Hey Libs and Leftists, I know the REAL reasons you hate Donald Trump!

Greatest job security concept: Screw something up with bad policies (brushfire management, for example), then get paid by the taxpayers for trying to fix it, while blaming the problem on anything but your policies (climate change?). It certainly helps to have a polarizing figure you can hold up as the root of all evil. Reason #1 the libs and leftists, whom I have dubbed the “perfectionist progressives, or in the arena of “climate change” the “hypocritical hyperbole-makers”, hate Donald Trump is that their policies and ideas simply screw up anything good, and Mr. Trump makes a fabulous scapegoat. For reason #2, first read this sample of celeb venom and ask yourself, “which specific action, policy or statement are they criticizing?”

Remember Peter Fonda’s tweet: “We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the giant asshole she is married to. 90 million people in the streets on the same weekend in the country. F*ck.” (For those not familiar with the Trump family, Barron, Donald Trump’s son, is 11 years old.)

It’s kind of great to have a person like that represent everything that’s wrong in the world. It’s always a good thing to look at somebody and say, ’That’s the worst thing that could happen.’ Chelsea Handler.

“Trump makes me nervous… There’s no way we can let this guy be the president. To let that dude have the nuclear football, are you kidding me? That’s dangerous. He’s impulsive and rash, and doesn’t seem to think deeply about too many things.” Matt Damon.

“Just the nastiest. @realDonaldTrump, you literally have no moral fiber. You’re like no ply toilet paper. Just trash.” Margaret Cho.

He’s just an opportunist. Now he’s a fascist; a xenophobic fascist.” George Clooney in an interview with British newspaper The Guardian. LOOK AT HIM, AMERICA. HEAR HIS WORDS.

We are at DefCon Level Check Yo’self Before You Wreck Yo’self.” Shonda Rhimes in one of many tweets.

Trump is a cancer on our democracy. He must be rejected by all patriots, for the good of our national identity and values.” George Takei on Twitter where he’s frequently tweets about Trump or, in Takei’s words, “your uninformed, drunk relative who never, ever shuts up.

“This is a national disaster. An illiterate, bigoted, misogynistic, racist, rapist has become president. I have no words.” Kate Walsh in a tweet, who later called Trump a “fool.

If Donald Trump becomes president, that will be the end of the world.” Jennifer Lawrence, who a few months later on The Graham Norton Show said that the only words she’d want to say to Trump when she meets him are “Fuck you.

He lies with a kind of cavalier frequency. He’s spread bigotry and hatred and division on a regular basis. He shows no interest or understanding for any sort of policy depth, and I feel like he’s uniquely unqualified to be president.” John Legend in an interview with CNN, an appropriate venue for discussing lies, bigotry, hatred and division.

“This is an embarrassing night for America. We’ve let a hatemonger lead our great nation. We’ve let a bully set our course. I’m devastated.” Chris Evans.

If Donald Trump is elected president of the United States in a kind of historical way, it’s exciting because we will see the actual last president of the United States. It just won’t work after that.” Johnny Depp, just a few months after he called the Republican candidate a “brat” who works through “bullydom.”

I actually feel sick listening to [Trump] speak. The way I used to feel when a kid was having a tantrum when babysitting. Jessica Chastain on Twitter, where she’s also called Trump “a bully” and “a child.”

Didn’t think I was capable of feeling hatred like this. The biggest insult to our country is this snorting piece of garbage.” Amanda Seyfriend in a tweet during the second presidential debate. A few days before that, Seyfried asked the Twitterverse, “Why are we still watching a delusional, racist man-child run for dictator?”

“He’s so blatantly stupid. He’s a punk, he’s a dog, he’s a pig, he’s a con — a bullshit artist. A mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t care, thinks he’s gaming society, doesn’t pay his taxes. He’s an idiot.” Robert De Niro in a video released through Anonymous Content and their voteyourfuture.us campaign. The actor continues, referring to Trump as “this fool,” “this bozo,” and saying, ““He talks about how he wants to punch people in the face. Well, I’d like to punch him in the face.”

“Please stop it with voting for Trump. It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the 30s. Do you think they saw the shit coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.” Louis C.K.

“Trump was the least qualified candidate ever nominated by a major party for the presidency. Come January, he will become the worst president in American history, and a dangerously unstable player on the world stage.” George R.R. Martin in a personal blog post.

