Sunday Roast: Northern Lights

Stepping away from the horrors of the news and the state of our society…

The Northern Lights put on a good show for parts of the U.S. (and presumably other countries), after a powerful solar flare last Wednesday.

I have seen the lights once in my life, and was so startled at what I was seeing, I didn’t actually comprehend the sight, and didn’t appreciate it properly.  Afterall, I lived in the panhandle of Idaho at the time, but no one in the area could remember seeing the lights that far south.  Derp.

Seeing the lights again is definitely on my Bucket List!

This is our daily open thread — Have any of you seen this weekend’s light show?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, September 13, 2014: This Week in Conservative Christian Crazy Talk

In a recent blog post filled with straw men and false equivalencies, Francis Cardinal George (not his name at birth) made the common Conservative Christian mistake of equating laws that require to you to let people who don’t practice your faith to do things of which your faith disapproves with you not being allowed to freely practice your religion. The two have nothing to do with each other. After starting out with a story that seemed to treat religious belief as historical fact, George went on to claim that the government had tried to take on the role of religion.

There was always a quasi-religious element in the public creed of the country. It lived off the myth of human progress, which had little place for dependence on divine providence. It tended to exploit the religiosity of the ordinary people by using religious language to co-opt them into the purposes of the ruling class. Forms of anti-Catholicism were part of its social DNA. It had encouraged its citizens to think of themselves as the creators of world history and the managers of nature, so that no source of truth outside of themselves needed to be consulted to check their collective purposes and desires. But it had never explicitly taken upon itself the mantle of a religion and officially told its citizens what they must personally think or what “values” they must personalize in order to deserve to be part of the country. Until recent years.

Actually that’s not correct. The laws we pass are supposed to reflect the mores of our Society. (Note, I did say “supposed to.” Clearly we never agreed to let corporations who make billions of dollars in profits pay no federal taxes to the government who made their success possible.) When a government passes laws that say things like “You can’t kill anyone except in self-defense,” or “You can’t take things that don’t belong to you,” we are saying what values you should have. And that’s the way it’s always been. Just because a law is passed that permits people to do things your religion wouldn’t permit you to do does not mean we are making your religion illegal. Nor does it mean we are forcing you to do anything other than live and let live. I often hear religious conservatives complain when the government decides you have permission to do something, that the government is requiring you to do that something. And that’s completely and totally wrong. And it shows in their misguided belief that because the government is letting you worship whichever god you choose to worship, that you must choose a god to worship. They seem to forget that ti also means we are free to NOT worship any god, if we so choose. This is because they have the erroneous belief that in order to have a moral center, you must have a belief in God. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am an atheist, but that doesn’t mean I lack a moral code by which to live. My personal motto (and i didn’t invent it) is to treat other people the way I would want them to treat me. (Sound familiar?) I don’t need some trumped up fear of hell fire and damnation to know that this is the right thing to do.

But George’s real problem seems to be about sex, and why should that surprise anyone? After all, a man who took a vow of celibacy for his own personal religious reasons (one of which includes belonging to an organization with a history of covering up sexual child abuse by a small percentage of its members) is the perfect person to be standing in judgment of the sex lives of others.

In recent years, society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered “sinful.” Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.

I call straw man! It is not true that legislative approval has been brought “to all types of sexual relationships.” Only one, and that’s same-sex marriage. Just because ignorant buffoons have equated homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia does not mean he has a valid point. Those people have no idea what they’re talking about, and their viewpoints should not be treated as perfectly valid. Of course they have the right to hold those views, and the rest of us have the right to hold people with those views in contempt. And, FTR, we tried the “live and let live” approach to the rights of the LGBT community and it didn’t work out so great for them. It was mainly in the “let live” part where Society failed, and as a result we decided to tell people what values to personalize, in this case, the value being to “Love one another.” Being gay is not a choice, so it’s not true that gay people are willfully being immoral by being gay. The whole “Hate the sin, love the sinner” attitude doesn’t work if you believe gay people are just doing it on purpose because they lack morals and, therefore, shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else. Because you’re still hating the sinner.

