News & Views

A variety of headlines catch my attention every week. Some have a spiritual focus; some of them indicate a new viewpoint or trend in thinking…and some are simply outrageous and I have an opinion to share about them!  You will find additional news items (often with a political or specific focus) on my Personal Notes page or the new Political Juggernaut page. As with every section, News & Views encourages prayer warriors to address specific situations as the Lord would lead.

CURRENT HEADLINES:

September 2, 2020: Grace Community Church in California Served Eviction Notice After Court Win

According to lifesitenews.com, “Grace Community Church has held a lease from the county on section of their parking lot since 1975. A letter dated August 28 from the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works gives them a total of 30 days to ‘vacate’ the area by October 1.”

Thefederalist.com stated on August 31 that Thomas More Society will be representing the church. Jenna Ellis, special counsel from the Society, is quoted as saying, “The only reason the County is attempting eviction is because John MacArthur stood up to their unconstitutional power grab. This is harassment, abusive, and unconscionable.”

The saga goes on — and we will see how God moves through this situation!

September 1, 2020: Oops! Attempt to Delete COVID Nursing Home Order Continues to Bring the Topic Back to Center Stage

I still cannot believe the lack of forethought in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s allowing nursing home residents who were/might be COVID-infected back into nursing homes during a highwater time in the pandemic. Apparently he thought a little “revisionist history” might ease the public’s constant memory of it, over the passage of time…another situation which is continuing to haunt the Govvernor.

As observed and documented by multiple media outlets in May, 2020, washingtonexaminer.com reported that “Evidence of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s March 25 order mandating that nursing homes accept individuals diagnosed with the coronavirus has been deleted from the New York State Department of Health’s website.” The article also pointed out that “New York changed the way it counts nursing home deaths between April 28 and May 3” due to “increasing scrutiny.”

Foxnews.com also shared news of the deletion on May 26, which is by now several months old. However, new interest in the deleted order has resurfaced as death statistics among New York nursing home residents continue to vary. Theblaze.com shared a photocopy of the deleted order, which had been saved by Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

August 18, 2020: Epoxy Material Developed That Can “Heal Itself”

This is just plain fascinating. Although describing research as being “still in the discovery phase,” I am beyond intrigued. If this early release is any indication, this is technology that will be in the news everywhere, before long.

According to foxnews.com, “U.S. Army and Texas A&M researchers have developed a material that they say can ‘heal autonomously. The 3-D printable and stimuli-responsive polymeric materials have fueled comparisons with the shapeshifting T-1000 Terminator character in the movie ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’.”

The website army.mil further describes the material as having “the ability for massive reconfigurability and have embedded intelligence allowing it to autonomously adapt to its environment without any external control…this new material has a dynamic bond that allows it to go from liquid to solid multiple times, which allows it to be 3-D printed and recycled.”

Army.mil summarizes the research as considering “new scientific developments that may disrupt current scientific and technological paradigms 30 to 50 years from now.”

August 15, 2020: Grace Community Church in California Gets Positive RulingThis Time….

As reported by theblaze.com, “Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon rules that Grace Community Church can continue to hold indoor services as long as worshippers wear face coverings and practice social distancing.”

Pastor John MacArthur is quoted in the article as saying, “This vindicates our desire to stay open and serve our people. This also gives us an opportunity to show that we are not trying to be rebellious or unreasonable, but that we will stand firm to protect our church against unreasonable, unconstitutional restrictions.”

The article also states that “Los Angeles County officials, however, were not happy. They said they would ‘continue to work through the legal system to ensure that the health orders are upheld.”

August 10, 2020: California DA Declares San Luis Obispo County a “Sanctuary County” for Churches and Worship

Yes, bravo!!! According to christianpost.com, “San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow confirmed late last month he will not prosecute churches for holding worship services or for singing in church, which was deemed unlawful by an order from Gov. Gavin Newsome.”

The article also quotes Dow as stating, “I declare San Luis Obispo County a sanctuary county for singing and praising in our houses of worship. Inherent with my responsibility to enforce the law is the discretion I have…to pursue only those charges that are warranted and are in the interest of justice.”

July 31, 2020: Hong Kong Election Scheduled for Sept. 6 Now “Delayed” One Full Year

No, this surely can’t be good news for the people of Hong Kong.

As reported by nbcnews.com, Hong Kong city leader Carrie Lam announced that due to the “worsening COVID-19 situation” the upcoming Sept. 6 Legislative Council election would be delayed for a full year. Just one day earlier, the outlet announced that “Prominent Hong Kong protest leaders have been barred from running in upcoming elections.”

Among those “barred” was well-known pro-democracy leader Joshua Wang. In addition, four pro-democracy students were also arrested on the same day.

The Legislative Council is a 70-seat body that “helps to set laws in Hong Kong,” but is divided with 35 seats elected by the public and 35 seats appointed by the government. Pro-democracy political views are banned with the implementation of China’s National Security Law on June 30.

On July 28, Alexander Zhang of theepochtimes.com wrote, “After its disastrous showing in the district elections in November 2019, during which the pro-democracy camp won a landslide, the pro-Beijing camp is no longer confident that it will be able to retain its majority” in the Council. It is widely believed that the Chinese regime’s imposition of the National Security Law on Hong Kong was a desperate move to prevent the pro-democracy camp from taking over the legislature.”

