24 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-7-18

  1. Taiwan is another unlikely country (along with Hong Kong) that ranks higher on the Heritage economic freedom index than the US. And yet…

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Monday that it would never tolerate any separatist schemes for self-ruled Taiwan and would safeguard China’s territorial integrity with the aim of “reunification” with an island it considers its sacred territory.

    Premier Li Keqiang issued the warning in a speech at the opening of the annual session of China’s parliament, his stern words coming amid mounting Chinese anger over a U.S. bill that seeks to raise official contacts between Washington and Taipei.

    On Friday, China said Taiwan would only get burnt if it sought to rely on foreigners, adding to the warnings from state media about the risk of war.

    The U.S. legislation, which only needs President Donald Trump’s signature to become law, says it should be U.S. policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts, permit high-level Taiwan officials to enter the United States“under respectful conditions” and meet U.S. officials.

    …. Beijing considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and integral part of “one China”, ineligible for state-to-state relations, and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

    Hong Kong has been another troublesome area for China’s leadership, especially after students organized weeks of protests in late 2014 to push for full democracy.
    China will continue to implement to the letter and in spirit the“one country, two systems” method of rule for the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, Li said.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-parliament-taiwan/china-warns-taiwan-it-wont-tolerate-separatist-activities-idUSKBN1GH00D

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  2. Thanks for the tip, Debra! Although Taiwan may be ranked ahead of the US, it is not that high on our list of places of refuge. On the other hand:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My Dad has spoken with great affection of the Philippines and has said he would not have come back to the US if not for family here—but then, he was a missionary and sowed almost 20 years of his life into the people there. He says many people from the US retire there and can afford to live great lives with their retirement income. I understand immigration, and the many reason’s one might make the difficult decision to immigrate to another country; and I understand being a missionary and falling in love with the people. But I confess I have never understood the retirement angle. To sow your whole life into your family and neighbors–your countrymen— and then just uproot and move? For what? The beaches? The sunset? The draw eludes me entirely. To leave the battlefield where you have labored a lifetime when you are needed most would take more than a pretty sunset.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debra, It is not a retirement angle. If we were to move, it would be with our son and his family. It would be for many of the same reasons that our ancestors came from Europe to America: to find a better home for our grandchildren and their children.

    The last two years have been an eye-opener. We have always known the Democrats were opposed to most of what we believe. We find Trump and his cult just as disgusting.

    We always knew that there were Jeremiah Wrights on the left. The Trumpist pastors on the right are just as troubling.

    The current battle over tariffs is important. If Trump starts an actual trade war, he will make virtually all Americans poorer and will hurt hundreds of millions around the world. There are many who don’t want to be associated with a leader or a nation who would do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I understand Ricky. But real immigrants have not typically been concerned about sunsets and golf greens. And pilgrims searching for an abiding city here are doomed to disappointment. I would be careful of trading the frying pan for the fire. But one must do what one must do.

    Have you checked out the church community in those places? Or are you planning to be missionaries. :–)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sure you’ve checked out all the immigration requirements for those countries, Ricky. They’re onerous.

    Some 15 years ago, our family spent 2.5 weeks camping around New Zealand in an RV. We all liked the country very much–I’d love to go back, perhaps on a book tour? 🙂

    It reminded us of a cross between Alaska and Hawai’i and, since we were there at Christmas, a refreshingly un-advertisement driven nation. We decided we could all live there, fine, as long as we could get lots of books through Amazon. 🙂

    Our kids could have immigrated, but for my husband and I, over 40 at the time, the requirements were very high and not ones we could meet. We’d have to invest more than $1M US and be able to pay for our own health insurance, I think, for starters.

    Singapore, I believe is very cramped, expensive and you can’t chew gum. My husband spent a day there touring a factory for work but wasn’t impressed.

