Mad or bad?

Vladimir Putin is quite sane: So, what explains him?

Putin

As this year accelerates, many still have precious memories of the most loved time of the year, worldwide – the Christmas festival, celebrated throughout Christendom, and even by those of other faiths who regard Christ predominantly as an important prophet.

However, I recall a dismissive radio presenter claiming that the celebration of Christmas was originally simply an opportunistic grab by Christians to take over a pagan celebration. There is no evidence, he foolishly and inaccurately pontificated, that the Christ child was even born around this time of the year.

He couldn’t have been more wrong, although the word “Yuletide”, the pagan mid-winter festival, has left us with the reminder of a pre-Christian world. It existed long before the apostles, following Christ’s teaching, set out on lengthy, lonely journeys to spread his message of redemption to a world plagued by confusion, the worship of multiple deities and the barbarity of warfare.

This sounds somewhat familiar. Moreover, in what has too commonly been hailed as a post-Christian age, the problem of evil at work in human affairs is one to which commentators are increasingly turning their attention. The ludicrous attacks on reason, on the reality of essentially indisputable facts, has today become more prevalent than ever before in almost every aspect of our lives.

Etiology of evil

Various theories have long been proffered to account for some human beings’ brutality and viciousness at levels incomprehensible to most people. However, the crucial question is whether inherently evil behaviour is simply the result of warped minds – or whether there is an independent entity which can operate through individuals receptive to the ability to hurt, torment, and painfully kill others – or even to simply enjoy dominating, intimidating, and sowing dissent.

The appalling attack launched by Vladimir Putin against the people of Ukraine may well place him among individuals history now regards as unspeakably evil – the Hitlers, the Stalins, Pol Pot and arguably now Xi Jinping – all tyrants whose hubris caused and causes immense hardship and worse to their own people, as well as those whom they oppress. But from where comes the motivation for possibly sociopathic or even psychopathic behaviour?

There is no disputing that all people of all religions have looked beyond this world for some deity or gods, some, not all, benevolent. The very word religion comes from the Latin “ligare” – to bind and “re” – here meaning “back” – referring to some supreme entity which mankind has long thought exists elsewhere.

Christianity yields to none in promoting the greatest teaching of all, the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

God incarnate

The arrival of Christianity, centred, as St Paul reminds us, on the reality of Christ’s resurrection, changed all this. As he pointed out, if Christ did not rise from the dead, “then our preaching is in vain”. In other words, Christianity depends on what was claimed as actual fact by those who saw the man claiming to be the Son of God dying in agony on a Roman cross. They testified later that he appeared to them as promised on the third day after his death.

Was it true? All the apostles except St John, into whose care Mary, the mother of Jesus, was given, are believed to have been martyred, utterly convinced by what they had witnessed, by Christ’s teachings, and by the miracles he performed.

His existence is confirmed in both Jewish and Roman histories. Such testimony to his claim was given by Christianity’s earlier believers that, hounded and persecuted, whole families were savaged by lions in the Roman amphitheatres, or covered with tar and set alight by the Emperor Nero to die agonisingly as human torches.

It takes a great deal of courage to accept a horror ahead, when making an easy choice would avoid this prospect. Yet down through the centuries, increasingly so in today’s world, Christians are and have been persecuted, tortured and executed for refusing to abandon their beliefs. And although we respect those determined to live good lives while following their own, often inherited, religious practices and beliefs, Christianity yields to none in promoting the greatest teaching of all, the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Prince of this world

This is obviously not a philosophy to which Russia’s President subscribes. However, undoubtedly if all, including the world’s leaders, lived according to this precept – an eminently superior one, given that people worldwide want protection for their families, especially their children – peace would be universal. Many indeed try to live according to this fundamental Christian teaching. So, what has gone wrong down through the centuries?

Does the answer come through Christ’s warning about what he called the Prince of Darkness – a supreme entity of evil in this world? It is something he emphasised more than once – that this world belongs to this being, understood to be because the first human beings did what they had been asked not to do. Our inheriting of Original Sin has been regarded as its consequence.

