Why The Pseudo Impeachment Trial Must End Now [Video]

Impeachment trialAmerica is currently buried knee-deep in the muck of the ‘Impeachment’ trial on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The next item of business after President Trump’s defense team makes their case will be debate and a consideration of whether or not to allow witnesses.

The inevitable and tedious demands of the Democrats for witnesses should be rejected outright by the Republican majority. Moreover, they shouldn’t even consider continuing after that point.

The First Article Doesn’t Meet the Constitutional Burden for Impeachment

Impeachment trialThis is the most relevant portion of this political performance-art fraudulently labeled ‘impeachment’ process. This factor alone should have resulted in the immediate motion to dismiss the farce.

The Constitutional requirements for using impeachment are that the President must have committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Neither of the two House Articles fits any part of those designations because neither Article is a crime.

Some have tried to argue that it doesn’t have to be a crime to be an impeachable offense. The plain language of the Constitution tells us they are incorrect.

It is obvious that treason and bribery are crimes, and the very words “high crimes” tell us they are criminal acts. Misdemeanors are crimes as well, not “high” crimes, but considered criminal nonetheless.

The two Articles of Impeachment are charging “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” on part of the President. Neither of these is a crime as they are described in the charges.

The particular incident the Democrats cite as President Trump’s “abuse of power” is his supposed pressuring of the President of Ukraine to investigate the son of a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. The alleged pressure was a threat to withhold military aid unless an investigation was publicly announced.

The problem is, no announcement was ever made and the aid was not withheld. The military aid was delayed while the President had corruption within Ukraine examined and then the aid was delivered.

There was no crime here. President Trump executed the legal delivery of aid while looking out for the interests of the taxpayer’s money. He didn’t want the aid possibly being swallowed into a known environment of corrupt behavior, such as that found in its largest energy company, Burisma, who employed the son of the former Vice President for an exorbitant amount of money while Biden was in office and serving as the Obama administration’s ‘point man’ on Ukraine.

As for the phone call with the President of Ukraine that the phony “whistle-blower” said showed that President Trump was pressuring Ukraine, that narrative was blown to smithereens when the transcript of that call was declassified and revealed by President Trump himself. In fact, the President was actually working within the legal constraints of a treaty agreement for cooperation between the U.S. and Ukraine on criminal investigations which was approved during the Clinton administration.

Moreover, on several occasions, President Zelensky of Ukraine denied any pressure from America to open any investigations contingent upon the delivery of military aid. So much for any “abuse of power” charge.

What this charge boils down to is a political policy disagreement by the Democrats with a president they hate and fear. He is hated because he beat their darling and latest criminal nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, in 2016.

He is feared because any further investigation in Ukraine will expose the deep corruption of much of the Democratic elite connected with Ukraine, including Clinton herself, and the family of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as others. The public information we already have seems to strongly implicate them in nefarious activities with Ukraine.

The Democrats are attempting to impeach the President for what James Madison, the founder most influential to creating the Constitution, objected to as “impeachment for maladministration.” He rightly feared that this would make impeachment a political cudgel and risk using impeachment on every president in the future.

Madison laid out his case against the proposal put forth by fellow founder George Mason.

Madison’s response to Mason’s proposal mattered. He told the delegates that “so vague a term” as maladministration “will be equivalent to tenure during pleasure of the Senate.” That was apparently enough to persuade Mason to back down. …Why did Madison’s intervention work? The answer lies in its observation that the vagueness of “maladministration” would normalize impeachment, and thus effectively give the Senate the power to recall a president.

The Second Article Is More Deficient than the First Article

The second “Article of Impeachment” is so deficient that the House had to invent a new term, “Obstruction of Congress” as its label. Yet that term itself is absurd on its face for the House is only half of Congress. 

Impeachment trialThe Senate makes up the other half of Congress, and no one there suggests they were ‘obstructed’ in any way. The specific reason for this ‘charge’ from the House is the potential use of the president’s constitutional power to exert “executive privilege” to prevent his close advisors from testifying in the House.

Of course, this would mean, as it has in the past, that any congressional challenge to using “executive privilege” would wind up in the federal courts. The House didn’t want to wait for judicial review, which is the legal mandate, so they withdrew their threat to subpoena those who had worked with the President closely in foreign policy, such as former advisor John Bolton.

Their stated reason for haste was the absolute urgency to impeach President Trump as he was causing a “constitutional crisis.” However, that reasoning falls apart when considering that after such haste, it took over a month for the Articles to be delivered to the Senate for trial.

The real reason for the haste was twofold. One was to scar President Trump with the label “impeached” so as to damage his chances for re-election later this year.

The second reason for the delay was that the House knew they would lose badly in a court challenge to “executive privilege.” They would have to claim that it was unconstitutional to use the constitutional avenue of the courts in asserting a constitutional right on behalf of the president.

Yet, they put forth the mythical “obstruction of Congress” tale as if “executive privilege” doesn’t protect classified and privileged communication between the President and his advisors as well as classified communications between him and other world leaders. “Executive privilege” has a long history of legal precedent and has been used by many presidents in American history, including former President Obama who used it to stop congressional action against former Attorney General Eric Holder in the “Fast and Furious” scandal.

There are those who attempt to argue that President Trump should waive executive privilege and allow any witness the House wants to call to testify. The rote reply to justify this is “If he doesn’t have anything to hide, what harm can having witnesses who knew about this come and testify?”

There are two very good reasons for asserting executive privilege here. The first is that President Trump has already given the House millions of documents, and taken the unprecedented step of declassifying not one but two phone conversations with another world leader, and allowed hours of grueling testimony for the Mueller probe including 30 hours given by his own son, Donald Trump Jr.

In other words, President Trump had already provided far more transparency in his dealings than was necessary, and I believe he has decided that enough is enough! No longer was he going to weaken the Executive branch of the American government to kowtow to half of the Legislative branch as if one branch was answerable to another when carrying out its constitutional duty.

Impeachment trialThe Constitution brilliantly designs our governing powers to be balanced between three separate but equal branches that each have distinct functions and powers granted to enable those functions. Impeachment is only to be used as a last resort, not as a way of firing a duly elected president for a policy difference.

This is why witnesses should not be allowed in the Senate trial. Neither Article of Impeachment can justify more witnesses to try and drag out this farcical procedure.

Allowing witnesses at this point would only justify the House’s actions rather than rebuke them, and cause untold damage to the delicate balance of power between governmental branches. The best answer to such a demand by the House managers should be a symbolic ‘talk to the hand’ and refuse to admit witnesses, and either move to dismiss the Articles or simply acquit the President.

For those on the conservative side who desire that witnesses should be allowed so as to reveal the extent of the corruption by Democratic officials, I would say this. There has already been enough damage done to the process and the nation as a result of this immoral ‘impeachment.’

The investigation of the criminal involvement of Democratic operatives in Ukraine can be resolved in a separate legal action by the Senate alone, or by such action as the Department of Justice may deem necessary. While I would strongly urge such an investigation to take place, it is extremely unwise to drag the impeachment trial into these waters and perhaps plunge us into Constitutional anarchy as a result.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; Proverbs 2:6-9 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Ben Taylor’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Lisa’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Kurt Bauschardt’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Smabs Sputzer (1956-2017) Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in the TIL Journal

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What Happened to the Dream of MLK Jr.? [Video]

Martin Luther King Jr.January 20, 2020, was the official recognition holiday of the life of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is intended to be a time of remembrance and celebration of a life courageously given to make a simple but monumentally profound dream into a reality.

However, MLK Day should not stop with a moment or two of reflection, though the reflection is appropriate. As noted in this journal previously, King was a childhood idol of mine, and I was crushed when he was assassinated in 1968, less than five years after he gave voice to his righteous dream in the nation’s capital.

Rev. King’s most famous speech is known as the “I have a dream” address on August 28, 1963, in front of 250,000 people in Washington D.C. at the official end of the “March on Washington.” His most famous quote is from that speech,

I have a dream that one day my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character I have a dream today.

His dream was a powerful and iconic ideal set before a people who were languishing in the evil of racial oppression and sensed the winds of history were poised to sweep away the injustice of racism. A dream of such potency that it could not be ignored, especially when spoken with the force and elegance only Dr. King could invoke as the man God chose for that time.

Identifying the Dream of Liberty

There remains no better person to articulate and identify the noble dream of Dr. King than King himself. Here is a video capturing the entire address on the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial to the quarter-million listeners in D.C. and the millions watching on television, who hung on every word.

If you have never heard this astonishing address in its entirety I would urge you to view and listen to it carefully. It has the additional grace that most great speeches throughout history in that King’s words are inspired but brief at just over 17 minutes in length.

In my time as a pastor, I preached over a thousand sermons both inside and outside of a church sanctuary. There were two comments I would invariably hear spoken to me after almost every one of those messages, and I wager that many of the readers could easily guess the content of those comments.

I would hear, sometimes from the same person, the words, “Good sermon,” and “You really stepped on my toes today.” Sometimes, in my efforts to be cordial, I would thank the person and I always tried to make sure I verbally gave all the glory to God, where it rightly belonged.

However, many times I would be dismayed by those comments and would often reply, “If I stepped on your toes I missed my target because I was aiming for your heart.” Dr. King presented a sermon before his audience that hot August day in 1963 and did what I often longed to do, hit the target at which God was aiming, the human heart.

The ideal, the dream set forth before the world by Dr. King carried the power of profundity with the force of the Divinity straight to the hearts of his listeners. Moreover, even today, over 46 years after the profession of his dream and through the filter of technology, the power of King’s dream can still grip our souls anew, if we will but listen anew.

