The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

A Life of Liberty Or A Life of Lockdown?

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Lockdown ProtestersDeath is part of life.

SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 or Coronavirus or whatever name you give it, is NEVER going away.

So what do we do? Dig holes and bury ourselves forever?

The last known case of Smallpox was in Samalia in 1977. It is the ONLY disease to be considered eradicated by science, but there are some who say it could come back. Think about that. In the history of mankind we have managed to eliminate only one infectious disease. We have vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, the flu, and many others. All of these diseases still exist. All of these diseases still infect millions of people every year and all of these diseases still take precious lives away from families.

Yet, in our 244 years as a nation, we have never, in our public health history, done what we are doing now. We have never shut down all economic activity for any length of time. We have never forced people, on a national scale, to stay in their homes with legal consequences if they leave. We have never arrested our citizens for exercising their God given and constitutionally mandated rights to make a legal living. Never at any time in our history have we completely ignored the Constitution of the United States, because of a disease, with such a broad and sweeping decree.

Yet every day, with continued testing, this virus is proving to be much much less than the angel of death some politicians and news media continue to tell us it is.

Initially the concern was for hospitals and the belief that the infection would spread so rapidly and be so deadly that our health care system would be overrun and unable to cope with the massive numbers. Of course, that never happened nationwide and only a handful of major cities saw overcrowded hospitals. A majority of people who test positive — more than 80 percent in some states — are never hospitalized. A fact our national media still refuses to acknowledge or report. For some bizarre reason, the news media continues to cling to the doomsday prophets and their computer-generated pandemic models.

Testing continues to prove the panic peddlers wrong. One of the first large-scale antibody tests was conducted in Heinsberg, Germany, where 14% of the population had antibodies to the virus. By comparing the estimated number of uncounted infections with recorded deaths, the study suggested that coronavirus’ death rate is as low as 0.37% compared to a 3.4% case fatality rate estimated by the WHO and 0.1% for seasonal influenza. Researchers from Columbia University recently estimated that only 1 in 12 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are documented, which they said would translate to an infection fatality rate of about 0.6%, as reported by The Washington Post.

Every day that you get out of bed and walk out of your house you are at risk of dying. That’s life.

The fact is you are at a higher risk of dying from getting in your car to go wait in line at Costco than you are of dying from catching this virus in that Costco line. We’ve got to stop being paralyzed by fear and and we’ve got to get the country back to work and people back to productive lives. We cannot continue to remain stagnant as a nation or we won’t be a nation for much longer.

It’s probably too late to save us from all of the damage this unnecessarily broad shutdown has caused to our nation’s economy. 1 of every 4 workers in America has filed for unemployment benefits. The grand total of unemployed Americans from this pandemic is a whopping 38.6 million as of May 21, 2020. Georgia’s early move to start easing stay-at-home restrictions nearly a month ago has done little to stem the state’s flood of unemployment claims — illustrating how hard it is to bring jobs back while consumers are still afraid to go outside. Not to mention the idiotic decision to pay people more to NOT work than they can make at their regular jobs. It has become abundantly clear our elected officials had no clue what they were creating with their reactionary policies, based solely on “predictive models” from the beginning. This leaves me to wonder if we will ever learn the folly of relying solely on predictive data for real time decision making. Has the Global Warming debate taught us nothing on this front?

The economic damage and the unintended consequences of this lockdown are even more poignant when considering this survey data gathered by the Census Bureau.

Nearly half of Americans say that either their incomes have declined or they live with another adult who has lost pay through a job loss or reduced hours, the Census Bureau said in survey data released Wednesday.

More than one-fifth of Americans said they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage on time, the survey found.

We see the commercials of companies sharing their sympathies with those hit hardest by the lockdown and suggesting they’re willing to help. But how sympathetic and how helpful will they really be when it’s all said and done and we are back to whatever “normal” will be when everything reopens? Economic reality says they can’t just forgive every debt, although, the Democrats will surely fly in on their magic carpets to shout for “debt forgiveness for everyone!” Of course we never considered Democrats to be economically literate in the first place, but it will make for good political theater.

The bottom line: We Overreacted. We took this lockdown way too far and in the process we created new factions and tribes engaged in meme wars on social media and in some cases real wars of words with shouting matches in stores, real violence in the streets, and sadly, people actually killing each other. The talking heads on TV and their ever willing partners in politics tell us everyday how terrible and deadly and dangerous the virus is seemingly ignoring the real data to continue peddling their panic driven narrative.

All this has done is create more division.

