The Watering Hole, Monday, May 18, 2015: Bryan Fischer Threatens Violence

There are some male opponents of same-sex marriage who desperately need for it to remain illegal lest they leave their wives and follow their hearts to find the man of their dreams and settle down to a life of happiness. I’m beginning to wonder if Bryan Fischer is one of them. The very idea that the Supreme Court might actually strike down all bans on marriage equality and declare it a constitutional right (thanks, in part, to Justice Antonin Scalia’s own opinions, in which he suggested the strategy to use for marriage equality proponents to win) has Fischer scared. Very scared. But what does he have to fear if his own marriage is solid and loving? In what way would the right of people (who have no interest in him) to marry each other affect him? Is he afraid that the last thing to stop him from leaving his wife to shack up with another man is a law making that relationship with that man illegal? What else makes sense? Unless he means the violence.

Fischer is pretending that what he fears is the civil unrest that a ruling in support of marriage equality would make inevitable.

“The Supreme Court can be slapped down through a deliberative and representative process,” he said, “rather than through chaos and civil unrest which I and a lot of other pro-family leaders fear is the alternative. If the Supreme Court continues to overreach and they aren’t checked, we are headed towards civil unrest, I don’t think there is any other way around it. If it’s not stopped and reversed, the tyrannical overreach of the Supreme Court, we are to have social dislocation and I believe we are going to have violence as a result. And that is simply because freedom is too deeply ingrained in the DNA of the American people to permit tyranny to continue unchecked forever. The solution: state legislatures rediscovering their constitutional authority under the Ninth and 10th Amendments. “

Tell us something, Bryan. Who would be committing these acts of chaos, these acts of civil unrest, these acts of violence? Would it be the people who support marriage equality? Or would it be the people like you and the other “pro-family leaders” who will be taking to the streets to spread chaos, be civilly unrestful, and commit acts of violence? I think we who support marriage equality are the ones who have something to fear from the people who oppose it, not the other way around. When we start hearing we might lose, we start taking action to elect Democratic Senators and Presidents who will make sure these socially deficient rulings are reversed. When your side starts hearing it might lose, you talk about taking to the streets and committing violence. Who are the real domestic terrorists in this scenario, the ones who want a peaceful remedy to our disagreements, or the ones who talk casually about violence?

Lastly, I think you States Rights’ advocates don’t seem to have gotten the memo yet. The Constitution is not the Articles of Confederation. You keep talking about how the States have the power to enact these same-sex marriage bans because the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government the right to regulate marriage. You frequently refer to the Tenth Amendment and how it means the States have the power over things the federal government doesn’t. But that’s only partly correct. First, you’re deliberately misinterpreting the Ninth Amendment as having something to do with States’ Rights. A plain reading of it proves it doesn’t. Here it is.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

You have to read the Tenth Amendment in conjunction with the Ninth to understand why the People have rights even the states can’t take away.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In all your States’ Rights talk, you leave out the rights reserved to the people, the ones who have specifically have rights not mentioned in the Constitution. And one of those rights reserved to the people is the right to marry the person of your choice. Not people, not pets, not some perversion I don’t wish to name, but person. One person. So stop the polygamy and polyandry claims, stop the bestiality claims, stop the perversion claims. Nobody has ever seriously argued that marriage should be between anything other than two, and only two, people. (Some nutjobs might have, but they are few in number and can safely be regarded as totally without public influence. In fact, if you never brought them up, we’d never hear about them.)

You also leave out the Fourteenth Amendment, one of the most important constitutional amendments in human history. Without the 14th, your 1st Amendment rights mean nothing. If you read the Bill of Rights carefully, it says nothing about the States not being allowed to infringe upon your right to freedom of religion, or free speech, or a free press, or free assembly, or the freedom to petition the government. The 14th Amendment does. It says:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That means the rights you have as a federal citizen are now the rights you have as a citizen of your state. So your state can’t block your right to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly or petitioning. What never ceases to amaze me, Bryan, is how you States’ Rights advocates get all up in arms about freedoms you claim the federal government is taking away from its citizens, but you are perfectly happy with your own state taking away those same freedoms. So why are you so opposed to the federal government saying the states can’t deny citizens within its borders their right to marry? What is it you’re so afraid will happen. Bryan? That you’ll run out into the streets to commit acts of violence against your fellow citizens, or that you’ll leave your wife for another man? I’ll support you 100% on the latter, but not on the former.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to make fun of Bryan Fischer’s paranoia, how my interpretations of the Constitution are off the mark, or anything else you wish to discuss.

