Invitation to share in the nation’s greatness

There was a fantastic closing in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union 2019 address.  He spoke of America’s geographic beauty and expanse; our choices we make; the opportunities; of victories; of dreams; rekindle our imagination; of greatness; to overcome our challenges together; America’s freedom and faith.

And here’s why it was a great ending. My brief analysis.

It was an invitation to share in America’s future greatness.  It was addressed not only to Americans, but also to legislators in Congress to unite, to forge ahead, and to make America great, to overcome together.

He was really sharing his vision (Trump’s MAGA campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”) with the rest of the people who did not share his views nor stood on his side.

He was really trying to say, “this greatness is also for you and for all.”  Together we can make it happen.

It was a profound invitation. His speech was really one big olive branch to Congress and the American people–regardless of political affiliation.

He wanted to be a president for all Americans before he was elected president.  These first two years have been like a dark valley for his administration.  He has been hated by many on the left.  But it’s not over for him.

If people can buy into his invitation, and step into his vision of greatness for America, he can be that president he wants to be–the president for all Americans.

Time will tell in the next two years.

maga america great again

—-  text below from transcript of SOTU —

….Think of this Capitol — think of this very chamber, where lawmakers before you voted to end slavery, to build the railroads and the highways, to defeat fascism, to secure civil rights, to face down evil empires.

Here tonight, we have legislators from across this magnificent republic. You have come from the rocky shores of Maine and the volcanic peaks of Hawaii, from the snowy woods of Wisconsin and the red deserts of Arizona, from the green farms of Kentucky and the golden beaches of California. Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.

What will we do with this moment? How will we be remembered? I ask the men and women of this Congress, look at the opportunities before us. Our most thrilling achievements are still ahead. Our most exciting journeys still await. Our biggest victories are still to come. We have not yet begun to dream.

We must choose whether we are defined by our differences — or whether we dare to transcend them. We must choose whether we will squander our inheritance — or whether we will proudly declare that we are Americans. We do the incredible. We defy the impossible. We conquered the unknown.

This is the time to reignite the American imagination. This is the time to search for the tallest summit, and set our sights on the brightest star. This is the time to rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory that link us together as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots.

This is our future — our fate — and our choice to make. I am asking you to choose greatness. No matter the trials we face, no matter the challenges to come, we must go forward together.

We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America’s destiny — that one nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the light and the glory among all the nations of the world!

Thank you. God bless you, God bless America. Thank you very much.

Trump’s State of the Union address 2019

SOTU trump

President Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) address was a success tonight. I feel it was his best speech ever as president. He spoke with conviction, and it made Americans feel proud to be American.

It was a very memorable speech. He spoke about the greatness of America.  He said it was not about the agenda of the Republicans nor the Democrats. It was about one nation, the United States of America.

There were many moments when he spoke of cooperation calling both parties to come together. He tried pulling both Republican and Democrats together to make a better country by passing bills that will benefit Americans. He has tried to unite them by giving them enough face to make compromises in the future.

In the past, hardline Democrats have been knee-jerk anti-Trump and anti-wall at every turn. This speech put them on the defensive because Trump was holding out olive branches to them.  It gave people hope that there can be some compromise in Congress to get funding for government employees, and perhaps even the wall and stronger border security.

Trump, speaking on abortion also reinforced in the minds of pro-lifers his loyalty to them and the belief in the sanctity of life, inside and outside the womb. I was surprised that the Democratic women in white could not even stand to show some solidarity for banning full-term abortion. Abortion must have some limits, otherwise, one can end up be blind to murder outside the womb.

US President Donald J. Trump delivers his second State of the Union address, Washington, USA - 05 Feb 2019

I also liked his jab at non-sensical politically-driven investigations.  This Robert Mueller investigation should come to a stop ASAP.  It’s clearly a witch hunt, has always been one, and makes the Democrats look absolutely stupid and partisan.

This was a big win for Trump tonight, not only on social and security issues, but also on the economy. His trade policy has been conducive to huge gains in job creation in the U.S. The economy and jobs have has made huge gains for the middle class, the lower income, for racial minorities, and also for women.

I agree that the NAFTA trade deal had been seen as beneficial for Canada and for Mexico.   I have to admit that the U.S. could always have done better for itself because I also believe in fair trade, not necessarily free trade. Free trade is not good unless it’s also fair trade.  He was also tough on trade with China.  That was good.   All trade must be fair.

Overall, I thought it was definitely his greatest speech ever.  There were many parts of the speech where he used live examples of people who contributed to making a better country.  Two of his examples were persons who were unfairly sentenced in prison but chose to make a better place where they were.  Very moving and inspiring.

If I were American, I would have been proud of him. I think it has the potential to pull some Democrats together with Republicans to make some deals in the future.  Kudos to President Donald Trump.  May God continue to bless America.

The ethics and morality of a border wall

great wall of china
The Great Wall of China.  Built to keep China safe from marauding invaders from the north.

Before doing a bit research on migration into the U.S.A., I had no idea about the numbers of unlawful entries into the U.S.A every year.  I am astounded by some of what I learned.

If someone were to tell you that annually there is somewhere between 250,000 to 360,000 unlawful migrants who cross the Mexican border into the United States EVERY year, what might most people think?  Would it be considered a national emergency?  There are already 12 million unlawful residents in the United States today so you can do your calculations for estimated annual illegal entry [added: “including an estimated 42%, or 5 million, who overstay their visas. This “42%” people are using is from a old Pew Research report.” ].

This figure would be much higher if it weren’t for almost 400,000 who were apprehended in 2018.  These are facts and I’m not making these up (Click: stats from stats U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE).  In previous years (1995-2000), the numbers used to hover around 1.4 – 1.6 million annually who were apprehended (Click: FactCheck.org).

