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

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

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.  :lol:

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; 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, 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