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!

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, 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?

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; 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

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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.

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