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Messages - D.W.

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Always interesting to see a 'fresh' perspective from Crunch.  Years ago, here, I'd accuse you of being someone's pet project for playing devil's advocate.  Now?   

I take it at face value and as much as I cringe when I read your posts, they are... enlightening.  Enjoy your "winning" while it lasts.  Sorry you feel so assailed by The Left.  :P

General Comments / Re: whats up with all the rallies
« on: July 12, 2018, 01:39:57 PM »
I WOULD go with the transcript option, but then I have to do the added work to research if it's a legit transcript or "satire".  Because I can never tell the difference anymore.    :'(

General Comments / Re: whats up with all the rallies
« on: July 12, 2018, 10:30:31 AM »
How could you tell which were the American Media?  Their accents?  He hardly let any of them get out their names or brushed them off with an "I know who you area." 

Like they were daring to hog his spotlight instead of, you know, stating their name / publication for their listeners/viewers... because... it's the news? 

I know it's just Trump's "style" but god he infuriates me every public address.  And not just based on his politics.  The whole persona is just nails on a blackboard for me.

That said, I can't argue with your point.  Fishing for a sound bite when it's OBVIOUS to all he (or his press sec) is not going to answer the question, gets so old so fast.

Pardons for some, tiny American flags for all!

General Comments / Re: Smart Home Hacking
« on: July 09, 2018, 05:15:16 PM »
For the labor intensity of the camera monitoring to determine windows for a break-in, I guess it would depend on if they have built in motion sensors on when they activate or not.  It SEEMS like that would be a good pairing of technology... 

If there was, then having something monitor when it activates, as opposed to actually "watching" could generate a report after X amount of time.  Assuming you hacked into a type of product, and could get many of them reporting, then cherry pick as need be, it wouldn't be all that labor intensive.  Still, a tech savvy B&E targeting homes?  That seems more like a waste of talent than a waste of labor.  ;)

I kinda get the desire for the smart lock though.  I was discounting it as a silly idea, until I realized I use my garage door opener (and keypad) the exact same way... 

As a rule, I keep my home low tech.  The only compulsion to get a security camera on the front porch would be to check to see if the doorbell is potentially someone I want to talk to or someone soliciting for donations / sales or something else who I'd prefer to chicken*censored* my way out of by pretending not to be home.  :P

What scares me is the possibility they will construct a pipeline from the Great Lakes all the way across country to supply people who chose to live in dry arid areas.  :P

Bad enough we got Nestle pumping it up and bottling as fast as possible. 


It's always 3.

General Comments / Re: Liberals have lost
« on: June 29, 2018, 05:20:47 PM »
Other than the obvious bait in that, I got to agree that the doom and gloom seems overstated on the part of the left. 

As long as the justices show a shred of integrity, during the initial flood of far right power grabbers trying to stuff things through, we should be fine.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 28, 2018, 09:14:29 AM »
Ever?  We got a lot of buzz-kills around here, myself among them, but that's dark.  :P

General Comments / Re: Supreme Court's big day
« on: June 28, 2018, 09:12:31 AM »
I stand corrected.  Most of the talk seems to suggest they ARE serious about delaying the nomination process.   ::)

General Comments / Re: Supreme Court's big day
« on: June 27, 2018, 11:06:48 PM »
if the parties had been reversed the Dems would never have let the appointment go through either.
What do you base this on? 
I'm not suggesting that may be the case moving forward, but do you really think that?

To be clear, I don't want (and I don't think many expect) a delay.  We're just still not ready to let that whole thing go.  It's important to point out how absurd that situation was.  I think the slightly more likely outcome, but still not likely, is that some Republicans stop and think, "Ya, you know, that WAS some dangerous BS and may bite us in the ass."  It won't be now.  And the pay-off may be 'worth it' to many.  By any means necessary and all that.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 11:05:20 PM »
I could just as easily conclude that you don't know what's in your own self interest, or you too would be a Trump supporter.
And maybe you are correct.  I did recently get a raise.  The Trump tax break could be a factor.  So it's easy to argue, that if he were not president, and was not there to push the tax break I wouldn't have a raise.  There for being opposed to him to him is against my own self interest. 

When you boil things down to single issues the picture can look a lot different. 

My view is that the increase in the money is greater than the increase in the cost of goods.
I hope this ends up being the case.

