Saturday, November 26, 2016

BREAKING -- Fidel Castro dead, at 90 years of age

I saw a pointer on The Hill, and did a Google search. BBC is good for this sort of thing:
Fidel Castro, declining years (HT: BBC & AFP/Getty)
Fidel Castro, Cuba's former president and leader of the Communist revolution, has died aged 90, his brother has said.

"The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening (03:29 GMT Saturday)," President Raul Castro said.

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost 50 years before Raul took over in 2008.
His supporters said he had given Cuba back to the people. But he was also accused of suppressing opposition.
The obituaries will roll in, but in responding to them let us understand that we are here dealing with a Marxist-Leninist (aka Communist) dictator with much to account for, starting with the blood of many innocents. Of course, I have come to the view that on the whole we are the worst, most blood-guilty generation in history; with the blood of 800+ million victims of abortion in the past 40+ years crying up from the ground against us.

Our judgement is suspect, and neither our praise nor our blame is to be regarded as so absent serious and sober-minded fact checking.

I write this in full expectation that in the Caribbean as a whole, there will predictably be a one-sided celebration of Castro. The people of Cuba and of the Caribbean as a whole will be better served if we have a more sober-minded assessment.

As for BBC, no, he was not merely ACCUSED of suppressing opposition, Castro was beyond any reasonable or responsible doubt a bloody-handed Communist Dictator, though the exact death toll in Cuba and through Cuba elsewhere is hard or impossible for us to determine.  (It does not speak well of the BBC that it cannot say such plainly. [Cf. here and here as a start, also noting the exchange here.])

Let us condole with those who mourn a loss, but let us not lose sight of the duty to truth of coming to a sober understanding of the lessons of history. For, those who refuse to learn from its too often bitter cup, doom themselves to repeat or to echo its worst chapters. END

PS: Discussion is blogged at UD.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Mood Music -- Non nobis Domine, from the post Agincourt scene of King Henry V

Notice the grey devastation and death in the aftermath of the battle, and particularly note the telling point of how the King carries a dead lad -- but a short while before blooming with promise, now to be encased in clay -- over his shoulder:

A lesson on the cost and horror of warfare, physical and spiritual. 

War is no sporting game, and victory often comes at a price scarce different from defeat. So much so, that the big issue may be not, who won and who lost, but at what overall price have we -- all of us -- come to this. Thence, how can we come back together and find a way . . . the right way . . . forward, together.

In this case, the blood guilt of 800+ MILLION unborn children slaughtered in a generation hangs around ALL of our necks, like the infamous albatross.

This is the central evil of our time, and the heart of Sauron's wicked system of wolfish injustice dressed up as if it were Justice herself.

It is on this, that our civilisation will be broken and utterly condemned, if we do not turn back from evil and wickedness. And, once we turn back here, we can then turn to the many other things that have gone wrong, with a cleaner, keener conscience and a clearer vision.

So, as we go forward after Brexit and this US Election -- whatever we may think of both --  let us find a way to build through repentance and reformation. 

For, not unto us, not unto us, but to God alone, belongs the Glory. END

PS: Lyrics, from Psalm 113:9 --


Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam


Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give the glory.

UPDATE, 2: Shocker -- Donald J Trump is evident US President-45-Elect, as at 2:30 am Eastern


The UK's Daily Mail head and lead, in its inimitable style:
Revenge of the Deplorables: The most extraordinary Presidential campaign in modern history ends in utter humiliation for Hillary, the pollsters, and elites of business, media and show business as the voters America forgot sweep Donald to a stunning victory 
  • Donald Trump has won the presidency – taking Pennsylvania to secure 274 electoral college votes
  • Hillary Clinton had just 218 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win when Trump's victory emerged
  • Though Clinton called Trump to concede, she refused to make a public speech and sent her campaign chairman to tell supporters: 'We can wait a little longer. Every vote should count'
  • Trump claimed wins in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming
  • Clinton, a former secretary of state, earned victories in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia
  • As Clinton's party fell flat and supporters streamed away in tears, she was locked in a hotel suite just round the corner from Trump Tower
  • At Trump Tower, following the victory Trump retired to his apartment to 'take a moment' with this wife
Political, policy and geo-strategic shock-waves are of course spreading around the world. In coming days, in assessing pundits, anchors, opinion leaders, political figures and academics, consider that almost to a man, they have been wrong. And, do not forget how in the tank the media have been.

