Friday, December 2, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
From Melissa McEwan at Shakesville.
This is not normal.
It is not normal for a president to use his social media account to tweet chilling opinions about Constitutionally-protected rights.
It is not normal for a president to suggest it is reasonable to have one's citizenship revoked or to be jailed for doing something legaljust because he finds it distasteful.
It is not normal to imply that a "year in jail" could be remotely equivalent to being stripped of one’s very citizenship, to be permanently exiled from one's home.
None of this is normal. It is profoundly troubling. And we cannot become inured to such egregious democratic transgressions. This cannot be normalized.
Actually, this is monstrous. Just about everything he does is monstrous. His Cabinet picks, in fact all of his choices are monstrous. He is not a normal human being. He's a monster. If you think that's too strong, then I think you need to take another look, a closer look, because there is no other word that describes our next president!
Sunday, November 27, 2016
It's difficult to know exactly how one person living in the hinterlands can show his/her displeasure with the orange-headed monster soon to take up residence in the White House.
But there is something we can do with relative ease. There is now an App for iPhones and Androids that lists all of the businesses that supported Trump's candidacy for prezident.
Go to your phone's app store and enter "Trump Boycott" in the search box. Hopefully, you will find it possible to boycott a number of these businesses and if you do, let them know what you're doing and why. There's power in numbers and the more people involved, the more effective the boycott will be.
Our current president and his family spent Thanksgiving handing out turkey dinners to retired war veterans, all the while making friendly with these former warriors.
Our prezident-elect had a huge dinner set up in his plush, over-the-top resort, Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach, with a 24-course dinner, enough food for a small nation.
150 Secret Service personnel were needed to guard those in attendance.
The cost to the U.S. taxpayer was $7 million!
Thanks to Crooks & Liars for this.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Reynard Loki, writing at Alternet, describes how sea rise will have a monumental impact upon our planet. "And one dramatic effect is going to force humans to relocate." From 1880 to the present, the seas have risen about 8 inches. But that's just the start. From now until 2100, a mere 84 years away, the seas are predicted to rise an additional one to four feet! And they will continue rising as time goes on.
But I live in Florida and that is the focus of my concern in this essay. Ben Strauss, "A vice president at Climate Central, which spent two years analyzing the specific threat to the Sunshine State," said "'Rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea-level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.'"
Strauss goes on to note "that in Florida, around 2.4 million people live within just 4 feet of the local high tide line. That's almost half the national risk right there. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties alone, there are more people below 4 feet than any other state, except Florida itself and Louisiana [...] ...After the Sunshine State, the next three states that will most likely be overcome by rising ocean water are California, Louisiana and New York.
The map above shows dramatically what Florida will look like with a mere one meter rise in sea level. Everything in red will be under water!
And the Trump administration, built on ideology and not science, plays down climate change and rising seas and is considering dropping out of our international agreements to take action to reverse this situation!
Please read Loki's entire article HERE.
American Nazis and Fascists have finally gotten a place at the table, thanks to Prezident-elect, da Trump.
Trump's senior advisor is a Nazi who for years has operated a white-supremacist/Nazi website.
The Klan is marching again. Swastikas are appearing all over the country, on signs and banners and defacing public and private buildings.
But, we beat the bastards once, and we'll beat them again.
Other notes this Thanksgiving which, due to Trump's election, there is little for which to be thankful:
* It's costing American taxpayers $1 million per day to provide security for Trump and his family in New York City.
* Rumors are that Ben Carson has accepted or is considering the office of Secretary of HUD. Carson has absolutely no experience in public housing or urban planning and has shown no interest in it. And from what we've seen during the 2016 when he was running for the Repuglican nomination, he's pretty much an ignorant, bumbling fool.
* Trump has chosen Betsy Devos to head up the Education department. There couldn't be a worse choice. She and her husband, a billionaire, have devoted their lives to the destruction of public education in favor of privatization and charter schools. She is an ultra-right wing fanatic Christian who fails to understand that public schools are the foundation of our democracy.
* Trump is a congregation of messes. His business entanglements make it impossible to function as prezident. He has business connections in many shaky countries which will definitely compromise his ability to deal properly with their needs or desires. He owes hundreds of millions of dollars to banks in China and other countries. The other day while speaking with President Erdogan of Turkey, Trump promoted his business partner in that country, a clear abrogation of his presidential responsibilities!
* Trump's advisor on "Space" wants to defund NASA's climate, i.e. global warming work.
