Friday, June 29, 2018

Foreign Aid: A solution to illegal immigration?

Chad wrote: The only real solution to illegal immigration is helping to make other countries in our hemisphere safe and prosperous. People with good jobs and safe streets don't walk a thousand miles to come to another country.

And bmiller agreed. 

Hey, I've got an idea. We should raise taxes in America to pay for massive foreign aid to countries like Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, etc. Then their people won't want to come to America, and we won't have such a severe problem with illegal immigration. 

127 comments:

Starhopper said...

I've been advocating this for years now. If you don't want Central Americans coming to the USA, then work for conditions in Central America that will encourage people to stay where they are. Create jobs, eliminate government corruption, and eviscerate the gangs.

Why would anyone make the 2000 mile trek to the southern border, often on foot, if things at home are acceptable?

And I assure you the cost would be far less (and more effective) than building that stupid wall.

SteveK said...

Not really a solution. Inequities will always exist and so will a covetous heart. Financial aid can help supply basic human needs (America helps with that) but beyond that financial aid only kicks the can down the road by shifting the covetousness problem to another economic class. The problem never goes away. Rich people want what the super rich have, the dirt poor want what the average poor have.

A missionary in our church noticed this coveting problem among every economic class. In India, the families who live in the garbage dump among piles of toxic waste and disease, they covet the family with the cardboard lean-to shack. "If only I had that great house, my life would be perfect" they'd say. The family in the cardboard shack covets the one built from wood. And on it goes...

SteveK said...

There's also the problem of corrupt governments not distributing the aid as they should.

Financial aid helps and American is already a very giving country, but it's not the panacea you think it is.

SteveK said...

"Why would anyone make the 2000 mile trek to the southern border, often on foot, if things at home are acceptable?"

Because everyone wants what they perceive as "a better life". One day your job is acceptable, the next day you're trekking to another city because they have a better job to offer.

If the America was capable of quenching the innate human desire to move someplace where life is better, it would have already done that within its own borders, among it's own people. I have no reason to think America can achieve this beyond its borders, among other people groups.

Legion of Logic said...

"And I assure you the cost would be far less (and more effective) than building that stupid wall."

I don't think it would be cheaper. Not even close.

Also, as someone already struggling to make ends meet, I'm not too keen on the government helping itself to more of my money and sending it somewhere where it could possibly be used to help someone I've never met (instead of winding up in a corrupt politician's pocket or a cartel bank account). I'd have no way of knowing, but I would certainly know the reality of skipping a few meals to ensure my kids eat.

Starhopper said...

"I don't think it would be cheaper. Not even close."

An ounce of prevention always costs less than a pound of cure. Always.

bmiller said...

We don't have to raise taxes.

All we have to do to double the present foreign aid to those countries is just to send them the money we presently send to Planned Parenthood.

I have some more ideas too. :-)

Starhopper said...

That's not a bad idea, bmiller. But the needed amount would have to be about one million times higher. How much is sent PP's way? I honestly do not know, but I'd bet Yankee dollars that it's essentially a rounding error in the federal budget.

bmiller said...

You tell me the number you want and I'll tell you a way to get there within budget.

Sorry, can't type today.

bmiller said...

Could it be this much?

Dave Duffy said...

I'm trying to think of countries that have become places of economic prosperity and net immigration because of our foreign aid. South Korea, maybe? But, East Asians are, in general, suspicious of immigration. I need some real world examples how our money has helped build these societies we would like to see.

Most people trying to come here legally and without family connections, are the professionals of other countries. They are already at the top end of economy at home. My Anglican Diocese is filled with professionals from Africa who came here for a better life, even though they had as good a life as they could find in their home country. Ditto the folks from India in my neighborhood.

Note to Crazies, this is not racist. Just a personal observation.

bmiller said...

This just in!

Trump just signed an Executive Order to change the name of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement.







Protests are now planned to abolish NICE!

Starhopper said...

This is priceless! As we all know (from C.S. Lewis' novel That Hideous Strength) The N.I.C.E. was the demonic conspiracy which planned on bringing hell literally to Earth.

bmiller said...

Ha Ha!

Devils everywhere.

bmiller said...

Go Devils!

Starhopper said...

Hmm.. Perhaps instead of C.S. Lewis, the current occupant of our White House is channeling George Orwell. In his Nineteen Eighty-Four, the State had its Ministries of Love, Plenty, Peace, and Truth - all engaged in the precise opposite of their respective names.

So now we have the NICE, rather than a more aptly named HEARTLESS (or maybe even CRUELTY).

Double Plus Ungood!

bmiller said...

You do know I was joking, right?

Starhopper said...

So was I, in my posting of July 01, 2018 7:12 PM. But in my last posting, I was not - I was (and am) totally serious.

The name change is a classic example of Orwellian language.

bmiller said...

There was no name change.

Starhopper said...

Ha! And I fell for it - hook, line, and sinker. When I read your first comment, I googled "ice changes name to nice" and got THIS. Didn't even bother to read the article - just the headline, and failed to notice that it was a satirical blog.

But you know, with this administration, you can just never tell. It sounds like something they'd do! Too bad I can't go with the Lewis analogy, however. That would have been "Gold, Jerry, gold!"

bmiller said...

Indeed it would have been Bania.

bmiller said...

But we all know who have historically used euphemisms to hide their intent.

Like this group.

Starhopper said...

I don't think that is all the same thing. There's no deception in the name "Planned Parenthood". Now before you go into hysterics, having no problem with their name does not imply support. I have no quarrel with the name of the organization "Aryan Nations" (it does what it says on the tin), but that does not mean I have the least sympathy for their lunatic hatred.

