What is the short answer to the title question? No. Since Donald Trump is a Republican and not a Democrat, “Let the lawsuits begin!“.

When it comes to illegal immigration, Democrats don’t even make sense. Consider the title of this post, Democrats don’t want ICE notified when illegals try and buy a gun. The Democratic Party is just about as antigun as it could be, but they hate ICE that much?

So can Trump get that wall built by declaring a national emergency? Well, Congress does seem to have given him the power, but it will ultimately depend on the judges. So we have varying opinions. The news media doesn’t much like the idea of a wall.

Since the National Emergencies Act has been used 59 times, we do have a track record, however. So it is quite likely Trump’s lawyers rightly expect to win in court. Clearly, leaving our southern border unprotected has created an emergency.

What is the dispute about? Walls don’t work? No. Greed and the naivete of some has made building the wall weirdly controversial. Rich Democrat donors want cheap labor and cheap voters. Rich Republican donors want cheap labor even if they vote Democrat. Their bought politicians have bought the rest of us with Social Security, Medicare, welfare payments, and so forth. Therefore, we have elected politicians who have bought our votes, politicians who won’t protect our borders and us from the greedy people who have bought them.

Unfortunately, when Trump’s national emergency declaration gets to the Supreme Court, we will have to depend the Supreme Court to make the right decision. Will those judges do their job? With any luck a couple of the Liberal judges will retire before that decision gets to the Court, and Trump will put two more Conservatives on the Court, but what a hullabaloo that will be! That will make the fight over the wall look like the very definition of tranquility.


  1. Dumbass Donald Trump has done a lot of ILLEGAL things. What’s one more to him like illegally calling for a National Emergency THAT DOES NOT EXIST? Even DUMBASS DONALD TRUMP said the FAKE EMERGENCY doesn’t exist, because HE SAID “I didn’t have to do this.” He just wanted to, because DUMBASS DONALD IS A LIAR!

    1. @muckibr

      Just in case you are victim of propaganda, I will add this. Your quote of Trump is incomplete. Trump added he wanted to get the wall built faster. Why would he want it faster? Because it is an emergency. Trump did not want want to declare an emergency. He wanted Congress to fund the wall outright, but they will not do their job.

  2. Since this thread is long I’ll just post here. Those who don’t like Trump….have you seen what is actually happening? The economy, the world?
    ISIS is so crushed the brides are begging to come back. Two and half years ago this was one of the more serious issues.
    Anyone notice what’s happening in the Middle East in general? Anyone? Hasn’t been much info out there about that for a reason. It makes Trump look good. Big part of it is the precipitous decline in oil prices caused but US drilling (think last year we were the world’s largest oil exporters…unthinkable just three years ago,….”No blood for oil!” Remember that chant? Helps a lot when it’s cheap and the profit margins too low to buy a bunch of weapons)
    How about Asia? Lots of good stuff happening there too. Three years ago it looked like we were on the brink of a nuclear war with North Korea. Now we’re about as far from war with them as we have ever been.

    The Mueller report looks like it won’t even be released to the public. After this long of an investigation it is a bust. I hope no one is still holding their breath for that Russian collusion? Think most folks have given up by now.

    1. The media has convinced good percentage of the population that MAGA hats are racist symbols. The real measures for racism and sexism aren’t hats, they’re solid economic metrics. Which have never been better for minorities and women. They’re employed more, have higher salaries, own more businesses, are in higher positions in leadership.

      1. No.. the media has reported that the MAGA hats are being interpreted in some circles as being the symbolic extension of Trump’s not-so ambivalence toward racism, sexism, etc., and thus can be a trigger toward public violence. Don’t forget.. his language has inspired the far right to be bolder. Of course you can say, “I like Trump but I’m not a racist.” Better to say, “I like Trump’s policies, but it’s less about Trump the man and his foibles.” Makes more sense. But.. if you like everything Trump.. well… guess that puts you in the same boat; the same criticisms leveled against Trump are open season on you as well. Just depends where you wanna be.

        1. Of course you can say, “I like Trump but I’m not a racist.” Better to say, “I like Trump’s policies, but it’s less about Trump the man and his foibles.” Makes more sense. But.. if you like everything Trump.. well… guess that puts you in the same boat; the same criticisms leveled against Trump are open season on you as well. Just depends where you wanna be.

          I’m not sure how to interpret this, Doug.
          I don’t think Trump is a racist. So…does that make me a racist?
          Bring it, Doug!

          1. It’s all about optics, Tweets, and words matter, Liz. If he’s perceived as being a racist.. then very likely that perception will spill over onto you. That kinda thing pretty much occurs in all cases of politics, regardless of party affiliation. Not saying it’s right. Now.. personally I think the Trump rank-in-file base is not racist.. and any sexism being displayed is more the conventional current confusion ALL men are having trying to figure out where they fall into this “female power” thing. And honestly.. do I think Trump is a racist? Not overtly or intentionally… like many of us. But he’s a political buffoon that can’t control even his own optics or spin.. and he’s an old school boomer guy who tends to blather his rhetoric without much filter at all to political correctness. His policies may be great.. but he has no idea on how to deliver and he uses archaic biases and perceptions to reach his “conclusions” on how things should be.

    2. Keep in mind it’s not all about Mueller and his report.. and Russian collusion. There are any number of investigations by outside legal entities that pose a far greater threat to Trump.

      Trump Transition, Trump Campaign, Trump Administration, Trump Organization, Trump Foundation, and the Trump Inauguration Committee. Here’s a list and the entities…

      1. Oh I don’t doubt there are no end to the number of investigations….the possibilities are endless for investigations. If none of these work I’m sure there will be more.
        Two scenarios:
        1) Investigations are witch hunts based on no evidence and backed by the desperate in an attempt to make something stick.
        2) Investigations are backed by patriots who are really worried about Trump.

        The above two scenarios would look exactly the same so how do you determine which is which? We do know the loudest claims (Russia! Russia! Russia!) have come to nothing. We do know that the ruling political elite has a vested interest in getting rid of Trump (kind of makes them look bad with all the stuff he has accomplished in such a short time that they weren’t able to).
        Propaganda induced TDS is real.

        1. Your two scenarios are rather cynical… but then your support of Trump lends to that.
          1) How would you know if an investigation was a witch hunt of not if it’s conducted in secret?
          2) It’s been my observation that investigations are based on the rule of law established by Constitutional processes. Has less to do about expressing patriotism as it does about sticking with the Constitution.. which should be the desire for anyone calling themselves an American.

          The Mueller investigation has been outstandingly successful thus far; indictments, sentences passed, liars punished… trails to Russia exposed.. Russians exposed… all around Trump. But I have no inside information that Mueller is holding a witch hunt. I have no inside information that Trump has colluded with Russia, although quite honestly, there’s a lot of other stuff more important looming on the horizon for him. Personally I’m not sitting around hoping and praying that Mueller finds something. To impeach Congress pretty much does not need a reason as it’s not a court of law but rather a performance review. Likely any impeachment proceedings could take two years.. and by that time votes will remove him. Don’t forget… while Trump supporters love to point out that his win was legitimate (and it was) and to totally ignore having lost the popular vote by 3 million… that 3 million (or more) is going to catch up with him the next time around.

          And yes.. I agree.. TDS is real.. and I embrace my “infection”. It’s up to you to ask yourself why so many people dislike Trump when to you “it’s so obvious” (conservative fave saying) how wonderful he is. Yep.. propaganda… you fell hard and fast to Trump’s propaganda of fear.

          1. I’ve cited examples of how much safer we are now and why.
            And you respond by claiming that I’ve “fell for Trump’s propaganda of fear”.
            It’s all just soundbites isn’t it?

          2. Well, it is what you want it to be, Liz. The worst is yet to come for the country.

            When Trump was elected, people were literally crying in the streets, convinced that we’d be in a nuclear war by now and homosexuals would be in concentration camps. This is not even embellishing. Yet not only have those things not happened…pretty much everything is better.
            But “the worst is yet to come” eh?
            Since you’ve been wrong this long what makes you think you’ll be right?

          3. Well actually, I’ve not been wrong. If you can get past being squeamish visiting an anti-Trump blog I explain my reasons here.. written the first week of his taking the oath.


            With a recent update here…

            I’m a card-carrying registered Republican of the “old school”; I want nothing to do with this Trumpian republicanism nonsense… or nationalism. I am a military vet.. a member of the NRA.. and one of those elitist college grads so abhorrent to Trump Conservatives. So demographically I should feel the way you do.. but I don’t. Historically I’m a liberal conservative. Now all that means nothing.. other than I’m a humanist pragmatist… and I don’t fit a description of a Liberal, nor an evangelical. Yet I still think this guy is a clear and present danger to the country.

