Book Review: God vs Government

Book Review: God vs Government

The inspiring story of two churches defying the secular state despite severe restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The basic right to worship God freely was severely challenged over the past few years as most Western governments clamped down on all sorts of basic liberties — including religious freedom — all in the name of ‘keeping us safe’. Sadly most churches, pastors and church leaders completely caved in. Those that resisted this Big Brother statism were in the minority.

God vs Govt bookTwo of them that did are featured in this book. Coates is the pastor of GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Canada. Busenitz is on the pastoral team of Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, California. Both made headlines around the world for daring to defy the secular state and remain true to Christ.

Principled

Here they tell their stories, as well as provide some basic biblical principles to help believers deal with the conflict between obedience to Christ and government compliance. Given that we can expect to see the ever-expanding state get worse in the days ahead, these are important matters to deal with now. Early on the authors inform us of their intentions:

“This book is about government overreach — how civil authorities exploited a public health issue to stir up fear and shut down freedom. Our concern centers on the restrictive measures employed by public officials and the effect those regulations had on local churches that wanted to gather in obedience to Christ (Hebrews 10:25).”

They continue:

“The honor that we rightly owe our earthly governors and magistrates (Romans 13:7) does not include compliance when such officials attempt to subvert sound doctrine, corrupt biblical morality, exercise ecclesiastical authority, or supplant Christ as head of the church in any other way.”

Media Barrage

The first half of the book tells us about these two churches and what they endured at the hands of overzealous authorities. Each author has around five chapters to elaborate on their experiences. Many would already know of their stories, but I have written about both Coates’ and MacArthur’s churches at various times in the past.

Both stories are quite shocking, but Coates may have paid the heaviest price: for seeking to keep his church open he spent 35 days in prison — in maximum-security! All because he felt it was wrong for the secular state to tell the church when and how it can allow the worship of the living God.

Let me mention just one brief aspect of what he said in his chapters. He noted how it was not just the state, but the media that was acting hand-in-hand with the state that made life so hellish for him and the church:

One of the tools the government used to try to bring about our compliance was the mainstream media. Their aim was to paint us in the worst possible light, garner public outrage and animosity, and use that to intimidate us into submission. The media was hammering us, the comment threads were filled with hate and vitriol, and our congregants were beginning to experience opposition from co-workers and extended family members.

Unexpected Blessings

As to MacArthur’s church, Busenitz says this near the end of his account:

At the end of a year-long legal battle, the county’s efforts to shut down the church ultimately came to nothing. Despite their threats and intimidation in late 2020 and early 2021, our congregation continued to meet every Sunday for corporate worship without interference…

Grace Community Church did not merely survive during this season. By God’s grace, our church thrived. Attendance grew; giving went up; and opportunities for ministry increased exponentially. More importantly, our church family witnessed the protective power of God, who allowed us to continue meeting when public officials tried to shut us down. For that we give Him all the glory.

When I first became a Christian 50 years ago and started to read the New Testament, the stories of persecution stood out to me, and I wondered how that might look in the contemporary West. Little did I know that within my lifetime we too would experience this sort of Statist crackdown on Christianity.

But as the authors remind us:

“Persecution of the church by government authorities has been the norm, not the exception, throughout church history. … Historically, the two main persecutors have always been secular government and false religion. Most of Christianity’s martyrs have died because they refused to obey such authorities.”

As to these two churches, in both cases they had reached out to the authorities, seeking to come up with some sort of amicable solution. But it seems that Trudeau’s Canada and Newsom’s California were more interested in showing who was boss, and in squashing any defiance from Christians. Compromise is not possible when the State thinks it can take the place of God.

Scripture Lessons

The second half of the book examines both Scripture and church history, delineating what are the proper limits of the state, and what churches should be able to freely do without outside interference. Biblical principles are discussed in some detail on how church and state are to relate.

In terms of how we are to view human authorities, the authors list these nine points (which I present in outline form):

  • God is the supreme authority over the entire universe.
  • God gave human beings authority to rule over the earth
  • Every human government is given its authority by God.
  • Those in government are accountable to God for how they exercise their authority.
  • God has designed the proper role for government.
  • The government has the right to collect taxes to accomplish its God-given purpose.
  • When a government abuses its powers, … it does so in violation of God’s law.
  • Citizens suffer when those in power exercise their authority in reckless or corrupt ways.
  • One day God will establish the perfect government.

Given the importance of Romans 13:1-7 in this overall discussion, the authors spend some time examining how we are to interpret it, along with the other key texts on the Christian’s response to government: 1 Timothy 2:1-8; Titus 3:1-2; and 1 Peter 2:13-17. They also discuss the many texts that speak about believers resisting the wrongful edicts of the state and engaging in civil disobedience and conscientious resistance.

Near the end of the book, they look at how the Covid statist overreach exposed a number of deficiencies in the evangelical church. These include a deficient ecclesiology, a deficient approach to Scripture, a deficient theology of persecution, and a deficient knowledge of history — both church and secular.

The book finishes with a chapter on “Christ, Courage, and Noncompliance.” They write:

By remembering our God-given mandate, our Christ-centered message, and our Spirit-empowered mission, we can exhibit the same kind of gospel courage that the apostles demonstrated so powerfully here in Acts 5 — the courage to speak, to stand, and to suffer for Christ. We tend to think that we have to muster up some kind of internal fortitude in order to be courageous. In reality, all we have to do is be obedient and live out our biblical convictions with consistency — even when it becomes unpopular to do so.

We can be grateful that not all churches and church leaders capitulated during this time of heavy-handed government crackdowns and lockdowns. We can be inspired and encouraged by these two brave Christian leaders — and others like them — who dared to be a Daniel in such dark and oppressive times.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch.

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The Tyranny of the Pandemic Treaty

Australia and other nations will become puppet states of the WHO and the WEF.

There is worldwide outrage and concern about the latest attempt at globalist power grabs which will turn the concept of national sovereignty into a sick joke. The plan to revise the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) is one of the biggest threats we face in terms of freedom and democracy. I recently reported on this in a detailed article.

