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Donald Trump is a national disaster

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I just finished watching the third presidential debate. Admittedly, many people will be swayed by what he said. However, any thinking person who has a modicum knowledge of economics and  national security as well as respect for all people, regardless of race, creed culture, gender or religion can upon reflection agree with him.

By and large, Trump repeated over and over that he would make America great again but without ever delving into how he would do so. On trade, he said NAFTA was bad, but the completely failed to explain how or what he would do to create better trade policies. Throughout his campaign, he has repeatedly called for isolationist trade policies which would be an economic disaster. The USA relies upon our exports for jobs and economic growth. Granted the TTP and other current proposals fail both the American people and other countries by putting too much power into the hands of major corporations – the reason Hillary Clinton does not support them – but international fair and free trade policies are needed worldwide, especially by mature economies like the US. To put it simply, US full employment cannot be supported without international trade.

On tax policy, Trump doubles down of supply side economics. His tax policy, outsourced to Steven Moore, a penultimate supply-sider who consistently ignores the demand side of the economic equation and is no economist, would increase the national deficit by trillions. Some say as much as $5 trillion. Since the financial melt down in 2007, the US has had an overabundance of supply but not enough demand. In other words, there’s plenty of product but not enough buyers. When wages are low or lowered (as has been the case since 2009 when companies lowered wages in the face of an oversupply of qualified candidates) wages, the demand side of the economic equation has gone down. If people can’t afford to buy, demand goes down regardless of the supply quantity. Thus, continuing the feed the supply side, i.e. Wall Street investors, does nothing to increase GNP (Gross National Product). The only way to increase GNP and, thus, GDP is to build up the demand side of the economic equation. Moore’s tax and economic policies, which Trump bought lock, stock and barrel, utterly fail this test.

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On National Security, Trump sounded smart when when you delve into what he actually said but yet again failed to propose any solutions, he’s frightening. Does he want an all out war in the Middle East – a la the Crusades? If so, that is one sure way to push moderate Muslims into the freedom fighter camps of ISIS and the Taliban. Imagine if you will an invading force in the US (intent on stealing our national resources to pay for the invasion). Would any American stand by and let that happen, no matter how moderate they were? Of course not. The same principle applies in the Middle East. Throughout history all over the world, people have always fought against a foreign invader, even when they strongly disagreed with their own government. It would be no different in the Middle East now. Moreover, Trump and his neo-con allies have chosen to make his foreign policy about a clash of civilizations – a clash of religions much like the Crusades. And much like during the Crusades, Muslims would come together, regardless of their internal conflicts, to fight off the invaders. Smart policy, which Clinton advocated, is separating the moderates from the extremists…and backing the moderates who see a better way forward for Middle East countries than a 12th Century ideology in the 21st Century world.

Additionally, the idea of Trump denying or ignoring Putin’s spying and hacking and interference with this election shows his incredible naivety. Of course, his financial records prove, as Newsweek and other legitimate media outlets have shown, he has a huge income stake in protecting the Russian (and thus Putin) oligarchy. Do I think Trump would take his order from Putin the way Mussolini did from Hitler? I don’t know; but I’m not willing that that chance, given that Trump is all about himself and his ego and his fortune even as he sells out other and stiffs his suppliers. Trump’s entire career has been one long running steam of conning and lying and cheating others including failing to pay his suppliers. Believing him is like believing in Hitler’s promise to not to invade the restof Europe after stealing Austria.

On issues of his personal morality and how he think about woman and minorities, what more needs to be said other than that he has offended everyone with his misogynist and xenophobic mindset. Even the uber conservative Utah-based Mormon (Church of Latter Day Saints) has come out against Trump in a public statement.They consider his words and ideas…and his behavior…highly toxic. No matter how much he denies his behavior, the numbers of people coming out against him for how he has behaved and what he has done keeps growing. As a result, he’s proven himself to narcissistic megalomaniac who refuses to accept responsibility for his own behavior. In his words, everything is the fault of someone else…and he is totally innocent. That may go over well in the modern Republican conservative movement, but it doesn’t necessarily sit well with a majority of people who have been raised to believe they have to take responsibility for their own behavior.

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On border control and minorities, polling shows that the list of minority voters switching from the Republican side of the ledger to the Democratic side ha gown dramatically since Trump became the Republican nominee. Beyond his polling numbers though is the fact that to implement his wall across the US Southern border and round up & deport every non-citizen (i.e. alien) would cost multiple trillions of dollars. Are you willing to agree to a major increase in your taxes to pay for it all…or are you going to shut your eyes and ears and put it on the national credit card and blame someone else for the outrageous deficit once again?

I could go on ad infinitum on the disastereous affects of Trump policies (or lack of coherent policies) but there is little  doubt that committed Trump voters will change their minds. To far too many of them, the world is made up of “us against them” which the GOP has pushed, in various and sundry dog whistles, for over 50 years.

Nevertheless, regardless of how reasonably sounding Trump came off sounding in this third debate, the fact remains that all of his ideas, from every perspective, are extraordinary expensive and a national disaster. Moreover, the fact that the national GOP supports and endorses this caricature of a human being shows the party has descended into the bowels of hell.

