Trump Helped McCarthy Win
Breitbart wrote on January 6:
“Former President Donald J. Trump played a vital role behind the scenes in bringing about a compromise among House Republicans to elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker of the House of Representatives…
“On the historic 15th ballot for the speakership Friday night, McCarthy finally sealed the deal and garnered the votes necessary for the position. Voting had raged on since Tuesday, as a block of 21 Republicans, primarily driven by House Freedom Caucus members, repeatedly voted against McCarthy. However, the deal McCarthy and his allies struck with the delegation budged enough detractors to land the California Republican the speaker’s gavel. Chief among those responsible for forging a compromise was Trump…
“Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who will chair the Judiciary Committee in the 118th Congress and was a crucial player in these negotiations, lauded Trump for his work helping to bring about a deal. ‘This doesn’t get done without the support and leadership of President Trump,’ he told Breitbart News…
“Trump’s involvement persisted throughout this week, including in talks last night and this morning ahead of the crucial breakthrough for McCarthy… On Friday night, he made calls to Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ), both of whom had voted against McCarthy for days, and told them that the matter needed to be resolved. Ultimately on the 15th round, they both voted ‘present,’ helping to lower the vote threshold for McCarthy…
“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Breitbart News on Friday that Trump’s ‘role was huge’ in the negotiations. Specifically, she pointed to his statements in support of McCarthy this week and the phone calls he was making behind the scenes….”
On Saturday, McCarthy publicly thanked Trump for his support and involvement. The Daily Mail reported on January 7:
“McCarthy said of Trump, ‘He was with me from the beginning… and he was all in. He would call me and he would call others. And he really was — I was just talking to him tonight — helping get those final votes.’”
Fox News wrote on January 7:
“Taking the anti-McCarthy votes off the table capped a week in which McCarthy was able to chip away at the 20 Republicans who opposed him, thanks in large part to negotiations that will dramatically reshape the way the House is run. Some of the most conservative members of the House said they got virtually everything they wanted out of the talks and started to break for McCarthy on Friday morning.
“McCarthy agreed to allow a single lawmaker to make a motion to elect a new speaker, returning to the way the House ran for decades before that practice was eliminated under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He agreed to votes on term limits and the adoption of a budget resolution that balances the budget in 10 years, and a cap on fiscal year 2024 spending at FY 2022 levels.
“McCarthy agreed to reject any negotiations on spending with the Senate until the Senate passes its own spending bills. He agreed not to increase the debt limit without spending cuts or other fiscal reforms, to set up a committee to examine the weaponization of government against U.S. citizens, and to ensure no bills are brought up on the floor until at least 72 hours passed.”
The last change was adopted to allow Congressional members to at least read a bill before they vote on it. Of course, there is no guarantee that they actually will read (and understand) it.
It was the first time since 1923 that a nominee had not won the gavel on the first vote. In 1856, it took former House Speaker Nathaniel Prentice Banks two months and 133 rounds of voting for the House of Representatives to settle on a leader – the longest stretch on record, during debates over slavery in the run-up to the Civil War. New Jersey’s William Pennington required 44 votes to take the gavel in 1860.
Fox News wrote on January 7:
“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy officially opened the 118th Congress early Saturday morning, holding the speaker’s gavel and conducting a chamber-wide swearing-in ceremony for new members… McCarthy also revealed some of his priorities for this session of Congress, which included investigating China, securing the country’s border, and attempting to eliminate some of the federal debt, which is over $31 trillion… He also committed to ‘stop wasteful Washington spending to lower the price of groceries, gas, cars, and housing… ‘Our first bill will repeal funding for 87,000 new IRS agents. Because the government should be here to help you, not go after you.’
‘The Republican also said he would reopen the U.S. Capitol Building which remained behind additional security measures and was mostly inaccessible to the public following the riots on Jan. 6, 2021. ‘My friends – this chamber is now fully open for all Americans,’ he said, which was met with thunderous applause from Republicans. Democrats in the chamber remained silent.”
The Daily Mail also quoted McCarthy on January 7 as follows:
“We’re going to pass bills to fix the nation’s challenges from wide open southern borders, to American last energy policies to woke indoctrination in our schools… We will use the power of the purse and the power of the subpoena to get the job done.’”
