“THEY” ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE — PART 3

Here we continue a series of seemingly disconnected posts.

What is this post about? Cheap labor. As we noted in Part 1, slavery is still a problem. We still look for ways to exploit each other.

Have you ever wondered what globalism about? Some people think it is a big conspiracy, and I suppose that is possible, but people don’t have to “conspire” to work in concert to achieve shared objectives.

Let’s consider a couple of examples of globalist policies: support for illegal immigration and our “free” trade policy.

Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration is easy. Who doesn’t know about the trouble President Donald Trump has had stopping illegal immigration?

  • We have millions of illegal aliens in our country. The Supeme Court won’t even let the Census Bureau count how many of these people we have in the country. Furthermore, the courts insist we admit the children of people who are in our country illegally into our public schools and pay the cost of their education, including teaching them English.
  • Congress has made our immigration laws almost unworkable and will not fix those laws. So, the Trump administration has had to pressure Mexico to protect our southern border by threatening Mexico with tarriffs.
  • Congress will not implement a merit-based immigration system. Congress’ idea of “reform” is making the problem worse. For all practical purposes Congress wants open borders.
  • Congress will not fund the wall. So, Trump has had to connive to divert funds from other sources.
  • States and localities across the country have made themselves into “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens, including criminal illegal aliens. Therefore, illegal aliens who supposedly come here to escape crime bring that crime with them. Since some of these criminals attend our schools and put our children at risk, this is absurdly inexcusable.

Why the deceit and foot-dragging in Congress and throughout our political establishment? The immediate motive is cheap labor. Lots of American businessmen want cheap labor. The lower a business’ labor costs the greater the profits. This is why the European Union has let all those people into their country from the Middle East and Africa. Even though many of these people have no intention of assimilating and adopting the ways of their host nations, they work cheap, and the rich don’t have to rub elbows with them.

The rich also don’t pay the cost of educating illegal alien children and for all the other government handouts. Look at our own tax code. Ordinary taxpayers pay for all the nonsense. Lawmakers don’t tax the stuffing out of genuinely wealthy. They write loopholes for them and soak upper income earners with taxes, and our news programs don’t say much about this. Why? Well, who do you think owns the news networks?

Observe that there is no grand conspiracy. America’s elites, the people who own the means of production, just share common objectives, cheap labor and low taxes for themselves, not the rest of us.

Here are some references. Of course, the authors have a bias.

Trade Policies

What about our trade policies? Our trade policy with China stands out as the most absurd example. Instead of worrying about what is good for America, our leaders worry about making China happy for the sake of cheap labor. We even have reasons to worry about outright corruption. Consider how the August 2, 2019 episode of the Mark Levin Show began. Here is a link and a description.

Mark Levin Audio Rewind – 8/2/19
Description
On Friday’s Mark Levin show, President Trump has put China on notice yet again as he considers new tariffs on them. While it’s seldom discussed, China is a major threat to our national security. But for the Clinton Administration relaxing export controls for satellite technology, we’d still have oversight over this technology which they now use to guide their ballistic missiles. The Chinese government through corporations that they control have influenced many families in our political system; the Clinton’s, the McConnell’s, the Biden’s, and Sen. Feinstein’s family.

Criticizing our trade policy with China is also easy. We have a huge trade imbalance because the policy reeks of stupidity.

  • China poses a huge military threat to us and its neighbors. Contrary to the promises we were given, trade has not made China less dangerous. Instead, China has gained the expertise and resources it needs to build dangerous military weapons, and they have begun building and deploying such weapons.
  • China does not respect our patents. So our companies pay for development costs, and Chinese businesses reap the profits.
  • China does not have a capitalist economy. Its government is perfectly happy to bully our companies in order to get what it wants from them.
  • China manipulates its currency. This currency manipulation makes it easier for China to sell to us, and more difficult for us to sell to them.
  • We have borrowed a huge amount of money from China. Many believe this gives them leverage over us. This is money OUR GOVERNMENT is borrowing from China. Why would our leaders put us in such a bind with an obviously hostile and dangerous foreign power?

Here are some references related to our trade policy with China. These authors have a bias too.

So What Is The Point?

Neither our immigration policies nor our trade policies make much sense. What they do is explain the success of President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to put America first. That pledge is one of the major reasons people voted for him. Unfortunately, BECAUSE Trump opposes illegal immigration and insists upon implementing trade policies with China that are fair to America, our elites are thoroughly enraged. These folks have demonstrated amazing greed. They want cheap labor, and they don’t seem to care about the cost to our country.

Amazing greed? Well, perhaps not. Think about the American Civil War. Think about the price the South paid for slavery. Southerners, not just the slave masters, absolutely refused to see the evils of slavery, and they almost tore our country apart. Many of our elites seem to have the same problem, and they have used their control of our schools and the mass media to propagandized the rest of us. Much of America has believed their nonsense. Thus, they have split our nation, and we have allowed them to do it.

What’s next? Well, there will be another post in this series. In that post we will consider the moral issues that have led to this mess.

 

226 thoughts on ““THEY” ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE — PART 3

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  1. I’ve got the solution. Send all the asylum seeking immigrant families to holding camps.on Trump’s resort properties, and give Trump the billions that it would cost to build the wall. Trump can make the families work for free to pay for their stay, and like next year’s G7 Summit, Trump can continue to shamelessly shill his properties on the world stage. Problem solved! Swamp drained! Yay…

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    1. @tsalmon

      What do you know! A twofer. You got to point out Trump’s supposed narcissism and to his supposedly hard heart.

      I have a simpler solution. You want open borders? If illegal immigrants need asylum so badly, see if they keep coming here after we end the welfare state. Instead of being stupid enough to let politicians buy our votes with our own money, let’s insist that everybody has to pay for everything they use. Nothing “free” at the expense of the so-called rich. Let’s try private charity instead political vote-buying. Don’t you think the USA would then look a lot less attractive to your so-called asylum seekers?

      Before the welfare state, half of the people who immigrated here went back to where they came from. Without handouts, it is not that easy to make your way in a strange land. Immigrants have no choice except to adapt, learn the language, for example.

      In fact, there is nothing wrong with where these people are coming from. So many would stay in the homelands. The people who live there have just screwed up their homelands. With sufficient effort, they can straighten out the messes they have made. And generous souls like yourself could help them. The only “problem” is that Democrat politicians could not buy their votes. How sad!

      When Emma Lazarus wrote “The New Colossus” (http://libertystatepark.com/emma.htm), there was no welfare state, and America did not accept those who could not support themselves. Those who stayed had to commit themselves hard work and earning their keep. They were what Hillary Clinton would call deplorables. They valued their freedom more than they valued a handout.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok. Given the BananaTrumpublican world we live in, whose ideas seem more far fetched? Trump did just do a advertisement for his Doral Resort at the G7 and the White House did announce that we are holding the next G7 there. Trump’s jewel in his crown of corruption isn’t doing well so he apparently needs the money and the hype. What’s the point of being the leader of the free world if you can make money at it?

        “You want open borders?”

        Why don’t you let me decide what I want instead of making it up yourself? Have you ever thought that that might be the heart of the problem? Both sides have made imaginary enemies out of each other with made up binary choices. Do you want closed borders? Fortress American is what will “Make America Great Again”? Of course not.

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        1. “Those who stayed had to commit themselves hard work and earning their keep.”

          What pioneer family were you born into? I thought we were both born at government hospitals?

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          1. @tsalmon

            Our parents were not saints, but they worked. Dad was a WWII vet who served in Africa and Italy. Our mother lost her first husband when a U-boat sank the Liberty ship he soldiered on.

            You served in the military. You know as well as I do that that “free” healthcare was just part of our paycheck. The government had to maintain those facilities anyway just in case wounded soldiers started returning from war zones. Then pregnant women would have to stand in line behind wounded soldiers. I suspect such an event would result in a bunch of overworked doctors and very busy midwives.

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          2. Immigrants don’t work? It seems as though most do much more back breaking work than you or I ever imagined. And you seem to be saying that, as long as we work hard, we should be entitled to government welfare, or is it only people who spend their whole lives, like us, like our parents, serving and being served in the sweet embrace of mother government that are entitled? That doesn’t sound so much like we were pioneers battling, living or dying on our own, as it sounds like suckling at the teet of momma socialism. It appears that, despite whatever you say you believe, your actual green cheese project has been socialism, you socialist you. 😁

            Yes, I’m just having a bit of fun with the ideological fantabolisms you through out like they match the real world. Of course, you don’t have to be a socialist just because you live like one. Instead of all this silliness about us and they, however, perhaps as Christians we should just imagine we are an average immigrant just struggling to escape and live and work and protect our families. We’ve lived amazingly cushy lives where we were given, or just born into, far more privilege than we earned or struggled to get. It seems to me that, if we really step into the shoes of the average immigrant coming to our country, they have far more in common with our pioneer ancestors than you or I do.

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          3. @tsalmon

            I did plenty of physical labor when I was growing up. Since I consider studying difficult, I don’t apologize for not doing more. So I am not inclined to false modesty and praise the work ethics of illegal aliens.