            By the way.. I don’t recall anyone shedding tears that Trump’s win would invoke World War 3 or Armageddon… or a threat to homosexuals. But maybe that’s one of the problems… misreading what’s actually going on in the real world.

          4. @Doug

            Think this through. We can stand for something, or we can fight against anyone who irks us.

            As a Christian, I follow Jesus Christ. I stand for His Truth. So I try to avoid tearing people down. Does that make me wonderful? No. The point is that the only person I want to focus on is God. I want to see things from His point of view so I can be objective as possible. Then I can make better decisions.

            What do I usually learn when I step back? Most people, me included, don’t know much, but we tend to be highly judgemental and partisan. So we have to consider most matters from multiple points of view.

            Look at Mueller convictions. He wears people down emotionally and financially. His convictions are for process crimes that have nothing to do with Trump. What he is doing is unjust. He just convicting people for the crime of associating with Trump.

          5. You’ll have to pardon me, Tom, you carrying the torch for Christendom is not any sort of some “insulation” that suggests your opinion has any particular elevated “truth”. You have a natural cynicism toward government in general.. across the board. You may have faith in your beliefs but you display little faith in government, or its institutions.. like our Dear Leader. Obviously you’re entitled and I’ve not, nor will I ever, walk the mile in your shoes to know the hows and whys your opinion has been formed.

            “Look at Mueller convictions. He wears people down emotionally and financially. His convictions are for process crimes that have nothing to do with Trump. What he is doing is unjust. He just convicting people for the crime of associating with Trump.”

            Nothing verifies more what I just said.. than this paragraph alone. If you are suggesting some Divine intervention placed this completely ill-informed, misguided logic, into your opinion.. well, maybe it’s time to adjust your mix of religion and reality.

          6. @Doug

            I did not claim to have the Truth. Only God has the Truth. My point is that we have to strive to see these matters as God does. We have to try to be impartial. Mueller isn’t. He should be after H. Clinton. She colluded with the Russians when she paid for that Golden Showers dossier.

            I made a simple, straightforward, objectively provable statement. Mueller has not convicted anyone of anything that involved Trump, nothing related Russians collusion. I did not claim divine authority, and you did not refute what I said. Instead, you…well, your response doesn’t make sense.

            Do I have confidence in government? No, but why should either of us? Trump is in charge. If I believe what you say, why would I trust government? A government that puts Trump in charge?

            You can’t have it both ways, but that is clearly what you want.

          7. Well actually, I’ve not been wrong. If you can get past being squeamish visiting an anti-Trump blog I explain my reasons here.. written the first week of his taking the oath.
            (snipped to avoid the link limit)
            With a recent update here…
            (snipped to avoid the link limit)

            In the first link you describe what you believe to be an assessment of his character, temperament, and mental health. The longer he is in office, the more his stream of successes, the less and less credible your assessment. If his mental health were failing, we wouldn’t be seeing these results. As a side note, I do like the “he doesn’t have any close friends” angle…I assure you this does not make your assessment sound more credible. You come to this conclusion…? I couldn’t even say this about my own neighbors, whom I know far better (seriously…how would I know if they’re really close to anyone) but you feel confident enough to make an assessment on Trump’s personal friendships.

            Next Link:
            (I encourage the reader to check out this report… HERE.)

            This not being my first trip to the rodeo (nor even the second, nor 50th, more like 500th…fool me once shame on you but hundreds of times? yeah, I know how futile this conversation is going to be so I’ll keep it short and just address the ISIS assertion.

            I must assume you only started reading DNI Threat Assessment reports after Trump was elected. Because if you’d read the one in early 2016, you’d have seen this assessment: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has become the preeminent terrorist threat because of its self-described caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
            At that point, they owned a lot of territory. They’d established a caliphate in that territory. What has happened to that territory since? It doesn’t exist….they’ve been defeated. They don’t own ANY. That’s why back in 2016 the organization was touted as the largest terrorist risk, and given a whole page and a half of description rather than the short paragraph in this one. Back in 2016, the security situation was so bad, the military bases in Turkey had to remove all the families.

            Oh, sure they’ve scattered around (the ones that weren’t killed or captured).
            Defeated people don’t spontaneously combust, and in a dynamic environment were they can scarring into the population like rats, they will. That’s what the little map is telling you…they’ve scattered. And you would know this if you had a real security interest beyond trying to prove Trump wrong.

            Not only have they lost all territory, overall terrorist attacks have dropped. ISIS brides are begging to come home. Little things like that kind of indicate they’ve lost…which doesn’t mean terrorism is gone everywhere, and forever. But it is a very good indication that things are better.

            BTW, I knew a lot of military folks who were involved in the Syria, including the ones in charge of all our air campaigns over there. Obviously they weren’t telling me much, but I do know we were about one failed radio away from an international incident and possible WWIII. We’re flying some of the same jets the Israelis used to take out Syria’s nuclear facility pretty recently, after all. The other thing that told me pretty much all I needed to know: they liked Trump. If he was the imbecile you believe him to be, or even remotely as incompetent and a security threat, they wouldn’t like him at all. It is a good thing we’re leaving though, at least for the most part. That was an accident waiting to happen.

          8. A fair commentary… but for as much as you say my negative “vision” regarding Trump clouds my objectivity, your own praises about the guy clouds your’s. As for his alleged popularity within the military ranks, or anyone else for that matter, my siding with his behavioral issues as indicated doesn’t mean other people will jump on that bandwagon. There’s a mix of people that support him for various sundry reasons. Liberals or folks like me who are anti-Trump typically fall into three areas… they don’t support the man for his behaviors, they don’t like his policies, or both. Me, it’s a combination of the man’s behaviors, and not so much his policies but “methods”.
            Anyway.. you and I aren’t changing our respective opinions. But here’s my thing on this… Trump’s base, even the far right nut jobs… are fellow Americans who do have faith in the guy, misguided or not. There’s some huge disappointments looming on the horizon for them… and like it or not, their opinions reflect their concerns and defeating Trump for the sake of defeating Trump should not be a “hats & horns” celebration. Whoever runs for the job in 2020 has to listen to all sides and work the issues.

          9. Well, I can’t argue with the last (if Trump is defeated the next person will need to listen to all sides….but unfortunately I don’t see that happening. I wrote the above at 3 AM, and forgot a kind of important bit. The reason wide spread misinformation about security details bothers me. It’s actually dangerous.

            UN security council January 15th of this year. It talks about the loss of territory, lessening of attacks, but to be ready for more ect….the pertinent portion for us is this bit:

            The attrition of key leadership and operational personnel has also been a factor in the fall in global external attacks and plots. Damage to the ISIL brand may be another way in which its progressive military defeat has reduced its capacity to project an international threat.

            Damage to the brand. The more ISIS/ISIL is considered to be a relevant and important force, the greater their power to recruit. So the masses of media claims that ISIS is still very powerful and undefeated, the greater the likelihood for their recruitment to make it exactly so. The media at large is being irresponsible in the extreme, in their motivation to attack Trump.

          10. If you ask me (and I know you’re not) I would venture to proclaim to the world that a lot of this ISIS/Taliban influence over others is purely sexist and sexual. Both ideologies hold to that Sharia nonsense that denigrates women and enhances male dominance. Heck, even mainstream Islam, in spite of what they say about themselves, is a male-centric construct. Just look at Saudi life. We are in a world of #MeToo and the fight-back on victimizing women. Where does an economically-challenged, misguided, ill-educated, disenfranchised, visually unappealing to the opposite sex, young man with raging hormones go to feel comradeship? Where does a young woman with self-esteem issues, also disenfranchised and emotionally isolated, go to feel important and part of something? Maybe “we” should look less at the politics seemingly being the recruiting drive effort to lure those malcontents.. but rather push the psy-ops of all this by attacking the social and sexual aspects of being in ISIS or the Taliban. Consider the age group of the intended recruits. You satisfy their urges by giving them their own AK-47 and all the ammo they want, and promise them sex every night… by willing or unwilling women. Female recruits are influenced with lures of family life under Islam and contributing to the future of Islam and the cause with motherhood… and having a devoted husband.
            One hopes that our counter-bunch in the intel community is doing this.

          11. I agree that a great deal of the motivation is sexual in nature. That’s also the case for a great many human accomplishments, for that matter. Sex (well…really babies) kind of makes the world go round. So many things are tangentially related to sex and babies.
            Women are leaving Austria, Sweden, the UK, the USA, to join terrorist organizations for much the same reason some women write love notes to serial killers. Much like copy cat killings, psychosis is contagious. That’s why I don’t like a lot of fanfare for folks like the Boston bomber. People are what they surround themselves with. The best defense is to make such actors look not powerful but foolish.

