The Watering Hole; Thursday June 30 2016; Gun Control? Underway!

I’ve never been shy concerning my attitudes toward the Second Amendment and the consequences of its misinterpretations by the Supreme Court; I’ve also never shied away from countering ANY argument in favor of universal gun ownership/possession. Guns have one purpose and one purpose only: to kill. Unfortunately for critters everywhere — humans especially — said purpose is massively overused, to the detriment of ‘we the critters,’ each and all. Similarly, the concept of rationality, of ‘control’ of the issue, is typically and constantly dismissed/disallowed because of the irrationality implicit in each and all of the arguments used to support the ‘universal gun ownership’ premise.

Bottom line: regardless of today’s conservative irrationality, guns are useful only to those who are interested in killing, and useless to those who are not. It remains, sadly, an essentially impossible task to do the logical thing and rid ourselves of the Second Amendment, in spite of the fact that it was written by James Madison solely to mollify slave owners concerned about the clause in the 1787 Constitution that assigned the use of militias to the federal government and NOT to the several states. Madison, himself a slave owner in Virginia, understood that militias were often used by Slave States to put down slave insurrections, a process seemingly disallowed by the new Constitution. Therefore the Second Amendment and its primary “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” clause was added in the Bill of Rights to essentially allow state militias to be continuously used for local purposes, and in the process re-open the door for Slave State ratification of the new Constitution.

In the two-plus centuries since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, the Supreme Court has ruled on numerous occasions regarding the breadth of meaning implicit in Madison’s words, i.e. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.  In 1876, for example, in United States v. Cruikshank, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that “The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution.” Then in 1939, United States v. Miller, SCOTUS ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types that didn’t have a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms. Finally, in the 2016 decision Caetano v. Massachusetts, the Court reiterated its earlier rulings that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding” and that its protection is not limited to “only those weapons useful in warfare.”

It took the Supreme Court 200-plus years, but as of today its rulings have effectively erased and rewritten the meanings implicit in the original Second Amendment, disregarding any and all references to “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” and concentrating instead only on the words “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” Stated another way, the new bottom line ignores the Second Amendment’s original purpose — to allow Slave States to use armed militias to put down slave uprisings — and has instead become what’s seen as a guaranteed  Constitutional right, one that allows each and every citizen to own and carry as many of their own preferred instruments, each designed for the sole purpose of killing the life form at which it’s aimed, as they might care to own.

And these days, rest assured that ANY attempt by ANY state or by the Federal government to control in ANY way the guns available for sale to the general public will be met with screams from every quarter — save for, of course, the tiny corner still owned by sanity.

But then, suddenly, this very day, a breath of freshness, a beam of light piercing the imposed gun-culture darkness:

Hawaii just put gun owners on an FBI database — and the NRA is freaking out

Hawaii’s governor signed a bill making it the first U.S. state to place its residents who own firearms in a federal criminal record database and monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country, his office said.

The move by gun control proponents in the liberal state represents an effort to institute some limits on firearms in the face of a bitter national debate over guns that this week saw Democratic lawmakers stage a sit-in at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hawaii Governor David Ige, a Democrat, on Thursday signed into law a bill to have police in the state enroll people into an FBI criminal monitoring service after they register their firearms as already required, his office said in a statement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation database called “Rap Back” will allow Hawaii police to be notified when a firearm owner from the state is arrested anywhere in the United States.

Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to place firearm owners on the FBI’s Rap Back, which until now was used to monitor criminal activities by individuals under investigation or people in positions of trust such as school teachers and daycare workers

[. . .]

Ige’s office said he also signed into law two other firearms bills. One makes convictions for stalking and sexual assault among the criminal offenses disqualifying a person from gun ownership. The other requires firearm owners to surrender their weapons if diagnosed with a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder.

Three cheers for Hawaii, for the Kingdom of Atooi! FINALLY!! A state with enough brass to look at the gun lobby and laugh, smile and wink before taking some reasonable and easily imposed steps to finally help curb this nation’s murderous plague of gun insanity!

Yeah, I know, the measures Hawaii has adopted are minimal within the concept of honest and effective gun control, but at this point in time, the old line “any port in a storm” stands tall. Plus, of course, nothing can be more satisfying than a gun control act/law that causes the NRA to freak out! The more of those, the merrier.

As  for me, if ONLY I could write a gun control law (short of repeal of the Second Amendment), it would be a short one, word-wise. I don’t, in fact, think it would need to be verbose at all, and would require no big words. Let’s see, how about this: “Each and every time a person, any person, dies from gunshot, the gun manufacturing industry shall pay a fine of one million dollars.” If the current American death rate by gunfire remains constant — 33,000 per year, approximately — the cost to the gun industry would be a mere $33,000,000,000 (33 billion) per year. The gun industry would clearly have to raise their prices on both guns and bullets appropriately to cover their new expense, likely to levels inaccessible to all but a few. Legally, however, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” would not “be infringed.” There might even be, in fact, one or two “people” who could still afford to buy not only a gun, but also the ammo to make it functional as a killing machine! Also, of course, the value/price of existing guns — the second hand market — would soar to the point where all current gun owners would be millionaires (who could no longer afford to buy bullets. but what the hell).

What could go wrong?

I think I’ll write my Congressman and demand action! He’s a wingnut, but what the hey, gotta start someplace, right? Right! Follow in the footsteps of Hawaii, of Atooi! Who needs guns?

Wailua Sunrise, Kauai

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hawaii-Atooi —  Who needs guns in Paradise anyway?!!

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, June 29, 2016

Lost Rites:

Pharmacists lost the “right” to impose their religious beliefs on their customers.

People convicted of domestic violence lost the “right” to own guns.

The Great State of Texas lost the “right” to put women through undue burdens to get an abortion.

And Brits lost the “right” to call Americans stupid.

Lost Lefts:

The Democratic Party has moved to the right of Reagan.

Elizabeth Warren, the bane of Wall Street, endorsed Hillary Clinton, the Queen of Wall Street.

Bernie Sanders has virtually disappeared from internet memes.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, June 27th, 2016: “You Keep Using That Word…”

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, with the word in question being “Liberal” instead of “Inconceivable!” (you have to read “Inconceivable!” in Wallace Shawn’s voice, of course): “You [conservatives] keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The premise of the following three Christian Post articles is a discussion of recent books about the various authors’ [mistaken] ideas regarding liberals. I started out trying to keep this somewhat brief, but in the interests of keeping the salient points in context, it took on a life of its own. I’ll just share a excerpt of each.

In the earliest of the three articles, “Is Free Speech Just for Liberals?” CP guest contributor Susan Stamper Brown sez:

In the biography, “Churchill: A Life,” author Martin Gilbert writes how Winston Churchill loudly voiced his grave concerns about the apathy shared by those seemingly impervious to the malevolent National Socialist Movement’s intention to steam through Europe like volcanic lava, destroying everything in its way, including free speech.
In direct response, Hitler began warning Germans about the “dangers of free speech” and said, “If Mr. Churchill had less to do with traitors … he would see how mad his talk is …”

History revealed whose talk was really mad.

Truth is, Churchill’s words touched a nerve the annoying way truth always does. Hitler was incapable of engaging in intelligent debate, so he changed the subject, lied, and attacked Churchill’s character. Hitler knew his movement couldn’t stand on its own for what it really was, so the only alternative was to silence opposing views.

Throughout Germany books were banned and ceremoniously cast into blazing bonfires intended to squash divergence of thought and stifle man’s God-instilled unquenchable thirst for truth.

Historical accountings provide a glimpse into the warped psyche of those behind a movement that wrongheadedly believed they could build something worthwhile by shutting down debate, then dividing a nation by race and ethnicity.

They coldly chose their target, the Jewish race, and purged some of the greatest minds in history from all levels of teaching. Schools and universities suffered.

Before the movement decided to burn bodies as well as books, Historyplace.com cites that “Jewish instructors and anyone deemed politically suspect regardless of their proven teaching abilities or achievements including 20 past (and future) Nobel Prize winners” were removed from their professions, among them Albert Einstein.

I would’ve been one of those “purged professionals,” based on what I’ve heard lately from some disgruntled left-leaning readers. Because of my personal opinion about the president, one reader called me “a racist,” a “religious bigot,” and “a political terrorist.” While calling me a “political terrorist” is noteworthy at least, most telling is this poor man’s statement that my column, as offensive as it was to him, “was permitted” in his newspaper.

Apparently, free speech is just for leftists.

After that, the author continued to talk more about herself, so I tuned her out. I probably should have done so when she first mentioned Hitler, but her description of Hitler’s reaction, which I highlighted above, sounded so much like Trump that I had to share it with you.

In the next article, “If Intolerant Liberals Succeed, ‘Conservatives Should Be Very Afraid,’ Expert Says”, by CP’s Napp Nazworth, the breaking point came after this bullshit:

Conservatives would have much to fear if intolerant liberals succeed in their goal of transforming America, says Kim R. Holmes, author of “The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left.”
The illiberal, or intolerant, Left has come to define liberalism in the United States today, Holmes told The Christian Post, and if these liberals gain control of the Supreme Court and other levers of government, conservatives will be punished for their views.

