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Durham to testify before House Judiciary Committee

On June 20, Special Counsel John Durham will testify appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door briefing. The next day, he will testify in front of the Judiciary Committee about his 300-page reportdetailing his investigation into the FBI probe of alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian officials.

The news broke Friday that Durham will be testifying on the report, which found the Department of Justice and the FBI did not have “any actual evidence of collusion” between Russian officials and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Instead, the agencies began their Crossfire Hurricane investigation based on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” the report said. “Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” Durham wrote.

The report also confirmed that the FBI did not give due consideration to the possibility that the Steele Dossier, which was used to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page, was Russian disinformation.

FBI leaders displayed “serious lack of analytical rigor,” according to Durham, and they relied significantly on. “investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump’s political opponents,” referring to staffers and allies of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose campaign funded the Steele dossier through its law firm Perkins Coie.

National Review reminds readers, “The dossier was created by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele and accused Trump and his campaign aides of collaborating with Kremlin officials.”

Durham released his report nearly four years after then-attorney general Bill Barr tasked him with investigation the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

The FBI responded to the report in saying that the “conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time.”

“Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the bureau said. “This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”

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NOTE: The opinions expressed in the Sara Carter posts are not necessarily (but probably pretty much) the opinions of Cogny Mann.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez heckled and booed at Town Hall

On June 20, Special Counsel John Durham will testify appear before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door briefing. The next day, he will testify in front of the Judiciary Committee about his 300-page reportdetailing his investigation into the FBI probe of alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian officials.

The news broke Friday that Durham will be testifying on the report, which found the Department of Justice and the FBI did not have “any actual evidence of collusion” between Russian officials and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Instead, the agencies began their Crossfire Hurricane investigation based on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence,” the report said. “Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” Durham wrote.

The report also confirmed that the FBI did not give due consideration to the possibility that the Steele Dossier, which was used to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page, was Russian disinformation.

FBI leaders displayed “serious lack of analytical rigor,” according to Durham, and they relied significantly on. “investigative leads provided or funded (directly or indirectly) by Trump’s political opponents,” referring to staffers and allies of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose campaign funded the Steele dossier through its law firm Perkins Coie.

National Review reminds readers, “The dossier was created by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele and accused Trump and his campaign aides of collaborating with Kremlin officials.”

Durham released his report nearly four years after then-attorney general Bill Barr tasked him with investigation the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

The FBI responded to the report in saying that the “conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time.”

“Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the bureau said. “This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”

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NOTE: The opinions expressed in the Sara Carter posts are not necessarily (but probably pretty much) the opinions of Cogny Mann.

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DURHAM: Evidence Clinton campaign orchestrated fake Russia collusion to ‘vilify Donald Trump’

Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the FBI’s Trump Russia probe concluded Monday with a 306 page report outlining the bureau’s political bias and failure to objectively investigate the false allegations made against then President Donald J. Trump that he colluded with Russia.

In the report, a copy of which was obtained by this reporter, Durham outlined in detail the process of his investigation into the bureau’s 2016 Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump, as well as his associates.

“Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI, failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” stated the report released Monday. “As notes, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith committed a criminal offense by fabricating language in an email that was material to the FBI obtaining a FISA surveillance application displayed, at best, a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness.”

Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering a document related to the FISA warrant, a secret surveillance application,  of  former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page during the Russia investigation. He was the first official to be charged in a special Justice Department review of the investigation into ties between Russia and Trump.

Clinesmith pleaded guilty to a single false statement charge. He admitted to doctoring an email that the FBI used to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court’s approval to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2017.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan stated on Monday, that he has reached out to “the Justice Department to have Special Counsel John Durham testify next week” on Capital Hill.

Moreover, the report states that the FBI did not sufficiently investigate the debunked dossier compiled by former British Spy Christopher Steele who relied primarily on “a U.S.-based Russian national, Igor Danchenko, to collect information that ultimately formed the core of allegations found in the reports.”

The political bias appears to be more than evident. For example, in the report Durham establishes that “Danchenko was responsible for 80 % of the ‘intel’ and 50 % of the analysis contained in the Steele Dossier.”

I think an even more stunning revelation in the report is that Durham proved how Hillary Clinton’s campaign was directly involved in trying to link President Trump to Russia. This wasn’t a secret to the Obama administration, as according to the report, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, then Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former FBI director James Come were all  briefed on Clinton’s campaign.

Could Hillary Clinton be charged?

“The Office also considered as part of its investigation the government’s handling of
certain intelligence that it received during the summer of 2016. That intelligence concerned the
purported “approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign
policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the
Russian security services.»391 We refer to that intelligence hereafter as the ‘Clinton Plan
intelligence.’ DNI John Ratcliffe declassified the following information about the Clinton Plan
intelligence in September 2020 and conveyed it to the Senate Judiciary Committee:
In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence
analysis alleging that U.S Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a
campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by
tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian
intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.
According to his handwritten notes, CA Director Brennan subsequently briefed
President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including
the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her
foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming
interference by Russian security services.”

This story is ongoing and will be updated throughout the day.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC

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NOTE: The opinions expressed in the Sara Carter posts are not necessarily (but probably pretty much) the opinions of Cogny Mann.

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Fake, AI-generated photo of Pentagon explosion causes brief drop in US stocks

Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the FBI’s Trump Russia probe concluded Monday with a 306 page report outlining the bureau’s political bias and failure to objectively investigate the false allegations made against then President Donald J. Trump that he colluded with Russia.

In the report, a copy of which was obtained by this reporter, Durham outlined in detail the process of his investigation into the bureau’s 2016 Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump, as well as his associates.

“Based on the review of Crossfire Hurricane and related intelligence activities, we conclude that the Department and the FBI, failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” stated the report released Monday. “As notes, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith committed a criminal offense by fabricating language in an email that was material to the FBI obtaining a FISA surveillance application displayed, at best, a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness.”

Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering a document related to the FISA warrant, a secret surveillance application,  of  former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page during the Russia investigation. He was the first official to be charged in a special Justice Department review of the investigation into ties between Russia and Trump.

