"... pray rid me of God ..."

"I pray God to rid me of God."

That, by Meister Eckhart, "... Eckhart von Hochheim O.P., commonly known as Meister Eckhart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire." He is one of the great Christian mystics, born 1260 AD, died in Avignon, France, 1328. Interestingly, Avignon is home to the Abbaye Notre Dame de l’Annonciation, a cloistered group of Benedictine nuns who are among our most favorite purveyors of Gregorian chants. But that's another story ...

Matthew Fox comments further on the thought Meister Eckhart was expressing:

 "Eckhart often surprises us with his stark observations. We often make God over into our own image, and this is the 'God' Eckhart wants removed. Eckhart often prays to God for forgiveness and help moving beyond human projections of God to the real thing. Have you ever prayed to God to rid you of God? Are there human projections you need to let go of; perhaps of an all-male God, a God of judgment and condemnation? A God that spreads division, class oppression, homophobia, sexism, excessive nationalism?"

Those who see themselves as God's selected reps on earth usually think they have a lock on who and what God is. Particularly, God's professionals, like Franklin Graham and his sister - though Billy Graham certainly has God's ear. Pat Robinson. The Falwells. Any number of political preachers. They all have got a solid lock on who and what God is, and since they channel God on a regular and routine basis, they are perfectly willing to have the hoi polloi keep 'em in silk suits and white-washed tomb-temples while preaching The True Word Of God™. Church congregations are full of such people, eager to admonish and rebuke the rest of us miserable losers. Almost all of them are full of shit.


Another Primrose Path

Trump’s silent surge in the Middle East — and the slippery slope to war

We've been down this primrose path before. Congress and We the People went along with the program, and our presidents gave us Vietnam. Our involvement there was based on lies and deceit, most of it coming out of the Oval Office.

Congress needs to do its collective job and challenge what Ol' Heel Spurs is pulling in the Middle East. Right now he pretty much has a blank check, and he's letting the generals ramp it up over there with no discernible oversight. This is a lot like what happened with Johnson and the 'blank check' of the Tonkin Resolution. It took years for Congress to wake up and eventually pull the fiscal plug.

"Congress should renew the debate on a new authorization for the use of military force to replace the one passed to counter al-Qaeda and its associated forces more than 15 years ago. Across the broader Middle East, the United States has about 80,000 troops deployed — far fewer than the more than 300,000 serving in 2008. Today the overall numbers are not as important as where the troops are located, what they are doing — and, most critically, how the use of military force fits into a broader strategy. The Trump team needs to explain this strategy, and Congress needs to authorize it and set appropriate limits."

What is the Trumpian strategy? Is there one? Not even Mattis has come up with anything resembling a coherent policy or strategy for the Middle East. He's talking about 'annihilating' ISIS, but I'm taking that as more of that generalissimo 'shock and awe' crap, and we all know how well that worked out. What about the State Department? Tillerson has not come up with anything ... unless it's all part of Ol' Heel Spurs' "SecretPlan™."

"As a candidate, Trump announced he had a secret plan to defeat ISIS, even as he was suggesting that the US needed to pull back from acting as a world policeman and enforcer of stability. Instead of unveiling that secret plan after he was elected, Trump signed an executive order on January 28 directing his national security team to come up with a strategy to defeat the group."

So far ... nothing. Other than Mattis' 'annihilating' ISIS, which is great stuff for getting the flag-waving super-patriot juices flowing, but not much else.

And then we have Duffelblog, where satire strikes at the heart of the matter:

Army unveils 700-part op-order process for fighting new wars Americans won’t care about

"According to Dial, the Army was looking at ways to remove all moral culpability of sending America’s sons and daughters to their deaths under dubious circumstances since the Vietnam War. But those efforts stalled after lop-sided victories of zero importance in Grenada, Panama, and Operation Desert Storm.

“With the situation in the Middle East as hopeless as ever and only 30 percent of legislators still in Congress who decided to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, we knew it was only a matter of time before committing US forces to another historically volatile and culturally opposite area of the planet with no legitimate plan for success,” said Dial."

I think Duffelblog is wrong, however, with that Americans not caring. These wars and adventures are great for generating really great tear-jerker country western songs, and for speech-sourcing on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Can't have patriotic moments without a little blood in the bucket.


Servile fear

"Nothing should be feared -- not human beings and not any other thing -- perfect love drives out servile fear, which is fear that expects punishment before everything else. Christ had no servile fear."
- Thomas Aquinas
Matthew Fox observes:
"Psychologist Jerry Jampolsky teaches that fear is the opposite of love. John's epistle says that 'fear is driven out by perfect love' (1 John 4:18) and Aquinas offers a similar teaching, urging people to live without fear. And this includes religious people. Living our lives without fear is trying to live a Christlike life. If fear is the opposite of love and Christ taught love, then clearly a life of fear is not a Christlike life.
How much does fear play a role in our lives, individually and collectively? Do our religions preach a servile fear of God? Is that not the opposite of preaching love? Do politicians and the media exploit fear? Is that not the opposite of building community?
Courage, having a heart that recognizes fear but does not allow it to take over one's soul, is one of the signs of a truly spiritual person."
So now, we have in the Oval Office a man placed there in great part by those who would declare this to be a 'Christian' nation ... yet he is a man who revels in the creation of servile fear. He thrives on it; he requires it. Anyone who has ever watched Ol' Heel Spurs crush those pathetic, groveling 'apprentices' has seen this. His cabinet, save a few such as James Mattis, is more of the same. His manner of dealing with our international allies, is more of the same. His manner of dealing with the loyal opposition (and they *are*, being Americans all, the loyal opposition), is more of the same.
His philosophy is not in keeping with John 13:34, which to my untutored and ignorant mind seems to be at least a major part of Christian behavior (at least the attempt, which is the best most of us can hope for) ... but more in keeping with that priceless scene from Conan the Barbarian ... mercilessly driving one's enemies before, and hearing the lamentations of their women. Vengeance. Revenge. Mercilessness. Violence. Greed, above all.
Violence. I wonder where it comes from:


New stuff on Pen and Hook

Check out Leece's sari silk ribbon on her Etsy shop. They come in four skein lengths - 10, 30, 45, and 60 yards.

It's all hand-dyed in her workshop; custom colors are available.Victorian Plum and River Blue are the current favorites:

And here are but a few other color options:

Trump exports Christians

The evangelicals, the 'Christian' Right, had foamed mightily at the mouth over the shabby treatment of 'Christian' refugees by Obama.

