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This Month's Scripture Verse:

Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless -- Ecclesiastes 5:10


Friday, October 21, 2016

Is Political Conservatism Hurting Conservative Christianity

Ross Douthat (click here for a bio) recently wrote an op-ed article for the New York times in an attempt to defend the Religious Right (click here for the article). His way of defending the Religious Right is to propose that we need a new Religious Right that is unlike the Religious Right of today. Because it is the Religious Right that, according to Douthat, made the GOP act compassionately such as reaching out to minorities and attempting to fight AIDS in Africa in the past during the George W. Bush's Administration, the Religious Right is worthy of being restored.

What prompted Douthat's article? It was the result of our current choice for president from the two major parties. Trump's character should disqualify him for the vote or support from any real religious conservative. Unfortunately, the GOP's nomination of Trump for  President has caused some religious conservatives to compromise their standards in order to stand with him--we should also note that there are many religious conservatives who oppose Trump's candidacy. And voting for Hillary is a complete nonstarter because of her support for abortion and Douthat's allegations about the kind of government regulations Christians would have to face under a Hillary presidency.

Thus, Douthat sees the urgent need for the Religious Right to rise from the moral ashes that it has become from supporting Trump. For according to Douthat, Trump is the result of the dechristianization of conservative politics and thus supporting him should contradict what it means to be a conservative Christian. And so political conservatism needs a new Religious Right in order to have its moral standards restored. And it appears that Douthat thinks that our nation, especially its Christian citizens, need that political conservatism to protect them from the certain doom posed by Hillary and her political liberalism.

But there is a question Douthat and others who are loyal to conservative brand of politics have not considered. If Trump is the result of Christianity having left political conservatism, then doesn't that same political conservatism pose a threat to compromise the faith of any religious conservative who would be a member? For how horrible is political conservatism without Christianity if Trump is its poster child? Past and current critics of the Religious Right have been trying to say for a while only those from the Religious Right have not been listening.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For October 19, 2016

Oct 5

To Jordan Ballor and his blogpost claim that Christianity is the friend of liberalism. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

Two observations must be used to assess the analysis in the article above. The first observation seems to challenge Siedentop's view that the modernity emerged from the battles between the popes and  kings. And so when Siedentop writes:

The conception of society as founded on ‘natural inequality’ was giving way to a conception of society as founded on ‘moral equality,’ as an association of individuals rather than an association of families.

we should note that the emergence Rome over and apart from European kingdoms did not bring in a moral equality, it ushered in a new basis for inequality. So what replaced the 'natural inequality' was a spiritual inequality or a spiritual association rather than an association of families. Much of Western history shows an assumption of supremacy and thus rule is based on the faith of a predominant group. Persecution of those from the different branches of the Church, let alone persecution and conquest over those from other faiths, give ample evidence against the idea that the emergence of any subset of the Church from kingdoms introduced a moral equality. In addition, other associations were also in play such as association of race and economic class. We really never have achieved a true moral equality either here or in other Western nations.

As for the relationship between Christianity and liberalism, the Church's intramural wars between Protestants and Catholics or between different branches of Protestantism were not cured, for the most part, by leaving the Church to its own devices. Rather, secular liberalism and, in some places, the necessity of the times caused the introduction of moral equality in the Church. Without liberalism and, to a lesser extent, necessity, we might still resemble what we see in warring factions of Islam today.

All too often, we take for granted what people say they want for all without judging it by how they treat those who are different. And it seems that this article is merely another attempt to establish Christianity's supremacy in the West perhaps in an effort to preserve as much of the old status quo as possible. We should note that one cannot believe in such a supremacy and moral equality at the same time.


Oct 14

To Bruce Ashford and his blogpost on how Christians should respond to our loss of privilege and power in society. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website.

It seems that Ashford prefers that force our ways onto people through a tyranny of the majority rather than through a strong-arm tyrant. And that is our problem. We are looking to rule over others rather than to share power with them. And thus, we make it more and more difficult to see why more and more people are rejecting Christianity. Are they rejecting it because of the Gospel message or is it because we are attempting to lord it over others?