Clinesmith pleaded guilty to a single false statement charge. He admitted to doctoring an email that the FBI used to get the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court’s approval to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2017.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan stated on Monday, that he has reached out to “the Justice Department to have Special Counsel John Durham testify next week” on Capital Hill.

Moreover, the report states that the FBI did not sufficiently investigate the debunked dossier compiled by former British Spy Christopher Steele who relied primarily on “a U.S.-based Russian national, Igor Danchenko, to collect information that ultimately formed the core of allegations found in the reports.”

The political bias appears to be more than evident. For example, in the report Durham establishes that “Danchenko was responsible for 80 % of the ‘intel’ and 50 % of the analysis contained in the Steele Dossier.”

I think an even more stunning revelation in the report is that Durham proved how Hillary Clinton’s campaign was directly involved in trying to link President Trump to Russia. This wasn’t a secret to the Obama administration, as according to the report, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, then Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former FBI director James Come were all  briefed on Clinton’s campaign.

Could Hillary Clinton be charged?

“The Office also considered as part of its investigation the government’s handling of
certain intelligence that it received during the summer of 2016. That intelligence concerned the
purported “approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign
policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the
Russian security services.»391 We refer to that intelligence hereafter as the ‘Clinton Plan
intelligence.’ DNI John Ratcliffe declassified the following information about the Clinton Plan
intelligence in September 2020 and conveyed it to the Senate Judiciary Committee:
In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence
analysis alleging that U.S Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a
campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by
tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian
intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.
According to his handwritten notes, CA Director Brennan subsequently briefed
President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including
the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her
foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming
interference by Russian security services.”

This story is ongoing and will be updated throughout the day.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC

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NOTE: The opinions expressed in the Sara Carter posts are not necessarily (but probably pretty much) the opinions of Cogny Mann.

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Why was Dr Ericson's video targeted on YouTube for a takedown?
Thoughts

Is YouTube Censoring Dissent on Covid-19?

Did you see this video? If so, good. Because if you didn't, due to YouTube censorship, you'll never get a chance to see it again.

The Coronavirus statistics are pointing to a significantly different picture than first thought.


Why was Dr Erickson's video banned from YouTube?

YouTube says they pulled this video because it "violates their standards."

It's hard to know why the people who sit in big, rich corporations decide to do what they do. And as is the case with FaceBook, Google and YouTube, they seem to sit in great towers glowing with unapproachable light. Is this "YouTube censorship" over content related to Covid-19 and alternative approaches to Coronavirus?

Maybe. They definitely have a slant (like everyone else). And they come out of California, where things seem to lean left.

It's a private corporation and it seems they probably should be able to do what they want, right? 

YouTube says they will censor "bad" information that goes against the W.H.O.

Apparently, they said this video goes against the recommendations of the the World Health Organization. And they don't want to spread dangerous and harmful misinformation.

As reported on Fox News, that is where YouTube sets its sites for calibrating and containing what is allowable to pass for truth. You can see an editorial by Tucker Carlson here, where they come right out and say so. And where Tucker doesn't think that's too cool.

I'm not sure I can crucify them for intent.

In fact, I suppose that's commendable (if they're right).

Even in the age of free speech, in a country that advocates for free speech, you still can't yell "fire" in a crowded movie theatre. Not that you can find one these days with mandated social distancing. But we can dream, can't we?

But if it is a private corporation, in the end, it's a free country. If I should be free to not bake a cake for a wedding when it means endorsing a lifestyle that troubles me, they should be able to put the brakes on message they feel could ultimately kill people. Right?

But, maybe (maybe) it's not just about censorship. Because if it's about them getting rid of inaccurate information, 

YouTube still has lots of flat-earth videos, too. Even though they said they're messed up.

YouTube said it was going to crack down on "flat earth" videos. According to an article on "Mashable," they were going to change their algorithm.

Even without Alex Jones, harmful conspiracy theory videos were running rampant on YouTube. Now, the company says it’s going to take action.
In a blog post published on Friday, YouTube said it would be making changes to its recommendations algorithm to explicitly deal with conspiracy theory videos. The company says the update will reduce the suggestion of “borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.”
YouTube clarified what kind of videos fit that description by providing three examples: “videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.”

But they're still out there. Many of them.

And as I've said before, if the people making the videos were half as good as understanding science as they were at creating the videos to spread their pseudo-science, we wouldn't have the videos.

But the videos persist. And YouTube lets them exist on their platform, even though they KNOW those videos are full of bad information.

Similarly, there are a LOT of videos still on YouTube that buck the convention that seems to be promoted by the CDC and the WHO regarding the amount of caution needed, and what the proper course of treatment for this virus should be.

So, why this video?

I don't know if this is exactly the reason the video was pulled. But as with most things Clinton, 9/11 and Trump hating, there is the evidence, there is the direction the evidence takes you, and then there is the room from pushback that comes from "plausible denial."

I don't know what the thinking is behind it, but Fox News did an interview with Dr. Erickson (you can watch the video HERE) and they touched on the fact that the American Medical Association released a statement that seems to indicate the AMA thought there could be something fishy here.

So if YouTube thinks the doctors were deliberately spreading misinformation with the intent of trying to sway public opinion, ultimately with the goal of lining his own pockets with influencing back to work (not sure how, but) I can see that maybe - maybe  - they were trying to right a wrong or something.

But I wonder if YouTube folk even ask this question:


Could there be self-serving motives at the W.H.O.?

One of the assumptions on the left is that the government is above self-serving interests (unless you're a republican, in which case it is assumed).

But whenever I bring up the nefarious things happening at the World Health Organization, and I bring up the possibility that there is corruption at the top, many people - especially on the left - ask, "what possible reason should we see that proves there are motives and bias in a place as supposedly politically neutral as the CDC and the WHO?


Well, what if the W.H.O. is skewed on what is "accurate" on Coronavirus because they are headed by a China-sympathizer?

If you're not familiar with the whole fiasco of how this could have happened (or if it even actually did) I would suggest that you look at another article I wrote recently about this very issue.

I believe the guy at the head of the WHO is in bed with Communist China and that he has a vested interest in skewing the data, covering for the Chinese, and (possibly) doing whatever he can, whether with scare tactics or skewing the data, to keep the US economy depressed for as long as possible.