His comment to investigate China must be viewed in the context of his intention to investigate the origins of COVID-19 and specifically the U.S. government’s involvement in any funding of gain-of-function research. He had also declared before his election that Hunter Biden (and by extension, Joe Biden) would have to be investigated pertaining to Hunter Biden’s financial deals (and Joe Biden’s alleged knowledge of them). We will see whether those long overdue investigations will really take place.
McCarthy to Remove Schiff, Swalwell and Omar From Committees
Newsmax added on January 11:
“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy… plans to boot Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., from the House Intelligence Committee, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the House Foreign Affairs Committee as payback for Democrats ousting Republicans from panels. Democrats had stripped Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., of their committee assignments in the last Congress…
“‘Swalwell can’t get a security clearance in the private sector. I’m not going to give him a government security clearance. Schiff has lied to the American public… Last year, I promised that when I became Speaker, I would remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee based on her repeated anti-semitic and anti-American remarks,” McCarthy tweeted. ‘I’m keeping that promise.’”
Congress to Investigate Federal Agencies
Newsmax wrote on January 10:
“House Republicans officially signed off on their promised investigation into Democrats’ alleged weaponization of the federal government against conservatives on Tuesday. In a strict party-line vote of 221-211, the Judiciary Committee’s select subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government was formed, with Republican congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio slated to be chairman…
“The House Republicans’ new probe follows several supposed whistleblowers approaching Republican lawmakers with allegations of political favoritism in government agencies… It also comes after Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ suggested the FBI provided Twitter with over $3 million to suppress foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election, eventually leading to the platform’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.”
More on the “Twitter Files” scandal below.
Secret Documents at Biden’s Residence
The Associated Press wrote on January 12:
“Documents with classified markings from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president were found at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the White House said Thursday, days after it was disclosed that sensitive documents were also found at the office of his former Washington institute… the revelation that Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential records is proving to be a political headache for Biden, who called former President Donald Trump ‘irresponsible’ for keeping hundreds of such records at his private club in Florida…
“White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre… refused to say... why the White House waited more than two months to reveal the discovery of the initial batch of documents. They were found Nov. 2, days before the midterm elections…”
Newsmax added on January 11:
“‘We all know why it was kept secret — right before the midterms — that Joe Biden kept classified documents at his Chinese-funded “think tank,”’ Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted Tuesday…
“Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., [said:] ‘There’s a double standard when it comes to how to deal with conservatives and liberals under this administration… The media is complicit; social media companies need to be regulated… they’re an extension of the Democratic Party in many ways… America is not a very fair place now when it comes to administration of the law.’”
Sadly, Graham is absolutely correct.
Garland Appoints a Special Counsel
Newsmax wrote on January 12:
“U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday named a special counsel to investigate whether President Joe Biden improperly handled sensitive government documents, setting up a parallel inquiry to an ongoing probe of former President Donald Trump. The inquiry, to be led by Robert Hur, could cast a shadow over the Democrat president’s expected run for reelection in 2024…
“Republicans in Congress called the new discoveries evidence of Biden’s hypocrisy. ‘It’s obvious. Everybody can see it, and it’s on open display for everyone in the country to see,’ Republican U.S. Representative Mike Johnson said…”
The New York Post wrote on January 12:
“On Thursday, before Garland’s announcement, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters, ‘I think Congress has to investigate this’ and ‘We don’t think there needs to be a special prosecutor.’ ‘Here’s an individual that’s been in office for more than 40 years. Here’s an individual that sat on ‘60 Minutes’ and was so concerned about President Trump’s documents locked in behind, and now we find that this is a vice president keeping it for years out in the open in different locations,’ McCarthy said.
“The speaker was referencing a Sept. 18 interview with the CBS newsmagazine in which Biden described his predecessor as “irresponsible” for keeping sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago.”
Trump Has Disappointed Many Supporters
Life Site News published on January 5 the following article by its co-founder and managing director:
“[Trump] wrongly claimed the ‘abortion issue was poorly handled by many Republicans [during the midterm elections], especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.’…
“Any pro-life persons who advocate those exceptions betray a weakness of conviction, a lack of trust in God and the power of His truth… Either all human lives are sacred, or they are not. Either every child is a human from conception, regardless of the circumstances under which they were conceived or they are not human. There is no in-between category or argument. Political pragmatism, when it involves life and death, kills…
“Trump has also killed a lot of his support with his hosting of that massive Log Cabin Republicans event at Mar-a-Lago and his and Melania’s and Kari Lake’s enthusiastic partying with them. In doing so, they gave massive, likely naïve support to the ongoing LGBT agenda… and policies to protect and promote their immoral, anti-life, anti-natural-family lifestyle, and to punish all who even think or speak anything critical of what they do…
“Then there have been Trump’s astonishingly bad, false statements on his Operation Warp Speed, deadly COVID jabs allegedly having saved millions of lives. The exact opposite has now been proven to be the truth… The sudden deaths and cancers, infertility, and many other short- and long-term serious injuries from them continue to increase and even many children, who could not possibly have benefited in any way from the jabs, are now dying from them. This horror story is expanding every day and affecting the entire world – thanks to U.S. government and health agency policies that the rest of the world has relied upon for their own COVID policies.
