Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fixing Policing

Bet it works with Black-majority police departments, as well as White-majority ones.

Remove their broad legal immunities so they are under the same laws as everyone else – SURPRISE! SURPRISE! — and we may even get our peace officers back instead of these militarized occupying armies.

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Marx and Machiavelli

(A repost from the sci-fi blog. A tiny bit of sci-fi content is deleted below)

Xi Jinping thought he could inculcate moral values in his atheist officials by forcing them to study his important speeches… Now the party is having to install a parallel system of inspectors to monitor and punish officials who violate the rules. But what motivates the inspectors? The CCDI’s complained that people already tasked with oversight often just go through the motions and turn a blind eye to violations… Perhaps yet another layer of inspectors will be needed to inspect the inspectors. Officials probably should shift some of their study sessions from Marx to Machiavelli.

Dim Sums
Granary funds feed big “rats” and “worms”

I don’t care for Machiavelli and his rule of Powerful Men above all things… and especially above God’s Law-Word.

That being said, China would leap ahead light years if they dumped Marx in favour of Machiavelli.

Self-serving, self-interested hereditary Ruling Elites are to be favoured far above a Ruling Party who is quite willing to crush and kill any amount of Commoner Trash, not just for the sake of personal power, but also to build some abstract ideological utopian dreamworld.

In contrast to the Collectivists, the Aristocracy actually values the lives of their subjects:

“How else are you going to generate wealth? What else are you going to tax? Is there another way to man your military, or strengthen your tech base, or build up your markets – and, indirectly but materially, the wealth, power, and honour of your House?”

No Marx, Just Machiavelli

A) Machiavellian Managers

Just out of curiosity, I skimmed Gary North’s site with the keyword “Machiavelli”.

Some interesting results from Keeping Amused in the Lockdowns:

—<Quote begins>—

The lockdowns have reminded us that the combination of executive power and bureaucratic enforcement is not good for society.

But is it a conspiracy? No. It is government anti-business as usual. It is a disaster for all concerned, especially the public schools.

In the 1980’s, the Brits ran the greatest sitcom of all time: “Yes, Minister.” It dealt with the combination of politics and bureaucracy.

The scriptwriters were masters of humor. They were also masters of bureaucratic operations.

Antony Jay was a scholar. He wrote books on management theory, including the best-selling Management and Machiavelli. He also wrote Householders’ Guide to Community Defence Against Bureaucratic Aggression.

He was knighted by the Queen. He was a conservative.

Jonathan Lynn was an actor and a director. He directed My Cousin Vinnie. He was closer to Labour.

I bought the “Yes, Minister” series on DVD. It is cheap. It is hilarious. It is making the lockdown more tolerable.

https://www.garynorth.com/snip/1442.htm

“Yes, Prime Minister” is available on DVD. A used set is cheap.

https://www.garynorth.com/snip/1444.htm

Buy the U.S./Canada version.

You can rent it on Amazon Prime — just right for a Prime Minister.

https://www.garynorth.com/snip/1443.htm

This will help you make the best of it. Keep a stiff upper lip, the Brits say.

But it’s hard for me to keep a stiff upper lip when I am roaring with laughter.

—<Quote ends>—

My pick-ups from the article:

Management and Machiavelli looks like a worthy read to me. Especially if I was a business manager.

Sadly, you’ll have to fight hard, in Britain, to get a copy of  Householders’ Guide to Community Defence Against Bureaucratic Aggression. (But I spotted a copy for $140… on eBay, in Australia.)


B) Machiavelli Against the Left

Quote from Political Correctness and Voter Resistance by Gary North.

Written in 2017, a.k.a. “Before the elitist COVID-19 puffed-up tantrum against Trump and Brexit.”

—<Quote begins>—

In October, I published an article about Angelo Codevilla’s article, “After the Republic.”

www.garynorth.com/public/15733.cfm

He has done it again.

[…]

Codevilla accurately goes back to the writings of Machiavelli in search of the modern concept of political correctness. Machiavelli recognized that the revolutionary state had to control, suppress, and ultimately replace the existing attitudes of the public toward morality and culture. But it is not easy to do this. If the state pushes too hard, there will be push back.

This is what modern PC advocates, who are leftists and progressives, refuse to acknowledge. They believe that they can push and push and push against the standards of Western civilization, and the peons of the general public are going to have to go along with it. But they aren’t, and they won’t, and we are now seeing significant political resistance. The progressives are not prepared for this. They have nothing but contempt for the standards of the broad mass of the American people: “bourgeois morality.” They expect to be able to control the public because they control the media. But as the Trump election indicates, the Left is incorrect. This is why this article is so important.

Let me tantalize you with the conclusions.

Consider our ruling class’s very latest demand: Americans must agree that someone with a penis can be a woman, while someone else with a vagina can be a man. Complying with such arbitrariness is beyond human capacity. In Orwell’s 1984, as noted, Big Brother’s agent demanded that Winston acknowledge seeing five fingers while he was holding up four. But that is small stuff next to what the U.S. ruling class is demanding of a free people. Because courts and agencies just impose their diktats, without bothering to try to persuade, millions of precisely the kind of citizens who prize stability have become willing to take a wrecking ball to what little remains of the American republic, not caring so much what happens next.

It is surprising that, in 2015-16, our ruling class was surprised by Donald Trump. Though he remained obedient to most of P.C.’s specific demands and remained largely a liberal Democrat, it sufficed for him to disdain P.C. in general, and to insult its purveyors, for Trump to become liberalism’s Public Enemy Number One. William Galston’s column in the Wall Street Journal barely begins to get a sense of how his class’s Leninist seizure of America’s culture has miscarried.

[Trump’s] campaign has ruthlessly exposed the illusions of well-educated middle-class professionals–people like me. We believed that changes in law and public norms had gradually brought about changes in private attitudes across partisan and ideological lines….

Mr. Trump has proved us wrong. His critique of political correctness has destroyed many taboos and has given his followers license to say what they really think. Beliefs we mocked now command a majority in one of the world’s oldest political parties, and sometimes in the electorate as a whole.

The point is not Trump, but the fact that though the ruling class pushed Western civilization aside, it did not replace it with any cultural hegemony in the Gramscian-Machiavellian sense. Rather, by pushing P.C. defined as inflicting indignities, the progressives destroyed the legitimacy of any and all authority, foremost their own.

My 2010 article for the American Spectator, “The Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution,” argued that “some two-thirds of Americans–a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents–lack a vehicle in electoral politics.” Resentment of the patent disregard for the Constitution and statutes with which the ruling class has permeated American life, along with its cultural war enforced by P.C., meant that “Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled.” I noted: “Unfortunately, it is easier for anyone who dislikes a court’s or an official’s unlawful act to counter it with another unlawful one than to draw all parties back to the foundation of truth.”

That is because a majority of Americans–realizing that the Constitution and the laws have ceased to protect them from unending injuries to their way of life; aggravated by being insulted as “irredemable” and “deplorable” racists, sexists, etc.; eager for relief and, yes, for payback with interest; knowing that the ruling class is closed to argument from those it considers its inferiors–have no option but to turn the tables in the hope that, suffering the same kind of insulting oppression, the ruling class might learn the value of treating others as they themselves like to be treated. More likely, doing this would be one more turn in the spiral of reprisals typical of revolutions. And yet, there seems no way of avoiding this.

What is to be done with a political system in which no one any longer believes? This is a revolutionary question because America’s ruling class largely destroyed, along with its own credibility, the respect for truth, and the culture of restraint that had made the American people unique stewards of freedom and prosperity. Willful masses alienated from civilization turn all too naturally to revolutions’ natural leaders. Donald Trump only foreshadows the implacable men who, Abraham Lincoln warned, belong to the “family of the lion and the tribe of the eagle.”

In short, the P.C. “changes in law and public norms” (to quote Galston again) that the ruling class imposed on the rest of America, rather than having “gradually brought about changes in private attitudes across partisan and ideological lines” as the ruling class imagined (and as Gramsci would have approved) have set off a revolution–of which we can be sure only that it won’t be pretty.

