Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, François Lemoyne, 1737 (from here)

We live in a divided nation. Because of politics, even families and friends are being ripped apart. Since I am a Conservative Christian, I suppose I could blame Democrats, but it is really something deeper than that, something deeper than Trump Derangement Syndrome.

What we believe makes a difference. What is it that we believe that could rip apart families and friends? One of my favorite blogs had a post on this issue, Was It Worth It?? (insanitybytes2.wordpress.com). She commented rather disgustedly on a CNN article. Here is an excerpt.

Four or five years later I’m still trying to sweep up the mess, clear all the debree away, repair the damage. I don’t feel bad about trashing the whole place, I regret not doing it earlier and more often.

It turns out that friends who insist you deny who you are and change what you believe, aren’t “friends” at all. Those aren’t your people. It turns out that when family constantly threatens you with abandonment and rejection if you don’t comply and conform, they are the abusive ones, they are the ones with the issues.

Was It Worth It?? (insanitybytes2.wordpress.com)

When I read the article insanitybytes22 was commenting on, I was bit surprised. I thought she was commenting on another blog, not an article in CNN. However, the mainstream media is so pervasive it is hard to avoid. Given where insanitybytes22 lives, Washington state, it probably impossible. So, even a lady with a sweet disposition is eventually going to get fed up with being called names by the hypocritical news media. Hence insanitybytes22 fired back with both barrels.

I am not a sweet lady. I just like examining problems, problems like the hypocritical news media. So, let’s consider this question.

What is Truth?

How does a Conservative Christian answer that question? Jesus gave us the answer.

John 14:6 New American Standard Bible

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

The Conservative Christian believes God defines the Truth, that what God has told us is the Truth.

What is the Liberal’s notion about truth? Well, we can count upon a psychiatrist, Neel Burton, to tell us.

For some thinkers, something can only be true or false if it is open to verification, at least in theory if not also in practice. The truth of something lies at the end of our inquiry into that thing. But as our inquiry can have no end, the truth of something can never be more than our best opinion of that thing. If best opinion is all that we can have or hope for, then best opinion is as good as truth, and truth is a redundant concept. But—as I argue in my new book, Hypersanity: Thinking Beyond Thinkingbest opinion is only best because, at least on average, it is closest to the truth, which, as well as instrumental value, has deep intrinsic value.

What Is Truth? (psychologytoday.com)

Conservative Christians have an absolute answer. Liberals have human inquiry. Conservatives believe that to know the Truth we need to voluntarily turn to God. Liberals believe that inquiry is unending. As a practical matter, neither side argues that one person can just hand the Truth over to another. A Christian can lead another to Christ, but a Christian cannot make another believe in Christ. A Liberal can teach another, but no one can make another engage honestly in a search for the Truth. Even as Burton observed, we deceive ourselves.

So, why would we disown our families because of politics? Well, if our brother is ready to collect dissidents and drag them off to concentration camps, we may not have any other choice. Just voting for the other guy, however, does not necessarily make our brother a personal danger to us.

Is disowning people a good idea just for peace of mind? To avoid being nagged. Perhaps. Why would we want to remain in contact with people who do not share our beliefs?

  • As Christians, we have an obligation to lead others to Jesus Christ. We do that by setting a proper example, not by hating or separating ourselves from other people. Jesus separated Himself from improper conduct, not from sinners. Otherwise, He would have never bothered to save us from our sins.
  • According to their own views, to avoid self-deception Liberals must be open to ideas that differ from their own. When Liberals use every opportunity — especially the hypocritical Liberal Democrat news media — to demonize their political opponents, they show a greater concern for “winning” than they do the truth.

So, when it doesn’t even comport with what we supposedly believe, why do some of us insist upon disowning people whose politics differ from our own? What does it take to believe the worst about people we have known and supposedly loved? What does it take to demonize people we know, family and friends? Pride and fear both probably have something to do with it.

For what it is worth, here is an article by people who present themselves as experts, When Families Disagree About Politics (verywellfamily.com).

Articles on Families Torn By Politics


  1. Doug.

    You stated ”The family struggle is about national morality, not politics. “

    I disagree with your statement.

    For example, on the issues of Sex Ed, School Choice, and Abortion, all relate to morality values that are offensive to Christian values and the First Amendment Rights of Religion.

    Yet politics through taxation make it economically unaffordable for families to choose to send their children to religious schools, because they must pay two tuitions which most poor and middle class families cannot afford.

    School teacher unions donate to politicians and that is why elected legislators do not support School vouchers or school choice.

    Or in other words, politics make it possible to affect national morality by making Christies families struggle to pay to send their children to private religious schools

    And now politicians are passing State laws to make them pay taxes to fund abortion.


    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    1. Ah, Rudy… I don’t necessarily disagree with you.. but the line you quoted from my response was in context with the family divide as a result of Trump himself. I was suggesting that the divide amongst friends and family.. brother-against-brother, if you will…. was less about Trump politics and more about Trump abhorrent social morality, behavior, and attitudes. In that politics also includes and affects social moralities, and vice versa, I agree with you.