            I didn’t make the world. I didn’t construct our government. Does that make me hypocrite because I am still alive? I am not allowed to suggest current regime need improvements because I know how to work the system? Please cut the crap. Read Romans 13:1-7 again.

            Seriously, when are you going to learn how to discuss the issues? All you done is mischievously mischaracterize my positions and make silly accusations.

            You are upset because I said you are for open borders? I clearly explained why.

            Note that you have never explained how our welfare state could support all the immigrants you are clearly willing to accept. Is it too much for you to clearly explain what you want and how it is supposed to work? Or do you just get to be a worst than useless critic?

            One last observation. Do I think immigrants work? Yes. I think legal immigrants work quite hard and smartly. They contribute more in taxes than they use in public services, and I think a merit based immigration system would improve matters.

            Cost/benefit analysis is an unavoidable necessity. Even when we are spending other people’s money, we will eventually run out of other people’s money if the costs outweigh the benefits.

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          4. Who is upset? Not me. I’m grateful. Where is your wider human perspective? Where is your sense of history? Where is your sense of balance? We inherited our opportunities more than we built them. They were the product of the achievements of generations (and sins) of Americans who really took the risks, really did the back breaking work, really were enslaved and abused, and they handed most of it to us on a silver platter, if we could just exert ourselves enough to reach out and grab the meal that was mostly already served. If you want to compare resumes as to which one of us worked and studied and risked on his own dime without the largesse of the federal government that our ancestors willed to us, then I’ll be happy to do so, but I just don’t resent that you may have taken more or less from that plate than I did. I’m proud and grateful for what you accomplish with your own hard work and with a good bit of opportunity provided by Uncle Sam.

            If I add up the balance sheet, one way or another my country has given me so much more than the billions of average kids around the world today or throughout the miserable history of human civilization could have ever even imagined. Compared to that larger perspective, where do you think we got cheated by the so-called welfare state that we grew up in. If I lost it all tomorrow, I can’t complain. It all belongs to God anyway. I’m going to die, and I can’t take any of that stuff or training or prestige with me anyway. Do you think that the government assuring opportunities for more people and for future generations who are willing to work for them somehow deprives you and I of something? To quote Ann Richards, you woke up on third base and you think you hit a triple all by yourself. How can you discount everything that our forefathers worked for?

            Your sense of outrage at desperate immigrants coming over just to grab handouts is a Right Wing myth to spark the childish rage and the envy of false grievances where a more mature Christian gratitude and love and spiritual striving actually belongs. Immigrants are mostly coming here for our opportunities and they, like our forefathers, are willing to work harder than you or I ever did. You know this. Why do we have to somehow falsely paint these poor people falsely as evil moochers, terrorists and thieves if it is not to justify rage and cruelty?

            Are there are practical considerations? Yes. This will be a multi-pronged strategy that will require expertise, wisdom and compromise, abilities that neither one of us possess in this matter. I just know that a policy based upon hate and cruelty is not the American way.

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          5. @tsalmon

            You are grateful I said you are for open borders?

            Whether I have a sense of history I don’t know. Let’s see. I can see, hear, taste, feel, and smell. I suppose I can sense the passage of time too. Is that a sense of history? Whatever it is, I think you are for open borders, and this latest comment doesn’t do anything but further make the case.

            Do I respect the accomplishments of those who proceeded us? Yes! Among their achievements was the discovery of logic. Aristotle gets lots of credit for that.

            If we want to discuss the issues related to immigration, it is logical to discuss the issues, not my sense of history or how grateful you feel (or more likely, guilty).

            All you are trying to do — and it is obvious — is try to guilt me into agreeing with you. You are not dealing with the issues. You are just saying our prosperity is undeserved and that any fear of foreigners we might have — ANY FEAR — is bigotry. That is a foolishly emotional response, not a logical response. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what is best for our country. Some immigrants will be good for our country, and some will not. We can do a reasonably good job of separating the two. If someone cannot speak English, has a criminal record, or cannot support themselves, why do you want them to come here?

            Get this through your head. You have no right to force others to adopt your values. Charity is a religious, personal matter, not a governmental concern. We cannot trust politicians to give away other people’s money.

            If you want to give stuff away, don’t steal from others. Give away your own stuff. There are plenty of wonderful private charities you can give you stuff to.

            Regardless of how wonderful YOU THINK those charities might be, even those run by the most spendthrift Liberal Democrats, you don’t have the right to force anyone else to contribute.

            Consider the disdain you have for Trump. Elections are just a scheme for resolving a particular type of dispute, mainly who do we put in charge. Whether something is right or wrong is not something we can resolve with an election. That’s is one reason we must limit the power of government.

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          6. Speaking of history, a true story that I heard recently was that two Princeton scholars were talking and one of them came up with this aphorism, “The reason that God gave us time is so that everything does not happen at once”. Not to be outdone, the other scholar came up with his own aphorism, “The reason God have us space is so that everything doesn’t happen at Princeton”.

            Your view of history seems to lack the perspective truth of both time and space.

            I’ve Go no problem with vetting of immigrants. I just disagree with the Christian morality of Trump’s methods and criteria, and the nonsense that you are willing to believe in order to alleviate the guilt over it.

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          7. Doug has a point. How else is it explainable that Trump acolytes just don’t care about the lying and corruption?

            Tom,

            You don’t really read much for comprehension these days, do you? I tell that the world is more complex than the binary choices of Antifa or White Nationalism, Fascism or Socialism, and all that you get out of that is that I’m calling you a White Nationalist and a Fascist. 😏

            I’m a little bored with batting off grievances about natural rights and socialism from people who have been given so many advantages by the government. Your pony always comes back to the same one trick, or more appropriately, the same “one kick”.

            It’s been fun. Thanks for letting me participate. Before I leave, I’ve got a book for you that you will just love: “The Conservative Sensibility” by George Will. Will is an atheist, never Trumper, ex-Republican, but in this book he ideologically plays all of your greatest hits. You, and perhaps Liz and Doug, will love it, although perhaps for different reasons. Your welcome.

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          8. @tsalmon

            Instead of how to fix issues, you talk about what a lying news media says about a president they don’t like. If I point out the obvious, the alternative was someone far more crooked, you get on your high horse and babble nonsense you got from a “Washington Post” or “New York Times” “Conservative.”

            I read George Will for years. I read the “Washington Post” for years. The problem you are confronting is not what I don’t know; it is with what I do know.

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        2. @tsalmon

          I don’t have time to look into every lie the news media creates about Trump. Why don’t you take the time to find out what he said IN CONTEXT?

          I have done some homework. I don’t take the news media’s much vaunted objectivity seriously anymore. They misrepresent their opponents. So how do I judge Trump’s performance? I just look at the job he is actually doing and disregard the news media’s lies and opinions about the job he is doing.

          Why don’t you let me decide what I want instead of making it up yourself? Have you ever thought that that might be the heart of the problem?

          Just because you tell me the moon is not made of green cheese does not mean you don’t believe the moon is made of green cheese. If you are launching a lunar expedition to the moon so you can corner the market on green cheese, am I suppose to judge your intent by your words or your deeds?

          You have had more than an ample opportunity to explain yourself. Look at you have said. It is not explanation of what you want. It never is. It is just a criticism of any position other than your own, whatever it is. All you do criticize any effort to control immigration. So I think you believe the moon is made of green cheese.

          Here is another way to put it.
          Duck (Open Borders) Test
          If it looks like a duck (lots of illegal aliens crossing the borders), swims like a duck (opens the borders), and quacks like a duck (sounds like open borders), then it probably is a duck (open borders).

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          1. Is not the greater question, Tom, why do we have a President that requires so much “context” that needs explaining? And please.. not another round of “Ok, so he lies constantly, but look at all the good he’s done!” nonsense.

            I’m reminded of Wren’s oft used quote in the negative and the positive that I believe is on his headstone.. Trump’s “accomplishments”…. “If you seek his monument, look around you.”

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          2. I watched the whole thing. I watched our President, a public servant, shill his own for private for-profit business on the international stage on our dime when he should have been working for us. I read the white house announcement that the next G7 will conveniently be held at a Trump property that has been failing since he started running for office and that he has incurred enormous debts to buy and renovate. In what context is this not the definition of unethical? Are you going to believe the spin of the Alt Right News Media, or are you going to believe your own lying eyes? If Trump does ten things that are right in your mind, does that somehow excuse something this blatantly wrong?

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          3. Tom,

            Let’s say that Trump offers up his resort without making a profit or even at a bit of a loss. He still gets the most amazing free advertisement on the planet,, advertisement that any other resort literally cannot buy.

            Aside from that, I thought Republicans were supposed to believe in free markets where government does not put its thumb on the market scale. For every other one of the 100 or so resorts that could have bid for this summit (and that might even have been better suited), Trump just used our government to literally stand on the scale and unethically and undeservedly win market share.

            Would it be fair that Trump’s resort couldn’t bid for the G7? That’s why politicians divest themselves of the running of their private businesses and put them into blind trusts. There is nothing blind about Trump just self-servingly deciding that his business win.