Don't believe me? Please check out the article I wrote where​ I analyzed what Glenn Beck said about this and carefully documented virtually every point he strung together to prove the case that this guy can't be trusted.​​​

So what about free speech?

Free speech is a value we hold as a sacred right in America. Inalienable rights granted by a creator.

Canada has a charter of rights and freedoms. And even though Trudeau seems to be trying to dismantle fairness and equality in Canada like the Democrats are in the US, it's still official there, too.

The problem is this: 

Your God-given right to be able to speak freely doesn't translate to a God-given obligation for everyone to listen to you.

So the question becomes one of who gets to decide when your speech rights are violated and when YouTube's obligation to let people speak and lack of obligation to repeat everything everyone has to say (no matter what) collide.

Does YouTube have a legal obligation to "fairness?" Who decides what is fair? Can they censor anything? Do they have a right to police their own platform to try to reasonably control what they might legitimately feel is "harmful disinformation?"

Remember: there is always a lawsuit pending out there.

Is there a left-leaning bias in this move from YouTube?

Maybe. It's possible. There seems to be no question about the fact that Google (who owns YouTube) leans left. Just go to Google and search for something like "Hillary Clinton email server" and compare your result to what happens when you do the same search on DuckDuckGo and see for yourself.

But it is a big leap from taking down this video to conspiracy.

Honestly, my money is on the fact that they simply wouldn't buy into the idea that there is any bias at the WHO. In the left's world, that is a simple "right-wing conspiracy."

But even if it is deliberate, in some sinister plot to let Fauci and Gates hold the world at bay until they develop some vaccine with a chip in it, you'll NEVER be able to prove it.

Remember: there is always the factor of plausible denial. There is enough honest wiggle-room here to say that they really only honestly have a motive of protecting people from those who are dangerous. And remember. Even the AMA says Dr. Erickson is dangerous.

And so we don't always get all the points of view delivered to us on Google's platform (FREE, I might add) as we might like.

So what do you do, if you think videos like Dr. Erickson's should be in the realm of free speech? What if you think the left owns the big tech world and they're out to silence the opposition?

If YouTube, FaceBook and Google are stacked against the right, what can you do?

That is the million dollar question. 

But I have some ideas. First of all, momentum is a thing. Many of us (especially in the boomer and millennial generation) have gotten so used to Facebook that we haven't done much else except whine to each other when they censor us.

But we need to look at the alternatives. And we need to pioneer a movement to other platforms that are more accomodating to the point of view from the right.

Suggestions: there are:

  • MeWeTheir slogan is "Your private life is #Not4Sale. No Ads. No Spyware. No BS. Get Started - Free Forever. They are very "right friendly."
  • Gab, also very "right-friendly." Their page says, "A social network that champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online. All are welcome."
  • TrumpbookUSA"A place for free speech."  

So GO THERE. You don't have to dump Facebook. But use it as a recruiting field, so to speak, to invite folks who are tired of the left's tyranny on the big 3 (Facebook, Google, Youtube). Go there. Don't abandon it, necessarily.

And if you're tired of the search engines tracking you, try DuckDuckGo. They don't track. They're not quite as sharp as Google for honing in on all the data (yet). But they're getting there and they never track you.

But branch out.

If enough people abandon Google and FaceBook in favour of free speech oriented sites, those others will lose their grip on the monopoly of "what can be considered as true."

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Gene Demby race reporter
Thoughts

If Ben Carson Likes Trump, Is He Racist?

(A guest post by “The Average White Guy”)

Being the average white guy that I am, you can imagine the flood of sweet emotions that flowed from my belly this afternoon as I heard a story on NPR‘s “All Things Considered,” which was about a study that explores “the links between politics and racial bias.”

The description of the story says,

A new study looks at the link between racial bias and the Tea Party. Researchers found that people who looked at images of Barack Obama that were edited to make his skin look darker were more likely to express support for the Tea Party.”

Now I’m not going to be so stupid as to suggest that there are no white people who hate president Obama because he is black. Believe me, I’ve met a few of them myself. But it is so aggravating to be told by Gene Demby that the reason I myself hate Obama is because he is a black man.

Gene Demby, You Don’t Know Me.

You strike me in your reports as one of those black guys who sees a racist under every bush; you seem to come across sometimes as a guy who easily stereotypes whites based on preconceptions that seem to have nothing to do with the way I think or with the beliefs I hold.

I don’t hate Obama because of the color of his skin. It stuns me how many black people seem to want to reduce every issue down to the single issue of how it affects black people, how whites treat black people, who whites see themselves as white people. Says Mr. Demby,

We’ve done a few stories on whiteness in our current political moment. Whiteness is a thing that is becoming explicit in people’s understanding of themselves as white. So it sort of makes sense that here’s this guy who’s the president of the United States. He’s incredibly prominent.

For the first time in the history of the country, he is not a white person. He’s sort of the avatar of this demographic change. And so he animates and activates a lot of anxieties around whiteness becoming explicit.

I will admit I have a strong dislike for the man. But it’s not because he is black. It’s because of what he is doing to the country. I’m not sure why, but based on your frequent racial biases, I would bet that you might find that hard to believe. That’s ok. I have a similar disdain for Hillary Clinton, and it’s not because she is female. But you’ll probably want to try to sell that story to everyone else. I could expect you actually believe this to be the case. I feel sorry for you if you believe that, though. And let me ask you a question:

Did You Vote For Obama Because He Is Black?

I am stunned at the number of black people who insist that I would vote against Obama because he is black; but when I ask if they voted for him because he is black, they insist it is not because of his color, but because of his policies. It’s funny how in their minds, blacks can vote objectively but white people can’t. Is that racist thinking?

Mr. Demby, Have You Ever Heard Of Alan Keyes?

You look like a youngster to me, Mr. Demby. So maybe you were too young to be aware of a time when a guy named Alan Keyes wanted to run for president back in 1996 and 2000. It was back in the days of Bill Clinton. I wanted Keyes in so bad, compared to the white guy, Bill Clinton. I really did. Does that surprise you?