            Anyway, think I’ve posted enough on this topic and it’s time to do some mundane house cleaning. 🙂

  3. Let’s see…2016 was the lowest year for illegal border crossings in the past twenty or so. Democrats point to that figure as evidence we don’t need a wall. Hey! Illegal immigration is down!
    What was the number? 563,204 illegal border crossings.
    To place this number into perspective, our active duty military is 1.28 million strong. And the number of illegal border crossings for a single “good” year is almost half the number of our entire active duty military force.
    Last year it picked up…a little over 700,000 (can’t remember the exact number and too lazy to look it up).
    That’s about 55 percent of our entire active duty military forces in illegal immigrants crossing the border last year.
    Yeah, nothing to see here.

    1. 1. US Customs & Border Protection stats… 2016=30,000 illegal border crossings X 12 = 360,00 for the year. Where you get your 563,204?

      2. What does this number have anything to do with needing a wall? Whether you accept your number or my Customs number… they were all apprehended without a wall.

      Not even sure what relevance the comparison to the active duty military numbers.

        1. Just to add, it’s the big graph at the top entitled, “Apprehensions on US Mexico border”, data from the US customs and border protection agency (dates back to 2000).

    2. Yes, numbers of apples can be big sometimes. Almost as big as numbers of oranges. Compare them to grapes and it boggles the mind. If we were to estimate the number of apples and address that number to the number of tomatoes we may need to declare a national emergency and eat more fruit. This thought makes me hungry all of the sudden.

      Very enlightening post Liz.

      1. BTW Liz,

        It may be a bit off topic, or maybe not, but how did you like that Jonathon Haidt book? I just started listening to one of his books while I run and so far it’s very interesting.

        1. I bought it but haven’t read it yet. It’s on my iPad!
          Thanks for the reminder….
          Since moving out here to CO (we’re at 9,000 elevation) I’m having extreme trouble getting back into running. Today’s another day I’ll try (I took yesterday off)
          Very frustrating, it’s been six months now I think.
          People out here are in great shape though, so there is a lot of inspiration…we were at the rock climbing gym and some woman who looked like she was in her late 60s maybe early 70s climbed one of the hardest walls.
          We overheard her say (it was very crowded), “I wish one of my levels was open” and thought she was waiting for our wall (an easy one), someone came over and said, “there’s one open over there!” and pointed to a seriously advanced wall. Which she proceeded to climb like a spider monkey.
          So if I could just get as fit as that 70 year old woman, I’ll feel pretty good about myself. 😆

          1. CO people do seem insanely fit, and they love their state flag like no other state – it’s everywhere. Since we left WA, the highest hill I’ve got to run is a bridge. I ran some hill trails in Nashville a couple of days with my ultra running daughter and her friend. Muscles not often used are screaming today. They say that you want your children to surpass you . . . they say that, but no you don’t.

          2. Heh, TSalmon, it’s my goal to be a trail runner (someday)!
            Some young girl inspired me…saw her running up some ridiculous trail like it was nothing when we were out hiking.
            Maybe it was your daughter. 🙂

            Heh, just went for the best run I’ve had since I got here! (it wasn’t awesome…in fact, if I’d run that poorly last year I’d cry, but everything is relative).
            I’m a person prone to OCDs so I now have a subliminal connection to complaining online about my condition and then having a great run.

            Hope you don’t mind if I use your forum to check in to complain every day from now on, Tom. 😆

      2. Here’s why the comparison is not just illustrative (for perspective), but apt:
        For years the military has been outsourcing to contractors. This became relevant during the “shutdown” (in parentheses because it wasn’t a real shutdown…in a real shutdown everything stops, including all air travel, those welfare and retirement checks, those federal prisons that keep folks like El Chapo locked up…but I digress).

        There are many, many contractors that have replaced active duty military. The interesting thing is…contractors are typically paid two to five times (or more) the salary for the average active duty person. But the military still comes out ahead.
        The Airforce went to something called “TFI”. The total force initiative, which means Reservists are taking a lot of jobs of active duty.

        Reason the switch has been made (to reserves and contractors): Scarce resources.
        It’s not just retirement benefits (they can incentivize people to leave before retirement, or just summarily RIF them like they’ve been doing), it’s all the other personal welfare benefits that come with active duty service. Those welfare costs are so expensive, it’s still (as mentioned above) cheaper in the long run to pay double or triple the salaries.
        This last part is the problem with illegal aliens coming to our shores. If you’d like I can go into those welfare costs, but it should be pretty obvious if we have the number of folks that comprise our entire standing army coming across the border on a good year…to say that’s a problem is to use the art of understatement.

        1. Hm…my last post got eaten.
          Just wanted to add our active duty Army total in 2017 (“standing army” referred to in that last bit above) = 472,047 service people.

        2. Liz,

          Interesting perspective, but it begs more questions than it answers like:

          1. Are undocumented works really a zero sum situation? For example, if your food is cheaper because of cheap labor in farming, food processing and restaurants, don’t you now have extra discretionary income to buy goods and services that perhaps are made by higher skilled, better paid American workers?

          2. Relatedly, Republicans have historically favored outsourcing labor intensive jobs to other countries because it provides Americans with cheaper products. Isn’t this just insourcing with the added benefit that much of the proceeds of those goods and services stay here?

          3. How much illigal labor is migrant and seasonal and how much stays?

          4. What is the actual cost benefit of illigal workers paying never to be used SSA taxes? In other words, I know that we hear a lot of hype, but do illigal actually pay more into our system than they get out?

          5. If illegals were actually hurting American workers, don’t you find it strange that unions are in favor of legitimizing migrant labor so that employers are no longer victimizing these people? In other words, it’s not the influx of more workers that hurts American labor, it’s the fact that they are taken advantage of that hurts everyone.

          5. America is aging. Couldn’t we use more young immigrants to pay for our aging population’s Social Security and Medicare.

          6. How do these numbers compare historically? Can Republicans claim a booming economy and that a giant wave of illegals is ruining the economy in the same breath?

          I could go on for hours. I don’t know the answers and I distrust demagogues who just make unsubstantiated and vague generalizations ungrounded in data, economics, or anything else but pure politics. And no, I’m not calling for opening up the borders. I’m just saying that the decision of who and how many migrants to allow in should be based upon reason and morality rather than demagogic xenophobia and bigotry.

          1. First off, as a businessman and past entrepreneur capitalist, you sell your service, make your product, sell any product… with the least amount of expense in order to maximize profit. Profit is NOT a sin.. and I don’t care how much profit is made as long as it’s legally acquired; whatever the market will bear is the mantra of American capitalism. In fact.. that alone has been my reason for my own Republicanism since I was born.
            If you wanna stop all the things across the board you just listed.. if you want to have some effect on undocumented migrant workers, illegal immigration, whatever… stick to the minimum wage.. and fine/imprison business owners, INCLUDING homeowners who are getting away with undocumented domestic help. That’s it. Argument over. Apply consequences to those people/entities that use undocumented workers. Once everyone is playing the game on a level playing field the markets will adjust accordingly because then everyone will pass on the overhead to the consumer equally.

          2. @Doug

            Everify is a great idea, if you can get Congress to vote for it. The minimum wage is poppycock. Just puts people out of work.

            Security systems work best when they are multilayered. Everify only works when employers comply. Some won’t.

            Illegal immigration is just one reason the wall is needed. Human trafficking and drug smuggling are others, and Everify won’t help with those problems.

          3. I wasn’t addressing illegal immigration but rather addressing the demand to exploit the cheap labor exploitation of illegal immigration.
            There is going to be no wall. It will be nothing more than a kind of crowd control fence between some popular control areas.

          4. @tsalmon

            You have questions. Therefore, ILLEGAL immigration is okay? But you could go on and on.😒 So what? The whole notion we are supposed to have a bunch of people coming into our country ILLEGALLY because it is to our advantage to exploit them is evil. Since you ended your comment by calling those who disagree names, don’t bother taking offense.

            Just look at your questions. 5 and 5 are especially revealing. You ask us to explain the behavior of labor union bosses? Democrats? Why they don’t understand supply and demand? You are worried about our aging population, after so many abortions?

          5. Tom,

            When you first decided to read the Bible, had you already decided what it was going to say, and then did you just interpret the passages in a way that confirmed your preconceived opinions? Or did you let scripture impart it’s truths to you and then let those truths change and inform your opinions?

            I never said illegal immigration is ok. It is obvious that it is the exploitation of its “illegality” that mostly makes it not ok, and not necessarily the immigration in and of itself.

            What on earth do you think you know about supply and demand curves and the multifarious factors of how they shift and reach new equilibriums? We added hundreds of millions of cheap new Chinese laborers to the world market and it only grew larger. Do you think if we suddenly took them away, then Americans would get paid more or do you think prices would go spike and markets would shrink drastically?

