My most important tweets of December 2018

December tweets on the verse of the day from the YouVersion app and the Bible Eye app

As I prepare to study my Bible, I generally review the verse of the day (that usually has up to 6 illustrating images) by the YouVersion app. When I find it moving (which is most of the time), I tweet the verse along with the image that most moves me.

At other times, I see a scene that makes me think of a particular Bible verse. Now that the Bible Eye app has been modified to allow the user to pair an image with a verse, I have started doing that.

31 December – James 1:5

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

This is one of several images created through the Bible Eye app.

31 December – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

This, like most of the verse-of-the-day images, came from the YouVersion Bible.

30 December – 1 John 4:15

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

29 December – Luke 6:35-36

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

29 December – 1 John 2:6

the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

27 December – Matthew 4:4

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘ man shall not live on bread alone , but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God .'”

27 December – Colossians 1:16

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him.

25 December – Isaiah 9:6

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

24 December – Luke 2:14

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

22 December – Matthew 1:21

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 December – 1 John 4:9

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

22 December – John 3:17

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

19 December – Isaiah 26:9

At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

19 December – Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

16 December – Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

15 December – Matthew 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

14 December – Matthew 5:17

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

13 December – John 4:20

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

12 December – Mark 8:34

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

10 December – Romans 13:10

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

9 December – Proverbs 5:21

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord , And He watches all his paths.

9 December – Proverbs 13:6

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord , And He watches all his paths.

6 December – 1 Corinthians 16:14

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

4 December – 1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

2 December – Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

1 December – Romans 8:37

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

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5 reasons to support building the wall

Call the bluff of the liberals

Reason 1: To call the liberals’ bluff

The liberals (including the press, as demonstrated by the article below) have put together a mesh-mash that reflects poorly on the Trump administration. That mesh-mash includes accusations against President Trump, stories reflecting well on the illegal aliens, and favorably quoting sources from the aliens’ countries of origin. Without making outright statements of “this is wrong and that is right,” the articles push an open-borders, free-healthcare perspective.

Therefore, the first reason to push toward building the wall is to call the liberals’ bluff and start an honest conversation on the topics surrounding immigration, national sovereignty, and law beyond our national boundaries.

Too bad liberals don’t seem to aspire to those goals.

Trump widens demands in wall standoff, threatens Mexico border closure

A 28 December 2018 Reuters article does its best to lay the blame on Trump (starting with the heading [quoted above] and proceeding to quotes from the incoming Mexican President [not included in the blockquote below]).

President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to close the southern U.S. border with Mexico unless he gets the money he wants for a wall, raising the stakes in a standoff that will present an immediate test next week for the new U.S. Congress.

When Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, they plan to quickly approve a spending measure meant to end a partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22, triggered by Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for his proposed wall.

Democrats have made clear that the House measure, which would then have to go to the Republican-controlled Senate, will not include $5 billion Trump says is needed for the wall, a central part of his tougher positions on immigration than his predecessors.

“Democrats are united against the president’s immoral, ineffective and expensive wall … that he specifically promised that Mexico would pay for,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement, referring to a Trump 2016 presidential campaign pledge.

(Read more at Reuters)

One of the reasons that I voted for President Trump rests firmly in the fact that Trump takes no guff. This is one instance where it would greatly benefit the Trump administration if he were to remain true to this trait.

Anyway, considering the fact that few of the average Americans seem to be even marginally effected by the shutdown, maybe some government savings are in order.

Pueblo sin Fronteras of Chicago leads the invasion

Reason 2: To expose the liberal organizations in their tactics and motivations

Another reason to push for a border wall is that, in doing so, we might expose the tactics of the liberal organizations that oppose the wall.

As with the article used to illustrate the previous point, the liberal perspective central to its writing suggests some fuzzy anti-Trump and pro-liberal ideas.

Although the following article does start with a statement of fact that exonerates Trump and his Border Patrol, the rest of the article seems to suggest a number of liberal talking points that most Americans will not support.

Guatemalan boy who died in U.S. custody had the flu: state officials

In light of the wailing by liberals regarding the second death of an underage illegal alien brought by a parent invading from Guatemala, we have to wonder whether liberals want us to:

  1. Sue the organizations that obviously have been trolling through communities and suggesting that a child is a ticket for access to Easy Street in the US or
  2. Provide health care to any potential invader to the US

Otherwise, it would seem that their complaints about our protecting our sovereignty are all just proofs that liberalism is a mental disease.

Nonetheless, the account of the death of the Guatemalan boy and accompanying statements by the Guatemalan and “advocacy organizations” found their ways to a 28 December 2018 Reuters article.

The 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in the custody of U.S. border agents this week had the flu before he passed away but the cause of his death is still unknown, state officials said on Friday.

Felipe Gomez Alonzo was the second Guatemalan child to die this month while being held by U.S. authorities, sparking outrage from immigration advocates.