There is so much more that can be said about this monstrous and diabolical plot that more articles are needed. This is especially the case since the big three parties here — Libs, Labor and the Greens — all seem to be quite happy about ceding authority to the WHO, and to Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum (WEF), and to globalists like Bill Gates who is up to his ears in backing both organisations.

Botched by Biden

Many freedom fighters from around the globe have voiced their concerns about this frightening move by the WHO. Let me begin with Mat Staver of the US-based Liberty Counsel. He said this in part about this nefarious initiative:

Recognizing the IHR’s threat to U.S. sovereignty, former President Donald Trump stopped sending U.S. taxpayer dollars to WHO and began the process of pulling America out of the U.N. organization. Globalist billionaire Bill Gates countered by pledging to replace the lost American income to the tune of 250 million dollars.

Upon taking office, Joe Biden reversed President Trump and rejoined the so-called “global authority.” Now he wants to cede sovereignty to the WHO, which is ideologically aligned with Communist China and Bill Gates. But it was not enough for Biden to simply rejoin WHO. Biden is actively trying to cede more of America’s sovereignty to a U.N. globalist body.

On January 18, the Biden administration delivered 13 pages of proposed changes to WHO’s IHR charter. Biden did not consult Congress. In fact, Americans would not even know about the proposed amendments if it had not been for an independent researcher who discovered the scheme and raised an alarm on April 12.

WHO member states will vote on Biden’s proposed amendments NEXT WEEK, May 22-28. Because the U.S. already signed on to the IHR agreement in 2005, the U.S. Senate is not required to approve IHR amendments. It will be the globalists’ dream and every Americans’ nightmare. One of the shocking amendments Biden put forward adds nearly an entire new chapter (article 53) to the IHR agreement, establishing a heretofore nonexistent “Compliance Committee.”

Upon threat of being dragged to the World Court’s arbitration unit, where steep fines and sanctions can be imposed, member states are required to report IHR compliance measures to the “Compliance Committee,” which will “monitor” each nation’s progress with the IHR directives. The Committee, for its part, “shall strive to make its recommendations on the basis of consensus,” but consensus is not required to force WHO’s will on a member state.

Among the many other changes the Biden administration put forward is a provision that allows WHO’s director-general to appoint “relevant intergovernmental organizations or nongovernmental organizations in official relations with WHO to designate representatives.” Bill Gates is WHO’s second-highest funder, exceeded only by the United States. The Gates Foundation regularly donates up to 500 million per year to the globalist society. You can bet Gates or his surrogate will sit on that committee!

Slow-Mo & Albo

Here in Australia, Alexandra Marshall from the Australian Spectator has written some very important pieces on all this. In one article from last week she wrote:

The ‘New Normal’ of medical fascism is coming regardless of how Australians vote at the federal election. Having acquired a taste for globalised control during the Covid pandemic, the World Health Organisation has teamed up with vaccine manufacturers, philanthropic billionaires, and power-crazed world leaders to create a ‘Global Pandemic Treaty’ in Geneva. It is set to form part of the ‘one health’ approach proposed by the WHO and has been pitched by its creators as a way to overcome the inconvenient battle between — as they put it — globalism and statism…

In June of 2021, Scott Morrison commented on the proposed treaty, saying: “It’s essential that we strengthen global (disease) surveillance and provide the World Health Organisation with the authority and the capacity to do this important job for all the peoples of the world. If we are to deliver on this ambitious reform agenda, then we must work together and put other issues aside.”

Yes, the same Prime Minister who attempted to escape criticism by saying ‘there’s no such thing as vaccine mandates’ is champing at the bit to grant the WHO absolute control over the health choices of Australian citizens. It amounts to extending similar emergency powers to the WHO that Daniel Andrews gifted himself in Victoria — except Australians can’t vote the WHO out of power. As for Labor, they have laid down at the feet of the WHO, tummies up and paws in the air like dogs waiting for a rub…

If Scott Morrison or Anthony Albanese sign this treaty, it represents a seismic shift in everything we thought we knew about democracy. It is likely the treaty will make it possible for a foreign bureaucracy with unacceptably close ties to China to call the shots — literally — on global public health. Universal healthcare was meant to be a voluntary safety net — not a stepping stone to international socialism or the dissolution of body autonomy. That said, the wheels are already falling off, with questions being raised about whether it will be a ‘treaty’ in the legal sense after parts of the WHO Constitution were re-worded.

The vote for this dangerous Pandemic Treaty will be held in Geneva on May 22-28. Whoever the next Prime Minister of Australia is, they will be there with bells on, ready to sign and absolve themselves of the ‘bother’ of responsibility. It is a dream come true for weak leaders who would love nothing better than to let the blame for the next pandemic and the accompanying citizen outrage rest safely offshore.

In a newer piece, she writes:

It beggars belief. After two and a half years in which a cohort of left-leaning politicians, elite bureaucrats, over-zealous health officials and opportunistic drug manufacturers cajoled, harangued, bullied and used police brutality to force many of us into locking ourselves down for months on end in our homes, closing our children’s schools, abandoning our elderly and frail relatives to suffer alone without family affection, losing our jobs, bankrupting our businesses, trashing our investments, compromising our mental health, wearing largely pointless masks and taking unproven medical treatments frequently against our better judgement, those most responsible for the authoritarian excesses and abuses of the Covid-19 era now wish to further encourage such activities with a World Health Organisation Global Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Treaty. 194 nations, including our own, are said to intend ratifying a series of Biden administration ‘amendments’ supporting such a treaty at a special meeting of the World Health Assembly this week in Geneva…

The pandemic and its aftermath have taught us one invaluable lesson: too much power in the hands of unelected officials and unaccountable bureaucracies only results in bad, even deadly, decision-making. It is increasingly clear that nations such as Sweden and states such as Florida which took a more sceptical or nuanced approach to implementing strict Covid restrictions — trusting in the choices of individuals rather than imposing draconian, one-size-fits-all measures from on high — have fared certainly no worse and sometimes even better than others. On excess mortalities over the Covid period, for example, Sweden sits near the bottom of the European tally…

The understandable fear of many is that if the aspirations of those behind this treaty and its amendments are realised — gifting the WHO the legal power to impose at will pandemic restrictions of their own design upon any nation, state or community — then when the next pandemic comes around we could be looking at Dan Andrews-style lockdowns and police brutality being imposed on us willy-nilly by an unelected global authority.

