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We eat at Le Pistou whenever we visit Cannes.

It is located at 53 Rue Félix Faure, right in the centre of town along with all the classic seafood restaurants.

Pistou is the Provençal version of pesto. Pistou lacks the pine nuts but makes up for it with more grated hard cheese.

We first had Le Pistou’s tasting menu, the menu dégustation — or, menu dég (their term) — in 2015.

What follows are our dinners there in 2017 and 2019.

2017 — first visit

We chose the €38 prix fixe menu.

Starters

My far better half (FBH) chose the foie gras mi-cuit (i.e. pâté, not lobe). It was a generous, thick slice. The foie gras was made in house.

I chose the jumbo shrimp — gambas — in tempura. They were sublime — crunchy to the last bite.

Mains

We both had the Mediterranean sea bass — filet de loup.

This is always beautifully plated. It comes with pea velouté (pea purée sauce), fine French green beans and two small boiled potatoes. The potatoes are turned; each side is peeled lengthwise for a total of seven sides. Peeled into a slim barrel shape, they look very elegant on the plate.

The loup was moist and flavoursome. This is always a winning dish.

Wine

We enjoyed a bottle of Cassis: Clos d’Albizzi 2014. The estate, now run by F. Dumont, has been producing wine since 1523. Cassis has three grape varieties: marsanne, clairette and ugny blanc. The grapes are grown in the native Cassiden terroir, which adds a refreshing mineral taste. It was the perfect complement to our dinner.

Desserts

We both had their crème brulée with cinnamon.

It had just the right amount of cinnamon: enough for flavour but not overpowering.

2017 — second visit

We returned later during our stay for the seven-course menu dég, which we loved in 2015.

This has to be booked in advance. We made reservations a couple of days beforehand.

First course

We began with a delightful tian — i.e. a raised disc — of layered crab, sliced scallop and smoked salmon on a base of avocado. It was heavenly.

Second course

This was an amazing tarte tatin of diced apple and sautéed lobe of foie gras in puff pastry. Words cannot describe how unctuous this was.

Third course

We had lobster ravioli, probably three small ones — a perfect portion size.

The filling and the accompanying lobster sauce were perfect. However, the pasta could have been rolled out more thinly.

Fourth course

This was a palate cleanser: an apple and rum sorbet with plenty of rum. Delightful!

Fifth course

We had a generous fillet of beef with wild mushroom sauce. It came with creamy potatoes dauphinoise.

End of the road

Unfortunately, we could only eat half of the beef fillet.

We were so full by that time, that we were unable to proceed to the cheese course and dessert.

It took some explaining to the caring staff that the food was great, but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.

The bill, wine included, came to €174, which included the full price the menu dég: fair enough.

Wine

With our first two courses, we had Cassis: Clos d’Albizzi 2014 (as above).

With the next three courses we enjoyed a Bandol Rosé: Domaine des Baguiers 2013, which won a Medaille d’Or (Gold Medal) in Paris in 2016. The estate, located in Var, has been run by the Jourdan family for several generations.

2019

We put our menu dég defeat of 2017 down to our age. Obviously, our appetites are decreasing as the years advance.

However, we could not miss having a three-course dinner at Le Pistou.

Our bill came to €102.

As I noted in an earlier post last month, Rue Felix Faure has been pedestrianised. We found this somewhat disconcerting, as we were used to the recycling bins in the esplanade across the street. All of that has been removed. The traffic is gone. The levelled, new look esplanade took some getting used to.

Starters

Both of us enjoyed the gambas in tempura (see ‘2017 — first visit’ above).

Mains

One cannot have a more reliable course than the filet de loup (again, see ‘2017 — first visit’).

Wine

We enjoyed another bottle of Cassis, Clos d’Albizzi.

Dessert

FBH opted for the chocolate and vanilla millefeuille.

I could hardly wait to have the cinnamon crème brulée again. I was not disappointed!

Additional notes

Le Pistou’s website has their current menu. Their dishes are always reasonably priced, particularly with the prix fixe menu, and great value for money.

TripAdvisor has customer reviews. I particularly liked this one from 2018, excerpted:

Le Pistou’s menu is a bit more creative and so it stands out from the others on the street. Because the menu was so different, we ate there twice during our recent stay in Cannes and were not disappointed. We each had the €23.50 Menu du Marche. I had the Duet of asparagus and parma ham with pesto, mixed salad, roast quail and foie gras, I’m not sure that it held together as a coherent dish but the components were delicious. My wife had the avocado and crab salad and she loved it.

As a main course the monkfish and turbot duo was spectacular. As advertised, the sauce was a curry sauce but light enough that it didn’t overpower the delicate fish. The filet de loup in a pea sauce was didn’t impress me quite as much but was very good nonetheless. My wife loved the gambas and said that the daurade was excellent. Most of the fish dishes were served with a small portion of ratatouille.

Call me insane (my wife does) but for me des[s]ert is the least interesting part of a meal. Pistou’s roast pineapple and mango spring roll with two sorbets in a sauce flavoured with mandarine impériale was very creative and delicious.

Le Pistou has been good for years. With the current menu it moves out ahead of the others on the street. Well worth a visit.

If you’re ever in Cannes, don’t miss Le Pistou.

On August 14, 2019, pollster YouGov published a study about the overlap in the British public’s political views.

Their ‘Left-wing vs right-wing: it’s complicated’ is a must-read for everyone.

Before Brexit — and Trump — shut down what used to be stimulating political discussions with friends, I, too, found this disparity. I’m glad a polling organisation has discovered this and made it public.

YouGov’s article accompanying its survey results show that the left-right divide is indeed murky (emphasis in the original, purple one mine):

YouGov shows that the left-wing to right-wing political spectrum is actually much more complex than previously thought when it comes to public opinion

A new angle of attack from Jeremy Corbyn seems to be that Boris Johnson is presiding over the most right-wing government in living memory.

That might be a helpful move if politicians had an accurate assessment of where the public stands on the left-right spectrum. But if the reaction in Westminster to YouGov survey data from earlier this week showing that 75% of Brits (including 61% of Labour voters) support the PM’s proposed expansion of stop and search powers is anything to go by, they may well not.

Framing politics in terms of left-wing and right-wing might be simple for politicians, and comforting to activists, but it seems that these terms just aren’t that useful for talking about – or indeed to – the general public.

A new YouGov study reveals that the political wing spectrum is poorly understood and also that huge numbers of people don’t hold consistent left- and right-wing outlooks.

YouGov asked participants to rank socio-political views as left-wing and right-wing. YouGov has not assigned any label to these. They have taken these perspectives from the British public:

However, when the researchers probed further, they found that the public actually hold a mix of socio-political views:

I know I certainly hold differing views, and people have asked why. I say that I am a centrist and hold conservative views on some things and more left-wing views on others. Of course, they generally accuse me, at best, of being ‘inconsistent’ and, at worst, a ‘traitor to the cause’, but I am far from alone.

Look at the crossover YouGov found:

Those charts show all manner of socio-political contradictions. Spend some time studying them. Wow!

YouGov says the public do not understand political classifications:

For those who spend their days immersed in Westminster goings on, awareness of how the left-to-right spectrum works is taken for granted. But our results show that the wider public is in fact largely unfamiliar with the categorisation.

