This is a crucial weekend for Theresa May and for Britain itself. The final Brexit proposals are on the table (all 585 pages of them) and parliament has to vote to approve the “deal” that will determine the UK’s future.
It hasn’t been mentioned all week on network television in the United States, but the Brexit deal between the EU and the UK is in its climactic stage. By next week at this time, Britain’s future should be decided. At the same time, Theresa May’s future will be clear – if she cannot get the latest proposals through parliament, there will be a “vote of no confidence” and her government may be gone. The immediate future does not look good for Mrs. May or for Britain.
It’s been over two years since the British people voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, to once again be an independent nation as the United Kingdom was before 1973. Membership of the EU has not been good for the British people. After 46 years, it’s time to depart. But there are many, including the prime minister, who cannot see a future for Britain without the EU. Mrs. May voted to “Remain” in the referendum, but says she wants to honor the will of the people; however, she clearly wants Britain tied as closely as possible to Brussels and the 27-nation union. She is fearful of the country going it alone!
Following the referendum there was talk of Britain becoming a second Singapore, a low tax, free enterprise economy that would boost living standards for the British people. Singapore now has the highest per capita income in the world. The irony here is that the city-state was founded by a British entrepreneur less than two hundred years ago, at a time when Britain had the most successful economy in the world. The proposed revival has not gotten anywhere.
Note the following comment from yesterday’s Wall St Journal:
“Some Conservatives are nonetheless threatening another leadership challenge to Mrs May, and maybe this time they mean it. The Prime Minister’s withdrawal plan at least clarifies the choice. Mrs. May has reached this pass because she and much of her party have lacked the conviction to push for a Brexit that would require widespread economic reform at home and a Singapore-style free-trade policy abroad. If Britain won’t have that kind of Brexit, business groups are right that the country needs to preserve as many of the benefits of existing EU ties as possible to compensate for the disadvantages of Britain’s high-taxing, high-spending, hyper-regulated economy . . . Any Tory inclined to challenge Mrs. May will need a plan for persuading skeptical British voters to follow a reform path.” (“The Best Bad Brexit Deal,” Wall Street Journal, November 15th)
A famous proverb makes clear the problem here: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). The people were not given a clear vision that would have launched Britain on a new course. Instead, they cling to their generous welfare state and free medical system, fearful of change. They “need” a deal with the EU so as not to rock the welfare boat.
Perhaps a different leader would have made a difference? Jacob Rees-Mogg, a prominent Conservative, said only yesterday that: “Leaving the EU is the most fantastic opportunity for the UK.” If only Mrs. May felt that way. If only Margaret Thatcher were still prime minister. Or Winston Churchill. Alas, there are lots of “if only’s” . . . the reality is that the country and the ruling Conservative Party are very divided.
Surprisingly, the 27 members of the EU are not divided, not on Brexit anyway. They have all given their full support to the EU’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, an uncompromising man whose inflexibility came up against the UK’s constant dithering. He took full advantage of London’s desperate pursuit of a “deal” that will ensure the UK’s future as a “vassal state” of the European Union (the words of former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson).
Mrs. May is quite a bit younger than myself, so I hesitate to describe her as an old woman; but, like many older people, she is showing timidity in this crisis, as her 27 immediate neighbors on the European bloc treat her badly. She wants peace at all costs (“peace in our time” as Neville Chamberlain said eighty years ago when confronted with other continental bullies). She is too nice to stand up to Messrs Barnier, Macron and Merkel. But somebody is urgently needed to stand up to them – and opt for the Singapore option.
It’s interesting to note the contrast between Mrs. May and Donald Trump – the former lacks confidence in standing up to the Europeans; the latter is overly-confident, which is just as bad in its own way. When President Macron announced that the new European Army will defend Europe against Russia, China and the US, Mr. Trump responded in a tweet accusing the French president of an “insult.” A clear head and a determined resolve are needed here by the two leaders of the two English speaking powers.
The present scenario brings to mind the following prophetic words about Ephraim:
“Aliens (strangers, foreigners) have devoured his strength,
But he does not know it;
Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him,
Yet he does not know it” (Hosea 7:9)
The US midterm elections do not normally get much attention, as the office of the presidency is not up for a vote. This year has been quite different, with the election seen by many as a “referendum” on Donald Trump. The country is very divided and there was a very high turnout.
The Irish Times, of all papers, got it right with the following comment on the midterm election.
“Many in the (US) had hoped that the first full electoral verdict on the presidency of Donald Trump would deliver a decisive repudiation of Trumpism. The results do not bear this out.” — Irish Times.
In fact, Donald Trump’s legitimacy as president was confirmed by Tuesday’s election. He emerged as a credible candidate for a second term in 2020.
This goes even further – populist parties around the world have received greater legitimacy. Liberals and globalists will now have to accept that a significant percentage of the population does not want to continue in the same direction, but wants to put their own country first, over all others.
Brazil is the latest country to vote for a populist as president. Brazil is the second most powerful nation in the Americas. President Jair Bolsonaro has said that he will follow Trump (and Guatemala) in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also plans a radical program similar to what the US president is trying to do at home.
At a press conference the morning after the election, an African-American reporter with PBS accused the president of advocating “white nationalism.” Mr. Trump was quick to respond and point out that he is a “nationalist,” not a “white nationalist.” He puts America first. Most of the journalists present did not seem to understand the concept!
We are likely to see more evidence of this over the weekend when Mr. Trump joins European leaders for the centenary of the end of the First World War. The celebrations are being held in France. President Macron of France has already said that the war was a good example of how allies cooperating can achieve great things; he has also emphasized that the Europeans need to work together even more now that the US is less committed to Europe.
Another issue likely to arise is highlighted by this comment from the German newspaper Die Welt, following Tuesday’s election:
“. . . Trump is expected significantly to increase pressure on Europeans to invest the target of two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. Above all, Berlin will face pressure to spend billions and billions of euros, because the federal government is far from achieving this goal.” — Die Welt
It’s easy to understand why the president of the United States is pressuring Germany on this issue, but many Europeans, including Germans, are not so keen on seeing a more militarized Germany. Just because a nation has been a democracy for seventy years does not mean it will remain one. Just look at history!
The press conference on the morning after the midterms was also significant and not just because the PBS and CNN reporters were put down, for different reasons.
Nancy Pelosi was the Democratic Party spokesperson and, true to form, talked up her party’s gains on Tuesday, even though they were nowhere near as good as she herself had predicted. She spoke of how the “monied power” had been defeated, a throw back to when the Republican Party was considered the enemy of the working man.
