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  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”

    Pray for peace in Minneapolis, MN. I used to live in Minneapolis, and have a few friends that live there now. They are safe, but things are uncertain.

  2. Em says:

    And amen… Again

  3. CM says:

    Dan from GA,

    Agreed with your post 100%.

    Since you are in GA, you are perhaps aware that Atlanta, GA has the dubious distinction of being awarded and losing 2 NHL franchises.

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    ha! I don’t follow the NHL, but that is quite embarrassing. Not sure if it tops the Minnesota (spent the first 42 years of my life there) North Stars packing up and heading for Dallas in the middle of the night! Minnesota and hockey go naturally together. Dallas and hockey? And MN had been in and lost 4 Super Bowls…a distinction that some of my Packer associates remind me repeatedly.

  5. CM says:

    Dan from GA,

    Could be worse. You could be a Buffalo Bills fan (4 times in a row to the Super Bowl no wins).

    Of course this is the real reason why they could never win:

  6. Erunner says:

    My heart breaks having seen all of the footage from Minnesota. There’s times when words aren’t sufficient.

  7. Dan from Georgia says:

    CM,

    Ahhh…that could be the most embarrassing Super Bowl run ever.

  8. The 101 waa shut down on both directions this afternoon by protesters. Videos of two cars getting their windows smashed by thugs on the freeway made the news.

  9. Mike E. says:

    What really gets me is the pain these folks are obviously in. Yes, I know some are committing lawless acts, and that’s wrong. But hurting people hurt people. They are filled with rage after seeing their fellows murdered over and over and over again. I just can’t even imagine what it’s be like to be a black father or grandfather with teen-age sons in the state we’re in. The oppression they endure, of course borne of sin, is sick, grotesque, twisted and perverse. Alas, I’m so sad for our country but especially our black brothers and sisters. Come, Lord Jesus!

  10. Mike E. says:

    When I say the oppression is “borne of sin,” I’m talking about the sins of oppression committed against them. It’s not a reference to their sin.

  11. CM says:

    Some good news…..

    The Falcon9 has successfully put the Dragon 2 vehicle with the 2 astronauts into orbit.

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    CM..

    Awesome!

  13. Erunner says:

    Mike, This is a difficult topic for me. I think I understand the magnitude of racism that african americans have been throught since their kidnapping and placed in the US.

    We as a nation are guilty of countless evils they have endured through these many years. It sickens me.

    These last few nights I’ve watched as rioting in Minnesota is out of control and it has spread all over the nation. Watching businesses burn is tough to see as folks lose what they worked hard to build. Last night I watched as the riots got pretty intense here in Los Angeles.

    At the same time I’m disgusted when I see the footage of George Floyd being killed at the hands of police for no reason. That’s not to mention all of the other lives that have been taken in similar fashion.

    I hope and pray this violence will end soon. I got into a prolonged discussion with my niece who is very deeply entrenched in white privilege. Basically I need to affirm I am a racist because I am white. We still deeply disagree on things but we parted on peaceful terms.

    I’m of the opinion that as long as it is before Jesus sets up His kingdom racism will continue on.

    It saddens me that people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton encourage this violence that is hurting the communities these people live in it has also hurt African American business owners as well.

    I confess I sat and felt hopelessness for this whole series of events as I watched it transpire last night.

    If you’re up to it you can find the movie titled “13” on youtube. My niece asked me to watch it and it was disturbing to watch. God bless you brother.

  14. Jean says:

    “It saddens me that people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton encourage this violence”

    It saddens me when someone makes an accusation against someone without evidence. What specific evidence do you have that either of these civil rights leaders are encouraging the violence we are seeing?

    People, black, white and brown, are fed up with the promises of reform, but the constant injustice perpetrated by the institutions charged with upholding the rule of law. Did Floyd receive due process of law?

    When are psychological standards going to be imposed on those wishing to be entrusted with the enforcement of our laws? When are training standards going to be imposed which ensure the due process rights of suspects? When are criminal laws going to be reformed to remove the shield of liability that bad cops enjoy wen they perpetrate murder on American citizens? When are we going to reform the institutional inequality that prevents all our citizens from enjoying the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

  15. Erunner says:

    Jean, I could find nothing that led me to state what I did about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I was plainly wrong and can make no excuses. My sincere apologies to those I have offended.

