insanitybytes22 has a fascinating post, “Jubilee Theonomy”. Here is how it starts.

“Jubilee theonomy,” I totally snagged that from Pastor Wilson, a timely phrase indeed because I was just thinking of writing about jubilee and what I call the Great Divide between alleged liberals and conservatives.

Jubilee for those who don’t know is, “a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. In the Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year  is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, during which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest.”

Now in my way of thinking we are living in perpetual jubilee, Jesus Christ is our jubilee. As prisoners we have been set free, no longer slaves to fear, our debts forgiven, and the mercies of God are now particularly manifest. Praise the Lord! (continued here)

For the most part, is joyous, but as human beings are wont to do she expresses her disappointment. Where does that come from? The Jubilee is a creature of the Law. Because we cannot obey it, the Law condemns us. That is, because we are incapable of obeying the Law, the Jubilee was great in theory, but a failure in practice.

The Law — the Jubilee — is about government. We can idolize government. What does the worship of government involve? In the United States we have this dream that we can create a system of government that leads to a Utopian world. However, even as ‘s post suggests, the Law is not broken. We are.

Let’s carefully examine this paragraph from ‘s post.

Why then do we not relate to one another in this same spirit? Why are we still taking hostages, making wage slaves out of people, and burdening them with excessive debt? Why are we living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and yet the top 3% hold all the wealth? Why do we as conservative Christians so often dismiss the poor as lazy, ignore the cries of women who have been abused, and mock those who try to speak of racism? (from here)

Hostages? Slaves. Even if being born again instantaneously transformed Christians into perfectly moral creatures, not all people are Christians. Lots of people, the majority, still see the world as us versus them. Us has always enslaved them. The desire for dominance seems to be a feature of the natural man.

Hoarding wealth? Owning and managing wealth is a gift/skill. Some people just don’t have the capacity or the self-discipline. Put any wealth into their hands, and it is soon wasted. Some do have the capacity to manage wealth. Those that do too often scheme to gain advantages with the help of politicians. When they succeed in working with politicians (that is, engage in crony capitalism) they are able to amass prodigious wealth because the power of government helps them to stifle their competitors.

Do conservative Christians UNFAIRLY dismiss the poor as lazy, ignore the cries of women who have been abused, and mock those who try to speak of racism? Note that added word, “UNFAIRLY”. Note also that not all people who claim to be conservative Christians are both conservative and Christians. Neither can we guarantee the saintliness of poor. In fact, not all women who cry about being abused have been. Some people even stoop to use the charge of racism as a weapon against their political opponents.

So what is it then that conservative Christians are doing that is wrong? Conservatism involves limited government. Conservatives insist that government exists to protect our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; but we live in a society that is predominantly Socialist in character. Conservative Christians are fighting an uphill battle. Look at our supposed leader. Donald Trump? Is he either a Christian or a Conservative? All I know is that I am still shocked by what he has accomplished. That says a lot for the power of prayer, I think. Whose prayer? Conservative Christians alone? Who knows?

What about social justice? If government is just about protecting our God-given rights, then charity is supposed to be a private matter. Then it becomes the responsibility of each of us to impartially love our neighbor. Then it becomes the responsibility of each of us to behave as did that Good Samaritan whose example Jesus spoke of. Do conservative Christians fail at this point? Of course. We all do.

Consider then how ends her post.

The undeniable truth to me is that far too often the theonomy of the conservative heart is built around pride, prejudice, and privilege. Jubilee for me and not for thee. (from here)

There is a subtle bit of self-deceit to which we are all are prey. Therefore, before we accuse, we need to rephrase our accusations as questions. Therefore, consider this question.

Whose heart is built around pride, prejudice, and privilege? Who does not perceive Jubilee theonomy as something for me and not for thee?

We all tend to have unrealistic expectations. We all think others can do more. We forget others have their own expectations and problems. We forget we don’t share the same priorities. All our hearts are full of “ME”.

What will happen between Jesus’ First and Second Coming? There are lots of theories about what Revelation predicts. Will we humans manage to create a perfectly Christian world? There was a time some Christians hoped for that, but few now see much evidence that supports such a theory. Once many Christians believed things would just keep getting better, but that seems to have collapsed under the evidence provided by two world wars. Even now we sit at the threshold of a third world war.

Still, many secularists hold to a theory of inevitable progress. It is after all, all that they have in this life. If man — if we — cannot save ourselves, and God is not real, then what is left? Since secularists control the mass media, they tend to infect us with their false hopes. To maintain a proper perspective, we need to remember our hope is in Jesus Christ. We need to keep our eyes on Him.

So what about ‘s concern? Are conservative Christians or any kind of Christians doing all they can do? Perhaps I err, but I think that is for our Lord to decide. Remember His words to Peter?

John 21:20-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”

22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”

Why did Peter ask Jesus that question? What would he have done if Jesus had given him an answer? Any good? Was Peter fit to judge what Jesus had chosen for John?

We each can only spread the Gospel. How our fellow Christians choose to follow Jesus, because He is the One who gives each of us a new heart, is not something we can change. We each can only follow our Lord as best we can.


Add yours

  1. “Why then do we not relate to one another in this same spirit? Why are we still taking hostages, making wage slaves out of people, and burdening them with excessive debt?”

    Interesting statement. As though “excessive debt” is something folks are somehow saddled with by “us taking hostages” in a way that could have nothing whatsoever to do with their own choices in life.

    “Why are we living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world and yet the top 3% hold all the wealth?”

    Perhaps we should go back to the GINI Indexes of the 60s and 70s, when there was less “wealth disparity”. A period well known for its admirably low levels of societal upheaval, political violence, organized crime, currency instability, etc. Or….the really really low levels of social inequality in 1933 Ukraine (link:

    Good grief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why mock people who talk about racism? I’ve seldom encountered that phenomenon. People aren’t generally mocked for talking about racism.
      But people do become weary of canards.
      Here is an example of an “activist”.

      “”The thing that people don’t understand is this, you remain who you are, you just add more things to you. Once you’re something, you’re that,” McCoy says, “Am I no longer a gangster? I’m still a gangster. But that’s no longer something I have to move on. Now, I’m an activist also.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What I really liked about IB’s approach here is that it’s general focus is introspective rather just trying to be a scold, and
    its uncertain sense of humility rather than just always defaulting to overly provocative arrogance. I’ve been guilty more often than not of arrogant scolding while absolutely certain in my righteousness. I’m becoming more and more convinced lately that being such a scold, even in response to self-righteous scolding from those that I disagree with, really causes much new understanding from anyone who doesn’t already agree with me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. @anon LOL and apologizes if it seemed that way, but I honestly wasn’t referring to you, even backhandly, but to my own scolding tendencies – it was an admission, not an, admonition my friend.

        I wish humility really were a “liberal” talking point but I fear that liberals and conservatives are both guilty of an inordinate amount of the vice of arrogance in their opinions. Count me guilty as the rest.

        Maybe it’s just me and my obstinate side, but the writers who have most influenced me and deeply changed my understanding have started from sincerity about their own limits rather that beating me over the head with how superior their ideas are. However, I admit that I have an authority complex from way back, and this just may be my own tripwire.


        1. When someone scolds me for not being as charitable as they think I ought to be, I may get mildly annoyed, but I don’t have to listen. When someone uses the government to take my earnings and “charitably” give my earnings to their voting constituencies, I then get upset. I call that thievery and more than just a little bit arrogant.

          insanitybytes22 is scolding, but she did not advocate forcibly redistributing the wealth. Her scolding does in fact have its place. Peter had a question. Jesus responded. Jesus scolded Peter, and Peter gained a better understanding.

          None of us is Jesus, but we can still gain a better understanding by talking things out. In spite of our best efforts we may never quite agree, but there is a compromise. As much as possible, we should each be allowed to follow the dictates of our own consciences.

          Does my post sound like scolding to insanitybytes22? I suppose so, but that is the nature of criticism. If we don’t learning to accept it, we don’t learn as well. Since insanitybytes22 well understands Proverbs, she knows that.

          Proverbs 19:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

          20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
          That you may be wise in your latter days.

          insanitybytes22 and I don’t always agree, but we dialogue with mutual respect.

          Proverbs 12:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

          18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
          But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

          God only know how wise either of us may be, but we try to make use of his advice.

          Proverbs 9:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

          7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
          And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
          8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
          Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
          9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
          Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.


  3. “insanitybytes22 is scolding, but she did not advocate forcibly redistributing the wealth.”

    That was my point; I didn’t find IB’s post very “scolding” at all. I’m not sure if I agree with IB on everything in the post that you linked, but, as I said, I found her introspection and sincerity quite refreshing. For me at least, it made me much more likely to try to understand her point of view, and feel that she might be at least be willing to consider a sincere opposing point of view.

    As for this from Proverbs:

    8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
    Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
    9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
    Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

    I don’t consider myself a particularly wise man, but I’m trying to learn to be a little wiser each day.. As I said, I have always had trouble with the humility to take instruction as well as I should, even from those who are more knowledgeable than I, much less from those who have no expertise at all on the given subject. It’s been a lifelong project of mine to attain enough wisdom to get over this authority complex. However, don’t you think that it would either take amazing knowledge and wisdom or else amazing arrogance and ignorance to think oneself wise enough to scold a wise man? I confess to you that I’m not at all there yet on the former.


    1. @tsalmon

      insanitybytes22 directed her scolding specifically at conservative Christians. If you identified as a conservative Christian, I suspect you would feel scolded. Since you don’t, I think you puzzled over the irritation over conservative Christians who feel scolded at what insanitybytes22 said. From your point-of-view, what insanitybytes22 is obviously true.