On the same day, I learned of a new book by Anthony Scaramucci, “Trump, the blue collar president.” When I Googled the book, this blurb came up on “Google Books:”
“Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci tells the inside story of how Donald J. Trump, a billionaire living on Fifth Avenue, identified the struggle of blue-collar Americans, and won the Presidency. TRUMP, THE BLUE-COLLAR PRESIDENT is the comeback story for America and Americans …”
It’s clearly not possible for Nancy Pelosi to claim the Democrats are the party of the working man when Donald Trump, a Republican, is the “blue collar president.”
The Dems’ enthusiasm for the “caravan” moving through Mexico, headed for the border, will only result in Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder losing their jobs, forcing down wages. Trump’s promise to refuse them entry will help blue-collar workers far more.
Times have changed. Populists across the world are the new parties of “blue collar” workers – they appeal to the grassroots. But the liberal, intellectual parties fail to understand this.
Ms Pelosi, at 78, is out of touch with reality.
It was pointed out on the BBC the evening of the election that the average age of the three top Democrats in Congress is 75. This contrasts with the average age of the three top Republicans in Congress, which is 48. The new democrats entering Congress are not likely to want to be led by somebody who is so out of touch with the winds of change that are sweeping America. The last election showed that the Dems are the wealthier party. The Wall Street Journal last week said the midterms were a battle between college educated white women and non-college educated white blue-collar workers. It’s all topsy-turvy!
A further change was also highlighted in the Wall Street Journal (and on TV), that 40% of African-Americans now support President Trump. It’s not so long ago that only 4% voted for the Republicans!
Liberal news programs were enthused at the fact that the new House of Representatives is more diverse, with more women, including the first two Muslim women. But diversity is the opposite of unity and could do further damage to the political system.
One final thought comes from noted columnist Pat Buchanan who wrote this morning: “The war in Washington will not end until the presidency of Donald Trump ends. Everyone seems to sense that now.” (“The War for the soul of America”)
Jesus Christ once said that ”If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25). A recent poll revealed that one third of Americans think the country is headed for a civil war. This scripture was used by Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the last one, on June 16th, 1858.
The times, they are a-changing, indeed!
Britain’s decision in a referendum to exit the European Union is getting more and more complicated. Today, Jo Johnson, the brother of the former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, resigned declaring that leaving Europe is “a terrible mistake.” This will make it even more difficult for Prime Minister Theresa May to steer the whole process through parliament. Others may resign as the Brexit deadline of March 29th gets closer.
It’s a mess!
1) Pompano Beach, Florida, Friday Sermon By Imam Hasan Sabri: Palestine Must Be Liberated ‘Even If This Leads To The Martyrdom Of Tens Of Millions Of Muslims’.
2) Asia Bibi is a young Christian mother in Pakistan, who made the mistake of drinking out of a glass that had been used by Muslims. For this, she was put on trial for blasphemy. There were huge demonstrations calling for her death.
She was freed, but is going to have to leave the country as Muslim citizens still want her executed. There have even been calls for other family members and her lawyers to be put to death.
Pakistan remains an ally of the United States.
3) Saudi Arabia is also an ally, in spite of the officially sanctioned murder of a US based journalist who worked for the Washington Post.
Jamal Khashoggi went to the Saudi Embassy in Turkey to get papers that would enable him to marry. He never left. It seems that he was murdered in a gruesome manner, and then dismembered, his remains carried out in black plastic trash bags.
Today is the centenary of the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. His resignation ended 400 years of Hohenzollern rule over Prussia and, after 1871, Germany. Wilhelm is often blamed for World War I, though it’s a lot more complicated than that. Two days after he fled to neutral Holland, the war ended. World War II started a little over twenty years later.
Today is also the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. On this night, November 9, 1938, almost 200 synagogues were destroyed, over 8,000 Jewish shops were attacked and dozens of Jews were killed in Germany under the Third Reich.
The attack on a synagogue on the Sabbath of October 27th was the worst anti-semitic incident in American history. Similar incidents have taken place throughout history in many countries.
When I was a child growing up in England, I remember going on a school field trip to the city of York. At the time, I must have been 9 or 10 years of age.
The old Roman city of York is one of the most interesting cities in England. It was here that Constantine was proclaimed Emperor in 306 AD. Constantine later converted to Catholicism, turning away from worship of the pagan gods. The writer, James Carroll, a former Catholic priest, traced anti-Semitism back to Constantine in his book “Constantine’s Sword.” It was all quite simple – the Jews killed Christ, so they should be persecuted forever. This has been the teaching of the church down through the centuries.
Four years after William the Conqueror successfully invaded England in 1066, he invited Jews from France to come over. He believed that their commercial skills and capital would help develop the English economy. The Jews were not allowed to purchase land (most English people could not, either), but they were allowed to practice medicine and money-lending, the latter breeding resentment against the Jews.
In 1189, following a rumor that the newly crowned King Richard I had ordered a massacre of Jews, mobs in a number of cities across the country attacked and killed Jews. The worst incident was in the city of York the following year, just before the Passover.
“A significant loss of life occurred at York on the night of March 16 (Shabbat HaGadol, the Shabbat before Passover) and 17 March 1190. As crusaders prepared to leave on the Third Crusade, religious fervor resulted in several anti-Jewish violences. Josce, the leader of the Jews in York, asked the warden of York Castle to receive them with their wives and children, and they were accepted into Clifford’s Tower. However, the tower was besieged by the mob of crusaders, demanding that the Jews convert to Christianity and be baptized. Trapped in the castle, the Jews were advised by their religious leader, Rabbi Yomtov of Joigney, to kill themselves rather than convert; Josce began by slaying his wife Anna and his two children, and then was killed by Yomtov. The father of each family killed his wife and children, before Yomtov and Josce set fire to the wooden keep, killing themselves. The handful of Jews who did not kill themselves died in the fire, or were murdered by rioters.” (Wikipedia: History of the Jews in England 1066-1290).
Clearly, upon hearing a rumor, the crowds were ready to turn against the Jews. It should be realized that many of those in the crowd would likely have owed money to the Jewish money-lenders and this was an opportunity to cancel the debts. Debts to Jewish money-lenders continued to be an issue and not just in England.
“As early as 1198, Pope Innocent III had written to all Christian princes, including Richard of England, calling upon them to compel the remission of all usury demanded by Jews from Christians. This would render the Jewish community’s very existence impossible.”
