And so he should.

All week long, the media have told us all about the Far Right people in Charlottesville, but nothing about the violent Alt-Left who were there. I wrote about Antifa and others yesterday.

To recap, this Charlottesville thing was a set-up designed to bring President Donald Trump down. The Far Right and the Far Left were actors and pawns used — and paid — by powerful Trump enemies. I explained why earlier in the week.

President Donald Trump made a statement on Saturday, August 12, 2017 rightly condemning both sides — while the melée was still going on. Big Media weren’t happy because he said the Left as well as the Right were involved in the violence. He made another statement on Monday, August 14, focussing on the Right. No one was happy, including his supporters. On Tuesday, August 15 at Trump Tower — because the White House is being renovated — he took the gloves off.

The interruptions from reporters were epic and uncalled for. A black Trump-supporting talk show host rightly pointed out:

Apparently …

One can imagine the president was well and truly fed up.

How many statements does he need to make about this?

So, he asked the media, ‘What about the Alt-Left?’ That occurs about halfway through this video, which is only part of the press conference, which was supposed to be about his new infrastructure policies, which is why Trump was flanked by newly married treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and transportation secretary Elaine Chao. Instead, it was mostly about Charlottesville. Watch the body language and note the welcome absence of a teleprompter:

Elaine Chao looks on in admiration. She’s married to do-nothing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

This is the next part, which is about violent activists pulling down Confederate statues. Trump asks where it will stop and if Washington and Jefferson are next:

Asking how far these unhinged radicals will go led to a confrontation between Trump and the always complaining, ever-interrupting Jim Acosta from CNN, who, as I said yesterday, needs his press pass pulled — permanently. In fact, CNN should be suspended indefinitely from press briefings:

The White House issued a summary of talking points about the press conference. Particularly enjoyable is the bullet point that reads (emphases mine below):

The media reacted with hysteria to the notion that counter-protesters showed up with clubs spoiling for a fight, a fact that reporters on the ground have repeatedly stated.

Hilarious — and so true.

The Daily Wire, not necessarily a pro-Trump site, enjoyed it. It was vintage Trump — the man so many voted for — for sure. Excerpts follow from ‘Trump’s Epic Presser Clarifies Three Truths That Have Driven The MSM Insane’ (emphases of numbered items in the original):

During a fiery question and answer session with the leftwing media Tuesday afternoon, President Trump arrived loaded for bear. The presser was vintage Trump. Combative, oftentimes hilarious, and filled with deeply satisfying moments that sometimes happen when Trump is at his best, moments when stark truths are finally said out loud, and by the President of the United States, no less.

Trump appeared to enjoy every moment of the hostile back and forth. Moreover, he had three truths he wanted to communicate to the American people, and so that is exactly what he did and we are now a better country for it.

1. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis.”

Trump again blasted the white supremacists in Charlottesville, and he also tore into the man charged with driving his car into a group of Antifa counter-protesters as a “disgrace to his family and country … a murderer.”

However, Trump also pointed out that not everyone who protested that day against the removal of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s statue is a racist

The media’s response to this truth has been unhinged. They are claiming Trump believes there are good people in the white supremacist movement. This despite the fact he made clear — without being asked — that this is exactly what he did not mean:

I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers.

2. “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington?”

Although Trump made clear that he believes, and appropriately so, that the decision to remove statues should be left to local governments, he also made another clarifying point: Where does this madness end?

Acosta kept saying, ‘No, sir. No, sir,’ but I’ve seen this many times before in my lifetime: mission creep — smoking bans being a primary example.

Back to the article, which also suggests mission creep:

Quite hilariously the disingenuous is pretending Trump is insane for lumping together Lee with Jefferson and Washington, even though the calls from the Left to memory-hole our slave-owning Founding Fathers, to remove their statues and tributes, have been floated for more than a decade.

Where will it end?

Lincoln was serious about freeing the slaves and shipping them back to Africa. West Virginia is lousy with tributes to Klansman (and Democrat) Robert Byrd. Ulysses Grant owned slaves. Franklin Roosevelt interned the Japanese.

The media can pretend the Left’s Taliban-ish crusade for historical purity is not real, but it is, and Americans know it.

3. “There was violence on both sides.”

This is, without question, the most important point the president made, and he made it repeatedly.

Post-Charlottesville, the MSM’s shameless propaganda push, their audacious and coordinated attempt to write the culpability of Antifa out of Saturday’s riot is not only Orwellian, it is (and this is by design) dangerous. The media obviously wants Antifa motivated and out there, wants their own personal army of Brownshirts fanning out across the country to break heads, not just of Nazis but of everyday Trump supporters, of anyone on the Right who dares hold an unacceptable opinion.

Trump was having none of it:

What I’m saying is this. You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible. And it was a horrible thing to watch.

But there is another side. There was a group on this side, you can call them the Left. You’ve just called them the Left — that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is. …

I think there’s blame on both sides. … I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say [so].

The article concludes:

Today, he dragged the media’s favorite leftwing supremacists out into the spotlight.

Trump’s taking hell for it, but he is doing the only moral thing — telling the truth.

Indeed, and Trump supporters are most grateful. I hope this happens more often. I really do. Chief of Staff General John F Kelly was also there standing to Steven Mnuchin’s left, and it is unclear whether he disapproved of Trump’s truth telling or if he was annoyed with the media. He looked out, he looked down, but was enigmatic. By contrast, Mnuchin was trying to suppress a grin every now and then.

Whatever the case with the lying media:

From the Christian Post article:

While some, like Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, have claimed that there is a “direct line” between the events in Charlottesville and the choices Trump made in his 2016 presidential campaign, conservative African-American clergy members, scholars and political activists decried such an argument in a Monday press conference at the National Press Club.

Organized by The Center of Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit think tank founded by conservative political commentator and activist Star Parker, the press conference was originally scheduled for the purpose of praising the Trump administration’s plan to revitalize inner cities. But given the events of last weekend — where clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters became deadly — Charlottesville and the related issue of racial conflict dominated much of the talk in the news conference

The Rev. Derek McCoy, CURE’s executive vice president who also directs the CURE National Clergy Network, was the first to respond to the question.

“One thing you need to understand — you are saying that the president is the instigator and I think that is absolutely wrong. No, it is not disingenuous,” McCoy asserted. “The president made his comments and we are not standing up here to say that we are best friends with everything the president does but he is in an office that we all respect.If we are looking about how we can move our country forward, we are trying to make sure that we do that collectively together.”

Corrogan Vaughn, a political activist who ran against Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in the 2016 election, argued that those in the media who blame Trump for the racial tension in the United States are trying to turn Trump into a “villain.”

“Don’t make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the villainess of the media in terms of making something where nothing is,” Vaughn stated.

Well said.

Who are more credible, these good people or the lying media?

This week in America with regard to matters domestic was nothing short of demonic.

It showed that a spiritual battle is going on of epic proportions. As horrible as it was, we are seeing only the surface. Things will get worse before they get better.

We know about the far right, so let’s look at the far left, since the media won’t.

The Far Left

After Charlottesville, the Far Left continued their rampage by tearing down a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina:

On Tuesday, August 15, the local ABC affiliate WTVD reported (emphases mine below):

Durham County sheriff’s deputies arrested a woman who said she took part in toppling the Confederate statue in downtown Durham. More arrests are expected.

Takiyah Thompson, 22, was taken into custody shortly after protesters held a news conference Tuesday afternoon at North Carolina Central University. Thompson climbed a ladder to the top of the statue to tie a rope around its neck before the crowd tore it down.