“Trump should apologize that he listened to all the wrong people and should call for an immediate, worldwide halt on the COVID jabbing and demand criminal investigations of all those who wrongly advocated lockdowns, masking, and all the other deadly, unnecessary COVID mandates and policies that have [devastated] many nations, individuals, families, and businesses…
“Since he was removed from the presidency…, he has not been the same person. Many of us feel betrayed by him… I was hoping that Trump would wake up to the above issues and repent and change, but that has sadly not happened.
“We are in a historic nightmare situation right now in many respects. Whether we will ever have a fair election again is in serious doubt. We must continue to do the best that we humanly can and leave the rest up to God, but compromising our fundamental principles in any way cannot earn us any graces from God who ultimately is the only One who matters.
“We are well beyond compromising political pragmatism being able to save us now. We must change to a policy of being wise as serpents but also fully placing all our trust in God who is the only One who can save us at this time. If we continue to compromise on His principles, He will not save us.”
As we pointed out in our recent Current Events editions, Trump’s statements about abortion and his support of the LGBT community, in order to get their votes, are serious causes for concern. But Trump’s influence should not be underestimated, as the development regarding the election of the Speaker of the House has shown.
The “Absurd” Conduct of the IRS
Reason wrote on January 6:
“[The IRS] continued historic trends of hassling primarily low-income taxpayers [in 2022], with relatively few millionaires and billionaires getting caught up in the audit sweep…
“This is, after all, the agency that sent $1.1 billion in child welfare payments to the wrong people over the course of merely five months during the pandemic. It’s the agency that was hacked back in 2015, resulting in the personal information of more than 700,000 taxpayers being compromised. It’s the agency that has been foolishly going after Americans who hold $10,000 or more in a foreign bank since 2010, never mind the fact that many of them are middle-class expats, not folks with yachts in the Mediterranean…
“Though some libertarians may argue such an agency ought not to exist in the first place and cheer its relative ineptitude at going after the well-to-do, it’s decidedly absurd that the agency taxpayers just fed $80 billion to has, for another year, continued its assault on the poor.”
God is not looking at such IRS conduct lightly.
Taxing the Rich?
On January 9, 2023, Ron Paul wrote in his weekly column:
“The final act of the Democrat majority on the House Ways and Means Committee was to make public several years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, which the Committee obtained after a prolonged legal battle. The tax returns confirmed that, despite being one of the richest people in America, Donald Trump paid very little in federal income tax. In fact, in at least one year he paid under a thousand dollars.
“Trump’s success in minimizing his tax liability without ever being audited is surprising only to those who think IRS audits are mainly used to catch rich ‘tax cheats.’ According to data released by the Syracuse University Transactional Records Clearinghouse, in 2022 lower-income taxpayers were five and half times more likely than millionaires and billionaires to be audited! This is because low-income taxpayers cannot afford to hire top-notch tax attorneys and accountants to help fight the IRS, so they are more likely to give in to the agency’s demands…
“Proponents of a flat tax or national sales tax argue that such a system would ensure millionaires and billionaires paid their ‘fair share’ of taxes. Saying we must all pay our ‘fair share’ of taxes assumes we have a moral obligation to the government that can only be fulfilled by turning over as much of our income as our so-called ‘public servants’ demand. This is not the case. Individuals have a moral duty to support their families, and to support private charities if they wish. They do not have a moral duty to support the government.
“Tax reform proponents also complain that the current tax code contains too many loopholes that cause economic distortions and inefficiencies. It is true that the current tax system promotes inefficiency, but this is caused by the income tax itself, not the loopholes. Conversely, loopholes actually promote economic efficiency by giving taxpayers the ability to spend more of their money the way they prefer, rather than allowing politicians to spend it. As economist Thomas DiLorenzo put it, ‘private individuals always spend their own money more efficiently than government bureaucrats do.’