Then these portions of the interview with the author:

CP: Why did you want to write this book?
Holmes: Like a lot of people I saw how closed-minded and intolerant progressivism had become. Whether it was speech codes or “safe spaces” on campuses, or attorneys general issuing subpoenas against so-called climate change “deniers,” abuses in the name of progressivism were getting worse.

I wanted to understand why. I wanted to tell the story of how a liberalism that had once accepted freedom of speech and dissent had become its opposite — a close-minded ideology intent on denying people their freedoms and their constitutionally protected rights.

CP: Liberalism was once defined by tolerance and open-mindedness, but liberals have become increasingly intolerant and closed-minded. We are beginning to see this phrase “illiberal liberal” more often, which gets confusing. How are we to make sense of what liberal means today?

Holmes: A classic liberal is someone who believes in open inquiry, freedom of expression and a competition of ideas. Its founders were people like John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville. Among its most important ideas are freedom of conscience and speech; individual (as opposed to group) rights; and checks and balances in government.

Although progressives are sometimes referred to as “liberals,” they are not classic liberals in this sense. They are philosophically more akin to socialists or social democrats. Classic liberalism as defined here is actually closer to the views of American conservatives and libertarians than to progressives and leftists.

The term “illiberalism” is the opposite of this classic style of liberalism; it represents a political mindset that is closed-minded, intolerant and authoritarian. Although illiberalism can be historically found on the right (fascism) and the left (communism), it is today not commonly associated with American progressives. Nevertheless, it should be.

Progressives are becoming increasingly illiberal not only in their mindset but in the authoritarian methods they use to impose their views on others.

~~ and ~~

CP: Last week, President Barack Obama sent a letter to all public schools threatening to withhold federal funds if they don’t change their bathroom and locker room policies to allow use based upon gender identity rather than biological sex. Does the Left’s new intolerance help us understand Obama’s actions?

Holmes: Yes. Obama comes out of this illiberal strain of the left.

Last, this misleadingly-named piece of utter drivel written by CP’s Brandon Showalter, “Liberals Use Gov’t Power, Intimidation, to Silence Christians, Author Says.” It doesn’t take long to realize that by “Christians”, both the author of the article and the author of the book actually mean “conservatives”, and the complaint is about the fight against “Citizens United”:

WASHINGTON – Conservatives and Christians are being intimidated by the Left and an increasingly abusive government, says Kimberly Strassel, author of The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Waging War of Free Speech.
In a Thursday presentation at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Strassel told The Christian Post that overt hostility and harassment of people of faith “is clearly a big issue.”

In light of the 2013 IRS scandal where it was discovered that conservative and Christian groups were unfairly targeted, CP asked Strassel how many people she interviewed had experienced an overt assault on their faith.

While “the people that I talked to generally felt as though all their views were under attack,” Strassel said, “they certainly felt as though one aspect of them, was in fact their faith.”

“We are seeing this a lot, obviously, in the war on faith out there that we have had with the battles over Obamacare and contraception,” she added.

In her book Strassel examines the Left’s penchant, particularly in the Obama years, for bullying their opponents and their use of government agencies to silence citizens from participating in the political process.

Although she touched on several facets of the Left’s intimidation game in her presentation, the core issue she covered was the right of Americans to form associations and participate in representative government. This the Left cannot abide when conservatives do it successfully, she argued.

“The reality is that money is a proxy for speech,” Strassel contended, and Americans have always formed groups to get their message out. To the incredulity of the Left, she argued we we need more money, not less, in politics. More money means more speech. More free speech yields a more vigorous debate and a healthier democracy.

Let me repeat those last two lines: More money means more speech. More free speech yields a more vigorous debate and a healthier democracy.”  What happened to the “FREE” part of “FREE SPEECH”?

Money CANNOT equal speech – the poorest man can still speak and vote – well, vote ONCE; on the other hand, the richest man can buy as many votes as he wants.  The whole argument of Citizens United was and is specious, and the Supremes fucked us over real good when they decided on that piece of shit.

Here’s a pretty picture to give your mind a break.
GLORY10

This is our daily Open Thread – have at it!

I read the news today, oh boy.

I read the news today, oh boy.

Another law abiding citizen shot and killed two people. She was a staunch supporter of gun ownership so she could protect herself and her daughters.

She shot and killed two people – her daughters. Apparently during a family argument.

She was a good-guy with a gun, until the moment she wasn’t.

She was then shot and killed by the police.

Another former law abiding citizen with a gun, shot and killed by the police.

She was a staunch supporter of gun ownership.

I’m sorry, NRA, but guns DO kill people. That’s what they’re designed to do. They’re designed to be the most lethal weapons available to the common citizen.

It has been written, “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” The same is true of gun ownership.

Because we fear – bad guys breaking into our houses – government enslavement – monsters under our beds – no tragedy is horrific enough to move us to give up the right to possess guns. Mass murders – mall shoppers – movie goers – kindergartners – nightclubs – occurr so often they’re no longer shocking. Just sad.

Accepted as inevitable, it is the price of fear.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 25, 2016: Texit Is No Brexit

Great Britain stunned the world when a referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union resulted in the Leave forces winning. The EU’s reaction was to say, “Fine, then let’s get it over with as quickly as possible,” with the word “quickly” meaning “following a two-year negotiation”. This has spurred Danial Miller, of a group called the Texas Nationalist Movement, to push their own bid to secede from the Union, which they are cleverly (not really) dubbing “Texit.” Here’s the problem with it: It won’t mean anything. Unilateral attempts to secede from the Union are unconstitutional, according to a SCOTUS decision handed down in 1869. In it, the Court said a state cannot unilaterally secede. They must either achieve their goal through revolution (like the Civil War) or with the consent of Congress (which won’t ever happen.) I can think of several reasons why Texit is a bad idea, but that’s only because unlike the people in favor of this movement, I can think.

There are dozens of military bases in TX belonging to the federal government. Should Texans choose to secede through revolution, those bases would remain in “enemy hands.” And, no, a bunch of guys in pickup trucks are not going to storm the base and take it over. I know. I’ve seen one of those bases. I spent six weeks in one. They have aircraft that can beat anything the rebels might put up. As one State Republican Executive Committee member said during a discussion of secession (from a link later below), “I’m not sending my grandson out with a 12-gauge shotgun to take on the 82nd Airborne.” And the federal forces fighting back wouldn’t just come from Texas. We have military forces in every state surrounding Texas. The rebellion would be crushed in months, if not weeks. Everything in Texas might be bigger, but not necessarily the ability to think ahead.

Like many Conservative states (and, yes, a few Liberal ones, too), Texas gets more back from the federal government than it puts in. (Miller is totally wrong on this point.) If they secede, they’ll lose all those federal dollars, many of which go to paying the salaries of Texans. Do you really think the Department of Defense is going to hire someone from a foreign country, hostile to the US, to work in any of its other bases in the rest of the country? That’s billions of dollars taken out of circulation in the Texas economy. Less money around means less money being spent, which means businesses start failing and more and more people are out of work. And now they won’t get their earned Unemployment Benefits, despite paying into the system for years. Because they’re foreigners now. Given Conservative hostility to dependence on government, I don’t see the Neutered Republic of Texas (or whatever they’ll officially name themselves) setting up a welfare-type program to help its less fortunate citizens. That’s one of the many reasons they wanted to secede in the first place. Which, again, is ironic since they depend so much on the help of their fellow Americans.

Speaking of which, if they somehow successfully secede they’ll no longer be able to call themselves our fellow Americans. Because they’ll no longer be Americans. And if they’re anything like the Texans of 1861 I’d be fine with letting them ago. The first time Texas seceded it was over White Supremacy and the defense of the Institution of Slavery, points clearly spelled out in their Declaration of Secession. When their citizens voted on the ordinance to ratify their secession, it passed by a vote of 46,153 to 14,747. (76% to 24%) Today those percentages would likely be reversed, so even having a Texit vote would be a colossal waste of taxpaying Texans’ money.

Here is Miller explaining how Texit and Brexit are alike, but not exactly alike.

Besides being wrong about Texas being a a Giver state rather than the Taker state it actually is, Miller was confused about at least a couple of other things. In the beginning of this video, Miller talks about the Orlando Pulse massacre. But he was still pushing the idea that this mass shooting had any real connection to ISIS. Though this video was made about two days after the massacre, the only connection to ISIS was the shooter’s telling 911 that he was doing it for them, even though ISIS never told him to do anything. We now know the killer was known to frequent that same nightclub, and known to have had sex with men in the past. IMHO, it was done either out of self-loathing or because he had a failed relationship with another man. But ISIS had nothing to do with it, and would not have approved of a gay man fighting on their behalf. Later in the video, Miller invoked Sam Houston in his talk about whether or not the people should have a vote on independence. Houston opposed the convention to decide secession in 1861 and stayed silent throughout. And when they overwhelmingly voted yes, he told them they were not being reasonable. I’m sure he would say the same thing today. BTW, when Houston refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America, they replaced him as governor.

