8/29/11

Another Facebook fool

From the Yakima County, WA sheriff's office:


Incident Reported:      Traffic Offense
Incident Number:        11-13027
Date / Time: 8-26-2011/1958 hours
                                                                   
Location:  Terrace Heights Drive and Norman Road
Contact person: Deputy Chris Gray   Phone: 574-2500
Narrative:

At about 1956 hours on 8/26/11 an individual was spotted driving his off road motorcycle in the 300 block of Terrace Heights Drive.  The suspect rode off at a high rate and used the Rosa Canal ditch road to get away.  The Deputy was unable to keep up with the vehicle and the suspect got away, initially.

Several hours later a 19 year-old male bragged about eluding two police officers in the Moxee area using the social network site Facebook.  Deputies were able to log onto the suspect’s page and noticed a photograph of the individual’s motorcycle that was strikingly similar to the one that eluded the Deputy hours earler.

The suspect was rousted out of bed at about 0400 hours the following morning with a search warrant in hand.  He verified that he was the individual riding the motorcycle and cooperated with the investigation once he was shown a print out of his Facebook page.

The suspect has been charged with Reckless Driving and other infractions.

Please be aware that there is little privacy in social networking.  Intelligent use of media is suggested.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ya think?



Volleyball scrimmages

We have a Shutterfly gallery for this past Saturday's volleyball scrimmage. LJ JV, Swink, and RF have photos in the gallery.

Go to:

Mike and Leece's image galleries, and then go to the Shutterfly section to find a link to the gallery.

Promoting tourism and cycling in Colorado

Tacks, glass found along Colorado bike race routes

That has to do with this:

Tour of Colorado


8/26/11

Promotion opportunities

The US Navy ... creating promotion opportunities for junior officers, one at a time ...

Navy fires 17th commanding officer

8/25/11

Naval Honors

Owen P. Honors can stay in the Navy. For now.

Panel: Captain who made videos can stay

But while Honors can stay in, he is also one of those being considered for early retirement, as the Navy starts releasing people in order to cut costs (eliminating jobs is, if you haven't noticed, part of the Obamanian economic solution).

Honors was the mastermind behind a series of home videos, which "... Among other things, the videos included simulated same-sex shower scenes, anti-gay slurs and references to prostitution in foreign ports ..."

They were pretty bad, actually. What made them really bad was the ship's commander knew all about them, and Honors, who was the XO at the time, had a starring role in them,as a kind of 'facilitator.' No, Honors did not set much of a leadership model for his sailors. And when he continually referred to the Surface Warfare Officers, the SWO's, on the ship, as 'fags', he really didn't do much for team spirit and crew cohesion, did he?

He justifies this by saying the videos were 'popular', and that is supported by interviews of some of the sailors. But letting sailors sleep in late, smoke dope in the focs'l, and run around like slobs also tends to be quite popular. I don't think it does much for discipline, however. His supporters say that this sort of thing is 'normal' in the Navy ... though as Charlie Manson once said, "Who really knows what's 'normal'?" They miss a significant point. What a bunch of sailors bandy about in their mess area or quarters is just another form of Butthead and Beavis 'humor'. What the ship's executive officer puts out with his stamp of approval and implicit support becomes policy. There really is a difference.

He claims the release of the videos was an act of revenge by an officer whom he 'disciplined.' If I were an officer who had been 'disciplined' by this clown, I think I'd have released the videos too. Honors seems to be very much one of those 'do as I say, not as I do' types that can get by very well in the military and naval services. It would appear that he has finally discovered what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, though he really hasn't made the connection that he screwed up here.

It's all someone else's fault. That's odd, because senior officers especially tend not to be Democrats. You'll notice that throughout Honors' comments, he never admits that he was wrong; he is concerned by the fact that he got caught.

In any case, good riddance to Naval Honors.

8/18/11

Holy ... holy ... holy!

We are halfway through Ramadan, that holy of holies on the Islamic liturgical calendar. I don't know if Muslims really have a liturgical calendar, but the comparison works for me.

From Wiki:

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sex with their partners during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. Muslims fast for the sake of God and to offer more prayer than usual. Compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards by about eleven days each year depending on the moon; thus, a person will have fasted every day of the calendar year in 34 years' time. Muslims believe Ramadan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.

