Open Forum

Where you can't be off topic because there IS no topic.

The floor is yours.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jen says:

    The rollback of the Endangered Species Act protections had me angry, now I’m depressed. It seems as though nothing, not even protecting species that are at risk–is worth it to the horrible people in this administration.

    And then news of a Russian nuclear explosion, which is alarming.

    This crew is incompetent and evil.

  2. Kit says:

    @Jen: Yesterday, I started writing a comment about that rollback, but got too depressed to hit the post button.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: @Kit: It’s about the only GOP Commandment:

    Thou shalt not allow anything to get in the way of profit.

  4. @Jen:

    The explosion in Russia is both concerning and interesting because it appears to be tied to their attempt to develop a nuclear-powered hypersonic (nuclear armed) cruise missile. There was a report on CNN about this last night that explained that the U.S. military has looked into developing a similar missile but concluded long ago that it would need a fuel source other than nuclear fuel since that made it more susceptible to accidents and potential disasters. The Russians probably didn’t care about the risk and, as a result, appear to have lost at least five of the top researchers working on the program.

    Here’s the CNN link, which includes video of the report from Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr that aired yesterday.

  5. Teve says:

    A right winger says this is the future liberals want.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Cheryl Rofer: Speculations on the Nenoksa Explosion

    Almost exactly a year ago, when Burevestnik was announced, I wrote up what the United States had done with nuclear rocket and cruise missile engines. I saw the Rover program up close and personal and knew a number of people involved in it. One of the conference rooms I used had an unloaded Rover fuel element to be used as a pointer. Fun.

    On Twitter, I’ve been a bit of a naysayer. I’m not disagreeing that Russia is testing what they believe will become their Burevestnik. I’m saying I think they’ll never have an operating system.

    I think that what has happened is that someone sold a program to Putin. The visuals are cool, and the idea of a cruise missile that can just keep cruising obviously appealed to him. “Nuclear-powered” sounds good. The promoter of the program may even believe in it.

    She knows her shit and gives a good explanation of what they are trying to do and why she doesn’t think it will ever work.

  7. 95 South says:

    @Teve: Too many whites.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: It’s always projection with them.

  9. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: and rampant stupidity. A Sale on abortions? “Well, I wasn’t going to get an abortion, but I’ve got this coupon…”

    But lesbians giving lap dances on park benches near the weed store while a pleasant cop zooms by on a Segway… kinda is the future we want. 😀

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:


    A Sale on abortions?

    I better hurry up and get pregnant!

  11. Neil Hudelson says:


    This is ridiculous.

    Flag burning is free speech, so we wouldn’t have to create a “designated area” for it.

  12. Teve says:

    Thoughts and Prayers on Guns and Abortion


    Christian historian John Fea of Messiah College points out an interesting disconnect that has never occurred to me until now. What if Christians reacted to abortion the same way they react to the problem of guns and mass shootings, by just calling for thoughts and prayers rather than organizing to take political action and pass laws to deal with it?


  13. Teve says:

    @Neil Hudelson: it’s Liberal Town, though, so what was probably happening was we were burning soooooooooooooo many flags that it became a public health hazard and we had to come up with some reasonable health and safety regulations, cuz we’re liberals and that’s how we roll. 🙂

  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @95 South:
    Thanks for verifying your racism for us.

  15. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    The scariest thing is not what is happening in Russia, it’s that we don’t have a government capable of responding to an issue like this. It’s too bad we don’t have an Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or something like that. Here’s the President boasting about technology we apparently don’t have.

    The United States is learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia. We have similar, though more advanced, technology. The Russian “Skyfall” explosion has people worried about the air around the facility, and far beyond. Not good!

    If he negotiates his way thru this, like he has with Iran and NoKo…we may be fuqed.

  16. Teve says:

    New York City restaurant industry thriving after $15 minimum wage increase

    From the Communist libtards at Business Insider.