In the wake of the deaths, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was traveling to the border to observe medical screenings and conditions at Border Patrol stations while Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate have called for a full investigation.

Gomez fell ill after being detained near the U.S. border with Mexico with his father. The two had traveled to the United States from their remote village of Yalambojoch in Guatemala.

New Mexico’s Medical Investigator’s office said in a statement that nasal and lung swabs during an autopsy found Gomez had influenza B, but said “determining an accurate cause of death requires further evaluation.”

(Read more at Reuters)

Any American who has had a young child knows the trips to the hospital that we experience (even with the multitude of vaccines available). Since early-childhood sickness is a common evil for parents even in affluent America, what would tempt a parent of a more-susceptible Central American family to take a young child on a stressful trip and expose that child to many sources of infection?

Let me suggest that these groups that advocate for “immigrant rights” (meaning “illegal alien rights”) have traveled to Central America and are telling people, “Increase your chances of getting in and remaining in America by bringing a young child.” Why else would these parents bring 6 and 7-year-old children on a 3,000 mile walk in the cold part of the year? When does the flu normally come to the Americas? Do they not know this?

If proof comes forward that these “immigrant rights” advocates have pushed susceptible young parents into making this trip with children, they should be held accountable.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga arrested

Reason 3: To protect America

A third reason to push for a border wall becomes evident through examination of any of a number of articles describing the murder of Americans by illegal aliens.

Although these articles rarely accuse President Trump of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, these articles (especially those covering the death of a law enforcement official) drive home the need to protect our citizens from illegal alien lawbreakers.

Police arrest illegal immigrant suspected in California officer’s killing

One 28 December 2018 Reuters article presents the bare facts on the death of an officer and the apprehension of an illegal alien suspect.

A suspected illegal immigrant accused of shooting to death a California police officer was arrested on Friday after a two-day manhunt that President Donald Trump cited in his push for building a wall on the border with Mexico, officials said.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, a Mexican national, was arrested in Bakersfield, a city less than 200 miles (320 km) south of Newman where the officer was shot on Wednesday, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said at a news conference.

The shooting and manhunt in California’s agricultural Central Valley entered the national debate over immigration, after Trump tweeted about it in his advocacy for a border wall and Christianson criticized California’s sanctuary law for immigrants.

Arriaga is accused of shooting to death Newman police corporal Sonil Singh after Singh pulled him over on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The suspect, who exchanged fire with Singh, has claimed to be involved with a criminal gang called the Sureños and was trying to escape to Mexico, Christianson said.

On Friday, heavily armed police officers surrounded the Bakersfield home where they believed Arriaga was hiding and he walked out with his hands up, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters.

(Read more at Reuters)

I have to ask this: if we could build a structure that would discourage (even turn back) one or two people who feel entitled to kill our police, why wouldn’t we?

America's collective pocket is being picked

Reason 4: To show even more that we will not be the continued object of financial abuse

One last reason listed in this post for supporting our building the border wall could be expanded into infinity — our need to rein in our habit of throwing cash at everything. In this case, America needs to stop throwing money at regimes that do nothing to further our interests.

In other words, we need to stop sending millions of dollars to countries that support our enemies or send their criminals or otherwise try to confound our systems.

Of course, if we are going to eliminate our international largess, why not pare down our bureaucratic waste? Why not eliminate federal departments that have not improved the overall performance of fields that they duplicate state and local efforts?

Trump threatens to cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador

According to a 28 December 2018 article in The Hill, talks about how Trump “threatened to cut foreign aid” (as if these funds were guaranteed and owed in perpetuity the American people to these foreign nations).

President Trump on Friday threatened to cut foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, accusing the Central American countries of “doing nothing for the United States but taking our money.”

“Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money,” Trump tweeted.

“Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries – taking advantage of U.S. for years!”

This is not the first time that Trump has threatened stop providing foreign aid to countries he says are not doing enough to stop migrant caravans from forming. In October he said that “no more money or aid will be given to Honduras” if a migrant caravan was not stopped.

I want your ideas

Reason 5: To put flesh to other conservative ideas

Since I don’t pretend to have a monopoly on conservative thought, I am open to hearing from other conservative thinkers.

Please either post your ideas on why we should support the building of the wall in the comments or put a link in the comments to your post on the same topic.

Liberal hyperbole

Bob Woodward hyperventilates

Liberal hyperbole on the wall

Woodward: We’re in a ‘Governing Crisis’ — ‘This Is Not Just Another Government Shutdown’

Bob Woodward again feels a need to broadcast his anti-Trump views through CNN, as reported by Breitbart in a 26 December 2018 article.

During Wednesday’s “New Day” on CNN, journalist Bob Woodward commented on the ongoing partial government shutdown along with Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis’ departure, calling what is going on right now in the White House a “governing crisis.”