      Given you are not a conservative Christian, I suspect anon thinks you are guilty of sarcasm, but I doubt it.

      I think you know the guy I got this quote from.

      Be egalitarian regarding persons.
      Be elitist regarding ideas.
      — Peter Kreeft of Boston College

      We are suppose to respect other people, but the Truth is a person.

      John 14:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

      6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

      Humility is not about thinking other men better than yourself. Humility is about deferring to God. That is why the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, but true wisdom is to love God.

      John 14:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

      15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

      Deferring to God, however, can seem deceptively easy. We have to make certain the God we defer to is the one revealed by the Bible, not a creature of our own imagination. This is why we must confer with each other. This is why we must practice loving our Lord by learning to love each other. This s why we must practice humility before each other.

      Philippians 2:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

      2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

      I don’t have Jesus. He is God. I am not.

      We each give our self — sacrifice our self — by loving each other in obedience to Him. We each must regard our self not as the prized possession of God, but as one of His many children. Thus, when we esteem our brothers and sisters as better than ourselves, we humble ourselves before God, recognizing that because He is God He has greater possessions than “Me”. Nevertheless, He is the Truth, not one our brothers and sisters. Thus, with the help of our brothers and sisters we study God’s Creation, His Word, and what He has written upon our hearts and seek to learn His Wisdom.


      1. “Given you are not a conservative Christian, I suspect anon thinks you are guilty of sarcasm, but I doubt it.”

        When I looked back, I found that you are right on this. I was not trying to be sarcastic and my comment really was not aimed at anon, but it was obvious that she thought it was. Perhaps the confusion comes from what it means to be “conservative” and particularly, is Christianity solely a “conservative” religion.

        This is probably the subject of much larger discussion, but as to the latter, particularly if we look at the Abolition, Civil Right’s, unionization, women’s suffering and temperance movements, I’m not sure that history is that clear on whether Christianity is the sole purview of either conservativism of liberalism. Christianity, it seems to me has elements of both liberal radicalism and traditional conservative orthodoxy in it. Saints, it seems, most often have a strong streak of both.

        It’s hard for me to put a finger on it, perhaps because we are in the middle of historic change that is more easily seen later in the rear view mirror, but conservatives and liberals seem to be ideologically swapping sides while still retaining their comfortable labels.

        For example, you must realize that, at least on several issues, you are really the radical and I am the traditionalist. You are the individualist and I am the institutionalist. You are for being a “protestant” and I am for orthodoxy. Therefore, who actually is “a Christian Conservative” is difficult to define and in a current state of dramatic flux.

        This is not a criticism of you or IB or anon. It’s just an observation as to why there is confusion. I know that it often leaves me confused and rather tribeless, even though I’m constantly being arbitrarily and involuntarily assigned to one tribe or another, often more for the sake of picking a fight rather than for the search of real common understanding, insight or, as you say, wisdom.


        1. @tsalmon

          To suit themselves some people twist the meaning of words. That is especially true of political labels. So political labels are awkward at their best.

          What would Conservatives call themselves if they could? Liberals. The Founding Fathers were Liberals. In one sense they were radicals. In another they were quite conservative. The Founding Fathers fought for what they called God-given rights. In that sense they were Liberal. The Founding Fathers took on the most powerful nation in the world. In that sense they were extremely radical. The Founding Fathers sought to preserve the existing social order. They wanted a limited central government that left most power and authority to the States. Unlike the French revolutionaries (1789 – 1799) who overturn the monarchy, they had relatively limited objectives.

          Because some crafty, sneaky, and deceitful politicians wanted to label themselves as Liberals and identify themselves with the Founders, the Liberal label is not especially helpful anymore. So Democrats now call themselves Progressives, and some Conservatives, myself included, would prefer to be called Classical Liberals, but find that it would generally be more confusing than helpful.

          Is Christianity a Conservative religion? I like the way Abraham Lincoln addressed a question of that sort.

          “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

          When I pick my position on an issue, I want to be on God’s side. Therefore, I try to be in accord with scripture. Am I always right? I suppose not, but I try. Moreover, to limit the harm I might otherwise do, I fight for freedom of conscience. Whatever possible, I think each of us should decide for our self how our life, labor, and property will be used. Government should be the last resort.

          Here is an interesting essay on the question =>

          Liked by 1 person

      2. About this quote:

        Be egalitarian regarding persons.
        Be elitist regarding ideas.
        — Peter Kreeft of Boston College

        I agree with the sentiment. A few things:

        1. Kreeft really has the academic credentials to have elitist ideas and be takin seriously, but for the most part, he would say that the ideas are not his, but from elites far more ancient and traditional.

        2. The work you are citing is not a ranting polemic scold, but instead a rational treatise (excruciatingly so at times) that is extensively sourced.

        3. Kreeft saves his worst criticism, not for atheists who he just considers misguided, but instead for Christian modernists who he considers deceivers. For the sake of ecumenicalism, he takes a lighter touch with fundamentalists, but it is obvious that he considers them just the reactionary opposite side of the same bad currency.


        1. @tsalmon

          I suspect Kreeft is like most Catholics. He thinks everyone should be a Catholic. I just know I like the way he thinks.

          I don’t see much point in debating who he thinks is most misguided. I will admit that I have a tendency to think everyone except God is more misguided than me. That is the nature of that sin we call pride.

          I think that quote is derived from “The Snakebite Letters” by Peter Kreeft. However, if you have better reference, I would like to see it.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re probably going to say that knowledge is not necessarily wisdom. However, I think you would agree that the discipline and drive to aquire knowledge is a prerequisite to wisdom.

    On a lark, I looked up the Wikipedia bios on Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. Assuming these bios are true all these famed scolders either never went to college or dropped out early on. (On the other hand, interestingly, Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter have impressive educational resumes).

    What does this mean about their actual wisdom to scold others? I’m not sure. Admittedly, knowledge doesn’t only come from institutions of higher learning, but I personally am going to be pretty suspicious of having a self-taught brain surgeon operate on my head.


    1. “Assuming these bios are true all these famed scolders either never went to college or dropped out early on.”

      So did Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates.
      But I take little stock in what pundits think (this includes Rachel Madcow, et al). It is there job, after all, not to solve problems but to opine. I listen to what the problem solvers think.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Just to add, I take little stock in the opinions of folks who monetize outrage. I might consider certain portions of what they say and then do my own investigation…but if it’s in their interest to be divisive and monetize outrage, one has to take everything they say with a heaping cup full of salt.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. @anon

        “I listen to what the problem solvers think…”

        Exactly, and from the way that you write, I don’t doubt it’s true.

        I’ve been thinking about this a good deal lately. Who is an expert, and who is just peddling outrage for personal fame and fortune, or worse, who is the true believer, the ideologue, who is just sparking his/her own internal chaos out into an external conflagration for some sort of shared emotional mob catharsis? (I have been too much of the last category more often than I’d like to admit, even to myself). Where do these fire bomb throwers get their expertise in the field, either through education or experience, on which they claim the podium to scoff and scold the establishment and traditions, and incite the destruction of institutions?

        As an aircraft/mission commander, I really had little time for egos. I needed crew members who were “problem solvers” with expertise and ideas that added to the success of the mission., team players and institutional men and women who knew how to stifle their own colorful egos to be a constructive part of the team’s success.. Personalities with opinions are great, and sometimes there are true savants who create something out of the corrupt old order, but like our founders, should they should also have expertise and a plan for imcremental institutional change rather than just blowing it all up.

        Sorry, now I’ve slid into preaching (but I hope not scolding), and you should ask yourself, “Why would I listen to him?” Perhaps you shouldn’t, or with many grains of salt.

        Really, I’m just putting the question that your comment implies out there? Who are the “problem solvers”?


        1. @tsalmon

          Before we name problem solvers, we have to name the problem.

          If we want a scheme for good government, we first have to define criteria.

          The Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence to define the criteria for good government. Then they provided a solution with the Constitution. They referenced the works of theorists like John Locke to write the Constitution.


        2. Who are the “problem solvers”?
          That’s an interesting question.
          I could ramble on for quite a while on that in all sorts of directions. LOL

          I think Ted Roosevelt would be a quintessential example.
          The “man in the arena” speech kind of summarizes things.
          (for those unfamiliar)
          ”It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

          There are all sorts of problem solvers out there.
          Some in leadership positions, some working for others, some working for themselves, just getting the Jay Oh Bee done.
          I think Tom is right about “naming the problem”.
          Once the problem is defined, there can be some metric for success. Without a metric, it’s hard to determine whether or not the problem is being corrected. Take the military example which you provided. I think it’s a good one. Companies like check 6 bring this training to other fields, as a way to optimize efficiency and prevent problems before they happen.

          Things become less clear when there are no measurable results in the real sense. “Having a program” isn’t a measurable result. Just as wearing a wristband to “raise awareness” isn’t a measurable result (no, the number of people wearing wristbands doesn’t count as progress, nor does the number of people chanting at a protest, et al).
          The military actually provides great examples of efficiencies and inefficiencies as both “problem solvers” and counterproductive/useless “critics” provide an abundance of examples. So do a lot of other fields, I’m sure. We see microcosmic examples of good and poor leadership everywhere.

          One (small…the examples are legion, this is a tiny one that comes to mind because it illustrates the problem so well) example is “CAF day”.
          This is the day for “resiliency training” when everyone takes a half day off work to have a water balloon fight and talk about “taking care of Airmen and their families” or some such. Sounds like a nice idea in theory, but in practice we’re making people who don’t have enough time in the day to do their jobs already, and demand “forced fun” to push them even further away from meeting their required objectives. The smart way to offer a CAF day is to allow the individual squadron commanders to decide when to do it, depending on their schedule. The smart way to determine whether CAF days are working isn’t just to check the square, “Yessiree, we had a CAF day”, but to measure things like retention, overall satisfaction, and so forth. The CAF day is a bromide bumper sticker, that solves no problems.