            Finally, imagine if a Democratic President did the same kind of unethical self dealing and blatant mixing of his government/private interests? You’d could hear the howling all the way to outer space, wouldn’t you?

            Why is the obviousness of this corruption even a question? I that you believed that truth is truth. Apparently, for Trumpublicsns, it gets more relative every day.

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          4. Why don’t you wait and see what happens? Trump is a builder. He is proud of being a builder. He says what he thinks. Sometimes he speaks before he thinks. That’s not a crime or we would all be in jail.

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          5. Ok granted, the leader of the Free World and the man in charge of our military, including the nuclear arsenal, is impulsive and says stupid things without counsel or consideration.

            However; Trump has already made this decision in his official capacity as President, both in public and by official White House announcement. How long do you think we should wait into the planning of an event that takes a year to plan before we decide he means it? If his supporters don’t immediately push back on his natural tendencies toward characterless, self dealing corruption, then why should he change his own mind? Does this only become wrong and a bad leadership example set by the POTUS if he is forced to change his natural self dealing impulses? In short, Tom, do you believe this is blatantly unethical or not?

            I’ll grant that the media can overdo the outrage machine about Trump sometimes. I even sympathize with the problem of a businessman like Trump, who depends on name branding, to completely separate himself from conflicts of interest, even with a blind trust. But this is not the case here. Of all the outrageous and questionable things that Trump has done, this one to me that is most incontrovertibly impeachable. It’s indefensible to anybody with moral integrity, and we would expect any other government employee who even proposed something like this to be fired.

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          6. @tsalmon

            If this is the “best” you can come up with against Trump, I a yawn is in order.

            Trump is doing this right out in the open. Given 90 percent of the news media would like to lynch him,….well, the contrast with the previous occupant of the White House…..

            Take your own words and change the names from Trump to Obama and Tom to Tony. Then try to digest them.

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          7. I see…your moral ethics are biblical so much as comparative: I’m not sinning as long as I believe someone else somewhere is sinning more. Got it.

            “If this is the ‘best’ you can come up with against Trump, I a yawn is in order.”

            Well. I don’t know about “best”, but I notice that you are not actually disputing it. Simple question – do you think it’s wrong? If so, how wrong? Ethical? Criminal? Impeachable? If not, how is it justified?

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          8. You get your hard hitting news from “Fox and Friends”? Seriously?

            Whether Trump makes money or not has little relevance. Trump is using the power of his office to promote his private enterprise, and eliminating possibly better suited properties from making money and getting international exposer. What about all stuff you say about limiting the power of government over the markets? I guess as long as it is a Republican Executive being an oligarch, then that’s different?

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          9. @tsalmon

            There is nothing Trump could do that would please you. So I just don’t care if he doesn’t. Not a problem I can solve.

            I write any post, and you will find some excuse to attack Trump. Anything to avoid discussing the actual issue. Attack somebody. Me. Trump. The Founders. …Anybody on the other side. Dead or alive.

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          10. Only speaking for myself, but suspecting others may also find some agreement, discussing Trump is in fact the entire issue, Tom. I mean, I certainly can’t (won’t)speak toward your religious discourse, but politically Trump is a controversial President not so much for his policies (misguided as they are) but the man himself represents NO presidential persona most of the country doesn’t want and is appalling in every sense of the word and that’s understood world-wide. We can do a back-and-forth on immigration, trade wars, tax relief, border walls, rescinding EPA standards, handling/not handling North Korea, handling/not handling Russian election cyber-meddling, yada, yada… but the entire point IS Trump in all aspects. The turmoil and the chaos IS Trump.
            It still boils down to the fact.. and this is indeed the true facts of facts… that to his supporters whatever he does to the country, the mood he inspires with his off racial/not racial Tweets, the total abrasiveness he displays to foreign leaders, especially our allies… not to mention all his biased morality…all that is worth it, as long as he keeps those precious go-nowhere campaign promises, which he has not done yet.

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          11. @Doug

            Your side lost the election. So Trump is the issue BECAUSE he is undoing the policies of his predecessor.

            According to the Democrat South, Abraham Lincoln was the issue. So the South decided to leave the Union. Instead of leaving the Union, modern Democrats have tried to overturn the election.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. Tom,

            Have you ever noticed that when you are caught in an ideological inconsistency for which you have no answer, you just deflect. It’s really quite an endearing tell. 😊

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          13. @tsalmon

            This post was not about Trump, the G7, or the Constitution’s emoluments clause. I didn’t bring any of this up. All I did is reluctantly respond to your latest diatribe against Trump.

            As usual, you are making a big stink over nothing. All you have is an incomplete proposal, but off with his head? And I am a terrible hypocrite if I don’t approve?

            I think you ought to try harder to stick to the subject.

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          14. SalmonFinally, imagine if a Democratic President did the same kind of unethical self dealing and blatant mixing of his government/private interests?

            Gosh, you’re so right.
            Instead of inviting anyone to his resort (surely a free advertisement for…er, anyone in the world who has money and also doesn’t know Trump has a resort)
            he should’ve invited them all to stay in the Lincoln bedroom of the Whitehouse for a fee, as his predecessors did.

            Liked by 1 person

          15. The “Lincoln Bedroom” stay-for-money was for campaign donations.. not to line someone’s personal pockets. A big difference than personal enrichment like Trump. Also.. visits to the White House and photo ops are long well-known to have been granted to those substantial campaign contributors with most administrations, regardless of party. You may not be aware, the Obama administration stopped all the “Lincoln Bedroom” nonsense, by Michelle. Can’t blame Obama for this one… or Hillary’s 30,000 emails.

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          16. Bush did the same thing as Presidents before him.. all parties. Obama stopped it to avoid the controversy. What doesn’t make sense here for you?

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          17. NO presidential persona most of the country doesn’t want and is appalling in every sense of the word and that’s understood world-wide

            Indeed Doug. Trump’s poll numbers are so low these days it reminds me of the time he got elected president.

            Liked by 1 person

          18. While you are there in your pre-election gloat-posture postulating history repeating itself… yep.. anything can happen. But seems some of the states might be changing their selections of delegates process.
            Give this a read…

            https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/29/opinions/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-has-a-point-about-the-electoral-college-alexander/index.html

            There’s also another thing to keep in mind. You may love him for his alleged accomplishments… but he is going to get far, far worse before we get to the election.. and the country is going to suffer for it.

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          19. @Doug

            The ever creditable CNN and AOC?

            When we call the presidents we don’t like misfire presidents, that indicates objectivity, right?

            Trump is president because he campaigned nationally and put his heart into it. H. Clinton earned the vote of the news media. 90 percent of the news media voted for her. That was not enough. So, you are going to go cry a lake and have hissy fits?

            Look at what you are upset about. It is style, nothing substantial.

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          20. Popular vote beat Trump’s electoral win.. while it doesn’t count Constitutionally it surely does by the numbers for the next election. Only happened a few times.. yep.. electoral misfire.win.

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          21. Liz,

            Glad you joined in.

            Actually, there have been many cases in modern history where Presidents have invited world leaders to their private estate, but requiring world learners to pay a president’s for-profit business is unprecedented. Why? At least in modern history, we’ve never had a president as openly and privately corrupt as Trump.

            This is not an issue of whether the president is not constitutionally empowered to conduct foreign policy, so there is no disagreement there. The issue here is how the government should ethically contract out a legitimate governmentally controlled good or service to private enterprise.

            Even when no one questions the constitutional legitimacy of government control, for various reasons of expertise and efficiency, government often subcontracts the actual operation to private businesses. Examples include bidding out road construction contracts or contracts to make military equipment.

            Market rules don’t really apply in these cases. An actual market requires numerous willing buyers and more than one seller. In these cases, there is only one buyer (the government) and one seller (the seller that the government ultimately chooses). Whenever the government does this, it is in economic terms, essentially granting a monopoly. Because the granting of a monopoly, normal market forces are not able to automatically the direct scarce resources to their highest and best use (Adam Smith’s famous “unseen hand”). Instead of numerous sellers competing for many buyers by providing the best value at the lowest price, we have only one buyer who gets to choose the one seller. Because normal market rules do not apply, new ethical rules have been developed for bidding out goods and services, and those rules imperfectly try to artificially simulate the efficiency and integrity of the more natural market forces. Those rules generally include:

            1. Outsourcing necessity. The threshold question is whether the government should contract the good or service out at all. For example, should the government provide its own soldiers or contract war fighting out to mercenaries? For reasons of morality and incentive, most of us prefer the former, although I’m not saying that there could never be exceptions. We contract out prisons now, and I’m sure there are reasonable arguments on both sides of the issue.

            2. Defining the need. Government must define the good or service in a way that would allow the most sellers to compete. It is generally unethical and illegal for a government procurer to deliberately and arbitrarily define a good or service so that only one preferred seller could possibly provide it. (This is especially true when the procurer has a self interest in narrowing the defined service).