There is little doubt of the capacity of each of us to be tempted towards both our better and our worse natures.

Simply a myth? There is little doubt of the capacity of each of us to be tempted towards both our better and our worse natures. St Paul’s warning was: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

He maintained that evil exists as an actual being, operating where it can through individuals – in Christ’s own words, as “the evil one… a murderer from the beginning… a liar and the father of lies.”

In the crosshairs

If such an entity as the devil exists, its strongest target would be Christianity – with the Catholic Church tracing its descent from St Peter, upholding the traditional beliefs and truths it teaches. However, dissent is now an issue here, with long-established traditions being challenged, to the concern of conservative Catholics.

The concerted attack upon Christianity throughout the 20th century, particularly assisted by communism and fascism, was launched upon a world wearied and weakened by two horrific world wars. Is a devil’s greatest triumph persuading the modern world that he does not exist, as G.K. Chesterton averred?

The gradual move to ridicule teaching children at Sunday schools has so long extended to the mindless disparaging of Christianity, that the Smart-Smart People, delving instead into more fashionable religions and alternative beliefs, are even tolerating the folly of the growing promotion of Satanism, particularly within the United States.

The question remains. From where has ensued the increasing attack on actual realities, the essential truth of things in so many aspects of our lives that little-challenged absurdities – amounting to deranged thinking – are increasingly invasive? Little wonder at the growth of the culture of despair, trapping so many in alcoholism and drug-taking.

Are we the richer for this? In the words of Matthew Arnold (Dover Beach):

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round
earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle
furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing
roar.

And for the people of Ukraine, facing the evil actions of an individual unmoved at the prospect of so many innocent individuals – men, women and children – wounded and dying while trying to defend their homeland the question remains – what entity of evil underpins all this?

Amy Brooke is an award-winning New Zealand children’s author, commentator and critic. Visit her websites at www.amybrooke.co.nz and www.100days.co.nz

Categories: Foreign Affairs, ReligionApril 13, 2022

Author: Amy Brooke— Visit my homepage and children’s literature website: www.amybrooke.co.nz www.100days.co.nz

The corruption of the media?

Does it not strike New Zealanders as very strange that our mainstream media –  which ranted about Donald Trump on an almost daily basis –  never even hints at the mental collapse of Joe Biden?
And what about the now, no longer able to be hidden complicity between Biden and his son, revealed in Hunter Biden’s computer  with evidence detailing more than dodgy deals netting scores of millions of dollars – with Dad apparently expecting his share?
Even the  left-owned US  media are now incapable of concealing this any further.
For our own media to remain silent can basically also be called corruption.
Obama’s over-generous response to Iran more than raised eyebrows – it put America and the  free world at risk. Biden  has gone a step further. But then there has long been  suspicion that Obama is pulling Biden’s puppet strings.

 God help America-  this  is shocking  – read on.

——



From:Melanie Phillips <melaniephillips@substack.com>
Reply-To:






Complicit in depravity

If true, the Biden team’s reported grovelling to Tehran is beyond shocking Melanie PhillipsApr 17

The Battle of Israel and Amalek; Luca Giordano, 1634-1705I have written many times — as here, here, and here — about the astonishing desperation of the Biden administration to make a deal with Iran over its nuclear programme. If the Obama administration had some of us scratching our heads in horror over its 2015 deal which guaranteed an Iranian path to nuclear weapons with at best only a few years’ delay, the successor deal on the verge of being agreed by the Biden team was shaping up to be very much worse. 

This would reportedly not only guarantee an Iranian nuclear bomb within a much shorter timescale, not only funnel tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief into the coffers of a US-designated terrorist state already responsible for killing scores of Americans and other westerners, but even worse was poised to lift the designation of “Foreign Terrorist Organisation” from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran’s de facto army that’s responsible for countless global atrocities.
 At the last hurdle, however, progress towards a deal recently ground to a halt. With even some Democrats in the US Congress as well as otherwise lily-livered western countries expressing consternation and disbelief that America might be about to give an effective green light to the IRGC, this suddenly seemed to become a sticking point for the Biden team, too. Suddenly, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “not overly optimistic” it would be concluded.

