24 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-8-18

    News Alert

    On FoxNews. Trump is arriving at Andrews AFB.

    QoD. How many people in the world care about that?
    If you run out of fingers, use your toes to count.


  2. Sad news.


    “The CDC released a heartbreaking and incredibly concerning report Thursday. The national suicide rate has climbed 25% since 1999. But that’s just an overall average.

    North Dakota has witnessed the most tragic climb in suicides at 57.6%. Vermont has seen a 48.6% increase, Utah? 46.5%. Other states whose suicide rates have crept over 40%: South Dakota, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Kansas, and Idaho.

    In 25 states, the suicide rate rose over 30%.”

    “The fruit of our current culture is death.

    There are numerous contributing factors. How we’ve stigmatized pain management, mental health, the confusion involved in individual identity and self-valuation, social isolation ushered in by rapid technological advances, a generation raised unable to regulate emotions, economic conditions, the petering out of long-standing industry, and the list goes on.

    The CDC report clearly states that the suicide epidemic is “more than a mental health concern.”


  3. Well, the Conservatives won a majority in Ontario, with 76 seats. The Liberals were soundly defeated, losing official party status (official party status comes with a quota of seats in the legislature – below quota, the elected party members essentially sit as independents) with only 7 seats won, which means they lost 48 seats. The NDP is the official opposition with 40 seats: https://globalnews.ca/news/4257183/ontario-election-results-2018/. The voter turnout was at 58 percent, which is the highest it has been in 20 years: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/voter-turnout-in-ontario-election-strongest-in-this-millennium-1.3965163.


  4. From the Cornwall Alliance:


    A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science and Economics of Global Warming

    (Article was originally published in The Spectator Australia)


    ‘Religious’ reasons associated with the Alliance’s position:

    1. There should be honesty and truth in all areas of teaching and research. It is becoming increasingly recognised that not only is there no academic consensus upon the issue of climate change, but that a significant number of highly qualified scientists—for example, Professor Peter Ridd from James Cook University—have consistently challenged the research upon which the effects of climate change is based. …

    2. Moderate increases in temperature, and especially carbon dioxide, are a blessing. … small to moderate elevations in the earth’s temperature, and especially increases in carbon dioxide, is actually beneficial to agriculture and human flourishing. This is because longer growing seasons means greater overall productivity making food more abundant and hence, more affordable. It also means less damage to crops from frost, and fewer cold snaps, which are responsible for killing many more people than heat waves do.

    3. Biblical justice commands that concern be shown, especially for the poor. Following on from the previous point, the price of using renewable energy sources is much higher than using that of traditional fossil fuels. …

    4. Having been made in the image of God means that men and women to have dominion over creation. Environmentalism teaches that the natural world is best left alone in a pristine condition, whereas the Bible teaches that men and women are to rule over and improve the environment through their wise stewardship. …

    5. The earth is ‘resilient’ rather than inherently ‘fragile’. …

    6. Human responsibility cannot negate divine sovereignty. Christians, in particular, believe that not only did God create the world, but that He continues to sustain it through His Son as well (Heb. 1:2-3; Acts 14:17). While this does not negate human responsibility—see especially point ten below—all of humanity should recognise God’s sovereignty over creation, and indeed, all of human history. This particular point is all the more pertinent when one understands the Bible’s teaching that the current heavens and earth will one day be destroyed and an entirely new one created (i.e. 2 Peter 3:10-13).

    7. Human beings do not ultimately control the weather. …

    8. All of the earth’s resources should be used wisely and none of them rejected. …

    9. There is a prohibition against the superstition of idolatry. The Bible consistently forbids the worship of the creation as an end in and of itself. …

    10. The work of the Messiah should have a positive impact on how we care for the earth now. …


  5. Suicide. Yes, we are accepting the lie. Some people seem to do it thinking they are valueless, others to “show them”.

    In the incidents of suicide I am most familiar with around here, alcohol and drugs were involved. With social media and bullying and lack of training on how to survive bullying (there is nothing new under the sun) I expect the suicides to continue.

    Unless we can somehow get it through to the people that they are deeply loved, enough to die for and not just the product of billions of years of random chance.

    But even with that, Christians can slip into it through depression, mental illness, misuse of meds, etc.

    It comes back to me and my hermit leanings. I need to reach out to my neighbors (who also have hermit leanings) and engage them in relationship. Get to know them, let them know me, find out about their hurts and point them to God.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So now we know why the NY Times is always out in front of the pack with new leaks when they emerge. They earned the right to be first the old fashioned way, by having sex with the leaker.