    Most people we know are moving to Idaho . . . Boise in particular. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I didn’t know about the gum ban in Singapore. I looked it up and found that a great many things are highly regulated in Singapore—-so much so, that I’m very surprised by the #2 ranking on the Heritage Economic Freedom index. I’m puzzled actually. The things that so many people go completely spastic about here (healthcare, regulations, severe curtailment of personal freedoms) are taken for granted in Singapore. This article from 2015 was enlightening about the regulations, but still puzzling that these personal regulations are considered compatible with economic freedom. It all seem a little Leftish to me. So why go all the way to Singapore; just move to Beverly Hills like the author and call it even. :–)

    …. By the time the gum ban was implemented, Lee had completed 31 years as prime minister, and had become “senior minister”, a big power behind the scenes.

    “We were called a nanny state,” he told the BBC’s Peter Day in 2000. “But the result is that we are today better behaved and we live in a more agreeable place than 30 years ago.”
    At that time, Lee was pushing for a “new burst of creativity in business” and Day “hesitantly” suggested that chewing gum stuck to the pavements might be a sign that the desired new spirit of creativity had arrived.

    Lee grimaced.
    “Putting chewing gum on our subway train doors so they don’t open, I don’t call that creativity. I call that mischief-making,” Lee replied. “If you can’t think because you can’t chew, try a banana.”

    Lee felt there was a public policy solution to everything, Plate says, even that gum on the pavement, or the doors of the “mass rapid transit” trains. “He was what I call a pragmatic utopian,” Plate says. “He woke up in the morning and said, ‘How can I make it better today?'”……..

    Since 2004 – as a result of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement – pharmacists and dentists have also been allowed to sell “therapeutic” gum, to customers with a medical prescription. This includes standard sugar-free gum.

    You’d still face a steep fine for spitting out the chewed gum and leaving it as litter.
    “We joke about these policies… we Singaporeans describe Singapore as a ‘fine city’ – a tongue-in-cheek reference to the many fines that can be imposed for various types of social misconduct,” says Eugene Tan, an associate professor of law at the Singapore Management University.

    … Plate, who has visited Singapore more than a dozen times, has never had any problem complying with the law, though he says his Berkeley-educated wife was tempted to walk on the grass.

    Singapore is “excessively cleaned, overpriced and over-policed,” he says – not that different from his own home town, Beverly Hills in California.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32090420

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A few thoughts on emigration:
    1. To me, the strongest reason to move your family would be if you concluded your children, grandchildren, and more distant descendants should not grow up here.
    2. A good case can be made that the US and Western Europe are in a decline that is not likely to be reversed. Those nations have largely rejected God, morality, a work ethic, financial responsibility, the family and objective truth. The church, the family, popular culture and the political culture in those cultures are in a freefall.
    3. There are barriers to entry into most desirable countries. Those barriers will be raised higher as more Americans desire to emigrate.
    4. The best way to start the process may be to get a job with a large corporation or a university or similar institution in your desired country.
    5. Americans who live in suburban “bubbles” where most people stay married, work, pay taxes, go to church and stay off drugs may feel safe. However, they are like people on the bow of the Titantic – attached to that sinking ship. The same is true for people in Idaho and North Texas – those places to which so many others are trying to flee.
    6. When trying to compare the state of the American Church with the the Church in other countries, it is useful to read Douthat’s “A Nation of Heretics”. Watching TBN for 2 hours will produce the same result.

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  9. What countries do incorporate Christian values into their societies? Genuinely curious.

    My husband works for an international company. They send virtually no Americans to work in foreign countries because the taxes are so high and thus the salary demands ridiculous when you do so.

    I believe God puts us in a time and place for His purposes. I’d really rather not live in beautiful California, but this is where God has us at this time. If not us, who? If not here, where?

    The idea of going with many generations of family members–which the current administration has just made off limit into the US–is the only good way to go and historically is how people came–hunting a better life for their families and generations to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here is a Q and A article with Douthat about his book:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/may/ross-douthat-bad-religion.html

    Michelle, I would ask different questions than your first question.

    I would ask:
    1. Where is the church active and growing though it may be small?
    2. What countries does God seem to be blessing?
    3. In what countries, do the majority of citizens act like responsible adults?