So:

Bloody Ramadan in Iraq

Iraq’s day of carnage on Monday may result in this year’s Islamic fast month of Ramadan matching last year’s when it comes to deadly violence in the country, CNSNews.com reports. Some 70 people were killed in multiple attacks across the country, with the choice of targets pointing to the strong likelihood that al-Qaeda-linked Sunni militants were responsible. The surge of violence comes roughly halfway through Ramadan. When Ramadan began at the beginning of August, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a statement calling on Muslims “to respect the sanctity of this blessed month and put an end to all forms of enmity and blood-shedding.”


The question was asked by one of our many avid readers: "I thought they were supposed to be praying?"

Killing those who do not believe as they do, even within Islam, is a form of prayer, don't you think? Or would it be considered 'works'?

The Syrian government is also doing a good job of slaughtering Syrians during Ramadan.

Ramadan must not be all that holy. But wait! There may be a rational explanation!

"... in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sex with their partners during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God ..."

There you have it. All that 'patience, spirituality, humility, and submissiveness to God' applies only during daylight hours. During the night, you can go about murdering, raping, pillaging, burning your neighbors and their property with relative impunity.

You just have to understand how it all works.

An Obamanian Krystalnacht?

The President's DoJ investigates S&P

That'll teach 'em to make the One look bad. S&P should have been investigated for this long ago. Why wait until S&P made the Obamessiah look bad with their downgrade? It's a perfect example of The Chikaga Way. The One could give lessons on how to use one's official position to screw people to former Governor Rod "Dead Meat" Blagojevich.

Obama's Brown Shirts. I wonder when they're going to hold their Kristallnacht for Republican shop owners. Some might say that's a bit of a stretch, and if it were taken literally, they'd probably be right. I really don't expect agents of the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies to be smashing the store windows of Republican shop owners. But this sort of thing, with S&P, is just another form.

"Keep talking, Mr. President"

An amusing little tidbit by almost any standard:

Keep talking, Mr. President

wherein Obama's drop in popularity is correlated to the number of speeches and public appearances he makes.

The implications, excerpted:

First, it appears that some of our president's vanity may be unfounded. He's not so smart and we're not so dumb.

Second, Mr. Obama's speeches and his declining popularity in the post-OBL period are better-correlated than are CO2 and temperature in any period in the last 130 years.

Third, Gallup measures popularity, unpopularity, and neither. For example, in the most recent survey, the president's popularity rating was 40 and unpopularity was 50, leaving neither at 10. Interestingly, the president's speeches correlate more with his popularity rating than with his unpopularity rating.

Specifically, although the president's speeches both decrease his popularity rating and increase his unpopularity rating, since November 2009 the speeches are more negatively correlated with popularity (-45%) than they are positively correlated with unpopularity (+29%). This implies that the president moves voters out of the supporter camp at a greater rate than he moves them into the detractor camp. This seems consistent with movement being that of moderates, who move in small increments.

8/16/11

Marriage equality: religious freedom, federalism, and judicial activism

Here is a good read:

Marriage equality: religious freedom, federalism, and judicial activism

The "Perry" referred to by the author is Perry v. Schwarzenegger, in which The Honorable Vaughn Walker of the US District Court of Northern California ruled against Proposition 8. It has been Katy bar the door ever since.

Here is an interesting excerpt from the article:

Moreover, the right to same-sex marriage is not a constraint on religious beliefs or practices. The First Amendment ensures that churches, synagogues, and mosques are free to choose which marriages they want to recognize. Some religious institutions will sanction same-sex marriages; some will not; a third group might call them domestic partnerships. No church would be compelled to implement a policy contrary to the beliefs of its congregants; and congregants would be free to join the church whose views they found congenial. The gay marriage controversy is not about private religious practices; it’s about government’s role in issuing marriage licenses.

That is true. I agree with that. Though the religious right will -is - foaming at the mouth over the idea of same-sex marriages, there is nothing there that forces pastors, rabbis, or priests to perform such marriages, nor may churches be forced to perform them. The author is correct.

The author addresses the argument presented by the far right that the entire question should be left to the states:

Recall that the essence of federalism is dual sovereignty – shared authority between federal and state governments to shield individuals from concentrations of power. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s June 2011 opinion in Bond v. United States for a unanimous Court put it this way: “The limitations that federalism entails are not therefore a matter of rights belonging only to the States. States are not the sole intended beneficiaries of federalism. … Fidelity to the principles of federalism is not for the States alone to vindicate.” Federalism first and foremost “protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power.” The object is personal freedom, including the freedom to engage in a marital relationship that visits no harm on innocent third parties.