Get Out Now

Finally, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts said this in part about this ominous threat:

The police and armed forces have already demonstrated their support for these measures during COVID. One Nation strongly opposes the ceding of our sovereignty to the UN and WHO. Unelected, unrepresentative foreign bureaucrats should not have the power to lock Australia down and force Australians to undergo medical procedures.

The Government should never have the power to force a medical procedure without your consent, an unelected international organisation certainly should not. This brazen proposal shows the WHO is not fit for purpose, cannot be trusted and does not operate with Australia’s sovereign interests in mind. Australia must immediately exit the WHO and maintain our sovereignty.

It is vital that every Australian does at least two things to fight this totalitarian evil. One, vote very carefully this Saturday in our national election. The major parties cannot be trusted on these matters. Two, contact your political representatives and tell them in no uncertain terms that we do not want Australia to become a mere puppet state of the globalists, of Gates, of WHO, of the UN, and of the WEF.

Three video resources

In this 35-minute video, George Christensen and Senator Malcolm Roberts discuss the Pandemic Treaty, Digital ID and the Great Reset:

And here is a 6-minute video on the WHO treaty by Rebel News:

Glenn Beck also has a 6-minute video on this:

Sign the petition

Here is a petition you can sign and share. It says in part:

The past two years have been rife with infringements on personal liberties and civil rights by national governments, but now the World Health Organization is seeking to appropriate those same abusive powers to itself at a global level. 194 member states representing 99% of the world’s population are expected to sign pandemic treaties with the WHO that would allow Tedros, or any future Director General, to dictate exactly how your nation would respond to a new disease outbreak which they consider a pandemic.

This attack on national sovereignty will come as no surprise to those who for years have listened to elites like Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates discussing their vision for the centralization of power into globalist organizations like the World Economic Forum (WEF), the WHO and the rest of the United Nations.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch.

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Great Reset: EU ‘Needs’ Lockdown-like Restrictions to Curb Russian Oil Use

Great Reset: EU ‘Needs’ Lockdown-like Restrictions to Curb Russian Oil Use

Measures akin to a COVID lockdown are needed in order to curb the EU’s reliance on Russian oil, one member state has said.

Lockdown-like measures should be implemented across the European Union to curb the bloc’s reliance on Russian oil, Luxembourg’s energy minister has said.

The demand comes as the transnational bloc prepares to publish a plan aimed at weaning the EU off of fossil fuels supplied from Russia, with some nation-states such as Germany being badly addicted to the likes of natural gas provided by the state.

According to a report by Der Spiegel, Luxembourg believes that such a plan should include the introduction of an EU-wide mandatory speed limit, a bloc-wide work-from-home mandate for at least two days of the week, and for every major EU city to ban the use of cars on the weekends.

This, the minister argues, would curb the use of oil in Europe and, in turn, lower reliance on Russian fuel imports.

“What we need at EU level is an EU-wide coordinated speed limit and two days of home office per week,” said the Luxembourgish Energy Minister Claude Turmes.

“I urge the Commission not to miss the opportunity to set Europe on this path,” he continued.

None of these policy suggestions made by Luxembourg are particularly original, with each one having been by various academics and NGOs ostensibly interested in moving the west away from Russia.

One of these organisations, the International Energy Agency, has previously argued that lowering speed limits, banning car use in cities on Sunday and pushing for people to work from home could be used to curb reliance on Russian imports.

“Car-free Sundays were introduced in countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands and West Germany during the 1973 oil crisis,” a report by the World Economic Forum on the 10-point plan read. ” Cities in other countries have used them more recently to promote public health.”

The IEA report also argues that cars should be banned from certain roads on alternating days, and that the use of high-speed trains, as opposed to air travel, should be encouraged in the hopes of getting commuters to switch to more efficient methods of long-distance travel.

While the organisation argues that these recommendations should be implemented to help the West fight Russia, the group also admits that the Climate Change agenda also plays a role in the heavy focus on reducing oil usage.

“Looking further ahead, this report also suggests a path for countries to put oil demand into structural decline in the medium term, building on measures already included in economic recovery packages introduced to deal with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report reads.

“Adopting the immediate and longer-term recommendations would put the countries on track for a decline in oil demand consistent with what is required to reach net zero emissions by 2050,” it goes on to say.

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Shanghai and the folly of replacing common sense with the authoritarian governance of idiots

Shanghai and the folly of replacing common sense with the authoritarian governance of idiots


The following featured article is from Compact magazine.

It provides a good insight into the humanitarian catastrophe that stems from authoritarian government in which the authoritarians lording it over the rest of humanity are (as is usually the case.) vicious idiots capable of egregious malicious error yet completely incapable of recognising or correcting their error.

It also provides an example of a government in its deaths throes.

And at the same time very clear evidence of how lockdowns and mass vaccination not only don’t work but actually make things worse.

We doubt though that “protecting people” from a flu-like bug is the real motivation for the Chinese government’s attack on its own citizens. We are looking at a government that is struggling. Governments in trouble tend to lash out at their citizenry. Consider that if the psychotic regime in Beijing has to resort to such extreme measures to keep people from venturing out, then they must be running into a heck of a lot of resistance.

by Alex Gutentag

Shanghai is China’s largest city and home to the busiest port in the world. Its population is roughly three times that of New York City. For more than two weeks, Shanghai’s 26 million residents have been confined to their homes. Authorities dispatch anyone who tests positive for Covid to crowded and sometimes unhygienic quarantine facilities, even if asymptomatic. Despite this protocol, Shanghai has reported a record number of symptomatic cases. Many families are struggling to obtain food, elderly people have been denied medical care, and some young children have been separated from their parents. Every day, more videos emerge of dystopian scenes: officers in hazmat suits removing citizens from their apartments, housecats being collected and culled, people jumping off buildings, robotic dogs policing the streets.