The decentralized social media have created a decentralized wall of resistance to the Left: walls of resistance. The Left does not know what to do about this.

You can humiliate the typical American into silence. This works for a long time. But push him beyond where he wants to go, and you get this: “You and who else?” The Left is now there. The Left is apoplectic about Trump. But it is really apoplectic about Trump’s deplorables. Yet the Left by its very nature cannot stop whining, cannot stop demanding silence. It has no self-restraint.

The fat lady has not yet sung, but she has started to hum.

—<Quote ends>—

The far lady won’t sing, until the welfare state goes bust.

Already, the European-style government health care programs are looking quite ill.

When the Free Stuff stops going to the ghettos and the projects, the fat lady will have started up.

When the pension checks – and other Free Stuff – to the middle class ends, the lady will be singing, good and loud.

When the corporate welfare gravy train derails, the fat lady would have earned her paycheck, the last round of applause would be fading away… and the reasons for the government to exist would have shrunk dramatically.

Perhaps to nothing at all.

After all, following Machiavelli, the government had zero interest in justice: it was just a wealth, power, and status redistribution plan, from those who generate such goods to those who consume it.

(“Wealth consumers” includes more than a few corporations. You might want to talk to Pfizer about that.)


C) Machiavelli and the Divine Right of States

Now, let’s head back to Machiavelli and his core idea: the rule of Powerful Men about the rule of God and His Law-Word.

From North’s article Robert Nisbet: Conservative Sociologist

—<Quote begins>—

The central political issue for medieval society was not contract. It was covenant. People made covenants with each other before God. The marriage covenant, the church covenant (baptism), the legal covenant (liege loyalty) were permanently binding and officially immune from lawful annulment or revision by another covenantal hierarchy, except by highly specific customs. These covenants could not be broken unilaterally at the will of the covenanting parties, for God was seen as a partner in the covenant.

For earthly sovereignty to apply, someone had to represent God as the voice of God. No one person or institution represented God in medieval political or social theory. In this highly specific sense, medieval culture was pluralistic: plural God-delegated sovereignties. There was an irreducible messiness about legal authority in the Middle Ages, a messiness rejected by modern political philosophy and social theory. Medieval messiness was the basis of local pockets of liberty. There was no earthly agent who possessed final sovereignty in theory, and therefore did not possess power limited only by technical or functional restrictions. There was also no possibility of empire. The medieval Holy Roman Empire, as the canard goes, was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire.

What made the system both tolerable and internally consistent was the medieval concept of God’s temporal sovereignty. Appeal beyond history to eternity could always be made to God: prayer, and in some cases, lawful resistance in the name of God. God, as the final judge, is the final sanctions-bringer: heaven and hell. But medieval theologians did not restrict God’s role as sanctions-bringer to the final judgment. God’s judgment is temporal as well as eschatological. So, there is no divine right in history, no final court of earthly appeal. God intervenes in history to overcome evil.

Modern political philosophy since the days of Machiavelli has steadily abandoned the idea of God, especially God as a temporal sanctions-bringer. It has therefore sought to lodge final temporal sovereignty in a sanctions-bringing institution. Because the state has the power to kill people, it has been seen as the final sovereignty: the divine right of the state, beyond which there is no legitimate appeal.

Nisbet opposed such an operational view of the divine right of the state. So have classical economists and other Whigs. But he, as they, was unwilling to invoke the medieval West’s justification of the judicial sovereignty of intermediate institutions, church and family. That justification was theological in its original, pre-modern formulation.

Nisbet adopted a functional pluralism. He believed that intermediate institutions are indispensable for the maintenance of civil liberty: church, state, family, kinship groups. Without these, the state becomes tyrannical. The unitary state must not be trusted. This is why he detested Rousseau’s vision.

Nisbet was a self-conscious heir of Edmund Burke. He was skeptical of pieces of paper called constitutions whenever those pieces of paper are not matched by strong, local, voluntary institutions that are outside the jurisdiction of politics. Yet, also like Burke, his concern throughout his career was the maintenance of civil liberty. This is why I regard him as a liberal in the Whig sense. He trusted the free market’s ideal of voluntary association and contract more than he trusted the state.

CONCLUSION

Nisbet’s writings constitute a large body of material that challenges many of the reigning assumptions of our age. The Present Age presents his case against modernism by presenting the case against the warfare state. He had no use for the welfare state, either, but he believed that modern man’s commitment to the messianic state begins with his commitment to war, not socialism.

If he was correct — and I believe he was — then making the case against the modern messianic state is a far greater task than merely marshalling graphs and data — let alone equations — to show that the free market is more efficient than the centrally planned economy. Hayek pointed out half a century ago that businessmen who were brought into the planning systems of World War II never lost their taste for the planned economy. The taste for power is fed more by war than by any other human event, and power is consented to in the name of war more readily by the masses than for any other reason. Nisbet recognized this more clearly than any other scholar in the conservative movement.

—<Quote ends>—

An interesting set of statements:

“[Nisbet] had no use for the welfare state, either, but he believed that modern man’s commitment to the messianic state begins with his commitment to war, not socialism.”

“Hayek pointed out half a century ago that businessmen who were brought into the planning systems of World War II never lost their taste for the planned economy. The taste for power is fed more by war than by any other human event, and power is consented to in the name of war more readily by the masses than for any other reason. “

A good insight.

However: war needs young men as the fresh meat, the blood sacrifice to keep the state young and virile.

I would suggest that the sexual revolutions — plural — are tied to war. Ask the Russia rape-murderers for one reason as to why: but there are many other reasons as well. Not unrelated is the fact that public & private reverence to God always declines after a war: all wars are secularizing events.1

A reasonable enough outcome, as they all insist on blood sacrifices to the One True God, the State.

A problem: the needed supply of vast numbers of disposable young men are on the sharp downturn. As is family formation, the deeply-hated (by the Establishment) foundation of nations and civilization.

No young men, coupled with nuclear arms, plus a declining economy, plus cultural decentralization, plus elite and political delegitimization, points to far fewer large scale wars in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised to see various insurgencies and rebellions pick up some of the slack, though… but non-violent rebellions are usually more successful than violent ones.

(Non-violent marches and non-compliance campaigns also preserve the Commoner’s limited supply of men and wealth. A good idea, overall.)

Russia and China are the last major sources of disposable young men for a large government. Russia is burning off her future right now. I don’t think that China will follow suit.

A comment from the China Update video, above:

Dave Allentown
On paper the CCP (through mandates to provinces) reserves grain in quantities sufficient to feed the entire population for well over a year. Yet corruption is an intractable problem. I do wonder if these reserves are for the most part fictional, so much so that famine is a genuine risk.

Zei33
Obviously the Chinese are concerned as well. Somebody in the Chinese government realised last decade that there are a lot of factors involved if they get into a global conflict. Food and energy security are definitely at the top of the list. What I find really interesting is the backtracking on trade with Australia. Quitting Australian trade cold turkey was probably a strategic choice because it was clear that Australia would not supply them during a conflict. If they could learn to survive without Australia, they’d be more self-sufficient in a war.

This pivot towards a reconciliatory stance is quite interesting. They must’ve come to the conclusion that China is just far too populous for Australian energy supply to be ignored. In the same vein, an increased focus on food security seems to indicate that they have some huge internal issues coming down the pipeline. My guess, and it’s a complete guess, is that they’ve come to the conclusion that a global conflict with the Western world would be practically impossible to wage with such a large population. A major disruption in food and energy supply could lead to one of the worst human mass dying the world has ever seen.

The last month or so has had me quite optimistic that we’ve averted a world war 3 style catastrophe. I’m hoping the CCP has seen the light and realised that they can have success and prosperity playing by our rules in a more friendly competition.

The Chinese government has many faults. However, their Foreign Ministry is usually quite skilled. Or at least it was skilled, before the rise of the Wolf Warriors.

It is possible that an Old Guard senior bureaucrat crunched the numbers, factored in the West’s sanctions against Russia — and the superiority of Western arms — and persuaded The Leader against making a grab for Taiwan.

