Monday, October 31, 2016

If Hillary Wins, What?

So, let’s pretend the worst has happened in the eyes of the Republicans—Hillary Clinton is elected president.  What then?

Will they say, “Okay, Hillary Clinton won fair and square, and so we will respect the peoples’ choice and work with her”?  NOT!!

The reality is that the Republican party will probably find as many ways as possible to delegitimize her election—be it legal, social, political, or what not.

They will declare war and become confrontational at every turn, questioning her every word, trying her every act, block, deny, and obstruct her every move, and refuse her every step of the way.  They will charge and attack at every possible opportunity.  In other words, the Republican Party will do everything it possibly can to ensure that Hillary’s presidency fails, if she manages to win the election.

That’s not the way to run a country and it is not how our two-party system should work!

But THAT is what is exactly wrong with our government—hate, spite, all or nothing positioning, winner-take-all warlike posturing, vitriolic disrespect for one’s political opponent and refusing to cooperate simply because cooperation is itself viewed as a bad thing.

To say that there is no need for spite, hatred, and war-like attitudes in our two-party system, is to be ignored.  We are now parties of extremes.  The moderate middle-voice is being excluded.

One might argue, “Yes, but, “crooked” Hillary is a scoundrel, a dirty no good liar, a cheat, and a criminal!  We can’t possibly work with her.”  And Trump!  Is he really any better?

It’s political rhetoric.  No politician is pure, faultless, or angelic like.  At the same time, few politicians are of the devil, not even Hillary.  Such attitudes are far-fetched and overboard.

In truth, both candidates’ vision statements have value: “Make America Great Again” and “Stronger Together.”  And, in terms of policies and issues, both candidates have something worth saying and worth doing.

So if America is to be strong, Americans MUST work together (remember: “A divided kingdom will fall”).  And, if America is to be great again, Americans must do so by unifying.  And the first step towards unity is to stop villainizing our fellow Americans and their representatives.  We may differ in our opinions and strategies as to how to tackle complex issues, but we need not differ as to how we should view and treat each other.  We should see each other as neighbors in the same community and treat each other as such.  How is it that we have come to hate our neighbors and our political opponents?

Our extreme political divisiveness is going to become our worst enemy.  We will destroy ourselves from within, which is exactly what our real enemies want to see happen to us.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Trump Suing Accusers; I Doubt It!

He claims they lie, never happened!  He claims.

He claims that the Clinton campaign put these women up to it.  He claims.

He probably also assumes that the women are stupid and foolish.

Who would be foolish or stupid enough to go on public record with a bald face lie of the kind Trump accuses them of making?

And think of how hard it would be for Hillary’s campaign (or any presidential campaign for that matter) to actually orchestrate eleven women to agree to commit themselves to lie in its behalf, a lie of this magnitude. 

No, these women are not lying.  They’d be risking too much, have too much to lose if they were in fact lying.  No one could plan or orchestrate this kind of thing.  And I’m sure that these women knew they’d be accused of lying and be threatened with Trump law suits, before they dared to share their stories about Trump.  In short, their stories ring true—especially in light of Trumps own words during his so-called “locker room” talk.

So, why does Trump so boldly declare that he’s going to sue these women?  Because of his qualifier—“after the election”!  That’s why.

After the election, he is free to change his mind and make excuses for not following through on his law suits.  If he wins the election (which I doubt), he could say he has no time or need to follow through on the threat.  Or, if he loses, he could say that he is focusing on other things: such as challenging the electoral results perhaps. 

Point is, I believe that he knows that the women speak truth and therefore knows that he’d lose the case.  Thus, I don’t think he really wants to seek real justice by taking these women to court—seeking real justice would turn out badly for him.

However, he could be betting on his financial advantage.  Taking these women to court could drain their finances.  Trump has plenty of money and attorney-power to spend.  In short, he could litigate these women to financial ruin without ever actually winning his case or proving that these women have actually lied.  Rich bullies use this strategy all the time: “Attack by litigating your opponent to death.”  Remember, it takes money, and lots of it, to properly defend yourself in a court of law.  Then, when he has drained all their resources by various litigating strategies of postponement and extension, etc., and the women finally give up their defense for lack of funds, he could declare himself the winner!