If any organization can be accused of deceptive naming, it would be the Republican Party. It was, after all, founded on a platform of abolishing "states rights" (a.k.a., republicanism) on the issue of slavery.

bmiller said...

I linked to the article because it actually said they changed the name for that reason.

Yes, the Democrats called the president a tyrant and went to war to defend an inhumane practice. Now what does this remind me of?.....hmmmm.

bmiller said...

But I guess they felt they must go to war since Republicans just wouldn't listen to reason!

Starhopper said...

Huh? You're equating opposition to separating families at the border to support for slavery? How's that supposed to work?

bmiller said...

No I'm equating Democrat's support of slavery with Democrat support of abortion.
Also using violence instead of reason.

Starhopper said...

But if we're talking about Saturday's rallies, then I don't see how your comment is even remotely relevant. There was no reference to abortion in any of the speeches, on any of the signs, or in anything people were saying. We were talking about what was going on at the border.

(Well, yeah. There were a half dozen honest-to-God commies at the rally in Baltimore, but they were mostly ignored as the cranks that they were. I found them amusing.)

But as I've said before, you are a one trick pony, a one note samba. You feel this weird compulsion to turn every discussion into a referendum on your pet obsession. You actually remind me of the commies at the rally - resolutely determined to reduce everything to dialectical materialism (yawn). You do realize there are other important issues out there, right?

bmiller said...

But if we're talking about Saturday's rallies,

We had been talking about how progressive organizations use euphemisms weren't we?

You brought up slavery here: July 02, 2018 1:01 PM , but apparently forgot that Democrats were the slavery defenders then just as they are abortion defenders today. So your attempt to somehow paint Republicans as Orwellian seemed to me to be Orwellian. I found that rather weird.

Also weird is going to protest over something was no longer happening.

Starhopper said...

"something was no longer happening"

You haven't been keeping up. It is most definitely still happening.

As to the Democrats supporting slavery in the 19th Century, you are 100% correct. I have said it before more than once. The Democrats of the 19th Century are today's Republicans. And the Republicans of the 19th Century are today's Democrats. The grand switchover began with FDR and was fully complete by 1964 and the Civil Rights bill.

bmiller said...

Fake news.

SteveK said...

The policy was still "happening" over the weekend? I thought they changed the policy to keep the families together.

Legion of Logic said...

Neither party is the Democrats of the 19th century because both parties are opposed to slavery.

bmiller said...

Neither party is the Democrats of the 19th century because both parties are opposed to slavery.

Agreed. But both the old and new Democrats support/ed inhumane treatment of people.
That was my point.

bmiller said...

But of course I'm also not actually trying to say the Democratic party is and will always be evil incarnate.

I made the rejoiner to this silly statement by Bob:

If any organization can be accused of deceptive naming, it would be the Republican Party. It was, after all, founded on a platform of abolishing "states rights" (a.k.a., republicanism) on the issue of slavery.

bmiller said...
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bmiller said...

Plus there was the added bonus of giving me the chance to help him think about his conscience. It seems he's convinced that the ends justifies the means.

Starhopper said...

"It seems he's convinced that the ends justifies the means."

That's rich, coming from anyone who supports most "pro-life" politicians. Despite their trashing of everything most Americans hold dear to their hearts, despite their dismantling of civil rights, despite their naked efforts to suppress the vote of anyone who disagrees with then, despite their defiling of the environment, despite their demonstrable favoritism for the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the struggling middle class (not to mention the poor), despite their hostility to medical care for all... all of that (and much, much more) is overlooked, sacrificed on the altar of their Dear Cause.

Now I would call that the very definition of "the ends justifying the means".

bmiller said...

@Starhopper,

Now I would call that the very definition of "the ends justifying the means".

Then you are confused.
You've told me you're OK with someone who supports the direct killing innocent people as long as you think they will do some other list of good things. That's "ends justifies means" philosophy...consequentialism. It is condemned by the Catholic Church. I've shown you documentary evidence of how this applies to abortion.

Regardless the list you presented is all the more reason not to have voted Hillary.:-)

Starhopper said...

"Regardless the list you presented is all the more reason not to have voted Hillary"

You seem to be confusing me with a Clinton supporter. I was not.

And I repeat, if you are willing to ignore every other stand a candidate/public official takes other than his/her position on abortion, then... well, if that ain't the ends justifying the means, then the phrase is without meaning.

bmiller said...

I didn't say you voted for Hillary. I was just fending off your overblown rhetoric.

And I repeat, if you are willing to ignore every other stand a candidate/public official takes other than his/her position on abortion, then... well, if that ain't the ends justifying the means, then the phrase is without meaning.

It's clear you don't know the meaning nor have you made an effort to find out.

First:
No candidate of any party runs on anything that you listed. No party has any of those things in their platform. They would not get elected if they did. One party does have support for abortion in their platform and I'm unaware of anyone from that party that pledges to oppose it. If you think abortion is evil, then that party is opening supporting evil and doing nothing to oppose it.

Second:
Supporting the intentional killing of innocent defenseless people is always intrinsically gravely immoral. Gravely means one's soul is in danger. You've taken away all other possible goods from the murdered including the ones on your list. Your position amounts to "let's allow the killing of children so that we can live in utopia".

Finally:
You ignore the clear teaching of the Church. It's based on natural law theory and you could easily research it (let me know if you want some links). But even if you can't understand it, you have an obligation as a faithful Catholic to accept it.

If you think I'm nagging....I am, just like your conscience should be.

Starhopper said...