It's not a gamble at all.  it's a literal acknowledgement that the status quo has been designed to benefit the elites and the political class not the common people.
Well on the latter we agree.  That Trump wasn't a gamble though?  That many can't envision 'worse' is possible, but things can get worse.  (I think they are getting worse.) 

On education, I've got no reason to believe Hillary or Democrat control would have improved things, but I do think leadership under DeVos is making things worse.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 08:08:55 PM »
Heck, you even could see it in action in the Supreme Court case that came out yesterday upholding the travel ban.  The majority pretty much said, this is an order that would be upheld for any other President, ergo upheld.  The minority pretty much said, yes but it's Trump therefore it should be pitched.
As much as I'd like to see the travel ban go away, I think the SC made the right call.  Even if Trump had to jump through hoops to make an unconstitutional impulse constitutional, he DID jump through those hoops.  It's within his power as a president and I think the judicial branch stepping on the executive branch in this way would be a bad move, and ones that opponents of the travel ban would eventually regret. 

To me, failing to recognize that "trusted" news sources are biased is a much bigger failing than calling them fake news.   
I differ with you here.  Recognizing bias seems to be a rare skill today and that is troubling.  Inability to realize when you are being lied to and inability to differentiate opinions vs facts?  That's terrifying.

That's literally the message of victimization that the Dems have played on for decades.  Is the "problem" that its "unfair" for the other side to make a similar argument?
I think it's a trap for either side to do so.  Identity politics on the left has been matched with identity politics and religious persecution politics on the right.  I could get into, "but it's not the same thing" arguments, but those are pointless.  Convincing someone that their grievances are less valid than those of someone else is probably a Jeopardy question for "What is pointless?"

Consider the possibility that they are in fact smart enough to understand their own self interest and that is IN FACT why they voted for Trump.
If they benefit substantially from the tax cuts, then it was in their own self interest.  If they were primarily interested in locking in some Supreme Court nominees, then it was in their own self interest.  If they benefit from a trade war and tariffs in the short term (because I don't expect anyone to in the long term), then it was in their own self interest.  If they run or work for a company that will grow because of the immigration policy or border security, then it was in their own self interest.  Were they only interested in preventing Hillary because they don't like her as a person, then it... well grants them momentary satisfaction.  Beyond that though?  I really do have a hard time considering that possibility.   Other than that, it may feel good to stick it to those elitist snobs; it may have felt good at the time to shake up the establishment;   but I don't think it was in their own self interest.

We'll have a higher national debt.  We'll be paying more for day to day goods.  Our average level of health care will go down and cost more, our education system will be more strained than it ever was, the opiode problem will likely continue out of control, our infrastructure jobs he promised don't seem to be materializing, and our allies in the world are getting sick of our (his) *censored*. 

Unless that self interest is a gamble that messing up the status quo so terribly that building new as opposed to patching holes is the best bet by someone else after he's gone, then I don't get it. 

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 06:21:37 PM »
What needs to be done is you need an alternative that they can choose without 1) Losing face and admitting to being idiots for voting for Trump and 2) That doesn't constitute surrender on key issues they care about.
#2 I can see happening.  It’s the “saving face” part that I’m totally lost on.  I don’t know how to achieve that.  I mean, I suppose at some point, they MIGHT go, “Gee, all that stuff Trump said he was going to do for ME, he never got around to.”  But far more realistically, they will believe that the reason he didn’t achieve this, was direct opposition and sabotage and possibly ‘deep state’ conspiracy that prevented him from doing so.  Trump certainly wants to promote that view.

Since the DNC shows no signs of even identifying the issues Trump's supporters care about beyond ugly caricatures and insults, I'm really not optimistic.
This is a tough one for me.  Because, honestly they DO identify and work to improve on those issues.  They just don’t pay it much lip service because, to them, it is obvious to everyone.  A flawed way of thinking obviously.  Those most likely to be helped by ‘far left’ agenda are probably Trump supporters.  Those least likely to ask for help are those who need it most.
I agree that neither side is likely to produce a centrist any time soon.  We’ll get a lot more of politicians claiming credit for the achievements of their predecessors and blaming all their failings on the opposition.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:04:17 PM »
There is a not so quiet segment of the left who believe that support of Trump must either come from ignorance or bigotry given an outlet.  (Unless you are someone directly profiting off these policies, which is not a large group.)  In their eyes, it is simply not possible to support him for other reasons.  They genuinely believe that Trump's policies work against these people who claim to support Trump.  They are either dupes, or the support is an excuse to vent their more destructive tendencies which makes any disadvantageous policies "worth it".