    It has been said that this is the Asian Century.
    I think the answers to those questions would be dominated by countries around the Pacific Rim. The US should also be part of that Pacific Rim group, but certain of our leaders and most of our people are reverting back to the old failed ways of socialism, protectionism, sloth, financial irresponsibility, con games, and xenophobia while embracing or accepting the most graphic immorality and dishonesty.

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  11. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/trump-team-needs-to-go-to-economics-school-quickly/article38215494/?utm_source=Faecbook&utm_medium=Paid%20Social&utm_campaign=PM2018

    Thought Rick would like the link.

    Not an adherent of free trade but Trump’s tariffs dont make sense from a pragmatic pov

    Every country has its plus and minuses. The Heritage index is a horrid standard to go by….unless you are solely there to do business or invest. It does not measure freedom on a balanced scale including personal, press and economics.. Save yourself the moving costs. Stay where you are and travel alot

    Liked by 4 people

  12. More collusion and election interference with the foreigner Soros. And no one does a thing.

    If the Russians really want to interfere, they should just use the Soros method of buying elections.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/06/soros-district-attorney-win-texas/

    “George Soros has effectively purchased another district attorney’s seat.

    The left-wing billionaire pumped almost $1 million into a Texas district attorney’s race against a Democratic DA who opposes sanctuary cities, according to campaign filings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    Soros’s preferred candidate, Joe Gonzales, upset incumbent Bexar County DA Nico LaHood in the Democratic primary Tuesday. LaHood conceded after Gonzales jumped up to a sizable lead as votes were counted.

    Soros spent $958,000 supporting Gonzales’s cause through a super PAC, Texas Justice & Public Safety, according to campaign finance records reviewed by TheDCNF. The super PAC churned out attack ads against LaHood, accusing him of being racist. LaHood accused Soros of trying to buy the election for Gonzales. Soros’s super PAC spent $897,000 of his money in the final 30 days before the election, campaign finance documents show.

    Gonzales is now considered the favorite to win the DA election for Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio and is one of Texas’s largest counties. If he wins, Gonzales will join at least 11 progressive lawyers since 2015 who have won district attorney’s seats thanks to massive financial donations from Soros.

    Soros has the routine down. He uses powerhouse Democratic law firm Perkins Coie to set up a super PAC named some variant of “Justice & Public Safety.” The super PAC will surface late in a DA race, using the kind of capital typically reserved for a national political race to fund a series of attack ads benefitting Soros’s preferred candidate, who wins almost every time.”
    ———————–

    Note Soros using the same crooked law firm as Hillary, the DNC, and Fusion GPS.

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  13. Like with foreigners colluding ith elections, some leakers are more equal than others.

    And further proof that Schiff and the NYTimes are garbage, as are their sources, but I repeat myself……

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/03/06/media-fight-for-democrats-in-washington-leak-wars/

    “The New York Times published a story on March 1, based on anonymous sources, claiming that Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., had met with House Speaker Paul Ryan to blame Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., for leaking texts between Mark Warner and the attorney for a Russian oligarch connected to the author of the salacious and unverified dossier the FBI used to secure a wiretap against a Trump campaign affiliate.

    It was a weird story for many reasons. For one, it was the first time the paper had even mentioned these encrypted texts, despite their newsworthiness and the dramatic twist they gave parts of the Russia investigation.

    For another, the story was denied publicly by Burr, who told CNN that the account was simply wrong.

    For another, it turned out that no members on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence had even seen the texts, according to Nunes and others on the committee.

    But the weirdest part about the story is that The New York Times is a frequent recipient of actual leaks from House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee. On Feb. 27, Democrats on the committee leaked Hope Hicks’ testimony directly to The New York Times. In fact, Nicholas Fandos, the very same reporter on the anonymously sourced story about House Republicans supposedly leaking, received a leak from Democrats on the committee, which he immediately published under the headline, “Hope Hicks Acknowledges She Sometimes Tells White Lies for Trump.”

    Fandos ran with the spin given to him by Schiff and his staff.

