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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God and Guns

Written by Anne Bicks, Editor and Marketing of Bicks Books LLC

Last Monday, I watched an event unfold in my (almost) home state of Virginia. The people I admire and love were under attack for their 2nd Amendment rights and guns. Flashbacks whizzed through my memory as if it were yesterday. I recall my dad and brothers spending many hours cleaning their guns in the living room. My oldest brother, an NRA board member, has won many medals in target shooting over the years. However, my father was a real stickler about gun safety. His words resounded in my mind – “never point it at someone” and “don’t go near the gun case without someone being with you.”

When I moved to Virginia as an adult, most of my friends belonged to hunting clubs. Some may classify them as “rednecks,” but they were the kindest human beings I ever knew, regardless of the stigma assigned to them by outsiders. Murdering others, and disrespectful, threatening behavior was not in their dialogue. So, why are these law-abiding citizens now considered the anti-Christ?

I studied the Bible for information about guns and Christians owning weapons. Many scriptures condone the use of weaponry, such as in Luke 22:37-39, where Jesus affirmed it is sometimes necessary to be armed for self-defense. In biblical times, militaries were commanded to carry something for self-defense. Nowhere does the Bible tell a soldier to give up his weapon for a life of peace.

However, there is a glitch to ponder about God and guns. Though God encourages a believer to own weapons for hunting and protection, weapons are still to be governed by civil authorities and the will of God.

What does this mean to gun owners?

Before we purchase a gun, we should consider our motivation for owning one. Is it to harm someone else, or is it to protect our life and family? After all, Jesus’ greatest commandment is to love God and love others. Exodus 22:2-3 shows that self-defense must be proportional. We can fulfill the strength of God, often, just by our faith, not self-defense.

We inherently understand there is plenty of evil in the world. Jesus understood this because he allowed one of his disciples to carry self-protection. Murders and mass murders existed long before rifles were invented, and it still exists today in countries where firearms are illegal. Explosives and box cutters committed the worst school massacre in 1927 in America, not guns.

History has proven we will never live in a violence-free society through the laws of man. Our government is mistaken to think they can control those who walk the earth intending to harm innocent people. Mankind can never control the mentally ill or those possessed with an evil spirit. We must understand that only God can protect our life, for He had a plan for us before we were born.

Whether a Christian should take steps to protect his life and family, or trust in God for protection, will always remain a debate. I’m sure a believer’s opinion on guns will be based on cultural issues more than biblical mandates. It is unfortunate one side or the other will be hurt by a government who is falsely misleading its citizens. Maybe we should pray for the officials’ peace of understanding.

Strengthen us in the power of Your might, O God. Dress us in Your armor so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil. We know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:10-12


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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

 

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

A Post-Mortem for Mainstream Media Journalism [Video]

Mainstream media, Fake newsWatching the performance “journalism” of the supposed ‘Mainstream’ media during Trump’s presidency often evokes reactions from laughter to rage among supporters of the President. However, this is a significant moment in the history of journalism itself, for we are witnessing the death knell of the MSM, and are on the precipice of an entirely new era of media journalism which is rising to fill the void.

The fall of MSM journalism began in earnest a little more than a half-century ago during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. The event that became the impetus for journalism’s wholesale embrace of Leftist activism was the Vietnam War.

Leftist Journalism and The War in Vietnam

Photo shows soldier lying down in high grass during patrol on Jan. 10, 1966 in Vietnam, soldier is unidentified. (AP Photo)

The Vietnam War was unique in the annals of journalism in that it was the first time journalists could cover a war in close to real-time and deliver that coverage to the entirety of America via video reports on television. Prior to this, most news was disseminated via the newspaper and on the radio or in short news clips that preceded a movie showing at the theater.

This meant that the destruction and horror of war were starting to be beamed into living rooms across the nation and the globe on an almost daily basis. Moreover, the analysis and commentary of media stars such as Walter Cronkite began charting a leftward media course that was instrumental in ignominiously ending the Vietnam War.

