If Trump Is Impeached and Convicted, He’ll Lose His Post-Presidency Perks

The 1958 Former Presidents Act assures that no president leaves office without being set for life—it guarantees a pension, access to health insurance, office space and staff, and Secret Service protection for as long as he or she wants it. There is, however, one exception: These perks are only granted to presidents who aren’t removed from office in an impeachment trial.

For Donald Trump, who boasts of being a billionaire (though one who appeared to be headed for financial troubles, even before Wednesday’s insurrection), the pension may not be a big deal. It is lavish, set to be $219,000 this year, but a fraction of what Trump earns from his business. But losing the Secret Service protection might be more painful. No one knows how much is spent on protecting former presidents—the Secret Service budget for that is kept secret—but it’s not a small number. 

And not only would Trump have to pay for his own security, he would lose the ability to charge taxpayers when his protective detail stays at his properties around the globe. While in office, Trump has billed taxpayers more than $1.1. million for Secret Service personnel to stay at his properties, including renting the agency a cottage at his Bedminster golf course for $21,000 per month.

On Friday, House Democrats said they were moving quickly towards impeachment. They would need support from a substantial number of Senate Republicans in order to convict Trump; if the president were impeached but acquitted in the Senate, he would still have access to all of the post-presidency benefits. No president has ever been denied these benefits, and a government legal opinion in 1974 found that even Richard Nixon, who resigned but was not removed, was eligible.

Lets get a discussion going if there is interest in these subjects.

Dylan left me a comment the other day.    I enjoyed reading it.   I have been doing some research on the books he suggested.    As finance is not an area I am well versed in and the culture of finance is also not a subject I am up on I thought I would post Dylan’s comment here and let the scholars and avid readers of the group answer some of the questions.      I looked up the two books he mentions and added small blurbs on them.     Thanks hugs.  

DYLAN SHETLER January 6, 2021 / 16:35

I want to apologize before-hand, that this reply is only partially relevant to the things you mentioned in your last comment. I intend to read the links you listed, as I am very interested in devouring what knowledge they may contain. The Hollidays were exceedingly frantic and thus I had very little time to attend to such tasks as replying to comments (again, I apologize). Also, Happy New Year.
I am currently reading F.A Hayek’s “The Road to Surfdom” and recently completed Hernando De Soto’s “The Mystery of Capital”, two excellent works that I would highly recommend reading. The former is a sound criticism of the idea of democratic socialism and the latter is an inquiry regarding the causes behind the failure of capitalism in may third-world and ex-communist nations (already 20 years old but still rich in facts). Anyway, here is my response for now. It strictly addresses what might be regarded as the fundamental issue with the USSR’s economy :

In analyzing the history of central planning in the USSR, I am reminded of a most important fact : economics is the study concerning the allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses. The primary aim of central planning was to generate more “fair” economic outcomes. “Fair”, in this sense, refers to that which central planners decided the masses “needed.”
However, in determining what the masses “needed”, central planners effectively robbed individuals of the economic freedoms they would otherwise have had. In essence the question is : are scarce resources better allocated by a few commissions of central planners, or through the innumerable activities of individuals within a competitive market? Although capitalism is most certainly far from perfect, it still is, as economic reformist Hernando De Soto wrote “the only game in town.”
Even though it’s tempting to believe that the problems of inequality and poverty could readily be solved by a perfectly managed state-run economy, we must not forget that only capitalist societies have been successful in achieving the highest levels of freedom and equal opportunity that we treasure.

I will attempt to get back to your other points on property at a later time.

Warmest regards,


The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek

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Finally, here is an edition of Road to Serfdom that does justice to its monumental status in the history of liberty. It contains a foreword by the editor of the Hayek Collected Works, Bruce Caldwell. Caldwell has added helpful explanatory notes and citation corrections, among other improvements. For this reason, the publisher decided to call this “the definitive edition.” It truly is.

This spell-binding book is a classic in the history of liberal ideas. It was singularly responsible for launching an important debate on the relationship between political and economic freedom. It made the author a world-famous intellectual. It set a new standard for what it means to be a dissident intellectual. It warned of a new form of despotism enacted in the name of liberation. And though it appeared in 1944, it continues to have a remarkable impact. No one can consider himself well-schooled in modern political ideas without having absorbed its lessons.

What F.A. Hayek saw, and what most all his contemporaries missed, was that every step away from the free market and toward government planning represented a compromise of human freedom generally and a step toward a form of dictatorship–and this is true in all times and places. He demonstrated this against every claim that government control was really only a means of increasing social well-being. Hayek said that government planning would make society less liveable, more brutal, more despotic. Socialism in all its forms is contrary to freedom.