“On 15 July 1205, the pope laid down the principle that Jews were doomed to perpetual servitude because they had crucified Jesus.I n England the secular power soon followed the initiative of the Church. John, having become indebted to the Jewish community while in Ireland, at first treated Jews with a show of forbearance. He confirmed the charter of Rabbi Josce and his sons, and made it apply to all the Jews of England; he wrote a sharp remonstrance to the mayor of London against the attacks that were continually being made upon the Jews of that city, alone of all the cities of England. He reappointed one Jacob archpriest of all the English Jews (12 July,1199).
OTHER REASONS FOR ANTI-SEMITISM
In 1492 Queen Isabella of Spain desired to make her country completely Catholic. This followed the expulsion of the Muslims who had dominated the country for centuries. The new law meant that Jews had to convert, emigrate or be burned to death. Many fled to Poland, which was then the most liberal country in Europe.
During a tour of Krakow some years ago, we were able to see a number of synagogues in the old Jewish Quarter of the medieval city. Our tour guide related the persecution of Jews in Spain and how many moved to Krakow. Two years later, the local people turned against them. I asked our Polish guide why. His response was interesting. “The Jews were different. They had different customs. They went to church on a different day….” Sabbath observance has always made religious Jews more noticeable wherever they have settled.
Polish persecution of Jews had started prior to the arrival of the Spanish Jews. It continued on and off into modern times, with a pogrom immediately after the defeat of the Nazis and the arrival of the Soviets in 1945.
This article only touches the surface where anti-semitism is concerned. The incidents I related from England are what I learned as a child; I mention Krakow as my visit there was a great learning experience.
Auschwitz is close to Krakow. A visit there was truly traumatic for me personally. It was bad enough standing in the gas chambers and looking up at the holes in the ceiling that enabled Zykon B to be dropped down amongst those taking a “shower.” I felt like throwing up when I saw the “accommodations” for inmates – bunk-beds three levels high – people would fight to get the top bunk, so that they would not get “showered on” during the night when those above had to relieve themselves. (Inmates had permanent diarrhoea because the scarce food was so bad.) But, what made me “lose it” was the exhibit behind a glass screen, of the hair of little girls taken (after being gassed) from Jewish children and then used to make wigs and other things. All I could think of was our little girls, our grandchildren when they were 3 or 4. I had to leave the room. I had planned on giving a sermon on anti-semitism when I returned to Michigan, but I could not bring myself to give it. I knew I could not get through the sermon without, once again, losing it.
On another occasion, following a visit to Anne Frank’s House, I wanted to speak on it but couldn’t. When I looked out the back window of the house at the backyard below, it reminded me so much of my grandparents’ home. If it could happen here, it might have happened in England; or anywhere else, for that matter. We are naïve if we think it can never happen here.
As if the Holocaust wasn’t bad enough, hundreds of millions of people around the world have learned nothing from it. They still hate Jews. They still blame Jewish bankers when they can’t repay a loan. Many still think they deserve what they get because they killed Christ when the scriptures make it clear that every single one of us killed Christ. Note I John 2:2: “And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.” (Good News Translation). The Contemporary English Version translates the verse this way: “Christ is the sacrifice that takes away our sins and the sins of all the world’s people.” He had to die so that each of us, individually, may receive eternal life.
Jesus Christ Himself was a Jew; so was the Apostle John who wrote those words.
Complicating the issue of anti-Semitism today is the existence of the modern state of Israel, a nation that came into being exactly 70 years ago. The Palestinians lost their land and have hated Israel ever since. Many Muslims also hate Israel in sympathy with the Palestinians.
This hatred of Israel has infected others, partly because of television newsreels showing the suffering of the Palestinian people. The British Labor Party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, has a bad record of anti-Semitism. Fifty years ago, there were fifty Jewish members of parliament, 48 of whom were members of the Labor Party. Clearly, attitudes have changed.
Modern Israel is, without a doubt, the most successful country in the Middle East. It is the only western-style democracy. This Jewish country allows freedom of religion in a region where non-Muslims are suffering from great persecution. The nation can teach its neighbors lots of lessons, about economic development, freedom and democracy. I had the privilege of being able to spend a summer in the country in 1973 and was greatly impressed at the development that had taken place in just 25 years. I would love to go back and see how much further the country has progressed, in spite of wars and internal conflict.
People should remember what God said to Abraham thousands of years ago.
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
No country benefits from anti-Semitism.
The attack on a synagogue last week was the work of one man, an ignorant, hate-filled individual who likely spent too much time looking at websites that blame Jews for everything. (The internet is also a modern contributor to anti-Semitism.)
Let’s hope and pray it remains an isolated incident in American history.
The Wall St Journal on Wednesday highlighted the growing divergence amongst American voters on just about every issue. The divide, the paper showed, is largely between “white women with college degrees and white men without.” They “are on rapidly diverging tracks.”
In a report on BBC World News America, polls showed the divide was between “big cities and suburbs” and those living in rural areas, which includes small-town America.
Reports on the election are usually quite superficial. Not realized is that the white blue-collar workers are the primary producers of the nation’s wealth; the people with college degrees are in non-productive jobs.
CESAR CHAVEZ REMEMBERED
Left-wing protestors across the country are chanting “Yes, we can” in opposition to the president’s stance on illegal immigration.
But few, if any, remember who first used this expression.
Tucker Carlson showed a few days ago that it was Cesar Chavez, the (Hispanic) United Farm Workers Union president who was very left-wing and, yes, against illegal immigration.
“Yes, we can SEAL THE BORDERS,” was the original chant.
Mr. Chavez, concerned for the members of his union, realized that illegals would only force down wages, making things harder for those at the lower end of the income spectrum. The last thing he wanted was more Mexicans in the country.
It’s ironic that the Democrats have ended up supporting illegals. It was not always thus. When the boat people started arriving from Vietnam 40 years ago, California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown did not want them in his state, which was already finding it difficult to cope with poverty and unemployment. Today, Jerry Brown encourages more immigration.
Why the change?
Because it’s now known that 90% of illegals vote for the Democrats once they become registered voters.
It’s all about power!
The Caravan to Nowhere – The march from Honduras echoes the 1980 Mariel boatlift, by The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 22, 2018, 7:27 p.m. ET
These columns favor generous immigration and asylum for refugees. But when migration becomes a political weapon to foment border chaos, leaders have no choice other than to step in and protect national security. Exhibit A are the 4,000 or so Central Americans moving on foot through Mexico to the U.S.
Waves of humanity marching in lock step don’t materialize spontaneously and neither has this “caravan.” This march is organized and not necessarily for the benefit of the migrants. Mr. Trump has good reason to turn it back.