          I encountered this when I worked at a nursing home as well. Leadership demanded that I take a half hour break “whenever I wanted”. But most nights I had 30+ patients without any other RN available, one or two (maximum) aids for the whole floor and call lights going off all the time. When was I supposed to take a break? “Oh, we want you to take that break!” okay…um, when? Do you want me to leave my patients alone without a nurse on the floor? “Oh, goodness no! You must not leave your patients…but you must also take that break! We very much want you to take that break…”
          True parody.

          I could go on and on about everything from bad foreign policy decisions to vagina hats. Let’s take V hats. What is the measurable objective there? The marchers can’t really seem to point to what they are trying to accomplish. I’ll tell you when they’re accomplishing admirably…it’s a fantastic propaganda campaign for the Mullahs in those environments that are truly oppressive to women.

          Anyway, to draw this post to an end before I really go off on the bunny trail,
          admittedly I too can be a scold (clearly). 😆

          Liked by 1 person

        3. @anon

          The Teddy Roosevelt quote is one of my favorites. There have perhaps been better presidents, but I doubt there have been many men who were better, but only God knows.

          The lunacy of the vagina hats marchers well illustrates the need to define the problem. It also illustrates the importance of letting the right people assume responsibility for resolving the problem.

          What is it the vagina hats marcher want? Who really knows, but I assume it has something to do with women’s “rights”. Politically, the problem of women’s rights has already been solved. That happened when women gained the right to vote. So why the big fuss over feminism? Me, myself and I always wants more, especially what someone else has and seems to be happy with. It is called envy. It is the way salesmen get us to upgrade our phones, cars, homes, hairdos, clothes, and otherwise try get us to remake ourselves when we would otherwise have no reason to bother. It is also the way politicians buy our votes with their endless promises.

          What is feminism about? It is about envy. It is not about promoting the feminine. It is about women who envy men.

          Instead of appreciating what it means to be a woman, some women demand “equality” with men. Sometimes this becomes absurd. Take, for example, military service. We use to have an active draft. That is because any sane person looks at the demands of serving in combat operations and figures out there isn’t much fun involved. In fact, you could killed doing that.

          So if no one in their right mind would join up, why did we get rid of the draft? With modern tactics and equipment, we don’t need as many soldiers. We can hire enough volunteers, and people who want to serve make far better soldiers.

          We don’t pay soldiers huge salaries, but enough good men see the military as their calling. So for the time being that works. Yet because it is a volunteer force (not draft) some women insist they have the right to join the military. However, military service is not a right. What matters is military effectiveness. The military is not a jobs program. The military exists to kill people and break their things.

          Feminists look at the military and irrationally become envious. Instead of remembering the obvious, the sexes are supposed to complement each other, they make it an us versus them thing. So now we have crazies insisting the military pay for transgendering people. How does that increase military effectiveness?

          Can men have babies? With modern medicine it probably just a matter of time until some R&D outfit fits some bozo with an artificial womb. Why? What problem would that solve? The bozo would be less envious of women, I suppose.

          Government can protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Government does not exist to make us happy. Government cannot bless us. When He chooses to do so, God blesses us, and He does not reward us for envying others. He blesses us when we do what He has called us to do.

          How we pursue happiness is not the province of government. That is why feminist vagina hat marchers are such a joke. They are looking for happiness in the wrong place. Instead of doing what God has called them to do, they are filled with envy.

          Why are such women — why are such people — so confused? Seems to be part and parcel of being human. We have to learn about God, our Creator, the One who gives us purpose. Unfortunately, we have given our government control over education. Since we insist upon a secular government, our schools make no effort to teach our children about God. Therefore, our children learn little about the virtues God expects from us. They gain knowledge without the wisdom to use it well. So they waste their lives in sin, even coveting something as absurd as the “right” to join the military.


        4. Hear, hear Tom! (especially about that envy “bit)
          I think that’s what bothers me most about the list of chosen “vices” (3 percent own the wealth, and all those “isms”). Is it an actual problem that 3 percent own the wealth? Why? Is there an honest metric that points to this as a bad thing, or is it simply envy? By most metrics we are very very well off today…certainly GINI coefficients were more “equitable” during times of far more social injustice/strife/ect.
          -isms are the same.
          By what measure are we doing poorly? And how many of those social problems are the result, not of injustice but perverse incentives that lead to poor judgement?
          Sometimes protecting people from their own monumentally stupid decisions is the worst, most unloving thing you can do for them.

          I’m not a person who likes hand-wringing empty platitudes.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Just to add a link, from the Jewish liberal physician that is NOT a fan of Trump.
          It’s a good writeup on the “problem” of racism as currently (un)defined.

          “Racism-as-murderism is the opposite. It’s a powerful tool of dehumanization. It’s not that other people have a different culture than you. It’s not that other people have different values than you. It’s not that other people have reasoned their way to different conclusions from you. And it’s not even that other people are honestly misinformed or ignorant, in a way that implies you might ever be honestly misinformed or ignorant about something. It’s that people who disagree with you are motivated by pure hatred, by an irrational mind-virus that causes them to reject every normal human value in favor of just wanting to hurt people who look different from them.

          This frees you from any obligation to do the hard work of trying to understand other people, or the hard work of changing minds, or the hard work of questioning your own beliefs, or the hard work of compromise, or even the hard work of remembering that at the end of the day your enemies are still your countrymen. It frees you from any hard work at all. You are right about everything, your enemies are inhuman monsters who desire only hatred and death, and the only “work” you have to do is complain on Twitter about how racist everyone else is.

          And I guess it sounds like I’m upset that we’re not very good at solving difficult cross-cultural communication problems which require deep and genuine effort to understand the other person’s subtly different value system. I’m not upset that we can’t solve those. Those are hard. I’m upset because we’re not even at the point where someone can say “I’m worried about terrorism,” without being forced to go through an interminable and ultimately-impossible process of proving to a random assortment of trolls and gatekeepers that they actually worry about terrorism and it’s not just all a ruse to cover up that they secretly hate everyone with brown skin. I’m saying that when an area of the country suffers an epidemic of suicides and overdoses, increasing mortality, increasing unemployment, social decay, and general hopelessness, and then they say they’re angry, we counter with “Are you really angry? Is ‘angry’ just a code word for ‘racist’?” I’m saying we’re being challenged with a moonshot-level problem, and instead we’re slapping our face with our own hand and saying “STOP HITTING YOURSELF!”

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Since Wikipedia is crowd sourced, it is not a reliable source of info, particularly with respect to controversial people. I have heard Mark Levin, another conservative commentator, complain about this.

      Otherwise, I think anon has a point. If we are going to take advice, we probably ought to go to people who have accomplishments to prove it.

      That said, pundits and academics have their place. When people study history, politics, economics, and so forth — when they try to understand how things work and make how things work understandable — they can be worth a hearing. What such people teach are the models they use to understand how things work. If their models help us to understand what we glean from our own studies, that is well. If we rely solely upon one or two pundits, however, we will probably end up being misinformed.

      Most of the pundits, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin included, do stoke our outrage a bit. However, much of their outrage is genuine. For example, Levin’s outrage stems from his own personal anger at abuses of power. Limbaugh has a lighter touch; he aims more to ridicule the pretensions of Liberal Democrats than to get anyone angry at them. The result is that Liberal Democrats hate him. His conservative audience is too busy laughing to become very hateful.

      Both men, I think strive to educate their audiences. Levin makes his efforts to educate relatively obvious. Limbaugh, who admits he is an entertainer, is a bit more subtle about it.


  5. “I think that quote is derived from “The Snakebite Letters” by Peter Kreeft. However, if you have better reference, I would like to see it.”

    I thought I remember it from his “Handbook of Catholic Apologetics”, and it also sounds like something that C.S. Lewis might have said. But you may be right. I listened to several podcasts involving Kreeft and he may have repeated it there as well.

    I don’t think Kreeft wants everyone to be Catholic as much as he wants everyone to be one Church, one Body of Christ’s, and he says that considers the differences between Catholics and Protestants to either be insignificant or mostly resolved. I don’t think it matters so much what we call ourselves – how about Christians.

    I’m not so sure, however. Catholics place a great deal more emphasis in the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. The Mass is centered around the Body and Blood of Christ as a present real and living sacrifice.

    I don’t think people who do not feel the same way are no less Christian, and I do not think that those who don’t place this importance on the Last Supper should think Catholics are any less Christian either. However, people smarter than I will have to resolve this theological and metaphysical dispute before we can reasonably be one Christian Church without so many denominations. Because we all act with a certain amount of faith in so many infinite and incomprehensible mysteries, I don’t think the problem should be irresolvable to people of good spirit. It seems to me that pride, and it’s manifestation in belligerence, is the enemy of ecumenical progress. But what do I know?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Funny, in the history about Teddy Roosevelt that I remember, he was one of the first champions of progressive politics, but that was later in his life, I admit.

    I’m not sure about pussy hats. Don’t you think that, to the stuffed plush sofa crowd, the suffragettes looked pretty ridiculous out there marching when their proper place was at home cooking in the kitchen?

    Ultimately, however, unless protest is funneled into electing candidates sympathetic to the problems the protesters want solved, I think that you are right. As in whatever happened to those OWS folks? As you point out, they saw the problem, but really did not have any viable solutions.