Over six decades ago, my parents immigrated legally to Canada (a nation that I love and live in today).  My grandfather and great-grandfather (Sam) had lived and worked in Canada (e.g., the building of the nationwide railway) but decided to return to their homeland of China.

spiderman wallAs a child of an immigrant, I appreciate immigration and defend legal immigration.  Without immigrants, our two countries of Canada and the U.S.A., or any other western nation would not be what they are today–enriched by their diversity of culture and ethnicities.

However, I hope you can allow me to speak honestly.  Any country in the world ought to take migration or immigration seriously; otherwise, why even have borders?

Illegal entry into any country in the world can, and ought to have some consequences.  Someone I know very well have daily dealings with migrants who are apprehended by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Let me share with you a story.  I remember many years ago when I was still a university student in Virginia. During the summer months, our family intended to bring an aunt over to cross the U.S.-Canada border.  We would go across to do some cross-border shopping about 2-3 times per year.  Some go as often as twice per month as a family outing.  It was an ordinary thing for people to do on a weekend, and it still is.  I don’t know why but either I had forgotten, or just out of plain ignorance, failed to pick up a day-visa at the border for my aunt because she was a Chinese citizen visiting us in Canada for a month.

The result.  My poor aunt was apprehended and my father’s vehicle was almost impounded by U.S. Customs.  I was also the driver.  I learned my lesson: Be careful and honest and direct with customs agents.  The penalty could be serious and it could have been more serious for me because I might not have been able to return to finish my last semester of studies.

Now back to my question and this is where it gets dicey:  If illegal migration is an ethical issue, then why is building a wall, in order to prevent illegal migration, not an ethical issue?  And I know the left might feel a little bit squeemish thinking about an honest answer but just leave our political leanings aside for a moment.

First, allow me to put this so-called wall in another context.  Let’s think of other countries that have, or have had, a wall or fence:

unlawful border crossing
The U.S.-Mexico border wall experienced an average of 400,000 migrants who were apprehended in 2018.

-East and West Berlin;
-India and Pakistan;
-North Korea and South Korea;
-India and Bangladesh;
-European Union;
-Gaza Strip and Israel;
-Egypt and Gaza Strip;
-Israel and West Bank;
-Hadrian Wall in northern England; and
-ancient China and Mongolia (Great Wall of China).

I’ve never been to the Great Wall of China but I am amazed at the immensity of its height and width. It was a massive labor-intensive undertaking in order to keep out the marauding Mongol tribes, and to keep the Chinese nation safe. I’d say that was an ethical and moral thing.  It prevented war and potential violence, theft, rape, and other forms of violence from Mongolia and Manchuria.

I am not necessarily left or right on the political spectrum on the wall issue.  Let’s  analyze the ethics of having a barrier of some sort at national borders.

I will affirm my belief that a barrier between any two countries could be considered an ethical and moral matter.

Let’s also set aside what I would consider non-sense from the left that those who accuse Trump as being racist because he is proposing building a wall.  Are other nations like Germany, Israel, Korea, India and Pakistan racist because they’ve built walls to protect their people?

If migrants pour into any country without legal documents or fail to apply for a visa, it ought to become an ethical issue.  You might be reading this from South Korea, Germany, the U.S. or India. Walls have been a normalized if your people have felt threatened by illegal border crossings.

I remember years ago when I was able to cross the U.S.-Canadian border with just a driver’s licence or health card. After 9-11, it all changed. Today, I need to show a passport.

If an outsider attempts to intrude into a high-security office building, ought this be considered an ethical issue? Of course it is. If someone breaks in, is killed or robbed, it also becomes a moral issue.  An ethical and moral thing to do would be to increase the building’s security to protect sensitive information, or important people or property.

The bible speaks of an example of Jerusalem’s wall being re-built due to decay through decades and centuries of neglect. Ezra 4:12-13 states:

“The king should know that the people who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations.  Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer.”

If ancient Jerusalem failed to protect its own people from invaders who would rob, kill, torture and forcibly exile its people, might that be considered an ethical and moral issue?

Does a nation have a duty to protect its own people and provide them physical and even economic security?  You better believe it!  If our nation failed to provide us with national security, we would be up in arms.

Today, the U.S. might be in a similar situation. Drugs, gangs and violence are not the only issues.  Immigration is very much tied to the economy.  How about protecting the economy and jobs of American citizens? Does a nation not have a right to economic self-determination?  Every other country on earth seems to have the right to secure their own and borders.  Why not the U.S.A.?

With many nations around the world watching from the comforts of their own television sets, it’s rather easy to accuse Trump of being racist, but if unlawful entry into your own country was happening and it affected YOUR job and YOUR family’s security, you would do something about it, wouldn’t you?

Pray for God’s wisdom to guide President Trump

Pray for President Trump and an ethical and moral leadership to carry his Administration through the unilateral attack on Syria’s airbase.

President Assad used chemical gas Sarin to kill innocent Syrian civilians including men, women and children. He is a cruel authoritarian who destroyed his own country and created a huge refugee crisis around the world.  Assad has shown a disdain toward his own Syrian people, forcing them to leave their homes and their country because he didn’t like their views.

This is a crucial time for President Trump because he is exerting a much-needed American leadership in a chaotic world.  There is a need for a more stable Syrian situation in the world.  Pray that God would guide President Trump and give him wisdom.

First Lady prays the Lord’s Prayer at Trump Rally

It was great to see First Lady, Melania Trump, pray the Lord’s Prayer at this Saturday’s huge rally in Melbourne, Florida. Good to see. Jesus said we ought to be salt and light and not let the light be hidden under a bushel basket.  May the light of Christ, and his good news, shine brightly and overcome darkness. [forward to 37min]