The Party doesn’t really care about the number of Chinese that die in war or famine, so long as its grip on power is nice and tight. The problem is that the authority of the Party is a good deal weaker than it was pre-COVID lockdowns, and a major famine is more likely to turn the masses against the Party, than to fuse the Ruling Party and the Disposable Commoners against the Evil Outsider.

This is especially true if the famine is tied to a major failure in Chinese arms: and invading Taiwan in the face of American, Japanese, and Taiwanese opposition is going to be a high-risk venture.

Massive Party delegitimization would follow the combination of military defeat and famine, promptly resulting in a huge surge of Party officials relocating themselves and their families to Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc., just ahead of the hungry, furious mobs.

Note that Russia — unlike China — faces no risk of famine in their war of choice. Enduring poverty and steady economic decline, yes… but this is not a huge change for most Russians, used as they are to enduring poverty and steady economic decline.


1 With the possible exception of defensive wars, on your own land to protect your own people. Maybe.

One Establishment Idol Topples…

… but many, many more await the heave-ho.

Time to roll up the sleeves!

From World Economic Forum chief propagandist steps down after disastrous Davos conference by Jordan Schachtel

—<Quote begins>—

One of Klaus Schwab’s top deputies at the World Economic Forum (WEF) is stepping down from his role after over a decade of being the top information operatives executive at the ruling class narrative and ideas incubator.

Adrian Monck, the managing editor and comms director of WEF, announced the news in a LinkedIn post. Monck oversaw the WEF’s notorious Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers programs, which Schwab infamously bragged had helped the outfit to “penetrate the cabinets” of foreign governments.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) and its benefactors continue to face major headwinds, as a global resistance has formed against the organization’s advocacy for a two-tiered feudalistic society. What was once a shadowy by design network has been forced into the mainstream spotlight, and the blowback to the WEF was on display for the world to see in its 2023 Davos conference. 

The WEF’s extremist agenda, which advances tyrannical, anti-human narratives such as “The Great Reset” and “Build Back Better,” among others, met several unexpected challenges at Davos through independent and non-institutional media operations.

One Japanese journalist even got a few questions in with Schwab, who was incredibly displeased with this improptu interview attempt.

In the United States, several Republican members of Congress even backed out of Davos after The Dossier reported on their planned participation in the confab.

At Davos 2023, Monck cut a free promo for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), to the expressed approval of the Chinese state media operations that were invited to the meeting.

Just weeks before its annual invite-only, closed-door gathering in Davos, Monck sought to mitigate the reputational damage to the WEF, churning out a series of articles claiming the outfit is the victim of “disinformation campaigns.”

In one such piece that was published in The Globe and Mail, Monck declares that  “a Russian propaganda campaign” is to blame for people’s negative perception of the WEF. 

“The intent was apparently to spread disinformation in a bid to stir far-right outrage about COVID-19 and perpetuate domestic extremism,” the retiring WEF comms chief rants.  “The means was often via bots that would push far-right conspiracy theories to communities on boards such as 4chan.”

In calling for a global censorship and surveillance regime akin to the one installed by the Chinese government, Monck declared: 

“The consequences of unabated misinformation are dangerous. Misinformation concerning COVID-19 and vaccines cost lives during the pandemic. The revelations around the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill riot reveal how false information about elections can threaten the foundations of democracy.”

Monck has not publicly revealed his plans for the future.

—<Quote ends>—

Even the Japanese and the Canadians – peoples not noted for Challenging the Establishment – are showing up.

Perhaps this is the start of something good!

Molech Worship: The Details

There was a recent post on Chalcedon that got a bit into the details of Molech worship. Interesting, and reasonable: the religious ceremony only rarely brunt children alive in the name of the Ba’al (King).

Unlike our own abortuary culture. Our culture of death.

(Observe how unmoved and uncaring we are when we here the phrase “our culture of death”.

Much like dead men react.)

Instead, it was a claim of the state – the ruling king, speaking in the name of the idol Ba’al – on the lives of all the children and families within his realm.

God deeply, deeply hated these statists. For our God is a jealous God, and will not give the worship that belongs to Him up to the bureaucrats and the rulers.

Not even to the priests , nor to the Israelite race, as Jesus and Paul demonstrated.

From Chalcedon.edu: Molech Worship and Baptism by R. J. Rushdoony

—<Quote begins>—

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. (Lev. 20:1-5)

What this text deals with is a very important matter. Children are the future of any society: control over the children means to command the future. Now Molech (also seen as Moloch, Melek, Milcolm, and Malcolm) means king. Molech worship was state worship, and the ceremony referred to in Leviticus 20:1-5 means the dedication of the child to the state.

Who Owns the Children?

Every culture has had rites of dedication of the child (often the male child, to symbolize heads of families) to the father, tribe, clan, or state. Ownership was affirmed by the rite.

In Molech worship, the child was passed over a low fire, or incense burner, before an image of the king, or the god of the state, or some insignia of the state to indicate that the child’s life now belonged to the state and could be used at the ruler’s will. Only on rare occasions was a child actually sacrificed, or slain. Most of the time, the ritual meant dedication. It was a rite of ownership. We have Molech worship with us still, the claim of the state to own the child and to command his life.

This makes understandable why God takes the dedication of the child to the state or any other false god as so evil. He is the Lord, the Creator. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1). To give our children to any other than the Lord God is a criminal act, a fearful sin. We cannot give God’s property to anyone other than the Lord: we are stealing what is His to give to another.

In some cultures, as in Sparta, a deformed child could be exposed to die; the state in other instances could decree abortion or ban it, depending on its need for warriors and state servants. All these represented forms of Molech worship.

Modern education is statist education for statist goals. The curriculum is designed, not to glorify God and prepare the child for His service, but to prepare the child for citizenship in the modern power state, to live or to die for social concerns. Humanism has demanded more human sacrifices than any other religion known to man. Marxism alone is clear evidence of this.

God’s Ownership

As against all the pagan forms of dedicating the child to some variety of Molech worship, the Old Testament required circumcision. Circumcision means cutting off the male foreskin. It is a symbolic castration. It declares that man’s hope is not in generation, but in regeneration, in the saving power of the Lord God of Hosts.

According to Ezekiel 36:25, the sign of the new covenant would be baptism:

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I clean you.

The Jews baptized proselytes to indicate that their entrance into the covenant was through the Messiah.

Now baptism of children is no more an act of choice on their part than was circumcision on the eighth day an act of choice on the part of a male child. Our salvation is not an act of choice but God’s act of Grace. Properly understood, all baptism, and especially the baptism of children, is a witness to our faith in predestination. In the baptism of our children, we give them to God, promising to rear them in His nurture and admonition, and we pray that He makes them His own, members of His congregation and kingdom.

The baptism of a child is thus an affirmation of the sovereignty of God’s grace. It is a declaration of His property rights over us and over our children. We have a duty to serve God, and also to pray for our children’s children, that they be God’s children also.

Having received grace, we affirm our children’s need for grace. Baptism is thus a witness to our faith in God’s sovereignty, His mercy, His predestinating grace, and His mercy unto our children’s children.

—<Quote ends>—

Dr. Bot

(From the sci-fi blog)

It is highly likely, at this point, that most news consumers have heard of the ChatGPT website.

If not, click here to surf through the 56,100,000 reports currently about at Google News about this artificial intelligence (AI) project. Some would prefer to spend several months watching videos on the subject at YouTube. Good luck using the actual ChatGPT site — odds are high that you will have to wait in a long cyber-line to get access.

Journalists are concerned about ChatGPT because it offers a vision of what could be ahead in newsrooms, with computers “reporting” background reports on news events and even trends. And ChatGPT is a big deal in higher education, since it’s highly effective at faking all or significant chunks of term papers. The bot recently passed the U.S. Medical Licensing exams.

Podcast: Behold! ChatGPT has interesting, haunting thoughts on religion-beat questions by Terry Mattingly

It was inevitable.

If there are detectable patterns in speech and thought, they can be copied and imitated by an algorithm.

