Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination

Feb 7, 2017

By Sarah Posner

leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.

The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.”

The draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act. The White House did not respond to requests for comment, but when asked Monday about whether a religious freedom executive order was in the works, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters, “I’m not getting ahead of the executive orders that we may or may not issue. There is a lot of executive orders, a lot of things that the president has talked about and will continue to fulfill, but we have nothing on that front now.”

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86 comments on “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination

  • Policy to protect religious freedom!? Lovely. A legalization of psychopaths and their actions.

     Section 1. Policy. The United States Constitution enshrines and
    protects the fundamental natural right to religious liberty. This
    Constitutional protection ensures that Americans and their religious
    organizations will not be coerced by the Federal Government into
    participating in activities that violate their consciences, and will
    remain free to express their viewpoints without suffering adverse
    treatment from the Federal Government. It shall be the policy of this
    Administration to protect religious freedom.

    Read as: 

    Section 1. Policy. The United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental natural right to psychopathological liberty. This Constitutional protection ensures that Americans and their psychopat organizations will not be coerced by the Federal Government into participating in activities that violate their activity, and will remain free to express their psychopat viewpoints without suffering adverse treatment from the Federal Government. It shall be the policy of this Administration to protect psychopats freedom.



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  • I do not believe in God or anything supernatural. However I do find the Muslims to be more dangerous to my personal safety and freedom to express myself than the Christians are. Therefore, although I do not agree with all of his policies, I support Trump. Because I would support anyone that promised and endeavoured to protect me from islamic violence and coercion. I believe that Christianity and religion is dying out, science offers the only reasonable way to think and science is only about physical reality. There are always going to be superstitious and ignorant people, and people without the intellect to understand how ridiculous religion is. Just as for the forseeable future there will be crime and violence. There is such a thing as human nature and I recommend the book “The Intelligence Paradox” by Satoshi Kanazawa, who is an evolutionary psychologist. We must never underestimate an enemy of course and have to continue to bash Christianity and defend science, but Islam is at present the greatest threat that civilization faces. As an ideology it is sworn to destroy us with violence.
    I am a right-wing conservative.



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  • Philip #2
    Feb 8, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I do not believe in God or anything supernatural.
    However I do find the Muslims to be more dangerous to my personal safety and freedom to express myself than the Christians are.

    That rather depends on your geographical location.
    In the USA you are much more likely to be shot by Christians!
    In Mexico – by Christian drug gangs,
    and in the Middle East by Islamic fundamentalists!

    Therefore, although I do not agree with all of his policies, I support Trump. Because I would support anyone that promised and endeavoured to protect me from Islamic violence and coercion.

    Unfortunately, that is why Trump won the presidency – people BELIEVED his propagandist promises, without properly scrutinising his lack of competence, his know-it-all-ignorance, bigotry, fantasy media hyped image, . . . .. . . . . . .
    and associations with religious fundamentalists, climate change deniers, rogue propagandist purveyors of false information, and conspiracy theorists! –
    which led to their appointments to take charge of departments where they have no competence and hold malevolent attitudes towards the specialist experts who run them!

    Habitual liars like Trump will promise anything which serves their hidden purposes, without any plan on how to responsibly or competently deliver it!

    Trump a;so has a long record of wrongly disputing legal rulings by judges and advice from other experts.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38876644

    In their latest submission to the appeals court, the two states says that lifting the suspension would “unleash chaos” and adversely affect their economies.

    They also lodged a statement by a host of national security experts – including former secretaries of state John Kerry and Madeleine Albright, and former CIA director Leon Panetta – which describes the travel ban as ineffective, dangerous and counterproductive.

    The actual terrorists who attacked the US on US soil were home grown, or as with 9/11 came from countries NOT on Trump’s list!
    (such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt)

    That is the key Trump characteristic – destructive ideological simplistic answers, which are unrelated to solving actual real-world problems!



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  • As an American woman with two daughters, the evangelical protestants and the Catholic church pose the much greater threat to our health and happiness than the muslims here do. There’s no comparison. Trump has every conservative and reactionary American peeing their pants in fear of ISIS etc when there is actually minute risk to us here from these groups. Fear based thinkers are suckers for Trump & co. and their fascist tactics. They need to improve their risk assessment skills.



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  • Alan4discussion, I understand your intense dislike for Trump, but you are flat out WRONG on why he got elected. Voter data makes the primary factor in Trump’s victory abundantly clear: people who voted for Obama TWICE flipped and voted for Trump, likely because they felt screwed by the democratic party over the course of 8 debt-doubling years.

    And let’s not kid ourselves about the horribly-flawed, colossally-corrupt candidate Trump was up against. To see Hillary Clinton’s corruption, one need look no further than the list of Clinton Global Initiative donors that has entirely dried up since her campaign loss. This organization, which is set to close on April 15th (lol), is geared for philanthropic goals. Her defeat should have no bearing on this organization. That it does speaks volumes. And if you think Hillary is clear of criminal investigation, think again. Jason Chaffetz IS coming for her.



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  • Michael Rohde #5
    Feb 8, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Alan4discussion, I understand your intense dislike for Trump,

    Your comments show that you really don’t!

    I dislike Trump for his gratuitous lying, his anti-expert attitudes, his selfish money-before people grasping attitudes, and his egotistical-know-it-all incompetence and assertive ignorance!

    but you are flat out WRONG on why he got elected. Voter data makes the primary factor in Trump’s victory abundantly clear: people who voted for Obama TWICE flipped and voted for Trump,

    The figures show a majority of the popular vote was against Trump! – and despite his claims and pretend calls for investigations, he has produced nothing credible to show otherwise.

    likely because they felt screwed by the democratic party over the course of 8 debt-doubling years.

    While I appreciate there was some dissatisfaction with Clinton as a candidate, it is a bit of a liberty to talk about Democrats and debt, after Bush ( according to Harvard) blew $4 to $6 trillion of the needless Iraq and Afghan wars – causing huge refugee problems in the first place!

    And let’s not kid ourselves about the horribly-flawed, colossally-corrupt candidate Trump was up against. To see Hillary Clinton’s corruption, one need look no further than the list of Clinton Global Initiative donors that has entirely dried up since her campaign loss.

    There is certainly corruption in US politics and with US lobbyists, but Trump’s refusal to separate his business interests (into blind trusts) from the presidency sets new lows in this!

    As I said in a reply to you on another thread –
    Not being an American I look at issues on their merits, and have no loyalties to either the Republican or Democratic Parties, so do not entertain unevidenced cheerleading for either party.



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  • Alan4discussion, I meant to say I understand THAT you dislike Trump, intensely. My bad.

    I did not say Trump won the popular vote, as you’ve insinuated above. My point stands: the biggest factor in Trump’s victory is twice-Obama voters flipped. As to why, is just my opinion.

    Yes, Trump needs to separate himself from his businesses. I think the reality of that is it can’t be done overnight. As you can see, the man is incredibly busy. He’s moving so fast, it’s damned near impossible to keep up with the news as the day rolls on. I’ve become addicted to checking it. It’s terrible.



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  • Michael Rohde #7
    Feb 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Alan4discussion, I meant to say I understand THAT you dislike Trump, intensely. My bad.

    I dislike dishonest people and especially dishonest politicians.
    I also dislike people who cause damage and suffering by their pig-headed assertive incompetence causing foolish decisions and wasted resources.

    I did not say Trump won the popular vote, as you’ve insinuated above. My point stands: the biggest factor in Trump’s victory is twice-Obama voters flipped. As to why, is just my opinion.

    I would suggest that false news and simply irresponsibly telling any audience what they would like to hear, along with pandering to any nutty groups he could find, was a major factor.

    Yes, Trump needs to separate himself from his businesses. I think the reality of that is it can’t be done overnight.

    He has not even started! He has made a half-hearted cosmetic token attempt, but still clearly knows when his decisions are likely to benefit or damage his personal business interests.
    Strangely, the countries whose citizens ACTUALLY WERE involved in the 9/11 attacks, but which have Trump hotels in them, are not on his banned list!

    As you can see, the man is incredibly busy. He’s moving so fast,

    Quite! Decisions which should be thought-through, checked and planned for weeks, are being rushed through two a day!

    it’s damned near impossible to keep up with the news as the day rolls on. I’ve become addicted to checking it. It’s terrible.

    So is much of the world! Not because they admire him, but because they regard him as recklessly dangerous!

    He is like some kid who has learned to drive on Grand Theft Auto, and now thinks he is the world’s best driver!
    Having scored zero on the hazard perception test, and acquired a powerful car, he sees no problems or risks arising from his style of driving or his speed!
    That does not mean the risks do not exist! – Only that he and his inexperienced beginner team, don’t see the problems and disasters looming!