    Michael, if possible could you remove those words from my post or you feel it better, remove my post altogether.

  16. directambiguity says:

    I think the other cops should also be charged with something.

  17. CM says:

    The long-term solution would be to end qualified immunity for all LEOs and associated government officials. In addition require ALL law enforcement officers to maintain a surety bond and liability insurance. The local governments can pay said insurance premiums of as part of the package.

    No different than insuring drivers. You screw up too many times as a driver, you can’t get insurance. Period. Also, no bond and liability company will ensure bad cops if they screw up. Finally, the taxpayers of a city won’t be on the hook paying out damages because of a thug of a cop.

    IOW, if the cop screws up. He is by default held personally liable.

  18. Em says:

    I do not disagree with the comments abovr. … I was brought up to respect the individual with no regard to skin shade
    That said, one thing that is not mentioned is the number of dead “LEOs” picked off as they went about assigned and often benign tasks… Bad cops should be held accountable, like anyone else, but it is not a safe uniform to put on today.
    Yes, come soon, Lord Jesus and fix our mess… Amen!

  19. Jean says:

    Em,

    “but it is not a safe uniform to put on today”

    I do not disagree with you, and I’ve been speaking of this for years. However, this is the cost of the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. The current interpretation means no universal background checks, no registrations, no mental health checks, no type of gun off limits, as well as the ammunition. This is the society we want. The police are the victims of our gun idolatry.

  20. Em says:

    Jean, i believe your view is, if you will pardon me, too simplistic… ACLU – civil liberties are important, but this group went too far; all the while, i believe, they billed the government for their services…. The result was that no one wanted to exercise commonn sense for fear of being sued and finding themselves, like General Flynn, sued beyond their resources – sued out of house and home…
    We seem to swing like a pendulum – no reasonable, happy medium
    My apologies to all for using the hated Flynn to make my point… 🙏

  21. Mike E. says:

    ERunner-You have a good heart given to Jesus. You’re human. You see all this and it’s confusing and terrifying. Don’t lose heart, dear brother. We all are in that same boat, faced with craziness all around us. But we must remember who we are. We are the Bride of Messiah. We are the light..the only light in the world. We must stand fast in our faith and stay anchored in God’s Word. I personally believe our country is now experiencing the wrath of God. We are all guilty before God of grievous sin. Systemic racism and oppression of black Americans is only one. How about what we are NOW doing to the immigrant, human beings being caged, separated from their families, children and adults traumatized emotionally for LIFE? And this oppression cheered on by many who claim the Name of Christ. God has revealed Himself to be a just and holy God, compassionate, concerned for the poor and lowly among us. How shall He not judge this nation for our collective sins? I’m personally of the opinion that President Trump is an instrument of judgment in God’s Hand against our nation. God has used heathen leaders in the past to chastise His people. I pray for God to relent of His wrath against us. I humbly repent before God for my sins and the sins of my people. They are too great and way over my head. I appeal to Him for mercy and an abatement of His wrath. Brother, like I said, your heart is filled with God’s Spirit. We need not be afraid. He won’t abandon us. We must hold on to Him…AND to each other. Much love, bro. ❤️❤️

  22. Mike E. says:

    Jean—“The current interpretation means no universal background checks, no registrations, no mental health checks, no type of gun off limits, as well as the ammunition. This is the society we want. The police are the victims of our gun idolatry.” I don’t disagree with you completely. However, I’m compelled to point out that there is registration of guns. When you buy a gun legitimately, the serial number is kept by the seller. Very easily traced to the original owner. There is mental health prohibitions to buying a firearm, both federal and most states. I do agree the laws are still way too lax. This is a really great website to learn specifics about gun laws. Blessings. https://lawcenter.giffords.org/

  23. CM says:

    Jean,

    For starters, you have seen militarization of police over past 40 years. This has especially accelerated during the disastrous and misguided War on Drugs.

    Why is it every tiny city needs a full SWAT unit so these military washouts can run around and cosplay like they are operators from SEAL Team 6?

    Why is it police have gone from peace officer to revenue collections for the state?

    Why is it local law enforcement continue to execute more and more no-knock warrants for the most trivial things and then have cosplaying SWAT execute the warrant?

    Someone once satirically pointed out that in many ways the Mafia is better than the state.