Thompson is charged with:

    • disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor)
    • damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I Misdemeanor)
    • participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony)
    • inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony)

The protesters who took part in toppling Confederate statue in Durham on Monday held the news conference Tuesday to call for the dropping of any charges related to the incident.

Thompson was given a $10,000 unsecured bond. She bonded out at 5:48 p.m. The World Worker’s Party Durham chapter has set up a legal defense fund to help fight her case in court.

Deputies said Tuesday night that investigators continue to search for other suspects in the removal of the statue.

“The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue,” said Thompson, a member of the Communist-platform Workers World Party and a student at N.C. Central University. “We are tired of waiting on politicians who could have voted to remove the white supremacist statues years ago, but they failed to act. So we acted” …

At a news conference, Durham County manager Wendell Davis called pulling the statue down “unlawful and inappropriate”.

Wendell Davis is black. So are other Durham County officials.

The New York Post had details about the jail sentences accompanying the felony charges:

Takiya Thompson, 22, has been charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property, participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 — and inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500, according to the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.

The last two offenses are Class H and Class F felonies, with each carrying a sentence of up to 25 months and 41 months behind bars, respectively.

Interestingly, the left-of-centre and anti-Trump magazine The Atlantic recently published an article, ‘The Rise of the Violent Left’.

The author, Peter Beinart, posits:

Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?

Yes, they are.

Beinart catalogues the various events that Antifa’s violence have cancelled in recent months. The Far Left group does not want any conservatives, Republicans or Trump supporters (not every Trump supporter identifies with either of those two groups) to hold or participate in any public gatherings.

Antifa and similar groups get a degree of ideological support from Democrats. Beinart explains:

For progressives, Donald Trump is not just another Republican president. Seventy-six percent of Democrats, according to a Suffolk poll from last September, consider him a racist. Last March, according to a YouGov survey, 71 percent of Democrats agreed that his campaign contained “fascist undertones.”

He’s anything but. Check YouTube for old videos of him helping the black community in New York. Here’s one for starters. I think it’s his Alpha masculinity that the Left — including Democrats — finds triggering.

Beinart goes into the history of Antifa:

“antifa,” which is short for antifascist or Anti-Fascist Action. The movement’s secrecy makes definitively cataloging its activities difficult, but this much is certain: Antifa’s power is growing. And how the rest of the activist left responds will help define its moral character in the Trump age.

Antifa traces its roots to the 1920s and ’30s, when militant leftists battled fascists in the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. When fascism withered after World War II, antifa did too. But in the ’70s and ’80s, neo-Nazi skinheads began to infiltrate Britain’s punk scene. After the Berlin Wall fell, neo-Nazism also gained prominence in Germany. In response, a cadre of young leftists, including many anarchists and punk fans, revived the tradition of street-level antifascism.

In the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action, on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than fascism. According to Mark Bray, the author of the forthcoming Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, these activists toured with popular alternative bands in the ’90s, trying to ensure that neo-Nazis did not recruit their fans. In 2002, they disrupted a speech by the head of the World Church of the Creator, a white-supremacist group in Pennsylvania; 25 people were arrested in the resulting brawl.

Then things went quiet. Beinart says that these activists focussed on anti-capitalist activities.

He says that Antifa re-emerged from the time Trump ran in the Republican primaries in 2016. The activists garnered support from the mainstream Left:

An article in The Nation argued that “to call Trumpism fascist” is to realize that it is “not well combated or contained by standard liberal appeals to reason.” The radical left, it said, offers “practical and serious responses in this political moment.”

That includes violence.

Some Democrat-dominated cities, such as Portland, Oregon, have become defined by Antifa. Portland had days of violent protests after Trump won the presidential election on November 8, 2016. Other protests have taken place since then.

This sets a worrying precedent, because Antifa don’t like the police or local government, either, even when those officials are Democrats:

What’s eroding in Portland is the quality Max Weber considered essential to a functioning state: a monopoly on legitimate violence. As members of a largely anarchist movement, antifascists don’t want the government to stop white supremacists from gathering. They want to do so themselves, rendering the government impotent. With help from other left-wing activists, they’re already having some success at disrupting government. Demonstrators have interrupted so many city-council meetings that in February, the council met behind locked doors.

Meanwhile, Trump supporters are frustrated. They see Democrats buckling to Antifa demands:

Joey Gibson, a Trump supporter who organized the June 4 Portland rally, told me that his “biggest pet peeve is when mayors have police stand down … They don’t want conservatives to be coming together and speaking.”

Meeting with violence is another concern of Trump supporters and Republicans:

To provide security at the rally, Gibson brought in a far-right militia called the Oath Keepers. In late June, James Buchal, the chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, announced that it too would use militia members for security, because “volunteers don’t feel safe on the streets of Portland.”

Beinart concludes:

Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.

The media

Because the media are almost universally Democrats, they will defend Far Left groups and even deny their existence. After all, someone has to protest Trump and his supporters. If they have to use violence, so be it.

And, it is interesting to see who the Left defines as ‘far right’, for instance, this multiracial group of readers and contributors to /pol/4chan. It’s difficult to describe /pol/ fans other than to say that they are young people who oppose political correctness and enjoy making fun of the Left. For that, they get branded as a hate group. I’m not necessarily defending them, but activists can take things way too far.

Returning to — and closing with — the media, watch for the Charlottesville story to run and run, while other incidents past and present are conveniently swept under the rug.

The media are shameful.

Trump will have to direct his communications office to begin revoking press passes, starting with CNN’s Jim Acosta, who has been belligerent from the beginning and known for interrupting Trump. He did so again the other day. More on that tomorrow.

Last week, a media frenzy ensued over President Donald Trump’s words about North Korea.

Here is MSNBC’s Brian Williams on the subject. From August 9, 2017:

He actually does say at the beginning of that segment:

Our job, actually, tonight, Malcolm, is to scare people to death.

For those who do not know, Williams has told some whopping lies in the past. In fact, they were so outrageous that he was suspended from his job as NBC news anchor in 2015. Before his suspension, he was the 23rd most trusted person in America. Afterwards, he plummeted to the 835th spot.

Unfortunately, he was given his own show on sister channel MSNBC, The 11th Hour. (The video above is from that programme.) In February 2017, Williams had the gall to devote an entire segment on his show to President Trump’s ‘lying’. Amazing.

I’m writing this post on Tuesday, August 15. This is what has happened recently between the US, North Korea and China. China holds much control over North Korea, particularly in terms of trade and labour.

It’s also worth noting that the Korean War never came to an official end (emphases mine below):

The United States has remained technically at war with North Korea since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. The past six decades have been punctuated by periodic rises in antagonism and rhetoric that have always stopped short of a resumption of active hostilities.

On August 8, CNBC News reported that China would pay a heavy price for abiding by UN sanctions against North Korea:

China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country, but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday that could slash its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third

China has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing increasingly tough U.N. resolutions on North Korea, though it has also said what it terms “normal” trade and ordinary North Koreans should not be affected.

The latest U.N. resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the numbers of North Korean laborers currently working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures

China appreciated comments earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the United States does not seek to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, Wang added.

The United States does not seek regime change, the collapse of the regime, an accelerated reunification of the peninsula or an excuse to send the U.S. military into North Korea, Tillerson said.

That same day, North Korea threatened to launch missiles at Guam, a strategic US territory. CNBC News reported:

North Korea said on Wednesday it is “carefully examining” a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury”.