            3. Transparency. If the process is going to be credible, then it it must be as transparent as possible to all the sellers and, at least after the fact, to the public in general and internal auditors.

            4. Self dealing. If the government procurer has an interest in one of the buyers then he has a number of options: (a) in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, he can take his company out of the bidding, (b) before the fact, give up all interest in the private company; (c) turn the interest over to a truly blind trust; and/or (d) turn over all procuring responsibilities to a truly independent person or body.

            The list of rules above is very far from all inclusive. Agency have large rule books and auditors for procurement. However, Trump is openly violating all of them:

            1. This conference can and has been held at Camp David. It may not be as luxurious, but why should providing unnecessary luxury to government official be in the defined requirements anyway?

            2. It sounds very much like Trump is defining the government need (luxury?) so that only his estate meets it, even though the major actual need is security, a need the where Trump’s resort is terribly deficient.

            3. We know almost nothing about the bidding process or if it will be subject to an independent internal audit before it is too late.

            4. This whole procurement is the definition of self dealing on every level. If anyone but the president did this, he would go to jail.

            I agree with Doug, we never really get to ideology because Trump’s lack of integrity trumps every other issue.

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          22. @tsalmon

            I think Trump has lawyers. At least, it seems likely. Would you like to debate issues or engage anti-Trump speculation? Dumb question, I suppose. Oh, well! At least it is not about Russian collusion, Trump’s womanizing, Republican/Tea/Trump Party racism, throwing granny off a cliff, warmongering, ….. Yeah, you guy offer lots of variety in your smears.

            Like

          23. The “Lincoln Bedroom” stay-for-money was for campaign donations.. not to line someone’s personal pockets.

            That’s actually worse, Doug.
            You’ve just made the case for Chinese collusion in the election process.

            Liked by 1 person

          24. TSalmon,
            I might respond more later, but to put it succinctly:
            I think Trump might be the first person in many decades who will actually lose money as a result of being president.
            That kind of sums it up.
            What’s more: I think most liberals know it.

            Liked by 1 person

          25. Liz,

            There is some truth to that. Like I wrote earlier, I have some empathy for the fact that Trump’s whole business model is branding his name, and there is an inherent difficulty in separating himself from his business. Three things:

            1. The presidency is not a right, it is a voluntary privilege. Trump did not have to run for president and he can resign at any time he wants.
            2. Even if he losing money (mainly because of his own unpopular words and decisions), where in the capitalist conservative Republican rulebook does it say that he is entitled to be made whole by stealing potential market share from other rival resorts or from the American people?
            3. It’s either ethical or it’s not for every other servant of the people. Why should Trump have is own rules? Why should he be above the law?

            I’ll look forward to you usual thoughtful illumination on this.

            Like

          26. “Gosh, you’re so right.
            Instead of inviting anyone to his resort (surely a free advertisement for…er, anyone in the world who has money and also doesn’t know Trump has a resort)
            he should’ve invited them all to stay in the Lincoln bedroom of the Whitehouse for a fee, as his predecessors did.”

            I think that was wrong and thought so at the time some 20 years ago. George W. Bush did something similar with the Texas governor’s mansion. The Obama’s, recognizing the potential for scandal, shied away from even their regular guests and friends staying there. However, if you’re going to hunt down and not vote for politicians in power who are willing to use the status and perks of incumbency to get re-elected, then you really will be nonpartisan because you will be condemn most of the members of both political parties. Good for you. Go for it.

            As far as ethical wrongs go, however, this is not even on the same level with what Trump is doing in real time right out in the open here. Trump is violating the actual rules of ethics and laws for government employees right now, not just what normatively should be in place if politicians were to stop acting like politicians.

            Ultimately, however, your argument boils down to the fallacy that if you can find a Democrat anywhere at any time doing something wrong, then it magically makes Trump’s wrongs right.

            BTW, thanks. I like being “so right” for once. If you ask my wife, that doesn’t happen much in the last 40 years. Like you and Tom, she keeps me humble. 😉

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          27. @tsalmon

            You are about as right as a weather forecaster. Dorian is going somewhere so long as it doesn’t stand still.

            Anyway, I am certain you can do what all weathermen and news reporters do. When your forecast is wrong, you can update it and pretend you deserve a prize.

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          28. “This post was not about Trump, the G7, or the Constitution’s emoluments clause. I didn’t bring any of this up. All I did is reluctantly respond to your latest diatribe against Trump.
            As usual, you are making a big stink over nothing. All you have is an incomplete proposal, but off with his head? And I am a terrible hypocrite if I don’t approve?
            I think you ought to try harder to stick to the subject.”

            Tom,

            I thought your post essentially is a catalogue of dualistic tribal and partisanship grievances that divides the good us and the evil “they”.

            If the actual moral leader the “us” side isn’t very moral or even law abiding, then it blows your whole good versus evil conspiracy theory out of the water, doesn’t it? It shows that you actually do not have a consistent standard of ethics for judging such things, and that, lacking such ideological consistency, your premise for the dichotomy is less about absolute moral divides and instead based on pure partisan tribal hatred.

            You’re going to take offense at this because, while you have no problem gloating over the ideological inconsistencies of the other tribe (and there are many because the Dems often practice the same dualistic tribal thinking), you feel (sometimes personally) aggrieved if your tribe’s inconsistencies are pointed out.

            I’m not trying to be cruel to your team. I’m just trying to point out the rational and spiritual fallacies in this whole way of thinking, no matter which side is doing it. I just happen to be on your blog at your patience and discretion, but if I were on a Democrat’s blog who was using the same black and white, us/they tribal distortions, then I would also be critical.

            Have you ever thought about why God allows good and evil in the world? Despite the very true (at many different levels besides the literal) metaphors about the Devil, evil, like good, only exists in the human heart, and both exist simultaneously in every human heart, with only one exception that we both agree on. Evil and good do not actually exist in nature separate from human beings. If a tiger kills you and eats you, it’s unfortunate, but the tiger is not evil – he’s just following his nature. On the other hand, if your neighbor kills you and eats you, he intensionally has given in to the evil side of his nature and intentionally eschewed what he knows to be good. Our good humanity does not actually exist without our evil humanity because otherwise, like the tiger, we would have no actual choice.

            Furthermore, because we are both good and evil and because the world is imperfect, perfect choices rarely exist. More often, especially with the most intractable dilemmas, we are choosing between conflicting goods and conflicting evils where there may not be even a more right and more wrong answer. More often we make mistakes, we gain experience, and if we are wise, we begin to look at the problem more holistically, realizing that the meaning of life isn’t to find the perfectly good and avoid the perfectly evil solution, but instead, with the grace of God, to find holiness in the eternal pursuit itself, for the sake of love. The beauty, the grandeur, the lovely tragedy, the gratitude and the wisdom is to accept and work with God’s love within the eternal tension that appears to be God’s curse and is actually God’s blessing, it is the blessing of the tragedy of both impulses in our hearts and on every human heart.

            You like to say that wisdom is learning the ability to discern between good and evil, and I think that this is true, but it is not all the truth and it is not even close to the largest truth. The larger truth, the actual wisdom is in finding and accepting and loving each other because we recognize the beauty of “they” is the same as the beauty of us. We are all actors in the same tragic play where the villain and the hero, like children of the same parent, are equally loved in God’s eyes. Real wisdom when we are wise enough to see wisdom in the truly wise, is in their ability to rise above the battle going on on the stage and love the beauty of all of it. This wisdom is not isolation, but instead a wider more mature gaze that still seeks holiness and grace in active love, especially for the rest of us even (and maybe even especially) when we act like squabbling children.

            This is hard to explain and you will only get it when you want to. I only get it when I want to, and being a human sinner, I often don’t want to too, but I know it’s true.

            Think about it. All the wisest people I have known and have read about may be firmly institutional, but they just aren’t tribal. They try to unite people in love and dignity rather than to divide us into us against they. What made the Jesus of the Gospel wise? Even his paradoxical metaphors that at a lower level might look like division were ultimately meant to unite people under the common flag of love.

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          29. “@tsalmon
            And your position on immigration Trump is crooked.”

            In a way, yes. In so far as false divides between the evil “they” and and the good “us” so that we can justify cruelty to the they, who would be treated more cruelly by Jesus if this were His standard of wisdom? A Honduran mother and her child escaping violence and poverty, or a man who uses his office to steal? I want you to consider that your whole division into us and they is flawed.

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          30. @tsalmon

            Your damnable Socialism and anything that looks like open borders cannot coexist. You have not got a solution, and you have not proposed one. You have just ignore the obvious problem and called those opposed unloving. Not a solution.

            Whining and complaining is not the same thing as proposing a better alternative. At best it is chicken.

            Consider what your complaints suggest (since you won’t come out and say it).
            Open borders would either cause our welfare state to collapse or our economy to fold under the tax burden. Either result would produce social havoc. This is a predictable a math problem. It is not mean or bigoted point this out. It is just saying money does not grow on trees. So how are you going to pay the bill?

            Open borders would also create obvious cultural problems. Hordes of poor, uneducated people unable to speak English would be extremely disruptive. No one gains if we put this burden on our country.

