Friday, December 8, 2017

Welcome To The Cult, America

Cults. Just the word evokes images of mindless death and tragedy. Jonestown, Waco, Heaven’s Gate. The grisly evidence of cult brainwashing is there for all to see, but sadly too late to save the victims.

The existence of cults is evidence that humans have an innate herd instinct that induces those with anger and hate, or simple fear, uncertainly, and anxiety to join groups of true believers. True believers blindly follow their leaders. 

Believing leaders frees them of the need for self-examination and intellectual curiosity to adapt to the world. Believing leaders frees them of doubt and moral ambiguity. Believing leaders endows them with the belief that they alone possess the truth and superior morality. Believing leaders means rejecting all facts and information their leaders want them to reject.

Let’s look at some examples.

If you believe an ancient alien warlord named Xenu dropped souls into volcanoes, you are in a cult.

If you believe Sun Myung Moon was Jesus returned, you are in a cult.

If you believe David Koresh was the new Messiah, you are in a cult.

If you believed Charles Manson’s “Helter Skelter” gibberish, you were in a cult.

If you believed a creepy castrated guy called “Do” telling you to put on your Nike shoes to prepare to go up to a spaceship, you WERE in a cult.

If you believed Jim Jones was a prophet and drank his koolade, you WERE in a cult.

I think we're clear, right? Cultists believe their leaders without question, and are indoctrinated to distrust all other sources of information. They will revere and serve their leaders to any degree, up to and including their deaths. They are true believers.

Now let’s look at the biggest cult the United States has ever seen. Millions of good Americans have willingly drunk their leaders’ koolade, and refuse all facts and information their leaders want them to reject.

How do we know they are a cult? And how do we know if YOU are in this cult?

Let’s look at some more examples of cult indoctrination.

If you believe corporate owned newspapers and corporate TV network news are “liberal media”, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe FOX News is "fair and balanced", you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Bannon, Breitbart and Limbaugh, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe there is no such thing as climate change, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe the scientific consensus on greenhouse gasses contributing to climate change is false, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe paid shills of Big Oil telling you billions of tons of greenhouse gasses have no effect on climate, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe the Republicans and the NRA saying Democrats and liberals want to take your guns, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe there is a “war on Christmas”, you are in a cult and drank the koolade. 

If you believe white Christians are persecuted and stripped of their religious freedom, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Saddam was in cahoots with al-Qaeda, had “biological labs” and “nukular” aluminum tubes for a nuclear weapons program, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Black Lives Matter is a racist hate group, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe liberals are to blame for everything wrong in our country, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe unions are bad for Americans, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe universal public healthcare is communism, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe colleges are pushing a “liberal agenda”, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilia sex ring from a pizza parlor, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Hillary Clinton should be locked up without criminal charges, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Trump was sent by Jesus to make America great, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Trump calling over a dozen credible women he molested liars, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe birther Trump when he said Obama was not born in the US, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Trump was correct when he said, “Very fine people” marched with Nazis in Charlottesville, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Trump blaming “fake news”, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe Trump about anything, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe birther pedophile Roy Moore calling credible accusers liars, and blaming the “liberal media”, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe only conservatives have values, you are in a cult and drank the koolade. 

If you believe tax cuts for corporations and the rich benefit anyone but the rich, you are in a cult and drank the koolade.

If you believe any of this, you are in the cult of Con-servatism. Your fears, anxieties and resentments have been fueled to the point of paranoia. You are told who to blame, who to resent, who to attack, who to accuse, who to distrust... and above all, who to vote for. You are being told your cult leaders should have complete power to rule our nation. You are told only your leaders like Trump can save our country. This is the indoctrination. This is the power of the far Right Cult of Con-servatism.

And this is the authoritarianism that leads to totalitarianism.

The far Right Cult of Con-servatism is a clear and present danger to democracy, equality, justice, freedom, and to our republic itself.

Until this cult is exposed and stripped of its power, our nation will slide further into totalitarian suppression of voter rights, education, unions, journalism, and minority rights.

This cult is in complete service to their masters. Their masters are the far Right corporate elites and neo-aristocracy that has gained almost complete control of our government. They are not concerned for our Constitutional general welfare. They want to eliminate or control it. They are dismantling our Constitutional regulation of commerce. Their wealth is the only “free speech” that is heard by their puppets in Congress.