Or, he could just choose not to sue AFTER the election.  Because his intent is to make a symbolic and impactful statement BEFORE the election, vis-Ă -vis, to say: “Look!  I am so innocent that I am willing to sue these women!”  The effect he wants on his listeners by making this declaration is for his listeners to conclude: “Well, of course he must be innocent, because if he were NOT innocent, he wouldn’t be willing to sue these women, would he?”  And if and when his audience draws that kind of conclusion, based on that kind of reasoning, he’s pretty much accomplished what he wanted to and needed to accomplish BEFORE the election.

Of course, you may draw your own conclusion.  As for me, I believe that the women speak truth and very much disbelieve Trump, despite his bold declaration of intending to bring a law suit against them (AFTER the election).  In this case, timing is significant.

Monday, October 17, 2016

“God Bless America!” One Has to Wonder

I heard on the news that this year’s presidential race is causing a lot of stress and anxiety among voters—on both sides.  Not surprising, is it?

Hilary haters on one side, Trump attackers on the other, we are being bombarded with tedious, tiresome attacks and counter attacks.  Whose going to win?

Voters are worried even fearful, dreading the possibility that “the other side” may win this election.

So, to those of you who are my fellow Christians, I ask you this: what do we mean when we invoke God’s blessing upon the United States, by saying, “God bless America”?  And exactly why do we assume that God should, would, or will bless America?

And why do we invoke this blessing of America as if WE are the only “Christian” nation worthy of God’s blessing?

According to an article in The Telegraph, “The number of Christians in Communist china is growing so steadily that it [sic] by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America.”  Thus, by that standard, shouldn’t the new Christian mantra become, “God bless China”?  (See:

So what is God’s perspective on the matter?  Psalms 33 gives us a glimpse.

Firstly, God is a God of righteousness and justice and expects as much from peoples of any and every nation: “For the word of the Lord is upright and all His work is done in faithfulness.  He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord” (vv. 4-5).

Secondly, God calls all people/nations of the world to stand in awe of him: “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him (v. 8).”  God is to be honored, revered and respected as the holy, just, and righteous God that he is, by every nation.

Thirdly, God providentially oversees the destiny of ALL nations: “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.  The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations (vv. 10-11).”  God favors no nation above any other nation; but for number four below….

Fourthly, only one group of people on earth has ever specifically been regarded by God as His Chosen People: “Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as his heritage (v. 12).”  In the context of Psalm 33, “his [God’s] heritage” is none other than the Kingdom of Israel whose everlasting King is the Son of David, heir to the everlasting throne of King David of ancient Israel.

Fifthly, as to all other nations on earth, they are to seek God’s blessing by trusting in his sovereignty over them, and NOT in their own power and strength: “The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind (v. 13).”  “A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.  The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.  Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine (vv. 16-19).”

In conclusion, it is NOT a political victory that is required in order to bring peace, prosperity, and a prospective future to America.  Nor is it in the strengthening of our military might or in the enlargement of our police force—as if becoming a Police State is the answer to our wanting of peace and order.

No, the answer is this: “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you (vv. 20-22).”

In short, we can NOT possibly win over a people by means of political power-struggles and political manipulation, by force and control.  All we can and should do is invite hearts to believe in and trust in a Sovereign and Holy God who is also loving and compassionate, a God of mercy and grace who seeks to heal the hurting and to redeem the outcast, the lost, the rejected, and those who are oppressed and hard-pressed by the cruelties of the world.  For peace will come in no other way than the Way of Christ.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Trump/Clinton: Lesser of Two Evils?

Okay, so Trump fessed up, owned what he said, and apologized.  A little locker room banter, therefore supposedly no big deal.  In defense of his character he says: “Those of you who know me, know that that does not reflect who I really am.”

Really?!!  Sorry Trump, but as I see it, that historic audio file reveals exactly who you are.  It was an unguarded moment when you were talking freely and being yourself.  You were engaged in genuine behind-the-scenes “locker-room banter” (as you, Trump, described it yourself).  Thus, it shows exactly who you are.

