The fate of the nation (A topic as serious as female lectors or gay clergy)

Started by Charles Austin, February 28, 2019, 06:49:50 AM

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Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: D. Engebretson on October 28, 2019, 11:41:12 AM
I know that the rejoinder will be that such things have also happened at Trump rallies, but it still seems sad that we are at this point in our national politics.  Just sad. The days of real respect for anyone of any position appears to have gone.  We show respect only for those with whom we personally agree and like.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/lock-world-series-crowds-loudly-boo-donald-trump/story?id=66577201&cid=social_twitter_abcn&fbclid=IwAR3SK5qMdaCG5gle41lCN9qLxyDFVv615iW4uWMvwPf2WyA1E74UoJeVUF4


Granted, it's childish to argue, "He started it," but the chant, "Lock him/her up" didn't begin with the crowd at the baseball game. He is receiving the same kind of respect that he has shown his opponents.


Lest folks forget; more people voted against Trump than voted for him. He is the Republic's president. I wouldn't say that he's the people's president.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Voelker

Quote from: Charles Austin on October 28, 2019, 11:24:05 AM
Peter, your apologetics for the president are trivial and essentially meaningless.
They fall into the weak category of "well others do bad things too."
The "entrenched interests " of our intelligence community? You find something nefarious in that? You would rather he listen to the Russians?
Foreign policy? He has one? Nonsense.
You may not care that his personal lawyer is conducting our foreign-policy, but that just happens to be against the law.
He does not deserve our moral contempt because he disagrees with Democrats, he deserves our moral contempt because he is in multiple ways immoral.
But, it is clear you are an always Trumper, or at least a never-Democrat.
Be honest about that at least.
If they're actually interested in having one of their own elected, the Democratic Party might want to consider running a candidate who is at once pro-life and not an existential threat to the nation. For many Americans, casting a vote for Trump rather than for a D is not in support of the President, but is instead a matter of preëmptive defense of both self and neighbor.

Jeremy Loesch

Quote from: WJV on October 28, 2019, 11:55:29 AM
Quote from: Charles Austin on October 28, 2019, 11:24:05 AM
Peter, your apologetics for the president are trivial and essentially meaningless.
They fall into the weak category of "well others do bad things too."
The "entrenched interests " of our intelligence community? You find something nefarious in that? You would rather he listen to the Russians?
Foreign policy? He has one? Nonsense.
You may not care that his personal lawyer is conducting our foreign-policy, but that just happens to be against the law.
He does not deserve our moral contempt because he disagrees with Democrats, he deserves our moral contempt because he is in multiple ways immoral.
But, it is clear you are an always Trumper, or at least a never-Democrat.
Be honest about that at least.
If they're actually interested in having one of their own elected, the Democratic Party might want to consider running a candidate who is at once pro-life and not an existential threat to the nation. For many Americans, casting a vote for Trump rather than for a D is not in support of the President, but is instead a matter of preëmptive defense of both self and neighbor.

That's a good response to Charles' response, which was rather devoid of an answer.  Peter's response to Andy's list was good.  Andy's list was good.  I am looking for those things too.  And Peter responded well to Andy's list.  Pres. Trump controls the media by not allowing himself to be controlled by it.  And I think Pres. Trump's foreign policy has been pretty good.  We would have been mired in a full-blown war (though likely Congressionally undeclared because we no longer think that is necessary apparently) with Syria because we overlook how hawkish the Democrats have become. 

When the Democrats are running the people they are for the nomination, what's an American supposed to do?  At least Tulsi Gabbard seems to have a basic understanding of religious liberty, so I guess I am hoping for Trump v. Gabbard.  Though it's better than 50/50 that Hillary Clinton will suicide Gabbard before the election happens.

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Linda

"Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48."

" Genghis Khan, accomplished horseman and indefatigable traveler, breathes his last," Bard College professor and Wall Street Journal columnist Walter Russel Mead wrote.

