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On March 15, 2018 a Google employee posted on 4chan about social media bots, which someone helpfully tweeted.

This is the image of the message:

We knew there were bots, but it is interesting to read more on how they work.

The original 4chan thread is here (don’t click 4chan links unless you are prepared for hard core language and sentiment). Google Anon came back on another thread to say more, including this:

!!2wzZpinn91R (ID: fRrhwWd0) 03/15/18(Thu)11:37:40 No.164044578

Quick summary:

Google is using twitter bots to push narratives to persuade the government.

Google accused conservatives of being bots so they could ban them, even though they knew they aren’t bots. The strategy was to blame others for using your own technique.

Google is also using these fabricated twitter numbers are financial reporting, which effects stocks and advertising revenue.

Google also broke anti-trust laws by only allowing “google voice” to be the only free SMS to validate accounts.

On a third thread, someone — probably not Google Anon — posted this about a huge AI (Artificial Intelligence) project called HORUS (emphases mine):

(ID: jT5XRhYq) 03/15/18(Thu)16:18:59 No.164065749

HORUS (SourceForge project name AI-HORUS) is a system for knowledge acquisition, hypothesis generation, inference and learning. It is designed to be a highly interactive, multi-user, internet-based environment that will be accessible to a diverse community of users (public-access or membership basis) for search, comparison, and evaluation of many media types. Users will collaboratively build and develop the content of the knowledge bases therein, creating resources that can be employed by both human users and “artificially intelligent” agents for conducting expert-level searches, evaluations, comparisons, data mining, content extraction and summarization on a variety of media. Such media will include documents, articles and other text-based objects but also non-text media as well including images, audio and video. An important and in fact the central component of HORUS is a complex structure of functions and databases known as the Syntopicon which has aspects of its data structure and functionality in common with semantic networks, topic maps, dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias but which is quite novel in its approach to accumulating information from users and external automatic-access sources and in its mechanisms of both storing and operating upon the information collected or generated internally.

It sounds scary. Think of the sinister possibilities that could arise from this.

I hope this goes the way of the Tower of Babel.

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President Donald Trump has replaced Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State.

Tillerson is likely to remain in the post until March 31.

Mike Pompeo has been the director of the CIA since last year. Prior to that, he was a congressman for Kansas’s 4th district. He served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and questioned Hillary Clinton — then Secretary of State — about Benghazi in 2013.

Soon, Pompeo will be in the same office that was once Hillary Clinton’s. How interesting will that be?

This is the video, which includes recordings of Pompeo’s questioning of Clinton during the Benghazi hearings:

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton says that Rex Tillerson’s State Department would not conduct damage assessment on Hillary’s emails:

Soon we will have someone who will have the gumption and desire to see that justice is done. Imagine what Pompeo can — and will — uncover.

In the meantime, expect the media to pile on Pompeo.

The hugely historic news of March 8, 2018, is that President Donald Trump will be meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un by May to discuss denuclearisation:

Earlier in the day, Trump met with a delegation from South Korea:

South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-Yong, issued a statement through the White House, excerpted below:

7:11 P.M. EST

CHUNG: Good evening. Today, I had the privilege of briefing President Trump on my recent visit to Pyongyang, North Korea. I’d like to thank President Trump, the Vice President, and his wonderful national security team, including my close friend, General McMaster.

I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture. I expressed President Moon Jae-in’s personal gratitude for President Trump’s leadership.

I told President Trump that, in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is committed to denuclearization. Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. He understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue. And he expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.

President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.

This is some of the best news we could have hoped for. Of course, it will take time and a great deal of care, as General Jack Keane told Fox News’s Lou Dobbs:

Senator Lindsay Graham issued the following statement:

Media reaction

Not surprisingly, Fox News was positive:

CNN’s talking points yesterday revolved around pron (intentional typo) star Stormy Daniels and civilian Donald Trump about something that might or might not — she says it didn’t — happen over a decade ago.

That said, there was some coverage:

The CNN jerks look like they did on Election Night in 2016:

This must have been a difficult moment:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee — father of press secretary Sarah Sanders and a former GOP presidential candidate reacted:

Yes, we are used to CNN’s — and other media outlets — useless analysis and predictions:

Overseas reaction

On Friday, March 9, I listened to an excellent interview on RMC — French radio — on the political talk show, Les Grandes Gueules (The Big Mouths). Although all the commentators and both hosts are left-of-centre, only one said he was ‘suspicious’ of Trump’s motives, i.e. a lead-in to war. Everyone else gave him credit — albeit reluctantly — for his willingness to negotiate. The final comment was from one of the panellists who said that it takes a tough man to negotiate with someone like Kim Jong Un. Dictators and tyrants, he said, listen only to force. It’s true. The nearly unanimous conclusion was that Trump should be applauded in this instance (a big deal considering that Les Grandes Gueules, bar one, do not like Trump at all).

Trump received a huge compliment from Australia:

Q was right

Q was right in saying to watch the news this week. Q had been dropping his/their ‘breadcrumbs’ for some time now.