I think that YouGov’s statements there are incorrect. I do not think Parliamentarians, whether MPs or the Lords, understand the overlap in the charts above, either. I think they would be surprised. Here is one example (emphases mine):

However, these views do not appear to be distinct to one end of the spectrum over the other: 78% of right-wingers also think that green and renewable energy should be prioritised, while 78% of left-wingers also think that global population growth is a problem.

And what about these?

a majority of left-wing Britons (59%) believe that school discipline should be stricter, making it the most commonly-held right-wing view among the left. Likewise, 55% of left-wingers believe criminal justice in Britain to be too soft, a plurality of 47% want to see tighter restrictions on immigration, and sizeable minorities of 39% support capital punishment and 36% support Britain having a nuclear arsenal.

And this one?

among Britons who support a greater redistribution of wealth, 59% support capital punishment, 72% think the criminal justice system is too soft and 68% want tighter restrictions on immigration.

On the supposed opposite end of the spectrum:

among Britons who want less redistribution of wealth, 47% the government to take a dominant/significant role in managing the economy, 42% think the minimum wage is too low, and 35% think the UK has a responsibility to aid poorer nations.

I would like to see a similar survey conducted in the United States and France. I reckon the findings would be similar.

In closing, although our political betters think we, the ‘great unwashed’, are ‘stupid’ or ‘sheep’, we, in fact, have a nuanced understanding of politics — and life.

YouGov concludes:

There is space in the current political landscape for some very radical appeals to be made that would prove very popular. This applies to all parties, not just Boris Johnson. Any politician willing to do so could find themselves with the keys to victory.

Politicians should catch up to our way of thinking. The sooner the better.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be visiting our European neighbours this week before the G7 conference in Biarritz:

Reuters reports (emphases mine):

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.

In his first trip abroad as leader, Johnson is due to meet his European counterparts ahead of a G7 summit on Aug. 24-26 in Biarritz, France.

He will say that Britain is leaving the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a deal, and that the British parliament cannot block that, according to a Downing Street source.

Despite Parliament’s summer recess, Remain MPs have been in various discussions as to how to stop our leaving, deal or no deal, on October 31:

It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the British parliament to prevent a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31 – likely to be the United Kingdom’s most significant move since World War Two.

Sky News reports that No. 10 says Brexit will be but a small part of Boris’s discussions with France and Germany:

… Number 10 said it expects there to be “very little discussion” of Brexit during the visit to Berlin on Wednesday and Paris on Thursday, with other topics to be the focus.

Discussions are expected to centre around the next G7 summit in Biarritz, France, next weekend, with trade, foreign policy, security and the environment set to be on the table.

Number 10 said Mr Johnson would discuss issues such as climate change with his fellow leaders, adding: “The EU are our closest neighbours and whatever happens we want a strong relationship after we leave.”

Thanks to Boris’s leadership thus far, the Conservative Party once again leads in the polls:

British voters believe that Boris would make the best PM:

Nevertheless, Labour MPs think they can overturn triggering of Article 50. Whether this can be done is of some debate:

The Speaker of the House, John Bercow, is supposed to be impartial, yet, he, too, is said to be plotting against No Deal:

Boris’s government tied up one loose end at the weekend:

This was something Theresa May was supposed to instruct Stephen Barclay (pictured) to do — but didn’t:

There were two significant leaks in the past few days.

One was Boris’s Brexit ‘script’, left behind in a London pub, allegedly by a civil servant. Tell me this was not deliberate:

The other was a copy of Operation Yellowhammer, which contains all the worst case scenarios in case of No Deal:

The Sunday Times made this look like news, but Yellowhammer first surfaced on Wednesday, March 20 in preparation for our original March 29 exit date.

That day, the Express reported:

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told Cabinet ministers in a letter the plan will be implemented on March 25 unless a new exit date is agreed. Operation Yellowhammer is the UK Treasury’s contingency plan for no deal exit from the bloc. The plan drafts what would happen for factors such as money, citizens, trade and customs.

According to the Daily Telegraph, if no date is set by Monday Operation Yellowhammer will be implemented.

In a letter to Cabinet ministers, Mr Barclay wrote: “Operation Yellowhammer command and control structures will be enacted fully on 25 March unless a new exit date has been agreed between the UK and the EU.”

The Guardian‘s story, also published that day, had more information:

With the country placed on a knife-edge by Theresa May’s latest Brexit crisis, the government is preparing for “any outcome” with a decision on Monday on whether to roll out the national Operation Yellowhammer contingencies for food, medicine and banking.

Some measures have already swung into place, including Operation Fennel’s traffic management in Kent.

The Europe minister, Alan Duncan, has also said the Foreign Office staff deployed to its Brexit “nerve centre” are working to help UK citizens in the EU in the event they get caught up in a Brexit mess.

The Department of Health was due to activate emergency supply chain operations, with instructions to medicines suppliers to book space on ferries to ensure they are not caught up in queues from next weekend in the event of no-deal.

They are just two of the 12 Operation Yellowhammer areas of risk the government has planned for in the event of a crash-out, according to a National Audit Office report [pdf]. It will decide next Monday if they should all become operational, enacting no-deal plans in 30 central government departments and 42 local councils, two devolved governments and in Northern Ireland.

Yellowhammer also had measures in place for Gibraltar. Fortunately, the government there was quick to point out that Yellowhammer as published is now out of date:

Interestingly, the week before, the island’s government reminded residents to prepare for a No Deal Brexit:

But I digress.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, tweeted:

Sky News had more about Gove’s explanation:

Sebastian Payne of the Financial Times tweeted:

Boris is also displeased with Theresa May’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who has been predicting all manner of Project Fear disasters if No Deal comes about on October 31:

However, Germany had an important leak of its own at the same time as Yellowhammer resurfaced in the UK:

Good. I was also heartened to see the view of Boris from Berlin:

Absolutely correct.

I wish Boris Johnson all the best in his meetings this week with our European partners.

Bible and crossThe 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.

Hebrews 2:1-4

Warning Against Neglecting Salvation

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

———————————————————————————————————–

Last week’s entry discussed Hebrews 1, in which the author set out scriptural reasons why Jesus Christ is superior to the angels and how He is the only begotten Son of God.

It is also useful to know that the Book of Hebrews was addressed to three different audiences.

Hebrews 2 begins where Hebrews 1 ended. Note ‘Therefore’ in verse 1.

In verse 1, the author exhorts the audience to pay close attention to the content of the previous chapter, ‘lest we drift away from it’. In older translations it is ‘let them slip’.

Matthew Henry’s commentary explains that humans are weak and our brains do not retain everything they should (emphases mine):

Learn, (1.) When we have received gospel truths into our minds, we are in danger of letting them slip. Our minds and memories are like a leaky vessel, they do not without much care retain what is poured into them; this proceeds from the corruption of our natures, the enmity and subtlety of Satan (he steals away the word), from the entanglements and snares of the world, the thorns that choke the good seed. (2.) Those meet with an inconceivable loss who let gospel truths, which they had received, slip out of their minds; they have lost a treasure far better than thousands of gold and silver; the seed is lost, their time and pains in hearing lost, and their hopes of a good harvest lost; all is lost, if the gospel be lost. (3.) This consideration should be a strong motive both to our attention to the gospel and our retention of it; and indeed, if we do not well attend, we shall not long retain the word of God; inattentive hearers will soon be forgetful hearers.

The author returns to angels in verse 2. Angels were the next closest beings to God for the Jews. They delivered divine messages, God’s laws and also judgements.