            You seriously don’t think Trump’s wall is xenophobic? Well, let me ask you a question then and let’s see if you could honestly answer it:

            What if could be proven to you by facts and data beyond any shadow of a doubt that legalizing large numbers of Latin American immigrants to this country would actually greatly help the country, its average citizens and the immigrants themselves prosper economically along every conceivable economic metric? Would you still be against a large number of brown, Spanish speaking culturally different people legally entering the country?

            There is a good reason Socrates asked questions rather than just baselessly pontificating. It made his students realize that pretending to know things that one does not actually makes one stupid, not wise or smart?

          6. @tsalmon

            Socrates did not ask stupid questions which would require needless research to answer? If you think the answers are important, you do the research.

            No one has time to come up with a PERFECT answer to any problem. We are human beings, not God. So we have to focus on the obvious, consider our options, and then try to anticipate the consequences.

            Here is an example. When I first read the Bible I did not ask a bunch of pointless questions.
            1. What was the color of the dirt under King Solomon’s bed?
            2. Does God have a beard?
            3. If I believe the Bible, will I have to eat fish on Fridays?
            4. Is cleanliness really next to Godliness?

            I could have gone on for hours asking pointless questions, but I just asked myself whether I believe the Bible.

            Read this.

            We have over a million people becoming new permanent residents every year. This is a rich country. There are plenty of people who want to come here. We need illegal immigrants like we need a hole in the head, BUT THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE DEFENDING.

            No one is complaining about the number of LEGAL immigrants, but you run around spouting “XENOPHOBE!” The only thing anyone has proposed is to stiffen the rules so that the immigrants we get contribute more than they cost taxpayers. It is absurd to call people xenophobic over something so asinine. Not protecting our borders is foolish, BUT THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE DEFENDING. And it is so partisan it idiotic.

          7. So you spout uninformed, but absolutely unequivocal opinions, and I’m foolish for asking critical questions. Nope, don’t even pretend to know what you’re doing. Just shoot, ready, aim at every target.

            You say that you’re not against legal immigration as long as it can be shown to be economically beneficial? Well, then you’ve certainly changed your mind on a great many arguments you’ve made about the supposed dilution of our superior culture. Good for you – it’s good to change your mind. I do it all the time when I learn something new. But I’m afraid that does not make Trump’s racist fictional narrative of a giant wall along the southern frontier that, oh ya, Mexico is supposed to pay for, anymore than a mythic monument to xenophobia.

          8. @tsalmon

            I have not changed my mind about our culture. However, what Trump has proposed is a merit based immigration system. He has also proposed increasing the number of legal immigrants, and he has offered the Democrats a deal on DACA. And all you can do is obscure the issues, call people “xenophobic”, and vote for the party of racism and slavery.

          9. Funny thing about the wall is that Doug is right. Pelosi won that battle as soon as the Dems took the House. And before that, even the Republicans didn’t want the wall – there’s no profit in it. There is political pandering in the IDEA of the wall, but no profit in it’s actuality. What happens if it’s built and we still have the same problems? Our opioid problem was triggered by our own drug companies. And worse, what if the wall actually worked to stop illegal immigration? Where would big agra get all that cheap labor?

            Trump will build a few fences that he could have gotten any time. It’ll be hung up in courts until Trump is a bad dream, and Trump gets to declare victory with supporters like you who are are fooled into thinking he won something when no one actually ever wanted his stupid wall.

          10. @tsalmon

            If you are so certain about that, then what are you worried about? And don’t tell me you’re not. Your idols in the news media have told you to mouth tirades of retribution against supporters of America’s SuperXenophobic Hitler, President Trump. So you are.

            I don’t know what will happen. Since I don’t want to get stoned, I don’t claim to know the future. Why didn’t Trump go after the wall sooner? He did. He just did not declare a national emergency. When Democrats took over the House, what other option did he have? Fortunately, Trump has appointed a bunch of judges. Given the grief the Democrats give us judges, maybe we will have the votes.

          11. @tsalmon

            I am not real big on pointing the finger. When I consider the opioid problem, I am not happy with either the drug companies or the MDs who over prescribed that stuff. My guess is they were stupid. They were slow to see the problem. Now the problem is coming across the border, and the drug lords know exactly what they are doing.

          12. “However, what Trump has proposed is a merit based immigration system.”

            And how does a Christian weigh the “merit” of another human being to decide if he/she is worthy of helping? Is it transactional? Based on need? Innocence? Sorry, I guess I am asking questions again, but I honestly don’t know the perfect answer to that one?

          13. Maybe it’s that search we are soon to go through on just what is going to define America.. and being American.. in the future. On one end I hold a part of this to the old “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses urning to breath free..” which certainly does not suggest… “…only if you have merit.” On the other hand, it doesn’t say (nor can we afford as a nation) “Hey.. anyone and everyone is welcome here!” We need controls not only to protect our national economic and age demographic perpetuity but also to extend our human morality as it relates to “freedom for all”. Perhaps we say.. this year we can accept 100 people.. but it matters not your economic or educational background.. America accepts anyone with a dream.

            Or.. do we say.. this year we accept 100 people but you have to have a career, be educated, and jump through any other hoops we deem necessary depending what political party has the majority in Congress at the time you apply.

            Regarding that other demographic of people wanting in to the U.S., refugees from whatever conflict is bringing them here, seeking asylum for fear of physical harm. We better decide if America is going to lead the way…. not in simply accepting huge numbers… but in the spirit of helping the suffering humanity. From my vantage point that means, certainly within our own hemisphere, we start getting politically and militarily pro-active to pre-empt the need for refugees to even occur.

          14. @Doug

            What you said sounds sensible.

            There are very few people who reject trying to protect refugees fleeing life threatening persecution from a tyrannical government. Very few of the people coming over our southern border fit that description, however. They are economic refugees. They want “a better life”, that is , more money.

            How should we deal with economic refugees? We actually don’t need lots of unskilled labor. Unfortunately, we have plenty of Liberal Democrats 😉 who fit that description. If we stop importing illegals, wages will go up for unskilled jobs. Then employers will either have to automate or hire Americans by paying them enough to get them to do the work Americans won’t do. It is amazing what a few more green pieces of paper can do.

            I don’t know to say about interfering in Latin America. We don’t win any popularity contests doing that. Look at Venezuela. Can you imagine that happening in Mexico?

            Of course, there is another possibility. If Liberal Democrats have their way and implement Socialism, then Mexico will build the wall to keep half of the starving population of the United States out of Mexico.

          15. Ok.. I can put up with all the other conservative blogs I visit screaming about liberals wanting to convert America to socialism because they know not what they mean… but you know better. I don’t even care if there’s a socialist party that pops up in this country… no one will be converting a damn thing. The Constitution will NEVER get revised to anything resembling socialism… no one is going to “whittle down” the Second Amendment. This garbage political fear-mongering is a HUGE part of this divisiveness. There IS such a thing as “social programs”.. we’ve had them for most of the 20th century.. and we will likely have more in the future… presumably if and when we can afford them with this ridiculous deficit. A “program” is not a change in our Constitution.

          16. @Doug

            We have a government-run school system, include most of our colleges. Our health care is practically run by the government. Government spends 6 trillion every year, and there are reams of regulations and tax laws. We are at least as Socialist as Nazi Germany was. Our political class just hasn’t managed to consolidate as much power in one place, yet.

          17. “Your idols in the news media”

            Ha, ha, ha! Good one! Now as idols in the music world, I could be tempted. I might vote for Willie Nelson for national treasure, or the late great Hank Williams for demigod. 🤩

          18. “Don’t ever hire anyone to do a job. You are not ready for it. You could not figure out which applicant merited the job.”

            So your sense of Christian merit is purely transactional then.

            I would worry more that God won’t hire me. After all, we hardly have an equal bargaining position. 😏

          19. @tsalmon

            The Federal Government runs our immigration system. Everything politicians do is transactional. You want to make me king? Then I could try to impose my value on everyone else, but I am not God. Hence, due to my Christian values, I don’t want the job. Can you say the same?

          20. Tom,
            So you’ve put a Trumpian wall of separation between a Christian’s responsibilities to God and his responsibilities as a citizen? I guess this means you now favor abortion and gay marriage. After all, they are just transactions. You’ve become such a secularist Tom.

          21. @tsalmon

            Here is what you refuse to understand. Politicians don’t have the right to give away what belongs to others. That’s not charity. It is stealing. When politicians start giving away other people’s property, they do it to buy votes. When Democrats allow illegal aliens into our country, give them driver’s licenses, and register them to vote, they are trying to get their vote. That’s a transaction.

            Abortion is murder. Government exists to protect our right to life.

            Same-sex “marriage” is a delusion. It requires the abuse of government power to force people who don’t share the delusion to participate. Think about the sheer silliness of trying to turn saying the obvious into some sort of hate crime. Saying two guys or two gals cannot marry and form a family is a crime? That is where you are at with your supposedly Christian nonsense, but you insist upon calling others names.😕

          22. 1. Are undocumented works really a zero sum situation?

