ARE OUR LEADERS ON OUR SIDE OR THEIR OWN SIDE?

In this post, JUST HOW MUCH SHOULD WE TRUST OUR LEADERS? — PART 2, we considered the possibility that our elites might be more interested in organizing against us than with us. Here, in King Solomon, “Dark Sayings,” and Twelve GOP Senators? (Revised), is an example of how that might be so.

Why would Democrats and Republicans vote against any reasonable effort to pass and enforce laws against illegal immigration?

  • Cheap labor for big political donors.
  • Cheaply bought votes for demagogic politicians.

When our elites invite millions of illegal immigrants into our country by offering them jobs and welfare benefits, they lower the wages of unskilled American workers, increase the costs of public education, strain our emergency rooms, threaten to balkanize our nation by language, allow dangerous felons and drugs into our country,…. Meanwhile, they hide from the problems they create by living behind walls in gated communities.

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  1. Went to the WWII Museum in New Orleans Tuesday. Really impressive. You can’t really see it all in one day, but we got through the build up to the war and the European theatre through D-Day. I came away with two big impressions:

    1. Leading up to WWII, the world was on fire in ways that make what is going on today seem trivial by comparison. Our screaming internet and 24 hour apocalyptic churning magnifies everything, including the mythology that our own individual, supposedly perfect solutions, matter.

    2. However, there is still a lesson that we seem to be about to relearn – we simply can’t isolate ourselves behind real or imaginary walls and expect to ride out gathering overseas storms. They will always grow until they find us. How much and how best to be involved overseas has no easy black and white solutions, as much as we may want them. By the end of the WWII, an estimated 65 million we dead as a result.

    The night before the Museum we went out to eat at an Asian fusion restaurant. Our UBER driver was a young Syrian refugee from Aleppo named Muhammad who had only been here two years, but during that time had learned to speak English better than I can (which ain’t saying a whole lot). I asked if his family was still in Syria and if they were safe. He said that his father was Muslim and his mother was Christian. His mother was not safe as ISIS was killing all the Christians that they could find. He wanted to get her to America.

    When we got to the Asian restaurant, we discovered that Monday night was Celtic music night. People of various races and ethnic flavors joined and left a pick up band at a table in the corner. At one point, there were about 10 musicians on violins and guitars, mandolins and a piccolo serenading is Scotch Irish ditties. The curry was amazing.

    Ya, such beautiful diversity will surely be the end of us one day….

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    1. Ya, such beautiful diversity will surely be the end of us one day….

      We were doing so well until that last line.
      Such a beautiful post to be ruined by pointlessly divisive absurdity.
      Rhetorical question: Were they here legally?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My spouse should really run for office. His IQ is at least 90 points higher than Comrade Chiquita’s. He could really capitalize on the media generated racial hysteria. You know how many hispanic fighter pilots there were? Fewer hispanics than black pilots. Fewer than even female fighter pilots. We know one other one, and the General would get them confused (true story, it was actually pretty funny…that other guy is now Vice President at Lockheed. The oppression really held him back)

        He can talk about the “fighter mafia” and how it was a “white boys club”. He’ll wear a hat that says, “first generation brown”. And answer every valid question with “don’t be racist!” or alternately, “that’s racist” and, “do you know how many of my people died on floaties trying to get here?!?!”
        Any time someone brings up the past…”Wait, you’re a lifetime NRA member..” he can just say, “that’s what all the white people did and I was denying my heritage”. He’ll start using a heavy hispanic accent and say he that before he was using a fake white accent. He’ll make statements like, “the first thing I learned in the military is, they lose 40 trillion dollars every year!!!”
        I’ll bet he can get 50 percent of the vote that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. @Liz

        Ha! That last line was meant to be sarcastic, even unifying, not divisive. Why the sensitivity to blame when there is no guilt? That too is a rhetorical question.

        Liz, I am only recently learning what you seem to have more intuitively understood all along – much as we try to intellectualize everything, integrity is not a philosophic enterprise, but a dynamic of endless interpersonal connections of hearts meeting hearts. Once we get beyond the sound of a human laugh or a human cry, it is all too easy to for real morality to be crushed under endlessly contrasting cold academic calculations. You blame me for choosing the wrong side at the end. I’m trying not to see it as “sides” anymore, but it does not come to me easily, so maybe I slipped a little there.

        As for your rhetorical question, no one asked for anyone’s papers. We just enjoyed each other, like Americans have always done when we are in our better angels.

