Swink graduation

We have a two galleries up:

Swink graduation 05.26.2013

and Froggy's:

Swink graduation 05.26.2013 part 2


So the recall efforts against Giron and John Morse are in full swing.

I don't think they have a chance, at least the one against Giron.

But I'm glad to see these efforts, and if I were a constituent of either, you can bet your last dollar that not only would I have been an early signer, but I'd also be out there working the streets as well.

The bills passed by the General Assembly, and signed into law by our governor, are perfect examples of what is meant by 'arbitrary and capricious.'

Like Obamacare, which our Congresscreatures did not read before they passed it, it is fraught with stupidities and inanities. Most of these are covered in the lawsuit brought by 54 of the county sheriffs of the state.

The one that really illustrates this is the limit on magazine capacity. First they wanted to limit that to 10 rounds. Then they went back and forth over it finally settling on 15 rounds. There is no information as to how or why they arrived at that figure as the one that will make the state 'safer.' They pulled it out of their backsides.

We see the same thing about how they 'adjusted' the original bill from banning the manufacture of such magazines to allowing the manufacture but not the sale thereof. Someone pointed out to these characters, Morse and Giron being chief among them, that we have at least one such manufacturer in the state, one that employs a fair number of people, and one that brings in a fair amount of tax revenue for them - Morse and Giron - to spend on whatever porky project has their attention for the moment.

So they changed the bill to allow Magpul - the outfit that makes these death-dealing implements of destruction - to make them in Colorado, but only sell them out-of-state.

How's that fit in with this 'concern for public safety?'  Clearly Morse and Giron don't mind if these death-dealing implements of destruction are used to wreak mayhem on other populations in the nation, so long as they get Magpul's tax money to spend.

We have a General Assembly peopled with a large number of knee-jerks who don't have the sense to consider the ramifications of the bills upon which they vote, and send to the governor.

They do indeed need to be recalled. 


Politicizing Religion

All this uproar over the IRS 'persecuting' so-called 'Christian' organizations is interesting.

But, mostly hot air.

Here's the deal. Back in October 2012, an organization of over 1400 Protestant pastors decided that they would challenge the IRS, and that they would preach partisan politics from the pulpit. They called this "Pulpit Freedom Sunday."That wasn't the beginning of it; it was just a high point. They've been going on about it for years.

They took the position that the fact that they could not claim tax-exempt status while politicizing religion was somehow an affront against free speech. In other words, they wanted to have their cake, and eat it too. We have some preachers in The Smile Hi who were in that up to their necks.

Of course, it had - and has - nothing to do with free speech. No one is telling these characters that they cannot politicize religion. Certainly the Republicans are not, for they do it all the time. What these characters are being told is ... 'if you want your tax-exempt status, you can't politicize religion.'

But they flung down the gauntlet, and it would appear the IRS picked it up.

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Pastors challenge the IRS

Then, when these other so-called 'religious organizations' starting filing for tax-exempt status, they came under this IRS scrutiny. How could the IRS be sure that these were not more of the same - claiming to be 'religious' and wanting the tax exempt status, yet clearly carrying a political agenda?

So the IRS was doing what the IRS is supposed to do - grilling these clowns to find out what they really were up to.

Much has been made of the claim that the IRS asked some of these people for examples of their prayers. That has sent them into paroxysms of outrage. How dare the IRS ask about that?

Well ... most of these outfits are claiming association with low-church Protestantism. They do not have a liturgy, like the Roman and Eastern churches or the high-church Protestants. If you ask the Roman church for an example of their prayer system, they can produce the Missal and a liturgical tradition that goes back for centuries. If you ask a low church for an example of their prayer tradition, they generally can't produce it, because they don't have one. So the question then becomes ... can you give some examples of your church's prayers? A 'real' church should be able to do that. And once again, this is not a matter of free speech; it is not a matter of freedom of religion. It arises only because these so-called 'religious' groups are seeking tax exempt status. If they weren't doing that, no one would be asking them questions about anything.