“The major problem with the income tax, and the reason it must be eliminated, not merely ‘reformed,’ is that it is rooted in the idea that the government has first claim on our income…”
Jesus told us to pay our taxes… to give Caesar what is Caesar’s (Luke 20:22-25). But this does not mean, to give Caesar what he does not require. And it does by no means justify the king’s or the government’s abuse of tax money and spending it for ungodly purposes. Therefore, there is nothing wrong, biblically, with the idea of the government simply eliminating taxes, such as the income tax. Furthermore, Samuel described the king’s or the government’s practice of taxing people as a curse (compare 1 Samuel 8:15, 17-18, 7, 9). We also read that a king or a government which “imposes heavy taxes,” “ruins” the land (Proverbs 29:4, New American Bible).
Schiff’s Assault on the First Amendment
Breitbart added on January 6:
“Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) violated the First Amendment and, arguably, his oath to uphold the Constitution in 2020 when his office demanded that Twitter suspend the account of Paul Sperry, an investigative journalist.
“Sperry happens to be the journalist who reported in 2019 that the ‘whistleblower’ who worked with Schiff to engineer the impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump was Eric Ciamarella, a CIA analyst who had worked at the White House. Though Democrats convinced the media and Silicon Valley to suppress the story, Sperry’s reporting was never refuted…
“The attempt by any member of Congress to suppress the freedom of expression of a journalist is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, which specifically restricts Congress from interfering in a free press. That violation is even more egregious when perpetrated by a congressional leader with unique access to secret information, and who implies that he has evidence no one else does and is acting to protect national security.
“Schiff… is a frequent guest on mainstream media news programs, who have given him wide latitude for years to promote unfounded claims, such as the ‘Russia collusion’ hoax.”
Journalist Paul Sperry Speaks Out
The New York Post published on January 6 the following article by Journalist Paul Sperry:
“Schiff, the powerful Democratic chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, made his ‘request’ to ban me through his staff in a November 2020 memo to Twitter. Three months later, in early February 2021, I was kicked off the platform.
“Why would a congressional leader sworn to protect the Constitution and First Amendment want to muzzle a veteran journalist? Like authoritarians everywhere, Schiff did not like critical reporting. The man who vowed to ‘protect our Democracy’ from Donald Trump wanted to censor a free press…
“In his list of demands, Schiff tried to justify banning me by claiming I was promoting ‘false QAnon conspiracies,’ which I have never done and I challenge Schiff to produce evidence to back up his defamatory remarks…
“After joining Twitter in June 2016, I tweeted more than 20,100 tweets and I amassed more than 340,000 followers — all without any problems, without any suspensions. Until Schiff exercised his vendetta against me.
“He appears to have secretly interfered with my ability to do my job for almost two years… If a powerful government official prevented me from promoting my stories, including my New York Post columns, on the nation’s digital town square, how is that not state censorship?”
In his article, Sperry also recounted several examples where Schiff publicly and apparently knowingly lied.
Biden’s Visit at the Border—Too Little, Too Late
The New York Post wrote on January 8:
“President Biden made his first trip to the beleaguered Mexican border since he took office two years ago — for a brief three hour visit. Biden… has been roundly criticized for his failure to control the number of migrants crossing the border into the US and for repealing a number of programs begun by former President Donald Trump that led to the escalation…
“Critics chided Biden for what they called little more than a photo-op at the overwhelmed border with Mexico, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, one of the most vocal officials about a federal lapse in border protection, handing the president a scathing letter slamming his policies. ‘Your visit to our southern border with Mexico today is $20 billion too little and two years too late,’ Abbott wrote in the letter…
“There were more than 2.4 million migrants crossing the nearly 2,000-mile length of the southern border with Mexico in [the] fiscal year 2022.”
US Extends Air Travel COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for International Visitors
Fox Business reported on January 4:
“The U.S. government has quietly issued an extension to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for foreign travelers. The TSA issued the extension of vaccine mandates that will last until April 10, 2023.”
The Washington Times added on January 5:
“Critics of the rule say it is hampering tourism and that vaccination should be a personal choice, especially since the shots do not stop transmission of the virus outright.
