Closing Thought–30Nov20

Since the election of 1980 the religious right have had a strangehold on the GOP and its policies and rhetoric…..is it possible that the hold could be weakening and possibly ending?

Donald Trump, by his own words and actions, does not appear to be the most religious person.

He has claimed he doesn’t seek forgiveness from God, and he once tried to put money in a Communion plate. Apart from his controversial photo op while holding up a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, he doesn’t seem especially concerned with Christian symbolism.

And yet 76% of white evangelical voters supported him in the 2020 election. It’s clear American evangelicals value something other than his religious devotion.
As a Christian ethicist, I’m especially interested in the ways Christians seek to gain and use political power. Why did so many Christians vote for Trump? And what are they afraid of losing when he leaves?

Many evangelical Christians are drawn to Trump’s promises to protect religious liberty. President-elect Biden, meanwhile, has also promised to protect religious liberty. But it might not be on evangelicals’ terms.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/evangelicals-stronghold-on-american-politics-may-finally-be-over-thanks-to-trump/

Could the religious right have finally met its match with Donald the Orange?

Personally if it has then I can thank Trump for his breaking of the power that these zealots held over a political party…..religion has NO place in government.-

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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Remember The War On Poverty?

Well I do.

And president-elect Biden is promising so much for the poor…..will he deliver?

Let us look at the LBJ version of the War on Poverty……

It was the program of the Johnson Administration….as the Encyclopedia Britannica remembers it….

Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty” in his first State of the Union address, in January 1964. He considered the depth and extent of poverty in the country (nearly 20 percent of Americans at the time were poor) to be a national disgrace that merited a national response. Furthermore, he identified the cause of poverty not as the personal moral failings of the poor but as a societal failure: “The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.” The speech was historic in its idealistic call for the creation of a more-just society. Johnson concluded it by saying:

On similar occasions in the past we have often been called upon to wage war against foreign enemies which threatened our freedom. Today we are asked to declare war on a domestic enemy which threatens the strength of our nation and the welfare of our people. If we now move forward against this enemy—if we can bring to the challenges of peace the same determination and strength which has brought us victory in war—then this day and this Congress will have won a secure and honorable place in the history of the nation and the enduring gratitude of generations of Americans yet to come.

The rhetoric of the War on Poverty quickly found its way into law and the creation of new federal programs and agencies. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was passed by Congress and became law in August 1964. The act created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which provided funds for vocational training, created Job Corps to train youths in conservation camps and urban centres, and established VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps, and Head Start, an early-education program for children of poor families, among other programs.

The fight never really got into full swing for starting with Nixon each admin started chipping away at the Act and it never reached its full potential.

For those that break out in a rash if they must read….I have a short video to explain this…

There are lots of competing opinions on just how successful this fight had become…..the Urban Institute sees the outcome thusly…..

President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) declared that the War on Poverty launched by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 is “largely over and a success.” Although it is premature to declare an outright and absolute victory, it’s great that policymakers at the highest level of government recognize that our social safety net programs are working.

But if we are to continue to reduce hardship and promote mobility from poverty through access to good jobs, work and other means, we have to understand the nature of poverty today. It’s important that we draw the right lessons from the past so we don’t underestimate our current challenges and cede our hard-won progress in the War on Poverty. 

https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/have-we-won-war-poverty-not-yet

I want to be fair….so I will offer the analysis from the uber conserv think tank, the Heritage Foundation…….

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released its annual poverty report. The report claims that in 2013, 14.5 percent of Americans were poor. Remarkably, that’s almost the same poverty rate as in 1967, three years after the War on Poverty started. How can that be? How can government spend $9,000 per recipient and have no effect on poverty? The answer is – it can’t.

Census counts a family as poor if its “income” falls below certain thresholds. But in counting “income,” Census ignores almost all of the $943 billion in annual welfare spending. This, of course, makes the Census poverty figures very misleading.

https://www.heritage.org/marriage-and-family/commentary/the-war-poverty-50-years-failure

Of course they do not mention much about their attempts to screw the poor by leading the charge to repeal the Act……but I seldom expect conservs to admit to their lunacies.

What can we surmise about the War on Poverty?

Contrary to myths propagated by many critics, the War on Poverty was not narrowly focused on “expanding welfare.” “No doles,” stipulated President Johnson, and his legislative initiatives included aid to schools and universities, new job training programs, public housing initiatives, new Medicare health coverage for the elderly and Medicaid coverage for the poor, and other programs that have endured, such as Head Start, Job Corps, and Community Health Centers.