July 27, 2020: Canine COVID-sniffers Demonstrate 94% Accuracy

Cnbc.com has reported that “A new study, which was piloted by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, the Hannover Medical School and the German Armed Forces found that, if properly trained, dogs were able to discriminate between human saliva samples infected with SARS-CoV-2 and non-infected samples with a 94% success rate overall.”

One professor from the university shared the opinion that, because metabolic processes completely change with COVID-19 infection, “We think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell of the metabolic changes.”

The hope is that canines could be used in “public areas such as airports, sporting events, and other mass gatherings.”

July 20, 2020: United Kingdom Becomes Fourth Country to Suspend Extradition Treaty with Hong Kong, Imposes Arms Embargo

According to theeppochtimes.com, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced to the House of Commons, “The government has decided to suspend the extradition treaty immediately and indefinitely,” regarding Hong Kong. He is also quoted as adding, “The imposition of this new national security legislation has significantly changes key assumptions underpinning our extradition treaty arrangements with Hong Kong.”

In this action, the UK has joined Canada, the United States, and Australia. In the same speech, Raab also stated that “The UK will extend to Hong Kong the arms embargo that we’ve applied to mainland China since l989.” Exports to Hong Kong no longer allowed include “any potentially lethal weapons, components and ammunition, and any equipment that might be used for internal repression, such as shackles, detective equipment, firearms and smoke grenades.”

July 13, 2020: Will China Start Military Aggression Towards America in the South China Sea?

This is not normally a topic I am inclined to discuss here, but the specific nature of this “educated guess” caught me by surprise and I thought it was worth sharing.

According to theblaze.com, Representative Ted Yoho (R-Fla) of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, stated that “armed conflict will be triggered by a Chinese naval attack against the U.S. Pacific Fleet.” Yoho shared the opinion that a Chinese ship “would ram one of our ships and say it was a mistake.”

Washingtonexaminer.com reported on July 12 that “A Chinese admiral also has boasted about the possibility of of attacking U.S. carriers, wagering that such a loss of American life would leave U.S. leaders and the broader public “frightened” of Chinese power in the disputed area.”

The Washington Examiner references a January 2, 2019 article published by news.com.au in which Chinese Rear Admiral Lou Yuan spoke in Shenzhen that “disputes” occurring between the United States and China over the South China Sea could be resolved “by sinking two US Super Carriers.” Admiral Lou further elaborated that “What the United States fears most is taking casualties.”

July 2: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Other Nations Finalizing Plans to Assist Hong Kongers

According to usnews.com via Reuters, “Many Hong Kong residents are scouring for new jobs and homes overseas, fearful that a new national security law imposed by Beijing will crush coveted rights not enjoyed on the mainland and herald a new authoritarian era for China’s freest city.” As reported by cnbc.com, “Taiwan has opened an office to help handle the applications of people from Hong Kong who want to resettle in the island.”

The article quotes Georg Schmiel, international realtor/relocation expert, as stating, “Hong Kong demand for international real estate and residency programs has rocketed over the past few weeks. We see it in Malaysia, Australia, the UK, Thailand, Canada, Vietnam and the Philippines.” Another realtor quoted is Lily Chong living in Western Australia, who claimed that inquiries from Hong Kong had increased 40% since mid-June.

According to sbs.com, the Chinese foreign ministry is “urging Australia to look at the national security legislation in a ‘correct and objective’ light.” news.com.au reported on July 2 that “Australia is preparing to offer safe haven to thousands of Hong Kong residents living here who don’t want to return home in the wake of China’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protestors.”

On June 29, thehindu.com (apparently produced in Beijing) published two important moves on the part of the Chinese government. In response to President Trump “restricting US visas for a number of unspecified Chinese officials” for its new Hong Kong security policy, “China has decided to impose visa restrictions against American individuals who have behaved egregiously on matters concerning Hong Kong.” This is confirmed by time.com. The second move, according to the publication, is the provision for “China’s security agencies to set up shop publicly in the city (Hong Kong) for the first time.”

“Setting up shop” has apparently been quite successful, as hongkongfp.com shared on July 3, “Hong Kong police brought their first charges” under the new security plan, as “A 24-year old man has been charged with one count of inciting others for secession and one count of terrorist activity,” according to a short summary from police. In typical CCP (Comunity China Party) practice, “The terrorism offences are broad and include attacks on vehicles or transport networks and using dangerous methods to seriously endanger public health or safety.”

My guess is that the exodus is just beginning…for as long as it is allowed.

Theepochtimes.com reported on July 3 that “Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law announced on July 2 that he has left the city after testifying to U.S. congressional hearing,” regarding the new security policy. His departure is chronicled as coming “two days after the national security law took effect. Law is quoted as saying, “No Hong Konger is under the illusion that Beijing has any intention to honor our basic rights and honor its promises to us. Mass arrests have already begun on the first day of the National Security Law’s implementation.” Multiple sources document that around 370 people were arrested during the start of a march.

Rfa.org (Radio Free Asia) confirms that the new head of the Hong Kong security office was “a former mayor who cracked down on the rebel village of Wukan protests.” Other officials in leadership are, according to the article, “known for their toughness.”

June 2, 2020: Britain’s Boris Johnson Offers Refuge to Hong Kong Citizens

The issue of China’s security crackdown on Hong Kong has been nearly lost in the ten-plus days of domestic protesting and rioting. It is, however, a dangerous situation continuing to unfold. I cannot imagine living in Hong Kong, right now, and have been praying for the region and its people.

