Apr 172017
 

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees the free practice of Religion, but forbids any government attempts to establish a state religion by giving it preferential treatment over others.  In violation of the Constitution, Trump promised to make pseudo-Christians more powerful, if they ignored his ongoing perversions and helped install him as Fuhrer.  Now Lyin’ Ryan is giving them their reward.

church-stateThe Washington Post reported on Friday that congressional Republicans are including repeal of the Johnson Amendment in their draft “tax reform” bill.

The Johnson Amendment is a decades-old legal restriction that prevents churches, like other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, from explicitly endorsing or opposing candidates for political office. As part of his bid for Religious Right support in the presidential campaign, Trump had promised to make conservative Christians more politically powerful by eliminating it.

The idea that this restriction has stifled the voice of conservative Christians in the public arena is, of course, ridiculous. Right-wing evangelicals and their conservative Catholic allies have vast access to the airways and the public through media empires and political organizations, and they were among Trump’s biggest boosters.

Churches already have the right to talk about issues, register voters, and even distribute voter guides produced by right-wing groups. Repealing the Johnson Amendment could turn some churches into political machines that launder donations from politically-minded donors as tax-exempt religious contributions.

That’s a terrible idea. As the Post notes, more than 4,500 nonprofits recently urged congressional leaders not to weaken or repeal the amendment. Earlier this month, nearly 100 religious and denominational groups, including PFAW’s African American Ministers in Action, sent their own letter telling congressional leaders not to make houses of worship “another cog in a political machine or another loophole in campaign finance laws.” People For the American Way is among dozens of nonprofit groups who signed a March letter saying the restriction has “helped maintain the integrity and autonomy of our religious and charitable sectors and preserve the boundary separating church and state.”…

From <Right Wing Watch>

Giving pseudo-Christian Dominionists more power over the state is only the first step they plan.  The second is to use the state to force their piety codes onto YOU.

RESIST!!

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Jul 222016
 

This week has been fairly slow and I am enjoying that because I know it won't always be that way.  It has been rather humid and promised thunderstorms did not materialise — well the thunder could be heard but no rain.  Today was 31 C (88 F) with significant humidity.  Friday afternoon and the weekend are supposed to be hot — Arrggghhhh!!!!!  My laptop internet connection died on Tuesday.  I had to call Telus support who were able yesterday afternoon to get me up and running again.  Turned out that the powerbar into which my modem is plugged went TU.  I moved the power source and voilà, Houston we had lift off.  Now to buy a new powerbar and switch over my desktop which was also on the same failed powerbar.  Wouldn't it be nice to plug ourselves into a powerbar to increase energy!  I had a great "girls lunch out" date today and of course we got to talking about Drumpf.  No surprise, none of my white, elderly lady friends like Drumpf!  I guess we're just so social democratic!  I have teaching tomorrow with Lucia, but my other student is busy settling in since moving into a new house, so no teaching.  During the day, her husband, my physiotherapist, is busy working so settling in is slow. 

Short Takes

CBC — He's been called a kiss-up and a Mexican Uncle Tom, and he has felt anger from many within the Hispanic community, but Marco Gutierrez, a member of Latinos for Trump, forges ahead with full-fledged support for the Republican presidential nominee.

In many ways, he's no different from supporters here at the Republican National Convention who admire Trump's business credentials, who see him as a natural leader and who believe that he will, as the campaign slogan boasts: "Make America Great Again." …

Marco Gutierrez, a member of Latinos for Trump, says his internet-based group has 20,000 members.

C.J. Jordan, deputy director of political and community affairs for the Republican National Convention, said people need to understand that what is said during the heat of political battle does not necessarily represent one's views.

"… people need to understand that what is said during the heat of political battle does not necessarily represent one's views."???  Then what does it represent?  A political campaign is an opportunity to get to know a candidate, to get to the issues, to set a direction for the future if the candidate is elected.  IMO, clearly the people in this article are delusional, bought and paid for by the Trump campaign and the Republican Party.  They don't see the degree of racism and bigotry in the Republican platform.  Now THAT is scary!

Montréal Gazette — Everywhere he went, the prime minister solemnly remembered Ukraine’s past. He laid a wreath at the memorial complex recalling the many millions of victims of the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine, the Holodomor. He recalled the millions of Ukrainians who fought and died for their country during the Second World War, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And he paid his respects to the victims of the Nazis at Babyn Yar.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his son, Xavier pay their respects to the victims of the 1932-1933 great famine at the Holodomor famine memorial in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 11, 2016 ANATOLII STEPANOV / AFP/Getty Images

Fittingly, Trudeau also directed attention to today’s Ukraine.

his first state visit to Ukraine, would not be his last. What I realized at that very moment was that Trudeau gets it, that he knows Ukrainians are today fighting and dying for the very same values that Canadians have always defended.