The War on Poverty’s pivotal assault on racial discrimination often goes unmentioned. In addition to persuading Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Johnson administration used the federal purse to desegregate schools, hospitals, community boards, and neighborhood programs. As new grants flowed, threats to withhold funding made

Nor should the War on Poverty be discussed only in the past tense. It is still being fought today. Although the original coordinating agency, the Office of Economic Opportunity, was disbanded in the early 1970s, many programs are still funded under new names in other agencies.

(read on)

https://scholars.org/contribution/accomplishments-and-lessons-war-poverty

Of course…this program will always be viewed through the lens of political ideology….no amount of successes will ever be recognized….and that is the shame of this society.

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The Massive Blue Wave

This from my op-ed blog…..this election was NOT the blow out that all the polls predicted before the vote. There is NO mandate….just a change of the Fool on the Hill.

Gulf South Free Press

For months the polls and the pundits kept telling us mere mortals about the massive Blue Wave that was taking shape in the 2020 election…..all the indications were there this year of a possible sweep for Dems in Congress…these were the same sources that kept telling us about the HRC presidency.

The problem for Dems was they keep believing the crap pollsters feed them and as usual they LOSE!

Let’s look at that non-existent Blue Wave…..

Some Democrats had been hoping that popular rejection of Donald Trump would lead to a clear Biden victory on election day, the taking of a majority in the Senate, and an increase in the Democratic majority in the Congress. But the anticipated Democratic landslide was not to be. Trump won the key up-for-grab states of Florida, Texas, and Ohio by strong margins. Biden is headed toward an Electoral College majority on the basis of…

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Who Really Won In South Caucasus?

The war that most Americans are clueless was fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the south Caucasus region……while we Americans were fixated on the election people were dying in an old hatred….

First where is this problem region?

Experts: Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Is Christian Genocide Under the  Pretext of War| National Catholic Register
Big disclosure: Pakistani army fighting on behalf of Azerbaijan in the war  against Armenia

To explain the feelings and desires of the region…..

I will let others trying to fill in the blanks for my readers…..

For now the fighting has ceased and a ceasefire is in place……

Troops from Azerbaijan have begun occupying some of the disputed territory….

Azerbaijan said Friday its troops had entered a district bordering Nagorno Karabakh handed back by Armenian separatists after almost 30 years as part of a Russian-brokered peace deal to end weeks of brutal fighting in the region.

Troops moved into the district of Aghdam, one of three due to be handed back, the Azerbaijan defense ministry said, a day after columns of Armenian soldiers and tanks rolled out of the territory.

Armenia will also hand over the Kalbajar district wedged between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia on November 25 and the Lachin district by December 1.

On Thursday Armenian residents of Aghdam hurriedly picked pomegranates and persimmons from trees surrounding their homes and packed vans with furniture, before fleeing ahead of the official deadline to cede the mountainous province.

Azerbaijan Troops Enter First District Handed Over by Armenia

Hopefully the ceasefire holds and no more people have to die…..

But most Americans will want to know who won the war.  It is an American obsession to put everything into wins or losses…..

My thought is that the outside instigators actually won not those fighting and dying…..Turkey/Russia comes to mind…..

Turkey’s intervention in September with military advisers, precision drones and Syrian mercenaries allowed Azerbaijan to wrest back all its territories occupied by Armenia for almost three decades in six bloody weeks. The country’s strongman President Ilham Aliyev has been given a big boost. Turkish hard power has shifted the balance in the south Caucasus, much as it’s done in Syria and Libya. Yet Moscow, which sat on its hands through much of the conflict, is seen by many as the real winner. Is it?

Defeat has been cruel and humiliating for Armenia. Its leaders are being assailed by a furious public as traitors. Its lost at least 1,500 soldiers, with an unstated number missing, a sizable portion of its military kit and all the land it hoped to barter for a future deal that would have given Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh the right to self-determination — read: union with Armenia. A nine-point cease-fire deal brokered by the Kremlin that took effect on Tuesday effectively salvaged Armenian control over around 70% of Nagorno-Karabakh proper. Around 2,000 Russian peace keepers will be deployed in and around the enclave, spelling a return of Russian forces to Azerbaijan as well. Russia’s stranglehold over Armenia is near complete, its leverage over Azerbaijan arguably greater, to the extent that it can re-ignite hostilities.
 
I have a follower from Armenia and I hope to get her in-put into this situation….
 
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