Good morning! Here are the top stories from this week that I think you will want to read. Topics include:
- Bible Verse of the Day - 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
- Another comedian dares to speak out against wokeness
- NCAA changes its policy on transgender athletes
- Rock legend and actor Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) has died at 74
- Gervais knows
- Ashli's husband: the narrative about her is all wrong
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1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
2. Another comedian dares to speak out against wokeness:
Steve Harvey said that cancel culture has “killed comedy,” and it’s caused him to step away from doing stand-up. He says that every joke these days allegedly hurts somebody’s feelings, and that when he finally does another stand-up special, he’ll probably have to call it “This Is It” because he’ll never be allowed to do another one.
Personally, while I understand his viewpoint, I believe that now more than ever, we need comedians to step up and tell as many jokes as possible about the “woke” left. Knuckling under to them only gives them a greater sense of their own power to censor and intimidate. Comedians have always been society’s greatest weapon against arrogant tyrants, and just because the tyrants are self-righteous “activists” with Twitter accounts instead of politicians or military dictators, that shouldn’t make them immune to richly-deserved ridicule.
In a related story, here’s a must-read article by Bari Weiss at Substack about the dire situation in Hollywood, where leftism and wokeism have many people terrified of saying anything that might offend someone and get them blacklisted (just using the word “blacklisted” can now get you blacklisted.)
It’s gone beyond a welcome openness to writers and creators of more diverse backgrounds to the point where there’s blatant discrimination against white job applicants. That means more racially diverse writers, but also means that good, experienced writers are being shut out, which helps to explain why so much of what we’re now seeing on our screens isn’t fresh, creative, thrilling or entertaining, it’s just transparent leftist propaganda that feels as if it were written by freshman UCLA film school students. It’s why, if you want well-written stories with sharp dialogue, original stories and believable characters, you’ll need a subscription to Turner Classic Movies.
3. NCAA changes its policy on transgender athletes:
The NCAA has reacted to the angry backlash by female athletes and their parents against allowing “transgender” athletes to compete in women’s sports. This has long been a serious issue that’s destroying women’s sports, but because the media and certain politicians are so afraid of the trans lobby, anyone who dares state obvious biological facts is smeared as a transphobic hater. But it finally broke through thanks to collegiate swimmer “Lia Thomas,” who was a male swimmer through three years of college, then “transitioned” and is now mowing down all of Penn’s women’s swimming records.
The obvious, ridiculous unfairness of this finally emboldened parents and athletes to speak up, and the NCAA has responded by changing its policy on transgender athletes.
After the usual PC boilerplate about being " steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports" (which is blatantly untrue, since there’s nothing fair about a biological male competing against females half “her” size and strength), the NCAA announced that from now on, they will follow a sport-by-sport model similar to the US and international Olympic Committees.
The IOC’s rules state, "Trans female athletes must demonstrate a total testosterone level in serum below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 consecutive months prior to competition and must remain below this threshold throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category in any event."
Again, this is not fairness or equality or even biological science. The fact that testosterone levels have been artificially suppressed does nothing to reverse the size and upper body strength advantages that a male athlete who’s gone through puberty has before “transitioning.” Real fairness would mean either having everyone compete under their biological sex, or if you want to recognize trans athletes, giving them their own competitions.
All this does is sprinkle a thin veneer of “fairness” rhetoric over the problem. But it does nothing to ensure fairness for female athletes whose rights are being shattered just as surely as their hard-won athletic records are.
I think the real reason why Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire is always getting banned by social media may be because he’s too good at dropping truth bombs that the language torturers and common-sense molesters of the left cannot refute and look ridiculous trying.
Megan Fox at PJ Media has a great write-up of his recent appearance on “Dr. Phil” with some transgender activists who were blindsided when he asked them to define the word “woman.” Walsh defined it easily and correctly, pointed out the fatal flaw in their “it’s a subjective concept” claim, and then in one lethal sentence, summed up how they’re trying to appropriate “womanhood” from women.
As Ms. Fox goes on to discuss, the left insists that “appropriating” someone else’s culture, truth or lived experience is one of the worst crimes you can commit. So why is it okay when this group does it to women? Why is appropriating someone’s race bad but appropriating their gender is courageous and praiseworthy? Why is putting on blackface makeup offensive but putting on Maybelline is to be celebrated?
By the way, I also loved Walsh’s point that if you’re allowed to choose your own pronouns and demand that other people use them, why can’t we force people to use our own preferred adjectives, his being “handsome” and “brilliant”?
4. Rock legend and actor Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) has died at 74:
I am very sad to have to report that rock legend and actor Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) has died at 74. His family released this statement:
"Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours."
Many obituaries and tributes are already flooding the media, detailing his remarkable six-decade career, from his classic albums like “Bat Out of Hell” (it sold 40 million copies and is still one of the 10 biggest sellers of all time) to his dozens of movie appearances, from “The Rocky Horror Show” to “Fight Club.” But I’d like to say something more personal...