We have plenty of examples of how leaving things up to the states can be contrary to Constitutional values and human rights. Does not anyone remember the civil rights fiascoes of the 50's and 60's? Where it became necessary for the federal government to intervene in some of the states, in order to cause us to live up to that "... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ..." thingie?

As for judicial activism, well ... every time a court case goes against someone, especially the farther right that someone is, the more likely that person is going to scream first 'Judicial activism!' and second, how this is undermining the Constitution, though most of the right wingers I have heard quoting the Constitution are pretty much clueless about applying said Constitution to any point but their own.

It's a good article. You may not agree with the reasoning therein but it's a good article nonetheless, and worth a read.

8/11/11

Pathologies ... and C.S. Lewis

We were sitting around our usual table in The Holy Land Quickee's. We had been discussing the amount of damage that can be done to people and institutions on social networks like Facebook. Leece had noted recent suicides by young people subjected to vicious attacks via such networks and media, and of course, we had recently had the opportunity to discuss how La Junta Chamber of Commerce president Tim Klob was presenting the community as a collection of drunken dopers over on a Facebook group.

"I don't think you have to be a mental health professional to see that there are some interesting mental and emotional pathologies present in that bunch," I observed.

"I'd have to agree with that," agreed DinkyDau Billy, adjusting his AFDB, "I have some experience with those, and can recognize them a mile away."

"What do you think is the cause of it all?" asked Leece, "because what I'm seeing is a lot of rattling about over things that apparently occurred a couple of decades ago."

"You have to understand that Klob and those participating in this silliness, at least many if not most of them, comprised a motley crew of juvenile delinquents and dysfunctional young adults back in the early nineties. They provided a fair amount of job security - as well as entertainment - for the police department back then, what with the cops getting to chase them around town from one kegger to another, often hosted by 'really cool parents'. I will give them this: they kept Friday and Saturday nights from being a complete small-town bore."

"But they don't seem to have outgrown it," Leece puzzled.

"Well, I think what we are seeing there is the effects of a couple of decades of continued excessive consumption of cheap booze and cheaper dope," I explained, "for clearly, they haven't learned anything from any of their experiences. They seem like the far left contingent of the Democrats, to me. All of their problems are because of someone else, and not because of their own considerable failings and inadequacies."

DinkyDau Billy kind of choked on his diet Dr. Pepper at that. "So you don't think they're worth getting excited about?"

"No, not at all. Jail, the court system, rehab, and in some cases, prison, hasn't done them much good. So why should we lose any sleep over it. However, I think if I were a member of the business community and had this kind of stupidity going on as a representation of life in La Junta, I'd be kind of pissed. But that's their problem, not mine."

Billy mused, "I guess you would deal with it kind of like how you would handle a client from Inspiration Field who was being difficult in a social setting?"

"Oh, my goodness no!" exclaimed Leece, "Inspiration Field clients - the people that Klob and his gang refer to so disparagingly as 'Girschers' - may sometimes have difficulties in social settings, but they are not acting out of mindless viciousness. So I think it is grossly unfair to put them in the same category as Klob and his pals. Inspiration Field clients are much nicer people, who have accomplished much more in their lives, and who have much more to offer the community, than do the Klobbians. There is no common ground for comparison."

"So what do you think we should do?" asked Billy.

"I think we should pray for them," Leece said.

"Klob and the Klobbians? Or the Inspiration Fielders?"

"Both. Though I think the Klobbians need it more, for Christ covered the Inspiration Fielders very well in the beatitudes, in one way or another," she replied.

"Ah ... that's your Wesleyan background  coming out, " I suggested, "yes, it is. Billy and I really prefer that Old Testament slant on dealing with such things."

"You should take a read of C.S. Lewis' 'Reflections on the Psalms'," she retorted, "you'd be a better person for it."

"Mayhaps. But while I still think Stonewall Jackson had a pretty good handle on it all," Billy insisted, "you really should do a Yahbut post on Lewis' book.

We sat there, as usual, contemplating the human experience and the wonder of it all ...

"Do you think they would understand any of this?" Billy asked.

"What? This little discussion? No,not at all," I replied.

"Why not?" asked Leece.

"Too many big words, and it takes longer than a twenty second sound bite to read it, so it's way in excess of their attention spans. It's sad, but there you have it."

We continued to sit there contemplating the Thisness of That,and the Whichness of What, as it all related to the human experience.

8/8/11

Economic development in The Smile Hi City

Leece and I skidded to a stop in front of The Holy Land Quickee's. DinkyDau Billy's Niota LiteSpeed was parked out front, leaning up against the front of the building. Unlocked, as usual.