      1. Doug,
        You stated I agree with you on my comment., that’s good.

        As for your comments judging Trump vs Biden, that’s sad.

        What is dividing brother vs brother in my opinion has less to do with politics and more to do with vanity as observed in the moral message of King Solomon.

        Regards and goodwill blogging..


  2. Tom,

    It’s nice to know that you are (because you’re humble?) not going to disown me dispite my love lacks humility. For what it’s worth, I don’t plan to disown you for being self righteous either. 😊

    It is unfortunate that you bring up the concept of ultimate “truth” in this political context (especially when ironically the leader of your political party is such a verifiable liar and conspiracy theory monger) because I would otherwise agree with much of what you are saying.

    I think the key to mutual understanding of this problem with the modern quality of “truth” has to do with the fundamental failure of the Enlightenment’s ability to answer the most foundational cosmological truths while being at the same time so successful epistemologically at opening up vast areas of truth at the surface level, through the scientific method, for example.

    This failure of The Enlightenment Project to deal successfully with the most fundamental truths (such as the existence of God and the basic meaning of life), while being so fantastically successful at explaining and improving so much of existence has been fully examined by Christian Apologists that we are both familiar with like Peter Kreeft, but also many other theologians like Alasdair MacIntyre, Richard Rhor, Edward Fever and many others, as well as social psychologists like Jordon Peterson and Christian Historians like Molly Worthen.

    This calls for a longer explanation and discussion, but I think you are wrong in your general classification of all liberals as not having a bedrock sense of truth while also believing Christian conservatives hold the patent on truth. This sort of “emotivism”, as MacIntyre coined it, pervades both extremes, but in different ways.

    If we must make generalizations, however, I think that you are right when you say that most liberals intuitively (and correctly in my mind) know that “love” is fundamentally (or at the heart) of all morality, but their distrust of so many cruel, arbitrary and inherently false religious dogmatisms (often, weirdly obsessed with human sexuality) turns them off at a guy level and have made them distrustful of religion and overly embracing of secularism, often to the point of atheism or an almost or entirely Pagan spirituality.

    By comparison, conservatives, specifically evangelical conservative, still reeling from the embarrassment of the Scopes Monkey Trial, and recognizing that scientific truth is indeed so often critically truth, keep wasting their ammunition trying to use rationalism and science to “prove” the Biblical inerrancy of all the miracles and metaphorical language in the Bible, often doing this at the expense of the most bedrock message of Jesus Christ, who was God’s loving sacrifice incarnate. If we Christians want or need (which I’m not sure we can or do) such rational proof beyond the grace through the revelation of the Holy Spirit that God provides to those who simply seek it in faith, then Thomas Aquinas, with his five proofs, gave the best logical explanation of God’s existence a thousand years ago.

    One side intuitively, because God placed it in all our hearts, knows that love is the ultimate truth, they just don’t accept that God IS that love. The other side keeps trying, Pharisaicly in my opinion, to claim that they have the God given Rules (obsessing on sexual rules) that formulate God into some dogmatic and deterministic logic when the simple answer lives where their brother and sister liberals have found it, right there in our hearts where God put it and Jesus told us and model for us that it is.

    I kind of feel stuck in the middle these days (where often IB and Mel also seem to.be), and perhaps that is the best place a Christian ought to be, precariously and impossibly, trying to find.

    1. @tsalmon

      I think you are making this too complicated, but humility can be a complex concept. We make it simple when we recognize God is God and “I” am not. In another sense, none is humble. We all tend to think too highly of our personal opinions, cocksure that even if others disagree “I”am still right.

      Recognizing God as sovereign, not “me”, is a little easier than conceding “you” are right and “I” am wrong. We just have do what we think the Bible requires. The “Great I”, Big Brother, doesn’t have run our lives whether we like it or not.

      The problem for the Liberal? Without a sincere respect for divine revelation, Liberals are less likely to practice self restraint and give way to the wisdom of God. Because God says we are His creatures, we don’t have any business trying to own another human being. However, if we don’t believe we are God’s creatures, even love is not a barrier. In fact, we can use love as an excuse to enslave others. Supposedly, we can own others for their own good.

      So, what does the Bible say about government. Are we suppose to have a theocracy? No. With the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Old Testament’s dietary and sacrificial laws went away. The Bible just points to government as means for maintaining order and justice.

      God gave us three institutions: the family, the church, and government. Our Lord calls upon us to make each of these institutions work as He intended. When we ignore our Lord’s wisdom, we make a mess.

      1. Tom,

        I agree that Christian cosmology is indeed complex. After reading several books on Christian apologetics (a few of which you recommended), I admit that I found none of them easy reads. One of the most influential books to me at least, Reverend Mildred Bangs Wynkoop’s “A Theology of Love”, is a tome because she so methodically presents precise scriptural support to each element of the Wesleyan theology. But one need not know all that inside baseball to play and enjoy the game.

