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Australia Fires

Burnt trees are seen in Mallacoota on January 15, 2020 , Australia. The Princes Highway between Mallacoota and Orbost remains closed to public due to the risk of falling trees following the devastating bushfires that have swept through East Gippsland in recent weeks.
Luis Ascui | Getty Images

“The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ “

  • Luke 22:25

In the event you have a life to live and don’t have hours of free time every day to monitor the latest big plans the master-of-the-universe-types have for the rest of us serfs, peasants, and minions, you may be surprised to hear that the great high holy week of globalism has arrived.  It’s Davos time!

What’s that you say?  You’ve never heard of Davos? Well, you just don’t know what you’re missing.  Davos is a town in Switzerland that once a year plays host to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the exclusive annual January gathering of the world’s great and good where they discuss weighty and important topics that you and I can’t understand and make big plans for how to impose their vision of the future on us.

 

The Corporate Line

I admit, I haven’t paid much attention to the run up to this year’s gathering.  What tipped me off this time around, though, was all the climate change hype that kept showing up on CNBC, a financial channel I follow regularly.

For example, one recent headline on CNBC read “Capitalism ‘will fundamentally be in jeopardy’ if business does not act on climate change, Mircosoft CEO Satya Nadella says.”

This is a new take on climate change.  Generally, what you hear from the mainstream media (MSM) is that it’s capitalism itself that is causing climate change and that it needs to be ended in favor of the sort of Green New Deal Marxist claptrap one hears from the likes various American politicians whose names I won’t mention in this space.

But here’s a businessman – the CEO of Microsoft no less! – announcing to the world that climate change is an existential threat to capitalism.  Adapt or die, seems to be is message.

The article begins by announcing, “The science is clear that environmental sustainability must factor in a corporation’s growth plans, or the capitalist and economic system the U.S. enjoys ‘will fundamentally be in jeopardy.’ “  Now the piece doesn’t say exactly what “science” is “clear” to the point that it requires the radical re-evaluation of the purpose of a corporation as is proposed in this article, but one supposes Nadella is referring to the report put out by the WEF just in time for the group’s 2020 meeting this week in Davos.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but about halfway into the article one comes across the obligatory “Orange Man Bad” reference.  You see, unlike righteous CEO’s such as Nadella who care about the environment, Orange Man, “has tapped the brakes on a number of the country’s climate initiatives, such as pulling the U.S. out of the multilateral 2017 Paris Agreement.”

After plowing through a lot of corporate-speak virtue signaling, about “sustainability” and Microsoft’s new “Climate Innovation Fund” we read,

Microsoft’s CFO Amy Hood, appearing alongside Nadella later in the interview, said the eco-friendly program along with the company’s $750 million commitment to affordable housing in Seattle, Washington “are good returns on investments.”

Reflecting on this statement, author Tyler Clifford notes, “She stopped short of projecting what the return on investment in these initiatives would be, but explained that it will be measured and the company will hold itself accountable.”

So the Microsoft CFO won’t offer a projection of the return on investment of these “eco-friendly” programs?  Remarkable.  Her silence on this subject should be a big clue.  Not only will the “eco-friendly” initiatives not be profitable, they almost certainly will destroy shareholder value.

Now one can feel a certain amount of sympathy for Nadella.  He’s the high-profile CEO of a hugely successful company.  As such, he’s expected to talk the talk and walk the walk of the master of the universe types whose good graces he must court.  My guess, he probably doesn’t believe all the sustainability nonsense he talks about.  It’s just the cost of doing business.

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Soleimani_Car Remains

Credit…Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office, via Associated Press

“[B]ecause of our foreign policy of interventionism developed in the twentieth century, and because of our more recent policy of pre-emptive war, the United States has become the primary target of militant Muslims worldwide.”

 

U.S. Strike in Iraq Kills Qassim Suleimani, Commander of Iranian Forces,” ran the New York Times headline.  Why did the US take this drastic action?  The article’s subheadline explaines, “Suleimani was planning attacks on Americans across the region, leading to an airstrike in Baghdad, the Pentagon statement said.”

This explanation is not something made up by the New York Times.  Rather, it is the same explanation given by official Washington for the deadly January 3 drone strike in Baghdad.

In his remarks from Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump, after asserting that his highest and most solemn duty was the defense of our nation, claimed that, “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him…We took action last night to stop a war.  We did not take action to start a war.”

PBS reports Secretary of State Mike Pompeo giving similar justification in an interview he did with CNN.  According to PBS, Pompeo said that Gen. Qassem Soleimani “was actively plotting in the region to take actions, the big action as he described it, that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk.  We know it was imminent.   This was an intelligence-based assessment that drove our decision-making process.”

Reuters reported Pompeo’s remarks from January 3 thus, “last night was the time that we needed to strike to make sure that this imminent attack  that he was working actively was disrupted.”

Finally, the National Review quoted Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, saying, “The President’s first responsibility is the safety of the American people.  Qasem Soleimani was plotting imminent attacks in the region against Americans in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon that could have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people.”