Therefore, the author asks (verse 3), if angels serve God in all those ways, who are we to escape judgement if we do not accept the great salvation that Jesus Christ has for the faithful? After all, the author says, it was the Lord Himself who declared His Son and the audience of Hebrews knew about Jesus from the Apostles and others.

Let us look at the importance of angels in the Old Testament, via John MacArthur:

If a man couldn’t neglect the revelation that came through angels, how much can he neglect the revelation which came through the Lord himself? Now I want you to notice the word if. “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast,” and this is what we call in Greek, a fulfilled condition. In view of the fact that the word spoken by angels was steadfast, it’s not an if maybe. It’s an if absolutely. It’s a since, or in view of the fact that.

Now let me look at specifics with you for a minute. You’ll notice that it says, “the words spoken by angels. Now why is it that the Old Testament commandments, particularly the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue in Moses’ tablets, why is that so connected with the angels? Why does it say that the angels mediated the old covenant? Well, because the angels were instrumental in bringing the Ten Commandments, and I’ll show you that from several passages, Psalm 68:17.

Now Psalm 68:17 just kind of barely scratches the surface of this. 68:17, “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” Now where did Moses get the law? What mount? Sinai. This verse says the Lord is in Sinai with twenty thousand, even thousands of angels. So the angels evidently were there at Sinai, which was the mount upon which Moses received the law, the Ten Commandments.

Now in Deuteronomy 33:2, I read you this. This is Moses, and he said, “He said:

“The Lord came from Sinai and rose up from Seir under them; he shined forth from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of holy ones, angels. From his right hand went a fiery law for them.” Now we believe that this is an indication that angels were involved in the bringing of the law.

The New Testament also has references to this effect:

Now in the New Testament, Acts, for example, chapter 7 gives us the same indication, verse 38. “This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him in the Mount Sinai.” Now here is a specific designation that when Moses was in Sinai an angel spoke to him.

In verse 53 of the same chapter, it says, “Who have received the law by the disposition of angels.” So angels were at Sinai. Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament we are told that. They were very instrumental in the bringing of the law. That’s what is indicated here in what the writer of Hebrews is saying. Angels had a place in bringing the law. The law which they brought, the word spoken by angels, and we believe this refers primarily the Ten Commandments, was steadfast.

And breaking religious law brought about swift retribution and judgement:

Now what it means there is if you broke that law, that law broke you. Right? I mean there wasn’t any out. That was it. I mean if a person committed adultery, what happened to him? They stoned him. And so forth and so on. If a person worshiped false gods, and blasphemed God, they stoned him. That was it. The law was inviolable, it was sure, it was certain.

And it says in verse 2, “Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompensive reward.” That means the law punished every sin.

Now there are only two kinds of sin, and they’re indicated by those two words, transgression, parabasis, it means to step across the line. That’s a willful act of sin. That’s an overt sin of commission. You know, that’s just going right out there and sinning. God says, “Here’s the line, and over there is a no no.” And you say, “No. Over there is a yes yes.” See, and you go. That is a sin that is active, overt, a sin of commission.

The word disobedience is a different word. This word means imperfect hearing, like a deaf man. This is the deliberate shutting of the ears to the commands, warnings, and invitations of God. This is the sin of neglect or omission. This is standing there doing nothing when you should do something.

There’s only two kinds of sin, what you do and what you don’t do. They’re covered by those two words. And so every sin, whether it was a do it sin or a don’t do it sin, was covered by the law. And both types and categories of sin were breaches of the Old Testament law, and they received a just punishment. And I mean the punishments were severe.

In Leviticus, for example, chapter 24, I’ll illustrate some fantastic things here to you, and you’ll see how severe punishment was. Leviticus 24:14, “Bring forth him who hath cursed outside the camp; and let all who heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. As well the sojourner as he who is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.’”

Now that’s pretty severe law, but God wanted to make sure that Israel’s purity was maintained and all false prophets and blasphemers were dealt with immediately to maintain the purity of His people.

Now in Numbers 15:30, “But the soul that doeth anything presumptuously, whether he is born in the land or a sojourner, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the Lord and hath broken His commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off. His iniquity shall be upon him.’ And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man who gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day.” You say big deal.

“And they found him with gathered sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron and unto all the congregation they put him in prison, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, “The man shall be surely put to death. All the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” And all the congregation brought him outside the camp, stoned him with stones, and he died, as the Lord commanded Moses.”

You say, “Died for picking up sticks on the ____.” As the principle of the issue, he was defying the law of God. God set the law, and the punishment was inviolable.

Numbers 25, at the beginning of the verse, “Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.” Here they are getting involved with Moabites sexually. “And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods,” – they begin to worship false gods – “and the people did eat and bow down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Take all the heads of the people and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel.’ And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, ‘Slay ye every one his men who were joined unto Baal of Peor.’ And behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman through her abdomen.’ Just stuck them both. ‘So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those who died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.’”

See, God didn’t like it when they broke His law.

In Deuteronomy, chapter 17, and you see, God had to do to this to maintain purity in Israel. He defended them and he kept them from these false people. The ones who were being slain here were those who were not of God, but of Satan. And God dealt strictly with them.

Deuteronomy, chapter 17, verse 2, “If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman who hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God in transgressing His covenant, and hath gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, and it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it and inquired diligently, and behold, it is true and the thing certain that such abomination is wrought in Israel, then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman who hath committed that wicked thing unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones till they die. At the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death be put to death, but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” This was protecting them.

“The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hands of all the people. So shalt thou put the evil away from among you.” But why did God do all this?

Verse 13 said, “And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.” If you make the consequence strict enough, maybe the people will obey.

In Deuteronomy 27, and this is the last one we’re going to read in the Old Testament, 27:26, sum up is this, “‘Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’” Now that’s inviolable law that God set, and it was strong.

In Jude in the New Testament, verse 5, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” That’s strong judgment on unbelievers. Even under the old economy there was tremendous judgment on unbelievers.

Now you don’t think for a minute that such unbelief was punished in such a way under the old covenant that it will not be punished in such a way under the new covenant, for indeed it will. And that’s the whole point of verses 2 and 3 here in Hebrews. “If the word spoken by angels was steadfast, inviolable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.”

Now you’ll notice in verse 2, and I must point it out the word just. People like to accuse God of not being just. God is just. God’s never done anything unjust in His existence. In every punishment and everything that He ever did was a deterrent to the sin that He wanted to stop. And He only punished those that were already determined to abide without Him, and to defy Him, and He removed them for the sake of those who were pure and holy and wanted to live for Him.

Concerning God’s announcement of His Son Jesus Christ, the author addressed this question in Hebrews 1. God delivered His message through the many Old Testament prophets. Then, Jesus came to Earth. Now we have His words and deeds to heed via those who were His disciples and later those who knew them:

The Supremacy of God’s Son

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

All that Jesus did on Earth came via God according to His holy will as well as via the gifts of the Holy Spirit (verse 4). However, during the Apostolic Era those men also performed miracles to increase the growth of the Church and to bring new souls to Christ.

MacArthur explains:

So you see, Jesus confirmed his own ministry by his own miracles. And of course, that was the message of Peter on the day of Pentecost. I think it’s Acts 2:22, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you by miracles, wonders, and signs,” do you see? Jesus was approved, or his word confirmed by signs, wonders, and miracles. Do you know that the very same things that Peter talks about there or talked about here as the same confirming signs for the second generation preachers? Did you know that? …

And so God bore them witness by giving them the ability to do the same things that Jesus had done, right, signs, wonders, miracles. And Jesus himself even made the statement to his own disciples that greater works than these shall what? “Ye do. ‘Cause I go to my Father.”