Sunday Roast: Mt St Helens anniversary

May 18, 1980, thirty-five years ago tomorrow, Mt St Helens in Washington State went off like a bomb, killing 57 people and turning hundreds of square miles of beautiful forest into a wasteland.

Here’s a handy dandy graphic from the Wiki page of what happened during the blast:

I was living near Lake Shasta at the time, and working at the K-Mart just off I-5 in Redding.  I was amazed at the uptick in the numbers of travelers going north; we could tell who they were because they were buying stacks and stacks of crappy K-Mart air filters for their cars.  My thought was, “Why drive into that mess on purpose?,” but I guess they had their reasons — maybe selling crappy air filters to the masses.  :D

Thankfully, no one in my family was living in northern at the time.  My parents and younger sister moved to Moscow the next year, so they could establish residency before my dad started law school in 1982.  To hear the old people around Moscow tell it, they received anywhere from a couple inches to 12 feet of ash.  As much of a nightmare as it was, I’m pretty sure it was closer to a couple inches than it was to a foot — let alone 12 feet.

Exciting times!!  My inner geology geek was pinging like mad…

This is our daily open thread — where were you the day Mt St Helens went off?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 16th, 2015: Holy Rollers

Karma is a Bitch…

You Reap What You Sow…

The Law of Unintended Consequences…

A Homer Simpson “D’OH!” moment…

A Simpsons’ Nelson “HA-ha!” moment…

What Goes Around Comes Around…

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Stoned?

However you want to describe it, it’s going to be a fun time in Indiana on July 1st. July 1st is the day that Indiana’s revised RFRA law goes into effect. It is also the day that the State-of-Indiana-approved “First Church of Cannabis” holds their inaugural worship service. So when July 1st rolls around, prepare your favorite snacks, roll a fattie/fill a bowl/fire up the bong/bake some ‘special’ brownies, and get ready to enjoy the circus and the fireworks.

An excerpt from yesterday’s Think Progress thread about the Church, which was formed in March subsequent to Indiana’s revised RFRA law:

“It’s going to be a standard service,” Bill Levin, the group’s leader and self-proclaimed “Grand Poohba and Minister of Love,” told ThinkProgress. He explained the ceremony will last around 45 minutes, complete with music and teachings, but will conclude with an unusual benediction: “At the end of the service … we will enjoy cannabis, because it’s how we enjoy life.

An article from the Christian Post website, written by Vincent Funaro, is also informative. (I would have posted a link to it, but pop-up ads there refuse to go away – while, yes, I DO want to look at The Home Decorator’s big Outlet sale, I got their email yesterday so right now it’s just blocking an entire paragraph – but I digress!) While the article is written in a straightforward, non-committal way, I thought the stock photo they used to begin the article, although captioned appropriately, was just a tad over-the-top, not to mention outright misleading.

Hindu holy man(Photo: Reuters/ Navesh Chitrakar)

A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smokes marijuana in a chillum on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu February 17, 2015. Hindu holy men from Nepal and India come to this temple to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival annually for holiday when it is legal to smoke the otherwise illegal drug. Celebrated by Hindu devotees all over the world, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and holy men mark the occasion by praying, smoking marijuana or smearing their bodies with ashes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Indiana organization dedicated to marijuana that calls itself the First Church of Cannabis will host its first “worship service” on July 1, the same day that the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act goes into effect.

The organization will test the law’s ban on government burdens on the exercise of religion as it will feature a pot-smoking session that is illegal in the state of Indiana.

The cannabis group’s founder Bill Levin explained plans for the service to U.S. News and said it will open with “Amazing Grace” played on a harmonica by a popular young musician and move to a quick sermon followed by a “call to worship,” which is actually just a time for smoking marijuana.

“I’m an old-school producer,” Levin told U.S. News. “We start off the show soft and we have a build-up and then in the end we explode in glory and we all dance around the hall.”

Levin is searching for a church that will lease him space for the event and will also consider holding it on a religious campground or in a public park. It’s still unclear if local police and prosecutors are prepared to accept pot smoking as protected conduct under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office in Indiana told U.S. News that the Religious Freedom Law doesn’t necessarily protect people who commit crimes from being arrested.