A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency, said the strike plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the United States showed signs of provocation …

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump told reporters at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

On Sunday, August 13, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson posted an op-ed, ‘We’re Holding Pyongyang to Account’, lucidly explaining what the US is doing and why. An excerpt follows:

The object of our peaceful pressure campaign is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea. We do not seek an excuse to garrison U.S. troops north of the Demilitarized Zone. We have no desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people, who are distinct from the hostile regime in Pyongyang.

Our diplomatic approach is shared by many nations supporting our goals, including China, which has dominant economic leverage over Pyongyang. China is North Korea’s neighbor, sole treaty ally and main commercial partner. Chinese entities are, in one way or another, involved with roughly 90% of North Korean trade. This affords China an unparalleled opportunity to assert its influence with the regime. Recent statements by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as other regional and global voices, have made clear the international community holds one view regarding North Korea’s provocative and dangerous actions: They must stop. Pyongyang must stand down on those actions.

China has a strong incentive to pursue the same goals as the U.S. The North Korean regime’s actions and the prospect of nuclear proliferation or conflict threaten the economic, political and military security China has worked to build over decades. North Korea’s behavior further threatens China’s long-term interest in regional peace and stability. If China wishes to play a more active role in securing regional peace and stability—from which all of us, especially China, derive such great benefit—it must make the decision to exercise its decisive diplomatic and economic leverage over North Korea

This 2017 Brookings Institution paper written by Fu Ying, a Chinese lady who has been part of China’s government for many years, namely in foreign affairs and ambassadorships, backs up Tillerson’s words about China’s desire to secure regional peace and stability.

On Monday, August 14, President Trump took action on trade with China to level the playing field for the United States.

The first of the three actions relates to intellectual property rights:

The People’s Republic of China has implemented laws, policies, and practices and has taken actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology that encourage the transfer of American technology and intellectual property to enterprises in China and otherwise affect American economic interests. This restricts U.S. exports, deprives U.S. citizens of the right to fair remuneration for their innovation, contributes to our trade deficit with respect to China, and undermines efforts to strengthen American manufacturing, services, and innovation.

For example, U.S. companies can be required to enter into joint ventures with Chinese companies if they want to do business in China, resulting in Chinese companies forcibly acquiring U.S. intellectual property. Americans are the world’s most prolific innovators, creating the greatest technologies, products, and companies. They should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labor.

The President is also standing strong against the theft of American IP, including defense-related technologies. The costs of intellectual property theft alone to the U.S. economy are estimated to be as high as $600 billion a year. Such thefts not only damage American companies, they also threaten our national security.

Consequences of China’s reported actions may include: lost or reduced U.S. sales, exports, and jobs in key technology sectors; loss of intellectual property or proprietary technology to Chinese companies; loss of competitive position in the marketplace or in business negotiations; and network security costs, legal fees, and other costs.

The president then issued a memorandum for the US trade representative. This is Section 2, allowing him to authorise an investigation into China’s practices with regard to US trade:

The United States Trade Representative shall determine, consistent with section 302(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2412(b)), whether to investigate any of China’s laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.

The third action was the issuance of a fact sheet with regard to American intellectual property and China. This fact is worth noting:

According to the IP Commission Report, China is estimated to be responsible for between 50 percent and 80 percent of all IP theft costs that harm the United States economy.

These actions met with praise by a variety of people — retired military officers, heads of defence companies, think tank experts and others. One of them, Professor Stefan Halper of the University of Cambridge, stated:

Since China joined the WTO in 2001, 2.4 million U.S. jobs have been lost and 60,000 U.S. manufacturing firms have been forced out of business. Entire regions of the country have been hollowed out. Intellectual property theft–70% by China–now costs the U.S. some $600 billion a year. A thorough review of this problem, and a rebalancing of the trade relationship, is urgent. The Administration is to be commended for initiating that today.

Later that day, North Korea backed down for now on the threats to launch missiles. Surprisingly, CNBC News was effusive:

After a weekend filled with a series of conciliatory statements from China, some of them downright surprising, the situation with North Korea seems to be less tense right now, which could be construed as a major win for the Trump team

While these developments do not fully constitute a real solution to the potential threats North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs pose to the region and the world, everyone’s nervous meter seems to have gone down several notches

Now if these sanctions hold and North Korea simply halts its ICBM launch tests, what many saw as some kind of massive fumble by the Trump team could easily turn into the administration’s biggest triumph of the year.

It will be a very easy narrative for President Trump and his aides to pursue if they make the point that the president’s tougher talk—that so many of his domestic critics condemned—seems to have moved China to finally do something meaningful to rein in North Korea.

By replacing President Trump’s threatening rhetoric with the more conciliatory and reasoned statements of Mattis and Tillerson, the U.S. has given up nothing. But those words may have forced China’s hand at long last.

All of this stems from a classic miscalculation by both Beijing and Pyongyang

And Big Media, who fuelled the fire.

When will they learn?

You can’t stump the Trump!

On Friday, August 11, 2017 I reviewed President Donald Trump’s highly successful first 200 days in office.

I wrote then that I had more to cover on the topic.

Then events in Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded.

So, today, I am returning to Trump’s amazing success despite all the odds — and obstacles.

I was surprised to see a reporter at The Atlantic, an anti-Trump publication, come out on August 2 and actually say the US president is getting things done.

Although David A Graham must hold the magazine’s negative line towards him, the first half of ‘Trump Has Quietly Accomplished More Than It Appears’ is well worth reading. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Imagine, if you will, that there is a shadow government.

The actual government, the administration of Donald Trump, is coming off the worst week of his presidency, although there haven’t been any smooth weeks

Things are going considerably better for the shadow government. With the Trump administration’s chaos sucking up all the attention, it’s been able to move forward on a range of its priorities, which tend to be more focused on regulatory matters anyway. It is remaking the justice system, rewriting environmental rules, overhauling public-lands administration, and greenlighting major infrastructure projects. It is appointing figures who will guarantee the triumph of its ideological vision for decades to come.

The trick here is that the administration and this shadow government are one and the same. Even as the public government sputters, other elements of the Trump administration are quietly remaking the nation’s regulatory landscape, especially on the environment and criminal justice.

There is so much attention paid to the chaos in the executive branch that it’s easy to come to believe that Trump is getting nothing whatsoever accomplished. Even for people who don’t support the president’s agenda—especially for them, in fact—it is useful to step back occasionally and take stock of what this presidency is doing to work toward its goals.

Trump’s complaints that the press is ignoring his victories in favor of covering controversies ring hollow. You can’t very well go around setting things on fire and then asking why the press keeps covering the fires. But warnings that the Trump administration is doing X to distract from Y seem misguided for a couple of reasons—one being that they ascribe a greater organization that the White House evinces in any other sphere, and another being that the supposedly distracting stories are often just as catastrophic. But the large-scale disasters do keep attention focused away from what smaller agencies are doing, as Ben Carson acknowledged recently.

“Let me put it this way,” the secretary of housing and urban development told the Washington Examiner. I’m glad that Trump is drawing all the fire so I can get stuff done.”

Again, you won’t hear this from Big Media and their acolytes.

This is a short, instructive segment from MSNBC’s Morning Joe with former Republican (a weak one, at that) Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (daughter of the late Johnson then Carter adviser and globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski). This is from February 2017:

The discussion is about how Trump will be able to take over the media narrative and ‘control exactly what people think’.

Mika firmly says:

That’s our job.

Trump has not yet won the media war, but he is regularly calling them out for the deceivers they are.

The US president and his cabinet are doing much to positively transform policy, and he’s only been in the job less than eight months. Some members of his cabinet have been in for far less time.