    WASHINGTON — Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, told House investigators on Tuesday that her work for President Trump, who has a reputation for exaggerations and outright falsehoods, had occasionally required her to tell white lies.

    But after extended consultation with her lawyers, she insisted that she had not lied about matters material to the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to Trump associates, according to three people familiar with her testimony.

    The exchange came during more than eight hours of private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Ms. Hicks declined to answer similar questions about other figures from the Trump campaign or the White House.

    The story is based on three anonymous Democrats who serve on or work for the committee. A Republican who serves on the committee spoke publicly about this top news that Fandos carried directly from Democrats’ spin room to the pages of the New York Times. In fact, he said that the latest — of dozens upon dozens — of leaks from House Democrats was the last straw for him, not just because it was yet another leak but because it was spun so falsely.

    “We’ve gotten to the point now where we’re literally bringing people in for nine hours just so the Democrats can leak to the press,” said Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla.

    Later reports revealed that Hicks hadn’t testified about anything dramatic but had occasionally said her boss was in a meeting when he was actually just otherwise preoccupied. Now, maybe that’s treason and worthy of breathless New York Times coverage and a day-long general media freakout. But if it is, that media will have nothing else to write about for decades and thousands of dead Washington, D.C., press secretaries will soon be swinging from the gallows, all hanged for treason and high crimes. Schiff, who if he didn’t leak the testimony himself, oversees the Democrats who did, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that it was “unfair” that the Hicks testimony had been leaked. Really.”

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  14. Now we can see what Obama and Holder have been hiding.

    Sad that the dead agents family was treated this way by our govt.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/07/doj-releases-fast-and-furious-documents-obama-holder-gowdy/

    “The Justice Department announced Wednesday it would hand over documents related to the Obama-era Fast and Furious gun scandal to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

    Former President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder had previously refused to produce documents requested by Oversight, documents which former Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz at the time called “critical” to pursuing the investigation.”
    ———————–

    “Amanda Gonzalez, Gowdy’s communications director, told The Daily Caller the Oversight Committee “seeks all relevant facts so we can learn from the mistakes made by the Justice Department.”

    “We have a responsibility to uncover why they worked so hard to hide this information from the Committee, the family of Brian Terry, and the American people,” she added.”

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  15. Its been over 25 yrs since I’ve been to Krakow. I really liked Old Town Square with the Cloth Hall and St Mary’s Basilica. In addition there is Wawel Castle which wasn’t open when I was there. With the Castle grounds there’s chapels, crypts, etc.

    I took a day trip to Auschwitz. Well worth it. When i went, there was very little in terms of tourist amenities. It was basically a cold, dark and grim place (it was December). My daughter visited a few years back and thought it was a bit touristy but still meaningful.

    New Zealand is on my bucket list esp since my girlfriend is from there.

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  16. This is interesting.

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  17. This is a creative solution for a pervasive problem.

    Legislation offered by Rhode Island lawmakers would require internet service providers to block customers from accessing online pornography until after they’ve paid a one-time fee.
    Introduced by Democrats in the state Senate, the bill, “An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers—Internet Digital Blocking,” would force internet providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable to impose a flat $20 “digital access fee” on customers wishing to view “sexual content and patently offensive material.”

    Rhode Island state law defines sexual content as depictions and descriptions of any act of sexual intercourse, “normal or perverted, actual or simulated.” The same statute categorizes “patently offensive material” as anything that is “so offensive on its face as to affront current standards of decency.”

    Fees collected by internet customers who’ve paid to deactivate the digital block would be relayed to the state and allocated toward the governor’s council on human trafficking, according to the bill.

    Additionally the bill would require internet providers to block access to sites that contain child pornography and revenge porn, as well as any sites that facilitate prostitution or human trafficking.

    “The purpose of this legislation is to first and foremost protect our children from viewing websites that could have possible detrimental effects to their psyches and developmental process,” said state Senator Frank Ciccone, a Providence Democrat who introduced the bill last week.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/7/rhode-island-weighs-digital-access-fee-internet-po/

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