And they performed astounding miracles. They performed the raising of the dead, the healing of people, all kinds of miracles. And so it was that God confirmed them. Now when you’re arguing with the gospel of Jesus Christ, coming from the mouths of these apostles, then you’re arguing with the confirmation of God. This is not human philosophy right here in the New Testament. This is not some little guy’s little brainstorm rolling out of his little pea brain. That isn’t what it is.

This is divine truth substantiated by signs, and wonders, and miracles. And if you don’t think so, just start in chapter 5 of Acts and just read right straight through chapter 19, and you’ll just read about one after the other of miracles that attended the ministry of these men.

You say, why the miracles? God was saying believe them, they’re from me, and it’s proven by the ability they have to do miracles. Now the words, signs, wonders, and miracles are really synonyms. They’re referring to all these marvelous supernatural things that these apostles did. But then one other thing, not only did they confirm the Word with signs, and wonders, and miracles, and we’ll make mention of that again in moment, but also by gifts of the Holy Spirit. Do you see it there in verse 4? Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Now watch this gentle, but powerful conclusion, “according to his own will?” Now the question mark doesn’t belong in that statement. The question mark belongs with the How shall we escape? What is it saying? It’s saying, gifts [from] the Holy Spirit come according to who’s will? His will. Now that’s almost shoved in there just to keep some people from getting messed up about how to get certain gifts. Subtle, isn’t it?

The Apostolic Era has passed. We have recorded Old and New Testaments which provide the revelation we need.

MacArthur says:

They have no need to exist today, because there is no need to confirm the Word. If a guy comes along and says, “Thus said the Lord. Thus said the Lord. Thus said the Lord,” and you say, “Hey, how do we know he’s for real?” You don’t need a miracle, what do you need? You match him up with the Word, right?

When that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial is passed away. We don’t need any more confirming signs. [BB] Warfield, a great scholar of the Bible said, “These miraculous gifts were part of the credentials of the apostles, as the authoritative agents of God in founding the church. Their function thus confined them to distinctively the apostolic church, and they necessarily passed away with it.”

The main message is this:

Three classic reasons that a man is a fool to neglect salvation – the character of Christ, the certainty of judgment, and the confirmation of God. This gospel is a gospel that God has attested to with signs, wonders, miracles, gifts, and now He attests to it in the miracle of His written word.

My friend, let it not be said of you that you neglected Jesus Christ. History tells us that three hours’ neglect cost Napoleon Waterloo. And the neglect of Christ’s salvation will cost you eternal blessing, eternal joy, and bring you damning judgment. Don’t be so foolish as to drift past God’s grace.

The rest of Hebrews 2 says that, for a time during His earthly ministry, Jesus was lower than the angels, however, He now sits at the right hand of the Father forevermore.

The closing verses are particularly moving. Jesus is our only Mediator and Advocate with the Father. The fact that He, of divine nature, humbled Himself to also take on human form shows He understands our weaknesses and helps us to overcome them:

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

That’s something to think about and remind ourselves of as we go about our daily lives this week.

Next time — Hebrews 3:1-6

What follows are the readings for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity — Tenth Sunday after Pentecost — August 18, 2019.

These are for Year C in the three-year Lectionary used in public worship.

There are two choices for the First Reading and Psalm. I have differentiated these by using blue in the headings for the alternative option.

Emphases below are mine.

First reading

This is a parable about the judgement of God’s people to come in Isaiah’s time. These verses are about the blessings that God gave them. They rejected those blessings by falling into sin.

Isaiah 5:1-7

5:1 Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.

5:2 He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

5:3 And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.

5:4 What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?

5:5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.

5:6 I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

The next few verses, not part of this reading, are as follows:

Woe to the Wicked

Woe to those who join house to house,
    who add field to field,
until there is no more room,
    and you are made to dwell alone
    in the midst of the land.
The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
“Surely many houses shall be desolate,
    large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
10 For ten acres[d] of vineyard shall yield but one bath,
    and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”[e]

11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
    that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry late into the evening
    as wine inflames them!
12 They have lyre and harp,
    tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,
but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord,
    or see the work of his hands.

Psalm

The Psalm also has the imagery of a vineyard and a request for God’s mercy. There is also a prophecy of Jesus Christ, the ‘Shepherd of Israel’.

Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19

80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

80:2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

80:8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

80:9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

80:10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;

80:11 it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.

80:12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

80:13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

80:14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,

80:15 the stock that your right hand planted.

80:16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.

80:17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

80:18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

80:19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

First reading – alternative

Jeremiah prophesies that the Lord is angry with false prophets turning the people away from Him. This ties in well with the Gospel reading.

Jeremiah 23:23-29

23:23 Am I a God near by, says the LORD, and not a God far off?

23:24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD.

23:25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!”

23:26 How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back–those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart?

23:27 They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal.

23:28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the LORD.

23:29 Is not my word like fire, says the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

Psalm – alternative

This Psalm instructs magistrates and the Sanhedrin on how they should govern.

Psalm 82

82:1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

82:2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah

82:3 Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.

82:4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

82:5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk around in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

82:6 I say, “You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you;

82:7 nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.”

82:8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!

Epistle

Here we have an exhortation to faith even in the face of persecution, especially as Christ Jesus reigns forever and ever.

Hebrews 11:29-12:2

11:29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned.

11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days.

11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

11:32 And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets–

11:33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,

11:34 quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

11:35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection.

11:36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.

11:37 They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented–

11:38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

11:39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised,

11:40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,

12:2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

Gospel

This reading concludes Luke 12. Jesus foretells the division and persecution to come as a warning to prepare oneself spiritually by making peace with God now.

Luke 12:49-56

12:49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

12:50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed!

12:51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!

12:52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three;

12:53 they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

12:54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens.

12:55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.

12:56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Christ’s words are just as true today. We think we know so much. Yet, of God’s ways, we know so very little unless we have faith in His Son, our only Mediator and Advocate.

We first ate at La Brouette de Grand-mère — Grandma’s Wheelbarrow — in 2017, as it was away from the more touristy locations which attract musicians, flower-sellers and others in the evenings.

La Brouette de Grand-mère is located in a quiet street off Rue d’Antibes at 9B rue d’Oran. When walking down Rue d’Antibes away from the centre of town, look for an apartment block called Les Hespérides, which is on the corner of rue d’Oran, and turn left. The restaurant is at the end of the block.

This restaurant offers the best value for money. Portions are ample and alcoholic drinks are included. That said, the prices won’t be cheap enough to accommodate a student budget.

We have visited this family-run establishment twice.

2017

The prix fixe menu was €46 per person: €92 in total.

We ate indoors.

Starters

The waitress promptly served each of us a glass of champagne.

She quickly returned with a huge terrine dish of homemade pork farmhouse pâté (coarse, rather than smooth). It came with a carving board of saucisson (air-dried hard pork sausage), cornichons (gherkins) and bread. A side salad dressed in vinaigrette accompanied this, which included sliced mushrooms on top.

I know some people will have a problem cutting into a terrine dish from which others have served themselves. Well, we did not fall ill.

One diner wrote a review on TripAdvisor saying that he could not eat the whole contents! No, one is only supposed to cut off a slice!

It was good, something that one’s grandmother would serve.

Second course

The second course was a plate of smoked salmon, drizzled with dill olive oil. The waitress served each of us a cold shot of vodka. Delicious!