According to standard.co.uk, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is willing to make some of the “biggest changes” ever seen to the British visa system, in order to “allow 2.85 million Hong Kong citizens the chance of fully-fledged citizenship” of Britain. The changes would, in essence, “upgrade the status of British National (Overseas) passports which 350,000 people in Hong Kong hold and 2.5 million are eligible to apply for.” Tom Tugendhat, Chair of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, is quoted as stating, “The security law will allow Beijing to launch a complete crackdown on free speech.”

A June 3 article from businessinsider.com cites China’s reaction as telling Britain to “step back from the brink” and to stop “interfering.” The UK has also contacted the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to offer visas to Hong Kong residents who wish to flee. News.yahoo.com quoted Prime Minister Johnson on June 3 as stating, “Many people in Hong Kong fear that their way of life — which China pledged to uphold — is under threat…if China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away; instead we will honor our obligations and provide an alternative.”

On May 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference which began, “The United States condemns the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress proposal to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.” Pompeo stated that Hong Kong was a “bastion of liberty” and the PRC pursuit of the national security legislation “would be a death knell” for such liberty. Five days later, May 27, Secretary Pompeo publicly acknowledged, “No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.”

According to the online scmp.com (South China Morning Post) on June 6, “Hong Kong’s justice minister has given a public assurance that her department will make independent prosecutorial decisions under the new national security law Beijing is imposing on the city.” The South China Morning Post was purchased by Jack Ma of Alibaba in 2016. after being British-owned for 113 years.

I say — we’ll see!

May 29, 2020: Facebook Content Oversight Board Leans Significantly Left, Ties to George Soros

This is really interesting, and should be more prominent in discussion of the new Facebook content oversight board…especially since it is conservative voices stating they are being censored, and the Board participants appear decidedly Left of “neutral.”

According to judicialwatch.org, “The recently appointed Facebook oversight board that will decide which posts get blocked…is stacked with leftists, including a close friend of leftwing billionaire George Soros who served on the board of directors of his (Soros’) Open Society Foundations (OSF).”

According to the report, Judicial Watch deems “that the group of 20 is overwhelmingly leftist ad likely to restrict conservative views.” The article notes that “only a few token conservatives” are on the Facebook board.

May 18, 2020:  Atwater, California, Becomes “Sanctuary City” from Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order

Wow!  If there’s ever a good reason to declare yourself a “sanctuary city” apart from the policies of your state, this strikes me as a good one!  According to blaze.com, the California city of Atwater has declared it is “Affirming the city’s commitment to fundamental constitutional rights and declaring the City of Atwater a sanctuary city for all businesses.”  Ironically, the article also pointed out that those businesses “that operate under a state-issued license, such as bars and salons…are likely to remain closed” for the present time.  Merced County, of which Atwater is a part, continues in lockdown.

May 15, 2020:  Sorrento Therapeutics Claims Antibody that 100% Inhibits COVID-19

According to foxnews.com, Sorrento Therapeutics of San Diego has stated it has “discovered an antibody that could shield the human body from the coronavirus and flush it out of a person’s system within four days.”  Sorrento’s founder and CEO, Dr. Henry Ji, described the process as the antibody “puts its arms around the virus…and moves them out of the body.”  Dubbed STI-1499, it is proposed as one part of a three-part “antibody cocktail.”  The article states that Sorrento recently announced its partnership with New York-based Mt. Sinai to create such a “cocktail.”

May 13, 2020:  Hogs in a Wood Chipper?  Surely There’s Another Solution to Excess Livestock!

I didn’t know that in 1967 there were close to 10,000 slaughterhouses from sea-to-shining-sea, and that currently the number stands around 2,800.  Part of me thinks that’s great…and part of me considers the ongoing popularity of steak dinners or hamburgers in a growing population, and I can see reason for concern.  

According to foxnews.com, “Small farmers say that they remain casualties of the 1967 Wholesome Meat Act, which mandates that slaughterhouses can only produce meat for sale if they have a federal inspector on-site during slaughtering or are in a state with its own stringent standards.”  The article points out that “The rigorous regulations over time have made it harder for small-scale operations to keep up.”

Approximately five years ago, Kentucky representative Thomas Massie introduced a bill that would have made it “easier (for small farmers) to sell to places like grocery stores and restaurants,” arguing, in effect, that identical regulations pertaining to “multinational beef hackers that slaughter 10,000 animals a day shouldn’t apply to a rancher slaughtering 20.”

Under the pressure of COVID-19 impact on meat processing plants, the legislature has surfaced for a third time, having unsuccessfully been reviewed about one year ago.  However, its advocates have continued to grow.  Cleverly dubbed the PRIME Act (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption), the legislation basically amends the Federal Meat Inspection Act and “seeks to ‘give individual states freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork, or lamb to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.”

Representative Massie, himself a small beef producer, stated that the PRIME Act would not be an end-all to the situation, but that it “would put scores of farming families back in business within weeks.”  The legislation is expected to be heavily opposed by the USDA and multiple meat-processing related entities, despite support from the growing farm-to-market movement.  Massie raised the possibility of live-stream observation, stating, “These inspectors are watching hundreds of animals at facilities…why couldn’t they do this for smaller farms?”