Texit is not a good idea, and just because a small percentage of Texans think it is does not justify pursuing it further. But it’s not a good idea because it has no power to it, and would mean nothing if Congress does not approve. I wish they would, but they won’t. Sure I think Texas is an embarrassment to the nation, but if they’re going to leave the union, let it be done peacefully and totally. We’ll take our military equipment and other federal property with us and blow up what we leave behind. We’ll erect a huge border wall around Texas (but not Mexico) to make sure their more radical citizens stay in their own country. And let’s make sure we never let them in the union again. To be fair, citizens of the United States residing in Texas now can remain citizens of the United States, but cannot have dual citizenship and continue to live in Texas. One or the other. We’ll give you time to find a place to live here, and you can go back to work in Texas if they permit Americans to do so. But if you decide to live in Texas, you’ll be treated as an expatriate, without the rights and protections of our Constitution. (If you’re lucky, the new Texas will grant you the same Constitutional rights. If you’re unlucky, they’ll also bring back Slavery.) Oh, and you’ll need a visa to enter the US. Welcome to America. We hope you enjoy your visit here. Check your weapons at the door.

This is our daily open thread.

Comic Relief – Scots insult Trump -NSFW

Just when I thought I’d never laugh again Trump posted this on twitter:

And the Scots managed to rise to the occasion. I have rarely seen such a collection of choice swearwords.

Here are my favourites:

“Sentient enema” wasn’t all that bad either. I stopped counting easy ones like “fuckwad”, “fuck-knuckle” or “twat-stick”. I rather liked “nylon-haired shit stain”.

The following was rather ingenious, too:

For a favourite I have this classic (with audio in the timeline):

Here’s the audio (click the pic.twitter link):

I second those thoughts and want to add that I am looking forward to welcoming Scotland in the EU.

 

The Watering Hole; Friday June 24 2016; Herr Führer . . . err . . . Hair Furor!

Today I’ll be brief.

For at least a year, one thing has been nagging at me: Donald Trump’s Hair. Every time I see him on the telly, two things happen: (a) I don’t listen to what he has to say (which is nothing anyway), and (b) I wonder about his hair. Who the hell combs it every morning? Not him, insufficient brain power.  And who trims it? Where did he get it? How many staff does it take to make him look roughly the same every day? If he were to become POTUS, how much would the national debt increase because of his hair’s upkeep expense?

So many questions, so few answers. We need to take the analytical approach.

So. Here goes nothin’ (so to speak). Thanks to Google, I managed to snag several Trump Hairdo Photos that show his daily ‘do’ from both sides. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one from the back, so exactly how the end result is knit together we’ll still have to guess.

First, the right side. Note hair up top is combed forward from somewhere in back while hair on the side is combed backward to somewhere in the back. Overlap not visible.

Next, the view from his left side. Note that some hair is apparently combed up, over, and then to the back, but remains underneath the stuff from the back that’s combed forward. Meanwhile, the side below the “part” is combed down and to the back, presumably to cover and mask the other stuff from the back that’s combed forward. Or something like that.

Trump Hair Drumpf 2

Here’s a more detailed look at the left side where one can see a bit of the hair above the “part” that’s combed to the back, presumably to cover the stuff from the back that’s combed forward (see figure 1, above), while some is also combed under the stuff from the back that’s combed forward. Also, note that the hair below the “part” is combed backwards to eventually merge with everything else back there.

Trump Hair Drumpf

Finally, a photo of a younger Donald, taken after he went bald but before the hair transplants were installed (the ones that Ivana said must have been painful enough to affect his behavior). Note that what’s growing on the left side is long, although clearly not long enough for a left to right and back comb over. Makes me think the transplants were strategically placed to aid and abet the 2 or 3 comb overs and comb forwards that seem to be in place today.

So there you have it: my own photographic analysis of —

HAIR FUROR!!!

OPEN THREAD

Brexit – Live

 

In the video above you find a compelling explanation what Brexit is about really. Having watched some of the debates and quite a bit of coverage on BBC, ITV and a couple more news sites, I can fully agree with him. It is about immigration. And nationalism and then some immigration.

I’ll watch some of the BBC voting night coverage and will give you the first couple of developments live as they unfold. Then I will probably collapse, because I am not as young as I used to be when I joined you all for a night of music, booze and cigarettes on Music Night.

Whatever is the result tomorrow morning, I’ll let you know.

Fair warning: If they vote “Leave”, I will be seriously pissed off, because I still haven’t given up on the hope to spend my retirement in the North of England. I would have to go to Scotland instead, because the Scots will then leave the UK and reenter the EU.

Here’s a heat map of how Britons stand on the issue:

cegrab-20160315-113854-216-1-736x414

source: http://news.sky.com/story/1659864/skys-brexit-map-reveals-most-pro-leave-areas

So let’s get started….and hope for the best.

The Watering Hole; Thursday June 23 2016; Radical (American) Christian Extremism/Radicalism

It’s common knowledge these days that the words “radical Islamic extremism/terrorism” are spoken daily by Republicans even as more rational voices such as President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and most if not all Democrats, choose to not use those words on the inarguable basis that it is clearly WRONG to essentially castigate an entire religion — some 1.6 billion people, worldwide — when the perpetrators of ‘extremism’ and ‘terrorism’ are nothing but radical spinoffs: the few thousands who embrace the concept of radical extremism/terrorism.

Curiously, however, those same domestic voices that constantly (and sometimes horrifically) condemn the voices of all who disagree with them will invariably refuse to call out our (their?) own ‘Radical American _____ Extremists/terrorists”– those clusters of American citizens which have long proven themselves equally capable of spreading hate, fear, and even wanton mass murder. Why is that? Death by AR-15 gunfire is the same no matter who pulls the trigger, is it not? And those who use hate and fear to describe a particular entity — race, religion, national origin, LGBT, gender, abortion providers, to name but a few — seem to NEVER stoop to calling perpetrators “radical,” or “extremists,” or even, in the aftermath of mass murder, “terrorists.” Why is that?

A closer look at events of just the last few days brings forth several examples of what is, one might think,  clearly definable as Radical American Christian Extremism (presented sans unnecessary comment):

Family Research Council Tries To Stop Bill Helping Vets Access Fertility Services

The Family Research Council, which routinely maligns gay military service members, is now attacking a bill to make it easier for veterans to access fertility services if they have been wounded in combat, claiming that it undermines “pro-life” principles.

Falwell: ‘Every Terrorist In The World Will Crawl Under A Rock’ When Trump Becomes President

Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. hailed Donald Trump as a “bold and fearless leader” ready to fight America’s enemies and bad trade partners.

Falwell, speaking at the Religious Right meeting with the presumptive GOP nominee, said that just as Ronald Reagan freed the hostages in Iran upon taking office (he didn’t), Trump will similarly scare terrorism out of existence: “In my opinion, the day after Trump becomes president, every terrorist in the world will crawl under a rock in similar fashion.”

Donald Trump Taps Michele Bachmann, James Dobson & Other Far-Right Leaders For Advisory Board

[Trump said] “We can’t be politically correct and say we pray for all of our leaders because all of your leaders are selling Christianity down the tubes, selling the evangelicals down the tubes, and it’s a very, very bad thing that’s happening.”

Pat Robertson: God Will Punish Us For Satanic Abortion Rights

[Pat] Robertson said that “we have to look at the spiritual roots” of abortion rights, blaming the right to abortion on Satan: “The enemy of our soul is Satan and he hates people, he hates human beings, and the idea is if humans can kill other humans, the devil wants to do everything to help it.”

Bryan Fischer: Democratic Gun Control Efforts Are ‘Exactly How Satan Works’

[Bryan] Fischer said that Democrats are lying when they claim that they are trying to protect Americans because what they really want to do is allow government bureaucrats to take away constitutional rights and destroy the Second Amendment.

“That’s exactly how Satan works,” Fischer said. “That’s how he deceives us. He never tells us, ‘Look, if you do this thing I’m dangling in front of you, it’ll destroy you.’ He never says that because he knows we wouldn’t go for it.”

“And that’s what the left is trying to do with this ‘no fly, no buy’ thing,” he said. “It’s just Satan — I’m not accusing them of being Satan, but this is how Satan works; [he] tries to get us to take a bite out of the apple without realizing the consequences of what we’re doing.”

Next, a pair of examples that seem to demonstrate an evolving Radical American  Christian Terrorism (again sans comment):

Oklahoma Lawmaker Shares Article Arguing Islam Isn’t A Religion, Calls For ‘Final Solution’

On Sunday, Oklahoma State Rep. Pat Ownbey re-published an article to his Facebook page entitled “Radical Islam – The Final Solution.” The article was originally published on the personal blog of Paul R. Hollrah, an Oklahoman who touts himself as a “retired government relations executive,” but Ownbey appears to have copy-pasted the piece and reposted it in its entirety, citing Hollrah.

Pat Ownbey

on Sunday

Radical Islam – the Final Solution

by Paul R. Hollrah
June 18, 2016 … See More

. . . the article Ownbey shared purports that in light of the recent massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando by an ISIS-affiliated shooter, Islam should no longer be categorized as a religion in the United States — or in any western nation.

[. . .]

“…if we in the west are to protect our children and grandchildren from the horrors of a worldwide Islamic caliphate, we must first dispense with the cruel fiction that Islam is just another religious denomination, subject to all of the legal protections afforded legitimate religious sects,” Hollrah argues. “Islam is not a religion, subject to First Amendment protections, as we in western cultures understand the term. Rather, it is a complete political, legal, economic, military, social, and cultural system with a religious component.”