To Joe Carter and the Dennis Prager video that was part of his blogpost on the size of government being used to define the Left and the Right. This appeared in the Acton blog.

It seems that in explaining the differences between the left and the right, there seems to be no limit on over simplification for some. And that is what we have in the above video. There are only two ideological positions, according to the video, and all results can be deductively arrived at by using single criteria definitions to define the two positions. In one corner, the Right believes in the most limited government possible while the Left believes in an ever increasing growth in government size and power. And never the twain shall meet.

But history begs to differ and that is always the problem for those who want to define reality exclusively by deductive reasoning. For example, Socialism is always categorized by those on the Right as being the same as big government. But Libertarian Socialism does not believe in the state. So where is Libertarian Socialism in the model of thought presented in the video? Where is anarchism, which is also on the side of the Left, in the model of thought presented by the video?

In addition, the difference between liberalism and the much of the Socialism from the Left is not over the size of government, but who has power both in the government and in the workplace. Liberalism promotes elite-centered rule where elites dictate what is good for the rest. In much of Socialism from the Left, especially from the Marxist viewpoint, it is the workers who should have the bulk of power both in the government and the workplace. And thus, big government alone does not constitute the Left. We can have both small or big government under the Left. But control over that government must be more in the hands of the workers than under the control of elites.

IN addition, an error that is suggested, if not implied, by what was said in the video above is that power and government authority are one and the same. Anyone who has studied power in the business or government setting knows that having power is not the same has having authority. Martin Luther King Jr. had a tremendous amount of political power while he was focusing on racial inequality while holding no governmental position. In addition, we could consult the labor history in the US to note how private businesses and their owners had tremendous power and could harm a great number of people without government assistance. In fact, it was the combination of workers protesting and government finally listening that curtailed many of the abuses that occurred in and out of the workplace.

Yes, the government has the power of force through either local and federal law enforcement or the military; but such was established by God according to the Scriptures (Romans 13). So why would Christians, like myself or many who are associated with the Acton Institute, want to side with him on this point?

In addition, since the military is part of the government, the bigger our military, the bigger our government--or so the above logic would state. But there is a disconnect for Prager here. Big government must be opposed only when the non military side of the government grows. Why? Because the size of our military depends on the number of our enemies. But why doesn't that logic apply to the other parts of our government? After all, isn't it true that some businesses can act as enemies of the people as part of their pursuit of profits? Applying the same logic that is used to determine the size of our military, shouldn't the government be big enough to handle any businesses that would act as a threat to the people?

In addition, what if those from the private sector, like churches, private charities, communities, and families do not want to take adequate care of those in need? Shouldn't the size of the government depend on how many people are in need? In addition, shouldn't the government represent those who are in need as much as it represents business people and others? Therefore, shouldn't the amount of help offered by the government reflect that representation?

Government is like love, size doesn't matter, fidelity does. A small, impotent government provides as much protection for its people as a large, corrupt government. That is because the power that is absent in a small government does not disappear, it finds its resting place in the private sector. And thus, the question becomes this: do we want private sector elites to possess the power that is absent in a small government or do we want to distribute power democratically by having workers and others share power with elite-wannabes? History shows that the consolidation of power is dangerous. That is a truism whether that consolidation occurs in the private or public sectors. The video above states that the consolidation of power is dangerous only when the government has it.


Oct 15

To R. Scott Clark and his blogpost video featuring D.G. Hart’s interview on C-Span’s Book TV. This appeared in Heidelblog.

Link to Hart’s interview

There is some very interesting and useful historical information given by Hart here, but he also demonstrated how one's answers to questions can sometimes be greatly determined by what one wants to emphasize.

The definition of what is an evangelical and whether Hart considers himself to be on provides an example of emphasis determining definition and categorization. He defines Evangelicals as though who believe in having a personal relationship with Jesus and having undergone some kind of born again experience. These criteria are rather ambiguous in nature. For if we define these references by saying that an Evangelical is one who believes in Jesus for the forgiveness of one's sins and that one must have personally come to faith in Jesus, then Hart must consider himself to be an Evangelical. My feeling is that Hart doesn't consider himself to be an evangelical because of how his family background stands in contrast with  his current reliance on a confessional faith. But here we should note that the definition of what is an Evangelical is broader than he would like to admit.