“‘President Biden himself said the pandemic is over so the original justification for the mandate has lapsed. Pre-pandemic, international tourism generated close to $2 trillion in U.S. economic activity, so denying entry to unvaccinated foreign guests is denying us untold billions in revenue,’ Jenny Beth Martin, the honorary chairwoman of Tea Party Patriots Action, said in a midweek statement blasting the extension. ‘And last but not least, as a matter of principle, no one should be forced to take a vaccine against their will, whether they’re an American or a foreign guest.’”
None of this makes any sense, except that it deprives people of their individual freedom; prevents unnecessarily tourists from visiting the USA; and contributes to the destruction of the American economy.
WHO’s New “Recommendations”
The Daily Mail reported on January 10:
“American travelers should show a negative Covid test in order to enter European countries, the World Health Organization implied today… But she stopped short of recommending testing mandates ‘at this stage’, instead urging people on long-haul flights to wear face masks to curb the spread of Covid…
“But scientists are quick to point out that America’s wave is not growing as fast as feared and that there is no sign the strain is more likely to cause severe disease at present… in the European Union — which has twice as many people [as the USA] — cases are falling…”
As long as it stays with just a recommendation from the WHO, one couldn’t care less. But if becomes another requirement, then here we go again…
No More Vaccination Mandate for Troops?—Not So Fast!
The Associated Press reported on January 10:
“The Pentagon formally dropped its COVID-19 vaccination mandate Tuesday, but a new memo signed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also gives commanders some discretion in how or whether to deploy troops who are not vaccinated.
“Austin’s memo has been widely anticipated ever since legislation signed into law on Dec. 23 gave him 30 days to rescind the mandate…
“Austin… added… that other department policies — including mandates for other vaccines — remain in place. That includes, he said, ‘the ability of commanders to consider, as appropriate, the individual immunization status of personnel in making deployment, assignment, and other operational decisions, including when vaccination is required for travel to, or entry into, a foreign nation.’”
Even though the law prohibits COVID vaccination mandates for the military, it is obvious, as can be seen from the above article, that the Biden Administration, being obsessed with vaccinations, will do everything they can to circumvent that law.
The Twitter Files: Disturbing Connection With Big Tech
The Daily Signal wrote on January 10:
“The latest installment of the ‘Twitter Files’ reveals a disturbing connection between Twitter and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member who used to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration… Pfizer Inc. is one of the pharmaceutical companies that came up with three initial FDA-approved vaccines against the disease. Gottlieb joined the drugmaker’s board in June 2019, before the pandemic.
“The new information from inside Twitter shows how ‘elites’ such as Gottlieb with connections to large corporations and the government can twist and suppress what gets to the public, warping society’s ability to speak freely and find the truth.
“According to the ‘Twitter Files’ report released by former New York Times reporter—and vaccine sceptic—Alex Berenson, Gottlieb coordinated with the social media giant to suppress alternative policy recommendations for how to respond to COVID-19. Berenson was at one time banned by Twitter at the urging of the Biden administration, but the ban was lifted after he sued the company. He now is one of the relatively few journalists that new Twitter CEO Elon Musk trusts to disclose the social media company’s previous internal workings in a series of ‘Twitter Files’ reports…
“Twitter and Facebook also coordinated with [the] government as other ‘Twitter Files’ entries suggest… Facebook acted as if it were an arm of the Democratic Party and censored American citizens seeking the truth… YouTube censored Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for questioning the effectiveness of cloth masks… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially said masks don’t work, then insisted they worked and you need to wear them, then finally admitted that cloth masks likely don’t offer any protection from COVID-19. Paul was right…
“The ‘Twitter Files,’ including the Gottlieb revelations, show how it was Big Tech companies, not the people, that caused ‘harm’ during the pandemic. They abused their position of power, thoughtlessly and perniciously silenced dissenters, and pulled Americans away from the process of discovering the truth…”
In light of this apparent suppression of the Truth in the USA, note the following appalling article about the situation in Germany.
German Government Denies Obvious Side Effects From CORONA Vaccination
Bild Online wrote on January 11:
“It starts with a tingling in your fingers. The hands swell, become bluish. Then a sharp pain shoots up both arms. Five days after his first corona vaccination, Nicolas S. (23) from Lichterfelde [in Germany] experienced this for the first time. Since then several times a day. Diagnosis: Suspected vaccination complication! But nobody helps him.