[. . .]

“Look at your dollar bill,” Ownbey told local news station KXII-TV. “It says In God We Trust.”

Donald Trump Courts Activist Who Wants Abortion Providers Put To Death

[Troy Newman] and [Cheryl] Sullenger once wrote at length about why it is a government responsibility to execute abortion providers:

“In addition to our personal guilt in abortion, the United States government has abrogated its responsibility to properly deal with the blood-guilty. This responsibility rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people.

[. . .]

“Rejecting that innocent blood is to reject the only standard that is effective against innocent bloodshed, excluding the lawful execution of the murderers, which is commanded by God in Scripture.”

Clearly, Radical Extremism and Radical Terrorism are NOT, as so many would have us believe, part and parcel solely of Islam. We here in “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” don’t appear to differ much from the rest of the world as far as production of radical thugs is concerned. But we are different — we refuse to use the same epithets with which we brand others, to brand ourselves. Here, the words “Black Lives Matter,” or “illegal (‘Hispanic’) immigrants,” or ‘Syrian refugees’ are likely to bring forth far more vicious vitriol than are any of our OWN home grown offenders (as quoted or referred to above), i.e. those who hate and detest LGBT people, or gay marriage, or reproductive rights, or abortion rights, or anyone who stands forth as being ‘ungodly’ in the Christian sense of the word. Why is that?

Now don’t get me wrong — I am in no way advocating that we expand the vitriol to include everyone with whom we might disagree. My personal choice remains as it always has been, to simply speak of things as they genuinely are, and NOT in the process paint with a wide brush, thereby denigrating the vast majority who do not deserve any sort of denigration. If I should choose to use, for example, the words “Radical American Christian Extremist/Terrorist,” I would use them only to describe an individual, maybe a small group — but never to describe the entire of the nation’s Christian population. Anyone who chooses to paint with that particular-sized brush would be no better than, say, our current crop of Republican politicos and their loyalists.

That’s a depth to which I will not sink. So when I say Trump is a sleazy lying racist bigot fascist wannabe, I’m speaking only of one individual, not everyone on the planet whose name might happen to be Trump. And for all of those noted and quoted in the above links, the words ‘Radical American Christian Extremists/Terrorists’ apply only to each, as indicated, and never to all Christians everywhere. Never.

But I do remain puzzled: Why the disparity? Why do some choose to insult or vilify everyone everywhere who might answer to a particular label? What is to be gained? And why are those who practice that sort of universal vitriol not called out and resolutely vilified by this country’s so-called ‘Free Press’? The Press does have that guaranteed right, after all, the judicious use of which might well elevate the level of political dialogue to currently unimaginable levels.

I miss Edward R. Murrow, that much is certain.

OPEN THREAD

TWH 6/22/16 RNC Sues Trump for Hijacking its Base

morning after camel

What, me worry?

With less than four weeks to the Republican National Convention and more and more establishment Republicans jumping ship, the RNC took the unusual step of suing its presumed nominee – – for hijacking the Republican base. The Republican Party invested hundreds of millions of dollars cultivating a base of voters whom it could rely upon in election after election, ever since they embraced the “Dixiecrats” in the 60s. Hate radio and the Christian Coalition groomed this potent block of voters. Gerrymandering insured this small but reliable base would elect establishment Republicans at every level of government. Then Trump came along and, like the pie-eyed piper, swept them away from the establishment candidates. The ones like Ted Cruz, whose evangelical Christian values were primed to put him into the Whitehouse.

Indeed, in the days before the RNC filed its lawsuit, those in the Cruz camp were trying to muster enough votes to change the rules – – to allow delegates to break from Trump if voting for him violates their moral or religious beliefs. However, such a move would be sure to pit “family values” Christians against misogynist, racist, xenophobic Christians, further fracturing the Republican base.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court Northern District of Ohio that includes Cleveland, Ohio in its jurisdictional boundaries, seeks a writ of mandate, or, in the alternative, a restraining order that would strip Trump of all of his elected delegates. Should it succeed, the Republican Convention would be wide open. The Republican Party could even nominate someone who never participated in the primaries.

When asked about the lawsuit, Trump seemed to be taken off-guard.

“They’re suing me?” he asked. “The Republican Party is suing the most winningest candidate ever? Well, I can tell you this. I’m gonna sue them! I’m gonna sue them like they’ve never been sued before. I’m gonna sue them so hard and so fast they’ll be begging to drop their lawsuit. And then I’m gonna sue them for suing me. I know lawsuits, and believe me, this is gonna be one doozy of a lawsuit. And I’m gonna win. Because that’s what I do. I win. I’m gonna sue and I’m gonna win. And it’s gonna be a big win. A huge win. This win will make all other wins seem like losses in comparison, it’s gonna be that big of a win. And I’m gonna make the Republican Party pay for this win, it’s gonna be that big.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin was seen packing up her Constitution and Flag-wrapped RV and heading for Cleveland.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Tuesday June 21, 2016

Hope everybody celebrated Summer solstice yesterday. The days are getting shorter now. And if you lost track, only 5 billion years until the last switch is flipped. In the meantime, people with a short attention span want to improve solar fuel devices. But the good news is that no one has told California condors that it will be freezing cold and dark in 5 billion years. Their numbers are expanding.

 

 

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, June 20th, 2016: God Is In Control?

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I like to check out what “Christian news” sites have to say on current events and other topics. I’ve been finding the Christian Post useful as a place to see what issues are being discussed, in an attempt to glean what self-styled “Christians” deem to be of importance.

So when I saw an article titled “God Is In Control”, I just had to find out how someone would explain that claim. The article, by Don Anderson, opened with this image:

"God Is In Control!" by Christian Post cartoonist Don Anderson

“God Is In Control!” by Christian Post cartoonist Don Anderson

[I have to say, “God” (apparently Jesus, not the OT “God the Father”, at least in the cartoon) looks a bit wild-eyed and not at all “in control.” And is that an ocean of piss that they’re navigating?]

After the cartoon, a link takes one to the following article, titled “Rick Warren: Want Serenity? Let God Take Full Control”.  Here’s an excerpt:

Rick Warren: Want Serenity? Let God Take Full Control

To achieve serenity in life, God wants you to let go and know He is in control, Pastor Rick Warren says.

Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, wrote in a recent devotional that although we as Christians may fight to take control of our lives on a daily basis, we must also remember that ultimately, everything is up to God.

“[…] stress relief always starts with letting God be God,” the evangelical leader writes. “It always starts with saying, ‘God, I’m giving up control, because you can control the things that are out of control in my life.'”

Because no one knows what will happen in the future, we need to let go and let God do the rest.

“I don’t know what you’re going to face this week. You don’t, either. But I can already tell you what God wants you to do: Let go, and know. Let go of control, and know that God is in control. Let go, and know! This is the first step to serenity in your life,” Warren explains.

Christians tend to react to stress in one of two ways, Warren explains. While some attempt to over-control a situation, others give up and pity themselves.

Both of these approaches are destructive and don’t ultimately alleviate stress, the megachurch pastor says. Instead, Christians need to surrender themselves to God and His plan.

“The number one reason you’re under stress is because you’re in conflict with God. You’re trying to control things that only God can control,” Warren explains.

A good way to maintain a high level of tranquility in the face of stress is to pray the Serenity Prayer, Warren says.

The evangelical leader points specifically to the last eight lines of the prayer, which read: “Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to your will so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen.”

Okay, let’s look at this piece-by-piece:

“”[…] stress relief always starts with letting God be God,” the evangelical leader writes. “It always starts with saying, ‘God, I’m giving up control, because you can control the things that are out of control in my life.’

There’s a couple of things wrong with this; let’s start with “letting God be God” (this would be way too long – okay, way too much longer – if I began with “stress relief always starts with…”)

In an earlier piece, Warren talks about how [in essence], despite the fact that the Old Testament “…rarely describes God as being a father…”, somehow miraculously  “…this changes after Jesus is sent down from Heaven to save humanity…After this event, God is described as a father much more frequently…”…and now “…wants to have a relationship with us…”

So, god used to be a petty, vindictive, insecure, genocidal tyrant, but suddenly he becomes a father and is now kind and loving and wants to get to know the subjects he had previously threatened with hellfire and brimstone?  Seriously?  And yet Warren and conservative christian leaders STILL utilize a few specific Old Testament god’s ‘rules according to (some guys who wrote the OT)’ when fighting to be allowed to discriminate against certain groups, or to make others live by those particular OT rules.  Which should no longer apply, if god is really an all-loving father, right?  If we’re supposed to ‘let god be god’, which god are we letting him be?

As to “giving up control” because god “can control the things that are out of control in my life”, then where does man’s “free will” come in?  What about ‘personal responsibility’?  The conservative christians who believe that the poor are poor because they chose to be, well maybe the poor are poor because your god is in control and he really hates poor people?  And considering the chaos going on in this world, I don’t think that anyone is in control, let alone a god.