“It’s a governing crisis,” Woodward stated. “[W]e better face the reality. This is a dangerous time. This is not just another government shutdown or another example of this impasse. It is something people better think about.

(Read more at Breitbart)

Are we really in a governing crisis? Sometimes I wonder whether we are in a reporting crisis. That is, with the drop in the market over the 22 and 24th followed by the surges on the 26th and 27th, I wonder about the power of the media to both shape and withhold information. I think of the second year of over 90% negative coverage of Trump while they continue to suck up to the head of Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the NSA scandal, the IRS scandal, and too many other scandals to list here.

What would happen if we did not have a partisan press?

tweet straightening out Alexandria

Liberal hyperbole as they try to take advantage of things they oppose

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says Jesus was a ‘refugee’ in Christmas tweet

Despite the fact that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez unconditionally supports “a woman’s freedom of choice,” belongs to the party that booed God at its last convention, and makes sport of subverting Christians’ religious rights, she now wants to glom onto the sympathy for the Christ Child as she has been reported by Houston Fox affiliate in a 26 December 2018 article to have claimed the manger-ridden Jesus to be a refugee.

U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., wished her Twitter followers a Merry Christmas Tuesday by referring to the newborn Jesus as a “refugee.”

“Joy to the World!” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Merry Christmas everyone – here’s to a holiday filled with happiness, family, and love for all people. (Including refugee babies in mangers + their parents.)”

Mary and Joseph are not depicted as refugees in the Nativity story. According to the Gospel of Luke, Joseph brings the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem so that he may enroll in a census ordered by the Roman emperor Augustus. The couple are forced to take shelter in the stable where Jesus is born due to a lack of room at the inn.

However, in the Gospel of Matthew, Mary and Joseph flee into Egypt with the infant Jesus after King Herod of Judea orders the murder of every boy aged two and under in Bethlehem after the Magi ask him where to find the newborn “King of the Jews.” The Holy Family escape the slaughter and are told by an angel to return to Israel once Herod is dead.

(Read more at Fox)

I can pray for this leader and show love to her; however, I cannot be quiet, because she has been (1) just making political points using the name of Jesus and (2) acting as a vocal opponent to Christian causes like the fight for life and the struggle for religious rights within our society. To remain quiet would mean denying my Christian brothers and sisters.

Liberal hyperbole on a lie

Newsweek falsely reports on Trump visit to troops

Reporters at Newsweek falsely reported in a 26 December 2018 article that President Trump had not visited the troops at the front lines.

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president to not visit troops over the Christmas holiday since 2002. On Tuesday morning, Trump continued the presidential tradition of telephoning military personnel, using the occasion to address the partial government shutdown over funding for his long- promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But did not visit with any troops in person.

His actions stood in contrast with last year’s, when Trump spoke with wounded veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on December 21, bestowing the Purple Heart on one injured soldier and praising military personnel as “some of the bravest people anywhere in the world.”

But this year he sidestepped that tradition. Between 2009 and 2016, President Barack Obama visited with troops stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, every year over Christmas, NBC reported, while President George W. Bush visited Walter Reed every Christmas between 2003 and 2008, passing on the opportunity in 2002 and 2001.

In yesterday’s call with U.S. troops stationed abroad, Trump used the time to reassert his position that the government shutdown would not end until he received $5 billion for his long-promised border wall.

(Read more at Newsweek)

Sometimes, I wish they would try to check their information instead of just publishing things that help Democrats and hurt conservative Republicans.

President Trump visits the troops

Donald and Melania Trump make surprise visit to US troops in Iraq

In a New York Post article published on the same day, Mark Moore and Nikki Schwab correctly reported that the President and First Lady visited troops in Iraq.

President Trump, who has been criticized for not visiting US troops during the holidays, slipped off to an air base in Iraq on Wednesday.

Trump, wearing a dark suit and red tie, and first lady Melania Trump met with military personnel on Wednesday at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq just west of Baghdad – his first visit with military members in a war zone since he entered the White House almost two years ago.

He told the gathered servicemen and women, many of whom were wearing fatigues, that he has “no plans at all” to pull them out of the country, where they’ve been helping Iraq forces battle Islamic State terrorists.

The commander-in-chief also defended his controversial decision to withdraw the 2,000 US troops in Syria that are leading a global coalition against the terror group.

(Read more at the New York Post)

Thanks to those outlets who do correctly report the news.

One point of division & one point of agreement on the Syrian withdrawal

The point of division

I’m with Trump on most policies, just not on the abandonment of Syrian Kurds, Christians, and Yazidis

As evidenced by my previous posts, I support the safety and livelihood of Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. As evidenced by my posts, I have agreed with most of Trump’s actions in Syria. Recently, one strong point of agreement centers on the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018 that promises to fund relief of Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq.

