Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trump Saving Carrier Jobs In Indiana???

rally2restore (24)

updated 12-5-16: The memes speak for themselves.

If this is true then great, but lets wait for the details.  He's accomplished one of the things he's promised. It's a feather in his cap, a pre-inaugural success, but you'll have to pardon me if this isn't enough to make me go ga-ga over his election.

In the midst of his chaotic transition from President-Elect to President it does not off-set all that is going wrong during this transition  Yes, I'm sure that what I see as going wrong does not jive with what his supporters see as going wrong, and that's why any temptation for claims of 'I told you so' would be premature and would fall on deaf ears at this time.

imageBut lets remember; President Obama won by and was re-elected by impressive popular and electoral votes. He was elected on two major promises: health care reform amid bringing our troops home. He accomplished both, both were significant accomplishments, but for near 8 years now he has been crucified for keeping those two promises.  The Carrier victory is small potatoes by comparison. For me keeping a promise doesn't offset how he is throwing his 'drain the swamp', prosecute Hillary, and 'uniting us' promises aside.

imageLet's also wait to see what the actual deal is. Remember he's tried to take credit for events before that had no real connection to him other than he had mentioned them once in the past. (Example: Ford's decision to retain two plants in America that were rumored to be Mexico.) As an Indiana resident I'll choose to wait and see what happens. Hoosiers have seen one-sided agreements (tax incentives and abatements, and infrastructure 'bribes') being reached for the gain of a few jobs before only to see those companies bail after a few years and ship their plants off to Mexico etc., anyway under Pence and his Republican predecessor. As a unionist I'll wait to see what the workers gave up to complete any deal and how many are actually retained.

imageMost importantly, I'll wait to see how significant was the role of others in this process. Trump operates in his own little world where he fails to see the contribution of others as long as he can claim credit for the results.

Yes, Carrier staying is a good thing for the workers and the communities, but the efforts to keep Carrier in Indiana have been going on since the original announcement to move. A bi-partisan effort involving local, state, federal and union participation at all levels. Efforts that began long before Trump agreed to lend his name to the result.

Yes, that last sentence was sarcasm.


see previous: I promise to never buy a Carrier or UTEC product again!

12-1-16 thru 12-4-16 updates:




Postcards From Santa???

Want your little one’s to receive a letter or card from Santa? Just write them a letter from Santa, put it in a stamped envelope addressed to your little one and mail them in a larger envelope to:xmasKAL (6)

North Pole Holiday Cancelation
4141 Postmark Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

The larger envelope will be opened, the sealed envelopes inside will be postmarked with a special ‘North Pole’ postmark and mailed back to your little one.

You can send postcards too.

The service is free (except for your stamps…remember to put the correct postage on the large envelope and all the envelopes inside) but be sure to mail your envelopes so that they will arrive in Alaska by Dec., 15. Be sure to use stamps and not pre-stamped envelopes or metered postage.

Happy Holidays

note: With the advent of making and designing your own postage stamp ( many commercial online endeavors exist for a letter/postcard from Santa where, for an additional fee, you can pick from a template of cookie cutter designs for a slick production card or letter to be sent to your kids. The above offer is free (except for the postage), allows you to write your own message, and obtains a legitimate ‘postmark’. The difference is like that between an e-mail letter and a real letter in the mail. Something that can be shared and re-experienced when your child grows up… more of a genuine tradition to start in your family.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The true nature of Trump’s ‘love of the military’

Why Can’t I Support Donald Trump? Because He’s Not A Veteran.

Do I require every Presidential candidate to be a Veteran before I will vote for them? No, of course not. So why do I require Trump to be a Veteran and not other candidates?

When an American makes the challenging transition from late adolescence into early adulthood, they are faced with many decisions. One certain, specific combination of choices will be the choice of whether or not to serve their country by enlisting in the military.

Many will choose not to serve, and this is their right, during peacetime, and in some cases, it is also an option during conflicts, if there is an absence of a military draft.

Me at a Donald Trump rally in protest.