Who would have ever believed that Meat Loaf and Mike Huckabee were friends? An “odd couple,” if ever. I first met him when he was a guest on my Fox show several years ago. For some reason, we hit it off from the start. We were as different as could be, but there was an instant bond.
He had moved to Nashville a little over a year ago, and we connected again since I do my TBN show “Huckabee” there. He had been battling several health issues including severe back problems, and hadn’t performed on stage in six years. I persuaded him to come and be on my show, and he came in late September of 2021 and performed three songs with our house band. As I had done when he was on the Fox show, I played bass with the band.
To say he rocked the house is the understatement of all time! No one owned a stage like Meat Loaf. He was the consummate performer, but he was a truly gifted artist.
I will add that he was a delightful human being who became a cherished friend. I loved him for his candor and his raw honesty. He accepted me for who I am, the straight-laced Christian. I accepted him for who he was: sometimes raucous, often a little vulgar, but always filled with sheer joy and awe at life. He was as Nathaniel was described in the Bible as a “man who has no guile.” It’s what endeared me to him. There was no pretense. No double-mindedness. He loved life and lived it bigger than most ever will. He was also one of the funniest people I’ve ever been around. His sense of humor was matched only by his incredible gift to tell a story.
I’m heartbroken by his death. From my conversations with his manager the past few days, I knew it was probably imminent, but I wanted to believe he’d overcome illness yet again and be back on the stage soon. It wasn’t to be. I will genuinely miss him, but I will cherish times with him and will forever treasure his final television performance on my show where he set fire to the stage with his classic charisma and talent. He was in pain from a number of infirmities, but you won’t see it as you watch him perform. It was almost as if he knew he wanted to leave behind something special. And he did! And one of the things he left behind was my abiding friendship and admiration for this one of a kind talented star!
Here are the links to what I assume was his last TV performance, with Tre Corley and our fantastic band on TBN. I’m grateful that we were able to give him the platform to show that he could still rock the world so magnificently, and to enjoy a chorus of praise from his top name musical peers, who called this one of the greatest rock performances they’d ever seen on TV. I couldn’t agree more…
“Out of the Frying Pan and Into The Fire”: https://youtu.be/jn_U6eQJrgg
“Los Angeloser”: https://youtu.be/FUWFjheqVYc
“Mercury Blues”: https://youtu.be/oTXKvUUpESI
And don’t miss the full interview I did with him, where you’ll see he was nearly as great a storyteller as he was a singer: https://youtu.be/UbJCjmEd6oE
5. Gervais knows:
Controversial comedian (and by that, I mean, “says true things powerful people don’t like,” which used to just mean, “comedian”) Ricky Gervais believes that the ratings implosion of TV awards shows isn’t due to pandemic downsizing, since even the ones that still have big stars and production numbers are cratering. Gervais blamed the audience tune-out on all the PC wokeism and leftist politics.
Gervais pulled big ratings when he hosted the Golden Globes, but while his gleeful mockery of Hollywood hypocrites was loved by viewers, it ticked off the celebrities, so he was replaced. Since then, the Globes have gone from one of the most star-studded nights in Hollywood to a Twitter thread announcing the winners that hardly anyone noticed. This was largely because of attacks on the awards organization, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for not being diverse enough. But that was hardly the reason that TV audiences gave up on it.
Writing in the British newspaper The Sun, Gervais said people “just got sick of virtue signaling…The people with nothing became tired of being lectured by people who had everything…They think, ‘Why are these people lecturing me? They’re going?? to an awards ceremony in a limo and are telling me to recycle?'”
Assessing the damage woke virtue signaling has done to Hollywood’s image, Gervais wrote, “The first time I did it, ten years ago, everyone was like, ‘Ah, how can you talk to these wonderful multi-millionaires, how can you talk to these beautiful people, like that? We love celebrities.' By the last one it was like, ‘God, give it to them, we hate celebrities!'”
Gervais said you can’t predict the future, and maybe awards shows will enjoy a return to popularity. But I doubt it. If Hollywood can’t even figure out that they shouldn’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars making movies that insult America and expect Americans to pay to see them (they don’t, by the way), or hire stars who spew hatred of half of Americans on Twitter and fire those who defend them, what are the odds that anyone will ever want to watch them give themselves awards for doing that?
6. America The Beautiful
God's creation is all around us. To learn more about Wrangell-St Elias National Park, visit its website here.
NOTE: We are moving this feature of our newsletter to the Sunday Standard edition.
7. Ashli's husband: the narrative about her is all wrong:
If you’ve watched the documentary CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, about the Capitol Hill rally and riot of January 6, 2021, you’ve seen the video of Ashli Babbitt smiling and happy, enjoying herself immensely as she participates in a march to the Capitol building. She is effervescent. Even on that cold, gray day, she exudes positive energy.
But you’ve also seen the video of her just a little while later, inside the building, caught in a crush of people on a stair landing and trying to crawl through a broken-out window to the other side of a closed door when she is shot to death.