As Dr. King set forth God’s message, he built an eloquent case for the righteousness of the dream that people would be regarded as equally human by each other just as they were so regarded by the LORD. Though he targeted the condition of America specifically, his speech was a worthy ideal for all the world to emulate.

Pursuing the Dream

Martin Luther King Jr.It is one thing to identify and masterfully present an idealistic goal to any audience. It is another matter entirely to actively pursue that goal with sincerity and integrity.

The biggest reason Dr. King drew such crowds in 1963 was that he went far beyond just talking about it. He pursued it with deeds that risked his alienation and much worse from his opponents.

He had built support starting with his first noteworthy act of civil disobedience, the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of 1955-56. He helped organize the boycott through his organization the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which virtually shut down the city busing industry there.

The boycott took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation. Four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested and fined for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white man. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system, and one of the leaders of the boycott, a young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged as a prominent leader of the American civil rights movement.

Dr. King suffered for his actions as did many of those who were his supporters. On one such occasion, he was arrested and thrown into a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama for organizing demonstrations against the racial injustice of that city in 1963.

Dr. King had read of a public statement “of concern and caution” about the demonstrations released by eight white religious leaders in the South shortly before his arrest and he wrote a lengthy response, Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The letter was a brilliant defense of non-violent action aimed at the religious leaders’ objections as well as educating all who read it about the specific goals and methods of their actions.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices are alive, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. We have gone through all of these steps in Birmingham. There can be no
gainsaying of the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community.

Dr. King then continues to specifically list the problems and steps that had already been taken to address the racial injustice.

Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of police brutality is known in every section of this country. Its unjust treatment of Negroes in the courts is a notorious reality. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in this nation. These are the hard, brutal, and unbelievable facts. On the basis of them, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the political leaders consistently refused to engage in good-faith negotiation.

When negotiations with the city failed, King and his followers went to step three, the step he called “self-purification.” King described what that process entailed as a prerequisite to demonstrations.

We started having workshops on nonviolence and repeatedly asked ourselves the questions, “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?” and “Are you able to endure the ordeals of jail?”

The careful preparations of both body and spirit were necessary for what those who followed Dr. King to fully participate in non-violent civil protest without reservation. As King realized, his was not the only movement against the oppression of blacks which garnered significant support.

Opposing and Reviving the Dream

Louis Farrakhan, the current leader of the Nation of Islam

Dr. King was virulently opposed by racists from groups like the KKK, and worse by black groups who advocated violence such as the original Black Panthers and the Black Muslims, aka the ‘Nation of Islam’ under Elijah Muhammed. Contrary to the urgings of King and others, black leaders on the other side demanded that civil rights be fought for “by any means necessary,” in the words of Malcolm X.

The great civil rights leader rightly feared the probable outcome of violent demonstrations against forced segregation and ‘Jim Crow’ laws that kept black people disadvantaged. Dr. King wrote that the groups advocating violence were,

…made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incurable devil. … There is a more excellent way, of love and nonviolent protest. I’m grateful to God that, through the Negro church, the dimension of nonviolence entered our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, I am convinced that by now many streets of the South would be flowing with floods of blood.

Today most of us rightly give respect to the accomplishments of Dr. King who gained more for the rights of black Americans than all the calls to “Black Power” and violence have ever done. Yet the minions of those who call for violence today, such as the group “Black Lives Matter,” and the so-called ‘woke’ groups of “Antifa” insist that non-violence is impotent in present-day America.

Tragically, both the violent means and the societal goal are directly in opposition to the principles embraced by Dr. King a half-century ago. In an excellent piece by Dr. Eric Wallace of the “Freedom’s Journal Institute,” he compares the stance of BLM versus that of Dr. King’s strident non-violence, specifically the dream of being judged not by color but character.

But with what measure are we to be judged today? How are the demands of today’s “Woke” culture or the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement representative of a people who continue to thrive in the face of injustice? Needless to say, neither of these movements proclaim a biblical foundation or Christian roots.[1] In fact, one could argue that these contemporary movements demand the opposite of what Dr. King stood for and fought to accomplish. Many in these groups are quick to judge White people by the color of their skin while insisting they have “white privilege,” which automatically makes them guilty of racial injustice simply because they are White. This reasoning turns Dr. King’s words on their heads. Thinking that one is guilty simply because he or she is White or another is oppressed simply because he or she is not is the opposite of what King preached.

The lifelong quest of Dr. King for racial justice and equality through non-violence has been largely spurned by those who claim to speak on behalf of the black population in America today. It is past time for that righteous dream to be revived if we are going to continue moving toward a more just society instead of careening down a steep slope toward racial anarchy and destruction.

Fortunately, King’s dream is still alive and growing though it has taken President Trump’s administration to move it off of life support. Ironically, it is a person the Left constantly berates and accuses of being the biggest racist in world history who has brought more opportunity and prosperity to minorities than any administration in our history.

Those among the minority population, other than the mind-controlled minions of the MSM, have seen these results from the Trump administration and are leaving the Leftist Democratic [but I repeat myself] plantation in droves. The support for President Trump has risen to unprecedented levels among blacks in America as evidenced by a number of recent polls and is consistently above 30% today.

While 30% is far from a majority, consider that President Trump won in 2016 with just 8% of the black vote. As noted in a recent piece at Real Clear Politics,

Even 20 percent African-American support for Trump would all but dismantle Democratic Party presidential hopes for 2020.

This is truly good news for the promise of the profound dream of Dr. King. I hope and pray that the re-election of President Trump will take place and move America closer to the point of true racial justice and harmony.

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Mike’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Mike Licht’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Public.Resource.Org’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

Tehran and Havana, Models of Tyranny, Destruction, and Revolution

The current conflict between America and Iran is the rightful spotlight and concern in global news. The hope and prayers of the sensible among us are that this can be resolved peacefully, though the methods recommended by the Left and conservatives to accomplish peace are polar opposites.

While pondering what the future might hold, it occurred to me that I was aged enough to remember when America was an ally of Iran. I can recall a time when Iran was a modern western nation and former Presidents JFK, Nixon and even Jimmy Carter met with the Shah of Iran regularly.

It also occurred to me that Iran’s transition from western to a tyrannical Islamic theocracy was reminiscent of the earlier transition of Cuba from a Capitalist ally to its current Communist wasteland. For the curious, I was alive when that happened as well, but have no memory of those years concerning Cuba except the Cuban missile crisis, which captured even my childhood attention, and was all the adults around me talked about for weeks.

Havana and Tehran Before the ‘Revolutions’

Before Communism captured Cuba and prior to Islamofascism conquering Iran, Havana and Tehran were remarkably similar. Both were the leading cities of countries that flourished with free trade and generally Capitalist economies.

Both cities enjoyed an international reputation as glamorous travel destinations of the ‘rich and famous’ for exotic vacations. The hotels and other amenities were ranked as among the best in the world in their day.

One of the more fascinating ways to compare life in Havana and Tehran before their respective ‘revolutions’ comes via old photographs of people and events of those eras. Both are examples of western cultural influence within each country at the time.

Here is a photograph that was taken at a casino in Havana circa 1958. One could scarcely tell the difference between Havana and Las Vegas here.

A Havana casino. 1958.

About 20 years later, here is a photo of a group of students outside of Tehran University. If one didn’t know better, this could easily depict students at most American colleges in the 1970s.

Sporting mullet haircuts and flares, a group of friends at Tehran university pose together in the 1970s

The natural question that arises here is, “If things were so good in Cuba and Iran, why did the people revolt and overthrow their governments?” The numerous reasons one could cite can effectively be reduced to three.

One: Things were not so good for everyone during those times. There were some serious economic and social inequities between rich and poor people in both Cuba and Iran.

Two: The leadership of both nations was corrupt and had too much authority. For example, in Cuba when Fulgencio Batista, who had gained control of the Cuban Army in the 1930s, organized a military takeover in 1934 and installed Col. Carlos Mendieta as president with Batista as his chief of staff.

Batista effectively operated a military dictatorship behind the scenes for the next twenty years, and while trying to line his own pockets, also manipulated the government to check his opposition through such things as suspending constitutions and shutting down the National Congress.

The same corruption and repression were evident in the later years of the reign of the Shah of Iran.

In addition to mounting economic difficulties, sociopolitical repression by the shah’s regime increased in the 1970s… Social and political protest was often met with censorship, surveillance, or harassment, and illegal detention and torture were common.

The third main reason for both revolutions was the influence of a third party, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR. That nation is now known as Russia.

Revolution and Russians in Cuba and Iran

USSR, Tehran, HavanaBoth Cuba and Iran gained the favor of the USSR along the way to their revolutions. For Cuba, the alliance began during World War II when Batista brought the nation into the war on the side of the Allied forces.

In 1940, Batista, then a colonel, undertook his own candidacy and defeated Grau San Martín. During his presidential term, 1940–44, Cuba entered World War II on the side of the Allies and established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

The establishment of relations with the Soviets by Batista was, ironically, used to help orchestrate his removal as head of the government. When Fidel Castro and his compatriot Ernesto “Che” Guevara overthrew the Batista government in 1959, they had already acquired the aid of Communist groups that would later prove a bridge to an alliance with the Soviet Union.

Upon the ascension of Castro as the new despot,

Indiscriminate arrests, acts of torture, and executions began almost at once throughout Cuba. By May 15, 1959, some 600 people linked to the Batista government had been put to death by revolutionary courts. …Guevara would spend the following months presiding over military prisons, directing courts-martial, and making extensive tours of AsiaNorth Africa, and the Soviet Union.

In Cuba, the revolution ended up replacing a corrupt ruler who had extensive ties to organized crime in America, with an even worse Communist despot. A similar revolution took place in Iran 20 years later.

Iran’s government under the Shah was also repressive and corrupt to a large degree throughout the 1970s.