        You claim that your theology requires a surrender to God’s Will rather than one’s own fears and desires, and honestly, I don’t disagree with that (not do most of the major religions in the world). Of course, the question and the conflict comes in how we interpret the difference between the two. Much as you pretend it may be, this is just not certain even amongst Christians of the same denomination, much less among the thousands of different Christian denominations and the tens of thousands of believers in other religions, and not even taking into account the sincerely held moral philosophies of atheists, agnostics and those who just claim an uncertain spirituality and try to live a moral life, but just don’t think that much about the deeper theological questions of “why”. (I happen to believe that this last category makes up the vast majority of us most of us most of time in most of history).

        Therefore, when one group claims that they have exclusively cracked the code, discovered the magic formula or found the philosopher’s stone, to absolute knowledge of an infinite God’s Will, even in Christian scriptural interpretation, forgive me for my skepticism. Catholics, the confessional faith we were both born into, and I have continued to practice, don’t even agree on that.

        That said, you want simplicity, just go to Jesus’ own words:

        “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.‘“

        Now to determine how impossibly difficult to do that, again go to Jesus’ own words:

        16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

        23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

        So it is very simple to understand Tom, and incredibly difficult to carry out even with God’s Grace, impossible without Him.

        This abstract simplicity of concept and this practical difficulty in everyday action defines the basic existential moral dilemma of mankind acting in history, no matter what your faith and no matter what area of history, including politics, that one is acting in. Has one fraction of Christianity making up one small slice of mankind at one tiny point in history, political Evangelical Christian Conservatives, exclusively figured out everything about putting this perfect simplicity into its impossible practice? Hardly. I know many atheists who appear to do much better than I in the impossible practice of love and many Christians who claim the Kingdom of Heaven and yet it’s obvious that their actions are far more informed by hate than love.

        And yet Liberals are the ones inflating their self importance without humility? Hummm? Is someone seeing a mote in someone else’s eye?

        1. Just to add Tom, I often wonder if I were that rich man who had Jesus (God Incarnate Himself) standing right in front of me, would I have answered His call? Am I answering it now?

          If I’m brutally honest with myself, I think “no” on both counts, but I also think that that is how we are supposed to feel, if we are totally honest. And that honest revelation brings me to my knees.

          I take hope, however, from His promise that, with God, all things are possible, even for a sinner like me.

          1. @tsalmon

            Did the rich young ruler answer Jesus’ call. After the crucifixion perhaps. Don’t know. We only know he was sad. Some things take time.

            God asks different things from each of us, and He gifts us to do what He asks us to do. How do we know what God has asked of us? I don’t know that there is a simple answer. I doubt that we are even called upon to do the same thing throughout our lives. What brings you joy without false guilt? That is probably as good a clue as any.

          2. “What brings you joy without false guilt? That is probably as good a clue as any.

            I like that, a lot. Where did you get that? From scripture?

        2. @tsalmon

          The Bible is not easy to understand, but the basics are not especially difficult. Jesus often spoke in parables, but He explained those parables to His apostles, and His apostles passed those explanations onto us. They gave us the Gospels, and Hebrews and Romans and I and II Corinthians provide cogent explanations of much of the “cosmology”.

          Why that challenge to the rich young ruler? Is money evil? Is it wrong to be rich? No. The problem was that that rich young ruler had put money before God.

          As Romans 7:14-25 says, we need God’s help to overcome our sinful nature. We need to be born again.

          To understand the Bible we often have to use the Bible to interpret the Bible. So, consider.

          uke 16:10-15 New American Standard Bible
          10 “The one who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and the one who is unrighteous in a very little thing is also unrighteous in much. 11 Therefore if you have not [a]been faithful in the use of unrighteous [b]wealth, who will entrust the true wealth to you? 12 And if you have not [c]been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No [d]servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [e]wealth.”

          14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were [f]ridiculing Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of people, but God knows your hearts; because that which is highly esteemed among people is detestable in the sight of God.

          The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee. Until he was born again, he did not serve God. Instead, he murdered Christians.

          1. Funny Tom, it’s not that I disagree with you, but your response doesn’t really seem to address the main point that I was making: the simplicity of concept and the impossible difficulty (without the grace of God) of practice.

            Jesus simplified the concept of love for us and then told us that the law (The Commandments) and words of the Prophets are “summarized“ (your term) by those two related Commandments to love.

            “Rich” of course is relative. Compared to the family of the man who started Walmart or Jef Bazos, I am a pauper. Compared to many Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, I am well off. And compared to many people in impoverished countries who live on less than one dollar a day, those poor Americans are rich.

            In a sense, therefore this rich man is everyman (and woman). Think about it, by modern American Christian standards, this guy was doing everything right. He was keeping the Commandments (the Law), including in the abstract, the concept, at least, loving his neighbors, but was he really loving in practice?

            Remember in context how Jesus put it:

            The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect . . . .”

            If we would be perfect, not just good, but perfect – something more than just average Commandment keeping is enough. Jesus wanted him to literally put his money where his mouth was.

            Jesus said for him to sell all his possessions, and give them to the poor. This is not just the abstract concept of love, but an amazingly difficult hoop in the practice of love for anyone to jump through. And then the next line to me is the most telling of all. Jesus says for the rich man to come follow Him.

            Like much of scripture, what Jesus leaves ambiguous here is just as important as what He has said.

            Had the rich man made the incredibly difficult choice to give up everything, like the Apostles did, and follow Jesus, he would be on his way to Heaven, but the rich man had more to lose than the Apostles, or so they thought at that time, before they would undergo trials and tribulations, suffering and even martyrdom in His name. How difficult was that? Could they have done it without their knowledge of Jesus, especially the Resurrected Christ, and the grace of the Holy Spirit. Again, simple concept, impossibly difficult in practice, but with God the impossible becomes possible.

            Also, is Jesus really saying that the rich person cannot get into Heaven, or is He actually saying that it is again very “difficult”, almost impossible, but again, with God even this is possible.

            One assumes that one way another, there is a simplicity of concept (love), an insurmountable difficulty of action, which only can be overcome with the grace of God through faith.

            My point here is an exploration of the inseparability faith, works and grace. Love is demonstrable in all three. The concept of love is simple but Christ calls on us to not only address it as a noun but take up the difficult task of making it an action verb. Faith too is not just a noun but commitment that manifests itself in that active love of God and each other that is rewarded with grace. We can’t just proclaim our faith, we must manifest it by picking up our cross, and even then, the of overcoming our selfish sin would condemn us if not for God’s loving mercy and grace.

            I know I’m being repetitive, but do you see what I mean when I say that the abstract concept at the bedrock of Christian morality (love) is uncomplicated, the practice of that love in the continuing dilemma of a finite and fallen world is impossibly hard, but that imperfectly (while striving toward perfection) through faith and the grace of God it is possible

            The knowing and the keeping of rules and customs alone don’t save us any more than they could save the rich man, or Saul the Pharisee. Love is what saves us – our love and God’s love ACTING together in the perfect harmony of faith and grace.

          2. @tsalmon

            We are not saved by anything we do. We are saved because Jesus chose to save us. That is why I have quoted that passage from Romans repeatedly. None of us can perfectly obey God on our own. Yet the effort we make to obey God is important.

            James 2:14-26 New American Standard Bible
            Faith and Works

            14 What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can [a]that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, [b]be warmed and be filled,” yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is [c]dead, being by itself.

            18 But someone [d]may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that [e]God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to acknowledge, you foolish person, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was our father Abraham not justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and [f]as a result of the works, faith was [g]perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was Rahab the prostitute not justified by works also when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

            The Apostles chose to follow Jesus because they loved Him AND because the Father called them to Jesus.

  3. Tom

    We Christians need to resort to a more succinct way to convince DC Congress the message of Love and Humility/

    Should we continue to “turn the other cheek” when politicians ignore our Rights of Religion in a Republic that is supposed to represent and defend the First Amendment.

    I indirectly linked your post on Sex Ed to a post today titled: Succinct Messages to Politicians Parody.


    Hope you don’t mind. While I do not believe we should NOT emulate Chicago Mayor’s style of messaging, we need to consider an old idiom to survive in a Republic governing style in DC Congress..

    “Squeaky wheels get the most grease.”

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  4. You miss/have missed the point all along, Tom. At question has been the repulsive morality and methods of a single man who became the leader of the nation. Apparently, 76 million abhor the man and 71 million love the man. This is a debate about lack of morality in leadership and mental incompetence vs. those who defend it as some new cornerstone for American liberty.
    The family struggle is about national morality, not politics. You, and others, can swagger about as a self-appointed Christian Conservatives but in the end when it comes to picking sides it appears you prefer to support a leader more white than Christian or Conservative… simply because of his politics. Still a deal with the devil to me. THIS is what is breaking up families… not politics.

    1. but in the end when it comes to picking sides it appears you prefer to support a leader more white than Christian or Conservative…

      We know only white people voted for Trump because the rich old white guy you support said you can’t be black if you do that.

      simply because of his politics.

      Kind of par for the course in voting a candidate into political office.
      As “politics” do have a way of being political.

      1. My “support” of the older white guy is/was far more about the desire to rid the leadership of the current younger old white guy.

        1. Very important to always inject some gratuitous and disparaging racial commentary when presenting and argument in support of your elderly white racist candidate.

          1. Gratuitous on my part perhaps, but disparaging is perhaps your personal doubt sneaking through about Mr. T.

            No. It’s tedium and disgust.
            After watching cities burn and violence based on the type of lie you are perpetrating right here.

          2. You are correct! There’s enough tedium and disgust to go around. As for perpetrating lies… seems there’s 71 million willing to continue to support that effort.
            You know, I personally have no argument or accusation regarding him being a racist. That’s hugely small potatoes to all his other problems. I’m sure if I were another skin color I might think differently on that. But any demonstration of a personal racism pales to his other faults… of which apparently 76 million also agree.
            Don’t worry, Liz.. he will be screaming from the sidelines and talking 2024.. and revealing classified secrets along the way… so his supporters can continue rallying with him around the campfire.

          3. @Doug

            It strikes me that you came here to gloat. After all, you went silent. Why? You expected Trump to win, didn’t you. Says something, does it not?😀

          4. No, Tom.. didn’t come here to gloat. I told you before.. it’s not wonderful in Mudville at all. We’ve got 70 more days for this guy to apply his “scorched earth” plan.. and he’s doing quite well at it. Just happens a random post solicits a reply.

          5. @Doug

            You cannot specifically point to anything. Just generalities. Trump said that an effective vaccine for COVID-19 would be out soon, but Pfizer delayed the announcement, and the news media — whose job is to investigate these things — poopooed the progress. Those are the liars you are believing.

          6. I believe what I see and hear and can justify in my own mind is not bias, or I take potential bias into consideration. 76 million people can’t all be wrong.

          7. @Doug

            Are you serious? The entire country can be wrong.

            Assuming there was no election fraud, you just eliminated half the country. Since they believed lies and are still believing lies, the faction that voted for Biden most likely is wrong.

            In fact, you have admitted the accusation Trump is a racist is nonsense, and that is the principal lie.

          8. After all the chaos and Trumpian garbage the last four years, you and other Conservatives have latched onto this Liberal accusation that Trump is a racist and consider that the primary lie of all lies ONLY because to side with Trump means you would be accused of enabling his racism by extension. Trump’s threat to America is not some accusation of racism. Yeah, Tom… generalities because it’s not worth the time and posturing to convince each other. The election is over.

          9. @Doug

            I guess you are right. Being called a racist use to be a serious charge, but now Democrats call everyone racists. So, it doesn’t matter?🤔😏🙄😂

          10. my intolerance with Trump has zero to do with any issue of racism

            Then you shouldn’t have brought it up. That’s trolling.

          11. 76 million people can’t all be wrong.

            You think 70 million people are wrong.
            But 6 million more…no way!
            Truly? Millions of people have been wrong throughout history about millions of different things.

          12. Well, actually, as soon as I sent off that last reply I thought I would also include that 71 million cannot all be wrong either. Which is an essence of the conundrum in trying to understand the demographics. So I do not disagree with you for pointing that out.

          13. After all the chaos and Trumpian garbage the last four years, you and other Conservatives have latched onto this Liberal accusation that Trump is a racist and consider that the primary lie of all lies ONLY because to side with Trump means you would be accused of enabling his racism by extension.

            Nice historical revision.
            I’ve been saying for a long while that characterizing Trump as Hitler and vilifying his supporters is dangerous, hateful, ill advised. First it is a lie. Next it justifies violence.
            And we’ve seen it. We’ve seen cities burning and people killed over these lies.

          14. How many deaths due to “burning cities”? In fact.. how many “cities” did burn? Wasn’t that mostly a couple of neighborhood blocks in each instance? How many businesses were forced out of business exactly? Yes, let’s compare that. What about 243,000 Covid Americans Trump has just surrendered to the is-what-it-is covid response? We could add to that the umpteen thousands who got ill bad enough to have lingering effects.. forever? What about the the countless numbers of people who need medical assistance on any normal day.. surgeries.. transplants… who can’t get inside a hospital because of the overflowing covid patients? 160,000 Americans a day.. and Trump’s rah-rah about turning corners.. it will just go away?
            We aren’t done with Trump as President just yet. He’s got lots of time to scorch the country.

          15. If you need an example I’ll go further. Biden is a pedo.
            I’ve seen him sniffing the hair of little girls.
            Why the pedo enabling, Doug? You must have some inclination too.
            Now fast forward to a bunch of cities burning and people dying over pedo
            Then I tell you, “Oh!!! You consider that the primary lie of all lies ONLY because to side with Biden means you would be accused of enabling his pedophilia by extension.”

            Get better.

          16. Per burning cities…well, in many the airlines had to move their hotel locations to be out of the riot zones. Didn’t CNN tell you? Nevermind, it was mostly peaceful of course. Minneapolis has doubled its murder rate. Also mostly a peaceful city. Why am I still talking to you?
            My bad.

          17. @Liz

            When half of the population has been taken in by propaganda, do we really have a choice? One side has to convince the other it believes nonsense.

          18. Indeed they do. But which side is which?

            One side has to depend on a vast and diabolical conspiracy in which lifelong constitutional institutionalists and public servants are secret pedophiles in a secret vampire coven whereas a casino bankrupting, fake diploma selling, meat market show promoting, pussy grabbing unreality tv star is their great savior. One side has to burrow deeper and deeper into their own news bunker where the whole outside news world of scatterpated, shiny object chasing, competing news sources (including apparently Fox lately) are in on the fix to illegally steal our presidency for a secret socialist, Godless, child predator. And virtually the entire medical establishment wants us to wear masks so they can make us sick so that it hurts Trump and other Republicans. And the judges, including Republican judges, are laughing all these allegations out of court because all the legal institutions are in on it too. But Rudy is heroically busting this vast conspiracy from the parking lot of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping next to the porn store with a registered sex offender as his main witness and soon he will be presenting his mysterious laptop proof to the Courtyard by Marriot Total Fertilizer Store next to the Exotic Dancers Emporium and Tattoo parlor.

            Yep, one side sure has gone down a rabbit hole.

    2. @Doug

      You repeat what a partisan, hypocritical news media says when it demonizesTrump. You have nothing to say about Trump’s opponent, but an election is a choice, and Biden stinks.

      When you do this, all you are doing is illustrating why we are divided. The dogma of the partisan, hypocritical news media is lives loudly within you.

      1. I will concede only this much, Tom. We are both seemingly educated enough and most certainly old enough to know which way is up. Yet we have both fallen victim to false prophets (or would it be profits?)… with “false” being subjective and relative to each of us.

    3. I’m curious. You obviously have a problem with Trumps’s failings. What is your opinion on the allegations of Biden being a sexual predator? What bout his numerous gaffs, like not knowing what state he was in?

      How is his failings any less than DJT? Or is the just a case of picking your devil?

      1. You’re comparing Biden’s (alleged) faults/mental condition/performance with that exhibited by Trump in the last 4 years, and prior? That’s your call.. your conclusions. Honestly… Liz and Tom and I are badgering each other just because we can. But the reality is that we as a nation are way past all this and like it or not, Biden has already allowed 50% of the country to breath a sign of relief from all the chaos. If you are part of the 50% that thinks a Biden presidency is the end of the world.. well, welcome to my 50% on Nov. 3, 2016. Back then your 50% was telling my 50% “just give him a try”.

        1. As far as I know, Mr. Biden is human, therefore he does have faults. 😉 What those faults are … well I’ve seen enough reports of the allegations.

          My main concerns with Mr. Biden lie with him leaning towards Socialism. His VP pick is even more frightening. I’m afraid that between them we will end up going down that path and end up like Venezuela.

          1. There’s a lot of this fear proliferating around and quite honestly one really has to have some awareness of civics, history, and human behavior. I firmly believe in the Constitution and I believe in the average American’s faith in that document. So when Conservatives lament about Dems bringing socialism into the politics of the nation through the likes of Biden and Harris… sorry. I don’t buy it one bit. First off, no two people can change our form of government to socialism or anything else. Even if Bernie won… he would not be able to change government.. nor “shred the Constitution” to use a nutty phrase with no value. Neither the Dems or most certainly anything resembling the GOP are any sort of organized to the point of fomenting that kind of deviation of democracy. Certainly the American public would never support any effort to deviate from our American form of democracy. We have a habit in the country of assigning great power to our political demons.

          2. To each our own.

            I see Gov’t, following the lead of earlier Nanny state Congresscritters and Pres, trying to lead us into Socialism with “Free” this and “Free” that. All you have to do is look at people like Bernie Sanders and AOC being elected to know that America is being lead towards a Socialistic state. I do not want ANY Socialists in power. Period. Socialism is a slow poison, it creeps in and slowly takes over, corrupting everything it touches. So, yeah, I’m vehemently opposed to people with overt Socialistic ideologies have any “power”, blinding more people (who have indoctrinated by our public schools) into wanting more Bread and Circuses. It may not happen next year, it may not happen in five years, but the poison will spread and having a President with strong Socialist leanings will only speed it up.

            You appear to have more confidence in the American populace than I do. I see sheep blindly following what their “Leaders” tell them to do. They have forgotten that those people are not our “Leaders”, they are our Elected Representatives. The people are apathetic, they just want their bread and circuses.

            Sadly, I no longer see a whole lot of difference between the R’s & D’s. Both parties, imo, are out to take as much money and power as they can, leaving us (the tax payers) to cover for them. Neither seem to care enough about our civil rights.

            My best hope for the next two years is that nothing gets accomplished, since both houses of the legislature are nearly even.

          3. @Wyldkat

            Well put. Is there a difference between the R’s & D’s. Participate in the primaries. Vote for the people who distinctly and clearly state what they stand for. If a candidate moves to the center in the General Election, fight tooth and nail to deny the jerk the nomination next time he or she runs.

          4. Doug,

            You are waxing kind of brilliant these days in a morose sort of way. Nice to see you back.


            What is the historical perspective? What is actually happening in the world systemically? What “works”, if we could agree on what that term means?

            Making this a black and white choice between extremes seems to me to amount more to political campaign sloganeering and jingoism than to anything that is realistically happening or going to happen without, as Doug says, a total collapse of our constitutional government, a rebellion that is just as likely to happen eventually if we were to resort to monopoly inducing, wealth concentrating, unfettered Capitalism as it is to totalitarian inducing Socialism.

            Historically, the monster of total Socialism is released when capitalism utterly fails. Creeping socialism (the jingoistic thing you seem to be referring to) in contrast, presents in actual constitutional government as rather benign and paper dragon at best. We have varying degrees of modern welfare states all over the world, some of which are better promoters of working, meritocratic capitalism than we are, while maintain a high degree of civil rights and still keeping their people from slipping into poverty.

            Every developed country in the world that is prosperous, democratic and what we call “free” (but more importantly, have some degree of dispersed prosperity), including our own, has some hybrid of robust, competitive, wealth inducing, regulated capitalism, and opportunity building social safety nets paid for by that engine of capitalism. Find me one in the “free” world that doesn’t and it usually turns out to be a failed state or one well on its way to failing. That’s not freedom, it’s anarchy.

            China is scary, not because they are slipping into Socialism – they never left, but because they are doing Capitalism so insidiously well and raising up their population out of poverty with that economic engine while maintaining totalitarian control. Socialism has become the velvet collar around their people’s necks, but capitalism is what keeps it soft and fluffy with the leash just long enough, but never too long.

            However, even the Chineses overlords know that they can only swing so far in one direction without without losing control, setting off rebellion and chaos just as their people are doing too much better or doing too much worse.

            We could be in a similar boat, but we have a constitutional democracy with the rule of law, a very messy and fragile institutional thing. It’s not a slogan or an ideology, but a clunky living machine with programming. That’s what keeps us from being more like China, but it doesn’t keep us from also being more like Norway.

          5. If we presume that our individual dispositions can shift with the prevailing “winds” I would agree that I have given a swing of my my meter indicator to a more… morose/reflective/contemplating right swing (that’s “right”, not “Right”). My anti-Trump blog is gone because after 4 years it’s all been said and everyone’s settled into their 50/50 political comfort zones. Now, time to get on with the priorities of the nation… beginning with the it-is-what-it-is pandemic. I have a new blog coming devoted to less politics and more humanity. Still need the therapy of blogging. 🙂

          6. “constitutional democracy”

            No, we have a Constitutional Republic.

            It isn’t China’s version of “capitalism” that worries me. What does worry me is their stance on Human Rights – they have none. We spend a good deal of time watching NHKWorld in our house, so we see part of what is going on in Asia. China is actively suppressing anyone who disagrees with Bejing. And don’t believe their lies about how good their “poor” have it. Our poor are 100 x better off than any Chinese villager.

            For one, I do not want to be like Norway, or any other country, their taxes make ours look like a pittance. The more the Government does for you, the most Taxes it takes – the less the Citizen has to spend on their families. (And then there is the flip-side of that coin, if the Government is giving it you, they can take it away from you if you fail to follow their “rules”. As anyone getting SSI or Welfare.) I like America the way it is.

          7. Not too sure I like America the way it is.. right now. But, yes.. I fully understand what you mean. I certainly don’t want any other form of government sneaking in here. But.. having said that… there’s no way any other form of government can “sneak” in here without any of us knowing. So while I share in your loyalty to what we have, I don’t share your fear that someone can just come along and change it.,, even if it’s some grand plan to do it gradually.
            Regarding your sensitivity to the Asia human rights problems.. absolutely nothing wrong with promoting a cause. Human rights issues are very important… but like you alluded to on the other end, sometimes causes have a political price… and yes, in comparison to the human cost, how can anyone of sound moral character place a price on a human life. Makes for quite an argument. We are presently going through that debate here in the States. Covid kills 250,000… over a thousand a day… and 50% of the population thinks “herd” immunity. The current record breaking cases will make for record breaking deaths. Just collateral damage? Their lives not worth the price of some economic/social sacrifice? Just comparing is all.

          8. @Doug

            The party that cares so much about life demands abortions, including taxpayer funding.

            Trump focused on the solution for the virus. Treatment and a vaccine. The economic shutdown at best slows the spread, and people die from other causes, like suicide and postponed medical procedures.

            Masks have not been demonstrated to work effectively. Panacea.

          9. Fine, Tom.. but aren’t we past all that now? I realize the five stages the Trump people are going through… but honestly, where’s all the voter fraud? All the cases are being tossed out by his own appointees.

          10. @Doug

            If at this point you expect the hypocritical Liberal Democrat news media to tell you anything, you are delusional.

            I have posted some stuff, and I will post more, but I am not going to respond to a silly comment. You are perfectly capable of looking up what others have said and reported. That includes what Trump’s people have said. You don’t want to.

          11. “No, we have a Constitutional Republic.“


            Yes, thanks for the 9th grade Civics lesson. “Democracy” is a broad term. Is that is all you disagree with? Well then, you win.

            No, don’t like China either. Again, you win.


            Yes China is playing at “capitalism” including most of the crap we buy cheap at Walmart (who I believe happens ti be our largest employer). China is not only playing – in many ways they are winning. I’m just pointing out reality – I’m not on their side though, so if that fine point is what you think you’re proving, you win too bro.


            I don’t know where you live and what you do, but I live deep in the heart of Dixie. Assuming that you live somewhere similar, and not off the grid, when you get up tomorrow, take note of, for good and for bad, everything that government at some level does that directly effects your life.

            Is your water clean for your shower? Are the prices and services of the monopoly who necessarily sends you your power regulated by some governmental public service administration? Who owns and built the roads you drive on and the easements you walk on? Are there traffic lights and signs? Do you have safe working conditions? A tax deferred and regulated pension?

            I could go on, but you make your own survey. I think you’ll find that guvmint is pretty ubiquitous. If you also want to define “socialism” broadly, you are pretty much already there.

            I’ve lived deep red and deep blue states, and the difference in this regard seems marginal. The taxes often are less in red places, but the parks, jobs, medical facilities and schools are generally better in the blue ones. As the engines of our economy, the blue states generally tend to be net federal tax payers and the red stars are net federal tax takers.

            I’m honestly not advocating any ideology. I’m just pointing out reality, a reality that is actually quite complex and rarely fits the ideological jingoism. But if you are against Socialism, me too. Wow, you just keep winning my friend.

          12. @tsalmon

            Given who you supporting and who you voted for, you need a 9th grade Civics lesson.

            Because of natural monopolies and the tendency of human beings to foist their problems, including their wastes, upon others, we cannot avoid regulating commerce, right of ways, noise levels, and so forth. Sometimes we even have to require people to behave so that they don’t recklessly endanger others. The fact that government has a necessary role, however, does not justify that the government run everything, but that is what the party you vote for wants.

            Look at your own advocacy. You constantly claim you are not a Socialist. Yet you cannot define any practical limits to Socialism. Given the history of the last hundred years, when our government started sticking its nose into our retirement planning and healthcare (now the bulk of the Federal Budget), telling companies who they can hire and fire, defining gasoline mileage requirements, and so forth; the growth of government should concern everyone. Unfortunately, Socialists like you just cheer and pretend you are just pointing out “reality” and not advocating any ideology. Bullshit! That is just your way of trying to shame anyone who disagrees with your definition of what you think should be reality.

            In reality, we each see a small portion of God’s Creation. We are blind to infinity. That is one reason we need to strive to do what is right in God’s eyes and not our own.

            Does God fit into your reality? You say we don’t have God-given rights. You say government gives us our rights. That is the crux of Socialism and the bull crap that glorifies social justice, the justice of the gulag.

          13. “You constantly claim you are not a Socialist. Yet you cannot define any practical limits to Socialism.“


            I don’t need to “define the limits of Socialism”. It’s been done:

            Definition of socialism from Merriam-Webster
            1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
            2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
            b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.

            I don’t want that. Never have. Served my country in a Cold War against such a purported system.
            (It had actually long ago become totalitarian). So what are we arguing about?

            It’s not that Socialism is evil – if we actually had a Christian Utopia on this earth, it would probably be Socialism. Because of the limits of human nature, however, Socialism, as it is defined, just does not work for various complicated reasons, the least of which is that private markets more efficiently drive scarce resources to their highest and best use. (See Adam Smith). Eventually, all pure Socialist systems become oligarchies and/or plutocracies.

            An absolutely government free market of the Randian variety is not evil either, but it is also a Utopian myth that does not work in reality or viably exist feral in the world for long. Why? Because it tends toward concentration of wealth and again eventually evolves toward oligarchy and plutocracy.

            The history of the modern democratic (the broad sociological meaning) state that seems to “work” (a relative term which requires a certain amount of broad consensus) to both generate the greatest economic prosperity and also to distribute that prosperity most broadly and with the most equal opportunity, or in other words most fairly (another relative term requiring consensus), is what economists call a “mixed system” of regulated capitalism and public goods and services. The degree to which these systems “work” both practically and morally depends upon numerous complex social and economic factors, not the least of which is the prevailing culture of that nation and “civilization” as Samuel Huntington defined that term, varies. These systems are not static but must adapt and evolve with the increasingly rapid evolution of technology, economics and cultural norms, else they risk becoming stagnant, or as Paul Kennedy says in “The Rise and Fall of Great Powers”, the economy can’t support the military that protects it, so the nation falls to its competitors.

            We can argue as much as you want in the middle ground ideologically about the multifarious factors of that “mix” and whether it “works” to “better” fulfill various broad “consensual” goals of morality and prosperity (and we do), but the reslity is that, if we cannot begin from a shared reality that it is in fact a “mix” that is what we have and that seems to “work” (at least at this moment in history) and that the Utopian extremes don’t “work”, then, without that shared reality, all we can do is scream at each other across an ideological void of our own creation. Not wanting to do that, am am simply conceding your point – yes, “Socialism” does not work. I agree. You win if you think that’s what you’re fighting against, and in fact, I’m on your side.

            “God Given Rights” is a similar argument. I have never said that they definitively don’t “exist”. I DON’T KNOW. God has not told me even if you think He has told you. I have only said that no human right exists or has existed since the dawn of civilization unless and until that right is defined, arbitratible and enforceable at law, meaning by some form of governing body. You don’t seem to disagree with that as you often say that governments normatively should protect rights. You just seem to want me to agree that government (not my church) “shall” sacralize certain rights and demonize certain others. Obviously, there are always going to be “conflicts of rights” in the disputed middle ground and that is literally what courts are designed to resolve, but I think that allowing our government to sacralize any right, according to the precepts of one prevailing religious view corrupts both the religion and the state and violates both of the oft competing religious clauses of the 1st Amendment. So on that at least, I guess we will have to agree to disagree my good brother.

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