Nazism, he wrote, is not different in kind from Communism. Further, he showed that the very forms of government that England and America were supposedly fighting abroad were being enacted at home, if under a different guise. Further steps down this road, he said, can only end in the abolition of effective liberty for everyone.

Capitalism, he wrote, is the only system of economics compatible with human dignity, prosperity, and liberty. To the extent we move away from that system, we empower the worst people in society to manage what they do not understand.

The beauty of this book is not only in its analytics but in its style, which is unrelenting and passionate. Even today, the book remains a source of controversy. Socialists who imagine themselves to be against dictatorship cannot abide his argument, and they never stop attempting to refute it.

Misesians might find themselves disappointed that Hayek did not go far enough, and made too many compromises in the course of his argument. Even so, anyone who loves liberty cannot but feel a sense of gratitude that this book exists and remains an important part of the debate today.

The Mises Institute was honored that Hayek served as a founding member of our board of advisers, and is very pleased to offer this book again to a world that desperately needs to hear its message.


Friedrich A. Hayek

F. A. Hayek (1899–1992) is undoubtedly the most eminent of the modern Austrian economists, and a founding board member of the Mises Institute. Student of Friedrich von Wieser, protégé and colleague of Ludwig von Mises, and foremost representative of an outstanding generation of Austrian School theorists, Hayek was more successful than anyone else in spreading Austrian ideas throughout the English-speaking world. He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics with ideological rival Gunnar Myrdal “for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena.”  Among mainstream economists, he is mainly known for his popular The Road to Serfdom  (1944).



CHAPTER ONEThe Mystery of Capital
Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
Basic Books

 Read the Review

The Five Mysteries
of Capital

The key problem is to find out why that sector of society of the past, which I would not hesitate to call capitalist, should have lived as if in a bell jar, cut off from the rest; why was it not able to expand and conquer the whole of society? … [Why was it that] a significant rate of capital formation was possible only in certain sectors and not in the whole market economy of the time?

—Fernand Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce

The hour of capitalism’s greatest triumph is its hour of crisis. The fall of the Berlin Wall ended more than a century of political competition between capitalism and communism. Capitalism stands alone as the only feasible way to rationally organize a modern economy. At this moment in history, no responsible nation has a choice. As a result, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Third World and former communist nations have balanced their budgets, cut subsidies, welcomed foreign investment, and dropped their tariff barriers.

Their efforts have been repaid with bitter disappointment. From Russia to Venezuela, the past half-decade has been a time of economic suffering, tumbling incomes, anxiety, and resentment; of “starving, rioting, and looting,” in the stinging words of Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. In a recent editorial the New York Times said, “For much of the world, the marketplace extolled by the West in the afterglow of victory in the Cold War has been supplanted by the cruelty of markets, wariness toward capitalism, and dangers of instability.” The triumph of capitalism only in the West could be a recipe for economic and political disaster.

For Americans enjoying both peace and prosperity, it has been all too easy to ignore the turmoil elsewhere. How can capitalism be in trouble when the Dow Jones Industrial average is climbing higher than Sir Edmund Hillary? Americans look at other nations and see progress, even if it is slow and uneven. Can’t you eat a Big Mac in Moscow, rent a video from Blockbuster in Shanghai, and reach the Internet in Caracas?

Even in the United States, however, the foreboding cannot be completely stifled. Americans see Colombia poised on the brink of a major civil war between drug-trafficking guerrillas and repressive militias, an intractable insurgency in the south of Mexico, and an important part of Asia’s force-fed economic growth draining away into corruption and chaos. In Latin America, sympathy for free markets is dwindling: Support for privatization has dropped from 46 percent of the population to 36 percent in May 2000. Most ominously of all, in the former communist nations capitalism has been found wanting, and men associated with old regimes stand poised to resume power. Some Americans sense too that one reason for their decade-long boom is that the more precarious the rest of the world looks, the more attractive American stocks and bonds become as a haven for international money.

In the business community of the West, there is a growing concern that the failure of most of the rest of the world to implement capitalism will eventually drive the rich economies into recession. As millions of investors have painfully learned from the evaporation of their emerging market funds, globalization is a two-way street: If the Third World and former communist nations cannot escape the influence of the West, neither can the West disentangle itself from them. Adverse reactions to capitalism have also been growing stronger within rich countries themselves. The rioting in Seattle at the meeting of the World Trade Organization in December 1999 and a few months later at the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington, D.C., regardless of the diversity of the grievances, highlighted the anger that spreading capitalism inspires. Many have begun recalling the economic historian Karl Polanyi’s warnings that free markets can collide with society and lead to fascism. Japan is struggling through its most prolonged slump since the Great Depression. Western Europeans vote for politicians who promise them a “third way” that rejects what a French best-seller has labeled L’Horreur économique.