"Hey, check the black Tahoe," I said to Leece, indicating a clean-as-a-Secret-Service-escort-vehicle black Tahoe parked at the pumps. It had California plates, and on a receiver hitch bike rack hung three custom-built carbon-framed roadies.

"Wow," Leece replied, "those bikes probably cost more than the Tahoe!"

Indeed, they probably did. Marveling at the difference between the local economy and what passes for 'major recession' in other parts of the country, we entered our favorite Holy Land eatery.

Billy was snuffling a Juan Diego breakfast burrito. His laptop was in front of him, as was a pile of bibles of various versions. Billy was 'researching' again.

Three suits were sitting at the table with him. We figured they were with the Tahoe out front. As it turns out, we figured correctly.

"Hey! Hey!" Billy exclaimed, "Come meet my new friends here! Cameron, Elliston, and Walker, meet my accomplices in various societal faux pas!"

We shook hands with the suits. They were all late twenny-somethings, maybe early thirty-somethings. They were tanned and in remarkably good physical condition. There were no McDonald's or Taco Bell addicts in this crowd.

"They's up here lookin' to relocate their bidness," Billy shared, "they's in the tekkie industry."

The one named Cameron confirmed this. "Yes, we're with a small subsidiary of the company that has the contract for the Comanche and Blackhawk targeting systems for Department of Defense," he explained.

"Really! That sounds like some interesting work," Leece remarked.

"It is, but we're being priced out of the market by Silicon Valley economics," Elliston explained, "so we're out looking for something that fits our company's needs. We are also very concerned with our employees' needs. Most of our people are into cycling, hiking ... some really like birding ... you know, those kinds of things. We're also looking for transportation and utilities, for the company, and schools, and a community environment that will attract our kind of people."

We nodded our heads like those Pep Boys doo-dads on the tee-vee.

"I axed 'em why they just don't go to China like everyone else," Billy interjected.

"That was a good question. But we can't, because our end of the weapon system production has to do with data linkage. The Comanche system can communicate across the battlefield ...".

"Yeah. Yeah. We knows all that. We ain't compleat hicks from the sticks," Billy interrupted Walker's explanation, earning him a discreet frown from that worthy soul.

"Billy does that a lot," Leece explained, "he isn't wearing his AFDB so the government's mind control probes interfere with his normal thought processes, such as they are. You know, his tin-foil hat. Billy's a disabled vet."

All three nodded in understanding. "Our vice president for research and development is a disabled vet," Elliston told us, "he lost his sight to an RPG in Fallujah. And so am I." He knocked against his left leg, which gave a metallic thunk in return. "That's a gift from the Taliban down in Helmand province. Hey, thank you for your service, and welcome home!"

That last was to Billy, who teared up a bit, as he did the first time I met him.

"So ... we can't move to China because we can't take the data encryption process overseas. Everything related to that must be done here."

That made sense.

"How many jobs would you bring to town?" Leece asked.

"Oh, we're a small subsidiary, maybe thirty, thirty-five. Some would come with us from Simi, but we'd need to pick up our manufacturing labor force here, or wherever we decide to set up shop," Cameron explained, "we're looking at our jobs staying at current pay, in the $80-$90K range, with local jobs salaried in the $15-$25 range. That would be hourly."

"But they's on their way to Trinidad," Billy revealed, "they ain't gonna even talk to Ron Davis."

We were shocked. Dismayed. Dumbfounded.

"But ... why?"

"Well, it's like this," Elliston explained, "we hired a consulting firm to vette several communities. They set out search bots on the web, on Facebook, and Twitter, and so on. We look for reasons not to invest in a community as well as reasons to do so. You know a community is not going to commit economic suicide by advertising its weak points, and they all have those.We have to know what we are getting into, you see."

"Yeah ..." Leece acknowledged this, thoughtfully.

"Yes. So we found some interesting things about your community. There's a FB group, for example, that is based on 'remember when', where community members and former community members reminisce fondly about the things they love about their community."

"Sure. What's wrong with that?" I asked, "my sister's little village has a very nice one set up."

"Well ... the one on La Junta seems to have a pervasive thread centered on drug use and alcohol use," Elliston said, "not just enjoying a cold beer after a bike ride, but getting seriously hammered on a continual basis. It seems to be a pre-eminent part of the community culture. Many of your events seem centered on drinking till you puke through your nose. What really spooks us as a business is that the fellow who is behind this kind of culture, Tim Klob, also represents your business community as their leader. The president of your chamber of commerce. Your business community seems to have some rather ... different ... perspectives on things. Maybe they should think about getting someone else in that honcho job,  unless, of course, Klob's view is really what you want to present to the world as what your community really is."