    Having made it clear that Trump and Co. will ignore or sack anyone who gives them expert advice they don’t want to hear, the observers of the world are watching, and alternating from mocking laughter at comical incompetence, to serious worries about both immediate and long term damage to people and economies!



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  • Alan4discussion, I do think Trump has an ego problem, that often gets the best of him. I also think he lacks political tact, but in an age of political correctness, I really like it. I don’t believe he is anywhere near to being as dishonest and incompetent as you, the left, and mainstream media are constantly painting him to be.

    I laugh at anyone who thinks Donald Trump is more dishonest and crooked than Hillary Clinton.



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  • Michael Rohde #7
    Feb 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Yes, Trump needs to separate himself from his businesses. I think the reality of that is it can’t be done overnight.

    Far from separating his public office from his family interests, as you can see below, Trump – as president, is still making wild public comments and allegations to promote his family interests.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38912247

    Trump under fire in Nordstrom Ivanka row

    Mr Trump tweeted that “Ivanka has been treated so unfairly” by clothing retailer Nordstrom.

    A Democratic senator called the post “inappropriate” and an ex-White House ethics tsar dubbed it “outrageous”.

    Earlier this month Nordstrom became the fifth retailer to drop the Ivanka Trump clothing line, citing lack of sales.

    The move comes amid a boycott of all Trump products, which activists have dubbed #GrabYourWallet, in reference to a 2005 comment Mr Trump made about women’s bodies.

    A spokesman for Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey said the senator “feels it is unethical and inappropriate for the president to lash out at a private company for refusing to enrich his family”.

    Norm Eisen, who served as ethics tsar under President Barack Obama, called the move “outrageous” and advised Nordstrom to sue Mr Trump under the California Unfair Competition Law.

    In announcing their decision six days ago, Nordstrom said the decision was based on the brand’s performance, which is what the firm repeated on Wednesday.

    “Sales of the brand have steadily declined to the point where it didn’t make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now,” the company said in a statement, adding that Ivanka Trump was personally informed of the decision in early January.

    The tweet, which was sent by Mr Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account was then retweeted by the official @POTUS account.

    Shares in the retailer fell 0.7%, before rallying slightly by midday.

    Earlier this week, First Lady Melania Trump came under fire after she re-filed a lawsuit against the Daily Mail over false allegations that she once worked as an escort.

    Her lawyers accused the news website of trying to deny her a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to profit from her position as “one of the most photographed women in the world”.

    Critics accused the First Lady of improperly seeking to profit financially from her White House position.



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  • Philip #2
    Feb 8, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I do not believe in God or anything supernatural. However I do find the Muslims to be more dangerous to my personal safety and freedom to express myself than the Christians are. Therefore, although I do not agree with all of his policies,
    I support Trump. Because I would support anyone that promised and endeavoured to protect me from islamic violence and coercion.

    Perhaps Trump’s action to abolish restrictions on Americans with mental health problems ” RIGHT to buy guns”, will make you feel safer! 🙂

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38912559

    An Arizona man has been convicted of providing support to so-called Islamic State for helping two men in an attempted attack in Texas in 2015.

    Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, an American-born Muslim convert, was sentenced to 30 years for what a judge called an “extraordinarily serious” crime.

    His two friends were shot dead after opening fire at an event that featured cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

    A security guard was wounded but no-one else was injured in the attack.

    Kareem is the second person in the US to be convicted of charges supporting the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.

    Better secure borders, will sure help to keep those gun-toting American Islamic terrorists and psychotic school-killer extremists in !! 🙂



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  • Alan4discussion, a bill that prevents the “mentally ill” from possessing firearms sounds ideal. The bill you’re refencing, however, defines “mentally ill” in a rather bullshit manner. This is precisely why the bill got the boot.

    As for gun laws in general, let’s consider Chicago. It has some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S. Those laws are doing a great job in preventing bad guys from committing gun crimes, right?



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  • Alan4discussion, cut the nonsense. Just because dangerous people are already within our borders, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t secure them.

    The more anti-Trump rhetoric I read on this site, the happier I am he won the election. I admit, this isn’t right.



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  • IF you don’t think you will hear anti-Trump opinions on this site, you must be on the wrong site. This site deals with science and fact based conversation and opinion.
    Your opinions do nothing to bring either one to the table.
    Neither does Trump. He has nothing to say about reality. This isn’t some game you can play with.



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  • And dangerous people? That would be the assholes who are attempting to take away peoples health coverage which will result in thousands of deaths.
    Who cares about Benghazi? Four killed a decade ago?
    And what about the thousands of Veterans who have their lives ended because the VA funds were cut by a republican congress? .
    FROM A AMERICAN VETERAN!



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  • alf1200, the very reason I come to this site is to have my opinions eviscerated in the interest of better evaluating my perspective. People here, on average, are extremely intelligent. I am a Trump supporter, but I’m not the type of supporter that is going to blindly rally behind everything he says or does. I’ve plenty of issues with him as president, and still regard him as a gamble…albeit one FAR less dangerous than Hillary Clinton.

    I’m sorry to have inspired your outburst, but your claim that I’ve brought no facts to the table is horseshit. As uniformed as my opinions might be, I’m open to being entirely wrong. And, of course, you’re more than welcome to dislike, disregard, or trash them as you please.

    I feel that many Trump questions aimed my way pretend I had a perfect presidential candidate to choose from. Very few members here support or like Trump, I get it. But comparing him to Hitler, denouncing everything from his mouth as lies, and claiming he has zero touch with reality is going way too far. Donald Trump has been in the public eye for decades, yet he was never labeled a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a bigot, a fascist, etc. This suddenly changed when mainstream media came into the picture and disseminated their narrative.

    As an American Veteran, I sincerely thank you for your service. But I resent your dismissal of the Benghazi scandal. It’s not that 4 American soldiers died there. It’s that they died unnecessarily with respect to Hillary Clinton’s piss-poor handling of the matter, leading up to and after the event.

    Why Trump? Because not Hillary. The lesser of two evils, by a long shot, to understate the matter.



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  • So the Vets that died and are dying today from lack of coverage doesn’t mean shit to you?
    It was already discussed and found NO evidence of Hillary being at fault.
    Benghazi was and is a lie already struck down by the GOP themselves.
    How the fuck does thousands of Vets lives not equal four fucking lives? Are you insane? You call that “necessary”?
    Did you serve? If you did, you are a traitor to the constitution you gave an oath to. It doesn’t end when you get out. You would let thousands of your fellow Vets die so four of you could survive? You know what the rest of the Vets would call that.



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  • Woah…woah…wow. If you think the lives of Veterans don’t matter to me, then I’ve either completely fumbled in my communication, or you’ve misread it.

    Trump specifically called out care for Veterans in his speech after winning the election, and also did so in his inaugural speech. In both cases, I deeply appreciated him doing so. And I’m going to hold him accountable for keeping those promises.

    alf1200, so long as we have a single Veteran in need of healthcare or any other form of assistance, I’m adamantly opposed to a single dollar going to another country, or an illegal alien. This position is one of the reasons I’m hopeful about Trump.

    I apologize if you thought my commentary on Benghazi was meant to trivialize the lives and service of other Veterans. This was absolutely not my intent.

    My grandfather served in WW2, and my father was a Vietnam Veteran. I’ve been a contributing VFW member for more years than I can remember.

    I hope this clarifies the matter between us.



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  • Michael Rohde #12
    Feb 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Alan4discussion,
    a bill that prevents the “mentally ill” from possessing firearms sounds ideal.

    Nope! It described them in terms of those receiving benefits, which would include some people who were low risk.

    The bill you’re refencing, however, defines “mentally ill” in a rather bullshit manner.

    I see from your language that you offer a detailed analysis of the short-comings of the law 🙂

    This is precisely why the bill got the boot.

    Nope! It got the boot because the Trump administration is pandering to the NRA, and is too impetuous, lazy, and incompetent, to improve the legislation and make it better targetted.

    Abolishing it will allow SOME very dangerous people to buy and use guns.

    As for gun laws in general, let’s consider Chicago. It has some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S.

    Chicago has a long tradition of gangsterism which has motivated imposing those gun laws.
    However, guns are still much too readily available, and often in the hands of criminals, the mentally unstable, frightened incompetents, and children.
    It is part of the US right -wing approach of using brute-force and stupidity, instead of effective regulation and enforcement.

    Those laws are doing a great job in preventing bad guys from committing gun crimes, right?

    In the UK and Europe they are very effective in keeping gun crime at a much lower level than in the US!

    The 2002 figures are a little dated but make a clear point!

