A Picture Worth

A Thousand Miseries


“What is this Democratic Socialism?”
“It is simply Socialism by another name.”
“Ah yes, Socialism by any other name…”
“Is Hubris.”

We were planning a whole article of say, a 1,000 words or so, regarding socialism, but found this picture instead:

The Glob Corollary: There Is No Right Way.

State Of The Union

Building Burning Bridges


BY: Paddy Keykpaddykeyk4

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington DC, Feb 6 – Perhaps CNN had the most telling comment of the night:

“It was vintage Trump — in all its incongruity, unpredictability, exaggeration and occasional moments of surprising grace.” – Chris Cillizza

But, did we learn anything about the state of our Union? Or, even, did we learn anything at all? Well, learning is in the mind of the beholder, I suppose. Here is what I beheld.

The extremely partisan fact-checking has become its own self-parody. Some examples:

Apparently the “real” number is 31%. Yeah.

This was rightly savaged in social media, with comments such as “That’s like saying It’s 7:00 pm, and being corrected, ‘No it’s 6:58 pm.'” This comment was “fact-checked”, if you will, by another comment saying, “No, it’s more like saying it is 6:59:30, and then saying, ‘it’s not that close to 7:00.'”

NPR “Fact Checked” Trump’s statement regarding the number of women in Congress. His statement? There are more women in Congress than ever. What is the fact check? Well, let’s first identify what a “fact-check” is. According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, to fact-check is:

to check that all the facts in a piece of writing, a news article, a speech, etc. are correct:

So, what is a fact?

something known to have happened or to exist:

Now that we have defined our terms, what was the fact that was checked by NPR? That the women in Congress are mostly Democrats. Which drew this factual response and related question:

I think that is a fair question.

Meanwhile, Trump said,

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.”

That’s a pretty naked attempt to call off the dogs, and was not convincing. And to no one’s surprise he banged the drum of the need for a border wall. Nothing new there.

Lastly, I continue to be amazed at the value placed on style over substance in this country. It’s all icing and no cake. So, an amazing amount of attention is being paid to how Pelosi clapped.

So what.

What is clear to me at this point is that both parties are acting like increasing the divide is a good plan.

Now, how does that work exactly? It makes me think of two people on either side of a bridge, setting fire to their end, and then running to the other side and pointing fingers at each other.

PK

Mr. Gorbachev, Put Up This Wall

Or – Political Posturing.

(Southern Border) – Once upon a time this country was identified with tearing down a wall. Anyone remember that? Well, let’s do remember that, and then let’s all recognize that we are comparing apples to oranges, and then, let’s consider a few things:

First – We have locks on our doors. Now, locked doors and windows won’t keep determined thieves out, but they will keep out the 16-border-wallopportunist. A wall is primarily a psychological barrier, and as one person put it to me years ago, “Locks keep out honest people.” But, we still lock our doors don’t we. Why? We want to be a harder target.
 
For people who say, “A wall won’t change anything,” come on, seriously? A barrier is a barrier. It will obstruct. And if you ask people in parts of the USA where a wall has been put up, “Did it help?” the answer is an unequivocal “Yes, yes it did.”
 
But, it just meant that people had to travel farther to get around the wall.
 
And of course, depending on the wall, some people just tunnel under it, or climb border wallover it.
 
Certainly, it makes things more difficult – this is not reasonably in doubt. Did it stem the tide? Yes and No.
 
Yes, because it made it harder, and probably more expensive, and so some people opted out.
 
No, because it likely simply redirected traffic. But if I lived in a border town, I would rather people came in through the desert than down Main Street.
 
The question isn’t whether a wall will work, the question is, what is the question? What are we really trying to do? As noted above, locked doors won’t keep out the determined, and a wall won’t keep out the desperate (or the well-financed.)
 
So, I think the problem is really about the question. What is the question that a wall is supposed to answer? Let’s ask a different question? Who gains from this border crisis/stagnation? Maybe not who you think.
 
Immigration is a political football being kicked around for votes. The only folks “winning” in this debate are the politicians. I think we are focusing on all the wrong things, and will never come up with viable solutions, and I don’t believe our elected officials care, because they get to have emotionally charged rallies that garner votes.
 
But all the speeches by all sides are well described by Macbeth:
 
“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
But, oh aren’t we entertained. And distracted.
 