* Although Trump knows nothing about foreign affairs or even how our country works, he is blowing off the daily intelligence briefings offered by our intelligence community. He's attended two such briefings in the past two weeks. But then he has been busy twitting about his dislike of the cast of "Hamilton," and Saturday Night Live's caricature of him on that show.
* Trump appointed Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Haley, is an ultra-right wing politico with no experience or expertise in foreign policy, the United Nations, or anything else of importance.
* Last, but far from least, is Trump's appointment of Jeff Sessions, the Alabama crackpot, as Attorney General. Sessions was rejected some years back as a federal judge because of his racism. He is a bigot extraordinaire and an out-and-out racist.
Enjoy your turkey if you can!
Monday, November 21, 2016
Not a time for
Explosions in the sky
Or dry Champagne
It is a time when
Winds of war
Hate and terror
When compared to
Is the same.
Ironically, crime is down
From Florida to Maine
And all the way to
That is if we believe
The media, the police and
Not that they would ever
Lie except in an
Emergency or perhaps
If they had a growing need
To put more feathers
In their nest.
One might say
It all began
In the days of Reagan
When a B-grade actor
Became president and
To our friend
bin Laden so
He could fight the Russians
And send them running back
To Russia thereby
Freeing up the land.
Then George the First
Called up the troops to
Fight Iraqis even
Though they'd been our friends
In their fight against Iran
But now he said
They're our enemies
And a danger to Kuwait
Bush owed the
Saudis big time so
He sent our troops to die
To save Kuwaiti oil.
But he left Iraq too soon
Before the job was done
Which left a lot to be desired
And old Hussein in place
Which George the Younger
Thought was bad
And made him
Very mad though it is said
That he was mad
From his youth
And seldom gave a thought
To reason or to
So George the Younger
Went to war but sent
The young and bold and those
Who had no other options
To spill their blood again
So he could at last avenge
His daddy's dithering
Although he lied of course
Which wasn't strange at all
To those who knew him when.
Today Iraq's a hole in hell
The Middle East aflame
It might have happened anyway
But Bush is much to blame
For thousands lost their
Homes and lives
Many went insane.
And in the good ol' USA
Instead of going to jail
Bush is given accolades
A "fare thee well" and "Hail"
George left a mess
A country deep in debt
His tax cuts made the rich
Even richer yet
And most folks struggling
Then Obama came along
Couldn't catch a break
When he tried to do
The things he couldn't do
With a Congress full of fools
Called him a Muslim
And a Marxist too
Fought him tooth and nail
While they left the country
To fester and to fail
So they could blame
And set a precedent
Which would get them
But now we've got to deal
That lying hairy burly lump
Who claims that can change
Our fate and somehow
Make our country great
But he's too little, too crazy
And way too late
To turn this thing around
There's just two minutes left
On the Doomsday Clock
Most folks don't really
Seem to care
Politicians run and hide
When asked what they have done
To stop the seething searing
Heat that's scorching
The Second Coming you should know
Is nothing but a myth
But don't take that to mean
That we'll survive or
Make it through
The earth's Apocalypse!
The word, evangel, comes from the Greek euangelion, which means "good news." In the Christian New Testament it refers to the gospel of Jesus Christ which is supposed to be "good news" to the world.
Evangelicals, therefore, are bearers of this Good News. It applies to all those who claim the title, Christian. However, some years back it was co-opted by "conservative" Christians who stressed the infalibility of the Bible and certain doctrines which they cherry-picked to suit their inclinations. For example, they chose John 3:16 to be their rallying cry: people must be "born again" in order to get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Conservative Christians thus distanced themselves from more traditional Christianity by giving this verse extraordinary power in their theological tradition. All persons who have not had a "conversion" experience and been born again are suspect and not "real" Christians.
They also co-opted the term, evangelical. Because, unlike other traditional Christian groups, they stressed the need to convert everyone and ensure everyone has a born-again experience, they decided that they, alone, were the true evangelicals bringing good news to the world.
And that's why people like Billy Graham and other hucksters travel around the world holding huge rallies designed to do only one thing - convert people to "evangelical" Christianity.
Somewhere along the way, evangelicals became puffed up with pride believing that they alone were doing God's work. As they became more numerous, they began to force their beliefs on other people. The more power they had, the more successful they were.
Years ago, I confronted a public middle school principal in Texas about his insistence on reading the Bible during the morning announcements. When I suggested this was illegal and unconstitutional, he proudly stood his ground as an evangelical Christian and told me to "jump in the lake" or something similar.