    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Murders-with-firearms-per-million#map

    Interesting observations about Crime > Murders with firearms per million


    United States ranked second for murders with firearms per million amongst High income OECD countries in 2002.

    Slovakia ranked first for murders with firearms per million amongst European Union in 2002.

    All of the top 3 countries by murders with firearms per million are Christian.

    United Kingdom ranked last for murders with firearms per million amongst Group of 7 countries (G7) in 2002.

    South Africa ranked first for murders with firearms per million amongst Emerging markets in 2002.

    26 of the bottom 36 countries by murders with firearms per million are European.

    Albania ranked second for murders with firearms per million amongst NATO countries in 2002.

    5 of the top 7 countries by murders with firearms per million are Hot countries.

    Colombia ranked first for murders with firearms per million amongst Catholic countries in 2002.

    Spain ranked second last for murders with firearms per million amongst Eurozone in 2002.

    2002 is as things were before the US intervention in Iraq and other interventions and arming of rebel groups, in Syria, Libya etc., liberated ISIS, from “repressive” governments!



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  • Trump is a repub. The Repubs cut the VA funds. Do your homework.
    I, as a Vet don’t want a fucking penny if we are to act in this manner.
    We will NEVER have no Vets in need. A “single” Vet is a ghost I’m not going to follow. \
    Nothing you have stated is logical. Trump promises are lies. We already know that.
    You haven’t been listening, or you have “alternative facts”.
    We don’t use them here.
    If the Moderators take action, you must know you have violated the terms of this site.



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  • Your Trump states the crime rate has had in increase for the last 43 years.
    Here is a obvious lie that a fourteen years would know,,,,the crime rate has fallen, police are safer,,,,,for the last 43 years. He is counting on the ignorance of the public.



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  • alf1200, I’m afraid you can’t see past your own anger in this matter. You’re the one that literally invented me not caring about Veterans. I stated no such thing, and hold no such position. As I stated above, my grandfather served in WW2, my father served in Vietnam, and I’ve been a contributing VFW member for years.

    Yet here you are mouthing off about my supposed disregard for Veterans and calling for my membership to be revoked.

    Is this logical?

    If it is, then I am indeed posting on the wrong site and will happily take my ball and play elsewhere.



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  • Michael Rohde #13
    Feb 8, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Alan4discussion, cut the nonsense. Just because dangerous people are already within our borders, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t secure them.

    If you read and understand my posts you will recognise that I advocate proper border security, but NOT crude incompetent Trump Executive Orders, which are widely recognised by security experts as ineffective, and widely recognised by legal experts and judges, to be unconstitutional.
    Ad-hominem attacks or putting party labels on judges, as a means of conning the gullible into mentally dismissing their rulings, , is not a reasonable person’s answer to judges clearly stating what legal documents actually say!

    The more anti-Trump rhetoric I read on this site,

    Oh dear! More vacuous rhetoric, psychological projection, and parroting of Trump-speak “alternative facts”, in the absence of an evidenced, reasoned, analysis, and itemised reply answering the substance of the comments!

    the happier – I am he won the election. I admit, this isn’t right.

    .. . . but you won’t take off the ideologist blinkers, stop making lame excuses for Trump, and look at the facts?



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  • Alan4discussion, we’ve already discussed the lawfulness of the travel ban in the other thread. I would agree that it was poorly executed on behalf of the Trump Administration. And I have no doubt that many security experts disagree with its effectiveness, while many judges disagree with its legality. We’ll see what the courts decide. And if there’s better measures than can be implemented, then I hope we get them in place for the sake of citizen safety.

    What fact(s) is it that I’m not seeing?

    Enlighten me.



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  • Michael Rohde #20
    Feb 9, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Woah…woah…wow. If you think the lives of Veterans don’t matter to me, then I’ve either completely fumbled in my communication, or you’ve misread it.

    Trump specifically called out care for Veterans in his speech after winning the election, and also did so in his inaugural speech. In both cases, I deeply appreciated him doing so. And I’m going to hold him accountable for keeping those promises.

    alf1200, so long as we have a single Veteran in need of healthcare or any other form of assistance, I’m adamantly opposed to a single dollar going to another country, or an illegal alien. This position is one of the reasons I’m hopeful about Trump.

    If you had looked back at some of Alf’s posts on earlier discussions, you would realise that he is a VET and a wheel-chair user with injuries.
    He has bemoaned the cuts made by Republicans to medical and support services, which unlike Trump’s spouted pseudo-facts, are real!

    If you had looked more deeply into my quote of the Harvard costing of Bush’s Afghan and Iraq wars, you would have seen that the tax-payers $4 – $6 trillion debt of borrowed and committed money spent, included costs of SOME health-care for injured veterans.

    It is comical that you refer to this sort of evidence based detail as “rhetoric”, while you repeat “alternative facts” which have no more basis than Trump and Co. made them up and then put them on twitter or in some gutter-press publication! !



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  • Michael Rohde #29
    Feb 9, 2017 at 4:08 am

    Alan4discussion, we’ve already discussed the lawfulness of the travel ban in the other thread. I would agree that it was poorly executed on behalf of the Trump Administration.

    I gave you a quote showing his earlier contempt for the law and failed appeals, in Scotland!

    And I have no doubt that many security experts disagree with its effectiveness, while many judges disagree with its legality.

    I think you just made up that false equivalence! – Back to wish-thinking in place of critical thinking and investigation!
    There are right answers and wrong answers.
    With this administration wrong, false, answers, are presented to the uninformed gullible, as “alternative facts” This does not result in black becoming white in the real world!

    The Attorney General Sally Yates, was sacked by Trump for advising him his actions were unconstitutional. He has since slagged off two judges who have criticised his ban!
    When ordinary citizens slag-off judges like this, they are slung into jail for contempt of court!
    This simply illustrates Trump’s contempt for any laws he does not like or which affect his businesses.

    The judiciary is a co-equal branch of the US government, along with Congress and the president’s executive branch, under the Constitution.



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  • Alan4discussion, is it not the case that Trump is at odds with the GOP in some manners? Did he not alienate the GOP during his campaign? Is it logical to assume that since Republicans cut VA funding in the past, and Trump ran as a Republican candidate, he will therefore further harm Veterans despite his explicit promises that he will do otherwise? Is it logical to assume Trump is lying on this campaign promise given that he is in the process of trying to deliver on nearly all of his campaign promises? You do realize Trump made some progress on bringing jobs back to this country before he even took office, right?

    I appreciate the backstory on alf1200, and I definitely appreciate his circumstance. If you value logic and discussion, perhaps you might point out to him that I never expressed or insinuated disregard for Veterans. You might also note that I’m a contributing VFW member, and come from a family who has served.



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  • Michael Rohde #32
    Feb 9, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Alan4discussion, is it not the case that Trump is at odds with the GOP in some manners? Did he not alienate the GOP during his campaign?
    Is it logical to assume that since Republicans cut VA funding in the past, and Trump ran as a Republican candidate, he will therefore further harm Veterans despite his explicit promises that he will do otherwise? Is it logical to assume Trump is lying on this campaign promise given that he is in the process of trying to deliver on nearly all of his campaign promises?

    Trump is at odds and in dispute with thousands of people where he has made promises and failed to deliver! That’s why they sue him and his companies!

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/01/donald-trump-lawsuits-legal-battles/84995854/

    3,500 legal actions in federal and state courts during the past 3 decades!
    70 new cases in the last year!
    He has been involved in more than 100 tax disputes.
    He doesn’t hesitate to deploy wealth and legal firepower against adversaries with limited resources, such as home owners.
    He sometimes refuses to pay brokers, lawyers and vendors.

    You do realize Trump made some progress on bringing jobs back to this country before he even took office, right?

    Trump sees votes from miners and oil workers, so he is promoting short-term employment in obsolete dead-end industries, and denying the devastating threats of climate change.
    The high tech companies he should be promoting have just criticised his ban on expert immigrants as damaging their developments of jobs and services for Americans!



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  • Michael Rohde #33
    Feb 9, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Alan4discussion,
    Yates was fired for disobeying a direct order from the president.

    Yates was fired for refusing an order to endorse actions, which as a legal expert she recognised as illegal and unconstitutional!

    Competent political leaders listen to expert advice and act on it, but the Trump administration is largely made up of incompetent yes-men who contradict expert advice and make up “alternative facts”!



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  • Alan4discussion, I see you avoided my questions only to present irrelevant legal statistics concerning Trump’s past businesses. For the sake of discussion, this is unfortunate.

    Before Trump took office, he reached an agreement with Carrier that saved around 800 U.S. jobs. He therefore delivered on a campaign promise before he was sworn in. These Carrier jobs are not harmful to the environment.



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  • Michael Rohde #33
    Feb 9, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Alan4discussion, Yates was fired for disobeying a direct order from the president.

