A Venn Diagram Explains Trump’s Hostility Toward Puerto Rico

It seems inexplicable. What the hell is he thinking?

The situation in Puerto Rico is desperate and getting worse. Recent reports are amplified by even newer reports. Water is among the most basic of human needs. The need for water in that American island is harsh. The obstacle remains a relief effort that is hamstrung by red tape and Washington hesitation. Officials in our nation’s capital are not sure how energetic they are supposed to be. What level of empathy will get them in trouble with the boss?

There is plenty of water sitting, and sitting, and taking up place on the docks of Puerto Rican harbors, next to food and medical supplies. Distribution is held up from Washington. It is not getting inland to those who need it. Those fighting to remain alive are reportedly breaking into hazardous waste sites to get to contaminated water.

One contrast has not gone unnoticed by those who comment on the internet.
Continue reading “A Venn Diagram Explains Trump’s Hostility Toward Puerto Rico”

Trump Fumbles Iran

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

Trump has been a special kind of stupid regarding Iran–the kind of stupid a person would be if that person were to treat Fox News as gospel, or believe tabloid journos over intelligence experts. I’ve tried to plumb where Trump’s mindset is with regards to Iran. I can tell you where my thinking has been–I think the nuclear deal was great and had some reverberating effects diplomatically, and that Trump is stupid because he doesn’t understand why “Trust but verify, then renegotiate in ten years or so multilaterally” was a better cure for any alleged Iranian nuclear pretentions than “Let them do whatever without any promises with respects to inspections, while also piling on sanctions that made a conflict inevitable.”

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Obama Begins Calling American People to Console Them About Trump

found online by Raymond

From The Borowitz Report:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Former President Barack Obama has started calling every person in America to offer consolation about Donald Trump being President, Obama has confirmed.

“It’s something I meant to do right after the Inauguration,” Obama said, during a brief break from the phone calls. “I feel terrible that I didn’t get to it sooner.”

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Dear Christians, If The Holy Spirit is Your Teacher and Guide

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Ehrman is quite right when he says that Christian confusion over exactly what the Bible says belies the notion that the Holy Spirit lives inside Evangelicals acting as some sort of divine GPS or search engine. According to many Evangelicals, all they need to do is say, Lord lead me/show me the way, and BOOM! their lives follow the exact course mapped out by the Holy Spirit. The same goes for understanding the Bible. Evangelicals metaphorically type their questions into God’s Google app, and BOOM! the Holy Ghost leads them to the exact book/chapter/verse answer. Awesome, right? No need to think. Just “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you, ” with God promising “every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7,8)

If the Holy Spirit lives inside EVERY believer, why can’t Christians even agree on the basics: salvation, baptism, communion, and whether masturbation is a sin. There are thousands of Christian sects, each guided by the Holy Spirit, each believing that their Jesus is the way, truth, and life and their little merry band of believers is the holder of the faith once delivered to the saints.

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“the obligations of international leadership”

found online by Raymond

From PZ Myers:

So many people are praising this speech by John McCain.

To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.

I’m not so impressed.

Let me remind you that McCain has been a loyal Republican apparatchik for decades. He was elected during Reagan’s term, and was an ardent supporter of Reaganomics and military adventurism — his only ‘virtue’ is that he was willing to negotiate with countries after we’d bombed them.

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Collectivism Generates Irrational Hatred

found online by Raymond

From libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:

I define collectivism as the idea that the primary focus of moral concern is the group. This leads to the kind of dehumanizing generalization discussed in the article. I define individualism as the idea that the primary focus of moral concern is the individual. This leads people to evaluate others according to individual character rather some racial, economic, or other group association. (It is important to note that collectivism does not mean teamwork and cooperation, and individualism does not mean lone wolfism.) We need to understand explicitly that collectivism leads to sweeping generalizations like “girls can be mean” or “boys will be boys,” and that individualism leads to the mindset that no individual represents every person in a demographic.

Unfortunately, collectivism is being promoted in the name of inclusion. The diversity campaigns promote the idea that racial or cultural heritage matters in judging people.

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The ‘Vietnam’ Series: Heartbreaking, Elucidating, and Lessons Not Learned

found online by Raymond

From Shaun Mullen at The Moderate Voice:

The war at home — the marches, moratoriums, escalating civil disobedience and violence, Kent State and Jackson State, the few brave voices of opposition in Washington — is adeptly woven into the larger narrative, and the inescapable conclusion is that the war ended not because the politicians wised up, but because Americans people did.

In the end, there was unanimity on all sides that the war was a tragedy for which American politicians — notably the well meaning, conflicted and overwhelmed LBJ and the malevolent and traitorous Nixon — must bear the blame.

And then there is the enduring and perhaps most frightening lesson of Vietnam:

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The Payoff

found online by Raymond

From Green Eagle:

It is clear to all of us, at this point, that Donald Trump is both too stupid and too deranged to formulate and carry out any long term policy to destroy the country. But the orders are coming from somewhere.

Virtually no one yet- not even the left wing blogs I read- has been willing to state openly what is going on here, so I’ll take the fall. Call me deranged; call me a lunatic conspiracy theorist if you want; I’ve been called that off and on for decades as I have chronicled the Republican efforts to plunder our country, and I have been proven right every time. I know I am right this time too, even if some people are going to have to wait a couple of decades to see it.

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Zero-Based Budgeting Would Pull Back the Curtain on Spending

found online by Raymond

From Wisconsin conservative James Wigderson:

One hundred and thirty-two elected officials vote on the state budget, but not every dollar of the $76 billion spent is justified to the public. In fact, the majority of state spending is hidden in the ‘base’ of the budget. What legislators discuss during budget debates centers largely on the adjustments to the base – usually how much should the legislature increase the funding for each government program. This most recent budget increased spending by a whopping $3.2 billion without questioning the base budget of each agency.

Every day, families and businesses are forced to hand over a percentage of their earnings to pay for government at all levels. As elected officials, we must more judiciously apportion the scarce and precious resources funneled to government by taxpayers – just as families and businesses must make the tough choices in their own budgets.

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