Problem is that this law does not provide protection for the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Additionally, since it provides no protection, we know from prior experience what will happen when the current protection moves out. During Obama’s tenure, his abandonment of Iraq resulted in the birth of ISIS. Therefore, I (like the IDF reservist quoted below) oppose this policy of pulling out of Syria.

IDF reserve officer warns of Iran inroads

Former IDF officer: Withdrawal from Syria means Iran wins

As outlined in a 20 December 2018 OneNewsNow article, Israeli Defense Force Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi suggests that America’s withdrawal from Syria will result in a win for Iran.

Wednesday’s announcement for the U.S. to withdraw all its military forces from Syria marks an abrupt end to America’s strategy in the region – and sparks major concern from Israel, one of America’s greatest allies.

OneNewsNow spoke with Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi about the announcement. Zehavi, a former intelligence officer with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) within the IDF Northern Command, contends the move to extract a few thousand forces from Syria “will give Iran the ability to gain a massive stronghold in the region.”

As founder of the ALMA Research and Development Center in Israel, she attests that “a ground corridor to transfer weapons and soldiers from Tehran to Damascus and Beirut” will finally be established.

Zehavi says the efforts of Iran “to build a ground corridor – consisting of highways, roads and railways – began upon the regime change” in Iraq in 2003. However, the Syrian civil war put Iran’s efforts on hold.

Although ISIS was vastly incapacitated in Iraq and the greater majority of its territories were captured in Syria, Zehavi explains “[these] circumstances actually allowed Iranians to develop a ground corridor from Tehran to Damascus, through Iraq.” It is through this corridor, she says, that the Iranians will be “enabled to transfer weapons beyond Damascus” and all the way “to Israel’s northern border – into the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon.” The former IDF officer identifies three potential routes that would provide a “continuous road-link” connecting Iran with Syria and Lebanon.

(Read more at OneNewsNow)

Not only will Iran flow their tools of power into the void created by an American exit, other bad actors like the Turks, Russians, and Chinese will take advantage of the situation.

To this date, I have supported all of Trump’s stances toward the state of Israel. However, this retreat from Syria will likely create a power void that will be very detrimental to Israel.

Putin welcomes US pullout from Syria

Putin welcomes US pullout from Syria

As proof that bad actors welcome our exit from Syria, a 20 December 2018 Associated Press article discusses how Putin has applauded the potential exit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the U.S. decision to pull its troops out of Syria, saying Thursday that “Donald is right.”

Speaking at Thursday’s annual marathon news conference, Putin said he agrees with U.S. President Donald Trump that the Islamic State group has been defeated, making the U.S. presence in Syria unnecessary. He also argued that the U.S. troops shouldn’t have been there to start with.

“I agree with the U.S. president, we have made significant progress in fighting terrorism on that territory and dealt serious blows to IS in Syria,” the Russian leader said.

He noted that there is still a danger that IS militants could flee from Syria to their home countries and other regions.

“It’s a big threat to all of us, including Russia, the United States, Europe and Asian countries,” Putin said. “Donald is right about that, I agree with him.”

(Read more at the Associated Press)

Considering that Russia has invaded Ukraine, taken Crimea, buzzed our Naval ships, and supplied the nuclear effort of Iran — we cannot consider this anything but a warning.

Syrian Kurds protest news of Turkish planned attacks

The Latest: Syrians protest Turkish threats of offensive

In addition to the bad actors like the Russians, threats from the Turks against the Kurds surface in a 20 December 2018 Associated Press article.

Thousands of Syrians have gathered outside the headquarters for the U.S.-led coalition in northern Syria to protest Turkish threats of an imminent offensive.

The protesters congregating in Jalabiya southeast of Kobani city are demanding a clear stance from the coalition on threats by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to strike at U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

Turkey views the main Kurdish militia in Syria as a terrorist group and an extension of the insurgency within its borders. U.S. support for the group has strained ties between the two NATO allies.

(Read more at the Associated Press)

As mentioned previously, there are numerous bad actors in the area that would attack our current allies as soon as we leave the area.

Stand with Trump

Democrats, don’t hyperventilate. I’m not abandoning Trump

Democrats cannot count on my changing over to their socialist ranks. However, RINOs (like John Cornyn, Republican Senator from Texas) might consider bringing their voting record back in line with the campaign promises of most Republicans. For example, most Republicans (even the reprobate John McCain) campaigned on repealing Obamacare. Additionally, most Republicans campaigned on some form of border security.

Republicans, I stand with Trump. If you want my vote, your voting history had better align with my desires as expressed by Trump’s campaign promises.

Nonetheless, if I could bend Trump’s ear, I would bend it to protect the lives of the religious minorities of Syria and Iraq. These groups will come under great persecution as soon as the Russians, Turks, and Syrian government can start.

A point of agreement

We need to be out of Afghanistan

Trump pulling out of Syria. Might Afghanistan be next?