"Supporting the intentional killing of innocent defenseless people

This where you totally misrepresent the clear teachings of the Catholic Church. No one is prohibited from voting for a pro-choice candidate, as long as you vote for them in spite of their stand on that issue. The only case where "one's soul is in danger" is if you vote for them because of their stance on abortion.

So if a Catholic in good standing looks at 2 candidates and says, "Hmm, Candidate A is pro-choice, but he's also in favor of justice for the poor, increased access to health care for all, respects the environment, works to level the playing field between employee and employer, and believes in science. Meanwhile, Candidate B is pro-life, but wants to remove society's safety net for the poor, is opposed to helping middle class citizens have access to health care, trashes the environment, does everything in his power to eliminate workers' rights, and thinks science is a left wing conspiracy. So in spite of and not because of Candidate A's pro-choice stance, I will vote for him." Then not only is his soul not in danger, he is actually performing a Good Work.

Legion of Logic said...

"No one is prohibited from voting for a pro-choice candidate, as long as you vote for them in spite of their stand on that issue."

So what if instead of abortion, we said this:

"No one is prohibited from voting for a candidate whose policies separate parents from their children, as long as you vote for them in spite of their stand on that issue.

So if a Catholic in good standing looks at 2 candidates and says, "Hmm, Candidate A would separate kids from their parents, but he's also in favor of justice for the poor, increased access to health care for all, respects the environment, works to level the playing field between employee and employer, and believes in science. Meanwhile, Candidate B opposes the separation of families, but wants to remove society's safety net for the poor, is opposed to helping middle class citizens have access to health care, trashes the environment, does everything in his power to eliminate workers' rights, and thinks science is a left wing conspiracy. So in spite of and not because of Candidate A's family separation, I will vote for him." Then not only is his soul not in danger, he is actually performing a Good Work."

Does that still work? If not, what is the difference?

Legion of Logic said...

Also, nice objective depictions of the two parties there haha.

Starhopper said...

"Does that still work?"

Yes, it does - but only in theory, because in the real world you'd never find such a match up.

"Also, nice objective depictions of the two parties there."

Thanks. I do try.

SteveK said...

"No one is prohibited from voting for a pro-choice candidate, as long as you vote for them in spite of their stand on that issue. The only case where "one's soul is in danger" is if you vote for them because of their stance on abortion."

In other words, "Vote your conscience". I did that.

SteveK said...

It sure seems like Starhopper is saying it's NEVER immoral to vote for a pro-choice candidate, as long as you vote for them in spite of their stand on that issue.

Is there a clear instance when it is our Christian duty to NOT vote for such a person? If there isn't any, then it sure seems like a sure-fire way to rationalize immorality for whatever reason you want

"Yes, he's very pro-abortion and a cruel dictator, but I'm not voting for THAT icky stuff. I'm voting for him because X, Y and Z"

SteveK said...

To bring this a little closer to home, what would you say to this rationale, Starhopper?

"He's for [insert Trump policies that I think are immoral or evil], but I'm not voting for those things. I'm voting for [insert Trump policies that I think will do some good]"

Starhopper said...

You guys fail to understand. I have no problem with people voting for Trump. My problem is with Trump himself, his policies, and the great harm he is doing to our democracy, the rule of law, and the international order.

As to his voters? Stupid decisions are not necessarily a sin. Now if you were fully aware of what an unqualified moral disaster Trump is, and still voted for him, well.. then we might have a talk.

SteveK said...

But I'm not voting for his policies that intend to do great harm. That's the point of my question above.

We may disagree on what produces the greater harm and what produces the lesser harm, but disagreement isn't a problem for a Christian is it? Why must we "have a talk" when I disagree with your premise that I'm voting for an unqualified moral disaster?

What is our Christian duty when everyone has their own opinions and there is no clear answer. I think Romans 12:18 is applicable.

Starhopper said...

And I think THIS is applicable.

As to Romans 12:18, I've always felt that the applicable phrase was "so far as it depends upon you". But when another has overstepped the bounds of decency, then an appropriate response is in order. That response may be a rally in the park, or it may be the bombing of Dresden. As Paul (and therefore the Holy Spirit) says, "It depends."

SteveK said...

So again, what is my Christian duty (your duty) in situations where:

(a) I'm not supporting immorality, but rather I'm supporting what is good; and
(b) we disagree on what is immoral and what is good

I'm not preaching moral relativism here. I'm asking how Christians resolve differences of opinion when it comes to morality when we don't have clear direction.

I keep hearing that it's my Christian duty to agree with you. Given (a) and (b), why is that my duty?

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

@Starhopper,

This where you totally misrepresent the clear teachings of the Catholic Church. No one is prohibited from voting for a pro-choice candidate, as long as you vote for them in spite of their stand on that issue. The only case where "one's soul is in danger" is if you vote for them because of their stance on abortion.

No, this is where you totally misunderstand and misrepresent Church teaching. I've linked to a number of Church documents that explain the teaching and reasoning behind it and even your own bishop promulgated it.
Whoever told you this did not tell you the truth.

bmiller said...

It sure seems like Starhopper is saying it's NEVER immoral to vote for a pro-choice candidate, as long as you vote for them in spite of their stand on that issue.

He is saying that. It's called proportionalism. Polish Pope Saint John Paul II expressly condemned it in Veritatis Splendor.

Starhopper said...

So then, bmiller, what you are saying is that I must abstain from voting altogether? Because I cannot in good conscience vote for any candidate that does not believe in climate change, who works to suppress the vote of minorities, who does all in his power to destroy the social safety net, whose fondest desire is to see our environment trashed, who cares not a whit for the poor and the powerless, who thinks the rich and powerful are being treated unfairly whilst the middle class needs to be squeezed more, who cares not if Americans must choose between health care and food, who thinks it's totally OK for unarmed black men to be shot down by our police, who thinks the free press is an enemy of the people.