From a Western perspective, it is difficult to ascertain whether these policies are the result of political strife inside China, or of a genuine belief in the “dynamic-clearance” strategy to identify and extinguish all outbreaks. Whatever the reason, Shanghai’s lockdown has held up a mirror to the West’s Covidian zealots.

“The brutality of Shanghai’s lockdown is an indictment of the entire lockdown ideology.”

After various restrictions failed to stop transmission in Western countries, prominent figures called for harsher measures and stricter compliance. In April 2020, Anthony Fauci endorsed the idea of a national stay-at-home order. In November, he lamented that Americans’ “independent spirit” had hampered the response to Covid-19, adding, “Now is the time to do what you’re told.” The same month, the New York Times editorial board urged US leaders to enact “much more aggressive shutdowns than have been carried out in the past,” including “full-on shelter in place.” In an October 2020 tweet, Nicholas Kristof held up the Chinese response as a model: “China took Covid-19 very seriously … and it is now reaping a benefit: a booming economy. Lessons there for the world.” His tweet linked to a Times article detailing what the Chinese model involves: “comprehensive cell-phone tracking of its population, weeks-long lockdowns of neighborhoods and cities, and costly mass testing in response to even the smallest outbreaks.”

Commentators like Kristof were echoing the many medical and public-health researchers who hailed the ruthless efficacy of Chinese methods. An October 2020 report in The Lancet favorably compared the Covid performance of the People’s Republic to that of Western states, and in December 2021, the British Medical Journal published a largely laudatory symposium on China’s pandemic response. “China mobilized quickly and within two months had contained the epidemic and eliminated local infections in the country,” enthused one BMJ editorial.

In what way, we should now ask these figures and institutions, would their vision of a hard lockdown differ from the biomedical security state that has emerged in Shanghai? Do they believe our governments would do a more humane job of enforcing mass house arrest? If American families went hungry, would it comfort the Covidians to know that this was the price of a communal effort to “stop the spread”? And if the government took the lockdown fanatics themselves to an isolation facility that had no running water, as has happened in Shanghai, would they be happy to make the sacrifice? If the state demanded the removal of a 3-month-old baby from its breastfeeding mother, would the Covidians willingly hand him over? What if it “saves one life”?

Although many proponents of Zero Covid may deny that what’s happening in Shanghai is an approximation of their own vision, Shanghai is the logical conclusion of the lockdown mindset, in which no sacrifice is ever too great. This was the mindset of journalists, public-health officials, social-media doctors, and academics who repeatedly demanded the most stringent mitigation measures possible.

The brutality of Shanghai’s lockdown is an indictment of the entire lockdown ideology, which is incompatible with basic human rights.

When China’s first lockdown began in Wuhan, Western media weren’t enthusiastic, and many outlets rightly expressed concern. China’s approach, they contended, was pitting neighbor against neighbor and was irreconcilable with democratic values. However, the attitude of journalists changed abruptly in March 2020, when fear set in and they decided that a commitment to “collective action” was more important than civil liberties. Brutal measures were, in fact, effective, many argued. Covid deaths in Europe, they said, were a consequence of antiquated Western values. With the media aflame with Trump Derangement Syndrome, Covid represented a perfect chance to heighten the dramatic stakes and condemn Trump as a mass murderer for supposedly failing to act.

Various long-held plans incubated in NGOs and government agencies were seized upon as the solution to the pandemic. The resulting catastrophes, which would have once been unthinkable, weren’t arrived at through a pure desire to “save lives.” Rather, an illusion of scientific consensus was manufactured, as several different agendas coincided. Major financial motives, the half-baked plans of self-interested bureaucrats, and disastrous social-contagion dynamics combined to create the lockdown disaster.

“For lockdowners, it was never the policies that failed—it was only the people who could fail.”

Government officials and business leaders had been participating in pandemic simulations sponsored by biosecurity think tanks going back two decades. Wargames such as Operation Dark Winter (2001), Atlantic Storm (2005), and Event 201 (2019) primed their participants to pursue emergency government decrees and rushed vaccines. Moreover, as The New York Times reported, a small faction of federal government doctors and scientists, spurred by Bush-era fears about bioterrorism, was inspired by a 14-year-old girl’s science-fair project proposing a program of “social distancing” that senior officials initially regarded as ridiculous. This faction had been waiting for years to impose measures like school and business closures.

The World Health Organization, which also praised China for its pandemic response, has long been captured by pharmaceutical interests, lending credibility to the likes of Purdue Pharma, the now-disgraced firm that helped catalyze the opioid crisis. For pharmaceutical executives, Covid represented an opportunity to market a profitable coronavirus vaccine. The WHO’s biggest private funder by far is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the foundation has a financial stake in vaccination campaigns, including the one for Covid.

Once the vaccines became available, many people got vaccinated not because they were worried for their health, but because they hoped it would give them their freedom back. Lockdowns, Fauci recently stated, are used “to get people vaccinated.” For Fauci, though, the containment model had other advantages. In 2019, he had argued against “all the paranoid aspects” for combating infectious diseases and said that diet and exercise were the best way to prevent illness. So other than perhaps panic, what caused him to change his approach?

At the beginning of the outbreak, one of Fauci’s major objectives was to control the narrative around the virus’ origins and to cement the natural-origin theory. In 2011, Fauci and then-National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post headlined “A Flu Virus Risk Worth Taking.” In it, the pair argued that “important information and insights can come from generating a potentially dangerous virus in the laboratory.” After the Obama administration banned gain-of-function research in the United States, Fauci’s institute within the NIH provided a grant to help fund such research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2014.