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        1. I like the diversity of spiders, snakes, flies, mosquitoes, tapeworms, ……

          Seriously, I am happy you enjoyed the museum, but America has always been diverse in the way that matters. More than any other nation we permit people the liberty to think and do as they please.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Heh, I’m about a third of the way done with the book on the Haidt book. It is very interesting.

          To answer your rhetorical question: Why the sensitivity to blame when there is no guilt?
          Because it was a not-so-thinly veiled backhanded insult to those objecting to unchecked mass immigration.
          Imagine if I’d told a story about my day in this non-diverse town
          and in closing stated:
          “Ya, such beautiful similarity/unity of culture sure is nice.”
          I suspect the first thing you would wonder is why I had to state that bit at the end.

          **For background context, there is not a single black person or hispanic, exception us, on this mountain. It is by far the whitest place we’ve ever lived and btw yes we love the culture here. It’s strange because the only person we know who is from here is Mulatto. He didn’t mention being the only black family probably within the whole county.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We arrived around the time the “children in cages” meme was making the rounds. On Neighbor.com someone (well intentioned I’m sure…albeit brainwashed by the media) mentioned they were having a meeting at their home for anyone concerned about the immigration and children in cages. My husband suggested he should go, and say the line in Scarface with a heavy accent, “The only thing you need in dis world, iz balls”

            The point being (which would be lost I’m sure), just because you live on a mountain and aren’t paranoid (much like the Ivory tower loonies who have isolated themselves from all the consequences of their destructive policies), doesn’t mean “diversity” is simply ipso facto good.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. @Liz

            That last paragraph is spot on. When Terry McAuliffe was our governor (here in Virginia), he decided to restore voting rights to all the felons. Why would anyone want murderers, rapists, pedophiles, thieves and such to vote? Well, if they vote, they will vote Democrat. What is sad Democrats did not get a bunch of bad publicity out of that.

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          3. Gah, need an edit button:
            My husband suggested he should go, and say the line in Scarface with a heavy accent, “The only thing you need in dis world, iz balls” arbitrarily, and often. If nothing else it would’ve been entertaining.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Sorry for the triple post but I’ll share another anecdote. My spouse was born and raised in Miami. A couple of assignments ago he made some really great friends spearfishing (if you ever want to find fish, follow a boat of Cubans out, usually they are overpacked and the boat tiny, but they are prodigies at catching fish).

            He wasn’t a hunter back then, but they persuaded him to give it a try. They were very selective about people they’d bring up to the cabin (in South Dakota) during pheasant season. The one time they’d brought a Miami Cuban “friend” out there he stole a bunch of money, as well as their car. They actually made tee shirts that said: “No Cubans” and wore them for their hunting trips. Well, what to do since they’d invited another? They added “except (his callsign)” to the shirts. They gave him one. 😆
            Remember when everyone used to have a sense of humor about this stuff?
            I think it was less polarizing for community and interpersonal relationships.
            Now we are fed that we must be outraged by everything and look for secret dog whistles. For the love of Pete, Doug actually believes we didn’t defeat the Nazis and they’re still a big relevant force. I guess all this beating the dead horse is good for votes because it makes people feel guilty for assessments that are pretty human and actually reasonable and logical. If you can make a person feel guilty enough, it will influence their vote to allieve their consciences and assure themselves that they are good people. “Hey I voted for comrade Chiquita! That’s both a woman AND minority! I must be a good person. Nah, she can’t be a moron, that’s my sexist white privileged showing…bad thought, bad thought…”
            Okay done.
            Hope you all have a great day.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. It’s not that I believe in CNN but rather I DON’T believe at all in the garbage emanating from the Ministry of Propaganda for the administration.. FOX.
            But in the end it’s not about “where you get it” but rather “what you do with it” that matters. Most Americans, sadly, can’t manage that second part.

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          6. @Doug

            Where you get your news matters. If you don’t know what is going on, or if think stuff is going on that is not going on, how can you know what needs to be done?

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          7. Because I personally use the ‘rule of reasonableness’ and then I try and glean what bias’s could be involved along with any possible reporting and the sources from which reporting is coming from. In the end I know no more or less than the next guy on the street… but I can make and reach safe conclusions in my own way.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. Doug “Why am I thinking here “Say hi to my leetle buddy!” ?

            LOL That actually made me laugh out loud.
            Thank you for the morning levity!
            Much appreciated.
            😆

            Liked by 1 person

          9. This thread is getting long so I’m having trouble again but I’d like to address this one:
            Doug: Because I personally use the ‘rule of reasonableness’ and then I try and glean what bias’s could be involved along with any possible reporting and the sources from which reporting is coming from. In the end I know no more or less than the next guy on the street… but I can make and reach safe conclusions in my own way.