    Even Trump’s own Republican nomination to the Supreme Court is critical of his outrageous comments on judges and the legal profession!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38914598

    Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court has described the president’s attacks on the judiciary as “demoralising” and “disheartening”.



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  • Alan4discussion, you apparently don’t understand chain-of-command. When Trump ordered Yates to implement his travel ban, he wasn’t asking her to consider its lawfulness. Nor was it in her authority to do so. Once again, she was fired because she refused a direct order from the president. If the travel ban is not upheld in court, Yates’ dismissal will still be justified, even though her belief in its unlawfulness will be proven correct.



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  • Michael Rohde #36
    Feb 9, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Before Trump took office, he reached an agreement with Carrier that saved around 800 U.S. jobs.
    He therefore delivered on a campaign promise before he was sworn in. These Carrier jobs are not harmful to the environment.

    I have not heard of this relatively small “job rescue” in relation to about 121.5 million US people employed (2015 figure).
    Please give details.



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  • Michael Rohde #38
    Feb 9, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Alan4discussion, you apparently don’t understand chain-of-command. When Trump ordered Yates to implement his travel ban, he wasn’t asking her to consider its lawfulness.

    It is clear you have some simplistic confused notion of legal arrangements.
    Elected officials usually ASK law officers for legal advice.
    They don’t make up stuff and then DICTATE TO law officers or judges, what they think the law SHOULD be to suit their political purposes!

    Nor was it in her authority to do so.

    It is a statutory duty of legal advisers to give honest, competent, legal advice to all departments, and to avoid becoming involved in illegal or unconstitutional activities!
    Trump has a long record of time wasting belligerent litigation, with cases which have no merit and no legal basis! – to eventually be thrown out by appeal courts – if opponents do not first run out of money for legal fees, and give up valid claims.

    The principal duties of the Attorney General are to:
    Represent the United States in legal matters. …
    Furnish advice and opinions, formal and informal, on legal matters
    to the President and the Cabinet and to the heads of the executive departments and agencies of the government, as provided by law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Attorney_General



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  • Micheal #37

    If the travel ban is not upheld in court, Yates’ dismissal will still
    be justified, even though her belief in its unlawfulness will be
    proven correct

    Trumps credibility takes another bashing, an election is called, a new government comes in and they give her a meddle for standing up to a known tyrant.
    .



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  • Michael Rohde #35
    Feb 9, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Before Trump took office, he reached an agreement with Carrier that saved around 800 U.S. jobs.

    A pathetic photo op for Trump which involved the state of Indiana bribing Carrier with $7 million in tax breaks or about $10,000 per job and which is of absolutely zero impact on the nation as a whole. The unemployment rate under Obama after 6 consecutive years of job gains was at almost record lows of 4.7%.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/unemployment-rate

    It was only briefly lower in the last 50 years at the end of Clinton’s term before Bush destroyed everything.

    So let’s see what it’s like in a couple of years time under Trump, if there is actually still a USA in existence for unemployment rates to be measured in.



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  • For those who are not completely fact immune, which is sadly a large proportion of the American electorate it seems, there is a uniform story of how the economy has performed under Rempublican and Democrat administrations. Go right back to the 1970s if you like which is about as far back as even semi modern global conditions of technology and world markets apply, and look at unemployment, the national debt and the stock market.

    They all crash under Republicans and soar back under Democrats. There’s a very simple reason. Republicans promise the earth but all they ever do is give huge tax breaks to the super rich and special interests which they call “trickle down economics”, that decimates tax revenues, then they talk about small government but always vastly increase spending.

    Unemployment peaked under Saint Reagan in 1982 at 10.8% before he finally changed his tax policies. It soared again under Bush 1, came down to its lowest modern level of just under 4% by the end of Clinton’s term and then exploded under Bush 2 and the recession.

    Same with the Dow. Up from 3,000 to 11,000 under Clinton, down to 7,000 after Bush 2 and up to 20,000 under Obama. Same with the national debt other than that Obama was hamstrung by the poison pill left to him by Bush with wars to pay for and massive stimulus packages needed to reverse Bush’s recession. Go and do your own homework. All the data is on the internet.

    Why Americans fall for Republican bullshit time after time and vote against their own interests is a mystery to me. However nothing has ever been so bleak and full of fear as it is now under the insane dictator who is destroying everything he touches after just a few weeks in office.



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  • I do hope Michael Rohde will stick around over the coming months. His account of Trump policy and its delivery is going to be fascinating.

    Michael, can you tell us or remind us of your political journey. For instance, would you describe yourself as a Libertarian (maybe libertarian), say? I simply can’t apprehend your sense of values (literally what is valuable to you). It may be because as a European I come from a culture way to the left of American norms.



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  • Just a WUM, any country which allows it’s citizens to buy assault rifles and then wonders why so many more of it’s citizens get killed in mass shootings, is a barbaric and morally corrupt place to live. In Britain we have probably the same amount of potential killers , but it’s a lot harder to obtain a lethal armoury! Those seeking to buy assault rifles are easy to track and is the one reason why Britain hasn’t had a Mumbai style Muslim fundamentalist attack.



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  • alf

    I know you are aggravated but there’s great value in your ability to contribute your knowledge and discussion of your experience on the topic of veteran’s rights and the situation as it stands. On reread, I believe that M.R. has apologized to you and is sincere. You have first hand knowledge of veterans’ affairs that apparently no one else around here has. When this administration goes after reproductive rights and ACA of course I’ll be the one flipping out so I can’t blame you for doing so yourself. But then, take a breath and power through the discussion. It’s important!



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  • My dear Phil (others):

    This is my assessment. I have said, many times on this site, that every human being has a certain amount of Will and Reason. Oftentimes they are at odds with each other, are opposed to each other. When the Will is in the service of Reason, then Reason prevails (and it always should when dealing with issues such as the ones being discussed here); and it is always at the expense of what one might wants or feel. When Reason is in the service of Will then you get Passion and Unreason at the expense of Reason. You cannot reason with someone who is not amenable to reason, and a person devoid of Reason is incapable of having anything but the most vulgar and rudimentary value (such as loyalty to nation or party or leader) This condition (the predominance of will over reason) is very hard to upset. I am not a compete pessimist; I said “difficult”, not “impossible.

    I am not alluding exclusively to Mr. Rhodes here; he does seem somewhat recalcitrant, but the good gentleman has also expressed concern for the nominations of Pruitt and DeVos on another thread. So he does, I think, have some higher values and principles.

    My (“wacky”) 19th Century theories are being validated as time goes by, as you can see.

    Michael,

    Hi. Doesn’t it seem as if Trump is heading towards authoritarianism? Is that what we want? He is denigrating the courts and the press and wants people to listen only to him!! I heard they want to abolish a department that helps prevent hacking of our voting machines. If you believe in Democracy (and maybe you don’t) you should be a bit worried. And Sessions, an opponent of civil rights and voting rights, is going to “be tough on crime.” Well crime goes up when income and wealth inequality is up, and the appeal for Law and Order is the absolute mark of incipient fascism. Don’t kid yourself that it isn’t. (By the way, crime is not up. Only in the alternate fact world of Trump.)

    You mentioned the Carrier Deal. That seemed more like a stunt than a sustainable policy. I could be wrong. (I won’t mention what paper this is from, as that might trigger a knee-jerk reaction. No knee-jerk reactions are permitted here. (Kidding; we all have them.) This is part of a nuanced analysis – as opposed to just saying that “Trump saved jobs.”

    From a PR perspective, this is genius. If you want to demonstrate you care about blue-collar workers, what better way than a big televised announcement surrounded by actual blue-collar workers who will be keeping their jobs?

    We don’t know yet what incentives Pence has promised, but it’s worth noting that this is really nothing new. State and local governments offer financial inducements to keep companies from moving all the time. Trump is following a wheezy old playbook here, but even at that he can only do this because of the lucky coincidence that his vice president happens to still be governor of Indiana for a few weeks longer. [sic]

    Compared to Carrier’s 1,000 jobs, Obama’s auto bailout saved something like 250,000 jobs at General Motors and Chrysler, and 1 million to 2 million total jobs throughout the entire automotive supply chain. Just sayin’.

    Needless to say, showering incentives on manufacturing companies to stay in America is not a sustainable national manufacturing strategy. And anyway, aren’t Republicans opposed to the government picking winners and losers?

    Carrier is a big company, but it’s owned by United Technologies, a gigantic defense contractor that does a lot of business with the federal government—soon to be headed [sic] by one Donald J. Trump. […]

    All that said, this is, once again, a genius PR move. Donald promised he’d keep those Carrier jobs in Indianapolis, and by God, he delivered



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  • Dan

    the good gentleman has also expressed concern for the nominations of Pruitt and DeVos on another thread. So he does, I think, have some higher values and principles.