That does not mean that the silicon chip understands what it is saying. However, that may simply not be required. I enjoy quite a lot of AI art, even though I know for a fact that the machine is just imitating various repetitive patterns, nothing more.

Good results are sufficient in a LOT of areas of life.

Understanding? Wisdom? Judgement? Not so much.


GetReligion: The Media and Religious News

(Not from the sci-fi blog.)

The full cut-n-paste from the article Podcast: Behold! ChatGPT has interesting, haunting thoughts on religion-beat questions by Terry Mattingly

—<Full quote below>—

It is highly likely, at this point, that most news consumers have heard of the ChatGPT website.

If not, click here to surf through the 56,100,000 reports currently about at Google News about this artificial intelligence (AI) project. Some would prefer to spend several months watching videos on the subject at YouTube. Good luck using the actual ChatGPT site — odds are high that you will have to wait in a long cyber-line to get access.

Journalists are concerned about ChatGPT because it offers a vision of what could be ahead in newsrooms, with computers “reporting” background reports on news events and even trends. And ChatGPT is a big deal in higher education, since it’s highly effective at faking all or significant chunks of term papers. The bot recently passed the U.S. Medical Licensing exams.

I was curious to know what ChatGPT thought about (#DUH) religion-news coverage. The results provided the hook for this week’s “Crossroads” podcast (CLICK HERE to tune that in). For example, I asked: “What does the website GetReligion.org do?” The response:

GetReligion.org is a media criticism blog that focuses on examining the way religion is covered by the mainstream news media. It aims to provide analysis and commentary on news stories that deal with religious topics and to point out instances of inaccurate or biased reporting.

Not bad. That’s part of what we do here. We also provide as many, or more, think pieces, Q&As and memos about topics linked to religion-beat work, care of patriarch Richard Ostling, chart-master Ryan Burge and others. We also, from time to time, praise high-quality reporting from mainstream newsrooms.

Oh, I also confess that I asked ChatGPT about that Terry Mattingly guy and — on my birthday, no less — received a kind report on my work that also (#shudder) implied that I am dead.

Terry Mattingly was an American journalist and religion reporter known for his writing on religion and culture. He was a syndicated columnist and founder of the website “GetReligion”, which analyzed religion news coverage in the media. He was known for his insightful and thought-provoking pieces on the intersection of religion and society.

But let’s get down to basics. I also asked ChatGPT this question: “Do mainstream journalists struggle to cover religion news?The response:

Yes, some mainstream journalists may struggle to cover religion news due to lack of understanding of religious practices and beliefs, fear of offending readers or religious groups, and a lack of resources dedicated to religion reporting. However, there are also journalists who specialize in religion reporting and have a deep understanding and appreciation for the subject.

That’s safe and rather solid. As we will see, the key phrase seems to be “due to lack of understanding of religious practices and beliefs.” Clearly, religion-beat pros need to know tons and tons of basic facts and, this is just as important, they need to know what they don’t know. Hold that thought.

I wanted to know more on this topic, so I pushed a bit deeper, asking: “Why do journalists struggle to cover religion news?ChatGPT sent me more information, this time. This is long, but let’s work our way through it:

Journalists may struggle to cover religion news for several reasons, such as:
(1) Lack of understanding of religious beliefs, practices and rituals

There’s that same “lack of understanding” language. There have been studies in the past that link shallow or flawed religion-news coverage to a basic lack of information — as opposed to outright bias. Hold that though, as well. Let’s read on:

(2) Fear of offending religious communities and individuals
(3) Pressure from interest groups to portray religion in a certain way

Well now, that’s interesting. I wonder if newsrooms are worry more about the concerns of some interest groups than others? There have been mainstream discussions of that in the past (such as debates about Washington Post coverage of competing marches linked to abortion rights).

Now, this next item is important:

(4) Difficulty in finding sources and gaining access to religious institutions

To be blunt, it is true that many religious leaders — mostly on the conservative side of the doctrinal aisle — have pretty much given up on talking to elite, blue-zip code reporters. Your GetReligionistas have, for nearly 20 years, urged worried religious leaders to go ahead and talk to reporters, with both sides recording the interview so that everyone knows what was said.

Now, brace yourself for this next ChatGPT response:

(5) Balancing objectivity and fairness with the personal beliefs of the journalist

Wait a minute. “Objectivity”? That’s a dangerous word right now, as demonstrated in this Washington Post op-ed by former Post editor Leonard Downie, Jr.: “Newsrooms that move beyond ‘objectivity’ can build trust.” In it, Downie stresses the need for “accuracy, fairness, non-partisanship, accountability and the pursuit of truth” — which sounds rather like the basic skills that, in the classroom, I have linked to that vague term “objectivity.”

But in that same op-ed, Downie adds, concerning recent interviews with current news professionals:

Among the news leaders who … rejected objectivity as a coverage standard was Kathleen Carroll, former executive editor of the Associated Press. “It’s objective by whose standard?” she asked. “That standard seems to be White, educated, fairly wealthy. … And when people don’t feel like they find themselves in news coverage, it’s because they don’t fit that definition.”

More and more journalists of color and younger White reporters, including LGBTQ+ people, in increasingly diverse newsrooms believe that the concept of objectivity has prevented truly accurate reporting informed by their own backgrounds, experiences and points of view.

OK, I will ask: Is the basic idea that “accurate,” and “fair” are terms defined in rather different ways by journalists in different niche-news camps? Hold that thought, too.

I realize that this is getting long, but I was genuinely intrigued with what ChatGPT was coming up with — since the implication is that online debates about these topics were shaping the results.

Thus, I kept asking questions. Let’s walk though some additional responses:

Does media bias affect religion news coverage?

Yes, media bias can affect religion news coverage. Different media outlets may have different perspectives, opinions, and agendas, which can influence their coverage of religious topics. This can result in a skewed or one-sided representation of religious events, beliefs, and practices.

How could newsrooms improve their coverage of religion news?

(1) Diverse hiring: Hire journalists with diverse backgrounds, including religion, to ensure diverse perspectives and experiences are reflected in coverage.

Ah, “diversity” again.

OK, I will ask: What “backgrounds” are rarely found in today’s elite newsrooms? Maybe, blue-collar Americans? Military veterans? Active members of various traditional religious groups?

OK, OK. Let’s head back to that ChatGPT to-do list for better religion-beat work:

(2) Cultural competence: Provide cultural competency training to journalists to help them understand and respectfully cover different religious communities.

(3) Accurate language: Ensure accurate and sensitive use of language when reporting on religion, avoiding stereotypes and avoiding language that may offend or marginalize religious groups.

Yes, but who gets to define “accurate”? Are the leaders of today’s newsrooms truly committed to listening to voices on both sides of hot-button religious, moral and cultural debates? There is no way around this issue:

(4) Seek diverse sources: Make a conscious effort to seek out diverse sources, including religious leaders, scholars, and community members, to provide multiple perspectives.

(5) Avoid oversimplification: Avoid oversimplifying complex religious beliefs and practices, instead providing context and nuance to help the audience understand.

(6) Balance: Maintain balance in coverage, avoiding sensationalism and providing equal representation of different religious perspectives.

Whoa! “Balance”? That is NOT a popular concept in journalism these days. It implies the need to tolerate (maybe even respect) voices of those considered intolerant.

(7) Contextualize: Place religious events, beliefs, and practices within their cultural and historical context.

(8) Be aware of ethical concerns: Be aware of ethical concerns such as not exploiting religious beliefs for sensational purposes, not promoting religious beliefs, and respecting the privacy of religious ceremonies and rituals.

There is much here to ponder. It appears, to me, that there is kind of a “ghost” of the old-school American Model of the Press that lingers in the great digital cloud of information on this topic. Some of those values clearly clash with the new-school journalism found in the Downie essay.