  17. Kathy says:

    Nuclear powered rockets are staple of science fiction, and of serious space travel enthusiasts. I suppose there are many ways to propel a rocket using a fission reactor, but I know of two:

    1) A regular fission reactor produces electricity, which then powers an ion rocket engine using a gas for propellant(*). Xenon is a favorite. This would work well out in space, but not on Earth, as ion rockets have very low thrust. In space the thrust builds up over time. On Earth, the thrust would be negated by wind resistance and drag.

    2) Run the reactor very hot, and use the heat, either directly or through a heat exchanger, to heat a propellant and spew it out a nozzle, thus creating high thrust.

    Any gas can serve as propellant. In the atmosphere, you might be able to use ambient air, giving your rocket essentially unlimited range. this seems to be what Putin is blathering about.

    Now, you may sensibly ask whether the air passing through a reactor wouldn’t turn radioactive. the answer is: of course it would. It might also carry off pieces of the reactor’s shielding and/or nuclear fuel (erosion is a bitch). But consider the reactor would get blown up with the rest of the missile when the warhead detonates, and the warhead itself is a nuke. I’d worry about that.

    What you wouldn’t want to do is keep the nuke rocket aloft for days, raining down small doses of radiation all day long. You also want to think how much you want to trust a reactor to be kept safe by whatever automation you can cram into a rocket engine. A meltdown or explosion due to, say, a coolant leak while the missile is patrolling your territory would be an incredibly stupid self-inflicted wound.

    (*) It’s called propellant rather than fuel, because it doesn’t burn or otherwise impart energy to the rocket, rather it converts heat energy from the reactor into kinetic energy, or in the case of an ion engine, electric energy to kinetic.

  18. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The US budget deficit widened to $867 billion for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, an increase of 27% over this time last year, the Treasury Department reported Monday.

    The last time the deficit was this big was in 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis. Now, we are in a 11 year economic expansion. But at least Trump has finally managed to outdo Obama at something. This is really nothing short of economic mal-practice. And the Republican’s answer will be to cut entitlements to pay for their $1.5T tax cut.

  19. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Ok…you didn’t just crib that from Wikipedia….

  20. gVOR08 says:

    Bobby Barr gave a speech at the national meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police. He gave them a preview of the oversight they can expect from him (not much) and some insight into his motivations and what he is (a fascist). LGM has a good piece on it with this quote:

    We live in an age now when the institutions we have relied on to inculcate values and self-restraint have been under constant assault for over 50 years. As a result, we see about us increased social pathology: boys growing up without fathers; alienated and angry young men; gangs engaged in the most brutal violence; mass shootings; increasing mental illness and suicide among young people; a drug epidemic inflicting casualties beyond what we would sustain in a major war; growing domestic violence; an increase in sexual assaults and child exploitation.

    You name it. And who is expected to deal with this? As other institutions fail and abdicate, who is expected to stand their ground? Who is expected to pick up the pieces? You are. The police. The thin blue line. . .

    When I last served as Attorney General in the early 90’s, violent crime was at all-time high levels in the country. Starting in the 1960’s, we had gone through three decades of “reform” that turned our criminal justice system into a laughable revolving door. Incarceration rates dropped precipitously; and crime rates tripled, reaching a high in 1991-92.

    LGM notes that in the real world between 1970 and 1990 the prison population tripled. Then adds,

    Other than Trump himself, Barr is the most dangerous person in the federal government. And the fact that he is so much smarter and harder-working than the dime store fascist who hired him to be his prime henchman makes him all the more so.

  21. 95 South says:

    @Teve: I’ve prayed in front of a clinic.

  22. 95 South says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: No, I’m calling you racist. Yo’re an idiot.

  23. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m sure it would have been more accurate if I had.

  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @95 South:
    So wait…you’ve prayed for both a pea-sized embryo and an orange, morbidly obese, rapist?
    Aren’t you just the most misguided little zealot!!!