May 4, 2020:  Development Phase of COVID Antibody Announced by Israel

According to theblaze.com, the Israel Institute for Biological Research and Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett presented a joint statement that “they had completed the development phase of an antibody to battle the coronavirus.”

indiatimes.com describes the process as “the monoclonal neutralising antibody developed…can neutralise it (the disease-causing coronavirus) inside carriers’ bodies.”  The article adds that “The antibody that IIBR has developed is monoclonal which indicates that it was derived from a single recovered cell and thus is a lot more potent and valuable to deliver a positive result.”

jpst.com (online Jerusalem Post) stated on 5-5-20 that the monoclonal antibody was “new and refined,” expanding out the description that it “contains an exceptionally low proportion of harmful proteins; the institute has demonstrated the ability of the antibody to neutralize the novel coronavirus; and the antibody was specifically tested on the aggressive coronavirus.”  With the patenting process in its beginning stages, the overall process is described as possibly spanning “over several months.”  While the discovery is hailed as “a milestone,” there is also the caution that “a series of complex tests and a process of regulatory approvals” are still ahead.

April 17, 2020:  Not Receiving COVID Money?  Ah, If Only You Were an Illegal in California…

OK, this is just unbelievable.  Yes, I have no doubt that the concept might top a “really-want list” for the liberal agenda in California, but with so much unemployment and financial difficulty in that state, I’m quite surprised this is actually in the “doing” stage.

According to newsmax.com, “California will be the first state to give cash to immigrants living in the country illegally who are hurt by the coronavirus, offering $500 apiece to 150,000 adults…Wednesday, Gavin Newsom announced he would spent $75 million of taxpayer money to create a Disaster Relief Fund for immigrants living in the country illegally.”

The $500 amounts to approximately $11,882 in pesos, or nearly three months’ wages, in Mexican currency.

Update 5-6-20:  Judicial Watch has filed “a temporary restraining order against (California Gov.) Newsom to keep him from spending about $75 million of state taxpayer funds on direct cash benefits to illegal aliens,” according to dailysignal.com.  According to msn.com, Gov. Newsom is quoted as saying, “‘We feel a deep sense of gratitude for people that are in fear of deportation but are still addressing the essential needs of tens of millions of Californians’ in food gathering and other tasks.”  Monies were to be distributed through unspecified nonprofit organizations, but the article identified “those founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg.”

April 15, 2020:  Four Significant Areas of Chinese Influence, Mostly Unseen

I was quite surprised to see the interaction between President Trump and a member of the media during a recent COVID-19 press conference, as the President flat-out asked the reporter if she worked for China or if her employer were Chinese-owned.  I remember thinking that there was more to this exchange than appeared in the quick 30-seconds during the briefing.  As I read this article from Jarrett Stepman, I remember hearing about each instance he mentions, at different times,  disconnected from the other incidents.  Stepman’s work of listing them together provides a better wide-lens view of a hidden reality slowly being brought to the surface.

As Stepman states for dailysignal.com, “If it wasn’t already clear before the coronavirus outbreak, China is particularly aggressive in how it tries to control the spread of information, not just in regard to its own citizens, but people around the globe.”  He lists and explains the points of influence in four major areas:  news media, social media, Hollywood movies, and college campuses.  I found his section on “Social Media” particularly fascinating.

March 31, 2020:  Concern about Chinese ‘Biosecurity’ Risk Raised in November, 2019

I found this article quite fascinating.  In view of the Chinese wet markets already reopening while China continues to grapple with COVID-19, it does make one wonder just how strong that connection actually is.  According to americanactionnews.com, several instances of  Chinese nationals “attempting to bring samples of highly contagious pathogens prompted an FBI warning of China’s ‘biosecurity risk’ to the U.S.” in November, 2019.  One year earlier, in fall of 2018, a Chinese biologist had two vials confiscated from his personal luggage.  Although the vials appeared to be labeled “antibodies,” a detailed inspection led “personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials.”  A third incident which had occurred in May, 2018, caused the FBI to conclude there was an “alarming pattern, which resulted in the November, 2019 intelligence report.

March 12, 2020:  Biodegradable “Soapy” Handwash Kills Coronavirus on Hands in 72 Samples

According to breakingchristiannews.com, “Two Israeli companies have joined forces to make your handwashing 100 percent effective in killing viruses…it begins with the Soapy hygiene microstation, already used in several countries.”  For details on product, click here.

March 9, 2020:  Freedom From Religion Foundation Pleads with Pentagon to Not Adopt “Creator of the Universe” as Space Force Hymn

Well, I can’t say I find this unexpected…the FFRF decried the recently written lyrics for the Space Force Hymn as “thoroughly religious,” and having “nothing to do with the military or space.”  By their own reckoning, they deem that “a quarter of active service members identify as nonreligious.”  In their letter, they adamantly state that “The importance of keeping the U.S. military secular in order to protect the religious liberty of all servicemembers cannot be overemphasized.”

New discovery!  There is both a Space Force Hymn as well as a Space Force Anthem.  In researching this Freedom From Religion Foundation complaint, I discovered an article from Rev. David A. Newberry, clarifying that “Creator of the Universe” was indeed designed to be sung in a setting of corporate worship.  The United States Space Force Anthem, written in July of 2018 by Matt Greminger, utilizes 9 instrumental sections and words more common with other military branch trademark songs.