            Partial information can be highly misleading, which is why they say it is even worse than ignorance. Unless one actually has additional information to offer a screen of sorts, it’s simply impossible for the layperson to apply a true “reasonability test”.
            The other thread reminded me of this, as I remember what all the leftists were saying about our violation of Pakistani airspace when we had a base right there, and were working with their government. But that wasn’t the story in the media (and of course it couldn’t be). The assassination of OBL of course, was a different matter.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. I disagree (normal in these parts). The entire idea of applying your own reasonability test is simply trying to fill in the blanks on news that lacks complete facts. And that’s part of the “critical thinking” process that works for anyone with the ability to actually use it.. the idea that at any time one is likely not getting the complete story. Stories are always “evolving” until they aren’t. But when critical thinking stops or was never applied to begin with, then you get mindless emotional things like.. “Liberals want to take our guns away.” or “Liberals want open borders.” or “Conservatives are all racists.”, etc.

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          11. @Doug

            Doug, I don’t own a gun. I don’t have any emotional baggage invested in that dog fight, but it is plainly obvious Liberal Democrats want to ban guns.

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          12. I actually meant to mention in a previous reply.. but got lost in my own meanderings… that buddy Tom likes to center his critical thinking skills around the all encompassing defense to his alt-facts with “it’s so obvious” conclusions.

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          13. @Doug

            The only thing I find especially obvious is the fact that most people have enough trouble running their own lives. As you said, you got lost. So I find it puzzling that so many think they should use government to run other people’s lives.

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          14. This is also, btw, why I say results matter. There is no way for the average layperson to screen information that is fed to them, but we can view the results. If “blood for oil!” and relying on all these awful dictatorships and de facto authoritarian regimes for our oil supply was bad, the fact we have now become the largest oil exporters should be good…right? Yet somehow the goal posts have shifted. The DPRK is not lobbing missiles over Japan and Guam, yet now the goal posts have shifted. We were supposed to have economic collapse if we took on China but now somehow our economy is better than ever and China’s is falling for the first time in 50 years.
            Ad nauseam ect.
            But wait….Trump bad man! Nazi! (yet Israel loves him…wow they must be dumb)
            Start checking your assumptions.

            Liked by 1 person

          15. “I disagree (normal in these parts). The entire idea of applying your own reasonability test is simply trying to fill in the blanks on news that lacks complete facts. And that’s part of the “critical thinking” process that works for anyone with the ability to actually use it.. the idea that at any time one is likely not getting the complete story. Stories are always “evolving” until they aren’t. But when critical thinking stops or was never applied to begin with, then you get mindless emotional things like.. “Liberals want to take our guns away.” or “Liberals want open borders.” or “Conservatives are all racists.”, etc.”

            Have you ever heard of the Gell-Mann amnesia effect? It describes the phenomenon of an expert believing news articles on topics outside of their field of expertise even after acknowledging that articles written in the same publication that are within the expert’s field of expertise are error-ridden and full of misunderstanding.

            Have you ever been familiar with the facts of a case and found that an article was so filled with disinformation there was no way to glean any accurate understanding from it? This has happened to me more times than I can count. If it’s never happened in your experience I cannot explain it to you. But here is an example, just a made up one.
            Article states that a man beats a dog in front of a child. The beating is so terrible the dog is lying on the pavement almost dead, while a three year old child watches and cries.
            What does your “reasonability test” tell you about the above?
            Imagine the facts are that the dog attacked the three year old, and the man beat the dog to get it off the child. The above article is complete true, yet completely inaccurate.
            Did you believe the Catholic school hoax? Did you believe the “fine people” statue protest hoax? I’ll bet you still believe the last.

            Liked by 1 person

          16. Part of critical thinking is addressing each story you read, see, or hear as a skeptic. For example, your assigning Gell-Mann amnesia effect.. which I never heard of before, I looked it up because I am not as smart as you. Seems it was coined by author and film guy Michael Crichton and his association with physicist, Murray Gell-Mann (which in itself then signals to me this “effect” may not be totally based on true behavioral research).. and rather falls in line with similar “social theorems” like “Godwin’s Law”, etc. Bottom line.. you mentioning this “non-scientific” effect, while socially applicable, apparently has no scientific behavioral research behind it.. or.. the research is there and that quirk of human behavior is labeled differently in some deep dark psych manual like the DSM. Yet you are presenting this “effect” as if it had scientific foundation.. thus falling victim to it yourself.

