Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Making Clear the Right To Bear Arms



For a number of years now, I have argued strenuously that the 2nd Amendment does not, in any sense, guarantee that private citizens have a right to own guns in this country.  The NRA and most, if not all, gun owners, may disagree with me and the conservative gun-loving Supreme Court may also disagree but such disagreements do not nullify the truth that the only thing the 2nd Amendment guarantees is the right of "a well-regulated militia" to own and use weapons in the defense of the nation.

What follows is a grammatical argument which sustains my position.  It was written by Daryl Sneath and appeared in the Huffington Post on August 16, 2016.  Sneath is a novelist and self-proclaimed amateur grammarian.

Sneath notes that the most notable of our founders, namely Jefferson, Madison and Thomas Paine, who were directly involved in the construction of our founding documents, were well-educated, very wise men who knew a thing or two about language and they worked to make sure what they wrote was glaringly clear.

Thus, Sneath observes, based on the founding fathers understanding of grammar,  it is not the right of every Tom, Dick, and Harriet to own guns which shall not be infringed, but rather the right to keep and bear arms is always predicated on the need for a well-regulated militia to ensure our freedom.

One of those things they knew about is the comma, the only purpose of which is clarity. Doubtless the writers were acutely aware of this grammatical truism (despite their apparent affinity for complex diction) when they drew their collective stylus southward (certainly aware too of that symbolic direction) making the little mark immediately following the phrase the right of the people to keep and bear arms. As such, the subject of the predicate shall not be infringed is clearly not the right of the people. No subject is ever separated from its predicate by a comma alone. Put more plainly, the principal clause (or declaration) of the whole amendment is this: A well regulated militia shall not be infringed. The middle bit modifies the main.

But the ‘right to pack’ contingent continues to unpack the latter half of the amendment such that, for them, it states matter-of-factly the right to keep and bear arms is theirs because The Constitution says so and ain’t nobody gonna say no different no how.

There’s no need for anybody to say any different—the third comma does.

In addition to the subject/predicate issue explained above, the third comma further indicates that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is a noun phrase which functions adverbially on the the participial phrase preceding it which, in turn, modifies the subject A well-regulated militia.

To clarify, the right of the people is only a right when A well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, all of which together is the thing that shall not be infringed.

The end.


Glaring clarity. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What the hell?


This photo, currently flitting about the Web, shows Ivanka Trump with her dear friend, Wendi Deng Murdoch while on vacation in Croatia.

Wendi Murdoch happens to be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend.

Did not da Trump say he hardly knew Vladimir?  And did he not say he had no financial interests in Russia?

Is it possible da Trump is lying?

Is it also possible that Ivanka is purposely trying to derail her father's bid for the White House?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Made in China by I. Trump


This was sent to me by a friend.  I have no way of determining its source nor can I verify its validity, but I thought it was interesting enough to post.

True or False?

Politifact: Donald Trump Is Way Ahead In 'Pants On Fire' Statements


I've been writing this for a while now, but Donald Trump lies like no other presidential nominee before him. I'm talking about the kind of lies that are easily debunkable and unnecessary. I'm talking about the kind of lies conspiracy theory nuts spew to the fringes of our society. And he's also a serial exaggerator about…

Friday, August 12, 2016

KA-BOOM! What Trump Really Thinks About Iraq and Hillary


What follows is from Daily Kos.


In 2007, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Da Trump.  Da Trump was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq.  Da Trump said this:

The war is a total disaster. It's a catastrophe, nothing less. It is such a shame that this took place. In fact, I gained a lot of respect for our current president's father by the fact that he had the sense not to go into Iraq. He won the war and then said, Let's not go the rest of the way. And he turned out to be right. And Saddam Hussein, whether they liked him or didn't like him, he hated terrorists. He'd shoot and kill terrorists. When terrorists came into his country, which he did control and he did dominate, he would kill terrorists. Now it's a breeding ground for terrorists. So, look, the war is a total catastrophe.

BLITZER: Who do you blame?

TRUMP: And they have a civil war going over there.

BLITZER: Who do you blame?


TRUMP: Well, there's only one person you can blame, and that's our current president. I mean, obviously Rumsfeld was a disaster, and other people that are giving him advice have been a disaster. And Condoleezza Rice, who's a lovely woman but she never makes a deal -- she doesn't make deals, she waves. She gets off the plane, she waves, she sits down with some dictator -- 45 degree angle, they do the camera shot. She waves again, she gets back on the plane, she waves -- no deal ever happens. So, I mean — 


Then, Blitzer said, "Thank you very much.  Let's talk politics.  All right?  A lot of people thinking about politics right now.  I'm going to mention some names:  give me your thoughts right away. 

Hillary Clinton.

Da Trump said:

Very talented, very smart. She's a friend of mine, so I'm a little bit prejudiced. She's a very, very capable person and I think she'll probably be the nominee. We'll see, but I think she'll probably be the nominee.