It's a ridiculously simplified and skewed way to view half the country, but it comes from, what they believe to be, logical reasoning.  And if you add in disgust at being judged by "the elite" or "intellectuals" on the left driving them further to the right, this just reinforces such people to put Trump supporters into the ignorant category.  When the right parrots Trump's cries of "fake news" or parrots anti-science stances, again, that perception is reinforced.  Which, Trump intends.

Trump is playing both of these groups quite effectively.  Both telling his supporters they shouldn't take such judgmental BS quietly, while at the same time, getting those supporters to spout off / repeat more things guaranteed to rile up the "elitist" left. 

Trump didn't just win because people were poor or uneducated.  But it seems pretty obvious that he leveraged this group by giving them targets to fear and to blame and gave them permission to see themselves as the victim and treated unjustly.  When you ARE poor, and don't have great opportunities, being told that is exactly what many want to hear.  However the "elitist", are disgusted with these people who are hurting rather than sympathetic.  Not that they are poor or didn't go to college, but because they allowed themselves to be leveraged to prop up a person who has zero interest in solving their problems. 

We here a lot of talk about tolerance and building bridges and civility.  To many, informing others when they believe those people got duped, is an act of outreach.  I do get how the exasperation in their voices can make it seem like an attack.  Sometimes, now, it is indeed an attack by those who's patience has passed their limit.  Silence however, allows people to believe they are correct.  Bubbles (on both sides) are meant to be burst.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 03:49:22 PM »
Wayward has stated it better than I was going to.  My point was only that while some of those labels are hurtful, one is criminal, and carries one doozy of a penalty.

General Comments / Re: Supreme Court's big day
« on: June 27, 2018, 03:18:26 PM »
Also, aren't we too close to the next presidential election to fill a S.C. seat?  ;)  I think you are only allowed to do that within 6 months of your inauguration or reelection. 

General Comments / Re: Supreme Court's big day
« on: June 27, 2018, 02:46:56 PM »
Just as a point of clarification, and not suggesting you've personally made this claim, but:

Is Mueller stalling for biggest political disruption, or because he's got nothing to move with?

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 02:44:14 PM »
Of that list, we don't even hang Nazis... 

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 27, 2018, 01:27:25 PM »
IDK, the fact that the "small hands" really seemed to get to Trump means he had some decent insight.  He may regret taking the low road, but wow did he hit his mark in a way that seems totally absurd to just about everyone.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:26:10 PM »
To address the actual story you are talking about though, I think the author was correct that the wider the left/liberal/Democrat brush gets, the more people are forced to huddle around Trump.  I don't think however that such a warning will be headed.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:14:59 PM »
It is angering the very people many/most of the anti-Trump people should be trying to build bridges with, but instead it's burning them.
Those "burning bridges" are largely good with that.  They've dropped their leaflets, they've broadcast their intents.  The bridge is coming down.  This is the last chance to cross it.  If not, enjoy the quarantine. 

It's messed up, and it would be nice if we could get out of this partisan quagmire, but to the "bridge burners" Trump and his supporters are something different.  Something toxic.  They don't want to build a bridge, they want that separation.  I hope that when the man is gone this divide may begin to heal.  But honestly, until he is gone, there won't be bridge building.  What would the point be with Trump regularly setting charges at the foundations? 

I can see a lot of common ground with Republicans who voted for Trump because that was the party line vote, and any sock puppet in the big chair that wasn't a Democrat would probably work out for them.  But those who actually support Trump?  We need no bridges.

General Comments / Re: dunkin donuts furor
« on: June 25, 2018, 02:31:58 PM »
The first question would be if they are franchises owned by an individual, or are they all corporate owned?  I don't know which model they use, or if they have a mix of both.  The short answer though, is the bar is pretty low.  And if it's a franchise owned store (as opposed to corporate) the ability to revoke the name/brand is probably a pain in the butt.