    Quite so. But this is why he is worth understanding for me and others.

    Sorry, but the will, reason, passion accounts don’t map to useful things for me with any clarity. I think I could broadly agree if I squint. The term “will” is close to meaningless for me. And “reason” depends critically on value, so that tests of success or compliance may be validated or not. Reason in relation to human experience must, therefore, depend on agreed personal values and these are the essential ingredients of any negotiable mutuality. Hence my question to Michael.



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  • P.S. “most vulgar and rudimentary value.”

    Forgot the (letter) S. Values.

    Lauwie, did you watch Maddow last night? “Stop lying to us.” she said. Bravo. That part at the end was chilling. The Repubs want to get rid of a dept. that works on preventing voting machine hacking! AAAH!

    A lot of snow where I am and where you are (Boston). So what’s all this crud about global warming? Brrrr Freezing out.

    Will and Reason. The presentation and elucidation of the antithesis between Will and Reason was one of S’s many great contributions.



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  • Dan

    You cannot reason with someone who is not amenable to reason, and a person devoid of Reason is incapable of having anything but the most (vulgar and rudimentary) (basic of) values.

    I agree but in the second bracket phrasing.

    But it is precisely this basic (and essentially) hardwired disposition towards, say, loyalty as a mitigator of personal anxiety about change, that is what makes the development of reasoned opinions even possible. (This being my point.)

    As you know I claim “my disinterest in loyalty but rather a keen concern for fairness to others” is not a reasoned position, but an effectively innate proclivity. Whilst I may argue the case using reason, I am much happier finding and using evidence of the efficacy of fairness.



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  • These “religious freedom” bills have been popping up all over the country, mostly in response to legalizing same-sex marriage.
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765685548/The-status-of-religious-freedom-bills-from-2016-across-America.html

    Worth noting is the response both from the citizens of the states effected, and the ACLU. These bills are not doing well when held up against the Constitution.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/09/us/mississippi-religious-freedom-bill-lawsuit/

    I would be interested in hearing from our resident Trump supporter on this particular subject. Michael, I for one am glad you’ve chosen to give us your side of the issues.



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  • My dear Phil,

    But it is precisely this basic (and essentially) hardwired disposition towards, say, loyalty as a mitigator of personal anxiety about change, that is what makes the development of reasoned opinions even possible. (This being my point.)

    I don’t see the connection between blind loyalty based on passion and the development of reason. Is loyalty a stage? Yes, I am sure it is.—But this kind of loyalty is a primitive emotion, belongs to an earlier time, and is antithetical to reason and good judgment. Do some have to go back before they go forward? And what guarantee is there that they must go forward? Not sure I got your point. (Sorry if I appear obtuse.)



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  • Dan, my old chum, I think I have started something I won’t have time to finish.

    the development of reason

    is not at all what I intended to discuss but how extant reason is used in the matter of human concerns. Rather

    the development of reasoned opinions

    depends critically upon our personal, indeed signature, dispositions, especially moral (valuing) dispositions. These, in no sense,

    belong[s] to an earlier time

    but underlie us for the duration of our lives undergoing only slow evolution if at all. They are our subconscious judges of the worthy and unworthy directing reason itself. (Such change as does occur in these heuristics is most often that increase in age related anxiety that moves folk to the disabling right, away from cultural inventiveness and towards cultural conservation and those best remembered times of childhood.)

    Cheers for now. Hope you are well. Hope, some day soon you will see Vicki’s point that the Dems need to be seen as better equipped and practical deliverers of whatever it is that Trump promised (beneath the victimizing of others, a better share of the cake), so that a true dissatisfaction with him can more rapidly and sustainably develop.



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  • Michael Rohde #38
    Feb 9, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Alan4discussion, you apparently don’t understand chain-of-command.

    Mmmmm!

    When Trump ordered Yates to implement his travel ban, he wasn’t asking her to consider its lawfulness.

    If you are driving a truck which is not fit and road legal, and your boss told you to drive it with a dangerous inflammable load, perhaps he wasn’t asking you to consider its lawfulness.

    Nor was it in her authority to do so.

    Is it in “your authority” as a responsible driver, to refuse until the dangerous faults are fixed? – Or would you just drive if with dodgy brakes and defective steering?

    Once again, she was fired because she refused a direct order from the president.

    After the crash, spillage, and a few deaths and injuries, try telling the policeman who investigates, that you that you had to take the dangerous truck among people and traffic, because you were not asked to consider its lawfulness, and it was a direct order from the boss!

    I think you would be banned from driving – and possibly end up in jail!
    Professionals are expected to take responsibility for their decisions!



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  • Breaking News!

    Trump loses court battle to reinstate (stupid) travel ban.

    Phil,

    I may have misunderstood you. I just think that the peculiar species of loyalty that so many Republicans exhibit is contemptible, and irrational. It is something that must be overcome (if possible), rather than accepted as an unalterable and necessary fact of human psychic life. I don’t see why it is a pre-requisite for the development of reasoned opinions. That is all I wanted to say and ask.

    Loyalty can also be a noble quality.

    I still think that what I said above, in my poorly written comment #47, about will and reason, has merit. Keep it in mind the next time you are trying desperately to reason with a stubborn right winger or a creationist or a racist. You will see that they WILL (an apt word) not listen. Keep it in mind.

    Cheers for now.



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  • A US appeals court has rejected a bid to reinstate President Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from seven mainly Muslim countries.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38927175

    By issuing a unanimous, unsigned opinion, the judges avoid accusations of partisan bias, as one of the three was a Republican appointee.

    But that won’t stop Trump from making that sort of ridiculous Twittering assertion of his “alternative facts” as substitute for presenting the credible case he does not have!!
    After all!
    Who would have thunk that one initial judge and three appeal court judges, might know the law? 🙂



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  • Dan

    you are trying desperately to reason with a stubborn right winger

    and so you argue from their perspective, their values, and show them their anxieties are an engineered contrivance by others. For those less able to manage argument (and there are very many) you work to reduce other anxieties that heap up on them particularly.

    Compassion breeds compassion. The better off, that are not parasites, are the positive actors here. Americans are so fncking punitive (UK next on the list). An early Simpsons summed up America for me. They are all in therapy together with the ability to inflict electric shocks on each other if the other said or did something they disliked. Springfield is eventually plunged into a blackout by the resultant, reflexive, punishing power demand.

    Loyalty is utterly rational in the face of a perceived major threat. It is this latter that you must seek to dismantle.



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  • “An early Simpsons summed up America for me. They are all in therapy together with the ability to inflict electric shocks on each other if the other said or did something they disliked.”

    Phil, I guess you are recommending the Simpsons for the anger riddled masses so we can learn from their errors? Sounds better than any other “entertainment” going on in the US right now. (or therapy)



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  • Michael Rohde #36
    Feb 9, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Alan4discussion, I see you avoided my questions only to present irrelevant legal statistics concerning Trump’s past businesses.
    For the sake of discussion, this is unfortunate.

    I think this illustrates the problem with Trump’s and your mode of thinking.
    Rather than being “unfortunate”, or “irrelevant”, considering past records (@#34) of habits and capabilities, is essential in judging predicted outcomes of a politician with an atrocious past record, making promises.

    Pretending that professional knowledge and expertise does not exist, and that all opinions are decided on the basis of bias and ad-hominem attacks, seems to be illustrating your style of arguing and dogged cheerleading for Trump – right or wrong!
    Projecting this mode of thinking on to professional legal advisers and rational thinkers, is simply denial of evidence based rationality and informed expert judgement.
    It simply shows a lack of understanding of the techniques of rational debate which competent people use to arrive at correct decisions – eliminating the sort of foolish errors which are constantly made by Trump impetuously rushing into his ill-considered actions!

    Trump’s past record of behaviour is VERY relevant to his present conduct, and the likelihood of him honouring assurances or taking competent actions.

    He is simply refusing to look at evidence, present evidence, or properly evaluate the effects of his orders, so he blunders on, – hoping that some other judges will randomly come up with a different ruling, or that some other court can be persuaded or corrupted, into contradicting the four judges in two courts, who have told Trump his ban is unconstitutional, dysfunctional, disruptive. ineffectual, and wrong!

    The short time it took Trump to tweet a challenge, disputing the ruling, would indicate that he made no effort to reconsider the merits of the issues which the judges had carefully looked at and thought through, so he merely produced another knee-jerk denial of the expert advice he should have listened to in the first place – rather than ridiculously sacking his legal advisor for giving competent advice he did not like!

    It is the essence of his incompetence, that this know-it-all, refuses to make effective use of expert advice, and preserves his incompetence by refusing to learn!