Here, however, is where an already deeply troubling and scarcely believable US policy becomes simply depraved. As Andrew Parasiliti and Elizabeth Hagedorn reported earlier this month on Al Monitor: The Biden administration was ready to de-list the IRGC if Iran would agree not to target Americans implicated in the killing of IRGC-Quds Force commander  Qasem Soleimaniby a US armed drone in January 2020.The US Justice Department is reportedly investigating an IRGC plot to kill former US national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.“It is politically impossible for the Iranians to publicly close the file on taking revenge for Soleimani,” Ali Vaez of the International Crisis Group told Al-Monitor. “That proposal has been rejected by the Iranians.

Iran has come up with a counterproposal that the US is now considering [my emphasis]”.Just consider the implications of this. The killing of Soleimani was a welcome and long overdue lethal counter-strike by the US against the man who had the blood of countless Americans and others on his hands and who was the Iranian regime’s most important strategist of mass murder. Yet instead of making good on this tardy defence of the west by doubling down on such counter-strikes, the Biden team proceeded to grovel before the godfathers of terror in Tehran in a sordid plea for protection against reprisals for Soleimani’s killing, in exchange for giving a free pass to to the terrorist army he had commanded — thus putting the lives of countless more innocents at risk from IRGC atrocities.

Worse still, the Biden team is apparently “now considering” an Iranian proposal that would enable the regime not to “publicly close the file on taking revenge for Soleimani”. It would appear from this that the Biden team is “now considering” agreeing to an Iranian proposal to take some kind of revenge on the US. And this despite the IRGC plot to murder Bolton and Pompeo.If this seems too grotesque to be credible, consider this in Tablet from Lee Smith, who writes: This is not the first time the Iranians have plotted to kill their enemies in the US capital. In September 2011, US law enforcement arrested Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-born naturalised US citizen who, together with Iran-based Quds Force officers, had plotted to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir at a Washington restaurant and subsequently bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies.
At the time, President Barack Obama said that Iran “will pay a price” for plotting terror attacks that were likely to have killed a huge number of people in the US capital. Instead, the Obama administration legalised Iran’s nuclear weapons program when it agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015.The Biden administration is now negotiating to re-enter the deal that the Trump administration withdrew from in May 2018. Despite some recent hand-wringing, it seems unlikely that Iran’s efforts to kill Americans will derail Biden’s negotiators.

The Obama team eagerly embraced the Iranian nuclear program while ignoring Tehran’s terror plots and will almost certainly do so again under Biden.Robert Malley, the key negotiator for Obama’s Middle East team, now serves as Biden’s Iran envoy.Moreover, recently released court filings and press reports suggest that two US citizens, Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali who were arrested in Washington DC earlier this month, might have been part of an Iranian assassination team whose mission was to kill former high-ranking US officials. The two were arrested for impersonating federal agents. Pretending to be agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), they provided Secret Service agents with rent-free apartments, iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat-screen television, a generator, and what they said were “official government vehicles”. They also proposed buying an assault rifle for a Secret Service agent assigned to First Lady Jill Biden.

As Smith writes: It seems odd that these actions barely raised the suspicions of the numerous federal agents living in the building… Taherzadeh and Ali’s stunning imposture was finally revealed by a US Postal Service inspector who was investigating an attack on a postal carrier in the Navy Yard building and was told by residents that the two men might have witnessed the assault… How is it possible that in a building full of federal law enforcement agents, it took a postal service inspector to uncover the two men? After all, press reports have suggested for months that the FBI and US intelligence agencies are aware of active foreign plots against US officials. In particular, the Iranians are intent on taking revenge for the targeted assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the onetime chief of the Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ external operations unit, who was second in command only to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