These whispers of alarm, disturbing though they are, have thus far only prompted American and European leaders to repeat to the rest of the world the same wearisome lectures: Stabilize your currencies, hang tough, ignore the food riots, and wait patiently for the foreign investors to return.

Foreign investment is, of course, a very good thing. The more of it, the better. Stable currencies are good, too, as are free trade and transparent banking practices and the privatization of state-owned industries and every other remedy in the Western pharmacopoeia. Yet we continually forget that global capitalism has been tried before. In Latin America, for example, reforms directed at creating capitalist systems have been tried at least four times since independence from Spain in the 1820s. Each time, after the initial euphoria, Latin Americans swung back from capitalist and market economy policies. These remedies are clearly not enough. Indeed, they fall so far short as to be almost irrelevant.

When these remedies fail, Westerners all too often respond not by questioning the adequacy of the remedies but by blaming Third World peoples for their lack of entrepreneurial spirit or market orientation. If they have failed to prosper despite all the excellent advice, it is because something is the matter with them: They missed the Protestant Reformation, or they are crippled by the disabling legacy of colonial Europe, or their IQs are too low. But the suggestion that it is culture that explains the success of such diverse places as Japan, Switzerland, and California, and culture again that explains the relative poverty of such equally diverse places as China, Estonia, and Baja California, is worse than inhumane; it is unconvincing. The disparity of wealth between the West and the rest of the world is far too great to be explained by culture alone. Most people want the fruits of capital—so much so that many, from the children of Sanchez to Khrushchev’s son, are flocking to Western nations.

The cities of the Third World and the former communist countries are teeming with entrepreneurs. You cannot walk through a Middle Eastern market, hike up to a Latin American village, or climb into a taxicab in Moscow without someone trying to make a deal with you. The inhabitants of these countries possess talent, enthusiasm, and an astonishing ability to wring a profit out of practically nothing. They can grasp and use modern technology. Otherwise, American businesses would not be struggling to control the unauthorized use of their patents abroad, nor would the U.S. government be striving so desperately to keep modern weapons technology out of the hands of Third World countries. Markets are an ancient and universal tradition: Christ drove the merchants out of the temple two thousand years ago, and Mexicans were taking their products to market long before Columbus reached America.

But if people in countries making the transition to capitalism are not pitiful beggars, are not helplessly trapped in obsolete ways, and are not the uncritical prisoners of dysfunctional cultures, what is it that prevents capitalism from delivering to them the same wealth it has delivered to the West? Why does capitalism thrive only in the West, as if enclosed in a bell jar?

In this book I intend to demonstrate that the major stumbling block that keeps the rest of the world from benefiting from capitalism is its inability to produce capital. Capital is the force that raises the productivity of labor and creates the wealth of nations. It is the lifeblood of the capitalist system, the foundation of progress, and the one thing that the poor countries of the world cannot seem to produce for themselves, no matter how eagerly their people engage in all the other activities that characterize a capitalist economy.

I will also show, with the help of facts and figures that my research team and I have collected, block by block and farm by farm in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, that most of the poor already possess the assets they need to make a success of capitalism. Even in the poorest countries, the poor save. The value of savings among the poor is, in fact, immense—forty times all the foreign aid received throughout the world since 1945. In Egypt, for instance, the wealth that the poor have accumulated is worth fifty-five times as much as the sum of all direct foreign investment ever recorded there, including the Suez Canal and the Aswan Dam. In Haiti, the poorest nation in Latin America, the total assets of the poor are more than one hundred fifty times greater than all the foreign investment received since Haiti’s independence from France in 1804. If the United States were to hike its foreign-aid budget to the level recommended by the United Nations—0.7 percent of national income—it would take the richest country on earth more than 150 years to transfer to the world’s poor resources equal to those they already possess.

But they hold these resources in defective forms: houses built on land whose ownership rights are not adequately recorded, unincorporated businesses with undefined liability, industries located where financiers and investors cannot see them. Because the rights to these possessions are not adequately documented, these assets cannot readily be turned into capital, cannot be traded outside of narrow local circles where people know and trust each other, cannot be used as collateral for a loan, and cannot be used as a share against an investment.