Outlets for political participation were minimal, and opposition parties such as the National Front (a loose coalition of nationalists, clerics, and noncommunist left-wing parties) and the pro-Soviet Tūdeh (“Masses”) Party were marginalized or outlawed.

That repression fueled opposition to the Shah who favored a secular western-style government, just under his own corrupt rules. As a result, some who opposed the Shah but also had favored a secular government were exiled.

Ayatollah Khomeini, IranAs the Shah’s behavior became more severe toward his opponents, the various opposition groups began to unite under the increasingly popular Ayatollah Khomeini who favored the idea of an Islamic theocracy. Among that group were the pro-Soviets of the aforementioned Tudeh Party.

Once the Ayatollah and his allies overthrew the Shah, the new Islamic Republic began to exercise harsh methods to stamp out any remaining opposition, just as Castro had done before in Cuba.

Elements within the clergy promptly moved to exclude their former left-wing, nationalist, and intellectual allies from any positions of power in the new regime, and a return to conservative social values was enforced. The Family Protection Act… which provided further guarantees and rights to women in marriage, was declared void, and mosque-based revolutionary bands known as komītehs (Persian: “committees”) patrolled the streets enforcing Islamic codes of dress and behavior and dispatching impromptu justice to perceived enemies of the revolution. …The violence and brutality often exceeded that which had taken place under the shah.

The USSR had been involved with Iran since before World War II and during that war along with England and the U.S., occupied Iran to keep the Germans at bay, even though officially Iran was a neutral nation at the time. The Brits and Americans withdrew from Iran in 1945, per agreement with Iran.

The Soviets were supposed to leave but decided to stay a few more years in order to get political guarantees for the exploitation of oil in northern Iran. The relationship between the two nations was rocky, especially during the 1950s when the Shah was courting closer relations with America as well as the USSR.

When the Shah was forced into exile and ended up in America in 1979, this led the Khomeini government to capture and hold American hostages in the embassy in Tehran. It also led to a new era of cooperation with the Soviets, who took full advantage of their prior connections with Iran as well as the pro-Soviet revolutionary groups in Iran.

The plenary session of the Tudeh Party’s (or PPI, People’s Party of Iran) Central Committee, which took place in East Berlin in late February 1979, declared its full support for the idea of creating an Islamic Republic in Iran. The Soviet leadership was likewise attracted by the anti-American mood of the new authorities… it was the USSR ambassador who was the first foreign envoy to be received by Ayatollah Khomeini (Ḵomeyni) after the Islamic Revolution.

Cuba and Iran Today

1971: Cuban prime minister Fidel Castro speaking at a press conference. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Things in both Cuba and Iran have gone from bad to worse in the years since their revolutions. Both nations have grown less free, poorer, and now suffer under new generations of the Castros and the Ayatollahs.

Both nations are also still close and connected with Russia, and receive support from them including military support. Most are well aware by now that a Russian-made missile recently shot down a Ukrainian airliner over Iran, however, the military support for Cuba by Russia is ongoing if less publicized.

One example comes from an announcement made in 2017.

Anatoly Punchuk, deputy director of the Federal Technical Cooperation Service of Russia, announced that Russia is aiding its longtime ally with the “modernization of the defense industry of Cuba.” …According to the information offered by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian-Cuban military cooperation program, Dmitri Rogozin, the agreement runs the gamut “from civilian technologies to military, from high technologies to simple things.”

Russia is still heavily invested in Cuba for many reasons and still views American proximity to the island as a hostile presence. Moreover, in that same year of 2017, high-level Russian officials were advocating reopening a Russian military and spy facility in Havana that has been converted into part of a college campus.

“Our base on Cuba, naval and aviation, should exist. It’s a key issue,” demanded Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the Russian senate’s defence and security committee, according to Interfax news agency. Russia should decisively react to the placing of US missile defence systems around its borders, he claimed.

Russia’s ties with Iran continue to grow closer, especially since President Trump took the U.S. out of the so-called ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ brokered by the Obama administration. As noted in the New Yorker online in 2018,

The Trump Administration’s decision to challenge the 2015 Iran nuclear deal now carries a broad geostrategic price. The relationship between Moscow and Tehran—once tactical militarily, coldly calculating diplomatically, and practical economically—has been converted into a growing strategic partnership. Vladimir Putin’s relentless quest to make Russia a superpower again is part of it; Iran’s goal is just to be a player again. Since President Trump took office, in 2017, Moscow and Tehran have shared increasingly common bonds: growing tensions with Washington and a quest to expand spheres of influence in the Middle East.

This brief survey of the historical similarities between the situations in Cuba and Iran is meant to hopefully teach us some lessons about the fate of nations. For, as has been famously noted, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

What Is to Be Learned?

Inset.4.1.13.2020History can be either a kind or cruel teacher. The fortunes of the people in Cuba and Iran today are a result of many factors, but perhaps the most important is the failure to learn from the mistakes of their own history.

Neither nation has yet learned a way to escape the cycle of tyranny breeding revolution that results in even more tyranny and will inevitably foster more revolution. Why not? Because after each revolution virtually unchecked power is given to a handful of leaders while the population remains essentially powerless against their whims.

In every historical case of this in Cuba and Iran, their leaders never give up their power voluntarily even if the overwhelming majority of the masses are suffering and pleading and even demanding that they step down. Moreover, real opposition to tyrannical leaders is met with violent and bloody measures against which the populace is helpless.

A more specific lesson to be learned is simple; don’t let the Russians get involved! As has been noted, Russia has been instrumental in both nations’ revolutions as well as aiding in crushing the opposition to either the Castros or the Ayatollahs.

Moreover, as an aside, particularly in the case of these particular countries, the actions of President Trump, especially in recent days but actually throughout his term of office so far should forever put to rest the ludicrous claim that he is ‘Putin’s puppet.’ Every diplomatic and military move by this president has been detrimental to the aims of Vladimir Putin and Russia.

These last several days have seen some rather remarkable historical events take place in Iran. The latest of these is the enormous protests renewed in Iran against their supreme leader and the Islamofascistic government in response to the missile strike on the civilian Ukrainian airliner.

The courage of the protesters in Iran is astounding in the wake of 1500 protesters who were slaughtered by the IRGC just two months ago. As has been the case recently in Hong Kong, these ordinary Iranian people are risking life and limb for a chance at liberty and a slice of self-determination.

Inset.5.1.13.2020Thus in both Hong Kong and Iran, protesters are symbolically embracing symbols of freedom such as the American flag in their quests. The same thing is true in a different manner with the resistance movement in Cuba, which has resurfaced during the era of President Trump.

Cubans who have rejected Castro’s dictatorship have coalesced their efforts as exiles from the island who reside primarily in Florida. Their determination for freedom was well expressed last September in an article by a spokesman for the Cuban Democratic Directorate.

The rejection of the Castro regime is deep and resolute for a majority of the Cuban population inside and outside the island. Above all, it is a serious political error to underestimate the level of conviction of the Cuban diaspora. It constitutes an intergenerational commitment imbricated with the community’s very identity. It will neither wither nor dilute while the repressive conditions that caused the separation of thousands of Cuban families from their homeland remain.

Indeed, the longing for freedom is embedded within the human soul. Humanity was created in God’s image by God who cherishes the value of liberty and grants free will to us as a result.

Thus the question is how can the struggle for such freedom achieve lasting success in these and other repressive nations around the world. The solutions are straightforward but hardly easy because they involve a wholesale change in the approach of those who struggle against tyranny after they have won.

For one thing, the pre-revolution despots cannot be replaced by despots who happen to also be part of the revolt. This just starts the destructive cycle all over again.

Secondly, the formation of a new government must put the law above the whims of any official, even the darlings of the revolution. The key is to give that idea some teeth by giving the common people the equivalent of the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right of the people to bear arms, as America’s founders realized in the wake of the Revolutionary War.

Finally, the people of those nations must acknowledge the presence and power of God Almighty and undergird every effort by calling upon Him in prayer. Acquiring physical liberty will never satisfy unless liberty for the soul is also present, and that only comes through embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and placing Him in charge of the heart.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, Luke 4:18 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jonas Forth’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Alexsey Fyodoroff’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of babeltravel’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Periodico ahora!’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Charles Fettinger’sFlickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Scio Central School Website’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

Seven Important and Ignored News Stories by the “Mainstream” Media in 2019 [Video]

MSM, Leftmedia, Mainstream mediaAs we approach the end of one year and the dawning of another, it is customary and prudent to examine the past year’s events and their effects upon the world today, as well as what that might portend for the future. 2019 was a tumultuous news year dominated by the Left’s efforts to take down President Trump and concluding with the House of Representatives sort of impeaching him.

However, there were many other newsworthy stories in 2019 that got little or no coverage from the Leftist MSM. With this in mind, here are my picks in no particular order for seven important news stories that were undercovered or ignored in 2019.

No. 7: Continued Leftist Bias in the MSM

MSM, LeftmediaThat the MSM is biased toward the Left is not news to conservatives all over the world. However, there are millions of people in America and billions around the globe who have no clue such bias exists because they cling to Leftist news and the MSM doesn’t admit the bias to their viewers.

The ways that such bias is exhibited are varied, but perhaps the most often used and effective method is simply to ignore news that doesn’t fit their narrative. This works even better if there is also a concurrent event that the Left favors, which is exactly what happened in January of 2019 with two different events, the annual March for Life and the Women’s March both held the same week in Washington D.C.

The 2019 Women’s March received roughly 15 times more news coverage than the 47th March for Life on broadcast television, according to the Media Research Center. …NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck examined the coverage each event received on the ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening newscasts — and the results are staggering. …“Between Wednesday morning and Saturday evening, the Women’s March fetched 14 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage… this stood in stark contrast to just 58 seconds for the March for Life,” Houck wrote. “For the March for Life, ABC and CBS were especially pitiful.”