            That isn’t really a question is it?
            100 percent of just about anything (or conversely, zero), is going to be wrong just about 100 percent of the time.
            We do know that socialized costs + privatized gains is about the worst economic equation possible for anyone who cares about graft, exploitation, profiteering. This is basic game theory. Not even interesting or challenging game theory. Just imagine ten of us sharing a credit card account and millions of others footing the bill.

            I’m going to skip over the outsourcing questions as I am in the demographic of people who has been very vocally unhappy about the massive outsourcing of our industry. It is worth noting that Trump is the only one who has done anything about China in my memory (China’s economy’s rate of growth is contracting for the first time in 50 years).

            4. What is the actual cost benefit of illegal workers paying never to be used SSA taxes? In other words, I know that we hear a lot of hype, but do illegal actually pay more into our system than they get out?
            Not sure there’s any way to know.
            How many taxes do you pay when you don’t have to pay them? I can only speak for myself, but if I don’t have to pay taxes, I don’t pay any. I pay the very lowest amount I need to. I do what I want to with the rest (including many charitable contributions…but the ones I decide to give to). Illegal immigrants, by a fortunate happenstance of their illegality, aren’t required to pay taxes.
            Here’s a related anecdote: A couple of years back I got a message on my answering machine from “the IRS” saying something or another and I was (ostensibly) going to jail if I didn’t call back. I went to the IRS website and determined that I had two choices: I could report the fraudulent call, or not. In the process of attempting to report the call it was requested that I had over a great deal of personal information.
            So I decided not to report it, and just ignore.
            That was my best option.
            No one wants the IRS to take an interest, an illegal worker would want this less than I, I’m sure.

            5. If illegals were actually hurting American workers, don’t you find it strange that unions are in favor of legitimizing migrant labor so that employers are no longer victimizing these people?”
            This question requires some background to answer.
            Is this true of all unions? (the answer to that is definitely no)
            Are the illegals paying union dues? Are the illegals actually sitting in key positions in those unions? If the answer to those two questions is yes, there’s nothing strange about this.

            5. America is aging. Couldn’t we use more young immigrants to pay for our aging population’s Social Security and Medicare.
            We have plenty of children here. There are some countries in real trouble…Japan, Italy. And for Italy (I cannot speak knowledgeably about Japan anymore…too long since I lived in Asia) mass unchecked immigration costs still far outweighs the social gains. That’s why they just elected an anti-immigration Prime Minister.

            ”6. How do these numbers compare historically?
            Settling an undeveloped land and building a civilization is not the same as showing up to a post-industrial nation and demanding welfare. The answer to problems 150 years ago is not the de facto answer to them now…actually, the answer to problems 150 years ago might be a catastrophic level problem now.

            ”Can Republicans claim a booming economy and that a giant wave of illegals is ruining the economy in the same breath?”
            Everything is relative, so the answer is yes of course.
            One might argue that’s the reason we have the illegal immigration problem.
            “One good measure of a country is to compare how many are trying to get in, to how many are trying to get out”.

          23. I know Tom. I’ve heard this refrain. No, it’s more than a refrain; it’s more of a mantra.

            I just remain unconvinced that the expansion of European style social safety nets partnered with aggressive free market incentives to private enterprise is as big a threat to either capitalism or individual liberty as the religious authoritarianism that you would have government impose. While your concern over the ridiculously rich being supposedly robbed to pay for public goods and services that the rich actually either have or will benefit from is quite touching, your ambivalence toward the poor and the middle class seem, forgive me, just a little callous, especially because I know how much both you and I benefited from and were supported by just such services.

            The strange thing is that we can look around the world and see numerous examples of how this balance works. We can also look at our own country’s 20th Century expansion of middle class prosperity. And finally, we are both products of public investment in a poor enlisted soldier’s kids that afforded us opportunities undreamed of in history.

            On the other hand, you can’t seem to point to an example anywhere where a pure Randian state or economy has actually existed, much less flourished.

            Success does not actually seem to lie with either extreme of a Randian Utopia or a workers’ paradise, but in a precariously shifting dynamic somewhere in the middle compromise of generous social safety nets and robust free enterprise that actually support each other.

          24. @tsalmon

            Well, Mr. Super Christian, it seems to me you have a little more reading to do.

            Exodus 20:17 English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)
            17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s.”

            The rich don’t pay for all those health, education, and welfare programs. Even if that was the objective, they don’t have enough money. The people who pay are wage earners. RICH Liberal Democrats just pretend to tax the rich. It is a scam.

            Check it out. When Obama was in office, who got richer? Who got poorer?

          25. @Liz,

            You gave a thoughtful reply and I would like to take the time to do the same. I would, however, like to correct your impression on what I meant by “zero sum game” and see if that changes your response.

            If I make a bargain with you to buy something that you do or make and, either you get only equal to or less than the value of out of the bargain that you put into it (with a loss or without any profit) or I pay equal to or more than the economic value that that good or service was worth to me then your loss is my gain or vice versa – a zero sum game. The beauty of capitalism is that it is possible for one or even both of us to get more economic value out of any given bargain than we put into it. This translates to the modern miracle of economic growth, and in fact, for good or for bad, our whole consumerist/financial system absolutely depends on such unending growth.

            As to immigrants in particular, I don’t want to give the impression that I am morally in favor of “illegal” immigration, so much as I think that we should actually consider the economic costs and benefits of both illegal and legal immigration realistically and factually rather than with emotion and wild conjecture. It is likely not a zero sum game for either the employers nor the illegal immigrants who they hire, else neither would bother. It is also not a zero sum game for consumers who receive cheaper goods and services directly or second hand because of illegal immigrants.

            Does the economic growth that results provide more (perhaps higher paying jobs) for Americans that offsets whatever weighing down of wages that illegals might cause? Do illegals use more in public goods and services than they pay in or than they cause in economic growth? These are not easy economic questions to answer, but the fact that the data actually seems to economically favor illegal immigration should not be ignored simply because we don’t like the whole idea of it. Nor should we ignore the data, the economics and the facts simply because it suits our need to demonize foreigners. If the unintended consequences of some ill considered zero tolerance program helps send us into recession, for example, or puts farmers out of business, then have we really helped workers, consumers or capitalists? I’m no expert, but don’t you think that we ought to let the experts debate this and convince us rather than listening to pundits and demagogues who know not what they are saying or doing.

            Tom says, why should we spend a lot of time understanding all this complex stuff before we just spout our opinions with perfect certainty of our righteousness. Isn’t that just what’s wrong with both sides of these debates now adays?

          26. “Super Christian”?

            Is this really the best you can do? Not much into nuance are we brother? Still waiting for your example of this successful and more morally altruistic Randian Utopia. Still waiting for you to explain why the most prosperous middle classes in the world live in states with both strong capitalistic economies and generous social safety net programs. Still waiting for you to explain why the greatest increase in middle class wealth in the history of mankind in this country went hand in glove with increasing public goods and services. Still waiting for you to explain how you and I did so well despite our being very much elevated by so much of that government aid.

          27. @tsalmon

            You don’t like my sarcasm? Did you think you were suppose to? Here you are trying to justify your busybody politics as Christian, and you have never bothered to read the Bible. You can’t even cite anything that backs what you want. The best you can do is name calling and try to sow guilt and confusion, the MO of your party.

            Why is the United States a wealthy country. There are three primary reasons.
            1. Natural resources in the right location. Our land is rich. We were far enough from Europe to be benignly neglected.
            2. Protestant heritage. Unlike the Catholic colonies to the south, the Protestants in the English colonies were more inclined to let their neighbors do and believe what they want. They were not perfectly tolerant, of course, but everything is relative.
            3. The economics of slavery did not work well except in the southernmost colonies.

            Does not make sense to you? Well, here is an insight about spending money from Milton Friedman. There are four methods for spending money.
            1. Spend your own money on yourself. This method usually obtains the best bang for the buck. Less waste and the beneficiary is more likely to get what they want.
            2. Spend your own money on someone else. This method tends to be cost cautious to a fault, unless the beneficiary is a loved one.
            3. Spend someone else’s money on yourself. This method tends to result in extravagance unless we are spending the money of someone we care about.
            4. Spend someone else’s money on someone else. The method describes government to a T. It is the reason for the national debt and all the fraud, waste, and abuse coming out of DC.

            The fact the people who founded this country preferred to let their neighbors spend their own money as the wished, method 1, explains America’s wealth.

          28. Tom,

            You win the “I’m holier than thou battle” brother. It’s not one that I want to fight. If I called you a name like say, “busybody”, then I certainly apologize.

