A good start.

 

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Read the full text of the formal agreement signed by President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un here: http://time.com/5309425/donald-trump-kim-jong-un-summit-document-full-text/

 

 

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Last year, the total US Trade Deficit was $566 Billion.  The US Trade Deficit in goods only (not services) was $810 Billion.  The largest trade deficits are with these countries:

  1. China – $636 billion traded with a $375 billion deficit.
  2. Canada – $582 billion traded with an $18 billion deficit.
  3. Mexico – $557 billion traded with a $71 billion deficit.
  4. Japan – $204 billion traded with a $69 billion deficit.
  5. Germany – $171 billion traded with a $65 billion deficit.

Source: “U.S. Trade Deficit by Country with Current Statistics and Issues

 

 

 “California’s tragic poverty and widening inequality aren’t the result of racist policies imposed from without but rather progressive policies embraced from within.”

Michael Shellenberger has a fantastic essay in Forbes demonstrating how California is an actual “Elysium,” a dystopia where the rich, ruling class maintains their progressive privilege at the expense of the poor.  I highly recommend reading it.

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Source: The White House, Washington D.C.

 

 

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It isn’t terribly provocative to note that the modern West seems to be going to way of other great civilizations trending towards decadence, corruption and immorality.  The West has more riches, more technology and more freedoms than ever before in the history of humanity.  Yet we seem content to follow in the footsteps of those great nations and empires who inevitably declined.  Why?

This week’s readings offer a view of how we have chosen for ourselves the means of our own decline.

Perhaps the most well known recent discussion of this problem is Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s essay, “Defining Deviancy Down.”  While focused on crime and family disfunction, it has a broader application to how the West has chosen to redefine conduct previously stigmatized as “abnormal” to be instead “normal” behavior.  This change in cultural norms, of course, has far reaching consequences.

This model can be applied to many aspects of modern life including politics (courtesy Daniel J. Flynn), sexual proclivity (courtesy Gary DeMar), religion (courtesy Daniel Jang) or even specific social choices such as abortion or torture (courtesy Mark Shea).  Together this “defining down,” or as previous generations would describe it, immorality, results in negative consequences for both individual and society.  If unchecked, the downward spiral continues until those virtues that made a group or nation successful are no more.