This is despite the fact that by conservative estimates, the March for Life had about 100 times more people participating than there were at the Women’s March. Look for this bias to show up again later this month.

No. 6: The Crimes of Ilhan Omar

Ilhan OmarMany readers of this publication will be aware of at least some of the crimes that Representative Ilhan Omar stands credibly accused of committing during her life in America. However, this important story has been virtually ignored or dismissed by the Leftmedia MSM.

One of the stalwart conservatives working hard to expose Omar has been Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch. In a JW post, Fitton explains the reason an ethics complaint was filed with the House of Representatives in July of 2019.

Substantial, compelling and, to date, unrefuted evidence has been uncovered that Rep. Ilhan Omar may have committed the following crimes in violation of both federal law and Minnesota state law: perjury, immigration fraud, marriage fraud, state and federal tax fraud, and federal student loan fraud.

The evidence Fitton writes of comes as a result of a long investigation of three years by investigative reporter David Steinberg with the cooperation of the U.S. and U.K. governments. Here is an instructive flow chart explaining the potential crimes of Ilhan Omar uncovered by the investigation.

IlhanOmarAsylumDiagram-4-2

This evidence is still unrefuted. Though this has been largely ignored by the MSM, should these charges be used in any attempt to remove Omar from Congress and perhaps prosecute her for her crimes, rest assured the Leftist MSM will go into outrage overdrive and accuse conservatives of being ‘racist.’

No. 5: The #WalkAway and #Blexit Movements

#WalkAway, #BlexitTwo large and rapidly growing political movements have been taking social media by storm in the years since President Trump was elected. The past year has seen both the #WalkAway and #blexit movements become substantial forces in political discourse, and the MSM has barely acknowledged it.

The #WalkAway movement is a grassroots effort founded by self-described ‘former liberal,’ Brandon Straka. He began in May of 2018 and the movement has gone from zero followers on Twitter to over 300,000 followers today.

Straka describes the mission of #WalkAway on the campaign’s website.

The #WalkAway Campaign encourages and supports those on the Left to walk
away from the divisive tenets endorsed and mandated by the Democratic Party of today. We are walking away from the lies, the false narratives, the fake news, the race-baiting, the victim narrative, the violence, the vandalism, the vitriol. We are walking away from a party driven by hate. We are walking toward patriotism and a new, unified America! We are the future of this great nation!

If you have never visited their site or social media posts, then a treasure trove of personal “Walk Away” stories awaits, and it is both instructive and encouraging to view. On the heels of #WalkAway, a similar movement has begun asserting its place on social media and beyond, the #Blexit movement.

The founder of the movement is conservative black activist Candace Owens. She began #Blexit in late October of 2018 and described the reason behind it at the time.

“BLEXIT is a national movement of minorities that have awakened to the truth. It is for those who have taken an objective look at our decades-long allegiance to the left and asked ourselves ‘what do we have to show for it?’” Not much, save for increased racial tensionoverwhelming unemployment (until recently), rampant crime and broken homes and families galore.

Owens launched the movement for the national stage almost one year ago with an “inaugural rally,” in Los Angeles, California at the Globe Theater. In this brief video, another conservative activist, Joy Villa, speaks with an interviewer at the rally.

4: Scott Presler and “The Persistence”

Scott PreslerThis is what I would call the ‘feel good’ story of 2019, yet the MSM desires to downplay or misconstrue it because young Scott Presler is the Left’s worst nightmare. With his long hair and obvious youth, his appearance belies his determined grass-roots conservative activism.

Make no mistake, however, for Presler is a man driven to action with an innate ability to bring people together for positive efforts demonstrating that incredible results can be achieved. He began this by calling for a day to clean up the trash in Baltimore, Maryland last July.

Presler’s Twitter handle is #The Persistence, and it aptly describes his personality. His photo on the Twitter account shows him wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with two phrases, “Stop Talking” and below that “Start Doing.”

Moreover, Presler decided that the cleanup project was also going to involve the crucial step of teaching locals how to register voters for the GOP. This dual effort was so successful that Presler went on to conduct more cleanup and voter registration education in other major cities around the country including Los Angeles, which Presler has noted was so filthy they had to wear hazmat suits during the cleanup.

Presler’s work has now taken a life of its own and he is getting requests from all over the nation to come and clean up cities and instruct others about voter registration. He has stated that the following cities are already scheduled for this 2020: Detroit, Milwaukie, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco.

Presler is showing that ordinary people can make a real difference and that depending upon the government for help is often a waste of time with little or nothing to show for it. The Leftmedia tries to ignore Presler because they are heavily invested in making sure that ordinary people do not take action to improve their lot, and are dependent upon governmental authority.

The hopelessness of the individual is what the Left desires because that makes a large central control by the government easier to justify and obtain. Presler is among a growing number of citizens who reject that notion and are doing something about it. The same is true for the next organization on this list the MSM wishes would go away, Judicial Watch.

No. 3: The Work of Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch

If you are not familiar with the organization Judicial Watch, my strong advice to everyone is to become familiar and informed about this private organization which is literally doing the work the federal Department of Justice should be doing. As their president, Tom Fitton, always says, “Judicial Watch is doing the heavy lifting,” for justice on a national scale.

The method that JW uses is quite simple. Through the avenue of the Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, JW first requests information from government agencies, on both the national and state level concerning compliance with or violations of federal law.

Often those requests are refused or ignored, which means that JW must then apply the legal mechanism of FOIA lawsuits in court to demand that the agencies comply with the law. JW has already been mentioned as essential to exposing the criminal activity of Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Moreover, JW has accomplished some rather remarkable things by proactively pursuing documentation and pushing for judicial action in a legal manner. This has resulted in the last year of JW receiving formerly hidden emails from the infamous private server of Hillary Clinton that reveal illegal and unethical acts including some concerning the intentional effort to lie about the cause of the Benghazi debacle that cost the lives of four Americans including Ambassador Stevens himself.

Through further investigation by JW, Fitton has revealed what he calls JW’s “most important disclosure” to date. They have documentation from the Department of Defense confirming that the Obama administration was involved with arms deals providing arms to terrorists in Syria through Libya, which may well have been part of the reason Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied for weeks about the cause of the Benghazi attacks.

JW’s latest update on YouTube with Mr. Fitton shows just how much of the “heavy lifting” is currently being done. He mentions that JW has over 50 lawsuits pending with the federal government and states either asking for information or demanding that current laws be followed. This includes 6 new lawsuits demanding more information about the corruption in Ukraine and its dealings with the Obama administration.

One of the most consequential efforts by JW concerns the illegal failure to clean voter rolls in various states. Fitton notes in his video update that so far, they have discovered over 3 million voters illegally registered to vote under the national ‘Motor Voter’ law passed during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

JW’s efforts since 2012 have so far resulted in about 1 million of those names being removed from the rolls, leaving more than 2 million names illegally remaining on voter rolls. 500,000 of those illegal registrations that were removed came from San Diego County in California alone.

The aforementioned YouTube update has much more about JW’s continuing work for justice on behalf of the American people. There is no organization I know of that is more deserving of support than Judicial Watch.

No. 2: The Real Number of Illegal Aliens in America

Illegal AliensThis news item has been obscured and covered up by the Left longer than any of the stories mentioned. That’s because for over a decade the public has been told that the total number of illegal aliens in the country is 11 million people, which simply cannot be true.

Since it is known that illegals have been breaking into the country in increasing numbers almost every year for at least 10 years, it is not possible for the number to stay at 11 million. Nor have the numbers of people deported been large enough to offset the increase.

As was noted in this journal last April, the real number of illegal aliens in America is far larger than 11 million.

Millions upon millions of illegal aliens, perhaps as many as 40 million now already strain the limits of our government’s assistance capabilities. A recent study by Yale University put out an estimate of about 22 million illegal aliens residing in America today. However, …that figure is a huge underestimate.

By applying the additional variables of those who leave and repeat offenders, a more accurate number has been estimated by retired Border Patrol chiefs at 40 to 50 million illegals in the United States today.

The Leftmedia people in the MSM have a vested interest in suppressing this information. The real numbers would shock most of the uniformed and then support for putting the clamps on illegal immigration would rise dramatically in response.

This is a threat to the Left’s task to increase the number of Democratic voters in America through courting illegal aliens. We know this is their intent because, in March of 2019, the House of Representatives voted against condemning the notion that illegals should be allowed to vote.

No. 1: DOJ Discovers Millions in Illegal Campaign Contributions for Obama in 2012

ObamaThis story came to light in May of 2019 and was reported on by Freedom Outpost, yet it has been non-existent in MSM outlets. According to a quote from the U.S. Department of Justice report on May 10th,

Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, 46, and Low Taek Jho, 37, also known as “Jho Low,” were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and for making foreign and conduit campaign contributions.  Michel also was charged with one count of a scheme to conceal material facts and two counts of making a false entry in a record in connection with the conspiracy.  Michel appeared today for his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in the District of Columbia.  Low remains at large. According to the indictment, between June 2012 and November 2012, Low directed the transfer of approximately $21,600,000 from foreign entities and accounts to Michel for the purpose of funneling significant sums of money into the United States presidential election as purportedly legitimate contributions, all while concealing the true source of the money.

It is against the law in the United States for any foreign interests to contribute to a presidential campaign. What is not mentioned in the DOJ report is that it is also illegal to knowingly accept such contributions from foreign sources.

Did the Obama re-election team know that 21.6 million dollars had come from foreign sources? Did they actively solicit those contributions?