Ol' Heel Spurs was going to take care of that.

Speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump said that it had been "impossible, or at least very tough" for Syrian Christians to enter the United States.

"If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair -- everybody was persecuted, in all fairness -- but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them."

But ... Ol' Heel Spurs is deporting Iraqi Christians.

The deportation effort has alarmed lawmakers who have tried to raise awareness about the plight of Chaldean and other Christian communities in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. Those communities have struggled to survive under the reign of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Removing the detainees from the United States “represents a death sentence should they be deported to Iraq or Syria,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who has family and religious links to the Middle East, said in a statement.

Christian activists are scrambling to file legal challenges to the deportations and coordinate with sympathetic lawmakers. As the news has spread, so has the feeling that Trump has betrayed the affected Christian community, activists said.

He promised he would help us, when in fact he’s exacerbated problems now by sending people back to the hands of the Islamic State,” said Steve Oshana, an Assyrian-Christian activist with the group A Demand for Action.

While some refugee organizations are up in arms over this I doubt that the Trumpkin evangelicals will lose a lot of sleep over this. These are mostly Chaldeans. The Chaldean Catholic Church. And as we all know, to the Trumpkin evangelicals as well as a fair number of mainstream Protestants ... Catholics of any flavor are not really, you know ... "Christians."

Some of them are with the Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East. There's that 'C' word again.

It's interesting to note that '... Many of the people detained in weekend raids were from Michigan, a swing state Trump barely won in 2016.'

Payback's a bitch with Ol' Heel Spurs.

Deep thinking

Remember the little party Ol' Heel Spurs threw, in the Rose Garden, to celebrate the passage of this bit of legislative doggerel? Back then, he said it was 'terrific.'

Now, apparently, it is not. Now, apparently, it is 'terrible.'

What a buffoon. He can't even keep his own lies straight, much less anyone else's.


Bernie's theological meltdown

"At a contentious confirmation hearing last week for Russell Vought as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget — generally not known as an institution with theological job requirements — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took vigorous exception to an online post Vought had written claiming that Muslims (and, presumably, others) who “have rejected Jesus Christ” therefore “stand condemned.”

Sanders found this “indefensible” and “hateful.”"

Well ... it is defensible, sort of, though I don't agree with it. I'm more in line with Rob Bell, Thomas Jay Oord, and John Donne on this one. But here's the thing. When it comes to doing the job, I really don't care what Vought thinks, theologically. We don't have to be in theological agreeance. If he wants to be a member of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, what do I care? The only time it would matter, should matter ... is if Vought used his religious beliefs to discriminate under the color of the authority of his position. Bernie needs to get a grip.

Trump's Praise and Worship Team

Trump's recent cabinet meeting was more of a Praise and Worship Team extravaganza, with Reince Preibus sinking to such a pathetic low as to state:

“We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing to serve your agenda.”

Trump’s Cabinet, With a Prod, Extols the ‘Blessing’ of Serving Him

"A few cabinet members diverged from the apparent script. Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense — whose reputation for independence has been a comfort to Mr. Trump’s critics — refrained from personally praising the president, instead aiming his comments at American troops fighting and dying for their country.

“Mr. President, it’s an honor to represent the men and women of the Department of Defense, and we are grateful for the sacrifices our people are making in order to strengthen our military so our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength,” Mr. Mattis said as Mr. Trump sat, stern-faced."

Marines. The Few. The Proud. The 'we don't kiss no asses.'

Trump really doesn't get Mattis. He can't. He isn't equipped for it, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically.


Greed, Avarice, Lust, and Gluttony

From Fr. Richard this morning:

Voluntary Poverty

"... [Francis] own father was one of the first generation of propertied businessmen in the new trading class of Europe. One biographer found city records of twelfth century Assisi showing that Pietro De Bernadone, Francis’ father, was indeed buying up the lands of the poor. Francis recognized that his father’s obsession with money had in many ways destroyed his father’s soul. And so, in some ways overreacting to his father, Francis set out on a radically different path.

Francis concluded that the only way out of such a world was to live a life of voluntary poverty, or what he called a life of “non-appropriation,” and to simply not be a part of the moneyed class. Franciscans wear a rope around their waist as a sign that they carry no money, since the leather belt in Francis’ time also served as a wallet. Francis knew that once you felt you owned anything, then you would have to protect it and increase it. That is the inherent nature of greed—there is never enough. For some reason this is no longer considered a capital sin in our capitalist society. In fact, I have never heard anyone confess an offense against the tenth commandment. “Coveting our neighbor’s goods” is the very nature of our society.

Today the need for simplifying goes beyond an avoidance of violence. Our planet is in grave peril largely due to greed, overconsumption, and reckless exploitation. While most of us are not like Francis, willing to dive into a life of voluntary poverty, we must all make choices and decisions to do our part to follow these wise words of an unknown speaker: “live simply so that others may simply live.”

That isn't going to happen so long as we have the very personification of greed, lust, and avarice - and a bit of gluttony - sitting there in the Oval Office. He represents Greed; he revels in Greed; he thrives on Greed.

No wonder those prosperity preachers love him like a Savior.

But it doesn't say much for the 'Christian' state of the evangelicals who put him in office, does it.

An immoral man cannot provide moral leadership. A 'moral' majority that embraces such a man is hardly 'moral,' other than in a self-righteous, self-defeating, self-serving Pharisaic way.


Hank the Heretic?

Hank Hanegraff, the 'Bible Answer Man'

"Pulpit and Pen, a combative web site that considers Catholicism and Orthodoxy “false expressions of Christianity,” charged that Hanegraaff “has left the biblical Christian faith for (a) Greek Orthodox tradition ... highly driven by graven images” – a reference to the icons, which adorn most Orthodox churches."

"As the news about Hanegraaff spread on social media and the Internet, between 100 and 150 radio stations dropped his nationally syndicated show from their daily lineups.
“That picture of Hank kneeling before a Greek Orthodox priest – that was hard for many evangelicals to see,” said Mike Carbone, chief operating officer at The Truth Network, which booted the “Bible Answer Man” show from six of its stations, including those in Charlotte and Raleigh. “Hank is as likable a guy as you’ll find, but we were not able to go where he was going.”"