This is why, for the first time in decades (Bush I, to be precise), I echo this sentiment:

MAGA!

At the weekend, another new — and bad — media narrative appeared: Charlottesville.

Charlottesville is in Virginia and should not be confused with Charlotte, North Carolina.

By now, everyone reading this will have seen video footage and commentary on the violence.

Although no one will entertain talking about it in Big Media, this was likely to have been a false flag driven by powerful opponents to President Donald Trump and executed by extremist and disturbed minions on the left as well as the right.

We do not know all of the facts yet, therefore, further speculation is premature.

This was the president’s statement in full. In it, he said that many groups were responsible:

A professor who is an expert on nationalism concurred:

Fox News has a summary of those on the left and the right who complained about Trump’s statement. Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said:

“Donald Trump, I thought, was very explicitly clear in condemning what happened,” he said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “He will never satisfy those who hate his every word.”

The Washington Examiner reported that Huckabee also said:

some people “cannot get over the fact he is president”.

A Department of Justice and FBI investigation is currently underway.

One hopes the investigators will find out exactly who issued the order for the police to stand down. The police are there to protect protesters who have a permit to demonstrate. Both left and right had permission to be there on Saturday, August 12. The left said they would be peaceful, but they came with the weapons, not the others. The police left defenceless people unable to fend off their aggressors. Then there was the guy in the car. You can see the footage here; also note the broken windscreens, front and rear.

The city — and the state — are governed by Democrats.

Trump supporters are highly suspicious of what took place. One says the events in Charlottesville look just like the Soros-engineered ones in Ukraine in 2014. Virginia declared a state of emergency and, as no one is talking about the violent left-wing groups, it would not be unreasonable to assume there could be calls for martial law in various states.

There are further indications that this could have been a false flag: a) a Soros-backed organisation was preparing to go days before Trump supporters (who, incidentally, did not go) learned of the event and b) the Charlottesville mayor worked with Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta at the Center for American Progress as well as on Obama’s transition team.

There was also a man whom MSNBC and the New York Times interviewed who happened to be at the protests in Charlottesville on Saturday. He worked for the State Department and managed a Democrat  Virginia gubernatorial campaign. (Mirror link of the images is here, in case the other link is removed.)

Hmm. Never think the Deep State couldn’t be involved in this.

By the way, August 12 just happened to be Soros’s birthday.

All of this was designed to make Trump and his supporters look evil.

But, who is decrying the violent leftists there that day? No one in the media. Telling, isn’t it?

Condolences to the families of the lady and two state police officers who, sadly, lost their lives that day. I hope that those who were injured recover fully and soon.

John F MacArthurAt the beginning of August 2017, John MacArthur posted a few articles on his Grace To You website about St Peter.

As I have been posting on the Book of Acts and am currently studying more of St Peter‘s ministry, this is serendipitous.

MacArthur says that the post-Pentecost Peter was a very different man from the one in the Gospels.

In ‘Peter: The Servant Leader’, MacArthur says:

Restraint, humility, and servanthood aren’t obvious leadership qualities in the corporate world. Nor are they character traits that readily spring to mind for modern churches focused on growth and vision. But Christ prioritized those three qualities as he cultivated future leaders of the Christian church, most notably Peter.

MacArthur surmises that Peter — before and after he received the Holy Spirit — had the driven personality of a CEO (emphases mine):

Most people with strong leadership abilities don’t naturally excel when it comes to exercising restraint. Self-control, discipline, and moderation aren’t common qualities among those who live life at the head of the pack. That is why so many leaders have problems with anger and out-of-control passions. Anger-management seminars have become the latest fad for CEOs and people in high positions of leadership in American business. It is clear that anger is a common and serious problem among people who rise to such a high level of leadership.

Peter had similar tendencies. Hotheadedness goes naturally with the sort of active, decisive, initiative-taking personality that made him a leader in the first place. Such a man easily grows impatient with people who lack vision or underperform. He can be quickly irritated by those who throw up obstacles to success. Therefore he must learn restraint in order to be a good leader.

Therefore, during His time on Earth:

The Lord more or less put a bit in Peter’s mouth and taught him restraint. That is one of the main reasons Peter bore the brunt of so many rebukes when he spoke too soon or acted too hastily. The Lord was constantly teaching him restraint.

Jesus also taught Peter about humility, especially when the Apostle found that he had denied Him three times, as foretold:

Of course, as usual, Peter was wrong and Jesus was right. Peter did deny Christ not once, but multiple times, just as Jesus had warned. Peter’s shame and disgrace at having dishonored Christ so flagrantly were only magnified by the fact he had boasted so stubbornly about being impervious to such sins!

However, the Spirit-filled Peter went on to become a great preacher and, as we know from Acts, a great healer. Peter also wrote epistles to his flock:

… when Peter wrote his first epistle, he said:

Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. (1 Peter 5:5–6)

He specifically told church leaders, “[Don’t lord] it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). Humility became one of the virtues that characterized Peter’s life, his message, and his leadership style.

MacArthur goes on to say that Peter learned about servanthood and love from Jesus, particularly during the footwashing at the Last Supper:

Love became one of the hallmarks of his teaching. In 1 Peter 4:8 he wrote, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” The Greek word translated “fervent” in that verse is ektenes, literally meaning “stretched to the limit.” Peter was urging us to love to the maximum of our capacity. The love he spoke of is not about a feeling. It’s not about how we respond to people who are naturally lovable. It’s about a love that covers and compensates for others’ failures and weaknesses: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” This is the sort of love that washes a brother’s dirty feet. And Peter himself had learned that lesson from Christ’s example.

In ‘Peter: The Compassionate and Courageous Leader’, MacArthur traces the Apostle’s transformation.

In the Gospels:

The apostle Peter was not an obvious candidate for leading the early church. He was impulsive, reckless, and vacillated between chest-beating bravado and cowardly retreat—not exactly the kind of guy you’d want to have responsible for your own well-being.

MacArthur enumerates more lessons that Jesus taught Peter. Returning to the denial in the early morning hours of Good Friday, Peter was remorseful, to say the least:

His ego was deflated. His self-confidence was annihilated. His pride suffered greatly. But his faith never failed.

What was this all about? Jesus was equipping Peter to strengthen the brethren. People with natural leadership abilities often tend to be short on compassion, lousy comforters, and impatient with others. They don’t stop very long to care for the wounded as they pursue their goals. Peter needed to learn compassion through his own ordeal, so that when it was over, he could strengthen others in theirs.

This shows in his epistles:

In 1 Peter 5:8–10, he wrote,

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

MacArthur says that Jesus also prepared Peter to be courageous in the best sense of the word, because he was going to suffer in his ministry:

Christ told him,

Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go. (John 21:18)

What did that mean? The apostle John gives a clear answer: “Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death [Peter] would glorify God” (John 21:19).

The price of preaching would be death for Peter. Persecution. Oppression. Trouble. Torture. Ultimately, martyrdom. Peter would need rock-solid courage to persevere.

The first Pentecost transformed Peter dramatically. He was no longer foolhardy but openly resolute in his faith:

Acts 4 describes how Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling counsel. They were solemnly instructed “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18).

Peter and John boldly replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19–20). Soon they were brought back before the Sanhedrin for continuing to preach. Again they told them the same thing: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit and driven by the knowledge that Christ had risen from the dead, had acquired an unshakable, rock-solid courage.