So according to you, I ought to just stay home this November. IN YOUR DREAMS!

SteveK said...

You CAN vote for this person as long as you vote for them IN SPITE of those positions. That's what you said.

Hugo Pelland said...

Great way to put it Bob. Politics is about baskets of ideas (unfortunately?) so if one candidate is closer to your values on 9/10 things, it makes sense to vote for them despite that 1 issue you have with them.

SteveK, he didn't day IN SPITE of many positions. In his case, it's just that 1 issue of abortion, if I understand correctly, that is a problem. I didn't get to vote but my support for Hillary was similar, in the sense that I think Trump was better on some specific issues, but NOT on most of them.

SteveK said...

Hugo,
So why is it my Christian duty to vote according to YOUR values or Starhopper's values? I'm being told that it is.

Hugo Pelland said...

SteveK,
I don't know what you mean here...

Legion of Logic said...

This pretty well shows the futility of condemning others for voting their conscious. If it is acceptable to vote for someone so long as it is in spite of an abhorrent position, then no candidate is unacceptable. If there are in fact unacceptable candidates as determined by bad outweighing the good, then that is based upon subjective personal values - and we all know how justified we are in judging others by our own personal values.

Hugo Pelland said...

Legion,
I think it shows the absurdity of being a 1-issue voter. Becaue even your candidate is supposed to be better on that 1 issue, there's no guarantee, and you could vote indirectly for a lot of other bad policies.

SteveK said...

Hugo,
In the "Separating families" post, Starhopper said this:

"The Catholic Bishops have now come out against the separation of families at the border. So has the Southern Baptist Convention. There is just no way to sugar coat it. This policy is straight out of the pits of hell.

Not only is what our country doing unChristian - it is now the DUTY of every Christian to oppose it. If not by deeds, then at least by words (and your vote). But especially by prayer."



A lot was said about the policy and I'm not going to rehash that here. We know the policy doesn't intend on separating families. Existing laws on the books intend to do that after an arrest has been made and a child cannot be placed. This new policy intends to arrest everyone crossing illegally without bias (zero tolerance).

I'm not voting FOR separating families - I'd rather not see it happen - however I am FOR the intention of the policy, which is to deter illegal border crossings. That's a good thing so I support it on that basis.

I've been trying to get Starhopper to explain the basis of my Christian duty.

bmiller said...

@Starhopper,

So then, bmiller, what you are saying is that I must abstain from voting altogether? Because I cannot in good conscience vote for any candidate that [list of things literally no one advocates].

This is why normal people think leftists are crazy and morally repugnant. I give you a list of arguments and evidence for my (and the Church's) moral position and your response is to ignore all of that when the conclusion is certain, repeat imaginary accusations and start typing in CAPS. You did not even try to show where you have evidence to the contrary.

I'm saying you should educate yourself on your Church's position (I've pointed you to Veritatis Splendor twice now) and you will agree if you can understand it, or at least conform your conscience to it if you can't.

You may think you're directing your OUTBURST toward me, but I'm only telling you what the Church's teaching is...specifically Saint John Paul II and the One he serves.

Starhopper said...

"list of things literally no one advocates"

The party that was once known as the Republican Party (but is now merely the Party of Trump) and every office holder within it, advocates everything on the list I gave. They are on the record. Repeatedly and consistently.

That is why it is imperative for all people who cherish our democracy, who support the rule of law, and who care "for the least amongst us", to vote Democratic this November straight down the ticket - right down to the proverbial dog catcher. The party of Trump must, for the sake of our country's very soul, be repudiated as no party has ever been before.

We saw how the Weimar Republic fell to the dictators. There is no need to repeat history, especially when we know all too well what evil human beings are capable of. Is it really necessary for all that to be acted out all over again here in our own country? Especially when we have it in our power to prevent it. All it takes is one vote.

Hugo Pelland said...

SteveK, if that's really all you can focus on, nevermind.

Bmiller said:
"This is why normal people think leftists are crazy and morally repugnant."
You're one of the most "normal" yet hateful individual I have ever encountered. Not as extreme as a literal Nazi, yet generalizing and demonizing large groups of people again and again with hyperbolic language. Ironically, that's my concern with individuals on the Left who paint the Right as bigots. You're just like them; it's an hateful attitude. Exactly what your self-righteous self said is wrong to do. Such hypocrisy!

SteveK said...

The rhetoric is so thick around here. Makes it difficult to THINK.

Legion of Logic said...

"The party that was once known as the Republican Party (but is now merely the Party of Trump) and every office holder within it, advocates everything on the list I gave. They are on the record. Repeatedly and consistently."

Did you just say that every Republican politician is on the record, repeatedly and consistently, as stating that their "fondest desire is to see our environment trashed" and that "it's totally OK for unarmed black men to be shot down by our police"?

Because I have never heard a single person say that. Ever.

Starhopper said...

Ever since Day One of this current administration, I have been alternately nauseated, appalled, disgusted, and horrified - and on occasion all four of those simultaneously. But it was not until these past few weeks that I could no longer deny that our county was in the grip of Pure Evil. There's just no longer any rational way to sugar coat it.

People keep bringing up Godwin's Law, and saying "You're not allowed to make comparisons to Hitler!" But in a weird sort of way, that attitude simply empowers Der Fuhrer beyond the grave. If you can't call somebody out as a wannabe fascist dictator, then all you're doing is clearing his path to becoming one in reality. I say with conviction that we are the most perilous moment in world history since the morning of June 4th, 1942, and the very future existence of the USA as a democracy hangs in a very precarious balance. We are one Reichstag Fire away from losing every freedom we've grown up with and all too casually assumed would be here forever.