We have the Virtue Signaling Masked Avengers vs the Defiant Un-masked Horde. The Stay at Home Shamers vs the Stick it Up Your @#$% Openers. The Predictive Modeling Doomsday Prophets vs the 99.9% Survival Rate Evangelists. We’ve seen a church burned to the ground by “pro-quarantine fascists” who were determined to teach those church-going, lockdown-defying Christians a lesson, scrawling on the pavement the words “Bet you stay home now you hypokrites.” They can’t spell but they can light a match. This is where we are in 2020.

Yet in the midst of all of this noise and anger is great kindness and compassion being expressed by the vast majority of Americans toward their neighbors and those in their communities. It is times like this when we realize how vulnerable we really are and how important it is to have those neighborly friendships and bonds, how important our family ties become, and how precious and fragile liberty and freedom can be. Yes, there is a lot of negative energy swirling in the winds of COVID-19, but I believe the positive will once again, as it did in 2001 and 9/11, overcome and subdue the anger and pain. That’s what I hope we’ll see in the “new normal.”

There is one thing we all need to take a good hard look at and that’s how and who we choose as our leaders. We, the voters, must share some blame in all of this. The people we have put and continue to put into office at all levels have failed us. The vast majority of them have proven themselves to be anything BUT public servants. We have put people in office who have, time and time again, shown us with their actions while contradicting their own words where their loyalties really lie and it isn’t with us. Self-service is the norm in DC and in too many state and local governments in this country. That has to change.

First we MUST make sure our elections have integrity, checks and balances, and transparency. Ballots should be cast in person. If we can stand in line at Costco and the liquor store we can stand in line at the polls. If we need to extend the time to vote due to large turnout then do it. We’re a large nation with millions of people. If it takes several days to give everyone the chance to enter a polling station then that’s what we do. We can not allow our elections to be changed and manipulated by the whims of those who rule us or they will rule us forever.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this experience will lead to a political Renaissance where true public servants come to the fore who are there to serve for a limited time and then let someone else have a turn. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Perhaps our younger generations will see the flaws that got us here and realize only free and unfettered elections without restriction or party interference will bring the change that’s needed. One can only hope.

And one final question; when will our leaders learn the lesson of one size does not fit all? Maybe after the Renaissance…

Open the country and let people begin to work on salvaging their lives and moving forward through the risks and dangers life always has and always will present. Let the chips fall where they may.

Life is hard and there is a reason for that, but that is a topic for another post.

If that sounds harsh and callous so be it.

Written by DCL

May 24, 2020 at 11:21 am

Posted in Health, News

What’s the Real Risk During the COVID-19 Shutdown?

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by Nedra Sorenson
Guest Blog

John Adams Quote on Freedom

I keep hearing that “the virus is the boss” – that it is the disease that has to dictate how life goes on…WHETHER life goes on. But that’s not what’s happening. The virus isn’t the boss here – FEAR is the boss. And the ones who are pushing the fear, the ones whose voices are the loudest, telling us how fearful we should be, are the LEAST fearful.

THEY are not worried that they haven’t gotten a paycheck for the last five weeks (because they’ve been voting themselves raises and non-deductible/no co-pay health care and Platinum Parachute pensions for years – all on the backs of American taxpayers).

THEY are not worried about overdue mortgages or not being able to make the rent on their business property (because their second home in the Hamptons or Napa Valley was paid for in cash and is now a huge tax write-off).

THEY are not worried about having to sit for hours in mile-long queues to get a cardboard box of groceries from the food bank (because they can snack on gourmet gelato kept nice and cold in their stainless steel Subzero freezer).

THEY can film themselves wallowing in a bubble bath in their oversized tub and say they are just like the rest of us. THEY can film their upper body workouts as they sit in their designer home office at their designer desk and tell us how important it is to stay inside while they can move around outdoors at will. THEY can set up hotlines for people to phone in “social distancing” violations by their neighbors while they sneak off to the gym.

I keep asking myself how many deaths have occurred from cancer in the last 40 days? How many from heart disease or diabetes? How many from plain, old everyday influenza? How many people died from accidents in the last month? How many lives were snuffed out by abortion since February?

Each death diminishes me because I am part of the main…yet death is a fact of life that we face every day. The fact, currently, is that we are NOT being held hostage by a disease (by the way with a 97-98% SURVIVAL rate!)…we are being held hostage by fear, fear that’s being promoted by those whose only real interest is in seizing crisis-produced power and holding on to it.