Mains

Here one has a choice.

My far better half (FBH) had sauteed veal with a light cream sauce and sautéed mushrooms that looked — and tasted — out of this world.

I opted for dorade in a light cream sauce which was equally delicious.

The waitress brought us each a complimentary carafe of wine. FBH chose red. I had rosé.

Desserts

We both ordered their lemon tart, which we expected to be the French tarte au citron.

Unfortunately, it was American style, complete with a thick layer of meringue on top. It was competently done.

Hospitality

To get to the loos, we followed a little sign that said: ‘La route du bonheur’ or, ‘The road to happiness’. They were not wrong!

Our waitress was friendly and congenial, without being over the top. Her English was very good, even though we responded to her questions in French.

2019

We looked forward to our return this year.

Prices are now €49 per person, drinks included.

The starter and the second course are still the same.

Mains

There were several options from which to choose, which the waitress described for us. There was no slate, which would have helped on this occasion.

I thought both of us had ordered the same veal dish, but no.

FBH had the one I would have preferred: sautéed veal escalopes in a light sauce.

Mine was a veal shank ragout with olives.

We both enjoyed our choices very much. Mine came with portions of a huge veal shank, incredibly tender in a Mediterranean-style tomato-based sauce. It was a huge portion.

Wine

We enjoyed a complimentary bottle of red Burgundy, Côtes de Nuits: Les Enfants Terribles 2017 from Domaine Jean-Luc and Paul Aergerter.

Desserts

We both had chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream, which was just the way it was made in the 1970s. Nothing to write home about, but it brought back fond childhood memories for both of us.

Hospitality

The ‘Route du bonheur’ is no more.

Instead of being at the back near the kitchens, the loo is now at the front of the restaurant. It has a sign or symbol on it saying it’s for men, but it seemed to be the only one there.

I felt sorry for any women having to use it, especially as the water did not work. I found that out only after I put soap all over my hands. Fortunately, there were paper towels on hand.

Not good overall, however.

Additional notes

TripAdvisor members give La Brouette de Grand-mère 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

The food, drink and service are consistent, as is the quality.

The restaurant also has a Facebook page.

Conclusion

We look forward to a return visit on our next trip. Let’s hope the lavatory situation has improved by then.

My far better half (FBH) and I have been dining for years at Le Rendez-Vous at 35 Rue Félix Faure in Cannes.

I began posting about the restaurant in 2015 and am delighted to report that they still serve HUGE portions! As I wrote four years ago:

Go, go, go! This is one restaurant where you can order à la carte without breaking the bank!

I didn’t have a chance to write about our 2017 visit, so you’ll get two reviews below.

2017

We both ordered the €35.80 prix fixe menu.

Starters

FBH ordered a thick slice of duck foie gras mi-cuit, i.e. pâté, rather than seared lobe.

I ordered their eight — rather than six! — ‘belles huitres’ (‘beautiful oysters’) and was not disappointed.

Mains

FBH ordered a delightful scallop plate — coquilles St Jacques — which came in layers. Seasoned in a Provençal style and sitting on top a bed of rice were a bottom layer of sweet potato purée, then a truffle purée in the centre, topped with scallops sautéed in olive oil.

I ordered Mediterranean sea bass — loup. Unfortunately, because it was a Monday, there was no loup, only whiting (merlan). I did not know that until the waiter brought it to our table and announced it as such. Under French law, restaurant staff must advise of any substitute when a plate is brought to the table. I was so disappointed. I wished they had come by after we’d placed our orders so that I could have chosen something different — like the scallops!

Wine

We ordered a reliable white Cassis Appellation Protegée: Domaine du Paternel (2016) for €42. The Santini family own the domaine and have been making wine for three generations.

Desserts

FBH ordered rhum baba, deemed ‘good’. Decent rhum babas are hard to find, as most of them are from the cash and carry or are prepared the quick way — substituting cake for a raised dough — in the restaurant. There is no quick way around a rhum baba.

I enjoyed a generous crème brulée, which was delicious.

2019

Le Rendez-Vous still has their €26.80 and €35.80 prix fixe menus.

Our bill this year was not far off from 2017’s and came to €120.

Starters

FBH had crab and salmon tartare, which was mostly crab cocktail: okay, but FBH wanted more salmon tartare.

I wanted to have the whitebait — petite friture — that I had in 2015, but that’s off the menu now, unfortunately.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised by my deep fried squid — calamari — topped with an abundance of thin, crispy deep fried onion rings. I noted in my diary: ‘HUGE!’ The flavour was huge, too. Absolutely scrumptious in every way.

As we were finishing our starters, a Danish family sat down next to us: Mum, Dad and three daughters. They ordered three or four starters, one of them being the calamari with onion rings. I really had to resist poking my oar in and saying, ‘You’ve ordered way too much food!’ I was not wrong. They left nearly all the calamari, when that was the best of what they’d ordered. Still, they seemed like a nice family. I was intrigued to see that they played cards between courses and had a beautiful deck of gilt edged playing cards, the likes of which I’d never seen. Again, it took quite a bit of self-restraint not to ask them where they’d purchased them.

Mains

I had frogs legs à la Provençale. Excellent!

However, this would have been the evening to order Mediterranean sea bass — loup. I was somewhat envious when I saw FBH’s plate, which had a whole loup — two beautiful and large fillets. Sigh. They were picture perfect and beautifully sautéed.

While we were eating, an elderly Catholic priest walked in for dinner. He was obviously a regular and received a warm, yet reverent, welcome. That further confirmed to me that Le Rendez-Vous is a quality restaurant.

Wine

We went with the Domaine du Paternel once more.

Desserts

We must be getting older, because we had no room for dessert!

Additional notes

TripAdvisor has mixed reviews, giving Le Rendez-Vous an overall 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Verdict

We would certainly eat here again, but probably only once.

I am somewhat disappointed that Le Rendez-Vous has changed their menu to accommodate ‘lighter fare’ but can appreciate that some diners, e.g. the Danish family next to us, prefer those types of dishes.

When Donald Trump discussed human trafficking during his 2016 campaign, I wondered how serious a problem it was.

Surely, no one else talked about it.

Yes, we knew about Jeffrey Epstein, but he seemed to be an outlier.

Since then, we’ve had the NXIVM trial which, thankfully, resulted in prison sentences.

Donald Trump, who lived in New York City for most of his life knew what he was talking about — once again.

Jeffrey Epstein’s mysterious death made the headlines over the weekend. I wrote about it here and here.

At long last, people are beginning to wake up to the horrors of human, especially child, trafficking.

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, is one of them. He has pledged to start linking the dots surrounding this horrifying issue:

He wrote that thread before Epstein died:

The following day:

More power to his elbow in getting the job done!

Corey Lynn – Corey’s Digs has been investigating these issues for quite a while. She has more specifics on Epstein and his associates:

On Sunday, August 11, 2019, the day after Epstein’s death, Fox’s Life, Liberty & Levin featured South African film director and producer Jaco Booyens (pron. ‘Yaco Boyens’), whose recent film, 8 Days, is all about child trafficking. Mark Levin conducted a 32-minute interview with him. The original full length video link which I posted has been truncated to one second. I am grateful to one of my readers for letting me know. I found another video, but not of the full interview. A shorter — 9:50 — segment follows:

A second reader found the nub of the child sex trafficking stats in another interview clip here.

