his duties consistent with the philosophy of original intent he highlights here, he may be one of the best nominees Trump has put into office.  This entire speech is worth your time, either by reading or watching.

Excerpts:

“…In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion.  Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the State to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection.  Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end.  They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implicationsThey never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.  (emphasis added)

Conservatives, on the other hand, do not seek an earthly paradise.  We are interested in preserving over the long run the proper balance of freedom and order necessary for healthy development of natural civil society and individual human flourishing.  This means that we naturally test the propriety and wisdom of action under a “rule of law” standard.  For these reasons, conservatives tend to have more scruple over their political tactics and rarely feel that the ends justify the means.  And this is as it should be, but there is no getting around the fact that this puts conservatives at a disadvantage when facing progressive holy war, especially when doing so under the weight of a hyper-partisan media…  (emphasis added)

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Yankee, go home

There’s an old joke: what’s the difference between a Yankee and a damnyankee?  The first describes a person from north of the Maxon-Dixon line.  The second describes such a person who moves to the South, then tries to turn the South into the north.  That latter variety is easy to spot these days, as several States move to restrict or end organized infanticide.  Yankee transplants are having to come to grips that, outside their trendy neighborhoods in select cities that have been seduced economically, there are still wide swaths of the country that reject the currents of the current age:

Living in a very liberal city in a very conservative state is a trick mirror. “You really forget that you are in the Deep South here,’’ she said. The news was an awakening. When she had moved to New Orleans she volunteered for Planned Parenthood. She knocked on doors to ask for donations, expecting at least some to be slammed in her face. But nearly everyone she met was already making contributions to Planned Parenthood…

How will these new abortion laws affect the redistribution of talent to places whose economies prosper from that talent? Under the current conditions, I wondered if women like Tess and her friends, many of whom moved from New York or Los Angeles, would have chosen to relocate to the Deep South. I asked some of them, and they told me that they were not sure.

Well, they moved once… maybe a roundtrip ticket was in order.  Southerners have had just about enough of progressive proselytizing down here.

I concede that it’s interesting to talk to progressive Northerners who moved South, thinking that the Grand March of Progress would inevitably make the benighted (but cheap) metropolises of Dixie into non-deplorable locales — but who are learning that they, in fact, live in the South.

What chaps my butt about the piece is the assumption by the author (and those she writes about) that the South ought to assimilate to the dominant progressive culture. The message of this piece is, If you Christianist troglodytes don’t let us progressives have our abortions, we’re not going to move there and contribute to your economies.

I have an idea! All y’all could pack up your progressive colonialism ethic and go the hell back home.

And all God’s people said “amen.”

By passing the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, pro-life advocates are setting the stage to provoke a legal fight they hope will culminate with the Supreme Court revisiting Roe v. Wade.

It’s like the Alabama legislature watched all the giddy, tone-deaf hubris surrounding the New York legislature’s passage of their own bill expanding abortion rights (you remember the cheering pro-choice crowds and buildings awash in celebratory pink lighting), and said enough.

It is heartening to see a developing repentance and rejection of the idea of abortion on demand.  I pray our nation experiences such revival that one day our descendants look back on its supporters with the same horror reserved today for those who defended slavery.

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The Enemy doesn’t get to define us

One thing about the Trump era: it’s caused a lot of people to confront the misplaced notion that Christians are supposed to be all about inoffensive sweetness and niceness, and only support politicians of that variety:

There are innumerable examples of people who are wonderful but unaccomplished just as there are many notable examples of people with serious personal failings who nonetheless have excelled in other parts of their lives: artists, scientists, parents, and even politicians.

And yes, I’m not so subtly making a point about President Trump. His private failings have been made very public prompting some Christian pundits to say that not only do those failings disqualify Trump from office, but they are so egregious as to make supporting him sinful for Christians.

It should be obvious that support for a political candidate does not mean a blanket endorsement of every aspect that candidate’s life. It is merely an endorsement of that person’s policies and an assessment of his ability to perform in office. What’s more, it’s often not even a blanket endorsement of that, it’s a practical decision that Candidate A, while imperfect, is preferable to Candidate B…

The question is, by what standard should a Christian judge a candidate or an officeholder? Part of the answer is that the Christian and non-Christian ought to judge in the same way: what can the candidate do to protect the peace and prosperity of the nation and its citizens? Christians would add that they require political leaders that will protect the right of the Church to worship freely and its members to practice their faith in peace.

If personal sin were disqualifying, who could lead? Christians in particular, for whom recognition of indwelling sin is both a predicate and a sustainer of faith, should know this. I suspect what the Frenches really want is a prophet, a priest, and a king to rule in this secular age, a political leader in which they can invest their highest hopes. But in doing so, they are placing upon liberal politics a weight it cannot hope to carry and are headed for disappointment.  The good news is, if they want a prophet, a priest, and a king, they already have one . . . in Christ.

As a presidential candidate in 2012, [Mitt Romney] was weak and ineffectual, letting Barack Obama walk all over him and run away with the race. But vote for him because he’s polite and he doesn’t curse!  Voters, many of them Christians, decided that the time for beautiful losers is over.

Exactly.  As I watch my country overrun by uninvited invaders, beset by hostile ideologies growing within and enemies gathering without, I am really not concerned with parlor games and political pleasantries anymore.  It’s no exaggeration to say our birthright freedoms are in a fight for their very survival.  In such a situation I’ll take a committed patriot with the manners of Genghis Khan over a manicured globalist who’s a disciple of Ann Landers; a Patton, not a Pope.

And as for Christianity requiring a milquetoast demeanor… our adversaries would have us forget that Our Lord’s example includes such pleasantries as flipping tables, driving people with whips, calling deceivers ‘vipers‘ and children of Satan, and calling down woe on feckless leaders more interested in themselves than in those they were called to lead.  Christ isn’t just the Lamb… He’s also the Lion of Judah.  “Not a tame lion,” either, as C.S. Lewis once pointed out.

So despite his many past moral failings, maybe… just maybe… Trump’s on to something here.  I’ll certainly never confuse him with Christ.  But Twitter aside, regarding the manner in which he is governing I’ll say he is more Christ-like than many of the false-faced Wormtongues who surround him in Mordor.  It’s amusing: the Left always screeches that Christian faith should never influence public policy.  But faced with Trump, who has committed the unpardonable sin of actually trying to govern as he campaigned, the Left — which recognizes no restraints of civility on its own quest for power — is more than willing to use a watered-down, denatured vision of the Christian walk to try to shame people out of supporting him.

I mean it literally when I say “to hell with that.”