Their puppets will do everything in their power to assure trickle up wealth for their masters.

This cult can only deliver the people fouled air and water, corporate controlled education, far Right propaganda in corporate media, Orwellian squalor, and permanent war.

This is how they will make America great again... for them only. The cult of duped Americans will reap what their masters have sown.

Unfortunately the rest of us will also suffer the consequences. And the far Right Cult of Con-servatism will continue to blame us.

That is how all cults operate. We are now to the point where we cannot save the victims.


Welcome to the Cult, America. Drink the koolade and make yourself great again, or witness in horror the end of the Great Experiment in democracy.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Tyranny Of The Takers

The Party of Trump is pressing on with their extremely unpopular “Tax Cuts For The Rich And Screw Everyone Else” legislation. Every time the corporate media call that rapacious violation of the public interest “tax reform” I want to throw a brick at the TV.

The Republican Kleptocracy is kicking in, while kicking the little guy in the gut. Is there any other way they operate? I was planning on having a nice relaxing day today, so I’m going to let a few other people’s tweets convey the reality based perspective on the Party of Trump’s fleecing of America:

==

Jared Bernstein: Media and everyone else: From here on in, the GOP can NEVER credibly say "we can't afford X because it will raise the deficit!" Their support for their deficit-financed tax plan once-and-for-all, permanently takes that (always BS) argument off the table.

David Roth: Say what you will about needlessly making the lives of millions of Americans harder and worse so that 135 rich sociopaths never have to pay taxes on their private airplanes, but it is A WIN.

Joshua Holland: They don't expect him to win a second term and don't know when they'll have unified control again. It's the politics of looting the place while you still can.

Steve Schmidt: The United States Senate has gone completely off the rails. Lobbyists are writing the bill in secret and duly elected Democratic US Senators have no idea what's in it. The corruption of what used to be the world’s greatest deliberative body is a tragedy.

Ben Wikler: Until now, your income that paid for public schools (via state & local taxes) wasn’t taxed by the federal government. GOP bill ends that. Instead, they’re now creating a tax break for *private* school tuition.

Kevin Kruse: A 479-page bill, with major ramifications, rushed through with no hearings and no testimony, with the text not even printed up and only released hours before the vote. I'm trying to think of a historical precedent for this, but I'm coming up completely blank.... So, no, this mad rush with the GOP tax cut is nothing like the ten-month process behind Obamacare. Anyone who suggests so is admitting they don't know the first thing about either of these events. ..The Affordable Care Act took ten months from start to finish, with endless debate, discussion, congressional hearings, town halls, public meetings, and even a full formal presidential address devoted to explaining the details.

Kurt Eichenwald: For the MAGA guys who don’t understand: the people handwriting the tax bill don’t give a damn about them or this country. They are $1,000 Gucci shoe-wearing lobbyists who get pols to sell us all out, again and again, because you LET THEM by falling for the GOP con.... When the MAGA voters find their retirement age up at 70 and Medicare crippled because of this tax bill of sociopathic greed, will they FINALLY understand they’ve been conned? Or will they just wait for Fox to figure out some way to blame democrats?


Andy Richter: So it’s been proven. There’s a 99% chance that the GOP doesn’t give a shit about you.

==

Thanks to all of the above. They saved me a lot of typing and seething.

I’ll let our Last American Prophet make the point, as only he could:

You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations, and they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State Houses, and the City Halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear.

They’ve got you by the balls.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. 

They don’t want that, you know what they want?

They want obedient workers, obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. 

- George Carlin


Welcome to Con-servative America, folks.

Here's my humble take:

The far Right aristocratic plutocracy of economic elites has Taken our government. Now they are writing laws that increase THEIR Take, proving THEY are the Real Takers. And they are Taking FROM us, and Taking us down. Their wealth has spoken,Taking the right of "free speech" into the exclusive domain of the elites. Their efforts to Take control of voters and hinder voter registration and poll access also sends their message. Democracy has been Taken from the people. 

In case you missed the point, the greedy elites of the Right are the Real Takers, 

The economic elites have won their revolution. (You thought the revolution was that of the people rising against the powerful and corrupt? Sadly, no. It was the other way around all along.) Their revolution against our democratic representative republic has succeeded. Their corruption of our politicians, laws, and courts is more complete than ever. We are now under domination and rule by the tyranny of the Takers.