For decades, I have argued that religion-news coverage tends to be biased in four different way. In a lecture to editors in the old Scripps-Howard newspaper chain, I described them as (CLICK HERE for the full lecture summary):

* The bias of space, time and resources. Simply stated: You cannot print a story if you have little space in which to print it, time to write it, or the money to hire a professional to do so. …

* The bias of knowledge. Fact: You cannot write a story if you do not know that it exists. …

* The bias of worldview. Simply stated: It is hard to write a good story if you don’t care that it exists. The result is, at best, a blind spot on religious issues, and the people who care about them. …

* The bias of prejudice. It’s hard to produce balanced, fair coverage of people you dislike, distrust, or whom you feel are irrelevant.

I have long argued that the key bias is “worldview,” even more than “knowledge.”

After all, why do so many editors pass up opportunities to hire trained, experienced religion-beat professionals? Why do questions about the quality of work on this beat — especially when religion affects politics — linger decade after decade? Yes, why did former New York Times editor Bill Keller say You. Know. What. during that Austin, Texas, forum long ago?

Believe it or not, there is much, much more in the podcast — including a ChatGPT response to a question about the role that religion played in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Enjoy the podcast and, please, pass it along to others.

FIRST IMAGE: Image featured with this feature at CITIMUZIK.com: “What is ChatGPT, how ChatGPT has effect ICT industries jobs loss, What chatGPT can not do 2023.”

—<Full quote above>—

They have their news, their reality, their Source of the Law.

We have ours.

We already know that they will kill any arbitrary number of people, say any number of lies, steal anything and everything, to reach their man-made heaven. The 20th century demonstrated this quite clearly.

They are confident that this time, they will create utopia on earth. “Those moronic oldsters got it wrong, but we sophisticated moderns have it right. This time it’s different!”

No, it isn’t.

Although they can spew out extra-large amounts of politically useful pap with ChatGPT now.

Fortunately, by God’s grace, they are not a unified order. They all agree to hate Christ’s Commandments without a hint of compromise, but their individual Molechs —

  • “My Race!”
  • “No, MY Race!”
  • “My Leader!”
  • “No, MY Leader!”
  • “My Sex!”
  • “No, MY Sex!”
  • “My House!”
  • “No, MY House!”

— will keep them tied up for, well, forever.

Well, not forever.

A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.
 -- Ezekiel 21:27, English Standard Version
“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. 

“This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
-- Daniel 2:31-45, ESV

The Tower of Babel falls again.

And the Kingdom of God continues to grow.

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 
-- Habakkuk 2:14, ESV
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
-- Psalm 2, ESV

Patience and Experience

We are going to need a lot of patience, to rebuild the Christendom our forefathers ruined in the name of sensual pleasure, fat profit, and racial/intellectual pride.

But there is no other way. If we don’t get to work, we merely push the job of building God’s kingdom on to the next generation. No progress, only more spiritual rot, more cultural garbage piled up, more souls going to hell (some ignorantly so, some knowingly)… and the gates of hell remain standing.

It’s time to topple those shoddy and deeply cracked gates. From today, and onwards, to the Second Coming.

From Revolt against Maturity
by R. J. Rushdoony
Chapter 36: Patience and Experience

—<Quote begins>—

In Romans 8:24, 25, St. Paul brings out clearly both the meaning of hope and patience when he declares:

  1. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
  2. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

[…]

Patience, in the Greek hupomone, means literally an abiding under (hupo, under; meno, to abide). It can be passive, in the sense of endurance in trials (Luke 21:19, cp. Matt. 24:13), or active, in the sense of persistent and persevering action (Rom. 2:7; Luke 8:15, Heb. 12:1).

Patience is thus not stoicism; it is not blind submission to meaningless events. Biblical patience is thus radically different from the hopeless submission to a meaningless universe which marks the religions of the far east. It is also different from the stoicism of Roman society, again marked by a hopelessness and a despair of life. Biblical patience is inseparable from hope; it means a waiting with confidence, that the future holds a great reward and an assured fulfilment.

—<Quote ends>—

We need a reason to fight, a reason to press on, despite the real difficulties of today. A reason to endure.

The certain victory of Christ is that reason. Victory, in time and on earth, as well as in eternity.

Victory, patience, endurance… you may even add determination and conviction. A refusal to yield to the wicked, despite their fleshy, financial, political, and media strength.

All that flesh fails over time. It is the Holy Spirit that is the root of any and all meaningful victory.

—<Quote begins>—

“Twice in Revelation we are reminded of this fact that patience is inseparable from victory and justice:

He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Rev. 13:10)

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,”

“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and
ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep
the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:9-12)

Very explicitly, we are told that those who have patience are those who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” This patience means that they believe God’s law and rest assured that its judgment will fully overwhelm all evil-doers. Patience thus
has, first, a confidence that, this world being totally God’s creation, will see God’s victory and the vindication of His people. Second, patience means also the certainty that God’s total judgment will be meted out to all offenders, who “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.”

—<Quote ends>—

We tend to be impatient, like short-sighted willful disobedient children.

That is what Satan – and quite a lot of secularists – want. Since short-sighted fools are easily deceived, robbed, killed, and sent to hell.

It also allows our enemies to preen in their intellectual superiority over God’s representatives… and so, implicitly, over God Himself.

Let’s not give the enemies of God what they want.

Let’s not be worthless servants and evil children.

—<Quote begins>—

“The psychology of Biblical patience is thus radically different from pagan patience. The counsel given by a pastor to someone in trouble that we can only be “patient” until life is ended, or we are raptured out of this evil age, is thus false, in that it counsels a defeatist view of history, and a stoical view of patience. The comment of another pastor to a bereaved person, that we too will soon be dead and freed from this sinful world, and that we should wait with patience for the release of death, is again not a Biblical counsel. The view of godly patience with respect to death is that, first, before the end of the world, man’s life span will be greatly prolonged, and his life richly blessed (Isa. 65:20-25), and, second, that, with the end, “the last enemy”, death, shall itself be destroyed, which means that, before then, other enemies shall have been extensively destroyed.

Whenever stoical patience is preached as though it were godly patience, great harm is done to the faith, and it is paganized. […] As a result, in the name of Christ people practice a pagan virtue which denies the Biblical faith in victory, which is another word for salvation.

—<Quote ends>—

We are not to be Buddhists. We are not to be Stoics.

We are to be Christians.

We are not to look for relief and escape and acceptance and compromise.

We are to change the world, for the better, as Christ commands.

We are to win: pushing through the trials and difficulties and suffering and tedium, to gain the prize God has in store for His people.

Victory is what God demands, and victory is what He shall receive. With us as His tools, or with other, more worthy men, filled with His Spirit and wisdom.

—<Quote begins>—

Experience (dokime) or experiment means the process of proving, or proof itself. St. Paul thus in Romans 5:1-4 declares that faith, peace, tribulation, and patience develop proof. Arthur S. Way rendered it as “tested strength”, and James Moffatt as “character”. For them the implication is that it is man’s faith that is proven. Dean Alford rendered it, after the Authorized Version Revised, as “approval (of our faith and trust, 2 Cor. ii. 9; ix. 13: not, ‘proof’, as some; nor ‘experience’, as A.V.).”[350] In II Corinthians 9:13, the King James Version renders the word as experiment; in Philippians 2:22, it is translated as proof; in II Corinthians 8:2, it is trial. In
every instance, it is man and man’s faith that is proven. Thus, it is not man who tests God but God who tests and proves man. The man who is tested by God develops a progressively stronger hope, a greater confidence in moving into the future under God.

The humanistic concept of experience, experiment, or proof is to subject God and His law to the test, and to regard all things as an open question. A scientific experiment conducted by faith in God’s law order and within the bounds of moral law is a godly experiment, but one which in fact denies God and His moral law (in the pretense that all things are an open question) is a sin
and a high-handed offense against God. Thus, experiments in abortion, in electrodes in the human brain, and in sexual response represent a deliberate contempt of moral order.

—<Quote ends>—

Men want to be above God, to determine if God meets their standards.

This is a prideful delusion.

God stands above men, to determine if we meet His standards.

This is reality.

People who live in the real world, in accordance to the laws of reality, set by God, succeed.

People who don’t, don’t.