That divinely-given courageous faith sustained him throughout his ministry:

Peter was secure in Christ, and he knew it. He had seen the risen Christ, so he knew Christ had conquered death. He knew that whatever earthly trials came his way, they were merely temporary. The trials, though often painful and always distasteful, were nothing compared to the hope of eternal glory (cf. Romans 8:18). The genuineness of true faith, he knew, was infinitely more precious than any perishing earthly riches, because his faith would redound to the praise and glory of Christ at His appearing. That hope is what gave Peter such courage.

Peter said and did many wonderful things in the name of our Lord. He also converted thousands of people in Jerusalem alone. These are what I have covered in my study of Acts to date:

Acts 2:33-35 – Peter, Pentecost, Peter’s first sermon, Jesus the Messiah and Lord

Acts 4:22 – Peter, John, the lame man, miracle, healing miracle (includes Acts 3:4-10)

Acts 5:1-6 – Ananias, Peter, lying to the Holy Spirit and God, hypocrisy, sin, deception, death

Acts 5:7-11 – Sapphira, Peter, testing the Holy Spirit, deception, death, sin

Acts 5:12-16 – Signs and wonders, healing miracles, the Apostles, Peter, women

Acts 8:14-25 – Philip, Simon Magus, sorcery, money, divine gifts, God, Holy Spirit, Peter, John

Acts 9:32-35 — Simon, Aeneas, healing miracles, paralysis

Repentance of St Peter, Jose de Ribera, 17th cThere was only one time in his ministry when he briefly backtracked:

In Galatians 2 the apostle Paul relates an incident in which Peter compromised the gospel of grace due to intimidation by influential heretics. We see a brief flash of the old Simon. Paul rebuked Peter in the presence of everyone (Galatians 2:14).

To Peter’s credit, he responded to Paul’s correction. And when the error of the heretics was finally confronted at a full council of church leaders and apostles in Jerusalem, it was Peter who spoke up first in defense of the gospel of divine grace. He introduced the argument that won the day (Acts 15:7–14). He was in effect defending the apostle Paul’s ministry. The whole episode shows how Simon Peter remained teachable, humble, and sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and correction.

(Image credit: Art Hermitage)

Peter and Paul were martyred together in Rome. This is why they are so often associated together and are both the patron saints of that great city.

MacArthur tells us about Peter’s martyrdom — and that of his wife. She was put to death before he was. He witnessed it. How horrible:

We know that Jesus told Peter he would die as a martyr (John 21:18–19). But Scripture doesn’t record the death of Peter. All the records of early church history indicate that Peter was crucified. Eusebius cites the testimony of Clement, who says that before Peter was crucified he was forced to watch the crucifixion of his own wife. As he watched her being led to her death, Clement says, Peter called to her by name, saying, “Remember the Lord.” When it was Peter’s turn to die, he pleaded to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t worthy to die as his Lord had died. And thus he was nailed to a cross head-downward.

MacArthur concludes:

Peter’s life could be summed up in the final words of his second epistle: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). That is exactly what Simon Peter did, and that is why he became Rock—the great leader of the early church.

It is important to remember the Peter that arose following the first Pentecost. Too many of us — Protestants, in particular — think only of the Peter of the Gospels, but he became a great, Spirit-filled Apostle who lived and died for Christ.

Bible boy_reading_bibleThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

Acts 9:32-35

The Healing of Aeneas

32 Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

———————————————————————————————

Last week’s entry ended with Saul’s — Paul’s — escape from the Jews in Jerusalem to the port of Caesarea. He set sail from there to return home to Tarsus for a time.

Last week’s reading ended with this verse:

31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

At this point, the Apostles were leaving Jerusalem to visit the newly established churches. Although there were thousands of converts in the city and the Apostles still ministered to them, there was no more that could be done there. So, they began travelling back and forth.

The Jews in Jerusalem had also turned their attention away from Christians to the Roman government. Saul’s departure helped facilitate this. John MacArthur explains (emphases mine below):

The church is in a state of rest. Verse 31 says, “All the churches had rest and they were edified, built up spiritually, and they began to multiply.” And this was for several reasons. This was, of course, due particularly to the work of the Spirit of God. But it was also due to the fact that Saul got out of town and didn’t create such a mess, so many problems. And it was also due to the fact that the Jews were now bugged by Caligula, the Roman emperor, wanting to set up idols in Jerusalem. And they were fighting the Romans. They didn’t have time to fight the church. So the church had a little period of rest here.

Eventually, most of the Apostles left Jerusalem altogether, as Saul found when he returned from Tarsus:

In fact, when Saul finally came to Jerusalem, according to Galatians 1, he said the only apostles he found there were James and Peter. The rest of them were long gone. The other ten were moving around preaching.

With Saul out of the picture for the time being, Luke resumed documenting Peter’s ministry. Saul — as Paul — does not dominate Acts until Chapter 13.

If you have been following this series on Acts, you might recall that once Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost, he was utterly transformed. He not only became a powerful preacher but he was also able to heal and confer the Holy Spirit on others. He also had incredible powers of discernment and knew when people were lying. Here are the relevant passages:

Acts 2:33-35 – Peter, Pentecost, Peter’s first sermon, Jesus the Messiah and Lord

Acts 4:22 – Peter, John, the lame man, miracle, healing miracle (includes Acts 3:4-10)

Acts 5:1-6 – Ananias, Peter, lying to the Holy Spirit and God, hypocrisy, sin, deception, death

Acts 5:7-11 – Sapphira, Peter, testing the Holy Spirit, deception, death, sin

Acts 5:12-16 – Signs and wonders, healing miracles, miracles, the Apostles, Peter, women

Acts 8:14-25 – Philip, Simon Magus, sorcery, money, divine gifts, God, Holy Spirit, Peter, John

Verse 32 tells us that Peter was on the move outside of Jerusalem. If we look at it in a contemporary context, he was performing duties of a bishop. However, then, he was not considered as such and went as an itinerant preacher. Matthew Henry explains Peter’s ministry:

As an apostle, he was not to be the resident pastor of any one church, but the itinerant visitor of many churches, to confirm the doctrine of inferior preachers, to confer the Holy Ghost on those that believed, and to ordain ministers. He passed dia panton–among them all, who pertained to the churches of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, mentioned in the foregoing chapter. He was, like his Master, always upon the remove, and went about doing good; but still his head-quarters were at Jerusalem, for there we shall find him imprisoned, Acts 12:2.

He visited the ‘saints’ at Lydda. Henry tells us:

He came to the saints at Lydda. This seems to be the same with Lod, a city in the tribe of Benjamin, mentioned 1 Chronicles 8:12, Ezra 2:33. The Christians are called saints, not only some particular eminent ones, as saint Peter and saint Paul, but every sincere professor of the faith of Christ. These are the saints on the earth, Psalms 16:3.

A man named Aeneas lived there, bedridden with paralysis (verse 33). Peter went to heal him.

Note what Peter said to him (verse 34):

Jesus Christ heals you;

and:

rise and make your bed.

Peter, being full of grace, faith and the Holy Spirit, did not take credit for the miracle, but instead gave it to Whom it belongs.

As with other healing miracles, from Jesus to Peter, once the person is made whole and healthy again, he or she is asked to do something they had never been able to do or had not been able to do in many years. This is from Acts 3, when Peter healed a paralysed man at the temple:

But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk! And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.

Henry says that these instructions indicate we are to make use of our God-given abilities:

(2.) He ordered him to bestir himself, to exert himself: “Arise and make thy bed, that all may see thou art thoroughly cured.” Let none say that because it is Christ that by the power of his grace works all our works in us therefore we have no work, no duty, to do; for, though Jesus Christ makes thee whole, yet thou must arise and make use of the power he gives thee: “Arise, and make thy bed, to be to thee no longer a bed of sickness, but a bed of rest.” (3.) Power went along with this word: he arose immediately, and no doubt very willingly made his own bed.