It's like this ... in many Protestant denominations, you really don't need an education to be a preacher; you don't need much of anything, other than to have awakened one morning and decided to be a preacher. Some Protestant denominations do require their preachers to be educated and many are highly educated and well-trained. But the bottom line is, anyone claiming to have a calling can be a preacher.  The Protestants don't even have the concept of apostolic succession, though some claim that nonetheless. If I wanted to call myself Reverend Mikey of the First Church of the Sainted Watermelon Seeds of the Arkansas Valley ... there's nothing to stop me from doing so.  But should I have tax exempt status as a 'church?' Perhaps the IRS should ask some questions about what I really do? Ask for some examples of my 'congregations' prayer tradition? How about asking for my mission statement, and some proof that I meet that? How about financials? Sennnnnnnnd me some mo' munnnnny cuz Jeeeeezus needs a new Mercedes ... and that tax exemption!

So I don't see that part of the 'scandal' as a big deal. The preachers asked for it, and they got it. They need to get their big girl panties on and quit whining. It's isn't the government persecuting Christians. It's 'Christians' looking to preach specific partisan politics, and still get their freebies from the government in the form of tax exempt status.

But then beyond the 'religious' groups, we have a similar thing with these so-called 'conservative' groups, who are clearly political. But how political? In what kinds of political activities do they engage? Do they fall within the tax exempt status guidelines? The IRS has a duty to question them about all that.

Where the IRS has screwed the pooch on this is through their foot-dragging on reviewing these applications and subsequently granting tax exempt status to those groups that qualify for them. What makes this worse is that they have not been foot-dragging on applications from so-called 'liberal' groups. You'd have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to know that unions engage heavily in political lobbying, and in acquiring huge sums of money for leftie political candidates. The SEIU, for example, arguably makes up a significant part of Obama's base. So why is the IRS not subjecting these groups to the same level of scrutiny as the 'conservative' groups?

The IRS cannot be political, yet it seems that they have done just that. And that is why they need to be raked over the Congressional coals, and why Congress needs to do some serious house-cleaning in the IRS.



The Oklahoma and Kansas tornadoes

One way to help the KS and OK tornado victims:

Make checks payable to General Treasurer and send them to:

Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116

Be sure to put ACM1041 USA Tornadoes in the memo area.

This is through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.

You can also contribute online:

Church of the Nazarene help for tornado victims

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries accountability


The Titus 2 home

Our favorite conservative evangelical shepherd of the masses is at it again:

“Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.”

 Pat Robertson shrugs off adultery; CBN regrets the 'misunderstanding.'

So if the dumb broad had kept the house like Harriet Nelson, met the dope with his slippers and pipe, and served the dope his dinner like a good little waitress ... the dope wouldn't have 'strayed.'

 That has to be the broadest interpretation of Titus 2 I have ever heard. It was really all her fault, you see. If she weren't such a bad cook and so slovenly ... but Brother Robertson's handlers 'regret the misunderstanding.

 The Christian Right ... bringing insanity and God together in one breath and inspiring the unchurched heathens of the world to flock to the altar calls since the time of the Pharisees ...


Fort Carson Spartan Sprint

We went up to Fort Carson yesterday where Michael, Jon, and Ethan participated in the Spartan Sprint:

Fort Carson Spartan Sprint 05.05.2013


Onward, Christian Soldiers!

Fox News, which of late is making the term 'fair and balanced' something of a journalistic joke, is whipping the rad right to a froth:

Poll shows 29 percent of voters think 'armed revolution' might be needed 

Of course, most of them are a) Republicans and b) FoxNews readers - or watchers, since the werds in many of the articles are, like, big werds, sometimes with more than two syllables, and kind of hard to understand. Here's the deal ... in any given 'normal' year, there's always a crowd that thinks This Is The Year Of The Second Revolution, if not the Second Coming. So I'm not sure that this is really news. OTOH,  we have Todd Starnes  whippin' 'em into a high state of paranoia what with the military about to start court-martialing 'Christians'. 'Christians,' as we all know, are among the most persecuted of individuals in These United States, what with all those legions of jack-booted government thugs (thanks and a tip of the hat to Wayne LaPierre for coining that one) bent on kicking in doors, arresting people, confiscating guns, and presumably burning bibles in the street and bulldozing churches to the ground.

Meanwhile: Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was stunned that the Pentagon would be taking counsel and advice from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

I'm stunned that the Pentagon would be taking counsel and advice from Perkins and the Family Research Council, who are among the most militant organizations in the nation when it comes to forcing their version of 'Christianity' upon the rest of us. They are also among the most vocal of whiners about how they are 'persecuted' here in the US. I would suggest that if they really want a perspective on persecution, they should spend a few months in China, North Korea, or any of a dozen other such countries.