Clinton may not be everyone’s favorite candidate…and granted she’s been vilified and lied about by the GOP in the national media for nearly 30 years…but compared to Trump, she’s an angel. Her policies are reasonable, well-thought out, progressive, equitable, and fiscally sound. But, of course, that won’t matter to die-hard Trump supporters who choose to ignore the reality of the man and his ideas by focusing only on his fantastic rhetoric as a way out there circumstances.

 

 

 

Written by Valerie Curl

October 19, 2016 at 10:44 PM

Pope Benedict Retires…and Gets Lambasted.

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Pope BenedictPope Benedict announced his retirement today, stating that his age and health were his deciding factors in renouncing the papacy. Catholics, across the board, denounced his decision. I believe they are wrong.

Today, I read comments and opinion pieces, everywhere from left, right and center. But what I did not hear from anyone was what Benedict himself said prior to being elected. He said he did not want to become pope; he wanted to become a librarian.

Imagine if you will yourself being elevated into a position you did not want and with which you felt uncomfortable. Further, imagine your health failing along side your discomfort with your job. Would you not want to give up the job that increases your health risks as well as your mental anguish?

Benedict never wanted this job and pleaded with his predecessor to be given another job. He knew his heart and talents…yet, he was thrust into this position – a position he did not want and for which he felt unqualified. I’m not a Catholic, but I have great sympathy for the enormous decision he made. It took great courage to step aside…and great humility. I honor the courage of his decision as should we all. It takes a great man to know when to step aside, knowing he has neither the desire or health to continue.

As this moment, Catholics everywhere should be proud of their Pope, not as the infallible leader the Roman Catholic Church demands, but as a man who knows his heart and abilities as this great moment in history requires. Benedict gives the Catholic and Christian world at large an opportunity to begin anew with a younger, more energetic religious leader to meet the challenges of a new century while vigorously defending the age old tenets of all theologies of caring, sharing, compassion, respect, charity, forgiveness, humbleness and sharing.

I don’t know whether the Catholic Church will take up the challenges laid out before it in this new Century or whether it will turn its back. Only the Church knows its age old prophecies.

But Benedict should be praised for his service rather than damned for his unwillingness to continue in a position for which he believed himself incapable of continuing.

Written by Valerie Curl

February 11, 2013 at 9:33 PM

An Oldie But Goodie…

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Something to think about.

Written by Valerie Curl

July 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

What Did He Mean?

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Yesterday was Easter….

In thinking about Easter and all it means today and historically while spending the day with my children and grandchild, I had time to ponder the meaning of Easter. Not just the death and resurrection of Jesus…but the real meaning of his life and death.

Jesus with many children of the worldAs a child many decades ago, even before the Civil Rights legislation, in bible school in Georgia, I remember quite vividly singing a children’s song in which the words still ring in my memory:

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They’re all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Whether you’re rich or whether you’re poor
It matters not to Him
He remembers where you’re going
Not where you’ve been

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They’re all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

If your heart is troubled
Don’t worry, don’t you fret
He knows that you have heard His call
And he won’t forget

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They’re all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

All around the world tonight
His children rest assured
That He will watch and He will keep us
Safe and secure

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They’re all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

How can anyone claim to be a Christian while ignoring the very lyrical lessons we were taught as children to love all those who are different from ourselves in color or ethnicity or religion or whatever just as Jesus did? How can we claim to be Christians – the children of Jesus – if we do not follow the lead of Jesus in loving all the people of the world?

What else does the true meaning of Christ’s life teach if not the love “that God so loved the world (i.e., mankind) that he gave his only begotten son” for all of us. Anything less from each of us not just denies His sacrifice but denies what He came to earth to teach humanity. Jesus cared not about political parties or even about politics.

He care not about wealth or riches and like St. Francis of Assisi He cared not about the trappings of wealth or the self-glorification and ego-gratification that wealth offered.

What He did care about was teaching us to care about each other as He cared about all of us.

He cared about teaching us to love each other, regardless of our differences. For us to do less, by choosing to divide ourselves along some esoteric lines of racial, religious, ethnic, cultural, gender or other attitudes, only exhibits how less we are than in the teachings of Jesus.

Should we not strive to become more like the moral teachings exhibited in those simple childhood lyrics?

Written by Valerie Curl

April 9, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Girl Scouts Under Attack Again

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A few months ago, I wrote a blog post regarding a proposal by the GA legislature to enact a salesGirl Scout Cookies tax on the selling of Girl Scout cookies. I admittedly was stunned by the proposal to tax Girl Scout cookie sales, but I also found it a bit humorous and kind of silly.

However, it seems some within the Grand Old Party truly do not like the Girl Scouts.

Indiana Republican Rep. Bob Morris wrote a letter to colleagues claiming that the Girl Scouts was a “radicalized organization” that supports abortions and the homosexual agenda. Conservative groups like the Indiana Right to Life and the American Family Foundation have come to Morris’ defense after he became the butt of late night jokes and ridicule.

