This is how I’d like to see the White House Press Corps respond to this administration’s bullshit artists.
This is how I’d like to see the White House Press Corps respond to this administration’s bullshit artists.
I’ll admit it. I’m DISGUSTED!
I know I’m not alone in this, but I can say with heavy duty authority that in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential (s)election, my disgust has peaked at levels I’ve never known before, levels that, until November 9, I would have never guessed attainable, much less even possible. But it happened. Somehow, the most narcissistic, egomaniacal, misogynistic, xenophobic, bigoted, racist, fascistic and ego-driven presidential candidate in American history has been (s)elected (at least via Electoral College terms), and will become POTUS on January 20, 2017.
My initial reaction was to rant (which I did), then attempt to listen to those voices of ‘moderation,’ those voices that try to convince us “radicals” that hey, this is America where the voice of “the people” — not of the tyrant — is heard, is determinative of the nation’s (and the world’s) future. Those voices of moderation are, of course, nonsensical in that they ignore the obvious consequences that invariably occur when the entire government of a nation is turned over to what is, effectively, a far right wing politic, a Fascist majority. And sadly, that is precisely what ‘we the people’ did on November 8, 2016; we “elected” a Fascist president, and left in place right wing majorities in both the Senate and the House along with a vacancy on the Supreme Court which will now be filled by an extreme right wing appointee, thus granting control of the entire of our federal government to the American Fascist Movement.
That should be the point that causes any salient mind to rant and rave for hours on end about electoral national destruction, but then again, to the “salient” mind, what would be the point? As Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar noted, “The die is cast.” Besides, it does one no good at all to imagine being down in the pit, surrounded only by idiots, white supremacists, Republicans, Fascists — assuming there’s a difference. There are, after all, other places — peaceful and quiet places, places brimming with ‘salient’ life forms — places that are far better, that inspire rather than denigrate one’s imagination.
Here’s an example: a six line poem by longtime colleague and friend T.R. Nissle, words which he penned some 40 years ago in response to a few photos I managed to ‘snap’ during my frequent and solitary sojourns “out there” on some then relatively undisturbed corners of the Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona. Six lines with six photos (the top three ‘inspired’ the poem), together offer a refreshing look at the living world — though not expressly through human eyes.
▲Thou, whoever art above, hear me die –▲
▲Hear my silent, lonely prayer –▲
▲For tongueless creatures everywhere;▲
▲We neither savage, jest, nor boast of soul –▲
▲But flower unmaliciously –▲
▲Disjoin us from Humanity.▲
Those six photos are of the Sonoran Desert’s most unique life form, the Giant Saguaro Cactus, in various stages of both life and death. Curiously enough, the Saguaro’s longtime scientific name Cereus giganteus (Britton & Rose) was, in recent years, changed to Carnegiea gigantea in honor of renowned wealthy industrialist-become-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who, in his last years prior to his death in 1919, donated (as 2015 share of GDP) some $78.6 Billion (approx. 90% of his accumulated wealth) to charities, foundations, and universities. I suppose it could simply be my naivete, but I seriously doubt that any of today’s billionaires will ever wind up with a signature cactus named after them. Trumpissonia gigantea? Probably not.
The bottom line remains: If humans would take a moment and agree to (1) abolish all war, (2) disallow greed, hate, and irrational fear, (3) abandon their never-ending savage quest for power, and (4) agree to never again boast of soul — but flower unmaliciously, the world would fast become a livable place for all its creatures, big or small. Including even ourselves.
I remain filled with doubt, however; human history has yet to suggest that humans are uniformly capable of being earth-friendly in any context. More than two centuries ago, for example, William Wordsworth noted that though . . .
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
the earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;–
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
To which I can only add, in MY voice to all of earth’s creatures everywhere:
Disjoin US from “Humanity.”
With the most consequential election of my lifetime now just one day away, a scene from Star Trek: Next Generation’s “Best of Both Worlds” Part 1″ keeps returning to my mind. It takes place before the battle with the Borg, as Captain Picard paces through the Enterprise, and finds Guinan alone in Ten-Forward:
Guinan: “Trouble sleeping?”