I urge everyone to take the time to watch that same video clip, which is not on YouTube, then read the summary of the full interview below.

It is very important in understanding the gravity of child trafficking.

Jaco Booyens, who now lives in the United States, also has a website about combatting human trafficking: SHAREtogether.org.

A summary of the interview follows.

Booyens made 8 Days because his sister Ilanka was trafficked when both were children in South Africa in 1994 or 1995. At the age of 13, Ilanka had just won a national song competition and was subsequently trafficked to a record company! She was trafficked for six years.

He said that the person who leaves or is abducted to be trafficked is never the same one who returns home. Fortunately, Ilanka now lives in Nashville.

Booyens has used aspects of his sister’s plight in the film.

Levin showed the trailer for 8 Days, which begins with a nice teenage girl who is enthralled because a classmate asks her out on a date. Her parents let her go. Unbeknownst to them, the boy, who is driving the two of them into town for the evening, pulls into a car park and stops the vehicle. Another vehicle pulls up, and a couple of people get out, abduct the girl and drive off. The next eight days are a living hell for the girl — and for her parents, who have no idea what has happened to their daughter.

Booyens said that statistics he has seen show that trafficked children normally die after seven years from drug abuse. Also, one imagines, the horrors they have been subjected to are another factor in premature death.

He came out with more statistics about child trafficking in the United States:

  • Currently, most victims are girls (average age 12), although the number of boys — especially those who are prepubescent — is rising;
  • The situation is now much worse than it was five years ago;
  • A pimp can earn $250k tax free per year off from trafficking one child;
  • 300k children are trafficked every day in the US; 76,000 are trafficked per day in Texas alone, despite Governor Abbott’s best efforts;
  • There is ‘rampant abuse’ in the ‘foster care system’;
  • The US has ‘more slaves today than ever in history’ and he lived through South Africa’s apartheid;
  • All classes are involved at some level: the pimp makes most of his money from executives earning $100k per annum, but ‘a janitor’ can purchase a child’s services from time to time, too;
  • Online recruitment is the norm. Procurers get to know a child and ask all the right questions;
  • It is not unusual for trafficked children to live with their parents and attend school daily;
  • Pimps advertise the children online: ‘You can order children the way you order pizza’.

Booyens says that the porn culture is to blame for child trafficking. Pornography is dehumanising and it objectifies not only women, but children, too.

He said that he has approached left-wing media networks for time to explain this dangerous trend, but they declined. He said that they apparently prefer to complain about Donald Trump, who, he said, has done the most of any US president to actively combat child trafficking. He said that could be a reason why the Left rails against him so much and goes on instead about his breaking up families at the border. On that subject, he said that as many as 30% of ‘families’ at the border aren’t family units at all — but traffickers and their victims. He gave credit to ICE and other law enforcement agencies, whom he said are ‘there to keep us safe’.

So far, only Fox News has agreed to have him on to explain the horrors of trafficking.

Child trafficking is a huge issue, and the Trump administration is doing everything it can to slow it down, then stop it.

All I ask is that people be aware of how destructive trafficking really is.

Booyens said that 8 Days (not to be confused with the sci-fi series) is available on Netflix and on DVD.

I will be returning to lighter subjects in my next post.

Tomorrow, I will post a powerful video on child sex trafficking in the United States, which I highly recommend.

First, let’s see what is happening with the Jeffrey Epstein case after his death on Saturday, August 10, 2019.

The day before, 2,024 pages of court documents were released to the public.

Suspicions

As I write on Monday morning (BST), it is no wonder that people suspect there is a two-tiered justice system.

The story is being covered here in Britain as well as France.

If you missed my post yesterday, London’s Paul Joseph Watson summarises the Epstein death on Saturday, August 10, 2019 and the questions that have arisen as a result. This video is around four minutes long:

People are questioning the orange prison uniform shown in a photo circulating in various media outlets, because in many US prisons, inmates wear brown:

Others also question whether he could have committed suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan:

A former MCC inmate spoke to two reporters from the New York Post and said that suicide would be impossible:

An excerpt follows from the article. He, too, refers to brown uniforms (emphases mine below):

Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything.

You have sheets, but they’re paper level, not strong enough. He was 200 pounds — it would never happen.

When you’re on suicide watch, they put you in this white smock, a straight jacket. They know a person cannot be injurious to themselves.

The clothing they give you is a jump-in uniform. Everything is a dark brown color.

Could he have done it from the bed? No sir. There’s a steel frame, but you can’t move it. There’s no light fixture. There’s no bars.

They don’t give you enough in there that could successfully create an instrument of death. You want to write a letter, they give you rubber pens and maybe once a week a piece of paper.

Nothing hard or made of metal.

There’s up to 80 people there. They could put two in cell. It’s one or two, but I’ll never believe this guy had a cellmate. He was too blown up.

An autopsy has been performed, but results are being withheld ‘pending further information’:

Here is the preliminary statement in full (click on blue text to read it in full):

The ZeroHedge article linked to in Dr Janda’s tweet says:

On a side note, the private pathologist, demanded by Epstein’s attorneys, Dr. Michael Baden, was the city’s chief medical examiner in the late 1970s and has been called as an expert witness in high-profile cases including by the defense at O.J. Simpson’s 1994 murder trial.

Of course, this unusual delay will merely spur further uncertainty and the all around ‘conspiracy theory’ feel to this whole debacle.

What are the odds that Epstein’s body gets misplaced? Or accidentally cremated?

On Sunday, August 11, the New York Post (NYP) reported:

Sources tell The Post that a determination will likely come by early next week.

“Today, a medical examiner performed the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein,” said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson in a statement Sunday night …

Attempts to reach Dr. Baden, the city’s former chief medical examiner and a deputy chief medical examiner for Suffolk County, were not successful Sunday night. It was not immediately clear who he was working for at the time of the autopsy.

Another NYP article, ‘Epstein’s guards were working “extreme” OT at short-staffed lockup’, states:

The two Manhattan jail guards who allegedly failed to monitor Jeffrey Epstein before he died had been working “extreme” overtime shifts amid a severe staffing shortage at the facility, reports said Sunday.

The unidentified jailers at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center violated procedure by failing to check on Epstein every 30 minutes before he apparently committed suicide in his cell, sources told Reuters.

One guard was working his fifth straight day of overtime and the other was toiling under mandatory overtime, a person familiar with operations at the lower-Manhattan lockup told The Associated Press.

The guards also violated procedure by leaving the convicted pedophile without a cellmate, the New York Times reported.

There’s no surveillance video of Epstein’s death, which apparently occurred when the 66-year-old pervert appeared to hang himself Saturday morning, law-enforcement officials told The Post.

Although there are cameras in the 9 South wing at the MCC, they are trained on areas outside the cells and not inside, according to officials familiar with the setup.

According to Reuters, Epstein’s victims are allegedly preparing to sue his estate this week:

Two of Epstein’s lawyers are allegedly lawyering up themselves:

Trump tweets

On Saturday, President Trump retweeted this …

… and this:

He followed those retweets with one of his own:

Media

President Trump was correct in tweeting about the media.

Google ‘trends’ showed this:

And while a sensible editorial from Bernard Kerik, the first deputy and commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, 1995-2000, appeared on The Hill: ‘Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide makes no sense’

The fact that one of the country’s highest-profile federal prisoners could even commit suicide defies all logic and belief. 

His death raises doubts about officials’ actions. The FBI says it will investigate; Attorney General William Barr says he is “appalled” by what happened; members of Congress such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are demanding answers. Indeed we all need answers, before we lose all faith in our justice system.