In the 1700’s there was this guy named George. He was rich and powerful…he was a tyrant. He used coercion and repression and fear to control his subjects. And the fledgling Americans – who had SO much to lose (but everything to gain) rose up and said “ENOUGH!”

Because freedom isn’t easy, people…liberty isn’t SAFE. Liberty is RISK. LIFE is risk. Every day we face and risk death…every day there is the possibility of losing everything. The question each person has to ask themselves is, IS IT WORTH THE RISK?

Do we live our lives in freedom, risking all we have for what we could have…or do we listen to the fear, give in to the fear and let our children and grandchildren struggle under the crushing weight of trillions of dollars in tax burden because we were too fearful to face the risk?

Do we leave future generations the knowledge that we were willing to be controlled, to believe the narrative that someone was only thinking of our health and safety, while the economic lifeblood of the world drained away?

Do we decide that Eliot was right…that this is how the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper? The whimper of a fearful world, masked and cowering behind closed doors – while those in power lower their silk scarves from their faces to tell us how safe they are keeping us?

You can ask me, am I scared? Yes. I’m scared. But despite the fact that I’m in the at-risk demographic – elderly, with underlying health issues…I’m more scared for my neighbors, for my country, than the possibility of death by COVID-19…because NOBODY gets out of this alive.

In the end it’s HOW you live, not IF you’ll die.

Written by DCL

April 25, 2020 at 10:36 am

The Divine Strength of Womanhood

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This is a repost of a blog by Dustin Phelps at happiness-seekers.com

Dustin’s blog is currently on leave while he writes a book. 

I was deeply moved by this article and whether you’re a believer or not, I think you too will appreciate this perspective and example of how we should all view the women in this world.

It deeply pains me that over the course of history, some people have insisted not only that women are inferior to men, but that God agrees. ~ Doug Long – TheLongVersion.com

 

I have been disheartened to learn how many women feel conflicted about their place in God’s plan and whether He really sees His daughters as being equal to His sons.

So today I want to share the most powerful evidence I have ever come across that God—despite the cultural views of some of His children—has always held a grander view of womanhood than any of us could conceive on our own.

This article deals with one of the most widely known scriptures about Mother Eve. The verse in question has been used by some as an excuse to marginalize women, but, as you will see, it actually contains an extraordinary tribute to Eve and all women.

This discovery has fundamentally deepened my respect for womanhood and led me to believe that we are only beginning to understand the breathtaking vision God has for the role of women in the Church and in Society.

However, before I dive in, I have to explain something.

This discovery will be much more fascinating with some essential context. So, I’m asking you to trust me. People who read my articles know that I occasionally ask readers to 1) read more carefully than normal and 2) read until the end. 

This is such an article. 

Let’s get started.

When Brittney was pregnant with our first child—per the norm—everyone would always ask what we were going to name him. When they learned that our son’s middle name was going to be Ebenezer, we’d get all sorts of surprised looks.

“You mean like Ebenezer Scrooge?!” They couldn’t believe it. Some friends and family members would joke about how they were going to call him “Scrooge” when he got older. 

But the truth is that we didn’t choose the name Ebenezer on a whim nor out of a fascination with the literary accomplishments of Charles Dickens.

As it turns out, Eben-Ezer, a Hebrew term from the Bible, has special spiritual significance.

There was a time recorded in the Old Testament when an enormous Philistine army was invading Israel. The force that stood against Israel was completely overwhelming. Things got so bad that the people realized that they were doomed to destruction if the Lord did not intervene. 

Realizing this, the people went to the Prophet Samuel and begged him to plead with the Lord to spare their lives. Samuel did so and the Lord intervened. 

With the Lord’s help, the outnumbered Israelite soldiers were miraculously able to defeat the Philistine armies. 

On the battlefield, while the victory was still fresh in the minds of the people, Samuel erected a monument and called it “Eben-Ezer” (which means “Stone of Help”). And then he declared the significance of the monument:

“Hitherto has the Lord helped us.”

You see, Samuel was concerned that the people would forget how they had won. He was worried that they might take credit for the victory. The Prophet wanted the people to never forget that they had only defeated their enemies because of the Lord’s help. And if they were to hope for His blessings and protection in the future, they needed to continue relying on Him.

Incidentally, if you’ve ever heard the beloved hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, you may have wondered what the author meant when he wrote: ”Here I raise my Ebenezer. Hither by Thy help I’m come.”

Well, now you know.

Anyway, with all that in mind, we can now approach the discovery. 

About a year ago I was asked to speak at a relief society function. The topic was “The Divine Role of Womanhood.” As a man, I felt pretty unqualified and uncomfortable speaking on such a grand topic…especially to a group of women.