From February 15 (message 765):

Watch the water.
Q

Two photos have been circulating on 8chan’s Q research boards. Someone there combined them. One is from Clinton’s time in office (1990s) and the other is from March 5. Look at the water in the paintings behind those assembled. Also note that the North Korean — Kim’s father (?) — and Clinton are sitting in the older photo but Kim Jong Un is standing in the newer one:

On March 6, someone posted the new photo. Q responded (message 846):

Water.
Why is this event BIG?
What does it signify?
Why is NK out of the news?
As The World Turns.
Q

That day’s headline in some papers was about denuclearisation, based on South Korea’s discussion with their northern neighbour. Someone on 8chan posted the New York Times headline about it. Q responded, indicating that North Korea is being watched from the sky (message 864):

Wait & see.
Re_read drops – you have more than you know.
Eyes in the SKY.
SUM of ALL FEARS //\\
Q

There are a few more Q messages about North Korea, but message 888 from March 9 indicates that things are moving forward in the right direction:

Thank you Kim.
Deal made.
Clowns out.
Strings cut.
We took control.
Iran next.
Q

By the way, this is a satellite photo of North Korea. Notice the near universal darkness contrasting with the light in South Korea:

How it happened

In a nutshell, Trump spent a lot of time last year discussing unfair trade policies with China, which is highly dependent on slave labour and natural resources from North Korea.

Trump wants to break the Chinese control over North Korea. He wants North Korea to trade with South Korea and Japan instead.

Trump also implemented tariffs on March 8 on foreign imports, except for those from Mexico and Canada. That would include Chinese steel. Whilst the US does not buy much steel directly from China, China sells a lot of their steel to other countries. The US then purchases steel from those nations.

There might have been a military operation that took place in North Korea late last year which, if true, could have disrupted their nuclear operations. On September 19, Business Insider reported:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hinted that the United States still had military options left for dealing with North Korea, but did not elaborate when asked for details Monday …

… according to Mattis, the Pentagon has a few tricks up its sleeve that wouldn’t involve the decimation of Seoul.

When asked whether there was “any military option the US can take with North Korea that would not put Seoul at grave risk,” Mattis responded, “Yes, there are, but I will not go into details” …

So what does Mattis have in mind? He wouldn’t say, but he did let slip one interesting comment.

“Just to clarify, you said that there were possible military options that would not create a grave risk to Seoul,” a reporter said later. “Are we talking kinetic options as well?”

“Yes, I don’t want to go into that,” Mattis said, agreeing that his closely held military option involved kinetic action, a euphemism to describe lethal military force.

The Last Refuge — Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse — explains the Trump Doctrine simply and clearly. This thread is about not only North Korea but worldwide strategies. Highly recommended reading. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

3. Just because western media doesn’t understand how President Trump executes a geopolitical strategy based on economic leverage, that doesn’t mean adversaries are not fully aware of the effectiveness of the approach.

4. The Trump Doctrine has two avenues toward dealing with national security adversaries.

5. The first route is direct assignment of responsibility toward the enablers: see China for North Korea; The Gulf States for Qatar (Sunni extremism); Russia for Syrian terrorism (Assad); and Pakistan for Afghanistan (Taliban); as recent examples.

6. However, when the geopolitical threat stems directly from the enabler, and not the enabled, the Trump Doctrine has a distinctly different & far more encompassing, approach.

7. Route two goes through leveraging regional allies and partners. (TWO THREATS, China and Russia) See ASEAN and India for ¹China; and France, Poland, Baltic States for ²Russia.

8. In each case: China, Russia and Iran, unlike Western media, these powers assemble volumes of research to assist them in understanding the most likely sequence of events President Trump will take.

9. When we say volumes of research, we indeed mean hundreds of people researching and drafting position documents based upon every scintilla of every deal Donald J Trump has engaged in.

10. These states fully understand how President Trump intends to utilize economic leverage toward his next national security focus. As soon as President Trump mentions a strategy for a foe, all international adversaries immediately began road-mapping their defense.

16. For the North Korean problem, Japan, South-Korea and India are all economically leveraged against China by President Trump [via favorable trade and market access opportunities.]

18. The U.S. military is not the leverage, the military helps creates leverage. The leverage itself is economic. Financial interests are always the best leverage to use because inherent within the fundamental principles of economics is “self-interest”.

20. Everyone knows the first North Korean missile test was conducted during Bill Clinton’s presidency. That was over 20 years ago.

21. What President Trump was able to do with the approach he took with North Korea is jaw-droppingly smart. Stunningly so. Economic leverage works.

23. The review of the enhanced sanctions against N-Korea should be incorporated with the larger issue of policy toward the DPRK’s enabler, China.

33. When it comes to the use of economic leverage to create U.S. national security outcomes, well, we are learning at the knee of an economic master player. The media will now do everything they can to stop people from realizing how effective President Trump is

What to ignore from media this weekend

Please note that last point from The Last Refuge’s Twitter thread.

The media will tell you this weekend that Trump is acting impulsively. That is untrue. He has known for decades about the dangers of nuclearisation and unfair trade. He said the same things then that he is now.

He discussed unfair trade on Oprah’s show in the early 1980s and said he would run for president only if things got really bad. Well, by the grace of God, he’s in the White House now:

In 1999, Britain’s Channel 4 picked up an interview from NBC’s Meet the Press wherein Trump discussed the dangers of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. We have Clinton to thank for that, by the way:

In conclusion, Trump has taken no impulsive decisions. He has known and understood the situation for many years.

—————————————————————————————-

In other news, the deadline for renegotiating DACA — Monday, March 5 — came and went with nary a peep from Democrats so desperate to maintain Obama’s Dreamer plan.

Yesterday’s post discussed Billy Graham’s lying in state and his funeral.

Today’s looks at aspects of his life some of us might not know about.

Church upbringing

Billy Graham’s parents, Morrow (née Coffey) and William Franklin Graham Sr., were members of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. The ARPC still exists today but is a tiny denomination affiliated with the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council as well as the World Reformed Fellowship. The denomination was founded in 1803 in Winnsboro, South Carolina. It emerged from a Scottish Covenanter/Seceder tradition. Theologically, it is Evangelical Calvinist.