This should work out swell. If not, liberals will be blamed.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Yes, Virginia, There ARE American Nazis

Item One: A PBS feature on “Tar Heel family illustrates why Trump appeals to the South”

“First time voter” and Trump volunteer Grace Tilly was finally getting the candidate she loves. She sports tattoos “88” (code for “HH”, Heil Hitler) and the Celtic cross used by Nazi site Stormfront as a logo. Her Trump supporting husband Ferron is wanted for armed robbery. Farron Tilly’s YouTube channel shows up when using his username, farron666. It includes videos for “Nature’s Eternal Religion” under the playlist “WhitePrideIsAllRight.” Dad shrugs these details aside. Pete “Kids These Days” Tilly has a “Veterans for Trump founder” patch on his jacket.

Item Two: A New York Times article titled, “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland”

He is the Nazi sympathizer next door, polite and low-key at a time the old boundaries of accepted political activity can seem alarmingly in flux. Most Americans would be disgusted and baffled by his casually approving remarks about Hitler, disdain for democracy and belief that the races are better off separate... On Facebook, Mr. Hovater posted a picture purporting to show what life would have looked like if Germany had won World War II: a streetscape full of happy white people, a bustling American-style diner and swastikas everywhere. “What part is supposed to look unappealing?” he wrote... After he attended the Charlottesville rally, in which a white nationalist plowed his car into a group of left-wing protesters, killing one of them, Mr. Hovater wrote that he was proud of the comrades who joined him there: “We made history. Hail victory.” In German, “Hail victory” is “Sieg heil.”

Yes, Virginia, there are American Nazis. And they LOVE their Dear Orange Fuhrer. And they are all conservative. They hate liberals almost as much as they hate minorities.

 And every one of them will tell you to your face they are “not racist” and a “Christian”.

In other Fascists-for-Trump news, we have the slimy liars at the deceptively named “Project Veritas”, working to undermine the Washington Post’s accounts of Roy Moore’s victims. What kind of vermin lie to support a child molester? Con-servatives without a conscience. Posing as a pimp to smear ACORN, James O'Keefe became a famous propagandist for the extreme Right. He is a liar and a criminal, "just doing his job".

Item Three: A Washington Post story titled: “A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operation.”

A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets.

In a series of interviews over two weeks, the woman shared a dramatic story about an alleged sexual relationship with Moore in 1992 that led to an abortion when she was 15. During the interviews, she repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore’s candidacy if she went public.

The Post did not publish an article based on her unsubstantiated account. When Post reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story and an Internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations, she insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists.

But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups. The organization sets up undercover “stings” that involve using false cover stories and covert video recordings meant to expose what the group says is media bias.

James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas who was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2010 for using a fake identity to enter a federal building during a previous sting, declined to answer questions about the woman outside the Project Veritas office, a storefront in Mamaroneck, N.Y., on Monday morning shortly after the woman walked inside.

...The group’s efforts illustrate the lengths to which activists have gone to try to discredit media outlets for reporting on allegations from multiple women that Moore pursued them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.

...Gateway Pundit, a conservative site, spread a false story from a Twitter account, @umpire43, that said, “A family friend in Alabama just told my wife that a WAPO reporter named Beth offer her 1000$ to accuse Roy Moore.” The Twitter account, which has a history of spreading misinformation, has since been deleted.

The Post, like many other news organizations, has a strict policy against paying people for information and did not do so in its coverage of Moore.

This is their war on truth and journalism. The German Nazis used the term "Lügenpresse", or lying press, in their campaign to destroy journalism. Now American fascists cry "liberal media" and "fake news" when the truth threatens their agenda.

These are the devoted authoritarian fanatics of the fascist Right that have risen to frightening levels of influence in their war on democracy,a free press, education, unions and minorities.


Keep trusting FOX(R) and hate radio, folks. Be "Good Amerikaners" and read Bretibart and Gateway Pundit. And keep believing Dear Leader Kim Jong Don. Never mind the reeking rotting borscht.

Keep voting for Republicans. THEY are the Party of Trump. 

 Just remember, these are the fascists who are voting alongside you. And never forget; Hitler made Germany great again.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Moral Relativism, Moral Rot, And The Real Takers


“I mean, give me a break — they’re political hacks,” Putin’s Puppet said. “You have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey’s proven now to be a liar, and he’s proven to be a leaker, so you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that.”