I was humbled and a little mortified at the task that lay before me.

As I prepared my remarks, I reflected on Mother Eve, the progenitor of all women.

A couple of years previous, I had written an article about ways in which centuries of cultural misunderstanding have distorted the message of Genesis 2:18 which reads:

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; [so] I will make him an help meet for him.”

As I reflected on the article I had previously written and then pondered further the words of Genesis 2:18, I decided to see if the Hebrew from which the words were translated could provide any additional insight.

I was specifically interested in the Hebrew word that had been translated into “meet” because it has complex meaning and is pivotal to the verse.

But as I turned to the original Hebrew rendition, something else in the verse caught my eye:

“Ezer”

I noticed that when God says that Eve will be a “help” to Adam, the original Hebrew usage translated into “help” is…”Ezer”.

Wait? Ezer…as in Eben-Ezer? It was the same word.

If it weren’t for the significance of Eben-Ezer, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. But I was suddenly intrigued.

I looked up the definition and etymology of the word and learned that some scholars trace the Hebrew word “Ezer” to a combination of two source words, one which means strength and another which refers to rescuing, saving, and defending (source).

I searched “Ezer” in the Hebrew text and found that it is used two dozen times in the Old Testament.

Remarkably, “Ezer” is always used in a military context (except when referring to Eve) and almost every time it is used to describe God as the Divine Helper and Protector of Israel.

It is this same word that is used to describe Eve.

Many women have written to me and expressed how they have always felt marginalized by this verse; it makes them feel as if God’s vision of woman was that of some second-class “helper”.

But here was the ultimate evidence that society had projected their own ignorance onto the verse.

Eve is described with a word that everywhere else in the Old Testament is only used for virtually two purposes 1) to describe God when he is coming to stand with Israel against its enemies or 2) when other nations come to march with the soldiers of Israel as they face their foes (list of “ezer” usages found here).

So, “Ezer”, the word used to describe Mother Eve as a “help” to Adam, has nothing to do with the role of an inferior or domestic servant. 

The word that is used to describe the Creator of the Universe as a savior, source of strength, and “the Helper of Israel” cannot have a demeaning implication. God blesses His people, He loves and cares for His people, and He stands with His people…but He is not subservient to them. 

In the Old Testament, the Lord is described as an “Ezer” when Israel is too weak to face its enemies alone. Other nations are described as an “Ezer” to Israel, when Israel’s strength is insufficient to defeat its enemies.

And so it is with Eve. Eve is referred to as an “Ezer” when God sees that Adam cannot do it alone.  Eve is referred to as an “ezer” because she was Adam’s first ally and friend, his partner in doing battle with evil and bringing about the purposes of God upon the Earth.

So, the very verse that has been used to marginalize women, was really God’s own tribute to His daughters.

It is high time that we reclaimed and embraced God’s vision of women.

Exciting things are on the horizon. Women in every quarter of the world are rising up and the women of the Church must rise to lead and influence them.

So, the next time you read Genesis 2:18 and you are tempted to imagine a submissive housekeeper, instead think of a warrior with a drawn sword. Think of a change maker. Think of a leader. Think of an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a mother, a wife, a young women’s leader, or Sunday school teacher.

Your influence has changed me; it has changed the people around you. Thank you for being an “ezer”. Thank you for your service, for your voice, for your leadership, for your courage, and for your sacrifices.

We cannot do this without you.

Written by DCL

March 9, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Faith, Family, Good News

Tagged with , , , ,

The Divided States of America: A Return to 1861?

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US Civil War

Dr. Jack Devere Minzey, born 6 October 1928 – died 8 April 2018, was the Department Head of Education at Eastern Michigan University as well as a prolific author of numerous books, most of which were on the topic of Education and the Government role therein.

This was the last of his writings before he passed. My hope is it helps the reader recognize and reject the emotionally charged narratives being perpetuated by our news media day after day and differentiate between the fact challenged accounts of current events and the reasoned and historically supported accounts like this one. – Thanks to Kristine Manning for sharing this.

Civil War: How do civil wars happen?

by Dr. Jack Devere Minzey

Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge. That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war

The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this. The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.

What do sure odds of the Democrats rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win. It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections. That’s a civil war

There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country but then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship.

Your very own dictatorship.

The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the civil war.

Our system of government is based on the constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country. The Democrat’s system is that any part of government that it runs gets total and unlimited power over the country.