If there were any relevant questions about the safety and ethics of this research, they were apparently ignored by the NIH’s chief of bioethics, Christine Grady, who happens to be Fauci’s wife. Sometime around late February and early March 2020, facing increasing pressure and potential scrutiny, Fauci embraced the Chinese model, which very much included total information control and censorship. Relying on “fact-checkers” with clear conflicts of interest, Facebook in February 2020 blocked a New York Post op-ed that used the available facts to speculate about the possibility of a lab-leak origin; Fauci emerged as a hero, rather than a villain, of the pandemic.

Add wildly irresponsible modeling, lack of scientific rigor, catchy slogans, scary exponential graphs, and a population addicted to television and social media—and the lockdown fiasco was achieved. In the end, lockdowns made virtually no difference globally in Covid mortality rates, as Johns Hopkins researchers recently concluded. There is a good reason China’s lockdown success has never really been replicated: The government’s official numbers may not be accurate. Almost everywhere else, Zero Covid either proved impossible and was eventually abandoned, or it ended in total failure, as in Hong Kong, which recently reported the highest Covid death rate in the world. In some places, Zero Covid rapidly escalated into blatant authoritarianism, as in Australia, where police had violent clashes with anti-lockdown protesters and people in the Northern Territory were sent to quarantine camps.

Yet officials and reporters continually pointed to the supposed success stories of Zero Covid or “hard-lockdown” countries to shame the US public into accepting ever more restrictions. These countries were proof that eradication was possible, and that viral spread was the outcome of the cultural and moral weakness of Westerners (never mind the fact that many Zero Covid countries were islands and therefore had unique geographic advantages for containment early on). For lockdowners, it was never the policies that failed—it was only the people who could fail.

More than two years after the lie of “two weeks to flatten the curve,” the verdict is in: Abandoning individual rights didn’t save society from ruin—it is how we ended up with the greatest upward wealth transfer in modern history and a social fabric even more tattered than it was before the novel coronavirus. To add insult to injury, many pundits continue to insist that our pandemic response failed not because it was based on shoddy data and pseudoscience, but because it simply wasn’t a “real lockdown.” So what is a real lockdown then? Is it beating pet dogs to death like in Shanghai? Is it people screaming for food from their balconies while drones blare the message, “Control your soul’s desire for freedom”?

These are the questions the Zero Covid cult should now answer. In 2020, corporate media outlets (and many “alternative” media outlets, as well) chose to portray everything spirited, democratic, and rights-oriented in American culture as a sin that prevented us from saving Grandma. It isn’t simply that so many political commentators “got Covid wrong,” it’s that they proved themselves incapable of understanding basic science, the economy, and, most significantly, what makes life worth living. It may be forgivable to harbor utopian fantasies, but fomenting hatred and destroying people’s lives in pursuit of those fantasies is not.

Good intentions aren’t enough. Screaming about a death rate that has proved to be inaccurate at best also doesn’t magically make lockdowns work. Neglecting and endangering the elderly while prohibiting early treatments was simply not an effective response, and quarantining healthy people through stay-home orders didn’t make it any more effective.

What is occurring in Shanghai is not only a human rights disaster—it is the beginning of a long reckoning for the West. The era of lockdownism started with shocking footage from China, and so it should end. Videos from Wuhan scared people into fearing an uncontrollable pathogen, but videos from Shanghai reveal the true horror of the Covid age: It is not the virus, but the response to it that has created hell on earth. Now that restrictions in the West have eased, it is time to confront those who pushed the madness and ask: What have you done?



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We Need More Champs Like Eva

We Need More Champs Like Eva

We need to be aware of champions like Eva Vlaardingerbroek. This young Dutch lady has spoken out against over-the-top coronavirus restrictions. She is unafraid to share her faith as well.

It is hard to find solid Christian conservatives who are fully cluey as to what is happening in our world and are not afraid to speak out about it. That is especially the case in post-Christian Europe. But some of these folks do exist. One superstar in this regard is the Dutch champion Eva Vlaardingerbroek.

She is a young conservative and Christian who has a masters in the philosophy of law, and is just 25 years old. After getting that degree, she worked for the party Forum for Democracy in the European Parliament in Brussels for six months. She is now working on a PhD in politics.

Already she has had various opinion pieces published in newspapers, has appeared on various European and American talk shows, and has spoken at various international conferences on issues such as Christianity and conservatism, the new globalism, and the threat of leftist secularism. She is very outspoken on what matters, and she knows what she is talking about.

Do Not Forget

Last year she moved to Sweden where she hosted the program Let’s Talk About It. She is now back in Holland, and she has a new blog on substack called Resist Much, Obey Little. Let me quote from one of her articles. On April 3 she wrote, “Don’t forget what they did to you — Because they’ll do it again” concerning the lockdowns and vaccine passports. Her entire article is worth featuring here:

In the last month, most European countries have either completely lifted their covid measures or reduced them considerably. For the past two years covid hysteria was the only thing the media talked about. They now seem to have moved on to ‘the next thing’ and most people are starting to feel that their life is ‘back to normal’ again. But are we really in the clear?

Sure, it’s a great feeling to be able to go to a restaurant again and not be treated like a second-class citizen. And sure, it’s wonderful to not see scared and paranoid eyes peeking out above blue masks everywhere anymore. But the fact of the matter is that in both the legal and the social sense, the foundation for the insane regime that has controlled our lives these past two years is far from gone.

Let’s start with the legal aspect of all of this. It’s incredibly important to note that in most countries in Europe the restrictions and mandates aren’t actually really gone. They’ve been what we call ‘suspended’. The legal foundation — often being emergency laws and powers — are still very much in force and at the disposal of our respective governments, but they’re just not being used at the current moment. The obvious problem with that is of course that our governments can reintroduce restrictions and measure whenever they see fit. And not only can they reintroduce measures, they can also introduce new measures, in case another ‘emergency’ occurs.

Not only that, while national covid restrictions were dropping, the European Council officially extended the ‘European Digital Covid Certificate’ (the digital vaxx pass needed for travel within the EU) till the summer of 2023. Why would they do that if covid is over now?