Okay, either your view of the President has been validated, or your view of the rationality and intelligence of celebrities has been validated. However, I will forebear from criticizing those celebrities, because there’s no glory or honor in plucking low hanging fruit that’s so overripe that it’s about to fall off the tree and get squashed underfoot. I am sure that my readers realize my opinion of them without my getting any more explicit.

Remember I asked, “which specific action, policy or statement are they criticizing?” These same people would say they hate Trump’s rudeness, his self aggrandizement, his exaggerations and lies, his trenchant criticism of the sacred cows of liberalism/leftism, in promoting or defending his narrative. But it can’t be his style or rhetoric that they hate, since it is of the same type as their own in promoting their narrative. No, what they really hate is that so many voters are buying his narrative, because they might agree. They hate him, his narrative, and more important, everyone who believes a similar narrative.

False Dichotomies and Red Herrings

Definition of a ‘Fallacy’: A misconception resulting from flawed reasoning, or a trick or illusion in thinking that often obfuscates facts/truth, usually from poor habits of language and logic.

From logicalfallacies.org: A formal fallacy is an error that can be seen within the argument’s form. Every formal fallacy is a non sequitur (or, an argument where the conclusion does not follow from the premise.) An informal fallacy refers to an argument whose proposed conclusion is not supported by the premises. There are four formal, and 46 informal fallacies listed on the website. Sharply biased and partisan websites and publications are rife with logical fallacies. We see and hear the same ones repeatedly, until we are practically numb to the piss poor arguments. I have selected as an example a website, WEForum.org, that attempts to be objective, non-partisan, and rational, yet is awash in (probably) unconscious logical fallacies. The following logical fallacies are in bold print.

From the report of The World Economic Forum: “At the same time, the main addressee of these messages, the political arena, is split between those who continue to deny man-made climate change and those who present ambitious plans like the EU’s new ‘Green Deal’ to make Europe the first ever climate-neutral continent.” The main fallacy in this sentence is an informal one called the false dichotomy, fallacy of bifurcation, or black-or-white fallacy. It presents two alternative states—climate change denial vs. ambitious plans—as the only possibilities when many more possibilities and gradations exist. The same sentence also contains two other logical fallacies: The fallacy of composition and division assumes that one part of something will apply to the whole, or that the whole must apply to all the parts, in lumping the spectrum of climate change objections into “those who continue to deny man-made climate change.” The fallacy of the Burden of Proof occurs when someone who is making a claim, puts the burden of proof on another party to disprove what they are claiming. In this sentence the fallacy is implicit, because the ambitious climate change planners and fear mongers make dramatic announcements and then challenge their opponents to disprove their claims.

“Cynics speak of a dead-end situation and might dismiss such initiatives (European Green Deal) as utopia.” The ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy trying to undermine the opponent’s arguments by personal attacks, through attacking their character or skill level, despite the lack of causal connection between the two parts of the argument. In this case, those who object to what they perceive as dead-end plans are dismissed as “cynics”. Cynics they might also be, but if so, there is no causal connection between their cynicism and their objections to the sweeping E.G.D. type proposals. The fallacy of appeal to authority makes the argument that if a credible source believes something, that it must be true. Also known as ‘appealing to the people‘, this fallacy presumes that a proposition is true because most/many believe it to be true. In this case, using the label “cynics” implies that non-cynics—the majority of people—believe in such initiatives. Similarly, I could say The fallacy of the bandwagon also applies. This fallacy says, ‘But everyone is doing it’, and appeals to the popularity of something as a means of validating it. For instance, if a large number of schoolchildren, politicians, celebrities and educators are “protesting” global warming, they must be right. If they believe the world will end in 12 years, shouldn’t the rest of us be convinced?

While I acknowledge that human-caused “greenhouse gases” pose the danger of an increasingly warming atmosphere, I firmly believe that human ingenuity and capitalism are capable of sharply reducing the danger, and constitute a much more practical solution than the hysteria, demonstrations and apocalyptic prognostications of the “climate change fear mongers.” The true question is, “how can we best deal with human-caused greenhouse gases to protect our planet’s atmosphere?” I don’t read or hear that question being asked. Instead, we are bombarded with dire predictions (“we have only 12 years left”), blame-shifting (“Trump is to blame”. “Capitalism is to blame”), and ineffectual “agreements” (Paris Accords), all of which are red herrings, or attempting to redirect the argument to another issue to which the person doing the redirecting can better respond. While it is similar to the avoiding the issue fallacy, the red herring is a deliberate diversion of attention with the intention of trying to abandon the original argument.