The Associated Press asked in a 20 December 2018 article whether Trump would pull out of Afghanistan next, now that he has decided to pull out of Syria.

Against the advice of many in his own administration, President Donald Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. Could a withdrawal from Afghanistan be far behind?

Trump has said his instinct is to quit Afghanistan as a lost cause, but more recently he’s suggested a willingness to stay in search of peace with the Taliban. However, the abruptness with which he turned the page on Syria raises questions about whether combat partners like Iraq and Afghanistan should feel confident that he will not pull the plug on them, too.

“If he’s willing to walk away from Syria, I think we should be concerned about whether Afghanistan is next,” Jennifer Cafarella, the director of intelligence planning at the Institute for the Study of War, said in an interview Wednesday.

(Read more, if you can stand the anti-Trump moralizing, at the Associated Press)

Although the article primarily consists of editorial comment and moralizing, it does raise a good question. In opposition to the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan seems to be little but a monoculture of Muslims. As opposed to the approximately 2,000 American troops in Syria that have seen few attacks from Muslim trainees, the 7,000 troops in Afghanistan (where our soldiers have been for 17 years) have seen numerous Muslim attacks.

So why should we continue to send young Americans to Afghanistan to die at the hands supposed allies? There must be some method of cleaning out garbage pails that does not involve splashing the rotten remnants in our faces.

Do we want to be there forever?

Donald Trump Dismisses Critics of Syria Withdrawal: ‘Do We Want to Be There Forever?’

According to one 20 December 2018 Breitbart article, President Trump dismissed critics of the Syria withdrawal by asking “Do we want to be there forever?”

President Donald Trump defended his decision to withdraw American troops from Syria on Thursday.

“Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing?” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Do we want to be there forever?”

Foreign policy hawks such as Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Lindsey Graham adamantly criticized the president on Wednesday for ordering the withdrawal of forces in Syria.

(Read more at Breitbart)

Here, I am I complete agreement with President Trump. While the job of a soldier is dangerous, we should not have to endure attacks from our “allies.”

Liberals let the truth out

Mika insults the homosexaul community in an argument against Pompeo

Mika Brzezinski uses an anti-gay slur to challenge Mike Pompeo into attacking the Sauds

In a 13 December 2018 Washington Post article, we find that Mika thinks so little of the gay lifestyle that she can use it as a slur against those with whom she debates. Specifically, the article quotes her in the following way:

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski is facing growing backlash — including criticism from President Trump — after calling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy” Wednesday during a segment of the show “Morning Joe.”

The homophobic and vulgar remark was triggered by a less-than-impassioned response from Pompeo about the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Pompeo had ducked questions in a “Fox & Friends” interview about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the killing.

(Read more at the Washington Post>)

Several things come to mind:

  1. Although Mika likely outwardly adheres to the liberal orthodoxy concerning the importance of paying holmage to homosexuality; however, inwardly she thinks so little of it that she uses it as a curse word.
  2. Rather than arguing for her point, she strikes out with name calling. Therefore, it seems as though she has no argument that will stand against Mr. Pompeo.
  3. Over the years, liberals have lectured Americans that we cannot impose our morality on other societies (or so they argued while we fought wards in Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq). However, now that we are talking about Mr. Khashoggi, a citizen of Saudi Arabia (and a vocal critic of the current leadership), now they want to apply Western values to the kingdom.
  4. Even though Ms. Brzezinski has purportedly offered a heart-felt apology to the LGBT community, I would question its sincerity. If it took her three days to formulate it, it probably was not from the heart (but from the pocket book).

 

A set of Alec Baldwin tweets using anti-gay slurs

Yeah, Alec Baldwin Really Is a Bigot

In keeping with his on-screen, tough-guy persona (but in contradiction to his off-screen, ultra-left activist persona), the New York Daily News reports in a 3 November 2018 article on a 2018 attack over a parking spot.

Actor and President Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin was arrested for allegedly sucker-punching another man in a fight over a Greenwich Village parking spot, cops said

Baldwin was charged with third-degree assault, misdemeanour harassment and physical contact, officials said.

(Read more at the New York Daily News)

Odd thing is that, while one or two early-published articles mentioned the language used by Baldwin, none of them stayed up. In fact, very few articles on the 2018 confrontation remain. Most articles that turn up from a Google search of “Alec Baldwin, photographer, sucker” return links that cover a 2013 brawl Baldwin forced on a photographer.

For example, one 2013 article in The Atlantic offers a defense of Baldwin’s anti-gay rants.