Early life

William Franklin Graham Sr was a dairy farmer. The family farm is just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Billy was the eldest of four children. He had two sisters — Catherine Morrow and Jean — and a brother, Melvin Thomas.

Billy enjoyed reading, especially boys’ adventure books. He liked Tarzan so much that when he climbed trees and gave out the famous Tarzan yell, he scared horses and drivers. His father later said imitating Tarzan led him to the ministry.

When Prohibition ended in December 1933, Billy was 15. Graham Sr made all his children drink beer until they were physically ill. None ever touched a drop of alcohol after that.

Despite church and abstinence from drink, Billy was considered ‘too worldly’ for membership in a local youth group. One of the Graham farmhands, Albert McMakin, encouraged Billy to attend a revival given by Mordecai Ham, a Baptist evangelist. Billy duly attended and was born again in 1934.

Further education

Billy graduated from Sharon High School in 1936. He enrolled at Bob Jones College which, at the time, was located in Cleveland, Tennessee.

After his first semester, he found it too legalistic and rule-driven. Although he was advised by Pastor Charley Young from Eastport Bible Church, he was almost expelled. Bob Jones Sr told him:

At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks … You have a voice that pulls. God can use that voice of yours. He can use it mightily. [23]

In 1937, Graham transferred to the Florida Bible Institute in Temple Terrace, Florida, near Tampa. That year, he preached his first sermon at Bostwick Baptist Church in Palatka, Florida. While at the Florida Bible Institute, the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club played a significant role. He later wrote, he got his call to ministry on the 18th green.

Graham practiced preaching to the birds, alligators and cypress stumps across the Hillsborough River directly across from that 18th green. Later, this area was transformed into the Reverend Billy Graham Memorial Park, which still exists today.

In 1939, he was ordained in Palatka, Florida, at the Peniel Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation.

The Revd Graham then moved to northern Illinois to attend Wheaton College. He graduated with a degree in anthropology in 1943.

During his time at Wheaton College, Graham accepted the Bible as the infallible word of God. However, this decision took place in California. He attended Forest Home Christian Camp (now called Forest Home Ministries) in the southern part of the state. Henrietta Mears, an evangelist and Director of Christian Education at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood (yes, that Hollywood), helped him arrive at that decision. A memorial at the ministry camp marks the spot.

Love, marriage and family

Wheaton College can take credit for Graham’s love story with a fellow student, Ruth Bell, a surgeon’s daughter.

The two married in 1943. Their devotion for each other lasted until Ruth’s death in 2007. Interestingly, Ruth remained a Presbyterian her entire life. She never became a Baptist, Graham’s denomination after ordination.

Ruth gave birth to five children:

Virginia Leftwich (Gigi) Graham (b. 1945), an inspirational speaker and author; Anne Graham Lotz (b. 1948), runs AnGeL ministries; Ruth Graham (b. 1950), founder and president of Ruth Graham & Friends, leads conferences throughout the US and Canada; Franklin Graham (b. 1952), serves as president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and as president and CEO of international relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse;[34] and Nelson Edman Graham (b. 1958), a pastor who runs East Gates Ministries International,[35] which distributes Christian literature in China.

The Graham children, in turn, had their own families:

At the time of his death, Graham had 19 grandchildren, including former pastor Tullian Tchividjian, and 41 great-grandchildren.[36]

Notable events in early and middle ministry

Before Graham graduated from Wheaton, he became pastor of the United Gospel Tabernacle. He also took on various speaking engagements.

From 1943 to 1944, he was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, in the Chicago suburbs. He left to take over a Christian programme on radio, Songs in the Night, which was about to be cancelled because of lack of money. The church in Western Springs financed the programme. Although Graham left the programme in 1945, it continued for many years afterwards.

In 1947, the first Billy Graham Crusade was held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the city’s civic auditorium. Six thousand people attended.

In 1948, at the age of 29, Graham became president of Northwestern Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the youngest president of any higher education institution in the United States.  Despite this privileged position, Graham wanted to be a military chaplain. Instead, he came down with the mumps and went to Florida to recuperate.

Whilst in Florida, Graham joined a new ministry, Youth for Christ (YFC), which his friend Torrey Johnson co-founded with a Canadian evangelist, Charles Templeton.

Graham somehow managed to continue as president of Northwestern Bible College and tour the US as well as Europe with YFC.

Graham also held his own revival during this time. In 1949, he held a long-running revival in Los Angeles in a car park equipped with circus tents. The revival was supposed to last three weeks. Instead, it lasted for eight.

In 1950, he founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), which will continue to exist. Initially, it was based in Minneapolis, as that was where Graham worked. Later, it moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, his home city.

Graham resigned from in Northwestern Bible College in 1952.

In 1953, he came out openly against segregation at his own rally in Chattanooga, Tennessee:

Graham tore down the ropes that organizers had erected in order to segregate the audience into racial sections. In his memoirs, he recounted that he told two ushers to leave the barriers down “or you can go on and have the revival without me.”[49] He warned a white audience, “we have been proud and thought we were better than any other race, any other people. Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to stumble into hell because of our pride.”[49]

In 1957, he made friends with black clergymen:

Graham’s stance towards integration became more publicly shown when he allowed black ministers Thomas Kilgore and Gardner C. Taylor to serve as members of his New York Crusade’s executive committee[50] and invited the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whom he first met during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955,[50] to join him in the pulpit at his 16-week revival in New York City, where 2.3 million gathered at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, and Times Square to hear them.[10] Graham recalled in his autobiography that during this time, he and King developed a close friendship and that he was eventually one of the few people who referred to King as “Mike,” a nickname which King asked only his closest friends to call him.[51] Following King’s assassination in 1968, Graham mourned that the US had lost “a social leader and a prophet”.[50] In private, Graham advised King and other members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).[52]

In 1974, he co-founded the Lausanne Movement with two Britons, Graham and John Stott. The first meeting was held in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 16–25 that year.