            1. True enough, but that sort of misses the point of capitalism. England, Japan and many other of the so-called welfare states have few natural resources, but they are just as prosperous and some have on average a more prosperous middle class right now.

            2. True enough. Max Webber felt that some traits of Protestantism (work ethic, the concept of a calling, etc) were the catalysts of capitalism. However, the birthplaces of these Protestant traits, Germany, Scotland and Sweden for example, are all combinations of generous social safety nets and aggressive free market capitalism. Many of the mist conservative Protestants in these countries would find ridiculous your theological hypothesis that social safety nets are somehow stealing.

            3. A non sequitur. Our country at the time of the founding would not even be considered a democracy by today’s standards. Economically, it’s like comparing a buggy to a jet airliner. If you think we can or would even want to go back to 18th Century America, you are delusional.

            If you want me to quote more relevant economists, I certainly can, many of them Nobel Prize Laureates. But I might be more convinced that your Randian Utopia actually would work if you could just give me some relevant examples that don’t date back to the Ice Ages or that worked on economies that did not exist upon slavery, indentured servitude, sweat shops, serfdom or some other Dickensian or feudal horror show for average people.

          29. @tsalmon

            Did you know that “holier than thou” is actually in the Bible? See Isaiah 65:5.

            1. I mentioned two things: natural resources and isolation. In the 17th century, Americans had to produce the vast majority of what they consumed. Most of their trade involved providing raw materials.
            2. Socialism does not work. It is stealing, and you have yet to make the attempt to demonstrate otherwise.
            3. Government exists to protect the rights of the people. We maintain order by providing for justice. Technology has implications in the types of crimes and the methods of proof, but nothing has fundamentally changed.

            What I drew from Milton Friedman isn’t the least bit out of date. You asked me to explain the prosperity of this country. I did.

          30. “Did you know that “holier than thou” is actually in the Bible? See Isaiah 65:5.”

            Like I said you will always win that argument. I am but a lowly sinner who would not dare to “exalt” myself above such as you, particularly when it comes to such supreme holiness. 🙂

            1. Still not seeing how our 18th Century democracy and economy makes a good analogy for your mythical modern Randian dreamland. Ayn Rand would have hated the place.

            Obviously, its unfair to judge us at our founding by today’s standards as what happened at the time was unprecedented in the previous history of the world. But unfortunately, much of recorded human history is essentially just the lifestyles of the rich and famous – it says very little about the average, unlettered, unwashed masses (like you and I likely would have been). Because our historical narrative is about those rich and famous Americans, it is easy to daydream ourselves as one of those masters of their universe – if the 18th Century could just somehow magically appear today, of course you’d be Washington (and I would, of course, be Benedict Arnold).

            Because of their sex, more than half of the country, no matter their education and status, could not vote, hold office, or own property in most places. Nearly one third of the country were themselves property. Many more were indentured. Of the white males that remained, only the elite rich could realistically vote or hold office. That was the reality of our 18th Century government and economy.

            We like to see our founding fathers as rugged individualists who worked for what they owned and fought those bad Brits to keep their God given rights, but much of the prospects for them and for everyone else was very much decided at birth, God given right to it or not. Hamilton was the exception that pretty much proved the rule. And even with all his smarts, opportunity and wealth, Jefferson died nearly bankrupt.

            2. You are the one making that outlandish claim. It’s your burden to prove it is true, not mine. “Stealing” is a legal term. Where in American law does it say that spending on public goods and services is stealing.

            If your assertion is that the theft is a theological negative moral imperative, then it is only your religious interpretation that is, at best, very much a matter of scriptural dispute and, at worst, just bending ancient scripture to fit some very recent, very secular, very partisan economic ideology to make sure the rich get and keep as much of the wealth and power that our society produces as possible. Either way, are you not trying to impose a peculiar religious view on a majority of voters whose religious conscience tells them otherwise?

            3. True, one of the many roles of government is to keep the peace. However, justice, if it is justice, requires love, and as such, justice comes in many forms. To say that the modern democratic state, not only can successfully, but must exist to do a great many other things is simply to live in the reality what it takes to become and remain a modern democratic state in a globalized economy.

            I say again. Show me where a successful modern democratic that state exists somewhere that fits your simplistic formula with the exception of in your dreams. I can give you dozens of prosperous democratic examples of the kind of states I’m talking about.


            Just a side note. I don’t want to be unfair to Ayn Rand. I read most, if not all, of her works. She was making a much needed counterpoint to the communist totalitarian state, and she pulled very close to fascism without really crossing that line. However, Rand was a romantic idealist who wanted her own heroically styled übermensch that excelled on natural grit, talent and hard work. But her hero also was democratically modest enough not to see himself as better than anyone else (even though he quite obviously was) – sort of what Nietzsche’s Zarathustra prophesied, but with rugged American heroism and simple home spun morals. Who wouldn’t like anyone Gary Cooper portrays, especially when he stands shirt sleeves rolled with a hot female lead at his shoulder as he ultimately defeats the cynical plots of the evil bureaucratic suit man – just another average Hercules in the metropolis.

          31. @tsalmon

            Consider what the phrase “holier than thou” refers to. It is pride. Pride is probably the genesis of all sins.

            What are you and I debate. You are arguing for the status quo in your own opinion. In my opinion , you are arguing for Socialism because that is what you vote for, and you attack anything else.

            What am I defending? The right of people to make their own choices and to run their own lives.

            How are you arguing for Socialism? You are pointing at the world. This is what works.

            How I am I arguing for God-given rights? I am just pointing out that the government is a type of gang, a slightly more organized mob. Government doesn’t confer any special rights or wisdom upon us. It just gives those in charge power they can either weld responsibly, or, more likely, abuse.

            You say the burden of proof is on me. I, supposedly, am proposing wild ideas. There was a time the slavemasters said that sort of thing to their slaves. Not much has changed. People are still much the same.

          32. “Consider what the phrase ‘holier than thou’ refers to. It is pride. Pride is probably the genesis of all sins.”

            No kidding. 😉

            “What are you and I debate. You are arguing for the status quo in your own opinion. In my opinion , you are arguing for Socialism because that is what you vote for, and you attack anything else.”

            You would be absolutely wrong then, and you would be bearing false witness against me, something that I believe we both might agree is a sin.

            Socialism is a thing. Capitalism is a thing. Communism is a thing. Fascism is a thing. All of these “isms” have very specific definitions, and their relevance depends upon a philosophic structure and scheme where each part contributes to the logic of the whole. Socialism, for example depends upon a Bentham’s philosophy of Utilitarianism. It seeks to create the greatest utility (vaguely defined as happiness) through greater equality. To do this, Socialism has government take over ALL the production of ALL goods and services. This system does not work, and it has failed everywhere that it has been attempted.

            I have categorically never advocated this philosophy nor have I ever voted for anyone who has. To say that I have is simply a lie. It is the same sort of lie that I would be committing if I were to call you a Fascist simply because you advocate things that have fascistic qualities, like your wish to maintain our supposed cultural purity, and your disdain for cultural pluralism. But you are simply not a fascist Tom, nor are you a White Supremacist, and for me to accuse you of that simply to try to win an otherwise losing argument about my beliefs would be morally wrong don’t you think?

            “What am I defending? The right of people to make their own choices and to run their own lives.”

            Sure, who isn’t, as long as they marry who you approve and you get to control their reproductive choices? There is, was and probably always will be a conflict between individual rights and community responsibilities. Life in a modern liberal state has always from the beginning been finding an impossible sweet spot between the most extreme of these positions in a dynamic technologically and economically changing world.

            “How are you arguing for Socialism? You are pointing at the world. This is what works.”

            That is just nonsense speak and a falsehood. I have never said the thing called Socialism “works”.

            I have said that regulated capitalism “works”. For example, things like government granted monopolies called patents, copyrights trademarks “work” and are essential to capitalism. Government regulation in a thriving modern and globalized economy means trying to hit an ever changing, dynamic moving target between too much and too little regulation. “Working” markets demand fair rules, umpires and a regulated playing field for such markets to even exist at all. However, Republican ideologues like to spout the idiocy that all government regulation is socialism, but just try to get rid of government protection of intellectual property rights and they’d scream bloody murder.

            i have said that government promotion and sometimes ownership of very specific and limited public goods and services like national defense, highways and skyways “works”. Contracting out some of these government functions may “work” or not. Remember, just because the government contracts out or licenses something like the making and maintaining of public highways does not magically make it an efficient market with numerous buyers and sellers. At best, it makes it a government licensed monopoly or a bidding process with only one buyer (the state) and a very few sellers to choose from. It does not take much thought to realize that such things are ripe for overpricing and corruption. Privatizing a natural public good or service (like for example prisons) often just makes it more expensive with less service because, unlike government, the monopoly holder needs to cut costs and make higher profits for its investors. It also creates weird market incentives to politicians and their political donors to, for example, create more prisoners than necessary or get into senseless (but highly profitable) wars.