In the West, by contrast, every parcel of land, every building, every piece of equipment, or store of inventories is represented in a property document that is the visible sign of a vast hidden process that connects all these assets to the rest of the economy. Thanks to this representational process, assets can lead an invisible, parallel life alongside their material existence. They can be used as collateral for credit. The single most important source of funds for new businesses in the United States is a mortgage on the entrepreneur’s house. These assets can also provide a link to the owner’s credit history, an accountable address for the collection of debts and taxes, the basis for the creation of reliable and universal public utilities, and a foundation for the creation of securities (like mortgage-backed bonds) that can then be rediscounted and sold in secondary markets. By this process the West injects life into assets and makes them generate capital.

Third World and former communist nations do not have this representational process. As a result, most of them are undercapitalized, in the same way that a firm is undercapitalized when it issues fewer securities than its income and assets would justify. The enterprises of the poor are very much like corporations that cannot issue shares or bonds to obtain new investment and finance. Without representations, their assets are dead capital.

The poor inhabitants of these nations—five-sixths of humanity—do have things, but they lack the process to represent their property and create capital. They have houses but not titles; crops but not deeds; businesses but not statutes of incorporation. It is the unavailability of these essential representations that explains why people who have adapted every other Western invention, from the paper clip to the nuclear reactor, have not been able to produce sufficient capital to make their domestic capitalism work.

This is the mystery of capital. Solving it requires an understanding of why Westerners, by representing assets with titles, are able to see and draw out capital from them. One of the greatest challenges to the human mind is to comprehend and to gain access to those things we know exist but cannot see. Not everything that is real and useful is tangible and visible. Time, for example, is real, but it can only be efficiently managed when it is represented by a clock or a calendar. Throughout history, human beings have invented representational systems—writing, musical notation, double-entry bookkeeping—to grasp with the mind what human hands could never touch. In the same way, the great practitioners of capitalism, from the creators of integrated title systems and corporate stock to Michael Milken, were able to reveal and extract capital where others saw only junk by devising new ways to represent the invisible potential that is locked up in the assets we accumulate.

At this very moment you are surrounded by waves of Ukrainian, Chinese, and Brazilian television that you cannot see. So, too, are you surrounded by assets that invisibly harbor capital. Just as the waves of Ukrainian television are far too weak for you to sense them directly but can, with the help of a television set, be decoded to be seen and heard, so can capital be extracted and processed from assets. But only the West has the conversion process required to transform the invisible to the visible. It is this disparity that explains why Western nations can create capital and the Third World and former communist nations cannot.

The absence of this process in the poorer regions of the world—where two-thirds of humanity lives—is not the consequence of some Western monopolistic conspiracy. It is rather that Westerners take this mechanism so completely for granted that they have lost all awareness of its existence. Although it is huge, nobody sees it, including the Americans, Europeans, and Japanese who owe all their wealth to their ability to use it. It is an implicit legal infrastructure hidden deep within their property systems—of which ownership is but the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the iceberg is an intricate man-made process that can transform assets and labor into capital. This process was not created from a blueprint and is not described in a glossy brochure. Its origins are obscure and its significance buried in the economic subconscious of Western capitalist nations.

How could something so important have slipped our minds? It is not uncommon for us to know how to use things without understanding why they work. Sailors used magnetic compasses long before there was a satisfactory theory of magnetism. Animal breeders had a working knowledge of genetics long before Gregor Mendel explained genetic principles. Even as the West prospers from abundant capital, do people really understand the origin of capital? If they don’t, there always remains the possibility that the West might damage the source of its own strength. Being clear about the source of capital will also prepare the West to protect itself and the rest of the world as soon as the prosperity of the moment yields to the crisis that is sure to come. Then the question that always arises in international crises will be heard again: Whose money will be used to solve the problem?

So far, Western countries have been happy to take their system for producing capital entirely for granted and to leave its history undocumented. That history must be recovered. This book is an effort to reopen the exploration of the source of capital and thus explain how to correct the economic failures of poor countries. These failures have nothing to do with deficiencies in cultural or genetic heritage. Would anyone suggest “cultural” commonalities between Latin Americans and Russians? Yet in the last decade, ever since both regions began to build capitalism without capital, they have shared the same political, social, and economic problems: glaring inequality, underground economies, pervasive mafias, political instability, capital flight, flagrant disregard for the law. These troubles did not originate in the monasteries of the Orthodox Church or along the pathways of the Incas.