While airing a personnel issue is the most likely reading of the sign, it's also possible that they are following a certain prominent person's play book of sparking a little controversy to get media attention.  Or this particular GM had it in their mind that there was an under served demographic that maybe their competitor with the green and white logo wasn't particularly tolerant of.  :P

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 06:38:48 PM »
And while it is nice you are worried about his voters being 'silenced," what about the majority of the nation?  Should we be silent when we see the President enacting outrageous behavior, just because he won the election?
I was told just last week by my stepfather that I should stop posting this *censored* (a facebook post) and "get over it already" and let Trump "do his job".  :)  So according to some of his supporters,  Yes.  We should be silent.  Because he won.  :P

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 03:06:51 PM »
Because he wants HIS solution.  He's no benevolent force.  He wants "wins" he wants his ego stroked.  He wants to keep his base happy and hear how terrific his numbers are. 

Make no mistake though, there is a lot of weight pushing back at him to accept "defeat" and accept the status quo.  People trying to convince him they can still spin this into blaming his opponents, and in the end, isn't that good enough?

I wasn't suggesting self deception.  More that "it would be easier if things were black and white".  I believe she flouts the law, but is not reckless enough to have broken it.  Exploited it?  Abused it?  Bent it?  Sure, ya.  I'll buy that.  But as much as I don't like her, I respect her ability to color within the lines...

Trump on the other hand?  I don't think we'll be putting any of those drawings up on the White House fridge.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 02:50:16 PM »
Whether or not this move was a good one, it seems like a harbinger of bad things to come if a controversial policy choice will be repealed based on being shouted down by the other side. In this case it may not just be the other side, but it does make me wonder whether America is ready at all for change in other areas where it's needed, such as campaign finance or foreign policy. Any potential leader will now know that a change from the status quo will arouse a firestorm and so the ecosystem is going to favor the same old gang.
In this case, it was both sides, but I am somewhat inclined to agree. 

But there's another side to this coin (as I see it).  The public, no matter their "side", may start to realize where the claims of opposing agenda are really a shared belief to hang onto useful political tools to mutual benefit.  Our leaders are already terrified to diverge from the status quo.

The firestorm they fear, is the rest of us getting sick of it and demanding a solution.  In some ways, I think Trump, in his ham handed and compassionless way, is all about giving the people what they want.  At least SOME of the people.  He, unlike past presidents of either party, seems to think this issue needs solved.  And if someone's gotta be pissed off, it may as well be those pesky Democrats.  Because they were never gonna kiss his ass either way. 

It may not be the way I wanted illegal immigration addressed, and being done for all the wrong reasons, and making our nation a bit more toxic in the short term, but... 

Slipping back into the status quo will not be an easy task.  I hate the man in the oval office, but part of me delights in seeing that wrecking ball swing.  (I'd prefer there be fewer victims or collateral damage in the process though.  "Everyone, behind the tape and enjoy the show!")

Probably half the country was convinced she was a criminal walking free and running for President
I'd believe half wanted her to be a criminal, because we believe she does not respect the law, but I think a much lower percentage believe she BROKE the law.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 01:48:59 PM »
I was a bit surprised at the firestorm that ensued.
I'm kinda surprised you were surprised.  This reaction (the firestorm) was the intent of the NotAPolicyChange change.  The only surprise from the White House side of things, is that their cold logic "not our fault" argument didn't seem to gain much traction. 

This is the Trump playbook he runs instead of consensus building and horse trading.  Chaos, outrage, partisan rabble rousing  (stirring up both sides), bullying, then ultimatum.  "Making Deals" is NOT negotiating.

He campaigned hard on this.  The tax cut is already out of the way, trade war is under way, it was time to find another way to leverage The Wall. 

That even his own party is calling foul (because of bad optics and a desire to campaign on, but never act on being this tough) shouldn't even be a shock.  But again, Trump ran on being an outsider.  I think he actually wants to "fix" the illegal immigration "problem".  Much to the dismay of everyone else.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 01:08:47 PM »
The worst part is this problem is going to continue to grow exponentially.  Both here and in the rest of the developed countries.  The information age has let the cat out of the bag that even "*censored*ty" conditions here, are a step up compared to others.  On top of that, our ability to traverse this spinning dirt ball improves as well. 

While the trips are still dangerous, they are less so than they ever have been.  Though we debate, and fight and stall and some countries turn away immigrants, someone in the end takes them in.  How often does someone leave a desperate or dangerous area and end up all the way back home where they started again?