But the most basic question, in my mind, is why Epstein was in solitary confinement in the first place — something so totally inappropriate for a prisoner already at risk of suicide

… the rest of the media denounced ‘conspiracy theories’ surrounding the high profile prisoner’s death, as Sohrab Amari reported for the NYP:

Within hours of the story breaking, writers at mainstream outlets went patrolling the Internet for “conspiracy theories” to debunk, usually with that tone of superiority and self-satisfaction that so endears the blue-check Twitterati to the American public.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death in US jails,” scolded The Daily Beast’s Justin Miller. “ ‘Suicide watch’ is just that, ‘watch,’ or observation, usually periodic. Stop speculating Epstein was murdered.” The headline on a story by Miller’s colleague Kelly Weill read: “Conspiracy Theories Erupt After Jeffrey Epstein’s Death.” (Talk about begging the question.)

“It would be easy to treat this frenzied reaction to Epstein’s death as a sad case study in how conspiratorial thinking has bled into mainstream discourse,” lectured The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins. “But finger-wagging feels inadequate at this moment.”

Among other examples of this lamentable rise in paranoia, Coppins cited one of my tweets. In it, I had recounted how a Manhattan restaurateur I know predicted that “they’ll never let Epstein live” — “they” being our shady ruling class. “Regular people,” I added, “are wiser than us pundits.”

If Coppins had bothered to contact me for comment before writing critically of my remarks — as is standard journalistic practice — I would have told him that, of course, I don’t necessarily believe the restaurateur was right. But at the time I heard him say it, I was inclined to dismiss the restaurateur’s cynicism about our system. “What does he know?” I thought. “Of course, Epstein will live to testify.” …

Speaking of which, shouldn’t the reporters who are busy lamenting our nation’s conspiratorial cast of mind wait for the facts to come out? After all, at least three local and federal probes have just gotten underway. The Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons have been careful to append the adjective “apparent” to the noun “suicide” in their statements on the matter. As Will Chamberlain of Human Events noted, the no-conspiracy journalists are “ahead of the facts.”

It’s all especially rich, given the fact that many of these same journalists have spent the past two years feverishly promoting the “collusion” theory. Here’s Coppins writing in 2017: “As evidence piles up pointing to the possibility that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Republican lawmakers have largely ignored Democrats’ calls for urgent action.”

Trump and Epstein

The Left are hard at it promoting the idea that Donald Trump, well before running for president, was a close friend of Epstein’s. There is no convincing them of the contrary.

That, too, is conspiracy theory, isn’t it?

On Monday, July 9, two days after Epstein’s arrest, ZeroHedge posted an article stating the contrary: ‘Trump Was “Only One” To Help Prosecutor In 2009 Epstein Case’.

That year, Epstein began serving 13 months in prison for sex with a 14-year old girl. He was released in 2010. Florida attorney Bradley Edwards was the man who was serving subpoenas which resulted in Epstein’s conviction. Edwards says that Donald Trump never had to be subpoenaed. He spoke freely to Edwards. From the ZeroHedge article (emphases in the original):

Following a 2018 financial settlement between Florida attorney Bradley Edwards – who represented one of Epstein’s accusers, only to be later sued by Epstein, Edwards claimed that Donald Trump was the ‘only person’ who provided assistance when Edwards served subpoenas and notices to high-profile individuals connected to Epstein.

Edwards: The only thing that I can say about President Trump is that he is the only person who, in 2009 when I served a lot of subpoenas on a lot of people, or at least gave notice to some pretty connected people, that I want to talk to them, is the only person who picked up the phone and said, let’s just talk.  I’ll give you as much time as you want.  I’ll tell you what you need to know, and was very helpful, in the information that he gave, and gave no indication whatsoever that he was involved in anything untoward whatsoever, but had good information. That checked out and that helped us and we didn’t have to take a deposition of him in 2009.

However, the Left was — and is still — sure that Trump had a nefarious connection to Epstein. Contrast that with Bill Clinton’s known 26 flights on Epstein’s plane.

As much as they wanted to find incriminating evidence, Fusion GPS, Vice.com and Radar came up with nothing Trump-related:

While trying to tie Trump to Epstein in an attempt to push the narrative to at least two reporters, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS – the firm behind the unsubstantiated “Trump-Russia” dossier, found that the Trump-Epstein link appears purely social, according to the Washington Timeswhich writes “Journalist sources told The Washington Times that Simpson pushed the idea of a close relationship between Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein,” adding “Ken Silverstein, the reporter who ultimately wrote an Epstein-Trump report, confirmed to The Times that Fusion had sourced the story.”

Mr. Silverstein, who wrote the Vice.Com story, was asked by The Washington Times if Fusion pushed the Epstein-Trump story.

Since you asked, yes, they helped me with that, Mr. Silverstein said. But as you can see, I could not make a strong case for Trump being super close to Epstein, so they could hardly have been thrilled with that story. [In my humble opinion], that was the best story written about Trumps ties to Epstein, but I failed to nail him. Trump’s ties were mild compared to Bill Clinton’s. –Washington Times

In January 2016, Vice.com ran Silverstein’s story on Trump’s ties to Epstein, which framed them as more social – including dinner parties, two plane trips, and Epstein hanging out at Trump’s Mar-a-lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. As Radar reported last April, “According to an investigation by Radar, Trump was among dozens of renowned New Yorkers who knew Epstein socially but ostracized him after Palm Beach police uncovered the financiers sleazy double life,” adding that Trump “once barred child molester Jeffrey Epstein from his famed Mar-a-lago club after the presidential candidate caught him hitting on a young girl.”

Epstein’s is not a ‘So what?’ story

Some do not care whether Epstein died.

However, Epstein had no co-defendant named in his latest case. Effectively, his case is dead, although victims can still sue his estate.

Epstein received a short sentence ten years ago as Trump’s former Secretary for Labor, Alex Acosta, explained during his confirmation hearing before he got the job. On July 9, Vicky Ward, a journalist who followed Epstein’s activities for years, wrote an article for the Daily Beast, ‘Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out For Years In Plain Sight’. In it, she discusses Acosta (emphases mine):

Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.

“Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.) …

After the one meeting with then-U.S. Attorney Acosta, where presumably “intelligence” was mentioned, the indictment was shelved and, instead, Epstein signed a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of procurement of minors for prostitution, which earned him a cushy 13 months in county jail, from where he was allowed to leave to work at his office and go for walks

The deal granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators.” Most significantly, federal prosecutors agreed to keep the deal secret from Epstein’s victims, which meant they would not know to challenge it in court. As it turned out, this actually broke the law, because victims have a right to know of such developments, under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

The Miami Herald — and independent journalist Mike Cernovich — were successful in getting the case reopened this year. Vicky Ward explains the Miami Herald‘s role:

So kudos, then, to the Miami Herald journalist Julie K. Brown, who many years after the fact went back and interviewed some of Epstein’s alleged victims in her brilliant three-part series “Perversion of Justice.” It was Brown who told the stories of teenagers in trailer parks outside Palm Beach who needed money for shoes or just to live, who went to give Epstein massages and so much more. Brown and her editors actually took the women seriously.

It was that heart-wrenching series that caught the attention of Congress. Ben Sasse, the Republican senator from Nebraska, joined with his Democratic colleagues and demanded to know how justice had been so miscarried.