Does the term ‘Chicken Hawk’ mean anything to you?
The label ‘Chicken-hawk’ is is a political term used to describe a person who strongly supports war or other military action (i.e., a war hawk), yet who actively avoids or avoided military service when of age. Chicken-hawk indicates that the person in question is hypocritical for personally dodging a draft or otherwise shirking their duty to their country during a time of armed conflict while advocating that others do so. Generally, the implication is that chicken-hawks lack the moral character to participate in war themselves, preferring to ask others to support, fight and perhaps die in an armed conflict.
This is not to say that everyone who does not enlist is a 'chicken' or a coward. As I've stated military service is not a pre-requisite to gaining my vote, and as I've pointed out the choice to serve is, for the most part, voluntary. The deciding factor may be economics or a sense of duty among other considerations, but during a conflict and a military draft, the duty rises to a sense of obligation and responsibility for many.
My problem is not with those who didn't serve, my problem is with those who chose not to serve, and either then, or at a later time, advocates for engaging our military and sending it into harm's way. It is this hypocrisy that I find intolerable, especially for someone seeking to be commander in chief in spite of their failure to see a call to duty.
By Definition, Donald Trump is a ‘chicken-hawk’, with the emphasis on ‘chicken’. It is one thing not to serve, as I’ve said it is a choice, but it is another thing to make such a choice and then hypocritically advocate for putting another generation in jeopardy as a moral stance.
Chicken-hawk mottoe: “Let’s you and him go fight; I’ll hold your coat.”
  • I have more respect for those that opposed the Vietnam War and fled to Canada rather than face the draft… chicken-hawk
  • I have more respect for conscientious objectors who served under accommodations or served jail time…
  • I even have more respect for the rich and politically protected who gained protection by enlisting in politically protected National Guard and Reserve Units like the Texas ‘Champagne Guard (at least they were supposedly under threat of a call-up…)
All these people get more respect from me than chicken-hawks like Trump, Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh, who all just outright avoided servicetr2.
Like many of my generation (the same as Trumps) I had doubts about the Vietnam War, but I was raised with a sense of duty and service, not greed and entitlement. Along with my doubts I signed up for a 4 year enlistment. Two more years than Trump would have had to serve if he was drafted or enlisted for the minimum.
But here is the most important point about chicken-hawks, with the emphasis on ‘hawks’. It is there willingness to send others, the next generation, off to war and advocating for adversarial responses, international stare-downs with the crazies of the world. All from the safety of their office, the campaign trail or a talk show. With the abolition of the military draft, they don’t even have to worry about their kids being put in harm's way.
Then there's the issue of Trump's attitude towards POW's:
“He’s not a war hero," Trump said dismissively of McCain, who spent more than five years being tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and suffered permanent injuries as a result.
Trump, who received a number of deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam, backtracked slightly after drawing boos.
“He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured” he said, to a mix of laughs and jeers from the several hundred social conservatives gathered at the Family Leadership Summit.
“I believe perhaps he is a war hero, but right now, he said some very bad things about a lot of people,” he continued.
tr1NOT a War Hero? Because he was captured? PERHAPS a War Hero? This from a guy who sought and got 5 deferments! Make no mistake about it, this is a statement that reflects attitude towards others, an attitude that is dismissive of the worth of people not in his circle… what some would call his ‘world view’
John McCain did not just walk up to the North Vietnamese and say “I give up”. He was flying dangerous missions, was shot down, parachuted with two broken arms and one broken leg and landed in the water where he was dragged to shore by the North Vietnamese, with few options. Is Trump, a person who wouldn't even serve, suggesting that McCain and other troops should put a bullet in their own head? Who knows what he is actually suggesting. Most of us are worried that he has no concept of what he’s saying until after he says it and gets a negative reaction, and even then his ego will not let him believe he’s ever wrong… just misunderstood, or victimized.
Try to wrap your head around this: Trump claims that he would be ‘Great for the Military, the best ever.’ I love the military. Statements he makes about everything.
tr3But if he doesn’t understand the concept of soldiers and sailors as heroes for answering the call to duty in the first place, of course, he won't see POW's as hero’s, because they shouldn't have gotten captured, in other words, he likes “people who weren’t captured” more than he does people who were captured. People like himself that made the safe choices that would prevent them from ever being captured.
He’s obviously unaware of what happens in war, and that makes it scary to see him as the leader of the free world and our military. He just doesn't understand the concept of signing that 'blank check' and therefore volunteering to be placed in harm's way.
Donald Trump Reportedly Didn’t Know What A Gold Star Family Was
whatisaveteran“…New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported on Saturday that when one adviser warned Trump he had just attacked a Gold Star family, the GOP nominee responded “what’s that?” The term is commonly used to refer to any family that has lost a loved one in war. The United States has officially recognized these families since 1936.
Trump has pledged to support veterans throughout his campaign. Earlier this year, he promised to donate millions to veterans groups, but only appeared to do so months later after The Washington Post noted that he had not fulfilled his promise.
Sherman also reported that Paul Manafort, who was then Trump’s campaign chairman, had to explain what ‘Gold Star family’ meant.
“The election is about the American people, it’s not about you,” Manafort reportedly said, adding that Khizr Khan wasn’t running for president….”
……………………Sam Levine
Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Donald Trump reveals a superficial understanding of soldiers, military live, and the consequences of war.
“They see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Donald Trump
While acknowledging concern over the issue of Veteran suicides he actually demonstrates the atmosphere that discourages Veterans and soldiers from seeking help. While we can argue if Trump is sincere or not over the issue we cannot deny that he does not understand the nuances or reality of military life, PTSD, and mental health in general.
"Approximately 20 former service members die by suicide per day, and veterans make up an astonishing 18 percent of all suicides deaths in the U.S. Trump’s comments are a prime example why many members of the military don’t ask for help: they’re fearful of appearing “weak” in a field that is so deeply associated with “being strong.” Research shows this stigma attached to mental health disorders actually prevents people from seeking treatment."
From <>
Veterans are not weak for having a mental health disorder. And it’s insulting to equate strength with not having a mental health issue after returning from combat.
What Trump loved was playing Army at Military School, not committing to the concept of Duty, Honor, Country.
He claims he will make the military strong again (like America he promotes his ability to rescue the military from a state of… ???) by spending more on the military. Well, its not going to be his money, and he feels no need to explain where the (taxpayer) money will come from, and hey, he’s good at spending money.
  • One has to wonder though is it his love for the military or his love for spending money on extravagant toys.
tr4Is his love for the military reflected in his generosity for Veterans? He claims so. But is that guilt or love? Is it politically correct posturing? Its certainly tax-deductible, but is it even his money?”
“…Mr. Trump refused to attend a Republican debate hosted by Fox News…  …Instead, Mr. Trump hosted his own fundraiser to raise money for veterans groups.But several veterans organizations saw the fundraiser as a political move and refused to accept Mr Trump’s pandering donations.
Paul Rieckhoff, the CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, slammed Mr. Trump in a tweet at the time, saying
“We need strong policies from candidates, not to be used for political stunts.”
Where in his life has he displayed any love for the military? Certainly not by joining and serving. From his Military education? He was sent to a military school for rich kids because his father said he was getting out of hand? His love for the military didn’t lead him to a collegiate military academy.
Trump's immigrant grandfather was also a draft dodger.
At age 16  grandfather Friedrich Trump left Germany for America in 1885. Having avoided mandatory military service he was stripped of his German citizenship four years later. When he returned in 1905 he begged local authorities in southern Germany (in a since published letter) to revoke the deportation order for avoiding military service as a teenager. His plea, it seems, proved unsuccessful, and he had to settle for a life across the Atlantic. Once the full translation is available it will be interesting to see if Friedrich offered to make right on his failure to meet his military obligation.

