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President pulls right, Pope Francis pulls left

 

FILE – In this May 24, 2017, file photo. U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican. Some evangelical supporters of Trump are seeking a meeting with Pope Francis over a recent critical article

Is Pope Francis I attacking American Christians? Steve Bannon targeted with ‘apocalyptic geopolitics’

By Lawrence Fedewa – – Friday, August 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A controversial article in La Civiltà Cattolica, a Vatican-approved publication, by editor-in-chief Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, an Argentine Presbyterian pastor who leads his country’s edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has attacked the American Christians who supported Donald Trump for the American presidency.

Singled out for special opposition are the so-called “conservative” Catholics and the evangelical Christians and their alleged representative in the White House, Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon is accused of advocating an “apocalyptic geopolitics.”

Taken by itself, the article is long, confusing, wildly inaccurate in its interpretation of American Christianity, and an unremarkable critique by uninformed foreigners of a “straw man,” that is, an opponent created by the authors for the purpose of attacking it (not unlike the “fake news” of America’s media stories).

What gives the article importance is the presumed association with Pope Francis I. Although the Pope has not commented publicly on the article, the publication is published by the Jesuits, the Pope’s religious order, sponsored by the Vatican, and the authors are well-known associates of the Pope. At several points in the text, Pope Francis’ positions are cited as differing from those of the supposed opposition. This context strongly suggests that this article speaks for the Pope. If so, it speaks poorly for the Pope.

In summary, the essence of the piece seems to be that conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants have formed a political alliance in the United States to create a theocracy, based on an Old Testament-oriented, fundamentalist ideology, which seeks to establish the literal interpretation of the Bible as the basis of American law. Adherents to this view are called “value voters.” As their means of promoting this view, they are full of “gloom and doom” scenarios about threats to the “American way of life.” The need for drastic changes is therefore urgent. It is not surprising that the authors liken this movement to the jihad of radical Islam. To top off their point of view, they describe the vehicle for this domination of American life as the Trump administration.

They contrast this terrifying threat of apocalypse with traditional Catholic (and biblical) belief that the Kingdom of God is not of this world. Here they are a little ambiguous (to say the least) because the Bible clearly sequences the Last Judgement as part of the apocalypse. Nevertheless, the authors accuse their opponents of seeking a “heaven on earth” which can only be achieved by winning the “war of religions.” The true Christian message is to treat everyone with love as preached by Pope Francis, “Love not war!” How all this ties together is not made clear by the authors..

What to make of all this?

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The Death of Democracy and “We the People”

By Colonel George Seiler, USAF (ret.), Ph.D., (Thursday, August 10, 2017)

We have elections to let the people, the US citizens, voice their opinion in the form of a vote.  For many years I have professed that we overthrow the current government with ballots, and not bullets.  The US was one of the few countries where the loser did not have to get out of town.  The loser could even still display the bumper sticker of his losing candidate, and not worry about his windows getting shattered, or his car burned and vandalized.  It was OK to express your opinion, and after the election, the two parties blended together to make America flourish, make a better life for the kids and grandkids, expand the family living quarters, save up for a new car, or college. Become a journeyman at a trade, like electrician, HVAC, auto maintenance, new buildings, new roads and bridges. Politics was at least 2 years away, and the Presidential election was 4 years away.

In the interim, people respected the office of the President.  It was taught in our schools to do so.  We rallied for or against policy, legislation bills, changes in treaties, new treaties, American involvement on the world front to keep us safe.

But in 2016/2017 something appalling happened.  Keep Reading

Will there ever again be peace in this valley?

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – Wednesday, June 26, 2017

This country is in the most disruptive turmoil since the end of the Vietnam War. The most visible antagonists seem to be the President on one side and the media on the other. By “media”, I mean everyone from news organizations to comedians, to movies, to the theater. Everyone who has access to any form of media seems to have a grudge against the President. On the other hand, his so-called “counter-punching” especially through his tweets, adds fuel to the fire with nearly every tweet. (Fighting for the national soul by “tweeting” should at the least tweak our sense of humor.)

