MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The man who exposed Planned Parenthood loses in a California court. But David Daleiden is not giving up. I’ll talk to his lawyer.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Also what happens to all those social media accounts, photos in the cloud, and the rest of your digital estate when you die? We’ll talk about that.
Plus our Classic Book of the Month.
WHISTLER: I suspect most of us get old without growing up, and that inside every adult (sometimes not very far inside) is a bratty kid who wants everything his own way.
REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, December 3rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now here’s Kent Covington with the news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: White House will not take part in first Judiciary impeachment hearing » House Democrats are pressing on with their impeachment inquiry this week as the scene shifts to the Judiciary Committee. The panel will hold its first hearing tomorrow.
The Trump administration on Monday blasted Democrats for holding the hearing as President Trump heads to a NATO summit in London. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it an attempt to distract from the president’s mission overseas.
POMPEO: I mean, these are some of our most important allies and partners in keeping our country safe and secure. I regret that they’ve chosen to hold these hearings at the same time.
And the White House has informed the Judiciary panel that it will not participate in tomorrow’s hearing. In a letter to committee chairman Jarrold Nadler, White House counsel said in part, “We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings.”
Pelosi defends Paris Agreement at U.N. climate conference » Meantime, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday led her own overseas mission—heading a congressional delegation at a UN climate change conference in Madrid.
While President Trump has said the United States is pulling out of the Paris climate accord, Pelosi offered a different message.
PELOSI: We’re here to say to all of you, on behalf of the Congress of the United States, we’re still in it.
She said climate change is a threat to public health, the economy, and national security and that the Paris Agreement is vital to combating that change.
The congressional group is separate from the official U.S. State Department delegation at the conference.
The United States technically remains a member of the Paris Agreement until November 4th of next year—one day after the presidential election.
Small Mexican town reeling from cartel attack » A small town near the U.S.-Mexico border began cleaning up Monday—gripped by fear after a deadly weekend gun battle between drug cartels and security forces. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has more.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: On Saturday, armed men in a convoy of dozens of vehicles arrived in Villa Union and began shooting up city hall. Many of the vehicles were emblazoned with the cartel’s initials—CDN, for Cartel del Noreste, or Northeast Cartel.
Security forces arrived within an hour and surrounded the town, about 35 miles southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas. Officials say 16 gunmen died, along with four state police officers and two civilians.
On Monday morning, the town of about 6,000 people was littered with burned-out vehicles. And homes, churches, and government offices were riddled with bullet holes.
The motive for the military-style attack is unclear.
Just days before the shootout, President Trump announced plans to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations. He hopes to launch operations against cartels inside Mexico. But the Mexican government says it cannot accept intervention from—quote—“armed foreigners.”
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.
China retaliates over U.S. support of Hong Kong protesters » China is retaliating over U.S. support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying announced Monday that China will suspend U.S. Navy stops in Hong Kong.
The suspension will ban U.S. military ships and aircraft from visiting the territory.
Last week, President Trump signed two laws sanctioning Hong Kong and Chinese officials for cracking down on pro-democracy protesters. Hua warned of “further necessary actions” if the United States doesn’t change course.
She also said China will sanction several U.S.-based rights groups that—quote—“performed badly” in the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong—including Freedom House and Human Rights Watch.
At least 14 dead in Burkina Faso church attack » Another church attack in Burkina Faso killed more than a dozen worshippers on Sunday. World Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Worshipers gathered at a Protestant church in the town of Hantoukoura when gunmen opened fire. The attackers killed at least 14 people and wounded many more. A source told AFP news that victims include the church’s pastor and multiple children.
The president of the West African nation, Roch Marc Christian Kabore said Sunday that he condemned “the barbaric attack.” And he offered condolences to the victims and their families.
Violence against Christians is on the rise in Burkina Faso. Suspected
extremists have killed more than 500 people since last year and displaced nearly 500,000 others. Last month, at least 37 people died in an attack on a convoy carrying employees of a Canadian mining company.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Bullock ends presidential campaign » Montana Governor Steve Bullock is dropping out of the presidential race.
Bullock said Monday that it was clear he would not be able to crack the top tier of Democratic candidates.
He touted crossover appeal to some center-right voters, arguing that he was the best bet to defeat President Trump. He was the only Democratic candidate to win in a state that Trump won in 20-16. But his campaign never really gained traction.
The two-term governor did not participate in any of the last three presidential debates, after failing to reach the polling and fundraising numbers needed to qualify.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: pro-life activist David Daleiden suffers a legal setback. Plus, accessing the digital assets of loved ones after they die. This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, the 3rd of December, 2019. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Today’s Giving Tuesday!