Countries formerly within the Soviet sphere are feeling the pressure of growing Russian aggression.  Of course, Ukraine is especially wary since they have already dealt with Russian aggression in Crimea . . . and it is not over yet.  Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, on his first state visit to Ukraine, explained to his son Xavier what happened in 1932-33 in Ukraine — the Great Famine.  It is another example of genocide from the 20th century . . . "man's inhumanity towards man."  This genocide is referred to as Holodomor. 

Holodomor "…was a man-made famine in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5–7.5 million Ukrainians, … Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by the independent Ukraine and 14 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet Union. …but believe it was a long-term plan of Joseph Stalin, an attempt to eliminate the Ukrainian independence movement. … arguing that actions such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs, and restriction of population movement confer intent, defining the famine as genocide; the loss of life has been compared to the Holocaust."

Will humanity ever learn?

Foreign Policy — Seldom does the global public have an opportunity to observe an endangered species in its natural habitat, but this week, wildlife enthusiasts received a rare glimpse into the poignant final days of the American Republican elephant.

Classified as "critically endangered" by international authorities, Elaphantidae republicanus, though native to the United States, has struggled for decades to adapt to its rapidly evolving biome.  The enormous pachyderm — once a noble animal that roamed the length and breadth of the nation, as common in America's cities as in it's rural areas — has, in recent years, seen its numbers dwindle and its habitat contract.

Georgetown University law professor, Rosa Brooks, has written this "as a naturalist's guide to the endangered American Republican elephant".  Although humourous, it certainly has the ring of truth.  If you are unable to read the entire article unless you "sign in", you can sign up and read 5 free articles per month — no cost.

Alternet — The Republican Party platform is a wish list for what Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump would like to impose on America. What’s surprising is that it goes further to the right than what’s even been heard on the campaign trail from Trump as he has promised to build a wall along the Mexican border and embrace the religious right’s long-held tenets opposing abortion, LGBT rights and more.

The GOP 2016 platform would make Christianity the official American religion, English the official American language, replace sex education with abstinence-only advice for teenagers, privatize almost all areas of federal services, cut taxes and regulations for the rich and titans of industry, and impose a belligerent foreign policy and military build-up.

Here are 50 excerpts from the 2016 GOP platform.

9. Appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices: "Only  a  Republican  president  will  appoint  judges  who  respect  the  rule  of  law  expressed within the Constitution and Declaration of  Independence,  including  the  inalienable  right  to life and the laws of nature and nature’s God, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia."

10. Appoint anti-LGBT and anti-Obamacare justices: "Only such appointments will enable courts to begin to reverse the  long  line  of  activist  decisions  —  including  Roe, Obergefell, and the Obamacare cases — that have  usurped  Congress’s  and  states’  lawmaking  authority."

11. Legalize anti-LGBT discrimination: "We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which  will  bar  government  discrimination  against  individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that  marriage  is  the  union  of  one  man  and  one  woman."

12. Make Christianity a national religion: "We  support  the  public  display  of  the  Ten  Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and further affirm the rights of religious students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events and to have equal access to school facilities."

13. Loosen campaign finance loopholes and dark money: "Freedom of speech includes the right to devote resources  to  whatever  cause  or  candidate  one  supports. We oppose any restrictions or conditions that would discourage citizens from participating in the  public  square  or  limit  their  ability  to  promote  their ideas, such as requiring private organizations to publicly disclose their donors to the government."

14. Loosen gun controls nationwide: "We  support  firearm  reciprocity  legislation  to  recognize  the  right  of  law-abiding  Americans to carry firearms to protect themselves and  their  families  in  all  50  states.  We  support  constitutional  carry  statutes  and  salute  the  states  that  have  passed  them.  We  oppose  ill-conceived  laws  that  would  restrict  magazine  capacity  or  ban  the  sale  of  the  most  popular  and  common  modern rifle."

15. Pass an anti-choice constitutional amendment: "We  assert  the  sanctity  of  human  life  and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a  human  life  amendment  to  the  Constitution  and  legislation  to  make  clear  that  the  Fourteenth  Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth."

These are just 7 of the 50 Republican platform planks.  Read through the remaining 43.  I don't think there is anything that we have not heard of or discussed in some form previously.  IMO, these provisions make a mockery of the very foundations of the US and the documents that Americans hold dear — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Republicans would control every aspect of life.  Can you say Fascism?  This is not what the Founders fought for.

1.Fascism

a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.  Any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism

b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
 
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The ultimate diet!
 
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Ping Pong anyone?
 
