There is evidence of criminal activities by Putin.
There is documentation of Trump business associations with organized crime figures.
Are we experiencing connivance of American and Russian organized crime to infiltrate our federal government ?
Prognostication for the Nation
Donald Trump will face impeachment! Not by Democrats...but by Republicans who will jump upon any potentially impeachable offense, Why? Because they would much rather have Pence be POTUS.
Donald Trump knew the Presidential Election was rigged. How? Because he KNEW that it was rigged so he would win!
Hillary...Pants on Fire?
For decades, Hillary has been accused of terrible deeds and deceit...White-Water, Vince Foster, Bengahzi and on and on. And for decades, she has been investigated by her adversaries who have spent millions of tax-payer and private dollars and countless manpower hours attempting to prove their allegations. They have been UNSUCCESSFUL!
So the obvious conclusion--Hillary is super smart and incredibly competent, totally outwitting those persecuting her. Or her antagonists are really, really DUMB. Probably both are reality! Thus, do we want a really smart President or a really imbecilic one, favored by her foolish inept rivals?
BUT the MOST likely cause for failure of her deprecators to prove wrong doing by Hillary is that their claims are nothing more then MYTHOLOGICAL CONNIVANCE....PANTS ON FIRE CONSPIRACY.
"I'm a Christian, a conservative and a republican in that order." So saith Mike Pence in his speech accepting his selection to run for Vice-President on the Trump ticket.
No mention of being an American! AMERICAN...Not primary, not secondary, not even listed in relating who he is. Is he telling us that his decision making process is exclusively based on his Christian/Conservative values...not for the common good of the American people whether Christian or not, believer or not?
"And my Christianity, first and foremost, governed the way that I tried to deal with people.” So saith Mike Pence.
In a Democracy compromise is essential. Is Mr. Pence a dogmatic Christian who will not accept compromise?
Brexit May Be Septic
The worldwide short-term detrimental economic impact of the United--perhaps soon not to be united--Kingdom referendum, resulting in a majority vote to leave the European Union, is already obvious. A tidal wave of economists, businessmen and journalists from either end of the ideological spectrum are reporting the numerous significant negative economic effects of this vote.
There has been little discourse, however, on another very important consequence of the weakening or potential demise of the EU. For millennia, European nations waged war with one another. In the last century, two world wars occurred in Europe costing millions of lives and untold destruction. The seeds of these wars were, more often than not, the out-growth of nationalism. At the end of World War II, the Marshall Plan—a post-war doctrine unique in its approach to the defeated--salvaged the ruins of Europe for both the victors and the vanquished. The resurrection/resurgence of Europe resulted in diminished radical nationalism and greatly improved international cooperation, resulting in over 70 years of peace in Western Europe.
The Brexit vote is at least, in part, an outcome based in nationalism—nationalism being nurtured by politicians whose voices are reminiscent of Nazism’s rise to power. As such, one may expect a rise in jingoism, xenophobia and militarism.
With the forum for diplomacy and common interest potentially lost by the crumbling of the EU, the social cancer of rabid nationalism has an increased chance to metastasize.
Nostalgia for the past…let’s make Europe great again??? Hopefully not as it was before the EU…
STARS OR STRIPES OR MYTHOLOGY?
David Petraeus has been lionized as arguably the greatest contemporary American General. A Caesar for our times. Although, highly knowledgeable in Counter Insurgency (COIN) strategies and tactics, did the surge, the strategy for which he gained much of his notoriety actually work?
The debatable, yet transitory, success of the surge was only one of many factors accountable for its short-term positive outcome. Several factors, not directly related to the surge, were significant.
1. Sunni awakening preceded the surge. The Sunni awakening was the result of conflict between Abu-al-Sittar and Al-Qaeda (AQI) in Iraq. Originally reportedly partners in criminal activities, Al-Qaeda began taking over sources of smuggling revenue resulting in a rift resulting in al-Sittar starting the awakening with the objective of ridding Iraq of AQI.
2. Muqtada al-Sadr stood down his army prior to the surge.
3. Al-Qaeda in Iraq was a problem created by our invasion of Iraq. To consider the surge a success at the cost of thousands of lives and numerous severe injuries to Americans and Iraqis seems pathetically ironic. Making the problem and then needing to solve it.
4. Al-Qaeda may have purposely left Iraq, having trained their "soldiers", moving them to more valuable targets especially, Pakistan and Afghanistan, in a strategy to destabilize/control these countries to potentially gain access to nuclear weapons.
5. Bribery of Sunni insurgents has decreased violence...at what current and future cost? Are we repeating our mistakes made in Afghanistan?
6. Iraqi society was ghettoized with religious enclaves decreasing violent interactions creating a segmented society-an arid ground to grow a "developing democracy".
7. Dora and its near demise even during the surge is an indicator of the boiling ethnic conflicts...a mere scratch beneath the surface of Iraqi society.
