25 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-17-17

  1. Tychicus, Steven Adams is my favorite athlete. Last night Toronto’s 285 lb. Valanciunas gave Andre Roberson a nasty forearm shiver to the ribs. Adams spent the next 2 minutes telling the other big man (literally whispering in Valenciunas’ ear) what was about to happen. He then gave Valenciunas a shot to the mouth, made it look like an accident and got away with a common foul. Then there is this:

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  2. rw: Pretty clever. However, their hero is the wrong guy for MVP.

    The Spurs need to get the #1 seed, to insure they don’t play the Thunder in the first round.

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  3. Tychicus, Rest easy. The Thunder are going to wind up at 5, or even 4. We Thunderkins are now drunk with optimism. Besides, San Antonio vs. OKC is supposed to be in the 2nd round.

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  4. Many people still seem to be confused, shocked, and disgusted by the election of Donald Trump, so I thought it might be enlightening to go back a few years and revisit some of the prevailing wisdom of the recent past. The present is not at all unconnected with the past.

    Does anyone remember Ayn Rand and the excitement that was produced in the Conservative world by the revival of her seminal work, “Atlas Shrugged”. It was required reading for Paul Ryan’s staff. This short piece, written in the Guardian 8 years ago this month, encapsulates the feeling pretty well; and given the recent mention of the national problem of “hyper-individualism”, I thought it relevant.

    In 1991, a survey carried out by the American Library of Congress and the Book of the Month club declared Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, “the most influential book on American lives after the Bible”. It has sold more than 6m copies in the US alone and continues to sell at a rate of about 130,000 a year.

    Rand and her books were the embodiment of right-wing libertarianism and laissez-faire capitalism, which advocated the complete deregulation of business and finance and opposed any form of state welfare. She described her philosophy as “objectivism” or “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute”…..

    …..In the book, the best minds in terms of business, science and the arts are, in effect, on strike – the book was originally called The Strike. It espoused the essential Rand philosophy of “rational self-interest”.

    Throughout her writing life, she promoted the idea expressed in the book: “Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns or dollars. Take your choice – there is no other.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/mar/10/ayn-rand-capitalism

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  5. Ayn Rand has been called one of the “mothers of Libertarianism”, but I’ve also read that she rejected libertarianism. Some libertarians embrace her writings & philosophy, but others dislike them.

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  6. Some people think Rand Paul was named after Ayn Rand, but Rand is a shortening of Randal. Wikipedia says, “Growing up, he went by ‘Randy’, but his wife shortened it to ‘Rand.’ “

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  7. Ah! The discussion with Cheryl turns to something more meaty than cheesecake.

    Ryan is a Roman Catholic. I would consider most of the Catholics with whom I have had theological discussions to be orthodox Christians.

    As a Baptist from the conservative wing of the SBC, I have many disagreements with official Catholic dogma, but have found most Catholics and I agree on the essentials which were after all set forth in the various Creeds drafted by Catholics. Our discussions of the means of salvation have been interesting. They will say they believe in “salvation by grace through faith in Christ”. They think we are sometimes weak in our teaching of repentance. Sadly, that is sometimes true though their teaching and practice in this area is also flawed.

    In this regard, the eminent church historian George Marsden has a new book out on C. S. Lewis and Mere Christianity which details some of the criticism leveled by conservative American Christians toward Lewis and his many Catholic followers.

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  8. Rand’s philosophy is profoundly anti-Christian. There is always a temptation for economic conservatives to become somewhat Randian. You see that in Williamson’s article @ 7:43 when the young Reaganite said to the leftist, “Get a job, hippie!” However, young economic conservatives find it ironic when Democrats or Trumpkins, whose retirement and healthcare is being paid for by the taxes of those conservatives, then call the conservatives “materialists”.

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  9. Thanks, Ricky. I’ll give that a read when I have more time. I am fairly familiar with libertarianism, but always willing to learn more.

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  10. Cheryl, I wouldn’t go that far. The central question is one of authority. We believe Scripture is our authority. The Catholics see the Church as their authority. I have suggested they have a low view of Scripture. They have suggested that I have a low view of the Church. Their mistake on authority has led them into errors. However, we are not immune. You could say that Dispensationalism is one of our mistakes as the sacraments or the veneration of Mary are two of theirs.

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  11. Thanks for the Williamson article — strangely I actually agree with it. The Republicans (and the Conservatives in Canada) have become a “victim” party. Toronto’s Rob Ford was similar to Trump — a rich immature man child who inherited his money and won an election by expressing the victimization of the lower middle class. The parody AJ posted is rather ironic since its the Republicans who use the language of victimization and demand the gov’t keep them safe — oversized military, a wall, etc.

    Baghdad Bob — thats going back — I saw a clip of Spicer; Baghdad Bob was more coherent and level headed. The fact he and the White House insisted they were only quoting a FOX pundit and thus the problem is FOX not the admin demonstrates how little they appreciate their own position. They have access to intelligence and yet feel a FOX pundit is more knowledgeable. Amateur hour.

    Saw the Merkel and Trump photo session. Trump did not look amused — Merkel isn’t some teenage model he can amuse himself with rather she’s a German version of Thatcher. I would love to see the verbal beatdown she portably gave him.

    Looks like I should start watching Raptor basketball — it sounds like a hockey game broke out.

    Ayn Rand is for teenage boys looking for an intellectual justification for rebellion and selfish behaviour. The next step is to misquote Nietzsche.

    I like the Catholic church. If I was to attend church on a regular basis, it would be Catholic or Anglican (high mass with the Book of Common Prayer). Their theology and social positions I wouldn’t agree with (but neither do most Catholics) but the Catholic use of rite, rote and ritual is far better than anything the Protestants could devise.

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  12. Repealing the ACA will probably be the downfall of the Republicans. They had six years to devise a replacement and the best they could come up with was to to modify. And they don’t even agree amongst themselves. The article ricky linked misses the most important point — the Republican plan removes the funding but not the entitlement. Its bound to collapse.

    Latest to be turned back at the border — An Egyptian-Canadian punk rock singer on her way to Austin and Cdn nurses who work in Detroit hospitals. The latter is strange as its quite common for people to live in Windsor but work in Detroit, and its almost impossible to find nurses to work in downtown Detroit.

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  13. Govt can’t finance healthcare for ppl w pre-existing conditions; insurers shouldn’t be forced to (and if they were, it would basically be govt funding it, so same thing). Number of those insured by any govt-proposed plan is *irrelevant* to the measurement of how good that plan is. What a stupid metric. Health care should be *entirely* privatized. That would result in “the greatest good for the greatest number,” but it would also recognize personal freedom. I don’t have the right to barge into my doctor neighbor’s house and demand, “Do an apendectomy on me now, free of charge!”

    Re. Capitalism v. Socialism. For any Christian attempting to make the case for socialized ‘X,’ it’s fine to point the *sentiment* of helping the poor; it’s fine to say government has such and such a role. What I have never (ever) seen, is the *hermeneutic* that justifies the jump from “bible-based charitable sentiment” to “bible-bases *govt sponsorship* of charitable provision.* Anyone want to “beat me over the head” with such a reading of the Bible?

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