This, more than anything else is why I trend towards a "globalist" perspective.  There's no such thing as "not my problem."  Only stalling tactics.  (and war)

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 11:59:26 AM »
1) We don't have enough "immigration judges" to truly process 100% of the cases that are supposed to have been heard in anything approaching a "reasonable time frame" and with Trump in office, I doubt the Democrats are jumping up an down for him to hurry up and appoint the (presumably) hundreds of additional judges that would be needed.
Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.  It’s necessary, AND a legit way to show Democrats being obstructionists.  Seems like a win-win for the GOP.  (But this requires a will to fix immigration, something I don’t believe either side has.)
2) The volume of people involved means you're talking about accommodating a decently sized city worth of people for the better part of a year.
Yep.  Cost of doing buis…. enforcing the law. 
A.  do nothing
B.  patch and repair existing system
C.  rework the system

Both sides WANT to do A.  but want to be seen as being FOR C. and doing B.  They each want all of the credit, and none of the blame, while not upsetting the applecart that is our immigrant dependant economy.

I didn't initially have the kneejerk reaction to be upset about it because I guess I didn't see it as being strange to keep children in a separate facility from people who've been imprisoned.
I agree about the conditions.  The whole, misdemeanor meaning your kid could be lost in the system though is a bit terrifying (as intended). 

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 10:48:55 AM »
True, there is every indication that they will be detained together for 20 days, and that is a change in how the law is being enforced.  So suggesting, nothing's changed, is not accurate.  Thanks

As to what would work:  I think trying to bring the detention facilities up to a standard that would have satisfied the criteria needed for families/children is probably the way to go.  (paying for it, is not gonna be easy though, but law enforcement ain't cheep.)  I wasn't trying to promote alternatives, but saying there aren't any, is misleading.  None that are as effective a deterrent?  Sure.

I'm on record as saying that detention or deportation and "border security" are losing strategies.  If you want to "force" people through the legal channels instead of the illegal ones, you need to eliminate the ability to find illegal employment. 

Then, our sudden realization that, "Oh crap we NEED these people, for our economy to function as we are use to!" will motivate immediate change.

General Comments / Re: Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 10:10:15 AM »
Yes, you are apparently, as there are means to track people and the "release them and they disappear forever!", is a bit overblown.  (Not that I'm a proponent of that plan, just pointing out there ARE options, with varying levels of merit, that do comply with the law.)  But, why are you saying the cry hasn't changed?  I assume you are using the "I called it" as a claim it's been proven true.

The issue, being exploited by both sides, is that detaining families is something people would cry over.  Hence the 20 day max ruling.  The one that tied Trump's hands as the administration would put it.

My question was, has anything been "switched"?  The intent is still obviously a zero tolerance plan that avoids any whiff of "catch and release" to act as a deterrent.  The executive order, doesn't change any of that, and doesn't read (to me at least) as if it provides any guarantees that they will stop splitting up families.  Only that they want to stop which has been their position all along...

General Comments / Executive Waffling?
« on: June 21, 2018, 09:22:14 AM »

So the news this morning is all about how Trump has made a reversal, by signing his executive order.  Proving that he lied about not being able to do anything and so on.

But did he?

Reading this thing, it seems like brush off to me.  They still want to stay tough on law enforcement.  They are essentially asking for a re-do on Flores v. Sessions.  Then there's a few mention of "to the extent consistent with law", or "to the extent permitted by law".  Was this nothing more than a fancy way of kicking it back to Congress?  Another photo op and opportunity for Trump to put forward how HE is trying to solve the problem caused by those pesky Democrats and their lawless way?

I know my viewing lens for Trump is "uncharitable" as was recently pointed out, but...  Is there anything of real substance that convinces people things are going to improve? 

Also, if the ruling is overturned, is this likely to have a ripple effect on the issue of child detention?  Or would it be fairly narrow?

Haha, 2

2 many.  :)

There is no evidence that aliens have taken over and replaced half of humanity with duplicates. It wouldn't be evident to you even if there was such evidence in existence, because that doesn't get out to the press.
Actually... this would explain A LOT!

Timing these camps with the announcement of the Space Force?  Straining relationships with some of our former allies?   :o

The invasion is already begun!  Not just "illegal aliens" but extra terrestrials are already inside our borders!

Random thought:  An alternative to "I can't believe He/They are THAT dumb!",  What if Trump is running the God Emperor of Dune tyrant playbook?  I'm hoping we can manage in 4 years instead of 3,500 years...

On the other hand, the counter argument seems to be to ignore the law and let anyone who show's with a kid be released into the country.