  25. KM says:

    @Kathy :
    Wait, isn’t that an Orion drive? I thought those were considered bad news simply because getting them out of the biosphere (where the nuke causes damage) negates their deep-space value. What’s the point of a rocket that can travel effectively if you kill everyone getting into space?

    … or is that the Alcubierre drive? My sci-fi is rusty but one kills leaving the atmosphere and one kills on arrival due to stopping. Either sounded like terrible ideas when the stories talked about them.

  26. michael reynolds says:

    I would guess that part of that improvement comes from less theft. Restaurants are notoriously vulnerable to skimming and outright theft, usually of food or booze. Treat your employees badly, they rip you off. Treat your employees well and you get a culture that resists corruption.

    The big thing in restaurants is controlling costs. Typically you have targets – food cost may be 30-40%, labor costs 30%, fixed costs, etc… Pilfering can be a major contributor to food costs. Having a case of 32 steaks take a walk out the back door is your entire day’s profit margin.

    Higher wages also translate into worker retention, which means higher productivity. In the front of the house experienced staff can turn more tables, in the kitchen they’ll waste less food, and be less likely to send out bad food that turns into bad Yelp reviews.

    And a small thing non-restaurant people wouldn’t know, but restaurant folk tend to spend a significant amount of money right back in their own restaurant, or in a sort of round robin with neighboring restaurants. I used to wait tables at Middleton Tavern in Annapolis. To one side we had McGarvey’s and Riordan’s, to the other side Armadillo’s (where my wife worked.) Many, many nights saw the Middleton’s waiters over at McGarvey’s spending their money, and vice versa.

    Higher wages = retention = less waste = less theft = fewer bad reviews = more recycled money. I recall making this argument over at Schuler’s blog before he banned me. And it was all hah hah hah from @Guarneri and the econ cognescenti. And yet, hmmm, as we see: didn’t hurt, it seems to have helped.

  27. 95 South says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I pray for you, and yo’re an idiot.

  28. Teve says:

    3 years of misery inside Google, the happiest company in tech

    Wired’s one of the few magazines I subscribe to, and I urge everybody who can afford it to start subscribing to your favorite magazines and newspapers, even if only the digital editions.

  29. Kathy says:


    Wait, isn’t that an Orion drive?

    Oh, no. the Orion drive uses actual nuclear explosions, on purpose, to propel a spacecraft. Niven used it in a novel, “Footfall,” where elephant-like aliens invade the Earth.

    The Alcubierre drive is a very hypothetical kind of warp drive. I wouldn’t go around trying to fold or expand space on this planet.

  30. Teve says:

    · Aug 3
    The metamorphosis of Jesus Christ from a humble servant of the abject poor to a symbol that stands for gun rights, prosperity theology, anti-science, limited government (that neglects the destitute) and fierce nationalism is truly the strangest transformation in human history.

  31. wr says:

    @95 South: “I’ve prayed in front of a clinic”

    How nice for you.

  32. Teve says:

    even with Trump in office, the climate denial movement is quietly falling apart.

    Even when the people who got paid to create the anti-Global Warming propaganda, like Frank Luntz, finally tell the suckers they fooled that they’re sorry for creating the propaganda, the suckers keep insisting the propaganda was true. 😀 😀 😀

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @95 South: Wow, I’m sure praying in front of a clinic really really helped the poor woman who was coming there because she was pregnant and knew she wasn’t able to financially support having another child. Why didn’t you offer to at least pay her rent throughout her pregnancy? That would have been actually useful!

  34. 95 South says:

    @grumpy realist: How much do you think I donate per year?

  35. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @95 South:

    I pray for you

    Don’t bother…religion is just a fiction that was invented with the intent of keeping you from thinking; clearly it has worked wonderfully.

  36. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @95 South:

    How much do you think I donate per year?

    Oh…a fraction of what you claim to donate, because all of you religious zealots are lying perverts.
    You bash gay people while hiring gay prostitutes.
    You claim every life is precious while raping children.
    If god and christ were real, you would be the first they would strike down.