            If you want to help Honduran mothers and their children, it would cause EVERYONE much less trouble if you do help them in their homeland, Honduras, not here.

            The vast majority of Honduran mothers come here seeking a better economy, not asylum, and you know It. So you are just complaining the world is not perfect, and we cannot easily solve some very difficult problems in other countries. Well, it is not perfect here either. So there is no point in bringing everyone here, not when it would make the overall situation even worse.

            For the most part all we can do is set the best example we can. We can show others how we solve OUR problems peacefully. They can then copy us.

            We can also support private charities and missionary groups. We can pray, but it takes God to change hearts. Opening our borders will not change any hearts. It will just create a confused mess, a playground for the unscrupulous.

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          31. “Anyway, I am certain you can do what all weathermen and news reporters do. When your forecast is wrong, you can update it and pretend you deserve a prize.”

            Ha! Kate says much the same to keep me from being too full of myself. Thanks for trying to do the same. This humility is the reason we all should be re-evaluating and changing our forecasts. As soon as we think we are too wise for that kind of humility, we probably are not.

            Liked by 1 person

          32. Tom,

            You pretend to have a grand solution to the most intractable problems that have faced humanity sinse the garden: war, poverty, pestilence, famine, human vice? All these are issues are what’s driving this humanitarian crisis here and around the world. I make no pretense for a utopian scheme, but I do say that, as a Christian, a strategy based on hatred and bigotry and cruelty to the least of these does not seem to reflect what Jesus said in the Beatitudes or in His whole Gospel message.

            If we don’t want to be Antifa then we have more choices than than that of joining White Nationalism. There is no wisdom in placing every issue in such stark dualism.

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          33. @tsalmon

            There is nothing Christian about taking people’s property away from them and “giving” it away. Socialism only happens and works in theory.

            Look at what welfare has done for blacks. Before the 60’s blacks had strong families. Now they don’t. The best thing for a child is a two-parent household. Unfortunately, most black children are born out of wedlock, and welfare helped create that problem.

            I don’t claim to have a solution for poverty. Where did I offer to solve any problems with other people’s money? Does the military and Trump’s wall solve problems? No. Security programs just prevent others from making their problems our problems.

            I said you don’t have any solutions and that you ought to stop calling people names. Just because someone doesn’t want their country flooded with poor foreigners and to be taxed out the gazoo to pay for a schemes you can’t even explain is not good enough reason to call anyone a bigot. In fact, your name calling looks a lot like tribalism.

            You don’t like Antifa? Then don’t beat up your opponents. Argue your cause.

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          34. Saying that hatred and bigotry is not Christlike is not calling someone a name. It’s just stating a truth we both should agree on.

            If I don’t believe my government should treat our desperate neighbors cruelly then I’m a Socialist? If I don’t think we should separate refugee families and place men, women and children in crowded, unsanitary cells for weeks or months in end, then I’m a multiculturalist? And now, if I see us all as belonging the same humanity of sinners and saints and everything in between, then I a tribalist? You reduce the world into endless dichotomies and have a pet name for everyone who disagrees with you.

            Why don’t we make it even more simple and say that we are both just trying to be Christians? We are both trying to have a direct relationship with Jesus. What does supporting a policy of national cruelty have to do with this aspiration?

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          35. @tsalmon

            If we don’t want to be Antifa then we have more choices than than that of joining White Nationalism. There is no wisdom in placing every issue in such stark dualism.

            So you say I advocate white nationalism, I am unChristian, and the guy I voted for is some kind of monster, but you are not name calling? I guess you are just being nuanced?

            The border is a mess because some Americans who should know better have made it extremely difficult to implement a sound policy. The primary reason for this mess is Socialism. Instead of focusing on the primary job of government, securing our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, our people are now more interested in voting themselves “rights”. What does voting ourselves “rights” consist of? Raiding the public treasury, among other things.

            We have all people in jail at the boxer because we are weakly enforcing the law, That weak enforcement needs to stop.

            Like

          36. Hm…well, wow this thread has moved on a lot since yesterday. Holiday weekend is busy and I haven’t read everything. I’m always confused with the posting when it gets this long. Hope I get this right.
            I’ll just copy and paste from some of your responses, TSalmon (and then read the rest of the posts later):

            1. The presidency is not a right, it is a voluntary privilege. Trump did not have to run for president and he can resign at any time he wants.
            We’ll probably differ on the consequences of Trump resigning.
            I don’t think this would be a good thing for America. A friend of ours recently visited. He just finished a wing command gig and is now working for a four star who will likely be a chief of staff in his next job….point being, he’s in a position to have some idea of the president’s performance. Also, we knew him when Trump was elected and he was not a fan then. We mentioned Trump, and he said, “All I know is, I don’t always like what he says but he’s a guy who can get stuff done”.

            2. Even if he losing money (mainly because of his own unpopular words and decisions), where in the capitalist conservative Republican rulebook does it say that he is entitled to be made whole by stealing potential market share from other rival resorts or from the American people?

            Not long ago, the G8 venue was the Denver Public Library. More recently (as you mentioned) the venue was Camp David.

            G8/G7 summits around the world take place in resort locations regularly. Our president (before he was president) traveled in a gold-plated jet. Ambiance and so forth, though not critical are a reflection on the host country. I see no problem with Trump opening up his home to dignitaries.

            You mentioned government contracts.
            Not all piles of government money are treated equally and I don’t know what rules apply to this particular funding. I would guess a G7 summit meeting is more similar to the type of mandatory entertaining I did when my spouse was a commander. Those were called ORF (Official representation funds).
            Of course it was a much smaller scale, but bidding was not required. What was required was that we did not use the money for personal benefit. So, for example, I could not employ and pay our children to serve food…and so forth. What was no covered in the budget came out of our pockets (usually about 50 percent).
            This sounds about like what Trump has in mind….but again I don’t know, it depends on the rules for that particular money pile.
            One thing I do know is he has a lot of lawyers working for him who are smart on those details and they will relay them. Another thing I can say with a great deal of certainty is that Trump is highly unlikely to violate the law just to have the summit at his place. If he can he will, and if there is no way to do so legally, he won’t. Unless a person has worked in politics and government most civilians are not aware of the difficulties and bureaucracy involved, and Trump has always been a civilian (which is a positive, not a negative, in my estimation).

            Now for this bit:
            Ultimately, however, your argument boils down to the fallacy that if you can find a Democrat anywhere at any time doing something wrong, then it magically makes Trump’s wrongs right.

            Statement that I was responding to:
            “imagine if a Democratic President did the same kind of unethical self dealing and blatant mixing of his government/private interests?”

            The best way to avoid a “comparison” response would be to not bring it up in the first place. If you truly do want comparisons I could go on a long, long while with very concrete examples. If you don’t want said examples, stop asserting that your team doesn’t stink by comparison.

            Hope you all are having a good Labor day weekend!
            -Liz out

            Liked by 1 person

          37. Never in my entire life have I ever literally worshiped any president (not even Tricky Dick, and he was my Commander-In-Chief and gave me an 80% raise) as much as Trump supporters. It’s more a phenomenon to me than anything else. Interesting how they all claim to be Trump Whisperers.

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          38. @Doug

            There is at least a minor difference between defending the guy we voted for from slander and libel and worshipping him.

            Have you heard about the cop killings and the attacks on ICE officers and facilities? Have you wondered why it might not be safe to wear a MAGA hat? You won’t hear much. Does not fit the Liberal Democrat news narrative. It is okay to encourage violence and injustice against some people. After all, don’t Conservative Christians claim we should strive for a higher standard? So Liberal Democrats are happy to hold us to that standard. Why bother with equal justice when you have an excuse like that?

            Liberal Democrats, on the hand, just want to be nice to everybody with other people’s money, the money of the “rich”, of course. And doesn’t such a “noble” end justify the means?

            Am I oversimplifying? Not by much. Look at the Federal Budget. Look at the Constitution. The Constitution justifies a central government, but not all that spending.

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          39. “Have you wondered why it might not be safe to wear a MAGA hat?”

            I already know why it not be safe to wear a MAGA hat. It’s the exact same reason one avoided putting election stickers on your car bumper back in the 60’s… damage to your car or yourself by those offended by such displays. Duh.
            Here’s the sad part about displays of political symbols…. the Conservative Right has made displaying the flag as a political symbol. Mostly the Second Amendment “defenders” obsessives who somehow equate gun ownership to their version of “patriotism”. We have the occasional pickup truck driving around town with an oversized American flag on the bumper…. and you know damn well it’s not an “average” guy just flying the flag but some Right winger drawing attention to himself and daring anyone to challenge him. These kinds of clowns have not only politicized the display of the flag but have attempted to weaponize the memories of those who fought and died for that flag for some personal ideology.
            You go walk from one end of your community to the other wearing that MAGA hat, Tom… go ahead and exercise your freedom of speech. Just because one has the freedom to speak, does NOT mean you are absolved from taking responsibility for your “freedom” as it relates to your personal safety or the safety of those around you. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. JUst if you decide to wear the hat.. please don’t carry the American flag as your political tool.

