Closing Thought–10Jan18

This is why I do not appreciate those religious idiots.

Pres. Trump has this religious adviser that has a plan to make Trump more successful……it will involve you and your money…..

Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser has suggested that people send her money in order to transform their lives, or face divine consequences.

Paula White, who heads up the president’s evangelical advisory committee, suggested making a donation to her ministries to honor the religious principle of “first fruit,” which she said is the idea that all firsts belong to God, including the first harvest and, apparently, the first month of your salary.

“Right now I want you to click on that button, and I want you to honor God with his first fruits offering,” she said in a video shared to her website, in which she encourages her followers to donate to her ministries to get blessings from God.

Explaining the principle of the donations, the Pentecostal televangelist, who has recently spoken out in defense of Trump’s mental health following claims in a tell-all book that the president is unwell, suggested that people would reap rewards after donating to her.

“January is the beginning of a new year for us in the Western world. Let us give to God what belongs to him: the first hours of our day, the first month of the year, the first of our increase, the first in every area of our life. It’s devoted…. The principle of first fruits is that when you give God the first, he governs the rest and redeems in,” she said.

“When you honor this principle, it provides the foundation and structure for God’s blessings and promises in your life. It unlocks deep dimensions of spiritual truths that literally transform your life. When you apply this, everything comes in divine alignment for his plan and promises for you. When you don’t honor it, whether through ignorance or direct disobedience, there are consequences.”


This is why I have NO time for religious rhetoric….it is all about the cash and nothing else.

Those Great Generals And Some Not So Much

Warning:  History lesson to follow!

History is full of generals and their exploits…..Hannibal, Caesar, Napoleon, Kamal, Hindenburg, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, Montgomery, etc……..some are celebrated while others are hated or mocked…….

World War One is no different….the most talked about general was the UK’s General Haig…..the “Butcher of the Somne” as he was fondly called by his men…..and it is not a term of endearment…..he will be more known in the UK than here in the US…..WW1 is barely a memory in the collective collection of thoughts about WW1……

Visiting the Somme battlefield in northern France is largely a matter of going from one Commonwealth Graves Commission cemetery to another. The graveyards are everywhere, some of them very small, comprising only a handful of white Portland marble stones, many bearing the inscription, A Soldier of the Great War / Known unto God. One sees so many of these cemeteries and so many stones—along with the vast memorial at Thievpal bearing the names of some 70,000 British soldiers whose bodies were never recovered—that after a few hours of it, you feel numb. Overwhelmed.

The magnitude of the battle still stuns the imagination. The Somme was an epic of both slaughter and futility; a profligate waste of men and materiel such as the world had never seen. On the morning of July 1, 1916, 110,000 British infantrymen went “over the top.” In a few hours, 60,000 of them were casualties. Nearly 20,000 of these were either dead already or would die of their wounds, many of them lingering for days between the trenches, in no man’s land. The attacking forces did not gain a single one of their objectives.

World War One has many stories like Haig’s… many plans and so many failures.

What Does The Report Say?

These days everybody has an opinion on the Trump/Russia thing….his supporters  are trying to cloudy the water of the investigation with the crap about the FBI investigation is somehow biased because those investigating had donated to the Dems in the past…..this is the lamest of attempts.

I offer up the 300+ page report that was generated by the Senate Judiciary Committee……I offer up the link so that readers will know exactly what was said in this hearing and not depend on the news du jour for their opinions….this will fall on deaf ears if the reader depends on FOX News for their “information”…..

Click to access 934A3562824CACA7BB4D915E97709D2F.simpson-transcript-redacted.pdf

Read this an you will see just how much the Repubs are lying to the American people.  It is fascinating reading…this official Senate investigation tells a different story than the Repubs are spinning…..after reading I know why Sen. Grassley did not want this report made public…..he is a liar and his “buds” on the Committee are also…..

2018 The Year Of Conflict

2017 was full of this conflict and that and 2018 is not looking to be much better……will not be a peaceful year…….

It’s not all about Donald Trump.

That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and his even odder choice of friends. And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater international diffusion of power, increasingly militarized foreign policy, and shrinking space for multilateralism and diplomacy are features of the international order that predate the current occupant of the White House and look set to outlast him.

I will be watching the Middle East and North Africa closely this year…..ISIS may be defeated but the region is far from peaceful……

From the diplomatic shakeups in the Gulf to the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) witnessed dramatic shifts in 2017. As the year comes to a close, Brookings scholars have come together to share their expectations for what the year 2018 has in store. Below are their brief outlooks.

One country to watch will be Turkey……it appears as if they are trying to re-establish the old Ottoman Empire……

For a number of years, the Turkish government has tried to strengthen relations with countries that were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. It’s part of what GPF sees as Turkey’s re-emergence as a regional power. One of the regions in which it has tried to establish a growing presence is North Africa, where the Turkish president has spent much of this week on state visits. It’s important to remember, however, that Ankara still faces a number of barriers to restoring its past glory.

For international relations wonk like myself 2018 will be an interesting year that could set the tone for the next decade……..