Let Me Make A List For Your Response

Let me make a list of some guys I think would make outstanding presidents, and any of whom I would vote for in a heartbeat – over Obama, Clinton, McCain, Bush (senior OR junior) and even over Trump (especially over Trump).

Ready?

Alan Keyes. Ben Carson. Tim Scott. Thomas Sowell. Colonel Allen B West. Clarence Thomas.

Should I go on? Or do you begin to see a pattern here? It’s not an exhaustive list. I could add Trey Gowdy, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and a host of others. But that would confuse the issue. Please don’t miss the point of the list.

I know you’re “color-blind” in your thinking. You’re black, after all. And we all know that blacks can’t be racist. But did you notice the list? Notice what they all share in common?

They’re all CONSERVATIVE. Did you notice that?

Oh yeah. They’re all… Never mind. You can figure this out. I will even give you a picture.

CarsonScottSowellWestThomas

There are a LOT of black people in the Tea Party. Maybe you missed that; maybe, like Jesse Jackson, you don’t really think “they’re black enough.” The relatively low proportional content of blacks in the Tea Party doesn’t mean they’re racist. It means blacks don’t always agree with their policies. But they’re not going to change their policies to make blacks feel “welcome.” They want to get ALL people – black, white and green – to understand that conservatism is the only way to save the country from slipping into a moral abyss.

EVERYONE is welcome at the Tea Party – if they agree with their ideology and vision for the country – one nation, UNDER GOD, with liberty and justice for ALL.

But while I toss out names, let me throw another at to you.

Ever Heard Of Booker T. Washington?

Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American Author and an advisor to several American presidents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a republican. (Yes, Virginia. There have been black republicans before.)

Booker T has an amazing quote that testifies greatly against the Black Lives Matter movement and other members of the “black grievance industry” like Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson and the reverend Al Sharpton. Booker once said…

There is a class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

Now if a white guy were to say that, you might have a race war on your hands these days. But Booker T has a pass on this one because he is “one of you.” Or maybe he isn’t. Maybe, as Jesse Jackson said about Obama before he was elected, “he’s not black enough.”

Are You A Racist, Mr. Demby?

It seems the likes of Jesse and Al seem to think you’re not really a black man unless you think like them – as if you have exclusive claim to a special “underclass” title; and any black man or woman who doesn’t agree with you is a sellout – an uncle Tom.

Is that you? Do you recognize that I even exist? A white guy who, like Martin Luther King Jr., longs for a day when

people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. (M L King)

But from my side, we are constantly dogged in the conversation by the fact that in situations like Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, where the only scars on George were on his face and the back of his head, and the only scars on Trayvon were on his knuckles, we have a president who decides to bring in the whole weight of the federal justice department and to use it as a soapbox for giving his lectures about how Trayvon could be his son.

This president is the most racially divisive president to fill the White House in the last 50 years. Do you have any sense of how many federal cases have been made over perceived “white on black” injustice, immediately dragging in the full weight of the justice department for federal investigations? How many “black on white” crimes have gotten the same treatment?

You have the privilege of living at a time where we have a black president, a black attorney general and a justice department headed up by a person of african-American descent. And yet, you insist that it ain’t over until it’s over. Sorry, but you still want to take every issue that Trump raises and every issue that resonates with me and squeeze it through your very flat and one-dimensional sausage-grinder, spitting out little “racist cakes” at the other end of the line that don’t look like me at all. They look like your prejudiced concept of what “every white man” thinks.

But it’s not me.

Illegal aliens in the economy are enough of a drain to pull the whole country down. It has nothing to do with color. It has to do with economics. While you might want to think this country is big enough to welcome everyone from everyone and let them all partake at the trough that is public assistance, the grim reality is that the system cannot afford it. It’s NOT about race. It’s about not overloading the lifeboat to the point where we all drown. But all you see is color.

And while you might not think much of religion (I don’t profess to know if you have any strong religious beliefs or not) there are many of us who recognize that it’s NOT hard to figure out the motives of the shooter in Orlando. He TOLD US what his motives were for shooting up gays in a night club were. He said he was doing it in the name of ISIS and in the name of ALLAH. HE was acting on his firmly held radical Islamic beliefs. If you want to pick up the narrative that it wasn’t that,  and that it must have been something else, and that this kind of behavior doesn’t represent “true Islam,” then we are worlds apart on why we want controls and better screening of the Muslims entering this country.

But it’s not because I’m racist. And you don’t  know me.

Put your thinly disguised racial prejudices aside and please try to see that maybe, just maybe, it’s about ideology.

And get to know me.

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Hillary Clinton Criticizes Republicans’ Defense of President Donald J Trump Amid Federal Indictment

GettyImages 1251914238

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed strong criticism of Republicans for their unwavering support of President Donald J Trump in the face of a federal indictment related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents.

Clinton, who faced her own controversies surrounding the use of a private email server during her 2016 presidential campaign, was asked about the Trump indictment and the Republican response to it during an interview on “Pod Save America.”

Republicans have drawn comparisons between Trump’s indictment and Clinton’s email scandal, pointing out that while Clinton was criticized, she was not prosecuted. They argue that a double standard exists when it comes to the prosecution of politicians. Clinton dismissed these comparisons, stating that it is absurd how Republicans refuse to engage with the facts presented in the indictment.

“I do think it’s odd let’s just say to the point of being absurd how that is their only response,” Clinton stated. “They refuse to read the indictment, they refuse to engage with the facts — there’s nothing new about that.”

Moreover on Tuesday, President Donald J Trump, pleaded not guilty to 37 federal felony counts.  The indictment accuses Trump of failing to comply with demands to return classified documents, including plans for a retaliatory attack on an undisclosed foreign power, as well as sensitive information related to defense capabilities and the U.S. nuclear program.

The unauthorized disclosure of these classified documents is said to pose significant risks to national security, foreign relations, the safety of the U.S. military, and intelligence collection methods.

President Trump as well as many other members of the Republican Party accuse the Biden administration of directly interfering with the upcoming 2024 election by weaponizing the DOJ to persecute, President Trump, the leading political opponent to the current administration.

A former President has never been indicted in the United States of America, many claim this to be a very dangerous and perhaps irreversible path to a “banana republic.” A similar comparison can be drawn from the current indictments on President Trump to that of the Russian government and the incarceration of Alexei Navalny, Putins leading political opposition.