Are there any members of the Trump Cartel who have NOT lied about Russia yet?


This is the despicable and treasonous betrayal of not only a Director of National Intelligence, Director of the CIA, and Director of the FBI, but a betrayal of the thousands of professionals who agree that Putin attacked our election in Trump’s favor. It is betrayal of our democracy and a betrayal of our nation. Siding with Putin while insulting those men and agencies dedicated to protecting our country is the lowest he’s gone yet.

And he did it on foreign soil...And on Veterans’ Day...And his party and his cult are still loyal to this malignant tumor on humanity.

The Party of Trump is on full display, showing they have no morals. Very few, mostly those not up for election, speak out against the monsters in power. The moral rot of the Party of Trump is more than evident.

Meanwhile the Party of Mammon makes it clear who they represent.  

Rep Chris Collins (R-NY) on tax reform: "My donors are basically saying, 'Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'"

Reporter Frank Thorp: “What happens if GOP isn't able to pass tax reform?”

Lindsey Graham( R-SC): "The party fractures, most incumbents in 2018 will get a severe primary challenge, a lot of them will probably lose, the base will fracture, the financial contributions will stop, other than that it'll be fine!"

The Party of Trump continues its crusade of kleptocracy to coddle the rich and screw the little guy.

Here’s your “tax cuts”, chumps.

Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wa.) questioned Thomas Barthold, chief of staff for Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation on the proposed GOP tax overhaul:

Will a teacher in my district who buys pens, pencils paper, for his students be able to deduct these costs from his tax return under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

Will a corporation that buys pens, pencils, and papers for its workers be able to deduct those costs from its tax returns under this plan?
Simple answer: Yes.

Will a firefighter from my district be able to deduct the state and local sales taxes that she pays from her tax returns under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

And will a corporation be able to deduct sales taxes on business purchases under this plan?
Simple answer: Yes.

Will a homeowner in my district be able to deduct more than $10,000 in property taxes under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

Will a corporation be able to deduct more than $10,000 in property taxes under the plan?
Simple answer: Yes.

And if a worker in my district had to move because his employer is forcing him to relocate his family or potentially lose his job, can he deduct his moving expenses under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

But if a company, a corporation, decides to close its facilities in my district, fire its workers, and move its operation to China, say, can it deduct associated moving expenses under this plan? Or stated another way: Can a corporation under this plan deduct outsourcing expenses incurred relocating a U.S. business outside of the United States?
Simple answer: Yes.

Duped and gullible Christians dutifully vote for their Party or Mammon, of, by, and for the wealthy elite. 

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“It just looks like the Republicans are taking the money from the Democrat states and giving it to the Republican states,” GOP Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) said in September, adding that it’s a “game of Republicans sticking it to Democrats.”

The hateful assholes have no shame and no conscience.

“We should criminalize homosexuality,” declares “values” candidate Roy Moore.

Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler knows IOKIYAR. "Also take Joseph and Mary," he said. "Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus...There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

You see? Roy Moore is practically a saint, persecuted by the evil Satanists of the liberal media. 

They are deplorable, and they love to prove it.

Roy Moore can molest a 14 year old girl, and several more teenagers, while his “Christian” supporters do not care. They voted for their pussy grabbing racist liar to be president, so their so-called “values” are basically a sham. Or they can plead ignorance or stupidity. Either way, they have screwed our country more than their feeble minds and shallow values will ever comprehend.

Remember their classic projection when they accused liberals of "moral relativism"? 

Now it's Make America Grope Again, amirite?

Keep voting for the real takers, liars, racists, and molesters, folks. You’ll get just what you deserve. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Rush "Goebbels" Limbaugh

“Sometimes, terrorists come straight from the Democrat Party, straight from the American left... It is more than obvious that the left is encouraging their followers to be vile, aggressive, abusive and dangerous. There’s no question about it. The left is encouraging this kind of activity. They are promoting it. And they celebrate it.”

The original version:


“Sometimes, terrorists come straight from the Jews, straight from the Jewish left... It is more than obvious that Jews encouraging their followers to be vile, aggressive, abusive and dangerous. There’s no question about it. The Jews are encouraging this kind of activity. They are promoting it. And they celebrate it.” 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Real "Empty Barrel"

So much for honor and service.