    The NY Times- all the news that’s fit to prostitute ourselves to get.


    “Mata Hari journalism? Veteran Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, in romantic relationship with NYT reporter, arrested in probe of leaks

    James A. Wolfe, former Director of Security for the Senate Intelligence Committee, lost everything when he was arrested by the FBI last night. A review of media reports on the background of the arrest suggests that the lure of romance with a nubile female journalism school student may have been his undoing. This is a story with at least two compelling themes: the apparent betrayal of national security by a veteran Senate staffer, and the rise in a mere 4 years of a comely female reporter in a romantic relationship with Wolfe from unpaid undergraduate intern at McClatchy to the lofty post of New York Times national security correspondent.

    The indictment of Wolfe indicates that lying to the FBI about his relationship with Ms. Watkins [REPORTER #2 in the indictment] is the basis for the arrest. It outlines the genesis of the relationship and the meteoric rise of Ms. Watkins from journalism major to a prestigious beat at the New York Times:

    13. During in or around 2013 and in or around 2014, REPORTER #2 was an undergraduate student serving as an intern with a news service ]McClatchy] in Washington, D.C.

    14. In approximately December 2013, WOLFE and REPORTER #2began a personal relationship that continued until in or around December 2017.

    15. From in or around mid-2014 through in or around December 2017, REPORTER #2 was employed in Washington, D.C. by several different news organizations covering national security matters, including matters relating to the SSCI. During this period, REPORTER #2 published dozens of news articles about SSCI and its activities.”

    “There is much indignation today on the part of journalists over the FBI monitoring the communications of a reporter. Recall that James Rosen of Fox News was subjected to similar monitoring during the Obama years, resulting in no charges against him. The Times complains:

    News media advocates consider the idea of mining a journalist’s records for sources to be an intrusion on First Amendment freedoms, and prosecutors acknowledge it is one of the most delicate steps the Justice Department can take. “Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy, and communications between journalists and their sources demand protection,” said Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman.

    Ms. Watkins’s personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said: “It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department — through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process. Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.”

    The Times account continues, apparently indicating that her previous employers, like the New York Times, knew that she was in a personal relationship with a source leaking confidential information, which sounds to me like Mata Hari strategy of journalism:”


  7. The story above about the NYT raises additional questions….


    “Michael Caputo, the former Trump campaign staffer whose finances were almost ruined by Robert Mueller’s investigators into the phony Russiagate and who said “@#$^%$# you to @#$%” to the Senate Intelligence Committee, must be feeling vindicated this morning. With the arrest of a veteran staffer, the same committee’s Director of Security, Caputo’s heartfelt cry to the committee is finally bearing fruit:

    Caputo called for an “investigation of the investigators” and said he wanted to know who was “coordinating this attack on President Donald Trump.”

    “Forget about all the death threats against my family. I want to know who cost us so much money, who crushed our kids, who forced us out of our home, all because you lost an election,” Caputo said. “I want to know because @#$#@$%$ you to@#$$.””


    What did various Senators know and when did they know it?

    Were the national security leaks a sin of omission or commission on the part of any individual Senators?

    What other Senate staff knew about this alleged felony behavior?

    What other news organizations feasted over nasty leaks designed to destroy innocent American’s lives.

    Who is now liable for any civil law suits from the “young and beautiful lives…devastated and destroyed” like Mike Caputo with the leaked invasion of their privacy being reported in NYT?

    Since it has been reported that the two parties named had a “personal” relationship, did the editors at the New York Times and the other publications that employed the reporter encourage and support such unethical reporting methods?

    How far does this investigative thread go both up and out in the past Administration on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Executive Department and Legislative Branch?”


  8. DJ, that article on climate change is near sighted when it comes to its defense of fossil fuels. I don’t believe that global warming is solely to be blamed on fossil fuels, but I do think the focus on defending fossil fuels is very myopic. Fossil fuels are not the only sources of energy, not even in America. Much of New England is powered by cheap hydroelectricity channeled from Quebec’s hydroelectric dams, and there is the hydroelectric dam at Niagara Falls, and of course, the Hoover dam, and many others. In non-Western countries that have almost no electrical grid, solar power is providing power to isolated communities that power lines would never have reached – it works really well for nomadic tribes. And, speaking as an asthmatic who finds the air pollution in the city makes it very difficult to breathe, there are reasons to think, when looking at places like Beijing, Mexico City, and other badly polluted cities, that global warming aside, for the health of the people, we need to find alternatives to fossil fuels. Having cheap energy is of no use to us if we have to use that energy to power air conditioners, and filter, and ventilators so that people’s damaged lungs can breathe.


