Open Blogging

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63 Responses

  1. directambiguity says:

    After watching highlights of the 2020 Democratic National Convention I sure hope Trump wins again.

  2. Michael says:

    directambiguity,

    What is the purpose of posting that?
    You well know that others will hope he is defeated.
    Is there any edification in simply trolling and stirring the waters of strife?
    Do you feel righteous now?

  3. directambiguity says:

    Well, they need to watch the highlights also we only have 2 choices.

  4. Michael says:

    I watched some of it…but I wouldn’t vote for Trump in any circumstance.
    People don’t care who you or I vote for and there is zero point in arguing about it.
    The third choice is to focus on the kingdom of God and expend our energy there.

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    Bringing a theological perspective to current events may or may not be helpful, but at least it is tangentially connected with the theme and purpose of this blog.

    Simply saying, “Hurrah for our side” has no value whatsoever…

  6. CM says:

    Maybe someone should watch all of both conventions and make their own assessment. Cherry picked highlights by whomever is useless. And there is never only 2 two choices. Choosing neither either by third party or write-in is also a choice. But if directambiguity and 95% of the voters want to not take the red pill and continue to be stuck in this binary fantasy of voting for either a Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich that is their problem. Not mine.

  7. CM says:

    Michael,

    Since you are an Oregon resident, found this interesting article on Measure 110:

    https://reason.com/2020/08/21/oregon-ballot-initiative-would-decriminalize-low-level-possession-of-all-drugs/

  8. Michael says:

    CM,
    It may help with the hellish overcrowding in county jails, but the addiction crime issue is about to overwhelm us here. I’m not sure if this wouldn’t just encourage more…

  9. CM says:

    Michael,

    That is the $64,000 question. Interestingly as more states legalized marijuana demand for it from the Mexico has dropped (as have seizures across the border. Domestic supply replaces illegal imports. That is why the whole border wall to stop drugs argument is bogus in many ways.

    The value of drugs seizures AT ports of entry has increased, but BETWEEN ports of entry (where the wall would be) has decreased. Mostly because the high value, small volume opiods and meth are brought in at ports of entry while marijuana (being bulky) is smuggled between ports of entry.

  10. CM says:

    Here is an interesting analysis on the effect of marijuana legalization on drug smuggling across the Mexico-US border:

    https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/how-legalizing-marijuana-securing-border-border-wall-drug-smuggling

  11. Jim says:

    “People don’t care who you or I vote for and there is zero point in arguing about it.”

    Correct. I’d rather not know.

  12. McGarrett says:

    Jim, unfortunately, in current state, I agree.

  13. Eric says:

    The first wave of Covid in Australia was mostly in March and April. 7000 cases, 100 deaths.
    The second wave, from June to August, was mostly confined to the state of Victoria. 18,000 cases, 350 deaths and the worst is past.
    State borders have been closed, so my state has been safe. Activities are still restricted.

    Anyone in the country with a cold or bad cough is obliged to get tested and stay home until they get a negative result, usually the next day. Fortunately colds are far fewer this year as people haven’t been breathing near each other.

  14. California lightning strike fires are out of control. I walked out at 6 AM last weekend and I never saw anything like that in my 48 years here, minus 3 years when I lived in Oregon. The mandatory evac line was briefly within 4 blocks of my home, then it retreated to the base of the hills, still only a mile away (the base of The east hills in san jose) yet we seem safe for now. The sea breezes kind of kicked in. To be proactive, i got my ExBIL to take my dogs if needed.

    Big Basin (redwoods) in the Santa Cruz mountains was destroyed, burned through. I’m glad my other ex brother-in-law invited me on a hike there 2 years ago. It was beautiful. I won’t be around to see its recovery, but my kids will be. I regret being lazy and not taking them there last year. I’ll be watching the fire map all weekend.