BLITZER: Is she ready to be commander-in-chief?

TRUMP: I think she is. I think she's a very, very brilliant person, and as a senator in New York, she has done a great job. Everybody loves her. She just won an election with a tremendous majority and she really -- she's become very, very popular in New York. And it wasn't easy.


AND KA-BOOM!!!!



Thursday, August 11, 2016

One Sentence by the Crazy Donald Trump



Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist  and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, 
OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart 
—you know, if you're a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, 
like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the 
smartest people anywhere in the world—it's true!—but when you're a 
conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that's 
why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went 
there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my 
like credentials all the time, because we're a little disadvantaged—but 
you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would 
have been so easy, and it's not as important as these lives are (nuclear 
is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the 
power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of 
what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), 
but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it 
used to be three, now it's four—but when it was three and even now, I 
would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, 
you know, they don't, they haven't figured that the women are smarter 
right now than the men, so, you know, it's gonna take them about 
another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians  are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.

Note:  The video is from about a year ago.  The transcription came from Daily Kos.  The man really is crazy!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Lebanese Olympic Athletes Bar Israeli Athletes From Bus



According to Jerusalemonline.com, on the eve of the Olympic's opening ceremonies, the Lebanese athletic delegation refused to allow the Israeli delegation on the bus - although both delegations had been assigned that bus by Olympic officials.

This kind of thing is far from the spirit of the Olympic games and what they represent - inclusiveness, friendship, cooperation.  It also violates the "truce" agreement among the nations participating.

The Lebanese athletes and their cohorts responsible for this debacle should be confronted and given a choice:  Apologize for the action or pack up and go home!

It is also reported that the Israeli athletes have let this slide and intend to focus on their various competitive events and fully engage the Olympic experience.  That is wonderful but doesn't solve the problem or deal with the issue.  The authorities in Rio need to take decisive action to let the world and the athletes know that this kind of hatred and divisiveness will not be tolerated.

Olympic Games Opening Ceremony 2016 in Rio Demonstrating Dangerous Clima...




And a Republican congressman just the other day suggested that climate change and global warming are a myth and should be ignored.

Those of you who live along coastal Florida, get out now.  Just don't come to Ocala.  Please!  We may be drier in the future but we're loaded with climate change deniers and other jackwangs and don't need any more.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Clinton Campaign Devastates Trump With His Ties To Putin


This video put out by the Clinton campaign is brutally effective, and even more so because it's true. Here's the former Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell, explaining just how awful Trump's embrace of Putin is within the intelligence establishment. Holy cow, folks. "The dangers that flow from Mr. Trump's character are not just risks…

Our Heroes


Evidently, this scene has a Star Wars connection.  It was created by:

@jeffbenzenberg.

I found this at Shakesville, a wonderful blog by Melissa McEwan.  The young man in the middle is a young Tim Kaine...and the face in the storm you recognize right away:  the wrath of Evil.

AARP & The Koch Brothers - Hand in Hand???????

Did You Know That AARP Is A Paying Member Of ALEC?


Here is a real shocker. AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) has been a paying member of the notorious right-wing, Koch-tied lobbying organization American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) since at least 2014. Yes, that AARP, once known for protecting the interests of senior citizens and fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare. Yes, that…

Monday, August 1, 2016

Trump's Campaign Store Might Be a Pain Store

Think Twice Before Buying From Trump's Campaign Store


When you make an online purchase, you try and take confidence that your personal information, including your credit card information, remains secure throughout the transaction. A good indicator is in the URL bar of your browser. If it shows a green lock, that means you're secure. If it doesn't then stop what you're doing and walk…

Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Vote For Trump is Slap in the Face Of Jesus!


[Photo from http://williamkendallbooks.blogspot.ca]

For years Tim LaHaye wrote books about the so-called Rapture with a friend, Jerry Jenkins.  The books were a huge success, unfortunately, and screwed up a lot of people ignorant of the Bible.  But LaHaye became very important in “evangelical” circles.  In fact, Time magazine in 2005 declared him to be one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in the U.S., and went on to call LaHaye and his wife “The Christian Power Couple.”

Tim has died.  I’d say “God rest his soul,” but I’m afraid he’s not going to meet his maker for he was a fakir from the word “go.”  His theology was twisted and irresponsible with no connection to the Jesus he claimed to follow.  None!  He was a Christian supposedly, but as we’ve come to learn, that, in many cases, means nothing.  All kinds of people claim to be Christian but it's quite obvious that Jesus would not know them.  The term, "Christian Power Couple," in and of itself, implies a denial of all that Jesus taught!

Jesus, of course, was not a Christian, either.  Assuming he was a real person, we learn from the Gospel stories that he was a Jew, that he attended the synagogue, that he was well-learned in the Hebrew Bible, that he was a rabbi (teacher) and that he taught NONE of the doctrines that comprise the Christian faith in its various forms today.