“It’s that they could assert [their religious beliefs are] a defense if they are prosecuted,” she said.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act says the government cannot “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow their religious beliefs, unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden and it does so in the least restrictive way.

Critics of the law contended that it could be used to discriminate against the LGBT community on the basis of religion. This would apply to Christian business owners refusing to service gay weddings based on their beliefs.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence later clarified RFRA after signing it into law in March stating that it “does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone.”

To appease detractors, Pence signed revisions into the law to remove fears that it would allow businesses to discriminate against the LBGT community in April.

However, the article fails to point out that part of the Church’s raison d’etre is the celebration of the healing and medicinal powers of the ‘blessed’ plant.

And yes, folks, there is a membership application posted on The Church of Cannabis’ Facebook page – in fact, I see that someone we know visited before I did.  ;-)

Hmm…is anyone else thinking what I’m thinking? :D

This is our daily Open Thread – have fun!

The Watering Hole; Wednesday, June 15, 2015. HUMP DAY!

RIP

SATIRE

10,000 B.C. – 2015 A.D.

Satire died last night in its sleep. Overworked to the point of exhaustion, Satire expired quietly in the night. A forensic autopsy indicated Satire was overcome by recent events, as Republican after Republican outdid each other – to the point where no longer could a satirical extreme be found. Pundits tried, to no avail. No one could out-extreme the extremists on the extreme fringe of what has now become the mainstream of Republican politics. Satire no longer had the advantage of being outrageous, yet somewhat believable, as more and more outrageous claims and positions were taken each day by candidates who took themselves seriously, even while the sane world looked on with incredulity.

Satire will be sorely missed. Satire is survived by its relatives: irony, puns and limericks.

Services will be held at 11 and Happy Hour.

OPEN THREAD

Watering Hole: May 12, 2015 – I still miss you

Nonewhere is experiencing “technical difficulties” so he asked me to post something so that bloggers have a place to discuss the issues of the day.

I’m going to regress to Sunday’s special day, Mother’s Day.  My mother had a beautiful singing voice and she sang a variety of different songs throughout the day.  She gave me my love of music.  Here’s one of the songs she would sing.

This is your Open Thread for the day.  It’s your turn to Speak Up or Sing if you like  :)

The Watering Hole, Monday, May 11, 2015: Glenn Beck Gets One Thing Right

Glenn Beck, who can best be remembered from me opening this post with his name, has finally said something with which I completely agree: He has no credibility. After talking about (rush transcript) the Bubba Effect,

What I’m afraid of is the Bubba Effect. And I’ve talked about this for about six years. I said, there’s going to come a time when you’ll start to have riots on the streets. There’s going to come a time when you’ll have terrorists come and do something. And the — and the feds will come in or the government will come in, and they will try to quell it or they’ll try to arrest somebody. And the town will say, uh-uh. Nope! You, United States government, you knew about it. You’re part of the problem. And the Bubba Effect comes from the one idea that — a Muslim goes and shoots somebody. And then Bubba, who just doesn’t — is not really paying attention. Sees a Sikh some place who wears a turban. Not a Muslim, but he’s a Sikh. But Bubba sees him and is like, you people. And he’s all enraged and he shoots a Sikh. Now, what’s going to happen? The DOJ has to come in and try him for murder. But because that town just experienced some sort of, you know, 40 kids in an elementary school shot and they knew that the federal government kept the borders open and these guys came across the borders, they were here illegally, or they were from that mosque down the street that everybody knew was an extremist mosque, but they did nothing about it. That’s when the citizens grab their guns and say to the DOJ, get the hell out of here. What Bubba did was wrong, but we’ll take care of it. We don’t need you here.

While it can certainly be classified as a hate crime, the DOJ usually doesn’t need to step in and try Bubba for murder unless the state, who normally prosecutes homicides, fails to convict him. And let’s be real, Glenn, those 40 fictitious kids who got shot in a school were, in all likelihood if this happened in this country, killed by a deranged white American kid who had no religious or quasi-religious motivations whatsoever. So any connection to our borders is just the paranoia or the bigotry talking, and who says it can’t be both? Also, it’s important to know exactly how everybody “knew” that mosque was extremist. Did they ever set foot inside it, or talk to anyone who had? I’m sure they didn’t, but they’re going to “grab their guns” anyway. because there isn’t a social problem in the world that can’t be solved with a gun, is there, Glenn? Where do you come up with this shit, anyway?