These are the same people - the white evangelicals - who do not consider Catholics of any flavor to be 'Christians.' Remember JFK? But their theological certitude and purity is very ... fluid. For decades upon decades they have also considered Mormons, JW's, and others as well as Catholics, to be if not the Minions of Satan then certainly misguided heretic heathens. Until ... they could only get a rich white Mormon (there are a few non-white Mormons floating around. You have to look hard, but they are there) to run against that black Muslim pretender. Then ... it became quite different. The Rich White Mormon received a dispensation (perhaps a form of Protestant indulgence?) from the evangelical God's Vicar on Earth, Billy Graham. Graham declared Mormons to be 'Christians', despite his own decades of ranting to the contrary ... and thus, it was OK for white evangelicals to vote for the Rich White Mormon. Isn't it interesting how their politics guide their theology? Is God really a Republican? Is God really an American conservative? Are all Democrats really godless liberal scum?

But decades upon decades of serving as the go-to guy for questions about the Bible were not sufficient to save Hanegraff. Nope. He's a-goin' ta hail. Yup. He's fallen in with the Jesus-eatin' plaster saint worshipers, and that's that. Never mind The Truth Network and Pulpit and Pen are full of shit and wallowing in abysmal ignorance about any of the Catholic churches. It has been decreed.

It must be nice to have God so solidly on your side that you can shit all over people in his holy name.

And I guess all the Wesleyan types are going to hell in a handbasket, too. Wesley was heavily tainted by the Eastern church, and the Romans, and he was actually an Anglican, and the Anglicans have an order of apostolic succession, unlike their evangelical 'brethren.' I wonder if they can receive a dispensation from Graham Godly Works, LLC.


Trump unhinged (again)

Trump unhinged

Trump also tweeted that “extreme vetting” is necessary to keep our country safe, and added that “the courts are slow and political!”

Well ... Ol' Heel Spurs wanted his intitial Muslim/travel/whatever ban for 90 days, so he and his fellow cartoon characters could implement that 'extreme vetting.'

So far, they have done nothing. Nada. Zip. Ol' Heel Spurs got the high hard one from the courts (that pesky Constitution do git in the way of a good dictatorship, doncher agree?), mostly because of his own stupid twits and inflamatory rhetoric. That threw him into a frenzy of foaming and frothing. Rather than do something constructive, he's pissed away the time trying to beat down the courts, about which he has little if any knowledge and for which he has no respect. Ditto for the Constitution. Much like his base, most of whom think they are constitutional scholars.

“We have put our pens down,” acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall told the told the 4th Circuit last month, when questioned about work on new procedures during a separate hearing about the travel ban. Wall said the administration has “done nothing to review the vetting procedures for these countries.”

Where's the 'extreme vetting,' Donnie? Where's that 'leadership?'

Trump's latest foaming and frothing over his 'travel ban'

In Twitter barrage, Trump ramps up push for ‘TRAVEL BAN!’ even as opposition hardens

Ol' Heel Spurs is frothing and foaming anew over his 'travel ban.' He hasn't a clue about who the London murderers were and are - other than one of them is known to the public as a "man born in Pakistan but raised in Britain." Maybe the rest of 'em are all freshly arrived in Britain, but Ol' Heel Spurs doesn't know that, and is throwing the usual tantrums.

Meanwhile ... remember how it was supposed to be a 'temporary' ban? Ol' Heel Spurs said he and his henchmen needed 90 days to improve the vetting process?

It's been more than 90 days. So if he's had the time he said he needed, where's the beef? Others ask the same question:

“It’s been four months since I said they needed four months to put that in place,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think you can do that without a travel ban and hopefully we are.”

Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), the top Democrat on the panel, said Trump’s administration has had plenty of time at this point to examine how immigrants are let into the United States and make any improvements that are needed. “If the president wanted 90 days to re-examine how individuals from certain countries would enter the United States, he’s had more than 90 days,” Warner said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

But they've been doing nothing. Nothing.

“We have put our pens down,” acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall told the told the 4th Circuit last month, when questioned about work on new procedures during a separate hearing about the travel ban. Wall said the administration has “done nothing to review the vetting procedures for these countries.”

Donnie didn't get what he wanted, so he's pissed, and now, instead of dealing with what he said was a problem in vetting ... he is focused on getting his way.

Grow up, Donnie, and MoveOn. Or go back to something really important, like twitting about the size of your inauguration crowd.


"... I love you guys!"

According to Graham Godly Enterprises, LLC, God has scheduled a VLCME (Very Large Coronal Mass Ejection), which will outflow from the sun and engulf the earth in a maelstrom of cosmic rays, x-rays, hotter-than-the-fahrs-a-hail coronal gases, and just plain fire and brimstone.
"God's had enough of this crap," said Chuck Spurgeon, spokesperson for GGE LLC. "It was the repeal of the North Carolina bathroom law that sent Him over the edge," Spurgeon continued, "that, and He still isn't over Obama banning Christmas in the US military. He has always seen the American armed forces as his own 'Christian soldiers," Spurgeon noted,"but this bathroom thing was the last straw."
Although the time and date of the fiery smiting and destruction of billions of living creatures has not been announced, God has reportedly reassured the governing board of GGE LLC that "I love you guys!"
Reports of smug 'Screw you buddy, I got mine!' attitudes on the part of some board members are greatly overblown, insisted Spurgeon, who was packing a travel kit in anticipation of being raptured,"but you know, it isn't our fault that God's on our side."

Whenever the evangelicals like the Grahams and their brethren come out with a new load of theological puke, I think of Deuteronomy 31:6.
 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”


Creative slumlordery

How Jared Kushner built a luxury skyscraper using loans meant for job-starved areas

Creative slumlordery. All legal. You just have to know the right people, who won't ask too many questions.

"They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.

The tactic — critics liken it to the gerrymandering of legislative districts — made it appear that the luxury tower was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Companies and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program."

Exploiting the EB-5 visa program. Imagine that. And this, from the son-in-law of the guy who is going to Save America From The Filthy Immigrants.

Sounds like a good 'Christian' move, doesn't it? Bet the prosperity preachers love it. Exploit the poor and line your pockets with cash.