My point is that if evangelical Christians today would actually follow Jesus, whom they claim as their “savior,” they would act very differently than they do.  So, we must conclude that their religion is a sham and they are essentially and fundamentally hypocrites.  


But I want to discuss Donald “The Traitor” Trump, who has said on numerous occasions that he is a Christian.  I want to discuss Trump and his “evangelical” Christian followers as their lives relate to the Jesus of the Gospels.  We shall see that, in fact, they actually deny and disavow Jesus by their words and by their actions.

The other day I received an email containing a link to a film by the con man and Christian crook, Dinesh D’Souza.  It was sent by an “evangelical” Christian to many other evangelical Christians (I got it because I am related to the sender).  The film is a horrible hackneyed attempt to crucify Obama and particularly Hillary Clinton as well as all Democrats for destroying the world.  

D’Souza should have no hearing in the evangelical world!  He’s a convicted felon who was fired as president of King’s College in New York, a small evangelical school which serves as the home of Campus Crusade for Christ, because of an adulterous affair with Denise Odie Joseph who was at the time already married.  At the time D’souza was married to Dixie Brusker with whom he had a child.  

In the end he married someone else altogether, a woman named Debbie Rancher - the ceremony conducted by the father of Ted Cruz, Rafael Cruz.  

Obviously, we have a whole packet of hypocrites involved in this mess.

But, perhaps worse than that is the fact that D’Souza was convicted of “felonious election fraud,” for which when he finally admitted his guilt he was sentenced to 8 1/2 months in a half-way house.

The sad part of all this is that millions of evangelicals will watch this film on YouTube and come to believe that Hillary Clinton is of the devil and should never become president.  And it’s all lies!  Lies by one who claims to be an evangelical Christian but does not know or follow Jesus.  


And it’s another example of the fact that evangelical Christians these days no longer even pretend to follow Jesus.  They follow power and fame and money but not Jesus.  They try to protect themselves and their possessions with government and military might.  So, they will vote for Donald “The Traitor” Trump.  But a vote for Trump is a slap in the face of Jesus!

Here’s why:

The Gospels are not the first books in the New Testament.  They were placed in that position by the Church Fathers in the 4th century to make it appear that Jesus came first and everything else flowed from him.

The truth is that Paul’s letters were the earliest “books” of the New Testament, and the first was the Letter to the Romans, written sometime around 50 C.E.  Paul’s letters indicate that there were a number of “Christ” groups in the Mediterranean early on - people who followed a “Christ,” which is the Greek word for Savior.  Paul preached that their Christ was really Jesus.  He did this to root his theology in history, in Judaism in particular; for while he was probably not the rabbi he claimed to be, he was Jewish.

The gospels were written at the end of the first century by persons unknown to us; persons who had never met Jesus in the flesh.  Therefore, their accounts are 2nd hand.  The earliest of the gospels is Mark and Mark is based upon an earlier document known simply as “the source.”  Thus, you will see Mark is rather bare-bones.  Matthew and Luke, writing later, used Mark as their framework to which they added other stories.  You’ll note that the gospels do not present anything like an historical narrative, but are a collection of stories and vignettes thrown together, sometimes with little rhyme or reason.

We’re going to begin looking at what Jesus really taught by heading into the Gospel according to Mark.  Jesus begins his ministry forthwith (there’s no birth story here!) by teaching in various synagogues.  And we learn that he was very inclusive, healing the sick and ministering to those considered outside of respectable society.  He wasn’t bound by religious conventions:  “And looking around at those who were sitting in the circle about him he said, ‘Here are my mother, and my brothers.  Whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, my mother.’”  (Mark 3:33-35)

In other words you become part of Jesus’ inner circle not by going through ritualistic motions or following religious precepts, but by DOING the will of God which is to love and care for your fellow human beings; all of them!  His message was an active message.  You don’t get to heaven by chanting or praying or reading the Bible.  You’ve got to be out there DOING the will of God, which as we will see, includes NOT voting for Trump.

Narcissism defines Donald Trump.  Narcissism means to be most concerned about one’s self; to love one’s self to the exclusion of other people.  Here’s what Jesus said about that:  “Anyone who wishes to be a follower of mine must leave self behind; he must take up his cross and come with me.  Whoever cares for his own safety is lost…”  (Mark 8:34-35)

Then there’s this message to twice-divorced D. Trump:  “What God has joined together, man must not separate. … Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her…”  (Mark 10:9-12)

A vote for Trump is a slap in the face of Jesus!


Throughout the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus meets and and heals people hanging on the lowest rungs of society - children, first-century illegal immigrants, convicts, etc.  These folks included the deaf, the dumb, the leprous, and the crazies.  NOT ONCE DID HE SAY HE WANTED TO BUILD A WALL AROUND HIMSELF!