One of the best books I’ve read recently was “Sword and Scimitar” by Raymond Ibrahim. It’s a new book that looks at the history of the 1,400-year-old struggle between Islam and the West, which continues to this day.
(Suggestion: do what I did. I requested the local library buy a copy. That way, dozens of people may wake up to what is happening!)
Love and Justice, Sin and Hell (Extracted from: Sword and Scimitar by Raymond Ibrahim, Page 130-131)
Having discussed the doctrine of jihad and its motivations at some length (see Introduction) here it is necessary to compare and contrast the motivations behind the crusades. Shocking as it may seem, love – not of the modern, sentimental variety, but a medieval, muscular one, characterized by Christian altruism, agape – was the primary driving force behind the crusade. As foremost crusade historian Jonathan Riley-Smith puts it, the crusaders, moved by love of God and their neighbor, renouncing wives, children, and earthly possessions, and adopting temporary poverty and chastity, were described as going into a voluntary exile.
Despite popular depictions of crusaders as prototypical Europeans imperialists cynically exploiting faith, recent scholarship has proven the opposite, that every crusader “risked his life, social status, and all his possessions when he took the cross.” Nor was it “those with the least to lose who took up the cross, but rather those with the most.” Great lords of vast estates – not dispossessed “second sons,” as once believed – parted with their wealth and possessions upon taking the cross.”
“It was a miraculous sight,” wrote one contemporary. “Everyone bought high and sold low; whatever could be used on the journey was expensive, since they were in a hurry; they sold cheaply whatever items of value they had piled up; what neither prison nor torture could have wrung from them just a short time before they now sold for a few paltry coins.” But it was worth it all for the “message was clear,” writes Thomas Madden: “Christ was crucified again in the persecution of his faithful and the defilement of his sanctuaries.” Both needed rescuing; both offered an opportunity to fulfill one of Christ’s two greatest commandments: “Love God with all your heart” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).
GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
The central banks of the UK and Australia have both raised red flags about the rapid expansion of so-called leveraged loans and associated products that have invited comparisons to the toxic debt vehicles that triggered the global financial crisis.
In documents published just days apart, both the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of England have expressed clear concern at the growth in leveraged loans, which have doubled in issuance since the GFC and now stand at over $US1 trillion ($1.4 trillion).
The leveraged loans have invited comparisons to the toxic conditions that helped trigger the GFC. (The Age, AUSTRALIA, Paul Colgan, 19th October)
“The Los Angeles regional food bank distributed 300,000 meals a month, but that, says its director, Michael Flood, is only a fraction of what the hungry 1.4 million people in the county need. The bank resembles the vast warehouse operation of a supermarket chain, with apartment-sized refrigerators and fork-lift trucks processing millions of pounds of groceries. Every hour, a dozen or so of the 650 soup kitchens in the city arrive to collect sandwiches for the homeless (who cannot cook anything on the streets) or groceries for families.” (“Amid plenty, want; The Economist, October 27th.) “…the state with the largest share of people in poverty is California. As the most populous state, it also has by far the largest number of poor people, 7.4 million.” (And the Governor, Jerry Brown, is in favor of open borders.)
“Immerse yourself in the pro-immigration literature of Democratic Party thinkers, and you will notice a curious pattern of argument: High levels of immigration have awakened the racism and bigotry that have fueled the rise of right-wing populism, but it is nevertheless best to press forward with the policies that have ostensibly produced this fearsome reaction. Why? Because slowing the pace of immigration would be a callow surrender to bigotry. But also because, in the fullness of time, a unified coalition of college-educated white liberals, African Americans, and working class immigrants and their descendants will vanquish the aging rump of reactionary whites.” (“The next populist revolution,” by Reihan Salam, The Atlantic Monthly, September 2018).
The picture above was taken last Sunday in Indianapolis. It was the first time all ten of our grandchildren were together. The picture was posted to FaceBook before I had an opportunity to see it. I was asked a couple of days later why I wasn’t smiling. The simple truth is that, moments before, I had been trying to get the boys (aged 2 through 6) to sit still, look at the camera and smile. I was exhausted and remember collapsing on to the couch!
It’s great being a grandfather. And Diane loves being a grandmother.
Our advice to others in our age group – don’t work until it’s too late to enjoy the grandchildren. You will find the time you spend with them rewarding – and they will remember you until they are old and have their own grandchildren.
Retire and enjoy the grandkids!
ARMISTICE DAY – ONE HUNDRED YEARS ON
World War One came to an end exactly 100 years ago, on November 11th, 1918. The following article shows that many in Germany want to resurrect the German Empire that collapsed at the end of the Great War. The article is taken from France24, a French television website.
100 years later: Germany’s far right is trying to resurrect the German Empire
Berlin (AFP) – 26 Oct 2018
Germany’s far right is trying to rehabilitate the German Empire and its role in World War I, resuming a decades-old debate ahead of the centenary of the armistice.
The magazine Compact, which is close to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), is publishing a special November issue dedicated to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles which held the Reich responsible for the Great War and compelled the country to make colossal reparations. The title recalls the rhetoric used in the 1920s by those nostalgic for Imperial Germany and the Nazis: “The shame of Versailles: how the victorious powers enslaved Germany.” Its online story is headlined “Germany in chains.”
The aim is to reevaluate the German Empire (1871-1918) which for decades has been seen in the collective consciousness as the first of the destructive powers of the 20th century.
‘Bid for world power’
Hamburg University historian Fritz Fischer in the early 1960s confronted the German public with the then controversial thesis that Imperial Germany carried the sole responsibility for the war and the horrors of the Somme, Verdun and Gallipoli. In his work “Griff nach der Weltmacht” (Bid for World Power), Fischer argued that the Germany of William II, dominated by a racist and imperialist elite, had deliberately instigated World War I in a bid to become a world power. Fischer argued that Berlin used the crisis sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to go to war with France and Russia to create a German-dominated Europe and Africa — and that this unfulfilled ambition paved the way for the Nazi regime to follow. This overturned the then entrenched national belief that Germany had fought a defensive war.
Joern Leonhard of Freiburg University said Fischer’s views — at heart a “virulent criticism of the German Empire, militarism and imperialism” — are “still broadly shared today by the left.” By contrast, the AfD wants to “glorify the Empire” as a state that “was modern, had strong industrial development and was very conservative,” said historian Klaus-Peter Sick. Representatives of the extreme right in their speeches praise the former Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) and the era of “Prussian Palaces.” Sick said that “the values of the German Reich correspond” to those of the AFD, “discipline and order.” AfD leader Alexander Gauland went so far as to describe the Hitler regime as a “mere speck of bird [dung]” relative to “1,000 years of glorious German history.” Sick said that the goal of the far right, at a time when the last eye-witnesses are disappearing, is to ensure “that the Germans are proud of their history and the German nation and stop seeing the spectre of Nazism everywhere.”