In response to the indictment, Trump criticized Smith as a “deranged lunatic” during a public appearance and accused President Biden of orchestrating his arrest for political reasons. Trump likened his situation to political persecution commonly associated with fascist or communist regimes. President Trump brought attention to the dangers of the current indictment and all past political attacks when he stated he is experiencing, “political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation.”

Several other Republicans, including potential 2024 presidential candidates, have also raised concerns about a perceived double standard and have pointed to the corruption involving not only Clinton but also President Biden, for not being indicted for reasons equal to if not far more serious then what President Trump is undergoing.

Clinton emphasized that the focus should be on Trump’s actions and not on attempts to confuse the public or divert attention with extraneous issues in an attempt to deflect her own corruption.

The dangers of weaponizing the DOJ and attacking President Trump may be the very reason Clinton is attempting to take the spotlight off of her and President Biden. Just as the Biden Administration is using the DOJ to come after President Trump, if the Trump administration were to take back The White House in 2024, he could do the exact same thing which is what makes weaponizing the DOJ to attack a former president and current GOP leader a harrowing decision.

She expressed astonishment at the extent to which Republicans are defending Trump, describing their efforts as beyond anything she could have imagined. Clinton stated, “It is so profoundly disturbing how this could have been the break,” insinuating a departure from the Trump administration, she continued to say, “this could have been the opportunity to say ‘thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us, we really appreciate it, but this is kind of serious and so we’re not going to continue to defend you.’”

The writing is on the wall, Clinton’s fear of President Trump regaining the White House is evident when she suggested that the indictment provided an opportunity for the Republican Party to distance itself from Trump, particularly considering his current lead in the 2024 Republican primary polls. This suggestion is a clear sign of election interference and that the indictment has nothing to do with the legality of Trumps actions but solely to keep him from being elected as the 47th President of the United States.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the Sara Carter posts are not necessarily (but probably pretty much) the opinions of Cogny Mann.

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FAITH INSPIRATION, OpenLetters

Why THIS Trump Supporter Is NOT a Racist, Homophobic Bigot

Why THIS Trump supporter is NOT a racist homophobic bigot.

(An open letter to John Pavlovitz.)

John Pavlovitz on Trump supporters and bigotry
John Pavlovitz doesn’t seem to be a big Trump fan. Nope. Not at all.

I’m willing to bet there may well be a lot more people who know of John Pavlovitz than know of me. And that’s alright. He has spent a lot of time cultivating an audience. I’ve not had the luxury of the time in the last year to do that. My wife was waiting patiently for some home improvements after a fairly recent purchase of a new home and so my blogging was a little neglected. Alas. The things we do for love.

But I recently became aware of an article this guy published on his web site and it irked me. It seriously irked me – enough that I took a break from playing home improvement to respond (or perhaps, react) a little here.

You might want to read the article to catch the wind that blows through this guy’s sails. But essentially, his rant is about all the Christians who are very un-Christlike and hypocritical for how they support Donald Trump vs. how they didn’t support Obama, for a litany of reasons.

He writes with the typical feel of the “liberal-left” Christian camp: if you are anti-immigrant, it’s because you’re racist. If you’re anti “gay-marriage” (talk about an oxymoron from a biblical perspective) it’s because you hate gays. That kind of liberal-left “Christianity.” (I just don’t get how some people read the same bible as I do and come to such different conclusions about what it means to be a Christian and what it looks like to live like one.)

But it just feels like it’s time to “rant back” a little. And I decided that the best way to express how I feel here as an open letter to John Pavlovitz. You can track along. I think you’ll catch the feel pretty quick.

 

Dear John:

(I love that line.) Anyway, dear John, you don’t know me. I’m a guy who supported Trump vigorously for president when he ran. And I still do, now that he is in office.

And I can imagine, based on what you penned in that article, that you would peg me as the typical racist, homophobic far-right bigot who cloaks my prejudices in “Christianese” to try to justify my hatred and venom for brown people under the guise of a blessing from God that my opinions are biblical.

It seems you think that I’ve found religion. Just now. With Trump. That I cloak my support for Trump in bible-speak. Like, “He is God’s appointed man for the time. We have to look past his character flaws and not judge. We can’t hold his past against him.” Stuff like that. And you think I never did the same for Obama.

You say,

…through it all, White Evangelicals—you never once suggested that God placed [Obama] where he was, you never publicly offered prayers for him and his family, you never welcomed him to your Christian Universities, you never gave him the benefit of the doubt in any instance, you never spoke of offering him forgiveness or mercy, your evangelists never publicly thanked God for his leadership, your pastors never took to the pulpit to offer solidarity with him, you never made any effort to affirm his humanity or show the love of Jesus to him in any quantifiable measure.

You violently opposed him at every single turn—without offering a single ounce of the grace you claim as the heart of your faith tradition. You jettisoned Jesus as you dispensed damnation on him.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and… wrong.

Where do I begin, dear John?

If, as it seems, this is what you think, you don’t know me. Not at all.

What you might not know is that I also supported Ben Carson and Herman Cain. I would have supported Adam West if he were ever to run. And I even supported a guy named Alan Keyes years ago when he ran.

Do you know of these guys, John? Notice what all these guys have in common, John? Carson, Keyes, Cain, West? They’re all black men.

I would have voted for ANY of these guys in a dog’s heartbeat before the opposition they would have been running against if I had half a chance to do so. See how unfair it is to assume I opposed Obama because he was black?

Just sayin’…

Are you surprised? It seems from the tone of your article you might be.

According to your little hit piece, it seems you’ve likened me to a racist, homophobic bigot who hates brown people and will do whatever it takes to keep them out of the country, or at least, if I can’t keep them out, then keep them working picking tomatoes.

But you’re wrong John. You’re wrong about why I opposed Obama and why I support Trump. You seem to have a short attention span or a very liberal set of values (in spite of your Christian faith) that predisposes you to seeing me merely as a racist who will rearrange my prejudices at the drop of a hat to justify my support for a man you seem to loathe.