Capt. Picard: “It’s something of a tradition, Guinan – Captain touring the ship before a battle.”
Guinan: “Hmm. Before a *hopeless* battle, if I remember the tradition correctly.”
Capt. Picard: “Not necessarily. Nelson toured the HMS Victory before Trafalgar.”
Guinan: “Yes, but Nelson never returned from Trafalgar, did he?”
Capt. Picard: “No, but the battle was won.”
Guinan: “Do you expect this battle to be won?”
Capt. Picard: “We may yet prevail. That’s a… a conceit. But… it’s a healthy one. I wonder if the Emperor Honorius watching the Visigoths coming over the seventh hill truly realized that the Roman Empire was about to fall. This is just another page in history, isn’t it? Will this be the end of *our* civilization? Turn the page.”
I wish that I had the calmness, almost equanimity, with which Captain Picard views the possibility of approaching doom and the likely takeover of the United Federation of Planets by a heartless, merciless “race.” I cannot view a similar fate for our country without a feeling of utter dread.
“We may yet prevail” as Picard says, if by “prevail” one means that Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the Presidency. If that happens, in my humble opinion, we the sane will have only one night, possibly, to feel the relief of dodging a bullet. As long-time students of politics and human nature, particularly ‘American’ human nature, we Critters and Zoosters and other reality-based folks are all too well aware that a final election result which denies Donald Trump the Presidency is just the beginning. There inevitably will be a barrage of ‘bullets’, figuratively at best, to continue to dodge. And it may well “be the end of *our* ‘civilization’.”
Guinan offers hope of a sort:
Guinan: “This isn’t the end.”
Capt. Picard: You say that with remarkable assuredness.”
Guinan: “With experience. When the Borg destroyed my world, my people were scattered throughout the universe. We survived – as will humanity survive. As long as there’s a handful of you to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail – even if it takes a millennium.”
And while Guinan could be right, that “[t]his isn’t the end”, I wish that *our* people were able to scatter throughout the universe. “Humanity” may survive, but will it still be recognizable as “human”?
This is our daily Open Thread–talk me down?
Okay, this is going to be a little long, so go ahead and get your favorite beverage/sustenance. Are you sitting comfortably?
I received the following email the other day from Michael Sherrard of Faithful America:
A new group calling itself the “American Evangelical Association”[**] is generating headlines with a letter attacking Faithful America.
Signed by dozens of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters on the religious right, it makes a wild series of accusations against Christian social-justice leaders and organizations.
The letter names Faithful America alongside Sojourners’ Jim Wallis and evangelical creation-care advocate Rich Cizik, and claims that our activism has contributed to “a growth industry trafficking in human baby organs,” “violent inner-city lawlessness,” and “increasing drugs, disease, crime, gangs, and terrorism.”
The charges are bizarre, but the letter’s signers – several of whom have been named by the Trump campaign as official advisors and endorsers – have a clear mission: Delegitimizing Christians who dare to challenge Trump’s politics of fear and hatred.
With barely a month left before Election Day, polls show that Trump continues to hold a double-digit lead among white Christians, and too many Christian leaders have been intimidated into silence.
With no buildings, denominations, or charitable tax status to protect, Faithful America is free to take on the Christians who are baptizing Trump’s heinous agenda. But we need your support to do it. Donate to Faithful America
The full letter is almost eight pages long, but here’s an abridged version and some of the most significant signers:
“An Open Letter to Christian pastors, leaders and believers who assist the anti-Christian Progressive political movement in America”
After years of earnest but less public attempts, it is now with heavy hearts, and a hope for justice and restoration, that we Christian leaders urge ‘progressive’ evangelicals and Catholics to repent of their work that often advances a destructive liberal political agenda. We write as true friends knowing that most believers mean well. We desire the best for you and for the world God loves.
As recent leaked documents confirm, and as Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners eventually admitted, wealthy, anti-Christian foundations, following the lead of billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, fund and “rent” Christian ministers as “mascots” serving as surprising validators for their causes. The consequent realities include injury to countless people, the Church, the family, nation and the global Church including many martyrs.