God's Own Man

GOP Congressman: God Will ‘Take Care Of’ Climate Change If It Exists

"Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”
So ... we humans do nothing. It's in God's hands. If climate change, global warming, is really a problem, God's got it for us, and we don't have to do anything.
So ... the war in Syria, the bombing in Kabul, the opiate epidemic in Colorado and throughout the nation, poverty throughout the world, human trafficking, the crazy fat little NORK, and the most consummate evil of all, the Democrats ... these must not be problems, since I'm not seeing much Godly handling going on.
But wait! I have missed the obvious! God *is* working!
He has given us ... Trump.
Trump of the gilded bathroom fixtures. Trump of the debauched casinos. Trump the Pussy Snatcher. Trump, stiffer of little workers and contractors. Trump the slumlord (well, Kushner ... Trump's Wormwood). Trump of the Kremlin. Trump, Mammon's Main Minion.
Godly Trump. Trump, God's Own Man. Trump, the Christian. Trump, our Savior and Salvation. Trump, darling of America's evangelicals (well, 81% of the white evangelicals, who have suffered such grievous persecution at the hands of the godless liberals).
Trump ... the consummate American.
Yep. I see God's hand in it all.
I think I'll stick with our favorite heretic and those of his ilk.
Is a gilded bidet anything like a gilded calf?

Paying a terrible price

This is a really good Memorial Day video.

It will give the flag-wavin' super-patriot saber-rattlers a good patriotic stiffie.

It will bring tears to the eyes and an ache to the heart for many of the rest of us.

This is a good time to understand the terrible price we pay for our adventures.

Better make sure the 'adventure' is worth the price, rather than blindly following some flag-waving, manipulative, self-serving cheesedick and a collection of Congressional Clowns who are overwhelmed with a flood of testosterone.

I'm thinking of Lyndon Baines Johnson; Richard Nixon, George W. Bush .. and most recently, Ol' Heel Spurs himself.

When buffoons of this ilk start rattling their sabers and waving the flag, it's time to put on the brakes and have a good hard think about what we're doing and why we're doing it and how we're doing it.

All the tear-jerker speeches in the world don't make up for thousands of ... this ... just because it feels like ... Murrica!

Kissing Putin's Ass

What possible justification does Ol' Heel Spurs have for this?

Early last month, the Trump administration told the Russians that it would consider turning the properties back over to them if Moscow would lift its freeze, imposed in 2014 in retaliation for U.S. sanctions related to Ukraine, on construction of a new U.S. consulate on a certain parcel of land in St. Petersburg.

Two days later, the U.S. position changed. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a meeting in Washington that the United States had dropped any linkage between the compounds and the consulate, according to several people with knowledge of the exchanges.

Ol' Heel Spurs yucks it up with the Russians while sharing Israeli intelligence

“There is absolutely no justification for this,” says Russia expert Max Bergmann, a former Obama State Department official. “Russia not only interfered in our election, but just in the last few months they did the same to our French and Dutch allies.” He says bluntly: “At a certain point, we need to just call this out for what it is — Trump is acting in the interests of a hostile foreign power over the interests of the United States. Congress meanwhile is MIA, as Senator Bob Corker and the Republican leadership continue to block additional sanctions against Russia.”

Tell me again how Trump's Makin' Murrica Grate Agin. Explain it to me. 

The bones of the dead and other filth ...

How Jared Kushner built a luxury skyscraper using loans meant for job-starved areas

Creative slumlordery. All legal. You just have to know the right people, who won't ask too many questions.

"They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.

The tactic — critics liken it to the gerrymandering of legislative districts — made it appear that the luxury tower was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Companies and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program."

Exploiting the EB-5 visa program. Imagine that. And this, from the son-in-law of the guy who is going to Save America From The Filthy Immigrants.

Sounds like a good 'Christian' move, doesn't it? Bet the prosperity preachers love it. Exploit the poor and line your pockets with cash.

Anything built by the Trumps is as "... whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth."


The Chamber Pot


City Council has voted to spend $5152.00 on the Chamber of Commerce building, to provide a sorta kinda 'temporary' visitor center.

The money will fund paint, some new carpet, and a bit of an overhaul of the bathroom(s).

Critics are going a bit alpha sierra over the fact that the bathroom(s) will not be ADA compliant.


But the new fixtures - the toilet, the sink, then handrail - will be ADA compliant.

The ramp, the doorway, other factors and features ... no.

Oh, the humanity!

One might well be asking why the facility is not presently ADA compliant.

One might well be asking why the taxpayers are paying for upgrading a building privately owned.

One might well be asking why the building owner isn't keeping the building properly maintained.

And, one might well be asking why the Chamber isn't paying for it.

As for this 'upgrade' or whatever it is not being ADA-compliant ... it doesn't have to be.

Check the parts about 'feasibility' and 'disproportionate costs.'

So. One might well be asking ... why not spend this money for more of the new book drops ... uh ... trash cans? You know. The ones nicely done up in Swink colors. Five Large would be enough for five more of them. They are only a grand apiece, reportedly.

Would not five more book drops/trash cans bring in more tourists than new carpet in the Chamber building? I saw an older couple from Kansas taking pictures of one of the new book drops, commenting that they were going to bring some friends over from Garden City next week to see them for themselves.

"Make it a priority to hire local or regional artists to design/fabricate streetscape elements. For example, artists could create or refurbish existing benches, fencing, trashcans, tables, awnings, shade structures, planters, lighting poles, banners, electrical boxes, paving/stamped concrete, bike racks, crosswalks, etc."

We don't need carpet or paint or new bathroom fixtures.

We need more decorative trash cans; more Rizzuto Stones; some snappy fencing; decorative electrical boxes, and so on. Manhole covers with antelopes on them!

Let's get with the program!



In the United States in particular, 'Christians', and fundies and other evangelicals tend to be fixated on eschatology. End times theories. The wackier the better; they tend to really go for heresies like 'The Rapture.'

But Fr. Richard has an opinion on that:

Paul believes that corporate evil can only be overcome or confronted with corporate good. He uses primitive yet powerful words for the negative side of corporations, institutions, and nations: he calls them “thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers” (Colossians 1:16). These are not “bad angels” as much as collective attitudes that are almost impossible to break. Because they are so widely shared as mass consciousness—the way we’re programmed to think—they no longer look like evil and are hard to resist. Murder is bad, but war is good; greedy people are bad, but capitalism is going to save the world; ambition and pride are supposedly major sins, but not in the good ol’ USA. Do you see the problem?


For Paul, community is the living organism that communicates the Gospel message. Paul, like Jesus, wants to change culture here, not just send people away to a far-off heaven later! If Christ’s cosmic message doesn’t take form in a concrete group of people, then, as far as Paul is concerned, it is an unbelievable message. An autonomous Christian is as impossible as an independent arm or leg. Arms and legs exist only as parts. No single one of us is the whole Christ, and “the eye cannot say to the hand, I do not need you” (I Corinthians 12:21). Believers exist as parts of the whole, the Body of Christ. Their very existence is an objective, shared state that Paul calls love or living “in Christ.” When Paul says, “without love I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2), he implies that he is inside of another Being who is Love.