 
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Apr 132016
 

I’m waiting for Lu to come for her last appointment.  I have found a certified replacement through the Oregon Home Care Commission.  She starts Saturday, and assuming we get along, she’ll be long term.  I have a big grocery order coming today, that I’ll need to put away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:32 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: No one in the United States has taken note of the total disappearance of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who vanished from view several weeks ago.

In interviews with residents across the country, few if any Americans displayed interest in, or concern about, the whereabouts of Christie, who, until he disappeared, had been a once-prominent political figure.

“I hadn’t really thought about him until you mentioned it,” said Trenton resident Carol Foyler, echoing the opinions of many others in the Garden State.

“Huh,” she added.

Great catch Andy!! PIGnocchio has disappeared, and that’s a LOT of disappearing! What diet was he on?

From Daily Kos: A Beaumont, Texas, high school teacher was arrested last week after video emerged online of her smacking a student. Here’s the video:

 

Here we have another demonstration of Republican education.

From Crooks and Liars: With Ted Cruz battling it out for the Republican nomination with Donald Trump, it seems like a good time for SuperPAC head and fake historian David Barton to take a break and teach Americans how to "take back" their country, right?

And that is what he’s doing, according to Right Wing Watch.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I won’t say that’s Dominionist Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian policy from the horse’s mouth. It’s Dominionist Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian policy from the horses ass.

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Feb 192016
 

Yesterday was another day of significant joint pain in the knees and hands so I stayed low and covered up until I had to go out to a meeting in the evening.  Sitting at the computer is difficult and it is at times like this that I wish I had a laptop so that I could work with my legs stretched out and warm under a blanket.  Maybe some day . . .  Today is supposed to rain very heavily although it has not yet started which is odd.  I will be off to teaching again this afternoon with Lucia.

Short Takes

CBC — Pope Francis said Thursday that Donald Trump is "not Christian" if he intends to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. Trump immediately fired back, saying it is disgraceful for a religious leader to question a person's faith.  …

Trump, a Presbyterian, last week criticized Francis' plans to pray at the border. He said the move was ill-informed and showed Francis to be a political figure  …

"No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith," he [Trump] said. 

So Trump would suspend the first amendment rights of the Pope, or any other religious leader for that matter, for commenting on the actions of another when those actions do not meet with the professed values of that person?  Get over it Trump!

Alternet — Historians may someday see the 2016 election season as the turning point in how our society understands the Dominionist movement that is seeking to recast society in its own image.

 discusses the influence of “seven mountains dominionism” on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – who may be the most openly theocratic candidate ever to be a serious contender for a major party presidential nomination.  Perhaps just as remarkably, the Dominionism advocated by the likes of the Cruz family is wrapped in a claim that religious freedom is under assault in the U.S.

IMO, religious freedom — the freedom to believe or not to believe, to worship or not to worship — is under assault in the US, but NOT as Cruz and his ilk would have us believe.  It is people like Cruz who would ram their pseudo Christianity down everyone's throats, who would legislate biblically based laws (Christian Sharia law) that all people, regardless of their beliefs, would have to follow.

Truthdig — But then comes the imbalance: If there is a common element in the rhetoric of all the Republican candidates, it is that Obama’s presidency is an utter disaster, and he is trying to turn us, as Rubio keeps saying, into “a different kind of country.” You’d imagine from hearing the Republicans speak (Kasich is a partial exception) that we are in the midst of a new Great Depression, have just been defeated in a war, have lost our moral compass entirely, have no religious liberty, and are on the verge of a dictatorship established by a slew of illegal executive orders.

Oh, yes, and the president who brought about all these horrors has lost the authority to name a Supreme Court justice, no matter what the Constitution—which should otherwise be strictly interpreted—says.

EJ Dionne is correct . . . the Republicans are hammering away at Obama's presidency in their less than truthful style.  Democrats need to uphold Obama's presidency and call out Republicans for their action . . . or should I say, lack of any meaningful action for the country!

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Aug 032015
 

It appears that the worst of the heat wave is ending for now, with 86° forecast today followed by three days in the low 80°s.  Of course it will take a couple days for this building to shed the accumulated heat.  This week I have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Either the site has technical issues, or there;s something wrong with my system, because all my attempts to go there have loaded a blank page.  To try it yourself, click here.  Please let us know if you get through.

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Racist Commercials [suitable for Republican racism]

 

These ads come from the British film Confederate States of America, but accurately reflect the state of racial equity we could expect if Republicans are successful in achieving their goal of establishing a permanent Republican Reich.

From NY Times: Despite the repeated horror of mass shootings in churches, movie theaters and schoolrooms, the Republican candidates running for president are remarkably quiet about how they would deal with this most pressing public health challenge.

“We define gun control real simple — that’s hitting what you aim at,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas told a political gathering in New Hampshire earlier this year, typifying the level of pandering by the Republican field to the gun lobby.