We must reclaim the Church’s witness in the world. Biblical truth and wisdom are the highest love for human beings. While God loves justice and mercy for all, many “social justice” campaigns are politically crafted and not the true Gospel. Only the truth of our sin, both personal and systemic, and Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for our salvation and rebirth, is true hope for persons and nations. The gospel charges all things with hope.
Consider some of the consequences of Progressive political activism over the past eight years:
1. A growth industry trafficking in human baby organs and body parts – funded and defended by the Democratic Party.
2. The abandonment of a biblical view of marriage that protected and liberated children and adults from centuries of pagan slavery, poverty, polygamy and non-life-giving sexuality.
3. The Transgender agenda imposed by Obama-government edict, including gender re-education to be forced on our citizens, businesses, schools, military and churches.
4. Doubling of our national debt, economic stagnation and increased welfare dependency.
5. Increased minority unemployment, poverty and violent inner city lawlessness, with an accompanying loss of opportunity, self-determination and family stability.
6. Heightened racial division and tension, and the growing phenomenon of paid demonstrators being recruited and dispatched to instigate protests that often become riots.
7. Open borders and ‘sanctuary’ cities increasing drugs, disease, crime, gangs and terrorism.
8. Forced refugee resettlement in hundreds of American cities without citizen consent, mandated by the federal government in collusion with the United Nations. “Refugees” are primarily non-assimilating Muslims, while authorities reject persecuted Christians.
9. Hostility towards Judeo-Christian religious liberty in our courts, media and universities including the suppression of conservative speakers, free thought and moral education.
10. The widespread, political use of the IRS to intimidate conservative, patriotic and Christian groups that disagree with the current political establishment.
For many years, Soros’s Open Society and other liberal foundations have funded not only most of the disturbing campaigns mentioned above (1-10) but also the Religious Left, using and creating ostensibly evangelical and Catholic organizations to “message and mobilize” Christians into Progressive causes. They use the Marxist-Alinsky tactic of funding “ministers” who cherry-pick faith language to confuse and divide the Church’s morality, mission and vote.
At a time when many Christian ministries are struggling, a few of the Soros network “faith” and “interfaith” grantees are Jim Wallis of Sojourners, Richard Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership, Telos, J Street to malign Israel, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faithful America and Gamaliel. Faith in Public Life to “counter” Christians and the Tea Party in the media and, with PICO, advocates for amnesty, mass Islamic migration, and even sought to influence the visit and priorities of Pope Francis himself. Billions of additional dollars to “Christian VOLAGs” for large scale “refugee” and migrant resettlement often comes from the Obama administration.
We urge you to question the true intentions of persons or organizations that receive money from Soros and other billionaire globalists. We must not give their surrogates four more years.
And so we ask again, why do those who claim to share our faith in Christ continue to advocate for politicians who will pass legislation, and appoint justices and judges who will attack Christian liberty and persecute believers? Turning our nation over to the enemies of biblical faith does not honor Christ, promote love of neighbor, or advance God’s kingdom in the world.
We ask those who have intentionally or unwittingly aided the Progressive agenda in the past to look at the actual consequences of their policies. Please stop inviting fellow believers to assist global profiteers and political activists who are determined to de-Christianize America.
Please repent and turn away from those who attack the Church. Say “no” to blood money. Refuse funds from anyone attempting to put the Church and America in chains.