I mentioned ingenuity and capitalism as providing better solutions: 1- What if we did something with CO2, instead of continuing to try and contain it on a massive scale? One promising pathway is using this climate destroyer as a useful raw material, to provide the valuable carbon that the chemical industry so heavily relies on.

2-Created by tech company Watergen, the water-from-air system taps into atmospheric water using patented heat-exchange technology, producing up to 30 liters of potable water for a home or office every day – significantly reducing plastic usage and disposal by eliminating the waste caused by drinking bottled water.

3-Scientists have invented a new method for turning carbon dioxide into a liquid fuel that can efficiently store energy in fuel cells. The fuel could one day be the future of green transport, cramming more energy into the tank than the same volume of hydrogen while also serving as a building block for a whole chemical production industry.

Capitalism harnesses a “crisis” to stimulate creative solutions. Alarmism confuses, frightens and stampedes people into unproductive and counter productive behavior. Capitalism produces innovation, alarmism produces logical fallacies.

Never let a crisis go to waste. Australian brushfires and big lies.

Fake ABC map makes fake news

We’ve all seen the fire maps and the headlines, “Australia is going up in flames.” ABC-TV in the USA showed a map that made it appear that over 30% of Australia was burning. The map was off a bit, since 1% of Australia is burning, and that’s bad enough without exaggerating. ABC refused to alter the map even when challenged. So where’d the map come from? ABC News editor Matt Zarrell “Appears [to have] used Himawari-8 🛰️ thermal anomalies (‘hotspots’) from Jan 2 … so anything hot (cars in full sun, industry)+ fire used in land mgmt.” In other words, that’s not a map of stuff on fire, but a map of virtually anything in Australia that gets hot enough in direct sunlight to get picked up by a very sensitive Japanese weather satellite.

But the mass media, the global warming (I refuse to say “climate change” since warming is the concern) fanatics and those who profit from the hysteria (automobile battery makers, for example) hate to let any disaster go to waste when they can exaggerate it to drum up sympathy for their cause. In descending order, the actual causes of the Australian brush fires are: too much fuel (dead wood and brush) buildup; the Indian Ocean dipole; arson; lightning and wind, not counting the hot air from media.

These fires are not new. The 1851 Black Thursday bushfires burnt a quarter of Victoria, killed 12 humans and over a million sheep. Blue Mountains (another hard hit area today) facing a tragedy where a million hectares were burnt in 1968. Or the more recent 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria which resulted in 173 deaths and more than 2,000 homes destroyed. Many of these and many others occurred before global warming was a thing.

Fires need fuel. Bushfire scientist David Packham warned in this prescient article in 2015 that unless fuel reduction burns were increased, Victoria and New South Wales were facing potential disaster.The Volunteer Fire Fighters Association (VFFA) issued a statement asking people not to blame either the fire crews or climate change, but rather the fuel loads – the amount of dry combustible material that has been allowed to build up.

So why has this happened? The irony is that Greens/environmentalist activism has greatly hindered effective management of the bush. In NSW, fire trails were abandoned in order to keep out campers and four wheel drives. The trouble is that these trails both acted as fire breaks and provided access for fire crews into remote areas. In Gippsland – the area in Victoria most devastated by the latest fires – some of the load reduction burning was stopped because of the ignorance and short-sightedness of the same kind of people who are now crazed by the effects of their “policies”. Like the Democrats in our country, “environmentalist wackos” (thank you Rush Limbaugh for the appellation) all over the world help create the problems that they protest. Talk about job security! Protesters held signs saying “stop burning nesting birds”. The burns were cut back from 370 hectares to nine. Nowa Nowa was evacuated in the latest fires.

The Indian Ocean Dipole is the main reason for both the extreme heat and drought in Australia. This is an effect where the western half of the ocean is warmer than that of the eastern. Added to this is the problem of the winds. Normally the strong southerlies blow several hundred kilometres to the south but for some unknown reason they are much closer to Australia. The combination of heat, drought and wind is devastating. In reality, there is not much that the Australian government can do to control the wind, waves and heat. If Australia were to destroy its own economy (and impoverish many poor people even more) by reducing its emissions from 1.3% to 1% of global emissions, the new power stations being planned in China would make up for that within a year.