March 4, 2020:  Space Force Hymn Titled, “Creator of the Universe”

According to christiannewswire.com, Rev. James F. Linzey,  Air Force Captain, “felt led by God to write the Space Force Hymn.  He set his pen to paper…on February 22, 2020, he completed what became Creator of the Universe, the Space Force Theme.”

A recorded version of “Creator of the Universe” is not yet available.  However, a 2018 spoof “Space Force”-theme video imagined what the theme might be while “sung” by President Trump.

February 24, 2020:  Four U.S. Companies Researching Coronavirus Vaccine

According to foxbusiness.com, Peter Navarro, the White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, has stated that President Trump is continuing to take a very “hands on” approach to monitoring and communicating with U.S. labs working on the project.  On Feb. 21, foxbusiness.com published information that the Texas company, Greffex, Inc., “had completed” the vaccine this week and was moving on to the testing phase.  Greffex stated that it had used an “adenovirus-based vector vaccine,” translating to meaning it is genetically engineered, rather than a living or dead version of the virus. Greffex CEO has made the preliminary statement that if the government approves the vaccine, “Greffex will distribute the vaccine to other countries for free.”

Peter Navarro also mentioned a product named remdisivir, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, which is looking promising.  wsj.com and reddit.com have stated that Drugmaker Moderna Inc. has “shipped its first batch” of coronavirus vaccine, ready for human testing. In addition, the Director stated that Trump was bringing back “the infrastructure” of medical product-related items such as drug ingredients, face masks, sterile gloves, and point-of-care diagnostic field equipment back to American production.

February 19, 2020:  Coronavirus Victims Can Be Reinfected, Chinese Medicine Weakens Heart Tissue

According to nypost.com, “Medically cleared patients have been getting reinfected” by the Coronavirus in the epicenter of Wuhan.  Additionally, current “medicine” being used in China “can have” the side effect of weakening heart tissues so that a second bout with the virus makes victims “more susceptible to cardiac arrest.”  A Feb. 10 article in nypost.com recognizes three Chinese doctors, all of whom received official government backlash from sharing online insights of concern regarding the virus.  The first, Liu Wen of Wuhan Red Cross Society, has since died of the virus.  Another made claims of being beaten for sharing information, and prior to his passing, Liu Wen was required to sign a document stating he would not “spread rumors online.”

February 14, 2020:  Coronavirus Impact on American Economy Beginning to Materialize

There will, of course, be substantial discussion regarding virtually every aspect of the Coronavirus over the months ahead.  This tidbit, however, caught my attention because it enumerates, in real-time terms, some already-felt economic aspects of the epidemic — without politicization, simply based on product-producing manufacturing shutdowns, travel bans, and economic downturns being experienced across China.

The dailymail.co.uk reports the following industries/areas are already starting to feel the economic impact of multiple thousands of Chinese people impacted by the coronavirus:  wedding industry, technology, luxury real estate and mortgage rates, tourism, US city Chinatowns, and colleges/universities.   The economic news comes amid information that “China has reportedly appointed its top military biological weapon expert to take over a secretive virus laboratory in Wuhan after the outbreak of the coronavirus, sparking conspiracy theories that the health crisis could be connected to the army.”  The expert, however, Dr. Chen Wei, also has an impressive record of formulating virus-combating vaccines.

February 10, 2020:  El Salvadore Government Finds Genuine Repentance in Prisoners Receiving Jesus

I really wish testimonies like this received more publicity.  Just a dream, I know — but this is an awesome article regarding 600 male prison inmates in Izalco and their encounters with the One who transforms lives.  According to breakingchristiannews.com, “More and more men began to find Jesus in a chain reaction of grace.  The new converts changed dramatically.  They were no longer angry and depressed.  They became cooperative and friendly…today, El Salvador’s government leaders see evidence that Christianity is good for violent offenders…the transformation is an obvious miracle.”

January 25, 2020:  Coronavirus Information You May Not Know, US Evacuating Americans

I found this news link on the Coronavirus quite interesting and thought it was worth sharing.  According to theconversation.com, researchers are investigating the possibility that the coronavirus (designated “2019-nCoV) “might have jumped from the host species– bats–to snakes and then to humans at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.  However, how the virus could adapt to both the cold-blooded and warm-blooded hosts remain a mystery.”  According to westernjournal.com, on 1-26-20, “The United States government is reportedly preparing to evacuate American citizens from Wuhan as the novel coronavirus continues to ravage the region,” estimated to exceed 200,000 “in less than two weeks.”

January 15, 2020:  Newly Dedicated “Space Bible” Sends Military Religious Freedom Foundation into Orbit

Don’t be fooled — the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is apparently “first cousin” to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, as evidenced by its theatrical reaction to having a Bible blessed prior to its potential use to swear in officers of the newly formed Space Force.  This is actually rather humorous in a can’t-believe-it sort of way.  According to Tony Perkins of frc.org (Family Resource Center),  Rev. Randolph Hollerin’s blessing over the King James Bible resulted in MRFF’s Mikey Weinstein’s description of the act as a “shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, excluvist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy,” among other passionately vehement word choices.  Wow.  Really interesting article to read…it’s the crazy world we live in right now….

December 13, 2019:  “Abortions are Magical” Christmas Gift Candles —What?