Now, before we get started today, I need to make a quick correction about yesterday’s Monday Moneybeat.
When I reported on record-breaking retail sales totals for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I left out one small word, and that’s the very-important word online. As in online sales. Which stands to reason, because these figures are estimates, and the only way to make such quick, reasonably accurate estimates is to pull the only instant data available, and that’s the online data.
So, online sales broke records.
It’ll be awhile before we know the overall figures. I predict the overall figures will be enormous. We set a record for retail sales in calendar year 2018 of $6 trillion, according to the Census Bureau.
So, sorry for the imprecision. I hope that fixes it.
REICHARD: Those are staggering numbers.
You know, I noticed in the news wires numerous stories about a sort of Black Friday backlash overseas, people boycotting stores and protesting what they say is harmful consumerism.
And from a Christian perspective, you want to resonate with that a little bit, not specifically the protesters’ message. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but there is something a bit unseemly about measuring solemn holidays like Thanksgiving by retail sales, right?
EICHER: Oh, sure, I don’t necessarily disagree with that, and I say that as a proponent of free-market economics. I’m an Austrian, I resonate with free trade on terms that are mutually agreeable, because in that way we meet our own needs and at the same time meet the needs of our neighbor.
That’s the beauty of the market, that it’s not coercive. It’s cooperative. It’s win-win.
And, along those lines, I mentioned Giving Tuesday and I want to suggest Giving Tuesday as a healthy addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Now, I love Christmas shopping. Because it is, it should be, about giving gifts to others, to our children and friends and family. But in addition to your early Christmas shopping, Giving Tuesday is a great day to remember your favorite charitable endeavors.
REICHARD: Well, it is. And this is a great kickoff to WORLD’s December Giving Drive. We’ll be talking more about that in the coming days: about the importance of supporting sound journalism grounded in God’s Word.
WORLD is a nonprofit, so that means your contributions qualify as tax-deductible. And with a community of believers powering this journalistic team, we are making a difference by modeling biblical objectivity and recapturing a historic vision for sound journalism.
EICHER: Yes, and “Giving Tuesday” is a perfect starting point.
This little idea for Giving Tuesday started back in 2012, and it’s grown as of last year to a $400-million day for all kinds of charities. 3.6 million people participated last year and they gave a little more than $100 each on Giving Tuesday.
I did a little figuring, looking at last year’s Cyber Monday, so we’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison. In 2018, Cyber Monday was $7.9 billion and Giving Tuesday was 400 million, and that works out to roughly 5 percent. When it’s all counted, it’ll be more than $9 billion this Cyber Monday and if it’s a bellwether of giving, that ought to translate to $455 million for America’s Giving Tuesday and I hope it’s more than that.
America continues to be the most charitable nation on earth, and it’d be great to keep the title.
REICHARD: And WORLD Movers are, in my view, the most charitable group in our most charitable nation! We don’t have the specific stats to back this up, but we feel like it’s safe to say WORLD people aren’t 5 percenters. We’re 10 percenters. We’re 15 percenters. You have been so generous in the past to support our work, and we’re counting on you to keep doing it.
EICHER: We do know specifically that 90 percent of listeners to The World and Everything in It use mobile devices to listen, three quarters of our listeners use iOS, and I’m happy to let you know we’ve made mobile giving very, very easy—especially if you’re using an Apple product.
Of course, we have several other easy options, and all that’s spelled out on that page, wng.org/donate.
REICHARD: So if you’re thinking about participating in Giving Tuesday, I hope you’ll remember your friends here at WORLD and that you’ll support sound journalism, grounded in God’s word. Support us with a tax-deductible gift here on Giving Tuesday.
It’s a labor of love, what we do every day: we love doing it, but it is also labor, and it takes a team of co-laborers to make it all happen. So join our WORLD Mover team and you have our heartfelt thanks!
EICHER: Well, let’s get into the rest of our program, and we start out today with a legal setback for the pro-life movement.
Let’s go back four years. You may remember the name David Daleiden. He stunned the abortion industry with secretly recorded videos of candid conversations with Planned Parenthood executives.
Daleiden made those recordings at an abortion industry conference he infiltrated by posing as a trader in fetal tissue.
In the videos, the abortion providers talked about selling the body parts of aborted babies and making a profit from it.
REICHARD: Now, that’s illegal under federal law. But Planned Parenthood escaped any penalty in part by claiming Daleiden edited the videos in a deceptive way.
Then the abortion giant went after Dalieden in court—claiming he violated federal racketeering laws to make those recordings.