8. Emigration had significantly decreased the Iraqi population reducing risk.
9. Iran has gained influence in Iraq since surge.
10. Arrogance of this unilaterally initiated policy is potentially antagonistic to the government and people of Iraq.
11. Political reconstruction has not effectively progressed since the surge that was supposes to create a peaceful platform to do so.
12. The surge did not result in an Iraqi government friendly to the US. In fact, there are coalitions in the Iraqi government that are unfriendly to the US as well as desiring to establish an Islamic fundamentalist regime.
In the short term it is arguable that the surge was the significant factor in the Iraqi war. In the long term, its effects are even today uncertain, disputable.
Thus is a reputation built in significant part on a fallacy, on delusion?
How can he not recognize what an crass A-- he is? Does Trump suffer from Affluenza? The Donald--a egotistical gigantic orangutan (named Ding-Dong?)--who has climbed to the top of the GOLD emblazoned Trump Tower, perched there while tossing his dung down on all the people below and roaring, continuously, "I am the greatest!"
THOU SHALT NOT KILL!
Courtroom....Trial....Capital Punishment Case.
On the wall, behind the Judge...The Ten Commandments:
"THOU SHALT NOT KILL."
Controversy: Death penalty permitted...Death penalty forbidden.
The death penalty has been abandoned in nearly all developed countries. It is shameful that it has not been abolished in the United States.
Reasons to end the death penalty.
8. Authority of the State
Black or White? Black and White?
What might be the result of determining Rachel Dolezal's genetic profile?
“I think Governor Pence has done the right thing...This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to be able to be people of conscience.”
“…God teaches that the human heart must be changed by being born into God’s family. This is what Jesus told Nicodemus, one of the great Jewish political and religious leaders of his day. Nicodemus was a man of high morals, a man who believed in God. But you see, IT WASN’T ENOUGH. It’s not enough just to be moral. It’s not enough just to believe in God. And the Bible says in John 3, that you MUST be born again….’For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life.' "
Sermon for the Inaugural Prayer Service
The Rev. Franklin Graham
Washington National Cathedral
January 21, 2001
As a Presidential candidate, your statement regarding the Indiana Religious Freedom ACT is of grave concern particularly as it may pertain to policies you might institute if you were to become President. Your lack of discernment as to the implication of religious prejudice in the public sphere seems to be foreshadowed by your brother’s apparent attitude of acceptance of the implications of the Nicodemus Biblical story. This attitude is suggested in the words of Franklin Graham…words that denigrate those people who are not “born-again” implying that they are undesirable in the eye of God. Rev. Graham, as well as his father, who are reportedly close Bush family friends, stated unequivocally that individuals, despite a life full of good deeds, despite a life of righteousness, are condemned for eternity…if they do not accept Jesus. Since Rev. Graham was not publically chastised, is this your family view? Shared by you? Is this why you were quick to support the Indiana law? Is your closely held belief that bigoted religious tenets trump the ideals and laws supporting equal protection?
And thus condemned and disparaged, should these individuals, lacking Godly merit, be entitled to the same civil rights as those citizens who have found Jesus? This theological bigotry expressed by Mr. Graham, who was selected by your brother to give the inaugural sermon, is a seed that has grown many times throughout history into societal intolerance blossoming into abrogation of civil rights and hideous forms of intolerance and violence. Is this merely innocuous elitist proselytising? No! Such attitudes nourish hate? The expression of such views is pernicious and is antithetical to the basic precepts of our nation. Is the “space allowing people of faith to express themselves” filled by intolerance that may metastasize corrupting our democracy?
The Moral of the Ten Commandments
It was a beautiful day. Sitting under our vine-covered ramada, lake glistening in the sun, a delicious meal just finished, conversation wandered to religion, in particular, the Ten Commandments.
“If we didn’t have the Ten Commandments, people would not act morally towards one another,” my father stated.
“Dad, do you really think that you would kill someone or steal if the Ten Commandments did not exist?” I responded, astonished.
And so ensued a passionate discourse.
Today in the US, there are powerful political forces demanding that the Ten Commandments be displayed in public institutions, in public places throughout our country…in courtrooms, in government buildings, in public schools, in public parks, as a public monument. Their purpose…to replace our secular legal system with Biblical law puncturing a large hole in the wall of church/state separation and establishing religious Judeo-Christian morality, morality that is not enforceable without legal standing for the Ten Commandments .
So let’s look at the Ten Commandments, the commandments many consider to be written or inspired by God.
1. I am the Lord your God...
Not a commandment but a declaration.
Why this declaration? To announce the commandments as his word! To scare, to demand reverence. Why would an omniscient, omnipotent god need to make this declaration? Would not the obvious significance of the commandments themselves be sufficient?
2. You shall have no other Gods before me.
If God stated this, then why does he indicate that there are other gods? Why did he not declare, there are no other Gods! I am the one and only. And why would an omnipotent being, be so insecure. Man would hurt his feelings by praying to one of the other gods. Does this god have self-worth problems?
2 You shall not make for yourself an idol.
That lack of self-confidence, self image problem again.
3 Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.
Here we go again. Sticks and stones will not break His bones but names will always hurt Him?