It is almost certain that the former president will not face any questions concerning this, especially from any of the MSM. However, if the MSM were truly honest and objective, they would be howling for an in-depth criminal investigation of former President Obama.

This completes my list of the most important and ignored stories of 2019. It was a difficult task to select just seven, as there are many others deserving of a mention, such as the work of Project Veritas and Turning Point USA. Please let me know if you have other such stories that you would nominate for this less-than-auspicious category in the comments below.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Paul Lim’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Rafael Edwards’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Brookings Institution’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Tony Tran’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Illinois Springfield’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 6 courtesy of _mixer_’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Insipid, Insidious Impeachment Plea from Christianity Today

Impeachment, Christianity TodayThe retiring Editor-in-Chief of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, penned an op-ed piece on December 19, 2019, arguing that the “Christian” thing to do is to call for the removal of President Trump from office. The title of the article was “Trump Should Be Removed From Office.”

Of course, this piece set off a firestorm of controversy among the evangelical community, many of whom objected to CT’s characterizations. The most prominent among these was the blistering response of Franklin Graham, the son of CT’s founder, the late Billy Graham.

Graham was joined by several other prominent evangelical figures who also denounced the CT editorial opinion that President Trump should be removed from office. They all, in various phrasings, accused CT of becoming the religious slaves for Leftist politicians, although CT has been of that persuasion for quite a while. However, that subject is for another article.

CT’s Case Is Insipid at Best

Franklin Graham, Impeachment, Christianity TodayGraham said that he felt compelled to respond because Galli used his father’s name to justify their arguments and implying that Billy Graham would have approved of this. Franklin Graham strongly disagreed, noting that,

“Yes, my father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today; but no, he would not agree with their opinion piece,” Franklin Graham began. “In fact, he would be very disappointed. I have not previously shared who my father voted for in the past election, but because of this article, I feel it is necessary to share it now. My father knew Donald Trump, he believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump.

Franklin Graham’s rebuke of CT using his father’s name as justification for their position is only the beginning of his objections to Galli’s contentions. Graham rightly notes several points including that Galli fails to mention the entirely partisan nature of the sham Impeachment proceedings and vote.

This journal has previously commented on the psuedo-Impeachment in more detail and I will not repeat all of that here. However, the CT editor assures his readers that his opinion has nothing to do with partisan politics by mildly criticizing the Democrats’ obsession with taking down President Trump. He even admits that,

Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.

Undeterred by this, Galli sprinkles his argument with a display of somber self-righteousness and words of moral judgment to produce a case with two cardinal points. The President must be removed because of the Ukrainian phone call, and he must be removed because he is “immoral.”

The article attempts to base its constitutional case for removal on the facts revealed in President Trump’s release of the transcript of the call to the President of Ukraine in July of this year. Galli sums up the case by stating,

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.

Inset.2.12.28.2019There is only one statement from this quote that is correct, the declaration “the facts in this instance are unambiguous…” Indeed the facts are clear here, but not in the manner CT claims.

The actual ‘unambiguous’ facts reveal clearly that President Trump’s phone call did not violate the Constitution in any way. Moreover, the CT article simply regurgitates the false Leftist talking point concerning the intent of the call.

The President asked for help in an investigation into corruption within Ukraine, which was completely within his authority and specified by a 1999 Treaty between America and Ukraine. The intent was to make sure the taxpayers’ money wasn’t being sent into a den of crime and corruption, which is one of the legitimate jobs of the President as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the land.

The case for Impeachment was an empty box with no evidentiary witnesses and a fake “whistleblower.” Galli’s case for removal is insipid and weak at best, revealing a lack of Constitutional knowledge or appreciation of the seriousness of the Impeachment of a President.

The plea for removal by Galli also ignores the decision of the House not to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for the trial, as the Constitution requires if impeachment is to be completed. This shows that the articles are so weak that the House would rather not have the public trial as that would create a massive audience who the Democrats would have to face with their ridiculous charges.

Jenna Ellis, a constitutional lawyer who once worked with James Dobson and has now joined the Trump campaign, slammed the editorial for being “so devoid of any pretense of understanding the Constitution I am genuinely embarrassed for evangelicals (of which I am a member).”

Galli makes his plea to the Christian community on more than simply constitutional grounds. He also brings the argument of President Trump’s “immorality” to bear as a reason he should be removed from the presidency, and that is when the insidious nature of CT’s self-righteous voice is manifested.

CT’s Plea Is Insidious

Inset.3.12.28.2019Galli is imploring evangelicals to reconsider their support of President Trump and realize how horrible it would be to allow him to continue as President. His plea is insidious in many ways.

First of all, Galli was deceitful with his reasoning. This is done by the deliberate omission of certain facts as well as deceptive statements and interpretations of other ones.

For example, Galli gives a token account of why evangelicals might support President Trump,

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.

However, he omits other backbone arguments for supporting this president such is his steadfast pro-life stance and accomplishments and his support of a strong military and law enforcement. Moreover, he has been a stronger advocate for Israel and a better friend of the Jews than any Commander in Chief in history.

Galli knows all of this yet dismisses it as somehow not relevant. Instead, Galli then focuses on President Trump’s terribly ‘immoral’ behavior before he was President and how horrible his “tweets” are toward his critics. In fact, he claims that the President’s tweets alone show that he,

is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

The EIC of this formerly honorable ‘Christian’ magazine either knows that this is pure nonsense or he himself has terminal Trump Derangement Syndrome. In either case, it is another way the insidious nature of this impeachment pleading is being shown.

Third, Galli goes back in time to compare the words of CT concerning former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment with their condemnation of President Trump today. Their high moral tone against Clinton for his actual crime of perjury because of immoral acts engaged in while he was the President is said to apply equally to their support for removing President Trump from office.

There you are, folks. Disagreements in policy and mean tweets are as immoral as adultery and lying about it under oath, and both deserve the same condemnation and punishment, up to and including removal from the office of President of the United States. At least, that is how CT sees it. So, who here is the one that is ‘morally lost and confused’?

Finally, the insidiously evil position laid out by Galli comes through with a barely disguised smug, self-righteous elitism throughout. He chastises evangelicals who voted for and continue to support President Trump and assures us all that CT is doing the right thing by calling for the President’s removal and calling out evangelicals.

Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?

3784693101_9c46b95b2e_wIt must be difficult for Galli to fit through a doorway with that inflated hatrack of his. He even has to gal to mention abortion as a ‘great evil,’ while insisting that the President with the greatest pro-life record since President Reagan should be pushed aside in favor of apparently anyone else.

Perhaps the oh-so-holy EIC has missed the memo about every one of the President’s Democratic opponents. All would expand the availability of abortion on demand and force the taxpayers to fund all abortions, yet they are preferable to President Trump in Galli’s view.

Moreover, it should be noted that throughout the CT article the duly elected President of the United States is never addressed as ‘President Trump.’ He is disrespectfully called ‘Mr. Trump,’ exclusively in this hit piece.

Why is this important? It reveals both the hatred for our President by Galli and the superior, elitist attitude projected by his writing. It is reminiscent of the attitude of the pharisee in Jesus’ parable from Luke 18:10ff who thanks God that he is so much more righteous than others.

In fact, Galli has taken this opportunity to go on every Leftmedia TDS-infected program to spread his justification for this insidious position. Since Galli is also leaving CT soon, his appearances on CNN and others give the impression that he is testing the waters for a job someplace in Leftmedia circles.

This CT snob scolds evangelicals who support President Trump for ignoring his blunt candor on Twitter while we choose to stand behind our President for his deeds as President which have greatly benefitted all sectors of American life. Worse, Galli uses his pedestal to judge the President’s character based on his words alone, when we are biblically admonished instead to observe the “fruits” of his deeds.

A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7:18-20 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Phil Roeder’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Matt Johnson’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of duncan c’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Trending Topic 2019’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Michael Sauers’Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

 

Immanuel: Christmas and The Meaning of the Incarnation of Christ

Christmas, Immanuel, NativityAs we approach the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, many of us are engaged in a swirl of activity to prepare businesses, homes, and churches for this important day. This is both traditional and understandable in most western cultures around the globe.

Most of these traditions and much of the activity is our human effort to both honor and praise God for sending His only Son from His heavenly home to be born as a helpless infant so that all could have the opportunity of the hope of salvation. However, many of us, including myself, can sometimes ignore the meaning of Christmas for lack of reflection amid the hustle and bustle of the season.

“Immanuel” equals “God With Us”

Christmas, Incarnation, NativityThe New Testament specifically applies the word “Immanuel” to the birth of Jesus in the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel account.

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:20-23 [ESV]

These four verses make a staggering statement that encompasses the complete gospel, or ‘good news’ of the New Testament. Moreover, it clarifies one indisputable fact; this could only have been the work of God.

Consider first what actually happened. The angelic message to Joseph said that 1.) Jesus was conceived via the Holy Spirit, 2.) That Jesus would be virgin born, 3.) He would “save his people from their sins” 4.) This was a fulfillment of ancient prophecy and, 5.) Jesus would be the embodiment of “God with us,” which is known as the doctrine, or belief that Jesus is “God Incarnate,” i.e. God in human flesh.

The Incarnation means that God the Son, through the means of God the Holy Spirit and within Mary’s womb, with the authority of God the Father comes to live among His creation as one of us. Only God could have done this, and only a supremely loving God would have done this.

For as soon as Jesus was conceived, the timeline toward His crucifixion began. The Triune God knew beforehand that this would be the case and Jesus came anyway to demonstrate God’s love through the giving of His life to atone for the sins of all humanity.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8 [ESV]

Christmas, Jesus, IncarnationThe love of God shown at the cross of Christ was always within the heart of God. Jesus began manifesting that love among us when He left His heavenly home and humbled Himself to become “God with us.”