I think a large part of the country is very empathetic and barely understands what's actually going on.
I think you nailed it with the second part more than the first.  It's not that most who are outraged think a free pass if you show up with a kid is the correct policy. (granted that's an over simplification in itself) Most I expect never give it any thought, or believe they are turned away, and that's that, or they are shuffled into the legal immigration system, and vastly underestimate what a *censored*show that is.

Separating children from parents seems really bad. But what principles led to that being what's happening, and if they're wrong, then which are right?
It doesn't 'seem' bad, it IS bad.  Unless you can show that a parent/guardian, has gone from a safe and healthy environment, and that dragging a child along a dangerous crossing with an uncertain end rises to the level of child endangerment.  (meaning MORE dangerous than not making the trip)

Unless you are showing that they are not trying to do what is best for their family but are criminally negligent, then separating them IS bad. 

What seems to be at issue:  Is our national discomfort of that "bad thing" the only motivation with the potential of getting us to address our mess of an immigration policy?  While I do not trust Trump to look at the issue in good faith, and believe he is leveraging children to get money for his wall, I can't argue that it may very well take this extreme and inhumane of a prod to get Congress moving on the issue.  We know little else moves them to act on this issue.

But that's probably as far fetched as those who believe that, 'Surely THIS mass shooting will make them move on gun control?'  Republicans, as the ones at the wheel right now, need to tell this administration to release his hostages, and let them address the issue (hopefully with some bipartisan support) in Congress.  Remind him he is NOT a dictator and a tyrant instead of letting him act like one, while cowering from a portion of their voters shouting loudly through their MAGA-phones. 

I know this is a bit of snark, but in reply to D.W.'s comment that I don't need to apply advanced scholarship to the issue of an ancient text, I'm afraid anyone would.
It's more than a bit of snark.  This point has lead to serious divisions and branching of the church. 

To me, one of the only things more concerning than organized religion in general, is when someone says, "Let me explain to you what this means and how you should apply it to your life."

Let me get this strait, the divine spoke through someone, who may have written it down or relayed it to other people to write it down.  Then over the years it was translated.  Along with those translations, it was likely changed so that the intent or message was conveyed properly.  Then, after all that, only after considerable study and consensus building is a branch of a religion fairly unified on what was meant as a whole.  And lastly an individual priest/holy person relays their individual take, within the parameters of their religion, to their congregation?  Yikes!  I think the true example of faith is how much the divine apparently has in us as a group not to *censored* something up along the way!

Great post Seriati on how the public and Trump’s detractors are choosing to ignore what the administration is saying on this topic.  (their legal argument, not their religious or scapegoating BS)
If you can explain how reverting the policy stops the catch and release problem, please feel free to do so.  Until then, you're not making an argument that actually solves the problem, and you're deliberately exploiting children for a political goal and literally encouraging people to put children into harms way to buy their own ability to liver in the US.
I do take exception to this however.  Exploiting children for a political goal is exactly what this administration has chosen to do.  They are using them as hostages to end catch and release, and more generally to attempt to stem the tide of immigration. 

Is this really a situation of “fixing” immigration policy by any means necessary?  Most of the country is flinching here.  It sure looks like they prefer “failure” over such means.  I know I do.

That's my point: I'm not equipped to do that because I think it requires a higher degree of (a) scholarship, and (b) study than I'm capable of. I agree fully that this chapter seems really hard to parse.Not with me you don't, I take it as simple to parse, just really hard to justify in context. What on Earth could he have meant?  Other than the obvious? Common sense would suggest he wasn't actually praising the individuals in the Roman government.  Then what? I'm sure a theologian would have some good answers. Maybe I should go ask one and come back.  Let me know if you do.

I brought this topic up with a friend who suggested that the Romans didn't really factor into this thinking, that it was more of a government and religion being one and the same.  That the law is derived from God.  Not so much that God approves of the law, but more there wouldn't be law without the law of God.

It strikes me as circular and I'll likely discuss it further with him.

I take it you're not saying that Romans 13 itself is a fraudulent text but rather that it's been deliberately misunderstood by many for the purposes of political expediency? If so I'm sure you're right.
I'm saying that any deliberate misunderstanding took place long ago.  People today are interpreting it as intended, by those who did that deliberate misunderstanding.