  37. KM says:

    @Teve :
    There’s only so much you can do when even the rubes can see for themselves something ain’t right. Those who’s pride can’t stand admitting they were wrong or those who fear the consequences their foolishness hath wrought will cling to the delusion. Telling them they got scammed won’t help if their psyche integrity is threatened – cognitive dissonance sets in and they will dismiss the admission as “they got to you”.

    There were people on the Titanic insisting things would be fine even as she sank. Empirical evidence requires a mind willing to accept the input as valid.

  38. Teve says:

    @KM: yeah I don’t bother arguing with them.

  39. grumpy realist says:

    @95 South: In truth? Zilch, given your comments here.

  40. Moosebreath says:

    In other news, the US Trade Representative has announced that they are removing some items from the next group of tariffs on Chinese imports, and delaying the tariff increases on others. No mention was made about concessions by China. In other words, we are caving.

    Proof of how easy trade wars are to win!

  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Other than the flag burning area and Clinton statue, it looks like where I live now-in Red State America. Before I moved to my studio apartment across the river, I lived within walking distance of 8 weed shops. And everybody gets their porn online these days–even my former roommate. Another entrepreneurial opportunity killed by greedy right-wingers.

    @Kathy: “But consider the reactor would get blown up with the rest of the missile when the warhead detonates, and the warhead itself is a nuke. I’d worry about that.” Would having a conventional warhead, creating sort of a cruise dirty bomb solve that problem?

  42. 95 South says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Using three national surveys, including an original two-wave panel study, we find sizable differences in overall giving between partisans, with Republicans giving more to charity on average. We show that partisan differences in religiosity, and not differences in beliefs about government spending or desires to signal economic status, explain partisan gaps in giving.

  43. grumpy realist says:

    How Trump and BoJo manage to keep at the top of the greasy pole in spite of all their scandals.

    We humans are really dumb. We’re at the mercy of a pair of narcissists.

  44. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    Proof of how easy trade wars are to win!

    That’s the entire Trump Presidency wrapped up…create a problem, partially solve it by caving, claim victory.

  45. grumpy realist says:

    @95 South: And what does that have to do with the price of eggs in China? They didn’t ask the question about trolls-pretending-to-be-moral-religious-believers-on-the-Internet, did they?

    Truth is, with your continued trolling you’re practicing a peck load of bad habits which are going to come back and bite you in the ass when you finally move out of Mom’s basement and have to deal with the real world. You may think your behaviour is “just play”, but your future employers won’t.

  46. michael reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    They give more to churches and get to write it off as charity. They pay the salaries of their bouffant-wearing, polyester-clad hucksters. That’s not charity, it’s a scam. You know, like Trump’s fake charity.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Alas, the problem of Christians being the only Jesus most people see has been a problematic element in Christianity’s history. Really surprising it’s lasted as long as it has, but if anything can kill it, the sense of exceptionalism that Americans bring to everything is what will do it.

  48. Kylopod says:


    A right winger says this is the future liberals want.

    My favorite part was the Bill/Monica statue. The idea that “the Left” (note the capital-L) would be erecting a statue of Clinton in any position is so laughably clueless, the notion of a Mom & Pot abortion shop seems almost plausible by comparison.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South:

    I’ve prayed in front of a clinic.

    It’s interesting. I don’t know anything about you at all, only what I read that you write, but I don’t believe this at all. It seems so unlike what (admittedly little) I know about you from what you’ve said here. I can’t imagine you praying anywhere about anything or for anyone.

    I guess it’s all part of the “Christians are the only Jesus most people will ever see” thing I mentioned last comment.

  50. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    It depends on the design of the missile and the explosive power of the bomb. With a nuke it doesn’t matter, because even a “small” 10 kiloton bomb would disintegrate anything in its vicinity.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I can’t speak for 95 South, but I don’t declare my giving; my income isn’t high enough to warrant it, and I’ve tried to follow the “don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing” teachings regarding “pious” acts.