Responding to Andrew Sullivan’s argument, and my own, that Alec Baldwin is—in fact—kind of a bigot, Wes Alwan offers the following defense:

For calling a photographer a “cocksucking fag” in a blowup caught on video, and another journalist a “fucking little bitch” and “toxic queen” on twitter, Baldwin has been roundly condemned as a “bigot” and “homophobe,” despite the fact that he has been a vocal supporter of gay rights. …

These condemnations are grounded in a number of highly implausible theses that amount to a very flimsy moral psychology. The first is the extremely inhumane idea that we ought to make global judgments about people’s characters based on their worst moments, when they are least in control of themselves: that what people do or say when they’re most angry or incited reveals a kind of essential truth about them. The second is that we are to condemn human beings merely for having certain impulses, regardless of their behaviors and beliefs. The third is that people’s darkest and most irrational thoughts and feelings trump their considered beliefs: Baldwin can’t possibly really believe in gay rights, according to Coates, if he has any negative feelings about homosexuality whatsoever. The fourth, implied premise here – one that comes out in the comical comments section following Coates’ post – is that we are to take no account whatsoever of the possibility of psychological conflict. We refuse to allow ourselves to imagine that a single human being might have a whole host of conflicted thoughts and feelings about homosexuality: that they might be both attracted to it and repelled by it. …

(Read more at The Atlantic)

It just contradicts logic that liberals will circle the wagons around someone who continually abuses others by using anti-gay slurs.

Dim bulb Colbert

Colbert’s Gay Trump Joke Went Too Far

One 3 May 2017 article in Time at least carried a title (“Colbert’s Gay Trump Joke Went Too Far“) that suggested this media outlet recognized Colbert had taken a step too far. However, when you read the body of the article (and especially the next two paragraphs), you will see that no such recognization came to Time.

Which brings us to Colbert’s recent, controversial monologue in which he directed a homophobic slur at the President, suggesting sarcastically that he engages in penetrative sex acts with Vladimir Putin. What’s most striking about the monologue, which aired Monday night, is how remarkably unmotivated it feels. Notionally angry at Trump for having treated CBS’s Face the Nation host John Dickerson unfairly, Colbert builds up a head of steam in an instant. It’s just as ginned-up as Fallon’s enthusiasm for the lip-syncing abilities of every one of his guests. “You’re not the POTUS, you’re the Bloatus!” Colbert intones, the umbrage in his voice rising. “You’re the glutton with the button. You’re a regular Gorge Washington!”

It’s not hard to see why Colbert ended up defaulting to a joke that presumes the worst thing you can call a man is gay—the rest of his material wouldn’t get him booked as a guest on The Late Show. The show, like all late-night shows, is structured to privilege Colbert’s sensibility and his wit abone all. But Colbert has little to say beyond broad, bland puns about Trump’s physique, intelligence, and relative popularity.

(Read more at Time)

By the time that Colbert made his “c**k holster” comment in 2017, I had been ignoring his show for a year. Now, I make a point of turning to the Travel channel if I get a hint that his show is about to hit the air.

Since the mainstay of comedy comes through the capacity to laugh at one’s self — not the capacity to crassly bash the “other.”

Although Trump has held the place of “other,” the LGBT community might look to the history of his humor to know that they are not being used.

The loss of the Weekly Standard

TheWeaklyStandardMeetsTheBowieKnife

The Murder of the Weekly Standard

In a 14 December 2018 commentary by the Weekly Standard‘s co-founder (John Podhoretz) in Commentary Magazine, a true insider explains the demise of what could have been a great conservative production. Bolding is mine for emphasis.

The Weekly Standard will be no more. There is no real reason we are witnessing the magazine’s demise other than deep pettiness and a personal desire for bureaucratic revenge on the part of a penny-ante Machiavellian who works for its parent company.

There would at least be a larger meaning to the Standard’s end if it were being killed because it was hostile to Donald Trump. But I do not believe that is the case. Rather, I believe the fissures in the conservative movement and the Republican party that have opened up since Trump’s rise provided the company man with a convenient argument to make to the corporation’s owner, Philip Anschutz, that the company could perhaps harvest the Standard’s subscriber-base riches and then be done with it.

That this is an entirely hostile act is proved by the fact that he and Anschutz have refused to sell the Standard because they want to claim its circulation for another property of theirs. This is without precedent in my experience in publishing, and I’ve been a family observer of and active participant in the magazine business for half a century.

The creation of the Weekly Standard was my proudest professional moment. When Bill Kristol and I conceived the magazine at the end of 1994, our purpose was to create a publication that would help guide and keep honest the hard-charging Republican party that had scored its stunning lopsided victory over Bill Clinton’s Democrats. This putative magazine would not cheerlead for Newt Gingrich’s Republicans, but instead represent the best thinking about how to lead the country through a new conservative era. We were criticized for not being part of the team from the get-go. Indeed, after the first issue came out in September 1995, a wag at a weekly meeting in Washington chaired by Grover Norquist handed out a parody of the Standard based on the precept that we had already gone off the reservation and weren’t being properly supportive of the Gingrich era.