Well, the European Digital Identity project that I’ve often talked about before as the ‘bigger plan’ behind all of this, is still very much being executed as we speak. For those of you who don’t know, The European Union plans to introduce a digital wallet that contains your medical records, bio-identification, soon possibly your Central Bank Digital Currencies; and basically anything else there is to know about you. In short: It’s a centralised tracking app that you’ll use to log into platforms online, but also in real life.

Of course, in typical ‘upsidedown world’ fashion, the head of the European Commission, Mrs. Von der Leyen, is presenting this Digital ID as a way to ‘protect’ and take ‘control back’ over our own data. But as we’re used to from our leaders: reality is the opposite of what they’re selling to you. With this digital wallet, The European Union, the government, the police, big capital, big tech or whoever has access to your information, will know exactly who you are, where you are, who you are with and what you spend your money on. And therefore have the potential to attach consequences to your behaviour and shut certain options off for you. Again, this is nothing short of the beginning phases of a social credit system. And it’s all happening very fast.

By orders of the European Commission, all European Member States have to present their plans on how they will introduce this digital — possibly already starting in October of this year. My country, the Netherlands, is a ‘tester case’ for all of this, so I wouldn’t be surprised if after the summer it’ll already be introduced here. After all, why wouldn’t they do it? If there is one thing we can take away from the past two years, it’s that people have been shown to be incredibly willing to give up their freedom in name of the ‘greater good’ and/or ‘convenience’.

And that’s where the social aspect of this tyranny comes in. Just like we may never forget that the government isn’t our friend; we shouldn’t forget either that most people, most of our fellow citizens aren’t our friends either. These past two years we’ve seen how most people blindly follow what the government asks of them — not limited by any moral compass. In Holland for example, more than 90% of the population got vaccinated and a majority of them thought it was absolutely justified that the unvaccinated were stripped of their most fundamental human rights.

At best, the unvaccinated were told that we were ‘being difficult’ and that we should just ‘bear the consequences of our own choice to not be vaccinated’. But more often, we were told that we were irresponsible, non-citizens who ‘weren’t part of society anymore’ and shouldn’t be able to receive healthcare. Indeed, we were basically murderers who deserved to be punished. That’s what we were told by our leaders, that’s what we were told by the media and that’s what many of us were even told by our own friends and family.

We shouldn’t forget that. We shouldn’t forget what they did to us. Because the truth is: the world is a dangerous place filled with people who do evil things and/or don’t do anything to stop it. There is no such thing as a Fukuyamaian ‘end of history’ and civilisation and liberal democracy are nothing but a thin veneer. And as long as we continue to have the memory span of a goldfish, we’ll be treated like one: aimlessly swimming around in a tiny bowl, merely existing and consuming, completely dependent on the big hand that feeds us.

And at risk of sounding cynical: with inflation rising to 12% and the prices of bread and meat going up by 30%, I wouldn’t be so sure of that hand coming to feed you either.

She certainly has her finger on the pulse. And she is sounding the alarm in prophetic fashion. Well done, Eva.

Speak of God

Let me finish with a few more resources from her. Consider this terrific 15-minute speech she gave to the Brussels National Conservatism Conference on March 23rd. Her title was this: “Reject Globalism: Embrace God”. You can see it here:

In that important talk, she said this:

“Not only do I disagree with the statement that ‘conservatives shouldn’t openly and unapologetically talk about God,’ I also think the very reason we are losing some of the most important battles right now is precisely because we have lost track and sight of God.”

Here she is featured in a 5-minute interview with Tucker Carlson on the madness of mandates and the new digital surveillance state.

And recently she chatted with Mark Steyn about the Elon Musk takeover of Twitter:

Way to go Eva. We need more champs like you.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo by Rene Bouwman.

Thank the Source

We Need More Champs Like Eva

We need to be aware of champions like Eva Vlaardingerbroek. This young Dutch lady has spoken out against over-the-top coronavirus restrictions. She is unafraid to share her faith as well.

It is hard to find solid Christian conservatives who are fully cluey as to what is happening in our world and are not afraid to speak out about it. That is especially the case in post-Christian Europe. But some of these folks do exist. One superstar in this regard is the Dutch champion Eva Vlaardingerbroek.

She is a young conservative and Christian who has a masters in the philosophy of law, and is just 25 years old. After getting that degree, she worked for the party Forum for Democracy in the European Parliament in Brussels for six months. She is now working on a PhD in politics.

Already she has had various opinion pieces published in newspapers, has appeared on various European and American talk shows, and has spoken at various international conferences on issues such as Christianity and conservatism, the new globalism, and the threat of leftist secularism. She is very outspoken on what matters, and she knows what she is talking about.

Do Not Forget

Last year she moved to Sweden where she hosted the program Let’s Talk About It. She is now back in Holland, and she has a new blog on substack called Resist Much, Obey Little. Let me quote from one of her articles. On April 3 she wrote, “Don’t forget what they did to you — Because they’ll do it again” concerning the lockdowns and vaccine passports. Her entire article is worth featuring here:

In the last month, most European countries have either completely lifted their covid measures or reduced them considerably. For the past two years covid hysteria was the only thing the media talked about. They now seem to have moved on to ‘the next thing’ and most people are starting to feel that their life is ‘back to normal’ again. But are we really in the clear?

Sure, it’s a great feeling to be able to go to a restaurant again and not be treated like a second-class citizen. And sure, it’s wonderful to not see scared and paranoid eyes peeking out above blue masks everywhere anymore. But the fact of the matter is that in both the legal and the social sense, the foundation for the insane regime that has controlled our lives these past two years is far from gone.

Let’s start with the legal aspect of all of this. It’s incredibly important to note that in most countries in Europe the restrictions and mandates aren’t actually really gone. They’ve been what we call ‘suspended’. The legal foundation — often being emergency laws and powers — are still very much in force and at the disposal of our respective governments, but they’re just not being used at the current moment. The obvious problem with that is of course that our governments can reintroduce restrictions and measure whenever they see fit. And not only can they reintroduce measures, they can also introduce new measures, in case another ‘emergency’ occurs.