    You really need a better line of attack than the hackneyed old ones you use. Unless you’re just trolling him.

  52. CSK says:

    Granted it’s the NY Post, but they are reporting that a first responder posted news of Epstein’s death on 4chan over a hour before it was announced.

  53. 95 South says:

    @grumpy realist: @Just nutha ignint cracker: @michael reynolds: The echo chamber is killing you people. Your stereotypes don’t make any sense. You think right-wingers don’t pray, and don’t give to charity, or only give to churches, and none of it’s true. You down-thumb studies to the contrary. PS my church does more for the poor than your government.

  54. Mister Bluster says:
  55. Tyrell says:

    @Teve: I went down to the beach in June. Nice weather, nice water. The long time residents there said the water level is the same as it was in the ’60’s and ’70’s. There is a lot of nice new construction going on there and I would like to move.
    Summer here has been hot. As usual. But the summer of 1987 was hotter.
    From talk around here few are buying the climate change.
    Still most people have energy efficient appliances, insulation, smart thermostats, high seer HVAC units, tankless water heaters, led lighting, some solar units, and cars that get much better mileage than even five years ago. All the new construction is energy efficient. The last coal plant around here shut down five years ago. Lots of progress is being made. The utility company says they can’t make money if people keep using less juice. Maybe they can hold off on that nuclear fusion plant.
    I can’t wait to ride an ion engine jet. Maybe Boeing can make one to put on their 737 Max! Get going, Boeing!

  56. Mister Bluster says:

    …my church does more for the poor than your government.

    As long as the REPUBLICAN pussy grabbing sexual pervert in chief Supreme Leader Kim Jong Trump is the President USA it is YOUR government Zippy!

  57. KM says:

    @95 South:
    And yet there’s *always* strings attached. Churches can turn away people seeking help…. and do. It’s not true charity if you are doing it to help only groups you like or to make yourself feel righteous. A real Christian gives charity unreservedly to sinners who they know will never repent or will never be grateful. There’s no “you have to follow our beliefs” or “sorry, we don’t give help to gays / Muslims / people who won’t come to our church / etc”. Judgment has *no* place in charity.

    I’ve always found it very curious that people of “faith” get pissy that the government does things for the poor -as Christ commands – and turn it into some kind of contest. What do you care that they are less efficient them some places? Isn’t more help better for everyone in need? Why is it “stealing” or “force” if the taxes government collects go to charitable causes…. unless you don’t approve the cause in which case we’re right back to judgement. Christ never said “Give to those you approve of”. He said to willingly take the shirt off your back for whomever asks.

    Christ also fed His crowds. He didn’t just go “thoughts and prayers lol”. No, He miracled up some grub because He understood prayers don’t fill empty tummies. He could have easily made it so the prayer would have been enough to sate their hunger but no, He set an example. Pray but do. Let your actions reflect your words. Prayer on it’s own is useless because God’s not gonna do your dirty work for you. He expects you to follow His Word: do unto to others as ye would have done to you.

  58. 95 South says:


    the government does things for the poor -as Christ commands


  59. Gustopher says:

    @95 South:

    Too many whites.

    Have you seen Seattle? The People’s Democratic Republic Of Seattle?

    We keep our brown people in taco trucks.

    (Seriously, this city is pretty scary segregated — there are some nice black and brown neighborhoods, but it’s really jarring just how segregated it is. And north of the ship canal… you know, maybe brown people can’t use the bridges)

    (What diversity there is tends to be white folks moving into the black and brown neighborhoods, and Asians moving into white neighborhoods. If you classify Asians as white, this city is even more radically segregated)

  60. Jen says:

    @95 South:

    Don’t be pedantic, you know full well what was meant.

    Christ commands that things be done for the poor. He didn’t say “but only individuals, churches, and qualified charities.”