Henry reminds us of the spiritual element in every miracle:

Christ chose such patients as this, whose disease was incurable in a course of nature, to show how desperate the case of fallen mankind was when he undertook their cure. When we were without strength, as this poor man, he sent his word to heal us.

When the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw the man, they became believers (verse 35). That must have been a highly powerful moment. Henry tells us that not every person saw him, but enough did and many more enquired about the healing, therefore, it was persuasion enough:

We can scarcely think that every individual person in those countries took cognizance of the miracle, and was wrought upon by it; but many, the generality of the people in the town of Lydda and in the country of Saron, or Sharon, a fruitful plain or valley, of which it was foretold, Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, Isaiah 65:10. 1. They all made enquiry into the truth of the miracle, did not overlook it, but saw him that was healed, and saw that it was a miraculous cure that was wrought upon him by the power of Christ, in his name, and with a design to confirm and ratify that doctrine of Christ which was now preached to the world. 2. They all submitted to the convincing proof and evidence there was in this of the divine origin of the Christian doctrine, and turned to the Lord, to the Lord Jesus. They turned from Judaism to Christianity; they embraced the doctrine of Christ, and submitted to his ordinances, and turned themselves over to him to be ruled and taught and saved by him.

MacArthur adds historical and geographical information about Lydda and Sharon:

Lydda’s an interesting town. It’s very historic, very old. In the Old Testament it was called Lod, L-o-d. And it’s still called that today and if any of you have ever been to Israel, you’ve been there, because that’s where the airport is. And it’s about ten miles east of Jaffa or Tel Aviv. And so Lod is a very old, very ancient and in this time it was a very, very important city because it was right on the area of the trade route from Egypt to Babylon going east. And a lot of the goods that were dropped off at the seaport of Joppa went to Jerusalem right through Lod. So it was a very important kind of a mainline town …

Now Sharon here is not the name of a girl. It’s the name of a valley from Joppa clear north to the top of Mount Carmel, a long valley of many miles between the mountains and the sea of…Mediterranean Sea, that beautiful fertile valley. We drove right up through that valley. It’s become a synonym for fertility, Sharon. Beautiful and that whole valley…the gospel just went north, whom, as a result of the raising of this paralytic.

In closing, MacArthur makes an excellent point about Peter and his ministry which we can apply in our own lives — even as laypeople:

Everybody who’s active seems to be able to find enough to do. The little principle the rich get richer can apply in terms of spiritual richness. Boy when you get into rich ministries you’ll find that you’ll…first of all, you’ll bear fruit and then you’ll bear more fruit and then before you know it, you’ll bear much fruit. And Peter, with all the burdens he carried, and I know he was a busy guy and I bet you people wanted his time and demanded his time and wanted to talk to him and sit with him and counsel with him and have him speak for their groups and there this and that. And yet God kept opening new ministries. There was never any end to it. I really believe people that if you ever want to be fruitful in the ministry of Jesus Christ, you’re going to have to now get in the mainstream of what God is doing. God does not go up to the shelf and dust you off for some great, important ministry. Start where you are. There are so many things needful to be done, to pray, to teach, to minister to others needs, to use your spiritual gifts. And as we begin to do this, as we’re into the mainstream of the priorities of what God is doing, He’ll butt us right up against ministries right after the other …

Peter was moving. And it came to pass as he was going around everywhere, God zapped into Lydda right where He wanted him. Now if you’re active in doing what God’s doing, if you’re caught up in the mainstream, then you’re going to find so many ministries, your life is going to be abundantly enriched beyond which you could even dream. If you’re too busy doing your thing, then you may not even know ministries exist.

Next week’s reading will feature the dramatic miracle concerning Dorcas.

Next time — Acts 9:36-43

Monday, August 7, 2017 marked President Donald Trump’s 200th day in office.

On May 2, I wrote about Trump’s first 100 days in office and his rally on April 29 to mark that milestone. His accomplishments were already too numerous to list individually.

First 200 days

The Gateway Pundit has a list with accompanying graphs of Trump’s achievements since his inauguration. Highlights follow, emphases in the original.

Stock market

In President Trump’s first six months since the election and since his inauguration the US Stock Markets are at record highs and millions of Americans are benefitting in their retirement savings accounts.

* The DOW daily closing stock market average has risen 18% since the election on November 8th. (On November 9th the DOW closed at 18,332 – yesterday on July 19th the DOW closed at 21,641 for another all time stock market closing high).
* Since the election the DOW has set a new all time closing high one out of every four days the market is open! …
* The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ have both set new all-time highs during this period.
* The US Stock Market gained $4 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
* The S&P 500 also broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.

US Debt

As of today [July 20], the US Debt has decreased under President Trump since his inauguration by (-$103) Billion. (President Obama increased the US debt in his first 6 months more than $974 Billion or nearly $1 Trillion.)  The difference between Presidents Trump and Obama is more than $1 Trillion.

Unemployment

Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate since President Trump’s inauguration decreased from 4.8% to 4.4% (January through June 2017). The unemployment rate in January 2017 was 4.8% and by June it was down to 4.4%. Unemployment under President Obama on the other hand moved in the opposite direction. In his first six months as President the US unemployment rate increased each month from 7.8% in January 2009 to 9.5% by June of 2009.

Choose from one of the following two tweets on which job number is accurate:

Job security has also improved:

Inflation

As noted earlier this week, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the US inflation rate decreased to an eight month low in June to 1.6%. This is in part due to President Trump’s energy policies that are helping average Americans with cheaper gas and electricity.

Housing sales

Housing sales are red-hot in the US right now. In 2011, houses for sale were on the market an average 84 days. This year, it’s just 45 days.

According to the US Census Bureau, there were nearly twice as many US housing sales in the past couple of months as there were under President Obama in 2009 during the same time period. (The annualized housing sales rate for May 2017 is reported at 610,000 where in 2009 this amount was only 376,000.)

Decrease in regulations

Even far left Politico notes that significant new federal regulations since Trump’s inauguration have slowed to an almost total halt.

Investors Business Daily also has a list of Trump’s achievements and reported:

Illegals

Other achievements

President Trump has met many world leaders and has impressed all of them, with the possible exceptions of Angela Merkel and the Pope.

He is working hard to fulfil his slogan of ‘promises made, promises kept’. The following are being or have been implemented:

* Dismantling Obama’s climate change initiatives.
* Travel bans for individuals from a select number of countries embroiled in terrorist atrocities.
* Enforcing regulatory reform.
* Protecting Law enforcement.
* Mandating for every new regulation to eliminate two.
* Defeating ISIS.
* Rebuilding the military.
* Building a border wall.
* Cutting funding for sanctuary cities.
* Approving pipelines.
* Reducing regulations on manufacturers.
* Placing a hiring freeze on federal employees.
* Exiting the US from the TPP.

Polls

Several big polling organisations have continued to downplay Trump’s popularity and achievements:

The real view is less bleak.

On August 4, Progress Polls published results of one of their Twitter polls:

A Zogby poll shows Trump gaining popularity:

On August 4, Gallup reported a surge in optimism from small business owners (emphases mine below):

Small-business owners’ optimism about their business situation has edged up in the past quarter to a new 10-year high. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index for the third quarter is at +106, up 11 points since Quarter 2 and the highest since +113 measured in the second quarter of 2007. Index scores between the first and third quarters of 2016 ranged between 64 and 68.