  15. Em says:

    TNV, my cousin’s daughter was told by local firefighters that they couldn’t get their trucks up her drive… Lots of Caif. family – praying for you all

    Also, is it true that the present Pope wants to make Jesus’s mother, Mary co-redeemer? If so that man is an antichrist! ! !

  16. Michael says:

    I’ll write a full article about this when I get the time…but I’m making an executive decision.
    If people want to offer theological perspectives on a given issue related to politics, I will approve that.
    If people simply want to argue over the merits of candidates or parties, I will no longer approve such.

    I think it’s imperative that we filter everything through a Christian theological perspective…and a “community of faith” should be able to do so.
    Simply stating our distaste for people or parties is not valuable, nor is it effective.

    I will also approve things such as the statistical information Steve Wright has posted…I think it’s helpful and informative.

    I won’t be arguing this, but I will be enforcing this.

  17. bob1 says:

    I’ve been reading a book about the Church in Germany and those who resisted Hitler. It’s titled “Preaching in Hitler’s Shadow.” The author is a retired history professor who knows the German language and so was able to exegete the sermons, which is mostly what the book is about — the preaching that German pastors did. Many of them gave up their lives for it.

    One thing that’s impressed me is the clarity of the theology of Karl Barth in this period. He was much less anti-Jewish than most other theologians and clergy of the day. To me, that
    commends his theology as much as anything else he’s written (and he was a profound theologian and author).

    https://www.amazon.com/Preaching-Hitlers-Shadow-Sermons-Resistance/dp/0802869025/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=preaching+in+hitler%27s+shadow&qid=1598126715&sr=8-2

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    I’ve been focusing a bit on the first WW and its’ aftermath. Those histories have eluded my gaze. With historical perspective one can see that the second war was embedded in the first. The Treaty of Versailles was a dumpster fire of short term thinking. One of the key elements is the political pressures that allow nations or partisan groups to avoid confronting violence because of your own full plate of trouble.

    One thing that is sure violence, whether the brutality against blacks via the kkk or the violence in our streets that is winked at by the left will have outcomes.

    Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and many other monsters of the 20th century vetted their intents over and over before it boiled out in full display.

    More than that truth telling died with impunity long before the lies were imposed on people via bloodletting. Stalin actually supplanted his identity on the writings of Lenin. They learned the skill of propagandizing. TV cameras aid that process like nothing before or as yet after.

    I fear for our nation and I don’t think God is going to save us. History indicates that he lets us drink the cup we brew.

  19. bob1 says:

    Wow, what an upper…

    As a friend of mine used to say after a depressing chat, “On that happy note…”

  20. Em says:

    Feel i should share this – as has been said here, our approach to the times should always be through the lens of our Faith, amen to that.
    I just learned that a relative in a supervisory role in a big city police department is asking for us, who are in the Church, to pray as the officers on the beat are “afraid” for their lives feeling they go out with a target on their backs and have no support from their city halls or their local attorney generals
    I do fear we are where Pastor Dread sees us
    God keep

  21. Michael says:

    bob1,

    Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll be getting that…

  22. Michael says:

    I tend to agree with BD’s appraisal…except that in reality, the violence is in a few scattered areas and could be easily dealt with if and when there was a will to do so.

    The street punks are too disorganized and lack the popular appeal to succeed in any grand way.

    Having said that…we are on the verge of extensive civil disorder because of the political and economic strains.

  23. Jean says:

    Who here thinks the country has been well served by a POTUS who spends the majority of his time watching TV, who governs via Tweet, and who gets his Covid-19 advice from the likes of the founder of My Pillow? Let’s get real, please.

    At the very least, and this is actually a big deal, Biden is committed to bringing the country together, has promised to serve not only those who vote for him, but also those who vote for his opponent. Joe has the endorsement of many bona fide Republicans, which is a testimony that Joe is building a big tent.

    IMO, we cannot continue to support a President who is literally trying to tear our country apart and will support anyone, regardless of their sanity, if they support him. He has placed his personal esteem above the needs of the country and his oath of office.

    Please support a return to decency. Surely we can disagree on matters of policy while upholding each other as fellow citizens and valued human beings.

  24. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I have banned this sort of comment. It serves no one…no one is going to be persuaded at this point.
    Theological reflections on issues are welcome…this is not.

  25. Michael says:

    Em,

    We should make that part of the prayer thread…

  26. CM says:

    And to give a hard-statistical number devoid of emotion, let me provide this statistic:

    Cops are not even the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the US. The number of job-related deaths of police per 100,000 employed is 13.5 in 2019. The number of job-related deaths of logging industry workers per 100,000 employed is 135.9:

    Here are REAL most dangerous jobs in America:

    https://www.themarlincompany.com/blog-articles/dangerous-jobs-2019/

    IOW you have almost 10x greater chance of dying as a logging worker than as a cop. You are 3.5 x as likely of dying as a roofer than as a cop.

    So all this BS about cops’ lives being dangerous is just that. If you don’t believe me, go to OSHA’s website where they compile this data every year.

    Funny, I don’t see loggers or fisherman or roofers begging churches to pray that they get home safely. IOW, feelings are just and DEVOID of statistical FACT.

  27. Jean says:

    Point taken. My apologies Michael.

  28. Michael says:

    “So all this BS about cops’ lives being dangerous is just that. If you don’t believe me, go to OSHA’s website where they compile this data every year.”

    That’s simply unacceptable here.
    I have spent years (decades) with friends in law enforcement and it is a very dangerous job…whether the death rate is high or not.
    The injury and emotional traumas they receive are more than most can handle and , on this site, there will be no disrespect of good officers allowed.
    The rogues should be prosecuted to the fullest…and the rest thanked for their service.

  29. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I don’t disagree with you, but we need to find a better way and be a place where we can try to direct these conversations to a better place.

  30. Jean says:

    Thank you Michael.

    Lutherans (and I am interested in what other traditions teach) has a strong doctrine of vocation. This doctrine recognizes in Scripture a number of hierarchies which together result in a God-ordered prosperous society. (We can dive into this further if anyone is interested.)

    Last week, a secret service agent interrupted President Trump’s press briefing to remove him from the podium and briefing, after notice was received of a shooting which occurred close to the White House.

    The relevant fact is that while acting within the secret service agent’s vocation to protect the life of the President, the secret service agent was superior to the POTUS. And, to his credit, the President submitted to the authority of the agent and left the stage with him.

    This was a great example of vocation and submission. This is what the church and our country, IMO, has lost, to its great determent.

    Within the context of the pandemic, we have public health experts, epidemiologists and vaccine experts, all serving in their vocations. It is outside the bounds of vocation IMO for politicians to slander the names and qualifications of our experts for political expediency. One can disagree with a policy response, but to impeach their credibility, name and patriotism because they don’t agree with you (who is not in their vocation) is despicable.

    People need to learn how to stay in their lane. Whether we like it or not, we live in community. Not all are pastors; not all are doctors; not all are police; etc. We need each other and our country IMO will not survive if we continue on the our current path of social atomism.

  31. Outside T. Fold says:

    I posted this on the previous open blogging, too long after last week’s Open Blogging was an active discussion, but with the fires, I am thinking of Xenia and others in the area where the fires are. And those grand ancient creatures, the redwoods. Thinking and hoping for safety. And posting that here, too.

  32. bob1 says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is that when it comes to our faith and theological issues, I’ve become really, really tired of the binary thing — we’re all good and they’re all bad.

    That works when you’re in 5th or 6th grade. But we’re supposed to mature, embrace nuance, and listen to each other.

    I think the RCC is light years ahead of most of the rest of us Xns. If you examine their statements on societal issues, you’ll find a mixture of very conservative and very liberal stands,and a few in between.

    Seems to me that’s a damn good place to be.

  33. jtk says:

    Babylon’s Dread,
    So open communism will follow the anarcho communism of antifa types?

    Can you put some finer points on it?
    Speculate?

    I’m interested in where you think these things can flow?

  34. Jim says:

    CM,

    Quoting from Cato and Reason and now touching the sacred blue cow will get you on a watch list. You should buy an AR and a suppressor (while it’s still legal) to seal the deal.

  35. Michael says:

    Jim,

    I’m actually a CATO fan…

  36. Babylon's Dread says:

    jtk

    I did not mention communism as directly as you derived but my concern is there. The left is certain that Trump is Hitlerian. I have tried hard to see it and I think I do understand them somewhat. The right is concerned that the left is communistic and I see that easier.

    What we have in America is a dangerous mix of things. We have violence against property public and private in the cities. The leaders of the cities are so antiTRUMP they will allow their own space to be defiled if they have any hope of a propagandist edge against him.

    Who would think that an entire party would be intimidated from the prospect of admitting that destroying public property is problematic? Who would think they would make protesting sacrosanct even if they are ignoring the illegal and destructive intents hidden within it? The left gets more daring by the day and their apostles simply use it for anti-trumpistganda.

    America has debt problems which will lead to either hyperinflation or a depression. The stock market is lying about the true economy. That can’t last. The human costs of the lockdown will eventually be very public. Our real danger from the economy is the rapidly advancing hegemony of communist china with their cheap labor and trade advantages.

    Also, everywhere the war machine advances war is very near. Hitler used grievance politics to advance German boundaries Putin and Xi have been doing likewise. People who build armies and have empire will use one to expand the other.

    The radicalization of the American youth by identitarian politics in the universities is exactly the same thing as the radicalization of white supremacy via the kkk. Yes, I know what I just said. There was a time when white supremacy was overt and even held sway in our power structures. You are seeing the equal and opposite spirit in the streets and fomenting on the universities. When justice becomes social justice it becomes an ideology as pernicious as naziism or communism. There is my answer. My claim won’t be easily embraced but 50-75 years hence it will be as obvious as the evil of the kkk is now.

  37. pstrmike says:

    Yep.

    The pendulum continues to swing.

    These days were talked about years ago as we sat on the floor, smoked dope and drank beer. Strange to see them coming to fruition………..

    I neither trust nor identify with either the left or right. A hard rain is gonna fall, and neither group have enough buckets to bail us out. God help us.

  38. CM says:

    Jim,

    In case you didn’t notice, Cato and Reason touch plenty of Trump and TEAM RED cows too (immigration, LEO reform, drug law reform, anti-tariff and anti-protectionism, for starters). I am one for turning them all into hamburger.

  39. CM says:

    Michael,

    Same here. And anyone who has read and agrees with von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Friedman.

  40. CM says:

    Michael,

    My apologies. I was not trying to besmirch good cops. But one of the devices used in this whole police debate is the mantra that cops somehow have a real dangerous job, thereby leading to the notion or implication that we should cut them more slack. The police unions are all too eager to exploit this “Dangerous job meme” in order to stymie efforts at reform to get rid of incompetent and crooked LEOs.

    The problem is the statistical facts do not support this. Now I appreciate that you have friends in law enforcement and feel for their emotional and physical trauma, but again your logging industry friend or neighbor has a much greater chance of physical trauma and death than your cop friend (there are OSHA stats on workplace disabling injuries too). In 2019, 104 cops died on the job from accident or assault. Of that number, 48 were killed by hostile gunfire and two were killed by accidental gunfire. 22 died in automobile crashes. So this would mean workplace death rate due to being shot is actually half of 13.5 = 6.8. The accidental death rate of ordinary office workers is 3.5 in 2019.

    Now I sure people on this forum will say you are be cold and heartless, and that may be. But one needs to be in order to get to the facts and statistics in order to reduce and determine the causes of workplace fatalities. Because one cannot make reasoned policy decisions without statistics and facts.