He goes on to lament that when a recent SCOTUS ruling went “against the State religion” (again, a false premise, which makes the rest of his argument meaningless), it brought on a crisis of belief for many Catholics, apparently because the Huffington Post raised “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen.” (I tried to find the specific article that said this, but he only gave a date and not a title.) Actually I can answer that one. In the United States of America, an officially secular nation, your responsibility is to be a good citizen before being a good Catholic. If you want to live some place where being a good Catholic is your first duty, then move to The Vatican. I hear they’re big on Catholicism there. But the First Amendment not only allows you the freedom to practice the religion of your choice, it also disallows the government from interfering with that right so long as your religious exercise does not interfere with the religious freedom of others. That’s the part Conservative Christians don’t seem to get, especially the ones who call for our laws being based on the Bible. You see, there are many, many different versions of the Bible, and they are not all translated the same way. Nor are they interpreted the same way. So my first question to anyone who thinks our laws should be based on “the Bible,” is “Which Bible?” The second question would be, “Why that one and no other?” And, of course, my third and fourth questions would be, “Why would a secular nation want to do something that?” and “How is that any different than deciding to base our laws on the Q’uran?”

[NOTE: This post, like many of the ones I post at The Zoo, will be cross-posted at my blog, but I'll have more to say over there. Feel free to drop on by It should be finished by later this afternoon.]

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Conservative Christians, Catholicism in a secular society, mental illness in an overly religious society, or anything else you wish to discuss.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, September 10, 2014: To be, or not to be…

To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die- to sleep.
To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death-
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns- puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
(Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1)

I believe that if we live long enough, sooner or later we will come face to face with Hamlet’s question, “To be, or not to be” a choice, a precipice, which, once stepped off, cannot be undone. Some do choose to cross that line, to go to that “undiscover’d country”. We’re left behind, unwilling or unable to follow; we are suicide survivors. We have survived the death of someone close to us – a death we cannot totally understand, because is seems so senseless. Yet it was a choice, perhaps the ultimate leap of faith in the acceptance of a loving God.

We cry out in silent anguish. If only….if only….if only. A thousand ‘if onlys’ for every star in the heavens.

Today is the World Suicide Prevention Day. It is a day where we, the survivors of suicide, have been invited to light a candle at 8:00 p.m. local time, to remember a lost loved one, and for the survivors of suicide.

I will be lighting a candle for my late brother:

DAVE

“Your brother died today.”
The sky is blue.
The sun is shining.

“Your brother died today.”
The lie is through.
The runner’s hiding.

“Your brother died today.”
I’m crying too.
The gunner’s riding.

“Your brother died today.”
My brother too.
My brother too.

(this poem was written the day I got the call.)

And, from a different perspective:

Through doors now closed to mortal thought
Th’ eternal flame flicker’d low.
What hellish deeds thy hands hath wrought
And shadows in thy soul doth grow.

What anguish rent thy tortured breast,
Through the darkened halls of the kingdom,
Past chambers where the dying rest,
And portals of forgotten home?

From whence came the desperation
That drove thee on towards madness,
To end at last in consecration;
One final hope of gladness?

The course that cannot be undone:
Rest in peace, my little one.

As for me:

I have traveled the other side of the looking-glass,
Down the rabbit’s hole,
Past the March-hare’s madness,
And drank from the Devil’s bowl.

Below the depths of Wonderland,
The lonely darkness calls,
And beckons my soul to dwell therein,
In labyrinthical halls.

I long to return to the darkness,
The Never-Never Land of night;
To leave behind the looking-glass,
Forever banished from its sight.

But the chess game moves ever onward,
And I, a lowly pawn,
Have slain the Black Knight with a double-edged sword,
And condemned myself to the dawn.

OPEN THREAD

 

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, September 8th, 2014: Huh?

I guess I’m a glutton for punishment, but over the weekend I was looking at the TP thread about Dick Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s recent appearance (apparently as a religious/foreign policy expert?) on Sean Hannity’s RWNJ lovefest, er, ‘news program.’ Robertson was asked about the situation with ISIS, or, more correctly, ISIL. (The full transcript, if you can stomach it, is here.) Here’s the pertinent excerpt of Robertson’s response:

“In this case, you either have to convert them which I think would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them but I’m just saying either convert them or kill them, one or the other…I think converting them, maybe has that time come and gone… [I'd] much rather have a bible study with all of them and show them the error of their ways and point them to Jesus Christ…however if it’s a gun fight and that’s what they’re looking for, me personally I am prepared for either one.”