  24. Jean says:

    CM,
    In my opinion, the police are in an arms race against the citizenry. I frankly don’t blame the police for arming up, if you’re going to allow ordinary citizens to have unlimited access to military grade assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition. If any Tom, Dick and Harry with the money can buy a few sniper rifles and body armor, what are the cops supposed to do?

    Mike E., when someone tells me “instant background check” and then loopholes for the internet and gun shows, I’m simply not taking the process seriously. I don’t understand why law abiding gun owners don’t support serious due diligence applied to people who want to own rapid fire killing machines.

  25. CM says:

    Jean,

    For starters, citizens do not have access to assault rifles, unless they have a Class III FFL (which is a license to own automatic weapons). The GI Joe cosplay guy walking around with the AR-15 is carrying a semiautomatic rifle that looks like the M16 (which is the assault rifle, i.e., automatic fire capable). This rifle fires .223 bullets which is no different than people who use similar rifles to hunt varmint game on the prairie. Just because it looks evil or too military-like does change these facts.

    Second, any bolt-action rifle used to hunt deer can be considered a sniper rifle. Your dad’s Winchester Model 70 chambered in .30-06 can be a sniper rifle. I would highly recommend you read up on your firearms terminology and the technology before commenting further.

    To put in perspective, in the 1920s anyone could by a fully automatic Thompson Submachine Gun (the infamous Tommy Gun used during Probihition.)

  26. CM says:

    Jean,

    Correction: Should say does NOT change these facts. A semiautomatic weapon fires one (1) bullet with each pull of the trigger. The recoil energy or the kinetic energy of the gases of the firing is used to chamber another round in the firing chamber and also cocks the firing pin for the next trigger pull. This is different from a pump action, bolt-action, or lever action.

  27. CM says:

    Mike E,

    The funny thing is 100 years ago, 80 years ago, or 50 years ago there were far less laws and restrictions on firearms purchases. Yet people didn’t go running around doing killing sprees, and whatnot. The first was the well known case of a mass-killer sniper was Charles Whitman (the infamous Texas Tower Sniper) in 1966:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman

  28. My mom bought a shotgun at a garage sale in California about 7 years ago. This has been illegal here since the 70s. I checked to see she had no shells and let it go. One of her “friends” stole it from her according to her. I’ve been offered many guns but I’ve declined. Might as well regulate toasters. Registration makes people feel better but it’s irrelevant. And unenforceable.

  29. Jean says:

    For a person my height, at sea level the horizon is about 3 miles away. That is as much of the earth in front of me as I can see with the naked eye, because of its arc. Beyond three miles, the earth bends out of view; beyond the horizon I can see only the sky.

    In a speech given at the National Cathedral in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. (paraphrasing the 19th Century abolitionist, Theodore Parker) said:

    “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

    King saw the moral universe in the shape of an arc. He envisioned its endpoint or goal as the achievement of justice. Because the moral universe is shaped like an arc, however, justice was not the moral universe that King was able to see or experience during his lifetime. It was beyond the horizon.

    But faith in that endpoint gave meaning to King’s work for justice. He believed he was on the right path, so He did not labor in vain. King was also a realist: the arc is long. Therefore, the journey is very hard.

    In the same speech, King quoted what he called “the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence:”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Here in words etched in our history by Thomas Jefferson is a picture of justice. But they are not self-fulfilling words. They require men and women to “hold these truths,” that is, to believe in them and apply them. A government can legislate outward conduct to a certain degree, but it cannot legislate what a man or woman holds in their heart.

    The arc is long, and the horizon is beyond our present experience; but we can see the endpoint envisioned in the Declaration of Independence. It is “self-evident.” I wonder if it is possible to shorten that arc? I wonder if it is possible, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, to reject the status quo and uphold justice for all men and women, even as its full consummation remains somewhere beyond the horizon?

  30. directambiguity says:

    It called to mind a term taken from the retired American philosopher Thomas Sowell (and his 1987 book of the same name,) a ‘conflict of visions’.

    Sowell posited the idea that, at root, all political conflicts derive from two very different ‘visions’ of the world. The ‘constrained vision’, characterised by a stronger recognition of limitations/constraints on action and a stronger sense that there are no perfect solutions in life but only a series of imperfect trade-offs; and the ‘unconstrained vision’ — characterised by an idealistic sense that greater perfectibility is always possible:

    In the unconstrained vision, there are no intractable reasons for social evils and therefore no reason why they cannot be solved, with sufficient moral commitment. But in the constrained vision, whatever artifices or strategies restrain or ameliorate inherent human evils will themselves have costs, some in the form of other social ills created by these civilizing institutions, so that all that is possible is a prudent trade-off.