Paul sees what we will eventually call the “communion of saints” (by the fifth and sixth centuries) as an organism that is very alive, real, and operative in this world. I like to call it an “energy field” created by all those who share in the various parts of Christ. “Salvation” is thus something we can participate in right here and now. When Paul addresses his letters to “the saints,” he is clearly not speaking of our later idea of canonized saints, but of those who make up his living communities and who are participating in this shared life of love in this world.

Evangelicals in particular should spend less time on eschatology - particularly the wackier heresies such as 'the Rapture' - and give a bit more attention to the here and now. Fundies are pretty much beyond the reach of reason, so they can just continue to gnash their teeth, wail, and rend their garments or whatever.


"I never mentioned Israel ..."

Trump drags his scandals back into the spotlight on foreign trip

He just can't help himself. He has to stick his foot in his mouth, at every opportunity.

Trump paused for a moment and then halted the press from leaving the room. “Hey, folks,” he said. “Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel.’ Never mentioned it during that conversation.”

He looked toward Netanyahu as he gestured toward the pack of reporters. “They were all saying I did,” the president said. “So you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the word ‘Israel.’”

Except ... no one ever said he 'mentioned Israel.'

What the moron-in-chief has done, is essentially confirm that yep, he did blabber some high-altitude intelligence. But he didn't mention Israel.

I feel ever so much better.

I wonder if he knows that his pal Flynn has taken the Fifth. That one should generate some Twits.

The Wall

Trumps' grasp of religion and politics.

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

The Islam Two-step

And a hop, skip, and a jump, along with a side-shuffle.

No ... not Ol' Heel Spurs dancing the ardah with the same characters he accused of complicity in 9/11.


His complete 'reset' and waffle on his previous position on Islam, the raving lunatic rants that so endeared him to his base.

New tricks: Donald Trump’s reset on Islam

'Cowards,' he called them. 'Slaveholders.' 'Islam is a malignant cancer,' he said.

In his speech in Saudi Arabia - the one where he kissed their collective asses - he and Tillerson went on about Iran's history of human rights violations ... while ignoring the human rights violations of their Saudi hosts. Neither Iran nor the Saudis have anything to brag about regarding human rights.

Trump also managed to stick a blade in the crack between Sunni and Shia with his shots at mostly Shia Iran ... apparently ignorant of the fact that most terrorists are Sunnis. Like, you know, the Arabs.

Nonetheless, his position and actions are not so very different from Obama's:

But the changes have been in style more than substance. Mr Trump has not ripped up the nuclear agreement with Iran and, like Mr Obama, said he would avoid “sudden interventions” in the region. Moreover, “Obama was pretty good to [the Saudis],” says Thomas Lippman of the Middle East Institute, a think-tank in Washington, DC. He visited the kingdom more times and sold the Saudis more weapons than any other American president before him. In fact, many of the arms deals celebrated by Mr Trump were negotiated under his predecessor, who also provided intelligence support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Bullshit and blather, then, from Ol' Heel Spurs.

"... ten feet deep in corpses ..."

That's a hoot.

Here is open letter to that fraud, Franklin Graham, from the pastor of one of those 'small churches.

This is my kind of pastor.

"These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one just like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you." - Psalm 50:21

An open letter to Franklin Graham, from a "small church" pastor

Dear Frank

Can I call you Frank? This is just pastor to pastor. Feel free to call me Peter. Anyway, I have to say I was flattered when I learned that your Decision America Tour took a detour off the beaten path to call upon us “small community churches.” We are nothing if not small. We seat 30-40 on a good Sunday. And we are a century old fixture of our small community. Most often we are overlooked and overshadowed by mega-churches and politically influential religious voices like your own. We don’t hold a candle to an auditorium filled with the music of a one hundred voice choir led by professional musicians. We probably will never be recognized in any nationally syndicated media. After all, we don’t do anything really “newsworthy.” We just preach the good news of Jesus Christ; love one another the best we can (which sometimes isn’t very well); feed the hungry that come to our doors; care for the sick; comfort the dying; and bury the dead. So thanks for thinking of us. Rest assured, we are ready to respond to your calls to prayer and action.

I have to say, though, that I was a little confused by your summons. Of all the things that worry me, loss of religious freedom for Christians in America isn’t one of them. I can’t say I have ever experienced anything in this country that could reasonably be called a restriction on my religious liberty, much less persecution.  When you started talking about attacks on Christianity, I thought you might have been referring to the racially motivated slaying of pastors and lay people at Mother Emmanuel church in Charleston some time back. Or I figured you were referring to the slaughter of Coptic Christians in Egypt this past Palm Sunday. That’s what I call persecution. But having to pay a judgment for refusing to bake a cake for a same sex couple in violation of the law against discrimination? This you call persecution? There’s a letter in the Bible, written by the Apostle Peter (ever heard of him?). He’s an expert on persecution, having been on the receiving end of it more than once. He says you don’t get divine kudos from suffering the consequences of breaking the law-even if you are a Christian. Moreover, there is a Christian fellow named Paul (aka Saul) who wrote a letter to a church in Rome nearly two thousand years ago. He said that if your enemy is hungry you should feed him (that’s in the Bible too). So wouldn’t it have been the Christian way to have baked a cake for the same sex couple in your example, even if you deem them enemies (another assertion I don’t quite understand)? I’m confused.

But in any event, Frank, let’s get over this persecution complex. Stop with the drama already! You are not under attack just because you have to follow the rules like everyone else. Look, I understand the owners of this establishment you mention in your speech don’t approve of gay and lesbian people getting married. They don’t have to approve of them. But if they are going to do business in this country, they have to follow the law against discrimination-just like the rest of us. If you don’t like the rules, don’t join the game. It’s that simple. Furthermore, I don’t understand why baking a cake for people whose conduct you find personally offensive is such a big deal. Heck, Frank, if all of us small church pastors refused to bury everyone whose conduct we didn’t approve of, the country would be ten feet deep in corpses!

I am struggling, too, with your claim that Donald Trump is a champion (albeit an unlikely one) for religious freedom. What freedoms are we talking about here, Frank? The freedom to lie with impunity? The freedom to grab young girls by the genitals? The freedom to discriminate against people of color in the sale and rental of real estate? The freedom to refer to women as “dogs,” “fat pigs,” and “ugly”? The freedom to call your opponents “idiots,” “losers,” “liars” and “frauds”? The freedom to slander people with accusations of criminal conduct based on absolutely no evidence? By my count, the above violate at least four of the Ten Commandments (you will find those in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy-both in the Bible). If Donald Trump is the champion of American Christianity, God save it from its enemies!