You can take any moral statement and turn it into something fascistic if government is enforcing it.
Your response to the quoted section of mine has me entirely lost.  Can't really respond to yours.  Even re-reading what I wrote, I'm unsure how I could have failed so utterly to get my point across that this (and the remaining paragraph left unquoted) was a response to it...  sorry

I guess I need to ask again what exactly you mean by this.
A)  A third party later added that section in, attributing it to Paul as a means of controling a population.  (Subversion of "the word")
B)  Paul anticipated fearfulness and oppression by the current and future governments made it a point to include doctrine (is that the right word?) to suggest the believers did not pose a threat to the government, and in fact were ardent supporters of it.  (Self defense)

It may simply mean that the idea of hierarchical authority isn't a mere human artifact but has a basis in God's will. Or maybe it means that the art of politics in the Ancient Greek sense - the people making agreements amongst each other - is according to divine law, insofar as it's important for people to keep their agreements.
A fair point.  It seems to me, to be a long path to go to avoid a more "obvious" answer, but there's an awful lot of years between then and now.

A lot of times we'll find that translators add their editorial bias or interpretation into the text for "readability" rather than literally translate the words as originally intended.
I merely take this concept, and go one step further.  Or, to fit into what Seriati posted earlier, I am less charitable about that process.

As I find it unambiguous (though this thread has given me more to think about on that) I find Session's remarks equally unambiguously disturbing.

So to answer whether justice should be neutrally applied you cite to a belief that Trump lies?  Honestly, is that really an answer?  Am I to take it that justice should be "neutrally applied" except against "bad people(political enemies)?   How about thinking through those unrelated points separately.
A:  This was to mock you for bringing up "fairness".
B:  it's not a belief, it's a (well) documented "fact" that he lies.  Also, I would say it is well established that this lying is habitually excused or ignored by the GOP.  I would say, his allies, but I don't think that's honest.  More like, his hostages at this point terrified that to call him out on those lies will cost them votes, if not their seats.
C:  See (A) it wasn't really an answer.
D:  I'm all for neutrally applied.  But, yes, I held my nose and voted for Hillary because I felt she would be (somewhat) less of a disaster than Trump.  I believe in voting of the lesser of two evils, and rest assured, I saw two evils.

You seem to be taking into your reading of it the idea that this is a message coming down from on-high: we are the powers that be, and you should obey us. But that's not at all the context or intent.
” For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. “  Care to unpack this for me?  This is NOT an ambiguous statement, or one easily modified by “context”.  I’m not sure how present day baggage, vs. the historical context changes that.  I’ll concede that NOT doing so, may have been suicidal, and inclusion could be seen as self preservation as much as outside influence being injected.  Is that what you are suggesting?  If so, I think it’s a decent hypothesis to counter mine.

To be perfectly clear, I’m suggesting those were NOT Paul’s words.  Or more accurately, I believe that his words have been appropriated and modified / supplemented in order to create a tool of statecraft; as a means of controlling a potentially dangerous minority which had the potential to slip the usual bonds of control.
rather the new message is that you can attain salvation as soon as you die, which indeed is a great deal 'sooner' from a temporal point of view.
Which speaks to the MOST dangerous aspect of this religion from the stand point of a government interested in controlling people.  By tying obeisance to the state, to salvation they defuse much of this threat (from their perspective).

Our different perspectives revolve around you taking this as a whole, where I view it through a lens of performing the fewest and most unobtrusive edits possible to make the whole more palatable to, and less a threat to the government.  I posit that 1-7 are fraudulent additions or a reinterpretation so significant as to change the meaning. 

Unless, seeing the danger they were in, the apostles ‘played it safe’ and attempted to assuage the fear some in the government were likely to have about them.  I’ll be honest, not sure if this was your point or not, but I hadn’t considered it previously.

Also, I should note, that I’m not suggesting that the alternative to such passages are calls for rebellion.  One can certainly preach non-violence without giving a specific government , or ALL governments, a divine mandate…
I often think the difference between two positions is a matter of charitable versus uncharitable interpretation.

you're ignoring that a religion can expressly favor its own theocratic government
Teaching obedience is different from a starting position of the oppressed rebelling.  But you do have a point.  Your reference has certainly weathered the test of time as well.

This is too vague. 
As in, “I don’t understand how you can believe that.” Or as in, “that does not meet the legal criteria to initiate an investigation”?  As I said, I’m not particularly well informed on the latter.