    – THOMAS SOWELL, CONFLICT OF VISIONS
    Later, he adds:

    In the constrained vision, injustices are inevitable, with the only real question being whether there will be more with one process than another…… where those with an unconstrained vision see a solution, those with a constrained vision see a trade-off.

  31. Jim says:

    1. Jean doesn’t understand guns or gun laws.
    2. Law enforcement is not a dangerous profession. Look up the stats.
    3. Law enforcement would be an even safer profession if the “bad apples” would stop murdering people.

  32. CM says:

    Jim,

    See my idea to eliminate qualified immunity for LEOs and to require a surety bond and personal liability insurance as well. (If the tree-cutter company is required to have this bond and liability, why shouldn’t LEOs?).

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    On behalf of Jean and with respect, I understand both guns and gun laws. The conversion of AR15s to full automatic is a “bench job”. A semi-automatic with a high capacity magazine is almost as effective. We’ve got a problem in this country and we need to face it.

  34. Jim says:

    Duane, we don’t have a legal gun owner problem and you know it.

  35. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    I’ve been to too many gun shows. Really don’t want to argue, as I have too much regard for you.

  36. Jim says:

    Under 300 rifle involved murders in 2018 in a country of 320 million people, and you go to fully auto conversions? Let’s keep it honest.

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    We’re also talking about the number and variety of firearms in that population of 320 million. Indeed, let’s keep it honest…

  38. Jim says:

    So firearms in safes that never hurt anyone are a problem? I always thought that people hurting people was the problem.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    Compare gun deaths in America with the rest of the world.

  40. Jim says:

    No. Compare murder rates per capita. The weapon is irrelevant.

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    I’ll agree to disagree…. sleep well.

  42. Dark to dawn curfew in San Jose for a week starting tonight. Intel is that looting may spread beyond downtown. Several business even near me are closed and boarded up proactively. Video surfaced of an Asian SJPD cop looking kind of weird, like itching for a fight, finally shot a beanbag gun into protesters. That started a mini riot. The police chief held a media conference this afternoon and while not condoning what his officer did, Chief Garcia didn’t help by saying that he was “a good kid who’s likely embarrassed by his actions.”

  43. CM says:

    Duane,

    A couple things as part of this comparison. Until one normalizes to population, the total number of X deaths is meaningless as your are not comparing apples to apples.

    First one needs to normalize the number of guns to population. For example, the US has 120.5 guns per 100 people, but Switzerland has 27.6 guns per 100 people. This works to 4.4 times as many guns per capita in the US than Switzerland.

    Then you look at the homicide rates by firearms in each county and normalize it to population. In 2012, Switzerland had 7.7 homicides by firearm per million people, while the US had 29.7 per million. Which means that the US had 3.85 times as many homicides per firearm per capita than Switzerland.

    Looking at these numbers it means you have a less probability of being murdered by a firearm in US than Switzerland. This means that even though the US has more guns, you are less likely to be murdered by one than in Switzerland. Even more striking is that the US gun laws regarding ownership and sale are in many ways much easier than Switzerland.

    You do this for every country and you will find that that US is hardly an outlier.

  44. Duane Arnold says:

    CM

    I appreciate your statistical approach… but in 2019 in the US:
    15,292 gun deaths (excluding suicides)
    29,613 non-fatal injuries from guns
    3,771 gun deaths of those under 18

    It’s yet another national tragedy…

  45. CM says:

    Duane,

    I am not saying it is not a tragedy, but in order to make accurate comparisons statistical approaches are needed. And for better or worse, my God-given talents and skills are in STEM.

    Though I will defer discussions of the linguistic evolution of Attic Greek in the ancient world, the fluctuations of exchange rate of denarii to other currencies in the Levant in the 1st Century AD, and similar things to other folks.

  46. CM says:

    Duane,

    This of course is not to disparage those who study things and have talents outside of STEM.

  47. Jim says:

    Where did you obtain 2019 stats Duane? The FBI hasn’t finalized 2019.

    2018-10,265 firearm murders.
    2017-11,006 firearm murders.

    I don’t believe firearm related homicides jumped to over 15K, but would love to see your source.

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