On to:  “…Because no one knows what will happen in the future, we need to let go and let God do the rest…I don’t know what you’re going to face this week. You don’t, either. But I can already tell you what God wants you to do: Let go, and know. Let go of control, and know that God is in control. Let go, and know! This is the first step to serenity in your life,” Warren explains.”

Hmm…how about ‘because no one knows what will happen in the future’, we can take steps to make our future what we want it to be?  Why “Let go”, and, if we do “let go”, what will we “know”?  One can still attempt to at least control one’s “present”, even if there is uncertainty about the “future.”

And let’s put it bluntly, “Pastor” Warren:  you and your megachurch/televangelist ilk have plenty of money and are living quite comfortably on the fleecing, er, ‘tithings’ of your sheep and your speaking and appearance fees.  You truly don’t have to worry about many of the day-to-day issues with which we poorer folk struggle.  The main cause of stress in most civilized societies, i.e., lack of MONEY to live and to feed yourself and your family, is not stooping your shoulders or affecting your health, mental and physical.  And that goes for christians just like any other demographic, despite Warren’s assertion that “The number one reason you’re under stress is because you’re in conflict with God. You’re trying to control things that only God can control…”  Um, no, nope, I think the number one reason is money (which is currently how most people access the basic needs of life.)  Sorry, Rick, you’re just wrong.

Next, what about:Christians tend to react to stress in one of two ways, Warren explains. While some attempt to over-control a situation, others give up and pity themselves.  Both of these approaches are destructive and don’t ultimately alleviate stress, the megachurch pastor says.”   [Well, DUH!]

I hope that Warren is oversimplifying here, otherwise those two ‘reaction to stress’ choices make christians sound like two-dimensional fools.  Humans of all types generally react to stress in all kinds of ways, not just the two extremes given.  And often, we react to stress in any number of ways at any given time, the key being our own control over our own lives and reactions.  Again, what about the conservative mantra of “personal responsibility”, so hypocritical from people who never, ever, not-freaking-ever, admit to any fault or wrongdoing. 

And lastly, on to Warren’s “Serenity Prayer” solution.  Which can be dismissed, because it’s about as useful for solving real problems as the “moment of silence” is for “honoring the victims” of the mass-shooting-du-jour.  In either case, one might just as well ‘count to ten.’

For CP’s “Christian”-colored view on current political issues, see here. Plenty of fodder for discussion there, too.

This is our daily Open Thread–so, what’s on you’re mind?

Sunday Roast: What if animals were round?

I laughed myself stupid watching this on facebook, so I thought I would share the wealth, sotospeak.

With all the god-damned bullets and tRump shit flying around, I think bouncy round animals are just what the doctor ordered.

Just so you know, I was totally out of town on the day of the zebra shoot, but that could have been Jane falling out of the tree.  😉

Here’s a longer version…so very wrong.  😆

Happy Father’s Day, all you dads.  My dad would have LOVED the round animals.  🙂

This is our daily open thread — Please discuss this important issue.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 18, 2016: Can Tiny Hands Handle The Presidency?

A Super PAC calling itself “Americans Against Insecure Billionaires with Tiny Hands” released this video asking if someone could be President with tiny hands.

The group originally wanted to call itself, “Trump Has Tiny Hands,” but were told by the FEC that they had to change it because the “committee does not appear to be an authorized committee of that candidate,’ and therefore cannot use his name in the PAC’s name. An understandable rule considering what people would do if they could. I know what I would do if I could. “Americans Against Donald Trump’s Bigotry, Racism, Misogyny, Homophobia, Xenophobia, Fraud, Mendacity, and General Sleaziness.” My first ad would feature, of course, kittens. I hope the group is able to get its ad spread around, and I encourage you to share this post to help that endeavor.

People like Donald Trump need to be ridiculed for the frauds they are. If you’re one who believes that Trump’s “success” as a businessman shows he can be a good president, I would say two things. 1) How? What is the connection between running a for-profit corporation whose only purpose for existence is to make you and some close associates wealthy, and governing a nation of hundreds of millions, with equal rights and differing opinions on how things should be done? And, 2) Donald Trump is not as good a businessman as he has lead you to believe. One of the many ways he’s been able to stay rich is by not paying his vendors and suing the people who say bad things about him.

If reporters say truthful things about Trump that make him look bad, he bans them from covering him, just like he did with several media outlets, including the Washington Post. In March 2016, The WaPo published an article asking what happened to the $6 million dollars Trump said he raised for veterans groups. Trump gave a list of 24 charities that would receive money. Some of the money was in the form of direct contributions by Trump’s friends. Some was supposed to come from one of Trump’s Foundations. And Trump himself pledged to donate $1 million of his own money. It was through social media that Trump was shamed into finally making that personal $1 million donation in May.

Donald Trump is not true to his word and cannot be believed in anything he says, or promises, or says he promises, or promises he says. He has demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of how government works. He seems oblivious to the fact that there are two other co-equal branches of government that do have a say in how things are done in this country. One writes the laws Trump promises he’ll pass, if they choose to do so, and the other decides whether or not the law was broken and what the punishment for it will be. He does not understand that the president rarely does anything personally when it comes to all the negotiations done on behalf of our federal government. There are people already in our government who have been doing it for decades for that. He lies constantly about Syrian immigrants, claiming none of them are being vetted and are coming to our shores by the thousands. Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes nearly two years for any of them to get here. He calls for blatant violations of the Constitution from banning people because of the religious faith they practice (which ignores the fact that it was religious freedom that motivated many of our earliest settlers) to deciding which media outlets would have access to his administration to fulfill their free press rights.

Donald Trump is interested in one person, and one person only – Donald Trump. He cares more about himself than he does about everybody else on the planet combined. (And I honestly believe that is not an exaggeration.) He has the temperament of a spoiled rich child, which is no surprise given he was one, and none of the patience and fortitude of someone wanting to be the leader of the most powerful country in the world. He has had corrupt business dealings with corrupt people, and he has abused the legal system with his constant lawsuits against people telling the truth about him. Hard as I try, I can’t think of any way in which Donald Trump would make a good president. Or even a competent one. He is precisely the kind of person our Founding Fathers feared might one day become president. And should he somehow, despite the God Conservative Christians claim exists, win the presidency, our nation will surely test Franklin’s admonition that we would have a Republic, if we could keep it.

The Watering Hole; Friday June 17 2016; Trump Summarized

NOBULL

I’m not going to say much today; so many others have already done the job of summarizing Trump that I thought it would be simpler to just point out some multi-directional links to articles that examine him from a variety of standpoints, not a one of which points to a single redeeming quality. No surprise there, I guess. Anyway, here they are, today’s collective summary intermingled with hints of the hell that’ll rain down upon all of us if somehow Drumpf should get elected POTUS.

Trump’s reckless, dangerous Islamophobia helps the Islamic State

Donald Is Becoming More And More Unhinged — Will He Survive To November?

Donald Trump Claims Obama Secretly Supports ISIS, Cites Debunked Conspiracy Theory As Proof

Donald Trump tells people to ‘ask the gays’ about how great he is. ‘The gays’ respond—and it is EPIC

Donald Trump’s Four Decades Of Racism

OK. Now, because I am, like Fox News, always and invariably driven to be totally fair and balanced, here are a pair of tidbits (the only two I could find, actually) that explain the other and more beautiful side of Trump’s story:

Ann Coulter: Donald Trump Is ‘Our Only Hope’

Ann Coulter: God Raised Up Trump To Save Us From 1,000 Years Of Darkness

And finally, a photo — one which pretty much sums up my attitude concerning Trump, his candidacy, and the probable impact on us all should he somehow manage a win:

Trump Zieg Heil

Zieg Heil, America.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday June 16 2016; Radical [ ___?___ ] Terror (ist, ism)

As I’m sure everyone is aware, Donald Trump, presumtive Republican POTUS Nominee, has a ‘yuuge’ problem and concern with regard to the recent mass shooting/murder in Orlando. His concern is not about the 49 dead or the 50+ wounded, however, nor was he concerned at all about the devastation the event visited upon the families and friends of the victims.  Nope, not at all. His concern was far larger; what really got his goat is that both President Obama and presumtive Democratic POTUS Nominee Hillary Clinton continue to not use the words Radical Islamic Terror (ists, ism) to define the perpetrators of mass shootings such as in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino,  and Orlando, to name but four.

Fact:  some radicals use religion to justify their heinous crimes, their assaults against innocent people.

Question: Does that fact serve to define an entire religion — Islam, in this case — as “Radical”? Are all Muslims now to be viewed as “Terrorists” by definition?

Question for Drumpf, et al.: When discussing mass murders by (apparent) Muslims, you demand everyone use the words Radical Islamic Terror (ists, ism) to describe the perpetrators of said crime; does this mean that all perpetrators of mass shootings/murders everywhere be defined as Radical [ __?__ ] Terrorists? Sandy Hook? Aurora? Tucson? Columbine? Colorado Springs? Charleston? Umpqua C.C. in Oregon?