    But like IB, you must at least realize some ethical problem with the one percent owning 80 percent of the wealth. I think solution to that problem may be important to whether or not modern western liberal democracy survives.

    When this problem arose in the not that distant past, two of the solutions were Fascism and Communism. The third solution was what happened in America (and eventually in Western Europe) in the middle of the 20th Century, which it is hard to see as anything but an uneasy and shifting ethical compromise between capital and labor, between free markets and regulation, (and yes, between public goods and private goods), that dampened the (envious?) fires of class warfare for almost a century now.

    I’m no sociologist. As they say, history may not repeat, but it rhymes. What rhymes today with the Fascism and Stalinism of the past? (Whatever is happening in Russia and China sure isn’t Western Democracy and its doesn’t fit the other models either). I’m far from expert enough to predict what new tyrannies are even possible in a globalized, multi-corporatized, roboticized world, but from what little I’ve read, we would have to be pretty naive to think that the endless human struggle over corruption, greed and power were somehow magically over and a new Christian charitable sentiment will fill the void left behind as governments recede from their western democratic balancing acts.

    So sure, we can scoff at protesters with funny hats … at least until the jackboots or the torches and pitchforks come out.

    The question isn’t whether there is a problem of greed and envy over who gets the scarce recourses. Duh… Of course there is. But I find it hard to believe that the solution to increasing wealth disparity, to an increasing number in poverty and a decreasing number in gluttonous luxury and power, is to scold the hard working impoverished masses for being envious and hateful of the gluttons.

    Here’s a quote from Reinhold Niebuhr that seems apropos:

    “All social co-operation on a larger scale than the most intimate social group requires a measure of coercion. While no state can maintain its unity purely by coercion neither can it preserve itself without coercion.


    Politics will, to the end of history, be an area where conscience and power meet, where the ethical and coercive factors of human life will interpenetrate and work out there uneasy compromises.”

    It isn’t whether state power will be the coercive force to settle, ethically or not, the distribution of the wealth that is created within that state. That problem will be solved by the state because it is the only place where coercive power exists to both harness and contain man’s sinful greed and envy.

    The problem is therefore as evident and intractable as the battle between love and hate in every human heart. And you know as well as I do that scoffing and scolding may provide a certain Schadenfreude, but (as much as I too love Schadenfreude), it’s not a solution, is it? It more likely just fans the fire don’t you think? I’m not just being argumentative in this. I sincerely don’t see how this works out well, and maybe I’m just a snowflake, but it worries me.


    1. Why would 1 percent own 80 percent of the wealth? Part of that is numbers manipulation. How much wealth does our government control? Who controls it?

      Because people play games statistics, it does not make much sense to take statistics at face value.

      Look around. What matters is the quality of life. What does the average member of the one percent have that the other 99 percent need? Why doesn’t the other 99 percent have it? Generally speaking, the biggest difference is private versus public schools. That difference is primarily due to government coercion. If parents were given education vouchers, they would generally choose private schools.

      Let’s consider again the significance of that quote from Reinhold Niebuhr. To reduce the clash between conscience and power, we must limit the exercise of government as much as we can. We must decide when government power is needful — when coercion is needful — because the alternative is to allow a greater evil.

      In a “perfect” market place economy, people choose between alternatives. We each make our own education, employment, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, entertainment, and many other choices. In a “perfect” socialist economy, we have no alternatives. Even in a “perfect” socialist economy we have nothing but coercion. That is because the state, not economics decides what options are acceptable. The state makes the “perfect” choice for each of us.

      Revelation talks about the Second Coming. Then Jesus remakes the world and becomes our King. When will that be? Nobody knows, but when He comes we may rest assured He will correctly use the coercive power of government. Meanwhile, we are stuck with imperfect leaders. The best we can do strive for a government of laws, not men. So we have constructed a limited government that disperses power using a system of checks and balances. Unfortunately, it is not working well. To some degree that is probably because the people of today don’t have as good a moral character as the people who founded this nation. One thing in particular stands out. Most people don’t readily perceive the moral dilemma Reinhold Niebuhr points out, the compromise the exercise of government power forces upon our consciences.


  7. Tom,

    It is not about data, its all about power.

    I have been able to do things in my life that were beyond anything that any average kid from and average family could even imagine in another time and place in the world. I’m not as smart or as talented as most people so I had to work mind bogglingly hard, but would take some kind of amazing conceit to think that I did it all on my own without all the opportunities, tangible and intangible, that government provided, including all sorts of public education and training.

    If public schools really were the root of all evil, then men would have been less barbaric to one another before these schools were invented, and we would be more barbaric to one another now that we have them. As it is, I don’t think man’s sinful and selfish nature has changed much since our fall from the Garden of Eden, and that includes our slave holding Christian Founders. Slavery, after all, is the ultimate in unequal wealth distribution.

    If anything, greater equality of wealth distribution improved at a time when public goods and services, such as public schools, were making a dynamic rise in this country and in all the western democracies. And still, we’ve had escalating economic growth that made capitalists, inventers, and the middle class larger and richer than ever.

    Why did the problem that has plagued mankind throughout the history of civilization, the fews’ enslavement of the many, suddenly go into such decline for a while in the West? It is just as simplistic to only credit the rise of public goods and services as it is to only credit the rise of markets. Democracy has something to do with it, but you and I both know people are just as likely to elect despots, demogagues and tyrants as they are to elect honorable men. The invention of constitutional democracy with its checks and balances on power had something to do with it, but once again slavery? And not only that, by today’s modern democratic standards, the patronage system where only the propertied elite could vote and hold office would not even be considered a democracy. No, as important as it is, the Constitution’s wonderful checks and balances on power alone did not bring us to this high water mark in wealth distribution. So what was it? And why do we now risk a backslide into corruption and barbarism?

    I don’t know. But I suspect there are many reasons, including all the ones mentioned above and more, and still more that it will require new founding type geniuses to determine and invent. We are not in static world. Economies and technologies are changing. Globalization outsourced unskilled and low skill labor, and now robots are eliminating jobs altogether. It is not much of a prediction for me to say that within 20 years, airlines and box carriers will be drone piloted.

    History is important to understanding the present and solving the future, but we can’t realistically go back to the 18th Century for all our answers to this age old problem of man’s inhumanity to man in fast developing juggernaut of the 21st Century. And until we invent something better than government to coordinate the messy ant pile of human civilizations, government in some form or fashion will continue to be the only coercive force that either enslaves most of us or makes us be at least as decent to one another as we have been in the West at the high mark of the 20th Century.


    1. @tsalmon

      So your data is not pertinent to the discussion? Okay.

      Your data now includes your own personal experience which is simply anecdotal evidence. Since it is all about power, whatever that means, can we can throw that out too?

      Are the public schools the root of all evil? If there is a root of all evil, then that root is in our own pride. A public school system is not necessary. If all we want to do is coerce our fellow citizens to provide poor children a “free” education, we (the government) just have to pay for it. Our leaders, however, do not seem to be satisfied with that. They do not want to let parents decide which schools their children attend. They want monopoly control over educational content and instruction. They want monopoly control over the dispersion of educational funds.

      Was there initially an improvement after the start of the public school system? Since it is not about data, how could we know? However, let’s just hazard a guess. Initially, public education was a local phenomenon. So various local public schools competed with each other. Over the almost two hundred years since the start of the public school system (has not actually been around a long time), state governments have taken over and now Federal officials are grabbing for power.

      The takeover by the state and now by Federal officials has made the public school system far more monopolistic. So yes, the public school system is about power, the pride of power, not about educating children.

      Government exists to protect the rights of the People. What rights? Is the right to an education one of those rights? No. If you, I, or anybody wants to be educated on something, we don’t have the right to make that somebody else’s problem. We do have the right, however, to live, to make our own choices, and to use our resources to pursue our own dreams our own way to the best of our own ability.

      Consider the irony of your own words.

      I have been able to do things in my life that were beyond anything that any average kid from and average family could even imagine in another time and place in the world. I’m not as smart or as talented as most people so I had to work mind bogglingly hard, but would take some kind of amazing conceit to think that I did it all on my own without all the opportunities, tangible and intangible, that government provided, including all sorts of public education and training.

      According to your own words, the thing that enabled your success relative to others is hard work. Did you do it on your own, without any help? No, but what does the fact we have a public school system have do with that?

      What does the fact we have a public school system have do with any of it? The public school system is secular. The public school system is run by politicians. The public school system is monopolistic. If you think the fact (Facts are data, and some data matters.) we have a public school system does not matter, then why are you defending it? You don’t think parents are competent to make their own educational choices for their children? You think politicians do better? If that is not all about the pride of and the abuse of power, what is? When a private system could easily be made less secular, less political, and less monopolistic, if it is not about power, what is the advantage of having politicians in charge?


    2. “I have been able to do things in my life that were beyond anything that any average kid from and average family could even imagine in another time and place in the world.”

      The above is true, not just for you, but for me and everyone reading this. In fact, it’s true of just about every person living in America today. About a hundred years ago, a home’s biggest expense was food (at the beginning of the last century, food took up 70 or so percent of the average home budget…discretionary income virtually non-existent).

      People determine their circumstances based on comparative data. If they feel they’re living worse than others (and we’re fed a constant stream of information daily that claims we’re “missing out” and others have it better).

      I’m reminded of a discussion a long while back, in a forum far, far away. The topic was “Does capitalism create a healthier society or a less healthy society?”

      Someone reasonably asked, “In contrast to what? Current non-capitalist societies? Earlier societies, whether capitalist or not? A non-capitalist utopian fantasy?”