Bill Gates is on-side

Bill Gates has tweeted support for the Department of Energy’s work:

What to watch for

https://imgur.com/lD1MC7y

Trump and his advisers are currently at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, while parts of the White House are being refurbished, e.g. the heating and air conditioning systems. Contrary to what Big Media have said, he is not on holiday.

There is the North Korea situation. Trump’s British supporter Nigel Farage says that the US president will handle this as peaceably as possible. On Thursday, August 10, Farage told ITV’s Good Morning Britain, ‘Trump is not a warmonger’. In an excellent analysis, The Conservative Treehouse says that Trump will use trade and economics to throttle North Korea.

Trump will take on the do-nothing Republicans. Even when they’re winning, they are losing. He did not hesitate to call out Senator Mitch McConnell by name after the senator said Trump’s expectations were too high:

The Benghazi issue from 2012, quietly — and wrongly — put to rest by Obama’s State Department, could actually be investigated:

Then there is the seemingly unstoppable Russian collusion accusation. If the Left can successfully call out their own on this matter, a nation would be grateful:

I hope that article from The Nation — a left-wing publication — gets traction this weekend. An excerpt follows:

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

Lost in a year that often appeared to veer into our peculiarly American kind of hysteria is the absence of any credible evidence of what happened last year and who was responsible for it. It is tiresome to note, but none has been made available. Instead, we are urged to accept the word of institutions and senior officials with long records of deception. These officials profess “high confidence” in their “assessment” as to what happened in the spring and summer of last year—this standing as their authoritative judgment. Few have noticed since these evasive terms first appeared that an assessment is an opinion, nothing more, and to express high confidence is an upside-down way of admitting the absence of certain knowledge.

By Christmas, most anti-Trumpers will grudgingly come round to see that their president is doing a fantastic job. Even if they do not like him, all they need to realise is that he is working — and winning — for all Americans.

I will have more on this next week.

MAGA!

On Sunday, August 6, 2017 I wrote about an American cinema chain reporting an earnings slump which might be long-term.

The next day, I read Vox Day’s Vox Populi blog, highly recommended.

Warning: adult theme ahead.

Vox has an entry called ‘The sickness in Hollywood’ which discusses the relationship between Marion and Indiana Jones in the 1978 film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I’ll get to the film makers’ dialogue in a moment, but, first, this is the relevant part of the script:

Marion: I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years.
Indy: I never meant to hurt you.
Marion: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it.
Indy: You knew what you were doing.
Marion: Now I do. This is my place. Get out!

There are several sites with documents relating to the creation and making of Raiders of the Lost ArkTheRaider.net being but one of them. Moedred’s Journal has a 2009 entry with some of the film makers’ discussion.

I’ve never seen the movie, by the way.

Vox pulled a passage from moedred’s Journal. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

“RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK”
Story Conference Transcript
January 23, 1978 thru January 27, 1978
George Lucas (G), Steven Spielberg (S), Larry Kasdan (L)

G — We have to get them cemented into a very strong relationship. A bond.

L — I like it if they already had a relationship at one point. Because then you don’t have to build it.

G — I was thinking that this old guy could have been his mentor. He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.

L — And he was forty-two.

G — He hasn’t seen her in twelve years. Now she’s twenty-two. It’s a real strange relationship.

S — She had better be older than twenty-two.

G — He’s thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve.

G — It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.

S — And promiscuous. She came onto him.

G — Fifteen is right on the edge. I know it’s an outrageous idea, but it is interesting. Once she’s sixteen or seventeen it’s not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with him and he…

S — She has pictures of him.

G — There would be a picture on the mantle of her, her father, and him. She was madly in love with him at the time and he left her because obviously it wouldn’t work out. Now she’s twenty-five and she’s been living in Nepal since she was eighteen. It’s not only that they like each other, it’s a very bizarre thing, it puts a whole new perspective on this whole thing. It gives you lots of stuff to play off of between them. Maybe she still likes him. It’s something he’d rather forget about and not have come up again. This gives her a lot of ammunition to fight with.

G — This is a resource that you can either mine or not. It’s not as blatant as we’re talking about. You don’t think about it that much. You don’t immediately realize how old she was at the time. It would be subtle. She could talk about it. “I was jail bait the last time we were together.” She can flaunt it at him, but at the same time she never says, “I was fifteen years old.” Even if we don’t mention it, when we go to cast the part we’re going to end up with a woman who’s about twenty-three and a hero who’s about thirty-five.

Vox’s commenter who cited the screenplay wrote:

Knowing what I know now from the transcript, it probably makes more sense that Indy knew her as the pubescent daughter of his archeology mentor with whom he went too far. But that’s not the way it sounded to me watching the movie, and not the way I assume most of its audience takes it.

The movie conditions you to think of Indy as a man who attracts interest from young girls through his job. Indy’s relationship with Marion came through her father who was a collector of artifacts, and it’s not much of a leap to think Marion was Indy’s student. That’s what I / assumed. In which case “I was a child” would be hyperbolic.

Watching the movie in my ignorance, I interpreted the dialogue to mean she came into him and he spurned her, so she bears a grudge. Women aren’t as used to rejection as men.

Just so happens that the pedophile’s excuse is always that the kid wanted it. You can say that at 15 Marion wouldn’t be competent to ask for it even if she did want Indy. However, the audience isn’t told she was 15. I and presumably lots of people assumed she was college-aged. 18 or 19.

Exactly, so it all worked out as the film makers thought it would.

Ironically, Raiders of the Lost Ark continues to be a favourite family film.

I am amazed — although not totally surprised — that George Lucas actually said he found this scenario ‘amusing’. Someone on Vox’s thread wrote:

It’s one thing to put molestation in your story because you’re trying to say something about it, because it’s part of the character that you’re writing about. These people do it because they think it’s funny.

To which another reader replied:

What’s more disturbing, is that these people felt so comfortable saying this stuff, that it was so commonplace and old hat and nothing to shout about, that they thought nothing about it being recorded.

Another of Vox’s readers recalled Brooke Shields’s debut that same year:

I still recall seeing Pretty Baby in the theater. (Not great cinema.) A MAJOR element of the studio’s promotion of that 1978 movie was breathless description that the 10 year old “star” appeared fully naked. The scene was utterly banal, and Shields looked like a skinny little boy. 40 years later and it still is utterly senseless. The open cesspool of Entertainment Culture in the USA is not new.

Adults turned on by that are broken. Broken adults should be exiled.

I never saw that movie, either.

Someone on Vox’s thread mentioned Jodie Foster. In 1976, after Taxi Driver (which I have seen), she starred in The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane. Wikipedia gives us an idea of the criticism at the time:

Writer Anthony Synnott placed The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane in a trend of sexualizing children in film, calling Rynn the “murdering nymphet” and comparing her to Foster’s child prostitute character Iris in Taxi Driver (1976).[10] Anthony Cortese also referred to Foster as giving an “encore performance” of Taxi Driver, calling Rynn “a 13-year-old imp of maturing sexuality”.[11] Scholar Andrew Scahill described it as fitting a cinematic narrative of children in rebellion, one in which the child appears seemly, as with The Innocents (1961), The Omen (1976) and others.[12]

Of course, this did not suddenly start in the 1970s, and such mainstream films were rare.

However, although the off-screen rot has been deep in Hollywood practically since the film industry began, aberrant film themes have not been the norm until the past 20 years or so. There are few, if any, movies today about a loving nuclear family — meaning, Dad included. There are few that reflect values of courtesy, civility and integrity.