And whoever thinks I'm overreacting would probably have pooh-poohed anyone who rang alarm bells in Europe about the Nazis in the 1930s. I am deadly serious. Anyone who sees nothing wrong with rounding up immigrants at the border and herding them into internment camps might very well have downplayed the Holocaust.

I (of course) don't know how this will all turn out. I am terrified by what this administration wants to turn tour nation into. I did not serve my country for 34 years to see it become everything I had fought for so long against. But on the plus side, I am encouraged by what I saw last Saturday across this whole continent - hundreds of spontaneous demonstrations of opposition to what Trump and his sycophantic enablers are doing. Nearly a million people in every state, turning out in truly hellish heat (to match our country's hellish policies) to say "We are better than this!"

They predicted that at most 500 would show up in Patterson Park, Baltimore, but we ended up being 1500+ strong. And we were one of the smallest gatherings nationwide. (The proximity of Washington, D.C., siphoned off what would have been a far larger attendance.) I saw white haired old ladies and young couples with strollers. It being Baltimore, nearly every ethnic group imaginable was represented. I heard people conversing in English, Spanish, Polish, and some Indian dialect (I'm not up on South Asian languages, and wouldn't be able to tell the difference between Hindi and Urdu.) Truly inspiring!

Starhopper said...

Now... Can we please get back to philosophy, the Bible, and C.S. Lewis? How about it, Victor?

SteveK said...

I agree!! What does *the Bible* say about Christian's who support government policies aimed at deterring illegal border crossings by the means of arresting everyone who crosses illegally?

*grin*

Starhopper said...

Aaarrrggggh!!!!!

Starhopper said...

Signing off. I'll be watching Gilligan's Island for the rest of the evening. (I'm halfway through Season 2.)

bmiller said...

Even Gilligan was pro-life :-)

Legion of Logic said...

There was a time when I spoke of the "other side" in nothing but the least charitable interpretations. I was the definition of an ideologue.

Then I got wise. Now I speak of both parties in the harshest manner.

bmiller said...

Then I got wise. Now I speak of both parties in the harshest manner.

Doesn't matter who you vote for it seems they will be a psychopath

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

Sorry, I didn't understand that you were addressing me until just now.

You're one of the most "normal" yet hateful individual I have ever encountered. Not as extreme as a literal Nazi, yet generalizing and demonizing large groups of people again and again with hyperbolic language. Ironically, that's my concern with individuals on the Left who paint the Right as bigots. You're just like them; it's an hateful attitude. Exactly what your self-righteous self said is wrong to do. Such hypocrisy!

There are people on the Right that talk like bigots. Lindsay Wheeler is an example.
I had a long discussion with him challenging his views on race and religion. I challenged him to explain how various people he thought were in heaven could all claim the same King yet come from various nationalities. I provided him links to the writings of the Early Church Fathers of Christianity as evidence for my position. I told him he was misinformed and he was in a cult and it was misinforming him. He ended that exchange by thanking Victor for allowing the exchange to occur and me for information I provided. I understand that you think it's all mumble jumble.

The point is that that Lindsay Wheeler appreciated the information and interacted with it while Bob ignored it.

The problem I see from Bob's extreme claims are similar to the charges I see in Lindsay Wheeler's. Wildly general, emotional and unfair. The difference is that Lindsay actually interacted. Bob made the same types of claims and did not.

You claim I'm hateful. What do you mean by hate? I ask because I explained before that Christians are supposed to hate evil but love people, even enemies. Do you mean blunt criticism? Or being polemic? It is perfectly acceptable to be polemic. You are doing it yourself.

Hugo Pelland said...

bmiller,
I have told you just a few days ago. Claiming that groups of people are hateful is itself hateful. You just did it again now. Broad generalization are hateful; it's not useful criticism. It's stating that groups of people are crazy and repugnant that is a problem.
Yes, I am using strong language too, but against you because of what you say, specifically. Not againts groups.

Starhopper said...

Ah, what a welcome respite from the awfulness of 21st Century America was Gilligan's Island last night. Amongst others, I watched one of my favorite episodes where the Howells decide to invite all the other castaways to their annual cotillion, but the Skipper's invitation is mislaid. Hilarity ensues.

Interesting side note: just before the 2016 election, I tried to predict who would win by imagining for which candidate each of the "seven stranded castaways" would vote, and the result was Trump 4, Clinton 3. Hmm... perhaps I've hit on a new way to determine the outcome of future elections. Stay tuned - I'll make my midterm predictions later this year. Remember, Gilligan is the ultimate Swing Voter.

Legion of Logic said...

Haha that's awesome!

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

When people like Lindsay Wheeler on right talk like bigots, it makes normal people think that people on the right are bigots. When people on the left make crazy claims it makes normal people think that leftists are crazy.

I don't know why you think it's hateful to point that out.

Happy Independence Day!

bmiller said...

I'll make my midterm predictions later this year. Remember, Gilligan is the ultimate Swing Voter.

Good luck.
This prognosticator was 3 out of 3 until luck ran out.

Happy 4th.

Starhopper said...

I'm rooting for England right now. I've put out my "England" car flag for the duration.

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller,
I think we agree, and I really hope to be able to admit that I was wrong about what you're trying to say.

Here's the first question to confirm: if someone reads something from Lindsay Wheeler, to use that one example again, and then concludes that "right-winders are crazy and morally repugnant", they are grossly mistaken about the Right as a whole. Agreed?