    One of government’s highest requirements IMHO is to protect and assist the vulnerable–the poor, the sick, children, animals, the elderly and disabled.

    All KM is saying is that no strings should be attached, and boy, do religions ever love to attach strings.

  61. KM says:

    @95 South:
    Is the government not We the People? If so, there’s dozens of versus commanding charity from the individual. Sermon on the Mount is the standard.

    Do you believe America to be a Christian nation? Then Deuteronomy 15:7-11. “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” – hmmmm, that’s a directive to a governmental entity (city) . Brethren – We the People, no? Jude 1:12 – “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you”

    How about for a just ruler? Proverbs 31:8-9 specifically says the rights of the unfortunate are the duty of a king. We don’t have kings but we do have a President who ostentatiously claims to be Christian. Isaiah 49:23 also says he’s to bow with his “face to the earth And lick the dust of your feet” of the least of his citizens.

    So yeah, God commands charity of the government. Government is supposed to reflect the faith of the people and the behavior of the righteous. Don’t play, son – some of us aren’t fake Christians and have actually read the Bible. KJV too.

  62. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Halfway through the article, and I’m reminded of the “Free Tibet Ghoji Berry Pie” incident there… sadly not as public as it should be, given the preposterousness of it.

    Open discussion lists, an “obligation to object” in the corporate culture, terrible social skills, and Chinese nationalists defending genocide… either a bad combination, or an absolutely amazing combination, depending on your views on awkward humor.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: When I was growing up there, Seattle was considered one of the most “redlined” cities in America, and the practice was to sell your house without a for sale sign out front so the realtor could “properly screen” people to look at your house. Yes, it is indeed “scary segregated.” Always has been.

  64. wr says:

    @95 South: I don’t care if you pray or not. Every vile post you put up here violates the teachings of the one you claim to follow. You are a loathesome turd who uses “religion” to justify hating other people. So pray all you want. I doubt it will help you, even if what you claim to believe turns out to be true — you’re supposed to live His word, not just claim that when you’re kicking a poor person you’re doing it for the sake of Jesus.

  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South: @KM: And let that be a lesson to you 95 South: don’t challenge a person who actually goes to church (at least you have claimed to in the past KM) about the Bible. They may take you up on it.

    (And what kind of church are you going to anyway where they didn’t teach you these things? ETA: My God! They even taught this stuff at the Baptist church I grew up in, and our pastor was every bit the redneck you imagine yourself to be.)

  66. Bill says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They give more to churches and get to write it off as charity. They pay the salaries of their bouffant-wearing, polyester-clad hucksters.

    The last time I looked, around 30 minutes ago, my wife was neither bouffant-wearing or polyester-clad and never has been in 30 years of marriage. She has never met Ernest Angley either but has heard my impersonations of him.

    Seriously- She is just the receptionist and person in charge of the sandwich ministry (Food for the poor or homeless). Our pastor was born in Haiti.

    Even more seriously- I had a great check today up with the doctor. My 11 year battle with Stage IV Malignant melanoma continues.

    This rambling attempt at half a joke post will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good luck Michael.

  67. KM says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I don’t go nearly as often as I should – I had to check a few because I forgot the exact verse. Used to be a time I could quote these on command to any faker who takes my Savior’s name in vain with their BS. What’s Bible Study for but to learn how to testify to someone misrepresenting my faith?

    Alas, free time is at a premium and the Lord is understanding that one should fall asleep in bed and not His house. He’s also much, much, MUCH more concerned with someone actually living His rules then sitting in a room, reading them off a page. Interpretations, my ass – He was very clear. Feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, suffer the little children unto Him. No such thing as means-testing. What a way to pervert such basic instructions on kindness into evil ways to exclude and hurt.

  68. 95 South says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: He’s wrong on every one. The first two passages aren’t about governments, Proverbs’ rights don’t mention government aid, and Second Isaiah is about all nations falling down before Israel. I wasn’t going to say anything about it but KM failed. He did demonstrate that Jen was wrong though.