  9. We were talking about suicide here and I mentioned that I thought suicide was an ultimate selfish act. They all were able to give solid reasons why this is so.


  10. From World:



    Immigration bargain in the works
    by Lynde Langdon
    Posted 6/07/18, 03:39 pm
    House GOP moderates and conservatives have tentatively accepted a deal on an immigration proposal. The agreement would offer a measure of legal status to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants who were brought to the country illegally as children. …

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “I have been uncharacteristically silent these past ten months. I had thought that silence would soon be coming to an end, but I’m afraid I must tell you now that fate has decided on a different course for me. In August of last year, I underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my abdomen. That operation was thought to have been a success, but it caused a cascade of secondary complications which I have been fighting in hospital ever since. It was a long and hard fight with many setbacks, but I was steadily, if slowly, overcoming each obstacle along the way and gradually making my way back to health. However, recent tests have revealed that the cancer has returned. There was no sign of it as recently as a month ago, which means it is aggressive and spreading rapidly. My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over. I wish to thank my doctors and caregivers, whose efforts have been magnificent. My dear friends, who have given me a lifetime of memories and whose support has sustained me through these difficult months. And all of my partners at The Washington Post, Fox News, and Crown Publishing. Lastly, I thank my colleagues, my readers, and my viewers, who have made my career possible and given consequence to my life’s work. I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking. I am grateful to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.

    I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”

    Charles Krauthammer

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Suicide may be the result of many things. In honour cultures, suicide may be a way of either defending your honour (e.g. a woman killing herself before she could be raped) or of removing your dishonour (e.g. the financiers who jumped in front of trains or off tall buildings after the Tokyo stock market crashed): http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/suicide-rate-by-country/. Honour suicides are still practiced in the West. I have read mysteries by 20th century British authors in which the perpetrator does the decent thing and offs himself (e.g. Dorothy L. Sayers’ The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club & Whose Body) and while those are fiction, that fact that the authors think of such a solution as sounding feasible reveals an underlying cultural mindset. Much more recently and in real life, there was a pastor in my area caught in adultery who killed himself when the scandal broke, and he is not the only fallen church official which I know of who has done that.

    Death by reason of temporary insanity was the ruling that used to be given for suicides caused by mental illness. I have a relative by marriage who attempted suicide twice as a result of chronic depression, and that relative had a sibling who committed suicide as a result of bipolar. My relative is a Christian and described her state of mind before her attempts as a dark tunnel in which nothing was clear to her but that everyone else would be better off if she was dead. She conceded, when she was well again, that such a thought made absolutely no sense, but at the time it had seemed to. Mental illness can distort perception to the point that suicide seems the only thing to do.

    There is a subset of suicides that may appear to be directed towards others. Those with borderline personality disorder have a suicide rate 50 times above the national average: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201512/the-destructive-power-borderline-personality-disorder. People with borderline will sometimes attempt suicide in order to get back at someone in their lives. But not even the motives of those with borderline who attempt suicide are uniform. It is extraordinarily simplistic to say that all suicides are an act of revenge.


  13. A lot of the suicides in Wyoming and Montana and the Dakotas have been attributed to the incredible loneliness of the ranching lifestyle.


  14. so sorry to hear about Krauthammer – I haven’t watched cable news in some time but he was one that I missed (though sounds like he hasn’t been an active commentator in the past year).


  15. So we also now know the NYT reporter was printing leaked info, and blaming it on Trump on Twitter. And never-Trumpers ate it up.




  16. North Dakota has witnessed the most tragic climb in suicides at 57.6%. Vermont has seen a 48.6% increase, Utah? 46.5%. Other states whose suicide rates have crept over 40%: South Dakota, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Kansas, and Idaho.

    Most of those states mentioned above are in the northern US, I noticed, making me wonder if Seasonal Affective Disorder (more prevalent in northern climates) might not be behind increased suicide rates?

    I clicked on AJ’s link, and the map showing suicide rates by state is overall more deeply blue (indicating higher rates) in the upper half of the country than the lower.

