Friday, April 14, 2017

Jesus, Alabama, Presbyterians, Cops and Guns

Because It's Aladamnbama, Where They Have Weaponized Jesus

Holy crap. The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force. Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish a law enforcement department. The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person…

Heads Up Trump Supporters!

Open Thread - A Message For Trump Supporters

Funny and informative! I plan to hold this in my Twitter arsenal, too. Open Thread below....…

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Trump's Insanity is Unraveling the World!

The world has never been a peaceful place.  While there were periods of relative peace, overall it's been mostly wars and rumors of wars since time began.

The United States has many serious problems but for the last decade or so it's been difficult to address these problems because our former president, Barack Obama, was forced to deal with an obstructionist Congress, states that were out-of-control, stupid and indifferent governors, state legislatures, mayors, city council, school boards, etc.

The Christian right has in recent years reared its ugly head and the rest of us have paid and are paying a terrible price as they work to decimate scientific knowledge, public schools, common sense, the Constitution, indeed the Commonwealth as we have known it for the past 200 plus years.

However, in spite of all the problems, some of us have felt, perhaps naively, a sense of safety. We had a president who struggled to do the right thing against unbelievable odds, but through it all, we knew him to be an intelligent, decent human being, who would not go off the rails on some whim, no matter how provoked he was.  And he was provoked!

Unfortunately, our new president is insane.  I mean that in a clinical sense.  He's not just sort of nuts, he is certifiable.  I'm not a psychologist but I do have an graduate degree in counseling and he portrays in his person most if not all of the characteristics of an insane person.

What he has done in his first 100 years is turn back the clock 100 years; he has unsettled the world.  We can no longer wake up in the morning knowing that our president is not going to start a nuclear holocaust which will destroy the earth and everything on it. We know he might do such a thing while laying about at Mar-a-Lago because he claims he ordered the Syrian strike while having dinner there with a foreign visitor!

Here are some specifics:

* Many of his appointees come from Wall Street and are the same persons responsible for the great financial melt-down of 2008.  His Treasury Secretary is none other than "Foreclosure King" Steve Mnuchin who is reputed to be without either conscience or feelings and is responsible for foreclosing on more than 36,000 homes.  This does not bode well for people struggling to pay off big mortgages.

* Trump has chopped off all efforts to deal with global warming.  His head of the EPA is Scott Pruitt, who has fought to kill the EPA for years, who denies the fact of global warming or at least that humans are responsible.  It will not be long before our coastal cities will be under water but global warming has many other global effects, damaging farmer's crops and helping to destroy the seas upon which our planet depends for life.

* His Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, known as a "king of bankruptcy," is a fan of increased coal use which will increase global warming and continue to decimate the lives of thousands of people living in southeastern states.

* Trump believes in deregulation and in a recent interview with Fox Business News bragged about how he is in process of deregulating everything, which he thinks will help boost the economy.  It won't do that, but it will make our food and water unsafe to eat or drink.  It will make our drugs deadly to take.  It will make our highways and byways dangerous to drive.  It will allow the predator plutocrats who now run the country to take the rest of us for a financial ride which will end for many in death and despair.

* Trump is an "America First" kind of guy who has concluded that it is his right and responsibility to ensure that the rest of the world follows our lead in all things.  We have sent missiles into Syria which seemed to have no impact at all except to kill a bunch of people and make our relationship with Russia, always a shaky one, even more difficult.

Trump has in 100 short days turned most of the world against us and has increased the chance of war with several countries, including one also led by an insane person with nuclear weapons, North Korea.

* Minorities of whatever stripe are scared to death - literally in many cases, as Trump and his henchmen seek out aliens to jail and/or deport.  It matters not to them if families are struck asunder or if little children are stripped from their parents.  These people, led by that swaggering little criminal, Jeff Sessions, (doesn't he remind you of Himmler?) are almost identical to the jack-booted Nazi thugs throwing Jews on the trains all across Europe in the 1940s.

* Public education is on a death watch.  The person in charge, a "born-again" Christian with more money than god, hates public education and has worked all of her life to destroy it and she is now in process of doing just that.  Teachers everywhere wander into their classrooms in the mornings wondering what fresh hell they will face that day from faceless, hostile bureaucrats.