      Since no one was able to answer his question (see that bit about defining the problem above) he eventually responded:
      “Okay, my answer is it creates a healthier society compared to current non-capitalist societies, a healthier society compared to earlier societies, and is absolutely deadly, i.e. very, very unhealthy, in comparison to non-capitalist utopian fantasy societies.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @anon

        I agree with some of your assessment, and many economists have argued, successfully in my mind, that the wealth distribution numbers are relatively not as dire as they look because of technical and economic advances that make the poorest middle class family in America seem to be living in the lap of luxury compared to the industrial worker of 1920. There are two reasons why this misses the point:

        1. As I said before, because wealth is power, it is not about actual wealth, it is about relative wealth (to each other now) and thus relative power.

        2. Historically speaking, it is actually when corrupt societies see slightly greater increase in general wealth (and therefore power) that the societies begin to disintegrate. Eventually the bread and circuses devolve into even greater corruption so that the society loses its defenses against external enemies or it erupts into internal revolt.

        Also, I know it’s fun to argue against the person you wish you were arguing against, like for example some fool “utopian anti-capitalist”, but I’m not that person. I’m too cynical about the human race to be utopian and I’m too optimistic about people to be a hopeless about positive change that can make the arc of history swing ever just a little closer toward justice with huge steps backward every now and then.

        As a cold warrior from way back, I’d love to rhetorically beat up on some utopian anti-capitalists too if we can find some.


        1. “As I said before, because wealth is power, it is not about actual wealth, it is about relative wealth (to each other now) and thus relative power.”

          I’m not so sure of that. My neighbor makes about twice what we do (his wife is employed, ergo income duplicato). Are they twice as powerful?
          “Power” just seems like such a nebulous catch-all category for whatever outrage du jour (vagina hat wearers speak of power, black lives matter speak of power, convicted felons send information to wikipedia endangering our soldiers and claim it’s about combatting those in power). Societies with far lower income disparities are filled with corruption.

          I don’t think it’s power so much that bothers people but the perception of social immobility. If I feel like I can work my way up, and my kids will have a bright future….in other words, if there’s hope, that is what matters most.

          On that note, not sure if I posted this before here. It’s interesting.
          The game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire played in Russia as well as here. The results were much, much different. It’s fascinating.

          “In America, the audience viewed the million-dollar prize as a reason to congratulate a fellow human on accomplishing something great. In Russia, the audience viewed the million-ruple prize as a reason to mourn the fact that there’s one less person to share the rampant poverty and despair with.”

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I admit what I said about data was inarticulate.

    Wealth is just power in economic form. The fact that power has been distributed unequally throughput populations throughout history isn’t really seriously controverted by data. The fact that in the mid to late 20th Century we in the West had greatest middle class wealth increase (and thus power increase) as well as middle class growth is not seriously controverted by data either. Finally, we can quibble over numbers, but the fact that that middle class success in America is in decline is not seriously controverted by anyone either. The data is out there. It’s rather conclusive, and serious economic conservatives are not arguing otherwise – they are all just arguing over causes and solutions.

    At the beginning of the industrial era, we had greater democracy than ever before but we had a small elite middle class. However, most of the real power of the nation was in the hands of a few capitalists who determined how the levers of government were pulled. Revolutions happened. We had tremendous upheaval, and death on an industrial scale.

    We all recognize the fascist and communist revolutions that happened around the world, but many of us are too far sighted to see the more peaceful revolution that happened in our own backyard, perhaps in part because we were so busy fighting those other revolutions. Something extraordinary in history, at least for a few generations, has become so much the norm that we don’t even see it anymore, we don’t see the data all around us. Many of us think that greater wealth (or more important, power) equality is somehow “natural” and that all we have to do is let everyone act with their greatest self interest, and we will not return to our real historical norm, which is tyranny.

    I don’t know the solutions, but we have to at least agree on the age old problem. The greatest tragedy of humanity is our inhumanity to “the other” and our failure to see that other with the same interest that we see ourselves. That problem has not been resolved; it has only been tempered for a while by tremendous efforts in governing that have forced Cain to be a little less envious of Able, because they have both been doing pretty well for a while.

    The selfish murder in Cain’s heart is always there though, just waiting to be awakened by grievance and greed.


    1. @tsalmon

      To solve a problem, we first need to define the problem. Is the problem that some people have control over more wealth than others? No? Is the problem that some people are so poor that they cannot feed, cloth, and shelter themselves? Is the problem that some people don’t have the resources to educate themselves or their children? Is the problem deciding how much help the poor need and how to get them that help? Is the problem deciding who is responsible for helping the poor?

      The Nazis and the Communists never really asked or answered questions. Instead they named an enemy and used that enemy as an excuse to seize power. That is, they just skipped all the moral issues.

      Government has a role in regulating the economy. We all know that for various reasons there are natural monopolies. Because monopoly power can be abusive in a marketplace economy, government has to heavily regulate certain industries. Most industries, however, including education, don’t require such regulatory regimes. Why? The larger a business grows the more difficult it is to manage. This is especially true when the product/service that industry produce varies widely from customer to customer. Because each student is unique and requires personal attention, small schools tend to work better than large ones. That, however, is not the way government works. Government is about serving special interests, not necessarily the customers of its services.


  9. “Is the problem that some people have control over more wealth than others?”

    Well, yes and no. The real problem is not wealth, but power, and because wealth to a great extent is power, the disparity of wealth leads to a disparity of power that leads to corruption and disintegration or revolution.

    “Is the problem that some people are so poor that they cannot feed, cloth, and shelter themselves?”

    Yes that is “a” problem but it is not “the” problem. The problem is a disparity of power to a great extent caused by a disparity of wealth.

    “Is the problem that some people don’t have the resources to educate themselves or their children?”

    Don’t know. But if it is a problem then it is more likely to be a symptom of the greater problem of increased wealth (and thus power) disparity and the better distribution of wealth (and thus power) opportunities caused by universal access to a minimal level of education is one partial solution to the problem.

    From a practical point of view, I am both uncaring and ignorant as to the best methodology for ensuring this universal access. Whatever works (pubic schools, a private school market, vouchers, whatever). However, for you this appears to be an ideological problem rather than a practical one, and therefore you risk being ideologically blinded to the practical issues and unintended consequences of your proposed solutions. I just am not smart enough to know and don’t claim to be.

    “Is the problem deciding how much help the poor need and how to get them that help? Is the problem deciding who is responsible for helping the poor?“

    No and no. The underlying problem is a problem of governmental power disparity that is brought on by wealth disparity. Government has a critical coercive function to either increase or decrease that power disparity, to either empower tyranny or inhibit it.

    Once again it is not just wealth we are talking about, it is power in its many manifestations (military, police, government, information, education, etc.). However, since the Industrial Age the most potent manifestation of power is wealth because it gives you all the other manifestations.

    The issue is power.


    1. Money can be converted to power, but people usually leverage their power to gain control over assets. So I think you have it backwards.

      Politicians function as power brokers. When they are corrupt, instead of working for reasonable compromises, they work to strengthen their own positions.

      When we the People vote for our own self interests, we elect politicians who promise us goodies, that is, the property of other people. Since such promises are corrupt, when we succumb to them we elect corrupt politicians.

      What do such politicians do? When in our country they promise socialist policies, but they deliver crony capitalism. Why? The truly wealthy buy protection and influence. Meanwhile, these same politicians have to buy the votes of voters seeking handouts. Thus, these politicians tend to pit the extremely wealthy and low income groups against middle income earners.

      You think I exaggerate? I suggest you look at the tax system. The extremely rich pay relatively little. Those in the middle pay and pay and pay. Those who earn relatively little pay payroll taxes, but they collect more in welfare.

      Of course, it is not quite that simple. Liberal Democrats have certain fairly reliable constituencies. Generally, these consists of labor unions and public employees. However, the main reason the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail for illegal immigrants is that they need to add these folks to the voter rolls to secure their power.


      1. “Money can be converted to power, but people usually leverage their power to gain control over assets. So I think you have it backwards.”

        In the 60’s CEOs used to on average get paid about 20 times more than the median employee at a given company. To get paid significantly more would subject the CEO and Board of Directors to stockholder derivative suits for breach of fiduciary duty or fraud, waste and abuse. In the 80’s corporate governance laws changed to discourage such suits. Now, American CEOs make upwards of 200 to 600 times the median employee. You don’t think that that is leveraging political power to gain control over assets?


        1. @tsalmon

          Corporations are government creations. There are valid reasons for their existence, but that doesn’t mean that our leaders have done a good job of regulating the darn things.

          In order to keep CEO salaries under control, stockholders have to do their job as owners. They have to elect people to the corporate board who will make certain the CEO and his management staff do their job for a reasonable salary. That means the stockholders have to know enough and have sufficient incentive to take the take to time to put the right people on the corporate board. Unfortunately, I suspect most stockholders just sell their stock when they think the CEO and management staff start doing stuff they should not be doing. That includes getting their own cronies on the corporate board.

          What’s the solution? Well, the simple one is limiting CEO salaries, but that does not address the core issue. Stockholders need to exercise management control. I think a better solution would be to encourage long term investing with tax incentives. If someone, like a mutual fund, holds a stock for ten years or more the capital gains tax should be eliminated when they sell the stock. That is, for every year the stock is held, one tenth of the tax is eliminated. That would give investors an incentive to exercise due diligence in managing the companies in which they have invested or buy mutual funds with management teams that are willing to make that sort of effort.


  10. Tom,

    Everything you say is true to some extent. However, the answer isn’t to let the rich have our government, which is pretty much the Republican point of view. When the vast majority of Americans own cumulative vastly more wealth than the top 1 percent political interests are more balanced, and corruption of politicians become more rare and less the rule.