I found his distinction between conservatives and Evangelicals to be partially problematic. My conversations with Evangelicals is that they believe that they emphasize The Constitution and the intentions of our nation's founding fathers  as much as they emphasize morality. Part of the problem here lies in the fact that Evangelicals have a religiously inspired mythical view of both The Constitution and the  founding fathers which revolves around an over emphasis on the role of the Christian faith in both the writing of The Constitution and in the lives of the founding fathers.  We should note that non-evangelical political conservatives also seem to hold to a mythical view of The Constitution and its emphasis on individual liberty. For what is missing in the interpretation of many conservatives of the The Constitution is its historical context. That The Constitution was written in response to widespread dissent and Shays Rebellion and its purpose was to create a stronger Federal government that could better respond to insurrections and populism in an effort to protect a status quo that benefited the new American elites, many of whom were involved in writing The Constitution.

Finally, in discussing Evangelicals and politics, I was surprised  by how little significance Hart attributed to the abortion issue. My understanding is that today's Republican Party has, for the most part, taken Evangelicals for granted over the abortion issue.


Oct 17

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on why evangelicals are so split on whether to vote for Trump. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition.

Certainly, Carter's model of thought has merit. But it isn't the only model of thought we should employ. For without Trump, we still have this nagging binary approach to voting. And though the nomination of Trump has caused great strain on that approach, one of the main reasons for voting for the Republican nominee is the one of the main reasons why many Americans vote for the  Democratic candidates they vote for : they are selecting the not-them candidate. In other words, the reason why many conservatives vote for Republican candidates is because they are not Democratic candidates and vice-versa for nonconservatives. Thus, both evangelicals and many other Americans are voting for the same reason.

Why do we stay fixed on the this binary approach to voting? One reason is that, for multiple reasons, we don't want to or cannot change.  Change requires more energy than normal. In fact, nothing requires energy like change does. And for many, they don't have the energy to put into changing because of multiple reasons.

Another reason for maintaining our voting pattern is because we tend to prefer authoritarianism. And with authoritarianism, sticking to tradition is a primary reason for resisting change. In fact, with authoritarianism, there is a great deal of sensitivity to even hearing about challenges to tradition. That sensitivity causes people to respond with anger and/or in attempts to bully those who are considering breaking with tradition.

Now that authoritarianism can come in two different packages. One package is tailored for individual figures. The other package is made for the group. And the one that is made for the group is a part of tribalism. Tribalism occurs when group loyalty becomes high. Tribalism occurs when group loyalty trumps commitment to principles and morals. And the result of tribalism is the embracing of a moral relativity that says what is right and wrong depends on who does what to whom. That is why many Democrats can criticize Trump for his indiscretions while refusing to hold Bill Clinton to the same standards and vice-versa for many Republicans. With tribalism comes the authoritarianism of the group. The group must not be questioned or there will be wrath and/or bullying to keep people in line.

Those evangelicals who are breaking with Trump to vote for Clinton are still engaging in the same voter approach as many evangelicals, as well as others, who are voting to Trump: they are voting for the lesser of two evils. In fact, evangelicals are no different than many other Americans. They either will not or cannot change from voting for the lesser of two evils, for the not-them candidate. That is the voting tradition that we seem either unwilling or unable to break. And for as long as we continue voting that way, we will be presented with the kind of choices that we have this election year.

Our major political parties know all of this. And so they do not select candidates who are looking to improve things as much as they nominate candidates who qualify as not-them candidates. They give us candidates who are merely different from the candidates from the other party. And such an approach continually sets the bar for the quality of our candidates at a lower and lower level.

In short, we evangelicals are not that different from other Americans in how we vote And it is our inability or refusal to adapt to the new conditions of having a continual choice of horrible candidates provided by our two-party/binary system that is causing our demise. And it is our embracing of authoritarianism, either individual authoritarianism or that which comes with tribalism, that not only prevents us from changing, it makes us see our self-destructive binary approach to voting as a duty to continue. Who would have thought that the land of the free and the home of the brave are actually serving inner tyrants?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Lesson From The Movie "The Birth Of A Nation"

The wife and I saw an important movie for all to see this past weekend. It was The Birth Of A Nation. Though because of the violence in the story, I could not watch many of the scenes because of the gore involved, I found the movie enlightening. The end of the movie is the most disturbing and yet revealing. It is then that main character, Nat Turner, had turned himself in to the authorities to be punished for leading violent and even murderous slave rebellion. 