* Those of us who depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all also swirling in fear amidst a variety of rumors that these lifelines will soon be taken from us by nefarious monsters in Trump's White House and with Trump's blessing.  We have learned quickly that in spite of Trump's promises to the contrary those rumors may well come true for Trump does not keep his promises; in fact, part of his insanity is that he doesn't even remember his promises!

If you can't sleep at night, it's a sign that you are a sane and sensible person.  But remember you're not alone.  There are millions of us in the same boat.  And we need to keep bailing to stay afloat which means working to rid ourselves of this insane monster inhabiting the presidential offices.

Sean Spicer Wins Award

Thanks to Professor Chaos for this fine award.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Anti-Semitism in Washington

According to the Huffington Post, Trump did not attend this year's seder in the White House.  He was meeting with his generals, probably planning WWII or a nuclear holocaust because, well, he can.

The fact that he did not attend the seder may not seem like much in and of itself.  He may have had better things to do. That's hard to imagine, however, considering that he spends very little time in the White House doing his job.  In fact, 
Trump would rather travel - mostly between Washington and Mar Lago.  If this continues, by the end of the year, Trump will have spent more on travel than Obama spent in his eight years in office!

But not attending the seder points to a more serious matter.  Trump and his father were known anti-Semites when they were in business together in New York City and at one point had to pay significant fines for not allowing Jews to live in their apartment buildings.

Not much has changed, in spite of the fact his son-in-law in an Orthodox Jew and his daughter, Ivanka, converted to the Orthodox brand of Judaism.

Trump has surrounded himself with white supremacists, people who are out and out anti-Semites, and who have for years  paraded their anti-Semitism openly and proudly.  Trump was and is supported by anti-Semitic groups such as the KKK.  He is considered "their man" in the Oval Office.

Jews in this country should be concerned.  Jews have been persecuted, mainly by Christians, ever since the common era began and the Christian church evolved out of the teachings of St. Paul (notice it did not evolve out of the teachings of Jesus, and in many cases, preached the opposite of what Jesus taught).  It is unlikely that this anti-Semitic streak endemic to Christianity will ever change.  Over two millenia, Christians have murdered Jews by the millions!  

Trump claims to be a Christian which should make Jews very worried.  Trump is not a Christian by any definition of Christian that I can find, thus as with the rest of his life, this claim, also, is fraudulent.  

But wrap that claim around the fact that Trump is a fan of Adolf Hitler and we have a problem.  According to Trump's wife, Melania, the Donald kept a copy of Mein Kampf by his bedside and referred to it often.  We have seen how Trump has copied Hitler by his outright lies and his denial of those lies.  That was a method Hitler applied often.  Trump's need for idolization and adoration is quite like Hitler's similar needs.  The "victory rallies" that Trump set up around the country, months after he had won the election is another example of Trump borrowing from the Hitler playbook.  

Steven Reisner has written an important article for the Huffington Post (4/9/17) titled, "Trump Has Taken A Page Straight From The Hitler Playbook."  What follows is a small piece of that article but I would suggest strongly that you read the entire article.

Toward the conclusion of the article, Reisner says this:

So when Trump stokes ethnic hatred by painting an immigrant ethnic group as criminals, rapists, and drug dealers (in much the same way that Nazi propaganda highlighted Jewish crimes); creates a special Office on Victims of Immigrant Crimes; and calls for a weekly report to "make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens," it does not feel like a leap to harken back to Hitler's creation of a special Office of Racial Policy, and the order from Hitler's Minister of Justice that called on prosecutors to "forward a copy of every [criminal] indictment against a Jew to the ministry's press division."

I play my language game very seriously because, as a Jew, I know that when one group is targeted, we must see all groups as targeted.  As a Jew, I know that when bystanders ignore one outrage and then another and another, they become complicit and less likely to protest as time goes on.  As a Jew, I know better than to confuse my current privilege with safety.  And as a Jew, I know that when they come for the aliens, the Muslims, the Mexicans, when they come for the [fill in the blank], they come for me.