Here’s what Trump and McCain were doing in 1968:
“Trump was 21 years old and handsome with a full head of hair. He avoided the Vietnam War draft on his way to earning an Ivy League degree. He was fond of fancy dinners, beautiful women and outrageous clubs. Most important, he had a job in his father’s real estate company and a brain bursting with money-making ideas that would make him a billionaire.“When I graduated from college, I had a net worth of perhaps $200,000,” he said in his 1987 autobiography “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” written with Tony Schwartz. (That’s about $1.4 million in 2015 dollars.) “I had my eye on Manhattan.”
More than 8,000 miles away, John McCain sat in a tiny, squalid North Vietnamese prison cell. The Navy pilot’s body was broken from a plane crash, starvation, botched operations and months of torture.
As Trump was preparing to take Manhattan, McCain was trying to relearn how to walk. …as Trump drove around Manhattan in his father’s limo, McCain was refusing to mention his dad for fear of handing valuable intelligence to the enemy.“
In his autobiography, Trump describes these early years as fraught with danger: a quick learning curve for the soon-to-be-celebrity CEO as he went around learning the business. “This was not a world I found very attractive,” he wrote in “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”“I’d just graduated from Wharton, and suddenly here I was in a scene that was violent at worst and unpleasant at best.”The danger? Collecting rent.”Trump said he didn’t serve in Vietnam because he was “going to college,” and because he "was not a big fan of the Vietnam War."