In contrast, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, is taking up the gun control issue once more, 15 years after the defeat of Al Gore left her party leaders swearing off the subject as a losing cause. “We have to take on the gun lobby,” Mrs. Clinton told a New Hampshire crowd last month. “This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it.”

Tell that to the Republican candidates staunchly opposed to gun safety laws, like limits on ammunition used in the rapid-fire, battlefield-type weapons favored by mass shooters and a ban on unregistered weapon sales by dealers at gun shows. Mass shootings involving three or more murder victims have been on the rise in recent years, according to federal data, while gun production has more than doubled since 2008.

Republicans won’t admit it, but they really want the mass shootings to continue. They generate lots of fear, and keep NRA money flowing into the their campaign chests in return for their support of Ammosexual criminal gun rights.

From Alternet: As an unprecedented shift in public opinion brought about the legalization of gay marriage, a vigorous counter-current has been intensifying under the banner of “religious freedom”—an incredibly slippery term.

Perhaps the most radical definition of such freedom comes out of the relatively obscure tradition of Christian Reconstructionism, the subject of a new book by religious studies scholar Julie Ingersoll, Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstructionism.  As Ingersoll explains, Reconstructionists basically reject the entire framework of secular political thought in which individual rights have meaning, so “freedom” as most Americans understand the term is not the issue at all. Indeed, they argue that such “freedom” is actually slavery—slavery to sin, that is.

Reconstructionists aim to establish a theocracy, though most would no doubt bristle at that description. They do not want to “take over the government” so much as they want to dismantle it. But the end result would be a social order based on biblical law—including all those Old Testament goodies like stoning gay people to death, while at the same time justifying “biblical slavery.”  These extreme views are accurate, Ingersoll explained, but at the same time quite misleading in suggesting that Reconstructionism is a fringe movement with little influence on the culture.

I agree with the author. The rabid Republican base goose steps almost entirely behind Reconstructionist Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the exact opposite of authentic Christians).

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Cousin Pole Cat knows just how to spray them!

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Jan 192015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 75.  I’m still pretty pooped after yesterday’s cleaning jag, but I can rest while meditating on the Ellipsoid Orb, during this High Holy Day.  I think I’ll cheer for the Packers to get back at the damn Seachickens for all the Broncos games that weren’t televised here because of them.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: President Obama will use his State of the Union address to call on Congress to raise taxes and fees on the wealthiest taxpayers and the largest financial firms to finance an array of tax cuts for the middle class, pressing to reshape the tax code to help working families, administration officials said on Saturday.

This has about as much chance to pass, as there is that Agent Orange will give up his Jameson. What Obama is doing here is providing an example of how to act like Democrats for Democrats.

From Kansas City Star: …Instead [of telling the hard truth], in the governor’s [Brownback] “it’s always sunny in Kansas” scenario:

▪ Tax cuts are not leading to massive revenue shortfalls (but they are).

▪ The state should continue its march to a zero income tax (never mind those pesky revenue woes).

▪ The tax cuts are leading to tremendous private-sector job growth (but most states are actually growing at faster rates than Kansas).

▪ Funding for K-12 schools is a major cause of Kansas’ budget problems (but it’s really not).

▪ The school funding formula must be radically changed (but the governor can’t tell you how).

▪ Giving him near-control of the State Supreme Court appointments would be a great idea (yikes).

▪ God is helping guide him and other elected leaders as he helps Kansas through this mess (how delusional).

The "god", who is guiding Brownback in this is Supply-side Jesus, the polar opposite of the real Jesus. Supply-side Jesus is an invention of the Republican base to justify their hatred, greed, lies, and lust for power. If Supply-side Jesus were real, he would have cloven hooves and carry a pitchfork. The people who deserve this most of all are the Democrats, who stayed home on election day.

From Washington Post: Sen. Elizabeth Warren has an explanation for the singular nature of her power.

I’ll always be an outsider. That’s how I understand the world,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview. “There’s a real benefit to being clear about this. I know why I’m here. I think about this every morning before I open my eyes, and I’m still thinking about it every night when I go to sleep.”

Being the target of that kind of focus can be an excruciating experience — the freshest case in point being investment banker Antonio Weiss, whom President Obama put forward last year as his nominee for Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance.

Initially seen as a highly credentialed and noncontroversial pick for a low-profile post, Weiss found himself up against a storm of opposition, led by Warren, who said he was yet another example of Wall Street cronyism within the Obama administration.

On Monday, Weiss wrote a letter to the president asking that his name be taken out of consideration.

The tussle sent yet another signal, maybe the clearest yet, of how Warren intends to wield her growing clout. It showed that she and her brand of populism are forces to be reckoned with — not only by Obama and his team, but also by the Democrats’ likely 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. [emphasis added]

What can I say? I Red heart Liz!!

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