As those Whites angrily called for his death when he was arrested and then later walked toward the gallows, what they either forgot or were completely oblivious to was the pain and horrors that prompted Turner to lead such a rebellion. And those responsible for the pain and horrors that Turner both witnessed and experienced were many of the same people who were screaming for his death and then, with very grotesque actions, celebrated his execution.

Don't we see a somewhat retelling of that story when Whites so easily dismiss movements like Black Lives Matter or when our nations so easily denounces terrorism practiced by others but adamantly denies our own atrocities in regions like the Middle East? Of course, Black Lives Matter are not seeking murderous revenge. Yes, there are individuals who try to retaliate, but the movement doesn't. What we don't see, and that is perhaps because we choose to look away from, are practices approved by our society that have greatly harmed Black people in our nation and have caused them such great pain. Likewise, we don't see how our foreign policies continue to visit horrors on those from other nations. And we don't see that because we prefer to live in denial. And we live in denial because doing so makes it easier to think well of ourselves.

It is easy to look back now and see the errors of our ancestors. But what about not waiting for both the future and our descendants before recognizing our own errors?


Monday, October 17, 2016

ONIM For October 17, 2016

Presidential Election

Christian News
World News
Pick(s) Of The Litter


Friday, October 14, 2016

Giving And Taking Away Support For Trump.

Trump's presidential campaign has not only caused what some call a "civil war" in the Republican Party, but great turmoil among many evangelicals. Historically speaking, the Republican Party has grown accustomed to taking the evangelical vote for granted. Much of this is due to the abortion issue and the degree to which the Democrats have supported a woman's right to an abortion more than the Republican Party's actual opposition to a woman's right to an elective abortion.

However, there are additional issues that have attracted evangelicals to the Republican Party. They are listed by Wayne Grudem (click here for a bio) as he recants his prior support for Trump, but he does so in an ambiguous way. For though he states that he can no longer 'commend' Trump as a candidate for President, he cannot tell us for whom his vote will toll (click here for his article). But because of the political differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties, it seems that Grudem is still significantly leaning toward voting for the Republican presidential ticket. And it is these other issues that require further scrutiny because of the ties between evangelicalism and conservative politics.

The political issues that are tugging at Grudem's vote despite Trump's repulsive character flaws include:
  • Supreme Court issues like abortion, religious liberty, sexual orientation and gender identification laws
  • The status of our military
  • The threat of 'Islamic terrorism'
  • Our nation's borders
  • 'Supporting Israel'
  • 'Reducing taxes and regulations'
  • Obamacare
  • Energy concerns
  • Racism in our nation
  • Size of government

 Now before addressing points of contention with Grudem, we should note that it is under Obama's Administration that racial tensions have at least surfaced if not increased. I should note here that my view of racial tensions is one of a White male. And because of my race and living location, I could very well be unaware of the state of racial tensions in our nation before Obama took office. And this is a weakness in my ability to analyze the current state of affairs.

I should also note that I share Grudem's opposition to abortion. However, having discussed the issue with several of my non Christian friends, I've come to the conclusion that for as long as we are wrecking the world by waging war and destroying the environment, that abortion is a moot issue. That not enough people who support a woman's right to obtain an elective abortion are even willing to hear what we have to say because we have shown neither enough opposition to our nation's wars nor adequate concern for how our way of life hurts the environment.

Should also note that while ambiguous, Grudem's statement on energy at least suggests that there might exist a concern for the environmental impact our use of energy might have. But here is one of the differences between conservatives and nonconservatives, with nonconservatives consisting of Democrats or political liberals and actual leftists. For nonconservatives state their concerns for how our use of energy can harm the environment in unambiguous terms.