And speaking of Radical [ __?__ ] Terror (ists, ism), what about all those folks who advocate mass death and murder but have (apparently) not yet engaged? My guess is that a good number of them — and their revolting philosophies — are not strangers to those of us who follow the news now and again. Here are, in case you missed them, several prime examples of biased and loudly spoken religious (Christian) hate speech, disgusting verbiage spread about in just the few days since the Orlando massacre:

Here’s how right-wing Christians share the blame for the massacre in Orlando

“The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles. That’s who was a victim here, are a bunch of, just, disgusting homosexuals at a gay bar, okay? And then I’m sure it’s also gonna be used to push an agenda against so-called “hate speech.” So Bible-believing Christian preachers who preach what the Bible actually says about homosexuality — that it’s vile, that it’s disgusting, that they’re reprobates — you know, we’re gonna be blamed. Like, “It’s all extremism! It’s not just the Muslims, it’s the Christians!” I’m sure that that’s coming. I’m sure that people are gonna start attacking, you know, Bible-believing Christians now, because of what this guy did.I’m not sad about it, I’m not gonna cry about it. Because these 50 people in a gay bar that got shot up, they were gonna die of AIDS, and syphilis, and whatever else. They were all gonna die early, anyway, because homosexuals have a 20-year shorter life-span than normal people, anyway.”
— Steven Anderson, preacher at Faithful Word Baptist Church, Tempe, AZ in response to the slaughter in Orlando

Dave Daubenmire: Gays Murdered In Orlando Were On The Devil’s Team

Daubenmire said that the massacre in Orlando showed that “the devil is willing to sacrifice some of his own team in order to get our big players” and warned that gun control will lead to the killing of conservative Christians. . . .

He said that it’s not “gonna be the guys in the ghetto” who are killed due to gun control because “they’re already killing each other,” but rather conservative Christians who are resisting “bowing politically correct to Islam, politically correct to abortion, politically correct to homosexuality” who will die under increased gun control. Daubenmire declared that Islam is “the new religion” and “anybody who’s against this new religion, they’re going to get it.”

Theodore Shoebat On Orlando Massacre: It’s ‘The State’s Job To Kill The Sodomites,’ Not Vigilantes

“Sodomites are criminals” and do not deserve the prayers of Christians, Shoebat stated. “The sodomites who were killed in this club were not innocent people. They were not good people. They were not people who were just victims who we should just feel sorry for. It was scum killing scum.”

The real victims of this attack, Shoebat said, are people like him who are being unfairly painted as radicals and likened to ISIS simply because they openly advocate putting gay people to death. . . .

“I don’t believe in vigilantism, but I do believe in the government killing the sodomites,” he explained. “I do believe in the government arresting the sodomites and executing them for homosexuality. Under my rule, that sodomite club in Orlando, it would have been destroyed, it would have been demolished, bulldozed and all the bastards in there would have been arrested, tried, found guilty for homosexuality and executed.”

Walid Shoebat: ‘The Only Ones Moaning Over Fifty Gays Slaughtered Are Liberals, Idiots And Gay Lovers’

“Even when we point a stupid Jew to Evangelical Christians, they too get angry since in their view a Jew can do no evil.

“The whole culture is dumber than a nail.

“Liberals and gays should all screw each other. Finally I could watch TV and could care less.”

Pat Robertson Wishes Gays And Muslims Would Kill Themselves

Robertson said that liberals are facing a “dilemma” because they love both LGBT equality and Islamic extremism, and that it is better for conservatives like himself not to get involved but to instead just watch the two groups kill each other.

“The left is having a dilemma of major proportions and I think for those of us who disagree with some of their policies, the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves.”

Matt Barber: Christians Must Take America Back From Demonic ‘Islamo-Progressive Axis Of Evil’

Amid the sprint to the election 2016, the secular left’s utter disdain for both Christ and his followers is reaching a fever pitch. Self-styled progressives, and that is America’s cultural Marxist agents of ruin…they typically disguise their designs on despotism in the flowery and euphemistic language of – and you have heard all of these – reproductive health, anti-discrimination, civil rights and their favorite of course, multiculturalism. But their ultimate goal here is to silence all dissent and force Christians to conform to their pagan demand or potentially, face even incarceration.

How to describe folks like Rev. Anderson, Daubenmire, the Shoebats, Barber, and Rev. Pat Robertson — white Americans — who continuously spout that ‘radical’ and ‘terrorist’ and ‘hate’ point of view? They’re clearly not Muslims. Nope. They’re white; American; Evangelical; Christian; they’re also clearly Radical, and potentially they’re Terrorists.

Hey! All of a sudden I have an idea! How about Radical [ __?__ ] Terror (ists, ism), where [ __?__ ] can be not only Islamic, but also White, or American, or Evangelical, or Christian, or any combination thereof!!

Actually, I rather doubt Obama, or Clinton, or Sanders, or any other respectful Progressive would stoop to that level of lingo, but Trump (and equivalent) ought to really like it! And think of how the world would change if Trump would simply start describing each of the above-quoted slime-balls, along with the perpetrators of Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tucson, Columbine, Colorado Springs, Charleston, and Umpqua C.C. in Oregon, et al., using any appropriate combination of those listed options, duly embedded between the words Radical and Terror (ists, ism)!!

Stated more simply, if the plan is to insult a cluster of people in order to inspire thoughts of hate and fear in political underlings, be honest; don’t limit the vitriol; call a spade a spade! No more of that broad brush accusatory  Radical Islamic Terrorist(s) nonsense. Be specific!

Sounds good, but then this pops up: WV ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Murders Three With AR-15

Monday there was another mass shooting in West Virginia, which turns out to have been a sovereign citizen who had a dispute with his neighbors over firewood. Instead of resolving the matter peacefully, he pulled out an AR-15 and shot them all to death.

No, really. Over firewood.

Erick Shute, 32, was arrested in Pennsylvania for the shootings of Jack Douglas, Travis Bartley and Willie Bartley, as they chopped firewood in an area adjacent to his property, according to a WSAZ report.

WSAZ also reports that “Shute has been involved in antigovernment activities since at least 2009 when he was at the center of a controversy for hanging an American flag upside down outside his New Jersey home, drawing the wrath of local veterans. He told reporters then that the flag was a symbol that the United States was under distress under the “corrupt policies” of President Obama.”

I give up. It seems the only way to appropriately define each and all who can answer to the moniker Radical [ __?__ ] Terror (ists, ism), in the final analysis and in spite of any claims, requires really nothing other than two common and simple words: Stupid Shit. I therefore suggest we universalize their use, that we drop the words Islamic, or White, or American, or Evangelical, or Christian — and any other of the myriad salient possibilities — and use only the two words that best define the concept of Radical Terror (ists, ism): i.e. STUPID SHIT. From now on, let them all be known as Radical Stupid Shit Terrorists. That way, even a Stupid Shit like Donald Trump is perfectly defined for all the world to see.

There remains another option, however — my personal fave — which is that everyone just simply try to get along, to not interfere with the beliefs of others, to respect people of every persuasion. Why can’t religious beliefs stay within their defined margins, even as their practitioners work to accept the beliefs of all who differ, allow them to also live as they choose? Tolerance.

Reminds me of the grand irony I spotted (and photographed) in downtown Phoenix, Az, some 35-40 years ago. The new-at-the-time Phoenix Civic Plaza stood directly across the street from a very old and hallowed Roman Catholic church known as St. Mary’s Basilica, and many of the Plaza’s open spaces were ornamented with life-sized statues made by Arizona artist John Henry Waddell. Here is my shot of one of the Waddell statues, with St. Mary’s Basilica in the immediate background; the implicit symbolism is, I think, a bit on the stunning side:

Phx Plaza Statue ca 1977-a

Imagine it: a Holy Basilica in full view of a Waddell Statue of a nude woman! I’m guessing that the implicit “grand irony” that caught my eye in 1977 is not only still obvious, but even still pertinent — at least to those who can see the world that lies beyond their nose. Tolerance!

In any case, I’m sure I’m not the only one who, this day, finds himself completely sick and tired of that which motivates so much of the world, i.e. the Hate, the Fear that’s fomented and honed by those greedy and power-hungry Stupid Shits that tend to drive every human society everywhere on the planet into the ground. So much of the human malaise is directly attributable to all of those who have emerged from the muck and mire that underlies virtually every national entity, including (obviously) this one we call home. Why is that? I know it’s clear (to most, at least) that religion is partially —  but certainly not entirely — to blame. There are, after all, literally millions upon millions of good, kind, and fair-minded people that are parcel to every religion everywhere. Unfortunately, there are also the other types: the types who find it necessary that everyone think and act exactly as their “leader” dictates, a setup which is, this day, more commonly known by its political moniker: Radical [ __?__ ] Terror (ists, ism). What puzzles me most is why do so many of us ordinary hominids tolerate such mania?

I guess we’ll never know. We should be thankful, though, that not everyone out there “thinks” like a Stupid Shit. As proof, I offer here three quotes from three different sources, each of which speaks to a level of reality that is so elusive to so many. Here they are, in no particular order:

 Our goal as a nation must be to bring people together, to prevent violence, to prevent hatred, and to create the nation that we know standing together we can create.
~Bernie Sanders

******

Let me make a final point. For a while now the main contribution of some of
my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is
to criticize this administration and me for not using the phrase “Radical Islam.”

“That’s the key” they tell us. “We can’t beat ISIL unless we call them Radical Islamists.”