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  • I see Ms. (foot-in-mouth “alternative-facts”) Kellyanne Conway, along with Trump, has been breaking the legal ethical rules on separating the state from the president’s personal and family financial interests!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38925753

    The standards chief of the US Congress says a senior Trump aide was “wrong, wrong, wrong” to promote Ivanka Trump products on live television.

    Jason Chaffetz, a Republican who heads the oversight committee in Congress, said the promotion was “clearly over the line, unacceptable”.

    Trump aide Kellyanne Conway had said on Fox News: “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”

    Her comment came after retailer Nordstrom dropped Ivanka’s clothing line, citing a lack of sales.

    In response, President Donald Trump tweeted to say his daughter had been treated “so unfairly” by the retailer.

    The White House said on Thursday that the president “absolutely” continued to support Ms Conway, despite intense criticism of her remark by politicians.

    Classic Trump! Legally wrong, but assertively unrepentant, lacking self criticism, in denial, and refusing to recognise the need for correction of errors! – Dumbell Trump! the only man in step! 🙂

    Federal ethics rules prevent White House employees giving an “endorsement of any product, service or enterprise”.

    Mr Chaffetz said the White House should notify the Office of Government Ethics so it could initiate an inquiry. There have been numerous concerns over possible conflicts of interest for White House staff.

    He said he and his Democratic counterpart would write to Mr Trump.

    “It needs to be dealt with,” he told the Associated Press. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

    Ah! But “laws and Federal Ethics Rules”, are part of that legally required government administration:- or as Trump portrays it, “that evil establishment bureaucracy”, which Trump contemptuously chooses to ignore!

    Ivanka Trump does not have a fixed role in the White House, but has been a regular fixture since her father’s inauguration.
    Her husband, Jared Kushner, is a key Trump adviser.
    Ivanka Trump gave up operating control – but not ownership – of her businesses after her father’s election.

    “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” Ms Conway told the Fox and Friends show in an interview from the White House briefing room. “I’m going to go get some myself today. I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody.

    Her comments came only days after she was lampooned for citing the “Bowling Green massacre”, which never happened, while trying to justify the president’s controversial immigration ban.



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  • Phil #57

    Yes, I see.

    And yet, compassion, while it does breed compassion, cannot create it out of nothing. But we can leave that aside for now. Suffice it to say that I have always maintained, as you know, that while environmental influences do play a considerable role, compassion, not unlike intellect, is something that we are born with. We cannot know how much a person is capable of achieving and feeling (mentally and morally respectively); but at a certain point we all must conclude, sadly, that this man or that man will never be able to master, say the law, or physics; and this man or that man will never look at us as his brother; he will regard us – eternally – with indifference or hostility even, as the Other. For these intellectual and moral differences amongst us are inborn. No, I cannot prove this; but it has the advantage of being supported by the experience of the strongest of impressions.

    Again, try breeding compassion the next time you are forced to look at the face of a man filled with hate. A psychopath, you say? Perhaps. Very possibly a psychopath. Perhaps a bad (selfish, egotistic) man. Oftentimes it is both.

    But yes, compassion and understanding do breed compassion, and this has not been recognized enough.

    As for these theories and reservations of mine concerning potentiality vis-a-vis the human character (in a moral sense), they have rarely been met with agreement or sympathy by anyone; and my theory will not be agreed upon by you any time soon. Nor should it be; I cannot, as I said, prove what I claim to be, in all likelihood, a harsh and bitter truth.

    Enjoy your week-end.

    Bye for now.



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  • Trump’s arbitrary half-baked orders, are coming up against more and more legal challenges.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38933108

    Donald Trump’s travel ban faces a fresh legal challenge, a day after it suffered an appeals court setback.
    Lawyers for the state of Virginia are arguing in a federal court there is “overwhelming evidence” the policy “resulted from animus toward Muslims”.

    On Thursday, the appeals court said the Trump administration failed to offer “any evidence” to justify the measure.

    But the seven-nation ban has not been struck down; it is just in limbo while courts debate its legality.

    It is one of a dozen lawsuits now moving through the US court system against the Trump administration’s policy.

    A federal court in the Washington DC suburb of Alexandria is holding a hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction on aspects of the ban.

    The case is being brought on behalf of travellers detained at Dulles International Airport, or denied entry after the ban went into effect.

    Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s spokesman said it would be “the most in-depth examination of the merits of the arguments against the ban”.

    The challenge focuses on the travel restrictions imposed by the ban, rather than the four-month suspension of refugee admissions.

    Virginia says the state, its residents and its public universities are harmed by the policy.

    The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said it would not block a ruling by a Seattle court a week ago that halted Mr Trump’s 27 January executive order.

    The San Francisco-based court’s three judges unanimously agreed that the government had not proved that any terror threat justified reviving the ban.

    According to the court, the government was unable to say why Mr Trump’s ban addressed a pressing national security threat that a temporary stay of the order would worsen. The lawyers for the challenging states, on the other hand, convinced the judges that re-imposing the order at this point would create further chaos by infringing on the due process rights of those on US soil, regardless of their immigration status.

    Some legal commentators criticised aspects of the decision, including its lack of comment on a 1952 law giving the president power to suspend entry of “any class of aliens” when he finds their entry “would be detrimental” to the country.

    However, the law was revised in 1965 to stipulate that immigrants could not be denied a visa because of their race, sex, nationality or place of birth.



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  • Laurie, others

    The Darling of the Fascists!

    Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists – The New York Times

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/world/europe/bannon-vatican-julius-evola-fascism.html

    Evola became a darling of Italian Fascists, and Italy’s post-Fascist terrorists of the 1960s and 1970s looked to him as a spiritual and intellectual godfather.

    They called themselves Children of the Sun after Evola’s vision of a bourgeoisie-smashing new order that he called the Solar Civilization. Today, the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn includes his works on its suggested reading list, and the leader of Jobbik, the Hungarian nationalist party, admires Evola and wrote an introduction to his works.

    More important for the current American administration, Evola also caught on in the United States with leaders of the alt-right movement, which Mr. Bannon nurtured as the head of Breitbart News and then helped harness for Mr. Trump.

    “Julius Evola is one of the most fascinating men of the 20th century,” said Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader who is a top figure in the alt-right movement, which has attracted white supremacists, racists and anti-immigrant elements.



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  • I just want to take a few steps back here and thank LaurieB, Dan, Vicki, and phil rimmer for giving me a chance to continue posting here. It genuinely bothers me that I aggravated alf1200, a valued member who has sacrificed in service to his country. After a good night’s sleep, and a re-read of the conversation, I see where I went wrong. Having done so, I will recommit to being careful with my posting here. I hope, over time, that alf1200 and others will come to appreciate my participation, despite me not being the sharpest tool in the shed.

    I post matters political here to check-and-balance my views against intelligent opposition.

    To answer phil rimmer’s question, here’s a summary of where I stand politically: I’m pro-choice, pro-LGBT, pro-environment (perhaps my biggest area of ignorance), pro-gun, and anti-PC. I favor small government, free market (another area of ignorance on my part), secure borders, and separation of church and state. With respect to Islam, I stand with Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Pat Condell. I live in Southern California and my experience here in recent years has radicalized me in opposition to current Democratic leaders, hence my support of, and hope for, Donald Trump.

    I do regard Trump as a gamble, and take issue with him on a number of matters.

    I’ll post more when I can.



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  • Dan

    these intellectual and moral differences amongst us are inborn. No, I cannot prove this;

    But I can, so long as we define these capacities and dispositions carefully. There is no “knowledge” as such carried forward. The most important differences after the intellectual capacities and cognitive skews wrought by genetic inheritance, are the imprinting and indoctrinations of the early cultural experience. These create near permanent outcomes. The most studied example being, early stress, which, through the action of cortisol often creates the anxious adults we see of the right and quite often prematurely aged (unless consoled by wealth). Punitive, unequal societies beget anxious self-serving individuals keen to preserve the social capital they have.

    Pyschopaths are a 1% phenomenon, quite enough to account for the parasites and the bullies at the gate we see. The great mass are not psychopaths, but the dispossessed at the bottom of the heap of a scary unequal society aren’t likely to be talked out of their unhappy state any time soon. However, showing intent to deal with their anxieties will make them less desperate, less harmful. You are simply buying them as the decent thing to do. Their better treated kids may be more tractable as a result. Trump is trying to buy them, but you can bet it will be on the cheap and only for he and his to feed off them some more.

    There is only one sure moral act. Lift people securely out of poverty. The well fed capuchin monkeys, who undoubtedly had dental at that zoo, betrayed a concern for fairness to their fellows quite spontaneously, whilst kids from dirt poor countries did not.