Former general John Kelly supported his Orange Authoritarian leader’s botched consolation call, and the lies about it, to a woman who lost her husband while serving in Niger. Kelly’s subsequent attack on the military widow and her friend Congresswoman Wilson was the same far Right tactic of accusation, tinged with racism, for all who dare call out their lies.

Kelly claimed Congresswoman Wilson "stood up, and in a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there in all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building." 

This is a lie, proven by video of the event in question. Right wing assholes don’t need no facts. This has always been true. Why should they worry about facts if they get in the way of their hate, greed and agenda for power?

Kelly was so filled with hate for the uppity Black woman, he repeated,  "even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned." Aww. Poor wittow stunned asshole.

Kelly told Fox News he used the phrase to eloquently "call people liars." This is the vile projection we see all the time from the radical far Right.

Proven liar John “Empty Barrel” Kelly refuses to admit to the lie and refuses to apologize.  He is a disgrace to not only the country and Constitution, but to basic human decency. No wonder he fits in so well with the Kremlin approved Trump Cartel. 

John “Empty Barrel” Kelly had more to add to his dishonorable vile character. “I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man.”

Yes, for defending slavery and treasonously killing thousands of American soldiers. You can bet every goddamned white racist is totally on board with him.

So much for “supporting" the US military. Let’s add ‘hypocrite” to “liar” and “asshole”, to bestow upon the far Right authoritarian John “Empty Barrel” Kelly.

Empty Barrel expanded on his ignorance by saying, “He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which, 150 years ago, was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War. And men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had to make their stand.”

More BS. The Revolution was fought for United States independence, not for individual state sovereignty.

His, “men and women of good faith on both sides” echoes his beloved Fuhrer’s praise for white racists marching with Nazis in Charlottesville.

Empty Barrel showed more stupidity with, “...the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War”.

Oh, really? This from a far Right jerk from a party that refuses to compromise? What an ignorant asshole. (Pardon me if that term becomes redundant. I’m open to any other descriptor that would be more accurate.)

The Compromise of 1850, allowed the South to implement slavery in new U.S. territories gained during the Mexican-American War.

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates  tweeted, “...it’s called The three fifths compromise for a reason”, referring to the constitutional provision that increased representation for slave states in the House of Representatives in 1787.

Coates added, “But it doesn’t stand alone,  “Missouri Compromise. Kansas-Nebraska Act.”

He later tweeted there was also the Compromise of 1877, which further disenfranchised black people once federal troops withdrew from Southern states.

Coates summed it up with, “Shocking that someone charged with defending their country, in some profound way, does not comprehend the country they claim to defend.”

I would say this now applies to the vast majority of the morally bankrupt Party Of Trump. 

John “Empty Barrel” Kelly is a viper, who fits in perfectly with the snake pit that infects our White House.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Profiles In (Relative) Courage

In case nobody noticed, I disagree with Republicans almost all the time.

They are generally wrong-headed, war mongering, authoritarian, democracy suppressing, corporate shills, as well as hypocritical Christian servants of mammon. Like their Dear Leader, many of them have employed disinformation, anger and resentment as a means to gain and hold power. They run a good scam in fooling Americans. They have duped many good Americans into thinking they share their values and represent the little guy.

They don’t.

Gullible conservative Americans take them at their word. 

Republicans are in power primarily to serve banks and corporate interests, cut taxes for the rich, deregulate polluters, suppress climate science, undermine public education, delegitimize our free press, and cut safety net benefits for the poor. Their actions speak louder than their words. Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote, killing a regulation that allowed consumers to bring class action lawsuits against banks and credit card companies.


Lucky for them most Americans pay less attention to their actions than to their “values” rhetoric.

Despite all that, some of them are showing signs of human decency and respect for truth. They have been speaking out against the incompetent, authoritarian, racist, liar in the White House. Although the fact they are not up for re-election next year does detract from their demonstrating a higher level of courage. Kudos to Sasse for speaking some truth about Trump before last year’s election.

While I have little use for their words, I sincerely hope the shamefully few voices in the Republican Wilderness resonate with our fellow Americans. Sadly, far too many are brainwashed by the propaganda of FOX(R), Breitbart, Hate Radio, and their ilk.

So today I’m letting the Republicans with relative courage take the greater share of my post.

If that isn’t “fair and balanced”, what is?