I've thought for some time that the good news brought by evangelicals wasn't very good at all. It was totalitarian, disdainful of other people, and quite often disregarded the rights of non-evangelicals.
According to the latest statistics, 81% of evangelicals in this country voted for da Trampf. In other words, a huge majority of people who identify as conservative Christians, true Christians, voted for a thrice-married sexual predator, a con man and grifter who is a pathological liar, a man with no government experience, a man with an ego the size of Russia, a man with strong ties to Russia's leaders, a man whose word cannot be trusted, a man who lives his life to make enormous sums of money but gives away very little, a man who is, in every respect, the antithesis of what a Christian should be and who stands firmly opposed to the teachings of Jesus.
Evangelicals today are not bearers of good news; they are the epitome of bad news. We can understand the 81% voting for da Trampf when we realize they operate and believe the same things da Trampf does. They are hateful and dismissive of people different from themselves. They are wrapped up in fear of homosexuals, Muslims, liberals, blacks, latinos, and the way the world is moving which they perceive as the wrong direction.
Unfortunately, for Christianity, the evangelicals have despoiled the "evangelical" name and the Christian faith. They have proven they are not "born again" but are self-serving political creatures who will sell out their Lord for a bigger piece of the pie or for the pie-in-the-sky promises of a fascist demagogue.
They remind me very much of the story in the Christian Bible, where Jesus' favorite disciple, Peter, denies knowing his Lord three times, because he was afraid.
Evangelicals today have lined up with Peter, not with Jesus. Their shame is palpable and their recovery is doubtful. Traitors are generally greeted by the words, "Go to hell!"
The following is from a New York Times article by Joseph Goldstein; it is his report on an alt-right conference in Washington, D.C.
By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless.
In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future, but had denounced violence and said that Hispanic citizens and black Americans had nothing to fear. Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment.
But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”
As he finished, several audience members had their arms outstretched in a Nazi salute. When Mr. Spencer, or perhaps another person standing near him at the front of the room — it was not clear who — shouted, “Heil the people! Heil victory,” the room shouted it back.
Please read the entire article HERE. Then weep.
It is time, I think, for our corporate media to call a spade a spade. It is time to give up the term, "White Nationalists," which may be correct, but is lacking in its essence. Let's call these scum what they are, Nazis!
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Da Trampf has settled the lawsuit against his Trump University. You may remember what that was all about - it seems people who paid thousands of dollars to learn something about real estate, etc., from "professors" chosen by da Tramp himself, were defrauded.
Da Trampf did not choose the teachers. In fact, the whole thing was a massive fraud.
Now Da Trampf, being non-elected prezident by white folks, decided it would not look too good for someone of his perspicacity (that means "Acuteness of perception) to be shown to be a fraud in court. He proved that on the campaign trail, but things have changed and he's busy filling his administration with Nazis and racists and over-the-top bigots, and ignorant non-scientists.
Thus, Da Trampf decided to cut his losses and settle for a mere $25 mil. With no admission of guilt.
OK, stop laughing. It is funny, though.
He must have been very afraid because we know Da Trampf doesn't take lightly to people calling him a fraud. He gets up in the middle of the night to twit away on twitter to castigate people who suggest that his hair is made up of squirrel tails. Today he whined that the cast of "Hamilton" harassed his VP choice, the patsy named Pence, by asking Pence to ensure just treatment for all people. Whine, whine, whine. Not very presidential in the least.
But for Da Trampf to give away $25 mil ... well, that settlement is, in itself, an admission of guilt!
I can see him in my mind's eye: He's sitting in his silk PJ's in his bedroom in the Trump Tower in the dark. He's fidgeting and shaking and gets up to pace the floor.
"What am I gonna do?" he asks himself. "They're going to find out that I am, indeed, a fraud and I might get impeached and I haven't even been inaugurated! I've got to settle, but with no admission of guilt. That will fool people so they won't think I'm at fault. I've been fooling them for years so no problem."
Unfortunately, Da Trampf is probably right. The fact that he is, indeed, guilty of fraud will make no difference to his supporters. Hell, they'll probably cheer him just as they cheered him for gaming the system so he had to pay no taxes.
Which brings up a final question/comment: When is Da Trampf gonna show his tax returns?
My guess, never. Those tax returns would prove without doubt he is a Yuge fraud!
Friday, November 18, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016
This ought to tear your heart apart. Spotted in downtown Tampa, it's a fitting reminder of what Donald Trump has brought to light. The kind of people behind this have always been around, of course, but like the cockroaches they are, they usually hid from sight because they knew the United States stood for something far different. In fact, pre-Trump, this would probably be considered a hate crime. Though we have a long way to go, we have taken major steps toward becoming an inclusive and just country even as racism has continued to pervade certain areas with its stench.
