39 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-28-17

  1. The NYTimes is blaming the victims.


    “The phrasing here skirts awfully close to suggesting right-wingers are complicit in the “anti-fascist” violence directed at them. If a provocateur like Coulter “throws herself into a volatile situation,” don’t be surprised if the locals are provoked in a “volatile” way, I guess.

    Charles Cooke anticipated this idea of “volatility” yesterday in summarizing the campus view of speech this way: “Your opinions are fighting words because I’ll riot if you express them.”

    [A]cross the country, conservatives like her are eagerly throwing themselves into volatile situations like the one in Berkeley, emboldened by a backlash over what many Americans see as excessive political correctness, a president who has gleefully taken up their fight, and liberals they accuse of trying to censor any idea they disagree with.

    The situation adds up to a striking reversal in the culture wars, with the left now often demanding that offensive content be excised from public discourse and those who promote it boycotted and shunned.
    Did Charles Murray throw himself into a “volatile situation” when he tried to give a talk at Middlebury? Nope, says Murray. He just wanted to give a talk. But if he knew beforehand that the reaction would be “volatile,” so what? I’m sure it’s true that some right-wing speakers are deliberately choosing citadels of liberalism like Berkeley as places to speak, but there are virtuous reasons to do that beyond simple provocation. Intellectually you might do it for the same reason Bernie Sanders chose to speak at Liberty U, to reach an audience that normally isn’t exposed to your ideology. Symbolically you might do it to make a statement that universities, especially public ones, should live up to their promises of diversity and the free exchange of ideas.

    I don’t think the Times excerpt is inconsistent with that. If anything, I think it sins not by implying that conservatives are to blame when “antifa” dirtbags rampage but by implying that self-promotion is the chief reason conservatives might want to be able to speak freely at Berkeley. The piece begins by noting that “Coulter on Wednesday made herself the latest cause célèbre” in the battle over campus free speech. Even if that were true, and it’s not — the leftists who turned the speech a security risk made her a cause celebre — again, so what? Coulter’s speech might have been a PR stunt from the word go, but if it succeeded in drawing attention to the fact that some American universities are no longer fully safe for half the population (insert your own joke about “safe spaces” here), it served a purpose.”


  2. No wonder Bernie wants free college for everyone. It’s so much easier than committing fraud, like his wife.


    “The chair of the Burlington College board of trustees said Thursday that the FBI investigation has been going for more than a year, and at least one former school employee was subpoenaed as part of the probe.

    In January 2016, after reporting by VTDigger showing former Burlington College President Jane Sanders overstated pledged donations in applying for a loan so the school could purchase its former North Avenue campus, Republican lawyer Brady Toensing made a formal request to the U.S. attorney for a fraud investigation.”

    “Jane Sanders, wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., overstated donation amounts in a bank application for a $6.7 million loan the college used to purchase a prime 33-acre property on Lake Champlain in 2010.

    She told People’s United Bank in 2010 that the college had $2.6 million in pledged donations to support the purchase of the former Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington property.

    The college, however, received only $676,000 in actual donations from 2010 through 2014, according to figures provided by Burlington College.

    Two people whose pledges are listed as confirmed in the loan agreement told VTDigger that their personal financial records show their pledges were overstated. Neither was aware the pledges were used to secure the loan.

    Jane Sanders did not respond to a request for comment Thursday asking whether she was subpoenaed or otherwise contacted by the FBI or the U.S. attorney in relation to her time as president of the college.”


  3. An example of the writing of Donald Trump:

    How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
    – Trump on Twitter

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have time to read the whole transcript at the moment, but this tidbit really struck me because I think it is a common misconception that speaks to our condition as a nation.

    AP: You’ve talked a little bit about the way that you’ve brought some business skills into the office. Is there anything from your business background that just doesn’t translate into the presidency, that just simply is not applicable to this job?

    TRUMP: Well in business, you don’t necessarily need heart, whereas here, almost everything affects people. So if you’re talking about health care — you have health care in business but you’re trying to just negotiate a good price on health care, et cetera, et cetera. You’re providing health. This is (unintelligible). Here, everything, pretty much everything you do in government, involves heart, whereas in business, most things don’t involve heart.

    AP: What’s that switch been like for you?

    TRUMP: In fact, in business you’re actually better off without it.

    AP: What’s making that switch been like for you?