“Nicolas S. was successful in his job as a computer scientist and also had a small software company. ‘After the corona vaccination, my life was destroyed,’ he says. When asked by BILD, a spokeswoman for the State Office for Health and Social Affairs (Lageso) said: ‘The expert opinion comes to the conclusion that there is no causal connection between the vaccination and the symptoms in the case of an unclear clinical picture.’
“His employer recommended to him immunization in early summer of 2021 – because of the contact with customers. In a practice in Lichterfeld, Nicolas S. had the Biontech vaccine injected… A short time later, the first symptoms. ‘The pain was so present that I couldn’t concentrate on anything anymore,’ he says. Desperate, he went to an emergency room. Heart attack and stroke were ruled out.
“His vaccinator was at a loss, gave him the second dose. The symptoms worsened. Only during the ultrasound of the vessels… did the specialist note the suspicion: ‘non-specific vaccination side effects’…
“Meanwhile, Nicolas S. has been on sick leave for 78 weeks. His arms and hands feel ‘asleep’. The smallest movements trigger severe pain. He was fired from his job. He had to liquidate his company. At the beginning of 2022, he applied for recognition of vaccination damage and severe disability. No reaction!…
“Biontech also contradicts a connection with vaccination. ‘So far we have no evidence that the symptoms you mentioned are more common in vaccinated people.’
“Nationwide, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute has so far recorded 50,145 serious suspected cases of corona vaccination complications, but in Berlin, the Lageso has only recognized twelve…
“Nicolas S. now lives on social benefits. He says: ‘The worst thing is that there is no contact person for those affected.'”
Protestors Storm Brazil’s National Congress
Deutsche Welle reported on January 8:
“Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the National Congress building in Brasilia earlier on Sunday…
“Supporters of the former president refuse to accept that the populist autocrat lost his bid for reelection, claiming the election was stolen. Hardcore supporters have even openly called for a military coup in order to put him back in charge…”
The New York Post added on January 8:
“The… protests are reminiscent of the attack on the US Congress [on] January [6,] 2020, when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Building in Washington, DC…”
We will see whether the left-wing mass media will be blaming Trump for the events in Brazil. Of course, Trump claimed as well that the 2020 election was stolen. But this claim has been labeled in the USA as the “big lie” by the left-wing mass media, and woe unto those who even suggest that the election might have been stolen. They are facing censorship, ostracism and persecution… and that in a “democratic” country which supposedly protects the “right” of free speech.
More Than Meets the Eye
Breitbart reported on January 9:
“Protesters opposing the inauguration of far-left convicted felon Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as the country’s president on January 1 stormed Brasília on Sunday, breaching police barricades to break into the Brazilian Congress and destroy its façade, as well as several critical meeting chambers. The mob also attacked the STF, the nation’s supreme court, reportedly leaving its headquarters unusable and damaging or stealing priceless historical artifacts. The protesters attempted to break into the Planalto Palace, the president’s headquarters, but caused more minimal damage there.
“Lula became president this month after a bitter presidential race [against] his predecessor, conservative former President Jair Bolsonaro, that he won by a razor-thin margin. Lula should have been disqualified from running for president again as a result of crimes he was convicted for during his past term in office, from 2003 to 2011. Lula was sentenced to nearly 25 years in prison for taking bribes while president, but the STF overturned the conviction on jurisdictional grounds in 2021, allowing his name to be on the ballot.
“STF Minister [justice] Alexandre de Moraes, who also ran the country’s top election court during the election, outlawed discussing Lula’s conviction or calling him a criminal in media communications while allowing Lula to spuriously call Bolsonaro a ‘pedophile.’ The STF’s handling of the election has prompted a movement of Bolsonaro supporters calling for the military to intervene and prevent Lula from taking office…
“Police have arrested over 300 people at press time for participating in the riot, according to O Globo. Reports indicate that most of those arrested will face charges such as acts of violence against the states and conspiracy, which may result in prison terms of up to 12 years.
“The bulk of arrests related to the riot that have occurred so far, however, were not of people directly participating in the event. In response to an order from de Moraes, the police dismantled a massive tent city of Bolsonaro supporters who had organized outside of the headquarters of the armed forces, asking the military to overthrow Lula. Police confirmed over 1,500 arrests as they dismantled the camp, most of those arrested going peacefully. The operation required 40 buses to transfer those detained to prisons.”
The highly controversial role of Brazil’s Supreme Court contributed to the uproar and tumult in the country.