If the Democrats are in the White House, then the president can do anything. And I mean anything. He can have his own amnesty for illegal aliens. He can fine you for not having health insurance. He can use the IRS as his own police force and imprison citizens who speak against him. He can provide guns and money ( Fast and Furious, Iran nuclear deal ) to other countries to support his own agenda and watch while one of America’s Ambassador’s is dragged through the streets and murdered while doing nothing to aid our citizens. His power is unlimited. He’s a dictator.

But when Republicans get into the White House, suddenly the President can’t do anything. He isn’t even allowed to undo the illegal alien amnesty that his predecessor illegally invented. A Democrat in the White House has ‘discretion’ to completely decide every aspect of immigration policy. A Republican doesn’t even have the ‘discretion’ to reverse him. That’s how the game is played. That’s how our country is run. Sad but true, although the left hasn’t yet won that particular fight.

When a Democrat is in the White House, states aren’t even allowed to enforce immigration law. But when a Republican is in the White House, states can create their own immigration laws. Under Obama, a state wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom without asking permission but under Trump, Jerry Brown can go around saying that California is an independent republic and sign treaties with other countries.

The Constitution has something to say about that.

Whether it’s Federal or State, Executive, Legislative or Judiciary, the left moves power around to run the country. If it controls an institution, then that institution is suddenly the supreme power in the land. This is what I call a moving dictatorship.

Donald Trump has caused the Shadow Government to come out of hiding: Professional government is a guild. Like medieval guilds. You can’t serve in it if you’re not a member. If you haven’t been indoctrinated into its arcane rituals. If you aren’t in the club. And Trump isn’t in the club. He brought in a bunch of people who aren’t in the club with him.

Now we’re seeing what the pros do when amateurs try to walk in on them. They spy on them, they investigate them and they send them to jail. They use the tools of power to bring them down.

That’s not a free country.

It’s not a free country when FBI agents who support Hillary take out an ‘insurance policy’ against Trump winning the election. It’s not a free country when Obama officials engage in massive unmasking of the opposition. It’s not a free country when the media responds to the other guy winning by trying to ban the conservative media that supported him from social media. It’s not a free country when all of the above collude together to overturn an election because the guy who wasn’t supposed to win did.

Have no doubt, we’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and a leftist Democrat professional government.

Written by DCL

December 16, 2019 at 7:05 am

Posted in Politics

Ukraine Official Refutes Key Impeachment Testimony

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BOMBSHELLWe see the word “BOMBSHELL” used in news media a lot these days and most of the time it’s nothing more than click bait.

This story, however, may actually fit the term.

This is from TIME magazine at TIME.com so my Left of center friends shouldn’t use the source as a fallback position to ignore it.

A top Ukraine official who is mentioned dozens of times in the impeachment report released last week and has been called a critical figure “at the center” of the impeachment inquiry, is now disputing testimony by the Democrat witnesses upon which the entire impeachment process rests.

In a recent interview with TIME, Andriy Yermak is questioning the recollections of crucial witnesses in the impeachment inquiry.

“Listen, I want to tell you straight,” Yermak told TIME in the interview on Dec. 4, “Of course, now, when I watch these [hearings] on television, my name often comes up, and I see people there whom I recognize, whom I met and know,” he says, referring to the witness testimony. “That is their personal opinion, especially the positions they expressed while under oath. I have my own truth. I know what I know.”

Where this really gets dicey is with regard to Gordon Sondland’s testimony. As you may recall, Mr. Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the EU, had previously testified that there was no quid pro quo but then later revised that statement and testified the opposite in a written statement and again during the hearings. That is important to remember and consider when listening to Yermak’s recollection of his “meeting” with Sondland.

The key testimony that allowed the Democrats to move forward with impeachment came from Sondland, the ONLY witness to say he believed there was a quid pro quo in place. NO OTHER WITNESS made this direct allegation.

That testimony hinges on a meeting between Vice President Pence and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in Warsaw on September 1.

Sondland testified that he pulled Yermak aside after the Warsaw meeting and told him U.S. aid to Ukraine would probably not resume until Zelensky’s government announced two investigations that could implicate President Trump’s political rivals.

From the TIME.com article –

“Based on the testimony from Sondland and other witnesses, the final report from the House Intelligence Committee concluded last week that Sondland made this offer of a quid pro quo clear to Yermak that day in Warsaw.”