Not only that, while national covid restrictions were dropping, the European Council officially extended the ‘European Digital Covid Certificate’ (the digital vaxx pass needed for travel within the EU) till the summer of 2023. Why would they do that if covid is over now?

Well, the European Digital Identity project that I’ve often talked about before as the ‘bigger plan’ behind all of this, is still very much being executed as we speak. For those of you who don’t know, The European Union plans to introduce a digital wallet that contains your medical records, bio-identification, soon possibly your Central Bank Digital Currencies; and basically anything else there is to know about you. In short: It’s a centralised tracking app that you’ll use to log into platforms online, but also in real life.

Of course, in typical ‘upsidedown world’ fashion, the head of the European Commission, Mrs. Von der Leyen, is presenting this Digital ID as a way to ‘protect’ and take ‘control back’ over our own data. But as we’re used to from our leaders: reality is the opposite of what they’re selling to you. With this digital wallet, The European Union, the government, the police, big capital, big tech or whoever has access to your information, will know exactly who you are, where you are, who you are with and what you spend your money on. And therefore have the potential to attach consequences to your behaviour and shut certain options off for you. Again, this is nothing short of the beginning phases of a social credit system. And it’s all happening very fast.

By orders of the European Commission, all European Member States have to present their plans on how they will introduce this digital — possibly already starting in October of this year. My country, the Netherlands, is a ‘tester case’ for all of this, so I wouldn’t be surprised if after the summer it’ll already be introduced here. After all, why wouldn’t they do it? If there is one thing we can take away from the past two years, it’s that people have been shown to be incredibly willing to give up their freedom in name of the ‘greater good’ and/or ‘convenience’.

And that’s where the social aspect of this tyranny comes in. Just like we may never forget that the government isn’t our friend; we shouldn’t forget either that most people, most of our fellow citizens aren’t our friends either. These past two years we’ve seen how most people blindly follow what the government asks of them — not limited by any moral compass. In Holland for example, more than 90% of the population got vaccinated and a majority of them thought it was absolutely justified that the unvaccinated were stripped of their most fundamental human rights.

At best, the unvaccinated were told that we were ‘being difficult’ and that we should just ‘bear the consequences of our own choice to not be vaccinated’. But more often, we were told that we were irresponsible, non-citizens who ‘weren’t part of society anymore’ and shouldn’t be able to receive healthcare. Indeed, we were basically murderers who deserved to be punished. That’s what we were told by our leaders, that’s what we were told by the media and that’s what many of us were even told by our own friends and family.

We shouldn’t forget that. We shouldn’t forget what they did to us. Because the truth is: the world is a dangerous place filled with people who do evil things and/or don’t do anything to stop it. There is no such thing as a Fukuyamaian ‘end of history’ and civilisation and liberal democracy are nothing but a thin veneer. And as long as we continue to have the memory span of a goldfish, we’ll be treated like one: aimlessly swimming around in a tiny bowl, merely existing and consuming, completely dependent on the big hand that feeds us.

And at risk of sounding cynical: with inflation rising to 12% and the prices of bread and meat going up by 30%, I wouldn’t be so sure of that hand coming to feed you either.

She certainly has her finger on the pulse. And she is sounding the alarm in prophetic fashion. Well done, Eva.

Speak of God

Let me finish with a few more resources from her. Consider this terrific 15-minute speech she gave to the Brussels National Conservatism Conference on March 23rd. Her title was this: “Reject Globalism: Embrace God”. You can see it here:

In that important talk, she said this:

“Not only do I disagree with the statement that ‘conservatives shouldn’t openly and unapologetically talk about God,’ I also think the very reason we are losing some of the most important battles right now is precisely because we have lost track and sight of God.”

Here she is featured in a 5-minute interview with Tucker Carlson on the madness of mandates and the new digital surveillance state.

And recently she chatted with Mark Steyn about the Elon Musk takeover of Twitter:

Way to go Eva. We need more champs like you.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo by Rene Bouwman.

Thank the Source

BLACK MARKET RETURNS TO CHINA THE NEW CULTURAL REVOLUTION

BLACK MARKET RETURNS TO CHINA THE NEW CULTURAL REVOLUTION

The black market economy is thriving in Shanghai as the punishing COVID lockdown evokes the planned economy of the past. And with rumours of lockdowns spreading to Beijing and other major cities, people have been scrambling for food, medicine, and other necessities

As the situation in Shanghai, now in its 4th week, shows no sign of ending, citizens are reaching a level of desperation not seen since central planning was the status quo in China, which created an environment that allowed black markets to flourish.

According to the New York Times, black markets are thriving in the lockdown era, but this time businesses are the main participants as they rush to find ways to meet customer needs while complying with impossibly strict CCP restrictions.

The costs of purchasing certain essential items, including day passes to travel on Shanghai’s deserted streets, are being passed down to consumers.

Because of Covid restrictions, commercial trucks face long delays and endure enormous complications in delivering food and household goods to the city of Shanghai. Inside the city, only vehicles with special day passes are allowed on the roads. These passes go for upwards of $2,000 on the black market, the cost of which is then priced into the groceries they sell to the residents.

“I’ve been in the logistics business for 28 years,” Mr. Yang, 47, said in an interview. “But I’ve never seen a mess like this. There were numerous emergencies to deal with.” He estimates that he lost tens of thousands of dollars in March.

And as corrupt government officials profit at the expense of the people, many outsiders wonder why China’s leadership chooses to inflict so much pain and suffering on its citizens after confirming such a small number of cases and deaths. And yet others ask why 1.4 billion people don’t rise up against their totalitarian government.

The sad truth is that many Chinese people support the lockdowns and restrictive measures by the CCP. They believe the propaganda from CCP officials that the “zero-COVID” policy is for the greater good. And living under a dictatorship for nearly a hundred years, and imperial rule for 2,000 years before that, throwing off the shackles of oppression is proving difficult for the mostly peaceful and docile Chinese people.

Disclaimer: This article only represents the author’s view. Gnews is not responsible for any legal risks.