Given the political sentiment, it’s unsurprising that the FBI should feel newly emboldened to investigate Epstein—basing some of their work on Brown’s excellent reporting.

The story in the indictment that was unsealed earlier Monday was eerily familiar to all of us who have been paying attention to Epstein’s sick story. What is different, finally, after 16 years, is the reaction, which is, at last, appropriate. 

One of the young women who spoke to me 16 years ago emailed Monday evening. “Shocked and elated,” she said. “Fingers crossed they all finally go down.” Amen to that.

Yet, going back to Epstein’s release in 2010, celebrities and journalists attended a dinner at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, as Alexandra Wolfe wrote for Real Clear Politics on April 2, 2011, in ‘Celebs Close Ranks Around a Pedophile’:

Alexandra Wolfe is a former contributing editor to Conde Nast Portfolio. She has written for publications including the New York Times, New York magazine, the New York Observer, and the Wall Street Journal, where she wrote design and lifestyle features for the Weekend Journal section. Before that, she was a reporter at the New York Observer. She is currently working on a book called American Coddle, about America’s culture of entitlement.

Despite the pedophile mogul’s conviction for soliciting underage prostitution, his circle—a who’s who of the rich and powerful, from Bill Clinton to Katie Couric—is standing by their man. Renowned scientists whose research Epstein funded also back the billionaire, writes Alexandra Wolfe.

On the evening of December 2nd, 2010, a handful of America’s media and entertainment elite—including TV anchors Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos, comedienne Chelsea Handler, and director Woody Allen—convened around the dinner table of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. It wasn’t just any dining room, but part of a sprawling nine-story townhouse that once housed an entire preparatory school. And it wasn’t just any sex offender, but an enigmatic billionaire who had flown the likes of former President Bill Clinton and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak around the world on his own Boeing 727. Last spring, Epstein completed a 13-month sentence for soliciting prostitution from a minor in Palm Beach. Now he was hosting a party for his close friend, Britain’s Prince Andrew, fourth in line to the throne

Sure enough, that December night no one mentioned that their handsome host, a gray-haired 58-year-old financier with tanned skin and a joker smile, had just doled out millions of dollars in civil settlements to 17 [Published reports say 7…LS] girls who allege that he paid them to perform erotic massages and demeaning sexual acts when they were underage. They are among the 40 victims turned up by an FBI investigation. But at the time, this particular swath of Epstein’s elite Rolodex had no idea that the feted royal would soon renounce Epstein as a friend, nor that the royal’s ex-wife, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, would hysterically apologize for letting Epstein pay off some of her debts.

Oh, my.

Let’s look at Epstein’s destinations, which extended to cities in Europe:

Does anyone now not think that this is part of the reason these same people oppose Donald Trump, who made the issue of human trafficking, especially for sex, one of his campaign issues on which he has been acting during his presidency?

Three years ago, I wondered, ‘Is human trafficking really a thing?’ Trump, ever sober, knew then that it is a very serious thing, indeed.

More on child sex trafficking tomorrow.

Within a few weeks’ time, I reckon the media and others on the Left will be telling citizens who want answers about Jeffrey Epstein’s death on August 10, 2019, that there’s nothing to see, move along.

Epstein’s death came one day after 2,000 pages of court documents about his involvement in underage sex were released to the public:

Epstein’s death has attracted Americans on both sides of the political aisle who want answers. The Left think that President Trump is covering up his involvement in nefarious activities, even though testimony from Virginia Roberts Giuffre says that Trump is not implicated. Those on the Right say that they want to find out more about Bill Clinton’s association with Epstein.

By Sunday, August 11, Twitter was already at work manipulating the narrative:

Unanswered questions

Yes, it’s early days, but, as I write on Sunday, even the initial news releases cannot give the facts.

At least one news outlet reported that Epstein hanged himself in his cell.

Another said that he died of cardiac arrest connected to suicide.

Of course, he is not the first to die mysteriously before giving testimony to a court of law in the United States. Others, interestingly, also associated with the Clintons have, too.

However, Epstein was in a place where high profile prisoners were detained without incident, some for long periods of time:

But was Epstein actually on suicide watch at the time of his death?

Incidentally, I checked the NYT‘s Twitter feed on Sunday. Most were tweets about lifestyle: food, fitted sheets and entertainment. The others covered foreign news. Jeffrey Epstein? Nothing to see here, move along.

After the question about a suicide watch, there is the question of the security camera, allegedly malfunctioning. How convenient:

Then there is the question of the guards for such an important prisoner:

Hmm:

If true, this is very interesting:

Epstein appears to have died in the early hours of the morning:

He was then taken to a Manhattan hospital, where some strange photos emerged. Note that Epstein appears to have no legs in this photo. A blanket is rolled under instead:

A Rod Rosenstein fan — not the man himself — tweeted:

Perhaps this is true:

Whatever the case, Epstein’s lawyer is furious. On August 10, The Gateway Pundit disclosed Marc Fernich’s full statement on his client’s death. A summary follows:

Marc Fernich, an attorney for Jeffrey Epstein, issued a blistering statement on the death of his client by an apparent suicide while in federal custody at the Manhattan Correctional Center in New York City early Saturday morning. Fernich blamed prosecutors, judges, jailers, the media, politicians and “greedy plaintiff’s lawyers” for Epstein’s death, saying they have “blood on their hands.”

Here is the tweet with Fernich’s statement:

Attorney General Bill Barr said he was ‘appalled’ by Epstein’s death and said he would launch an investigation:

Will Bill Barr do the right thing and give us all the facts? I do not know. However, some remain optimistic:

Trump supporters understand that Barr was given permission to declassify documents relating to the notional Russian collusion plot and activities from the previous administration 80+ days ago. To date, we have seen nothing. What is he waiting for? Christmas?

In any event, Judicial Watch, which seems to do all the heavy lifting, says it will also investigate. Judicial Watch obtains documents via the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act):

Those interested in Epstein’s death have come up with two prevaling theories at this time:

1/ Epstein is dead.

2/ Epstein is in Israel or some other safe country, helped, perhaps indirectly, by Mossad.

We can laugh at that second possibility or we can consider that tin foil hattery isn’t as far-fetched now as it was only a few years ago:

Although investigative journalist Sara Carter wrote ‘Two Tiered System Of Justice’ about AG Barr’s investigation of the FBI, her sentiments could be applied equally to his new Jeffrey Epstein investigation (emphases mine):

… so many people were stunned when DOJ attorney General William Barr declined prosecution of Comey for leaking. Sources have told this reporter that the prosecution would be difficult because Comey’s attorney’s could argue he was not grossly negligent – hmmm, I’m not so sure about that and I wonder why the DOJ said anything at all. I have been told that the information being collected by Barr appointed Connecticut Attorney John Durham, will be chilling, stunning and justice will be served. I won’t believe it until I see it. I, like so many others, have become a little jaded over the developments.

I say,” a little” because I haven’t given up all hope. I know America cannot afford to have a two-tiered system of justice and I believe in Barr, for now.

Liberty does not exist in a banana republic, where there is one set of rules for the political elite and another for its citizens. It would be the beginning of the destruction of the foundation our nation was built on: The Constitution.

If we no longer believe in what it says, what will it mean? It will mean nothing and our nation will no longer be that beacon of light for so many around the world that live in unjust societies …

As an American, I’m more than disturbed -I’m sickened – by their uncanny ability to skirt the law and how their friends in high ranking positions are working diligently still to protect them.

I could not agree more.

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