Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wednesday roundup

Alice B. Lloyd at The Weekly Standard takes an in-depth look at the career trajectory of Dinesh D'Souza and makes it plain that the roots of his provocateur / showman schtick of the last few years can be seen in his antics during his Dartmouth Review days.

Debra Heine at PJ Media says that Pope Francis is trying to make the only begotten Son of the living God into a garden-variety glad-hander:

In his homily during the daily Mass at the Vatican Tuesday, Pope Francis likened himself to the suffering Christ who was crucified because “the people were deceived by the powerful.”
Speaking from Casa Santa Marta in Vatican City, "the Dictator Pope"* went on to say that his response to the “Great Accuser” would (continue to) be "silence and prayer."
According to the Vatican News Service, "the Pope encouraged pastors to imitate Jesus in being near to people" rather than the powerful or ideologues who "poison souls.”
While most Christians would say Christ's authority comes from God the Father, Pope Francis argued that it comes from the people because “he spent most of his time on the road, touching, embracing, listening and looking at the people in the eye."
“He was near them,” the pope said. “This is what gave him authority.”
Streiff at Red State looks at John Brennan's chiming-in on Trump's ordering of the release of the FISA documents"

 Here are some key points. First, Mueller is not conducting a criminal investigation of the “Russian collusion.” Mueller’s charter is for what is essentially a counterintelligence investigation, or fact-finding, with the ability to prosecute any crimes arising from that. It is very difficult to see how any documents released under the directive issued by Trump yesterday could reasonably effect any investigation. And releasing documents has to be the most counter-intuitive way of conducting a cover-up that has ever been conceived. Second, the comfort/discomfort of various DOJ and FBI functionaries isn’t all that relevant. They have the right to their opinion but their opinion doesn’t determine the outcome.
While one would expect Wray and Rosenstein, via DNI Coats, to contest some release, where Brennan goes off the rails and into full-blown stupidity is encouraging disobedience that leads to firing or resignations over a decision the president is legally empowered to make and about which reasonable people can disagree. What he seems to be doing is setting the stage for declaring Wray and Rosenstein puppets of Trump when the materials are released.

It is one thing to resign when you are given direction that is illegal, immoral, or unethical. It is simply childish to do the same when you don’t get your way.
Pitch-perfect tweet from Sean Davis:

It wasn’t supposed to go this far. Senate Republicans were supposed to buckle. Trump was supposed to get wobbly. Kavanaugh was supposed to have dropped out by now. Senate Democrats had no contingency plan for a scenario in which people demanded evidence.
Michael Brown at The Stream on how systematically the Chinese government has planned for the persecution of Christians:

 Specifically, “By 2020, the Communist Party will attempt to monitor its citizens through a massive surveillance system called China Skynet.
“China’s Skynet combines mobile phone GPS tracking, text message collection, 170 million security cameras, to make sure everyone is harmonious to make sure no one does anything illegal.

“China also controls the media.  There is the state-run media but private networks are censored. So, while China, today, barely resembles the Communist State of the 1950s and 1960s in terms of economic structure, it still retains almost all if the other aspects of Communism.: state control, censorship and mass surveillance.”

The 14-Year-Plan

According to the detailed report sent to me, the government has implemented a three-phase, 14-year plan:

“During the first 2-year phase, 2012-2014, it further eased persecution of the underground church, enticing more of them to surface and be identified.” (This would correspond with the time I was in China at the invitation of Franklin Graham. See here for my reflections.)            

“During the second 2-year phase, 2014-2016, it invited and then pressured the identified underground churches to register and become Three-Self government churches.                                                               

“In the current third, 10-year phase, the gloves have come off as both the remaining underground churches and even Three Self churches are being persecuted using Mao-era brute-force, as well as mass surveillance, artificial intelligence, and big data.”
The Persecution

What, exactly, has been taking place? According to the report:
  • Over 2,000 crosses already have been burned or ripped down from church buildings.
  • Many churches have been demolished.
  • Thousands of pastors already have been arrested, beaten, tortured and/or sentenced to years in prison.
  • By 2020, 600 million CCTV cameras – nearly one for every 2 Chinese citizens – will blanket China. They are being forcibly installed inside church buildings to record 24/7 the entrances, stairwells, offering boxes, and Bible counters to monitor who attends church, buys Bibles, and where those Bibles are taken.
  • The Chinese government’s new “social credit system” has begun to assign social credit scores to its citizens for not loitering, not jaywalking and other compliant behaviors, which eventually will include not attending “illegal” underground churches.
  • Chinese Christians will only be able to purchase the Communism-friendly version of the Bible that the Communist Party is presently translating.
  • In February of 2018, the Chinese Communist Party also drastically increased its penalties and restrictions targeted against Christians. The government will also tighten up control over religious activities in schools, religious postings online, and trips overseas for religious training.
  • Recently, the State Council endorsed the penalties, adding that anybody providing a venue for an “illegal religious event” will face a fine of between 20,000 yuan ($2,900.00 USD) and 200,000 yuan ($29,000.00 USD).
Also, in September of 2017, the Chinese government announced that: “Anyone who organizes an unapproved religious event will be fined 100,000 to 300,000 Yuan ($14,500 USD to $43,500 USD).” And, “Anyone who rents or provides the venue for such an event will be fined 20,000 to 200,000 Yuan ($2,900 to $29,000 USD).”
North Korea says it's ready to denuclearize, if the US takes "corresponding measures" - whatever that means. 
 