            Finally, I have said that governmental promotion of certain social safety nets like unemployment insurance, Social Security Retirement insurance, 401k, IRAs, guaranteed health care access, child care subsidies, retraining programs, etc., etc. “works”. The Niskanen Center shows that government, labor and business can actually “work” very successfully together. Social safety nets give workers the opportunities to be more free and nimble to compete in a globalized economy. This insures that capitalists have a constant supply of skilled and retrained workers ready to meet ever changing global demands because those workers don’t have to worry about losing their medical or retirement insurance or the costs of retraining in order to switch to better, higher paying job or when companies are forced so close and reopen plants and production lines to keep up with ever changing global market demands. To pay for this, government uses as little regulation as possible, and actively encourages R & D, entrepreneurship, innovation, etc. As an added benefit. There is so much room for an endless variety of private/public mix in this dynamic model that one cannot even describe it as an “ism” or an ideology because as soon as one makes up the rules of the model they are bound to need to be changed.

            “How I am I arguing for God-given rights? I am just pointing out that the government is a type of gang, a slightly more organized mob. Government doesn’t confer any special rights or wisdom upon us. It just gives those in charge power they can either weld responsibly, or, more likely, abuse.
            You say the burden of proof is on me. I, supposedly, am proposing wild ideas. There was a time the slavemasters said that sort of thing to their slaves. Not much has changed. People are still much the same.”

            This is a rather simplistic model which has just enough truth to it to be demagogued. Find me a right somewhere that “works” in the real world that is not defined, arbitrated and enforced by a government, and I’ll sell you the golden unicorn that I keep in my backyard. Is government “only” an organized mob? It can be – Putin’s Russia is a fine example. This is true just as it is true that no one wants a failed state either.

            The problem with your hypothesis is that there are far too many examples of states like I have described (including our own country) where the people feel more free than they ever have in the history of mankind and where the government maintains a “working” partnership between capitalism and labor. And yet you still can’t name one modern successful Randian Utopia of the type you describe or even how such a thing could possibly “work” for a modern competitive democracy in a globalized economy.

          33. @tsalmon

            So you taken great umbrage at my observation. You are voting for Socialists. You point to the definition of Socialism, and you say YOU don’t support Socialism. The people you vote for do.

            The government has two basic ways of “owning” the means of production. One would be an outright purchase. Not necessary. The second is to regulate an industry to the point where bureaucrats make all the significant decisions. When Obama was in charge, that was happening, and I expect our drug manufacturers still have cause for concern.

            The Democratic Party is trying to move this country towards Socialism. It is not even a “secret” anymore.

            When you said this, I just groaned.

            It is the same sort of lie that I would be committing if I were to call you a Fascist simply because you advocate things that have fascistic qualities, like your wish to maintain our supposed cultural purity, and your disdain for cultural pluralism.

            Have You been hearing dog whistles? Do you bark? Can you figure out the difference between a busybody Utopia and a republic.

            You run around saying the most ridiculous things, and you take umbrage when I point out the obvious. You may be looking for a “sweet spot”, but you can’t define it. However, the people you vote for don’t have that problem. They always do that which maximizes their power.

            You demand an example. You have to know how stupid that is, but maybe not. What is obvious to one is sometimes a mystery to another.

            When the framers of the Constitution finished their job, they knew it was imperfect. Benjamin Franklin said as much, but he asked the delegates to approve it because he did not think they could do better.

            If those delegates had looked around the world, would they have found anything better? Some might have pointed to the states the came from, but the rest of the world? No.

            The argument for the Constitution was complicated. Mostly a moral argument, but also one based upon the history of a few republics now long gone.

            What is the argument for what you want? Hand waving. See that. And that. And that. Look at all the glorious, indispensable bureaucrats.

            Had H. Clinton won the election, I expect that would have signaled the end of our republic. As it is, we remain at the brink. The busybodies in the public schools, the public universities, and the mass media have preached Socialism, but they have not explained what the people who founded this country accomplished. Instead, they, almost all Democrats ironically enough, just complain about dead white men who owned slaves.

          34. Tom,

            I don’t “take umbrage” much as you appear to want me to. Reading and commenting here is a just form of intellectual entertainment. Angry hyperbole on the internet is too emotionally expensive. For example this:

            “Had H. Clinton won the election, I expect that would have signaled the end of our republic.”

            How dramatic! Hillary was the evil hag queen come to poison the Republic, with poison apples I presume.

            I expect that if the Republic is strong enough to survive a self servant like Trump, it would have survived, God forbid, an actual public servant like Clinton.

            Anyway, it seems unlikely that just doing what actually provably “works” to make us more free and more prosperous will ruin us, no matter how strangely you wish to mischaracterize the current reality in the most successful democratic market economies in the history of humans.

            Speaking of Ben Franklin, since we are obviously making no progress with each other on this topic, I’ll leave you here with this quote to keep in mind:

            “He that would live in peace & at ease, Must not speak all he knows or judge all he sees.”

  4. The piece-meal wall Trump wants will change nothing except some local control. Trump has failed YOU and all his supporters who voted for him to do the concrete behemoth from sea to shining sea. You’re putzing about posturing over his ridiculous emergency nonsense just so he gets a fence.. in some spots… and you’re still praising him for stopping the “invasion” of people and now fentanyl?? Even if he gets his emergency thing through his Supreme Court… that changes nothing.

    1. @Doug

      You want to see the wall built? That’s progress.

      When someone promises me to do something, and they get beat up trying, I get upset with the bullies who beat them up. I get mad at myself if I was not there to help them fight the bullies.

      Trump is fighting the good fight. I never had much hope he would succeed in getting our borders under control all by himself. I know bravado when I hear it. It is Democrats who believe such silliness.

      If you would help and vote for Conservatives it might help. It is a cinch the Chuck Schumer’s and Nancy Pelosi’s in Congress won’t help.

      1. I don’t want the thing because the true government stats don’t support any urgency to do so. This is just Trump’s bias he’s imposing on the land… by using fear. But the man failed his base; unable to deliver.

  5. The 59 Declarations of Emergency you cite as precedent almost exclusively are about blocking property (private and country) and prohibiting trade with countries seen as enemies of the USA. One is for 9/11, one for Katrina. None is for funding a multi billion project, where Congress and Senate actively refused to fund said project.

    I am aware, you would like the outcome of Trump’s Declaration of Emergency. What is your take on its constitutionality, after all the power of appropriation rests with Congress and Senate, AFAIK. What about a future President using Trump’s DoE as precedent to appropriate billions of dollars for universal healthcare or against climate change this way?

    1. @marmoewp

      Most of the money doesn’t require the declaration of an emergency. So that is a red herring.

      Congress did fund the project with more than a billion. Congress is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. Publicly they say they oppose illegal immigration, but they won’t stop it. Pelosi is a liar. So her and those of her ilk position is not revelent.

      Is Trump’s action Constitutional? The issue is what the National Emergencies Act says, not what the Constitution says. Is the National Emergencies Act good law? Problematic, that’s for sure.

      What about a future President using Trump’s DoE as precedent to appropriate billions of dollars for universal healthcare or against climate change this way?

      One of the first things Trump did when he got into office is revoke bunches of Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders. If we get another Democrat like that, I just hope we will have a Congress willing to fight him. This one won’t do that. That is why we have Trump.

      Will Trump’s declaration of an emergency satisfy the National Emergencies Act? I think the problem on the border is an emergency. Consider this comment =>

  6. I’m generally in favor of it but ….

    We will have a Democratic president one day. Will we support it then for climate control or gun control.

    The real issue seems to be around moving the money around. Apparently he could use most of it without a national emergency.

      1. When did Obama declare a national emergency? The wall, slatted steel fence, beaded curtain, hedge row, or whatever Trump is rebranding his ridiculous racist monument lately, is a non-solution to no known crisis. If Obama had done the same thing for an actual national emergency like guns killing innocent children in schools or Climate Change cooking the planet, then you would be screaming and whining about unconstitutional abuse of executive power all the way to the SCOTUS.

        I apologize Tom for calling saying Republicans are ideologues. An ideologue at least tries to be consistent within some ideological framework. This is just pure hatefilled partisanship without any principles.

        When a party is lead by a corrupt demagogue, I guess that is to be expected though. The corruption is bound to spread like a virus. Sad.🙄

          1. But,


            Regardless, isn’t your argument similar to the ones we used to make as kids: “But, Mom, John is doing it” or “Dad, Billy stole the candy first”.

            Consider how Jesus and Paul were plagued by excuses from followers about the Romans.

            Your whole argument seems to be, not that what Trump is doing is right, but that you just hate the Democrats. One often just becomes what he hates most.

