Today is the eighth anniversary of the Deep Water Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. It is believed to be, by far, the largest marine oil spill in history. The total discharge was 4.9 million barrels. And they were finding oil plumes the size of Manhattan in the water. It wasn’t long after this that the Obama administration sanctioned more off shore oil drilling. And the Trump administration is ramping this up even more. Uh… As a nation we’re addicted to oil. Period. And burning oil, among a number of detrimental things, is causing rapidly increasing, and also quite catastrophic, global warming. This kind of increased off shore drilling only “enables” our addiction more. What we should be doing is weaning ourselves off of oil, if not just going: “cold turkey.” Our kids are counting on us to do the right thing. For more on our position on energy across the board, see…
I was reading some of The Available Man (Warren Harding) today. The book noted that in choosing his Cabinet, Harding wanted to “…have a popular group of the best minds around him.” With my Cabinet, I don’t know so much about “popular,” but I would want the “best minds” around me — if those minds were linked to solid spirituality. What’s more, they would need to be “minds” in step, not necessarily with the mainstream, but rather in step with doing the right things, period. For instance, “traditional farmers” these days are lacing their fields with toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer. By extension, we’re ingesting food with this stuff in it. And by further extension, cancer rates are spiking. So… My Secretary of Agriculture may well be an obscure, but agriculturally right on track: small organic farmer. In fact, see our position paper on agriculture to see this flushed out more.
My son Jonathan and I volunteered at Rally Point, a ” Youth for Christ Outreach” in Lima Wednesday evening. After the meal, we listened to a man from Guatemala give his “testimony.” He was on a trajectory to be a boxer on the Olympic Team there — when he was shot in the head. Although quite an athlete, he was also caught up with some gang members. And he got caught in the cross-fire in a gang-related shooting. He lost his right eye. He said while lying in the hospital bed, he gave his life to Christ. That started him on a trajectory where he was all in for God, the same way he’d been all in for boxing. He subsequently did a series of “Youth With A Mission” trips, met his wife in America… And now he has five children (including an adopted child from Ethiopia); is involved with an outreach ministry into hardscrabble areas of Lima, Ohio; is the manager of a local Walmart; and he and the family live in the small town of Ottawa. There were some 50 kids in Rally Point this night. This man (Josua Gomez) was so dynamic, you could have heard a pin drop in the place the entire time he was talking. For more on our take on urban youth, and such, see…
The “border wall,” NAFTA… are hot topics right now with the Trump administration in regard to Mexico. But here’s something not being talked about in regard to Mexico. In the book Mexico in World History (Oxford Press), its noted that the Mexican Territory used to encompass the land from what is now Texas, through what is now the whole southwest U.S., all the way north to the Oregon Country. Then President James Polk (elected in 1844) had “expansionist” aspirations, ginned up a reason for the Mexican/American War, and, between 1836 and 1853, Mexico lost half it’s land — as this former land was ceded to the U.S. following the war. Translated: America, in wholesale fashion, stole the land. And now, we’re hyper-sensitive about, for instance, some Mexicans coming back into, well, land that should be rightfully theirs in the first place. You know, we say America was built on “Judeo Christian values.” However if you squarely look at us stealing this land, if you squarely look at us stealing all the land from the Native Americans (not to mention killing 20 million of them), it, well, doesn’t exactly “square” with “Judeo Christian values” at all. That is, if you’re reading the New Testament. What’s more, if we stole the land — shouldn’t we be coming up with creative ways to make amends for stealing it? My presidency wouldn’t be about more “expansionism,” but rather it would be about reversing expansionism in some creative, tangible social justice ways. America First? That’s what got us into these spiritual problems in the ‘first’ place.
I attended an “Issues in Modern America” forum, of sorts, yesterday at Bluffton University. Students in a class by that name had designed display boards around various societal topics and explained the data, and their views per: solutions to the “issues” they outlined. One man, who is a 2nd Amendment advocate and did his display on guns, nevertheless said in the current climate he would lobby for another dimension to gun background checks. That is, he’d lobby for a standardized psychological test to help red flag people with mental disorders. Our administration would be on board with the latter… A sophomore did her display on heroine. She explained opioids are often a stepping stone to heroine, as addicts’ tolerances increase… Yet another woman did a display on the national/global epidemic of obesity. She said 17% of American youth, for instance, are now considered obese. And she blames a lot of it on sugar addiction, being continually parked in front of a virtual world, and little physical activity. She proposed, for instance, that schools be open after hours for youth to have another option for a venue to exercise more. Our administration would be open to promoting this as well, for, not only exercise, but for a variety of other reasons. See our position paper on education…
The Trump administration just slapped tariffs on some Chinese imports in an attempt to achieve more trade parity. The question is: Should we be trading with China at all? I was listening to a U.S. human rights lawyer on a Catholic radio show last night. She said statistics indicate that for every one abortion in America, there are 23 abortions (a significant number of them “forced”) in China. (China now has a “Two Child Policy.”) Our administration would look at these forced abortions as the height of human rights abuses. And we would consider a trade moratorium until, at the very least, the forced abortions ended. One could look at it, in fact, as one BIG sanction. For more on our stance on China, and our take on foreign relations in general, see… [for the China policy, go to #3.]