Sorry if “explanations” was a charged word?  Should I have taken the time to include something like a “LOL, like they actually intended for a moment to discuss the Magnitsky act?”  To be more clear, I see red flags all over the place (you apparently don’t and that could be my bias showing, but I’m far from alone.) there are often “explanations” for those flagging items which are legal.  Just as there were “explanations” for things Hillary did that raised red flags for me. 
Using Mueller required a finding of probable cause.  Grey area doesn't justify this type of investigation.
And, they apparently found it.  Or they conspired to thwart a system with several checks across party lines, and convinced several people to give them the thumbs up after the fact, many others who are GOP aligned to state they have faith in the system as well. 
It’s not impossible that you are correct, but it seems a far more significant stretch to me than the alternative.  That there was cause, they are finding evidence of wrong doing and they are being painstakingly careful in building their case because it’s about the top office of this country.  It doesn’t get any more serious, or leave any less room for error.
Do you see how that could seem unfair, when the benefit of the doubt or lack thereof, is being systematically applied in the same direction?
About as unfair as how sometimes we are just suppose to trust Trump and other times ignore the words that come out of his mouth as meaningless and harmless nonsense?

I agree with pretty much all of that Seriati.  The only caveat is that I think it restates my positions rather than rebuts them...

No long lasting religion is going to be founded on an instruction book which promotes widespread in-caution and rebellion.  After all, what good would that teaching do once any 'victory' was achieved?  They would be prone to actively seek out any reason to overthrow corruption and be predisposed against peaceful contentment.

I was going to try and go point by point but I think I can some it all up pretty quickly.
You see a lot of gray area and no “smoking gun” and are willing to believe the explanations given by the Trump campaign.  Because of this, you see no reason to investigate.
I see a lot of gray area (but no smoking gun) and am not willing to just take the Trump campaign at their word.  Because of this, I see reason to investigate.

I’m not a lawyer or constitutional scholar.  My belief that the campaign and Trump SHOULD be investigated has zero to do with an understanding of law.  I BELIEVE the American people DESERVE to either have Trump cleared of wrong doing, or see to it that he’s not going to intentionally or unintentionally do lasting harm to this country, on behalf of, or as a pawn of foreign powers.

The IG's report demonstrates that there was a massive bias problem,…
I’ve not read it all, but from what I’ve seen reported there were a few instances of people who crossed lines that should never be crossed by the FBI.  Calling that “massive” seems to imply wide-spread as opposed to a descriptor of the level the limited culprits spoke of.

1-7:  A better question is what does NOT sound like it?  This is strait up, obey the government because God wants you to.
8-10:  window dressing trying to pair 1-7 with the more objectively “good” moral code of the book.
11-12:  This isn’t just a “good idea”, your soul is on the line, and one slip up here and you may not get a chance to correct things! Also, the time is short angle works on another level that reminds you that your suffering won't be endless, and may even be short!  Wheeee!
13-14:   It’s not only a good thing for YOU, but by doing so, you are helping others!  Jesus would be proud of you.

This is pure, distilled control.  This is your lot in life.  Not only should you accept it, but you should believe you deserve it, and it’s God’s plan for you to endure it.
Translation:  Oh *censored* oh *censored* oh *censored* please don’t rise up and rebel.  There SURE are a lot of you and your belief in an afterlife and your soul being more important than your earthly well being and comfort scares us more than you will ever know.  Or CAN ever know, if we hope to retain power.  Let’s just insert a few lines here, a few lines there, and hope for the best. 

That excerpts like this are still being used (quoted), and thought to be useful by those in power may just tell you something about who they believe are still without political power, and how those people should respect their local authorities (mainly, them)...

What follows is a likely offensive to many anti-religious rant.  Sorry about that, feel free to skip it; but this particular quirk of doctrine gets me worked up. 

It's excerpts like that which drove me from the church.  Nothing made it more clear to me that, while I am likely to always believe in God and many of the moral lessons taught to me growing up Roman Catholic, religion is a tool of statecraft.  (or a parallel track to gaining power over others)   :'(

That's not to say every worshiper or priest or nun or bishop is a willing partisanship of some grand conspiracy, but it's a dangerous tool for those inclined to use it.  (and an apt description for many who try :P )  That anyone can look at this and similar passages and not instantly understand that unchecked morality is a threat to political powers so they saw fit to put in safety measures boggles my brain. 

In fact the only thing that makes me not scoff at those who think the entirety of the Bible is holy writ passed down by the divine, is just how long, and with how few 'translations' or versions were needed to keep it as useful a tool now as it ever was.  Maybe Big Father is a fan of Big Brother and always has been?  Jokes on me then I guess.

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