"We don't need that 'drink till you puke' and 'midnight toker' mindset. It doesn't say much for your labor force. We can't afford that as a business, especially with our defense contracts. It doesn't fit our company environment, though it clearly seems to fit your community very well. I don't know how much you are spending on economic development, but you might want to save your money. Oh ... say, what's a 'Girsch'?" Walker asked.

"It's a derogatory term for someone who is seen as what used to be called 'retarded'," Leece explained, "it comes from the name of the organization in town that works with people who have been dealt a harsher hand in life than most of us."

I thought that was a good way of putting it.

"They go by 'Inspiration Field' now," I clarified.

"Uh huh. I see. There seem to be a lot of people who use that term, as your chamber of commerce president Tim Klob points out rather fondly," Walker continued, " and that's an attitude that wouldn't set well with our company president, who has a daughter with Down Syndrome. So who is this 'Moon Craig' fellow? Some kind of drug dealer? Klob has fond memories of doing his first dope smoking with Craig."

This was going downhill very quickly.

"Actually, Moon Craig was one of our earliest community members," Leece explained, "his family came out here in wagons a long, long time ago, and farmed 'The Dry'. I don't think he was what we would call a 'drug dealer', not in the sense you seem to mean."

"Every once in a while we'd get a call from a neighbor complaining about the dope growing in his side yard, and he'd have a couple of ratty little plants there," I reminisced, "so we'd go over and tell him to move them to the back where the complainants couldn't see them. Of course, he reacted like we were the jack-booted Gestapo. He was a hoot of a cantankerous old codger."

"Yes. Well, Klob makes him sound like a drug dealer rather than a patriarch of one of your pioneering families," Walker observed, "and of course, there are the comments about your undersheriff. Apparently your chamber of commerce believes that all of law enforcement in this area is corrupt? And the judicial system? The DA?"

"That's really odd," I agreed, "considering that the undersheriff volunteers, along with many of the deputies and posse members,  to serve in support of Early Settlers' Day, which is sponsored by the chamber of commerce. In fact, Klob is their point man on ESD. Maybe the SO should find something else to do that day. It's odder still considering the chamber's embracing of that 'drink till you puke' philosophy as espoused by their leader. They all seem to think the undersheriff was drunk at the time of the accident, though CSP didn't feel they had reason, as required by the law, to ask for a blood test.  If the undersheriff were in fact drunk, that would simply be in keeping with our apparent community standards. So what's the problem? Other than the mindless viciousness of the attacks on the undersheriff?"

"And of course, there's that 'pinche cabrones' thing, too. That doesn't point to a very good working relationship between the business community and the local governments. I think we can do better somewhere else," Cameron explained.

"You guys have really done your homework," Leece noted.

"We have to. There is too much at stake in this economy to be making the mistake of locating in a substandard community," Elliston said. The other suits nodded in agreement.

"Ain't Klob gonna run fer mayor?" asked Billy, "I heard rumors 'bout that."

"Really?" asked Cameron, "well ... good luck with that. You might want to think about upping your damage control budget in your economic development sector. You're going to need it."

"We take your point," I said, "and thanks for being up front with us. I doubt that it will do much good. The thought processes you describe are pretty much ingrained in that part of our population. I think it has to do with the 'brain drain'."

"Brain drain?"

"Yeah. Yeah. Almost any kid with any gumption or brains - check Swink school's last graduation if you don't think we have any of those - leaves here and goes off to school somewhere else, and we never see 'em again, except on short visits home. So all we have left for the upcoming leadership is ... this Cheech and Chong mentality, only it's real, not a comedy routine," Billy miserated.

"Yes. Well. Anyway, we have an appointment with Mike Aragon down in Trinidad in a couple of hours, so we have to get on the road. Nice chatting with you."

The suits filed out the door, cappuccinos in hand.

We sat there contemplating how things come to pass.

8/7/11

Mt Capulin Volcano National Monument


Here's a link over on Pizer, about our visit to Mt Capulin this past weekend:

Mount Capulin Volcano National Monument

8/4/11

Rick Perry

Rick Perry, the current governor of Texas, is being pimped as a potential, even likely, Republican presidential candidate. On Saturday, June 18, "... Perry delivered the keynote address in New Orleans at the Republican Leadership Conference. Some 2,000 party activists from 38 states attended, hearing from several 2012 GOP presidential candidates on Friday as they argued why they want to replace Barack Obama in the White House. But no speech came close to getting the positive response as Perry did on Saturday. When finished, Rick Perry was met with chants of “Run, Rick, Run!” and “Perry 2012!” ...". Perry wows GOP crowd

But there is more to Perry than the fact that he has done very well in managing his state's fiscal resources.