          2. Exactly, Tony. It’s all about “I hate Hillary.. hence Trump is good.” Well, it’s one thing to have voted for Trump because the candidate alternatives were “wanting”, but we are two years into his shenanigans so if you still support him now we are way past “Because I hate Hillary.” It means… everything Trump is.. as a person, as a human being, all the behavioral baggage, the lies, the bullying.. all of it.. is worth all the ‘good” he has done. There’s gotta be some Bible scripture about the end justifying the means.

          3. Maybe it would help if you did given that’s all conservatives.. even Trump as recent as yesterday.. seem to want to constantly bemoan. She’s not been in politics since the day he won.

          4. Even then I saw the handwriting on the wall so very clearly and knew full well we, as a nation, were heading down a bad road with this guy. While no one could have predicted the events and investigative revelations, the was true to my anticipated form. The question remains.. where were you? Let me guess… Benghazi, Whitewater, email servers, Russian uranium deals, etc. all investigated many times, by many official entities.. and nothing. although there are secret organizations, conspiracies, etc. Compared to the hear and now… and more so after the Mueller report and New York District Court reveals… Hillary accusations seem rather insignificant when put up against Trump as the sitting President.

          5. What wall? The giant big beautiful cement wall that Mexico paid for? It’s not even “a” or “the” wall anymore – Trump just says he got wall.

            Virtually everybody wants practical border security measures, including reasonable border barriers, that are designed to mitigate numerous, sometimes overlapping and sometimes conflicting, domestic and national security and economic issues, of which illegal southern border entry is one of the least concerning. But Trump’s wall has always been an expensive symbol rather than a practical mitigation of the real risks and problems. It is literally a giant white elephant monument to prejudice and xenophobia, a racist attempt to blame all our grievances on foreign brown folks so that we don’t actually have to take responsibility for ourselves, for each other and for the desperate strangers Jesus taught us to love.

            However, even if Democrats are the worst lying hypocrites in the country, does that really excuse the blatant hypocrisy of supposed constitutional conservatives supporting Trump’s abuse of executive powers?
            Is blaming Democrats really an excuse for blatant Republican immorality?

          6. @tsalmon

            Now you are worried about the Constitution. Where have you been?

            The National Emergencies Act says what it says. Congress passed it. Since Congress partially funded the wall, they cannot emphatically say they don’t want it. So the issue is how fast it needs to be built. That’s a judgment call the Court has no purview to rule upon. Because tens of thousands of people are dying, fast as possible sound good to me. That is, there is an emergency, and it should be more than sufficient to satisfy a judge, and you know It.

            Listen to yourself. You rag on Trump endlessly with every kind stupid insult you can think of. That is your basis for calling building the wall unconstitutional. Pathetic!

          7. Tom,

            You know about as much about the Constitution as I know about rocket science. 🙄

            So now you think everything Congress passes and the President does is constitutional? I guess you’re over that whole Social Security and Medicare thing then.

            When Obama signed EOs far less questionable than this nonsense, you were screaming foul, but if a Republican lies and cheats, that’s just cool with you.

            Don’t get mad at me because you know you’re being inconsistent and you know it. Pathetic indeed brother.

          8. @tsalmon

            The law has been use 59 times. I know of at least one attempt a president used it unconstitutionally. This application does not have that problem.

          9. Sure, but when President Bernie Sanders declares a national emergency and steals money from the military to fund solar farms, I’ll await your “Hail to the Chief” rendition.

            The whole wall thing just seems like a dumb side show to me for the art of the deal to save face after getting his butt kicked by Nancy (who he likes to call “Nancy”) Pelosi, especially when this is compared to Trump’s Putin lovefest. Trump is making Republicans, especially so-call evangelical Republicans, look like hypocrites in so many ways and so by the minute that it is simply hard to keep up. But try we must.😉

          10. Ya, and if the Congress would just fund those solar farms and wind projects the way they are supposed to, then President Sanders won’t have to use his emergency powers to fund them himself. Do you even grasp how ridiculous that argument is? Do you think the founders set up our constitutional checks and balances so that the executive gets the pocketbook powers too?

          11. @tsalmon

            You don’t like the National Emergencies Act? Then ask your congressman to repeal it.

            We have to sleep in the bed we have. Not the one we wish we had. If there are lice and bed bugs in our bed, that is a bad problem, but pretending lice and bed bugs do not exist does not make them go away.

            Am I worried about what a President Sanders might do? Yep! Did not like the Obama years.

            One of the first things Trump did when he got into office is revoke bunches of Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders. If we get another Democrat like that, I just hope we will have a Congress willing to fight him. This one won’t do that. That is why we have Trump.

            You could help. You could start voting for Conservatives.

          12. You forget. Actually quite a few lice were driven from the congressional bed last election. When your lice controlled everything you didn’t seem to think Trump’s wall was an emergency enough to get them to give it to him. It only became an emergency when Trump knew that Republicans had screwed him with his base. As Ann Coulter said it, the only emergency is that our president is an idiot.

          13. @tsalmon

            So you are now going to Ann Coulter for guidance? I expect you being opportunistic, not principled.

            The Democrats mainly won Congress because about 45 Republicans quit. God willing, the ones I hope will replace them in 2020 will most likely be an improvement.

            Anyway, check out Liz’s comment. See if you can explain away the emergency to her. You are wasting your time with me. You are not explaining your own position. You are just accusing me of doing what you were doing when Democrats had the White House, and that obviously is not true.

          14. Coulter, no, not a fan, but even a broke clock is right occasionally. If it’s unprincipled to recognize something is truth no matter where it comes from, then I guess you can color me unprincipled.

            Sure, I’ll check out Liz’ comment. But before I go, one of these days I hope you’ll let down the pretenses and tell me what it’s like each day to wake up to the latest ungodly horror that Trump has done or said or tweeted, and think that now you are going to have to spin some rationalization for it because you’ve bet all your cards on a fraud.

            Democratic moles posing as lifelong Republicans in the Justice Department and in the FBI were supposedly out to stage a coup from the beginning. A highly decorated veteran whose tenure in government has been impeccable, also a lifelong Republican, has strangely been staging a witch hunt against poor innocent draft dodging, mistress bribing, tax evading, scam peddling, pathologically lying Trump for two years and numerous indictments and plea bargains at the top of the Republican campaign. And now Trump gets his fanny spanked by Pelosi and he is screwed by his own party on bulilding his senseless wall, so it’s all just perfect if he bends, twists or breaks the Constitution as long as we keep out the desperate brown barbarians.

            You must be secretly miserable. At least I hope so because the alternative is worse. I’d have to wonder who you are and what you’ve done with my law and order loving, constitutional originalist, Christian conservative brother. 😏

          15. @tsalmon

            For the most part, we have been here before. What is new? Instead of attacking Trump for colluding with Russians, assuming the truth of the preposterous, now you have been reduced to defending men and women who quite clearly abused their power.

            Give it a little more time. Will you finally admit you have been lied to?

          16. Ann Coulter January 15th: “Trump is dead in the water if he doesn’t build that wall”
            So…what does she expect him to do?

            Maybe Alex Jones has some pithy quotes too.

  7. Hmmm. Kind of fascinating to me, our state has declared a state of emergency. Heck, we do that when it snows, but this time we’ve done it because of the measles. A few dozen people have contracted the measles, no one has died yet, but we’re in a total state of emergency. How ironic it is to me that the hundreds of thousands who have died from imported Mexican fentanyl and meth are not even on our radar. This is a public health crisis, the likes of which have never been seen in our country before. More people have died from drug overdoses in just one year then were killed during the entirety of the Vietnam war. It’s an epidemic that has now exceeded the Great flu epidemic of the 1920’s. So it is huge public health crisis.

    A state’s “state of emergency” is different from the Fed’s, but just the same I can see plenty of legal and moral reasons why a state of emergency makes sense. The Constitution says congress shall “provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States.” They have failed epically to protect and defend us and ignored the general welfare. So that’s why we have two other branches of Gov, to set things right when the ship tips over.

    Short story, I am totally in favor of the Prez declaring a state of emergency.

    1. @IB

      Me too!

      The emergency for Establishment Democrats and Republicans is the threat posed by the wall to the flow of cheap labor and cheap voters. Those people are not on our side.

      When we look at the Civil War, what did Democrats start it for? Slaves. They have not changed. They are at it again.

      I understand some people feel sorry for illegal immigrants. I do too, but hordes of poor and ignorant people coming into the USA will eventually destroy our republic. Very few nations have the capacity to maintain a republic, and we are not maintaining that capacity. As it is most of us did not properly learn how to participate in the civic life of our communities as children, and we most certainly have not taught our children what to do. If we wish to live in a nation where we can freely spread the Gospel, that has got to change.

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