Think of it. Jesus left the indescribable glories of heaven and choose to limit Himself to the weakness of human flesh, not for His sake but for ours. He left a domain so far beyond our comprehension, that the Bible says it defies even human imagination.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—  1 Corinthians 2:9 [ESV]

Jesus left this to come and live among sinful, treacherous, unrighteous humanity and be scorned and murdered by His own people. ‘God with us’ meant this kind of love walked among us.

God didn’t need to become human to know us and our joys as well as suffering. We needed Him to show us through Christ how much He loved us, even unto death, and to take our sins upon Himself for our eternal good.

What Were the Odds?

Christmas, IncarnationBiblical students will recognize that the first four books of the New Testament are known as “gospels,” or accounts of the “good news” about Jesus Christ and that each one is written in a different manner or style. The authors record the same overall event, the life of Christ on earth, but from different perspectives and purposely writing to different audiences.

Matthew is written aimed at an audience of his fellow Jews for the intention of convincing them that Jesus was indeed the Messiah come in fulfillment of a multitude of Old Testament prophecies. Thus Matthew cites more prophetic declarations that are manifested in the life of Jesus Christ than any other gospel account.

conservative interpretation puts the number of messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus in Matthew at 25. Many biblical scholars state that Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies during His life on earth.

Consider for a moment what the statistical odds are of any one person fulfilling this number of predictions about their life. In fact, to make it simpler, a couple of researchers and mathematicians tried to find out the odds beginning with the odds that one person fulfilled just 8 of these prophecies.

In the book Science Speaks, Peter Stoner and Robert Newman discuss the statistical improbability of one man, whether accidentally or deliberately, fulfilling just eight of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled. The chance of this happening, they say, is 1 in 1017 power. Stoner gives an illustration that helps visualize the magnitude of such odds: “Suppose that we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.”

Inset.4.12.18.2019If one follows the number further and calculates the odds of any person fulfilling 48 such prophecies about himself, the odds become 1 in 10 to the 157th power! That’s 10 with 157 zeros after it!

One other calculation to put some perspective on these numbers. The universe is estimated by most scientists to be 12 to 13 billion years old. Using the 13 billion years figure, that means the universe is approximately 4.1 x 10 to the 17th power seconds old.

Now convert that number to the smallest time measure currently used in science, the nanosecond. A nanosecond is a billionth of a second.

That means the odds of any one person fulfilling 48 of these prophecies is astronomically greater than the number of nanoseconds that have passed since the universe has existed! Only a being of infinite power and knowledge could have done this, and only a being of unfathomable love would have done it.

Jesus as Immanuel, ‘God with us,’ was God’s gift to humanity and the greatest Christmas gift we could ever receive. Let us be eternally thankful and praise the LORD for such a Divine gift of love this Christmas season and forever.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Lorenzoclick’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of jacinta lluch valero’sFlickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Lawrence OP’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Ryk Neethling’s Flick page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Jonathan Gross’Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Leftchurch’s Corruption Manifested at Christmas

Christmas, Leftism, Mainline churchesThe 2019 Christmas season is once again being corrupted by the Leftward churches of ‘mainstream’ Christianity. The story of God’s only Son being born into the world is being used to fuel a TDS inspired political statement against President Trump.

The latest example has been provided by Claremont United Methodist church just outside of Los Angeles, California. In a leftist ‘edited’ version of the Nativity, the church displayed Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated in three “cages” with a clear explanation from its pastor that it is a critique of Trump’s immigration policy.

Corrupting the Nativity for Political Points 

In an excellent piece for mrctv.org, Brittany Hughes notes that the Claremont pastor, Karen Clark Ristine, posted a photo of the display on Facebook and explained,

Cages

“The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family,” Ristine continued. “Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death. What if this family sought refuge in our country today?” she asked. “Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years.”

This is not the first time such a distorted display has been featured as part of the particular church’s Christmas ‘celebration.’ A similar display in a Massachusetts Catholic church was erected last year depicting Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, imprisoning the baby Jesus,

in an ICE detention cage while the three Wise Men looked on through a border fence with a “Deportation” sign and a marker that read, “Peace on Earth?”

There are two grievous errors being made by these church organizations, and many others aligned with Leftism, with their use of Scripture. The first and most egregious is the mangling of Scripture that is on public display.

Mangling the Word of God in a Public Display

The Leftist re-imagining of the Nativity amounts to taking a page from the Scriptures and rewriting it into a political bumper sticker. These churches disregard what is actually written in favor of persuading the gullible that President Trump is more intent on murdering ‘immigrants’ than King Herod was about killing infants.

Christmas, Nativity, Leftist churchesThe ‘theological explanation’ behind these atrocious displays is moronic at best, and purposely deceptive at worst. It is moronic to compare Joseph, Mary, and Jesus running for their lives from Herod with people ‘claiming’ asylum who don’t meet the legal definition of a refugee.

Jesus’ earthly family were, in fact, real refugees and in their era, there was no legal system to confirm that. However, within our own immigration system, they would have met the criteria since there was ample proof they would be killed if they returned.

That cannot be said of many who attempt to claim ‘asylum’ in America now. Secondly, they did not seek to live in Egypt indefinitely and returned to their home ‘country’ once the danger had passed.

Third, the holy family did not go through many other nations that offer asylum before reaching their destination. The first choice was Egypt where God told them to go and it was the first safe haven they reached.

None of this is true today concerning the waves of illegal immigrants who claim ‘asylum’ by mouthing the words ‘credible fear,’ without anything other than the word of adults who might not even be related to the children. In some cases, they might be a relative that ‘rented’ the child to get across the border.

ICE agents found a 7-year-old girl last month who said her mother had rented her out to her uncle so they could pose as a family and he could get more lenient treatment at the border. …The ICE cases are in addition to cases detected by Customs and Border Protection. Over the first six months of fiscal year 2019 — October through March — CBP detected more than 3,500 cases of fake families

Comparing this situation to the solitary flight to Egypt by Joseph, Mary, and Jesus is ludicrous. Putting it into the context of the Nativity makes these churches left-wing political hacks unconcerned with the real meaning of Christ’s incarnation.

The Leftchurch’s Moral Preening and Consistent Hypocrisy

hypocrisy, Christmas, leftismThe Christmas season is perhaps the greatest opportunity for the Leftchurch to engage in moral preening by presenting political points masquerading as moral instruction from God’s Word. Yet, their ‘morals’ here are oddly consistent with the rest of the Left’s phony moral high ground.

The consistency is odd because the Left as a whole is consistently hypocritical when it makes its immoral ‘moral’ claims. These episodes of Nativity displays follow the same pattern.

The simplest method of showing the consistent moral hypocrisy of the Left, including here, is to examine what was being said and done in past years by the same Leftists about the same subjects they pontificate about today.

Sometimes the task is even easier than that because the Left gives itself away with its own pronouncements in the present. That is the case here, and the Claremont United Methodist pastor shows how this is done in her own words as quoted above.

“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years.”

The pastor’s last four words, perhaps unwittingly, reveal the hypocrisy of her supposedly sincere moral outrage. Her mathematical skill is solely applied toward the current administration, implying that this was not a real problem until President Trump came along.

However, the “cages” highlighted in the Nativity displays represent a phenomenon that was created and flourishing during the administration of former President Barack Obama! Yet these churches were not concerned enough about the ‘caging’ of children when Obama was in charge to demonstrate against it then, just as the Leftists in politics and the media were also silent at the time.

…in 2014, Breitbart News’s Border and Cartels Chronicles Editor Brandon Darby broke the story of how child border crossers were being crammed into detention centers and facilities by the Obama administration. These living conditions for border crossers in federal custody, depicted in exclusive photos, went ignored by the establishment media and elected Democrats at the time of their release.

These Nativity displays reveal the ever-malleable morality of the mainstream church which would rather stand with the Socialist Left every issue, particularly today when it comes to opposing President Trump at every turn.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:27-28 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Thomas’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 from Karen Clark Ristine’s Facebook page
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Jared Hansen’sFlickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Kaz Vorpal’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

A Post-Mortem for Mainstream Media Journalism, Part 2: “The Walking Dead” [Video]

A Post-Mortem for Mainstream Media Journalism, Part 2: “The Walking Dead” [Video]The television series “The Walking Dead” has been running for 10 seasons on AMC, and was recently renewed for an 11th season to begin in 2020. The series was set in a dystopian future where zombies, known exclusively as “walkers” in the show, threaten the mindless destruction all of human civilization.

These “walkers” are almost totally brain-dead and yet survive with one instinctive drive remaining within them, the drive to eat those who have not become zombies. Since this defective instinct is all that remains in each “walker”, they are not able to understand that should they prevail, they will ultimately die of starvation.

Part one of this series examined the deterioration and demise of mainstream journalism in America and the west as a whole. One reasonable challenge to that premise is this: If MSM journalism is dead, why are there so many large Leftmedia organizations still operating? 

I believe the answer is that the Leftmedia is really a lot like the “walkers” in TWD. They are already basically dead, they just don’t know it yet.

The Leftmedia Is Mindlessly Driven by Virulent TDS

MSM, Fake news, leftistAs was noted in part one, Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS, has thoroughly infected the Left as a whole, and it is manifested daily by the MSM. The symptoms are expressed by a drive to declare “orange man bad” in all circumstances without a shred of mindfulness or awareness of their obvious absurdity.

The most recent example of this took the form of a completely false story in Newsweek about President Trump staying in Florida over Thanksgiving to “golf” and “tweet” when in fact, as we all know now, Trump spent Thanksgiving in Afghanistan with the U.S. military. The author of the piece was subsequently fired by Newsweek, though it appears she may have been set up by her editors who refused to do a last-minute edit for her before publication.