11 comments:

  1. I suppose it won't matter to you conservative Protestant marauders who are not part of the Catholic fold, as your progenitors either liberalized or conservatised as their takes and/or tastes may have been or be, but the NYT, if you can bear to behold its' alleged frequent false witness, reports that letters from Benedict defend Feancis against his vile detractors sowing discord in the flock and you'll likely be overjoyed to know that the current Il Papa, the so-called Vicar of Christ's approval rating is down among Americans. So what? Dispitative Cathilics know where the door is. The question is who is going to leave, not that it has not happened many many times before...

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  2. Jesus is Lord. The rest is details.

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  3. and, 3 things, abide: faith, hope and love, but the greatest is love (it's almost all you need)...

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  4. Yeah, the rest is details such as the non-spirituous bitter fruit from the author of your linked article, the author of The Dictator Pope she references, Cardinals Vigano, Burke et al, with their divisiveness, anger, tumult, brashness, vindictiveness and pride, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Just details, my homo sapiens who Jesus loves, just details....

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  5. Also, I sure wouldn't want the ChiComs to take over here, of course a justification for an armada-load of military spending, a space force even, probably after we unload all the entitled and their bennies, though military personnel can retire at pension after only 20 years (30 is better) and have free governmental health care for life, and still get a military discount for life as patriots in the marketplace, since we gotta make up for that hugely moral permanent corporate tax cut, not that corps haven't played us for fools for tax breaks in many jurisdictions for decades, since they first offshored. But, for all that, last time I checked, it's not our country. So what now? Coexist or move towards something horribly like a World War III?

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  6. Tax cuts for anyone and everyone, including corporations, are always great. Government is not entitled to the money.

    Re: What now: demonstrate to China that we are prepared militarily and technologically for any move they might make to encroach on our interests anywhere in the world.

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  8. This jumped out at me this morning. What is it about Jack Ma and Alibaba that is just now going somewhat viral? I had never heard of him myself until recently while googling artificial intelligence. When billionaires speak, Americans listen, an he is a critic of our distribution system which is into war and the military and flows to Wall Street and Silicon valley, while the infrastructure languishes. I suppose it's internet infiltration. All these billionaires criticizing capitalism, what's up with that? I don't think bloggie grasps the choke hold many American workers have been held under over the past 40 years. He calls it freedom. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/18/chinese-billionaire-jack-ma-says-the-us-wasted-trillions-on-warfare-instead-of-investing-in-infrastructure.html?__source=sharebar|facebook&par=sharebar

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  9. Here is the NYT article about the latest revelations concerning Benedict (the only Pope to leave the position alive in nearly 6 Centuries, leaving an opening for Judases like Vigano, Burke et al to astoundingly call for the resignation of Francis, in the name of Jesus I guess. And their campaign is working in America, land of our fathers, the faith of which we often follow, as Francis' approval rating is way down. Their grace and discernment is working. If that's what you call it. I call it dissension and worse. Who's going to leave and who's going to stay? Who will wear the shoes of the fisherman? I think it will be Francis unto death in Rome as it should be.

    "The remarkable letter last month calling on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly shielding an abusive American cardinal also served as a public call to arms for some conservative Catholics who pine for the pontificate of the previous pope, Benedict XVI. For years now, they have carried his name like a battle standard into the ideological trenches. Benedict apparently would like them to knock it off.

    In private letters published on Thursday by the German newspaper Bild, Benedict, who in retirement has remained studiously quiet through the controversies over Francis’ fitness to lead the church, says that the “ANGER” expressed by some of his staunchest defenders risks tarnishing his own pontificate. “I can well understand the deep-seated pain that the end of my pontificate caused you and many others. But for some — and it seems to me for you as well — the pain has turned to ANGER, which no longer just affects the abdication but my person and the entirety of my pontificate,” Benedict wrote in a Nov. 23, 2017, letter to Cardinal Walter Brandmüller of Germany. “In this way the pontificate itself is being devalued and conflated with the sadness about the situation of the church today.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/world/europe/pope-francis-benedict.html

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  10. We must pray intensely about all this anger in the Church.

    Jack Ma probably can't see the perspective of American world-stage strategists, who understand the need for overwhelming US military superiority.

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