And how is it possible that, despite all this, the Biden administration is pulling out all the stops to conclude a deal that will further hugely empower the terrorist and fanatically anti-west regime in Tehran? As Smith writes: In other words, rather than walking away from the deal with a terror state that is actively trying to murder former US officials, the Biden administration has been trying to arrive at a formula that licenses Iranian vengeance against its predecessors in government.The only way to describe this is, as Smith suggests, depraved. It’s what happens when wicked people lure others with no courage and even less moral sense down the rabbit hole of wishful thinking. They end up becoming complicit in depravity. And this is now the trajectory that America, the ostensible leader of the free world, is now on. Recent postsMy most recent exclusive post for my premium subscribers observes that to most western media, attacks on Jews are invisible if they don’t fit the narrative.
This is how the piece begins: Melanie PhillipsAn alternative universeIn Lakewood New Jersey on Sunday, three men dressed in orthodox Jewish garb were hospitalised — with two left in critical condition — after a man on an antisemitic rampage tried to murder them. 27-year-old Dion Marsh intentionally ran over one of them, stabbed another in the chest and then struck the third in a car-ramming attack. After being arrested by the police, Marsh…Read more3 days ago ·

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And you can read my most recent post that’s available to everyone, arguing that democracy has been dying in media darkness, by clicking here.One more thing…This is how my website works.It has two subscription levels: my free service and the premium service.Anyone can sign up to the free service on this website. You can of course unsubscribe at any time by clicking “unsubscribe” at the foot of each email.Everyone on the free list will receive the full text of pieces I write for outlets such as the Jewish News Syndicate and the Jewish Chronicle, as well as other posts and links to my broadcasting work.But why not subscribe to my premium service? For that you’ll also receive pieces that I write specially for my premium subscribers. Those articles will not be published elsewhere. They’ll arrive in your inbox as soon as I have written them.There is a monthly fee of $6.99 for the premium service, or $70 for an annual subscription. Although the fee is charged in US dollars, you can sign up with any credit card. Just click on the “subscribe now” button below to see the available options for subscribing either to the premium or the free service.A note on subscriptionsIf you purchase a subscription to my site, you will be authorising a payment to my company Dirah Associates. In the past, that is the name that may have appeared on your credit card statement. In future, though, the charge should appear instead as Melanie Phillips.And thank you for following my work.Subscribe nowShareYou’re a free subscriber to Melanie Phillips. For the full experience, become a paid subscriber.Subscribe© 2022 Melanie Phillips Unsubscribe
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Why are we letting our politicians destroy this country?

The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealandwww.100days.co.nz

 There is more than one way to ruin any country – and to sabotage a democracy. The reminder is here in this column that a government that mandates how the language is used can control the minds of its citizens. 

https://www.spectator.com.au/author/amy-brookeexample-com/

And to those think Latin is merely a dead language comes a corrective,  illustrating how much more valuable it actually is for young New Zealanders to learn than today’s inauthentic te Reo.

The Ardern government is foisting off on us more and more unintelligible words and phrases – in many cases substituting newly-coined, by no means authentic Maori to replace the language we all share. Our institutions, organizations, agencies are now having their long-accepted names replaced, reinvented in many cases well past the point of authenticity,  without any consultation whatsoever with New Zealanders. For example, we all knew what the New Zealand Transport Authority meant.  What possible, sensible reason could there have been for changing its name to the largely unintelligible Waka Kotahi?

But wait!  Apparently removing the long accepted names from all our government institutions to rename them in te Roe is to “revitalize them”. Some might think this arrant nonsense…  Moreover, Miss Ardern knows quite well that New Zealanders have already strongly rejected replacing our nationally known name by Aotearoa – which was never even the equivalent Maori name for New Zealand. It doesn’t stop her doing so.

The attack on our common culture   – which those of part-Maori descent also share through their own European ancestors – derived from so many contributing nations – from Greece, Rome, France – from  the Arabians, Scandinavian,  Celts and others  – from the whole melting pot of peoples from whom our forebears and we ourselves are descended has contributed richly to today’s New Zealand.

It also now includes these from other countries who chose to come here because we were a democracy, underpinned by Christian ideals and values – in particular, respect for each and every individual,  regardless of colour, sex,  race or creed. So important are these stabilising ideals that we should only be admitting as immigrants those who subscribe to these values. Where there is dissent, and the promotion of separatism, as Samuel Huntington reminds us – cultures clash, with the inevitable fracturing of a society. There is every evidence this is now happening, under Ardern’s virtual rule.