What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?
Would it make ISIL less committed to kill Americans? Would it bring in
more allies? Is there a military strategy served by this?
The answer is none of the above. . . .
~Barack Obama

******

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people:
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks:
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
~Isaiah 2:4

Even the Bible speaks against Radical Terrorism. Go figure.

******

Wage Peace, not war.

OPEN THREAD

 

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people: We cannot regulate gun ownership

Hate speech doesn’t kill people. people kill people. We cannot regulate hate speech.

Racism doesn’t kill people, people kill people. We cannot regulate racism.

Intolerance towards gays doesn’t kill people, people kill people. We cannot regulate tolerance.

Prejudice doesn’t kill people, people kill people. We cannot regulate prejudice.

Hate, racism, intolerance, prejudice – – these are not traits we are born with. Babies don’t hate; they don’t discriminate based on color or gender. They love equally regardless of color or gender. They are taught to hate, taught to be racists, taught intolerace, taught prejudice. And some eventually are taught to use guns.

They are taught that its ok to kill those who offend them, those they have been taught to hate. And we make available tools that are designed to kill scores of people in seconds, before anyone has any time to react, to flee, to fight back.

Why? Why do we make assault rifles available to virtually anyone who wants one?

Because babies are also taught to fear.

TWH:06/15/16: The American Dream

Once upon a time, a man could be self-sufficient and raise a family with a 40 acre farm and a mule.

Once upon a time,  the North American continent seemingly had unlimited land for farming, raising families, and freedom from oppression by Lords, Kings, and Government-imposed Religions.

And a new nation was born, crafted and created by a select few white men, who desired to create a Utopia – – a country where the populace controlled the government, instead of the other way around. To be certain, they crafted certain provisions to protect the interests of the wealthy  against a populist uprising – the electoral college and setting it up so that States Legislatures elected Senators.

There has always been a tension between those with money and those who would regulate commerce. Unregulated capitalism led to cyclical booms and busts, culminating in the Great Depression. This, in turn, led to regulating capitalism, which led to sustained growth and the emergence of a middle class.

By the 1950s a man could earn enough to support a family, buy a house and a car and enjoy a reasonably comfortable standard of living working a reasonable secure job. The American Dream was finally realized. For some. For the American Dream was not for people of color and women were lower class citizens, in the workforce especially, as they were expected to stay home and have babies.

Then came the 60s, and someone of color dared to  have a dream – – to dream that a person of color could share in the American Dream. There were assassinations and civil unrest. A social safety net was created and the Welfare State was born. Although born of good intentions, it had its flaws. Chief among which was the fact that, once on Welfare, accepting an entry level job meant a decrease in income. As a result, families became stuck on Welfare for multiple generations.

Along comes resentment, as people on Welfare were painted as lazy – leeches living off the labors of the working class. Welfare families were depicted as families of color, and racial prejudices were once again exploited.

And somewhere along the way, the American Dream became the American Nightmare. We voted for Presidents, Senators and Republicans who would lower our taxes, eliminate the social safety net and force people to go to work. But these elected representatives also began chipping away at the foundations of the economic policies that led to the rise of the middle class.

Those foundations are largely gone now. Free trade agreements put a quick end to American manufacturing. The corporations are still in business, but the manufacturing jobs have been relocated to countries with lower wages, fewer regulations. Government controls on the financial sector have been removed, leading to the Great Recession of 2008. The disparity of wealth between the haves and have-nots is approaching levels not seen since the Middle Ages. The haves have rigged the system and control the message, thereby controlling the group-think of the populace.

George Orwell’s 1984 has become a blueprint instead of a warning.

The American Dream is gone. The standard of living for all except the top 10% is in decline. It now takes 2 wage earners to support a middle-class lifestyle, a lifestyle that comes to a quick end should one of the two develop a serious illness or injury.

This current election cycle paints the reality of where we are in stark contrast. A populist candidate on the Right, campaigning on racial intolerance, violence and hatred is the presumptive Republican nominee. A populist candidate on the Left, campaigning on social justice and democratic socialism has been stymied at every turn by the mainstream media and the political machinations of the hierarchy of the Democratic Party.

Is this where we’re heading?

 

OPEN THREAD

 

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, June 13, 2016: This Day in History

When you get right down to it, many things in history happened on any given date on the calendar. But today I’m going to discuss just a few of the many important (and unimportant) things that happened on various June 13ths throughout history. Without further ado, on this date in:

1633: The charter for Maryland is given to Lord Cecil Baltimore after whom, of course, the city of Silver Springs, Maryland is named.

1731: Future First First Lady Martha Washington was born. She was a wealthy widow by the time she married George Washington.

1786: Winfield Scott, U.S. Army General famous for victories in the War of 1812 and the War with Mexico, was born. There are many who believe he is the “Scott” in the expression “Great Scott!

1831: James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist, was born. His work proved that electrical, magnetic and optical phenomena were all united in a single universal force, Electromagnetism, and formulated electromagnetic theory. You’re reading this now because of him.

1865: William Butler Yeats, Irish poet and playwright, was born. He was famous for “The Second Coming” which featured the line, “The centre cannot hold.” This was a line often repeated by the army commander of the facility in Stephen King’s “The Stand” from which the virus that wiped out most humans on Earth escaped. This happened in the story on a June 13th. There’s a connection.

1892: Basil Rathbone, actor famous for playing Sherlock Holmes, was born. Rathbone was also famous for getting drunk at parties and walking around naked except for his pipe and deerstalker cap.

1953: Tim Allen was born. Famous to me for playing Jason Nesmith, who played Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart on the fictional TV series, Galaxy Quest, one of the best Star Trek parodies ever made.

1960: I was born. (This would be one of the unimportant things that happened on this date.)

1966: The Supreme Court of the United States enters the realm of police television drama writing when they hand down their famous Miranda v. Arizona decision reminding you that, when arrested, you have the right to remain silent, that anything you say can be used as evidence against you, that you have a right to have an attorney present during questioning, that if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you, and that, perhaps most importantly, if you want to wear white after Labor Day, it’s constitutionally permissible.

1967: President Lyndon Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to the United States Supreme Court. Upon his retirement, he was replaced by the completely unqualified Justice Clarence “Who Put This Pube On My Coke?” Thomas, apparently on the sole basis that he was black, like Justice Marshall.

1968: Johnny Cash records his famous “At Folsom Prison” album live at Alcatraz.

1970: The Beatles’ “Let It Be” album goes to Number 1 on the charts and stays there for four weeks. It was their penultimate album recorded, but the last one released. It was also the basis for one of my album parodies, “Enemy“. I hope you enjoy it.

1983: After it crosses the orbit of Neptune, Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, becomes the first human-built space craft to leave the solar system. It has not yet been determined how many non-human-built space craft have made the journey previously. The first close-up pictures we had of Jupiter were taken by Pioneer 10, which proved to be a much more successful satellite than its predecessors Pioneer 8, Pioneer Vista, Pioneer XP, and the disastrous Pioneer 98. They’re still not sure why they built that one.

1986: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (Michelle on Full House) were born. I would have to wait until I was 44 before even thinking about dating them.

1990: Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State James A. Baker III urges the Israelis to accept a US plan for peace talks. He gives out the number to the White House switch board (202-456-1414) and says, “When you’re serious about this, call us.” I’ve called that number before. It was usually to talk to the White House Communications Agency Duty Officer (WHCADO, or “whocka-do”) about a problem with one of several methods President Reagan had to talk to people on the ground while flying in Air Force One (which I used to watch being parked in its hangar outside my dorm window.)

1996: A new report on Nature proposed that guinea pigs are on a distant branch from rodents and deserve a class of their own. Having once worked on a street named Guinea Road, I can certainly understand the profound implications of this report, which came out 20 years ago, and of which I was completely unaware until I started researching this post. Still, it’s deeply moving.

2005: In the “Better Late Than Never, But Not Really”-Department, the US Senate apologizes for blocking anti-lynching legislation in the early 20th century, when mob violence against blacks was commonplace. They followed this up four years later by vowing to block any legislation put forth by the nation’s first black president, just in case anybody thought we were actually making progress on addressing this nation’s deep-seated racist history. And while I certainly feel lucky to have been born in this country, it’s things like its ongoing racism that make me hesitant to say I’m “proud.” Do people who say they are proud ever think about things like this? Since they continue to happen, I’d say not.

Anyway, enjoy your June 13ths, today and in the future. It’s not all that bad a day after all.

This is our daily open thread. I hope it’s a good one for you.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 11th, 2016: Front Pages

While “news”papers in New York run the gamut of “journalism” from the gutter (New York Post) to the “elite” (New York Times), we’ve always had The New York Daily News somewhere in between. As a lifelong New Yorker, I grew up with the Daily News and the NYT in my house, as my dad would read both: the DN mainly for the sports, and the NYT for ‘real’ news. Back then, the Daily News didn’t usually use the kinds of front covers that the New York Post has been famous for, but the times they are a-changing, and “New York’s Hometown Paper” has lately been going all out on the 2016 Presidential election.