Now Grudem expresses a fear that if religiously conservative Christians do not vote for Republican Party candidates, that these Christians will be giving great political leverage to non Christians who are hostile to Christianity. And what is ironic there is that what religiously conservative Christians call religious liberty or freedom, those from the LGBT community experience as hostility. And this brings us to Grudem's first concern: the picking of Supreme Court justices.

What many Evangelicals like Grudem want is a Supreme Court that favors, rather is neutral on, their religiously dictated moral values. The Obergefell decision demonstrated this as clearly as anything else could have. Here we should note that while Grudem is worried about the religious freedom of us religiously conservative Christians, he seemed to have no concern for the religious freedom of those from the LGBT community who were being forced to live under conservative Christian standards. So while religiously conservative Christians call laws that either infringe on the freedoms of the LGBT community or allow Christians to discriminate against that community morally right or religious liberty, they call any push back against such laws hostility. And the only explanation for such a double standard is that they expect to maintain a privileged position in determining the laws of our nation. Any resistance to that privileged position is seen as being part of the homosexual agenda of animosity against the Christian faith rather than resistance against domination over one's own group. In Grudem's world, it is as if one group deserves freedom while the other does not.

Second, while Grudem complains that our military needs to be rebuilt, he seems to ignore advances in weaponry, such as the new classes of ships being built for the Navy and the amount the US spends on defense. For even under Obama's decimated armed forces, the US spends more on the military and defense than the next approximately 9 nations combined. How is it then that we need to rebuild our military? That view depends on the news filter one uses to learn about military status. If one reads only conservative sources, then one gets the impression that the sky is falling for the military. But such is not the case. So Grudem reflects a conservative view that is not all that consistent with the facts on the ground but is a reality as it is perceived in conservative circles.

Grudem also expresses concern over the threat of 'Islaimic terrorism.' However, where is his concern for the causes of such terrorism? Where is his concern for how American foreign policies that rely on interventions and support for dictators as well as for Israels' occupation against the Palestinians? We should note that Grudem favors support for Israel. But one must read that statement in a conservative context to understand what that means. For one can support Israel without supporting the Occupation and Israel's constant confiscation of land and expansion of settlements. 

But conservatives take a tribal approach to supporting Israel and defend that by claiming that Israel is the only democracy in the region. If Grudem had read American-Israeli activist Jeff Halper, he would note that Israel consists of an ethnocracy, not a democracy. An ethnocracy is where democratic processes are used for group based on ethnicity, language, or religion to control government and gain a privileged position in determining the laws of a society.  The reason why one could say that conservatives take a tribal approach to supporting Israel is because they rationalize many of the injustices Israel visits on the Palestinians because it is Israel that is performing the injustices. That is what happens when loyalty to a group becomes too high.

In addition, Grudem expresses a concern with securing our nation's borders. At the same time, like the threat of Islamic terrorism, we should note what Grudem does not seem to be aware of. That a significant number of our problems with immigration start with our foreign policies that cause people to have to leave their own homeland.  In fact, 2 of the top 3 nations from which illegal immigrants come are from nations that have had coups that had American support either during or after the coup. Those nations are Guatemala and Honduras. The third nation, Mexico, was part of NAFTA and NAFTA was responsible for much job volatility depending on the economic sector. Where is Grudem's concern for such foreign policies?

We could go on here, but the point should have been made by now. That Grudem ambiguous withdraw of support for Trump is limited by his ties to conservative politics. And he strongly ties his conservative political convictions to evangelicalism. And his strong ties to conservative politics suggests that Grudem's access to news is well filtered and thus he demonstrates self-imposed limitations on understanding the world around him. That limited view is thus associated with Evangelicalism and brings dishonor to the Gospel. So regardless of his condemnation of Trump, Grudem's political views hurt the reputation of the Gospel.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For October 12, 2016

Oct 7

To Joseph Mussomeli and his blogpost that requested a revised definition for American Exceptionalism due to the abuses that have come from interventions based on the term. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

This article on American Exceptionalism has some good points especially on the failures of American interventionism. And the suggestions on how to avoid the pitfalls of both isoloationism and interventionism show progress over the foreign policy principles that both Republican and Democratic Presidents have been following. But in the end, shouldn't we dismantle the term altogether? For the form of American Exceptionalism promoted by Washington and Adams allowed for the 'infant empire,' Washington's term to describe America, to expand and mature while flying under the radar of the saltwater test used to define an empire. For how was our conquest of our part of North America different from the Nazi attempt to conquer Europe or North Korea's attempt to take South Korea? And wasn't our conquest based on the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and thus a form of American Exceptionalism?