In Mark 10:17ff, Jesus is confronted by a stranger who wanted to gain the kingdom of heaven and had kept all the commandments.  Jesus said “One thing you lack; go, sell everything you have, and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, follow me.”  

But he wasn’t done.  The rich, he said, have almost no chance of entering the kingdom of God!  “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

A vote for Trump is a slap in the face of Jesus!


What about those who hate the government and don’t want to pay their taxes:  Jesus was asked by the Pharisees if it was right to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor.  He asked for a piece of silver.  When it was given to him he asked whose face was on the coin.  “Caesar’s,” they said.

Jesus said, “Pay Caesar what is due to Caesar, and pay God what is due to God.”  (Mark 12:15-17)

Just after this exchange, Jesus is asked what he thinks is the most important commandment.  If you’re into self-aggrandizement, power, pride, money, status, etc., you will not like his answer, which is, in summary:  Love the Lord your God with everything you have - no reservations, and then, he added a second, very important commandment: love your neighbor as yourself.  Which means, of course, love your neighbor wholeheartedly, even if he or she is a Mexican or a Muslim.

Oops!  Trump fails on that one too!  So a vote for Trump is a slap in the face of Jesus!


Let’s move on to Matthew, which is the 2nd book in the New Testament as it is currently construed.  Matthew and Luke are very similar, but each have added stories particular to them.  They both took Mark’s gospel and added a variety of embellishments, such as birth stories.  The birth stories contradict one another, but church people never have been worried about such things, for they make up doctrines and ignore biblical passages they don’t like.

In Matthew, chapter 5, we first encounter the so-called “Sermon on the Mount.”  This is the sermon that political demagogues like Trump and followers of Ayn Rand, such as Paul Ryan, don’t like at all.

For Jesus turns the tables upside down.  “Blest are the sorrowful…Blest are those of a gentle spirit…Blest are those who hunger and thirst to see right prevail…Blest are those who show mercy…Blest are those whose hearts are pure…Blest are the peacemakers…”

Oh, the ignominy, the horror.  All these things directly contradict what Donald Trump teaches and how Donald Trump acts.  

Later, in that same chapter, Jesus raises the bar even further.  He notes the law says one shall not commit murder, but Jesus says “anyone who nurses anger against his brother shall be brought to judgment, and “if he sneers (at his brother) he will have to answer for it in the fires of hell.”

Trump is in big trouble!  So are those who vote for Trump!  A vote for Trump is a slap in the face of Jesus!

Here’s one Trump ignores big time.  If someone sues you, don’t countersue, but come to terms.  Somewhere I read that Trump is currently involved in over 2,500 lawsuits!  

Even worse for Trump and his Trumpees:  “Do not set yourself against the man who wrongs you.  If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn and offer him your left…

“You have learned…’Love your neighbor, hate your enemy.’  But I tell you this: ‘Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors…”

For those righteous and pious evangelicals who insist on praying in the pubic square, who insist that they have a right to cry out to their god in schools and courts and congresses, Jesus has some harsh words:  

“Be careful not to make a show of your religion before men; if you do, no reward awaits you in your Father’s house in heaven.”

“Again, when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; they love to say their prayers standing up in synagogue and at the street-corners, for everyone to see them. …when you pray, go into a room by yourself, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is there in the secret place.”

Matthew 6:19ff:  “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth…store up treasure in heaven…For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Chapter 7:  “Pass no judgement, and you will not be judged…Always treat others as you would like them to treat you: that is the Law and the prophets. 


And there is so much more.  I’d urge you to read it for yourself.  Jesus welcomes the outcast, the despised, the hated Samaritans, the crazy people, those who had no resources and no hope.  He told his followers to not lie, or bear false witness.  Think about where Trump lands on those issues.  He’s proven over and over again that he hates people different than he is with a passion and that he is a pathological liar.

Notice also that Jesus said nothing about birth control, abortion, homosexuality, capitalism, socialism, the “right” to own and shoot guns or about any of the other hot-button issues that drive the evangelicals to do their dirty work and allows them to justify their completely ignoring of the Jesus they claim to love.

I remember one video where Trump, with hate filling his face, is waving his wee little fists at DNC speakers crying out he wants to hit them, hit them so bad!  His fury is palpable because they had the gall to criticize him.   


In summary, Jesus said that the first and great commandment is to love God with your whole being and to love your neighbor as yourself.  That is the whole of the Law and the prophets.

To vote for Trump is to break both of those commandments.  A vote for Trump is a slap in the face of Jesus.




Thursday, July 28, 2016

Full Speech Obama at DNC. July 27, 2016. Democratic National Convention ...

Democrats Work Together For Our Country





Democrats vs. Republicans or Love vs. Hate



You saw nothing like this at the RNC.