But it is not only former communist and Third World countries that have suffered all of these problems. The same was true of the United States in 1783, when President George Washington complained about “banditti … skimming and disposing of the cream of the country at the expense of the many.” These “banditti” were squatters and small illegal entrepreneurs occupying lands they did not own. For the next one hundred years, such squatters battled for legal rights to their land and miners warred over their claims because ownership laws differed from town to town and camp to camp. Enforcing property rights created such a quagmire of social unrest and antagonism throughout the young United States that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Joseph Story, wondered in 1820 whether lawyers would ever be able to settle them.

Do squatters, bandits, and flagrant disregard of the law sound familiar? Americans and Europeans have been telling the other countries of the world, “You have to be more like us.” In fact, they are very much like the United States of a century ago when it too was an undeveloped country. Western politicians once faced the same dramatic challenges that leaders of the developing and former communist countries are facing today. But their successors have lost contact with the days when the pioneers who opened the American West were undercapitalized because they seldom possessed title to the lands they settled and the goods they owned, when Adam Smith did his shopping in black markets and English street urchins plucked pennies cast by laughing tourists into the mud banks of the Thames, when Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s technocrats executed 16,000 small entrepreneurs whose only crime was manufacturing and importing cotton cloth in violation of France’s industrial codes.

That past is many nations’ present. The Western nations have so successfully integrated their poor into their economies that they have lost even the memory of how it was done, how the creation of capital began back when, as the American historian Gordon Wood has written, “something momentous was happening in the society and culture that released the aspirations and energies of common people as never before in American history.” The “something momentous” was that Americans and Europeans were on the verge of establishing widespread formal property law and inventing the conversion process in that law that allowed them to create capital. This was the moment when the West crossed the demarcation line that led to successful capitalism—when it ceased being a private club and became a popular culture, when George Washington’s dreaded “banditti” were transformed into the beloved pioneers that American culture now venerates.

* * *

The paradox is as clear as it is unsettling: Capital, the most essential component of Western economic advance, is the one that has received the least attention. Neglect has shrouded it in mystery—in fact, in a series of five mysteries.

The Mystery of the Missing Information

Charitable organizations have so emphasized the miseries and helplessness of the world’s poor that no one has properly documented their capacity for accumulating assets. Over the past five years, I and a hundred colleagues from six different nations have closed our books and opened our eyes—and gone out into the streets and countrysides of four continents to count how much the poorest sectors of society have saved. The quantity is enormous. But most of it is dead capital.

The Mystery of Capital

This is the key mystery and the centerpiece of this book. Capital is a subject that has fascinated thinkers for the past three centuries. Marx said that you needed to go beyond physics to touch “the hen that lays the golden eggs”; Adam Smith felt you had to create “a sort of waggon-way through the air” to reach that same hen. But no one has told us where the hen hides. What is capital, how is it produced, and how is it related to money?

The Mystery of Political Awareness

If there is so much dead capital in the world, and in the hands of so many poor people, why haven’t governments tried to tap into this potential wealth? Simply because the evidence they needed has only become available in the past forty years as billions of people throughout the world have moved from life organized on a small scale to life on a large scale. This migration to the cities has rapidly divided labor and spawned in poorer countries a huge industrial-commercial revolution—one that, incredibly, has been virtually ignored.

The Missing Lessons of U.S. History

What is going on in the Third World and the former communist countries has happened before, in Europe and North America. Unfortunately, we have been so mesmerized by the failure of so many nations to make the transition to capitalism that we have forgotten how the successful capitalist nations actually did it. For years I visited technocrats and politicians in advanced nations, from Alaska to Tokyo, but they had no answers. It was a mystery. I finally found the answer in their history books, the most pertinent example being that of U.S. history.

The Mystery of Legal Failure: Why Property Law Does Not Work Outside the West

Since the nineteenth century, nations have been copying the laws of the West to give their citizens the institutional framework to produce wealth. They continue to copy such laws today, and obviously it doesn’t work. Most citizens still cannot use the law to convert their savings into capital. Why this is so and what is needed to make the law work remains a mystery.

The solution to each of these mysteries is the subject of a chapter in this book.

* * *

The moment is ripe to solve the problem of why capitalism is triumphant in the West and stalling practically everywhere else. As all plausible alternatives to capitalism have now evaporated, we are finally in a position to study capital dispassionately and carefully.

(C) 2000 Hernando de Soto All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-465-01614-6

COVID Outbreak in Boston Linked to In-Person Christmas Eve Church Services

At this point, if you’re ignorant enough to attend an indoor church service, you can’t pretend to be shocked when there’s a COVID outbreak.

And yet that’s what’s happening with people who visited GENESIS Community Church near Boston just before Christmas. While the church said it took all precautions — requiring masks, limiting attendance, taking everyone’s information for future contact tracing — they still went through with the biggest risk of all: holding an unnecessary service.