Assuming we agree here, here's the problem... that is just so bloody obvious and not what your previous comments implied. Of course, individuals who think that 1 crazy claim from a Leftist means that all Leftists are crazy are wrong. And there might be many unfortunately, that are completely wrong like that.

But you went further than that, you quoted something and said that this is why normal people think that Leftists are crazy and morally repugnant. You pretty much implied that you are part of that group of normal people, but Leftists are not. You also implied that it's fair to conclude that many, if not most, Leftists are actually crazy and morally repugnant. But then again, you say that no-no-no, that's not what you meant. You just mean that others would think that. Good for you; you're better than these normal people. It's as if you are trying to be that good Samaritan who correct someone for saying something extreme, pointing out that this person is making their group look bad. So here's the second question: Is that what you're trying to do?

If no, then you think Leftists are crazy. That's promoting hate against a group and I was, unfortunately, correct about you. But it's pretty clear, by your last comment, that the answer is yes...

So, if yes, fine, you're not generalizing, you're just trying to point out that one individual may make the group look bad, as a whole, because of what they said. But then, you literally just called Bob, aka Starhopper, crazy and morally repugnant! How is that not hateful? Hate the sin, love the sinner? Still the same in my opinion, but that would explain it...

Anyway, doing some armchair psycho-analysis, I see some sort of internal contradiction between the righteous Christian teachings of Love, and some form of Hate for others you disagree with. But because you don't want to express hate against them directly, you claim that you just hate evil, or some evil ideas; or you state that the individual, who you think is wrong, makes their peers look bad. It's all the same in the end... but you probably feel better about yourself that way, as you can claim that you love everybody and want to promote conversation. You don't literally think that Leftists are crazy and morally repugnant, but you're close enough to that feeling to think that "normal" people might think that way, when they read/hear certain comments from certain people.

But at the end of the day, you, and only you, wrote that:
"This is why normal people think leftists are crazy and morally repugnant."
and I just find it really hard to not see that as a form of hate on display.


Happy 4th to you too, and please do understand that I believe your good intentions, even if the words used sound different to me.

And I am in London right now so... GO ENGLAND!!

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

So here's the second question: Is that what you're trying to do?

Yes.
If someone loudly claims he's an English soccer fan and goes around punching people, it's going to create a certain impression in people's mind. If they see other instances of it, then it will re-enforce that impression.

If you're a non-violent English soccer fan, you should be the one pointing this out since the behavior reflects poorly on the whole group. And if you scold someone else for pointing it out, that also makes people think poorly of all English soccer fans.

In this case, Bob used over the top rhetoric instead of reasoned debate. It makes his side look bad.

Now let me point out something I see you doing. You don't like my position but instead of arguing against my position from reason you want paint me as a "hater". Don't you know that doing that is also a stereotypical charge that is made against people of the left? Don't be that guy.

Now, just to be contrary....Go Colombia!
After all, today is a celebration of our independence from England.

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
Ok, thanks for clarifying, and point take regarding arguments but... what about what I wrote in bold? Should we just ignore you said that; you didn't mean it or what?

Starhopper said...

"Bob used over the top rhetoric"

Where? I did no such thing. I merely pointed out, calmly and factually, the peril we all face.

Would you say I was using "over the top" rhetoric if I urged you to step back from the edge of a cliff? That is precisely where our country stands today.

(Happy 4th to all. And now I'm off to the Catonsville 4th of July Parade.)

Starhopper said...

My favorite part of the above video is at 5 minutes 58 seconds in. Pure Maryland.

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

I thought I explained myself as well as I could. You act like you've never heard people complaining about the "loonies on the left". People on the left saying extreme things feeds that impression.

Bob just doubled down. Do you not think his list is overblown rhetoric?

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
You're just stating the obvious again. That's not what I am trying to figure out, and I am back to thinking you're the one who's hateful here.

I thought you would prove me wrong by saying that, or course, you think neither Bob nor the Left is crazy nor morally repugnant. Especially not the latter. But instead, you pointed out that he used overblown rhetoric. I don't think he did no and, even if I were to agree, he doesn't deserve to be called a morally repugnant.

Trump is by far the most incompetent president ever, afaik, so the edge-of-a-cliff analogy is not insane, no; exaggerated, perhaps, but I'm not even sure about that. And yes, of course certain people talk about "loonies", on any side, of any issues.

But again, none of that explains your comment... so the fact that you just labelled his comment as overblown rhetoric actually hints that you do think "normal people think leftists are crazy and morally repugnant". That's really hateful. Yet, you think that normal people think that.

Or, yet another way to put it, and I could have just written that actually...
Are you calling anyone morally repugnant or not?
If not, who are these so-called "normal" people who do? Because you said they would find Bob morally repugnant, and perhaps even the Left as a whole because of comments like his...

Legion of Logic said...

I don't find Bob morally repugnant for his views, just like I don't consider myself being morally repugnant when I was in the "Republican good, Democrat bad" mindset. I was wrong, since both are bad.

But, it's definitely overblown rhetoric to say that "The party that was once known as the Republican Party (but is now merely the Party of Trump) and every office holder within it, advocates everything on the list I gave. They are on the record. Repeatedly and consistently."

The list included "fondest desire is to see our environment trashed" and "it's totally OK for unarmed black men to be shot down by our police".

Bob seems to have said that everyone from Trump to Pence to McConnell to Ryan to Rand and Ron Paul to Ted Cruz to John McCain loves nothing more than destroying the environment and has no problem with unarmed people getting shot by police - and by extension this implicates all conservatives and many libertarians who reliably vote Republican. If that isn't overblown rhetoric, then the phrase is meaningless. It would be child's play to make an equivalent list targeting Democrats and employing the exact same rhetoric and uncharitable interpretations, and it would be equally ineffective.