There is much to ponder. END

UPDATE, US election, 12:40 am



NYT chance of win estimate across the count:

Note States spread for closest, 12:50 am NYT:

 The spread between popular and Electoral College votes seems to reflect strongly Democratic, largely urban concentrations, if it holds.

That spread will be a point for controversy, again, if it holds. END

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Matt 24 watch, 299: Thoughts as the US Election initially trends Trump

After sleeping for a short while earlier this evening, I woke up and looked up the trend in the bellwether US election, here, courtesy the New York Times at 9:24 pm Eastern:

 It seems that, by razor-thin margins, an Electoral College trend to Trump is emerging. Should that persist, it is likely that the 45th President of the USA will be Donald Trump. If Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia are trending Trump, it is now likely that he may well win the election.

However, I do not think this trend (which will be generally unwelcome news across the Caribbean and beyond for various reasons) is the pivotal issue we need to focus on at this time.

I find a sense of urgency that impels me to write in this time of being weighed in the balance and found wanting as a civilisation, before we know the ultimate result of the election. Somehow, something written in suspense is needed at this time.

I think, for our civilisation as a whole, a far more important issue is to be found in a statistic that was read out in a BBC news item some months ago, that global abortion rates were currently running at 52 million per year, down from 56 millions in recent years. And though I have seen numbers that suggest this level may have been sustained for perhaps decades, I think it is safer to draw out two numbers. 

First, that we face a holocaust of a million unborn infants slaughtered per WEEK.

Second, that, if we use a straight line growth model across 40 years and slice off 1/5 of the resulting total to be even more conservative, we see that across a generation something like 800+ MILLION unborn children have been slaughtered globally, under false colours of law and at the hand of a medical profession sworn to uphold life.

This is indisputably the worst holocaust in history, and is thus the central evil of our time.

Multiply this by the corrosive effect of the resulting mass blood guilt on the population, the complicit media, the law makers and judges sworn to uphold justice, educators sworn to teach the truth as knowledge and more, and we begin to understand just how utterly corrupt, perverse, willfully wrong, perverted and outright defiantly, iniquitously wicked our age is.

The Apostle Paul has a grim warning for us, in Eph 4:
Eph 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. [ESV]
Only a few verses before this, he counselled the churches that through the proper working of the five-fold ministry, as the church matures as an embassy of the kingdom of God amidst the kingdoms of man, "we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes."

That is, we are called to prophetic, reformational, intellectual and cultural leadership by counter-example in the face of a dark, blood- guilt- riddled, besotted, benumbed, utterly perverse, blinded, hard-hearted age.

In that context, as I was in the midst of intercessory dreams earlier this evening, my heart was stirred to call attention to US President Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, given a few days before General Robert Edwin Lee's surrender to the Union Armies, and only a few more days before Lincoln was cut down by the treacherous bullet of an assassin. 

No, not the "with malice towards none . . .," the darker, terrible and yet wonderfully insightful words wrung and torn from his soul through carrying the excruciating burden of four years of war by brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend:
. . . four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. 

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
There is an anguished, terrible wisdom in this, that we must heed in our own day. 

Let us refocus it, through the lens of an undated manuscript found among that martyr's papers, and now generally termed Meditations on the Divine Will:
The will of God prevails — In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for, and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is somewhat different from the purpose of either party — and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect this
If the innocent blood drawn and spilled by perversion of law, professions, government and institutions were requited of our civilisation, we would be looking at a nuclear war with the four horsemen of the apocalypse loosed as never before. And such would be our just desserts.

I find it frightening to note, that we are actually arguably playing with that sort of nuclear fire, as I have warned again and again in recent months in this blog and in public presentations:

However, God is merciful, let us turn to him in penitent prayer and so turn back from the brink.

Then, let us face and deal with our blood guilt and the perversion of our souls that has led our civilisation down a path of ruinous folly.

For, again, we hear Sophia warning us:

Prov 1:
20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you . . . .
29 Because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
    and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
    and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
We have been warned, will we listen?

Even Nineveh of old had the sense to turn back at the rebuke of the prophet, forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed!

So, again, we are back to the Mordecai challenge: why not now, why not here, why not us? END