You might have seen something like this back in the 60s in the south but it would be highly unlikely in recent years.
The damage Trump has done in his campaign is monstrous. He gave the crazies and the haters "permission" to unleash their insanity and hate upon the nation.
It's not going to get any better if the past few days are an indication. The comparison of Trump's presidency with Hitler gets stronger every minute. He has appointed a white supremacist (Nazi) as his senior advisor and among other things he intends to "register" all Muslims in this country. The German Nazis, similarly, in the 30s "registered" all Jews in that country which turned out to be a prelude to the Holocaust.
Hopefully, there are enough decent people left in the U.S. to fight Trump and his minions, to stand for what is true and right, to continue the struggle to ensure all of our citizens equal treatment, equal rights, equal respect, irrespective of their race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other "thing" that people use to discriminate.
Note: The photo above is from Stogie's fine blog which you can check out HERE.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Monday, November 14, 2016
It is true that Donald Trump was elected, in large part, by Christian "evangelicals" who claim they were motivated by their concern that the United States should be a Christian nation.
Evilgelicals (a much more appropriate term) believe that we need their god's blessing as a nation in order to prosper. Thus, they ignore the fact that over the past 8 years, Mr. Obama has brought us back from the brink of another serious depression, has wound down some of our war-mongering, has taken steps to halt the destruction of our environment and global warming, has shrunk our national debt substantially, has helped to ensure that the rights of LBGT persons are respected, has helped to authorize a health-care bill which, while not perfect, has provided insurance for 20 million Americans, and that overall Obama has helped the United States reach a higher level of prosperity.
But the evilgelicals don't care about any of that. There are two issues of importance for them: abortion (which includes contraception), and homosexuality. Obama, they believe, is anti-god because he supports a woman's right to choose as well as the right of all Americans to buy and use contraceptives, and he actually wants to protect the rights of LBGT people.
In a previous article, I argued that no Christian could have voted for Donald Trump. It would be impossible for that to happen because Mr. Trump is diametrically opposed to all of the teachings of Jesus. So, all those people who call themselves Christians and voted for Trump are not Christians at all, but merely hypocrites and will, in the end, face the full wrath of the biblical god!
The evilgelicals, however, ignore that argument. Somehow, because of Trump's current position on abortion and LBGT issues (a position that may change at any moment), he was god's choice for the presidency.
Now, this approach has born another, related, stream of thinking. Rob Boston, in an article at Talk To Action, notes that a number of evilgelical leaders are proposing the notion that god actually got off his heavenly throne and intervened in the election to ensure Trump's success.
They're not too sure how he pulled it off, though...
One group called The American Pastor's Network claimed there is "No Other Explanation - God Worked a Miracle..."
The American Family Association, (designated a hate group by those who know) published an article by Michael Brown, which said, in part, "I believe Trump has been elected president by divine intervention."
We can't forget the Southern Baptist evilgelicals. Richard Land, a high-placed poobah with the SBC, had a slightly different tack. God is really pissed at America, but Trump's election "headed off divine judgment."
Let's consider a couple of theological items. Christians consider their god to be all about truth, justice and mercy, and that he or she (most evilgelicals are adamant that their god is a HE) is omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing).
If that is true, then god knew beforehand that Trump would be elected and thus wouldn't have had to intervene. So, it wasn't god's intervention that got Trump elected but god's non-intervention.
(Or, of course, if god is omnipotent, he/she could have simply switched all the votes for Clinton in the ballot boxes with one little zap from a nearby cloud. Not too hard for an all-powerful deity! And what a great ploy!)
But we still are left with the problem of god's concern for truth, justice and mercy. Why wouldn't god intervene to ensure Trump was NOT elected? That would make more sense because Trump is a pathological liar, who has no taste for either justice or mercy. Trump is a narcissistic businessman who cares only about financial profit for himself.
If god was real and truly about truth and all that other stuff, then surely it would behoove him (or her) to intervene and make damn sure Trump got nowhere near the White House (where, it turns out, he doesn't want to live anyhow ... evidently he needs his own bed and comforter ... both of which are located in New York).
But god did not do that and now we're stuck with this damnable demagogue, this fascist, would-be dictator, this goof-ball who doesn't have a clue what to do next so he hires some of the worst actors on the American political scene to help him try to figure things out.
Ergo, there is no god.