4 Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Should not each and every day be a testament to holiness?
5 Honor your father and mother.
No matter how they have treated their children? Is honor not something earned? A child should honor an abusive parent? An incestuous parent? Seems like someone as knowledgeable as god might have been more specific. And when is a child old enough, brain-developed enough, to understand the meaning of honor. Younger then god? Should not parents honor their children? Authoritarian requirement or call to good parenting?
6. You shall not kill/murder.
Simplistic! We shall not kill as a society? No more capital punishment? No more war? No more killing in self-defense? Or do we human beings interpret this very specific commandment to take action as we see fit? Who is then acting like god?
7. You shall not commit adultery.
Is this more significant then you shall not rape, you shall not commit incest, you will not torture, you will not commit hate crimes….?
8. You shall not steal.
Even if your children are starving without a social safety-net to prevent their deaths? You shall not be so greedy as to "steal" a living wage from employees who do an honest day's labor.
9. Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Just against your neighbor? Why not applicable to anyone under most circumstances? Should you not bear false witness to protect innocent people in immoral circumstances…holocaust…underground railroad?
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Again, just your neighbor? But as important, causing a person to have shame and a sense of sinfulness because they covet shows a total lack of understanding of human nature. People covet…coveting is not the sin but the actions taken because of it may be "sinful". Actions, occurring because of covetousness, may be productive or destructive.
Simplistic and non-specific, lacking in proscription against a multitude of human evils such as war and genocide, the Ten Commandments, if considered divine or divinely inspired, are demeaning to God's judgement and should be disparaging as well as marginalizing to institutions oblivious to the shallowness of the content of this very superficial, limited code of conduct.
Senator James Inhofe (R Oklahoma), currently head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has repeatedly stated that global warming is a hoax. In fact, his book, published in February 2012, entitled The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future advances his beliefs about climate change. According to Senator Imhofe, there is no need to be concerned about the climate because it is controlled by God. He states, "God's still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing..." So the message is...be apathetic...don't be concerned, God will decide what will be. Man is incapable of changing God's plan. God causes a person to have a heart attack or cancer. Do nothing. What GOD wills, will be. No medical intervention...to prevent...to cure...it's His Plan...mankind's attempts to alter His plan will be futile.
Those who deny claim global warming to be a hoax. Currently one of the major arguments against global warming is that the Antarctic ice cap is increasing in size rather than an expected decrease in size. This argument is based on satellite images showing an increase in the area covered by the southern polar ice cap. This is fact! Yet the conclusions from this data made by deniers is WRONG! The reason for the "growth" in area of the ice cap is because a huge volume of glacial ice has broken off from the land based ice mass and is now floating in the Antarctic ocean. The volume of ice has actually decreased while the area it covers has increased. The fact of increasing area of the ice cap is deceitfully used by the same public relations company that in the past was hired to deny that cigarette smoking caused cancer. Today , paid by the petroleum industry, they disseminate propaganda denying the significance of climate change.
Fact is that land based glacier calving and meltwater is at unprecedented levels causing oceans to rise resulting in significant flooding in many parts of today's world.
Yes, smoking does cause cancer. Yes, Antarctic ice melt is a cause of menacing growing global flooding.
Our world is being severely compromised piece by piece. Science and technology can definitely ameliorate the likely devastating environmental changes caused by global warming.
Below is a grid of the risks and benefits of being complacent or taking action.
Baked Alaska-Martha Stewart
Baked Alaska-Martha Stewart
This old-fashioned dessert, which originated at New York City’s Delmonico’s restaurant to commemorate the United States’ purchase of Alaska in 1867, has become popular again, and why not? An ice-cream cake covered with an igloo of meringue emerging from an oven is a real showstopper.
6 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 pints pistachio ice cream, slightly softened
1 1/2 pints cherry ice cream or berry sorbet, slightly softened
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.
2. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and the egg yolks in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; whisk, on medium speed, until pale yellow and thick, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla, and fold in melted chocolate just to combine.
3. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites and pinch of salt in bowl of electric mixer; whip, on medium speed, until frothy. Add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar; beat until stiff. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
4. Carefully pour batter out into prepared cake pan. Bake until cake is set and top is dull, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on a wire rack.
5. Spray a 5-cup-capacity metal bowl with cooking spray; line with plastic. Pack base of bowl with pistachio ice cream; layer cherry ice cream over pistachio, then finish with another layer of pistachio ice cream (or layer ice creams and sorbets as you desire). Pack firmly, cover surface with plastic wrap, and place in freezer. Freeze until ice cream is very hard, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours in advance.
6. Place cake on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Remove ice cream from the freezer, and invert bowl over cake. Keep the ice cream covered with plastic wrap, and return ice-cream cake to the freezer.
7. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.Fill a pastry bag, fitted with an Ateco #5 star tip, with meringue; pipe onto ice cream in a decorative fashion, or spoon meringue over ice cream and swirl with a rubber spatula. If ice cream starts to soften, return cake to freezer for 15 minutes.
8. Place in oven, and bake until meringue just starts to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.