The only way to escape the American Exceptionalism trap is to not only submit to international law as all other nations should, but to change the structure of the UN so that there is no Security Council so that all resolutions are determined democratically. That includes the resolving of our grievances against others subject to the UN and/or the ICC. Such an approach becomes the only true alternative between isolationism and interventionism.


To Joe Carter and his blogpost that contradicts the notion that having great wealth is evil. His blogpost cites an article written by Dylan Pahman. This appeared in the Acton blog.

In trying to explain why wealth in and of itself is not evil, It's odd that, with all of his Biblical expertise, Dylan Pahman did not reference I Timotthy 6:10 in his article cited by Carter. Paul wrote the following to Timothy:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Along with the Scriptures referred to by Pahman in his article cited by Carter, the above Scripture verse should move us to seek a middle ground between the belilef that wealth is evil and the belief that being wealthy can be good. It's the 'love of money' is what is labeled as being evil. With that being the case, where does that put the Christian who is seeking wealth? Is the Christian seeking a treasure that could undo his/her faith? The quote from I Timothy seems to indicate that could be the case.

We should note that the love of money can be implemented by both how we set out to make money as well as what we refrain from sharing with others. The presence of rich believers to whom Pahman refers in his article shows that having wealth is not necessarily evil. And that is a Biblical answer. However, what we need to explore is not whether the mere possession of wealth is wrong, but whether seeking great wealth is wrong. Is there a kind of seeking that is honored by the Scriptures? What kind of seeking for wealth shipwrecks our faith? These are the questions that should have been asked and answered in the first place. 


Oct 10

To Tim Keller and his blogpost on what Christians can do to help restore civility in the public square. This appeared in the Gospel Coalitiioon website.

There is a missing ingredient here regarding creating a tolerant and civil culture and society. And that ingredient comes from the Scriptures. It comes from the parable of the two men praying. Part of the lesson from that parable is somewhat covered when Keller states that we Christians should admit to having failed in building such a culture and society by our attempts to marginalize groups. 

But there is more to the parable of the two men praying than just admiting past failures. If we still believe that we are superior to others, then no amount of confessing past failures removes us from playing the role of the pharisee from the parable. For while we might admit to some past failures, our eyes will still be focused on how we compare with others and our minds will continue to entertain delusions of righteousness about ourselves which gives us permission to lord our principles over others. 

A model of thought that Keller developed in his book Center Church could be adapted for society to promote civility. That model thought showed a 2-D grid where Keller identified a Christian group in each of the 4 quadrants of the grid according to what each group believed in how the Church should interact with society. And what was great about that model is that Keller listed the strengths and weaknesses of each group of Christians including the strengths of groups other than his own and the weaknesses of the group he most identified with. Perhaps we should do the same here and list the strengths and weaknesses of each group in society so that we could better notice the contributions that are made by others and the problems caused by us. Such a listing puts checks on any group's desire to rule over and marginalize others.


Oct 11

To Joe Carter and his blogpost on why the free market should be called the 'initiative-centered economy.' This appeared in the Acton blog.

Here is what the free market should be called: 'Privilege-oriented economy.'  Why? Because what free market apologists say is that the government should take a hands off approach to the market. That message is universal regardless of the kind of government that is in place. Thus, to those governments that act as working democracies, free market apologists say to the people in society: 'take your hands off the economy.' Thus, a free market economy says that the people in given society cannot make rules that would govern how owners in the free market relate to the rest of society. Thus, some of the owners become a privileged group in any society where a substantially free market exists. 

And, according to how the free market works, it is the dollar that determines the value of both the free market and its participants. How people treat each other is not an issue for the free market provided that  "rights" are not violated. How the environment is impacted is not an issue for the free market. And so workers and other stakeholders can be exploited and the environment can be harmed in any economy that employs a free market system. And why is that the case? Because the free market exists when government, even democracies, take their hands off the market. 