"Adolf Hitler, passionate community planner and dynamic public speaker, dies at 56." wrote Jason Howerton.

One of these headlines is not a spoof.

Linda   (Looking forward to voting for Trump, again.)

Charles Austin

Do you honestly think, WJV, that the current president cares about abortion? Do you honestly think that a president can endorse and help the "pro-life" agenda?
Do you hear anything from this president about health care, except his obsession to overturn anything done under the last administration?
Are you concerned about public education?
Jobs? Do you think he's putting the miners back to work?
Consumer protections? More are being set aside.
Environmental concerns? None. Give the field to the oil and gas moguls and damn the animal and plant life and the effect on crops.
Foreign policy? He believes the Russians more than our own people and most of the things he has done has strengthened Russia's role in the middle east and elsewhere.
China? A total mess. Useless tariffs that hurt us more than China. (But his daughter uses production facilities there.)
Then there is the clearly unconstitutional matter of making personal money from his office; not to mention the civil and criminal penalties that could come from the investigations (outside the federal government) of his business dealings.
But he might appoint a possibly "pro-life" judge here and there. That makes it ok, I guess.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

Voelker

Quote from: Charles Austin on October 28, 2019, 12:33:26 PM
Do you honestly think, WJV, that the current president cares about abortion? Do you honestly think that a president can endorse and help the "pro-life" agenda?
Do you hear anything from this president about health care, except his obsession to overturn anything done under the last administration?
Are you concerned about public education?
Jobs? Do you think he's putting the miners back to work?
Consumer protections? More are being set aside.
Environmental concerns? None. Give the field to the oil and gas moguls and damn the animal and plant life and the effect on crops.
Foreign policy? He believes the Russians more than our own people and most of the things he has done has strengthened Russia's role in the middle east and elsewhere.
China? A total mess. Useless tariffs that hurt us more than China. (But his daughter uses production facilities there.)
Then there is the clearly unconstitutional matter of making personal money from his office; not to mention the civil and criminal penalties that could come from the investigations (outside the federal government) of his business dealings.
But he might appoint a possibly "pro-life" judge here and there. That makes it ok, I guess.
Hysterical, running-about-like-that-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off posts that repeat what has been said repeatedly don't get you anywhere. Also: a judge here or there, or even a whole passel of them, is not the point. Consider just this: the anti-life stance taken by the current crop of D candidates, combined with their demands for socialized health care (to name but one matter), can only end up in one place, and that place is not a good one. We are far past simple politics when it comes to the direction some would have us go.

D. Engebretson

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 28, 2019, 11:46:30 AM
Quote from: D. Engebretson on October 27, 2019, 07:58:41 PM
I think we need to differentiate social aid programs from socialism as a political philosophy and practice. One does not assume the other.  Socialism in its broader form assumes government ownership and control of a great deal of the societal structure.  It also assumes more power to a national government vs. local governmental systems.  Admittedly some who might decry "creeping socialism" abuse social aid programs and fail to appreciate the temporary nature of the aid. But the more conservative heartland is suspicious of governmental overreach that attempts to exert increasing control over their work, their businesses, and their places of faith.  Again, accepting some social aid such as subsidies or even social security does not automatically translate into acceptance of a socialistic structure.


My online dictionary has this under "socialism" (boldface added):


a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

• policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.

• (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

The term "socialism" has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammeled workings of the economic market.The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended toward social democracy.


The "community as a whole" doesn't have to be the government. I see farmers' co-ops as being socialism. A group of farmers becomes the "community as a whole" that makes decisions for that community. In addition, the definition doesn't say how those regulation decisions are made. In most "communities" in America parliamentary procedure is the means of approving regulations. Congregational meetings is an example of social democracy. That "community" owns and regulates the assets of the congregation by majority vote.