+++++++

Senator Bob Corker:

 The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful... He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation...It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.

I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos, and I support them very much."

(Since this comment, John “Empty Barrel” Kelly has shown his Trumpian colors by dishonestly attacking a female Black representative who was supporting a gold star widow.)

=

Republican Senator Ben Sasse:

I can’t support someone that I don’t think would take the oath of office in good faith.

Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. 

Trump whined, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!... Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!”

In response, Sasse noted:

Mr. President: Words spoken by the President of the United States matter...Are you recanting of the Oath you took on Jan. 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment?...
Question for conservatives: What will you wish you had said now if someday a President Elizabeth Warren talks about censoring Fox News?...Please just stop, This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office. 

(While Sasse’s point is solid, the Party of Trump has been attacking journalists and demonizing our free press for decades. IOKIYAR, after all.)

=

Senator Jeff Flake:

...And there are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles.

Now is such a time.

It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our -- all of our -- complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.

We must never regard as "normal" the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country - the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.

Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as "telling it like it is," when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.

And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength -- because our strength comes from our values. It instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness.

It is often said that children are watching. Well, they are. And what are we going to do about that? When the next generation asks us, Why didn't you do something? Why didn't you speak up? -- what are we going to say?

Mr. President, I rise today to say: Enough. .. I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit.

(Noble words. “We must never regard as "normal" the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals.” 

The Party of Trump has been waging all out war on voter rights, by purging qualified voters and hindering registration and poll access. 


The Party of Trump obstructed the Black President’s Constitutional duty to replace a Supreme Court justice. 


The case Gill v. Whitford is focused on Wisconsin, where in 2012 The Party of Trump won just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, but captured 60 out of 99 seats in the state assembly.



The Party of Trump has made corporations super “persons”, bestowing them political power, by leveraging their corrupting wealth as protected free speech. 

We just don’t have time for the long list of Republican actions taken to undermine our democratic norms and ideals.)

==

Senator John McCain:

My friends: In the four decades I have attended the Munich Security Conference, I cannot recall a year where its purpose was more necessary or more important.

The next panel asks us to consider whether the West will survive. In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year. If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.

This question was real, half a century ago, for Ewald von Kleist and the founders of this conference. Indeed, it is why they first started coming to Munich.

What would von Kleist’s generation say if they saw our world today? I fear that much about it would be all-too-familiar to them, and they would be alarmed by it.

They would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.

They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims.

They would be alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies.

They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.

=

George W. Bush:

...We know that free governments are the only way to ensure that the strong are just and the weak are valued. And we know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy.

...The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy.  Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication...

...We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization...

...And our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.

+++++++++++

We are under one-party rule; therefore members of that party are the first line of resistance in checking the ongoing Great American Tragedy that Americans were desperate and ignorant enough to allow into the White House. The Great American Tragedy will continue as long as the Party of Trump shares his agenda and remains in power.

We have heard that “many Republicans” agree with these gentlemen in private, but are afraid to speak up when it matters. How’s that for the spirit of “public service”?


They are perfect examples of the moral rot and cowardice in the face of truth that infects the Party of Trump, and they are undeserving of public office for that fact alone.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Just Another Day


This is how they whip up false accusations, fake news, racist blame, lies, and hate. It’s what the Right does. All. The. Time.

Sarah “Quitter-In-Lipstick” Palin tweeted, “bet you not a single mainstream news organization is going to cover this story. Not PC or something.” 

From the Sacramento Bee:

Sonoma sheriff shoots down right-wing reports linking arson suspect to wine country fires

Breitbart News and InfoWars offered no evidence to link the man’s arrest to the fires and their accounts of the man’s arrest were disputed the same day by Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano.

“There’s a story out there he’s the arsonist for these fires. That is not the case. There is no indication he is related to these fires at all,” Giordano said in a news conference also broadcast on the department’s Facebook page and area TV stations. “I just did want to kill that speculation right now so we didn’t have things running too far out of control.”

Right-wing websites including Breitbart and InfoWars Tuesday each published stories on the Sunday arrest of Jesus Fabian Gonzales, whom sheriff’s deputies arrested on a single count of arson.

“The U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) issued a detainer request on the Sonoma County Jail for Jesus Fabian Gonzalez (sic), who was arrested Sunday on suspicion of arson in Wine Country fires that have killed at least 40 residents,” says the lead paragraph of stories published on both InfoWars and Breitbart.