    And in terms of emotional trauma, I would say the wife whose logger or fisherman husband who died in a workplace fatality has a fair amount of emotional trauma. And to highlight the danger and emotional trauma of fishing industry workers, I suggest you read “The Perfect Storm.” or see the movie.

  41. Michael says:

    CM,

    I live in what used to be the logging capital of the world…before it was destroyed by environmental extremists.
    I grew up in a logging town…my cousin died in a logging accident.
    I took my turn in the woods to remind me to get to a better place.

    I’ve also spent years in the company of police on duty and off.
    I no longer ride along…one eight hour shift dealing with the dregs of humanity takes me months to get over.
    It changes you.
    Do we need to reform some systems and insure that we get rid of the corrupt.
    Yes.
    No doubt.
    However, I remain a stout defender of law enforcement and law enforcement officers.

  42. Em says:

    Puget Sound has been home to various fishing fleets for decades – you will see memorials listing names of those lost and mourned. My son in his youth fished the Alaskan waters on several boats. It is grueling, dangerous work somewhat at the mercy of the sea…. But they did not go out with targets on their backs for snipers to pick them off unseen
    Police work in 2020 IS very dangerous. So?
    Pray for the logger, pray for the guys manning the wheel and the nets, but pray for the men trying to keep law and order in our streets also

  43. CM says:

    Em,

    As statistics point out at least 10 other professions are _more_ dangerous and that is a fact. I don’t dispute that it is not dangerous, but the statistics show that it is far from the extremely dangerous profession that has been the mantra (and implication) for years. IOW, the dangers are exaggerated for political purposes (as I had mentioned with my previous post). The cold, heartless, numbers DO NOT LIE.

    The problem is the those who aim to use this political purposes and preserve their self-interest (like the police unions) count on people reacting with their emotions and pulling at their heart strings to give impression that multiple cops are being gunned down every day. They are counting the fact that they do read the annual OSHA reports, they count on the fact that a dead cop will 100x of time more public notice and media coverage than a dead roofer. Which course allows them to manipulate peoples’ emotions to push the notion that _ANY_ police reforms, any rollback in increased militarization of LEOs, elimination of Qualified Immunity, etc is akin to wanting more cops to die.

    Your use of hyberbole about snipers unseen is noted and emotional, but again, the numbers do not lie.

  44. CM says:

    Correction: Should say do NOT read the annual OSHA reports.

  45. CM says:

    Compare the amount of outrage and media coverage when a retail clerk gets gunned down in cold blood compared to a cop. Both of them had targets painted on their back. You don’t see politicians wax and opine extensively on the service and duty of that retail clerk. And here is the dirty little secret, more (as in absolute numbers) retail clerks were gunned down in cold blood last year than cops.

    So the question one has to ask is why?

  46. Michael says:

    CM,
    I don’t know what your point is, but I’m going to reiterate what I’ve said.
    I’m a strong supporter of law enforcement.
    We have people coming from out of town to protest our police today…and if it’s not peaceful, I hope it’s dealt with to whatever degree necessary to insure it doesn’t happen again.
    If you have issues beyond a legitimate desire to see reform where needed, this is not the place for your advocacy.

  47. CM says:

    Michael,

    Agreed peaceful protest is fine. Though who are not deserve to be dealt with (and I have said this many times here).

    But what are the chances even if 100% of the protest is peaceful, it will be spun by police unions and others as anything but that in an attempt to emotionally manipulate? What is your hope should people try to make a mountain of lawlessness out of what will hopefully be molehill?

    I desire reform, the problem is that in many cases, the only way to achieve success is to scrap the existing framework and build new (like Camden, NJ did). No police reform will ever be successful as long as Qualified Immunity is not eliminated, Police Unions are not broken, and LEOs are not required to carry personal liability/malpractice insurance and a surety bond. Because even in the rare cases a cop is found liable, it is the taxpayers of the city (or their liability insurance carrier) who have to pay for his eff up. Perhaps the liability insurance carriers should flex their muscle and refuse to underwrite and insure cities and towns who do NOT implement reforms.

    As an aside, if you have Netflix, there is this series on Immigration, called, “Immigration Nation.” Here is an article on it:

    https://reason.com/2020/08/21/immigration-nation-brilliantly-captures-the-brutal-logic-behind-americas-immigration-enforcement-regime/

  48. Em says:

    CM, you see “spin?”. Alright, it is possible, but using past statistics for a new cop hating, permissive climate won’t work. As much as we all hate it, ( i suspect that you do also) we are living in a strangely lawless time – no worries, to quote from down under. Pray it is temporary. God keep.

  49. CM says:

    Em and Michael,

    Here is something you didn’t know about public sector unions which I am sure plays a role this distrust and dislike of LEOs:

    https://reason.com/2020/07/21/why-are-taxpayers-footing-the-bill-for-full-time-police-union-employees/

    I am sure this defunding of “release time” tp reduce costs to the taxpayer is something we can all get behind. Funny how it is not mentioned on either side of the police funding debate.

  50. CM says:

    Here is the money from that link:

    “Favors like release time create a distinct, privileged class of Americans. They’re neither publicly accountable government agents nor private citizens, but a specially favored cadre, paid by often-dissatisfied “customers” and overseen by “employers” who have little effective power to fire or discipline them. That is extraordinarily dangerous, because it removes public employees’ responsibility without diminishing their authority. It’s no wonder many citizens view public employees—especially police officers—not as fellow citizens, let alone as their agents, but as occupiers and adversaries.”

    And THAT IS THE PROBLEM.

  51. Mike E. says:

    Well, JMac has condemned me to hell because I don’t support Trump. Is this ok? Whatever, JMac, Messiah will have something to say about that! 😎✝️

  52. bob1 says:

    Mike E — If those are the criteria, glad to join ya!

  53. Jim says:

    “Jim,

    In case you didn’t notice, Cato and Reason touch plenty of Trump and TEAM RED cows too (immigration, LEO reform, drug law reform, anti-tariff and anti-protectionism, for starters). I am one for turning them all into hamburger.”

    I noticed. I think Cato and Reason a quite tame. Did you mistake me for a Trump supporter? I’ve been on the far fringe of libertarianism for a very long time and think statism is a dangerous religion. Think Rothbard, then go a little farther, and that’s where you’ll find me.

  54. Jim says:

    My last comment was a response to CM, btw.

  55. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    Liberty Fund is calling…

  56. Jim says:

    Duane, I don’t read fantasy anymore. Political philosophy is interesting for a while, but I’m more concerned with getting stuff done while navigating the world as it is.

  57. Em says:

    Jim @ 6:07
    Pretty well stated – IMHO, of course…..

  58. Duane Arnold says:

    Jim

    I understand …

  59. Mike E. says:

    Well, JMac has just condemned me and half of American Christendom to hell because he says true believers will vote for Trump. Is this okay?

    https://youtu.be/l3xDGSINo2E

  60. Mike E. says:

    Oops sorry…double posted. 🤷‍♂️

  61. Jim says:

    In other words, seeing the world as it is, knowing the heart of man, and knowing that governments are made of men, it’s silly to yearn for libertopia. Freedom and liberty are in your heart and between your ears.

    I fully expect to see a more socialist America. I expect my guns to be outlawed, and I expect my tax burden to double. This has nothing to do with Biden or Trump or AOC.

    I’ll still be happy and free. They can’t legislate my faith and joy in God or my love for my family and others. Everything else is just temporal stuff.

  62. Mike E. says:

    Jim, amen to the fact that our faith and joy in God and love in our hearts can never be legislated. No person or entity in this entire universe will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. ( Romans 8). All other ground is sinking sand.

  63. jtk says:

    Thanks, sir Dread

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