Public interest in the origins of the First World War was revived with the 2013 release of the bestseller “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to war in 1914” by Australian historian Christopher Clark of Cambridge University. Rather than just blame Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire, Clark argues that other European powers shared an imperialist paranoia and, without intending to, sleepwalked into the first industrial-scale war. The success of the book among German readers “betrayed a deep-rooted need to free themselves from blame and guilt,” said the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The AfD’s Bavaria chapter has promoted Clark’s tome on its website.
While Germany has gone to great lengths to remember and atone for World War II, Nazi atrocities and the Holocaust, remembrance of the First World War is far more low-key. Even in this centenary year, commemorations remain minimal. The foreign ministry hosted a conference entitled “Winning peace” in mid-October, but it was not open to the general public. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will only participate in one ceremony, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron, on November 10 in Rethondes, the site of the signing of the Armistice. “German politicians attach great importance to not opening old wounds,” said Leonhard.
Merkel urged to make ‘Germany a NUCLEAR SUPERPOWER for Europe’ over US-exit fears
GERMANY should become a nuclear superpower and spearhead European efforts to acquire weapons, according to leading politicians. Berlin is under pressure to obtain nuclear weapons for the EU over fears the United States will leave NATO.
Head of Poland’s ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he would “welcome an EU nuclear superpower” shortly before meeting Angela Merkel in Warsaw.
It is thought he may have pressed the German Chancellor on the issue during the visit.
Angela Merkel has been urged to make Germany a nuclear superpower
(“Merkel urged to make ‘Germany a nuclear super-power for Europe’ over US exit fears,” Daily Express, 10/23)
MORE EUROPEAN NEWS
* Poland is going through a major battle between Left and Right, with Jewish issues always in the background. Is it condemned to carry this baggage or can it focus on the new threat?
* Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán aspires to push Angela Merkel aside and become the new leader of Europe. Is this crazy or does he have a chance?
* Austria is the first European country outside the Soviet bloc to have a government coalition of a legacy conservative party and what the media calls a far-right party. Is this a model or an exception? (Daniel Pipes, promoting an educational tour of the three countries, all threatened by the growing Islamic threat; 10/26)
“The (US) midterm elections are all about the man who’s not on the ballot.” — referring to President Trump. (USA Today 10/26)
ISLAM PERSECUTING CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA
“Nigerian Christianity is under siege from radical Islam. The country’s importance to Africa, and to Christianity as a whole, makes this siege particularly noteworthy. With a population of nearly 200 million – about 50% Christian, 40% Muslim and 10% animist (traditional pagan religion) – by 2050 Nigeria will become the third most populous country in the world, the United Nations estimates. No wonder Nigeria has been a strategic target for radical Islamists for several decades.
“Boko Haram, a radical Islamic movement whose name roughly translates to “Western education is forbidden,” has ramped up attacks on Christians this year. Since 2009 when Boko Haram began its rampage, about 20,000 Nigerians have been hacked with machetes or shot. Two million have been displaced. Pastors and their families have been specifically targeted for death.
“Pastors in northern and central Nigeria face daunting pressures. Some conduct funerals almost every week for victims, often in mass burials. They struggle to answer their parishioners’ questions about God’s love and justice. They hear powerful voices dismiss this as an ethnic clash, but they understand it is a strategic scorched earth war, a jihad against Christianity.” (“Boko Haram put a bounty on my head,” by Hassan John, an Anglican priest and journalist; Wall Street Journal, 10/26).
CHRISTIANITY vs ISLAM
In Western Germany, 42% of children under the age of six now come from a migrant background, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, as reported by Die Welt. (Gatestone, 10/26)
FACEBOOK AND IRAN DISINFORMATION
SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook has uncovered a covert Iranian disinformation campaign which attempted to sow political discord in the U.S. over such hot-button issues as race, immigration, police brutality and President Trump ahead of the November midterm elections.
The social media giant said Friday it detected the activity coming from dozens of pages, accounts and groups on Facebook and Instagram late last week. Facebook removed 82 Facebook pages, groups and accounts for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” that originated in Iran and targeted people in the U.S. and U.K. over the course of the last year, the company said.” (USA Today, 10/26)
CHINA vs AMERICA
“East Asian countries increasingly are joining the US in believing that a triumphant China will “treat us like dogs,” as one Asian diplomat remarked to me recently. (“How to win a Cold War with Beijing,” by Seth Cropsey, WSJ, 10/26)
“For the past quarter century America’s approach to China has been founded on a belief in convergence. Political and economic integration would not just make China wealthier, they would also make it more liberal, pluralistic and democratic . . .
“Today convergence is dead. America has come to see China as a strategic rival – a malevolent actor and a rule-breaker. The Trump administration accuses it of interfering in America’s culture and politics, of stealing intellectual property and trading unfairly, and of seeking not just leadership in Asia, but also global dominance. It condemns China’s record on human rights at home and an aggressive expansion abroad. This month, Mike Pence, the vice-president, warned that China was engaged in a “whole of government” offensive. His speech sounded ominously like an early bugle-call in a new cold war.
“Do not presume that Mr. Pence and his boss, President Donald Trump, are alone. Democrats and Republicans are vying to outdo each other in bashing China. Not since the 1940’s has the mood among American businessfolk, diplomats and the armed forces swung so rapidly behind the idea that the United States faces a new ideological and strategic rival.” (“China v America,” The Economist, 10/20).
CHINA CATCHING UP
Right now, the US has more billionaires than China, but China is adding two per week. (Deutsche Welle News, 10/26)
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Two new churches have recently opened their doors in our neighborhood.
One is called “Impact” and meets in the Lansing Mall at 10.30am every Sunday. It is hoped that it will save the mall. Like malls everywhere nowadays, it has a lot of empty stores and a declining number of visitors.
In keeping with the times (and the needs of the mall), the church is encouraging people to come to church, then stay to shop (from 12 noon on). They can also stay for a movie at the cinema in the mall; or have lunch or a beer at a bar in the facility.
The other church is more interesting. It’s a one-theme church, focusing on forgiveness. They have billboards on the way into Lansing encouraging people to be forgiven; and to forgive others.
Most Christians are very aware that they need forgiveness. Not so many are able to show forgiveness toward others. Yet, if we can’t show forgiveness, our own eternal life is at stake.