At the TP thread, after reading way too many comments (including this gem: “The next attack in U.S. the only people that will Truly stand against them are Christians”)   expressing the idea that ISIL is coming to a neighborhood near you soon – or they’re already here – and we’ll all be beheaded in our beds, so as a good christian nation we should just kill them all, this started:

Dennis Terry ·
“If the liberals had these murderous animals coming into their house, they would do just as Phil suggested, and so would I. We ARE our brother’s keeper, and we should stand in the gap for the innocent and protect them from the murderous bullies that vow to dominate the world. We should get rid of them while the numbers are still on the lower end of the spectrum.”

Me ·
“”If the liberals had these murderous animals coming into their house”

All of you hate-filled “christian” fearmongers keep using this type of argument. Do you believe what some of the R politicians are saying, that ISIL warriors are coming through our southern border disguised as refugee children? Get a grip, and realize that some of the warhawk macho ‘we’ve got the TRUE god so let’s kill all of those fanatics who are killing for THEIR “true god.”

I have no more fear of an ISIL hit squad invading my house than I do of your god striking me dead for not believing in him. I’ll sleep peacefully tonight while you all wet your beds.”

Dennis Terry ·
“Jane E. Schneider First of all, I will not be wetting my bed at night, I am NOT losing sleep over them or liberals, nor am I a “hate filled” Christian. Who the heck died and gave YOU the right to look down your self righteous nose at us when you know nothing about us? I might possibly be the best friend that you ever had. Why are you so angry? I am my brother’s keeper and I want ISIS stopped at any cost to protect the innocent people over there. Is that hating? I think that it is loving the innocent and being forced to destroy evil. I don’t WANT anyone to die, but with these animalistic beings, the only choice we have to stop them is by killing them, just like we did Hitler, or any other murderous personification of evil. If they would live and let live, we could all live together in peace, but these radicals will NOT do that- they have a WELL KNOWN agenda of world domination, so you must know very little about them. Do you NOT think that these people going around cutting people’s heads off and raping the women and cutting off the children’s heads and putting them on poles….do you NOT think that they are acting like cold blooded animals? Do you NOT believe in evil? Do these people NOT fit your definition of evil? Why are you so venomous toward Christians instead of ISIS? Doesn’t that strike you a bit odd? It does me. And YES, if you had a murderer or a rapist come into your house at night, you would either WISH that you had a gun to protect yourself, your children or other loved ones, OR you would call someone with a gun (police), and hope that they made it there in time. If not, you would be a fool…….but wait a minute…..you don’t believe in God, so, according to the Bible, you ARE a fool from the get-go, for a fool hath said in his heart that there is no God. You can sit there and marinade in your hatred for Christians and all other things spiritual instead of directing your anger toward the REAL evil, you have that right., but you are foolish for doing that.

Me ·
Dennis Terry, I went to Catholic school for 13 years, was raised by very devout parents who actually exemplified Christ’s teachings better than the majority of “Christian” leaders and “Christian” pundits on TV. The very idea of killing anyone for their religious beliefs is abhorrent and a complete contradiction to everything Christ said. That was how I was brought up.

Today’s U.S. religious leaders are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, and nothing that they are preaching these days has anything to do with actual morality and ethical behavior. And just because they no longer do their conquering crusades with swords or torture devices does not mean that they’re any less dangerous than any other religious fanatics. They have lost their own spirituality, their own morals, their own souls, for power and money and domination of others. The only real difference between U.S. religious fanatics and Middle-Eastern religious fanatics is their methods – both of which I reject.

If you and the other “Christian” commenters here think that your religious views are being attacked, too bad, we “godless liberals” have been under deliberate coordinated attack since at least the ’50s, when “In God We Trust” was added to our currency to distinguish the supposedly-god-fearing U.S. nation from those “godless commies.” So we’re pretty sick of it, because we DO have morals, and family values, and we work hard and pay taxes, and we’re patriotic, too.

[Please keep in mind that it's 2:00am here in NY, so I'm tired and jumping around a bit, since you decided to ask me "20 questions", not all of which I'm going to bother to respond to as they have nothing to do with the topic of the thread.]