    1. I am a Republican. I participate in both primaries and conventions. i talk to other Republicans. The Republicans doesn’t have any intention of letting the rich have our government.

      When we use government to redistribute the wealth, people end up selling their votes. That because when we give politicians the redistribute the wealth they can take money from high end wage earners and give that money to relatively poorer people. The rich, frightened of losing their wealth, buy protection and form crony relationships with the political class in self defense. It is unethical, but that is what many of them do.

      Observe that the politicians don’t necessarily have vasts amounts of wealth, but they do have power. Too many leverage that power to become wealthy. The Clinton’s are one such example.

      Because it demands more moral character than we have, we cannot make Socialism work well. Instead of reducing the disparities of wealth between Americans, whenever we start applying Socialist theories, we increase the amount corruption and we make some service work less effectively. Therefore, I argue for limited government.


  11. @anon

    “I’m not so sure of that. My neighbor makes about twice what we do (his wife is employed, ergo income duplicato). Are they twice as powerful?”

    No, but now make your neighbor’s wealth increase to the nth power, and I bet you don’t live in the same universe any more, much less the same neighborhood. Imagine that they can easily finance elections to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, with politicians traveling hundreds of miles just to court favor. Are you seriously arguing that billionaires don’t get their way politically more than you or your neighbors do?

    As for what you said about opportunity, I agree completely, but where do these opportunities for upward mobility come from?


    1. “As for what you said about opportunity, I agree completely, but where do these opportunities for upward mobility come from?”

      The short answer** is:
      Value the right things, and learn skills that are in demand.

      **Which is a bit like something out of Monty Python’s “How to do it”.

      Alan: “How do we get rid of all the world’s diseases, Jackie?”

      Jackie: “Well, first of all become a doctor and discover a marvelous cure for something, and then, when the medical world really starts to take notice of you, you can jolly well tell them what to do and make sure they get everything right so there’ll never be diseases any more.”

      Alan: “Fantastic! Now, how to play the flute. (picking up a flute) Well you blow in one end and move your fingers up and down the outside.”

      But I will say, keeping our industry here, and bringing it back, would help (Apple is apparently bringing some back now with the new tax law, which is a good thing). The answer for opportunity is NOT ipso facto higher education anymore. Kind of like the old adage “when the tax driver is giving stock tips, it’s time to sell”….when every barista has an advanced degree, it probably isn’t worth the price anymore.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Re: Power and influence.
        I guess I just have a different perspective on power/influence.
        All of these subjects (opportunity, power, and so forth) could really fill a book, and are kind of hard to answer succinctly on the fly.

        Power comes in various forms. Trump’s infamous tape wasn’t really about women, it was about the effect power has on women (“if you’re famous they let you”). That’s a choice. People choose to be bought, they choose to violate the law for money. I don’t really envy rich people because all the things in life that matter most seem to elude most of the folks in the highest tiers (see the children of celebrities). The ones with strong (and, in my experience, almost exclusively Christian) families with a sound value system know what to value. We have a pretty close friend who is influential in this area (he practically owns the whole city). He takes trips up to Washington. He isn’t motivated really by wealth (there are easier ways to make money, and he has enough) so much as concern for his community. He is prior enlisted, made his money through real estate. Recently received an award that has only been given out six times since the turn of the last century.

        In “It’s a Wonderful Life” who held the most power? George Bailey or the horrible Henry Potter? I’d say George.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. One other comment, I consider universal access to a minimum (if not high) level of education to be a national security priority, even a necessity. The reasons for this are so obvious that it seems dumb to even list them so I won’t.


    1. And so you want to put politicians, people like Donald Trump, in charge?

      I like Trump, but you don’t. I thought Obama was treacherous, but you seemed to admire him. Can’t we compromise by letting parents decide how they want to educate their children? Do we actually want the Federal Government deciding how our colleges and universities should be run? Have you noticed the number of Liberal professors? Doesn’t it bother you that these people can’t stand to have Conservatives on “their” campuses?


      1. That’s a lot of topics.

        I’m not an education expert. To put it mildly, was a difficult student until I got to college, and started paying for it myself. If I’d been pigeon holed early on by the state, I probably would have spent my life mopping floors. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I spent a good bit of time mopping a restaurant kitchen floor to pay for my last year of college. Besides being a cook, I also was also a merchant seaman, a newspaper reporter, sold advertisement and worked in hardware stores and lumber yards, anything to pay for another semester. I didn’t earn any scholarships because the younger me was too dumb and undisciplined, but I did get a small grant based on need, and the state and local colleges were a good bit cheaper back then.

        I don’t have strong feelings about, and neither am I qualified, to harangue on the the “how” of universal access to education and training. II just know that we’d be massively stupid as a nation if we did not give every one of our young people the same opportunities to work toward their dreams as you and I had, and that includes lifelong education and training. As someone who used to lead bright young men and women into harms way, this is a no brainer to me.


        1. @tsalmon

          What is an education expert?

          Consider different translations of this proverb.

          Proverbs 22:6 Good News Translation (GNT)

          6 Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.

          Proverbs 22:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

          6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
          And when he is old he will not depart from it.

          Proverbs 22:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

          6 Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents],
          Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

          Proverbs 22:6 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

          6 It is a proverb: A young man according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

          Proverbs 22:6 The Message (MSG)

          6 Point your kids in the right direction—
          when they’re old they won’t be lost.

          Proverbs 22:6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

          6 Train children in the right way,
          and when old, they will not stray.

          Proverbs 22:6 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

          6 Give instruction to a youth about his way, Even when he is old he turneth not from it.

          Proverbs 22:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

          6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
          Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

          Mishle 22:6 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

          6 Train up a na’ar in the derech (road) he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

          What is the way someone — a child — should go? We should all follow Jesus Christ, but should we all be carpenters? Should we all become preachers for three years and die on a cross?

          How translators translate that proverb varies, but most refer to the way “he should go”. Everyone is different. Each of us is called to believe in Jesus, but each of us is has our own calling, some unique way we can glorify God.

          So how does a public school teacher train up a child in the way he should go? There are a few great school teachers, but this is something I think parents have to work out with their children. At best government can provide funding for the 3 R’s, but government is not qualified to teach ethics or provide the kind of guidance young people need. We have no business entrusting that kind of responsibility to politicians, particularly when we don’t trust them. Because that is when they are forming their consciences and deciding what to do with their lives, a public school — run by people no one trusts — is the wrong place for children to spend most of their waking hours.


  13. Just an aside about systems disruption (but not really an aside, because all these things are connected). Just the latest demo on the use of social media to manufacture outrage.

    Anyone who believes this type of thing can’t be powerful or influential should take a look at the mad cow scare in South Korea, 2008. Nearly toppled Lee’s presidency shortly after being inaugurated. Afterwards the whole thing was proven to be fake news spread over the Internet and promoted by major media outlets to topple the President.
    Systems disruption is a powerful thing. Anyone who believes Trump orchestrated this should note the trolls payed BOTH sides.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not “payed”, played, intended to say above.
      ““Heart of Texas,” a page that posed as a pro-Texas secession organization, promoted a “Stop Islamization of Texas” protest at the opening of a library at an Islamic Center on May 21, 2016. The same troll group used another page, “United Muslims of America,” to promote a “Save Islamic Knowledge” event at the same time.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. “What is an education expert?”

    What is an expert on doing anything? What is an expert on flying airplanes? Prosecuting criminal cases at trial? Operating on people’s brains? Leading an army into battle?

    For me “an expert” is someone who has specialized education, training and years of experience in the field.

    When it comes to education, I’m not any of those things, and I suspect neither are you.

    I’m all for reform, but do we reform complex traditional systems based upon political or ideological whims? We all have opinions (like a certain other body part), but my opinion in this matter is relatively worthless. Even if I agreed with you, it would be like having the town idiot on your side for a total restructuring of an already designed and built space ship and mission to Mars.

    Are the experts alway right? Do they often have vested interests in the status quo? Yes and yes. However, what experts can do better than us opinionated non-experts is predict consequences, both intended and unintended.

    It may not be perfect, but public education and training made every opportunity in my life possible. I feel tremendously grateful, and if I’m upset at all, it’s that state institutions of higher education have become bankruptingly expensive now for someone poor like my younger self (except now we have made the debt impossible to bankrupt). Notwithstanding that, since when is pretty XXXXXX amazing the enemy of perfection?

    There are moral and religious consequences to literally everything. But would you want a bunch of priests and pastors eliminating and replacing the government run military based on ideology alone rather than toward advancing the practical and complex systemic tactical and strategic intricacies of providing a national defense?

    I really don’t want to elect anyone to do anything so fraught with such a necked desire to bring about an predetermined ideological outcome and that is so ambivalent of the opportunities provide by and even ignorant of the field that they are trying to re-engineer. Honestly, aren’t you advocating the same kind of blind ideological social engineering in education that you find so abhorrent when liberals do it in other areas, like the military?


    1. @tsalmon

      You are being an idiot! I even had to clean up your language.

      This is absurd.

      I really don’t want to elect anyone to do anything so fraught with such a necked desire to bring about an predetermined ideological outcome and that is so ambivalent of the opportunities provide by and even ignorant of the field that they are trying to re-engineer. Honestly, aren’t you advocating the same kind of blind ideological social engineering in education that you find so abhorrent when liberals do it in other areas, like the military?

      Putting parents in charge of the education of their own children is social engineering? I will agree the concept has an ideological basis, but the objective is to prevent the elites from using other people’s children for social engineering. How do you think putting parents in charge of the education of their own children could achieve a predetermined ideological outcome?