Videos

As we know, Billy Graham made countless public appearances, not all of which were in a religious setting.

In 1969, he gave an interview to William F Buckley Jr, who was a devout Roman Catholic. At the time, young people were wondering if God was dead. Buckley’s interview on Firing Line centred on the decline of Christianity.

Here is a short clip, which everyone should watch if only to hear Buckley speak. I’ve never heard better American English, both in vocabulary and tone:

The full interview is here.

Graham told Buckley that 75% of scientists believe in God, a higher percentage, he said, than when he was growing up. He also said that he thinks there is life on other planets (!!), but only on Earth does God face rebellion. He said there has to be a theocracy during Christ’s 1,000 year reign. He said that a theocracy is in the Apostle’s Creed. Buckley, who knew his prayers, said that was a reference to the next life. Yes, indeed!

Graham thought that being born again had to be a deep ‘personal experience’. He thinks that churches intellectualise receiving the Holy Spirit. That was, no doubt, a polite reference to Confirmation classes.

Graham also said that people should go to church as Jesus attended synagogue. He also foresaw that, by 2000, there would be home churches just as there were in the days of the early Church.

People on other websites have found the following Billy Graham videos memorable.

This is his address in the National Cathedral in Washington DC after 9/11. He tells the audience that they mustn’t give up hope or faith:

In the next video, from 2014, Graham discusses death and Heaven:

The last video celebrated his 99th birthday. Those who knew and worked with Graham discuss him and his astounding ministry:

Billy Graham and Steve McQueen

In closing — and saving the most intriguing fact for last — Billy Graham helped the famous actor Steve McQueen to embrace Christianity:

The Charlotte Observer has the story:

Actor Steve McQueen, who personified cool during his nearly two decades as a Hollywood superstar, retreated from the glamor and excesses of the movie scene late in his short life and embraced Christianity.

When he died at age 50, McQueen was clutching a Bible – one given to him by Billy Graham.

In fact, it was Graham’s personal Bible, the one he preached from at crusades. The Charlotte-born evangelist had handed it to the actor, then gravely ill with cancer, during a private meeting Nov. 3, 1980 – just four days before McQueen died after surgery in Mexico …

And though Billy Graham, now 98 and living in his mountain-top Montreat home, doesn’t speak or appear in person in “Steve McQueen: American Icon,” the preacher and his Bible play a major role in its final minutes …

Viewers are told that McQueen took along the Graham Bible – with a prayerful note from the evangelist on an inside page – when he traveled to Juarez, Mexico, for the operation to remove a tumor.

The actor died of a heart attack shortly afterward, on Nov. 7, 1980. And when Grady Ragsdale, the manager of McQueen’s ranch in California, went to retrieve the body, he pulled the sheet back and found that McQueen had died clutching the Bible to his chest.

Laurie puts it this way in the film: “He was holding on to the Bible of Billy Graham as he entered eternity.”

How cool is that?

The Revd Billy Graham departed this mortal coil on February 21, 2018, aged 99.

Only the good Lord knows how many people he converted or awakened to Christianity. If he spoke in person to 250 million people around the world during his ministry, imagine the hundreds of millions of people watching his televised Crusades and specials or listening to him on radio. What he accomplished over his 80 years as a preacher was so extraordinary that it might not be repeated for generations to come.

CBS News reported that Graham was (emphases mine):

the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history

Spokesman Mark DeMoss said Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday morning.

Tributes from American presidents

President Donald Trump tweeted and followed up with a formal statement later that day:

President Trump’s statement reads as follows:

Melania and I join millions of people around the world in mourning the passing of Billy Graham. Our prayers are with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who worked closely with Reverend Graham in his lifelong ministry.

Billy’s acceptance of Jesus Christ around his seventeenth birthday not only changed his life—it changed our country and the world. He was one of the towering figures of the last 100 years—an American hero whose life and leadership truly earned him the title “God’s Ambassador.”

Billy’s unshakeable belief in the power of God’s word to transform hearts gave hope to all who listened to his simple message: “God loves you.” He carried this message around the world through his crusades, bringing entire generations to faith in Jesus Christ.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001, America turned to Billy Graham at the National Cathedral, who told us, “God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.”

Reverend Graham would be the first to say that he did not do it alone. Before her passing, his wife Ruth was by his side through it all—a true partner, a wonderful mother, and a fellow missionary soul. He also built an international team and institution that will continue to carry on Christ’s message.

Melania and I were privileged to get to know Reverend Graham and his extraordinary family over the last several years, and we are deeply grateful for their love and support.

Billy Graham was truly one of a kind. Christians and people of all faiths and backgrounds will miss him dearly. We are thinking of him today, finally at home in Heaven.

George H W Bush also issued a statement:

Billy Graham was America’s pastor. His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world,” Bush said. “I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man. I was privileged to have him as a personal friend. He would come to Maine to visit with Barbara and me, and he was a great sport. He loved going really fast in my boat. I guess you could say we had that in common. Then we would come home and talk about life. He was a mentor to several of my children, including the former president of the United States. We will miss our good friend forever.

It’s true. There was never a whiff of scandal around Billy Graham. God blessed him abundantly, and the Holy Spirit worked through him until the end.