Despite a lack of evidence linking Gonzales to any other fires, Breitbart’s readers were quick to jump to conclusions.

“How many more innocent Californians must die on the alter of democrat immigration polices?” reads the top comment on the Breitbart story, which has been widely shared on social media. “Why do they continue to return the same anti American politicians to office at the risk of their very lives? If there is one democrat California voter who reads this post I’d love to get into your empty head and learn what makes you hate yourself.”


Yes, they are a cult, and willfully ignorant, and yes, they are deplorable. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Let's Test Our Limits

We have our First Amendment Right to free speech. But it is not an absolute right. We have the intended right to a free press, to peaceful assembly and to speak to power. We don’t have the right to shout “fire” in a theatre or to threaten, libel and slander.

Like the First Amendment, the Second Amendment is also not absolute.

Most of us support some gun control or limits on Second Amendment rights. At present it is an insignificant minority that wants a total ban, along with government confiscation. It is also an insignificant minority that wants no controls or restrictions whatsoever.

Let’s dispel the notion that the Second Amendment is for waging war against the government if our candidates lose, or we don’t like some laws or leaders. Only  dangerous idiots speak of “Second Amendment remedies” in that context.

The Second Amendment’s purpose was for the people to have a militia to mobilize for protection and defense against armed threats.  Militias are now antiquated and we have law enforcement and the National Guard for citizen protection. Since the Redcoats and Geronimo are no longer active threats, that leaves only the threat of violent criminals.

While we have the right of armed self-defense against violent criminals, we should understand the need for limits. 

Most Second Amendment defenders support background checks for purchases. Most Second Amendment defenders will also support prohibiting sales to minors, the mentally ill, domestic abusers and felons.

The fact is some level of gun control is desired by most of us.

Where we differ is in the degree of gun control and regulations.

Let’s test our limits.

Should untrained civilians have the right to bear without registration:

A Nuclear Submarine?
An Aircraft Carrier?
An ICMB?
A B1 Bomber?
An F22 Fighter?
An Abrams Tank?
Artillery?
An Anti-tank Rocket Launcher?
A Mortar?
A Bazooka/Rocket Propelled Grenade?
A Belt-Fed  .50 Caliber Machine Gun?
An M-6O/M240 Machine Gun?
An Automatic M-16 or AK47 rifle?
A Semi Auto M16 style  or AK47 style, convertible to automatic, with 30+ round magazine?
A Semi-Auto Rifle with 10 Round Limit magazine?
A Semi-Auto Shotgun?
A Lever or Bolt Action Rifle?
A Pump Action Shotgun?
A Semi-Auto Handgun?
A 6 round Revolver?


Since there is no documented case of self-defense that required a 30 round magazine. That is where I draw my line. 

If there were no civilian sales of large volume magazines and military style weapons easily converted into machine guns, there would be many more survivors from the Las Vegas Massacre and other mass shootings. 

For all guns up to that threshold I would support mandatory background checks, registration, and safety certification for all future sales. There is no sane reason for weapons to be easier to obtain than a driver’s license. There is no sane reason for guns to be irresponsibly owned, stored or operated by the wrong people. 

I totally get the argument there is no sane reason for even having weapons in the home. States and homes with the highest per-capita gun ownership suffer proportionally higher deaths from guns. An armed society is not a polite society.

Practical sane steps are needed. Otherwise the Second Amendment is little more than a suicide pact and prescription for tragedy for the nation.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Holy Church of the NRA

Its about freedom, they say.

Thousands of Americans have died, and thousands more Americans will die from the NRA symbol of freedom.

The Holy Church of the NRA preaches the answer to gun violence is simple. We just need good men with guns.

Good men with guns were at the Las Vegas concert. They and their guns were useless in countering the sniping mad man with militarized weapons.

Scores of human beings are dead, and hundreds wounded.

Nothing will be learned. No actions will be taken to mitigate the bloodbaths wrought by assault weapons. No actions will be taken to restrict the number of assault weapons. They are, and will be, easier to get than a drivers license.

This must be accepted as the way of life in our country. In reality it is the way of death.

Nothing will be done to interfere with the proliferation of military style weapons of mass destruction, for the Church of the NRA and the Militia Amendment shall never be challenged.