    TRUMP: You have to love people. And if you love people, such a big responsibility. (unintelligible) You can take any single thing, including even taxes……


  5. Trump says “Here, everything, pretty much everything you do in government, involves heart, whereas in business, most things don’t involve heart.”……”In fact, in business you’re actually better off without it.”

    This is the misconception that capitalism has wrongly (in my opinion) promoted in our country. “Heart” is a necessary part of both government and business. Business and governments cannot be separated from man. And man cannot be legitimately separated from concern for our fellow man. Just a thought.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Godly, honest businessmen need “heart”. They want their businesses to have a good reputation among their customers, employees and the general public. Con men are allowed to be heartless. They just move along to their next “sucker”.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I know you think he’s a con man. I never would have thought I would have supported an uncomfortably arrogant, twice divorced and bankrupted, multi-billionaire for president. But he seems to be on a journey, and I (along with many other Americans) am desperate enough to maintain hope while we see where it leads. Time will tell whether or not we were just the “next sucker”. :–)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sorry to rain on your parade, but con men always feed on desperation. It causes people to trust people they would have never trusted, invest where they would never have invested, and vote for persons they would have never voted for.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Con men feed on greed. And the American version of Ayn Randian ‘greed is good’, anything-goes capitalism has left the country susceptible to con men from the nation’s capital to its pulpits. It’s why our country is so de-industrialized. And de-Christianized. Ouch.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sorry Kim. But Ricky is here, and I’m here, so how could it not be a Trumpy day— at least in part? Although to be fair, I did notice that yesterday Cheryl tried to bring up the issue of the imperilment of free speech on campuses. But we were distracted by the low-hanging fruit of Trump and Taxes, and did not give it the attention it deserves. :–/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. But life is too short to be counting the months. Did anyone else start reading the Benedictine Option? I’m only about 1/4 through it—that’s all the time I could spare from the grandbabies in the last two weeks. So far, the book is very good.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Debra, My son liked it as well. He has given me reports. I am currently occupied by regimental histories of the three Texas regiments in Hood’s Brigade.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I believe several times during the election season I called him a misogynistic jackass.
    I have to hear it ALL the time. CNN, The Daily Show, Samantha B, Stephen Colbert, my gay and liberal friends. I have way, way too much Trump in my life.
    He is what we have for a President right now. I didn’t like Obama either but I didn’t spend my days hearing about, discussing, or whatever when he was in office. Life goes on.

    How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kim, the rain has finally stopped in TN. I just got back from Colorado and Nevada where all was sunny and nice. And babies only cried when hungry, and NO politics were discussed—–or at least they were artfully not discussed. I think one son and dil voted Hillary (maybe both). One day we were quietly talking about some policy and someone said “I don’t know how that could be done”, and 9 yr old on his way out the door with the dogs turned and shouted “Build a wall!!!” Sarcastic runt. :–)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am related to the Sheriff who arrested the “witches” of Salem, MA. I don’t go talking about him all the time… (Isn’t this the first time I have mentioned him?)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Interesting perspectives from several sources on just what the media still isn’t getting about Trump.


    “10. We haven’t nailed the biggest story.
    Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times

    It’s been thrilling to see so much first-rate investigative journalism about the Trump administration. But we still haven’t gotten to the bottom of Russian interference in the election, perhaps the most consequential political story of 2016. Coverage has been intense at times, especially when it comes to Trump officials lying about their Russian contacts. But then the coverage wanes or gets caught up in minor scoops, and the public loses the thread. Meanwhile, the Russia side of the story is still shrouded in darkness. That story requires very difficult reporting, which is why it would be productive for quality news organizations like the New York Times, Washington Post, ProPublica, CNN, BuzzFeed News, the Guardian and a few others to form an investigative consortium to dig, discover and confirm reporting that reveals the true extent of foreign meddling. The attempt to disrupt our democratic electoral process deserves a bold force multiplier.

    11. The press is still biased against Trump.
    Mark Bauerlein, senior editor at First Things and professor of English at Emory University

    The media continue to misconstrue Trump’s image and character—including his appeal to many Americans—because they don’t realize how tiresome identity politics and grievances have become. Throughout the campaign, journalists cited Trump’s –isms and –phobias again and again, relentlessly playing his “shocking” words. They ignored the hypersensitivity and indignation of his critics. Who were those individuals blocking a highway in Phoenix in order to disrupt a Trump event? What kind of people concocted such a monstrous vision of him that they went out and burned cars and smashed storefronts in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere? Why do entertainers and commentators believe Trump and his supporters are so appalling that profanity is in order?”