Now dozens of people are paying a price for it:



More than 40 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in cases that are believed to be connected to those gatherings.

The house of worship in Woburn, Mass., hosted a total of four Christmas celebrations on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24

Each of those services had about 105 people there.

By the way, that New York Times report is from over the weekend. The number of church members who have tested positive for COVID is now up to 57.

The church says it’ll postpone in-person services through the month of January. That’s good. But where was that thinking last month? If this place had more responsible leaders, they would’ve instituted that rule a long time ago. The sad thing is that this church isn’t trying to be defiant. They played by the rules and attempted to minimize risk. But gathering in large groups remains the biggest risk of all, and no one had the good sense to say that Christmas services should also occur online. And while they had a mask requirement, there was an exception for anyone on stage, including the singers.

These irresponsible Christians have already infected each other. How many people in their families and communities will suffer from second-hand ignorance?

The comments were very interesting on this cartoon

Non Sequitur Comic Strip for January 05, 2021

Davis D Danizier (3D)  about 6 hours ago

So here’s the story: A talking snake in a magic garden convinces a gullible woman to eat an enchanted (but forbidden) fruit which makes the invisible sky god very angry.

The sin this woman committed? Partaking of the Tree of KNOWLEDGE.

Daring to want KNOWLEDGE is the enemy of religious superstition and the one thing that can destroy its power to control the ignorant.

God sets newly-created naïve gullible innocents in a garden and pits them against an evil genius, a demonic being who has co-existed for millennia (or billennia) with an all-powerful deity who apparently is not all-powerful enough to simply eliminate this font of evil, and somehow considers it an even playing field for the game of temptation in which all of humanity will be scarred for someone else’s “sins.”

So this petulant, admittedly (self-described) “jealous” god curses Adam and Eve with an evil spell called “sin” that, after drowning women, children, babies, old people because they had too much of this curse, he decided it could only be cured with a human sacrifice, in which god has to impregnate a teenage virgin with himself, so he could become his own son, grow up and then sacrifice himself to himself to save the world from himself, but only for those who demonstrate their acceptance of the sacrifice by eating his flesh and drinking his blood and wearing a miniature implement of death penalty around their necks.

Sounds reasonable.

And yeah, seems like plenty of grounds for appeal, but does not seem like a court that would be much interested in justice.


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  1. Hoss100x100
    Ed A.  about 7 hours ago

    Makes perfect sense to me. LOL. I was indoctrinated in that religious belief until I read The Age of Reason. Now I’m a free thinker.


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  2. 3d
    Davis D Danizier (3D)  about 7 hours ago
    @Ed A.Yes, reading the words of the Founders will definitely make one question the myths that these free-thinkers debunked.

    Thomas Paine: “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.”

    (1794: “The Age of Reason.)

    Thomas Jefferson: “Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.”

    (1782: “Notes on the State of Virginia”)

    John Adams:

    “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.”

    “Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of other trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in these days?”

    “But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed.”

    —John Adams in a letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816

    Treaty of Tripoli 1797, enacted by John Adams and ratified UNANIMOUSLY by a U.S. Senate that included many of the original Founders, without debate:

    “The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

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  3. Hoss100x100
    Ed A.  about 7 hours ago
    @Davis D Danizier (3D)Another informative read, “Reason: The Only Oracle Of Man” by Ethan Allen:


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  4. Screenshot 20180802 120401 samsung internet
    Kurtass Premium Member about 7 hours ago

    This is my theory on the virgin Mary. When others noticed she was pregnant, they asked whom the father was. She started crying and she said, “oooh father”. With the sobbing, it sounded like “our father” or “lord father”. When she meant, her own father. Jesus was special, “special” from inbreeding.

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  5. Nct beach wiz
    DD Wiz Premium Member about 6 hours ago
    @Kurtassthe Virgin Mary. The Christmas Miracle: A woman tries to explain to her fiancée how she got pregnant when she is supposed to be a virgin — god made me do it! — and then three random guys show up at the birth bringing gifts.

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    jmarkoff2  about 6 hours ago

    If that’s not enough, the snake was more honest than God. God said if they ate the fruit they would die, and the snake said they would not die from eating the fruit. The snake turned out to be right.

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  7. Sammy on gocomics
    Say What Now‽ Premium Member about 6 hours ago

    Your statement indicates that you must be sent to the Church to be reprogramed. You’ll be taught not to question the dogma./s

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  8. Ufo not
    mr_sherman Premium Member about 6 hours ago

    The devil’s in the details. It was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In other words, as I see it, it’s Judging people. No one really knows who is really good or bad. It’s not up to us to call someone good or evil. All we can judge is a person’s actions. Unfortunately the religious and gossipers don’t get it.