Now people can live against the laws of God, and still have the acclaim, the approval, and the financial, social, and political rewards of evil men. This is possible.

But such evil men – who encourage mankind’s natural Adamic contempt for God, inherited from Adam – have their reward in the pit of hell.

Don’t go there. Don’t live in a fantasy of vain delusion.

The first Adam is a dead man. Life is in the new Adam, Jesus Christ.

We must accept the tests of God, and strive to past the tests He sets in our lives.

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
-- Hebrews 11:23-28, ESV

Not just Moses, but the greater prophet, Jesus. Christ did not flee the test, but stepped forward, and overcame where Adam, and even Moses, failed.

Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 
-- First Corinthians 15:45-49, ESV

—<Quote begins>—

The same is true of “investigations” and “reporting” which consider “experience” of an anti-biblical nature as a necessity for arriving at the “truth”. To cite an example, Kate Coleman, formerly with Newsweek and then a free-lance writer, published a “study” of prostitution for Ramparts Magazine which was simply a report on conversations with various prostitutes. The
opinions and comments of these women was important in her eyes for any decision about “the truth” of the matter. The attitude of the whores was even more humanistic: they urged her to try “turning a trick” in order “to gain first-hand knowledge of the subject.” (For a Christian,
first-hand knowledge means God’s knowledge, since God, as the creator of all things, is the first-hand source of knowledge on all things. For a humanist, as his own god, his own experience
is the source of first-hand knowledge.)

—<Quote ends>—

Christians need not go to hell, or heaven to be confident that these places exist. We can rely on the holy, good, and true word of God.

The committed enemies of God will not trust in God’s word. And they will suffer for it, forever.

That’s an anti-life commitment to dump, fast.

—<Quote begins>—

Godly experience is radically different. First-hand knowledge is to view all things in terms of the triune God and His infallible word. God being the maker of all things in heaven and on earth, nothing can be truly known or proven apart from Him. “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” (Ps. 36:9). The most direct experience of all things is thus under God. For a man to seek a direct experience of anything apart from God is both to deny God and finally to deny the object he seeks to experience. When philosophy, after Descartes, sought a direct knowledge of the world of sense objects by means of experience, it ended in Hume by denying not only God but the world around us. All that remained then was the mind of man, which Kant converted into a new universe, comprehending all things within itself, as the
logical step in philosophy. One of the results was existentialism, modern art and science, and the Kate Colemans of the world, but few are as honest as she is.

[…]

“The destiny of isolated humanistic man is to feel, but without meaning or purpose, and to exist, but without reason. The more humanistic man isolates himself from God, the lower
the moral level on which he seeks existence and feeling. The only objective factor in his inner experience is that he is now testing within himself the very real boundaries of hell.”

—<Quote ends>—

The natural destiny of sinful men is death, then hell, then the lake of fire.

A great sacrifice was made by God, to open a different future for His people.

We must turn away from the deadland autonomy and isolation that men naturally choose, and instead connect with God, so we can think in His ways, and so connect correctly with other men. In a holy and healing fashion, not a lawless and destructive manner.

—<Quote begins>—

The experience of the godly man is his testing and proving by God, whereby he is strengthened and prepared for that fulfilment which his growing hope is a promise of. God tests and proves man, and produces in him a lively hope that “maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5). Those whom God proves, He delights in.

—<Quote ends>—

Enjoying the delight of God is worth all the frowns, even all the cruelty, the Merciful Leaders world has to offer.

They are temporary. God is forever.

Patience is needed, though, to see the holy work we must do is done well, right to the end.

Ukraine and Russia: The Near Future

(Originally in the sci-fi blog. But I think it’s useful for us today, as well.)


Can your family, your people, your nation even reach the near future, to reach the far future?

There is not much we can do regarding our nations – “Try not being wilfully stupid and self-destructive” is a good first step. But you have to WANT to have a future, before you will even consider paying the prices needed to get there from here.

And prices will need to be paid. If you don’t pay them, you simply don’t get a future. Not even a near future, never mind the far future!

To repeat myself: there’s not much the ordinary man can do in regard to our respective nations, Or even our tribe. But we can work to build a future with our families. Maybe something can be done with our local congregations and communities as well.

The future of Ukraine and Russia will be a hard one, to the extent they even have a future in 2100. But the bell is tolling for more than just them.

Also, while I still think it’s better to be Russian than Chinese, it’s going to be better to be Ukrainian than Russian.

For sure.

Quora: What will the future of Russia and Ukraine look like?

—<Quote begins>—

Tomaž Vargazon Practicing atheist

Bleak.

Destructive war is destructive

Neither Russia nor Ukraine have much to look forward to in the next several years. The war will likely end, be it by treaty or exhaustion or defeat or rebellion. There appears to be one ‘uraa left in the Russian arsenal, their mobiks will be thrown into the grinder in the thousands at the start of the mud season according to Ukrainian intelligence. After that I expect the war will draw to a close, because Russia will struggle to recruit more men for the war and because their arsenal has been pretty much depleted. This goes for all sorts of munitions, from guided missiles to dumb artillery shells, they’re running low across the board.

After that the two countries will enter a recovery phase, which will be ugly. Russia will be the pariah state, unable to attract foreign investment, mired in debt, poverty and struck down by the brain drain. The regime manages to hold up the facade during wartime, but once war stops filling the airwaves the harsh reality will settle in.

Ukraine is hardly in a better position. Millions young Ukrainians fled, most wish to return but not all will. By now I expect some Ukrainian refugees entered relationships in their host countries and do not intend to leave even if they want to. Ukrainian population pyramid looks, well, apocalyptic.

We should start with “yikes!”, then work our way from there

Ukraine will be able to obtain foreign funding and rebuild. Buildings are the easiest to replace in war. But both Russia and Ukraine lost a generation and with them, they pawned their future for this war. Ukraine had no choice, they either pawned their future or lose it outright. The odds of recovery are slim for Ukraine, they would have to pull off the unthinkable and repopulate their nation. While this is obviously doable and Ukraine will have the assistance to do so if needed be, it is also unprecedented in the industrial period.

Russia has the same problem, just without the damaged buildings but also with no foreign assistance of any sort.

—<Quote ends>—

I have a suspicion, that there won’t be many practicing atheists in the middle or far future. For obvious demographic reasons.

The weight of history also grows heavy: atheism was a fresh-faced elitist-naturalistic belief system in 1700, with a arguable claim to being objectively better than Christianity. Not today.

Not in politics, not in shared community, not in liberty, not in prosperity.

And not in new scientific discoveries: which has been in the decline for several decades now, even as a greater percentage of academics become atheists.

I can see some conservative or fascist or ecclesiastic government decide to ban atheism as a matter of government policy around 2100 or so. Such a move puts far too much power in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats, regardless of what belief they espouse.

But — just like the largely futile top-down pro-natal policies governments turn to today — the State just wants another excuse to extend their power for whatever reason, regardless of whether their policy works or not.

These things will be decided from the bottom-up, not from the top-down.

In the meantime… the governments of the world (and the Powerful Men that manipulate them) should try not being stupid and self-destructive. Letting go of the thirst to control would help too.

The governments can stick to catching and punishing murderers, rapists, and thieves — instead of, say, employing them in the army… or making them leader of the nation. That would be a good place for a government to be. Equality before the law and respecting the life, liberty, and property of all – especially the ordinary man and the poor – would be very good too.

As for having more children, increasing the brith rate? Governments can hinder it, they can demand one-child policies, and they can kill the young men and women, directly and indirectly, who carry the future.

But it is Christ who ties the man and the woman together, who opens the womb, who builds the families that build a nation, a tribe, a people, a community.

That is, and will be, the lesson of the 21st century.

COVID-19 and Vitamin D: A 2023 Study

—<Quote begins>—

Now we now know that Vitamin D supplementation provides substantial benefit in terms of reducing the risk of admission to intensive care. During the coronavirus pandemic, 72% is the probable figure — certainly substantial — and it probably also gives us a 51% protection against death. Vitamin D supplementation. Now on this channel, we’ve been talking about Vitamin D since we started the channel in 2007, a long time ago now, and we’ve been talking about it throughout the COVID pandemic period of time. Now we have this new meta-analysis from Italy: definite protection against admission to intensive care for patients that are ill or hospitalized.