Source

China: a government gone insane is a poor role model – unless you are trying to crush your citizens

China: a government gone insane is a poor role model – unless you are trying to crush your citizens


Intro by Jon Davy

The following featured article is from The Brownstone Institute which we highly recommend for cogent, well reasoned and thought-provoking articles.

It nicely illustrates the folly of a totalitarian system in which all power resides with a handful of psychopathic parasites who cannot be corrected when they mess up or removed when they go totally nuts.

The evidence from two years of global experimentation using the citizenry as guinea pigs is that lockdowns are a catastrophic failure in dealing with a bug with, as the British government described it, a “low fatality rate” that did not meet the criteria for a pandemic until the definition of pandemic was changed.

There are a hot of other stupidities and downright skullduggery wrapped up in what will go down in history as one of the most egregious examples of government ineptitude or outright malice in the sordid history of this planet’s mismanagement but we’ll stop at the failure of lockdowns for now.

Events unfolding n China evince that failure: the country with the strictest lockdown policy is, two years on, the country struggling the most to get a grip on the alleged virus,. And its government does not have the ability or willingness to admit its mistakes and just keeps right on making or compounding them. Of  course, be  a totalitarianism, there is nobody to force on it some common sense.

There is a further folly, or evil, manifested by globalist stooges infiltrated into many Western governments, and that is following the totalitarian model as if it is something clever. This is a tendency that evidently requires a low IQ or malice towards one’s own citizens or both.

The fact is that the hell visited upon Shanghai by a government gone insane evinces that the Chinese government is in serious trouble. You don’t behave like that  towards your people unless you are losing your grip.

The China Model Unravels in Shanghai

At the end of the Cold War, the end-of-history theory was that every country in the world that desired prosperity and progress would necessarily have to embrace both economic liberty and political democracy. You cannot have one without the other, the theory went. It was inevitable.

The world waited for China to go the direction of Eastern Europe and so many other countries.

It did not happen. Despite liberalizing economic reforms, the CCP maintained hard-core political control for the decades following. Yet its economy grew and grew. This gave rise to a new theory: perhaps the most successful countries will foster economic liberalism while securing tight political control, thus dispensing with the inefficiencies of democracy.

China seemed to have it all going.

Now we have evidence of what’s wrong with a one-party state with a powerful chief executive. It works until it doesn’t. What stopped working in China could not have been expected years ago. The party believed it had solved the problem of pathogens via massive violations of human liberty.

Today, the people of Shanghai are suffering weeks of lockdowns, food shortage, and extreme quarantine of healthy people, all in the interest of eradicating a virus that the rest of the world has finally realized must become endemic. Even Fauci is admitting this now (following two years of urging more restrictions).

But in China? Children are being taken from parents, the pets of people with a positive test are being shot, people are screaming from skyscrapers, and food is rotting in warehouses even as people report to be starving. There are videos online of stores being ransacked. There is talk of revolution in the air.

Never forget: China was the birthplace of lockdowns. The head of the World Health Organization praised the early 2020 lockdowns in Wuhan. In one letter dated January 2020, the WHO congratulated China and urged the country to “enhance public health measures for containment of the current outbreak.” Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus further underscored the point with a tweet.

Neil Ferguson from the Imperial College did too. “It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought… and then Italy did it. And we realised we could.” And so China became a model for the world: Wuhan, Northern Italy, the US, the UK, and then all but a handful of the countries in the world followed the lockdown paradigm.

To this day, Xi Jinping surely basks in the warmth of this glowing praise. It put China’s policy prowess on display for the world. As I write, Yahoo reports concerning Shanghai:

China’s President Xi Jinping praised the country’s “tested” zero-Covid strategy on Friday, even as Shanghai authorities prepared nearly 130,000 beds for Covid-19 patients amid surging cases and mounting public anger.

We can only intuit what is happening here. For Xi Jinping, lockdowns were his greatest triumph. They seemed to work two years ago. He earned plaudits the world over, and the world followed his model. Perhaps this filled him and the CPC with a sense of incredible pride and confidence. They had done it correctly and the rest of the world copied the idea, without having practiced the article of lockdown as perfectly as China.

Eventually governments can convince themselves of their own propaganda. That appears to be what happened here. That illusion prevented Xi and the party from observing what should have been obvious to anyone with a modicum of knowledge about viruses such as this one: in a functioning society and market, it will spread no matter what. As Vinay Prasad has constantly reminds us, everyone will get Covid. And through that path, we finally move beyond the pandemic.

What has happened now in China is as predictable as the failure of “Zero Covid” in Australia and New Zealand.

This means that cases are nowhere near stopping in China. They will spread to every city, every town, every countryside until vast numbers of 1.4 billion are exposed. This could mean rolling lockdowns for years to come, along with all the damage and political instability that they necessarily entail. This will surely have a profound impact on economic growth and possibly the credibility of the CCP itself.

The communist party has made a profound error. Most places in the world did. The US was not Shanghai-level terrible but this is a matter of degree because the theory was tried out here too. In political democracies, politicians and bureaucrats have mostly tried to soft land their gross errors while manufacturing excuses for reopening without apology. Many want everyone just to forget this whole disaster.

Will that happen in China? The trouble is the incredible centrality of lockdowns to China’s perceived achievements over the last two years. So long as there are powerful people in Beijing who genuinely believe that lockdown is the path forward – and no opposition party in place to take a different point of view – this will likely continue, raising fascinating questions about the political and economic future of this country.

The magic combination of political and economic freedom turned out not to be the end of history. But China-style dictatorship is not the end either, simply because it contains no operational mechanism for the correcting of egregious errors. What saved the US from lockdown terror was political pluralism and federalism; China has institutionalized neither. Thus does intellectual error lead to egregiously immoral outcomes.

Lockdowns are nowhere a solution to pathogenic spread, contrary to the assurances of the WHO or celebrity scientists in the UK or the US. When governments of the world tried to prove their competence by declaring war on cell biology, they finally met their match. No matter how powerful a state, there are forces of nature that will always outsmart it.

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