Condemnation of Zelensky Government Over Freedom of the Press and Religion
Breitbart wrote on January 7:
“The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Europe’s largest journalist association, has expressed concern about a new Ukrainian law that could arbitrarily censor media in the country. EFJ president Ricardo Gutiérrez voiced his concerns over the new legislation passed by the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky late last month, which will give the government enormous power over media operating in the country…
“The new law has been framed by the Zelensky government in terms of stopping the spread of Russian propaganda, and will give greater power to the National Television and Radio Council, which is appointed by the Ukrainian parliament. Some news sites which do not register with the council may be shut down as a result of the new law.
“According to Gutiérrez, the council is completely controlled by President Zelensky. ‘We are surprised by the lack of reaction from Western countries. We don’t understand why they don’t tell Zelensky that this law doesn’t live up to our standards. I would say that it will be impossible for Ukraine to join the European Union with a law like this,’ he said.
“The EFJ has previously defended Danish journalist Matilde Kimer, who was excluded from reporting in Ukraine and had her press credentials revoked after being accused of being ‘pro-Russian’ by the Zelensky government. The ban came just months after Kimer had also been banned from Russia.
“The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine has also raised issues with the new media law, releasing a statement saying ‘[s]uch powers are clearly excessive,’ and adding: ‘No one has yet managed to tame freedom of speech in Ukraine. It won’t work this time either.’
“Combatting Russian influence and propaganda has been used as the reason for several moves by the Zelensky government that have been controversial, including the recent suppression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Raids on Orthodox churches by the Ukrainians prompted condemnation from Russia, with former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev stating that ‘[t]he current Ukrainian authorities have openly become enemies of Christ and the Orthodox faith.’”
In times of war, these kinds of moves can be expected. The freedom of the press, the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion and of religious assembly will be constantly under attack.
The World Against the State of Israel
Israel Today wrote on January 4:
“Love him or hate him, agree with him or oppose him, Itamar Ben-Gvir has become a barometer for international attitudes regarding the prophetic restoration of Israel. The Bible is fairly clear that the physical rebirth of Israel that we’ve already witnessed was just an initial step… leading to a particular set of national actions that in turn lead to the nations of the world coming against the Jewish state… the UN is trying to tell the Jews that they may not do what the Lord God of Israel told them to do, which in this case is to ascend the Temple Mount in worship of Him.
“We are witnessing the nations of the world align themselves against the Almighty, though they fail to see it as such. And it’s only possible for them to do so in this way because of the rebirth of Israel as a nation, which has in turn enabled Jews like Itamar Ben-Gvir to again (after 2,000 years of exile) express their commitment to God and His Word in a sovereign and independent manner.”
U.N. Wastes Everybody’s Time
Fox News added on January 6:
“Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. lambasted the organization for calling a meeting to discuss an Israeli official’s visit to a Jerusalem holy site. ‘Minister Ben-Gvir’s recent visit to the Temple Mount was not an incursion into al-Aqsa or any other fabrication that the Palestinians branded his visit as,’ Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan said during a blistering speech to the U.N. Security Council, Thursday…
“The status quo allows for Muslims alone to worship at the site, where the Al-Aqsa mosque stands. Ben Gvir’s supporters insist that the minister never stepped on the actual believed location of the Holy of Holies and never prayed, therefore avoiding any violations…
“‘When this council dedicates its valuable time to “shows about nothing,” it legitimizes the poisonous lies of the Palestinians, and as a result, empowers terrorists to continue in their murderous ways,’ Erdan said. ‘While the Temple Mount is sadly not yet a house of prayer for all nations, it is still the right of every Jew… to at least… visit this holiest of holy spots.’”
The U.N.’s Hatred for Israel
Israel 365 News added on January 6:
“A report by UN Watch revealed that in 2022, the United Nations General Assembly approved 15 anti-Israel resolutions as compared to 13 against all other countries combined. Russia, which invaded Ukraine amid accusations of human rights violations, garnered six condemnations. North Korea, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Iran and the US were hit with one resolution each.
“Saudi Arabia, China, Lebanon, Turkey, Venezuela and Qatar, which have poor human rights records or were involved in regional conflicts, were not dinged by any resolutions criticizing them.