I do believe in evil, but not in the satan/biblical way; I believe that some humans either lack or have a particular DNA section that makes them sociopaths. Obviously, people such as those in ISIL take that to a higher level, and I am not defending them in the least. I’m just sick and tired of the hypocrisy of so-called Christians who use their religion as a shield and a weapon, and cannot see that the more they advocate for violence, the less Christ-like they become. Not to mention the danger that they put the U.S. in, loudly calling for their own version of jihad, which does not go unnoticed around the world. But that aspect never seems to bother the growing number of xenophobic and insular U.S. citizens.

I don’t hate all Christians; like Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians.” If someone who claims to be Christian acts like the Christ that I learned about, I’m just fine with that, I applaud them. Just because I believe that most organized religions are a menace and hinder human progress, doesn’t mean that the particular set of moral values ascribed to Christ is dangerous, it’s the exact opposite. But these days I guess Christ isn’t described as the “Prince of Peace” anymore, right?

You can sit their with your own shield and weapon of your “Christianity” telling me that I’m the high and mighty one looking down my nose at you, but you’re the one marinating in your own assholier-than-thou [HT Zooey] stew telling me that I’m the fool “from the get-go” for not believing in your god and your holy book. You mind your own soul, and I’ll mind mine, thankyouverymuch. Goodnight.”

~ later, not as a reply ~

Dennis Terry ·
Look, I was minding my own business and from out of nowhere, you started attacking me and my God and Christianity, and making very goofy accusations which you had NO clue about. And THEN, you made the stupid statement of “’we’ve got the TRUE god so let’s kill all of those fanatics who are killing for THEIR “true god.” “ What? Where did that come from? It has NOTHING to do with Who I follow or what god THEY follow- ISIS needs to be stopped, NOT because they are Muslim, but because they are vile, evil , murderous thugs, so why did you say something that bizarre to start with, and why did you attack me instead of them? I haven’t murdered anyone or cut off anyone’s head!

Then you said, “And just because they no longer do their conquering crusades with swords or torture devices does not mean that they’re any less dangerous than any other religious fanatics.” Again, a stupid statement- Protestants never engaged in the Crusades, that was strictly a CATHOLIC doings, and what dangers do Christians have in store? Post the 10 Commandments in our schools to teach them moral values to protect society and to keep them from a life of crime? Or teach abstinence instead of having babies out of wedlock? Or lead some prison inmates to the Lord so that they stop their lives of crime, and become law abiding citizens? Or give Hope to the Hopeless? OMGosh! Call the National Guard! What happened to you to make you so angry about religion, Christianity in particular?

Then you said- “So we’re pretty sick of it (being attacked), because we DO have morals, and family values, and we work hard and pay taxes, and we’re patriotic, too.” But you are an atheist, so why do you have morals? Aren’t you a biological accident from some primordial slime? Aren’t morals God’s values? They aren’t biological in nature. The Bible talks about people like you, having a FORM of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof. This is going to sound mean, but I don’t intend for it to. I am GLAD that you had some wonderful parents that taught you morals, and that you are honoring them for that, but you need to get your priorities straight about what you are going to believe. If you are an atheist, act like an atheist and give up EVERYTHING pertaining to God, including morals and values.

Why are you liberal atheists “under attack”? Because a small, handful of atheists go out of their way to take Prayer and Bible out of school and our sporting events and our graduation ceremonies and are trying to remove ALL aspects of Christianity from society, even though the VAST MAJORITY do NOT want them removed. We KNOW that Christianity teaches those same morals that you are so proud of having, taught to you BY CHRISTIAN parents, and we know that THAT is WHERE your parents got them from to teach to you in the first place! Can’t you see the hypocrisy there? You have morals and values, that YOU ARE PROUD OF, TAUGHT TO YOU BY CHRISTIAN parents, yet you want to prevent other people from being taught those same vales and morals that you seem to hold so dear! The Bible, once again talks about atheists who in the Last Days will call GOOD-EVIL, and will call EVIL-GOOD.