The cessation of the Standard is an intellectual and political crime. I hope and expect its subscribers, tens of thousands of whom have been with the magazine since its very first day, will demand refunds rather than serve as passive participants in this act of politico-cultural murder. If you are a Standard subscriber but not yet a COMMENTARY reader, write to me at johnpodhoretz@commentarymagazine.com. Have I got a deal for you.

(Read more at Commentary Magazine)

I don’t celebrate the downfall of a conservative publication (since there have been some articles that I have applauded); however, when the Standard stood against first Gingrich and then Trump, they lost me.

I understand the importance of a good role model; however, I also believe in the both principles of forgiveness and of allowing the establishment of a track record. Yes, I admit that Trump started as a playboy — nothing I would want my son to emulate. However, his track record from the removal of EPA regulations to his appointment of conservative judges to his protection of Christians, Jews, and other groups has won my vote.

Blame Bill Kristol for the demise of the Weekly Standard

Don’t blame Trump for the demise of the Weekly Standard

Daniel McCarthy of the Spectator USA adds his voice to those explaining the death of a once-great conservative publication in a 14 December 2018 Spectator USA article.

If the Weekly Standard closes down by year’s end, as is widely expected and as Spectator USA first reported, the country will have lost one of its few remaining writer’s magazines. But for most people, the caliber of writing from Andrew Ferguson or Christopher Caldwell or Matt Labash is not what stands out about the Weekly Standard. Its reputation is tied to the Iraq War and to its founding editor’s reinvention of himself as the most acerbic NeverTrumper on Twitter. The latter has led the New York Times and other outlets to blame the closed-mindedness of conservatives toward criticism of Trump for the magazine’s demise.

Beyond that, however, think about the brand itself: in the public mind, the name Weekly Standard is associated with one thing that’s unpopular with almost everyone (the Iraq War), and another that’s unpopular with its formerly intended audience of conservatives (opposition to Trump). The person most identified with the brand is Kristol, by far. He stepped down as editor at the end of 2016, but his public persona still defines the magazine: his bitter, flippant, or sarcastic tweets about Trump and Trump supporters are the Weekly Standard’s brand in the public’s eye. Few people look at the masthead of a magazine closely enough to realize when a prominent editor such as Kristol has been replaced by a less prominent once such as Steve Hayes — and because Kristol remains on the masthead as editor-at-large, ordinary readers have even more cause for confusion. (‘Editor-at-large’ sounds a lot like ‘editor’ to most people, but in fact usually means ‘ex-editor.’)

(Read more at Spectator USA)

As I have said in certain forums, the Weekly Standard killed themselves by continually attacking those who would otherwise be loyal customers. In Gingrich‘s time as Speaker of the House, certainly no less than 2 or 3 articles per year were devoted to some mode of “conservative opposition.”

Similarly, now that Trump has established in the least a conservative voice in courts, you would think that the Standard would at least acknowledge his success. However, even with the business-friendly changes implemented by Trump, anyone can find the continually derisive comments and tweets, while none will likely find a complement of Trump.

Four reasons to support Trump

Trump having signed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act

Religious Liberty Advocates Praise Trump for Signing Genocide Law

Just as Trump campaigned on providing relief to the downtrodden of the Middle East in their own countries, Breitbart reports in a 13 December 2018 article that Trump has signed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018, which will fund organizations that provide humanitarian aid to religious and ethnic minorities in Syria and Iraq.

Religious liberty advocates praised President Donald Trump for signing into law on Tuesday the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018, which will, among other provisions, fund organizations — including faith-based organizations — that provide humanitarian aid to religious and ethnic minorities in Syria and Iraq.

“After two years of hard work by religious freedom advocates, it was a jubilant moment to watch as President Trump signed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act into law,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a statement. “While the Trump administration has been working to address the needs of those targeted by ISIS’s genocidal campaign, this new law will give another boost to relief groups, including faith-based groups.”

“Until recently, relief groups have been operating almost entirely on private donations,” said Perkins, who is also a commissioner with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

“While a long road is ahead for these genocide victims — today’s bill signing reaffirms that they aren’t walking it alone,” Perkins said.
“This law is enormously significant,” Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and a former USCIRF said in a statement. “It legislates the humanitarian aid policy of the Trump-Pence policy, meaning it cannot be reversed by a future administration policy.”

“Politically, It signals the embrace of Congress for this policy and it creates a precedent for other situations of genocide,” Shea said, noting that even if the United States gave $2 billion dollars to Iraq, it may not reach the genocide victims.

(Read more at Breitbart)

Not only does this fulfill a campaign promise to provide humanitarian aid in the countries and not on our shores — this bill supports the Christians and religious minorities that ISIS has beaten down and driven out of the Middle Eastern refugee camps.

I am thankful for the Christian lives that will be saved in the Middle East due to this bill.

Trump administration protects religious freedom

Religious freedom 2, ObamaCare 0

In a summary of the struggle between Obamacare and the religious, 7 December 2018 New York Post article outlines not only the pain the law has inflicted, but also the help the Trump administration has provided in lifting the onerous portions of the law.

