Sunday, September 27, 2015

Trump the Presbyterian

Donald Trump has undoubtedly been a sinner in his life but forgiveness of sin is central to Christianity so I cannot see any true Christian shunning him for that.  What his heart holds is what matters. John 3:16

I make no judgment on what doctrines he believes but even if he is basically an atheist, which seems possible, he is still very  clearly a cultural Christian -- as I am. I value the lessons of my Christian youth and still believe that the Bible is the best guide to a good life and is the bedrock of Western civilization.  Although I have been an atheist for all of my adult life,  I regularly defend Christianity -- and Trump does too.

In a Left-dominated age, Christians need all the friends they can get and, whatever he believes, it is clear that Trump would be a powerful and unabashed supporter of Christians. Trump for President! -- JR

Donald Trump recently showed up at a gathering of Iowa conservative Christian voters with a copy of the Bible in hand.

As the Republican presidential front-runner and billionaire businessman tries to maintain his lead in early polls with rivals quickly gaining ground, Trump is increasingly courting a wing of the Republican Party that might seem antithetical to his brand: evangelical Christians.

“I love them. They love me,” Trump, a Presbyterian, said of evangelicals last month in Greenville, South Carolina. “I love the Evangelicals, and it’s really shown in the polls.”

After initially declining the invitation, Trump will be speaking Friday in front of an expected 2,000 social conservative leaders at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit in Washington. He joins a speaking program that includes Republican rivals with long records of dedication to religious causes — among them, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist pastor, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

In many ways, Trump’s brand as the bombastic, thrice-married billionaire showman would seem an ill-fit among religious conservatives. He once held a reputation as a womanizing playboy, previously supported abortion rights, and appears to spend more time calling into Sunday morning talk shows than attending church.

Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said Trump’s candidacy is fundamentally opposed to Christian values.

“When one looks at the very serious moral character questions, from Trump’s involvement in the casino gambling industry all the way through to his attitude toward women, Donald Trump is the embodiment of everything that evangelical Christians have been standing against in American culture,” he said.

Social conservatives are eager to have “a conversation” with Trump about his previous support for abortion rights, among other positions most conservatives strongly oppose, said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which is hosting the Value Voters Summit.

On Monday he’s set to host a group of evangelical pastors and bishops from across the country for a private meeting and prayer session at Trump Tower in New York.

Several attendees, including Pastor Lionel Traylor of Jackson, Mississippi, said evangelical voters are particularly drawn to Trump’s direct style and his strong defense of Christians at a time “when Christianity is under attack.” Trump has frequently made reference to attacks on Christians abroad and said that he will be a champion for religious liberty, including defending Christmas.

Trump’s relationship with evangelical leaders goes back far longer than he’s been running for president.

According to previously reported tax documents, the Donald J. Trump Foundation has given to numerous Christian causes in recent years, including $100,000 to the Billy Graham Evangelist Association in 2012, as well as ministries as far away as Debra George Ministries in Texas and the Ramp Church in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Monday’s gathering is expected to open with a prayer service and include discussion of issues affecting the preachers’ communities, said Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen, who struck up a friendship with Scott.



Liberal Reasoning: Idiotic or Dishonest?

By Walter E. Williams

Many people argue that liberals, socialists and progressives do not understand basic economics. I am not totally convinced about that.

Take the law of demand, for example, one of the fundamental principles of economics. It holds that the lower the cost of something the more people will take or do of it. Conversely, the higher the cost the less people will take or do something. By their actions, liberals fully understand the law of demand. Let’s look at some proof.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales. Hillary Clinton has called for a 25 percent tax on gun sales. In Chicago, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed “violence taxes” on bullets to discourage criminals from buying guns. Let’s ignore the merit of these measures. They do show that gun grabbers acknowledge the law of demand. They want fewer gun sales and thus propose raising the cost of guns.

NBCBLK contributor Danielle Moodie-Mills said, “We need to stop misgendering people in the media, and there needs to be some type of fine that’s put into place for … media outlets … that decide that they’re just not going to call people by their name.” What Moodie-Mills wants is for us to be obliged, if a man says he’s a woman, to address him as her and, if a woman says she’s a man, to address her as him. The basic point here is that Moodie-Mills acknowledges the fundamental law of demand when she calls for FCC fines for media people who “misgender” folks. By the way, if I claimed to be the king of Siam, I wonder whether she would support my demand that I be addressed as “your majesty.”

In the Ohio Legislature, Rep. Bill Patmon, a Democrat from Cleveland, introduced a bill to make it illegal to manufacture, sell or display toy guns. The ban would apply to any toy gun that a “reasonable person” could confuse with a real one. A $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail would be imposed for failure to obey the law. That’s more evidence that liberals understand the law of demand. You want less of something? Just raise its cost.

Even San Francisco liberals and environmentalists understand the law of demand. They’ve proposed a ban that over the next four years would phase out the sale of plastic water bottles that hold 21 ounces or less in public places. Violators could face fines of up to $1,000.

Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu once said, “We have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” in order to make Americans give up their “love affair with the automobile.” If gas prices rise high enough, Chu knows that Americans will drive less.

There you have it — abundant evidence that liberals, socialists and progressives understand the law of demand. But wait a minute. What about raising the cost of hiring workers through increases in the minimum wage?

Aaron Pacitti, Siena College professor of economics, wrote that raising the minimum wage “would reduce income inequality and poverty while boosting growth, without increasing unemployment.” The leftist Center for Economic and Policy Research has written a paper whose title tells it all: “Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?” The U.S. Department of Labor has a page on its website titled “Minimum Wage Mythbusters,” which relays a message from liberal economists: “Increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers.”

What the liberals believe — and want us to believe — is that though an increase in the cost of anything will cause people to use less of it, labor is exempt from the law of demand. That’s like accepting the idea that the law of gravity influences the falling behavior of everything except nice people. One would have to be a lunatic to believe either proposition.



British government medicine

Dr. Max Pemberton, an NHS doctor, gives us a vision of where Obamacare is likely to lead

Until recently, Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge was considered one of the best in the country and, indeed, one of the best centres in the world for cancer treatment and organ transplants. It was a jewel in the NHS crown.

All that changed this week when it was branded ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the hospital inspectors, and taken over by an ‘improvement director’.

For a hospital to be branded inadequate, you’d expect some seriously dreadful stories to have been uncovered: abuse, neglect, deaths.

But, in fact, the rating came down to staffing levels and failures in paperwork. Not enough staff isn’t an issue unique to Addenbrooke’s, of course, as NHS budgets are increasingly cut and frontline staff culled to make ends meet.

So how is an ‘improvement director’ going to solve this problem in a hospital that already has to overspend by £1.2 million a week just to keep going? This is the problem with the CQC — what they test for is utterly meaningless to anyone who actually uses the NHS.

To give you an idea of what an inspection is like — and how warped and unhelpful the criteria used — my hospital is currently in the throes of preparing for one.

My hospital is by no means perfect, but the staff work incredibly hard and everyone really cares about trying to get the best for their patients.

Yet rather than using actual real-life clinical encounters to assess the care, the inspectors use ‘proxies’ — substitute tests that can be easily measured. So they will ask me questions such as: Do I know the physical location of the infection control policy on my ward?

Regardless of the fact that I know what the infection control policy is — and, indeed, have been on training for this — I need to know where the folder with the actual piece of paper is. If I don’t, that’s a black mark.

At a meeting last week, someone realised the carpet between two rooms that are occasionally used is the wrong type. Apparently, it needs to be a special variety that doesn’t attract dust.

The current one is regularly vacuumed by the cleaners, but it seems that doesn’t matter. So now we’re running around frantically changing carpets so that we don’t get marked down. Do the people behind these inspections live in the real world?

If you’re having a heart attack in A&E, I don’t believe there’s a soul on this planet who’d care if the nurse providing pain relief could locate the staff uniform policy. It’s so ridiculous you could laugh. Almost.

Clearly, the people who have come up with these sorts of criteria have absolutely no awareness of what’s important to patients.

If they did, they’d go round seeing whether nurses brought you water when you were thirsty or held your hand when you were scared, or if a doctor stayed late to explain something to your daughter because she was worried — or any other of the million things that actually affect people’s experiences of the NHS.

Instead, the inspectors are going to quiz me on whether I’ve been on diversity training.



Pope's encounter with daughter of illegal immigrants, 5, was a stunt

Sophie Cruz's brief encounter with Pope Francis during his parade in Washington this week appeared to be the kind of spontaneous moment that is so endearing about this pope: an initially hesitant young child wrapping an arm around his neck as he offers a kiss and a blessing.

But for 5-year-old Sophie, the moment unfolded as perfectly as it was scripted by members of a coalition of Los Angeles-based immigration rights groups. They had been preparing for nearly a year for the young girl from suburban Los Angeles to make a dash for the pope-mobile to deliver a message about the plight of immigrant parents living in the country illegally.

They had even pulled off a similar public-relations coup a year ago in Rome using a 10-year-old girl with the pope.

'We planned to do this from the moment we learned he was coming to the States,' Juan Jose Gutierrez of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition.

'We have been working for a while now trying to sensitize the American public that dealing with immigration is not just dealing with the people who came in without proper documents but that we also have ... countless children whose parents are undocumented.'

Gutierrez said the group decided to use the children of immigrants to represent their push for immigration reforms to the pope, a staunch supporter of immigrants.

Gutierrez said Sophie's success came from a 'combination of factors, one being in the right spot at the right time.' He added that he thinks Francis may also have remembered Jersey.

'When he saw this little girl,' Gutierrez said, 'he had to have known in his heart that this was another important message in the form of a little girl.'



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