I never demonized “the black president” because he was black. I’m not saying no one did. But I never did. I demonized him (if that is what you insist on calling it) because of the policies he presented and forced on the country. I opposed him because he ran on the idea that marriage was an institution between a man and a woman and then promptly changed his mind when he saw the popular opinion had changed over time to where it was suddenly expedient to “change his mind.”

I supported him for his views on marriage until I saw that he merely put his finger to the wind; and when the critical mass of the population changed its opinion on “gay marriage,” suddenly he (and Hillary, and a host of others) did too. How about that? What a coincidence.

How about Obama on Immigration?

I’m not sure if you remember that Obama spoke of the same policies about illegal immigration as Trump does now. How about a reminder?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFv_v16Orqw

………………………

Did you catch that? Obama actually said….

“We all agree on the need to better secure the border and to punish employers who employ illegal immigrants. We are a generous and welcoming people here in the United States. But those who enter the United States illegally and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law, and they show disregard for those who are following the law. We simply can’t allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”

Perhaps you’re confusing style and substance.

I will give you your point that Trump is probably far too egotistical and narcissistic. But he is saying the same things about immigration that Obama said when he ran for office. Did you forget that part?

If Trump articulated those ideas the way Obama and Clinton did, would you even hear him? Or would you be so offended at the tone he uses to make his points that you miss the points? Because, well, because… they’re the same opinions.

I don’t deny Obama’s “personal faith convictions” because I didn’t like the man; but because his actions consistently spoke louder than his words.

Obama was the most pro-abortion man to sit in the office of the president. The record is clear on that one.

Obama was probably the most racially divisive president in at least the last 40 years.

For his eight years in office, it seemed every case of white-on-black crime was a reason to involve the justice department. But I do not recall any cases of black-on-white crime that ever got the same attention from the white house. Do you? Correct me if I am wrong. Please.

You want to talk about all the oddball stuff like his place of birth and the charges from the right about whether he was born in Hawaii or Kenya? Go ahead. But I questioned his birthplace because he seemed to do so much to not clear the air about the issue for as long as he possibly could.

Did you ever ask yourself why he took so many years to produce a birth certificate? Why he had all his Occidental college records sealed? Did you ever consider that maybe the right has some good questions that have never been answered? Or do you just assume we are all a bunch of rednecks that would use any reason we could discredit the black man who was president?

Many like me were trying to get that black man named Carson INTO the race. (And Keyes. And Cain. And Adam West if he would ever run.) I sure hope you can hear that.

You call me on a “double-standard” saying now that God appoints leaders; but when Obama was in office, I somehow missed that point.

No, John. I didn’t.

Some leaders get placed because people benefit from God placing leaders over them to bless them. I acknowledge that God, in his sovereignty, allowed Obama to be the man for the job. I just think the job at this point in history was that America needed a good spanking because they weren’t listening to Him.

And if you’re going to call us on that as a hypocrital double-standard, then are you suggesting Stalin and Mousilini were God’s divine appointments too? Something to think about.

I just deal with the situation as it comes. And I judge how they do as president primarily by the types of policies they are trying to put in place when they get there.

Do I wish Trump were more refined? Of course I do. But if I have to choose between a rough-around-the edges kind of guy who is doing all the right things to protect the unborn from the abortion mills and is doing what he can to protect the religious freedoms of all people in this country (and not just the special-interest groups’ freedoms) vs a smooth-talking politician who seems to want to enshrine the opposite into law, I’ll settle for substance over smooth talk, thank you.

I pray for Trump frequently. But I prayed for Obama frequently, too. Sometimes I did it to stay mindful that God was in control and I didn’t have to be, when I saw what a mess he was making of things. Like I do for Trump now.

You don’t know that I didn’t pray for Obama, or that I didn’t give him a break, or ever come to his defense.

And as far as giving benefit of the doubt? You insist that I never gave Obama the benefit of the doubt?

Do you remember Obama’s “God of Jacob” reference at his 10th anniversary speech about 9/11?

Do you remember how many evangelical Christians jumped on that like a dog on a bone to embrace the possibility he really WAS a Christian like he professed to be? I sure do. I remember many an evangelical thinking maybe he really was a Christian. (Read, for example, the comments in this post. They’re NOT all as negative as you want to make us all out to be.)

We didn’t ever give benefit of the doubt. Seriously?

Many were looking for every opportunity to see him support the right things. We prayed that he would. Hear how this evangelical spoke about God not having given up on Barack Obama. (And if you want to listen to the whole episode of this show, you can hear the enthusiastic response of the crowd to this report.) They WANTED to see Obama come around. They  were wild with excitement at the possibility of him coming to a different stance on all the issues we hold dear. We were bitterly disappointed when he seemed to constantly stiffen his neck. And yet, we recognized that, at the end of the day, he was still president and we still needed to pray for him.

HOW DARE YOU ASSUME ALL THAT ABOUT ME and so many of the people I know who feel exactly the same way as I do. Do you even know of any of this feeling in the evangelical church for Obama? What part of the church do you never interact with?

I supported Trump because of his campaign promises. Would I have preferred that he not have a past? Of course. Wouldn’t it be nice if no one had a past?

Do YOU have a past, John?

I don’t hold Trump’s past against him anymore than I hold yours against you.

Your words are pithy. Catchy. But SO unfair. Pigmentation and party are my sole deities? Really?

Jesus is my savior. The bible is my roadmap.

And Trump is the president. Obama was that too. And I pray for Trump for an entirely different set of reasons than I prayed for Obama. But I’ve prayed for both.

And I pray for you, too. You seem quite judgmental in your thin veneer of spiritual superiority. You paint all Trump supporters with a wide brush. You don’t know our hearts – at least not all of us.

Are there racists who voted for Trump? No doubt. But there are many who voted for Obama simply because he was black. It didn’t seem to matter that he was not pro-life, or that he was for so many things that seem to be the types of things that Jesus would oppose. Somehow, that all gets a pass. It felt good, I suppose. But where did it get us?

I supported Trump in the election because he was the far better choice compared to Hillary Clinton. I support Trump now because he is president. The fact that I appreciate his pro-life stance, or his anti-extremist Muslim stance, or his stance against illegal immigration does not mean that I hate brown people. It doesn’t mean I don’t condemn sin when I see it. Even in the president.