None of us would be under any illusion today that our democracy is under attack from within by a very small group of those of part-Maori descent – by no means a majority –  so apparently swollen with self-importance because of one part of their cultural inheritance that they are clamouring for co-governance of this country. Of course it can’t be allowed to happen – although it is not being been contested  – on the contrary – by the Prime Minister.  But every inch given leads eventually to a mile taken.  And the twisting of the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi, whose simple provisions made it plain that all New Zealanders,  at the time of the signing of the Treaty, now became subjects of the Crown, with equal rights and protection,  is the weapon they are using.

They are in fact untruthful  about the provisions of the treaty – conveniently calling it “a living document” – nonsense, of course, as its signing was anchored in time and place and means no more and no less than its plain statements and obvious intent.

However, the prescient George Orwell reminded us that if the language is attacked, so is the thinking. And this attack on our English is being intensified.

I was struck when recently ringing Parliament to have the normal announcement that I had contacted Parliament replaced by a long spiel in what I began to realise must be te Reo. When this individual had finished, then letting me know in English that I had reached Parliament, he asked if I would like to hear a little more Maori – or words to that effect.  I said I certainly would not – that  I had heard too much already that was totally unintelligible to me,  and to by far the majority of New Zealanders… that it was simply discourteous to answer Parliament’s phone at length in any but our shared, and most important, national and international language – and that he had wasted my time and his own by not doing so.

He was pleasant, had obviously been told to do so, and said he would take this on board. Other New Zealanders who may want to speak to an MP in relation to any current issue many like to test this. Parliament’s number is 04 817 9999. If more New Zealanders would ring Parliament to register their views on important issues this would be a very useful tactic  – particularly given that the Labour government is shockingly refusing to accept email submissions on matters of particular concern.

We know them all. And the excuse given for the  imposition of today’s te Reo on the public, at enormous cost, can also,  with so much else, be laid at the feet of a former  National government, equally culpable in its own markedly racist provisions – including the disgraceful business of former Prime Minister John Key surreptitiously sending Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples to New York to sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  – deliberately  without letting New Zealanders know – nor  even the media!   Ardern has found this a convenient tool indeed on which to hang He Puapua  –  although of course Maori were never  indigenous to this country – so it has no relevance here.

But the move now is being prioritised to override the very principles  of democracy to give superior status to those belonging to powerful iwi – even when of markedly European descent –  over and above those of the majority of this country. As a correspondent has stated:

“It is also a disgrace that New Zealanders have until only Wednesday 20 April to submit an objection to the  outrageous, anti-democratic, proposed arrangement for new council wards  – where the Maori wards get more seats per person than the general wards. “

 Ardern’s government of course has no  intention of taking any notice, but  he is right in saying, “It is important to at least register as many objections as possible to help build momentum against the wider co-governance plot,  and to put pressure on the individuals voting for it.” As he adds,  “History will not judge them kindly”.

 Please lodge your objection in time. To put it bluntly,  those who don’t do so are so often  part of the problem…

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission/document/53SCMA_SCF_BILL_121327/rotorua-district-council-representation-arrangements

More and more New Zealanders are waking up to the fact that it is our politicians who have caused, and are causing, more damage to this country than  any other group of individuals. It is good  to have more and more New Zealanders  coming on board to support our  highly relevant movement which can give us the means to reclaim this country… to control our politicians – as the Swiss do – so that it is we  who can decide on this country’s directions –  and block all legislation which continually causes such damage.

 ***

Check out  www.100days.co.nz  and join us to help in the fight back against our undemocratic government – and to support this much-needed initiative  to control all our political parties.

You can also order my book, “The 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.”

It is available through my home page and children’s literature website BOOKS page at www.amybrooke.co.nz –  or at Amazon’s Kindle.

We need your support – please help us get our  message further out –  see the DONATIONS page www.100days.co.nz 

And thank you very much those who have already done so! 
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Amy Brooke

Visit my homepage and children’s literature website: www.amybrooke.co.nz

www.100days.co.nz

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