CBS News discussed the long line of past presidents Graham met with:

from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, but always denied any role in setting policy saying, “I don’t advise them, I pray with them,” CBS News reported. Lyndon Johnson looked up to his close friend, the pastor. Richard Nixon asked for his counsel during Watergate. The elder Bush called Graham to the White House the night before he launched the first Gulf War. Younger President Bush has credited Graham with turning him away from drinking and towards embracing God.

These are the names of those 12 past presidents from at least the early 1950s through to the present day: Harry S Truman, Dwight D Eisenhower, John F Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard M Nixon, Gerald R Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush, William J Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama. That’s a mighty long list.

And he met with President Trump.

That’s 13 presidents in all.

Obama was the first sitting president to visit Graham at his home in North Carolina. That was in 2010, three years after Graham’s wife Ruth went to her heavenly rest.

CBS reported that Graham also became friends with Martin Luther King Jr about a decade before the civil rights movement took root:

In 1952 he stopped segregating his crusades and began a friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“All the problems of America tonight and of the world stem from the fact that we as the human race have sinned against Almighty God,” he said in May 1997.

Such was the impact of Billy Graham’s life that flags flew at half mast in Washington DC from February 21 to March 2, the day of his funeral and burial:

Tributes from clergy

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, remembered his family’s respect for Graham’s ministry:

As anyone growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s can tell you, it was hard not to notice and be impressed by the Reverend Billy Graham,” Dolan said in a statement. “There was no question that the Dolans were a Catholic family, firm in our faith, but in our household there was always respect and admiration for Billy Graham and the work he was doing to bring people to God. Whether it was one of his famous Crusades, radio programs, television specials, or meeting and counseling the presidents, Billy Graham seemed to be everywhere, always with the same message: Jesus is your Savior, and wants you to be happy with Him forever. As an historian, my admiration for him only grew as I studied our nation’s religious past, and came to appreciate even more the tremendous role he played in the American evangelical movement. May the Lord that Billy Graham loved so passionately now grant him eternal rest.

One of Graham’s grandsons, the Revd Tullian Tchividjian, noted his grandfather’s universal appeal:

My granddad wasn’t just Christian-famous, he was famous-famous, he was crossover famous.

Unfortunately, Tchividjian succumbed to temptation in his own ministry. He resigned his pastorate at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale after admitting to an extramarital affair. The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) deposed him from their South Florida Presbytery as being ‘unfit for Christian ministry‘. A subsequent pastorate and outreach ministry also failed because of more sexual impropriety. In 2015, Tchividjian divorced his first wife Kim after 21 years of marriage. He married his second wife Stacie the following year. Hmm. What a contrast to his grandfather.

Honour of lying in state in Capitol Rotunda

Billy Graham was honoured greatly prior to his funeral:

This is a good photo of the exterior of the Capitol Building from Billy’s son’s — Franklin Graham’s — Samaritan’s Purse ministry:

A memorial service took place. Pictured is one of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s daughters, Lynda Bird. I remember when she and her husband married in 1967:

President Trump spoke at the service:

What follows is the text of President Trump’s address. It’s very moving — probably written by the incomparable Stephen Miller — and really expresses not only who Billy Graham was but how much he appealed to his audiences. I remember watching his Crusades when I was a child. During the first one I watched at the age of seven, I approached the television set when he made his call for people to come forward!

11:21 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell. And, most importantly, thank you to the entire Graham family for honoring us with your presence here today. Thank you.

In the spring of 1934, Billy Graham’s father allowed a group of Charlotte businessmen to use a portion of the family’s dairy farm to gather for a day of prayer.

On that day, the men prayed for the city. They prayed that, “Out of Charlotte, the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.”

We are here today, more than 80 years later, because that prayer was truly answered.

Billy Graham was 15 years old at the time. Just a few months later, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

That choice didn’t just change Billy’s life — it changed our lives. It changed our country, and it changed, in fact, the entire world.

The North Carolina farm boy walked out of those fields, into a great and beautiful history.

And I remember that, because my father said to me, “Come on, son” — and, by the way, he said, “Come on, mom. Let’s go see Billy Graham at Yankee Stadium.” And it was something very special.

But Americans came in droves to hear that great young preacher. Fred Trump was a big fan. Fred Trump was my father.

In London, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogota, Moscow, New Delhi, Saigon, Johannesburg, and scores of other places all over the world, Reverend Graham shared the power of God’s word with more than 200 million people, in person, and countless others through television and radio where people loved to watch and listen.

In 1978, with the support of the Catholic Bishop who would soon become Pope John Paul II, Reverend Graham went to Poland and spoke of the meaning of the cross to a people suffering under the soulless oppression of communism.

Billy Graham carried his message around the world, but his heart, as Franklin will tell you, was always in America.

He took his message to the poorest places, to the downtrodden and to the brokenhearted, to inmates in prison, and to the overlooked and the neglected. He felt a great passion for those that were neglected.

Everywhere he went, Reverend Graham delivered the same beautiful message: God loves you. That was his message. God loves you.

We can only imagine the number of lives touched by the preaching and the prayers of Billy Graham –- the hearts he changed, the sorrows he eased, and the joy he brought to so many. The testimony is endless.

Today, we give thanks for this extraordinary life. And it’s very fitting that we do so right here in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol, where the memory of the American people is enshrined.

Here in this room, we are reminded that America is a nation sustained by prayer. The painting to my left is of the pilgrims as they embarked for America, holding fast to the Bible and bowing their heads in prayer.

Along these walls, we see the faces of Americans who prayed as they stood on the Lexington Green, who prayed as they headed west, prayed as they headed into battle, and prayed as they marched for justice, and always marched for victory.