Arson – It seems incredible but one of the major causes of the bushfires is arson. As the Sydney Morning Herald stated in this informative report, 13% of bushfires are natural; 87% are human and of these at least 40% are believed to be arson. The situation is so serious that today it was reported that NSW police are to set up a taskforce to investigate how many of the fires were caused deliberately and to seek to bring the culprits to justice. As of this writing, 24 people have been charged with arson, 53 are facing legal action for ignoring fire bans, 47 have been charged with discarding lighted matches on dry tinder (separate from the arsonists, who probably used accelerants).

While we should cut down on carbon emissions (huge progress is being made), we should not feed hysteria or incite the mobs. We should not use tragedy for political ends and we should not deny science for the sake of politics. Then there is the hypocrisy. For example, the Sydney Morning Herald seeks to make political capital out of this by using it to attack the Prime Minister and claiming that climate change is the real reason. Yet in the weekend SMH, there are pages of adverts for wealthy readers to jet off to exotic holidays all over the world. To complain about climate change that you say is caused largely by air travel, and then to take the 30 pieces of silver in order to promote that travel is as hypocritical as those who fly to conferences which seek to discuss how to stop people flying!

Bernie Sanders, as usual, was a fount of hyperbole and exaggeration. “I say to those who are delaying action on climate change: Look at the blood red-sky and unbreathable air in Australia because of raging forest fires.” Nope Bernie, try Dipole, arson, poor fuel management. Liz Warren, “The catastrophic scenes from Australia’s wildfires should alarm all of us. Climate change is driving even more dangerous and destructive fires across the world, from California to New South Wales…” Nope Pocahontas, the biggest cause of these destructive fires is fuel buildup. The cause of fuel buildup? Policies restricting brush-thinning controlled burns. Whose dumb ideas are those? Liberals and environmentalists. Hmm, maybe some are arsonists.

How lies are taught as truth.

I have written a number of post about the New York Times 1619 Project: The New York Times 1619 Project protects its vested interests —undoing Trump, endearing themselves to their anti-Trump readers and the Democrats—the same way. Distorting and rewriting our history to make it all about racism and slavery. The purpose of this project is, as Dean Baquet, executive editor the the paper declared in a staff meeting is to “teach our readers how to think about racism and slavery.” https://curmudgeon550.blog/2019/08/20/groupthink-part-2-youtube-censors-1619-project-lies-about-usa/

According to the National Association of Scholars, NAS.ORG, from their 1/5/2020 Countercurent newsletter, “The 1619 Project is not a stand-alone campaign presenting a historical perspective with which we disagree. It is put forth by one of the nation’s foremost publications as the objective truth about American history. What’s more, the ‘1619 Project view’ of history is already being implemented into public school curricula on a national scale. Partnering with the Pulitzer Center, The New York Times provides ready-made lesson plans for teachers of all grades. According to the organization,

“Teachers across all 50 states have accessed the Pulitzer Center educational resources since the project’s launch…Educators from hundreds of schools and administrators from six school districts have also reached out to the Center for class sets of the magazine. Teachers are using the magazine in their classes to teach subjects ranging from English to History and Social Studies…”

“Countless students will be taught this view of history in the coming years, learning to hate their own country and distrust its foundational ideals. It is our hope that The 1620 Project (NAS’ truthful antidote to 1619 lies) will stem this tidal wave of misinformation and help restore integrity and honesty to American historical education.”

The heart of a leader? A “servant heart.”

PRIMER ON LEADERSHIP. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45.

Joey King, Trevor Lawrence’s high school coach: “Everything that he does, if he’s doing well, he’s going to defer the credit to somebody else. If he’s doing badly, he’s going to own up and take responsibility even if it’s not his fault. That’s just kind of what he’s made out of.” If I weren’t so verbose, I could end this post on that quote. In case you don’t know who Trevor Lawrence is, he is the quarterback of the Clemson university national champion football team. A Lawrence-quarterbacked team has never lost a game in college, and since he was 14 years old and in the ninth grade, his teams have suffered three defeats overall and just the two as a starter. What about his last team’s loss, in high school? “In the aftermath, to see his leadership just continue to flourish, he’s such a selfless young man,” coach Foster said. “His concern was his teammates. There wasn’t any head-hanging from him. There wasn’t sitting around and crying and moping. It was him trying to seek out his teammates and trying to make sure that they were OK. Loving on them and consoling them. His leadership just never stops to amaze me.”