  • [He] describes his battle with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam.” (It’s true: In 1997, Trump told Howard Stern of trying to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases: “It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider.”)
  • “In the ’80s, Trump tried to throw disabled vet street vendors off Fifth Avenue, accusing them of essentially being a blight on the aesthetics of the street. Before his presidential campaign, Trump’s charitable foundation gave more to the Clinton's than to veterans organizations.”
  • “In January, Mr. Trump refused to attend a Republican debate hosted by Fox News…  …Instead, Mr. Trump hosted his own fundraiser to raise money for veterans groups. But several veterans organizations saw the fundraiser as a political move and refused to accept Mr. Trump’s pandering donations. Paul Rieckhoff, the CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, slammed Mr. Trump in a tweet at the time, saying “We need strong policies from candidates, not to be used for political stunts.” The statement prompted Trump-supporting Internet trolls to bombard Mr. Rieckhoff with hundreds of disparaging and even threatening comments.
  • Veterans groups who declined donations from GOP front-runner Donald Trump are now being flooded with nasty messages from the businessman’s supporters online, who want to punish them for challenging their candidate.”

90 / 121 / 153 / 171 / 238

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Christian Left: Yes, we exist.

The Christian Left: Yes, we exist.
"...Did the thief on the cross have a “correct doctrine?” Of course he didn’t. He had not studied the sacred texts and formed the correct conclusions. He knew nothing of what was said in the sacred texts. And yet Jesus promised that he would be in Heaven with him that very day.
Why? Because he had a kind and gentle heart and a merciful spirit and he defended a man he didn’t ever know while he suffered in agony himself. He called Jesus Lord and asked that he remember him when he entered his Kingdom, but not having been exposed to “correct Doctrine” he was speaking from his heart, nothing else. Furthermore, he had not been baptized.

Did Jesus make a special exception for the thief on the cross? No. That would contradict the many passages in the Bible where it states that God is no respecter of persons and he does not show favoritism...

...We must pray for those who have made “correct doctrine” their idol. They miss the spirit and meaning of what scripture says and instead worship the Bible itself. They are unable to see what God is saying between the lines of ink."

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This is devastating.

Yes, as always, we have to accept the results and move forward. We have to trust that our system, with its checks and balances, will continue to work to protect us from our excesses and our darker nature. I have faith in the better nature of people, and believe that we are capable of uniting for the common good.

How do we unite behind someone who has based his entire campaign on dividing us and condemning the very system that elected him? How do we unite behind someone who sought to appeal to the fringe elements of our society? How do we unite behind someone who has appealed to our darker nature and the divisiveness of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and nationalism? If anything he enters office having proven that he was very wrong about one thing... the very system that elected him.

Yes I will pray for our country.
Not my country, not his country, not your country. Our Country. I will pray for the families whose only crime was coming to this country improperly. Who otherwise followed the laws, raised good families, and paid their taxes in hopes of a better live for their children. I will pray for those families, those born here and those who immigrated, whose only crime is having been born into or joined a different religious believe or denomination. I will pray for those people whose only crime is having been born different, poor, or disadvantaged. I will especially pray that the obstructionist that have held this country back for the last 8 years and the remains of their fractured political party will finally realize their true responsibility and start putting their country first, ahead of party.

But most of all...
I will pray that I am wrong about Donald Trump and that he will prove me wrong, because now, more than anytime in my life I have to hope I am wrong about something. I pray that if I'm right about Donald Trump any damage done in four years will be repairable.

He is not 'my' President, but he is our President.
I have confidence in the American people as a whole.
I have confidence in this country, warts and all.
I will continue to speak out for what I believe is right and against wrong.
May God Bless America. image

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