All kidding aside, you might be right about God putting Donald Trump in the White House-though your reasons for so believing are probably different from what I might conjecture. Still, how do you know that? Where did you get this info? I have to hand it to you, Frank, you sure do have the connections. As I am sure you know, God does not consult with us small church pastors on weighty issues of that kind. So it was kind of you to leak this classified intelligence to all of us who are evidently a good deal further away from the divine pipeline. So let me see if I have this figured out correctly: God doesn’t give a flying fruitcake if we deprive twenty-million people, most of them poor, of access to health care. Nor is God particularly concerned about how men treat women in the workplace, how people of color are treated in the real estate market, how the hungry and homeless are cared for (or not), but God flips out if we bake a cake for a same sex couple to celebrate their wedding? I have to be honest with you, Frank. I’m just not seeing it. Not in the Bible, not in the realm of rational common sense.

Here’s the thing, Frank. At the last judgment, Jesus doesn’t ask anyone about who they voted for, how many times they have been divorced, what their sexual history or orientation is or for whom they did or did not bake wedding cakes. His sole concern is for how we treated the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the imprisoned, those deemed “least” among us. No, I didn’t get that from any private chat with God. We small church pastors have to rely on the Bible for our intel. I got this stuff from the Gospel of Matthew, 25th Chapter to be precise. As I said, that, too, is in the Bible. (It’s a great book, Frank. You should read it sometime.)

You know, Frank, I would like to think that we are brothers. I would like to believe that we are on the same side. I would like to believe that, beneath our differences, we worship the same God and follow the same Savior. But quite honestly, I don’t recognize the Jesus I learned from my parents, my Sunday School teachers, my pastors or my years of study and reflection on the Bible in your angry, fearful rhetoric. Yes, I will answer your call for prayer. But I will be praying for the real victims of persecution-the victims of racial discrimination, sexual violence and bullying. I will answer your call to action. But I will be acting to establish health care as a right for all people; making the college campus and the workplace spaces where women and girls need not fear being called “pigs,” “dogs” or “ugly” nor will they need to fear rich, white celebrity males who feel entitled to grab them by the genitals. I will respond to your call for action by working for a society in which no one needs to worry about where she will sleep at night or where the next meal is coming from. You want prayer? You want action? You’ve got it.

Well, thanks again, Frank, for thinking about us small church folk. I appreciate your concern about our being persecuted and under attack. But don’t worry about us. We don’t have your money, your access to the halls of power or your seeming direct connection to the Almighty. But we have the scriptures, we have prayer, and we are learning every day what it means to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. That’s all we need. You can keep your champion in the White House, thanks just the same.

Christ’s servant and yours,



A snapped shower cap?

An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia

"[Trump] had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, two advisers said, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn’t disappear and demanded they speak out for him. He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe, one adviser said.

Trump's firing of the high-profile FBI director on the 110th day since the president took office marked another sudden turn for an administration that has fired its acting attorney general, national security adviser and now its FBI director, whom Trump had praised until recent weeks and had even blew a kiss to during a January appearance."

Comey learned about his firing off the telly, while he was in LA. "No Balls" Trump, not even enough guts to face the man.

That 'screaming at the TV' thing sounds much like reports of Nixon's rage over Watergate.

It sounds like Trump has truly snapped his shower cap. Perhaps he should go hide in the bushes with Spicer.

One bitch-slap at a time ...

"... Lavrov was right where he has always wanted to be Wednesday: mocking the United States while being welcomed in the Oval Office by the president himself."

Yes, indeed. Ol' Heel Spurs, ever the astute, shrewd, sharp wheeler-and-dealer, got handed his genorkles by his good friends and bestest buds in the whole world.

America Being Made Great Again, one bitch-slap at a time.

Our pathetic excuse of a president

Multiple top White House officials have pointed the finger at little-known U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the person who apparently made the case that Comey should be let go.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill this morning, Vice President Mike Pence gave his first reaction to Comey’s dismissal and, like several administration officials before him, insisted that the initial recommendation was unexpected and came from Rosenstein.

“[Rosenstein] brought the recommendation to the president,” Pence told reporters. “The attorney general concurred with that recommendation and I, personally, am grateful that we have a president who is willing to provide the kind of decisive and strong leadership to take the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general and to remove the FBI director who had lost the confidence in the American people.”

Pence denied that President Donald Trump’s decision to accept the recommendation had anything to do with the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Rosenstein is also tasked with overseeing the investigation, after Sessions recused himself in March.

That part in red is not consistent with reportage from several other sources, which state that Trump directed Rosenstein to write the letter. So we have a liar for a president, and either an ignorant foil, or a liar, for a vice-president.

Interestingly, Rosenstein is apparently not taking kindly to being thrown under the Trumpian bus:

Rosenstein on verge of resignation over Comey firing

Trump didn't have the balls to fire Comey face-to-face; now he doesn't have the balls to take responsibility for the firing. Apparently he's a real badass when firing some pathetic intern on his TV show, but he lacks the scrotal resources to handle real people in the real world, people who can bite back.

And then we have this:

White House furious after being trolled with Russia Oval Office photos

Putin's boys slapped Ol' Heel Spurs silly and called him Sally.

Trump isn't Making Murrica Grate Agin. He's making America the laughingstock of the world.

What a collection of dweebs, idiots, buffoons, incompetents, and down-home morons.

Hiding in the bushes

Spicer ... hiding in the bushes, demanding no cameras, interview in darkness.

Babbling incoherently.

"When's the last time Trump and Comey spoke? “Uh, I don't know. I don't know. There's some — I don't know. I don't know,” he said.

"What were the three occasions on which the president says Comey assured him that he was not under investigation? “I don't — we can follow — I can try, yeah,” he said.

How long did the president deliberate? “I don't, I don't ... I can look at the tick-tock. I know that he was presented with that today. I'm not sure what time,” he said."

Look at the 'tick-tock?' What is that. The clock? A clock? Some kind of time-keeping device?

Whacked. Simply ... whacked.

"White Hot"

A 'white hot' Trump stewed over Comey's fate

"He wouldn't hear it (that he should be encouraged)," the friend said. "It's Russia. Russia. Trump and Russia." The President complained, with expletives, about Comey's "mildly nauseous" answer and said his answer when pressed on leaks convinced the President he was far less concerned about the leaks than Trump thought he should be."