“Since 2015, the General Assembly has adopted 140 resolutions against Israel. In the same period of time, the UN passed 68 resolutions against all other countries combined…
“From 2006 through 2022, the UN Human Rights Council has adopted 99 resolutions against Israel, 41 against Syria, 13 against Iran, 4 against Russia, and 3 against Venezuela…
“In 2022, EU member states voted for one resolution each to criticize Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar, the U.S. for its embargo on Cuba, and six resolutions on Russia’s war in Ukraine. By contrast, EU states voted for about 10 resolutions on Israel. These same EU states failed to introduce a single UNGA resolution this year on the human rights situation in China, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Algeria, or 175 other countries.”
These statistics speak for themselves and show the blatant bias and Antisemitism of the world towards Israel.
Israel and USA on Collision Course
The Times of Israel wrote on January 7:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government is little more than a week old but it’s already giving the Biden administration headaches…
“The new government is an unwelcome complication for a Biden national security team seeking to shift attention away from the Middle East and toward rivals like China and Russia. It also comes as Republicans take control of the House of Representatives and are eager to cast Biden as unfriendly to Israel ahead of the 2024 presidential election…
“… while Biden and Netanyahu have known each other for years, they are not close. Biden and former Obama administration officials who now work for Biden still harbor resentment toward the prime minister who, during his previous iteration as Israel’s leader, sought to derail their signature foreign policy achievement: the Iran nuclear deal.
“… on Friday, Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet approved a series of punitive steps against the Palestinian leadership in retaliation for the Palestinians pushing the UN’s highest judicial body to give an opinion on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank… The Security Cabinet decided to withhold millions of dollars from the Palestinian Authority and transfer those funds to a compensation program for the families of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror attacks. And, it will deny benefits, including travel permits, to Palestinian officials who ‘are leading the political and legal war against Israel.’
“Meanwhile, Biden’s administration is moving in a diametrically opposed direction. Since taking office, the administration has reversed the Trump ban on aid and provided more than $800 million in economic, development, security, and other assistance to the Palestinians and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
“… exactly one week before Netanyahu took office in late December, the State Department imposed but immediately waived terrorism sanctions against the Palestinian leadership, saying engagement with the Palestinians is a critical US national security interest.
“On December 22, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman notified Congress that she had imposed travel bans on senior leaders of the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization because they ‘are not in compliance’ with requirements to tamp down and publicly condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis. But, in the same notification, the State Department said Sherman had waived the travel bans ‘based on her determination that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.’”
What a circus!
USA vs. Catholic Rome?
LifeSiteNews wrote on January 6:
“… the idea the U.S. government could be involved in a plot to undermine the Catholic Church is not without precedent, as emails released by Wikileaks in 2016 showed how John Podesta, chairman of Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign, exchanged ideas with Obama-linked non-profit executive Sandy Newman about how to foment ‘revolution’ in the Church.”
Worldwide “Unnatural” Deaths in 2022
The Christian Post wrote on January 6:
“Statistics reveal that abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide for the fourth year in a row, as the number of abortions nearly quadrupled the number of deaths from infectious diseases in 2022.
“Worldometer, a database that keeps track of statistics about health, the global population and other metrics in real-time, continuously compiles information about the number of abortions worldwide. The last available snapshot of the Worldometer from 2022, captured on Dec. 31 by the internet archiving tool The Wayback Machine, shows that more than 44 million abortions took place last year.
“While Worldometer cites a fact sheet from the World Health Organization as the source for its abortion statistics, the WHO maintains that ‘around 73 million induced abortions take place worldwide each year.’ The global organization characterizes abortion as an essential health service.
“The second leading cause of death in 2022, as identified by the Worldometer, was communicable diseases, causing nearly 13 million casualties. The deaths attributed to infectious diseases, as well as the more than 8 million deaths caused by cancer, the approximately 5 million fatalities triggered by smoking, the roughly 2.5 million alcohol-related deaths and the nearly 2 million deaths caused by AIDS this year combined add up to less than the number of lives lost to abortion in 2022.
“Additional leading causes of death identified by the Worldometer include road traffic accident fatalities, which claimed more than 1 million lives last year, and suicides, numbering slightly more than 1 million. Over 800,000 people lost their lives due to water-related diseases last year, half a million people died because of the seasonal flu, nearly 400,000 people died of malaria and around 300,000 women died during childbirth.
“Deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which have become the subject of much media attention, were measured at 1,209,570 in a separate set of [statistics] compiled by Worldometer…
“… the number of worldwide deaths in 2022… [exceeded] 100 million. The total world population at the end of 2022 came in at slightly above 8 billion.”
The list above does not even include the many hundreds of thousands of people who died in war in 2022.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.