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          40. @Doug

            You don’t think the poor dears offended by my MAGA are responsible for their behavior? Conservatives hold everyone responsible for their choices. If you want to put a Democrat sticker on your car or wear a vagina hat, I don’t care. That choice is not one you will ultimately have to explain to me. If is not my job to hold you accountable for every choice you make. We just punish people for illegal acts.

            I didn’t mention the flag, and I puzzled that you brought it up. Should we be offended when someone displays the flag respectfully? Of course not!

            What is a respectful display? The flag represents the unity of our nation. The flag belongs to all Americans, not just one group. We associate the flag with our military forces because our soldiers risk their lives for our nation, not a political party. Therefore, I don’t know what is wrong with some guy put a flag decal on his bumper. He is proud to be an American? That’s dreadful?

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          41. Actually it wasn’t a flag bumper sticker I was referring to, but a huge flag affixed from the back bumper displayed on some random day. I saw another one similarly displayed on a pickup out on the interstate recently going about 70mph. Yep.. could have been nothing more than good old wholesome and patriotic Americans without a political bias in the world. The point is that the Conservative right does tend to use the flag and other American symbols for political expression… typically some level of nationalism. Same kind of thing when Trump hugs the flag… or right wing demonstrators dress in flag clothing or wrap themselves up in the real flag as if it were some moral shield to protect them. Sorry, Tom.. it’s the Conservative right that thinks the flag is all about them… and THAT disgusts me.

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          42. @Doug

            The average Conservative thinks it is the flag that disgusts you. Why? The flag is a symbol of our nation. To most it represents what America has traditionally stood for. When generations have been taught that America is evil by those who run our schools and the mainstream news media, it is not surprising that many hate the flag.

            Think about Obama’s promise. He was going to fundamentally transform America. Think about Trump’s promise. He promised to make America great again. Then consider that you brought up the flag and what you have said.

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          43. @Liz

            Well, done!

            @tsalmon

            I don’t spend a bunch of time attacking Democrats. You and Doug just blow it off. Yet nothing Trump has done comes close. You really need to broaden your news horizon. CNN, MSNBC, and the like don’t report everything you need to know. It is patently obvious the Obama administration was anything, but scandal free. The Clintons belong in jail, not mansions.

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          44. This thread has gotten so long a found the wrong end, and out this in the wrong place above. Sorry about the duplication:

            Doug has a point. How else is it explainable that Trump acolytes just don’t care about the lying and corruption?

            Tom,
            You don’t really read much for comprehension these days, do you? I tell that the world is more complex than the binary choices of Antifa or White Nationalism, Fascism or Socialism, and all that you get out of that is that I’m calling you a White Nationalist and a Fascist. 😏

            I’m a little bored with batting off grievances about natural rights and socialism from people who have been given so many advantages by the government. Your pony always comes back to the same one trick, or more appropriately, the same “one kick”.
            It’s been fun. Thanks for letting me participate. Before I leave, I’ve got a book for you that you will just love: “The Conservative Sensibility” by George Will. Will is an atheist, never Trumper, ex-Republican, but in this book he ideologically plays all of your greatest hits. You, and perhaps Liz and Doug, will love it, although perhaps for different reasons. Your welcome.

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          45. @tsalmon

            I will try to publish the next part of this series soon. As Liz said, enjoy the holiday.

            An Atheist Conservative? Well I know of a few, but they are rare. Will is conservative, but wise?

            Like

          46. Like you, Will predicates the conservative movement as a uniquely American phenomenon that is based on Locke’s “Natural Rights” ideology that the Founders incorporated into Declaration and then the Constitution. Sound familiar? Will believed that the Founders formulated this Enlightenment strategy for limited government mostly on pure reason rather than on religion – he considers the Founders’ references to God to be a cultural habit, “a tic” of their times. By “natural”, Will says that the rights are part of our rational nature, and that references to God are unnecessary, and perhaps even detrimental to this Enlightenment Rationalism. This strange turn away from Jesus’ basic transrational mysticism to accommodate the worship of pure reason may be what makes rationalists like Will (and Jefferson) such strange bedfellows with their Christian counterparts. In spite of this (or perhaps because), I think you’ll agree with about 99 percent of Will’s fascinating portrayal of the history and philosophy of the American Conservatives movement.

            Is George Will wise? Well, he’s definitely super smart. I’m beginning to think that actual wise people are mostly ignored by all the rest of us, until we ourselves are wise enough to wake up and recognize that they were sitting amongst us all along.

            Anyway, I wasn’t meaning to start a new debate and lengthen this thread to the Sun and back. If the book interests you, then I would enjoy discussing it on another post if you want.

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          47. Agreed on the length of this thread.
            This is my last post on it.

            Doug: Never in my entire life have I ever literally worshiped any president as much as Trump supporters.(snip) Interesting how they all claim to be Trump Whisperers.

            TS: Doug has a point. How else is it explainable that Trump acolytes just don’t care about the lying and corruption?

            I think I’ve explained thoroughly enough that I don’t see the ostensible lies and corruption. These debates go kind of like this:

            Libs: “Trump is guilty of racism! He’s basically a Nazi!!!”
            Me: “Please show direct examples”
            Libs: “He just…he just IS!!! And…he’s also guilty of lies and corruption!!!”
            Me: “I don’t think so because (direct examples, investigation outcomes, et al)
            Libs: “He might not have exactly done that, but we all know what he meant and what he would like to do!!!!”
            Me: “Well, I’m just looking at results and what he has actually said, I can’t read his mind”
            Libs: “These Trump acolytes excuse everything!! They WORSHIP him and claim to read his mind!!!”

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          48. Sorry, lied above. One more.

            We went out for dinner last month and met with a business leader (and close friend) from the last community my spouse served in. At the end of the meal, he paid (we objected at first, but he raised his hand and said, “now that you’re a civilian, I can pay for your dinner”).
            Point being, people who work in and with government….politicians, military leaders, et al, automatically understand it’s not as simple as, “Hey come over to my place! My treat!” A person who has always worked only in the civilian in business world would likely have no idea. It’s the job of their lawyers to flesh these things out and advise them.
            The level of handwringing about this is event which hasn’t happened, won’t happen if the lawyers decide it is illegal, and Trump has thrown out in a very direct and transparent manner…is pretty over the top.
            Meanwhile….
            We have politicians coming into office so poor they donated their used underwear for the tax write-off and leaving with tens of millions or even hundreds of millions (depending on their length of tenor as a “civil servant”). This doesn’t seem to raise an eyebrow at all.

            Yet I’m the acolyte? Righto Doug. You sure can read my mind…and Trump’s, and everyone else’s.

            Liked by 1 person

          49. @Liz

            Ok, I lied too. Your insulting pantomime would be true if you had not been given and chose to ignore so many obvious examples given to you in excusiating detail. For example, for the Trump corruption that started this long exhaustive thread, you come up with every have excuse to minimize the obvious. Even your anecdotal businessman knew it was wrong to gift your husband when he was IN GOVERNMENT.

            You say that if it is corrupt then the lawyers will stop Trump. Why didn’t he talk to a lawyer first? How come the chief law enforcement officer is ignorant of laws and ethics that everyone else in government intuitively knows about? An old saw in the law that we tell our clients is that if it seems like it’s wrong, then it’s probably illegal too, so don’t do it. I’m a lawyer and I know this is wrong, but I knew it was wrong even when I was just a lowly ensign in the Navy.

            Ok, I’m done. Really.

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          50. Okay, one more.
            Yes, you really torqued me off, Doug…..
            The above example of the business person was a little incorrect…some business leaders don’t know the rules, even ones who deal with the military regularly.
            It becomes extremely socially awkward and there was a situation in South Korea where a business leader gave a general a briefcase as a farewell gift. The general didn’t think much of it, but there’s a cap on what one is allowed to accept. Obviously with the language and cultural barrier it would be rude to refuse, and also illegal to accept. But the general didn’t know how expensive the briefcase was, and accepted it. He was accused (and convicted if memory serves) for doing so.
            Can’t remember the charge but I’m sure TSalmon would as a lawyer with that background.
            Last assignment we actually wrote a check for the farewell community litho we received. Yes, it was awkward. After the speeches and obligatory photos my spouse walked over to the person in charge of buying the gift with me as a witness he wrote a check for 35 dollars (about half of the litho). Just to be sure.
            I cannot explain how difficult it is to be in a position where everyone is watching you and waiting to catch you doing something wrong at any time. And we were well loved (when my spouse retired, the parking lots to the ceremony were filled for blocks, and it was standing room only). I cannot imagine how hard this has been on Trump’s family.

            We actually have a president who is a very successful business man and not a career politician. He has a lot of experience in international relations as he has businesses around the globe. Yes, hyperbole is his brand and he did get elected on the promise to be frank and un-PC (which is refreshing to me after all the politicians weasel-speak). Moreover, he is getting results and is the first leader in decades to take on China in any real way. No politician from any other party would do this, and it’s important to our longterm security.