Last night I was reading a very interesting Daily News political opinion piece, written by conservative Tom Nichols, regarding Hillary Clinton’s recent “foreign policy” speech in which she focused on how dangerous Donald Trump’s so-called “foreign policy” could be. At one point in the article, a shot of one of the pertinent Daily News covers was included, which led to the Daily News 2016 campaign covers photo gallery that I’m offering for your entertainment today.

Some of them are priceless, including several referencing Ted Cruz’s idiotic “New York values” line, such as “Take the F-U Train, Ted!”, which includes a small inset that starts with “WE GOT your NY values right here, Ted!”, so very typical of New Yorkers.
Some are just plain groaners, such as the recent “Weak End at Bernie’s”, or (regarding Bernie Sanders’ ‘meeting’ with the Pope) “He Said, See Said”.

But the best ones are about NY’s own (to our eternal shame) Donald Trump. The Daily News and New Yorkers have known The Donald for a very long time, and, as the saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt.” I won’t spoil it for you. Just enjoy the covers (and skip through the obnoxiously ubiquitous ads, sorry about those.)

This is our daily Open Thread–what’s on YOUR minds?

The Watering Hole; Friday June 10 2016; A Look Back

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks going through old boxes filled with old photographs, looking for old prints worth digitizing. Found a bunch of 8×10 Cibachromes that I developed myself in my own (tee-tiny) darkroom all those many years ago, and believe it or not, they served to make the moment a lot more enjoyable — not so much for the memories, even though they were, indeed, remindful of that younger world in I (we) once lived. I guess what really caught my attention was that, first, there was no hint of Trump anywhere in either the photos or the memories, mainly because back in the 1970’s I’d never even HEARD of the bastard! Wow, speak of a delightful era!

Anyway, I found about fifteen that were worth digitizing — scenes from various 1970’s destinations including Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, California, and Hawaii — and thought maybe a handful were worth a wider look. So go ahead, close the door on current politics and wander, instead, backward some forty or so years to that other era — not the era of Tricky Dick, the Nam, and Gerry Ford, but those more peaceful spots that were, back then, far more accessible and less traveled than they are today.

Enjoy the soliloquy.

Colt, MN, Heselton,ca 1975 - 350pxl▲Very Young Colt; Faribault, Minnesota; circa 1973▲

 1975 Yucca McDowell MtnsYuccas in full bloom; Arizona, circa 1975

 Ocotillo Blossom ca 1972 350 pix▲Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) flower; Arizona, 1972▲

La Jolla Sunset ca 1978▲Sunset, La Jolla California; circa 1974▲

1978 field of flowers, Haleaka, Maui▲Wildflowers on Mt. Haleakala, Maui; 1978▲

Flower 004▲Bird of Paradise, Kauai, 1978▲

And finally, this:

▼Rocky Mountain Crocus on Mt. Evans, Colorado, 1971▼

Rocky Mtn Flower

So there you have it, the 1970’s revisited. Hard to believe some of that stuff is ‘already’ more than forty years old, esp. when each one seems like it was captured maybe yesterday — last week at the most — all via those old-fashioned cameras that even required a roll of film in ’em before you could make them work.

In any case, they did their job quite well, and even now at this late date, the flashbacks offered can be fun and very peaceful . . .

. . . unless they should happen to remind one of the crap that’s prominent in today’s world (see below).

DT4Pres-2

How could a Ki’i from Hawaii’s Pu’uhonua o Honaunau — photographed in 1978 — possibly remind anyone of Trump in 2016?

Must be the hair; the hands are way too big.

Sigh. Guess it’s back to the future. Again.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday June 9 2016; Remembrance and Requiem

Forty-eight years ago — June 4 1968 — Robert F. Kennedy won the Democratic Primary in California and was seemingly on his way to his party’s nomination for President. Then in the early morning  moments of June 5, only a short time after he was declared the winner in California, he was shot by a (presumably) lone assassin; he died within 24 hours. The end result, some six months later, was the election of Richard Nixon as President, at which point commenced the American transition from her recent New Deal and Civil Rights accomplishments (aka Progressivism) to a society driven by little more than avarice and the quest for power (aka “Conservatism”).

On the campaign trail in the months prior to his assassination, RFK spoke out for old-style We the People values, even as he was strongly critical of those whose efforts were driven by greed, by the allure of power and wealth, by those who found war to be the ideal means  to achieve those goals. RFK stood by and supported those millions who demanded an end to the atrocities in Vietnam; he stood by and supported the concept of prosperity for all via peace, not prosperity for the few via war.

RFK brilliantly summed-up the finer points that define the vast differences between the two nearly opposite schools of thought which are presumed to drive economic growth and, hence, prosperity. Here, courtesy of a recent Think Progress article is an audio recording of RFK’s words from a speech he gave at the University of Kansas on March 18, 1968, along with a transcription of those same words — a handy tool to enable further analysis and contemplation, to compare the conflicting philosophies which drive our current left-right political divide today, nearly five decades (along with much economic misery for most) later.

First, the audio:

The transcript:

Too much and for too long, we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product — if we judge the United States of America by that — that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.

It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.

It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

Are we, as a nation, unable to ever learn? To master and enable that which makes living worthwhile as opposed to that which does little more than enable acquisition of wealth and power? What will this year’s election bring us? Trump appears to know only greed, and if he should score on his quest for power of the State, it seems a fair bet that he will, without hesitation, begin immediately the task(s) of disparaging the health of our children, the quality of their education . . . the joy of their play . . . the beauty of our poetry . . . the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate . . . the integrity of our public officials . . . [of]  our wit . . . our courage . . . our wisdom . . . our learning . . . our compassion . . . our devotion to our country,  . . . everything . . . that . . . makes life worthwhile. Toss into the mix Trump’s predictably high rate of xenophobia, bigotry, misogyny, along with his already expressed tendency toward science denial, toward uninformed militarism, and suddenly the risk of planetary cataclysm soars, even as any hope for a better future vanishes.

As to whether the other principle option — Hillary Clinton — would be any better, about the only answer appears to be that at least she (hopefully) wouldn’t be as bad. At this point, it seems this country’s main hope — and major goal — should be that the Republican Party really DOES self-destruct thanks to Trump, and that the Democratic Party finally adopts the strongly progressive mission of the type that’s been advanced by Bernie Sanders. Maybe then the pathways leading to the diminishment and ultimate extinction of greed and the quest for power and wealth can be paved with all the gold that no longer will need to be hoarded.

I know. Dream on.

I’ve long felt that national failure is inevitable in this country, especially since we invariably seem to slam the door on each and every escape route leading away from those disastrous “Conservative” policies and programs which have been in place for who knows how many decades. It makes one wonder what things might be like today had Bobby Kennedy’s GNP/economic theses been put into place, starting with his presidency nearly fifty years ago. We’ll never know, of course; but we do KNOW — with certainty — the results of all those “Conservative” policies which have, unfortunately, been enacted during those five decades. And that knowledge is, without a doubt, the source of the economic sadness that has descended upon this country, as well as the source of the undercurrent of pessimism regarding our collective future.

Whereto from here?

As one who has watched the development of our collective dilemma(s) since well before RFK’s assassination, I have to wonder: might the following sonnet tell us everything about America . . . everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile?

REQUIEM: AMERICA

Requiem, as dirge of sophistic love,
Exposes destinies which nations earn.
Quoth Hamlet: “conscience does make cowards of
Us all” – that is, till We the People learn,
Implicitly, that human Cowardice
Exudes contempt for Rationalities.
Meanwhile, mankind’s destiny – Avarice –
Appears in service to those Vanities
Most shallowed minds presume to be their right,
Enabling failure thus of Self, of State.
Repression blooms and quickly dims all light
Intrinsic to the heart of Freedom’s Fate –
Consumed – whilst words of Truth, now specious, Moan
And stand as lifeless slogans, etched in stone.

******

OPEN THREAD

TWH 6/8/16

All’s fair in love and war;
Politics too, for what’s in store:
She had the lead before the start,
With 400-plus delegates in her cart.

She won the race, fair and square;
To face the man with the golden hair;
Media backed and corporate owned,
And devious ways all carefully honed.

The race is won, your votes don’t count:
The head start she got you cannot surmount.
Bow down to Hillary, the Anointed One;
Her reign as President has already begun.

But sometimes chaos prevails over order;
As we take a step closer to becoming Mordor.

***

The Oligarchy declared Hillary the presumptive nominee, based on a secret poll of superdelegates, just before the final primaries.

Then, before the votes in the final primaries were counted, Hillary declared herself the victor of the Democratic nomination. This, based on a 400+ superdelegate head start she got months before the first primary, months before anyone else decided to run. She doesn’t have enough delegates to secure the nomination without the votes of the party elites, insiders and lobbyists. But that doesn’t stop her from coronating herself.

A woman asked Ben Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

The Founding Father replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

This election cycle, more than any in the past, proves we could not keep it.

The Republican Party is the party of mysoginists, homophobes, racists, xenophobes and all things not “christian”.

The Democratic Party is the party of the Oligarchy*. The Oligarchy will grant the lower classes tolerance towards women and people of color, as long as its economic interests are furthered through Trade Agreements, tax cuts, and wars.

 

OPEN THREAD

* The Republican Party also serves the economic interests of the Oligarchy. Economically speaking, it does not matter which Party is in control.