1) It wasn't the fact that info was leaked that bothers Ol' Heel Spurs. It's the fact that the leaks make him and his accomplices look like the lying clowns that they are.

2) It apparently bothers Ol' Heel Spurs that the thought of helping him win the election, made Comey want to puke a bit.

3) That puts Comey in the same frame of gastric distress as the more than 65,853,516 of us who didn't vote for Ol' Heel Spurs. Though most of us are probably more than 'mildly nauseous' at the sight of that man sitting in that office.

Ol' Heel Spurs should get a grip. You can do some really stupid things when you're 'white hot.'


The Mudfog Workhouse Health Insurance Policy

Well, they've only had a bit more than seven years to come up with something.
The best they've done so far is a patched-together-like-so-many-worn-out-tinker-toys abomination that could have been the same health plan used to screw the widows and orphans languishing in the Mudfog Workhouse.

James Mahoney's 1871 engraving of Oliver challenging the dietary system of the Mudfog workhouse, "Uncaptioned Headpiece for Chapter One"

Trump's history lesson

Trumpian apologists are attempting to explain Our Donnie's abject ignorance by linking his comments to the Nullification Crisis of 1832. He was just too deep for us, intellectually.
That's nonsense. First, Our Donnie didn't even hint at the Nullification Crisis. I doubt that he is even aware of it. Why, you ask? Because he would have to read about it, and any written material about it has a lot of Big Werds, and is long. Too long for Our Donnie's attention span.
Our Donnie said: "People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War — if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?"
No one asks? Seriously? Our Donnie should take a walk through the Library of Congress and lookit all them things on duh shelfs. Them's 'books.' There's lotsa books about the Silver Ware. They gots stuff in dem about duh Silver Ware thing. Why and stuff like that.
I doubt that Our Donnie could tell Shelby Foote from his own foot, which is usually planted firmly in his own mouth.
Wait till he notices there are fifty stars on the flag. Then we'll get a Trumpian history and civics lesson.
"There are fifty stars on the flag. Most people have never noticed. People don't ask why, they don't ask that question. Think about it. And thirteen stripes. This is big. Huge. Thirteen. I think one of them is for Hawaii."

Colbert bashes Trump

After several disjointed, rambling, incoherent 'interviews' over the last several days, Ol' Heel Spurs showed how low rent he can go, in his interview with John Dickerson.


Of course, Colbert wallowed in the mud with the pig, but what the hey. It fits Trump's mindset, personality, and general lack of couth.

Colbert really lays it on starting at 10:00-ish into the clip.


The Handmaid's Tale

"The Handmaid's Tale" is quite good. It's pretty much how I imagine things would be were the fundamentalists able to wrest control, or otherwise not be restrained by secular law.
It has strong overtones of Heinlein's "If this goes on --" which is one of my favorites of his stories, and which is probably why "Handmaid" strikes such a strong chord. Imagine, if you will, the First Prophet, Nehemiah Scudder, being played by John Hagee or Mike Huckabee or David Barton or some other despicable fundie televangelist/politician/defrocked author, and his descendant prophets running the country. Heinlein's story was published as a serial in 1940; then it was incorporated into his 1953 collection, "Revolt in 2100," which is where I found it. I first read it when I was maybe 10 or 11. I had been devouring his 'youth' SF's, and came across this one, which is anything but a 'youth' SF. Even back then, Heinlein's view of fundamentalists in the US rang true, all the more remarkable because it was written well before the Second Red Scare and the rise of 'Christian' fundamentalism in the US. I have to wonder if Atwood was influenced by it.
"Handmaid," however, seems concentrated on the plight of women in a biblically-driven theocracy. Heinlein's story had that, but it was a sub-theme, in a larger freedom fight. In this story, we're dealing at least initially with a modern interpretation and application of the biblical threesome, Rachel, Bilhah, and Jacob. The first episode was somewhat disappointing in only one respect, as I would have expected a good old Levitican stoning in the 'particicution,' a new word apparently describing a group (participatory) execution.
We have plenty of people who in the guise of biblical belief are perfectly willing to break out the stakes and torches, and light the faggots (no play on words intended) around the non-believers, heretics, 'unwomen' (and presumably 'unmen') and anyone else not fitting the biblical bill. That's why the story so far is quite believable.


Alligator mouths

Ol' Heel Spurs and his henchmen continue to be their own worst enemies, especially when it comes to the courts.

Another federal judge has determined that Ol' Heel Spurs' alligator mouth has overloaded his hummingbird ass:

Sanctuary cities ruling: When a judge quotes Sean Spicer, it’s not a good sign for the White House

And of course, rather than learning anything from yet another slapdown, Ol' Heel Spurs just blusters and blathers. His base eats this up, but all he does his show his low-rent ass even more.

Trump attacks judiciary

“This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge,” the White House statement continued. “Today’s ruling undermines faith in our legal system and raises serious questions about circuit shopping."

Speak for yourself, Donno. I think this shows that the checks and balances are working as they should. Don't you have some miscellaneous bandits to bomb somewhere in the Middle East? Presuming you can find an aircraft carrier in the Med.

A tax plan and a new national dish

Here we go! If not 'the' Day of Days, then 'a' day of days ... as Ol' Heel Spurs rolls out his greatest ever Tax Plan! In broad principles, of course. Unless someone with some literary talent has written his speech for him, and unless he sticks to it without variation, we will be treated to another spectacle of fragmented phrases, finger waves, pursed lips, pregnant pauses, and variations of 'It's gonna be great,' 'you're gonna love it,' 'believe me!' and so on. And, possibly even some references to the size of his ... inauguration crowd, and how he won the election, as though, perhaps, he doesn't really believe it himself ("WTF am I doing here?")

Meanwhile, Mexican tuna is about to become the American National Dish.

Do you want it in water-pack, oil-pack, in cans, or in vacuum packed bags.

No longer will MLB be serving over-priced weenies at games. Nope. It will be ... tuna! And we ain't talkin' tuner sammitches, either ... nope ... tuna tostadas! Served with a side of crow. Waiting now, with bated breath, for another example of wonderful accomplishment, all geared toward Makin' Merka Grate Agin!


The continuing display of ignorance ...

Trump: 'I Never Realized How Big It Was'

... while Trump can be evasive, and he is often deeply misleading, the AP interview and another recent discussion with The Wall Street Journal are fascinating documents for what they show about a president reckoning frankly with how little he understands the government.