            But to address your example…
            “Article states that a man beats a dog in front of a child. The beating is so terrible the dog is lying on the pavement almost dead, while a three year old child watches and cries.”

            1. I personally tend to presume that humans act with reason until something proves otherwise… in a perfect world. Hence, a) the guy beating a dog and b) doing it in front of a child, certainly implies to me “there must have been some extended reason” this guy did both those things. Cause and effect.

            2. If I am interested further in more detail (which in this case I am not because I would know better using some common sense) I will do a quick search to check out other reports of the same story.. before I might share this news worthy event with others.

            But that’s me.. and there are many other humans occupying space that will just accept the story at face value and make a value judgement on that.

            a) “Says here some idiot beat a dog in front of a three your old kid! Where’s the SPCA when you need ’em!”

            b) “Seems some guy apparently beat a dog in front of a three year old kid.. must be more to that one. Maybe the dog got out of control. Was the kid harmed?”

            c) “Looks like some guy beat a dog in front of a three year old kid. I’ll bet he’s some Conservative control freak Christian evangelical trying to illustrate discipline to his kid.”

            d) “Some guy beat a dog in front of a young kid. Think he was a Liberal and the dog’s name was “Trump”… and the child loved his dog?”

            I supposed you can pick any one of the above to illustrate a measure of intelligence and critical thinking skills.

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          17. Just to add, of course, for an equivalent “man beats dog” example, we’d have to add not just one article, but many…as well as some interviews from people who saw it. “It was terrible!” and folks who only read about it screaming and demanding the man’s blood.
            There was an Alaskan air captain who was fired not long ago after public outrage that he drugged and raped a female co-pilot. They showed her looking professional in her uniform, him in some inebriated state toasting the camera with a yellow solo cup.
            He is now unemployable. The story was completely false (she later attempted to do the same thing again, got blackout drunk on a trip and claimed to be raped and drugged). There’s no way to screen for this type of thing.

            Liked by 1 person

          18. I know both of those Captains.

            Our brains are shaped to look for black and white moral conclusiveness out of every story. The fact that we know that people, especially ourselves, are way more complex than that and that real situations are often infinitely more nuanced than the first reports allow doesn’t stop us from the easy opinion we quickly tout. It reduces every sin and holiness, all vice and virtue, all the struggles and strengths of the human heart to the cynicism and snark of a cartoonish meme.

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          19. I know both of those Captains.

            Wow, I hope he and his family are okay (the first one…The second never made the papers, but the first was subject to one of the worst smear jobs I’ve ever read).

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          20. @Liz

            There are tens of thousands of major airline pilots, male and female, in this country. They are an elite group who endured and continuously endure intense vetting and scrutiny in order to get and hold their positions in an occupation that demands nothing less than a 100 percent safety record.

            That said, on a moral level, no major airline pilot, neither male nor female, is either perfectly good or perfectly bad. All people, even airline pilots, are a complex mix of both. All people go through times of moral and mental weakness and strength.

            In order to set the highest level of professionalism, a level that the public demands of our profession, airlines have “zero tolerance” policies. This is necessary, but it also places moral perfection as a minimum, and there are no “zero imperfection” people.

            You are right to say that many anti-discrimination movements go too far in pushing perfect political correctness. On the other hand, drawing poster children out of any given incident equally disregards the complex puzzle palace of conflicting moral motives that is every human heart.

            In my life as a lawyer, an airlline pilot union representative and a military officer, I have continuously been amazed at the ingenuity of humans, even myself, to get ourselves into new and unique moral quandaries and quagmires. I have also learned, however, that any real moral interpretation of justice can only begin with an appreciation for the depth and breadth of each our own moral imbecility, and then end with empathy, mercy and love. If anyone who does wrong defines our caricature of wrong, then eventually we all become fun house mirror images to each other across moral divides of our own imagining.

            This is just an observation as my answer to your question, not an argument with anyone, especially you.

            Liked by 1 person

          21. @tsalmon

            People forget the object of our legal system. It is not actually justice. We “punish” offenders in order deter future offenses.

            Do we strive for justice? Yes, but we don’t have the capacity to judge people, just their actions.

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          22. Tom,

            You are right in that deterrence is “one” function of our legal system. There are also rehabilitation, retribution, revenge, restitution, and separation of dangerous criminals from peaceful society, just to name a few that I learned in law school.