You say that you believe in Evil, but NOT in a Biblical way, but evil “IS” a moral judgment FROM God. From an atheistic, evolutionary point of view, we are animals, and animals do whatever they do, there is NO right or wrong, good or evil- THOSE ARE moral judgments, straight from a Moral God. The atheistic, evolutionary view is, Survival of the fittest, kill or be killed- THESE are natural events and actions WITHOUT God, without Morals. THAT is why atheistic regimes and dictators murder multiple-millions of their people, their subjects, to make examples out of them to keep the rest in line to maintain their death grip on their selfish, atheistic power.

And then you sink to your atheistic true colors by calling me, “assholier-than-thou “ comment. I would NEVER say that to you, and I believe that your atheism is overshadowing your “moral” upbringing.

I don’t understand the double mindedness, and double standards of atheism, or why you work so hard to fight against something that you claim to NOT believe in. There are people who believe in unicorns- I DON’T believe in unicorns or UFO’s so why in the world would I waste my time fighting them for their beliefs? Something to consider- WHAT IF, the Bible “IS” TRUE, and where the Bible says, If God is NOT your Father, then you are of your father, Satan, what if- your hatred toward Christianity and all things pertaining to God is actually a SPIRITUAL matter, and you atheists are pawns, being used by Satan and not realizing it? That’s something to consider.”

Adm Andrew J. Walker ·
“Good arguments my friend. An atheist wouldn’t actually have the time to debate a religious article because they would see it as a waste of time (a total rejection of all forms of theology or anyone who practices them.) It sounds like this guy is looking for justification for deviating from what he was taught growing up by attacking others. The goal is to see if his arguments stand, so that he can feel better about his decision to reject what he or she learned at an early age.

So basically the comments on the message board are his or her way of dealing with repressed feelings of anxiety about the afterlife. Better not to let someone drag you into a circular debate that at its root isn’t actually about religion, or the lack-there-of, at all.

What I am really saying is that there are some mommy/daddy issues here.”

Dennis Terry ·
“Adm Andrew J. Walker I believe that is very perceptive of you. But atheists do this all the time, and the person I was talking to, there is a double mindedness that she is proud of, yet hates and wants to destroy, all at the same time, so something else is brewing underneath the surface it seems. I truly believe that it is spiritual warfare, and these people, as I said, are being used as pawns, and have no idea of what is REALLY going on. She said things about the Catholic church which I wonder is the root of her hatred, and if so, I can understand it, as the CC has ALWAYS had many, multiple conflicts with the Bible, and a history of unBiblical, unhealthy, spiritual issues. Thanks for the comment my friend!”

Becky Marsland-Hill ·
“Wow, that is spot on Dennis……I am sorry someone attacked you. But those are truly words of wisdom you replied back”

Dennis Terry ·
“Becky Marsland-Hill Thanks Becky. I’m not saying that I am perfect or that I am wise in anyway, but I “DO” know God and He wants us to take a stand against evil and to help others in need. God Himself waged wars against evil doers to protect the world, and His people. He also had a lot to say about those who would reject Him and His incredible sacrifice to purchase our Salvation. This person was spewing hatred toward the Christianity for the Crusades, and that was bogus. It was NOT Christianity- it was the leadership of the CATHOLIC church, of which she, herself was raised! The leadership of the CC was NOT acting as agents of Christianity- they were engaged in unGodly activities such as murdering Christians, and burning the Christians and anyone else who DARED to disagree with them at the stake. They went around in the Crusades and other areas DOING EXACTLY OPPOSITE OF WHAT JESUS TAUGHT! They were doing exactly what atheists have always done- silence those who disagree with you, however you have to do it, and isn’t smart enough to see that she is hating Christianity for what the atheists were doing, under the guise OF RELIGION! Anyway, I feel so sorry for people like her and wish her well”

Wow – just wow.  As badmoodman commented on this last week, “Irony facepalms itself, then throws up its hands in unconditional surrender.”  Perfect, bmm.
This is our daily open thread, please talk about anything you want to.  I’ll just be over here banging my head against the wall.

Sunday Roast: Full Circle?

Stephen Fry discusses the power of language in our seeming quest to destroy “the other.”

I had a facebook “friend” who would respond to some of my posts in the most vile manner, and I asked her why she was being so vicious and aggressive.  She said she just didn’t think Liberals were moral people, so she didn’t really care about their [my] feelings.  WOW.