Even the Obama administration admitted, when the question finally landed at the Supreme Court, that there were other ways to ensure women had easy access to these drugs and services, whether through public funding or separate health plans.

The government could have easily avoided costly and time-consuming lawsuits, not to mention violations of religious liberty, by stepping back and making a simple fix. But it didn’t. Instead, it issued “change” after “change” to the rule — 11, in all — that did nothing to solve the problem.
So, for EWTN, this fight was necessary. Which is why we opposed the Obama administration mandate years ago, and then joined the Little Sisters of the Poor in its successful efforts before the Supreme Court. It’s also why we pushed the Trump administration to finish the work and permanently protect EWTN.

Yet when the Trump administration did the right thing by creating a rule that protects religious organizations like us from the mandate, state attorneys general raced into court and received nationwide injunctions, delaying the permanent fix we sought for so long. We couldn’t rest until we obtained a final settlement that would remain durable regardless of which administration was holding the regulatory pen.

Now we have that — and a court order leaving EWTN free to follow its faith.

But the fight remains necessary for other people of faith, who face continuing battles to keep and practice their faith at home and in the public square.

The battles continue with Catholic foster care agencies in Philadelphia and Michigan trying to serve their communities while remaining true to their faith. Pregnancy centers in places like California are fighting hard to hold on to their free-speech rights. These are battles with real consequences.

(Read more at New York Post)

Those of us who have a religious objection to paying for another person’s abortion have won another round in the courts. Hopefully, this will put this issue to rest. Additionally, as the Obamacare issue progresses — hopefully Congress will take time to take care of the helpless (like our homeless veterans) while not crippling the rest of us.

I am thankful that the Trump administration has created a rule to protect religious organizations from the mandate.

President Trump delivers Hannakkuh wishes

Trump recognizes anti-Semitism and expresses support for our Jewish citizens

In a 6 December 2018 posting of the “Remarks by President Trump at a Hanukkah Celebration”, Donald Trump spoke these words:

We are gathered together this evening to commemorate the triumph of the Jewish people in the face of terrible oppression. Hanukkah is the story of Jewish patriots who fought to reclaim their freedom. More than 2,000 years ago, the Maccabees defeated a tyrant and a massive army and restored the Holy Temple.

After their victory, they found only enough oil to light the lamp in the temple for a single night. Yet, the light burned brightly for eight nights, the miracle of Hanukkah. This year, we light the menorah, we reflect upon the extraordinary resilience of the Jewish people in the face of centuries of oppression.

Our thoughts also turn to the victims and survivors of the anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. I was there and it was horrible. And the rabbi was great. He was a tremendous gentleman. In the wake of these evil murders, Americans of all backgrounds have come together to express our unwavering determination to extract the vile poison of anti-Semitism from our world.

Throughout history, we have seen that no darkness can overcome the light of the Jewish faith and that no evil can overcome the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people. So true.

My administration will always stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters, and we will always stand strong with our cherished friend and partner, the state of Israel.

(Read more at The White House)

Since Jesus came to Solomon’s temple to celebrate the Festival of Lights (John 10:22-23) when the religious leaders gathered around him in one of their initial confrontations with him — I commiserate with those (Jewish, Christian, and other) who find themselves under attack for their religion or ethnicity.

From near the beginning of the Old Testament (with Joseph’s being sold into slavery by his brothers), the Bible is full of examples of unfair treatment and accompanying pleas for us to treat people with love. It also tells us to mourn with the mourning. I thank God that we now have a President who calls on the stories common to the Torah and Bible as he commiserates with our Jewish fellow citizens.

Jobless claims at 49-year low

U.S. weekly jobless claims drop to near 49-year low

We can thank Trump’s deregulation for a 49-year-low in jobless claims as reported in a 13 December 2018 Reuters article.

The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits tumbled to near a 49-year low last week, which could ease concerns about a slowdown in the labor market and economy.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 206,000 for the week ended Dec. 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Last week’s decline in claims was the largest since April 2015. Claims hit 202,000 in mid-September, which was the lowest level since December 1969.

Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 225,000 in the latest week. Claims shot up to an eight-month high of 235,000 during the week ended Nov. 24.

The Labor Department said only claims for Virginia were estimated last week.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,750 to 224,750 last week.

(Read more at Reuters)

Although there are a number of other dynamics in the business world that both boost and stifle economic growth, Mr You-can-thank-me-now should have known that the regulations of the EPA and his other pet agencies would kill business. Therefore, unless Obama is hopelessly dense, he has no leg to stand on when claiming credit for the growing economy at the same time he acknowledges that Trump has abandoned his environmental regulations.

Nonetheless, I am thankful that Trump has had the foresight to eliminate a number of regulations that tied up business.

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