So, why not? At least more than the usual suspects are passionately involved in political dialog. A whole new population is suddenly watching every step the media will let them see.  A side effect of this newfound political passion, however, is the abandonment not only of objectivity, but even of common sense. At the extremes, we have attempted assassinations, riots and domestic terrorism.  Less dangerous perhaps, but nearly as disturbing is the utter contempt many on both sides hold for the other. This is not the America we want to live in.

What has happened to us? How did we come to this sorry state?  What we have at this moment in American history is a clash of cultures, a true culture war. It did not happen overnight. This “war” has been brewing for a long time. What is different about today is its eruption into the open, into everyday life and discourse.

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Is war with China inevitable?

In this April 6, 2017 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, smiles at U.S. President Donald Trump as they pose together with their wives for photographers before dinner at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – – Monday, May 29, 2017

Half of China’s public believes that military conflict between China and the United States will occur within the next 10 years. This is one finding of the 2017 U.S. China Public Perceptions Opinion Survey, (the “Survey”) published by the Committee of 100 (C100) during its annual conference, held last week in Washington D.C.

The C100 is a national organization of prominent Chinese Americans, founded in 1990 by superstars I. M. Pei (architect) and Yo Yo Ma (musician) “to promote the participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life and encourage constructive relationships between the people of the United States of America and Greater China”.

The Survey is a veritable treasure chest of information about American and Chinese public perceptions on a host of major issues – and the C100 brought it to the attention of Members of Congress and high-level staff at the State Department and the White House last week. The findings are based on face-to-face interviews with 3,696 Chinese respondents and telephone interviews with 1,018 Americans, using the most advanced methods of survey science and techniques. This report reflects also my face-to-face interview with Mr. Charlie Woo, who led the Survey effort. Mr. Woo’s day job is co-founder and CEO of Megatoys, Inc. in addition to his prominence in many civic and community causes in his hometown of Los Angeles and nationally. Keep Reading

Grand Jury for Leakers?

 

Hi Everybody,

 

Today’s worry is about a topic which is critical but slipping under the rug again — namely, our cyber security leaks like a sieve, and all anyone does is rail at the leakers.  Who is responsible for all these leaks? Who is supposed to be plugging the holes?

 

There are also some new items on the website: especially Chapter Two of Inside: The Early Years — more stories of a growing boy in another time. Inside — more stories of a boy in a different time

 

As always, comments welcome. Thank you for your support.

 

Larry Fedewa

 

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Atty. Gen. Sessions should empanel grand jury to probe intelligence leaks