Last month, a California jury sided with Planned Parenthood and ordered Daleiden to pay more than $2 million dollars in damages. Joining us now to talk about what’s next is Peter Breen. He’s an attorney with the Thomas More Society, and he represents David Daleiden.
Good morning, Peter!
PETER BREEN, GUEST: Good morning! Thanks, Mary.
REICHARD: Planned Parenthood sued David Daleiden under the federal RICO statutes, the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations law. Can you explain in simple terms how Planned Parenthood made the case for a RICO violation?
BREEN: Well, they used a rarely—really, it was a rare part of RICO, a part that’s not really used. They said the fact that he used a couple of novelty IDs brought this within RICO. The problem is that is the same thing any other undercover journalist who takes on a cover story—they use these novelty IDs on a regular basis. We think that’s not going to hold up on appeal. But it is something that that was the theory that they went in with to get treble damages, multi-million dollars. And attorneys fees, which would be millions of dollars on top of the actual damages themselves.
REICHARD: Your firm has defended against RICO charges in other pro-life matters. Another case your firm was involved in called NOW v. Scheidler might help in Daleiden’s appeal from this latest ruling. How so?
BREEN: Right. And NOW v. Scheidler was—probably was the top pro-life case of the last 20 or 30 years until the David Daleiden cases. And that was to defend pro-life sidewalk activism, so sidewalk counselors and others who go to abortion facilities. We were able to beat that in the Supreme Court, although we took a tough jury verdict in that case as well out of Chicago. But that case established very clearly that when you are not obtaining property, so anytime you’re in an activist type situation where it’s a boycott or what have you, you’re not trying to steal from the people you’re boycotting or that you’re picketing or protesting, you just want people to stop going to those businesses and you want them to shut down. It was the same thing that was being done here. No one stole anything, harmed anything, took anything. All they did was, like any other undercover journalist, you start the camera rolling, you get people engaged in conversation, and they are much more candid with you because they don’t know they’re being taped than they would be if they were, for instance, under subpoena or being represented by lawyers and what have you.
REICHARD: This jury verdict obviously personally affects Daleiden a great deal. In a larger sense, though, if this verdict stands, what’s at stake as far as legal protections for pro-lifers?
BREEN: Well, this verdict has the potential to shut down any sort of undercover journalism against Planned Parenthood or any other abortion providers. And that is extremely important particularly in the blue states where you’ve seen prosecutors look the other way repeatedly when abortion clinics have legal violations and what have you. The only people who are there to be able to ensure that these folks are following the law are undercover or some other surreptitious actors. And so you could shut all of that down if this jury verdict holds true.
But even broader—and this is going to be one of our primary grounds for appeal—let’s say your issue isn’t abortion. Let’s say it’s animal rights. Let’s say it’s corrupt politicians. How are you going to do undercover journalism when you can’t use a cover story, when you cannot use a novelty ID to get into a building so that you can get into a meeting with that corrupt politician or the shady lawyer or whomever that needs to be investigated? There’s really broad, sweeping implications of this jury verdict.
REICHARD: We should also note that this was a civil lawsuit, but Daleiden and fellow activist Sandra Merrit still face criminal charges in California. Where does that case stand?
BREEN: Well, on December 6th, we are going to hear whether that case is going to go to jury trial. There are 14 counts remaining. We were able to get one of the 15 counts thrown out already, but what we’re trying to do is just slice off as many counts as we can. Because they’re really not supported by the evidence. And that case is about the undercover taping law in California. There’s a decade of San Quintin at risk on those charges if we are unsuccessful. So we’re going to do everything humanly possible. The nice thing about that case is we are able to put in more full evidence than the federal judge in the civil case was allowing us to do. And that is something that will assist us in terms of showing the public good of what David and his colleagues did.
REICHARD: Peter Breen is an attorney with the Thomas More Society. Thanks so much for joining us today.
BREEN: It’s great to be with you, Mary. Thanks.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: digital life after death.
When you think about your “estate,” you probably think: my house, my car, money in my bank accounts.
But what about digital assets?
NICK EICHER, HOST: Right, meaning electronic records on your computer, phone, or tablet. We’re talking cryptocurrency, electronic bills, email and social-media accounts.
Most people know they need a plan for their physical assets when they die. But few people prepare for distribution of digital assets.
WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports now on how that’s changing.
REICHARD: This story originally appeared in our sister publication, WORLD Magazine.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Selah Cross, her husband and grandson were driving home from a family vacation when they got the call. Their 26-year-old son Cameron had died.
CROSS: Because of Cameron’s faith in Jesus, we are confident that we will see him again and that he is in heaven with the Lord.