Yermak disputes this. “Gordon and I were never alone together,” he said when TIME asked about the Warsaw meeting. “We bumped into each other in the hallway next to the escalator, as I was walking out.” He recalls that several members of the American and Ukrainian delegations were also nearby, as well as bodyguards and hotel staff, though he was not sure whether any of them heard his brief conversation with Sondland. “And I remember – everything is fine with my memory – we talked about how well the meeting went. That’s all we talked about,” Yermak says.

KABOOM! Is that bombshell enough?

In his initial testimony to the impeachment inquiry in October, Sondland said he never knew the U.S. aid to Ukraine was conditional on the investigations Trump wanted.

But then the following month, Sondland amended his testimony with a new sworn statement, in which he described the conversation with Yermak in Warsaw and identifying it as a quid pro quo on behalf of the president.

“I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland wrote in the amended testimony.

Yermak, a central figure in this entire process, says that never happened.

Mr. Schiff? Mr. Nadler? Houston?
We have a problem…

Written by DCL

December 12, 2019 at 7:21 am

Dear Adam Schiff, What is Quid Pro Quo?

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Dear Mr. Schiff,

How exactly do you define Quid Pro Quo?

Is it simply “Get dirt on my opponents or else!” as you and the Democrats have decided? If that is indeed where you are planting your flag then President Trump is right, there is no quid pro quo.

If we look at the entire conversation in question it goes pretty much like this:

Mr. Ukrainian President, you’re newly elected and it looks like you’re taking your country in the right direction, but you need to know something up front. Your country lost 7 Billion dollars of our taxpayers money. Your country convicted two officials, one of which was the head of the anti-corruption bureau, for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by colluding with the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

Now two of your Investigator Generals have been blocked by our State Department after they provided evidence to our Department of Justice regarding this collusion along with evidence of corruption surrounding oil and gas contracts that involved out former Vice President. You should look into that. We also have reason to believe the people who did all of that and made this corruption possible are still in your inner circle. So as a matter of national interest, I can’t give you any more money unless you can demonstrate you’re not part of this corruption but rather are dedicated to cleaning it up.

If that’s how you define quid pro quo Mr. Schiff then yes, that’s all on the tape of the phone call. That’s all in the transcript. IF THAT’S the definition then guilty as charged…

But that’s not your definition is it? Because that wouldn’t fly in a kangaroo court. Not even one run by you and Nancy Pelosi. In your tunnel vision world all you heard in that phone call was “get dirt on my opponent.” Fortunately a majority of Americans heard something quite different.

The conversation with the Ukrainian president which he confirmed, when taken in full context of the full conversation, is not “get dirt on my opponent.” Mr. Schiff believes cherry picking, paraphrasing, and redefining what was said equates what was actually said. It doesn’t.

The other problem is how the Democrats have convinced many Americans that quid pro quo is some new law that’s been broken… It isn’t. In fact the Obama administration was chided by the media for the same thing on numerous occasions leading one US newspaper to label Obama the King of Quid Pro Quo.  

The ignorance displayed in this country regarding anything to do with civics is an indictment on our public school system and an advantage to the Democrats.

Written by DCL

November 8, 2019 at 7:19 pm

Same Destination, Multiple Paths?

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Same Destination, Many Paths

A blog post by John Pavlovitz popped up on my social media. The headline grabbed my attention so I clicked.

It’s a nice, flowery, feel good post. It says the kind of things that make our brains produce a good dose of endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. The neurochemicals that make us happy and feel good.

So what’s wrong with that you ask?

Nothing, unless the flowers are covering the weeds. I’m not saying the article is an overt attempt to mislead or misinform. I’m sure the author earnestly believes in everything he wrote and how and why he came to his positions and opinions. But I don’t think he truly resides in the “Humane Middle” as he calls it. I don’t think he owns that real estate. I think he sits in the section of the bell curve the majority of us populate, if not more toward one side than the middle.

I believe Mr. Pavlovitz is an ideological leftist. I believe he is doing what ideological leftists do. He’s making a case to convince us and probably more importantly, those who share his worldview, their position IS the middle, the perfect balance, the ultimate destination, and if you aren’t just like them you’re simply “indoctrinated into a white nationalistic religion of malice.” Those are his words.

I don’t have a problem with people whose ideology is on the left side of the spectrum. If I was to pass one on the street I’d consider them with kindness and respect just like any other person walking that street. When I see people out and about I don’t see them as ideologues or members of a political party.

They’re just people. Like me.

I was taught to “Love my neighbor as myself” and I try to live that way. What I find problematic with folks of that ideological persuasion is they don’t seem to be satisfied just having their own ideas, opinions, and beliefs and simply expressing them. In my experience, those on the left, and more often the activist left, aren’t happy until you accept and adopt their ideas, opinions, and beliefs as your own and they won’t hesitate to apply social pressure, even force, to get you there. Because, from my experience and interaction with political liberals, they’re right and you need to come to grips with that and change.