The free market not only allows for the consolidation of wealth, but it also allows for the consolidation of what follows wealth which is power forthe  elite owners in the free mearket. And what follows that consolidation of power is government interference in the free market for the purpose of keeping the status quo for the sake of the elite owners. And once we understand that, we understand why The Constituion was written. For The Constitution was written in response to dissent and Shays Rebellion so that our federal government could more effectively respond to future insurrections. One only needs to see all of the Constitutional references to the Militia to see evidence pointing to that interpretation of The Constitution.

Some evidence that supports the above statements can be found in the recent treatment of the TPP by the Obama administration. President Obama has attempted to fast track the legislation that would move the US to join the TPP. Here we should note that one of the provisions of the TPP is that if a government passes a law or laws that could or actually do interfere with corporate profits, that corporation, regardless of the national origin of that corporation, can sue the government passing those laws.  And that lawsuit would be heard in a tribunal constructed by the TPP rather than the courts of the given nation that passed such laws.  In addition, we should note that governments are not allowed to sue corproations under the TPP structure. Such shows what was said above about how power follows wealth so that those who have power can maintain a privileged status over the people of a society even if it isn't their own society. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

While We Were Reeling

The latest leaks of Donald Trump statements about women, as bad as they are, really tell us nothing new. Reading them was not like changing a song being played on the stereo; it was like turning up the volume of the same song we've been listening to. But we should note the timing of the leaks of Donald Trump statments: it was at the same time that Wikileaks posted the leaked the contents of speeches Hillary Clinton gave to Wall Street as they were contained in emails. And those speeches reveal what would be an increasingly disturbing picture of Hillary if we weren't going deaf from the blaring of Donald Trump's decadence.

A couple of sources could be accessed to see a summary of Hillary's speeches (click here and there). In short, two themes must be considered, but will most likely be ignored, by the public. The first theme is that Hillary seems to know how to play the political game of bait-and-switch on policies promised during a campaign. The line that indicates this is as follows:
Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.

So if Hillary believes in having a both public and private positions on issues, what have we learned to expect from a Hillary presidency from listening to her speeches and the debates? For many loyal Hillary followers and Democratic Party gang members, knowing what Hillary's actual positions are is completely irrelevant. Like many of Trump's loyal followers, there is nothing she could say or do that would dissuade them from voting for another candidate. That, in and of itself, says something ominous about us Americans. For many of us have already decided for whom to vote regardless of the facts. Is it any wonder that our elections continually provide worse and worse results or that our choice of candidates become more and more limited? But let's go on to what should be a more disturbing quote:
The people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry

Why that quote should be disturbing is because it strongly indicates a position that those who work in our financial sector should be the ones who regulate themselves and hold themselves accountable--that is at odds with her promise to appoint effective regulators who would strongly pursue wrongdoing. Again, we should note the first quote about having public and private positions. 

Here we should note that there are at least two ways by which our financial sector can be, and perhaps is alreayd, self-regulated. The first way is to either not pass the regulations or enforce the ones the ones we have that would hold those in Wall Street acountable. The other way to make that industry self-regulated would be to appoint those who would oversee the activities of our financial industry from those currently work in these financial institutions. In either case, we are being told that the way to hold our financial sector accountable is to pursue the same approach that was taken when fraud and other misconduct on Wall Street brought about the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In other words, Hillary is for maintaining the status quo and we see this in some of her appointments of those working in her campaign as well as in Obama's appointments for different watchdog agencies in the federal government. That approach is basically one of deputizing the foxes to be guards of the hen house.

Yes, sex sells and so there will be more revulsion over Trump's statements than over Hillary's and that is understandable. But in the end, it is Hillary's statements that paint a more ominous future than Trump's. And all of this points to the need to vote for third party candidates which is something that those residing in the land of the free and the home of the brave lack the courage to choose.

BTW, there are other Hillary statments that show here leanings toward policies listed in the articles linked to above. It is well worth anyone's time to read those statements and reflect on the direction we could expect from a Hillary presidency.