This TDS obsession with taking President Trump down has gripped the Leftmedia since before he took office. One of the early examples came from CNN’s Chris Cuomo just a few days after the 2016 election.

On CNN’s New Day Wednesday morning, Cuomo vowed to oppose Trump’s policies, and stated he feels it is the job of the media as a whole to treat the next president of the United States with hostility. Per Cuomo, “The media cannot yield. This administration is going to demand constant fact-checking and opposition.”

Moreover, the first public call for the President to be impeached didn’t come from a politician. It was announced in the Washington Post, less than 20 minutes after the Inauguration! The title of the story was, “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”

From that moment through today the Leftmedia has been driven toward that singular goal so forcefully that almost anything the MSM reports must include disparaging comments about the President. From ridiculous remarks about the flawless fashion of the First Lady among Christmas trees in the White House to blaming Trump policies for Hurricanes, it doesn’t matter, as long as the Leftmedia can scratch that TDS itch.

the pundits pushed beyond the standard narrative to specifically bash President Trump about his policies concerning ‘climate change.’ Here is one recent example from that fountain of leftist wisdom, CNN, as noted on the September 13th podcast of “The Buck Sexton Show,”

“While President Trump has been talking up on preparedness, his policies have been tearing down our defenses to climate change, which is often to blame for extreme weather. …on the very same day Trump was discussing ‘Florence’ in the Oval Office, his EPA proposed rolling back restrictions of emissions of methane, which 25 times worse than Carbon Dioxide when it comes to climate change.”

The Leftmedia Is Trying to Destroy Those Not Suffering from TDS

The Leftmedia has realized that not everyone is joining their ranks to destroy the Trump presidency. In other words, despite their claims that the President is some kind of horrific monster threatening the entire world, some remain unconvinced and have even begun to question that narrative.

The Leftmedia react to this much like the “walkers” of TWD when they stumble upon a group of normal human beings who haven’t succumbed to the zombie ‘virus.’ They attack and attempt to destroy them.

One of the more recent examples of this effort came when Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, who defended President Trump’s claim that Ukraine was also guilty of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election. The Leftmedia simply couldn’t abide opposition to its false narrative that Russia was the evil entity.

The main symptom of TDS today is the Leftmedia a refusal to accept the results of the 2016 election. As a result, the country was subjected to almost 3 years of investigating the campaign and administration of President Trump with the MSM assuring us every day that special counsel Robert Mueller and his team were going to end Trump’s presidency by proving “collusion” with Russia.

Even before the naming of a special counsel and any formal investigation, the Leftmedia fomented incessantly about “Russian collusion” with President Trump in the 2016 election.

Throughout 2017 — even before the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel — the networks were obsessed with the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia’s efforts to affect the 2016 presidential election. As noted above, one-fifth of all Trump coverage on the evening newscasts last year was about the Russia probe, making it more prominent than the effort to repeal ObamaCare, tax reform, immigration, or any of the other Trump controversies that TV found so worthy of coverage. Yet very little of the airtime devoted to the Russia investigation was spent looking into how the inquiry into Team Trump first began, or whether Mueller’s current investigation is biased

Since this ‘Russian Collusion’ delusion has come undone, the turn is now to the ridiculous claim that a proper phone conversation, of which the transcript has been made public, somehow mystically contains impeachable offenses. Hogwash that people simply aren’t buying in increasing numbers, which is to the advantage of advancing the truth.

Beating “The Walking Dead” Media

Inset.3.12.12.2019Despite the fact that they are vastly outnumbered, the normal humans of TWD find various ways to survive and even thrive in a hostile environment. They succeed so well, that they are able to unite in various communities and begin the semblance of normal society once again.

There are three keys to beating the Leftmedia “walkers” of today. They are; to be aware, to be alarmed, and to be active.

To be aware means to be intentionally watchful of the MSM and their allies. Once one is aware, the overwhelming majority of sensible people are rightly alarmed at what is happening.

When the alarms begin to sound, the next step is to fight defensively or to be active in countering the Leftmedia propaganda at every turn. This means not allowing false, misleading and twisted claims from the MSM to go unchallenged.

However, we must also go on the offense in this war against the Leftmedia. This means advancing the truth at every opportunity to strike against the monolithic MSM and its claims.

These might appear to be extremely difficult or even impossible tasks but, believe it or not, conservatives are better equipped to accomplish them than ever before of the modern technology of the internet. Now I can almost hear the objections being voiced by many readers.

One of these objections is that the largest information platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are controlled and dominated by the Left. That is true, but it is not all of the truth.

Despite being outnumbered, the conservative voice remains a smaller but stronger force that is active on Leftist platforms. Moreover, particularly since Trump became President, unexpected allies are popping up all over on Left-leaning social media, i.e. the #Walkaway movement and a number of Black conservatives like Candace Owens and Terrence K. Williams on Twitter and Facebook.

Additionally, a new crop of media “watchdogs” have arisen that are effectively exposing the bias of the Leftmedia. Two who merit attentiveness and support, in particular, are the Media Research Center and Project Veritas.

These organizations operate in different ways. MRC watches and tracks the bias of the MSM from the outside. They report this bias with the mathematical simplicity of numbers, that is, how much Leftist bias has been disseminated by the “news” stories of the Leftmedia.

On the other hand, Project Veritas works from the inside with videos by those within the media giants, such as ABC, CBS, NBC, and cable “news” organizations like CNN. More importantly, PV has successfully exposed social media bias within both Facebook and Twitter.

Moreover, there are a number of enterprising individuals and groups who have recently started various alternatives to the Leftmedia in just about every area possible. Credit must be given here to the rise of conservative talk-radio, mainly through the success of the legendary Rush Limbaugh, which has paved the way for more recent efforts.

Younger conservative news outlets have arrived in both the cable and online venues. Notable among those are One America News [OAN] and Blaze TV that provide straight reporting and conservative commentary with facts, intelligence, and entertaining formats.

Modern Tech Means “We the People” are the Media Now

Inset.4.12.12.2019The key to successfully combatting the Leftmedia is to determine where the most effective battleground is located, as one would in any armed conflict. Today, that battleground is the internet, and most of all, the arena of social media.

President Trump recognized this early in his 2016 campaign. He charged into the realm of social media and has advanced his conservative agenda ever since, particularly on Twitter.

Those who have followed the President’s lead are making a real impact upon the news media arena in society. Moreover, the social media “field” is ready to be harvested.

According to some recent survey statistics,

Digital outlets serve as the main source of news for the majority of those under 35, including 64% of those between the ages of 18 and 24. Meanwhile, TV still reigns supreme for 51% of those over 55.

Authors Yvonne Burton and Lewis Everett wrote an excellent piece on redpilldentinel.com imploring conservatives to understand and employ the power and potential of the presence we already enjoy in “social media” today.

They argue that the Left must be countered by more than defensive moves and that conservatives must “pivot” and go on the offense specifically on “social media,” and that we are in an optimum position to do this now. The process for making such a “pivot” is twofold.

First of all, we must stop believing that the arena of social media is somehow unworthy of our efforts, and ceding that ground to the Left.

The old gatekeepers are not in charge. CNN and Fox are on in the background. People tune into social media personalities with intent and passion. Has the MSM lasted this long because of cable bundles and airport contracts?  No one actively seeks out a Brian Stelter or a Jake Tapper to get their take on things.  On social media people actively and intentionally tune into Paul Joseph Watson’s videos on current events and culture. People actively seek out videos from hip hop star and current events commentator An0maly. People actively seek out Will Chamberlain’s analysis of all things related to the law. People actively read  the Twitter timelines of Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec, and Ali Alexander to stay up to date on all the latest current events. [my italic]

As evidence that this quote is a correct assessment, consider this point. Mike Cernovich has over 528,000 followers on Twitter. That is close to some of the recent viewership totals for all of CNN news!

The embattled CNN, which always lands in far-last place and axed more than 100 jobs already this year, had about as bad of a ratings month as is possible in May. … the fake news outlet’s total day viewers dove nine percent (compared to this same month last year) to just 559,000 viewers.

Leftist media, MSMThe big dog in the Twitter universe is President Trump, hands down. He currently has 67.4 million followers on that platform.

It is certainly not the largest following on Twitter. That title belongs to former President Barack Obama at 108 million followers, just edging out Katy Perry.

However, I submit that it is certainly not Obama that drives the political discourse on Twitter and through that medium, around the world. It is President Trump’s tweets that drive entire news cycles on the MSM and conservative media.

Of course, there is also the issue of censorship being employed on social media toward conservative voices. The way to combat this tactic is twofold.

First, do not abandon the conservative voice on the mega-platforms of social media. I believe the idea should be to make them remove us, but we aren’t going to remove ourselves for you.

Second, seek out the free-speech conservative alternative social media and internet news outlets and support them. Competition is a basic capitalist and conservative principle, and more of it is needed in the tech world.

Such competition is beginning to surface in most areas of internet communication. Here are some of my personal preferences for alternatives to the Leftmedia on the internet.

Search Engine/Browser alternatives to Google: DuckDuckGo, Opera, Firefox
Email: protonmail.com
News, Information, Commentary: One America News, Gateway Pundit, The Federalist, Breitbart, The Patriot Post, ZeroHedge, Western Journalism, BlazeTV, Prager U, The Washington Times, The Epoch Times, billwhittle.com, the Buck Sexton Show, Judicial Watch, Project Veritas
Media Bias: The Media Research Center[MRC]
Social Media: Parler and MeWe are my current favorites. They are mostly populated by conservatives but there is no banning, shadow or otherwise, except for reasonable limits such as no pornography or illegal content.

Leftmedia “journalism” and the MSM are dying on the vine. The time has come to declare the truth that “We the people” ARE the media now, and we can unleash the truth against the lies and slanders of the enemy to defeat them.

For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. Psalm 5:9-11 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Donald Lee Pardue’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of The People Speak!’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of id-iom’s Flickrpage – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Automotive Social’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Richard Loyal French’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Remembering Pearl Harbor and Raising The “Greatest Generation” [Video]

Pearl Harbor, Greatest Generation

December 7, 2019, was the 78th anniversary of the attack by Imperial Japan on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In 1941, it was a typical early Sunday morning an entire lifetime ago.

Families were getting ready to head to worship services all over the Hawaiian islands. Others were enjoying the blessing of another day of beautiful weather in Hawaii. That included the Naval personnel not on duty at Pearl Harbor.

It began like any typical Sunday, with no one believing that only a few hours later, 2,400 of them would be dead. That only a few hours after sunrise on December 7, 1941, the world would change forever, putting a terrible lie to the phrase, a ‘typical’ Sunday.

The Children of the Great Depression Go to War

The Greatest GenerationThe Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was one that America didn’t see coming and we weren’t adequately prepared for it at the time. The nation was shocked and sorrowful and roused to righteous anger as America plunged into World War II.

The young Americans who fought and died in that war have been called the “greatest generation.” However, before they were the “greatest generation,” they were children in the Great Depression, which the country was still mired in more than a decade after it began when Japanese bombers and fighters ravaged the American naval base at Pearl Harbor.

It is no overstatement to say that these young warriors from America literally saved the world those many decades ago. Yet, many of World War II’s first American victims at Pearl Harbor lived their formative years steeped in poverty and desperation.

What made these children into men and women strong and courageous enough to overcome the fearsome enemies that threatened the freedom of the entire globe? There are many factors that affect the formation of any person, but arguably the most important of these is the family environment.

Therefore, a key to understanding the “greatest generation” is to understand something of what their families were like when they were children. What was family life like in America during the Great Depression and how did that shape those who would later be thrown into the greatest and most devastating war in history?

Family Life in the Great Depression

2750282427_4e5cf57c6e_w

A rare color photo of a Depression-era family

The family unit was strained and though divorce rates plummeted during the Depression, more men, in particular, were abandoning families than in the past. Yet, compared to such statistics today, the family was a far more stable unit during the 1930s.

Of course, survival in such tough times had a significant impact upon keeping many families together, as one would expect. Family life necessarily varied depending upon what part of the country a family occupied.

In both rural and urban areas, the hardships forced families and communities to become innovators at being co-operatively frugal. One such example was the creation of community “thrift gardens” in many urban areas which helped serve the needs of multitudes of people.

Many families strived for self-sufficiency by keeping small kitchen gardens with vegetables and herbs. Some towns and cities allowed for the conversion of vacant lots to community “thrift gardens” where residents could grow food. Between 1931 and 1932, Detroit’s thrift garden program provided food for about 20,000 people. Experienced gardeners could be seen helping former office workers—still dressed in white button-down shirts and slacks—to cultivate their plots.

Many rural families had to contend with the father leaving for extended periods to find work. Other families moved to the cities in search of better fortunes and small towns got smaller and the residents more tightly-knit together for mutual survival.

However, none of these facts and statistics can adequately tell the story of how the “greatest generation” was raised. It is the family stories alone that can provide better insight into what it was like to be a child in a Depression-era family.

“The Walton’s”, a True-to-life Family Story Amidst the Depression

December 19, 1971, a new Christmas movie entitled “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” aired on television and the world was introduced to the “Walton” family. The movie was characterized as the “pilot” episode of a new TV series which began a nine-year run with weekly episodes from 1972-1981.

3159463657_b7995f59bb_w

The original family house of Earl Hamner Jr., creator of “The Waltons”

The series was a fictionalized account based on the real-life of its creator, Earl Hamner Jr., who also narrated each episode. It became enormously popular especially in America and allowed viewers a glimpse into the life of a rural family through the Great Depression and World War II.

The role of John Walton Jr., aka “John-boy”, played by Richard Thomas, was modeled after Hamner himself, and the series revolved around his life in rural Virginia during the 1930s and 40s. This remarkable program showed many millions a family unlike the ‘modern’ family of the 70s and 80s, and totally alien to what are called “families” today.

For instance, three generations of Waltons lived under the same roof of a two-story country home in Virginia. Grandparents, parents, and children, 12 people in all, lived in the Walton/Hamner home.

Family life under the best of circumstances was a constant battle with soul-crushing poverty, and viewers of “The Waltons” observed the manifestation of an adopted motto from the Depression,

 “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.”

One of the most profound parts of the Hamner’s personal, and the fictional “Waltons” family was the place of faith in the household. In this short video clip, that is reflected via a conversation between ‘John-boy’ and ‘Grandpa’ Walton about God at a moment of decision for the Walton family’s eldest child.

Were ‘The Waltons’ a perfect family? Far from it. Their weaknesses and setbacks were displayed many times during the series.

However, the portrait of a family such as the Waltons reveals that before the “greatest generation” went to war, they were molded in the toughest of times with fierce family loyalty and respect for God, country, and family values.

Life is far different nowadays, and of course, there is no going back in time no matter how much we may long to do so. What can be done is to bring the unchanging truths from the past into our individual lives and families first.

Relearn the truth that faith and patriotism must go hand-in-hand at the basic level of the family. This can be promoted even today if we start with one person, one family, and one community at a time.

Will there be loud opposition to those attempting to live with respect for God and dedication to a renewal of family values in the land? You can count on it.

But will it be any worse than the struggles of the Depression-era family in America? I think not, and moreover, whatever obstacles are placed before us should first drive us to our knees calling upon the God of the universe for strength and wisdom.

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Daly Sorvongsavanh’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Robert Huffstutter’s  Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Evan Bench’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Kipp Teague’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The First Promise of Advent

The First Promise of AdventThe four Sundays prior to Christmas are traditionally known as “Advent,” within most Christian churches. It is a time of both anticipation and preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth into our world more than two millennia ago.

December 1, 2019, is the first Sunday of Advent on the church calendar. Many churches feature special events prior to or even as a part of congregational worship gatherings. These usually include the introduction of Christmas “hymns” or special music selections familiar to most of the people who will attend.

Since Christmas is a time that many people visit churches who don’t regularly attend, Advent is also a time when additional presentations are held such as dramas and musical performances. These special services are often prepared months in advance with the help of numerous volunteers who strive to make the season more meaningful for those who attend.

There are some potential problems with the tradition of Advent that can go largely unaddressed because they are unrecognized. One problem fits the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt,” in that the more practice one has over many years participating in Advent, the more one can overlook the meaning of doing it at all by simply taking Advent for granted.

Another significant problem involves those who are among casual church-goers whose main motivation may be to observe children or other relatives participating in Christmas plays or in a special choir performance. Instead of taking Advent for granted, these people can easily just dismiss it altogether as one more “event” to attend around the ‘holiday’ season.

In short, this epitomizes the difficulty every church and every pastor has in preparation for this time of year. How can the marvelous message of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, bring born as a human being to bring His creation the good news of God’s love and grace, be meaningful and impactful for everyone?

The First “Advent” Promise, the Proto-Evangelium

Advent wreathThe four Sundays of Advent also feature an activity only engaged in during this time of year, the lighting of the Advent candles. A different candle is lit each week symbolizing the qualities of hope, faith, joy, and peace given to humanity by the coming of Jesus.

The candles are most often arranged in a circular pattern within an Advent “wreath.” In the center of the wreath, a larger white candle is usually placed to symbolize the birth of Christ, and is thus known as the “Christ candle.” Usually, a short ceremony/teaching accompanies the lighting of each candle to help express the meaning behind the concepts.

I will not delve into the history of how the idea of an Advent season came about and how it has developed until today. Rather, I propose to present a biblical case that the true meaning of Advent is contained and expressed within the Word of God.

I have always believed that the true meaning of anything is inextricably tied to its origin. Therefore, the meaning of Advent as a concept [rather than the meaning of the term itself] can be found in the origin of the concept in the Bible.

Advent originates in the Bible where the writing begins, in the book of Genesis. It is first presented by the words of God in the Garden of Eden in the aftermath of Adam and Eve’s first disobedience of God.

God spoke to Satan who had taken the form of a serpent,

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15 [ESV]

This verse is known by biblical students and scholars as the proto-Evangelium, or “first gospel” message ever presented.  In the midst of pronouncing the punishment for the original sin of humanity, the LORD drops a nugget of golden “good news” to look forward to in the future.

Gabriel, Mary, AdventSpecifically, God promised that sometime in the future, the offspring of the woman would fight against and triumph over the offspring of the ‘serpent’. It is a unique promise because it identifies the one who will come as the “her” offspring, rather than a descendant from both Adam and Eve.

There are other instances in prophecy when God specifies that the promised One is going to be born of a woman alone. The most familiar of these comes from chapter one of Luke’s gospel as announced to Mary by the angel Gabriel.

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. Luke 1:30-35 [ESV]

The first promise of Advent is that Christ is coming to fulfill the plan of salvation set in motion way back in Genesis. Moreover, the promise was also that He is coming in a miraculous manner that God alone could accomplish, being born of a virgin!

Advent helps us recall the hope of this promise, and look toward God to fulfill it on our behalf, even at great cost to Himself. Realizing and accepting that promise in each heart brings the ultimate hope for our eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

Take time this Advent season to grab onto the promise of God for yourself through faith in Christ. It will be the best Christmas gift anyone could ever acquire.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Reel Ministry’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Christine Macintosh’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Percy Sledge Agbunag Carballo’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published at TIL Journal