  69. Bill says:


    A Sale on abortions?

    No but this is better.

  70. Monala says:

    @95 South: “At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall lay it up inside your gates; And the Levite, because he has no part nor inheritance with you, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are inside your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.” (Deuteronomy 14:28)

    “When you have finished tithing all the tithes of your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give them to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow, so that they can eat to satiety in your cities. ”
    (Deuteronomy 26:12)

    This wasn’t a “give what you want, when you feel like it.” This was a command from the government (granted, it was theocratic government, but government nonetheless), to give a specific amount (10% of what you had earned/reaped) and give it to the poor (deserving or not, including – gasp! – the immigrants among them) at specific times – every three years. Sounds a lot like a tax to me.

  71. Jen says:

    @95 South:

    He did demonstrate that Jen was wrong though.

    Nope. And I’m not wrong, you deliberately took what KM stated out of context.

    Here’s the original sentence:

    I’ve always found it very curious that people of “faith” get pissy that the government does things for the poor -as Christ commands – and turn it into some kind of contest.

    The “as Christ commands” is within em dashes, so you can remove what is between them and the sentence will still read correctly:

    I’ve always found it very curious that people of “faith” get pissy that the government does things for the poor and turn it into some kind of contest.

    Therefore, the “as Christ commands” is a clause included to provide emphasis. KM was emphasizing the hypocrisy of people of faith, and used that phrase as a means to amplify the idea.

    You instead took this and separated the context to include only “the government does things for the poor -as Christ commands” and requested the Bible verse. This removes the context and ignores the deliberate separation of the clause included to provide emphasis and instead suggests–disingenuously–that KM was asserting that Christ directly commands governments to do things for the poor.

    I might not be able to quote chapter and verse of the Bible, but I DO know punctuation and how to structure words to convey meaning.

  72. KM says:

    @95 South :
    Bless your heart, you’re trying to argue interpretation. I gave you the exact verse as written and you’re trying to say what they “aren’t about”. Tell me then – what are the rights of the unfortunate? There’s a whole list. They were things like gleaning – you know, what Ruth, ancestor of Christ, was doing to feed Naomi and herself? That was a law, you know. Law, as in governmental action taken by a theocratic monarchy? Israel as a nation of covenant is obligated to charity – why would you think another nation that wishes to be holy isn’t?

    Tell you what, I’ll pray for you. For your lack of understanding about what being Christian actually means. I sincerely hope that when you go to meet Him, He’ll have mercy on you for trying to split hairs about His word so you didn’t have to fund “government charity”. You are absolutely putting restrictions on charity – on who you feel is worthy, about where it should come from and who should get it. There is nothing in the Bible to support that stance and multiple examples of why it’s against His will. Governments’ cannot discriminate by law and so are more fair and just then some wingnut arbitrarily deciding a single person’s fate. There’s no reason to argue about this unless it’s because you simply don’t want to do it….. and that begs the question of WHY you don’t want to give to charity unless it’s YOURS.

    But hey, if those verses above weren’t good enough for you then here’s this. You are to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s (Matthew 22:21) and you are to obey the authorities of the land since God gave them that power (Romans 13:1-7 ). Therefore, if the government wants to give to charity because it’s the moral thing to do, God says fork it over and don’t whine about it since it’s the government’s money anyways. Contemplate that the federal government might be more obedient to God then you on this one and what that says about your soul.

  73. DrDaveT says:

    @95 South:

    You think right-wingers don’t pray, and don’t give to charity, or only give to churches, and none of it’s true.

    No, you misunderstand. I know that you pray, and give to charity. I also know that you pray for the wrong things, and give to the wrong charities, if you really wanted to most help the people who need the most help.

    PS my church does more for the poor than your government.

    No, it doesn’t. Not by many orders of magnitude. That you could sincerely believe this shows just how few actual facts manage to penetrate your bubble.