Lt. Gen. Wm. “Jerry” Boykin (U.S. Army, retired)
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (U.S. Army, retired)
Bishop Harry R Jackson, Jr. (High Impact Leadership Coalition)
Dr. Everett Piper (President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University)
Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riano (Executive Vice President, Regent University)
Dr. Wayne Grudem (Phoenix Seminary)
Dr. Jay Richards (The Catholic University of America)
David Barton (author and speaker)
Rep. John Becker (Ohio state representative)
Dr. Jim Garlow (Senior Pastor, Skyline Church, San Diego)
Pastor Steve Riggle (Grace Church, Houston TX)
Pastor Steve Smothermon (Legacy Church, Albuquerque NM)
Fr. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life)
Eric Metaxas (author, talk-show host)
Tim Wildmon (American Family Association)
George Barna (Researcher and author)
Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel)
[**Note: A Google search found nothing about this “American Evangelical Association”]
Next, an insane exhortation to his fellow Evangelicals by Paige Patterson, Op-Ed Contributor to the Christian Post, titled “How Evangelicals Should be Like Hitler’s Army on Election Day” [yes, he said “Hitler’s Army”]:
What do April 30, 1945, and Nov. 8, 2016, have in common?
The first date was the culmination of World War II. On that fateful day, Adolf Hitler apparently shot himself in the mouth as Russian soldiers moved in on his compound. But in the midst of all that tragedy, an interesting saga played itself out in Germany.
Before Hitler realized that he had lost the war, almost all other Germans knew it well. The Russians were closing from the East, and the Americans came from the West.
The dilemma of many German troops was relatively simple: “Shall we surrender to the Russians or shall we head west and surrender to the Americans?”
Apparently no small number made every effort to fall into the hands of the Americans.
No one knew for sure what would happen to them if they opted for the American option. But the German army knew well what would happen if they were overtaken by Russian generals. In the end, it was what they knew, not what they did not know, that forced their choice. Having heard and often experienced the kindness of American soldiers, many decided that this was the best hope for the future.
And what about Nov. 8, 2016 — election day in America?
Apparently, there has never been an election quite like it. The two presidential candidates both sport disapproval ratings among the highest of any candidates in history. What on earth shall Christians do? Some have said that they will stay home that November morning and stoke the fire in the fireplace. Others will write in a preferred name — some have even said that this name will be “Jesus.”
There is another interesting aspect to this dilemma. There are actually three different ways to vote for Hillary Clinton. The first is the one that she prefers. Pull the lever for her to be the next president of the United States. But if you cannot bear to do that, then write in the name of a candidate who has no chance of winning or pour another cup of coffee and watch a vacuous TV show at home. Mrs. Clinton will be pleased, because she is confident that the vast majority of Democrats and other liberals WILL vote for her even if they intensely dislike her and do not trust her.
“The sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8).
We know what will happen if the win goes to Mrs. Clinton. Judges throughout the judiciary will be appointed from among those who support the execution of preborns under the dubious rhetoric of caring for the health of women (those who managed to be born, that is). These same judges will continue to attack the religious liberty of evangelical Christians, and the preaching of much that the Bible teaches will be interpreted as “hate crimes,” especially if proclaimed in a public setting.
On the other hand, we have no idea what Donald Trump will do. His record is anything but stellar. But we do know what he has promised, and we are already aware of the docket of judges from which he promises to name those charged with the protection of constitutional rights. Should he keep his promises on only half of these issues, Americans will have a chance to save the lives of infants still protected in the wombs of their mothers and the sanctity of religious liberty. The first freedom that alone gives meaning to all of the others will be maintained in a world that desperately needs this witness.
A presidential election is not about whether you like someone. Neither is it about whether you agree with him on everything. When was the last time you voted for a president with whom you agreed at every point?
Like the Germans and their surrender, the question is simple: Do you cast a ballot, in any one of three ways, that you know for sure will be devastating to preborn infants and to religious liberty, or do you cast a vote for a candidate who offers some hope?
We must hear the warning of Christ and see to it that the children of this world will not be wiser than the children of light. Every infant must be the recipient of a voting parent or grandparent who wishes to give that child a chance to live. And our religious liberty must be preserved!
Choose the candidate who offers hope, not the candidate who guarantees disaster. And you will make that decisive choice!
There’s just too much delusion, and too many lies, buzzwords, and dog-whistles here for one person to pick apart. So…
…This is our daily Open Thread – go ahead, everyone, have at it!
Last month, the Christian Post editors published this assessment of the Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald J. Trump, aka “Scam Artist Trump”, and the Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, aka “Crooked Hillary”, focusing on which candidate would most benefit the Evangelical Christian agenda.