In this age of YouTube superstars with millions of “followers”, who have actually accomplished nothing except to profit from mimicry of their buffoonery, hypocritical “celebrities” who fly around in private jets in order to scold the rest of the world about global warming, a braggart President, media woke-scolds who lie on camera to promote their pet causes and politicians, there are still true winners, true leaders, who say little about themselves and serve others without fanfare. While Trevor Lawrence types are rare, it does seem that the latest crop of winning college quarterbacks–like Tua Tagavailoa, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts–embody very similar characteristics.

Of course, the Bible has a lot to say on leadership, and the proverbs of Solomon are particularly pithy:

Proverbs 26:11. Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

Proverbs 26:12. Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes. there is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 26:16. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

10:20. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver.

Proverbs 16:18. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:32. Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 17:10. A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than 100 blows into a fool.

Proverbs 18:2. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, only in expressing his own opinion.

Proverbs 18:12-13. Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. If one gives an answer before he hears the matter it is his folly and shame.

Proverbs 17:28. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 29:1. He who is often reproved but stiffens his neck will be suddenly broken beyond healing .

Proverbs 29:11. A fool gives full vent to his spirit but a wise man holds it back.

Proverbs 29:23. One’s pride will bring him low but a man who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Want to be a winner? Adjust your attitude to those proverbs, and the heart of Jesus. You won’t throw like Trevor Lawrence but you will be and have a richer treasure.

Is there any hope for USA relations with the Islamic world?

General Qasem Soleimani was once called the “Wizard of Oz of Iranian terror” by the New York Post. He was responsible for the Benghazi embassy attack, and was in bed with Barack Obama. He was the most dreaded and most effective terrorist alive, the head of the Quds Force, an organization that acts as a combination CIA and Green Berets for Iran, and a man who orchestrated a campaign of chaos against the United States around the world. Then we drone-struck him. Was it a good thing? Actress and hopeful foreign policy expert Rose McGowan tweeted her deep analysis which started like this. “Dear #Iran, The USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. 52% of us humbly apologize. We want peace with your nation. We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us. #Soleimani” Her sympathies haven’t changed much since 2008, “I imagine, had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100% have been in the IRA.” Thanks Rose, and all your ilk, we 48%(?) will take it under advisement……

Is there any hope for USA relations with the Islamic world? I don’t know, do you? I present six propositions which I believe to be true, then return to the main question. My conclusion will surprise you.

1. “Separation of church and state” is not and has never been in our Constitution. Instead, we have settled into this comfortable fiction, aided and abetted by the major media and dubious Supreme Court decisions, that our founders wrote a constitution containing a central idea that religion has no place in politics. This idea is false as can be. The central idea and theme of our political system and constitution is civil government derives it’s legitimacy from the consent of the governed. The most fundamental concept of democracy is the idea that government exists to secure the rights of the people and must be based on the consent of the governed. This is a religious principle! See #7.

2. Where did this idea come from? Until the original 13 American states asserted the principle of consent of the governed as self-evident, it had been applied only rarely in the world’s annals. For most of recorded history, people lived under different types of dictatorship, usually a form of autocracy, the rule of a single leader exercising unlimited power. Sometimes, the ruler was the best warrior, able to seize power over a group or nation (such as Genghis Khan in 13th-century Asia). Such leaders often founded hereditary monarchies, the most common form of autocracy. In most cases, the monarch was all-powerful, claiming his or her position by “divine right” (as in Europe) or by the “mandate of heaven” (as in China). The ruler was sovereign, the supreme authority of a state. The people were not citizens but subjects. Virtually ALL governments in history were theocracies, the rulers’ legitimacy claimed divine right.

3. Islam has always been autocratic; the word itself means submission. Submission to whom, or what? Submission to Allah. Virtually all Islamic governments throughout history were ruled by religious leaders, or those who pretended to be. In fact, Islam is simultaneously both a religion and a government. The idea of separation of the two is anathema to every devout Muslim. Therefore, the United States declaring that our goal is bringing democracy to any Islamic country is a declaration of war, war on Islam itself.

