35 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-1-17

  1. So, I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store this morning and I saw from the front page of the reputable and trustworthy National Enquirer that the Trumps are in danger. Some terrorist has got a hold of the blueprints of all the Trump houses and that Special Security personnel have been drinking on the job. Ya know, somebody outta do something about that.

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  2. Especially on April 1st. On another April 1st, there was a photo of me carrying the Olympic Torch through an obscure town in Russia.

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  3. If it weren’t for high taxes, I could afford a decent roof for my patio instead of just a metal frame covered with sticks. I would also like some nice metal and plastic pool chairs instead of that one queer wooden one.


  4. Oh come on, I think that curvy wooden deck chair looks pretty comfortable 🙂

    I have 20-year-old wooden Target patio furniture that’s a bit rickety and faded, but still hanging in there. Of course, now it’s all covered with worker stuff from the past several months. One of the chairs now is perched on top of the patio table — and, naturally, that’s the one that the cat prefers to nap on in the afternoons. She’s way up high and can survey her subjects and land.

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  5. Yes, Husband said pretty much the same thing about O’Reilly just before we disconnected the cable a few years ago. Fox News became progressively less like news and more like entertainment after it became Disney-fied in the ’90s. Talk-show hosts shepherd the topics that conservatives will think about like cowpokes rounding up the steer for next week’s dinner. But usually 5-10 minutes every few days of any one of them would be sufficient to let the herd know what we’re expected to be getting ulcers over this week. Of course, that model is almost out the window now. Since we have a President who tweets whatever he happens to be thinking about at the moment, entertainment news has been left flat-footed and struggling to find its competitive value. That in itself is kind of entertaining. :–)

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  6. Tychicus, It was a good game. I liked the first 2 1/2 quarters and my son mainly wanted to talk about the last quarter 1/2. He was impressed by Pop’s defensive strategy on the other RW.


  7. Debra, I don’t really watch MSNBC, but I will catch glimpses of CNN.

    I gather that MSNBC sees Trump as the conservative ogre even as Fox saw Obama as the liberal ogre 8 years ago.

    I think CNN, the three major TV networks and the biggest newspapers see this as 1972-1974 again. They see Trump as a more bumbling, but also more charismatic Nixon who is a threat to the Republic. Of course, in their minds they are the new Woodward and Bernsteins. Many expect to find the smoking gun on the Trump/Russia connection. I think they are going to be disappointed. However, they can’t figure out why Trump (and his staff and some others, i.e. Nunes) have acted so strangely regarding the “tapp” allegations if Trump doesn’t have something to hide on Russia. They still haven’t learned never to underestimate the power of stupidity. Or maybe I am underestimating Trump’s ability to succeed by staying on the offense, no matter what.

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  8. I’m more interested in tonight’s games. 🙂

    I would love to see a South Carolina – Oregon final. Anybody but NC works though.

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  9. Ricky, interesting articles by Brooks. I would have to disagree with his objection to the teaching of the ugly parts of American history and how he blames that for causing Americans to lose their sense of purpose. I have recently posted about one of the ugliest parts of Canadian history. I suppose, after learning about such atrocities, the initial reaction might be to question whether the country one lives in should even exist – for those who live in countries who are as young as those in North America that is, as the countries of Europe have long histories in which they have all at times been the guilty and at times, the victims. However, life goes on, and one realizes that the past can be repented of, but not changed. I love my country no less for having acknowledged her darkest deeds, though I deeply mourn that those deeds took place. A patriotism that is based on an idealized view of one’s country is a shallow love, like the love of a man for a women simply because she looks beautiful. If one is to compare one’s country with the nation of Israel, it would be well to remember all of Israel’s history, and that the shedding of innocent blood by that nation brought terrible punishment to the nation and necessitated an extensive and very public national repentance (II Kings 24:3-4; Nehemiah 9:1-3).

    The country that hides from its past evil deeds will not prosper, because, the laws of nature and nature’s God – to borrow Jefferson’s phrase – demand that whoever sheds human blood, by humans his blood will be shed (Genesis 9:6). If not paid for in the generation which committed the atrocity, then the next generations will pay, as Saul’s sons paid for their father’s genocide (II Samuel 21:1-8). I have sometimes wondered if the horror of abortion is the children paying for the sins of their fathers – in Canada, the systematic theft of First Nations children, in the U.S.A., the systematic program of forcing birth control measures, including abortion, on poorer nations. Canada and the U.S. are not Israel, and do not have the promises made to Israel, but even the secular kings who humbled themselves before the God of Israel received some blessing. That humility starts with acknowledging not only a country’s present sins, but also the sins of the past.

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  10. Of course, I was rooting for two (men and women) entirely Confederate Championship Games. However, three out of four teams isn’t bad.

    Roscuro, I understand your point. However, what is “ugly” about a nation’s history has been flipped 180 degrees during my lifetime. It is for that reason that I enjoyed Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto despite the fact that it was made after 1960.


  11. Ricky, if you mean that now so many special interest groups are clamouring for their grievances to be recognized that the true wrongs of the past are obscured or trivialized, I would agree with you. Not sure that any film by Mel Gibson has anything to say about actual history, but if you are getting at the fact that violent deeds preexisted Europeans coming to the shores of America, I would agree that such was the case; but to use the pre-European history of the Americas as a way of lessening, or maybe the better word is normalizing, the egregious sins of the Europeans is a fallacy of distraction. To use a phrase coined by our Lord, we can’t behold the mote in the eye of the Native Americans, and not consider the beam in our own eye. One thing that the Europeans committing such acts claimed that the Native Americans did not, and that is that they were Christian. Bartolome de las Casas, when he recorded the atrocities committed by his fellow Spaniards on the Natives of the Caribbean, was particularly grieved on that point:

    …as if the Son of God, who suffered Death for the Redemption of all Mankind, had enacted a Law, when he pronounced these words, Go and teach all Nations that Infidels, living peaceably and quietly in their Hereditary Native Country, should be impos’d upon pain of Confiscation of all their Chattels, Lands, Liberty, Wives, Children, and Death itself, without any precedent instruction to Confess and Acknowledge the true God, and subject themselves to a King, whom they never saw, or heard mention’d before; and whose Messengers behav’d themselves toward them with such Inhumanity and Cruelty as they had done hitherto. [from ‘A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1542): https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Short_Account_of_the_Destruction_of_the_Indies/Chapter_6

    There is a command in Scripture, “let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from inqiuity” and a warning not to take the name of the Lord in vain, “for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” (II Timothy 2:19; Exodus 20:7). Those who claim to be Christian and yet commit without repentance the same evil as those who do not know Christ are held to a greater guilt (Hebrews 10:26-31). It is undoubted that ‘Christian’ churches played a key role in Canada’s worst chapter, and it is probable that the decline – not only doctrinally but also in membership numbers and in being shut out of public discourse – of those same churches is inextricably linked to the wrong they did. It reminds me of what Christ said to the church of Ephesus in Revelation: Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.(2:5, HCSB) . The Lord is not interested in earthly kingdoms that humans build in his name, and he repeatedly declares vengeance upon those who prey upon the weak for gain (John 18:36, Proverbs 1). I have often considered that the rapid moral decline, which has served to reveal that most of the West was never truly Christian in the first place, is happening because God will not have the name of his Son associated with the evil that the so-called Christians of the West committed. As Jonah caused the storm by disobeying the name of his God, so Christians may have caused the decline of the West by disobeying their Lord. “If the salt has lost its savour, how can it be salted? It is henceforward good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13).

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  12. Roscuro, I know the Spaniards were far from perfect. I know my ancestors here in Texas were far from perfect. However, I believe the destruction and replacement of the Aztec, Mayan and Comanche civilizations was a good thing just as I believe the destruction and replacement of the German Nazi and Imperial Japanese civilizations in 1945 was a good thing. The Comanches were much rougher in their treatment of women than are the Muslims.

    I also believed there were godly Spanish priests working with the natives throughout Latin America even as others worked to take riches back to Spain. It is interesting to go to Mexico and see the areas where the Catholic priests have been active for centuries and see other areas (generally in the mountains) where Catholicism never took hold. Protestant missionaries are doing fine work in those mountain areas today.


  13. Ricky, when Christ spoke to the Church of Sardis in Revelation 3, he said there were a few who had kept their garments pure and were alive, but the rest were dead, though they claimed to be alive. The goodness of men such as Bartolome de las Casas only serves to highlight the darkness of his countrymen. If you read his work, you would know that the Spaniards of his day make ISIS look tame, and much of what he records is based on his own first-hand experience, since he accompanied Columbus when he colonized Hispaniola and later served as a priest in other colonies. It is true that the Gospel did reach the shores of the Americas because of European exploration, but while God accomplishes his own purposes, he holds men accountable for their actions. Babylon and Assyria did not escape the justice of God simply because they were used to punish the land of Israel for their sins. We may trace the wider pattern of God’s mercy through history, but that does not enable us to excuse the wrongdoing in men’s narrower schemes.

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  14. A few years back I was having a discussion similar to this with my secretary at a big downtown firm. We were friends, but she was liberal (Roscuro, I know you aren’t.) and was shocked at my historical view of Indians (feather wearing not cobra charming).

    We agreed that one weekend I would watch Dances With Wolves and she would watch The Searchers. Neither of us had seen the other’s movie. I put my assignment off until Sunday night. It was the most tedious, boring, unpleasant four hours of my life. If the movie had an ounce of realism, the Confederates would have shot Kevin Costner in the first scene and it would have been a great six minute feature. I went to work thinking she had got the best of me. When I got to work her hair was still literally standing on end from being forced to watch two hours of an extremely accurate portrayal of Comanches (as well as ex-Confederate Texans and Yankee cavalrymen). I left the office knowing my four hours of torture had been well worth it.


  15. Now we’re getting somewhere…


    “Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding the story behind the FBI’s reported plan to pay the author of a lurid and unsubstantiated dossier on candidate Donald Trump. In particular, Grassley appears to be zeroing in on the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, indicating Senate investigators want to learn more about McCabe’s role in a key aspect of the Trump-Russia affair.

    Grassley began his investigation after the Washington Post reported on February 28 that the FBI, “a few weeks before the election,” agreed to pay former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate Trump. Prior to that, supporters of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign had paid Steele to gather intelligence on Clinton’s Republican rival. In the end, the FBI did not pay Steele, the Post reported, after the dossier “became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials.” It is not clear whether Steele worked under agreement with the FBI for any period of time before the payment deal fell through.

    “The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Comey dated March 28.

    Grassley demanded the FBI turn over all its records relating to Steele and the dossier, in addition to “all FBI policies, procedures, and guidelines applicable when the FBI seeks to fund an investigator associated with a political opposition research firm connected to a political candidate, or with any outside entity.”

    But the most noteworthy thing about Grassley’s letter is its focus on McCabe. Grassley noted that McCabe is already under investigation by the FBI’s inspector general for playing a top role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation even though McCabe’s wife accepted nearly $700,000 in political donations arranged by a close Clinton friend, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, for her run for state senate in Virginia.”


  16. Ricky, that is why one should never look to films for an accurate historical portrayal. I lost all interest in seeing Dances with Wolves after seeing the trailer; The Searchers I did watch, but it told me nothing about Native Americans that I didn’t already know. I know American conservatives are concerned that the truth about Native Americans isn’t being told, but Canadian history begins with some pretty hair raising stories, such as the brutal torture and execution of Father Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant along with a group of Christian Huron, when they were captured in an attack by the Iroquois who were in conflict with the Huron tribe (the Huron carol ‘Jesus Ahatonia’ that de Brebeuf wrote is still sung at Christmas). I grew up hearing and reading those stories. The national broadcaster included them in their documentary series of Canada’s history. We know what went on, but I’m bound to say, aside from the Iroquois raids on New France (which after 1677 were part of the British campaign against the French as the Iroquois were British allies) and a Metis (descendants of French traders and their Native wives) rebellion in Manitoba which was provoked by land greedy settlers who were swindling the Metis, the First Nations in Canada were remarkably peaceful towards the Europeans, even though there was war among the different tribes. On the other hand, the Beothuk tribe of Newfoundland was hunted to extinction by European settlers on the island.

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