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News — Letters: A moral basis for politics begins with the Bible — (2020)

I am an evangelical who happens to be White. I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020. According to recent expressions of “opinions” in your newspaper, I am ignorant, anti-intellectual, racist — even a White supremacist. There are likely some Trump supporters who could be so characterized. The White evangelicals I know are aghast at the way many Black persons were treated in decades past. Among my evangelical friends are people of all socioeconomic descriptions. That which connects us is far more important than that which could divide us.

Trump is a flawed person, as was Hillary Clinton, as is Joe Biden. However, the main reasons most evangelicals voted for Trump are the issues of worldview and moral values; issues that are rarely included by the informational pundits.

We believe the most important four words on the planet Earth are those in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God …” God has given us the holy scriptures which are demonstrated to be reliable when honestly examined considering philosophical, scientific and internal and external evidences such as archaeology.

When voting we consider the moral values of the parties the candidates represent and the moral values with which the candidate is likely to govern. After all, the God-given and defined purpose for government is to promote good and curb evil. We consider issues such as the sanctity of life including the unborn person. We consider the fact that God created male and female for a one-woman and one-man marriage. We believe that work is a moral duty for those who are able. We believe in biblical justice. We believe in God-given rights and religious liberty. And we believe in looking at the factual results of governmental policies. Today most evangelicals consider the current Republican Party platform to be far more consistent with these values that the current Democratic Party platform.

Will anti-truth philosophies be allowed to dominate our culture with truth-based Christian faith pushed to the sidelines as having no place in the public square?

Bank of Canada Chief Defends Bond Purchases From Political Attacks

Governor Tiff Macklem brushed off accusations the Bank of Canada is financing Justin Trudeau’s deficits and fueling inflation risks, even as he acknowledged there are limits to how much government debt it can buy.

In parliamentary testimony on Thursday, Macklem faced questions from opposition Conservative Party lawmakers over the central bank’s quantitative easing program, which has been used to buy nearly C$200 billion ($154 billion) in federal government bonds since April.

Macklem declined to characterize the purchases as government financing, said the program was grounded in the central bank’s inflation targeting mandate and promised to stop it once the recovery was fully underway.

“We need a lot of monetary stimulus to support the recovery,” Macklem said in a semi-annual appearance by the Bank of Canada governor at the House of Commons finance committee. “We are not financing the government.”

Macklem did acknowledge the central bank risks distorting the bond market if its holdings get too large. He cited research showing holdings of more than 50% of outstanding bonds would start impairing market functioning.

But with the Bank of Canada’s current share at 30%, “we have quite a lot room,” Macklem said. The program will probably be terminated before inflation returns sustainably to the Bank of Canada’s 2% target — expected sometime in 2023.

Conservative Questions

Canada’s main opposition party has been cautioning the central bank against financing the Liberal government’s spending plans beyond immediate pandemic emergency measures, with Conservative lawmaker Pierre Poilievre warning the bank in October against becoming an “ATM for Trudeau.” The bank has committed to buying at least C$4 billion in Canada government bonds a week to keep borrowing rates low.

Poilievre was the main questioner for the Conservatives on Thursday, asking at one point whether the central bank’s actions could lead to faster-than-expected inflation. Macklem said his decisions will be “grounded” on keeping inflation at 2%, and committed to that target in his testimony.

“If it turns out that we’re wrong and there is more inflationary pressure than we expect, we will adjust” policy, he said.

In addition to the bond purchases, the central bank has lowered its overnight policy rate to 0.25% and said it expects to keep it there until 2023. Macklem said the Bank of Canada has options beyond quantitative easing to provide further stimulus, including cutting its benchmark rate to zero and even into negative territory if needed.

Angry Trump promises rally in battleground state of Georgia

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday renewed baseless claims that “massive fraud” and crooked officials in battleground states led to his election defeat, and said he’ll go to Georgia to rally supporters ahead of two Senate runoff elections.

“This has a long way to go,” Trump said on Thanksgiving evening, despite the fact that President-elect Joe Biden won the election. “This election was a fraud. It was a rigged election.”

Trump spoke to reporters at the White House after speaking with U.S. military leaders overseas.

After his conversation, Trump took questions for the first time since Election Day and angrily denounced officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, two key swing states that helped give Biden the win, as “enemies of the state” and claimed they were culprits in vote fraud.

State officials and international observers have repeatedly said no evidence of mass fraud exists and Trump’s campaign has repeatedly failed in court.

Trump said he would hold a rally with thousands of supporters in Georgia to support a pair of Republican candidates — Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler — whose runoff elections on Jan. 5 will determine which party controls the Senate.

Trump initially said the rally would be Saturday. The White House later clarified he meant Dec. 5.

South Korea’s president wants to take politics out of prosecutions

The imagery is funereal. The slogans attached to the sides of the vans outside the Ministry of Justice are framed in black, like pictures of someone recently deceased. They read, “Democracy is dead” and “The Ministry of Justice is dead.” The dozens of funeral wreaths made of white and yellow plastic flowers that have been laid against the building’s fence also carry messages. One addresses the president: “Moon Jae-in, you’re going to die.” The majority express wrath for the justice minister: “Choo Mi-ae, you bitch.” Funeral music wails from speakers mounted on the vans.

The protest, organised by a right-wing group which insists that the wreaths’ message is strictly metaphorical, and an earlier phalanx of flowers left at the prosecution service (pictured above) are rather extreme expressions of support for Yoon Seok-youl, the chief prosecutor, whom Ms Choo suspended on November 24th — the first time a justice minister has taken such a step. Among other things, she accuses Mr Yoon of spying on judges hearing cases against her predecessor and of lacking political impartiality. Mr Yoon denies wrongdoing and says he will challenge the “unjust” demotion in court. He says the prosecution service is being unfairly targeted by the justice minister. That implies criticism of Mr Moon, who has made reforming it one of his political priorities.

Availability of longitudinal body weight (BW) records allows the application of nonlinear models (NLINM) to predict phenotypic and genomic