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  • Hi Michael. I liked your comment (#64). You seem to have enough humility to act as an important balance to your opinions. alf1200 is indeed a valued poster as you’ve gathered. I also now know a bit more about him. One never knows what’s behind our posts/opinions unless we offer an explanation. To that end thanks for your effort to explain a bit about yourself and how you cultivated your particular views.

    To me, and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, you sound like a small ‘l’ Libertarian. Gary Johnson with a dash of Rand Paul perhaps. Socially liberal and fiscally conservative. ‘Small government’, whatever that really means. Whenever I hear that I imagine that’s what this country was like in 1775. And yes, I know what it’s supposed to mean. But I digress.

    As you seem aware and as you’ve seen firsthand (as I have, repeatedly) this blog is littered with plenty of smart folks, experts in all different areas. Most (not all) of them feel similarly about the particular political climate. And I would guess that most, even those who weren’t enamored with HRC (crooked, etc) were still able to swallow hard and pull the trigger for her. I’m guessing they were not privy to the toxic climate (one would guess) in southern California that has led to your radicalization (interesting choice of word). I would really like for you to elaborate on this point.

    I think a lot of the pushback to your comments stems from a very common predisposition known as Confirmation Bias (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias). Very simply this is the tendency of people to go out of their way to find information that confirms their preexisting beliefs. It’s especially puzzling when it’s against their own best interests. Both sides do this but if you do your homework this tendency happens far more on the right. This had led to the absurd prevalence of ‘fake news’ which is littering the media now. And as you may know also helped Trump immeasurably. You characterize your support of Trump as a ‘gamble’. Again I would ask, what were the conditions that led to you willingly taking this gamble?



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38933108

    President Donald Trump has said he has “no doubt” his administration will win legal challenges to his travel ban.

    In a press conference with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Mr Trump also promised to move “rapidly” to introduce “additional security” steps for the US next week.

    He spoke as Virginia state lawyers argued in court that his policy “resulted from animus toward Muslims”.

    “We are going to keep our country safe, we are going to do whatever is necessary to keep our country safe,” Mr Trump said at the White House on Friday.

    “We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country, you’ll be seeing that sometime next week,” he added.

    “In addition we will continue to go through the court process and ultimately I have no doubt that we’ll win that case.”

    This clearly illustrates Trump’s flawed attitude!
    He is too busy defending and trying to impose the silly notions he dreamed up, to listen to expert advice and introduce a plan which actually achieves the security objectives he claims to be delivering!

    He has been told he is targetting the citizens from the wrong countries but instead of finding how to correct his mistakes, he egotistically bumbles on trying to “win the argument” he first though of!

    The San Francisco-based court’s three judges unanimously agreed that the government had not proved that any terror threat justified reviving the ban.



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  • Michael, thanks. I think this is the best chance we’ve had so far of understanding this not-Clinton-at-any-cost position.

    Is this latter, in fact, a reasonable statement of your position?

    Are there any Democratic politicians you can see now or in the past that would meet your specifications for a President?

    Is small government key for you?

    Cheers.



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  • @phil (#67)

    Your comment posted before mine, ostensibly because I included one link. I ask many of the same questions as well as a few more. Let’s hope he sticks around and addresses them. It certainly seems like he’s open to reason. I mention confirmation bias in my post. I believe that’s an important element in a lot of the recent political ruminations.



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  • Michael,

    Great comment. I was heartened by it. And we need resistance and to be challenged. Otherwise we’ll have a situation where we, on this site, are just preaching to the choir…. And hopefully those who challenge us we’ll be themselves challenged.

    How does good government sound?

    Small government is all well and good; but the ultimate direction of “small government” is libertarianism, which, if taken to the extreme, is nothing short of savagery, imo. Without federal regulations we’ll have corporate tyranny. Please read this and don’t confuse the message with the messenger.

    “What’s called libertarian in the United States, which is a special U. S. phenomenon, it doesn’t really exist anywhere else — a little bit in England — permits a very high level of authority and domination but in the hands of private power: so private power should be unleashed to do whatever it likes. The assumption is that by some kind of magic, concentrated private power will lead to a more free and just society […] that kind of libertarianism, in my view, in the current world, is just a call for some of the worst kinds of tyranny, namely unaccountable private tyranny.”
    —Noam Chomsky

    Please keep commenting.

    Best,

    D



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  • Michael Rohde #64
    Feb 10, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I post matters political here to check-and-balance my views against intelligent opposition.

    This site gives people the opportunity to do. It also has educated posters, posting comments from all over the world, so you will find contrasts in views, – particularly from those who live outside the field of US media propaganda – such as Breibart and Fox!
    You are very welcome to participate.
    RDFS is an especially important resource for Americans who are constantly bombarded by misleading advertising and propagandist media, which promote “alternative facts” and fallacious thinking.

    That is why many regulars here, put links to reputable publications from professional bodies, or direct quotes from honest and competent spokespersons.

    We also give links and quotes from dishonest and incompetent sources, for critical analysis and debunking.



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  • Building on Dan’s comment #70, Some questions that I like to ask the “small government” people are

    How small do you believe our government should be?

    What exactly should be cut away from the present government?

    Which jobs and which agencies etc should be eliminated and what do you think the consequences on the ground would be?

    When certain jobs and agencies are cut, who will benefit from those eliminations?

    Do you see the population as being divided into two separate camps labelled “big government” and “small government” or can this issue be framed as a range – say, a government that is as small and efficient as possible while providing the most service and support to the taxpayers as is possible in an imperfect world. One that will be tweaked as needs arise and circumstances change.

    Some of the people who self-label as small government libertarians have thought these questions through and have a decent answer but I’ve never encountered one. I hope Michael is one of them and can explain his vision of what a libertarian America would look like. Too many small government libertarians are parroting a party propaganda line and envision an America that to me, resembles the wild, wild west mentality where gun toting white men protect themselves and their possessions (including women) while mowing down any opposition and threats that they perceive. A real life dystopia from my view.
    I think it was Ayaan Hirsi Ali who said – Everyone is libertarian to some degree. We should point out that just because someone doesn’t self-label as libertarian doesn’t mean they want what is called big government. Most of us see it as a range, not a dichotomy.

    Be careful what you wish for.



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  • Small government. No environmental oversight. No financial oversight. No programs to help the downtrodden. Private, market-driven health insurance companies, are in the business of private profit, period! That is barbarism.

    Classical libertarianism (Laissez-faire government) may have meant something once. No more. Now it’s about the concentration of private power. It is anti labor, anti democratic, all about gaining wealth, thinking of nothing but self. This stems, in part, from Ann Rand / Cato Institute type libertarianism. Rand was the most evil figures in modern intellectual history: “It’s responsibility to yourself. You’re maximizing your own short-term gain.” Yes, and if we follow that wicked ideology and ignore global warming (as Trump et al are) we will destroy ourselves. And we will destroy our economy and our country.

    “Fifth Principle of Oligarchy:

    Attack Solidarity. To go after Social Security and public education, Chomsky says, you have to drive the normal emotion of caring about others out of people’s heads. The U.S. of the 1950s was able to make college essentially free with the G.I. Bill and other public funding. Now a much wealthier United States is full of “serious” experts who claim that such a thing is impossible (and who must strictly avoid watching Michael Moore)”

    Meanwhile….

    Trump is rounding people up, so-called illegals with records. One lady did something about 10 yrs ago, used a fake SS number to get a job, and they carted her away amid protests. Siege mentality, police-state tactics.

    Refugee families now facing added hardship.

    Flynn spoke to Russia about sanctions before Trump got in.

    Conway broke the law.

    Trump a cruel and despicable man, is appealing ruling ver travel BAN.

    Price, a free market fundamentalist who has faced ethics violations questions, an opponent of the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid and Planned Parenthood, and Sessions, a died-in-the-wool racist, CONFIRMED.

    CHAOS!! DISASTER!! The Alt-Right libertarians (free market fundamentalists and nativists) are trying to take over!!

    We are seeing, with the travel ban, the arbitrary deployment of law. That is, in my view, one of the constituent elements of neofascism.

    Yes, be careful what you pray for or wish for – and educate yourselves. Turn off Fox News and steer clear of the right wing blogs, and if you can’t then at least do some research, some fact checking and reading, and at least listen to people like Sanders and Warren.



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  • Dan

    You just inspired me to read Atlas Shrugged by Ann Rand. I just borrowed it from my library onto my kindle. Your comment above and the section of the book I’m reading by A. C. Grayling where he’s discussing her (she seems to be pretty much a standard sort of psychopath) have both made me wonder why I’ve never actually read that book by her. I wonder if I’ll make it all the way through the book or get disgusted and horrified and delete it in a rage.