And thats the danger of overblown rhetoric. Good arguments lose their efficacy from sources that employ it. Democrats called Bush a racist, they called McCain a racist, they called Romney a racist - they call every Republican a racist, and a sexist for good measure. Trump comes along and Democrats call him a racist - and no one cares, because they destroyed their credibility long ago when it comes to being able to properly identify racism. There is a moral to the story "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" - not many take it to heart. As a CNN editorial put it:

"That's the price of weaponizing racism. It transforms what should be a serious accusation made only on the basis of irrefutable evidence into little more than a tool in the left's political bag of tricks, a way to undermine their opponents with the ultimate smear. The irony is that in using race in this manner, the charge of racism has lost much of its potency. The left has played that card so long on so many people in so many instances that today it is met with little more than an eye roll."

If only we could stick to facts and treat the other side with charity.

Starhopper said...

Funny how when our president says something batshit crazy, all his supporters/enablers say "Well, that's just him trying to cut through the bullshit" or "He's just not kowtowing to political correctness". But if I say something that isn't lukewarm milktoast, then I'm being "over the top" and "overblown".

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

Are you calling anyone morally repugnant or not?

No.
Plenty of people on the #Walkaway topic are saying that. In fact the gentleman in the video you reviewed expresses indignation about having been lied to.

But Legion provided as good an answer as I could have.

Especially this:
If only we could stick to facts and treat the other side with charity.

bmiller said...

@Starhopper,

But if I say something that isn't lukewarm milktoast, then I'm being "over the top" and "overblown".

You're better than Hitler aren't you? :-)

Legion of Logic said...

"Funny how when our president says something batshit crazy, all his supporters/enablers say "Well, that's just him trying to cut through the bullshit" or "He's just not kowtowing to political correctness". But if I say something that isn't lukewarm milktoast, then I'm being "over the top" and "overblown"."

You don't have (R) behind your name, for starters. In a better world we would police our own side more readily than we would condemn the other side for its errors, but modern political discourse thrives on hypocrisy.

But also, it's blatantly false that all Republican office holders wake up wondering how they can destroy the environment and don't care if unarmed black people are killed by police, so that is indeed over the top and overblown. And since you are much more reasonable than Trump, and much more concerned with doing the right thing than Trump, it is more glaring that you would defend such blatantly false generalizations after having them pointed out to you. We can't control others, but we can control our own discourse and assist by not adding to the poison. (I'm not being judgmental here, since I'm hardly innocent of negative generalizations.)

bmiller said...

My neighbor once again set off a better fireworks show than the city. Brought everyone out of their houses to mix, admire the display and share our common pride of being Americans.

God Bless America!

Hugo Pelland said...

There are two different things.
1) Are Bob's comments overblown rhetoric?
2) Is it hateful to state that an individual and/or a group is morally repugnant?

My point ia that the answer to 1) is not particularly relevant to 2), even if it's certainly interesting to discuss it, more than 2) actually. Back to that later probably.

The issue I have is with the self-righteous claim of never promoting hate, or just focusing on argumsnts, while simultaneously stating that some comment not only make an individual look morally repugnant, but also cause normal people to think so. It's hypocritical because it clearly tries to disguise hate as something only others do; something these so-called normal people so. But bmiller made the comment explicitly and never said these normal people are wrong, just that he isn't doing it himself. So it sounds like an agreement with these normal/#walkaway folks who think the Left is hateful. But that is itself hateful, as I explain in the commentary regarding the unintelligent video.

It reminds me of an old South Park episode where Cartman parodies edgy talk radio shows. He says the most outrageous and intense comments, but always in the form of a question. Is Wendy sleeping with all the boys in school to give them AIDS? I don't know, I'm just asking questions!

Is Bob crazy and morally repugnant? I am not saying he is, I just point out what normal people think!

Starhopper said...

I'll cheerfully cop to crazy. But "morally repugnant"? Well, aren't we all?

"You're better than Hitler aren't you?"

In a hilarious case of ESL (English as a second language), that was actually said of me once in Korea. (Unfortunately, my American colleagues overheard the comment, and for weeks afterwards I was referred to as "Bob, better than Hitler".)

bmiller said...

@Hugo,

Are you saying that a gay hairdresser from New York is not a normal person?
I understand you think he hates people. Do you hate him?

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller

Have you ever been diagnosed with a narcissistic complex and/or cognitive impairment?

bmiller said...

That feel when:
You tell someone they look like an idiot walking around with their zipper open.
And they call you an insane hater.

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
Is it comment like this that make people think Christians are intellectually inferior?
Why are people calling you an insane hater?

bmiller said...

I'm glad to hear you've become a Christian. But of course you can't hate people now :-)

Hugo Pelland said...

Is bmiller a clever but hateful troll, or an honest but simple minded individual?

bmiller said...

Hey. I stopped being serious when you did.

Starhopper said...

Now children. Don't make me have to come up there and separate you two!

bmiller said...

He started it!

bmiller said...

😉

Starhopper said...

I assume that your emoticon is a picture of the giant Trump baby ballon that will be flying over Parliament during his visit to the UK?

Starhopper said...

Uh.. that would be "balloon".

bmiller said...

But it's winking.

Hugo Pelland said...

Oh ya the last several comments were all for fun obviously. I did refer to South Park after all... but I have been finding this whole notion of calling someone "crazy and morally repugnant" hilarious way before too! It's fascinating to me that this 1 sentence is not simply retracted. It's that simple. But no, instead, it's question after question, after side comments, after silly or intelligent but irrelevant remarks, etc...