I now believe it’s unethical for, um, authorizing bodies, medicines and Healthcare regulatory Authority and FDA, and people like this around the world, not to advise vitamin D supplementation for poorly people(?) and arguably for the whole population. I believe it’s now unethical that they don’t do that ,but they’re not doing that. They are recommending treatments that are less efficacious. Um, but they’re not recommending Vitamin D and vitamin D is safe and effective. We’ve got to be careful how we use the term ‘safe’ but vitamin D is about as safe as cabbage …

[…]

So let’s look at the evidence here because it is now definitive it’s from this paper here. And it’s an Italian paper, leading Italian uh doctors and, um, scientists. Why is it all that all this work comes from places — we’re going to look at work, work from today from Spain, Saudi Arabia, Italy nothing from the United States, nothing from the United Kingdom. Why not? It really, it really begs that question, why not?

Anyway, this is the paper here, well, available. Download it for yourself, PDFs available. 

—<Quote ends>—

The paper: “Definitive Evidence from Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9864223/ (Italy)

The reason why Anglo medical researchers never speak up about Vitamin D?

Oh, that’s obvious: there are no vast profits to be gained by selling a ton of Vitamin D supplements.

All those credentialed whores, bought up by the highest bidder.

Lesson: Don’t trust the English-speaking “Public Health Officials”.

I am utterly certain that if the Imperial College at London, and Trump, and Fauci, focused in March 2021 on pushing Vitamin D (you can throw in Zinc and K2, if you wish: but for now, just Vitamin D) instead of worthless vaccines and masks, the lives of millions would have been saved, the cost to the world would have been far less, and the pandemic would have blown over by around March 2021, if not much earlier.

“But where would Pfizer’s $100 billion dollar profit boom come from?”

You know, there was a time when the Left would be – rightfully! – screaming bloody murder over this blood money.

This fascist — “government-business partnership” — blood money.

And all you hear from the Left now is silence.

Evil trash, fit for burning in hell, right next to the fascists (at best).

And very little else.

Atonement

Atonement is little talked about today.

Well, that is incorrect. The Establishment viewpoint is that the Deplorables have sinned — “sinned” = “broken the laws and hurt the feelings of the Establishment” — and they must atone, with the Right Sort determining what the price is.

But they don’t use the detestable religious language they loathe: the word “atone”, after, implies that the price is paid and the guilty is free to go.

Our Betters don’t want that. Ever.

If atonement actually happened, who will they be Better than?

Instead, political language is always preferred. More laws, more rules, more punishment… No restitution, no forgiveness, no peace.

And certainly, no authority above that of the Betters.

Woke
by PsalmSevenBooks

Rushdoony wrote on the subject of Atonement in Revolt Against Maturity, which I think is worth rereading here.

From Chapter 23: Atonement

—<Quote begins>—

“Atonement is defined by the dictionary as

  1. Satisfaction, reparation, or expiation made for wrong or injury; something suffered, done, or given by way of satisfaction. 2. Theol. The sacrificial work of Christ. 3. Reconciliation; agreement.

Atonement is very clearly a human need; man being a sinner, has many wrongs which must be atoned for. Can it be said, however, that atonement, clearly a human need, is also a human problem? Is man the problem-solver with respect to atonement? Jesus Christ, according to
St. Paul, is the one, “by whom we have now received the atonement” (Rom. 5:11). Reconciliation to God is very clearly declared to be the work of Jesus Christ, not man.

—<Quote ends>—

Atonement is a human need, for we have all sinned in the eyes of God.

And we cannot pay the price for our sins.

Yes, we can die; yes, we can be cast into hell, and the Lake of Fire; but it’s impossible for our anguish and pain to pay the price of our evil. There is no way for man to finish paying for our contempt for God and His Law.

Only Christ can pay the price. At all.

For a man to be permitted to just die and rest – no heaven, no hell – the full price of Christ, His pain, His blood, His death is needed.

But if Christ paid the price, it is infinitely better than just saving us from hell. By necessity, it brings us to heaven!

—<Quote begins>—

Humanism, however, sees atonement as man’s problem. Man somehow will make reparation for his wrongs and reconcile man to man; reconciliation to God, of course, is not considered by logical humanism. In any case, the need to make atonement is basic to man everywhere. Because man is a sinner, and because the burden of sin and guilt is an oppressive one, men
everywhere seek to find release from sin and guilt by atoning acts and rituals. Their goal is justification, to be guiltless and free from the burden of sin and guilt. To be justified is to be publicly exonerated, free and innocent. It means vindication and freedom. Justification by means of atonement is the goal of all men.[228]”


[228] See R. J. Rushdoony: The Politics of Guilt and Pity, pp. 1-21. Nutley, New Jersey: The
Craig Press, 1970.

—<Quote ends>—

The Wrong Sort of Men will make atonement for his sins against the Right Sort of Men.

And in humanism, the politically powerful are always the Right Sort, and never the Wrong Sort.

By Darwinian definition. “Power Justifies All Things.”

So, the humanist left-wing fights against the humanist right-wing over political power, and so – by definition of the humanists! – be justified in all they do.

And gain the ability to demand any arbritrary level of savage, lawless restitution for any loss – or any bad feelings! – they suffered at the hands of the Inferior Others.

Also, check out The Politics of Guilt and Pity. It’s a good book, methinks.

Now, on to the distasteful humanist visions of atonement, the ugly results that invariably occur when men pretend to be God.

First, sadism.

—<Quote begins>—

The two root forms of humanistic atonement are sadism and masochism. In sadism, an attempt is made to atone for sin and guilt by laying the burden on someone else. Justification is sought, as with Adam and Eve, by saying that someone else made them do what they did: the other party is guilty. To this is added a savage punishment of this supposedly guilty other person. To cite an example, a workman of superior background and very inferior station, proved to be
incapable of admitting that he did anything wrong. If it were demonstrated to him that it was indeed his doing, somehow his wife was to blame, and he would, on his return home, beat her savagely. He would even boast of having beaten her in order to establish his “righteous” intolerance of mistakes. This man’s atonement for his wrongs was to lay the guilt on his wife; his justification was that she, somehow, had so distressed him that his actions were her fault: “Now see what you made me do!” This was his refrain. Sadism is a form of do-it-yourself atonement. The sadist has to blame and punish another person or persons for his own wrongs. In some cases, an entire nation or race is singled out as the target for sadistic actions: all blacks, or all whites, all Jews, Germans, Englishmen, or Japanese. Mental health usually improves during war years, if the war is a popular war, and suicides decline, because a sadistic hatred of
the enemy gratifies the destructive sense of unatoned sin and guilt in men. The enemy is made the incarnation of evil, and the world’s sin and guilt are laid on the enemy. […]”

—<Quote ends>—

“It’s all their fault! THEY must pay for the sins of the nation!

“Stop making me hit you!

—<Quote begins>—

The other form of humanistic atonement is masochism, or self-punishment. Masochism is by no means absent in the sadist. The wife-beating workman was viciously sadistic, but his masochism was also present in his every action. Often his wife-beating was deliberately public in order to bring punishment on himself. If it were not possible to make it public, he made sure that the ugliest details became known so that he would suffer public disapproval. The masochist wants punishment in order that he may in effect pay the price of his sin. According to his accounting system, sins have their price; when that price is paid, a man has both freedom to commit the sin and to be absolved of sin and guilt.

[…]

But self-atonement is an impossibility. Sinful man cannot justify himself before God, nor can he make atonement for sin when his actions, like his heart, mind, and being are governed by sin. Man’s acts of self-atonement and self-justification are themselves sins.

There are two aspects to atonement. First, atonement is the reconciliation between persons who are at variance or in enmity one to another. Second, it is that act of sacrifice or expiation of the sin and guilt which makes the reconciliation possible. Expiation is that act which renders
satisfaction for an offense and removes thereby the guilt and punishment.