            But no, let’s all make this guy’s life a living hell. In fact, that’s not enough…anyone who doesn’t condemn him and actually likes him, let’s attack those people too! What we need is more career politicians who do nothing and get rich in underhanded more hidden ways.

            -Liz out

            Liked by 1 person

          51. You say that if it is corrupt then the lawyers will stop Trump. Why didn’t he talk to a lawyer first?

            Because that’s not the way he thinks.
            “I’m going to talk to the lawyers before I tweet anything” is something commanders, and politicians think about immediately. He isn’t a politician.

            Liked by 1 person

          52. Because that’s not the way he thinks.

            Before anyone accuses me of mind reading, this is how most normal people think. One has to be inundated and fully immersed in the political swamp, for quite a while, before one starts deflected to ask lawyers every time you make decisions or statements. This is why politicians typically read from boiler plate, many-times-prescreened teleprompter speeches. Even audience/journalist questions are typically pre-screened. Okay, done. Time to enjoy the great outdoors.

            Liked by 1 person

          53. Doug: Here ya go, Liz… feast away.
            I know it’s not the Ministry of Propaganda, FOX News…
            https://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/statements/byruling/false/

            Why would I bother? I’ve already deconstructed a bunch of politifact and your response was that you didn’t care. Now you’ve asserted I’m a worshipping blind acolyte. What would be the purpose of a response to you? So I both waste a lot of my time AND can get insulted again?

            Like

          54. Hmm… at least I never accused you of being a “blind sycophant”… and being a Trump “worshiping blind acolyte” is not quoting me accurately, but I will accept that.

            It is Labor Day and I get time-and-a-half for breathing.

            Like

          55. “Oh, you find my pantomime insulting TSalmon?
            I was just called a blind sycophant and you agreed. I feel a wee bit insulted too.”

            Liz,

            I don’t mind if you’re mad at me, but I wouldn’t want to leave this with you thinking I’m mad at you. You misunderstood if you think I felt insulted by your pantomime. Just the opposite. I thought it insulted you – it was beneath your rather obvious intelligence. For satire to work as a rhetorical debate device, it must have at least some element of truth. Break it down. Your imaginary skit between us and “they” lacked any truth:

            1. You say that no one will explain to you about Trump’s corruption. The truth is not a paucity of factual sources willing to explain Trump’s corruption, as I said “in excruciating detail”, but instead that you just don’t trust those sources.
            2. You balk at being called a “Trump whisperer”, but when presented with evidence of a crime if any other government person did it, you claim Trump telepathy by saying that, as a businessman, Trump just doesn’t think like that – he doesn’t think in normal terms of right and wrong like the mere mortals who cannot channel Trump?
            3. You say Trump is getting things done when you’ve been given ample evidence that, although he’s purposelessly undone some things, he’s actually done very little even with Republicans controlling all of government for most of his term. No Wall. He’s legitimatized the nuclear status quo and a little Stalin in N. Korea. NAFTA is just NAFTA with a new name. Without a unified front with our allies, the Chinese Communists can take more economic pain than an elected President. (He already knows he’s lost so he’s begging China to give him some small way to declare victory and slink away, but the they ain’t playing his bellow loudly and carry a small stick game with him). He hasn’t brought our troops home, and if he does, ISIS 2.0 will be ISIS 3.0, and he’s caught in the same trap he criticized Obama for. I could go on and on. The man is a wrecking ball. Successful businessman? Without Diddy’s billions and the Russians to bail him out, Trump couldn’t lead a Boy Scout troop to build a playground.

            An acolyte is someone who follows a leader based on personality and a cultish magical thinking to see perfection even in the face of obvious moral inconsistencies. Forgive me, but like I said, I can’t see any other explanation for good moral people like you and Tom clinging to this selfish, vice promoting moral disaster for the country and the world.

            Ok. Really really done. Last word all yours if you want it. If I hurt your feelings “a wee bit”, I owe you that.

            Like

          56. I completely agree with all Tony has said.. and the way he has said it. But here’s to the greater concern.. and perhaps Tony can provide some insight before he leaves the stage yet again…. how can obviously smart people be so completely sold a bill of goods like Trump? When I see the country in turmoil and then I hear Conservatives relishing in Trump’s “accomplishments?”.. it’s rather difficult to wonder why seemingly smart Conservatives want to see the country drawn down so badly domestically and around the world by literally a mad man who defames daily the office which he holds… and call what he does a wonderful accomplishment. I know Tony feels it as I do… there’s a sense of “real” patriotism that bubbles over inside us with all this watching the country go down like this. Knowing there are fellow Americans “out there” appreciating all this. You can take every single campaign promise Trump has made, every policy he’s wanted to promote, and package it all inside another person.. even Pence… and it would be 100% more effective without losing our national ethos. But the reality seems that it’s far more than just Trump’s policy promises… his supporters like his demeanor. He likes to fight.. get revenge… spout off and the hell with anyone or anything…. bullying to get his way… get our allies questioning our allegiance to treaties… embarrass world leaders… befriend our traditional “enemies”…. all because it looks like “America is not taking crap from anyone, anymore” nonsense. We are the most powerful country on the planet.. militarily and economically. Who has been giving us crap where we have lost that lead?

            Maybe Tony’s right… take some time away. We all respect each other very well on this blog… and no one’s mind is going to change. But the frustration is high all around. I honestly seldom feel like posting anything anymore simply because I am waiting out the clock until election day. But as I have presented the warning often enough… things are going to get far worse until election day given Trump’s increasing volatility under pressure and unseen events coming down the pike. There will be more mass shootings.. no question about that. Natural disasters will just enhance our problems. World affairs will get worse. Forget Obama.. Hillary’s 30,000 emails, conspiracy theories, Mueller’s report… the garbage that’s heading our way will make these things seem petty by comparison.

            We are all getting tired of Trump… whether we want to or not.

            Like

          57. @tsalmon

            tsalmon I have told you and Doug over and over again the alternative to Trump was a H. Clinton. I look at the Democrats running for president 2020, they are even more appalling. Yet you get up on your high horsy and condemn Liz and I for supporting Trump?

            Frankly, if what TDS does to you Liberal Democrats was not so pathetic I would be laughing my head off. Have you considered that you are so desperate to find fault that your latest crime is something that has not even happened yet? Apparently not. All that matters is how big a pile mud you can throw at the wall. So instead of laughing I just sigh. What passes for debate these days is pathetic. Yet I suppose when Lincoln debated Douglas it was not that much different. Lincoln made an argument. Douglas casted insults.

            Like

          58. I don’t mind if you’re mad at me, but I wouldn’t want to leave this with you thinking I’m mad at you. You misunderstood if you think I felt insulted by your pantomime. Just the opposite. I thought it insulted you – it was beneath your rather obvious intelligence. For satire to work as a rhetorical debate device, it must have at least some element of truth. Break it down. Your imaginary skit between us and “they” lacked any truth:

            I’ll answer this and then read the rest of your post.
            No one likes to have their time wasted.
            I actually took a good bit of time to try to respond to your questions/statements and explain why I think what I do. What I posted wasn’t all I wrote, I responded to other thoughts as well and then deleted because it was becoming too verbose. I wanted to just summarize the main points and offer my perspective.
            Doug responds with a dismissive and insulting:
            “Never in my entire life have I ever literally worshiped any president as much as Trump supporters.”
            In the next post, you agree.
            This tells me I wasted my time.
            Hence, my little “skit” to demonstrate how this comes across to me.
            Hey, if I’m going to waste my time and have everything I posted summarized in a “you’re a Trump worshiper!”
            Why should I bother to answer at all? Other than likewise one-line belittling dismissive statements like any troll board.

            Yes, I’m still annoyed. But getting over it.
            I’ll be back later to read the rest.
            It is a glorious day out there, I hope no one is in the hurricane’s path.

            Like

          59. Okay, I went for walk, then a run, then smoked some weed and I feel relaxed enough to post now.
            Just kidding. I didn’t really go for a run.
            (kidding, again…though I do live in Colorado)

            1. You say that no one will explain to you about Trump’s corruption. The truth is not a paucity of factual sources willing to explain Trump’s corruption, as I said “in excruciating detail”, but instead that you just don’t trust those sources.
            I truly don’t know what sources you are talking about. The dossier? Politifact?

            2. You balk at being called a “Trump whisperer”, but when presented with evidence of a crime if any other government person did it, you claim Trump telepathy by saying that, as a businessman, Trump just doesn’t think like that – he doesn’t think in normal terms of right and wrong like the mere mortals who cannot channel Trump?
            Are you speaking of the summit meeting here? It hasn’t happened. I can say (as I stated above) most normal people do not speech to lawyers before they make statements.
            I’ve mentioned this before, but I like this aspect of Trump. I like that he doesn’t have a scripted teleprompter for every single statement he makes. No…I don’t agree with all his statements (the one about the Baltimore mayor’s home robbery was in poor taste, as are many other tweets), but I like their organic nature. Outside the box thinking doesn’t come from a culture of compliance…it creates and environment where leaders are afraid to make decisions. Trump has thrown all that out, and shaken the box.
            Some people don’t like it. I wouldn’t like it if the results were poor but I’m liking the results (for the most part).