They are so convinced they know better than you how to live your life, they are going to do everything they can to live it for you and it’s all wrapped in the name of compassion, love, and humanity. They’re kind and tolerant until you refute their doctrine. Do that and you’ll see another side and no smiles.

Mr. Pavlovitz took an inventory of his positions. It’s a nice list that resembles what one might think Utopia is made of. He believes his list is “the list” everyone should have because, again, he’s in the middle. If your list isn’t like his, you’re the problem.

So, I decided to go ahead and do the same inventory to see how extreme I am, but I’m going to explain the what and why of each point, how I got there and what makes me believe the way I do. That’s something Mr. Pavlovitz doesn’t do and I wish he did. But I believe if he got into the nuts and bolts of each item on his list he’d soon find himself well beyond the middle and it would ruin the entire thesis. How do I come to this conclusion? Read his other writings…

So let’s compare Mr. Pavlovitz’ “extremism screening list” with mine.

John: I believe in full LGBTQ rights.
Me: I believe in basic human rights. I don’t subscribe to the idea that different groups of people have different rights or more rights or less rights than any other. I believe every human being has a right to life, liberty (freedom to choose their life path), and the pursuit of personal happiness under the rule of law. I believe in equality of opportunity, not outcomes.

John: I believe we should protect the planet.
Me: I believe we should be responsible stewards of the planet and all it provides. I’m certain we have very different ideas about what that means and how that can and should be achieved. We probably agree that people have and do exploit this planet’s resources and far too much is wasted and misused.

John: I believe everyone deserves healthcare.
Me: I believe everyone should have access to healthcare. I do not subscribe to government run healthcare. There are better and far more efficient alternatives and they must be made available in the marketplace preferably at the community level. Health-share programs are providing a glimpse into how that might work. A public safety net for those who are truly unable to afford or provide for their own healthcare is a must but not how we currently fund and operate it. For any system like this to work it requires a high level of integrity and honesty amongst the populace. That’s just one reason our current system is broken. 

John: I believe all religions are equally valid.
Me: Valid is an interesting term to use here. Validity doesn’t necessarily equate goodness for humanity. I believe any religion that teaches love and respect for all people, service to others, self-restraint, self-reliance, chastity, temperance, charity, humility, kindness, patience, diligence, et al, brings good to all humanity and has value. Religions that violate free agency and seek to control adherents have no value in my opinion.

John: I believe the world is bigger than America.
Me: Yep, the world is big. But at this point in our development as human beings, national borders are still a reality and necessity. Until we stop dividing ourselves into tribes with hard ideological segments that’s not going to change. The wide spectrum of ideological differences in this big world require them. I am an American. I love my country. I will protect and defend my country from any who would harm it or the way of life we enjoy. I do not have ill will toward any other nation or people. I will make my country the best I can within my sphere of influence. I believe our constitution is an inspired document containing principles that, when followed, lead to greater happiness and prosperity as a nation. We, as a nation and a people, aren’t doing that right now which has lead to the place John is feeling squeezed.

John: I believe “pro-life” means to treasure all of it.
Me: I believe in the sanctity of human life at any and all stages of development. While I believe life is sacred, I believe the choices of those who willingly and knowingly take a life should have grave consequences up to and including paying for their crime with their own. I believe life begins in the womb. Once that life is created I believe we have a moral obligation to assure that human being has all the rights available to any of us and should be protected. I believe there are exceptions with regard to abortion, which John appears to be couching in this item, but they should be rare and few. 

John: I believe whiteness isn’t superior and it is not a baseline of humanity.
Me: This one tells me how far to one end of the spectrum John really is. I don’t know ANYONE, nor can I say I have ever met ANYONE who believes “whiteness” is superior. Those with John’s political and ideological views would have you believe white supremacy is a massive problem by scale. It’s not. But they have convinced themselves that the election of Donald Trump is proof that half the people in this nation are white supremacists. Hence the need to make that statement in his list. NO SKIN COLOR is supreme. Such a radical view is a tiny minority in this country. See point one.

John: I believe we are all one interdependent community.
Me: Yes. But language barriers, cultural differences, religious beliefs, and our propensity to judge each other makes harmony on a large scale difficult, but not impossible.