From Snowden to WikiLeaks to Clinton to Russians, the sieve is troublesome
By Lawrence J. Fedewa – – Monday, April 17, 2017
ANALYSIS/OPINION
An extraordinary scenario is taking place right out in the open, and we all seem to be missing it. The subject is the utterly incompetent protection our “intelligence community” (as they like to be called) is providing for the nation’s most precious secrets.
It was bad enough when a young contractor named Edward Snowden could steal millions of classified records pertaining to the plans, strategies, surveillance, identities, and reports of all types and pass these files to WikiLeaks founder, Swedish gadfly Julian Assange, who promptly disclosed the whole lot to the entire world (2013).
But this adventure foreshadowed the popular response to all the subsequent WikiLeaks. What happened were cries of righteous indignation – against whom? Against the keepers of these secret files, who allowed this to happen? Not at all. The outrage was against the little leaker, Mr. Snowden. The outrage was so intense and so universal that Mr. Snowden was forced into exile.
But surely, the primary sin was the work (or lack thereof) performed by our esteemed “intelligence community,” whose responsibility it is to guard the nation’s secrets against all comers. But they couldn’t even stop a young contractor.
The next big leak was at the hands of another young American, a transgender Army corporal named variously Bradley or Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, who perpetrated the largest public disclosures of military secrets in the history of the United States (2014). So, who went to jail? Manning.
What about those senior officials up and down the line of command whose incompetence allowed such a thing to happen? Not one was ever even accused, let alone indicted, of treason or even dereliction of duty. No wonder there have been further violations of our national security.
This time (2017), there is a casual admission by the FBI and the rest of the “intelligence community” that the Russians have systematically hacked into our national security data – although no public evidence has been produced to that effect. All the Washington wonks are assuming that the purpose of this intrusion was to trifle with the American election. Interestingly, that charge seems to assume that WikiLeaks obtained the Podesta emails from the Russians and used it to damage the Hillary Clinton campaign.
In the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, this assumption is so much poppycock. In the first place, Mr. Assange himself maintains that the data were obtained from a disgruntled Clinton campaign worker. Secondly, this is not a far-fetched claim, based on the identity and type of little guys who pulled off much greater and more damaging disclosures in the past. Thirdly, the disclosures were true. No one has ever denied the authenticity of the material, damning as it was to Mrs. Clinton herself.
So, this whole house is built upon sand – there is nothing there but the angry musings of a defeated campaign trying desperately to blame someone else for their own failures.
But what about the cyber security which protects the nation’s secrets? Are we being informed that once again, there has been a catastrophic breakdown of that shield? Who is responsible for that?
We know that Barack Obama, in his last days in office, geometrically expanded the number of agencies (from one to 17) and people (unknown hundreds) who were to be given access to raw (unmasked) data. It has also been reported that Mr. Obama authorized continued access of Hillary Clinton and six aides to the same top secret material she had as Secretary of State, presumably right up to the election. This in spite of her obvious disdain for the laws and rules governing such access.
This cavalier attitude toward cyber protection clearly does not bode well for the state of the art. Further, there seems little doubt that the Obama Democrats spied on the Trump transition team. That is a violation of the law and Americans would like to see somebody go to jail this time, someone to keep Manning company.
But no one seems to be talking about these failures of the “intelligence community.” It is time to clean up the flagrant incompetence surrounding cyber protection of our national secrets. Those responsible must be held accountable, and a new team appointed to the task.
The new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, should also empanel a grand jury to investigate the people and the reasons behind this breakdown to determine whether laws have been broken. Obviously, the FBI under the perpetually confused and confusing James Comey can’t handle the job.
If the likes of Snowden and Manning can penetrate our national security, surely the Russians, the Islamic State, North Korea and who knows who else shouldn’t have any trouble.
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC

 

Obama’s Legacy & Trump’s Future – Dr. Larry Fedewa

“The Police Academy” is a program for law enforcement personnel, and hosted perhaps the most comprehensive interview I have done to date. Link:
https://www.policeacademypodcast.com/podcast/2017/4/6/obamas-legacy-trumps-future-dr-larry-fedewa
Here is the summary:
In this episode, Dr. Larry discusses everything from American politics, to the retribalization of America, to our founding fathers fighting for American ideals; from the history of Islam and Christianity, to the fight against ISIS today. Buckle up and enjoy the show!

A Family Discussion of Mr. Trump

Cousin May blasts President Trump

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – – Monday, March 13, 2017

A few weeks ago, my column discussed the opponents to Mr. Trump. I divided them into three groups: the true believers, the pragmatists, and the anarchists. Among the pragmatists, I referenced “a church full of relatives”. The excerpt was as follows:

“The pragmatists see everything differently. These people are not extremists. They believe that the status quo ante has worked quite well for the past 50 years, and they do not want to see it replaced with something different which may not work as well and which is therefore a leap in the dark.

“I have a whole church full of relatives who are solidly anti-Trump but are certainly not extremists. They are lifelong Democrats, solid citizens in a Midwestern state (Michigan) which has been governed with few exceptions by union-backed governors and senators ever since the Depression. They are against Mr. Trump because they don’t like his style but primarily because they don’t understand him and don’t agree with what they do understand, a lot of which comes from the heavily biased media. Most Democratic politicians also fall into this category.”

This comment drew the following response from Cousin May:

“I enjoyed reading your recent commentary. I am not so sure I fit into the category you have placed your “church full of relatives”. I am devastated by the election of Donald Trump and have decided to quell my angst by taking action and communicating as much as possible with our elected officials.

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