Before his death, Cameron hadn’t made a will or designated an estate executor. That included access to his digital assets.
Cameron’s cell phone was password protected. And because he hadn’t named his parents as executors, the phone company couldn’t legally give them access.
That meant the loss of a precious digital asset: photos.
CROSS: So if he had any stored anywhere and even the ones on his phone, there’s no way we can get to them.
Scott Magnuson is an estate lawyer in Pennsylvania. He says even if people do have a will, they often don’t consider their digital assets the Wild West of estate planning.
Many people share passwords to their accounts with family members or executors. But unless they’ve given an executor written permission to access electronic records, the executor is essentially a hacker under federal law.
MAGNUSON: I am sure that unknowingly there are people who are taking passwords, going online and accessing things, thinking that well, this is what this person wanted me to do and has no idea that technically they’re violating the law.
Further complicating matters are user terms of service agreements or TOSAs. The agreements vary widely. Apple’s iCloud agreement says the company will delete data after a death. So does Yahoo’s. Facebook allows users to memorialize pages. Google allows users to designate someone to have access to their accounts after death.
That means even if an executor has been given permission to access digital assets, an individual TOSA could still get in the way. Recently, that happened to Scott Magnuson when a client made him estate executor. The client’s email TOSA barred him from seeing her messages.
MAGNUSON: Under the terms of service, I wasn’t designated as someone who had authority to access at least her email account.
There is hope that the rules governing digital assets could become more uniform and clear. Forty-four states have now passed the Reformed Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.
Gerry Beyer is an estate expert at Texas Tech School of Law. He says the legislation automatically gives an executor power over digital assets like computer files, web domains and virtual currency.
But when it comes to written electronic communication like text messages and social media accounts, an executor still has to be explicitly named in a will or trust.
BEYER: The way I look at it is, it may not be the best, but it provides us with a framework.
Beyer says online companies will continue to be wary of giving out usernames and passwords until there’s even more national uniformity surrounding digital assets.
BEYER: They’re afraid of liability. They’re just afraid of revealing something wrong, and they want protection.
In the meantime, lawyer Scott Magnuson says he’s bringing up digital assets with most of his clients. And while there may not be clear answers surrounding electronic records, it’s best to start asking the questions.
MAGNUSON: There are Biblical provisions for caring for your family. That’s part of loving your family taking care of your family and being a good steward of what the Lord has given to you.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
MARY REICHARD: Dog lovers understand how things can go awry sometimes. And usually it’s not the dog’s fault.
Take Max, a black lab in Florida. In late November his owner got out of his Mercury with the engine running and shut the door with Max left inside.
Then Max accidentally shifted into reverse and that locked the door. He spent the next several minutes making backward circles in a cul de sac.
Police arrived to figure out how to get the door open. Meanwhile, a postbox and a trash bin got taken out with Max at the wheel.
Some quick footwork eventually let police enter a code into a keypad on the door and take control of the car.
For all the worry, nobody got hurt, and Max jumped out wagging his tail after his excellent adventure.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, December 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Well, it’s the first Tuesday of the month. That means book reviewer Emily Whitten joins us to talk about our Classic Book of the Month.
Emily, thanks for talking with me today.
EMILY WHITTEN, BOOK REVIEWER: My pleasure, Mary.
REICHARD: Emily, I’m looking at my calendar and it says Christmas is just 22 days away. How about a recommendation for a good book to give?
WHITTEN: I’ll do you one better. I thought we could talk about two books today—specifically, two Calvins.
REICHARD: Two Calvins? Hm. Okay, I wonder if one of them might be John Calvin?
WHITTEN: How’d you guess? Love him or hate him, John Calvin definitely ranks as one of the most influential thinkers of the Reformation. Some argue his Institutes of the Christian Religion first published in 1536 might be the most influential work in Western culture. At over 1,000 pages of rich theology—it’s a lot to bite off.
REICHARD: That sounds kind of ambitious to me. For a Christmas read, I mean.
WHITTEN: Which is why I’m excited about a slim volume of Calvin’s called the Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. The book offers a concise look at how to live the Christian life. It runs about 100-150 pages, depending on the translation.
REICHARD: Now we’re talking. That sounds doable.
WHITTEN: It’s a good place to start, for sure. Calvin wrote the book’s five chapters as part of his Institutes, but he intended them to stand alone as well. He wanted people who weren’t seminary students or pastors to read about practical Christian holiness.
