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I live about an hour away from the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area and about an hour and a half from the Oregon coast. Although the political map of Oregon is skewed the scenic map offers some relief from the political world.
I have traveled across the western states to include Vancouver Island in Canada. Across the States of Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
On February 16, New York State Attorney General Letitia James boasted of her “landmark victory” over former president Donald Trump, who had been in her crosshairs since she first attained office in 2019. James struck paydirt when New York state Supreme Court judge (i.e., trial judge) Arthur Engoron ordered Trump “to pay $364 million in damages for fraud he committed by inflating his net worth to obtain favorable treatment from banks and insurers,” as described in US News & World Report. On top of the damages (and interest at 9 percent per annum), Engoron also banned Trump and his sons from doing business as officers or directors of any New York corporation for three years, and from borrowing from any bank in New York. The combined financial impact of these restraints could well exceed the amount of the fine. Engoron’s “blistering” opinion contained these startling observations: first, that Trump (and his sons) display a “complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,” and, second, these “defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”
Engoron is blind to the massive errors in his vindictive opinion, which offers grim testimony to how judges and state prosecutors can willfully and repeatedly abuse their legal powers. At no point did Engoron prove that Trump had obtained any loans upon especially favorable terms, or even that he sought do so. The whole case stalls at step one. In his final opinion of February 16, however, Engoron took a step further by lashing out at Trump’s effort to use “the common excuse that ‘everybody does it,’ ” and further insisted that the pervasive nature of the Trumpian abuse “gives all the more reason to strive for honesty and transparency,” because even if “it is undisputed that the defendants have made all required payments, the next group of lenders to receive bogus statements might not be so lucky.”
“The things that have always been important: to be a good man, to try to live the way God would have me, to turn it over to Him that his will might be worked in my life, to do my work without looking back, to give it all I’ve got, and to take pride in my work as an honest performer.” Johnny Cash
It struck me how this quote echoed the words of the Apostle Paul from First Thessalonians 4: “But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
Watching the floundering and fecklessness of our Congress, observing their throwing fiscal responsibility to the wind, and realizing that the most important agenda they have is to be re-elected, I wanted to help find a way to help transform Congress and its effects on this country. And I think I’ve found a way.
For months, I have been struggling with a decision. It’s about getting involved with an organization, and I am not a joiner. Nor do I like to make commitments that I might not be able to keep. I also want there to be a likelihood of the organization’s success.
Keith Lowry posted another excellent and thought provoking piece – this one on Forbidden Knowledge: Toward a Christian Ethic for Technology. I’m writing to share a somewhat different view both on the Biblical text and perhaps the Christian ethics of alleviating suffering with technology.
When Genesis and The Fall are read in full context, we recognize the promise made to Adam and Eve by Satan for their act of disobedience isn’t you will acquire the knowledge of good and evil. It is “you will be as gods.” And what is the dominant feature of “gods?” Gods have the power to define for themselves what is good and evil, right and wrong. And, boy! If that doesn’t describe our atheistic, post-modern tyranny of moral relativism, I don’t know what does. Chalk up a big win for the devil.
In 2012, Barack Obama was running against Mitt Romney for the presidency. In February of that year, 17 year old Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman in a Florida neighborhood. Zimmerman was beaten badly after being tackled, but managed to shoot and kill Martin in self defense. Martin had been suspended from school three times for drug use, vandalism, and truancy. Despite Martin’s record of behavioral problems, and the fact that he violently attacked Zimmerman, Martin was black and Zimmerman was not. This, with the encouragement of Obama, the media, and various other Democrat leaders, led to race widespread race riots. This provided Democrats and the media with sufficient racial content to last for the entire election season, leaving Romney in an impossible situation. Obama won the Presidency.
I have been watching the newest Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks World War II based production, Masters of the Air. It’s on Apple Plus. It’s considered a sequel to the mostly infantry based Band of Brothers and The Pacific.
It portrays the only time the U.S. military service that became the U.S Air Force engaged in operations that resulted in high casualties. Even World War I didn’t match what the bomber groups endured over Europe.
Father Gabriel is finally back at his beloved St. Mary’s Abbey. He wants to slip back into a quiet monastic life after several traumatic experiences. Yet again fate intervenes.
Missing, Presumed Lost: A Father Gabriel Mystery, by Fiorella De Maria, opens with Father Gabriel settling back into the Benedictine routine of St. Mary’s Abbey. His tranquility is almost immediately disturbed by turmoil in the nearby Wiltshire village of Sutton Westford.
A local boy turned successful London developer, Joseph Beaumont, plans a set of houses at the village outskirts. The location is an abandoned mine, a village eyesore. He is opposed by a local opposition group led by Beaumont’s childhood nemesis, Stevie Wilcox. They fear the change modern housing might bring to their village. Opposition had gone beyond noisy protest to violent sabotage.
John Hinderaker at PowerLine blog posts about a Wall Street Journal article that suggests the Great Sort is turning red states redder and blue states bluer:
The Great Sort is under way, as normal people move to red states and liberals move to blue states. (That last is hypothetical and hasn’t actually been observed.) When massive numbers began leaving blue states like California and New York for red states like Texas and Florida, many conservatives worried that those blue staters might bring their bad voting habits with them. Happily, that doesn’t seem to have happened.