Starnes makes Beck look like the soul of reason. He cherry-picks news articles, writes 'em with an incredible slant, leaving out salient little details that might show what a weasel of a manipulator he really is. Starnes is an example of what Fox News has become - a pathetically transparent panderer to the right. Starnes' fans continually spew an irrational, thoughtless fountain of verbal - written, actually - bile that rivals the worst of what you'll find on the left. You'd think there's more than enough actually going on with the left and the Obamanians to get worked up over that the right wouldn't have to resort to such sleaze ... but that's the Republican base for you.

Meanwhile, let's let the 'Christian Right' get on with their important work of bashing Catholics, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, JW's, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus,and host of other religions and gays.  That's not 'persecution, you see. It's simply 'Christian righteousness.'


The Genesee Diary

Leece is doing a series on Henri Nouwen's "The Genesee Diary" over on YahBut:

"The Genesee Diary" - Nouwen learns to live in the moment


"The Genesee Diary" - Our sense of self

are the first two installments.

Meanwhile ... Mark Hillman writes

Here is Brother Mark's latest tidbit:

Democrats keep sticking it to rural Colorado

In the last paragraph, he writes:

Perhaps Democrat leaders in Denver have concluded that they can write off rural Colorado and the voters who live here. This bill certainly gives us one more reason to think so.


What do we need? A slap across the chops with a dead fish, ala Rahm Emanuel?

The Democrats have concluded they can write off rural Colorado, because rural Colorado tends to vote Republican, at least at the state and federal levels. "Tends" leaves some wiggle room, but by and large that's what happens. The rest of the state clearly has different values, but not necessarily bad ones.

If the Republican party were not so irrelevant, and so incompetent, it might be different.

But they keep on goin', like the Energizer bunny, with the likes of the Republican committee here in Otero County and in other counties.

And rather than do anything about it, the state GOP defends this nonsense, and leaves it in place.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over, with the same unsatisfactory results.

Meanwhile, we can take the New Republican Manifesto and use it for toilet paper, for all that 'the base' will learn from it.

Further meanwhile ... Leece makes the observation: "If Hillman could drop the us versus them rhetoric, he would be much better. Just stick up for the people."

But Hillman and the rest of those 'theys' are not going to do that, are they. 


I am practicing being outraged. Outraged, I tell you! I'm working myself up to a fine state of volcanic rage!

I received this from Rince Preebum or whatever his name is, the fellow who is now the RNC chairperson, and who is going to remake the GOP into A Party That Appeals To We Little People:

While millions of Americans are set to suffer the consequences of Obamacare, Democrats in Congress are trying to find a way to exempt themselves and their staffs from the health insurance exchanges set up by this horrible legislation.
We have always known this law is a disaster, and now Democrats want special treatment while middle class Americans continue to bear the brunt.

If Obamacare isn't good enough for Harry Reid and his staff, it isn't good enough for us!

Sign the petition today and tell Congress that all Americans should be exempted from Obamacare.

They left out the part about "If you are a real red-blooded American you will forward this immediately to 100 friends. Otherwise you must be a PHONY MUSLIM SOCIALIST PRICK!!!!! with a FAKE BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!", or something similar. But there's enough of that going on over on the Todd Starnes commentaries.

It's good to see that the GOP is paying attention to its Great Leap Forward manual.I wonder if it has occurred to any of the Republican 'leadership' to actually read it.

You'll notice there is no source cited for their claim. I wonder if they get Glen Beck to write this crap for them.

Meanwhile, I'm working myself up to a state of OUTRAGE! OUTRAGE, I tell you.I'll watch Bill O'Reilly this evening and let him put a fine polish on it.

Further meanwhile, don't forget to click on the link and Let Congress Know Where You Stand, and that you too are OUTRAGED!

Does the Republican Party really do a fine job of getting idiots to run their show, or what? I realize that 'idiots' is, like, ad hominem-ish name-calling, but it's OK this time, because I am, like, you know ... righteously OUTRAGED!


More on our Good Friends, the Republicans:

The Last Republican Vote 

Otero County Republicans 

Political assemblies: Democrats

Political assemblies: Republicans

Political assemblies and U.S. flags

Party of American values

Hitting a nerve

I had a dreeeem!

A reader writes

Abraham Lincoln and Republicans