Wow, this is “Christmas macabre” at its best…or should I say, worst?  According to frc.org, Texas Equal Access (TEA) Fund has decided that candles with a unicorn silhouette and the phrase “Abortions are magical” are a merry and joyful gift to bestow upon its faithful volunteers.   The story first broke with dailywire.com, which reported, “If you volunteer for TEA, which raises money to help women afford abortions in Texas, apparently, you can earn yours for free.  It’s not clear whether TEA will also be offering the candles for sale, but the comments note that there are several supporters interested in purchasing them.”

The dailywire.com article also commented that “Christmas is a bizarrely popular time for abortion rights groups who often release special “gifts” just for holiday giving” — including abortion gift cards!

December 3, 2019:  Beware — in the Chess Game of Social Media, Trump Actually Outmaneuvered and Loses ‘Keep America Great’ Domain

I scanned this article twice because I thought I had misread the content!   Foxbusiness.com reports that Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer has just purchased the domain name “Keep America Great.”  Why in the world would a Trump competitor have an interest in the Trump-associated 2020 slogan?  Well, Steyer has apparently decided to use use it for anti-Trump purposes — as indicated by his huge orange ad that states “Trump is a Fraud and a Failure” when you first click on the website.

Interestingly enough, apparently this is a strategy in which Trump, himself, has also been involved.  According  to the article, Trump bought a Latino website just created by Joe Biden, and earlier in the election had purchased JebBush.com.  An additional website called “keepamericagreat.net–your voice, your choice” sells Alon wellness supplements.  However, you can find Trump re-election news by going to keepamericagreat2020.us .

And the games continue.

November 7, 2019:  70% of Millennials in Poll Say They are ‘Likely’ or ‘Extremely Likely’ to Vote for Socialist Candidate

My first reaction to polls with such claims is usually a dismissive, Right — another skewing of statistical information.   According to contributor Jarrett Stepman of dailysignal.com, however, “An annual poll conducted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation again found that the younger generations have a far sunnier view of  socialism and communism than their elders.”  The poll breaks down the ages as those having the most unfavorable view of capitalism as Millennials ages 23-38 and “Gen Z” 16-22 year olds.

Marion Smith, Executive Director for the Foundation, stated, “The historical amnesia about the dangers of comunism and socialism is on full display in this year’s report.”  This is the fourth Report issued by the Foundation.  Smith also warned, “When we don’t educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of  100 million victims murdered at the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas.”  (italics mine)

Stepman’s article also cites “efforts to reframe our country’s origins”  (such as the 1619 Project discussed in Political Juggernaut a few weeks ago) as contributing to general misunderstanding and confusion regarding America’s Founders and documents.

October 31, 2019:  Did You Know Democrats Often Outsource Choosing Judicial Picks to the American Bar Association?

Well, I certainly didn’t know that.  And I’m guessing that a lot of you might not have been aware, either.  My first question was — why would that ever happen?  In understanding the functions of the different branches of government and their accountability to their constituents, that seems like a really odd practice, to me…however, Family Research Council just published this really interesting little article on its frc.org website which explains the situation, and shares the summation, “Justice may be blind, but the American Bar Association is not.  That’s the biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s Senate hearing, when Ninth Circuit Court nominee Lawrence VanDyke became the ABA’s latest contestant on, ‘conservatives don’t have talent.’…he never imagined the country’s largest attorney organization would stoop to label him ‘not qualified.'”

The American Bar Association has political bias?  OK, I can hear you saying — c’mon Deb, how naive are you?  Well, I am definitely that naive!  Or maybe I should say, I have been.  The situation is succinctly questioned in the Opinion Section of the Wall Street Journal,  where the Editorial Board asks on its wsj.com website, “How can a judicial nominee who has edited the Harvard Law Review, clerked for a top circuit judge, litigated extensively at the district and appellate levels and served as Solicitor General of two states be deemed ‘unqualified’ for the bench?”

Further enlightenment comes from a Sept. 27, 2019 article on nationalreview.com, in which analyst Carrie Severino writes, “The ABA has a history of taking liberal positions on issues including abortion the death penalty, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, and the Second Amentment.  The organization’s ideological bias has long tained its ratings of judicial nominees.”

While that assessment was “news” to me, apparently the ABA’s bias is well known among with those who work with the organization on a steady basis.  Senator Mike Lee is quoted on the frc.org website as describing the ABA as “any other special interest group” and called for “suspending the unique access” the American Bar Association has grown accustomed to enjoying regarding their active involvement in the judicial confirmation process.

August 29, 2019:  Lesbian Priest Hands Out Gas Cards for Women to Travel to Abortion-Friendy States…I’m Speechless

This is a small, virtually insignificant bit of news as reported by christianheadlines.com.  But the contradictory nature at the core of each of the components is mind-boggling.  First, a “priest” in God’s house preferring the death of abortion to God’s gift of life; living an “alternative” lifestyle rather than adhering to the Biblical truths of Romans 1.  And…this “priest” actually being CEO of the pro-abortion group National Abortion Federation, and partnering with them to hand out gas cards so gals can drive to an abortion-friendly state to kill their babies.   Yet this is not what has left me speechless.  It is Reverend Katharine Ragsdale’s crowd-rousing chant, ‘Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.’  Yes, I’m speechless.