Pastor Ligon Duncan explained the book’s opening lines at a 2015 Ligonier Ministries conference:
DUNCAN: Calvin says that ‘the object’ of the work that God is doing in us, to sanctify us, to conform us to Christ, to change us, to transform us, that ‘the object is to manifest in the life of believers a harmony and an agreement between God’s righteousness and their obedience.
Duncan explains holiness is an issue of family resemblance. If you’ve ever seen a baby that looks like his father—he might have his father’s eyes or his hair color. Just by looking at the baby, you know who the father is. Similarly, when people look at us, they ought to see something of God in us and know we’re His children.
REICHARD: Physical similarities versus behavior similarities. I like it. What else makes this one a good gift?
WHITTEN: Calvin swaps the typical flowery language of the Reformation with short bullet points. He also writes about our struggles in a realistic way, with chapter headings like “Self-denial” and “Patience in Cross-bearing.”
Pastor and author Burk Parsons helped translate one version called A Little Book on the Christian Life. He noted in a 2018 Awakening conference that Calvin chose some interesting words to describe our Christian growth:
PARSONS: You hear the language of staggering, and limping, and crawling along on the ground. That’s so often how sanctification feels, dosn’t it? Calvin says our final hope is when we enter heaven’s gates…
Calvin knows the Christian life isn’t easy. But we press on because our ultimate hope can’t be shaken.
REICHARD: That sounds like a good message for Christmas or any season. Who’s the other Calvin you’re recommending this month?
WHITTEN: Hold on to your seat, Mary, because when I open this next book, at any moment, a tiger may pounce, and monsters under the bed may attack. This book screams danger!
REICHARD: Ok. I’m buckled up!
WHITTEN: Good, because in case you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about Bill Watterson’s comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes. Are you familiar with these guys, Mary?
REICHARD: Oh, yes. I’ve got the complete Calvin and Hobbes set! My father-in-law gave them to us for Christmas years ago.
WHITTEN: I really appreciate them, especially as Christmas presents over the years! Our family likes them enough that I asked my daughter Anna to read a strip for us. Here’s my 12 year old reading from The Essential Calvin and Hobbes:
ANNA: ‘What’s for dinner?’ ‘Salmon.’ ‘Salmon? Blech.’ ‘Calvin, one of these days your face is going to freeze like that.’ ‘Wow!’ ‘Hi, Hobbes.’ ‘Good heavens! What’s wrong with you?’ ‘Mom said if I keep making this face, it’ll freeze like this forever.’ ‘You really think so?’ ‘It’s worth a try! I bet my features are hardening already.’ ‘I always liked gargoyles.’
REICHARD: Anna’s a terrific reader!
WHITTEN: I agree, but I’m biased. (laughs) Bill Watterson started the comic back in 1985. It ran until 1995. It grew out of another failed comic, The Doghouse.
And yes, he named this Calvin after the other Calvin we’ve talked about today.
REICHARD: So this Calvin is named after Reformer John Calvin?
WHITTEN: Exactly. Although, I don’t see much resemblance. Calvin and Hobbes reminds me more of Peanuts characters for a postmodern generation. Where Peanuts captures the 1950s culture, Calvin taps into the “be yourself,” relativistic thinking of the 1980s. I mean, a lot of the strip happens in Calvin’s imagination. But for all that, he resembles Charlie Brown in his relatability. Calvin still seems like the kid next door.
Here’s a quote by Bill Watterson on that point. Simon Whistler reads it as part of a video series called Today I Found Out:
WHISTLER: I suspect most of us get old without growing up, and that inside every adult (sometimes not very far inside) is a bratty kid who wants everything his own way. I use Calvin as an outlet for my immaturity, as a way to keep myself curious about the natural world, as a way to ridicule my own obsessions, and as a way to comment on human nature.
So, in a kind of secular Screwtape Letters, Calvin and Hobbes helps us see the sinfulness of our sin. It’s true that Watterson celebrates “the subjective nature of reality.” But he also skewers it. I mean, how often does Calvin jump off the roof convinced he can fly, and then, wham! Reality breaks in. So, in that way, the strip helps my kids see through a lot of self-centered thinking, postmodern or otherwise. As a parent, I appreciate that.
REICHARD: Emily, thank you for the book recommendations today.
WHITTEN: You’re very welcome, Mary. Happy reading!
REICHARD: Today, Emily recommended the Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life by John Calvin as well as The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. Find other classic book recommendations at worldandeverything.org. Just search for Classic Book of the Month.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow, Washington Wednesday, news from Turkey and Syria. We’ll talk to World’s senior editor Mindy Belz. She’s just back from a reporting trip there.
And we’ll meet a man who left a lucrative legal career to become a basketball coach.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
If anyone knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is a sin.
I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!