      BTW: The word you wanted was “naked”, not “necked”.

      Since it went downhill from there, let’s consider how your reply started.

      “What is an education expert?”

      What is an expert on doing anything? What is an expert on flying airplanes? Prosecuting criminal cases at trial? Operating on people’s brains? Leading an army into battle?

      Please give Proverbs 22:6 some more thought. What does an education expert lack? An expert is just someone who knows how to do something.

      Definition of expert
      1 obsolete : experienced
      2 : having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience
      (from =>

      As you should know, when we choose a destination, an expert pilot can fly us to that destination. Where an expert pilot lacks any special expertise is in choosing our destination for us.

      Similarly, an education expert can help us to learn about the subject matter within their area of expertise. Where they too often lack expertise is in helping us decide what we should learn and in teaching us how to use knowledge wisely.

      Consider what James had to say about wisdom.

      James 3:13-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
      Heavenly Versus Demonic Wisdom

      13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

      Here is what Benjamin Franklin had to say about such expertise.

      Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody. — Benjamin Franklin

      Perhaps you have noticed. I suppose we try, but we don’t elect wise people. We elect highly ambitious people. Those aren’t the best people to entrust with the education of other people’s children.

      I will concede that there are certain basic skills everyone needs in order to learn. In our society, it is child abuse to neglect teaching a child those skills. What skills? Those are reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, we have good reason to doubt the competence of politicians to teach even those basic skills without politicizing and fouling it up. Thus, it is tantamount to child abuse to put politicians in charge of the education of children. They clearly don’t have the expertise, and they cannot be trusted to put the interests of other people’s children ahead of their own.


  15. Hey brother, if you want to reform somethin, then why not reform the evangelical leadership? They’ve decided to give Trump “a Mulligan” for reportedly having a sexual affair with a porn star right after the birth of he and Melania’s son, and then during the campaign paying off the porn de guerred “Stormy Daniels” $130,000 not to tell anyone. Apparently, not even the third marriage is very sacred. You can white wash a leopard, but he still ain’t gonna eat at no salad bar. However, these famed religious scolds never cared that Trump is an unabashed scoundrel anyway.

    Trump’s religious apologists don’t really care who he chases around in his tidy whities as long as he coughs up their ideologically litmus tested court nominees. I guess the ends absolutely do justify the means. At least Melanie seems to be giving the Donald a bit of the cold shoulder, but then again, she married a famed two timing rich old dude for love … right?

    Anyway, as I heard one pundit remark, “If Trump can be black mailed by a porn star, makes one wonder what the Russians are doing to him.” 😏


    1. @tsalmon

      Typical Democrat ad hominem attack. At this point, that’s all you got left to attack Trump with, stuff that has been made up.

      Look at my last comment (=> Then consider your own tripe. If you think that is true, why do you want to put politicians in charge of the education of other people’s children? Because politicians can be trusted?


    2. We already elected a president whose ongoing and ubiquitous extramarital affairs were public knowledge, and he was getting serviced in the White house by an intern, and he was accused of assault…with a lot of actual evidence that was consistent with the charges.
      So that “sexual impropriety” outrage ship sailed away, sunk, and is wedged somewhere in the Mariana Trench.

      But if the left keep trying and trying and trying, maybe they’ll succeed and get president Pence. Knowing how they feel about really conservative Christian politicians I’m sure that will be a day of mass celebration.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @anon

        I’m old so please forgive me if I’ve told this story before.

        At one point when I was in the Navy, the missions that we flew took us all over the world. My crew particularly loved it when we made it in to NAS CUBI Point in the Philippines. They called Olongapo, right outside the Subic gate, “adult Disney Land” back then.

        Our married-with-children crew chief always had a young girl waiting when we landed. This upset my co-pilot, Bob, each time, so I asked Bob why. Bob said that if the people who depended on the Chief most in the world could not trust him, then how could we?

        The essence of leadership is integrity and honor. It always has been that way and it always will be. Clinton was not the end of this fact. He was a negative example of it. The presidency may not survive Trump but the need for honor in leadership will.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree with honor in leadership. I wish our elected officials were held to higher standards. But the voting public does not agree so I have to choose from some very flawed people. Fortunately the military doesn’t require a mass popularity vote from the ignorant public for its leadership (with the exception of the C in C). Worst system ever, except for all the rest, as the saying goes.

          Liked by 2 people

  16. “At this point, that’s all you got left to attack Trump with, stuff that has been made up.”

    Even Trump’s supposedly “religious” enablers aren’t really disputing this. Why? Because it is exactly what Trump has done all his life. (He told an infamous talk radio host at the time that he would give Melania a week to lose her baby fat).

    You are concerned about teaching our children moral character, and this is the national example that you endorse to represent the highest office in the world to our children? And yet you accuse Obama of being “treacherous” and I am to be scolded for lacking simple wisdom?

    Imagine for one second the stones that would be flying if Obama had the slightest whiff of infidelity about him? As it is this scandal didn’t even make third page news in the daily moral outrage that you elected.

    I bring it up only because it makes a point about “moral experts” who comdemn the immorality of the system by actively promoting immorality in the system. Sort of self fulfilling false prophets wouldn’t you say? Oh well….

    I’d let Obama teach my grandgirls any time. I wouldn’t let Trump alone in the same room with them.


    1. When I was in middle school, little girls can be so mean. I didn’t have many friends because a couple of girls decided to spread rumors about me that were about five percent true. This is when I learned about context. After telling the story about five times, it became “true”. So, for instance, the other day I was at a party and joked about the post pregnancy bladder. I’m sure if I were president, headline news would say I was making fun of pregnant women pissing themselves.
      In much the same way, they’ve eliminated the context of that Howard Stern interview. Trump was actually boasting about how beautiful his wife is, and how quickly she’d snap back. It was a joke.
      Combatting these myths reminds me of 911 trutherism. It’s like battling a hydra.

      During the Marla Maples years I too had a high degree of contempt for Trump. Not based on out of context allegations, but based on what he actually did…left his wife for a complete gold digging bimbo. Years after the (predictable) Maples divorce, and his financial crash and burn, followed by another (greater) ascent, he was interviewed. I do not know where I read it, but I changed my mind about him. He was talking about Melania (I don’t remember if they were married yet or not. He said he was a big believer that there is a great woman behind every great man. He was alluding to the fact he thought Melania was very good for him, and a great woman. He gave a specific example of Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields. He offered that he knew Brooke and she was a very sweet girl, but they were not well matched and when they were matched up he couldn’t play tennis anymore. Later, he married Stefi Graf and he was back at his game, better than ever.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. @tsalmon

      You want to attack Trump? So you offer Obama as my target, that truthful gentleman. No thank you. I think I will leave it to others to discuss all the scandals that are slowly surfacing. Because of the security clearances I had, I have to avoid writing about some subjects. What is obvious, however, is that the charge Trump colluded with the Russians is backfiring. What is equally obvious is that the charges of sexual impropriety are also blowing up in the Democrats faces. What’s that old saying about people who throw stones?

      I will stick to the issues. You want to change the subject and signal all the wondrous virtues of being a Democrat? I am sorry, but stink of that hypocrisy has me gagging too much to respond anymore than this.


  17. Tom,

    Who’s changing the subject? I thought the whole purpose of commenting on this post was was to discuss the intersection of morality (and particularly Christian religious morality) and politics.

    It is not just that Trump is vice ridden. We are all vice ridden to one extent or another. If we look close enough, we will see the flaws and cracks in every leader. The difference with Trump is that he unabashedly glorifies the selfishness of infidelity and greed. You keep whining about how the mostly decent public school teachers are corrupting our children and yet you happily applaud the Corruptor in Chief?

    Integrity as the essence of leadership doesn’t mean we expect perfection of virtue, but it does mean that we at least expect some sort of hero in that endless struggle who at least understands the concept of honor and virtue, and at least who does not deify vice.

    I find Pence a little smarmy in his self righteousness, but sure, ya, I will take him in a flash over Trump.


  18. @anon

    “Since you called him a race baiter above, I’ll call you on that now.
    Can you give examples of him actually race baiting?”

    You seem to misunderstand the term “race baiting”. It is not “race baiting” if it is not as subtle as a dog whistle.

    I’m willing to admit that the left essentially race baits when they play the identity politics race card a little too heavy handedly. Surely you aren’t that deaf to the race baiting siren song from Trump and the Right?

    Start with Trump’s birtherism against the first black president. Then keep screaming “build a giant beautiful wall” to keep out those brown barbarians until that race baiting rage starts sinking in.

    You’ll find plenty of examples after that if you keep following Trump’s endless incitements to hatred and greivance against “the other”. His dog whistles can be heard around the world.


      1. An excerpt from the above:
        I guess some of the examples above might have gotten kind of far from what people would usually call a “dog whistle”, but I feel like there’s an important dog-whistle-related common thread in all of these cases.

        In particular, I worry there’s a certain narrative, which is catnip for the media: Many public figures are secretly virulently racist and sexist. If their secret is not discovered, they will gain power and use their racism and sexism to harm women and minorities. Many of their otherwise boring statements are actually part of a code revealing this secret, and so very interesting. Also, gaffes are royal roads to the unconscious which must be analyzed obsessively. By being very diligent and sophisticated, journalists can heroically ferret out which politicians have this secret racism, and reveal it to a grateful world.