Although the raced was “called” about a minute after the polls closed in South Carolina by the networks and poll tracking entities, I have waited until nearly all the votes have been reported. It’s obvious that South Carolina Republicans want President Trump in the White House again. This is not a shock. The only mystery was whether Nikki friendly PACs who pitched Democrats to cross over if they didn’t bother to vote in the uncontested Democratic primary would succeed in padding her Republican support with Democrats. Have no idea how many did, but it certainly didn’t make the outcome close.
Nikki says she is going to press on. Uh, why? There is no super secret groundswell of support amongst Republicans that are going to assert themselves shortly. Nikki is wasting somebody’s money.
From Frampton Comes Alive, his 1975 chart-topping live album. That year I began dating a girl I met at work, and most summer weekends we drove to Bethany Beach, Delaware where 9 friends and I had rented a beach house for the season. I would pop this 8-track into the tape deck and we would listen to it on most of the trips to and from the beach.
Two years later we tied the knot and in June we’ll be married 47 years. About five years ago we were out driving somewhere, and this one came on the 70s Sirius/XM channel. She looked at me and said “You know, I never really liked Peter Frampton.” Oh well.
Socialism promises a utopia that sounds good, but those promises are never realized. It most often results in massive human suffering. Capitalism fails miserably when compared with a heaven or utopia promised by socialism. But any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. – Walter E. Williams
Williams puts his finger on one of the biggest problems facing any society: the lure of utopianism. Socialism promises utopia. Capitalism promises effort and chaos. While in practical terms capitalism delivers a better life than socialist systems, especially for the poorer members of society, socialism offers a more alluring future. The problem is compounded when young people grow up in a working socialist system (the family) and are taught in a socialistic system (the public education system and non-profit universities and colleges).
When I lived up on the mountain in East Tennessee, I used to enjoy mounting a game camera at various places on my property, and seeing what wandered by. I lived on 56 acres, surrounded by National Forest, and my driveway was over a mile long, mostly straight up. So the wildlife used the driveway as a sort of interstate – easy to get lots of good pictures:
Hannah Arendt famously coined “the banality of evil” to describe how Germans became inured to injustice and atrocities by gradual then forceful suppression of natural human impulses and reactions. In the US we are working on establishing the “banality of corruption.”
Federal law enforcement no longer pretends to be honorable, professional, and patriotic. Political enemies are targeted. Political allies are protected. Social media is pressured to censor and lie. Outrageous misuses of the judiciary are done openly. The border is unprotected but we still obediently take off our shoes in security kabuki before boarding a plane.
We (Mrs. Tabby and I) paid cash for most of our daughter’s college degree (2007). [My Creator blessed me with skills that have allowed me to earn a relatively high income. We have tried to steward that money for His good, and so have always had a lot of financial cushion.] We did have her take out a small loan (less than $10,000 total over four years) so she would have “skin in the game.” A couple of years after graduation she got tired of the hassle of making the monthly payments, and paid off the loan. Her husband (our son-in-law) hustled for scholarships and work-study programs in his field of study so that he avoided debt through his Ph.D.
Our son signed up for United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) in part to get the “full ride” scholarship being offered to him. That scholarship committed him to four years of active-duty service after he completed his degree (so he had literal “skin in the game”). He ended up staying in the Air Force longer than four years. He has now left the service, though I think he might still be subject to recall if the world goes really bad. His wife (our daughter-in-law) got a full-ride scholarship at a prestigious college of aeronautical engineering because the college was trying to encourage more women to enter the field of aerospace engineering.
The more I contemplated this story, the angrier I became. It’s the story of a Jewish champion cyclist, Leah Goldstein, who was uninvited from giving the keynote speech at International Women’s Day, because 30 years earlier she had served in the Israeli Defense Forces. This kind of stupid decision was bad enough. But when the sponsors elaborated on their reasons, they demonstrated what a pathetic and poor example they were for women. They explained that the invitation was revoked due to the Gazan war.
Okay. . .
The forces against free speech are at again! Whether or not you’ve heard of NewsGuard or the Global Disinformation Index, rest assured that they’re intently interested in where you get your information. Joining Peter, Rob and James today is David DesRoisers, Publisher of RealClearPolitics.com, whose scrupulously down-the-middle site was flagged by the groups above as a ‘disinformation site,’ and has lost a great many advertisers as a result. David’s here to remind us of the threats institutions like these are to a free press and a free society. (Plus, he’s inviting you to the inaugural Samizdat Prize Gala!)
The guys also have thoughts CPAC and Google Gemini.
There are two basic forms of Greek tragedy. The first is a man confronted with two moral imperatives that conflict with each other. Agamemnon, when he returned from Troy, was murdered by his wife Clytemnestra. That left his son Orestes with a real problem: to honor his father by avenging his murder he has to kill his mother. (As the story goes he does, then gets hounded by the furies for the sin of kinslaying. I think there’s a trial at the end where Athena ultimately absolves him. It’s been a while since I’ve read up on these things.)
The other form of tragedy is hubris that leads to nemesis. There was a satyr, I forget his name, who carved a wonderful double flute out of some bones. He bragged that he was the greatest musician who ever lived. Then Apollo jump right up on a hickory stump and said, “Boy, let me tell you what.” There’s a contest. The way I heard it Apollo won because he was able to turn his lyre upside down and still play it, while the satyr couldn’t get any sound blowing on the wrong end of his flutes. I don’t recall what happened to the satyr, but I can tell you he didn’t win no golden fiddle.