Man is not capable of fulfilling either aspect of atonement with respect to God. Because he is a sinner, his every act reflects his nature and only aggravates his offense. When he attempts to make atonement, he is either sadistic or masochistic, and, in any case, sinful.

—<Quote ends>—

Human evil drives humans insane. That is a road to destruction that leads to hell, and then the lake of fire.

Moreover: humanist attempts to make restitution merely increases the speed to hell. It does not get men, individually or as a collective, off the road to damnation.

Only Jesus Christ can do that!

—<Quote begins>—

According to all of Scripture, efficacious atonement is the sovereign act of God through Jesus Christ; it is not a subjective experience but an objective fact. Lange’s comment on Romans 5:11 stated

The expiation of Christ is the ground and condition of the reconciliation of God and man. Bengel says, on Romans iii. 24: “Propitiation takes away the offense against God; reconciliation has two sides: it removes (a.) God’s indignation against us; 2 Cor. v. 19; (b.) our alienation from
God; 2 Cor. v. 20.”[229]

Reconciliation changes man’s position from enmity to peace, and from guilt to grace. Our enmity with God made us at war with ourselves, with other men, and with the world itself, since it is God’s handiwork, so that we were, towards all things, would-be destroyers.

Because of Christ’s atoning work, we have peace with God; we stand justified, and we rejoice in those experiences which further our sanctification and which bring us closer to our destiny in Christ.

Calvin, writing on Romans 5:11, declared of St. Paul, Nor is it in vain that he so often mentions reconciliation: it is, first, that we may be taught to fix our eyes on the death of Christ, whenever we speak of salvation; and, secondly, that we may know that our trust must be fixed on nothing else, but on the expiation made for our sins.[230]”


[229] John Peter Lange: Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Romans, p. 167. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[230] John Calvin: Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, p. 199. John Owen translation. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948.

—<Quote ends>—

Only Jesus Christ has the healing hands, the hands we need to live, to be clean again!

—<Quote begins>—

God’s atonement takes away the self-absorption of humanistic atonement. Guilt leads to an intensive and unhealthy introspection and self-absorption. The pressing problem of the guilty is how to work off the burden of sin and guilt. Whatever activity they embark upon, whether
it be religious, political, educational, or charitable, assumes a sado-masochistic orientation. It becomes an aspect of self-atonement. Much of human activity has this characteristic. Guilty men will seek a mantle of self-righteousness by means of charitable acts, or by passing socialistic legislation to “improve” mankind and its lot. These self-righteous acts can assume a politically conservative form (charitable foundations oftentimes have such an origin), or a politically radical form (such as socialistic measures and policies). In either case, the
self-righteousness involved is a form of atonement. It is also masochistic. A wealthy man who hates the poor as failures, and refuses to pay his employees except the barest minimum, will sometimes establish a major foundation to minister to these people. A politician who feels guilty for hating minority groups will work doubly hard to atone for his feelings by offering them far-reaching goals at the taxpayers’ expense. In either case, human action is geared
to human guilt primarily, not to God’s law and only secondarily to human need. When social action becomes an aspect of atonement, it is first of all egocentric action.

—<Quote ends>—

Humanistic atonement is All About the Noble Leader.

“See how good I am! I made the bad people pay for their sins! I am clean, they are dirty!”

But this is not the way of Christ. We are all dirty, and He – who is sinless and pure, truly clean – took up our dirty, sinful, evil acts for our sakes.

—<Quote begins>—

The reverse is true where God’s atonement governs. As St. Paul declared, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19). Adam’s disobedience made all those created in Adam’s image and born of Adam to be sinners, or law-breakers. Christ’s obedience makes all those born again in His image to be righteous, or law-keepers. The atonement is for them the glorious starting-point, whereas for the humanist, it is the terminal point. From the fact of atonement, the redeemed go on to apply God’s law-word to every area of life and to re-order all things in terms of Christ.

—<Quote ends>—

The atonement is for [Christians] the glorious starting-point, whereas for the humanist, it is the terminal point.

Eternal life awaits, for those who call Jesus Christ Lord and Saviour.

God, Sovereignty Of

Selected quotations from the web page Knowing Jesus

66 Bible Verses about God, Sovereignty Of

Not all 66 verses are below: I focused more on the sovereignty and authority of God, than on His glory, love or righteousness. Even though all four factors are important — and His holiness above all! — my limited mind can only focus on a part at a given moment.

(Also, moderns could not care less about glory or love or justice/righteousness… but do care about power and status. Sometimes, speaking their language is the right thing to do, as God wants the powerful to worship Him, as well as the powerless.)

I also tried to avoid repetition, but noted it as a separate verse: “repeated in the list at XXX”.

The more theocratic, absolute and unyielding statements I put in bold, as that will rub humanists the wrong way. This includes those verses involving predestination, as I know how the Armenians hate that part of the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

—<Selected Quotes begins>—

Psalm 135:6
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

Psalm 115:3
But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.

Isaiah 46:10
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

Daniel 4:35
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

Romans 9:19-21
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

(Also see: Isaiah 45:9-10)

Job 42:2
“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Matthew 19:26
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
(Also see: Luke 1:37)

Ephesians 3:20
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

1 Samuel 2:10
“Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered;
Against them He will thunder in the heavens,
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His king,
And will exalt the horn of His anointed.”

2 Chronicles 20:6
and he said, “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.

Job 9:12
“Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him?
Who could say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’

Isaiah 43:13
“Even from eternity I am He,
And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
I act and who can reverse it?”

Acts 5:39
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

Psalm 29:10
The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.

1 Chronicles 16:31
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”

Psalm 47:2
For the Lord Most High is to be feared,
A great King over all the earth.

Isaiah 43:15
“I am the Lord, your Holy One,
The Creator of Israel, your King.”

Jeremiah 10:7
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.

Zechariah 14:9
And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

1 Timothy 1:17
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:15
which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

Revelation 15:3
And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!

Revelation 19:6
Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

Deuteronomy 4:39
Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.

Deuteronomy 10:14
Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.

Joshua 2:11
When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

1 Chronicles 29:11
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.

Nehemiah 9:6
“You alone are the Lord.
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host,
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them.
You give life to all of them
And the heavenly host bows down before You.

Psalm 121:2
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
(Also see: Psalm 134:3)

Luke 10:21
At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

Acts 17:24
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

Psalm 45:6
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

(Also see: Hebrews 1:8, addressing Jesus Christ as God upon His Throne.)

Psalm 93:2
Your throne is established from of old;
You are from everlasting.

Psalm 123:1
A Song of Ascents.
To You I lift up my eyes,
O You who are enthroned in the heavens!

Isaiah 6:1
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.

Isaiah 66:1
Thus says the Lord,
“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where then is a house you could build for Me?
And where is a place that I may rest?

Jeremiah 49:38
‘Then I will set My throne in Elam
And destroy out of it king and princes,’
Declares the Lord.

(Also see: Cyrus, an Elamite conqueror as noted here)

Lamentations 5:19
You, O Lord, rule forever;
Your throne is from generation to generation.

Ezekiel 1:26
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.

Daniel 7:9
“I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.

Matthew 5:34
But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,

Matthew 19:28
And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Acts 7:49
‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is the footstool of My feet;
What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord,
‘Or what place is there for My repose?

Hebrews 8:1
Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Revelation 4:2
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

Revelation 20:11
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.

Revelation 4:11
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

Psalm 93:1
The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

Isaiah 40:22
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Isaiah 41:18-19
“I will open rivers on the bare heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water
And the dry land fountains of water.
“I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,

1 Chronicles 29:12
Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.

2 Chronicles 25:8
But if you do go, do it, be strong for the battle; yet God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down.”

Luke 1:51-53
“He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
“He has filled the hungry with good things;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.

Acts 18:21
but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.

James 4:15
Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

Matthew 10:29-30
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

(Also see: Luke 12:6-7)

Ephesians 1:11
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

—<Selected Quotes ends>—