I characterize the article that way quite deliberately. Not once, either in the discussion on Trump or the discussion on Clinton, is there any mention of, for instance:
– which one would be better for Americans as a whole?
– which one would be better for America’s status and reputation in the world?
– which one is more likely to, in a fit of pique, do or say something to start a war or provoke another terrorist attack?
And so on – you get the picture. The point being that, at the very least, Evangelical Christians – whose voices are purportedly represented by the Christian Post – consider themselves “Christian” first and foremost, and “American” a very distant second (if that high.)
Since I’m writing this at 1:30am Eastern Time, I’m not going through it point-by-point, there’s way too much that I could rant about. So I’ll just throw out one of the most egregious lies in the “Hillary” section. An excerpt (emphasis mine):
“While we will not endorse any candidate in this election, here are several factors we believe Evangelicals should prayerfully consider when thinking about what to do on Election Day.
First, Evangelicals should not vote for Hillary Clinton.
She supports taxpayer-funded abortion for any reason until the moment of birth. Given the importance of valuing life, this position alone is sufficient for an Evangelical Christian to disqualify her for the presidency.
Yeah, well “this position” is a total lie, and if the CP had any integrity, they’d print a written retraction. Neither Candidate Clinton nor any other person on the pro-choice side has EVER supported “taxpayer-funded abortion for any reason until the moment of birth.” [I am going to adapt this post and try to get it published at CP–wish me luck!)
I’ve been checking off and on for the last month to see if CP prints any sort of update to this piece, without success. I have to wonder, though, if anything such as the C-in-C “debate”, other Trump (or his spokemokeys’) insanities, or incriminating revelations about Trump’s shady business and political dealings, would sway the “Evangelical Christians” to lean a little more toward the saner candidate, Hillary Clinton? I sure as hell hope so.
For other CP content that doesn’t really encourage my “sure as hell hope”, please see their Politics page – I dare ya, some of the headlines/authors alone are, to borrow a phrase from a Raw Story commenter, “basket-worthy.”
This is our daily Open Thread–talk about the above, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
I have a great idea concerning the means/way to absolutely SOLVE the entire spectrum of Wingnuttistanian freak-out over the U.S.-Mexico border’s cross-trafficking (bi-directional, I assume) by people in search of a more suitable life. It’s simple, really, because:
1. People from Mexico want to cross the border northward because they’d like to find what they believe to be a “better life,” and
2. People from Amurkkka would like to head south across the border because they’d like to find what they believe to be a “better life.”
Seems so simple, doesn’t it?
My proposed solution is both simple and logical, and it’s based on the FACT that both Mexico and Amurkkka are parcel to the North American continent, the continent discovered by European sailor Christopher Columbus way back in 1492 (and think of it — I was born in 1942!! — is that cool or what!), a continent which has, ever since, become a mixture of virtually every human race and ethnicity known to plants (and mosquitoes) the world over — details which bring up that eternal question: why the never-ending squabbling about borders, about boundaries, about who can go which way, who can or can’t live here, or there, etc.? Ridiculous. Here’s why:
The above photo, taken in November 2002 from a campsite just east of Arivaca, Arizona, is of a sunset over the Baboquivari Mountains, a landmark range of desert mountains that rises from the desert floor about five miles north of today’s US-Mexico border, and just to the west of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. The Baboquivari Mountains also define the eastern border of the Tohono O’odham Nation, the lands of which cover some 2.9 million acres in what we know as southern and western Arizona. Baboquivari peak, the high point (7,730 ft) of the range , is sacred to the Tohono O’odham people who know it to be the home of I’itoli, their Creator, their Elder Brother.
The first Western eyes that gazed upon Baboquivari Peak belonged to Spanish/Christer Captain Juan Mateo Manje who described the peak in his journal, in 1699, as “a high square rock that…looks like a high castle.” He named it Noah’s Ark.