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  9. Missing large
    BirdyNumNum  about 5 hours ago
    @KurtassThe other theory…

    Joseph- “C’mon Mary, we’re going to get married anyway!”

    Mary – “We can’t. it wouldn’t be proper.”

    Joseph – “Oh, all right. How about I just rub it against you. I promise not to put it in.”

    Mary – “Well, oaky.”

    – 2 minutes later…

    Joseph – “Oops… sorry about the mess. Don’t worry though, you know a girl can’t get pregnant if the guy doesn’t put it in.”

    Mary – “Of course not. Everybody knows that,silly!”

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    admiree2  about 5 hours ago

    Not a bad narrative at all.

    Speaking as a former Sunday AM prisoner until the age of 18 and then being able to get away from that hypocrisy and waste of time.

    Later in life a younger brother related that he got slapped (standard punitive response when the religious mother had no answer) after he asked:

    “If we are all supposed to be descended from Adam and Eve then why does Dad hate black people so much?”

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    scooter2020  about 5 hours ago

    Bravo. The knowledge part of this myth is what finally woke me up. It’s the same thing that’s still going on today in religious circles.

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    mattro65  about 4 hours ago

    I stopped believing and attending church at the age of 13 about the same time I attained the intellectual stage of critical thinking. Educational psychologists have posited that about 2/3 of the adult population never reaches the level of critical thinking. I wouldn’t be surprised if that percentage is much higher amongst church goers.

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    FaustoCoppi  about 4 hours ago

    Ambrose Bierce had the following general observations about religion in his “Devil’s Dictionary”:

    “Scriptures – n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other religious faiths are based.”

    “Faith – n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge of things without parallel.”

    “Impiety – n. Your irreverence toward my deity.”

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    mattro65  about 4 hours ago
    @Davis D Danizier (3D)Not only did John Adams clearly see the hypocrisy in a religious belief he foresaw the disastrous arrival of the Orange Buffoon (“other trumpery“).

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    cnk381  about 2 hours ago

    The Bible is meant to be taken seriously, but not literally.

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    eguinn47  about 2 hours ago

    America, the former great country.

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    Màiri  about 2 hours ago

    You guys would definitely enjoy Pratchett & Gaiman’s Good Omens

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    franki_g  about 2 hours ago

    Jesus spoke in allegory, which would seem to be indicative that what preceded Him was meant for the same purpose.

    I’m sad for those who don’t have the comfort of faith in a loving God, but I put most of the blame for that on those who purport to follow Him and, well, see the last 4 years….

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    Kurtass Premium Member about 2 hours ago
    @HarumphA superstitious book, written by superstitious men, in a superstitious time. If something couldn’t be explained scientifically, it was god that did it. The control the churches wanted over the masses is also part of it. Then there is the money, god needs lots of money.

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    Kurtass Premium Member about 2 hours ago
    @franki_gI’m sad for the people that give their time and money to a church or any house of worship. Time and money that could help people in need.

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    wuulfgarcomics  about 2 hours ago

    How could they ‘know’ it was wrong PRIOR to partaking of the fruit that bestows such knowledge? God sez so?! “Here, you have knowledge of right and wrong ABOUT THIS ONE SPECIFIC THING AND NOTHING ELSE THAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU ON THAT TREE but nothing else. Ab. So. Lutely. Nothing else. To get more you need to eat that fruit. But don’t because I don’t want you to. I don’t want you to have such knowledge. Why? Don’t know. Tis my plan. I guess….Siiiiigh.

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    Màiri  about 1 hour ago
    @wuulfgarcomicsIt’s not really such a bad allegory for evolution, though the lunatics who supposedly believe in what’s written have never had any difficulty imputing their worst transgressions to non-humans.

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    Daniel J.  about 1 hour ago
    @Davis D Danizier (3D)You have to be careful when you quote something that isn’t actually in the referenced text. For the letter from Adams to Van der Kemp, 12/27/1816, of the three sentences you reference, only one is actually in the letter (But how has it…). Your arguments are greatly diminished when you misquote.


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    bbenoit  about 1 hour ago

    Religion is, sadly, little more than the carrot used in conjunction with the stick. For one man to assert governance over others he must show some validity for his rule, otherwise he is just one man trying to tell others how they should live. There are only two sources of this power, god and guns, force and temptation, reward and punishment or any other words one might use. You would think, after a few thousand years, humans would have developed a better means of dispensing morality.