What these documents also show is that Ol' Heel Spurs, shooting off his mouth all during the campaign, had no idea at all what he was talking about. He really still does not.

Nor, apparently, did - nor do - the millions of people who voted for him. They slugged down the Kool-Aid, rally after rally, where all he did was spew out disconnected buzz phrases.

The dawning realization that he is in over his head ... way over his head ... is not in the least dampening his twisting of facts, his 'complicated relationship with the truth.'

The AP interview, linked herein, is well worth a read. It shows a complete disconnect from reality, no different from other such interviews.

I would like to have my president fairly well grounded in this reality, not some alternate universe. A sense of real-world perspective is useful in dealing with the crazies like the Fat Little NORK, Assad, and the Iranians. And sociopaths like Putin.


Earth Day and March for Science

Errors made about creation will result in errors about God as well. The opinion is false of those who assert that it makes no difference to the truth of faith what anyone holds about creatures, so long as one thinks rightly about God. For error about creatures spills over into false opinion about God and takes people's minds away from God, to whom faith seeks to lead them. For this reason scripture threatens punishment to those who err about creatures): (Psaom 28:5) "Because they have not really understood the works of the Lord and the work of God's hands, you will destroy them, and not build them up." There can be no question that to study creatures is to build up one's Christian faith.

 - Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Ch. 2 n. 3.

In some areas of his scribblings, Aquinas states 'creation' rather than 'creatures.'

That some scientists might be atheists - and a good many are not - does not lessen the truth of Aquinas' observation.

I have always found it interesting that the most vocal opponents of science, as opposed to biblical literalness, are evangelicals - fundamentalists in particular. By insisting that the bible serve as a science text, they give God short shrift in the complexity and extent of all that exists within that which he has created. It amazes me that people of the 21st century can insist on holding to a 'scientific' world view driven by how a collection of Neolithic goatherds understood the universe.


Trump bloviates again

Trump scoffs at 100-day mark as ‘ridiculous standard’

Of course he does.

Because it's yet another exposure of just how full of shit the man really is.

“No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!” Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning.

He's killing himself, by failing to make good on his "100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.”

Failure, Donnie. Wrap your lips around the word; embrace it, own it.


Trump's 100 days of failure

Failure, Donnie. The 'F' word. Wrap your lips around it, embrace it. It's all yours.

Remember when the White House had faith?

Remember when the White House had faith?

I do.

"But as Christians, we believe that redemption can be delivered — by faith in Jesus Christ. And the possibility of redemption can make straight the crookedness of a character; make whole the incompleteness of a soul. Redemption makes life, however fleeting here on Earth, resound with eternal hope." - Barack H. Obama

Fast forward to today’s White House, with a man who is undoubtedly one of the most religiously illiterate and thoroughly secular presidents in American history.


Those on the right have been using religion to criticize the White House for years. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney once accused Obama of seeking to “take God out of my heart,” and other Republicans suggested Obama was waging a “war on religion.” Obama was falsely accused of “ending the National Day of Prayer,” while in fact not only did he continue to recognize it, but his Department of Justice defended the day from a lawsuit from a secular activist and won.

Meanwhile, where is the breathless hand-wringing over Trump’s lack of church attendance? Weren’t we told he had a miraculous conversion experience in the run-up to the election?

That breathless handwringing is probably in the same place as all the righteous indignation the 'Christian' Right and other rightwingers frothed up over a president who never served in the military.

Indeed. 'Christian' evangelicals have been seriously snookered. The falseness of Trump was and is readily apparent. Yet for 'Christian' evangelicals, it seems the hallmark of 'The X-Files' trumped [I could not resist] common sense and observable fact.

The Phantom Armada

The Phantom Armada.

From the liberal, lying, and failing New Yorker:

"The real location of the Vinson finally became clear on Tuesday, not because the Administration decided to treat the American people like adults and correct the story head-on but because Defense News, a specialized publication, noticed that the Navy had put out a picture of the Vinson crossing the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra—and thirty-five hundred miles from the Korean Peninsula—with a dateline of April 15th. Defense News confirmed the position and the date with its military sources, and noted, “Off the record, several officials expressed wonderment at the persistent reports that the Vinson was already nearing Korea.” Indeed, at that point, there were persistent reports that the United States and North Korea were nearing a shooting war. And is that any wonder?"


Saber-rattling morons, who don't even know where they've stashed the saber.

But Pence do look kool like dat, don't he?

The arrogance of John Kelly

That comment by Gen'rul Kelly really sticks in the ol' craw.

"... instead of assuming as they should that the men and women of DHS are carrying out their assigned mission in accordance with the law.’’

We the People should never 'assume' that anyone in the government is carrying out their assigned mission in accordance with the law.

Speaking to Kelly's own Beloved Corps ... they'd still be drowning boots in Ribbon Creek, or stuffing them into dryers at Parris Island, or having 'em 'fall' off stairwells, if We the People 'assumed' Kelly and his people were all 'carrying out their assigned mission in accordance with the law.' We wouldn't have more than half of Marine air unfit for service ... though Congress also has a fair amount of responsibility for that one. Or does the gen'rul and Congress intend to point the finger at Obama on that one, too. Then there's a pretty good rash of senior leaders being relieved because their superiors 'have lost confidence in their ability to command and provide leadership.'

Our Beloved Corps *is* in fact one of the nation's most beloved and respected institutions. Most of the time. But ... "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

We the People do not send our kids to serve in Our Beloved Corps so people like Kelly can do WTF they want with them, without question. Serving in the armed forces can be dangerous enough business as it is; why would we want to make it worse by letting the gen'ruls and the colonels have unquestioned and unfettered reign.

The gen'rul needs to grow a thicker skin. He isn't surrounded by sycophantic underlings.

This is precisely why we have a First Amendment. And a 'lying and disloyal' free press.

Trusting the government, assuming they are 'lawful' - the administration, the Congress, and sadly entirely too many of the military command - gives us this:

and this:

and this:

Cause of helicopter collision that killed 12 Marines off Hawaii revealed

The official report said the pilots’ Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii squadron neglected to focus on basic aviation practices, leaving personnel ill prepared for the rigors of flying in formation and in the dark. The pilots had apparently not met minimum flying hour goals prior to the exercise.

Additionally, officials believe the flight should have been cancelled because the unit commander had been fired days before the incident.

By Kelly's thinking, we are to assume that 'officials' are on top of things, all is well, and we are to not question their authority.

Bullshit, gen'rul.