            The emphasis that we, as a society, put on each of these goals is controversial. In some cases one goal may actually be contradictory to the progress of another. I would argue, however, that any “punishment” (whether just or not) in the furtherance of any of juris prudential goal, requires a “judgement” of that person, including of his actions, of his inaction and of his motives (mens rea) for those actions. This is why motive (or intent) is a necessary element of virtually all crimes. Also, in just defining the law and the severity of the punishment, society is making a moral judgement of the person who would commit a given crime.

            Perfect justice, of course is impossible for any except God, but as Christians in a democracy where we have some influence over the legislation of crimes and punishments, don’t you think we have a responsibility to, as much as is humanly possible, try to imitate the justice that Jesus commanded? Does not God’s justice begin with love and mercy? Does the fact that such perfect justice is impossible, fraught with consequence and subject to some social sacrifice, relieve of us the responsibility, no, the God given command, to try?

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          23. @tsalmon

            Think about what you are asking, “don’t you think we have a responsibility to, as much as is humanly possible, try to imitate the justice that Jesus commanded?” When government is doing something, we are not making a request. We are making a demand backed up by force. The answer is “NO!”

            Generally, when the Bible speaks unjust judges, the injustice is that the judge is not being impartial. He is giving the rich, for example, special treatment. We still do that. The more we demand from our government, the worse that gets.

            Anyway, what about your list?

            rehabilitation, retribution, revenge, restitution, and separation of dangerous criminals from peaceful society, just to name a few

            Successful rehabilitation usually requires a religious component. Retribution is a form of deterrence. Revenge only makes sense as a form of retribution. The separation of criminals deters crime too.

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          24. @tsalmon

            Forgot to mention restitution. For obvious reasons, that too is a form of deterrence. If we know we will not be allowed to keep our ill-gotten gains….

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          25. TSalmon, completely unrelated sidenote (well, I guess it is tangentially related to the subject we’re on), I have a question for you.
            Did you take time off for law school or were you able to fly at the same time?
            My spouse is thinking of law school. There is a part time program in Denver (with the University of CO I think). Did you find the work to be rewarding?
            He has been thinking about this for a long while, and now that our boys are almost out of the house it seems a good time.

            Liked by 1 person

          26. @Liz

            If Tom doesn’t mind, I don’t.

            When I left active duty after 12 years, no airlines were hiring. I went to lawschool as a career change (but luckily I stayed flying in the Naval Reserves).

            I think law school and lawyering is what you plan to do with it. My experience was that it was humbling to me how hard it is to make As. I could study as long and hard as anyone, but during the first year, I learned that there are simply faster guns in town than me – to get the top jobs at the top firms requires top ten percent grades at a good law school or attendance at a top law school or both.

            On the other hand if that is not your husband’s reason for going to law school, mediocre grades at a mediocre law school would be fairly easy, even enjoyable.

            After graduating, I went into civil litigation at a good law firm. I enjoyed the game, especially the intellectual side, but what I quickly realized was that all the best litigators that I knew were workaholics their whole lives, often working 10-12 hour days. I didn’t like it that much, and the life style of my airline pilot buddies in the Reserves started looking more and more attractive.

            After a few years and whole year to convince my wife to make another career change, I became an airline pilot. I loved the job.

            I did do a great deal of union work, but I have never wanted to nor figured out how to practice law, especially litigation, part time.

            On the other hand, I am not a particularly ambitious or competitive person. I have always been amazed how well I have done within the amazing groups that I have landed. (I jokingly created my own inostentatious flying handle of “Average Navy Pilot”). Doing the best job that I could each day, and having my future decided by a seniority number was just fine by me, but I can see how many pilots, especially ex military career pilots may find that unsatisfying.

            Liked by 1 person

          27. Thanks a million for the response, TSalmon! 🙂
            Yeah, my spouse very much likes the “ease” of the airline biz.
            It really doesn’t get better as far as work/reward ratio for pay and all that.

            I think he needs something more though. He likes to be constantly challenged. That could be a hobby like rock climbing (he’s doing that as I type). But there’s more.
            Although that last job was incredibly difficult and stressful, the one thing he liked about it was the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and really help them.
            I think he’d be good at it, and his main goal would just be helping people (pro bono type stuff, I’d assume).
            So, the academics (at least, as far as I know, knock on wood) wouldn’t be so competitive since he isn’t looking to go into a competitive path.
            Thanks so much, again!
            We’ll see how it goes.
            🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          28. @Liz

            Your husband sounds like one of my best friends, Tim. Tim and I just happened to share two Navy tours of duty together as contemporaries. He stayed active duty and, after a distinguished Navy career, retired a few years ago as an O-6.