How to reconcile these two visions? Could this smiling young (unarmed) woman suddenly morph into an angry rioter, a vandal, an insurrectionist, trying to breach the Speaker’s Lobby and prevent Congress from doing its job? Her husband, Aaron Babbitt, looking at a frame-by-frame analysis conducted by The Epoch Times, says no.
That is not what happened.
“After repeatedly forcing myself to watch the murder of my wife,” he told The Epoch Times, “I have come to my own conclusion that Ashli came to a point of realization that she was in a very bad situation and the police weren’t acting appropriately to what she was witnessing.”
He said, “I know my wife very well. She is not destructive. She was not there to hurt anybody.”
“It all comes down to which mental angle a person views it from,” he said. “If they hate Ashli because they believe the lies, that’s all they see: her being part of a mob. Us who love her, know her, know every action and emotion she was displaying --- she realized a minute before her death she was not in a friendly situation and something very wrong was occurring.”
In fact, the video strongly suggests that she was trying to stop the violence, not join in. She had gone up some stairs and, only about five minutes before she was killed, was casually talking and laughing with three U.S. Capitol Police officers. (She had served in the Air Force as a military police officer herself.) But then more people started coming up behind her. Members of a U.S. Capitol Police Containment Emergency Response Team rushed up the stairs as well, in response to a false alarm –- repeat, false –- of shots fired. (No shots were ever fired except by Ashli’s killer.) She was trapped in that mass of people outside the door.
It’s evident in the video that she was horrified by what was suddenly happening. She confronted a rioter identified as Zachary Alam, getting between him and one of the officers guarding the doors to the Speaker’s Lobby. He turned away from her and punched a window in one of the doors with his hand, then punched it again with a helmet to smash it. Her face registered alarm.
According to husband Aaron, an audio analysis of the video shows that she was shouting, “Stop! No! Don’t! Wait!”
Aaron says she was trying to climb through the broken glass because she was in fear for her life. She was trying to escape. U.S. Capitol Hill Police Lt. Michael Byrd shot her as she was partway through the window frame, and she fell backwards onto the landing.
The officers who were supposed to be guarding that door were not there. “The only way we’d ever know why Ashli felt the window was the only way out is if she had been detained by one of the countless police officers that abandoned their post in front of those doors, Aaron said. “That did not happen. She was murdered and robbed of the chance to tell her side of the story.”
There are conflicting reports as to whether Byrd shouted warnings before he shot her. It was so noisy in the stairwell, it’s likely no one could hear anyone else, so we might never know. And Byrd refused to be interviewed or even give a statement for the Internal Affairs “investigation,” which apparently was fine with the investigators ("investigators"?) because they no-billed him, anyway. “We have declined criminal prosecution of the above officer as a result of this incident,” wrote Acting U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips as part of a three-sentence dismissal.
But Ashli’s family is suing. Their lawyer, DC attorney Terry Roberts, said, “If you’re acting in self-defense, you have to tell somebody you’re acting in self-defense, or it should be quite plain from the circumstances. It clearly was not plain in these circumstances. I don’t believe the officer acted in self-defense at all.”
Another witness, Tayler Hansen, told The Epoch Times that Alam broke out that window because HE wanted to get to the Speaker’s Lobby. He said the only reason Alam didn’t climb through the window before Babbitt is that his glasses got knocked down his face in the scuffle and he had had to stop to reposition them. “He was about to go through that window,” Hansen said. “It was his idea. He was the one shattering it.”
Here’s more about Alam and how the FBI tracked him down. They say if you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all, so we won’t say anything at all.
In contrast, there’s a lot of good to say about Ashli. Hansen, an independent journalist who knew her and was walking close behind her inside the Capitol, echoed her husband in describing her. “The reality of it is, Ashli wasn’t a violent person. She was a good person, but they’ve demonized her to become this domestic terrorist that she has never been,” he said. “She served her country for 14 years. That’s just insane to me that they can get away with pushing this narrative. They’ve done that by suppressing first-hand witnesses like me.”
So, why had the Capitol Police left their posts at the door to the Speaker’s Lobby? One of them told Internal Affairs investigators that he left because he feared for his life and hadn’t wanted to have to use deadly force. If this was a situation in which officers were afraid for their own lives, it’s easy to imagine Ashli feeling the need to escape it as well.
According to a U.S. Capitol Police sergeant, Byrd and one other officer had taken positions on the other side of the door and had their guns out. This can be seen in the video, but it doesn’t appear that it was visible to Ashli. For her, the shot would have come out of nowhere.
Incidentally, the video that is providing so much detail was shot by the mysterious John Sullivan, also known as Jayden X, who has said he was there to “document” the event. Who he’s associated with and why he was there are questions for another time, but it’s fortuitous that we have his record of what happened. Otherwise, all we'd have to go by was what the feds and their media minions told us.
The Epoch Times story is a premium report, but ZeroHedge has a detailed account.
8. Newsletter Note:
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9. I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Sunday Standard.