Hugo Pelland said...

i.e. bmiller, do you have ADD? ;)

Starhopper said...

Hugo,

The last thing in the world that bmiller has is ADD. If he did, he would be unable to be such a one note samba concerning his favorite obsession. He would be too easily distracted by side issues. But no, he's like a dog with a bone. Quite the opposite of ADD.

I'll give him this - he's got focus! He's like Cato the elder, who ended his every speech with, "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam! (Meanwhile, Carthage must be destroyed!)

Tiresome (and boring), but perhaps effective. Carthage was, after all, destroyed.

bmiller said...

As will be abortion!

bmiller said...

But thanks for raising the issue again.

Now you have a chance to defend your claim that the Church teaches that it's OK to vote for Hitler in spite of his position on genocide. It just ain't so. He even addresses the most frequent dodge used by collaborators.

bmiller said...

The One Note Samba is really quite uplifting. Keep it on repeat. :-)

bmiller said...

Bob.

I went through all of the things you listed as most important to you politically.

I am offering the following challenge.

I will pray every day for one of the positive things you listed on this thread if you pray for one thing ...the end of legalized abortion.
No negative things allowed from either of us.

Here is the list of the positive things you listed (summarized). I am willing to pray for one if you accept the challenge (not that I oppose any of the others, but we need to be fair and specific):

The best environment possible for everyone.
justice for the poor,
access to health care for all,
Belief in true science.
Belief in the true free press.

Your choice. I will support you.
No fair if either you or I say "well I already pray for that". This is an explicit prayer from me and from you to our respective intentions, till the His will be done.

In addition I will tell you my favorite Samba. Win win right?

Starhopper said...

bmiller,

I'll try to word this gently, as I do not want anything to escalate into a fight like that between you and Hugo. So, here goes.

I find your suggestion, if not blasphemous, then at the least, sacreligious. Using prayer as some sort of bargaining chip? Or maybe a hostage to be negotiated over? Reducing prayer to the level of some sort of coinage? Or a object to be bartered?

Sorry, I don't play such games. My prayer life is pretty rigidly structured. I start each day with the identical 4 prayers for nothing in particular - just to start the day out right. I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 PM for 4 specific persons (the list never changes) and for "an unknown soul who has no one to pray for him". I both start and finish my evening scripture reading (I just finished my umpteenth reading of Isaiah and am moving on to maybe my 3rd reading of 1st Chronicles) with a short prayer, or at the very least the Sign of the Cross. I end each day with the Rosary, again for 8 specific individuals (always the same eight) and for peace in West Africa (that also never changes).

Sundays are, of course, another matter entirely.

Starhopper said...

Oh, and I never pray for "causes", unless you count West African peace as a cause.

bmiller said...

Oh, and I never pray for "causes", unless you count West African peace as a cause.

All of my prayers have an intention. For instance I pray for people's health, I pray for people's conversion, I pray for the end of various evils and for various goods. I arrange Masses to be said for the intention of my deceased relatives and during Mass we are often asked to pray for ill parish members. You pray for 8 particular people.

I disagree that there is anything wrong with asking someone to pray for a particular intention that needs more prayer or with someone asking me to pray for something they think needs more prayer. I imagine you pray for peace in West Africa so that fewer people in that region die. That is also my intention, just for a different group of people.

But I understand that your prayer card is full and I respect your right to reject my request.

Unfortunately I can't reveal the best Samba ever now.

Hugo Pelland said...

Praying is great imho, but only for the person who prays. Isn't arrogant to think God would answer prayers or affect the outcome of, well, anything, because of prayers?

Starhopper said...

I began daily recitation of the Rosary for West Africa after Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Nigeria said the following (in 2015):

Towards the end of last year I was in my chapel before the Blessed Sacrament praying the rosary, and then suddenly the Lord appeared to me. Jesus didn’t say anything at first, but extended a sword toward me, and I in turn reached out for it. As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary. Jesus then told me three times: “Boko Haram is gone.” I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation. It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.

I felt like the bishop was speaking to me personally, so ever since I have supported his work in prayer.

I have a special relationship with West Africa, since my younger daughter had spent so much time there with Crossroads Africa. Plus, there are two children in Togo whom my daughter met as infants, whose schooling is being financed 100% by me. (They have no free public education in that country.) That also was the result of what I firmly believe was Christ Himself speaking directly to me, telling me to support these two girls. I have at no other time in my life experienced anything remotely like that event. It was literally impossible for me to say no.

bmiller said...

Good story Bob.
And a worthy goal.

bmiller said...

Isn't arrogant to think God would answer prayers or affect the outcome of, well, anything, because of prayers?

Nope.

Hugo Pelland said...

@bmiller
Nope? So you genuinely think that you, and only people like you, can pray to that right god and get things done? Or is it more complex and any god works as long as you're sincere? How does it work; any way to confirm that you jave some special ability to get ewhat you want through prayer? What about my Hindu inlaws for instance; are their prayers answered just as much as good American Christians?

@Bob aka Starhopper
Agreed, interesting story, but similar question... how can you tell it's really Jesus talking to you and not Ram or Si Baba?

And to be clear, I am not being dismissive. I truly find these questioned interesting because it makes no sense to me. My wife and I actually had a conversation about that today and she has her own perspective, but I would like to hear yours.

Starhopper said...

My perspective is pretty much that of St. Paul. He calls us the "Body of Christ" and to me that means that whatever Christ wishes to do in this world, we are His hands (or feet, or whatever) by which He accomplishes His purpose. Our prayers are all part of that interaction.

As to whether the prayers of your Hindu in-laws are answered, of course they are!