            3. You say Trump is getting things done when you’ve been given ample evidence that, although he’s purposelessly undone some things, he’s actually done very little even with Republicans controlling all of government for most of his term. No Wall.
            We’ve been posting here all during the time the legislation that didn’t pass money to make the wall. No money = no wall, then he deferred emergency funding and repairs on the existing portions were (and are being) made. And last I heard there is a bit of new wall up, though not much it’s started. If I were working on building a wall where portions were pre-existing, I’d start by fixing what needed fixing first. Presumably that is where it is needed most.

            He’s legitimatized the nuclear status quo and a little Stalin in N. Korea.
            We’ve given little Stalin nothing so far. And when’s the last time he conducted a nuclear test or launched missiles over Japan or threatened Guam? It’s really not the status quo, things are better than they have been in my memory (we lived there in the 90s)…but time will tell.

            NAFTA is just NAFTA with a new name. Without a unified front with our allies, the Chinese Communists can take more economic pain than an elected President. (He already knows he’s lost so he’s begging China to give him some small way to declare victory and slink away, but the they ain’t playing his bellow loudly and carry a small stick game with him).
            Again, time will tell. I am happy with what he is doing with China, and I do not agree with your assessment though you state it as though it is a foregone conclusion. Ever been to China?

            He hasn’t brought our troops home,

            Are you sure? Last I heard, he brought back a couple thousand from Syria earlier this year. He announced to the Pentagon that he wants 7000 of the 14000 in Afghanistan out. This doesn’t happen overnight…troop withdrawal can be expensive and there are a lot of factors involved. Isn’t it better they haven’t withdrawn all at once and everywhere?

            and if he does, ISIS 2.0 will be ISIS 3.0
            I don’t know what to say to this. Again, time will tell but I don’t believe so. That’s some crystal ball you have. I think ISIS 3 is far more likely if we stay than if we go.

            and he’s caught in the same trap he criticized Obama for.
            Magic 8 ball says: Doesn’t look likely. Looks more like Obama’s foreign policy team created instability in the ME which helped create ISIS.

            Anyway, hope you’re safe over there on the coast, Citizen Tom! (and anyone else over there)

            Grace and Peace
            -Liz out

            Liked by 1 person

          60. I already know why it not be safe to wear a MAGA hat. It’s the exact same reason one avoided putting election stickers on your car bumper back in the 60’s… damage to your car or yourself by those offended by such displays. Duh.

            Oh goody! Do I get to beat up someone for wearing a Che Guevara shirt? How about a “class war not race war” shirt? I find both very offensive.
            I can’t get over how much you worship Hillary. You wanted that insanely corrupt, proven criminal (Comey essentially said she was above the law) to get elected so badly now you’re justifying violence against anyone who didn’t vote for her.

            Liked by 1 person

          61. @Liz

            Accidentally trashed your comment. Then I had to restore it. Problem with using a laptop with touchpad just below the keyboard, I think. Don’t know what I did exactly. Sigh!

            Doug is not a fool, but he is angry. Should be transparent to him that the wearing of a MAGA hat does not excuse anyone who harms the wearer. Yet he wrote what he wrote, and writing gives us time to think.

            Like

          62. Oh c’mon, Liz. Don’t get me mixed up with some Hillary obsession. I voted for her to avoid getting Trump. Please get my “obsessions” correct.. it’s ALL about seeing Trump out of office.

            Also… when I say (in answer to Tom’s MAGA hat wearing question) that just because freedom of speech says you CAN wear it doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear it.. is not in the least condoning violence. It’s recognizing human nature. Here’s what you do to protect yourself if you need to wear your MAGA hat… carry the American flag. That’s your shield. You will less likely be assaulted for fear that you’d drop the flag and we can’t go having that happen in American. There’s also the bad image of being assaulted while carrying the flag… as if it were some assault on America itself. Oh.. wait.. the Right is already doing that!

            Like

          63. Live well away from the coast. By the time a storm gets here the main thing we have to worry about is flooding. Live on high ground.

            Oh good! Hope you stay safe and dry. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          64. @Liz

            Use to live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. tsalmon still does. Been through several hurricanes. Want no part of them.

            When I had to live in the Houston area (military assignment), the first thing I did before we bought a house was hunt for the highest ground in the area. After seeing what Hurricane Camille did in 1969, I learned a lesson. Don’t trifle with a hurricane.

            Like

          65. More on violence:
            (rhetorical) How about threatening school boys? Nurses? Ruining lives/careers?
            Insane levels of Clinton worship here.

            (okay Citizen Tom, I’ll stop)

            Liked by 1 person

          66. Doug is not a fool, but he is angry. Should be transparent to him that the wearing of a MAGA hat does not excuse anyone who harms the wearer. Yet he wrote what he wrote, and writing gives us time to think.

            It really illustrates what has happened to political discussion. We were asked not to bring up Hillary. Then when one sticks to the issues one becomes a de facto fawning worshiper (who I guess deserves a beat down if they display their support “worship” in public).
            Really, discussion seems pointless now. And very very frustrating.

            Liked by 1 person

          67. To your last sentence… now THAT we can agree on, Liz. But your guy is gonna shoot himself in the foot with all his mindless Tweets and bravado. Tick-tock.

            Like

          68. Also… when I say (in answer to Tom’s MAGA hat wearing question) that just because freedom of speech says you CAN wear it doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear it.. is not in the least condoning violence. It’s recognizing human nature.

            Ah, so it’s more like the psychology of a serial abuser.
            They’re like,
            “See what” (bam!) “Trump is” (bam!) “Making me” (bam!) “Do!!”
            And you’re like,
            “Well, I’m not condoning the violence, but they really should’ve shut up…”

            Here’s what you do to protect yourself if you need to wear your MAGA hat… carry the American flag. That’s your shield.

            Oh, REALLY?!?!
            https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/13/ice-immigration-aurora-protest-american-flag/

            Like

          69. We have been discussing how the wearing of the MAGA hat may require some thought rather than abandoning common sense to emotion to prove a point.. and that carrying the flag as a moral shield might keep one safe from violence, as the Right so often does. How does the subject of your link fit into any of this?

            Like

          70. @Doug

            That’s fairly obvious. Conservatives don’t have a problem with ICE. That’s strange fixation is the province of Liberal Democrats, and those people have little use for MAGA hats or the flag. Yet violent demonstrators had no respect for their cause or their safety.

            Thugs just want to hurt someone. Give them an excuse and some protection, and they will hurt someone. Their cause is pride and power; ideology is an excuse.

            Like

          71. The best protection is for more people to wear MAGA hats and even more to carry the flag. The people who attack honest citizens are gutless. That’s why they hide their identities.

            Like

          72. Doug, those people tearing down the flag were not conservatives.
            Obviously the flag is no protection from left wing thuggery.

            The people who attack honest citizens are gutless. That’s why they hide their identities.
            True. The article about the ICE protest/riot reminds us there are fine people on both sides of the issue. I’m sure they weren’t all vandalizing thugs, to include the person who organized the thing…it was a very bad day for her, from the sound of things, and I genuinely feel for her.

            Liked by 1 person

          73. Again.. I have no idea what your point is regarding this flag/ICE thing as it relates to my point that those on the Right who want to illustrate their political position in public use the flag as a political symbol and as a moral shield to protect themselves.

            Like

          74. @Doug

            I think you are 80 years in the past. We have had flag burners for decades. The flag does not shield anyone. It just does what flags have always done, indicate which side you belong to.

            Like

          75. @Doug

            Well, it is a cinch we are not going to catch you waving the flag at a public demonstration.

            When we have a 4th of July parade, that is a public demonstration and people wave flags.

            Both of the major political parties use to happily wave the American flag at their rallies and conventions. In fact, Republicans were dismayed when Democrats had to be reminded to display the American flag at a presidential convention. We are supposed to engage in political activity because we want to strengthen our nation. Political contests are supposed to be about the best ideas, not us versus them. Yet Democrats seem to want want to transform America because the don’t like half the country.

            Like

          76. I have no idea how you’re not seeing the point, Doug.
            But, okay…let’s use other items to demonstrate instead of flags.
            Say….a blue ball.
            Hypothetical equivalent to this conversation:
            Tu:
            “Hey if you don’t want to be attacked wearing that red hat, you should wear a blue shirt! That will protect you as folks don’t want to attack blue shirts”
            Mi:
            “Really?!?! Because here is an article showing masses of people (who hate red hats) attacking and ripping up a blue shirt”
            Tu:
            “What does that have to do with it?”

            If you can’t understand the point after the above I give up.

            Liked by 1 person

          77. Oops…forgot to edit the first. I changed blue ball to blue shirt after typing “blue balls” didn’t sound right. 😆

            Anyway, on to read the next thread. A lot of good articles linked in there, I like Tricia’s article in particular.

            Liked by 1 person

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