Immigration. I think we are doing it wrong. And I think all the posturing by all of our government is simply that – posturing for votes. So, what do I think the questions are, or at least should be?
 

Why do so many people want to come here? Largely because they are trying to feed themselves and their kids in relative safety. Were I in their shoes, I would try to come here.

 
Why do so many people believe immigrants are entitled to come here? And is this belief rational, supportable, or sustainable? I don’t think so.
 
If we really want to stem the tide – how do we make this country less attractive to immigrants?
 
I have some thoughts on that last question.
 
There was a viral meme that went out about all the benefits of being an illegal alien, and like most such memes exaggerated certain partial realities. According to FactCheck.org:
 
Driver’s Licenses.
Some states do indeed afford immigrants driving privileges regardless of their immigration status — but it’s far from a guarantee given to all immigrants living in the country illegally. As of May 2017, 12 states — plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — have such laws, according to the National Immigration Law Center.
 
Right to Vote.
Federal law bars noncitizens from voting in federal elections. However, some municipalities — including several in Maryland — have allowed non-citizens to vote in local elections. In San Francisco, city voters approved a measure allowing some immigrants in the country illegally — those who are parents or guardians of school-age children — to vote in local school board elections there.
The point of the FactCheck.org post is that the meme was false to the claim that illegal aliens have ready access to government programs. However, please note that the FactCheck folks focused on whether or not there were laws in place to provide benefits.
 
It did not address the question of how many illegal immigrants access government programs regardless of legality. (Yes, people can access things they aren’t legally supposed to access. Like guns, drugs, sex workers, etc., etc.)
 
According to the Center For Immigrant Studies, not, I will note, an unbiased organization, up to 63% of non-citizen led households access government benefits. They site their sources in the linked article. How they are accessing these programs is not really explained. So, are they? Decide for yourself.
 
Remember walls are primarily psychological barriers – but once an illegal immigrant gets here, it is obviously much easier to live here than where they came from. That’s kind of a “Duh” statement, isn’t it. It is why they came here.
 
So, what kind of wall could we put up that would stem the tide?  Walls that would make living here less attractive. What kind of psychological barriers would make it necessary for them to assimilate rather than simply work here? We have, for I think all the right reasons, made living here pretty easy and attractive, regardless of immigrant status. So, you want to slow down illegal immigration? Then remove the things that make being here so wonderful.
 
What would that look like?
 
Good question. I have some ideas – they are not immediate and people will squawk – but I think it is a start:
  1. No more “Press 1 for English…” 
  2. No more printing of all government forms in other languages.
  3. No more bilingual education.

Why do I list those? Force assimilation. You want to be here? Then BE here. All in.

What else? Well, if that 63% of households figure is correct, why? Fix it. 

Then again, what about the humanity? Can we let these people suffer?

I quote from Deuteronomy 24:19:

When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.

And again from Leviticus 19:10:

You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the sojourner. I am the LORD your God

You will notice the explicit provision for the needy as commanded by God. And you will notice that God did not say, “And gather it up and hand deliver it to the poor and the widow and the sojourner.” No, they are supposed to work for what they get.

If people want to come here and work, let them come. Let them work. Pay the prevailing wage. But, we really don’t owe anything else outside emergency medical care.

For those of us that want to help, well, do so. But it is up to private citizens and churches to address these needs, not Government. Catholic Charities does a massive amount of work on behalf of immigrants regardless of status. Good for them.

The final question is, if we do this, what will politicians use to make us think they are working?

FB

 
 
 

 

 

#MSMFAIL

Facebook asks, “What’s on your mind?” #MSMFAIL is what is on my mind. This morning I turn on Fake News, aka any channel on TV with a “news” show. They are talking about the Russian Hacking. Apparently the Russians had a sinister plan. The “journalist” looks into the camera and says, earnestly, “It seems they may even have been trying to cause (pause for effect – and then very soberly) regime change.”

O My God.

The MSM cannot stop themselves –

From wikipedia (hey journalists, there is this thing called the internet):

In formal usage, a régime is the form of government or the set of rules, cultural or social norms, etc. that regulate the operation of a government or institution and its interactions with society.

Wikipedia goes on to say:

Modern usage

While the word régime originates as a synonym for any form of government, modern usage often gives the term a negative connotation, implying an authoritarian government or dictatorship. Webster’s definition states that the word régime refers simply to a form of government,[1] while Oxford English Dictionary defines regime as “a government, especially an authoritarian one”.[2]

Contemporary academic usage of the term “regime” is broader than popular and journalistic usage, meaning “an intermediate stratum between the government (which makes day-to-day decisions and is easy to alter) and the state (which is a complex bureaucracy tasked with a range of coercive functions).”