The Lord’s Prayer reminds us of the need for us to receive forgiveness and to show it to others.
“and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” (Matthew 6:15)
Jesus Christ also said the following on this subject: “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses (sins)” (Mark 11:26)
These are sobering words, particularly as we get older. We don’t want to miss out on eternal life because we’ve not shown forgiveness to others!
One of my earliest memories is of a trip with a friend and his father to the shore of the River Humber in England. It was twilight and, along with thousands of other people, we tried to position ourselves comfortably on the rocks so that we could watch the famous yacht go by.
The yacht was the Royal Yacht Britannia. On board were the Queen and Prince Philip who were returning from a royal tour. Those tours were frequent back then – often to faraway places like Australia and New Zealand or one of the islands in the South Pacific. I don’t remember where they were returning from on this evening, or why they were sailing up the River Humber. I remember having a brief look through binoculars, but the yacht was just too far away.
There’s been hundreds of royal tours since then. The latest in the news is actually the first tour of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, formerly known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, before their marriage five months ago. They are now on an 18-day tour of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, during which they have 76 engagements.
The tour comes at an interesting time. In five months time, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. Almost fifty years ago, the country turned its back on the Commonwealth of former British territories; now, it hopes to revive the commercial and other ties it once had with these nations.
At the same time as the British are focused on Brexit, Australians are preparing for a plebiscite on the future of the monarchy in their country. With an election next year, the Labor (socialist) party is planning an immediate vote on whether to turn the country into a republic, not a republic American style but one where the titular head of state will no longer be a monarch who lives 10,000 miles away, but an Australian figurehead likely chosen by parliament. The American model is not likely to be adopted as it’s too expensive and politicians don’t like it as it’s too weak. One member of the Australian parliament warned against adopting the US system lest they, too, have a President Trump!
Even republicans admit the change will lead to some confusion and political instability as 63 laws have to be changed, if the people vote for a republic. Any change will also be more expensive.
Immediately prior to the arrival of the prince and duchess, the new Australian prime minister, Liberal (in Australia, that’s conservative) Scott Morrison, declared he is a monarchist and had the monarch’s portrait returned to the PM’s official office. His expressed view is that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Australia’s founders chose to remain loyal to the Crown after achieving independence at the turn of the twentieth century.
Australia’s constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system has been the envy of the world. It has attracted immigrants from all over the world, mostly, in recent decades, from failed states that happen to be republics; it’s likely that most of these immigrants, not knowing the past, will vote for a republic, setting Australia on the path to yet another dysfunctional state run by politicians for politicians.
Before casting their vote, they would do well to watch the Australian documentary, “When the Queen came to town,” a record of the monarch’s first royal tour of Australia in 1954, with many interviews of those who remember the tour, in which 75% of Australians saw the monarch at least once. She was the first reigning monarch to set foot in the country. It was a highly successful visit.
After the queen returned to England, Robert Menzies, Prime Minister of Australia, wrote an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which he wrote:
“It is a basic truth that for our Queen we have within us, sometimes unrealized until the moment of expression, the most profound and passionate feelings of loyalty and devotion. It does not require much imagination to realize that when eight million people spontaneously pour out this feeling they are engaging in a great act of common allegiance and common joy which brings them closer together and is one of the most powerful elements converting them from a mass of individuals to a great cohesive nation. In brief, the common devotion to the Throne is a part of the very cement of the whole social structure.”
WHAT DAMPENED THE ENTHUSIASM?
Britain’s entry into the EU, then the Common Market, on January 1st, 1973, contributed to the republican movement, as many Australians felt betrayed by the mother country, formerly their biggest trading partner. In November of 1975, more people turned against the monarchy when the queen’s representative, the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the socialist government of Gough Whitlam for financial improprieties. As this dismissal was “in the name of the Queen,” it boosted republican feeling.
Australians gave the monarchy “the walkabout,” where members of the royal family walk amongst the people. This was named after an aboriginal practice. The term has caught on in the other constitutional monarchies, as well. It’s a great way for the people to meet their sovereign and other members of her family; and for them to show that they care about local issues. Politicians only show up at election time; Harry and Meghan are in Australia for the Invictus games and to promote growing concerns about mental health.
Wikipedia has this to say about the Games, which are now being held in Sydney:
“The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick war veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.”
Even with binoculars, we didn’t get to see the Queen or Prince Philip sixty years ago, but I do remember the crowds and the excitement. One other memory from about the same time was of the Queen’s visit to my hometown of Grimsby, a town on the estuary of the Humber. Again, crowds lined the street. I couldn’t see anything, but a man standing next to me offered to lift me up on his shoulders and my mother consented. From that vantage point, I remember a couple of people across the road fainted and the Red Cross was called to revive them. They were suffering from heat stroke (yes, even in England)!
I remember, too, that my father, a republican (not to be confused with Republicans in the US), complained that he could not drive his car through the center of town, where all the crowds were. Ironically, he got the best view of the monarch as she passed by. It did not lead to his changing his mind on Britain’s constitutional arrangements. Perhaps Prince Harry and Meghan’s visit will help change the minds of those Australians who are tempted to step into the unknown with a questionable and uncertain republic.
Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, together with a number of small islands in the Caribbean and South Pacific, share a cultural heritage. A significant part of that heritage is the monarchy, which has provided each nation with a solid foundation and continuous, peaceful political and economic development. A change in the political system will mean a diversion from that heritage. First, abolish the monarchy, then change the flag, then something else until Australia becomes just another Asian republic – the kind of republic that new Australians have recently fled from!
Note the following from this week’s Spectator:
“Whether it was intended so or not, the decision by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to choose Australia as the place to announce that they are expecting their first child was a public relations triumph. For years the royal family was criticised for having a tin ear when it came to reading and dealing with the public, but no one could say this now. The tone of the younger royals’ tour to the southern hemisphere has been one of approachability, without compromising the dignity of the positions which Harry and Meghan hold.
“Their visit also runs counter to the conventional wisdom of some republicans — in Britain as well as Australia — that support for the monarchy is dependent on personal affection for the Queen and that the institution will be doomed upon her death. Now that Elizabeth II is, for reasons of age, no longer able to conduct long-haul tours, her grandchildren have achieved what her children never quite managed: to show that they have the ability to follow on and capture the support of the public where she leaves off.” (The Spectator, 19th October).
As the prime minister recently said: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
DEATH OF JAMAL KHASHOGGI
The famous Washington Post columnist was brutally tortured and murdered in the Embassy of Saudi Arabia on October 2nd. What happened to him was reprehensible. It‘s not the first time that an Arab government has killed a critic. At the same time, we should also remember that Mr. Khashoggi was no friend of the West. His support of the Muslim Brotherhood and his close friendship with Osama bin Laden both illustrate this.