Human sacrifice must be offered in reverence to the almighty Gun God at the Alter of the Militia Amendment. The will of the Holy Church of the NRA shall be done.

It's the non-negotiable cost of "freedom" that must be paid...by the victims.


The only problem is the victims and the population terrorized by criminals and gun nuts are not so free, are they?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

What Leadership Does, And Does Not, Look Like


This is what leadership looks like:

Last Sunday Hillary Clinton tweeted:

President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens

The Trump Administration finally announced two days later that they were sending the hospital ship Comfort.

“It takes a Leader”.

The Spanish-speaking people of Puerto Rico who bear the horrible devastation by Hurricane Maria don't seem to rate up there with hurricane stricken Texas and Florida... I wonder why?

Turns out our Mis-leader had priorities. Since Maria made landfall Sept. 20 and up until Tuesday, Trump tweeted some two dozen times about the NFL — and twice about Maria.

This is what really mattered:

"The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard. Great anger"

“I have plenty of time on my hands,” Trump said. “All I do is work. And to be honest, that’s an important function of working. It’s called respect for our country.”

Our Mis-leader was not content to just blame those uppity Black men protesting against bad cops getting away with killing Blacks. Trump always has room to blame the journalists of our free press.

“FEMA & First Responders are doing a GREAT job in Puerto Rico,” Military is now on site and I will be there Tuesday. Wish press would treat fairly!”

There it is. It's all about him. Everything would be just great if not for the damn press ruining... everything.

Blame. Attack. Accuse. Complain. Whine. Repeat.


Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to “get Trump.” Not fair to FR or effort!...The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R’s. Shame!...Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job is being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!

The vile man pitted the press against the military. There is no such thing as too low for that slimy vermin of humanity. 

And of course he couldn't miss the chance to stroke his own ego.

"Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello just stated: 'The Administration and the President, every time we've spoken, they've delivered....... 

He then tweeted:...The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!

Yes, the cost is the first big consideration for Trump. It’s not easy deciding how much to punish those brown people for their debt to Wall Street, you now. Trump the Enforcer is here. He’ll make it all right.  It’s high time to force those folks with destroyed homes to pay Trump’s cronies first.

Making them ask for help online, with no functioning electrical grid, is a good start.

Before we forget this is still all about Dear Mis-Leader:

"The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump," "Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job,"

But they should take comfort.

Elaine Duke, acting secretary of Homeland Security said, “I know it’s a hard storm to recover from. But I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.” “The relief effort is under control. It is proceeding very well considering the devastation that took place.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz responded.

“Maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story,” Cruz said on CNN’s “New Day” Friday. “When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story.”
“I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me,” she continued, holding back tears. “Frankly, it’s an irresponsible statement. ... Damn it, this is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story. This is a life or death story. ... This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water.”
“If I could scream it a lot more louder ― it’s not a good news story when people are dying when they don’t have dialysis, and when the generators aren’t working and the oxygen is not providing for them.
Where is there good news here?”
Unlike the cruel heart and empty soul of Trump, most Americans' hearts ache for the Puerto Ricans when they see the news coverage.

Meanwhile Hillary and Ms. Yulin Cruz are doing the leading.
These women are demonstrating leadership is about responding to the needs of the people.
Trump is too busy patting himself on the back and attacking the real leaders, whether the are Black athletes leading protests against injustice, or women raising their voices on behalf of human beings in need. 
Let's remind the Republicans that many thousands of Puerto Ricans will be moving to Florida. They will tell tales of destruction, hard times, illness, hunger, thirst and death.
And they will remember how our great Mis-leader worried more about the cost than getting them vital aid. 
And they will remember how he insulted their leaders, and ignored their plight. 
And they are American citizens. 
And they will vote. 

==

Most people don’t have water or power. There’s no cell service. Roads have been totally washed away or blocked by debris. This is life right now in Puerto Rico, where 3.5 million Americans are struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Something we can do...

Caribbean Hurricane Maria & Irma Relief Fund

Hurricane Maria caused devastating destruction in Dominica and massive floods and destruction in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands just two weeks after Hurricane Irma. This fund will provide relief to survivors in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents recover and rebuild. All donations to this fund will exclusively support any necessary hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean.

All donations to this fund will support hurricane recovery and relief efforts in the Caribbean. Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors' immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations responding to this disaster.