There a a lot of things it does NOT mean. I hope you’ll give your liberal head a shake and see it.

You really don’t know me. NOT AT ALL.

To quote your article:I know it’s likely you’ll dismiss these words… But I had to at least try to reach you. It’s what Jesus would do.”

 

 

 

 

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FAITH INSPIRATION, OpenLetters

Impeach Trump? Seriously? An Open Letter To Christianity Today And Editor Mark Galli.

Dear Mark;

I was disappointed this morning when I saw the whole “Christianity Today Trump Impeachment” episode unfold on my web browser and how you support using these articles of impeachment as a “reason” to get him out of office.

You had the disadvantage of going first. I get to follow your opinion with mine. And unless you care to debate it with me, which I doubt, since, at this point, you don’t even know me, I will have to try to speak to your points as best I can. Hopefully, someone will get through to you with the points I’m trying to make.

After all, I’m not the only one who feels this way

Having read your article, I have to say you’re wrong. I think you’re wrong enough that I have to make a statement as to why, in hopes that somehow you’ll see the error of your ways and turn your ship around. You’re a brother in Christ, no doubt. But I think you’re as misguided as you probably think I am.

You started out well enough:

In the opening of your article, you tell us about Christianity Today’s mandate:

In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith. The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment.

That the impeachment fiasco requires comment is an understatement. In times like these, it gets to a point where to say nothing begs more questions than it answers.

I do wonder at the timing of your taking a position on this, though.  But since I don’t know you, I will reserve judgement for the moment about what your motives are here, now, under these circumstances.

In fact, I will take you at your word (for the moment, anyway) that you believe he should be removed because of an abuse of power. I think you make a case for that based on principle, based on your belief that he did exactly that.

But you muddy the waters so.

You blur several issues together and cause me to question where you are coming from because of the way you mix your feelings about the man with the issues with potential abuse of power.

I understand your frustrations with the man. I really do. You said,

He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

I will give you mixed marks on this one. Maybe you know better than I do about how proud he still is about his immoral actions in the past. I’m not sure I see it.

And since I hear so much from others who have encountered the man firsthand (and I’m not sure you have) I will exercise more caution than this in pronouncing judgement on the current condition of his heart.

Look. I get it. Trump’s a jerk.

Sometimes he’s a jerk, anyway. Maybe I could be more kind than that. But facts are facts.

Sometimes, I’m a jerk too, just to be fair. But there are times Trump does seem to go over the top with his comments.

The day of the impeachment vote in the house, Trump had a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan. And during his speech, he said something to the effect that John Dingle is probably “looking down” (as in, from heaven) saying, “that’s right. That’s good.”

And then he said, “or maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know…”

I don’t know about you, but that was just horrible. It was a really horrible, horrible line to deliver like that. John’s wife took the moral high ground in response. But that was a jerky thing to say. I was appalled. It would be a horrible thing for a president to say about anyone.

But that’s not really the basis for deciding whether to remove him from office, now, is it?

The problem is that when you throw the man’s personality into the discussion, it seems you’ve now hitched yourself to the very train you say we should not ride.

The impeachment is about (supposed to be about) trying him on the specific charges of obstruction of congress. The trial is not about him being a jerk, or saying disgusting things, or about his past instances of immorality or his lack of an apparent level of shame about those things to convince you he’s a Christian or anything.

I also get that you’re not gunning for him just because he’s a jerk.

Or are you?

I’m most curious about how you’ve mixed your personal disdain for him as an individual with your disregard for the problem with the process of removing him from office as the democrats are trying to make it happen – with assumptions about his motive when no CLEAR motive has ever been established as to WHY he was asking for an investigation of Biden.

This isn’t about 2020. This is about 2016.

You say it was about harassing Biden. You’re wrong. It is about putting him in jail. Nobody would have seen any harassment in the first place if it weren’t for the anonymous whistle blower bringing a charge against the man – even though, when you review the call and any testimony of the witnesses, there is NO clear evidence that his motive was to dig up dirt on Biden for the 2020 elections.

It was about investigating what looks to be a very high likelihood of crimes committed by Biden in 2016. This IS in the national interest, sir. If justice is not served for crimes committed, then your selective moral outrage over the trampling of the rule of law comes up a wee bit hypocritical.

By your standard, the safest thing for a criminal to do is to run for office.

If you are right, and Trump’s motive in that phone call was to dig up dirt to thow Biden off in the 2020 election, then the best thing Joe Biden can do right now is to stay in the race for the 2020 election as long as possible.

I think he would make a terrible president. And I’m glad he won’t win in 2020, even if he gets as far as winning the democratic name on the ticket.

But if Biden wasn’t running for office in 2020, there wouldn’t have been any story to co-opt as an excuse to impeach Trump.

The democratic party has been gunning for him since 2016, as you yourself state plainly in your hit piece.

The problem is you have no PROOF of motive.

Human nature is such that we fall victim to seeing specific things about others through the lenses shaped by how we otherwise feel about them as an overall package. It’s why Trump supporters tend minimize a lot of what Trump says.

It’s not that they choose not to hear it; it is that they filter it through their understanding of how he talks – the way democrats do with Joe Biden. “Oh, it’s just Joe making his gaffes. But he’s a really nice guy.”

Even Jim Comey agrees with me – you can’t do this.

You would do well to think long and hard about the need for evenness in the rule of law. You could also take a lesson from James Comey, who, when speaking about the issue of Hillary Clinton and that little problem of about 23,000 deleted emails and cell phones smashed with hammers and stuff, said something to the effect that

“no reasonable prosecutor would ever bring charges about this type of thing.”

Comey felt he couldn’t establish sufficient motive for Hillary and her actions. Regarding Trump, there is much thinner evidence that he had any personal motive in mind when he asked for help from a foreign government to investigate high crimes and misdemeanors. In fact, when he was asked directly what he wanted from Ukraine in exchange for aid, the witness testified that Trump said, “I don’t want anything. I just want them to do the right thing.”

And if I dare say, it’s why I struggle with not questioning your motives now in saying we need to jump into this impeachment parade.

If you have (as you say you) do a respect for the rule of law, then you (should) also have respect for the fact that a man is innocent until proven guilty.