4. Drone warfare, invasions, targeted killing (or assassination) of terrorist leaders are to us defensive measures—proactively pre-empting the ability of terrorists to operate. To the Islamic world they are provocations. But #3 represents a much greater threat to their world than #4. What about all those complaints about “islamophobia”, the Crusades, our killing their Muslim brothers and sisters? See next.

5. The Islamic leaders know our weaknesses, compared to the level of their commitment: we are soft, sympathetic, empathetic, pluralistic, respectful of other cultures and religions. Yes, they are weaknesses to the Islamic militants, who are none of those things, and hostile to the very ideas. So islamophobia, claims of crusader aggression, killing their “brothers” are all part of the “public relations campaign” to put us on the defensive. The Crusades, by and large, were mostly to defend Christian lands and people, or to take back territory from the Muslim invaders. Islamophobia is either BS, or in Eastern Europe is justified by their history (look up the derivation of the word “slave”). As far as killing their brothers, Muslim deaths are overwhelmingly perpetrated by other Muslims.

6. Islam has nearby enemies: Israel, “moderate” Islamic governments like Jordan and the emirates, the House of Saud, but those nearby enemies are defended by the United States, the far enemy. We could end all warfare, drone strikes and any type of preemptive anti-terrorist measures, and it would have no positive effect on Islamic relations. Islamic true believers constitute Dar al Islam, or the “House of Islam”, to them the only true faith. All infidels, which includes moderate Muslims and all non-Muslims, are the Dar al Harb, or “House of War.” The militant Muslims, the ones with the commitment and power, will make war by any means until either we in the west are conquered and worship Allah, or we have conquered them. Why don’t the Islamic militants go after China, the most egregious oppressor of Muslims in the world? They know China wouldn’t care about their propaganda, would laugh at the idea of “Islamophobia” and would strike back more ruthlessly than the USA even with Donald Trump as president, and that China is not limited by the kind of civil and legal niceties that we observe.

7. Given the preceding six points, where do we go from here? War will not conquer Islam. I asked in #2, where did the consent of the governed idea come from? It is a uniquely Christian and biblical concept. It didn’t exist in the world until the Pilgrims and Puritans established 13 colonies on biblical principles. Read the state constitutions of the original 13 states. The truth of what I am saying will be evident. Therefore, I believe the only hope for USA-Islamic relations is found in the Bible:

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:10-16.

Only love will conquer hardened hearts. There are Christian relief organizations working in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and everywhere militant Islam has caused untold misery. Their workers are often kidnapped or killed, but they soldier on, motivated to show the love of Christ to Muslims. Would that every American want the same thing. Only then will we elect the kind of leaders who reflect love. Such love requires telling the truth; such love would be the ultimate threat to militant Islam. When will be ready for that kind of commitment? Ronald Reagan used that “city on a hill” reference and believed we are that. Can we be?

Is there a true sage in your life?

Dennis Peacocke, CEO of Gostrategic.org, is a sage to me. The economy and power of his writing and speaking never fails to reach me. The following message is from his 2020 New Year newsletter, The Bottom Line.

He is discussing St. Paul’s brutally honest reality that “each one shall bear his own load.” But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5.

The major challenges are three-fold:

1. What if I don’t want to face this reality of ultimate personal responsibility for my life?
2. What if I somehow agree to attempt to manage my life but don’t feel I have any wise ability to do so?
3. What if I am carrying my own load but life makes it too uncertain to do so wisely?

Answering any of these questions fully and adequately in a newsletter or a blog post is absurd indeed, so let’s go for some observations:

1. There is no running from self, the reality of life and death, and the law of consequences; thoughts and actions produce results based upon them.

2. In our human weakness, none of us want to grow up; we do so only when forced by God, others, or our circumstances.

3. Life is full of a lot more trouble than available, wise teachers to shepherd us through them. If you have found wise, consistent help, you are unbelievably blessed and, likewise, now responsible to become that “wise person” to others who genuinely want truth from you!

4. Life is full of “patterns”; recognizing them is a clear sign that “carrying your own burden” is actually beginning to work for you. When you learn how to use those patterns, you are once again blessed of God and responsible to pass them on.

5. Knowing and acting on your limitations and tendencies puts you in a very limited group within humanity. Once again, thank God, and don’t let go of this gift.