May 20, 2019:  Native Coloradan Robert F. Smith Pays Off  Morehouse College 2019 Graduating Class Student Loans

This caught my eye and attention for two reasons.  My first response was to question the accuracy of the headline–as in, did he really do this?  Secondly, I am genuinely impressed by the generosity of the act, itself, and I wondered if he had shared a spiritual basis for his generosity (he did not).  Smith is a native Coloradan and time.com states Smith “has a net worth of about five billion dollars,” and is the first African-American to have “publicly committed to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.”  foxbusiness.com quoted Smith as saying to the graduating class, “The opportunity you access should be determined by the fierceness of your intellect, the courage in your creativity and the grit that allows you to overcome expectations that weren’t set high enough.”   Morehouse College is described by the article as being an “all-male historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia.  From the site smartandrelentless.com, “30 Inspiring Robert F. Smith quotes about success and life.”

May 17, 2019:  Restricted Abortion Laws:  Now a Cadre of 5 States

I actually find this quite fascinating.  In general, news media outlets tend to cover this topic with a one-liner or maybe short paragraph and then move on…making it very easy to focus only on the publicity of those states who continue or choose to expand parameters in which abortion can be performed.  According to christianpost.com, “Over the past few months, multiple states have passed laws that greatly restrict or all but outlaw abortion…several states have considered increased restrictions on abortion, especially bans on abortions once the heartbeat of an unborn baby is detected…”  Currently, the states counted in this cadre are:  Alabama (most recent), Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.  To read an insightful article written by a man whose birth was a result of his mother’s rape, click to Personal Notes.

May 17, 2019:  University of Colorado Apologizes to Christian Group

Hard to believe this type of legal activism is even necessary…however this may end up being a precedent case to help turn the tide of unnecessary regulation of Christian groups on college campuses.  According to christianheadlines.com, “The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has agreed to a settlement with a Christian apologetics student group who were de-affiliated with the college for stipulating that leaders in their group must adhere to mainline Christian beliefs.”  Or, as a representative from the legal defence group Alliance Defending Freedom  stated, “It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president.”

March 4, 2019:  Where-O-Where is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

These two releases regarding AOC actually have me laughing.  First, an announcement came out around a week ago regarding an allegation AOC funneled campaign funds to her boyfriend in the fall of 2017…and now americanactionnews.com has reported “Ocasio-Cortez has no district office and no local phone number — unlike New York’s three other freshman members of Congress…Ocasio-Cortez has used her deceased father’s Bronx condo on her voter registration since 2012…but the (Washington) Post could find little indication she continues to live there…”

February 25, 2019:  Colorado Plans to Join Anti-Electoral College States in Vote

Although our family has been in Colorado only 13 years, I lament that we moved in at the turn of political tide and that legislation and policies have changed the state so dramatically over the last decade-plus.  This article, written by journalist Jack Davis, and posted by westernjournal.com, makes the pivotal point in the argument against eliminating the electoral college, currently proposed and supported by 11 other states.  In this popular vote vs. electoral college vote discussion, Davis points out that in the 2016 election, the popular vote distance between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump boiled down to “two states — both of which support the national popular vote project — alone vastly increased Clinton’s totals.  Clinton’s 4.27 million vote margin in California and her 1.73 million votes in New York gave her the 6 million vote margin….Clinton trailed Trump in the other 48 states….”  Hence the reason our Founding Fathers created the electoral system….on top of which, consider that California has declared itself a Sanctuary State and that much of New York does the same…allowing non-citizens to get all sorts of citizen-only benefits, including their verbal statements that non-citizens should be allowed to participate in American elections….NOTE:  FOR A RECENT ARTICLE ON DOUBLE-VOTING IN CALIFORNIA, CLICK HERE.

February 22, 2019:  President Trump Draws Definitive Line Between “Family Planning” and “Abortion Providing,” Withdraws Federal Financial Support

As might be expected, this is a controversial move and will no doubt be challenged in court.  According to washingtonpost.com, “The change means federally funded family planning clinics can no longer refer a patient for abortion and must maintain ‘a clear physical and financial separation’ between services funded by the government and any organization that provides abortions or abortion referrals.”

February 15, 2019:  Anatomy of  Voter Fraud Via Actual Vote Counting

OK, my upfront disclaimer:  no political commentary follows.  This report caught my attention because I remembered the topic of “potential voter fraud” in New Mexico from the November 2018 election.   At the time, it was a suspicion, not-even-quite-an-allegation based on 8,000 “suddenly found” absentee ballots in the largest county of the state.  This report outlines results actually tabulated since last November.  According to dailysignal.com,  an “audit report” requested by losing candidate Yvette Herrell and conducted by  Full Compliance Consulting LLC, reported this finding:  “Nongovernment groups are ‘almost certainly’ engaging in at best aggressive — and at worst fraudulent — procurement of absentee ballot applications.”  The additional conclusion of the audit is that vote irregularities in this single county would not have changed the election.  However, this audit covered only one county, and if similar practices occurred throughout the state — yes, the result of legitimate votes cast may have been thwarted.

February 12, 2019:  Editorial:  Big Tech Enabling Identity Politics To Flourish

Emilie Kao writes a thought-provoking editorial for dailysignal.com regarding “punishment” for the “crimes” of “misgendering and deadnaming.”  Her winning paragraph for me?  “Identity politics is poisonous to freedom.  It divides Amercans up by ethnicity, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., and ranks us in a hierarchy based upon decrees of ‘victimization.’..,this is deeply out of step with America’s founding, which championed the legal equality of each citizen based on inalienable natural rights..”