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  • I’d skip it, but it’s up to you. (I am worried that it’ll poison you, that you’ll be taken in by it!)

    I’ve never read her, but have read about her, and every single person I’ve met who does like her are the kinds of people who say that if a man who can’t afford health insurance dies on the street it’s a testament to our liberty.

    (My father thought her novel The Fountainhead was not that bad. It’s about the Wright Brothers, I think.)



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  • Laurie and Dan

    I’ve read them both and enjoyed them. Dan, The Fountainhead is not about the Wright brothers. It’s important to keep in mind that (like The Women’s Room by Marilyn French) the characters are exaggerated in order to make a point.



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  • Vicki (and Laurie)

    I am glad you enjoyed them, Vicki. Enjoy this:

    Published on Jan 13, 2015

    Ayn Rand is the Russian born champion of anti-collectivism/anti-government and the godmother of the anti-altruistic movement which seeks to destroy America’s Social Security Insurance and other social protective legislation, calling it “Evil.” She is revered by the Koch brothers (who support the Ayn Rand Institute and the increasing push to teach Ayn Rand’s philosophy in American Universities), as well as Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and the GOP who seem to be following Ayn Rand’s viewpoint that social safety-net programs designed to protect the most vulnerable in our society must be destroyed. This in essence is Social Darwinism – survival of the fittest – to control the population, those of means survive unfettered by government intrusion such as any form of taxation or regulatory oversight, and those who fall on hard times survive or perish on their own without government safety-net programs such as Social Security, Medicare, pensions, healthcare and/or unemployment insurance.

    The push to privatize Social Security (and Medicare) is, according to Chomsky and many others, a hidden way to undermine and destroy the very successful program which people rely on to an even greater extent since the financial catastrophes which occurred on G.W. Bush’s watch.

    People Like Charles Manson, David Koresh of the Branch Davidians, Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple, and Ayn Rand, each possessed an intensely persuasive ability to promote their bizarre philosophy in a manner so as to make it appear completely rational to susceptible individuals. But if the core points of those philosophies are examined minus their bizarre rational, the often sinister intent is revealed.

    In a 1959 Mike Wallace interview with Ayn Rand, Wallace asked Rand:

    Mike Wallace: “How does your philosophy translate itself into the world of politics? Now one of the principle achievements of this country in the past 20 years, particularly, I think, most people agree, is the gradual growth of social and protective legislation based on the principle that we are our brothers keepers. How do you feel about the political trends of the United States, the Western world?”

    Ayn Rand: “…I feel that it is terrible, that you see destruction all around you, and that you are moving toward disaster, until and unless, all those welfare state conceptions have been reversed and rejected.” [She of course meant Social Security, etc.]

    Mike Wallace: “You say that you do not like the Altruism by which we live. You like a certain kind of Ayn Randist selfishness.”

    Ayn Rand: “I will say that, I don’t “like” [Altruism] is too weak a word. I consider it evil.”

    Mike Wallace: “Were taught to feel concern for our fellow man. To feel responsible for his welfare. To feel that we are, as religious people might put it, children under god, and responsible one for the other. Now why do you rebel? What’s wrong with this philosophy?”

    Ayn Rand: “But that is in fact what makes man a sacrificial animal.”

    Mike Wallace: “What’s wrong with loving your fellow man? Christ, [and] every important moral leader in man’s history, has taught us that we should love one another. Why then is this kind of love in your mind immoral?”

    Ayn Rand: “It is immoral if it is a love placed above oneself.”

    Mike Wallace: “Because you put this philosophy to work in your novel Atlas Shrugged. You demonstrate it, in human terms, in your novel Atlas Shrugged. And let me start by quoting from a review of this novel, Atlas Shrugged, that appeared in News Week. It said that, “You are out to destroy almost every edifice in the contemporary American way of life. Our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government regulated capitalism, our rule by the majority will.” Other reviews have said that, “You scorn churches, and the concept of God.” Are these accurate criticisms?”

    Ayn Rand: “Ah.. Yes… I agree with the fact…”

    It is interesting, in light of the GOP’s affinity for Rand’s philosophy, that Anton LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan, also revered Ayn Rand. In 1970 he told the Washington Post that his brand of Satanism was “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” He appears to have been so influenced by Ayn Rand’s philosophy that LaVey has been accused of plagiarizing part of his “Nine Satanic Statements” from the John Galt speech in Rand’s Atlas Shrugged – the novel spoken of with so much admiration by the GOP.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08



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  • Dan

    Don’t even worry about my reading of Rand’s books. If my entire family didn’t succeed in convincing me of the correctness of Libertarianism then a couple books can’t possibly win me over. What’s more likely is that I will view the material as a massive confirmation bias of the ideas that I already hold. I suspect that I am much more susceptible to confirmation bias than I am to indoctrination. Also, I believe that if I intend to criticize Libertarianism, shouldn’t I at least be familiar with the writings of Rand before I fulminate against it? Seems like the minimal requirement. Read the book then criticize the book – in that order.



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  • Laurie

    I must say this: that was a beautiful response to that guy on the Oklahoma Republican thread. Bravo. I was going to write something, but I’m glad I didn’t. Your comment is unsurpassable.

    Enjoy the rest of the week-end, my friend.



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  • Vicki

    I guess so, but that doesn’t mitigate the sheer dangerousness of her general philosophy.

    Anyone can make a sensible statement about religion:

    “There is something very unhealthy about Christianity.” –Hitler



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  • Hi Micheal,

    I’m coming late to this post being a little draw with the time I’ve had this week to the issues around the Catholic church lately so I hope you are still following the tread. Can I ask in relation to Trump protecting your boarders

    I support Trump. Because I would support anyone that promised and endeavoured to protect me from islamic violence and coercion.

    How is his travel ban doing this? He chose not to ban citizens from Saudi Arabia and yet 15 of the 19 hijackers were from there? I think this translates to a transparent position around oil interests over security. Saudi money is funding all sorts of regressive activity in the west. And yet most of our governments still are happy to deal with this brutal regime. I like you, believe we need to consider how immigrants are vetted, I don’t support a Muslim ban however the level of fundamentalism you import to your country will have a negative impact. But it appears to me Trump is just trying to placate the fears of many with empty gestures. Be happy to hear your response I’m no expert on these issues.

    For what it is worth I think the only way we will mitigate the threats is to remove our dependence on oil and we’d have countries like this by the balls Saudi Arabia gets roughly 87% of budget revenues from oil. What happens to their ability to fund fundamentalist Mosques in other countries? Had the West invested half the money into one of the wars in the middle east into developing battery technology not only might we be now seeing the fruits in significantly lower carbon emissions but we’d be able to negotiate with the middle east on human rights from a position of strength instead of being the sniveling moral cowards we are. IMO we ultimately are funding the fundamentalism we are so afraid of so why can we not get politicians to simply stop? Probably hopelessly naive of me but that’s where I’m at at the moment.



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  • I see that bigoted prejudice against Mexicans and immigrants, is producing a dispute – characteristic of Trump business dealings!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-39086053

    Mexico has warned the US against imposing a unilateral tax on Mexican imports to finance a border wall, saying it could respond in kind.

    Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said the government could place tariffs on selected goods from US states reliant on exports to Mexico.

    Earlier, US President Donald Trump vowed to start building the wall “soon, way ahead of schedule”.

    The US government says it will start accepting design proposals next month.

    The US Customs and Border Protection Agency says it will ask companies to submit proposals “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures” on or around 6 March.

    A shortlist of the best designs will be drawn up by 20 March, after which bidders will be asked to cost their ideas.

    Contracts are expected to be awarded by mid-April.

    Mr Trump has pledged that Mexico will pay for the wall, which could cost up to $21.5bn (£17.2bn), according to Reuters, which cited a Department of Homeland Security internal report.

    The figure is much higher than Mr Trump’s estimated price tag of $12bn (£9.6bn).

    The president has proposed to levy a 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for a border wall.

    In a radio interview on Friday, Mr Videgeray said that “Mexico believes in free trade”, but “would have to respond” if the US tried to fund a border wall by imposing a tax on Mexican imports.

    “What we cannot do is remain with our arms crossed,” he said.

    “Mexico will face this as a reality and not just as a rhetorical threat because we have realised that rhetorical threats come and go.”

    According to reports, the foreign minister has previously identified states including Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin as possible targets for retaliatory tariffs.

    Mexico is by far the top destination for Texan exports, with goods worth $92.4bn exported there in 2015, according to the US Department of Commerce.

    The wall is a sensitive political subject in Mexico. President Enrique Pena Nieto cancelled a trip to meet Mr Trump last month over the dispute and has said Mexico will not fund the wall.



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