From another view, we do not have an "untrammeled workings of the economic market" that socialism opposes. While some might wished there were less government trammeling in our economic lives, it is necessary to curb human greed. Government (and/or unions) stepped in and created child-labor laws; minimum wage; 40-hour work weeks with overtime pay; break up of monopolies; building codes; etc. etc. It's also not just the government that imposes restrictions on free enterprise. My dad owned a franchise. He had to follow franchise rules in order to be in his business. He was not free to do whatever he wanted to to with his business.

Perhaps it is too simplified, but socialism seems to be to be when decisions are made for the good of the community (a social group - which could be a family on up to a whole nation); rather than individuals deciding what's good for me.

I think that when the concept of "socialism" is put forward in today's political arena it is understood as greater government involvement and greater government control.  Obviously the government needs to be involved and in control of some things, but the other end of the political spectrum believes that having the government step back from what is perceived as excessive control  would be a good thing.  I believe that it is socialistic when the government wishes to take over health care.  I do not see farmers' co-ops as being socialism.  Again, remember when we are talking socialism in the current political setting we now have it translates to governmental control.  Farmer's co-ops are private affairs.  Personally I wish for less governmental intrusion into private affairs and less control of our businesses and schools.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

D. Engebretson

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 28, 2019, 11:51:43 AM
Quote from: D. Engebretson on October 28, 2019, 11:41:12 AM
I know that the rejoinder will be that such things have also happened at Trump rallies, but it still seems sad that we are at this point in our national politics.  Just sad. The days of real respect for anyone of any position appears to have gone.  We show respect only for those with whom we personally agree and like.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/lock-world-series-crowds-loudly-boo-donald-trump/story?id=66577201&cid=social_twitter_abcn&fbclid=IwAR3SK5qMdaCG5gle41lCN9qLxyDFVv615iW4uWMvwPf2WyA1E74UoJeVUF4


Granted, it's childish to argue, "He started it," but the chant, "Lock him/her up" didn't begin with the crowd at the baseball game. He is receiving the same kind of respect that he has shown his opponents.


Lest folks forget; more people voted against Trump than voted for him. He is the Republic's president. I wouldn't say that he's the people's president.

To claim that it started elsewhere still gives it no legitimacy.  But I guess this behavior is now common.  It is still sad.

Differentiating between a "people's president" and the "republic's president" is not helpful.  It translates into if I didn't vote for him I don't have to respect him.  And then we are back to that stadium.  We are a republic, not a pure democracy.  If the citizens of this nation wish to change the governing structure they can (although it would be an unlikely undertaking).  But we might start with understanding why the founding fathers created a republic and not a pure democracy.  They had good reasons.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Charles Austin

And here is another example of both character and the lack of bipartisanship.
With regard to the recent raid, the Democratic leadership was kept out of the loop. This was because, according to the man currently occupying the oval office, the Democratic leadership is "corrupt" and that They cannot keep confidences. He even named them, calling them corrupt.
So here was an opportunity for a portion of our elected leadership to come together and make common cause. It was thwarted by one man.
We later learned that it was earlier actions of that man, taken without real advice, that made the raid more dangerous and difficult.
And now we learn that this one man has most likely "embellished," to use the words one military man, what actually happened during that raid.

Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: D. Engebretson on October 28, 2019, 01:01:08 PM
I think that when the concept of "socialism" is put forward in today's political arena it is understood as greater government involvement and greater government control.  Obviously the government needs to be involved and in control of some things, but the other end of the political spectrum believes that having the government step back from what is perceived as excessive control  would be a good thing.  I believe that it is socialistic when the government wishes to take over health care.  I do not see farmers' co-ops as being socialism.  Again, remember when we are talking socialism in the current political setting we now have it translates to governmental control.  Farmer's co-ops are private affairs. Personally I wish for less governmental intrusion into private affairs and less control of our businesses and schools.