“Khashoggi was a political Islamist to the end. He did not believe in secularism. He wanted an alliance of Islamic democratic states. There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily. But it is relevant and worth saying, as it helps explain the dynamic by which he found himself on the wrong side of the Saudi regime.” (Freddie Gray, The Spectator, 19th October)
700, 000 PROTEST OVER BREXIT
A huge demonstration took place in London on Saturday, calling for a second referendum on Brexit. They oppose the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, scheduled for March 29th, five months from now.
Referenda in the EU has often followed this path. A vote is taken on an issue, and when the result is not to the liking of the EU, a second referendum will be called for. Whereas the demand sounds reasonable, it could lead to further division in the United Kingdom, already seriously divided as it is.
Those who want to Remain in the EU have concerns about leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc.
WHAT MULTICULTURALISM HIDES
If we bring in highly qualified immigrants to our workforce, we would be taking away from poorer countries the best they have to offer, and the situation in those countries will further deteriorate. The result will be an even greater flow of unskilled migrants escaping those countries.
The proponents of the new multiculturalism want to share their welfare states with masses of refugees who — through no fault of their own — will be unable to participate in financing themselves for a long time to come.
(Jan Keller, a Czech, writing for Gatestone Institute, 16th October)
RESPONSE ON MULTICULTURALISM
Following a comment to my last blog this morning, here is my response:
Multiculturalism was a term first coined by a Royal Commission in Canada in 1971. It was an attempt to show Canadians a way forward following a significant number of immigrants arriving from Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, peoples of different cultures from the dominant culture of Canada. The policy was adopted by Canada and then other western nations. It has not worked well and will lead to further problems ahead.
Jesus Christ prophesied that, at the time of the end, “Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7). The word “nation” comes from the Greek word “ethnos,” from which we get the word “ethnic.” Ethnic conflict will be common at the end time. Indeed, it is already, arguably, the biggest cause of conflict around the world.
While we sing “O God of every nation,” and all nations are descended from Noah’s sons, we should also remember the following words spoken by the Apostle Paul, from Acts 17:26:
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” God set the boundaries; man (mainly western man) is behind mixing, which is the opposite.
We see many problems with multiculturalism. Tolerance is required for it to work, but this is sadly lacking in some groups. Rising conflict in many nations is leading to the rise of populist movements that want to preserve one culture over others. None of this means that any race is superior to another. People simply want to preserve their own cultural heritage. Some cultures are just not compatible. Comments I have made on the threats from immigration are based on this reality — that the mixing is going to lead to negative consequences. It is not meant to imply that any race is superior.
The Apostle Peter said that: “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34)
CARAVAN PUTS IMMIGRATION BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT, IN TIME FOR MIDTERMS
“As 4,000 Honduran migrants push north toward the US, President Trump sees an opportunity to help Republicans hang on to the House in the midterm elections.” (Axios, 20th October).
IN RETROSPECT — OF INTEREST TO THE WCG DIASPORA
“Throughout this study two related concepts have been mentioned repeatedly: authority and government/governance. We have seen Herbert W. Armstrong imposing his authority, diminishing his son’s authority. Having his authority challenged, using his authority to change long-held doctrines, and being accused of authoritarianism. We have seen Joseph W. Tkach and Joe Jr. making use of the strong ethos of obedience to top-down authority in the Worldwide Church of God to revolutionize its teachings, thus precipitating the three major schismatic moves of 1989, 1992-3, and 1995. We have seen various attitudes to authority in the offshoot churches, from the hardline position of Philadelphia, Restored, and others to the more liberal attitudes found in United and its smaller offshoots and in the GTA group of churches.
“As for church government or governance, for some churches in the Worldwide family this is a crucial part of their beliefs; differing attitudes to governance are a major distinguishing factor between the hardline and the more liberal churches.” (“Authority in the Churches of God,” chapter 7 of “The Fragmentation of a Sect,” by David V Barrett, 2013, Oxford University Press.)
Philippians 2:12 – “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
While you were preoccupied with the Senate hearing on Judge Kavanaugh, the following happened:
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, was laughed at while addressing the United Nations. That was on September 26th.
On the previous day, Mrs. Theresa May was scorned at a summit of European Union members. The other 27 leaders turned their backs on her.
The German Defense Minister announced that the new European Defense Force is ready for action, and could replace NATO.
But none of these news items could be fitted into our national news programs – sexual scandals must always come first, especially if they undermine the Republicans.
The “trial” of the nominated Supreme Court judge was disturbing, to say the least. Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” If the Guinness Book of World Records had an entry for the most illogical statements made at any one event, the Kavanaugh hearings would have everybody else beat! His accuser was found credible, but no proof was offered; while others (witnesses) could not remember anything. This did not stop hundreds of women from insisting he was guilty because they were sexually harassed at some time in their own lives!!! As in a Kafkaesque nightmarish novel, it was a case of guilty until proven innocent.
When Kavanaugh defended accusations against him, he said he was a virgin until he got married (at least he implied that). One commentator reacted by saying this was “Weird!” What sort of a society have we become?
Of course, the real issue, the elephant in the committee room, was not mentioned. The deep fear of all those accusing Judge Kavanaugh is that another conservative appointed to the bench would give the court a conservative majority, that could reverse the 1973 decision of the Supreme Court, Roe v Wade – the ruling that made abortion legal and led to the murders of 61 million innocent babies.
“As malignant as were the campaigns against Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, even they didn’t face accusations as vile and unrelenting as the unsubstantiated charges against Brett Kavanaugh. Adding to the injustice is that the frenzy surrounding his nomination isn’t really about him.
“It’s about Roe v Wade. The 1973 Supreme Court decision upended the laws of all 50 states on behalf of a constitutional right to abortion the Constitution somehow neglects to mention. Since then, the advocates of a living Constitution posit that while our Founding document is infinitely malleable, this one ruling is fixed and sacred.” (“Destroying Brett Kavanaugh,” by William McGurn, WSJ, 10/2).
Not only did the Founding Fathers have no intention of allowing abortion, the idea did not enter our culture until the twentieth century, as a direct consequence of embracing Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, introduced in 1859. You can read about the slow progression in thinking in the book “From Darwin to Hitler,” by Richard Weikart, 2004. I doubt that any of America’s founding fathers even thought about abortion, let alone intended for abortion-on-demand to be included in the constitution!
