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Michael Farnbach
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Unfortunately I lost the post this came from ... it deserves the credit.

Its common this time of year to re-discover and share where Christian culture has borrowed from other cultures wherever it went to.

I think this is a good thing, the way people experience plants and seasons is a beautiful thing. That experience has meaning and connection with humanity, and that meaning endures even in a Christian context.

Holly endures winter, when otherwise living and strong plants have in all appearance given up the ghost. Holly protects and feeds otherwise desperate creatures when all other sources of sustenance are long gone.

Its my wish to be more like holly.

Fake News: The Story Behind the Story

Anyone who's been at the receiving end of malicious slander, gossip, or lies, can sympathize with the current outcry against "fake news". At one time on the campaign trail, Donald Trump threatened to sue anyone who employed such tactics on him, though the term "fake news" was not yet en vogue.

During our nations more refined times, a public figure subject to such accusations would ask we not rush to judgement. We can sweat it out and "wait for all the facts to come" in before condemning anyone based on the story they heard.

Fake news can hurt good people, as recorded by Theodore Roosevelt in his autobiography a story that should strike anyone interested in inclusive politics as sobering:

"Peter Kelly's fate was a tragedy. He was a bright, well-educated young fellow, an ardent believer in Henry George. At the beginning he and I failed to understand each other or to get on together, for our theories of government were radically opposed. After a couple of months spent in active contests with men whose theories had nothing whatever to do with their practices, Kelly and I found in our turn that it really did not make much difference what our abstract theories were on questions that were not before the Legislature, in view of the fact that on the actual matters before the Legislature, the most important of which involved questions of elementary morality, we were heartily at one. We began to vote together and act together, and by the end of the session found that in all practical matters that were up for action we thought together. Indeed, each of us was beginning to change his theories, so that even in theory we were coming closer together. He was ardent and generous; he was a young lawyer, with a wife and children, whose ambition had tempted him into politics, and who had been befriended by the local bosses under the belief that they could count upon him for anything they really wished. Unfortunately, what they really wished was often corrupt. Kelly defied them, fought the battles of the people with ardor and good faith, and when the bosses refused him a renomination, he appealed from them to the people. When we both came up for reelection, I won easily in my district, where circumstances conspired to favor me; and Kelly, with exactly the same record that I had, except that it was more creditable because he took his stand against greater odds, was beaten in his district. Defeat to me would have meant merely chagrin; to Kelly it meant terrible material disaster. He had no money. Like every rigidly honest man, he had found that going into politics was expensive and that his salary as Assemblyman did not cover the financial outgo. He had lost his practice and he had incurred the ill will of the powerful, so that it was impossible at the moment to pick up his practice again; and the worry and disappointment affected him so much that shortly after election he was struck down by sickness. Just before Christmas some of us were informed that Kelly was in such financial straits that he and his family would be put out into the street before New Year. This was prevented by the action of some of his friends who had served with him in the Legislature, and he recovered, at least to a degree, and took up the practice of his profession. But he was a broken man."

That said, what we should look out for right now is that "fake news" has no specific news tied to it that we can wait for all of the facts to come in on.

In Hillary's case, there was no October Surprise that we can highlight as such a story. The polling wasn't wrong, it was just a bit behind the curve. Days before the election there was a dramatic uptick towards Trump, and those polls were just a few days in to what was a massive swing.

So what hit at the last minute that caused such a swing? Wikileaks had already fired all its ammunition, and its impact was already charted well before the election. The only major news that I can find that broke in that timeframe is the news that Obamacare was going to radically raise rates. I cannot, also, find any news that those reports were false or fraudulent.

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To all those who are struggling or who know someone who is, this message is for you. 

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A forgotten crises: Malian refugees in neighbouring Mauritania struggle with food shortages.

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<To mark World Refugee Day, the United Nations Refugee Agency today released its annual Global Trends report, which finds that a record 65.3 million people were displaced last year. (That’s about one out of every 113 people worldwide.)>

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I've often shared my concern about a political panopticon where people in the center build walls of prejudice between us. 
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