While I can understand, if not totally agree, with their positions on abortion, this attack on the Girl Scouts leaves me speechless. As a young girl, I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout. I still have my old brownie pin fondly tucked away in my jewelry box. I never experienced anything subversive about Girl Scouts, unless someone considers girls building confidence and self esteem, learning about nature and science, developing natural talents, and being active in sports somehow radical.

Perhaps Rep. Morris and his friends in those conservative groups need to learn something about Girl Scouts.

Founder Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout Troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga. On March 16, 1950, the Girl Scouts of the USA was chartered by the U.S. Congress. Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts—2.3 million girl members and 880,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.

Girls at home and abroad participate in troops and groups in more than 92 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas, and over 100 local Girl Scout councils offer girls the opportunity for membership across the United States. Through its membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a worldwide family of 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries.

More than 50 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood—and that number continues to grow as Girl Scouts of the USA continues to inspire, challenge, and empower girls everywhere.

From the Organization’s Fact Sheet:

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is the largest organization for girls in the world. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness, Girl Scouting provides girls with opportunities for fun and friendship, while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem.

These attacks on the Girl Scouts cause me to wonder what has happened within the ranks of the GOP conservative movement.

First it was personhood amendments that put the life of a zygote ahead of the life of the woman; then an attack on women’s ability to have contraception included and covered by their health insurance plans; presidential candidate Santorum admonishing everyone that intimate relations are for procreation only; and now attacks on the venerable institution of the Girl Scouts.

Why has so much disdain for women suddenly reared its ugly head? If Barry Goldwater, who arguably founded the modern conservative movement with his presidential campaign in 1964, were still alive he’d be shaking his head in dismay at what has become of his Republican party.

In a 1994 interview with the Washington Post the retired senator said,

When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others [namely, Jerry Falwall for whom Goldwater had absolutely no admiration] who are trying to take the Republican party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

I would add also, kiss the rights of women have the freedom and liberty to determine their own life choices for themselves.

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Additional reading on Barry Goldwater:

HuffPo review, Pure Goldwater

Pure Goldwater by John Dean and Barry M. Goldwater Jr.

Goldwater vs Religious Right

Religious Right Leader Colson warns of Ayn Rand’s Negative Influence

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Given the growth in popularity of Ayn Rand’s philosophy among influential politicians such as Paul Ryan, John Campbell, Ron Paul and Ryan Paul, some Christian leaders are expressing their concern.

Religious Right leader Chuck Colson isn’t happy with the Ayn Rand retrospective. He made a two minute video attacking Rand and her devotees, deriding Rand as an anti-Christian atheist. “Not only should you stay away from the film,” Colson says, “you ought to stay away from anybody who wants to see the film, unless their interest is ironic.” Colson warns that Rand’s “patently anti-Christian ideas seem to be gaining steam” among conservatives, cautioning that her Objectivist philosophy is the “antithesis of Christianity” and that her followers are “undermining the Gospel”:

Mr. Colson wrote an article, expressing confusion on why any leader, especially one who describes himself as a Christian, would choose to follow Rand’s perverted philosophy.

What makes this newly-renewed regard especially troubling is that Rand’s worldview is explicitly anti-Christian. She once said she wanted to be known as “the greatest enemy of religion.” And when Rand said “religion” she meant Christianity, which she once called the “kindergarten of communism.”

For Rand the idea of God, as understood by Christianity, was “degrading to man.” According to her, the only god who can bring men peace and joy was not the great “i am” but “I.” Yet even some prominent Christians are being sucked in.

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that her worldview, called Objectivism, which rejects love of God, has even less regard for love of neighbor. Jennifer Rubin, who wrote the definitive biography of Rand, says that “whereas traditional conservatism emphasized duties, responsibilities, and social interconnectedness, at the core” of Rand’s ideology “was a rejection of moral obligations to others.”

Thus, Rand could say that the world was “perishing from an orgy of self-sacrifice.” Not because it was true but because, for Rand, any regard for your neighbor was an offense against the only god who mattered: the self. How such a toxic idea can inspire “public service” is beyond me.

All of which makes the new respect for Rand, well, strange. There are better justifications for reducing the size and scope of government, ones that don’t sound like a scene from Lord of the Flies.[…]

We must re-build a culture of ethical behavior in America. And rejecting Rand and her odious philosophy is a very good place to start.

Additional reading: Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Great Recession

Written by Valerie Curl

May 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Remembering why they fell…

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Sixty-three years ago, on March 26, 1945, a young Jewish Rabbi with Fifth Marine Division at Iwo Jima gave an especially memorable memorial for the Division’s fallen comrades. This prayer made it into the Congressional Record, and now in this time, amongst all the heated rhetoric, repeating his majestic words seems only fitting. Here is just an excerpt and one upon which to give serious contemplation:

We dedicate ourselves, first to live together in peace the way they fought and are buried here in war. Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helps in her founding, and other men who loved here with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor… together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews… together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or de­spises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men is no discrimination. No prejudice. No hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy. Any man among us, the living, who fails to understand that will thereby betray those who lie here dead. Whoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and of the bloody sacrifice it com­memorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this, then, as our solemn, sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves: to the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of white men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price.

Written by Valerie Curl

August 24, 2010 at 1:39 PM

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