61 MILLION LIVES LOST
I am not endorsing Senator Rand Paul when I quote from a recent letter (September 4th) on the subject of abortion:
“For 45 years, nine unelected men and women on the Supreme Court have played God with innocent human life. They have invented laws that condemned to painful deaths without trial more than 61 million babies for the crime of being “inconvenient” . . . Now the time to grovel before the Supreme Court is over.”
At the same time as killing 61 million (mostly white) babies, we have allowed into the country about the same number of people, mostly of different cultures, some even posing a threat to our very existence. Where’s the sense in this population replacement program? Before it goes any further, it needs to be stopped.
The figure of 61 million refers solely to America. There’s also Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and the rest of the West. All these nations have pursued a policy of national suicide! The world is becoming more and more dangerous and we seem to be heading for a monumental clash of civilizations, predicted by Samuel Huntington in his book “The Coming Clash of Civilizations,” published in 1992. As the number of whites is declining, thanks partly to abortion, while other races increase in number, the threat to western civilization increases! It may be too late to save the West, but we can start by reversing Roe v Wade, and similar decisions made in other western nations.
I’ve heard Christians say that there’s never been a better time to be an American than now. Can these two be reconciled? Can we really say it’s a great time to be an American when so many innocents are being killed, in the name of CONVENIENCE?
That decision, together with the 1965 Immigration Act, are responsible for the POPULATION REPLACEMENT policy that has been going on for five decades. Whereas fifty years ago, whites in America were almost 90% of the population, today they are less than 60% and headed for oblivion.
We lost another friend this week. She was 95. A few days later, on the same day as her funeral, our youngest daughter gave birth to our tenth grandchild. Grayson Gabriel, weighing in at 8 lbs 13 oz. Because we are both sick, neither of us has seen him yet. (Diane has a head cold, which she could pass on to the baby. A hospital is the last place you want to go when you’re sick!)
I’ve got malaria back again.
It often re-occurs at this time of the year when the weather is changing. It’s also a problem when winter is moving into spring. These two periods of time coincide with the biblical holy days, which makes the problem very inconvenient.
Malaria remains the world’s number one killer.
The World Health Organization states: “Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. In 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths.”
It is not contagious. You can only get it when you are bitten by an infected mosquito, always, as it happens, a female. So be sure to check the sex of the mosquito if you get bitten!
I used to have a “Far Side” cartoon I cut out and inserted into my Bible. It showed one of Noah’s sons asking his father a question: “Should I kill the two mosquitoes now while we’re ahead?” If only . . .
Malaria and I go back forty years.
My wife, Diane, got it first when we moved to Ghana in 1978. She spent the Feast of Tabernacles that year in a hotel room in Kumasi, very sick with a mysterious sickness, until a doctor identified it. It was our introduction to Africa’s major illness. It’s not so long since West Africa was described as “the white man’s grave,” as half of all the whites who went there died within two years from the mosquito borne disease. Modern drugs make it easier to handle now, but it really is best to avoid getting bitten, an impossibility really. You can’t spend all day under a mosquito net.
A couple of years later, Diane ended up in a hospital in Accra with the same disease. And I still vividly remember carrying our four-year-old son into a clinic in the nation’s capital, when he was in a really bad way. Even now, I don’t want to think about it.
On one occasion I was in Cameroon when I came down with malaria. I was in bed in a hotel room for days. A Cameroonian we knew went to find an anti-malarial drug I requested, but the names in French are different. It was here, too, that I first heard the comment that “when you get malaria, in the first 24 hours, you’re afraid you’re going to die; in the second 24 hours, you’re afraid you’re going to live!” There’s great deal of truth to this! In that second 24 hours you just WANT to die.
A few years ago, we were in Zimbabwe and spent a few days at Victoria Falls, the most magnificent site in the world. We took a “sundowner cruise” one evening. Our tour guide pointed out the hippos (hippopotamus is Greek for “river horse”) and told us that “the hippo is the most dangerous animal in Africa” and added “except for the mosquito.”
Sometime later, I remember staying with friends in Kariba. I wanted to go for a walk, but could not as I saw a hippo at the end of their driveway!
Almost thirty years after leaving Africa, I can say that I no longer have a fear of hippos; but I still don’t like mosquitoes! In Michigan, the bigger problem is West Nile virus. Mosquitoes are a problem everywhere.
I do have a little annoyance over malaria. A couple of times I’ve had to go to the hospital for a shot. But they never believe me when I say I have malaria. They always want to put me through a series of tests, costing one thousand dollars or more. Then they come and say, “You have malaria.” “Well, I told you that when I arrived here four hours ago! All I wanted was a shot of chloroquine.”
I now have a doctor who prescribes me an anti-malarial drug, which I can use anytime. It saves me a lot of time (and money) in ER.
DIVERSITY NOT A STRENGTH
Pat Buchanan has written an excellent article showing how diversity does not work anywhere else in the world, so why do we expect it to work here in the United States?
His article was inspired by Tucker Carlson who asked the same question on his TV show last week.
“Ethnic diversity, after all, tore apart our mighty Cold War rival, splintering the Soviet Union into 15 nations, three of which — Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia — have since split further along ethnic lines.
Russia had to fight two wars to hold onto Chechnya and prevent the diverse peoples of the North Caucasus from splitting off on ethnic grounds, as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan had done.
Ethnic diversity then shattered Yugoslavia into seven separate nations.
And even as we proclaim diversity to be our greatest strength, nations everywhere are recoiling from it.” (“The Unpardonable heresy of Tucker Carlson,” PJB, 9/13).
Mr. Buchanan continues: “The rise of populism and nationalism across Europe is a reaction to the new diversity represented by the Arab, Asian and African millions who have lately come, and the tens of millions desperate to enter.”
He points out that Japan has not encouraged diversity and does not have the ethnic conflicts that are afflicting other western nations.
Israel has passed a law that enshrines Jewish identity into the state itself; while China is taking active measures against Muslims in the country. Burma did the same and has been condemned for it.
Cleary, diversity doesn’t work and we will come to see that more clearly in the years ahead.
When Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples what would be the signs of His coming, He replied: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7). The word “nation” is from the Greek “ethnos” and refers to ethnic groups; a kingdom is a political entity.
Expect more ethnic conflict in the coming years, including western nations.
A GAY THOMAS?
THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE’ INTRODUCES INCLUSIVE GENDER-BALANCED, MULTICULTURAL CHARACTERS IN MAJOR REVAMP OF CHILDREN’S CLASSIC
–headline in Huffington Post 9/1/18
"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened." — Sir Winston Churchill