  74. KM says:

    On a different, more somber topic:
    A flight attendent who caught measles at work has died.

    If you know anyone who’s anti-vax or hasn’t gotten their kid’s vaxxed, please please *please* try to convince them to change their mind. Measles isn’t some cute TV disease where you get to stay at home and eat ice cream. It kills, especially if you’re an adult unfortunate enough to not be immune.

  75. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Anyone watch, or read about, Trumps speech at the Shell Plant in PA?
    Can anyone tell me why this guy is not in a fuqing straight jacket? He’s god-damned certifiable.
    He claimed he has lost $3-5B by being President…he never had $3B to lose. Highest believable estimate I’ve seen is $733M from Duetsche Bank, his primary lender.
    He claimed the Shell Plant wouldn’t have been built without him…it was first started in 2012…under Obama.
    He claimed to have used Unions “exclusively” in building his buildings.
    He says about windmills, if the wind stops no one will be able to watch TV.
    He says no one watches the Academy Awards anymore.
    Re-upped the Pocahontas racism.
    Let me remind you…this guy has the nuke codes.

  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Bill: Congratulations on your continued victory over melanoma. I have a friend who is in the statistical 1% for survivors of his cancer and know what the battle is like. Continued health to you; keep on keepin’ on!

  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. This is the total of the law and the prophets.” Indeed. (And remember, if you have to be good at it, then it isn’t grace.)

  78. Bill says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Congratulations on your continued victory over melanoma. I have a friend who is in the statistical 1% for survivors of his cancer and know what the battle is like. Continued health to you; keep on keepin’ on!


    11 year survivors like me are rare, just like persons who have had biopsied eight moles of theirs as Melanomas which I also am, but neither is a record. A MM survivor by the name of Kim Wheeler lived 27 years with it and I heard through my recently retired dermatologist he has a patient who had two dozen MM.

  79. An Interested Party says:

    What if Christians reacted to abortion the same way they react to the problem of guns and mass shootings, by just calling for thoughts and prayers rather than organizing to take political action and pass laws to deal with it?

    Oh c’mon…you know that innocent fetuses are more worthy and important than sinful people…

    PS my church does more for the poor than your government.

    Prove it…

    That you could sincerely believe this shows just how few actual facts manage to penetrate your bubble.

    Trump demographic…

  80. grumpy realist says:

    @95 South: No, what we’re saying is what we believe about what YOU are doing. Based on your behaviour as a noted troll and pain-in-the-ass around here, I don’t believe in your donation nor do I believe in your praying. For a self-professed Christian you certainly don’t act like someone who believes in what he is stating. Falsus in uno, falsus in toto.

  81. de stijl says:

    C’mon folks!

    You’re debating abortion and religion with a troll.

    This isn’t 1987 Usenet.

    If someone brings up evolution I will plotz.

  82. Tev e says:

    @de stijl: In the 60 year history of the internet, I’m not aware of Don’t Feed the Trolls ever working once.

  83. Kit says:

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction–Pascal

  84. Jen says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I cannot *stand* to watch/listen to him. I trust your rundown of the event.

    He’s going to be here in NH tomorrow, bleh.

  85. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    What does everyone think about Ken Cuccinelli re-writing the verse on the Statue of Liberty?
    Yay, Nay, or Meh?

  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: It’s just more of the same conservative crap that is bog standard in the GOP. Just this morning, Rush was harping about how supporters of Comprehensive Immigration Reform don’t understand the “cultural damage” allowing immigrants in does to our society, so immigration reform should be limited to ways to keep brown people out entirely.

  87. An Interested Party says:

    Just this morning, Rush was harping about how supporters of Comprehensive Immigration Reform don’t understand the “cultural damage” allowing immigrants in does to our society, so immigration reform should be limited to ways to keep brown people out entirely.

    These people are really gonna shit their pants when the US becomes a majority-minority country in a few decades…