            When Tim landed a job at Delta, I was concerned that he would be frustrated by the slow scheduled seniority based pace of just being a glorified heavy equipment operator compared to the constant striving for excellence that a military command life required, but Tim adapted nicely.

            Tim believes in lifelong learning. He constantly takes classes on everything from auto mechanics to plumbing. Like your husband, Tim also has several athletic hobbies. I’ve always admired Tim for this, his ability to be super professional and still not take himself or everyone else too seriously. It’s a mix that I aspire to imitate.

            Well, as the Navy Pilot said to his date after bending her ear for an hour, “Enough about me, let’s talk about flying.” Tom, thanks for allowing the digression.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. The diversity that matters is not skin deep. Someone with the morals of a demon can look just like you and stab you the back. Another person from another land and race may save your life. What people believe is important.

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  2. Doug,

    The illegal immigration problem is 33 years old.

    The only reason it is an issue now is we finally have someone who made a campaign promise and is actually intent on keeping his promise.

    Every other President since Raegan has been an empty suit politician who made promises to control the border and did zilch, nada, fizz, poof, etc. etc..

    Send Trump a letter of thanks is what you should do because you live in California.

    Regards and good will blogging..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trump? You mean that draft dodging, bone spurring, incompetent who demeans a military veteran and former Senator even after his death (and who is an an accepted hero no less)? You mean I need to thank THAT guy?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep,

        You forgot to mention one of Trump’s another accomplishment. He is withdrawing troops from all the conflicts that the Senator recommended we send to fight everyone else’s borders except the USA.

        Regards and good will blogging.

        .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Those troops were sent there, and there, to fight ISIS and the war on terrorism… and Trump lacked any sort of a policy to continue that effort…. nor the diplomatic wherewithal to follow through diplomatically. Withdrawing troops from an established previous national policy is quick popularity. ISIS is not dead and even the Buffoon in Chief can’t sell that to anyone but his base.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I was thinking Syria. Liz seems to have a connection with some inner circle that ISIS is gone from Syria. I certainly don’t believe Trump saying it makes it so given he lies for fun and profit. Afghanistan went way too long… and not something I favored at all. We should have made a deal with the Taliban long ago.

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          2. Of course.. as a battlefield military threat they are ready to fade from view. Point.. you can’t completely expel an ideology. They are there, waiting. Syria is a civil war mess and in economic and social chaos with little or no central government involved in the rural areas and towns. The conditions still exist there that brought us there in the beginning. While I am not opposed to a force reduction given the military threat has diminished… the Russians are still hanging around there… certainly the Iranians, and the chaos continues to send refugees all over Europe. Two choices.. screw the world.. America is isolationist now… or… we keep a presence in the conflict to counter other international players and keep some skin in the game.

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          3. A 99.99+ percent reduction in territory can reasonably be considered defeat. A 99.99+ percent reduction since 2014 would indicate that, no, the conditions that brought us there no longer exist. UNLESS (again) our intervention wasn’t really about terrorism.

            Russians have an actual Navy base there that dates back to the Warsaw pact years. They aren’t leaving.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. And the Nazis were defeated in WW2.. right? You can’t defeat ideology on a battlefield. The Russians and Iran sure aren’t making things better there. The chaos will continue bring out all the bad nasties. As I stated before, bring the troops home, it’s not our business. After all, we got a southern border to protect from rapists and welfare abusers.

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          5. And the Nazis were defeated in WW2.. right? You can’t defeat ideology on a battlefield. The Russians and Iran sure aren’t making things better there. The chaos will continue bring out all the bad nasties. As I stated before, bring the troops home, it’s not our business. After all, we got a southern border to protect from rapists and welfare abusers.

            I can’t really understand the above. Is it sarcasm or are you being serious?
            Yes, the Nazis were defeated in WW2.
            You actually kind of can defeat an ideology on the battlefield (see WWII…especially Japan) but I don’t think that’s practical in this case. Yes we should leave…as the reasons you cite for staying (or are you now advocating leaving?) are also applicable for most of the middle east, and a good portion of Africa and Asia.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Sarcasm. We deal with Nazism still to this day. Can’t kill it.
            Syria… in the absence of any foreign policy, an eviscerated State Department, and a President thinking only of his own popularity, best we bring the boys and girls home or they will suffer from our current national apathy. It will come back to haunt us under another president. Afghanistan as well. Hell, even Iraq. Put those troops on the southern border chasing Poncho Villa.

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          7. @Liz
            And you are citing CNN too.