So, it must be asked: Does Trump really have the better character than Hillary?  How is Trump any more trustworthy or worthy of respect than Hillary?  Furthermore, if anyone says that Trump has changed since that audio incident, where’s the evidence of such a change?

So what is this presidential election really about?  What does it come down to?  Is it a matter of choosing the better of two evils?   If so, what are the “evils”?  That is, what evils does Hilary represent versus those that Trump represents?  In short, which candidate represents the lesser evil?

Consider this, which candidate has made it a life priority to greedily grab after money?  And which candidate has been most acutely self-serving with respect to the wielding of power and personal influence?  And which candidate displays a tremendous amount of arrogance, pride, and strident ego in their posturing?  And finally, which of the two candidates is most rude, crude, and domineeringly flippant when it comes to defending scandalizing events respecting the treatment of women?  Should that person really become the next president of the United States of America?

But my guess is that Trump supporters will say that the above paragraph exactly describes Hilary and Clinton supporters will say that the above paragraph exactly describes Donald.  When it comes to politics we seem to see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear, believe what we want to believe, and justify and defend accordingly.

Is Hilary really the devil with hatred in her heart?  Really?!  Who or what does Hilary truly hate?

Is Donald really the big hearted, generous, considerate, and respectful guy that deserves to be supported by Main Street middle class Americans, as well as African Americans, Latinos/Hispanics, American Muslims, and Women in general?  Really?!  Who or what does Donald truly love?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Questions about Trump's Money

Money, how one earns it, spends and saves it, including how one owes and pays debts off, it matters.

A shrewd business man may find ways to pay pennies on the dollar for his debt.  That may make him a shrewd man, and most will even call that smart; but it doesn’t mean that the financial deal was or is above social reproach or moral scrutiny.

Some things may be quite legal but very questionable when it comes to moral and ethical accountability.  So for example, many smart and intelligent lawyers will work the law to get their clients legally off the hook, financial or otherwise—but that is not the same thing as keeping one’s moral and ethical integrity in tact.

Thus, considering our tax codes, when the system is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful, the rich and powerful will use all their resources to hire tax accountants, tax lawyers, and bookkeepers to take advantage of the system to their benefit (object: to pay no taxes or as little taxes as possible)—without any consideration to the higher ideal of a moral, social, and ethical obligation to paying their fair share of taxes toward sustaining their community’s infrastructure, for example.

Hence, if Donald Trump managed to avoid paying taxes for the last 18 years or so (as a New York Times report by James Stewart indicates), it is not because Trump is necessarily a financial genius.

Rather it is because (1) our financial system favors the wealthy.  (2) Trump has the financial resources to hire the right people for the job—like specialized tax accountants and tax lawyers—to work the system for all its worth in his favor.  And (3) Donald Trump is shrewd enough to do exactly that.

Note: there is no doubt that Donald Trump hires professionals to do his taxes for him.  All Donald Trump has to do is provide the necessary personal paperwork & business bookkeeping & accounting information that is required for his tax professionals to do their job.  He then simply instructs his staff of tax professionals to find as many tax breaks and tax loopholes as can possibly be found to take advantage of.

That approach, my friends, does not make Donald Trump a financial genius.  For every wealthy business man or woman does exactly the same kind of thing at every tax season.  It goes without saying.  It’s a no brainer.

So, if Donald Trump is such a financial genius.  If Donald Trump is such a successful business man on the par with, let’s say, a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffett or a Mark Zuckerberg or a Michael Bloomberg, why then has he NOT released his tax returns for public scrutiny?

My guess is as good as yours, and it’s really pretty simple: Trump is probably not all that much of a financial genius to begin with.  Trump is afraid to release his tax returns to the public eye.  He more than likely realizes that if his tax returns became public, he would have a lot of questions to answer.  In short, Trumps so-called business acuity may not stand up very well under public scrutiny.  Keeping his tax returns secret protects him.  He is obviously fearful of exposing his actual financial reality.  And Donald Trump certainly does not like negative exposure.  Nor does he respect “reality checks.”  It’s that simple.