One common thread that links all four quotes above is the word “imminent.”  We are told by all three gentlemen that General Soleimani was not merely plotting to harm Americans, but that his attack or attacks were “imminent.” Therefore, they argue, the President’s decision to drone Soleimani – in his January 3 statement quoted above, President Trump said “Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike” thus taking responsibility for the decision – ought not be viewed as an act of aggression, but rather as one of self-defense.

The term “imminent” is key to understanding the reasoning behind the killing of Soleimani as well as determining whether the President’s decision was a moral one.  The reason “imminent” is such a key term relative to Soleimani’s death is that it’s the tip-off, the big tell, that this attack was carried out using the doctrine of preemptive war as the theoretical framework to justify the decision by the President to kill the Iranian general.

So what is the doctrine of preemptive war?  Let’s take a look.

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Baghdad Embasssy Attack

Hundreds of protesters stormed the US embassy compound in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone [Khalid Mohammed/AP Photo]

I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

  • Psalm 120:7

It seemed like déjà vu.  Watching video of angry protesters storming the American embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but recall similar scenes from 1979.  I was thirteen when angry crowds of demonstrators took to the streets against the Shah of Iran, swept the Ayatollah Khomeini to power in that nation, and captured the American embassy in Tehran, holding fifty-two American hostages for 444 days.

There was, as you may suppose, a good deal of anger directed at Iran from the American public.  Pictures of the scowling Ayatollah, a man whose menacing face seemed to be everywhere, served to drive home the seriousness of the ongoing hostage crisis.

For my part, I recall not so much being angry with Iran as I was puzzled by the whole affair.  Here were people on the other side of the world, in a country I had barely heard of, marching, burning American flags and calling America the Great Satan.   The whole thing just seemed bizarre to me.  As far as I was aware, I had never harmed an Iranian, nor did I harbor anything like hatred for the Iranian people.  So why did these people, seemingly out of the blue, one day start proclaiming how much they hated my country?  It was as if Iran was a nation full of nothing but lunatics.  At least that’s how it appeared to me at the time.

Sometimes I wonder how those too young to have lived through the Iran hostage crisis view that event.  Do Millennials or Gen-Z even know about it?  If so, do they realize how big a deal it was at the time?  This one event dominated the news for over a year.  It even spawned a new news program on ABC called Nightline hosted by Ted Koppel and dedicated to providing the latest hostage crisis updates.  If memory serves, it used to come on weeknights at 11:30 pm after the local evening news.

That was then.

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2020

Once again, I find myself looking back at the year past and peering forward at the one to come.   As is no doubt the case with many, this is for me a bittersweet annual experience.  By God’s grace, I can say that I have been partially successful in redeeming the time.  But a little honest reflection convicts me that I could have, and should have, done better.

Sin, it would seem, is ever present with me, tainting even my best works.

But thanks be to God, for it is not my own works that justify me.  Rather, I am acceptable to God “only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to [me], and received by faith [belief] alone.”

Truly, the grace of God is amazing toward sinners! It’s as if God were to say to us wretched rebels, “All your guilt, all your hopelessness, all your fear of death and of righteous judgment and of eternal punishment, these things I have taken away in my Son.  Only believe in him and be saved from the wrath to come.”

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Pelosi_Impeachment

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C), flanked by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, and House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, announces articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Dec 10, 2019.

“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election – that is a matter of prudential judgment.  That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”

  • Mark Galli in Christianity Today, 12/19/20

 

As is probably true with most writers, there are times when I find picking a post topic can be difficult.  This week, not so much.  Very obviously, the biggest story over the past few days has been the House of Representatives vote to impeach Donald Trump.  Whatever one’s opinion on the impeachment of the president, it’s a hard story to ignore.

The fact that it’s only the third time in American history that a president has been impeached is enough by itself to warrant commentary.

That the flagship publication of the American Neo-Evangelical movement, Christianity Today, jumped into the fray on the side of removing Trump from office makes an even more compelling case for Protestants to weigh in on this issue.

Seemingly designed to further rub salt in the wound of Trump’s Evangelical supporters, a recent poll by Politico/Morning Consult indicated that 43% of Evangelicals support Donald Trump’s removal from office.

So is it true, as the Christianity Today editorial and the Politico poll would have us believe, that a substantial percentage of Trump’s Evangelical base wants Trump removed from office?

I wouldn’t be so sure.

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“Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.”

  • Robert Jeffress

 

“President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at tackling anti-Semitism on college campuses on Wednesday – but one of the speakers at the event said that Jews are going to hell,” thus reported the Huffington Post on Thursday.

Yes, the HuffPo was in a state of high dudgeon that Donald Trump dared to invite to the While House a Christian minister, who actually teaches Christian doctrine.

In this case, the guilty party was none other than noted Southern Baptist minister Robert Jeffress.  At times, I have been critical of Jeffress on this blog. I stand by my criticism.  But today I come not to bury Jeffress but to praise him.

What triggered the outrage at HuffPo and several other news outlets?  I’ll let the HuffPo’s headline speak for itself: “Pastor Who Says Jews Are Going To Hell Speaks At Trump’s Hanukkah Party.”

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