            Yeah. CNN one article, “Trump lies about defeating ISIS! ISIS is as strong as ever! Generals all mad! Be afraid America!”
            Next article, “ISIS is on last stand! Sitting on its last tiny mile of real estate!”
            Gee…just maybe we’re being played? Nah.

            Oh…and watch out for those Nazis! They’re a powerful force, that lot. Fixing to invade the mainland. Oh, wait! They walk among us. They’re everywhere.

            I now prefer Al Jazeera to CNN. They have a far higher level of journalistic standard and accuracy.
            Know how to keep an ideology alive? Continue to consider it as a powerful and relevant force, popularize it, and refer to it often. It is accurate to call CNN the enemy of the people.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow.. Tom… no reference to those elite liberals or rascally democrats with socialist agendas. Even your two links at the bottom were not overly partisan (although one was about 9 years old). Your perceptions of the how’s and why’s illegals are some scourge to our culture and economy (your last paragraph is a mess of misguided perception) is still way off… but sounds like you might be ever-so-slowly coming around.

    I’ll add to your “list” of reasons for illegal immigration…. the gutted State Department under Trump and a generally total lack of foreign policy direction in general, is failing to address a policy for handling mass refugees from our hemisphere to even an attempt to create a diplomatic/military impetus to not have refugees to begin with… stopping dictators before they create refugees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Doug

      Nine years old? I guess I should have gone back to the 1986 amnesty bill that was suppose to fix the problem.

      Blaming Trump for a problem that has been around for decades and that the Establishment is obviously trying to make impossible to fix doesn’t make any sense.

      Congress is the real power in the Federal Government. That is why Trump is using a statute that Congress passed in the 70’s to build the wall. Because the Establishment opposes him, he has to follow the law. Unlike Obama, Trump cannot just willy nilly issue executive orders. If he tried that the courts would quickly koverturn his executive orders. As it is, the lower courts have overturned perfectly legal executive orders.

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      1. Honestly, I see no one blaming Trump for the immigration problem he inherited. They are indeed blaming him for falsely making immigration a huge issue under the false pretense of some border crisis simply to cater to his own misguided white bias against immigrants “diluting” aspects of our society. All the current crisis with family separation is ENTIRELY on Trump and his personal bias.

        Like

        1. @Doug

          Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so is danger. Like as not there is someone who would think of being cast adrift in a rowboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as nothing more than inexpensive vacation.

          Anyway, you want howl racism? That’s pure stupidity. Go find a boat and start paddling. West, of course.

          Like

          1. Actually, I’d prefer just wearing the life jacket in the event El Presidente continues to steer the ship of democracy through his self-imposed storms.

            Like

          2. @Doug

            Nothing under the sun lasts forever. Including dry bones.

            Under God, in the Kingdom of Heaven, we do last forever.

            1 Corinthians 2:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
            9 But as it is written:

            “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
            Nor have entered into the heart of man
            The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

            Liked by 1 person

        2. All the current crisis with family separation is ENTIRELY on Trump and his personal bias.

          Before I answer this, I want to make sure I understand what you’re talking about.
          What “family separation crisis” are you referring to?

          There is no “false pretense of a border crisis” when hundreds of thousands of illegals are coming over the border every year. That’s a/an (insert expletive of choice) crisis. If one can “blame” anything about the border crisis on Trump, it’s the fact he brought the issue to the forefront.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. 1. Family separation crisis… families being separated and housed in less that humane situations.. and more specifically separating children with absolutely no accountability as to where they are going and for how long. Now.. your choice here… watch CNN, or the networks to get an idea what I am talking about.. or… simply watch FOX and imagine the world has been wonderful since Trump.

            2. When Trump was running and when he took office illegal immigration was at a decade all time low according to government stats… still Trump made an issue of a wall from sea to shining sea when one wasn’t needed.. and still isn’t. Your “hundreds of thousands” are apprehensions (hence that number). Given the refugee caravans recently, a lot of those are.. very smartly to survive… doing crossings illegally somewhere in order to be caught and hopefully cared for.. rather than sit in the long asylum lines on the Mexican side with marginal care and facilities.

            It’s a mess.. we need an effective policy.. always have… but Trump has done nothing but scream “wall”.. and now he’s betrayed his own base by trying to push a fence in certain areas… and his crazy fragmented policies have done nothing toward fixing a thing… and making things worse.

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          2. @Doug

            Obama and the Democrats deliberately made bringing children into our country attractive. They turned children into passports. Dumb! Really dumb! The children should be sent back where they came from. The adults bringing them should punished for child abuse.