So what, you may ask. Well, depending on how you look at the word, you could interpret our earnest journalist as telling us that Russia was trying to save us from the dictatorship that exists here in the United States. Or you could say Russia was trying to change our system of government.

My Point: Regularly scheduled elections are not “regime change.”

Hey earnest journalist, this is what regime change looks like:

regime-change-1

And this:

gty_syria_children_14_jc_160912

And this:

_78732243_2_man_child_getty_976

Regime change most certainly does not look like this:

votinglines_1458671621581_1054241_ver1-0_640_360-800x430

I am tired of the idiotic product put out by the networks.

Post Election Ruminations

Scribbled on Facebook the morning after – preserved for posterity in this noble newspaper

Some observations this morning:
1. #msmfail – I have been grimly amused by the freaking out of the main stream media – anyone who thinks they were unbiased in their coverage of this election is in denial.

As to their plaintive cry of “how did we miss this?” I urge them to look up and understand the idea of confirmation bias. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

2. Is there anything uglier and nastier and haughtier than a bigoted liberal?

3. Non-degreed white males are people too. The obsession with the coverage last night on the percent of non-degreed white males that voted for Trump was fascinating. It was like the media just discovered a new species. And the implication – only ignorant white people would vote for Trump, is elitist and dismissive.

4. In adventures in reaching for straws: several talking heads floated the idea that Hillary lost because ignorant white males were prejudiced against a woman president. Again I say: #msmfail and confirmation bias.

5. Lastly, both parties, wake up. The circumstances that resulted in this election result are the same circumstances responsible for the Tea Party movement.

Neither Republican nor Democrat understood the sensibilities that created the Tea Party movement, so they simply created a straw man and called it the Tea Party so that they could attack and destroy it. But, the simple reality is, there is no Tea Party, never was.

So what was this thing? The simple sense that “I don’t care what party you say you are affiliated with, your candidate doesn’t represent me, so I’m not voting for him or her.” Note – the Republican political machine did not select Donald Trump. To their befuddlement, their unruly populace selected Trump to run as a Republican. I am certain the predominant emotion from the political elite was, “The peasants are revolting.” And they meant that in every sense of the word.

#DemocracyWins

Budding Theologian

Not to be confused with Buddhist Theologian

By Frater Bovious

The Global Exclaimer, being an attempt at an online newspaper, has lain fallow for lo these many months. There are many reasons, not the least of which is starting a new job, and starting a Master’s course in theology.

I am now employed as the Director of HR for Nautilus Hyosung America, Inc., a maker and distributor of Automatic Teller MachinesFor Traders Village

I am also enrolled at Ave Maria Universityin Ave Maria Florida and pursuing a

Tom Monaghan – The Early Years

Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) degree through their Institute of Pastoral Theology. This is a Catholic University started by Tom Monaghan and so this is Catholic Theology. (Update: I graduated in May of 2014!) I state this up front for a couple of reasons:

  1. Many people used to follow this blog as a replacement for the late, lamented Print Edition of The Global Exclaimer – they may or may not be interested in theology in general and Catholic theology in particular. So, they may want to un-join, un-friend, un-rss, or whatever. I would like to say I will write other articles which many had told me they enjoyed – particularly the Puppycat Page and the Cigar Notes. That may or may not happen. And that is happening as we speak, er, type.
  2. However, it might be worth hanging around for a two reasons –
    1. The Puppycat Page and Cigar Notes were – in my mind – at least philosophical in nature. And philosophy, classical Aristotelian philosophy that is, is a necessary precursor to faith. If people liked reading those sections, then, I can reasonably state that there is some interest in “things that matter” and this is because:
    2. Philosophy and Theology are interesting.

I have been asked to blog on a Catholic Blog called Joe Catholic, and am trying to decide if I should blog there and link here, or blog here and link there. I do know that I won’t have much time to do either – the course is intensive and requires copious reading and a fair amount of writing. And this semester the three classes will be fascinating, and it will be difficult for me to pull away from what I am doing to write. However, it always seems to help me to write as this seems to be when synthesis occurs.

But, again, this may be of little or no interest to any subscribed to this blog.

Regards,

Frater Bovious