The February 1968 assessment by Walter Cronkite, the anchor of the CBS Evening News (known as “the most trusted man in America”), that the conflict was “mired in stalemate” was seen by many as the signal of a sea change in reporting about Vietnam, and it is said to have inspired Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson to state, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.”

The influence of network journalists on the “big three” alphabet stations, CBS, ABC, and NBC continued to grow and continued to inch ever-leftward through the 1970s. The Watergate hearings in 1974 seemed to permanently place MSM journalism as the news authority and raised the Washington Post to greater fame than ever after reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the story wide open with information obtained by a secret informant known then as ‘Deep Throat.’

However, that dominance was soon to become threatened by the advent of cable television, and the innovative and determined mind of a media mogul named Ted Turner. His creation of a 24-hour news channel was a brand new invention that changed the journalistic landscape forever.

The Emergence of Cable News and the Case of Richard Jewell

The original Cable News Network, CNN, was the brainchild of Ted Turner and came meekly onto the media scene in 1980.

CNN was created by maverick broadcasting executive Ted Turner as part of his Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), allegedly because industry professionals had told him it could not be done. After four years in development, CNN signed on the air June 1, 1980, with a news telecast anchored by the husband-and-wife team of Dave Walker and Lois Hart.

Ted Turner was enamored of Leftist causes throughout his career, most notably as a champion of ‘environmentalism.’ Early hints of other left-wing views like globalism emerged right from the beginning of CNN’s existence.

Endeavouring to accommodate its worldwide audience, CNN adopted a policy of banning such exclusionary words and phrases as “foreign” and “here at home” from its newscasts.

The fledgling news network struggled to gain much of an audience for the first few years after its premiere. CNN began to climb in the ratings when it scooped the networks on the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster in 1986, and especially with its in-country coverage of the Gulf War in the early 1990s.

Richard Jewell, Mainstream mediaThe world got a glimpse of the power of the leftist MSM and how that power can be abused on July 27, 1996, with the bombing at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. A man by the name of Richard Jewell discovered the bomb, notified law enforcement and helped clear the area before the bomb detonated.

However, within two days Jewell went from hero to prime suspect of the FBI, which was reported first in headlines from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 30. The networks and print media began to descend upon Jewell like a pack of ravenous wolves, beginning with Atlanta-based CNN.

For the next few months, Jewell was hounded by reporters from all three national networks as well as CNN and vilified in national newspapers as the likely bomber. In one particularly egregious case of journalistic overreach, an August 1, 1996 column by David Kindred of the AJC linked Jewell to a convicted murderer.

Once upon a terrible time, federal agents came to this town to deal with another suspect who lived with his mother. Like this one, that suspect was drawn to the blue lights and sirens of police work. Like this one, he became famous in the aftermath of murder. His name was Wayne Williams. This one is Richard Jewell. …Richard Jewell sits in the shadows today. Wayne Williams sits in prison forever.

It wasn’t until October 26 that Jewell was officially cleared. Years later the actual bomber was arrested and convicted of the Olympic bombing as well as several other bombings in the area.

The Rise of Social Media

During this same period, another technological breakthrough took place which would change the media universe and bring a host of other players outside the normal circle of journalism into play. That was the ascendance of the internet and the subsequent explosion of ‘social media’ onto the scene.

The development of the internet began in the 1960s as an American military effort to link computers together in the event that a nuclear attack destroyed the telephone-based communications of the time. However, the internet as we know it today came about in 1991.

That year, a computer programmer in Switzerland named Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web: an internet that was not simply a way to send files from one place to another but was itself a “web” of information that anyone on the Internet could retrieve. Berners-Lee created the Internet that we know today.

Six years later the first ‘social media’ network was launched. It was known as “Six Degrees.”

It was officially launched in 1997, and it lasted until about 2001. It’s number of users peaked at around 3.5  million. It was bought out by YouthStream Media Networks in 1999 for $125 million, but it shut down just one year later.

The next social media platform came out in 2002 and was called “Friendster.” It became the first such site to claim over 100 million users but eventually went bust in 2015.

Social media influenceThen the floodgates began to open. In 2003 it was “MySpace,” followed by “Facebook” in 2004 which grew to the largest social media platform ever with 2.45 billion active monthly users so far in 2019.  “Twitter” came along in 2006 and has now grown to 330 million monthly active users according to figures from the first quarter of 2019.

This explosive growth did more than simply make people like Mark Zuckerburg and Jim Dorsey extremely wealthy. It opened up a brand new media arena for journalism in the digital age and the Leftmedia quickly took full advantage of that.

The fact that the heads of the social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter were also of Leftist persuasions tended to favor a Leftmedia slant toward what has been allowed and what has not on both these platforms. This slant remained relatively unnoticed until the 2016 election of Donald Trump.

The 2016 Election, the Birth of ‘Fake News’, and TDS

Donald Trump became the GOP nominee for President in July of 2016, and the Leftmedia hasn’t stopped howling about him ever since. However, since most of the “experts” gave Trump no chance to defeat Hillary Clinton, that howling was a mere murmur compared to what was to come.

Since the election of Donald Trump, the Leftmedia has earned the label of “fake news” that the President employs with such success. However, the term was not one he invented.

Fake news, Mainstream mediaIn the 2016 campaign for President, the term “fake news” was first used by the Clinton camp speaking about the Wikileaks release of emails from Hillary’s campaign manager John Podesta. They claimed these released emails were not authentic and called them “fake news.”

President Trump masterfully appropriated and used this term to reveal bit-by-bit the duplicity of the Leftmedia as a whole for the last three years. Moreover, it likely contributed to the creation and spread of another term used to describe the anti-Trump crowd in society as suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome or TDS.

I have written about the realitydanger, and spread of TDS on several occasions in this journal. Though this pernicious disease is not limited to Leftmedia ‘journalism’, TDS is expressed there more starkly and in more abundance than anywhere else.

The relationship between TDS and “fake news” as one of its symptoms can be demonstrated through a “thread” which I found while sifting through the muck on my Twitter feed. A “thread” is a series of posts from one user concerning the same subject.

Since Twitter has a strict limit on how many characters a person is allowed to put into one post, a “thread” is a way to write a longer story with a series of shorter ‘chapters’, so to speak. These are employed by most who use Twitter, however, this “thread” was unusual for both its length and content.

It consisted of over 100 postings and the content was mainly side-by-side screenshots of headlines from both digital and print Leftmedia ‘news’ stories highlighting the hypocrisy and deception employed by their ilk.

Here is how this posting by user “Incarcerated_ET” begins:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Anons present to you:
THE FAKE NEWS
-their duplicity
-their hypocrisy
-their agenda
-their coordinated efforts
-and out right lies
>>side by side for easy dissemination
>>just like Q asked

A thread!

View image on Twitter

 

This example is a mild introduction beginning with the obvious TDS of Ms. Wellington gushing over the “dream come true” of HRC in a plain white pantsuit and then declaring that Melania’s white dress was equivalent to the GOP being for whites only!

These instructive comparisons continue on and reveal many which seem petty, like the one above, and others that are outright furious and hostile towards the President or anything associated with him.

Here is one item in the same stream from the Leftist site “Slate,” on why the electoral college is a great idea, and then why it is not only terrible but was a racist idea from the beginning.

Image

Note how Slate’s opinion changed dramatically when it was Obama winning in 2012 versus when Trump won in 2016. Here is another example of the 100+ samples in the thread from dear old reliable CNN.

Image

CNN begins with the assertion that “paid family leave” is a wonderful concept which should be embraced by everyone. But then, Trump agrees and places it in his budget and viola, “paid family leave” is suddenly a bad thing!

Here is the last piece I will share from the thread demonstrating both TDS and “fake news” on the very same page.

Image

The “fake news” was the large headline printed directly under the actual truth about the President’s statement which did condemn “white supremacists” and everyone else involved in the violent protests at Charlottesville. Guess which one of these assertions is still being used as ammunition against President Trump even today.

TDS and “fake news” have been the SOP of the Left from the very start of Trump’s presidency, including the failed “Mueller Report,” and has continued into the current phony “impeachment inquiry” in the House of Representatives. Here is a brief video ensemble showing why this is simply another dose of “fake news” and TDS by the Leftmedia.

Erick Erickson

@EWErickson

Dear members of the media, if you want to understand why no one cares about impeachment and minds are not being changed, watch this and understand.

Embedded video

The narrative of the Leftmedia is crumbling under the onslaught brought about by those
who actually pay attention to the Leftist’s diatribes on social media. Moreover, that
number of people is growing by the day and portends the death of Leftmedia
“journalism.

What is also being slowly realized by those same people is that the “media” is no longer what is spoon-fed to us by the elites in the mainstream. We will explore the recent declaration of this new phenomenon by the phrase, “We are the media now,” in part two of this series.

“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:13-18 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jose Martins’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of manhhai’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Abbott’s Patch Collection’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Paul Inkles’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Christoph Scholz’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

 

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

The Evil Insanity of Gender Identity, Part Three: Legitimizing Lunacy and Dissolving Sexuality

LGBT, Gender Identity

In part one of this series, we explored how the children who are pushed into ‘transitioning’ from one sex to another are exploited and victimized. Part two was a glimpse at the damage done to society overall by the ‘trans-rights’ movement.

As this aberrant movement has grown in influence in society, the push to legitimize ‘trans-rights’ has rapidly moved beyond cultural acceptance and now reaches to acquire the federal status of law. As noted in this journal, the first stage of the process is already finished with the passage of HR-5 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill was sent on to the Senate in May of this year, where it now sits in the Judiciary Committee and no further action has been taken. No hearings or debates or votes have yet taken place.

Making Lunacy a Legitimate “Right”

Inset.1.11.17.2019The goal of the ‘trans-rights’ community is not the social acceptance of their cause. As important as this is, it is merely one step toward the goal.

The real goal is to make the cause socially ascendant so that ‘transgenderism’s’  claim as some sort of ‘civil right’ is both culturally and legally established. For the Left, whether that conforms to scientific or moral norms is irrelevant to accomplishing that end.

In the previous parts of this series, we have observed how ‘trans-rights’ advocacy and claims have asserted themselves in the areas of family court, women’s sports, and public education. Regulations and the law have been used to promote ‘transgenderism’ as a civil right in each of these areas.

However, since this movement isn’t scientifically or morally correct, the Left’s favorite new social activists, ‘trans-rights’ proponents, began their legal maneuvering by taking aim at the language. Thus was born the epic redefinition of gender as expressed in pronouns.

The Left decided that no longer should anyone be allowed to use the designation “he” or “she” to speak to or about someone who claimed they were ‘transitioning’ from one sex to another. This materialized at a national level in Canada in 2016.

One of the most infamous defiers of this Canadian law is Dr. Jordan Peterson. He has decided that he will not comply with a law that requires him to state what is untrue as if it were true.

In an article about Canada’s Federal Bill C16, Peterson writes that as a part of a video series,

I also indicated my refusal to apply what are now known as “preferred” pronouns to people who do not fit easily into traditional gender categories (although I am willing to call someone “he” or “she” in accordance with their manner of self-presentation).

Inset.2.11.17.2019He also goes on to point out in 2016, that such legal lunacy was already beginning a legislative creep into America.

If you are wondering, reasonably, why any of this might be relevant to Americans, you might note that legislation very similar to Bill C-16 has already been passed in New York City.  Authorities there now fine citizens up to $250,000 for the novel crime of “mis-gendering” — referring to people by any words other than their pronouns of choice (including newly constructed words such as zie/hir, ey/em/eir and co).

Other cities and states have been following suit with enacting ‘misgendering’ legislation. In one example from October of 2017, the California legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law,

SB 219 …was introduced by state senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California. It penalizes senior healthcare workers who “misgender” any patients identifying as transgender by failing to address the patient by their preferred gender pronouns. Any employees who “willfully or repeatedly violate” SB 219 could be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to punishment of a $1000 fine, or even up to one year in jail.

The battlefront of labor law has not been neglected by ‘trans-rights’ advocates in America. Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided to embrace the ‘gender identity’ movement.

the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interpreted Title VII Sex Discrimination to include the transgender population, and this radically changes employment. …the EEOC believes that a transgender woman should be allowed to use the common women’s restroom, and when not allowed, this is considered disparate treatment. Intentional misgendering or misuse of a transgender employee’s new pronoun or name could also be considered sex discrimination.

Since the language has to change on the pronoun level, it follows that public facilities must also change their designations, i.e. ‘men’s’ or ‘women’s’ restrooms or locker rooms, to reflect the official policy of lunacy in action. It is ironic that should these efforts prove successful, the end result will be the insane dissolution of human sexual nature forever.

Human Sexual Identity Is Dissolved by Gender ‘Fluidity’

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Gender Identity Map with over 100 different divisions

The main premise of the Left’s ‘trans-rights’ crowd is the notion that gender is twofold. First, gender is not a biological designation, it is merely a “social construct” that can and should be ignored.

Second is the belief that gender is somehow ‘fluid’ in nature. That is, gender is not simply male or female but rather exists in a range between these two and can move like a fluid from one pole to another, or settle anywhere in between.

Therefore, when a person is born, their sexual identity is not identified, it is “assigned” and need not be that person’s ‘actual’ identity. In fact, that is what motivates other legislation such as Oregon’s law that one’s designation on a driver’s license or state identification or birth certificate can be marked “x” in place of “m” or “f”.

This legal option is not limited to Oregon alone. Other states with similar laws include California, Washington, Maine, Minnesota, Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, and Massachusetts, with New Hampshire, Hawaii and, Pennsylvania set to enact such measures in 2020.

What seems to go unrecognized is the logical implication of accepting the ‘trans-rights’ claim upon the people that designate themselves as LGBT rights proponents. For if the ‘gender is fluid’ thesis is accepted, all of human sexuality is called into question.

The ‘binary’ nature of human sexual identity is antithetical to transgenderism, as has already been noted. That being so, any claim that only males are gay, or that only a female could be a lesbian, or even that anyone could be bisexual is rendered null and void.

The claim of the ‘transgendered’ person that gender is fluid means that one might claim they are a gay man today, but tomorrow claim that they are instead a “male lesbian.” In other words, if gender fluidity is real it must always be fluid which means that gender identity can never be settled.

Inset.4.11.17.2019Incidentally, the concept of someone being a “male lesbian” is a real thing and was written about a long time ago in psychology circles. A Montana State University professor who is now retired defined a “male lesbian” in 1987 as,

a heterosexual man who wishes that he had been born a woman, but who (even if he had been a woman) could only make love to another woman and never to a man. Unlike the transsexual, the “male lesbian” does not feel himself to be “a woman trapped inside the body of a man”.

It cannot be that gender fluidity is a temporary reality for anyone if the ‘trans-rights’ advocates are correct. That would mean that ‘gender identity’ is a choice, or a preference, rather than a fact of existence.

This also contradicts the long-held claim by gay-rights activists that homosexuality is not a preference but an inherent condition and thus not able to be changed. If transgender ideas are accepted, one could be a lesbian, a gay male, and perhaps even bisexual within mere moments depending on one’s mindset at the time.

The absurdity of this concept should be apparent but is it less absurd than the idea that “male lesbians” are a real thing? The evil of the ‘gender identity’ offensive is the attempt to force insanity upon everyone who doesn’t believe the lunacy.

‘Gender fluidity’ only dissolves all other categories of gender to create a chaotic mass of madness. That is the logical result of allowing disturbed and irrational minds to determine truth and reality, and it must be shown for the danger that it poses to our children, our society, and to our freedom to speak out and oppose its destructive delusion.

You felt secure in your wickedness; you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.” But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon you suddenly, of which you know nothing. Isaiah 47:10-11 [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 Christopher Sessums’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Ant Smith’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Heather’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal