35 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-31-16

  1. AJ, Thanks for putting this up early. It is almost time for me to leave for golf. Here is Charles Murray commenting on the results of the bubble test we took earlier in the week.

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  2. More McMullin:

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  3. To be a prophet, he’d have to right. Now all he and his friends in the “intelligence” community, need are some proof. And they admitted yesterday in the just released JAR, they don’t have any. He’s spouting his opinion as fact to the gullible.
    ——————–

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/did-russia-tamper-with-the-2016-election-bitter-debate-likely-to-rage-on/

    ———————

    Besides, I doubt God would choose a cultist whose religion has bastardized His word as a prophet. He doesn’t even come close to meeting the requirements.

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  4. This is why I have labeled Trumpism a cult. The Trumpkin followers seem to believe that their leader (an unrepentant reprobate, a serial adulterer, a draft dodger, a man whose profession is con man and whose sport is sexual assault, one who worships only money and himself) is somehow morally superior to a celibate Mormon who faithfully served his country for many years in the fight against radical Islam.

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  5. What michelle said. We can be assured that he has hold of the “king’s heart” and will use it for his ends (which we may or may not like, but it is God’s ultimate will being worked out in history).

    We also recently have been taking a laser-focus look at the opening verses of Rom. 13 in our sermons and in the SS that follows and I think we’ve all felt convicted. Christians are called to respect and honor those in authority (though there are times when we must obey God rather than man).

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  6. Kathaleena, valid point. And it’s related to something I’d posted a week or two ago about how none of us personally knows these people, all we have to go on are their public lives — and while that gives us some idea of their character perhaps, it is not even close to having known someone in a day-to-day way. We know only so much about any of them and should also be careful about bearing false witness based on information that’s incomplete.

    Like Ricky, I was rather dismayed by the GOP’s selection of a nominee, but here we are.

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  7. One thing I noticed recently (and I think of it now because I read an article last night by someone who had the same observation) is that Trump doesn’t laugh. It’s kind of odd, I suppose, but he doesn’t seem to interact with people (at least in public) in that spontaneous, easy-going way that I’ll admit is nice to see, at least now and again, in a leader. Maybe he’s just very guarded and controlled in public. I suspect his personality is much different (and more natural) in private.

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  8. The real power of a cult can be measured in its ability to cause its followers to say, do or believe something they would ordinarily not say, do or believe. Drinking the poisoned Kool-aide is the best example.

    There was a time when the cult of Mormonism had the power to make its members practice polygamy and murder groups of pioneers who entered Mormon territory. However, 21st century Mormons just act like Baptists and Methodists from the 1950s.

    On the other hand, the Trump cult can cause its followers to:

    1. Believe Putin and disbelieve all US intelligence agencies and those of our allies in Western Europe.

    2. Disbelieve their own leader and fourteen of his victims when he confessed to sexual assault and the victims confirmed the assaults.

    3. Forget everything that the last 40 years of world economic history has taught us about the benefits of free trade.

    Therefore, if you must drink Kool-aide, get it from a Mormon not a Trumpkin.

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  9. I just heard on Fox News that for the first time since WW II, we have no aircraft carriers deployed anywhere in the world.
    I always thought there was one deployed with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. You can’t project power without a carrier. Evidently we don’t have a 6th Fleet in the Med.

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  10. Ricky, as an observer, I’m not certain that Russia was behind the email leaks, although I would say that the strong reaction of the current U.S. administration would indicate that there is no smoke without a fire. Yes, I get Obama is not the greatest statesmen, but that in itself is reason for thinking there is a real motivation for the recent actions – a President that continually speechifies but generally does nothing must have really strong motivations when he does act. I am puzzled by the sudden willingness among U.S. Republicans to trust Russia’s leader. Putin is a former KGB officer, i.e. he was trained to regard the U.S. as the enemy, and it is clear that he looks back at the Soviet era with nostalgia. He will use Trump, but only to his own benefit. It doesn’t matter if one thinks Putin is a more moral leader or better statesman, he is still not working for the benefit of America. As for Trump, whether or not Russia actually leaked the emails, he is implicated. On the campaign trail, he called on the Russians to hack and release the rest of Clinton’s emails. Since those emails were sent while Clinton was Secretary of State (that was what the whole controversy was about, Clinton’s carelessness with State documents) what Trump was doing was encouraging another country to hack his own country’s State documents, which were widely believed to contain sensitive material. That in itself runs close to treason.

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  11. I supported Putin in his opposition to Organized Perversion. I thought Putin was right and the US was wrong about Iraq in 2003 and Syria in the last few years. However, I agree with Roscuro’s analysis of who Putin is and his goals.

    Every Western leader is watching this situation closely. Their own intelligence services all believe Putin hacked the Democrats and leaked the emails. Their own elections are also now in danger of manipulation by the Russians. They believe the US is in the process of installing a leader right off the Funny Farm. As we have discussed before, the role of the US as leader of the West ends in three weeks.

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  12. Ricky, our former Conservative Prime Minister was positively hawkish about Putin, telling him point blank to withdraw from Ukraine, so that is another reason why I find the U.S. conservative wing’s attitude puzzling. Former Prime Minister Harper did not get along well with Obama, yet they agree about Russia. Even our current Liberal Prime Minister, though he has what I would regard as somewhat naïve ideas about the power of negotiation and diplomacy, doesn’t trust Putin. That is one thing that is pretty much bipartisan in Canada.

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  13. I think the harsh and rather extreme partisan divide in the U.S. colors how people on both sides view current events nowadays. It becomes a matter of siding with “your” side, no matter what.

    Thus you have liberals sounding downright cold war-like toward Russia and conservatives oddly promoting and trusting Putin.

    Go figure.

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  14. I don’t think we yet see true conservatives promoting and trusting Putin. Only members of the Trump cult are following their leader on those positions at this point. This is why it is important for conservatives like McMullin and Ryan to continue to speak the truth. Ryan is somewhat limited because he has to deal with Trump and Congressional Trumpkins. The cult will continue to blast McMullin and Ryan but their voices are important to keep others from joining the cult.

    It has been interesting to contrast the behavior of Ryan and Mitch McConnell. McConnell has really tried to stay silent. This may be in part because his state is a hotbed of Trumpism. Ryan has generally spoken out when their have been outrageous lies, racist rants, radical departures from conservative orthodoxy or bragging confessions of sexual assaults.

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  15. The rumors about McMullin being gay are out there. Personally I think it’s irrelevant, but it’s what many believe the celibate point refers to. In Mormon circles it’s OK to be gay, as long as you’re celibate.

    But there’s no proof to back it, and he says he’s straight, and he’d know best. I think it was an underhanded play by overzealous Trump supporters, as was pointing out that his mother is married to another woman now. Who cares? And it was a low blow, which Trump rightfully condemned.

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  16. Ricky,

    “McConnell has really tried to stay silent. This may be in part because his state is a hotbed of Trumpism.”

    Or…. it’s as I suspect. He’s easily bought off and quieted down simply by giving his wife a job. But then again I think he’s a traitorous RINO cancer on the party, so I’d be more inclined to believe so. Your mileage may vary.

    http://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/11/29/draining-the-swamp-mitch-mcconnells-wife-elaine-chao-to-be-trumps-transportation-secretary/

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  17. The rumors about Trump being a sexual predator are out there and Trump started them.

    McMullin denied the Trumpkin rumors that he is a homosexual.

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  18. AJ, You may be right about McConnell’s motive for silence. However, McConnell has been quiet all year, even before his wife’s appointment. Kentucky was one of the few caucus states that Trump won. Its demographics play to his strengths.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/primaries/KY

    I don’t disagree with your assessment of McConnell’s current political position. He has been in DC too long. On issues like infrastructure spending, I worry that Trump may get support from McConnell and other moderate Republicans while Trump’s buddy Chuck Schumer brings the Democrats along. It will probably be up to Ryan and House Republicans to keep spending in check. However, an alliance of House Trumpkins and Democrats could let Trump spend as he desires.

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  19. AJ, I think your following comment at 4:16 is worth exploring:

    ‘The rumors about McMullin being gay are out there. Personally I think it’s irrelevant, but it’s what many believe the celibate point refers to. In Mormon circles it’s OK to be gay, as long as you’re celibate.’

    In Christian circles where I circulate, it is OK to be subject to a variety of sexual temptations as long as you are celibate.

    I never use the word “gay” unless I am singing the first verse of My Old Kentucky Home, but if I did, it would never be in reference to someone who is celibate.

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  20. Organized Perversion has invented and popularized the term “gay” to conflate two entirely different things:
    A. A practicing homosexual; and
    B. A person subject to same sex attraction.

    I believe that Scripture condemns A as sin, but does not condemn B.

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  21. Ricky’s point also renders the “inherited-genetic” argument irrelevant. It matters not whether a tendency toward a particular sin, whether sexual or in the area of addiction or other realms) is hard-wired or not. The scriptures speak of the believers’ behavior and heart toward pleasing God.