Perry is an unabashed evangelical.That might not be significant, but his pastor is John Hagee, a pastor who makes a pretty good living selling God. One of his favorite exhortations:

"When you give, it qualifies you to receive God's abundance," he tells his listeners. "If God gives to you before you give to him, God himself will become a liar. ... If you're not prospering, it's because you're not giving."

Hagee runs Global Evangelism Television. He has made millions selling God. He has made millions telling his followers that if they do not give, they will not prosper. In actuality, if they do not give, then Hagee will not prosper ... and if Hagee does not prosper, then how can he afford those nice suits and that Bentley or Mercedes or whatever to spread the Word?

Hagee is a televangelist, and a prosperity preacher.

He is prospering very nicely, selling God.

Hagee is famous for a number of his comments:

"If you live your life and don't confess your sins to God Almighty through the authority of Christ and His blood, I'm going to say this very plainly, you're going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket."

I guess it is safe to say that Hagee is not a fan of Rob Bell. That statement of Hagee's is a very interesting interpretation of Christian love, don't you think?

But wait! There's more!

Christians don't steal or lie, they don't get divorced or have abortions. If the Ten Commandments were followed by everyone we would be able to fire half the police force and in six months the prisons would be all half empty.

Do you agree with Hagee's statement? It seems to me that if everyone followed the Ten Commandments, we would need neither police nor prisons at any time. Or is Hagee telling us that the Ten Commandments really don't have all that much juice? What does Hagee mean, with that "... Christians don't steal or lie, they don't get divorced or have abortions ..."?  Does it mean that "Christians" don't sin? Does he really believe that?

We have his view of women:

Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.

That's from Hagee's book, "What Every Man Wants in a Woman", Charisma House, 2005. Guess he likes 'em barefoot, preggers, and in the kitchen, where they belong. Maybe in a burkha as well.

And then this remarkable view of God's love for us all:

"I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were -- recipients of the judgment of God for that.... There was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades.... I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."

Remember that Republican Leadership Convention? It was held in New Orleans. Talk about hypocrisy.

As we all know, "God Hates Fags", so he washed them all away, along with the elderly, the infants, the kids, the cats, the dogs, and anyone else who got in His Righteous Way, down there in New Orleans. Can you feel the all-compassing love of Christ surrounding you like a warm, fuzzy cloak?

Why is this of consequence?

Because Perry signs on to Hagee's program completely and without reservation:

Gov. Rick Perry, after a God and country sermon attended by dozens of political candidates Sunday, said that he agreed with the minister that non-Christians will be condemned to hell.


"In my faith, that's what it says, and I'm a believer of that," the governor said.

"If you live your life and don't confess your sins to God almighty through the authority of Christ and his blood, I'm going to say this very plainly, you're going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket," Mr. Hagee, the minister said.

Asked afterward at a political rally whether he agreed with Mr. Hagee, the governor said he didn't hear anything that he would take exception to. He said that he believes in the inerrancy of the Bible and that those who don't accept Jesus as their savior will go to hell.
(Dallas Morning News, 6 Nov 2006)

Does he really believe that the majority of humans who have lived and died on this planet, billions of souls, are roasting in hell because they don't believe in his particular brand of Christianity? Do you feel the love flooding out of Perry and Hagee?  Can you feel God's grace washing over you? Really? I sure as hell don't.

Perry recently used his position as governor, and the influence of his office, to arrange a 'National Day of Prayer'.

Perry is an evangelist. That in and of itself is no big deal; I can take that or leave it - almost always I leave it, but your mileage may vary.

Perry is also a politician. And as an evangelical, he cannot keep religion out of his politics. He just can't help himself. He believes the Republican party should enforce some moral standard on the country. It may not be your standard, but it will be his, and it will be Hagee's.

Can't you just feel the Christian love? What kind of morality would Perry impose upon us? Does Hagee's and Perry's view fit with this view of God's love? That view strikes me as far more likely to be the real deal.

I believe I will pass on Rick Perry. I don't like extremists. If Jeremiah Wright is one of those, then certainly John Hagee is, and neither one is a good influence on our politicians.