Baboquivari represents, in “modern” topography, the approximate point where three (human) cultures merge: the aboriginal Tohono O’odham, the Spanish/Aboriginal derivative aka Mexico, the European/Aboriginal/Asian/African/Muslim/Irish(?) culture aka Amurkkka; and intermingled amidst those three, the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge which lies in the valley just to the north of Mexico and between the Baboquivari Mountains/Tohono O’odham Nation and the rest of eastern Arizona/Amurkkka.
Today there’s a wall that runs along the Arizona-Mexico border (and the Tohono O’odham southern border with Sonora, Mexico) and defines the point where Amurkkka ends, abruptly, where the Tohono O’odham Nation ends, abruptly, and where Mexico ends, abruptly.
Why is that? Who thought that whole mess up? Why is it that the only life forms that give a damn about silly stuff like border walls are politicians and the occasional militaristic nutcase? I mean, birds don’t care. Rabbits don’t care. Lizards and snakes don’t care. Cougars and wolves probably care, but only because they can’t get over. under, around or through the damn wall. The stars at night surely don’t care anymore than the sun cares during the day, that much I know for sure, and right here’s proof:
That’s a November mid-afternoon sun. The mountains in the foreground still go by their Spanish name, the San Luis Mountains, and they straddle the open space between northern Sonora, Mexico, and the tiny town of Arivaca, Arizona. Arivaca is roughly 10-12 miles north of the Mexican border and maybe 15 miles east of Baboquivari Peak — the Tohono O’odham boundary; the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge fills most of the vacant space in those fifteen miles. The sun, meanwhile, shines down from around 93 million miles up in the sky and in the process, illuminates all of Mexico, all of Amurkkka including the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Some say it even illuminates the rest of the hemisphere and, at the same time, several other planets in the solar system. And it does all of that — illumination! — with no worries about ethnicity, or borders, or boundaries, or even walls.
If the sun doesn’t care, why do “we”? Speaking for myself, I (two of us, actually) spent, back in November of ’02, several days and nights camped on the desert near Arivaca during which time our only contact with other life forms involved some birds, a few bugs, a couple of cows, thousands of desert plants, and nothing/no one else — save for the universe above, of course. Oh, and then there was the quiet stillness, the same peacefulness that was there millennia before any human critter arrived to lay out borders and build walls, etc. We did enjoy, however, one memorable instance – the one where we spotted and photographed a vicious looking alien intruder in our campsite:
Couldn’t tell whether it was an illegal immigrant or a patriotic(?) militiaman or simply a Buenos Aires Wildlife wanderer, so I didn’t say “Papers Please!” I actually did nothing other than say hello; the critter didn’t respond, didn’t stay long either. Never did learn its nationality. I suppose I should have called the border patrol, but . . . well, you know, no cell phone signal down that way back then, so I had to back off and put up with the intrusion.
Anyway, out of allathat lookin’, watchin’, and thinkin’ came my brilliant and final conclusion(s), my plan to fix all that’s wrong with “us”:
Borders and Boundaries suck; they serve none but the horribly small-minded (i.e. humans, also Republicans);
There ain’t no need for Amurkkka, no need for Mexico — N. America is the domain of Tohono O’odham, Hopi, Cherokee, Lakota, et al. et al., along with wolves, bears, grasshoppers, et al. et al., along with European, African, Asian, and all other global ethnic immigrants;
Conclusion: NO MORE BORDERS! The time to negotiate and create the UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA has arrived. Freedom! — for immigrants and all their descendants to come, to go, to stay, to move on; Freedom! — for aboriginal cultures to exist, to reclaim and practice their ancient beliefs in a nation where EVERY person has the right to live as s/he wishes, providing there is no interference with others who choose to do the same. TOLERANCE!
After we pull this off — next up, CANADA!! Come join the Union of Civil People and their critter friends!
Seriously, why can’t we ALL just get along? Uh . . . oh. Yeah. Sometimes I forget. We ain’t quite there yet. Still have to find the means to raise the IQ of the Orange whatchacallit to the level of the more cerebral critter. Tricky.
Guess which one likes border walls and which one could care less?