Around us stand the statues of heroes who led the nation in prayer during the great and difficult times, from Washington to Lincoln to Eisenhower to King.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you very much.

END

11:28 A.M. EST

That evening, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted a dinner for the Grahams. Franklin Graham is sitting to the left of Mrs Trump (her right):

The funeral

Billy Graham’s funeral took place in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday, March 2.

His grandson Roy provided the story behind the evangelist’s simple wooden casket. Recommended video:

This was the scene under a tent at the Billy Graham Library before the funeral:

The Trumps and the Pences walked together:

The Charlotte Observer reported:

His funeral service under a massive tent at the Billy Graham Library in his hometown of Charlotte drew more than 2,000 guests, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, governors, senators, religious leaders, celebrities and longtime Graham family friends. It was the kind of star-studded turnout that would have made Graham blush, suggested some of the speakers, who lauded this pastor to presidents and everyday people for always trying to steer the attention away from himself and toward Jesus Christ.

Family members escorted Graham’s plain wooden casket into the 28,000-square-foot tent, which was meant to harken back to Graham’s 1949 crusade in a “canvas cathedral” in downtown Los Angeles that shot him to national attention.

The service lasted the planned 90 minutes. Franklin Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — BGEA — as well as his own Samaritan’s Purse, gave the address:

My father’s greatest longing has been granted,” the younger Graham said. “He’s in the presence of God” …

Franklin Graham recalled his father’s love of his late wife, Ruth, his sense of humor and joy in his grandchildren. “The Billy Graham that the world saw on TV, and in the big stadiums, is the same Billy Graham we saw at home,” he said. “There weren’t two Billy Grahams.”

But Graham said the late evangelist also believed in heaven and hell, and in the Bible as the infallible word of God: “He didn’t understand it all, but he sure believed it all.”

In an era of political correctness, he added, some “want you to believe there are many roads to God. It’s just not true.

“Daddy, I won’t see you on this earth again,” he ended, gazing at the casket before him, “but I will see you again, and maybe soon.”

The article concludes by stating that the Graham family and the BGEA consider the funeral to be the Last Crusade. They hope it will stimulate new interest in the Gospel.

The videos of the funeral service follow:

More on Billy Graham to follow.

This post is not for the sensitive.

Here are some truths to think about.

First, this is an interesting historical graphic about Democrats. It isn’t mine, by the way, and it would be nice to give credit, but I don’t have a source:

Secondly, on Thursday, March 1, 2018, Townhall featured an article by Kurt Schlichter, ‘They Don’t Hate The NRA. They Hate You.’  Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

The Left is waging a war of sorts on normal Americans:

The progressives are cranking things up to 11 on the Stupid/Psycho Scale, which is good for us in the short term – some of us Normals were growing complacent and the midterms are coming. But we also need to open our eyes and accept the bitter reality we face. We can’t just pretend the truth is not the truth because we wish it were otherwise. The left’s dropping of its mask has demonstrated once again the undeniable fact. The left hates you.

Just give them a listen. Those carefully selected moppet puppets are out there on TV telling Normals “We are going to outlive you.” When leftists tell you that you are going to die first, you should believe they mean it. They have a track record of making that happen.

Schlichter talks about the Left’s anger at the NRA and warns Second Amendment supporters:

just believing in the Second Amendment makes you a non-human. Those of us who know something about history know that the people leftists regard as non-human always tend to end up non-living.

Also:

Understand that the left doesn’t hate the NRA. The NRA stuff is a distraction. Leftists are dumb, but they understand the power of the NRA is really the power of millions of Normal Americans coming together to defend their right to protect themselves, their families, their communities and their Constitution. That’s why they fear it. That’s why they can’t abide it. They want your voices silenced.

And the left doesn’t hate guns either. In fact, the progressives fully intend to be the only group left with any guns. That should turn out great for us.

People should not be misled about personal firearms, beginning with historical reasons:

There are 100 million reasons never to be disarmed and at the mercy of leftists.

Your life means nothing to them, just as the lost lives in Chicago mean nothing to them. There are several Parklands a month in the Windy City, but the Democrats who run it don’t care. They know where the bad guys are. They won’t act. Instead, they feign concern over the children because faking outrage will help them do what they really want done. That’s why you had them arguing that the idea of a cop actually doing his job was crazy.

They want you disarmed and disempowered, not the nuts, not the criminals, not the terrorist, not the illegal aliens. You. Why?

       Because they hate you.

       They hate that you won’t submit.

       They hate that you won’t obey.

       And they hate that you refuse to give up your only means of protecting yourself and preserving your rights

       They hate you.

This is the harsh reality the United States is living through today:

You understand and accept the truth, which many allegedly on our side refuse to do because the truth is too harsh and painful. America is divided not between groups with differing political views held in good faith, but between Normals and a left that hates us. That’s not a pleasant notion, but to pretend that this is business as usual, that we are just friends with a slight disagreement, or that there is some reasonable compromise to be had, is delusional.

Schlicter comes up with three suggestions to fight back.

1/ Political activism for mid-term elections:

Volunteer. Donate. Activate. Yeah, it’s a hassle. We’d all like a pause to this constant cold warfare. That is not happening.

2/ Defence of American values in the culture war:

If they want to declare a cultural war on us, let’s give them one. It’s not how you or I want it to be, but it is how it is. Maybe pain will motivate them to re-adopt the old rules. Surrender sure won’t.

3/ (Not sure I agree with this one.) Joining the NRA and buying firearms. (If you do that, you will have to get trained, then practice at regular intervals at the range.)

It’s that serious and, yes, it has come to this:

Yes, it’s ugly.

Yes, perhaps it’s even frightening.