And if James Comey looked at and gave a pass for motive with a lifelong politician like Hillary Clinton, even more so should we give a pass to an outsider like Trump when it comes to assuming motive for why he was asking for an investigation – especially when Trump said he didn’t want anything from Ukraine in exchange for the U.S. aid.

Don’t fall into bed with the democrats in using political expediency to deal with a problem.

Have some respect for the process and the rule of law. If you want Trump removed because you think he’s a philandering pig, get your congressman to bring charges for that. There are a few of them just chomping at the bit to do that anyway.

But if you want him removed by impeachment and you respect the rule of law as you say you do, don’t forget that the rule of law requires proof of intent and not just speculation about it.

Pontius Pilate did what he did out of expediency. Don’t be that guy.

If you advocate for using these articles of impeachment to remove the president without sufficient evidence of intent, I’m forced to conclude you might see the desire to remove him from office so badly that you’re not recognizing the breach of the rule of law in doing so.

You saw off the very limb on which you sit, and end up falling on your face on your rapid climb to the moral high ground.

I hope it’s not a disdain for the guy that causes you to have such a blind spot.

Even Jim Comey agrees with me.

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FAITH INSPIRATION, Reviews

The “Missing Link” In The Calvinist-vs-Arminian Debate

The book, “God’s Will and God’s Desire” tackles the problems in the Calvinist-vs-Arminian debate with a distinctly different approach.

The “Calvinist vs Arminian debate” has raged for millenia now. I’m not sure that many people will change their minds once they’ve dug in on a position on the whole thing. The issues are complex and people are passionate on both sides of the debate.

God’s Will and God’s Desire” is a book with a somewhat unique twist on the issue.

The target audience is the “reluctant Calvinist….”

But the person I have on my heart when I write—my target audience, I suppose—is the person I would define as “the reluctant Calvinist.” He is the Christian who recognizes that lost men do not seek God and that he came to faith in Christ because God first did a transforming work in his heart. Yet he struggles with the fact that the sovereign God of the Bible seems to desire that all mankind should come to faith in Jesus Christ, and yet chooses in His sovereignty to save only some. He reads in the Bible that the ones God chooses, He chose from before the foundation of the world. And so, though he prays for the lost to be saved, he is left wondering whether it really makes a difference in the end.

Yeah, I know. Many of you have heard it all before.

From my experience in discussing these issues with people, I all-too-often get the feeling from many a Calvinist that it’s quite frankly not our business to worry about that. God’s got it. Some almost seem to PRIDE themselves in the fact that it’s just “God’s choice.”

But when you throw the idea out there that if God is choosing some, he is, effectively, choosing to “not choose” others, the Calvinist gets right royally ticked off with you. “God isn’t condemning them. They were condemned already.

To most people, that’s a shell game. It sort of feels like Hillary Clinton regarding the whole Benghazi debacle, where she said, in response to the pinning of blame for what happened, said, “at this point, what difference does it make?

The arguments feel tired and worn. And it seems to deliberately miss the problem. It’s a hard point of contention for the Arminian. From the book:

It is hard for the Arminian to embrace the Calvinist’s God. He is a God who is passionate enough about redeeming the elect that He sets aside His rights as deity and takes on the constraints of human flesh. He then allows His own creatures to torture Him and bleed Him to death on a cross. And from God’s view, He allows it for no other reason than to appease His own wrath toward a mankind whose very nature is so hostile to His that they killed Him when they had the chance. And yet this same Calvinist God who “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” and who is now is willing, along with that, to “freely give us all things”—this same God who went to such great lengths of self-sacrifice to be able to bless His own so much—is the same God who decided in eternity past to do that only for some. The others He passes by, yet will hold them accountable for the acts that spring from a nature they are powerless to overcome. In the end, they will be in hell with the demons who fell from grace, and “the smoke of their torment [will rise] before the throne of God day and night, forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).

If someone had two children, lavishing favor and blessing on one of them, but treating the other as though he were trash, that parent would be accused of being a monster. After all, a godly parent loves his or her children unconditionally. To do nothing less than to lavish unconditional love on all of them is what God expects a parent to do. Even if one child were to despise the parent while the other child was honoring and loving, the nature of a Christian parent is supposed to be one of displaying the love of Christ to that child with the evil heart, “if perhaps God may grant repentance” (2 Tim. 2:25). If the Calvinist is right, then God is the only one who can grant repentance. If He sovereignly saves someone, they will come. If He doesn’t, they will not because they cannot. How can someone see God as being so passionate toward some and cruel toward others, when He appears to expect something better from us?

For the Calvinist to merely shift the conversation away from this problem to say that our real focus should be on the fact that none of us deserve heaven, but God gives it to some of us anyway avoids the issue as far as the Arminian is concerned.

But the book also considers the hard realities of what the scriptures say about the true nature of a lost person – the “total depravity” aspect of the human condition.

It doesn’t steer away from it at all. It acknowledges the tension.

The difference is that “God’s Will and God’s Desire” proposes a distinctly different position on what (or who) it is that determines who will and who will not be saved.

The Calvinist says God determines who will be saved; the Arminian says that each lost person is responsible to choose. The book says “sort of wrong” on both counts.

The book says who will and who will not be “chosen” is determined not by God and not by the lost man choosing salvation, but by the church.

And man, does that idea seem to tick a lot of people right off.

But it’s a worthy position to consider and it is developed pretty thoroughly in the book.

The book covers the idea that this position isn’t really “new,” so much as “not documented much historically,” but seems to ring true to a lot of people somehow.

As more and more people read it, I began to realize that there were other Christians who saw it this way, too. They just never saw it presented in this fashion before. When people would read it, it sometimes helped them make sense of some of these difficult issues. Christians with strong Calvinistic leanings usually had a particular response, too. This was something distinctly different than they had ever heard before. Many told me that it gave them a serious reason to rethink their Calvinistic views. The feedback I usually got (from Calvinist and non-Calvinist alike) was that it was an important booklet and that it needed to be published.

It’s worth a read. It is available in PDF format. But you can read it here (at least for now) online. Please check it out. I truly think it’s different and worth some thought.

Please, I invite comments – if you’ve actually taken the time to read the book.

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