            Under Obama the economy stagnated. Now we have more job openings than we have people looking for work. So more people are coming here looking for work. Duh!

            Like

          3. Family separation crisis… families being separated and housed in less that humane situations.. and more specifically separating children with absolutely no accountability as to where they are going and for how long.
            My understanding of the actual “family separation” situation is: there are people jumping the border, sometimes with kids, sometimes not. Sometimes they claim to be seeking asylum, sometimes not.
            We were prosecuting/deporting everyone who did this. But for some legal reason or other we can’t prosecute or deport their children, so we sent the children to holding facilities and then, nebulously, on to “relatives or other caretakers”.
            I don’t understand what the alternative reality that would be preferable and “more humane”. Given the above situation and the sentiment “these children should be with their families”, the obvious solution in my mind is “so we should deport them with their families”.
            Please conceive of a policy for this situation which does not separate families and does not effectively turn into “you can get away with jumping the border if you bring kids with you”.
            Yes, I’m sure CNN has a lot to say. Most of it is like trying to reason with a child who wants candy. “I want candy”…”well, little Johnny, you can’t have it right now. It isn’t feasible”…”I want candy”. Add a little racism in there too of course.
            For the record, I don’t want to live in Mexico and I don’t want our nation to turn into Mexico. I don’t want to live in Italy either. Or (God forbid) Havana.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. @Liz

            Sorry I messed up your comment. Risk of using my cellphone.

            For the record, I don’t want to live in Mexico and I don’t want our nation to turn into Mexico. I don’t want to live in Italy either. Or (God forbid) Havana.

            Say more stuff like that and Doug will think you are a bigot.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. @Doug

            Read your post. We already have the OAS. Such organizations tend to be of limited use. Why? Nation have interests, not friends.

            When illegal immigrants come to USA and get a job, many of them send part of their earnings home. Because of that, the people our neighbors to the south send to us change from being liability to home country to being a net asset. Therefore, giving an organization like the OAS any control over our immigration policy would just make our immigration problems worse.

            Like

          6. Who said giving OAS ours, or anyone else’s, immigration policy??? If anything I am suggesting a poltical stqabilization organization to keep from mass refugees. Ugh. Read for comprehension, Tom.

            Like

          7. Hey, no problem Citizen Tom. I was wondering where that name “Array” came from. 😆

            “I posted this late last year on my “tamer” blog… give it a whirl.”

            Thanks for the link. Your suggestion:

            Likely through the Organization of American States (or a new organization), we develop a new doctrine, perhaps limited to Central American countries and those bordering north South America, the United State will intervene diplomatically (first) to contain any potential refugee threat, up to and including removal of the head of state in order to restore order; that such impending government collapse would pose a direct threat to the safety and security of the Americas and their peoples. Force, if necessary, would be from the U.S., Canada, and OAS member nations. A kind of mini-NATO or mini-UN that’s already in place. In this way all nations keep their sovereign borders and even their individual right of self-rule and self-determination… until such time as their population flees due to internal strife.

            Haven’t we seen how this panned out elsewhere? Like, lots and lots and lots of places? Your plan “light” in Haiti (disastrous) your plan “heavy” in Iraq (oh boy).
            It would take our focus off the caravans that’s for sure. Like curing cancer with a bullet to the head. Sorry, Doug.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. But of course… and your plan would be? Ohhh.. build a wall to keep ’em out.. and let the rest of the hemisphere fester! More to the point.. just let China, Russia.. etc. do their thing down there as well. What do we care.

            Like

          9. But of course… and your plan would be? Ohhh.. build a wall to keep ’em out..
            Yep, for starters…a wall and border security.

            and let the rest of the hemisphere fester! More to the point.. just let China, Russia.. etc. do their thing down there as well. What do we care.

            Excluded middle fallacy land.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. Well, on that I would agree.. we need an immigration policy… not a sea-to-shining sea wall. It’s just becomes more apparent given some South American country ended up going into political revolution sending their people north to escape. When solving the problem you should consider changing the root cause rather than applying band-aids. I doubt if enhanced diplomatic intervention by a collective coalition under threat of collective military action is called “policing” when the benefit would be in our interests and that of the rest of the nations who sign on. NATO doesn’t “police”.

            Like

          11. ” I doubt if enhanced diplomatic intervention by a collective coalition under threat of collective military action is called “policing” when the benefit would be in our interests and that of the rest of the nations who sign on. NATO doesn’t “police”.

            That’s exactly what policing is, and yes NATO does “police”.
            You don’t seem to know much about NATO. What is it you think they do?

            Liked by 1 person

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