But it is how it is, with leftists who makes no bones about what they think of you. They hate you. And you need to act accordingly.

This is no joke.

When President Ronald Reagan was in office, he gave sage advice to conservatives who apply the purity test to Republicans.

This image comes courtesy of AZ Quotes:

Ronald Reagan said a lot of great things during his time, but this is my favourite.

It is particularly important during 2018, which has a lot of special elections as well as the mid-terms in November.

Notice that Democrats are always united. They never break ranks.

Republicans need to keep Reagan’s advice in mind.

Save the purity test for church.

There is only time for a short post today.

Late last year, President Donald Trump explained why he tweets:

Something must be done about the Fake News Media.

It is regrettable that so many of us trust these notional news outlets.

At least Trump keeps us apprised of what is going on. That said, only 50% of CPAC Republicans polled in late February agree:

Trump’s tweets convey more information than traditional presidential fireside chats. Well done! Keep ’em coming!

Questions persist about the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

My previous posts on this horrific incident might also be of interest to those who missed them: the effect that SSRIs can have on the mind, the media attention certain young people received, recent news about the media narrative and more contributing factors to mass shootings, one of which is the absence of fathers in today’s family structure. The latest was a guest post by my reader George True.

This post explores various accounts of the shooting.

Sheriff’s office affadavit

This comes thanks to a reader at The Conservative Treehouse (emphases his):

According to a booking affidavit filed Thursday by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office:

“Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on the school grounds. Cruz stated that he brought additional loaded magazines to the school campus and kept them hidden in a backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault.

The sheriff’s office said he got to the school by ordering a ride from Uber. Deputies tracked down the driver, who said she dropped Cruz off at 2:19 p.m. ET, toward the end of the school day, according to the booking affidavit.

Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at a news conference Thursday afternoon that the driver didn’t know what her passenger was planning and was completely blameless.

Within barely two minutes of being dropped off, Cruz started firing into four classrooms in Building 12, returning to two of them to shoot again, Israel said.

Cruz then went upstairs to the second floor, where he shot one of his victims, before proceeding to the third floor, where he ditched his rifle and backpack, Israel said.

He then ran down the stairs and outside, where he blended in with hundreds of terrified students — many of them his former classmates — and eluded officers as he left campus, Israel said.

Amid the chaos he’d left behind at the school, Cruz made his way to a Walmart store, bought a drink at its Subway restaurant and walked away again, Israel said.

While police and sheriff’s deputies frantically looked for him — at least one witness at the school had identified him to arriving investigators, according to the booking affidavit — Cruz went to a McDonald’s restaurant, w[h]ere he lingered for awhile before leaving on foot, Israel said.

It took 40 more minutes for Coconut Creek police to spot and detain Cruz in the nearby community of Coral Springs at about 3:40 p.m., according to the timeline Israel gave.

The sheriff’s office booking report is here. It includes 17 counts of first degree premeditated murder, a description of what Cruz was wearing, the mention of an AR-15 and more. Essential reading.

Sheriff speaks about officer not entering school

Scot Peterson was the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the high school in Parkland as School Resource Officer (SRO). He did not enter the school during the shooting. Nor did three other Broward County deputies.

Peterson was suspended without pay, then promptly retired in the days that followed.

Sheriff Scott Israel discussed the matter:

Police from nearby Coral Springs did enter the school building. Jim DeFede, an investigative reporter from CBS4 in Miami, tells the story:

Over the weekend, calls for Sheriff Israel’s resignation mounted. Governor Rick Scott is among those wanting him to resign:

An investigation will be launched:

Follow Jim DeFede’s Twitter for more news.

Yes, people died

More than a few people wonder if anyone died.

Yes, they did.

First, see the aforementioned sheriff’s office report.

Secondly, see the Miami Herald report of February 15, which has names, photos and tributes from people who knew the victims.

On Sunday, February 25, Chris Wallace interviewed Andrew Pollack, father of Meadow, who died in the shooting. The first minute shows Pollack’s appearance at the White House for President Donald Trump’s listening session last week. The man was on fire:

Pollack talks about making school safety the top priority and says that talking about gun control is too divisive an issue. He says his daughter died because the school was unsafe. True!

Timeline and maps

On Friday, February 23, the Sun Sentinel posted an excellent article which has the timeline of the shooting, accompanied by maps and diagrams.

Please read it in full. It is very interesting and describes what the teachers did. A mathematics teacher saved her students’ lives very simply. Worth noting:

Hearing the gunshots and screams, math teacher Shanthi Viswanathan placed paper over the classroom window so no one could see in and told students to get on the floor in the corner.

Her actions probably saved her students, said Dawn Jarboe, whose son Brian was in the class.

A CBS News article from February 15 is also highly recommended reading. It has details of the shooting, interviews with the students and much more.

Deadline Hollywood also has a worthwhile report that appeared on the day of the shooting.

History teacher Ernest Rospierski describes what he saw and heard during the shooting:

Anomalies

Thank you to my readers who commented on yesterday’s post and to sunnydaysall for the video links she posted (see here and here).

Loads of us have questions based on videos and commentary about these interviews.

I found copies of the videos sunnydaysall referenced.