    Those Christians who battle same-sex attraction (whether it’s genetic or not, I’ve always felt it becomes rooted so early in life that it makes little difference and “feels” like it’s a lifelong “natural” bent, part of his or her personality) — and understand it to be sinful if acted upon — have a difficult road to travel, I’d say, with celibacy (in some cases) being the only alternative. But God’s grace is sufficient even for this.

    Unfortunately, our society’s recent cultural embrace of homosexuality (along with shutting down ministries or counseling services designed to help those who truly wish to turn away from it) will take a toll on many confused young people. 😦

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  22. I have read Butterfield’s book and found it very interesting. It is fascinating how God works to bring people to himself. I found her discussion on what her ‘real’ sin was very interesting. It was the same with the Yuan’s book, in that, the homosexuality is only part of the ‘sin.’ The discussion is so much bigger than that in both books.

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  23. From George Will. . .

    “It is axiomatic that if someone is sufficiently eager to disbelieve something, there is no Everest of evidence too large to be ignored. This explains today’s revival of protectionism, which is a plan to make America great again by making it 1953 again. . .

    According to a Ball State University study, of the 5.6 million manufacturing jobs lost between 2000 and 2010, trade accounted for 13 percent of job losses and productivity improvements accounted for more than 85 percent. . .”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-plan-to-make-america-1953-again/2016/12/28/7f3e6a54-cc4c-11e6-a87f-b917067331bb_story.html?utm_term=.b1df947b0113

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  24. The Brookings Institute (linked below) has made the case in their referenced study that, for the most part, manufacturing job losses are not due to jobs being automated. I’m not sure how accurate that is….and I’m not sure how much it even matters when it comes to the reality being faced by the unemployed and under-employed in the US; because when all is said and done, people must be able to find productive employment to support their families here in the United States.

    I think the increasingly unfettered international trade that has been a cornerstone of our economic policies for 20 years, does not seem to be working, and it is not providing sufficient opportunity for workers at home to be full participants (as producers rather than just consumers) in their own economy.

    It is to be hoped that the incoming Administration will continue to focus on bringing American companies home to produce, as well as creating a friendly environment for small business growth and start-ups .

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2015/04/29/dont-blame-the-robots-for-lost-manufacturing-jobs/

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  25. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the Democrats, and popular entertainment have made a living for several decades telling black Americans that racism is the cause of their problems, not their own bad choices or sloth, or lack of skills. Many black Americans focused on things they could control, worked hard and succeeded in spite of the words of their “leaders”, but many blamed Whitey, continued to make the same mistakes and remained mired in poverty.

    Trump, Sean Hannity and his ilk, and Fox News have the potential to be the Al Sharpton and Hollywood for working class whites. Just substitute immigrants and free trade as the villains in place of Whitey.

    I read recently that the average Indian immigrant to the US makes over $100,000 a year. Despite our overpriced healthcare, high taxes, and artificially high (because of tree huggers) energy costs, immigrants are succeeding in America. They are creating new small businesses, with no help from Trump or anyone else.

    Obama missed a great chance by failing to tell young blacks that they were responsible for themselves; they shouldn’t blame racism. Trump has a similar opportunity. Sadly, he is going to blame immigrants and free trade, but he wants the economy to grow so maybe he will give a little pep talk to the Trumpkins.

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  26. Where did you read that the average Indian immigrant makes over $100,000? Because I know quite a few, and they’re not coming close to that. (Though they are hard workers.)

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  27. Debra, Here is an article. It also has high average income figures for South African and Filipino immigrants.

    https://www.americanbazaaronline.com/2015/05/01/indian-americans-are-the-richest-community-in-the-us-with-median-income-of-100547/

    It goes to show that economic success is not a matter of race, but of lifestyle choices and hard work.The Indians, the South Africans and the Filipinos aren’t drinking Sharpton’s Kool-aide or Trump’s Kool-aide.

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  28. I also know quite a few Indians, a few Filipinos and a handful of South Africans. Here are a few ways all three differ from average Americans:
    1. Their kids don’t take “regular” courses. They take the pre/AP and AP courses and they excel.
    2. They do not spent thousands of hours of time or tens of thousands of dollars to try to get their kids athletic scholarships.
    3. They still discipline their kids.
    4. The fathers are generally the leaders of the household.
    5. The kids don’t go to college to major in gender studies, sociology, sports management, psychology or counseling.

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