Like he says, once you dehumanize someone else, it’s possible to do just about anything to them — and it’s absolutely true.

This is our daily open thread — Be careful out there, people.

 

 

 

The Watering Hole, Saturday, September 6, 2014: This Week In Paranoia: Kill Whitey, Big Sodomy, and A Criminal Organization By Any Other Name

Courtesy of our good friends at Right Wing Watch, we learned of several conspiracy theories floating around in the toilets known as the minds of right wing lunatics, some of whom you’ve heard of before. We’ve got the president planning to kill all the white people so he can declare martial law (which would seem silly since he could declare martial law first and save the taxpayers’ money on bullets.) We’ve got citizen border patrols sneaking upon and nearly apprehending scientists studying bats. We’ve got Teh Gays coming for your kids, as always. (Why is it always the kids Teh Gays want? Why aren’t they after your husbands and boyfriends, which is far more likely?) We’ve got the President secretly flying from Hawaii back to Washington to attend Christmas services at a mosque, then back to his family in Hawaii again without anybody noticing. And we’ve got a right wing cacophony of cries of secret messages and support for terrorists because the President chose to use a more accurate acronym for the bad guys. Nothing more than that. He just decided to use an ‘L’ instead of an ‘S’, and now you and I are going to die.

Professional Misanthrope Michael “Savage” Weiner wants you to buy his book (which I highly advise against) so you’ll understand Continue reading

The Watering Hole; Thursday September 4 2014; The AFM vs WTP

A week ago on August 25, the progressive magazine The Nation published a recording it had obtained of Mitch McConnell’s session at the June 2014 “conference of conservative lawmakers, donors and strategists”; the conference was hosted by the Koch Brothers and, apparently, numerous other millionaires and billionaires.  As The Nation article notes,

Charles and David Koch wrapped up their annual summer seminar on June 16 in Dana Point, California, at the St. Regis Monarch Bay resort—a fitting location for two men whose combined net worth is more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The highly secretive mega-donor conference, called “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society,” featured a who’s who of Republican political elites. According to conference documents obtained through a source who was in attendance, Representatives Tom Cotton (AR), Cory Gardner (CO) and Jim Jordan (OH) were present, as were Senators Mitch McConnell (KY) and Marco Rubio (FL). Cotton, Gardner and McConnell are all running for the Senate this year; Jordan for re-election in the House. Rubio is widely considered a major contender for a 2016 presidential run. According to the documents, the conference attendees discussed strategy on campaign finance, climate change, healthcare, higher education and opportunities for taking control of the Senate.

According to another source who also attended the conference, 300 individuals—worth at least a billion each—were present. This source said that the explicit goal was to raise $500 million to take the Senate in the 2014 midterms and another $500 million “to make sure Hillary Clinton is never president.” . . .

Here’s a link to the full transcript of McConnell’s time on the stage, and it’s well worth a read by anyone interested in seeing just how far into the Oligarchic/Fascist tank the GOP has fallen. It includes the entire of McConnell’s comments (minus the inaudibles), along with a brief Q and A at the end which includes a comment by a fellow named David Koch. In the final analysis it presents, at least to my admittedly Socialistic mindset, graphic evidence that the efforts of the AFM (the American Fascist Movement consisting of billionaire-millionaire-oligarchs in consort with their purchased GOP-Republican-Tea-Party-lackeys) is effectively at war with WTP (We The People, including college students, low wage workers, unionized workers, the unemployed, teachers, Public Education as a whole, scientists, environmentalists, women, retirees, the poor, the infirm, the middle class, non-white ethnic and racial minorities . . . the list is endless and includes all but those who are members of the AFM). All that counts to the AFM is wealth and the power it can purchase — the power to destroy without concern anything and everything they might see as standing in their way.

After dismissing everything the government does that does NOT meet with favor amongst the oligarch hosts, McConnell ends his presentation with these words:

“If we want to get the country going again, we need to quit doing what we’ve been doing. Was it Einstein that said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? You know, quit the borrowing, the spending, the taxing, and the over regulation. If we would all develop an entrepreneurial approach, we’d be able to lift this country up and send us in a new direction, just like all of you have done.”

Not bad, but another voice once summed up that “new direction” far more succinctly:

“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.” ~Benito Mussolini

OPEN THREAD