As someone on Medicare (as well as our ELCA supplemental), I'm quite happy to have government as part of my health care. Government sponsored care is not necessarily the same thing as governmental control. I don't feel controlled by medicare. (Perhaps health care professionals feel that way when the government tells them what is a reasonable charge for the services rendered.)


As a church, we have to abide by some government regulations, like a fire suppressant system and emergency lights by exits. Periodically the fire department can inspect our buildings to make sure we are in compliant with the regulations. Is that control over what we do as a church? I think not. Does it provide a greater measure of safety for everyone who uses our buildings? I think so.


Just because you don't consider a farmers' coop as a form of socialism, doesn't mean that it isn't. Socialist structures can happen with private affairs. My last year of seminary was living in a large house with 15 other students and families. We shared evening meals together. We all participated in cleaning the house every Saturday - and cleanup after the meals. (My wife was hired as the cook.) It was a form of socialism as we all had to share responsibilities for the society we were living in. It was a private affair. It was a choice by each student/family to give up some personal rights for the sake of the community who was living and eating and studying together.


There are many positive aspects to socialism, i.e., deciding for the sake of society/community. It, like a free market structure, can be misused and abused. However, I tend to trust the wisdom of a community committed to each other more than individuals (or businesses) committed to serving themselves. 
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Voelker

Quote from: Charles Austin on October 28, 2019, 02:06:22 PM
And here is another example of both character and the lack of bipartisanship.
With regard to the recent raid, the Democratic leadership was kept out of the loop. This was because, according to the man currently occupying the oval office, the Democratic leadership is "corrupt" and that They cannot keep confidences. He even named them, calling them corrupt.
So here was an opportunity for a portion of our elected leadership to come together and make common cause. It was thwarted by one man.
We later learned that it was earlier actions of that man, taken without real advice, that made the raid more dangerous and difficult.
And now we learn that this one man has most likely "embellished," to use the words one military man, what actually happened during that raid.
And the Trumpian posts continue. Do you have a positive case to make for someone else, or are you so smitten with Trump that you can't see anything else?

James S. Rustad

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 28, 2019, 11:46:30 AM

My online dictionary has this under "socialism" (boldface added):

a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

• policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.

• (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

The term "socialism" has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammeled workings of the economic market.The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended toward social democracy.


The "community as a whole" doesn't have to be the government. I see farmers' co-ops as being socialism. A group of farmers becomes the "community as a whole" that makes decisions for that community. In addition, the definition doesn't say how those regulation decisions are made. In most "communities" in America parliamentary procedure is the means of approving regulations. Congregational meetings is an example of social democracy. That "community" owns and regulates the assets of the congregation by majority vote.

From another view, we do not have an "untrammeled workings of the economic market" that socialism opposes. While some might wished there were less government trammeling in our economic lives, it is necessary to curb human greed. Government (and/or unions) stepped in and created child-labor laws; minimum wage; 40-hour work weeks with overtime pay; break up of monopolies; building codes; etc. etc. It's also not just the government that imposes restrictions on free enterprise. My dad owned a franchise. He had to follow franchise rules in order to be in his business. He was not free to do whatever he wanted to to with his business.

Perhaps it is too simplified, but socialism seems to be to be when decisions are made for the good of the community (a social group - which could be a family on up to a whole nation); rather than individuals deciding what's good for me.

"by the community as a whole"

Does a farmers' co-op include the people who purchase the farmers' products?  If not, that's not the "community as a whole".  A farmers' co-op is more like a corporation where each farmer invests the value of his products and earns his share of the profits based on his investment.  Usually the members elect a group to run the co-op, including making decisions on what is good for the members.  If they make good decisions, the members will re-elect them.  Looks more like a free market than socialism.

Congregations are social democracies?  As with co-ops, we see a group elected to run the congregation, making decisions on what is good for the members.  If they make good decisions, the members will re-elect them.  I don't see socialism here either.

If socialism is such a good thing why is it that the Nordic countries, which are usually used in the US as good examples of socialism, don't want to be described as socialist countries?  Why is it that they receive high scores on economic freedom from think-tanks concerned with such things?  Just having high taxes and high levels of services does not make a country socialist.  Socialism, by the definition you quote, means "that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole".  High scores for economic freedom are incompatible with that definition.



"Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem." -Thomas Jefferson

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on October 28, 2019, 11:46:30 AM

The "community as a whole" doesn't have to be the government. I see farmers' co-ops as being socialism. A group of farmers becomes the "community as a whole" that makes decisions for that community. In addition, the definition doesn't say how those regulation decisions are made. In most "communities" in America parliamentary procedure is the means of approving regulations. Congregational meetings is an example of social democracy. That "community" owns and regulates the assets of the congregation by majority vote.


Do you realize, Dr. Wordsmith, that you have described every corporation on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, etc.?

::)
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Charles Austin on October 28, 2019, 11:24:05 AM
Peter, your apologetics for the president are trivial and essentially meaningless.
They fall into the weak category of "well others do bad things too."
The "entrenched interests " of our intelligence community? You find something nefarious in that? You would rather he listen to the Russians?
Foreign policy? He has one? Nonsense.
You may not care that his personal lawyer is conducting our foreign-policy, but that just happens to be against the law.
He does not deserve our moral contempt because he disagrees with Democrats, he deserves our moral contempt because he is in multiple ways immoral.
But, it is clear you are an always Trumper, or at least a never-Democrat.
Be honest about that at least.
Interesting. I recently spoke with a retired career CIA agent whose career specialization was in Ukraine and Russia, and who is fluent in Chinese, Russian, German, and several other languages. He is no fan of or apologist for Trump, but agrees with the prevailing conservative consensus about the problems of the "deep state" and the intelligence community operating on its own agenda, often at loggerheads with the people elected to oversee them. I'm pretty sure he would take my side in this. But I guess I should get my information from a guy who reads the NYT credulously and religiously and who once sat at a table with important people at some ecumenical conference.

My political views have been published multiple times here and in the print edition of FL. Pro-choice politicians don't even meet the basic threshold for consideration for me. I am and always have been up front about that; your insinuation that I'm failing to admit something about myself is just, well, typical of you, which is one of the harshest insults that can be bandied about in a forum full of people who know your online persona.

I was devastated to watch Trump hijack the GOP and become the nominee, and continue to find him abrasive, and continue not to agree with everything he stands for. But I have been surprised to find him governing effectively for the most part, and stunned at the hatred and contempt (and yes, that is what you have for him and those who support him-- quit insulting everyone's intelligence with your ludicrous denials and equivocations) shown toward him. So yes, I do tend to find myself defending him a fair amount. But feel free to ignore my trivial and meaningless defenses of him.

Note: drawing attention to the fact that you are ignoring something is the opposite of ignoring it. Posting that you aren't going to post, same thing. Either drop it, now, without posting that you're dropping it, or just admit that, like grandpa Simpson writing angry letters to the editor in the early years of the show, you simply can't help yourself but engage with bitterness and deep-seated bias on topics you already know are trivial and meaningless and, frankly, know nothing about.   

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Charles Austin on October 28, 2019, 12:33:26 PM
Do you honestly think, WJV, that the current president cares about abortion? Do you honestly think that a president can endorse and help the "pro-life" agenda?


I remember Candidate Trump speaking about abortion in the early primary season.  Apparently you do, too.  As soon as the piece of "pro-life" paper was taken away from in front of his nose and he was speaking his own thoughts, he returned to sounding just like Mrs. Clinton.  That was one reason I was a "never Trumper" early on.  I also look at what he has done as President.  (You might want to read that sentence again, Charles.) (No, seriously, read it again!!)  I look at what President Trump has actually done about abortion.  He has helped the pro-life "agenda" not only in words, but in Presidential action.  And that's good enough for me.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

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