  17. This has gone on long enough. It needs to end.


    “Late at night, when helicopters thrum overhead and spotlights beam down onto lawns, many people here know exactly what’s going on.

    “You just think, ‘Oh, God, whose child is it now?'” said Stephanie Spezia, a longtime resident of this suburb in the heart of Long Island that’s caught in the grip of a violent street gang with Central American ties, MS-13.

    MS-13 has been blamed for a trail of 11 corpses of mostly young people discovered in woods and vacant lots in Brentwood and neighboring Central Islip since the start of the school year.

    The bloodshed in the two blue-collar towns has gotten the attention of President Donald Trump, who says the killings are the result of lax immigration policies that let too many criminal “scum” slip through.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech about the violence to law enforcement officials Friday not far from a park where the bodies of four young men were found this month bearing MS-13’s hallmarks: repeated slashes from a blade that left the victims nearly unrecognizable.

    Some parents say they are afraid to let their children go to school. Teens say any perceived slight to a gang member, especially a refusal to join, can mean death.

    After one high school warned parents not to let their kids wear anything “gang-affiliated,” gang members started deciding on a daily basis what colors were off-limits, leaving students to guess what not to wear.

    “Kids are losing their childhoods,” said Jennifer Suarez, whose 15-year-old niece was beaten and hacked to death in the street last year. “You can see the stress on their faces as they get ready. It’s like, you know, they’re suiting up for battle.”

    So how does a street gang with ties to Central America gain such an aggressive foothold in the suburbs of Long Island?”

    They know the answer, they just don’t want to admit it, or change the policies that allow them to stay here.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kizzie, I did read the article you linked. But I’m still wading through the book, and also reading the piece Ricky linked to last night (which is really quite meaty and worth the read). So I want more understanding before I say too much pro or con about the Benedict Option. At this point, I’m just thinking it’s very interesting.

    I did notice that the article you linked seems to have a serious problem with the Option as a Catholic project rather than seeing it in a broader way.

    It also seems to conflate the civil rights relevant to slavery and gay rights. But the author did say something that I thought was very insightful because it relates to the way we have chosen to frame the debate.

    “Slavery led to a legal fight to define inherent freedoms, which in turn led to segregation and a legal battle to define equality apart from the image of God. If “equality” is the bullet that finally killed legalized segregation, we can’t be surprised when the culture reloads to shoot marriage as well.”

    While I don’t think it’s true that the argument from “equality” should naturally lead to gay marriage, it does open the door to it—or at least it takes it off the latch. And the more we attempt to maintain our human rights without acknowledging the Creator that we have legally, by our own Declaration of Independence, obtained them from, the worse it gets for us. I’m afraid that is the political battle we should have been fighting all along. But we’ve been too busy enjoying our big screen TVs, cell phones and laptops. Ouch again.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I am now a free lance glamour consultant and here is my tip for the day: Most ladies are more attractive if their dresses are pink or blue and their hair is not.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Debra, I actually think a big part of the problem is that we’ve been fighting political battles at all. Unbelievers aren’t going to agree with us about politics, and political battles should never have been our primary focus. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, earthly, but they are mighty, to the breaking down of strongholds . . .

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Debra – I don’t even remember where I came across that piece. It could have been from someone else on this blog, for all I know. 🙂

    I’ve read a few pieces from the Cripplegate, & don’t always agree completely, & I have sometimes disliked the tone.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Cheryl, our focus has been off kilter. I have seen pulpits silenced for fear of running foul of the IRS, withholding messages of caution and warning that rightfully should have been given with confidence. In other places, I’ve heard the pulpit blatantly beat the drum for the US military with discouraging regularity. I’m beginning to long for a church like Kim’s. Still, I think one must fight the battles in front of you, and I am here. :–)


  23. Kizzie, I often read things I don’t entirely agree with, and I’m enriched for it. I enjoyed reading your link. :–)

    The scripture Cheryl referred to is the one I try to remember—all the more so when I get too discouraged (or too encouraged) by the political climate or events. Human beings are not the enemy, nor are they our saviors. :–)

    Liked by 2 people

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