The first has a clip of what the girl with dark hair said (see here for the full interview). I’m including this tweet because others said the same thing about the attire they saw (see the second tweet):

I am interjecting another early interview, which features the girl who said she was talking with the shooter while the shooting was going on. Someone later commented anecdotally and said that was a different Cruz, whose name was spelled Nicholas. We don’t know, so, let’s assume for the sake of argument that it was Nikolas Cruz to whom she was referring. This video first appeared very soon after the shooting:

The second link is to the biggest video sensation of the weekend — the Good Morning America interview with the creative writing teacher. She, too, saw bullet-proof vests, body armour and more:

Someone at The Conservative Treehouse posted a partial transcript:

Just one week ago Valentine’s Day creative writing teacher Stacy Lippel’s class was playing music, writing love letters when the fire alarm went off. As students filed into the hallway, she heard gunfire but killing had begun. ‘I was about two feet away from my door. All of a sudden I heard gunshots in the stairwell, which is about 20 feet away from my room and then kids were screaming and then running back towards me and towards the end of the hallway, so I just went in this very strange autopilot mode where I pivoted on my feet, I unlocked my door and then, “Kids, you start pouring in my room”. I don’t know how many kids were in there but I was pulling them and getting them in and shouting at them to get in the room and then I suddenly saw the shooter about 20 feet from me standing at the end of the hallway actively shooting down the hallway, just a barrage of bullets and I’m staring at him thinking why [are] the police here? This is strange because he’s in full metal garb helmet, facemask, bulletproof armor shooting this rifle that I’ve never seen before seen’.

Sadly, Lippel lost two of her students in the attack.

Intellihub broke down Lippel’s statements and compared them with the official reports of the shooting. They do not add up.

Someone on Twitter who opines a lot on the news thinks that she is lying:

But maybe there was more than one shooter.

Then there is the film David Hogg made in a closet time stamped 9:32 a.m. — hours before the shooting took place. A fire drill took place in the morning. Shouldn’t he and his fellow students have been out of the building? Hogg asks students what they think about gun control. Why would he do that?

TeaParty.org took an Infowars report without even linking to it — BAD! — that said former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling has been criticised for saying that Hogg wasn’t even a student at the school. Yes, it’s the ongoing puzzle as to whether Hogg graduated from school in California in 2015.

Hogg has been busy making the media rounds since the shooting.

And finally …

While notional mourners enjoyed themselves on Ellen Degeneres’s show …

… the NRA is getting a load of new members:

And Floridians enjoyed this past weekend’s gun show:

More soon.

As one digs deeper into the Florida school shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018, one finds strange things involving Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

At the weekend, I wrote that I hadn’t even intended to post on this topic but decided to do so once people began clamouring for gun control and ignoring mental health issues, including the effect that SSRIs can have on the mind. I followed up with another post on the media attention certain young people received. My post from Friday, February 23, had recent news about the media narrative as well as more contributing factors to mass shootings, one of which is the absence of fathers in today’s family structure.

One of my readers, George True, posted an excellent comment revealing anomalies about this shooting. He kindly gave me permission to post it below. I am most grateful for this opportunity. Emphases mine below:

There are so many things wrong with this entire affair that it just screams coverup. In no particular order :

TPTB had already decided within two days after the shootings that the building where it occurred would be demolished and rebuilt, at a cost of some 30 million dollars. WTH??? And they apparently had already been assured that federal funds would be made available to cover the bulk of the cost. What?? How could they possibly know that so quickly? And who gets to make such a quick and cavalier decision to destroy a perfectly good $30M asset that the taxpayers paid for and in fact own? At best this is a harebrained decision based on nothing but ‘feeelings’. At worst, it is a deliberate plot to destroy forensic evidence lest it lead to a different conclusion.

What in the world is the Secret Service doing conducting active shooter training in recent weeks at ANY school, let alone this particular school? Their job, their ONLY job, is to protect the president and certain other high government politicians and political candidates.

Multiple people present said there were multiple shooters. Why are these witness statements not being seriously and exhaustively investigated? Why are they being dismissed out of hand, or even ignored altogether? Is this perhaps why the building is off limits pending immediate demolition, so that it cannot yield evidence that there was more than one shooter?

In his court appearance, the alleged shooter had a deer in the headlights look on his face. As though he had no idea or recollection what happened or how he got there. Churchmouse has done a yeoman’s job of covering The Issue That Must Not Ever Be Mentioned. Namely, the common thread of SSRI’s in every school shooting since Columbine. It has absolutely been known for many years now that SSRI’s actually ALTER the developing brains of adolescents. It has also been known that SSRI’s will CAUSE violent homicidal, and suicidal impulses in a small but significant subset of teenagers and young men under the age of 25. In a nation of over 300 million, if this subset is only one percent, that is still 30,000 troubled ‘yutes’ on SSRI’s who are ticking time bombs.

In recent days , Q Anon has said that the MK Ultra program is still alive and well today. But they no longer refer to it by that name, as that was merely the program name during its early experimental stage. Q Anon infers that the program has progressed far beyond that in sophistication since those days. The thousand yard stare on the alleged shooter’s face suggests someone who is a product of both SSRI’s and MK Ultra mind conditioning.

The immediate full-court press by the media against guns is too well orchestrated and coordinated to be anything but a pre-planned campaign all ready and waiting for the right incident. It is not grass roots – it is quite obviously astro-turf, and it has Soros fingerprints all over it.

These are just a few things that come to mind that raise many, many red flags about this incident. Just like the Las Vegas shooting last Autumn, there is much here that is being hidden, along with intentional misdirection and deliberate disinformation on the part of public officials and their running dog Media syncophants.

Don’t be fooled by what you saw or heard on Sunday news shows about gun control being the solution to mass shootings.

I, too, have the same questions and suspicions about this tragedy which took 17 lives and injured 14 others.

Will we ever find out the truth?

This will not be my last post on the subject. More revelations came to light over the weekend about Broward County officials and school policies.

In closing, thank you, George, for allowing me to share your comment for those who might have missed it. Thank you for also being such a supportive and insightful reader.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2018. 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.
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