For the past couple weeks, I’ve been reading the college text book: Essentials of Sociology. If you’re going to be president, understanding the “essentials” of sociological constructs would seem important, huh. Just sayin’. Anyway, this morning I was reading a chapter about “Inequalities of Race and Ethnicity.” It was noted, among a lot of things, that: “When state machinery is harnessed to hatred, as it was by the Nazis — who exploited the schools, police, courts, mass media, and almost all aspects of the government — prejudice becomes practically irresistible.” Ok… U.S. “state machinery,” if you will, was harnessed to hatred of the Native Americans at the beginning of this country, as an example. This “prejudice” led to one of the biggest genocides in the history of mankind (20 million people killed), and the wholesale taking of land (every treaty with the Native Americans was broken). And none of this has been made right on any type of significant level. Our administration would propose it be made right, in spades! See our position paper on Native American issues.
In trying to understand more about the U.S.’s history with China, I picked up the book: China’s America (The Chinese View of the United States 1900-2000) by Jing Li. The author notes that a consistent thread in our relationship is the view [on both sides] that we have been “limited adversaries.” For instance, Mao Zedong, who was Chairman of the Communist Party in China for almost 30 years (1949 to ’76), used the U.S. to rapidly mobilize industrialization in China (in part, to fuel the weapons industry there) by constantly reminding his people of this external menace, according to the book. This, in part, was due to our rapid military build-up during this time… It’s all a geopolitical chess match, with many decisions having to be thought through in regard to how nations will act across the board — not merely in a duelist paradigm. That is, in this case our Cold War military build-up was primarily about trying to outmatch Russia. Yet our build-up of, say, nuclear weapons, propelled seven other major countries into a nuclear proliferation race that now, with one push of a button, could obliterate the entire globe. Note: We have thought through a military position paper that could well start to sanely, and incrementally, reverse this ongoing, quite scary, and quite possible, “Two Minutes to Doomsday” scenario.
On President Trump’s visit to inspect the border wall prototypes in California a couple days ago, he also stopped at the Air Station at Miramar. While there, the news reported that he said we could, sooner than later, expect a manned space flight to Mars. And he also more than hinted at the development of a “Space Force.” Some thoughts: On a campaign tour in Texas several years ago, I told a Gainseville Daily Register newspaper reporter that as president I would be totally opposed to militarization of space, period. Conquering space? It’s not ours to conquer. What’s more, while we’re spending billions of dollars to go to Mars where there’s no air to breathe, no food, no measurable water… millions of people on this planet are regularly starving to death, have no access to cleaning drinking water, and are in the cross hairs of rapidly advancing climate change. Wouldn’t the money, and scientific brain power, be put to much better use, again, on this planet? Common sense says: yes. Note: Yesterday students across the country walked out of school for 17 minutes to commemorate their fellow students who had been killed in Parkland, Florida, several weeks back. While politicians waffle about gun control, and more youth continue to be in the cross hairs of real guns, our position on guns is unwavering — and, we believe: the real answer.
Our daughter Sarah is leading a missions trip to Haiti this week for her Spring Break. She’s been to Haiti twice now and Nicaragua once during her four years at college. Just yesterday, I picked up a Mary Knoll Magazine with a story about Haiti and the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti several years back — killing nearly 300,000 people and leaving millions in even more desperate straits than they were already in. As just one example, a woman’s husband died in the quake. She was now alone — with eight children. Sarah is going to work with people like this. She’s going to try to make their lives a little bit better, while showing the light of Christ. What a phenomenal “First Kid” she’d make, huh. Actually, she’s pretty phenomenal right now, First Kid, or not. Note: Some Hatians came here after the earthquake, but recently there have been news stories their time will soon be up and they will have to go back to Haiti. These are people, many of them, who have gotten jobs, places to live, their kids have schools, friends… And we’re going to send them back into the poorest country in the western hemisphere? Are we spiritually nuts? For more on a foreign relations paradigm that would be a lot more spiritually sane than we have now, see our position paper on foreign affairs.