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    loridobson Premium Member about 1 hour ago
    @mattro65And they VOTE! (and watch Fox, OAN, Newsmax, Q-anon..)

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    Wizard of Ahz-no relation  39 minutes ago

    it’s an allegory, that in partaking of knowledge we become aware of the world and in so doing become separate from it and lose the innocence of not knowing. (think how small children don’t know any better)

    The far more notable point is, like the similar Greek myth of ’Pandora’s box’ the world is wonderful until a woman screws it up by not following instructions that man was fine with.

    a wonderful example of the patriarchy blaming women for the worlds problems. not their fault nope nope nope.

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    I was FRAMED by my dog, Max!!!!!!  33 minutes ago

    ‘God’ does not exist any more than does Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy , TRAITOR Trumputin’s integrity, or even the Great Pumpkin exists. These are all ‘imaginary.’

    Theists, the answers to 99% of your dumbass questions are right here:1. Burden of Proof – It’s yours, don’t try and reverse it2. Read something other than the Bible, you might learn something.3. No, rejecting your religion does not constitute a religion in itself.4. Morals are a product of our evolutionary development, they are innate and inalienable to ALL humans. Your ‘imaginary friend’ does not have a monopoly on them.

    If you are trying to prove that ‘God’ exists, there are two very important things to remember:1. Reading the Bible is not valid research.2. “I feel him in my heart” is not valid data.

    If there were proof that ‘God’ exists, you wouldn’t need to believe in it. you would have knowledge of it. You would not need faith, because you would have FACTS. These FACTS could then be proven to any else. They could be repeated, tested, and demonstrated. What you have is a ‘FICTION,’ also known as a fairy tale, that you want to believe. That’s it.

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    Old Girl  33 minutes ago
    @jmarkoff2… and the proof of your story is that they are still alive today?

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    bleu nez  18 minutes ago

    Looks like you read most or all of the book for your review. I think you may have missed the point.

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    JosephShriver  12 minutes ago

    Only thing is, God actually wanted them to partake of the fruit

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    JosephShriver  4 minutes ago
    @KurtassThat is what your time and money going to the church is for. Your time is the service of your fellow beings. The money is for various things, some to help those that need the help

TN Church Holds Three-Day COVID Super-Spreader Conference in the Name of Jesus

In Tennessee, where Republican Governor Bill Lee has limited indoor gatherings to 10 people, but exempted religious services from that requirement, a church in the city of Cleveland just hosted a massive, maskless Christian conference.

The Ramp, a church at Omega Center International and home of Perry Stone Ministries, held a New Year’s blowout where people gathered to celebrate their blissful ignorance of a virus that has taken over 340,000 American lives (and counting).

Just look at these pictures and think about how selfish every single Christian here must be for them to care so little about the lives of their family members and community. They’re willing to put everyone’s fate in jeopardy because they refuse to acknowledge reality.









A local news channel covered the Christian super-spreader event, but the fact is there’s nothing illegal happening here because Tennessee’s Republican leaders don’t want to upset their base.

Stupid? Yes.

Irresponsible? Definitely.

Deadly? We’ll find out very soon.

WRCB, the local NBC affiliate, quoted George Douglas, whose video from the event is seen above, as saying he wasn’t worried about the virus at all:

Douglas believes people who get COVID-19 or any other sickness should lean on the church for healing.

“The word lets me know that those that are sick to come to the church and let the elders lay hands on them and pray for them and the sick will be healed,” Douglas continued.

Douglas doesn’t seem to realize that devout Christians have died in the pandemic. The virus doesn’t go away because of magic words or shoulder touches. You have to be utterly insane — or brainwashed — to think any of that would work especially when it absolutely has not made a difference so far.

But this is what happens when Republicans act like churches shouldn’t be subject to the same rules when it comes to a disease that doesn’t care what religion anybody is. Churches are not “essential” places that ought to be exempt from COVID restrictions.

The simple truth is that there’s a very good chance people in Tennessee will get sick and die because these Christians didn’t give a shit about their lives. They wanted to party in the name of Jesus, and they believe God won’t listen if they gather over Zoom. Their God must be very weak.

This is a death cult. And not enough Christians — certainly not enough Christian leaders with large platforms — have the good sense to condemn this act of voluntary harm.

How many more people need to die before religious people like these realize they’re contributing to the problem?

Think of the christian nationalist post I just made, and combine these two posts. These religious types are a threat to our democracy and our health. The truth is this is about money, greed. Donations go up at these events, down when the service is virtual. Let the grift continue until the marks are all dead. Hugs