Now, this is not my theory. This is the theory that I learned from the Special Forces command about eight years ago. This is about 2004, and I go to the east coast. I go, where is that? Is that in Virginia? Where was that? Special Forces command? Fort Bragg. I’m at Fort Bragg and I’m talking to the press, and I said, what is your number one concern? And they said the Bubba Effect. They said, that’s coming at some point in the future.

Okay, 2004 was eleven years ago, not eight, and Fort Bragg is in North Carolina, not Virginia, but other than that…

Imagine Hillary Clinton making a gaffe like that on the campaign trail. “Eleven is the new eight” will be the new “Fifty-seven states.” We’d never hear the end of it. “Is she planning to be president for eleven years?” Actually, I’d like to hear them say something like that because it would mean they were admitting defeat before the votes take place. Then some of the wheels on Glenn’s Crazy Train started to wobble a bit…

Now, that hadn’t even occurred to me. This is before we’re really having any kind of real hatred and animosity toward each another. It’s the Michael Moore, you know, Fahrenheit 911 stuff. But we can handle all of that. It just happened. The beginning. Stage one just happened here in Dallas this weekend. And here it is. These marchers, they come in, Moms Against Police Brutality, and marchers for I don’t know, free all the Mexicans. I don’t know. Something about the border.

It was at this point, I believe, that the Lithium wore off completely…

Let them come in. Let them take jobs, whatever. So they’re marching down the street. And these guys are connected. They’re connected to the Nation of Islam. They’re connected to Open Society. George Soros. They’re connected to the Tides Foundation. This is a front group. This is front group. Pure and simple. The police are there. These groups are marching. But there’s somebody in between. It’s the open carry people.

Nation of Islam? Open Society? George Soros? Tides Foundation? All connected? All connected to these protests in Baltimore over the police murdering someone in their custody? And we should have no fear because the open carry people are there?

So now here are just citizens with long arms. They have a right to have the long arms. When asked by a reporter friend, what are you guys doing here? Well, we’re kind of the buffer between these guys and the police. What do you mean you’re the buffer between these guys and the police? Well, we know how the police reacted, listen to this, we know how the police reacted in Baltimore, and we want to make sure that, A, if there was any police brutality, we could kind of buffer that zone. If they start to push the cops, that we could be in between them so that the cops couldn’t really respond — so no bad stuff is going to happen. And if somebody starts looting our city, we’ll stop it. Because the police are going to be told like they were in Baltimore to stand down.

I’ll be candid with you. I didn’t follow the Baltimore stories really closely, as I try to avoid getting sucked into watching TV 24/7, so I don’t know if there were open carry enthusiasts standing guard to prevent looting or not, but I do know that the Crips, Bloods, and Black Guerrilla Family gangs called a truce to come together to do their own business protection. Glenn forgot to mention them.

Bubba Effect. There it is. That’s stage one. Nothing happened. So those guys went home. But now let me ask you something: If Bubba, who is carrying a long arm, they see somebody throwing mazel tov cocktails and they stop it, how many people in our community will say, no, no, no, wait a minute. You were told to stand down. These guys were burning our city down. They’re just neighbors in our neighborhood that are trying to stop these guys from burning our neighborhood down? A lot.

Good thing it wasn’t Molotov cocktails, because those things are really dangerous. I’m not sure that speculating about what might have happened is helpful when half the scenario you’re describing may have happened in your mind.

We’re being set up, guys. We are absolutely being set up. And I don’t know — this is what I pray every night. I don’t know how to do this, Lord. I don’t know what you want. I don’t know — I don’t know what you want. I can’t wake up any — oh, if I had the voice of an angel. I can’t wake anybody else up. They’ve smeared me. I’ve helped them smear me. I don’t have any credibility. Nobody is listening. I can tell you what’s coming. I’ve told you every step of the way. I know what’s coming next. [Boldface mine.]

Finally, Glenn Beck has said something with which I agree 100%. He has no credibility. How could he? He’s a self-described “rodeo clown.” Right Wing Watch has more about this recent beck meltdown.

Glenn wants you to be prepared. To be prepared for the day when he, and the voices of leaders like him, are silenced by the government.

How shall we prepare for the day when you are silenced by the government, Glenn? I’m thinking some weed should be involved.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about, ridicule, denigrate, or otherwise demean Glenn Beck, or even me, for that matter, or anything else you wish to talk about.