        There’s an old joke about a man who walks into a bar. The bar patrons are holding a weird ritual. One of them will say a number, like “twenty-seven”, and the others of them will break into laughter. He asks the bartender what’s going on. The bartender explains that they all come here so often that they’ve memorized all of each other’s jokes, and instead of telling them explicitly, they just give each a number, say the number, and laugh appropriately. The man is intrigued, so he shouts “Two thousand!”. The other patrons laugh uproariously. “Why did they laugh more at mine than any of the others?” he asks the bartender. The bartender answers “They’d never heard that one before!”

        In the same way, although dog whistles do exist, the dog whistle narrative has gone so far that it’s become detached from any meaningful referent. It went from people saying racist things, to people saying things that implied they were racist, to people saying the kind of things that sound like things that could imply they are racist even though nobody believes that they are actually implying that. Saying things that sound like dog whistles has itself become the crime worthy of condemnation, with little interest in whether they imply anything about the speaker or not.

        Against this narrative, I propose a different one – politicians’ beliefs and plans are best predicted by what they say their beliefs and plans are, or possibly what beliefs and plans they’ve supported in the past, or by anything other than treating their words as a secret code and trying to use them to infer that their real beliefs and plans are diametrically opposite the beliefs and plans they keep insisting that they hold and have practiced for their entire lives.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. @anon

          Not disagreeing so much as clarifying.

          Like “identity politics”, race baiting and dog whistling , those being whistled to (and sometimes even those doing the whistling) don’t see ourselves as white supremacists or demagogues. Just as we are all sinners, we are all bigots to some extent or another. We all have our defensive prejudices. Just as we are susceptible to rationalizing away that it is really isn’t selfish sinfulness that is motivating our actions, we possess an almost endless fount of reasons why our reasons for doing something bigoted is really because of something else.

          The diabolic nature of race baiting is that we hear the dog whistle not for what it is (race baiting), but for some reasonable and innocent objectives that always have enough truth to them so that we fool even ourselves.

          The surest way to determine what the real intensions going on here are is to more completely imagine the “the others’ shoe on our own foot.

          For example, if your own family were fleeing war, famine and cruelty, how would you feel about something so monumentally useless, but incredibly symbolic, as a giant wall to keep your family’s particular color and ethnicity out while welcoming Norwegians?

          Yes, there are practical considerations, but Jesus tells us that He presents Himself in the stranger who comes to us in desperate need. Before we get to those practical considerations, don’t you think that we must start by seeing Him in the other by seeing the other as ourselves? I believe that it is only then that He can redeem us through love?


        2. @tsalmon

          Has it occurred to you that you are demonstrating bigotry? You have Trump judged and convict and without a shred of evidence.

          The fact is that the most advanced and materially prosperous countries in the world are white and Christian. Are we supposed to stop being that way because it’s racist?

          Because a bunch of greedy people want cheap labor and a bunch of treacherous politicians want voters whose votes they can buy, the leaders those prosperous, white, Christian nations have left their borders unprotected. Who is crossing over those borders illegally? Rich, white Christians?


          Since we are dog-whistling racists who don’t even know when we are being racists, whatever joke has the number 2001 must be a racist dog-whistling joke.

          We put up walls for security reasons. We put gates in walls for our friends and for those we want to be our friends.

          Is everyone welcome into your home? Do you have locks on the doors? Is your heart bleeding so profusely your home is a soup kitchen and sleeping quarters for anyone who wants to walk into it? Then stop the repeating silly, emotional, drivel about Trump’s wall.

          We cannot let anyone wants to come into our country come into our country. Even if they say they just want to work here, we still may not want them here. We have the right and the responsibility to say no. That wall will just make saying no more meaningful.


  19. Tom,

    I think you are confusing the vice of foolhardiness with prudence, courage and charity. Prudence doesn’t mean risking all your hard earned money on one one risky bet, but it doesn’t mean being greedy or gluttonous either. Charity doesn’t mean giving away all your money to the poor so that you become a burden on your community, but it also doesn’t mean hoarding it all in a mattress either. Courage doesn’t mean running headlong into danger seeking selfish thrills, but it also doesn’t mean hiding from danger when others count on you to help them.

    I know, you are going to say that, in the long run, we should help others where they are at, and I agree. A dollar spent on diplomacy means two dollars (and a lot of misery) that we don’t have to spend later on bullets. A dollar spent on foriegn aid and private aid abroad is two dollars we don’t have to spend on economic refugees at our own front door. It’s a strategic win-win.

    However, when someone’s house is on fire it’s a little late to install a fire suppression system.

    When Jesus asks us what we did when He was necked, hungry, and in prison, you know as well as I that He doesn’t expected us to answer, “I gave You a stern lecture on personal responsibility and told You that I gave at the office”.

    I think we’ve come full circle again, and have come to an impasse so I’ll shut up for a while. You should know, that if it were not for my high regard for your integrity and intelligence and that of your followers here, these discussions would not be the least bit interesting or fruitful, at least to me. You change my my mind more than perhaps you realize. For example, after I began to really try to understand your point of view on “identity politics” I realized that you are to a good extent right.

    I’ll leave you with one other observation. As you know one of my greatest conceits (other than presuming to write my opinions here) is distance running. At 20 miles or so when I’m tired and my feet hurt and I would be inclined to curse my slowness and my old bones, what often comes over me and keeps me going is an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am grateful for blood rushing through my veins, the brisk wind and sunshine on my face, the smell of salt air pumping through my lungs, and the gift of movement on two good legs pushing me another mile through time and distance to no where in particular, but just for the joy of it.

    It does not belong to us, none of it. Not our health or our talents or even our hard work. Not our bodies, not our families, not our communities or countries or the whole world. It is all on loan from God. In the end, we will be measured for how we virtuously try to share it all with each other and how we serve each other in love and compassion, and yes, also prudence. That is the way that we glorify God and show our gratitude for this wonder of beauty and ugliness, of life and death, of mercy and cruelty, of sin and redemption that is God’s gift to us. We give it back to Him with love and joy. If there is not mostly gratitude and joy in this, then I think we may doing it wrong. But who am I to judge?


    1. @tsalmon

      It does not belong to us, none of it. Not our health or our talents or even our hard work. Not our bodies, not our families, not our communities or countries or the whole world. It is all on loan from God. In the end, we will be measured for how we virtuously try to share it all with each other and how we serve each other in love and compassion, and yes, also prudence. That is the way that we glorify God and show our gratitude for this wonder of beauty and ugliness, of life and death, of mercy and cruelty, of sin and redemption that is God’s gift to us. We give it back to Him with love and joy. If there is not mostly gratitude and joy in this, then I think we may doing it wrong. But who am I to judge?

      I don’t disagree with any of this. Where we differ is in the concept of stewardship. When “we give it back to Him with love and joy”, it is meaningless unless we give back to Him that over which He has made us stewards. If we give back what belongs to someone else, we are simply thieves.

      Why is the border wall an issue? The principle reason is the welfare state. So long as poor people can come here for government handouts, they will. So long as we are willing to put Americans on the public dole and give the jobs they should be doing to aliens willing to accept much less pay, we will have jobs for illegal aliens that Americans won’t do.

      Since anyone who is willing can see why we need to protect our borders, there is nothing noble about opposing Trump’s wall, fighting for chain migration, or supporting immigration lotteries. Because it is such a precious gift, God will, I think, judge those who refuse protect the integrity of our constitutional republic.


      1. Sorry, since we found agreement, at least in part, that it all belongs to God, I think that you might explore “stewardship”.

        Who gets material stewardship of what is actually God’s, it seems obvious to me, is mostly a matter of law and government – property rights and responsibilities, contract rights and responsibilities, labor and management rights and responsibilities, immigration rights and responsibilities. I think you would agree therefore that how we fashion those laws and our government will invariably engender either good or bad stewardship results in God’s eyes. Because we both agree that God wants us to steward with love and compassion (or in other words govern what are solely “His” gifts with love and compassion) how can the creation of a government and laws that walls out the desperate refugee family and encourages massive inequality in the distribution of God’s gifts really be good stewardship? Or put another way, wouldn’t government and laws that encouraged industrious bounty while still coming something closer to sharing God’s bounty be better stewardship?

        Now I really will shut us.😬


    1. @tsalmon
      Shut up? On my own blog? That was not nice.

      The Bible contains a fairly clear definition of stewardship. That is, God is fairly clear. We just don’t want to listen.

      Ecclesiastes 7:29 New King James Version (NKJV)
      29 Truly, this only I have found:
      That God made man upright,
      But they have sought out many schemes.”

      We have our schemes — our systems for making everything just right. Yet because our schemes ignore God’s wisdom, only seem right in our own eyes, they don’t work.

      Or put another way, wouldn’t government and laws that encouraged industrious bounty while still coming something closer to sharing God’s bounty be better stewardship?

      When government protects our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we produce a generous bounty. That is all government can do. It up to each of us to be generous with what we produce.

      What happens when government starts taking what we have produced and becomes generous with “God’s bounty”? Politicians start using God’s bounty to buy votes. Government then ceases to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and God’s bounty evaporates.


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Victory Girls Blog

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

Oh Lord, It's Monday!

Understanding The Bible In A Way That Transforms You And Your World

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

The Way Online

Christian Insight Through God's Word

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Reclaim Our Republic

Knowledge Is Power

John Branyan

something funny is occurring

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Christians in Motion

Why be stagnant?


Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren


"Behold, I have come to do your will, O God." Heb. 10:7

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Family Foundation Blog - The Family Foundation

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Professor Of Communication


Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Dr. Lloyd Stebbins

Deliberate Joy


The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life



PUMABydesign001's Blog

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan.


The view from the Anglosphere

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This site is Pacific War era information

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity


Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

My Daily Musing

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample our enemies. Psalms 109:13

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3


Life through the eyes of "cookie"

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture." ColorStorm

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