January 3, 2019:  “Woke” and “Wokescolding”

OK, I for the first time heard a national newscaster use the phrase “being woke” just a couple days ago.  And the topic was not someone having overslept!  I was quite surprised. According to Wikipedia (not my favorite source), “Woke is a political term of African American origin that refers to a perceived awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice…”  The online resource bustle.com, connects the growing acceptance of the word to #blacklivesmatter starting in 2013 and “reminds readers that there is more than one reality to life in the United States.”  Conservative writer/speaker Ben Shapiro has declared that 2019 is the “year of the wokescold” — describing such individuals as “the new representatives of moral panic.”

September 6, 2018:  Report on Pro-Life Pregnancy Center Saving Both Lives and Money

This is a quick-reading, very interesting article that not only discusses interesting statistics, but also how the model of a “pro-life counseling center” was developed.  According to christianheadlines.com, research-gathering firm Charlotte Lozier Institute (affiliated with the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List) recently released a substantial report that details how “pro-life pregnancy centers across the nation provided free services to 2-million people and saved communities $161 million in costs in 2017.”  The article also quotes that “400,100 free ultrasounds were administered, registered nurses and medical sonographers contributed 400,100 hours of free services last year and 679,000 free pregnancy tests were given out last year.”

August 31, 2018:  Revealing Human Weakness Now…Or Later?

This little editorial piece from author/personality Bill O’Reilly points out the really pervasive issue of public slander occurring over social media…without consequence, most of the time, to anyone except the one being slandered.  I feel his point is well taken:  Is anyone any longer safe from the tarnish of assumptive-truth — when there are no facts to actually substantiate the portrayal offered?  One of his points:  “If great men like Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy were alive today, they never could have governed.”  A quick read worth pondering!

August 29, 2018:  President Trump Hosts Dinner for Evangelicals, Also Issues Concern Regarding Midterm Elections

This is a very interesting article.  The dinner was hosted 8/27, a night I worked and so missed the news.  I don’t know if it received any/much coverage or not, but it’s my opinion that this President has been so singularly pro-Christian (as well as pro-religious freedom) that it should have been shared through many outlets.  Even as Trump praised the pastors/leaders for their good works in their respective communities, he also urged them “to make sure all of your people vote,” according to christianheadlines.com.  He continued with the warning, “If they don’t, we’re going to have a miserable two years and we’re going to have, frankly, a very hard period of time…”  In addition, I have included a video from Lance Wallnau regarding an apparent continuation of concern for the Christian community, expressed by President Trump.

August 24, 2018:  Former KKK and Nazi, Now denouncing Hate Groups

These are the testimonies I love to read….men or women with a heart of Saul, who become “transformed into Paul’s” so God may use them in radical ways….Do you remember Ken Parker from last year’s Charlottesville white nationalist rally?  According to christianheadlines.com, Parker’s heart transformation began soon after the rally with a conversation he shared with filmmaker Deeyah Khan, who was making a documentary on hate groups.  The respect he was shown in their time together started Parker questioning his reasons to hate.  He later chose to interact with his black neighbor, Willliam McKinnon III, at a community BBQ.  McKinnon is quoted as saying, “God was working on his heart that day when he came to the table that day, it was divine.”

July 30, 2018:  Jeff Sessions:  “We Have Not Only the Freedom to Worship, but the Right to Exercise Our Faith.”

At one time, anyone in America making that statement would have been stating an obvious situation.  While announcing the creation of a new Justice Department Religious Task Force, Attorney General Jeff Sessions pointed out, “In recent years, the cultural climate in this country…has become less hospitable to people of faith.  Many Americans have felt that their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack.”

July 20, 2018:  Who Pays Attention to Theology?  More People than You Think

According to christianheadlines.com, “Most churchgoers will put up with a change in music style or a different preacher, but they will choose to leave a church if the foundational beliefs are tampered with.”  This article reports the results of a new survey from Lifeway Research.

July 4, 2018:  Gender-Neutral Language Regarding God Changing the Episcopal Church Book of Prayers?

I was quite surprised to come across this article on theblaze.com:  “The Episcopal Church will consider whether to add gender-neutral language regarding God to its Book of Common Prayer at its 79th General Convention, which starts Thursday (7/5) in Austin, Texas.  The debate s centered on making sure that the faith’s prayer book is clear that God, the supreme being, is genderless.”  The last revision took place 39 years ago.  Among the more unusual potential additions to the Book is “A Christian’s duty to conserve the earth” and “A ceremony to celebrate the adoption of a transgender person’s new name.”  I am not sure what to comment…read it for yourselves, folks!

May 24, 2018:  California Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Baker

County Superior Court Judge David Lampe is quoted by faithwire.com as stating, “The right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment outweighs the State’s interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace…the right of freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment includes the right to speak, and the right to refrain from speaking.  Sometimes the most profound protest is silence.”  Tastries Bakery, owned by Cathy Miller, declined to create a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2017.  The Supreme Court continues to review a similar court case involving Colorado baker Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cake Shop, dating back to 2012.

May 18, 2018:  President Draws Distinction Between “Abortion” and “Family Planning” in Title X Funding

I hope this moves forward!  According to breakingchristiannews.com, “The White House says this is part of the Trump Administration’s policy to protect the unborn and also make sure taxpayers don’t support the abortion industry.”