With all of that, we find reality imitating art. There are more dysfunctional families and casual sexual relationships than ever before. And, returning to the dialogue above, do a search on ‘mom’s boyfriend’ and you will see pages of hair-raising stories about men molesting underage girls.

It’s time to stop going to the cinema as well as watching films on television. Since the 1990s, the old classics, which used to be shown during the day on local channels, are now exclusively on pay/cable television. More’s the pity.

This year, I have been running a series of posts on Percy Dearmer‘s 1912 volume, Everyman’s History of the Prayer Book, published by Mowbray.

These are the previous posts in the series:

Percy Dearmer on the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles of Religion

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer – part 1

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer – part 2

Percy Dearmer on the earliest church service manuscripts

Percy Dearmer’s interpretation of St Paul on prophecy and tongues

Percy Dearmer on elements of worship in the New Testament

Percy Dearmer: how several prayer books became one liturgical book

Percy Dearmer on Reformation, royalty and the Book of Common Prayer

Percy Dearmer: first Anglican Prayer Book ‘too fair-minded’ for a violent era

Percy Dearmer on the effect of Edward VI’s reign on the Church of England

Percy Dearmer on the Second Prayer Book’s Calvinistic bent

Percy Dearmer on the Third Prayer Book and Elizabeth I

Percy Dearmer blamed Calvinists for sucking the life-blood out of Anglicanism

Percy Dearmer on the Fourth Prayer Book and the King James Version of the Bible

Percy Dearmer on historical background to the Fifth Prayer Book, 1662

Percy Dearmer on the Savoy Conference for the Fifth Prayer Book

The clergymen who participated in the 1661 Savoy Conference produced a revised — Fifth — Prayer Book that was first issued on May 19, 1662.

Today it is referred to as the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. It is still in use.

Chapter 11 of Dearmer’s book describes a remarkable volume considering that the Savoy Conference was half-Anglican and half-Puritan.

The preface, which Robert Sanderson, the Bishop of Lincoln, wrote was comprehensive. It laid out the history of the previous Prayer Books and made it clear that all attempts were made to revise liturgies and a set of services to satisfy, in Sanderson’s words:

all sober, peaceable, and truly conscientious sons of the Church of England.

Dearmer tells us that 600 alterations were made to produce the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. He summarises them this way:

The changes described in this Preface are — 1. (DIRECTIONS) for the better direction of the officiant, 2. (VERBAL) the alteration of obsolete phrases, 3. (SCRIPTURE) the use of the Authorized Version, especially for the Epistles and Gospels, 4. (ADDITIONS) some new prayers and thanksgivings, especially for use at Sea and an order for the Baptism of Adults.

Directions needed to be given to avoid the disputes of the past, especially with the Puritans. A hymn was authorised for Mattins and Evensong, or Morning and Evening Prayer, respectively.

Dearmer tells us that the Consecration of the bread and wine for Holy Communion was made clearer and returned to Church tradition from antiquity rather than embrace a more Calvinist construct:

The rubric before the Consecration (“When the Priest, standing before the Table, hath so ordered,” etc.) was added, and also the direction for the Fraction and other Manual Acts, heretofore left to tradition. The very questionable rubric providing for a second consecration by the mere repetition of the Words of Institution was reinserted. The two rubrics were added ordering that what remains of the Sacrament after the Communion shall be covered with a linen veil, and afterwards reverently consumed.

The Black Rubric about divine Presence in Holy Communion was re-added and revised:

with the crucial alteration of “real and essential presence” to “corporal presence.”

Other ceremonies were clarified. Directions for the publishing of wedding banns were included. The Visitation of the Sick no longer mandated confession. Dearmer explains:

The words “Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special Confession of his sins, if,” etc., were substituted for “Here shall the sick person make a special confession, if,” etc.; and the words “if he humbly and heartily desire it ” were added.

Certain words, more Anglican in nature, returned or were added to the Prayer Book:

The more important were: In Divine Service and in the Liturgy, “priest” was substituted for “minister at the Absolution. In … the Intercessions, “Bishops, pastors, and ministers” was altered to “Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.” In several places the word “congregation” was changed to “church.” “Forsake” was well changed to “renounce” in the Baptismal Vow.

The Epistles and Gospels were taken from the 1611 King James Version but the Psalter remained in the words from the 1540 Bible, because the old wording of the Psalms was very popular with churchgoers.

Psalm numbers were altered for certain ceremonies.

More hymns were authorised for Easter Day, and the Gloria was re-added.

A ceremony for baptising adults was added in response to increasing requests in English parishes and for missionary efforts in the colonies.

Prayers to be used at sea were added.

Two state services were added. The Accession Service (for the incoming monarch) was already there, but services for King Charles the Martyr and the Restoration were inserted. These were not taken out until 1854, with the Accession Service the only state service remaining.

Dearmer thought that the two state services were too political and ended up alienating some churchgoers, thereby causing a decline in membership in the Church of England:

They are … full of political opinion, their loyalty is expressed in extravagant terms, and they confide to Almighty God their denunciations of “violent and bloodthirsty men,” bloody enemies,” “sons of Belial, as on this day, to imbrue their hands in the blood of thine Anointed,” “the unnatural Rebellion, Usurpation, and Tyranny of ungodly and cruel men” — using for preference four words where one would have been too much.

This is magnificent, but it is not peace. Now, when we remember that these State Services (with additions in subsequent reigns) were cheerfully used throughout the country for nearly two centuries, we can understand the accompanying decline in the English Church. The Church of a party could not be the Church of a people; nor could a Church, which did nothing to supply in her Services the growing needs of succeeding ages, fail as time went on to alienate large sections of religious men.

He also thought that, over the next two centuries, the public increasingly viewed the Church of England as an exclusive, establishment organisation. The Prayer Book, in his estimation, no longer served the needs of some people, who came to see the prayers as dry and outdated:

the poverty of our Visitation of the Sick has driven many thousands into faith-healing sects, and the inadequacy of The Burial Service has caused others to seek comfort in Spiritism.

Quite possibly. However, Dearmer does not address the fact that since the 17th century, mankind has gradually become given to emotion rather than logic. Consider the revival movements of the 18th century which used sensationalism rather than rationality to get theological points across. We now have no end of tiny Holiness churches which emphasise individual ‘experiences’ and ‘testimony’ over Jesus Christ and Holy Scripture. People don’t go for the Bible, they go for the show.

Dearmer concludes Chapter 11 by expressing his wish for a new Prayer Book. I wonder, had he been alive today, what he would think of The Alternative Service Book (1984) and its successor Common Worship (2000). The latter is an improvement over the former but is mind boggling with so many different collects and versions of various prayers. One wonders if all that is necessary.

Then again, my next door neighbour finds the most modern, pared-down liturgy irrelevant to her needs: ‘Why have liturgy at all?’ It looks as if we are approaching that point, complete with ‘healing services’ every few weeks. The more relevant the Church of England becomes in response to people like my next-door neighbour, the fewer the number of people attending Sunday services.

In fact, any Anglican clergyman that offers a 1662 service finds his church nearly full.

Yes, the 1662 service is still the only one that continues to draw crowds in the 21st century. It’s a pity more Anglican priests don’t understand that simple premise.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post -- not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 -- resolved

Creative Commons License
Churchmouse Campanologist by Churchmouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://churchmousec.wordpress.com/.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,007 other followers

Archive

Calendar of posts

August 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

http://martinscriblerus.com/

Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory
Powered by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Blog Stats

  • 1,134,639 hits