    It would be interesting to know the rate of suicides by month to see if they occur more often during the long winter season.

    In any case, I think we do need to consider how long seasons where everything is basically dead may impact mental health: feelings of hopelessness, despair, and the like.


  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686645/

    How Many People are Affected by Seasonal Mood Changes?
    Dr. Rosenthal: Six percent of the US population, primarily in northern climates, is affected by SAD in its most marked form. Another 14 percent of the adult US population suffers from a lesser form of seasonal mood changes, known as winter blues.1 Of course, seasonality affects people all over the world. The prevalence of SAD in Oslo, Norway, was reported as 14 percent in contrast to 4.7 percent in New York City.1 In fact, someone may have winter blues while living in southern climates and convert to full blown SAD if he or she moves to a northern climate.

    How is SAD Different from Major Depressive Disorder or Mild Depression?
    Dr. Rosenthal: SAD is a form of major depressive disorder (MDD); in other words, patients with SAD can be just as depressed as patients with MDD and are often more so. The only distinction between these depressive disorders is the timing of the episodes, which occur during the short, dark days of winter in patients with SAD.


  18. Like

  19. The establishment types don’t like outsiders.


    “We Can’t Have Self-Government Under This Kind of System

    Dirty tricks to set up your political opponent are nothing new. But using the full force of powerful spy agencies and the U.S. mainstream media as pawns is something new. Unelected and far too powerful U.S. intelligence agencies need to stay politically neutral at all costs if America is to have free and fair elections within a system of representative government. But they didn’t, and they haven’t.

    Top Obama-era DOJ, FBI, and CIA officials also had their own political motives. Look at what they have said both before and after Trump’s election. They hate Trump. Consider Peter Strzok, who helped start the Russia investigation, and his rabidly anti-Trump texts. Former CIA director (and former Communist) John Brennan has practically threatened the president on Twitter.

    U.S. intelligence bureaucracies need to be reined in, and bad actors at our intelligence agencies need to be held to account. No one should be above the law. The FBI and DOJ have serially withheld documents from Congress, and frustrated the efforts of congressional investigators. If this problem isn’t confronted head-on, it will only get worse.

    These abuses were encouraged by the fact that few thought Clinton could lose, especially with intelligence agencies behind her. Nobody thought the people abusing this kind of power would be held to account. So it was open season on Trump’s campaign. But if Clinton didn’t win, and the GOP controls Congress, and this abuse of power still isn’t rectified, it is game over for government by and for the people in America.

    Start Taking This As Seriously As It Deserves, Congress

    That’s why it is so alarming that Republicans like Rubio are unwilling to say that the FBI did anything wrong when spying on the Trump campaign. It is possible that the FBI’s actions were appropriate, but these politicians should demand to see the documents that the FBI and DOJ refuse to release before absolving the FBI of all wrongdoing.

    Maybe Rubio and other establishment Republicans aren’t that conservative. That’s not name-calling. Conservatives should be for limited and representative government in all respects. Intelligence agencies’ record presents an existential threat to those principles, and to our very republic.

    If you don’t hold the unelected and highly powerful intelligence agencies to account, you simply aren’t a conservative. If you pledge fealty to the administrative state and its intelligence apparatus no matter the evidence, you simply aren’t a conservative.

    This isn’t the first time a certain group of Republicans and pundits, including David French and Bill Kristol, have entertained unverified claims against the president while being all too willing to overlook clear abuses of power at bureaucracies such as the FBI and CIA. Just a couple days ago, in fact, Jonah Goldberg went so far as to label Gowdy’s critics—who had simply pointed out that Gowdy didn’t see the documents he was talking about—as McCarthyites.”

    More shoes are yet to drop too.


  20. The rule of law matters.


    “8 Times Obama’s Intelligence Agencies Set People Up To Fabricate The Russia Story

    The intelligence bureaucracies spied on the Donald Trump campaign: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants were granted because of a Hillary Clinton-funded and unverified document, national-security letters were issued to allow warrantless spying, and the unprecedented but not-illegal-per-se unmasking of Trump officials’ conversations with non-U.S. persons was shockingly routine.

    Yet the news of a CIA-connected human source operating as far back as April or May of 2016 is about more than just spying. It is the latest example in what now looks to be a long line of attempted setups by the Clinton team, many times aided and abetted by our intelligence bureaucracies.

    These events should anger any red blooded American who believes in representative democracy and the importance of the rule of law. Let’s review eight examples.”


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