John: I believe people and places are made better by diversity.
Me: I believe if we lived by the golden rule, it wouldn’t matter what mix of ethnicity, ideology, lifestyle, et al in our communities, places of employment, cities, states, or countries. We can and should be able to get along and work for the common good of everyone. Live and let live. However, diversity for diversity’s sake is a mistake and is counter productive. It creates an environment of preferential treatment which goes against human nature and the concept of fairness. This conclusion comes from people with much higher credentials, more academic placards, and greater influence than I.

John: I believe people shouldn’t be forced to abide by anyone else’s religion.
Me: No one should be forced to believe or live any religious tenet. I don’t believe anyone is. I believe this is an extreme Left view and is patently false. Just because religion and religious belief is around you and you are exposed to it doesn’t mean you are being forced to abide by any religion. In fact, we are seeing converse examples of this extreme view as the Left attempts to force people of faith to abandon their religious beliefs so as not to “impose” upon those who don’t share them. They tend to twist the concept of separation of church and state into something none of the framers of our constitution ever said or imagined. Numerous court cases in recent memory validate this trend in secular society.

John: I believe non-American human beings have as much value as American ones.
Me: I absolutely agree. Until they come to America, break our laws, and/or threaten American lives in any way. Then they, by choice, devalue themselves and we must uphold and sustain our laws to protect our rights as citizens and the privileges citizenship has in our country. Others are welcome to come and enjoy the fruits of this nation. All I ask is that they do it legally, contribute while here, and be inclusive and welcoming to those unfamiliar with their unique cultures and ways and vice versa. I’ve lived in another country for an extended period of time. The non-Americans seem to understand this better than most Americans and expect the same behavior from us while living in their countries.

John: I believe generosity is greater than greed, compassion better than contempt, and kindness superior to derision.
Me: All true. Now how do we get worldwide adoption and practice?

John: I believe there is enough in this world for everyone: enough food, enough money, enough room, enough care – if we unleash our creativity and unclench our fists.
Me: I believe there is tooI see this every day. I see people helping people, sharing their abundance, teaching principles of self-reliance which creates a “can do” attitude and magnifies self-confidence, but that’s not what gets the headlines. The headlines scream the opposite incessantly which leads many people to think that’s the norm. It’s not. But that’s how people tend to see it and for Liberals it seems to really spike the emotions. They seem to see the world only as reported on TV or Twitter. With emotions revved to maximum capacity the finger pointing begins and since they see themselves as “knowing better than you” they blame you, the ones who see the world differently and believe differently (more diversely), than they do. That almost seems contradictory to what they publicly say though doesn’t it? We agree on this point, but he seems to not see the forest for the trees.

Bottom line: Anyone can create a list of platitudes without explanation or detail to provide context or reveal intent and make it sound amazing, wonderful, and woke. But doing so doesn’t place you in a position of neutrality to say “see, I’m the middle. I’m in the place where everyone should strive to go.” I’m sorry but you don’t get to determine where the center is. Neither do I. That, in and of itself, is a journey of discovery.

Frankly I’ve always seen those in the middle, the centrists, the moderates, to be little more than fence sitters. People with their finger in the air waiting for the popular winds of change push them toward a decision, or to take a position, or make a stand. If that is where you plant your flag, I see you as wishy washy and indecisive. Besides, walking or sitting in the middle of the road tends to get one run over.

When we dig down to find that bottom line, I believe Mr. Pavlovitz is trying to get to a place we all want to exist. One that is full of kindness, love, abundance, and void of envy, hatred, and poverty. The perceived difference for me and conservatives like me, is Mr. Pavlovitz and liberals like him think their way of getting there is the only way and if you’re not doing it their way, well, you’re a lesser being by comparison. In fact, you may be relegated to something white and undesirable measured only by how you vote or don’t…

Mr. Pavlovitz appears sanctimonious to some extent. But to him and those who share his views, I’m certain I’m the sanctimonious one. Or just a “bitter, ignorant cretin, Trump-asslicking loser” as articulated by singer/songwriter Richard Marx on Twitter when I disagreed with one of his angry hostile profanity laced political tweets about the president. In fairness I started the feud. I’m not proud of the tweet that started it and in hindsight wish I hadn’t reacted the way I did. See what happens when we assume “we’re” right and “they’re” wrong?

I really do believe I want what Mr. Pavlovitz wants and what Mr. Marx (the singer not Karl) wants and what everyone in the middle of that bell curve probably wants too.

I sincerely do.

If our political, social, and ideological positions didn’t get in the way, we’d likely be a lot closer than we are.

Written by DCL

October 23, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized