12/9/17

All the difference in the world

Fr. Richard has a nifty little tome out, "Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent". We go through it every year.
For the first Friday of Advent, we have this verse from Isaiah:
"And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
and those who grumble will accept instruction."
- Isaiah 29:24, NRSV
Broad reach, that. The first line is particularly poignant, as we watch the 81%, claiming to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb, selling their souls to a collection of political whores, perverts, molesters, and generally immoral men, led by a man who has little or no respect for anyone but himself.
Fr. Richard goes on, in his commentary. You can see throughout his writings on this time of the year a clear bit of disgruntlement with the emphasis on eschatology. The Catlicks get themselves wrapped up in it, but no one does the End Times thing any better than the evangelicals and their fundie brethren.

"Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven is among us, or 'at hand.' One wonders why we made it into a reward system for later, or as someone called it, 'a divine evacuation plan.' Maybe it was easier to obey laws and practice rituals for later reward than to actually be transformed now.
The price for real transformation is high. It means that we have to change our loyalties from power, success, money, and control (read: 'our kingdoms') to the Lordship of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Henceforth, there is only one thing that is Absolute and in relationship to that, everything else is relative - *everything* - even the church. (Don't think I am disloyal because the failure to understand this is what got many of our leaders into trouble recently), even our nation, even our national security, even our wealth and our possessions, even our identity and our reputation. All of our safety nets must now be of secondary or even tertiary importance, or even let go of, because Jesus is Lord! Whatever you trust to validate you and secure you is your real god, and the Gospel is saying, "Will the real God please stand up?"
We can see why there are so few kingdom people. Jesus is saying that all these systems are passing away and limited and that we should not put all our eggs into such baskets. Yes, we need to work inside of these institutions for social order and some small degree of justice, but we shouldn't ever think these systems will ever of themselves accomplish God's justice or God's reign. If a person thinks this, he or she will end up bitter by the second half of life."

That last paragraph sounds just like the 81% and the rest of the die-hard Trumpkins. "Jesus gave us Trump!" is total bullshit, a heresy. The idea of Jesus and God "being on the side of" people like Trump and his henchmen and the GOP, is blasphemy. Immoral men cannot provide moral leadership. Immoral men cannot return a nation to 'Christian' status (not that it ever was, but that's another story). Immoral men - and I include God's Professionals, Franklin Graham, that charlatan Jerry Falwell Jr, and the rest of that collection of fakers and self-servers in that group - cannot provide moral leadership; they cannot return a nation to a moral state; they destroy the church from within (getting richer than Croesus in the process).
The Democrats, you ask, what about the Democrats? Good question. Are they any better? Certainly not in regards to the last presidential candidate they offered up. But at least the Democrats are not underwriting this pathetic behavior as God- or Jesus-ordained. That's a significant difference.
It's all the difference in the world.

Missing the boat


Henri Nouwen reminds us that this restlessness of engaging injustices and struggling for justice in our daily lives is a sign of being Christian. He writes:
"You are a Christian only so long ... as you constantly pose critical questions to the society you live in ... so long as you stay unsatisfied with the status quo and keep saying that a new world is yet to come."
However, Nouwen's very important reminder calls for a balancing message from Jaroslav Pelikan expressed in his classic essay, "Divine Justification and Human Justice:" "The true advancement of 'social justitia" (social justice, according to Luther) came not from the idealist who seeks to establish the kingdom of God on earth, nor yet from the cynic who signs an armistice with the morally ambiguous status quo, but from the full-faith realist who seeks to move society from the status quo of where it is to the ultimate goal of where it ought to be .."
We can apply these words to our congregational goals and activities, as well as to all our social and political endeavors at work, in the family, and wherever we find ourselves, called by the Holy Spirit and shaped by faith in Christ.
The 81% and the rest of the Trumpkins who all claim to be "Christians" have really missed the boat on that one.

12/7/17

Pearl Harbor Day

In 1965, Admiral of the Fleet Chester Nimitz wrote a letter to Admiral Dave McDonald, then the Chief of Naval Operations. The letter is found today in several places, not the least of which is Wallin's "Why, How, Fleet Salvage And Final Appraisal" regarding the salvage and restoration to service of many of the ships damaged and sunk at Pearl Harbor.

 Here's a tidbit from that letter:

3 April 1965 Several times in recent weeks I have been quoted—correctly—that "as bad as our losses were at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941—they could have been devastatingly worse"—had the Japanese returned for more strikes against our naval installations, surface oil storage and our submarine base installations. Such attacks could have been made with impunity as we had little left to oppose them. Furthermore—I have been correctly quoted in saying that it was God's divine will that Kimmel did not have his fleet at sea to intercept the Japanese Carrier Task Force that attacked P. H. on 7 December 1941. That taskforce had a fleet speed at least 2 knots superior to our speed—and Kimmel could not have brought the Japanese to a gun action unless they wanted it. We might have had one carrier but I doubt if the LEXINGTON could have joined in time—Picture if you can— 6 Japanese carriers working on our old ships which would be without air cover—or—had the Japanese wanted to avoid American air attacks from shore—they could have delayed the action until out of range of shore based air. Instead of having our ships sunk in the shallow protected waters of P. H. they could have been sunk in deep water—and we could have lost all of our trained men instead of the 3800 approx. lost at P. H. There would have been few trained men to form the nucleus of the crews for the new ships nearing completion. Not only were the ships of the enemy task force faster—they were more modern—and the Japanese main fleet under Yamamoto was in the rear—in support— if needed. Nagumo—the Commander of the P. H. Attack Force—missed a great chance by not following up his attack… 

 Warmest regards and best wishes— 

 Chester Nimitz 

 Note that Nimitz refers to our 'old ships,' and notes how Kimmel could not have successfully engaged the Japanese fleet even if he had been at sea, primarily because of the obsolescence of the US fleet.

We were a long way from the fast carriers that would be required to win the war; we had no covering ships - the anti-aircraft platforms bristling with guns to protect the fleet; we had not even the barest vestiges of air cover, much less air superiority. Even the newest battleships, the so-called 'fast battleships' like the USS North Carolina, could not keep up with our own carriers, much less those of the Japanese.

We as a nation would eventually persevere, and reduce the Japanese empire to complete ruin. But before that would happen, it would cost us dearly in blood. That is a testimonial to the people in the armed forces, who have never let the nation down.

It does not say much for the 'patriots' and the political leadership that allowed the armed forces to face the Japanese in such a sorry state of unpreparedness.

America's 'patriots' might want to consider the state of the armed forces today.

The professional journals are full of commentary about lack of readiness, lack of maintenance and training, aging systems. Much of this is due to Congressional disarray and lack of consistent, predictable funding, because Congress can't pull their heads out long enough to pass a budget. This costs us, in blood. We continue to lose people because aircraft and ships are not properly maintained, and because people cannot be properly trained.

If we get into it with the NORKs, or the Syrians, or the Iranians, or any other nation with a 'real' military, this lack is going to cost us, in buckets of American blood. We may eventually 'kick their raghead asses,' but at what cost?

It's easy to sit on your ass in the Oval office and make puerile comments and threats, when someone else, or someone else's kids, grandkids, husbands, wives, are going to do your dirty work. And they will. They always have.

But at what cost?

It's also easy to mindlessly wave flags, and otherwise participate in shallow, meaningless 'patriotic' foolishness at ball games, when it's someone else's kids, grandkids, husbands, wives, whose flesh and blood is going to pay for one's patriotic stiffies. And they will. They always have. 

But at what cost?

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. It would be well to take a pause and reflect upon where we are today, especially contrasting the historical context against what we face today, and what we have to face it with.

11/21/17

Screwing southeast Colorado

Interesting legislative tidbit, brought to us through the auspices of Kimmie Lewis via Ken Buck:

The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 41 printed in House Report 115-297. 

Mr. BUCK. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk. 

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment. 

The text of the amendment is as follows: At the end of division A (before the short title) insert the following: 

Sec. __. None of the funds made available under this Act may be used to enter into a cooperative agreement with or make any grant or loan to an entity to establish in any of Baca, Bent, Crowley, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, and Pueblo counties, Colorado, a national heritage area, national heritage corridor, national heritage canal way, national heritage tour route, national historic district, cultural heritage corridor, or other heritage partnership program. 

That was back on 7 September, and it became Section 451 of HR 3354. HR 3354 has passed the House, and is on the Senate Legislative Calendar.

We have a fair number of people trying to work economic development through heritage tourism for southeast Colorado.

Canyons and Plains

Southeast Colorado Heritage Tourism 

And of course, there was the article in CSIndy, back in January of last year:

What happened to heritage tourism in small towns in south eastern CO?

The likes of Lewis have torpedoed it.

"It just snowballed and came to the point that people were really fearful that their lands could be taken away," says Pam Denahy, Canyons and Plains board member and La Junta's tourism director. 

"No matter what we said and what facts we presented, they weren't listening." By summer 2014, the heritage-tourism partners surrendered and tabled the feasibility study. 

"We said to the anti-NHA side, 'The ball's in your court. Put something on the table. We know what you don't like. Give this community an idea for economic development,'" Wooten says. "It has been absolutely silent.

"'Heritage tourism,' you see, is a plot, a conspiracy, by the Evil Satan known as the National Park Service, and the Nature Conservancy.

Lewis has got nothing. She and her cow-pokin' pals couldn't give a wet pile of cowshit about anyone but themselves.

And now, Buck is part of that. Lewis and Buck have shat mightily upon that effort.

We can only wonder what that cost the various cattleman's and rancher associations in contributions to the Ken Buck campaign fund.

I'm thinking what we really need to do is end all the subsidies to these rancher types. Being as how they are all rugged individualists, sons of the soil, and so on. We can start with Lewis, who has pulled in $321,125.62 from We the Taxpayers.

Top subsidy recipients in Colorado

11/12/17

What is a 'veteran?'

Last Thursday I had occasion to attend the Veterans' Day ceremony at the Intermediate School.

As with all such ceremonies, it was filled with fanfare and music; the presentation of the colors; the playing of the national anthem - very well done, by the way; the recitation of the pledge of allegiance.

And speeches, by various dignitaries.

I was sitting with Ethan, my youngest grandson.

Dan Davis, head honcho of the local American Legion, gave a speech.

Normally, these speeches are fairly boiler plate, a brief inspirational pitch about vets and service and sacrifice and so on.

But in this one, Davis decided to share with the kids and their families ... "What is a veteran?"

And then, he proceeded to define a veteran as one who has served in the nation's armed forces during time of war.

That's just not so. It isn't true. It really struck a nerve, and at that point, I just quit videoing and sort of listened to the rest of the blather. For that is what it had become.

So ... I've been asked, why do I have a bug up my ass over the American Legion's definition of 'veteran.' And also, if I have a bug up my ass over that definition, why don't I take it up with those running the Legion.

I have contacted the leadership. Several times, in the past, the national leadership, and I have never received the courtesy of an answer.

As to the why of it ... if one of the nation's main veterans' organizations wants to exclude a large number of men and women who have served the nation - doing them a great disservice in the process - I guess they can do that.' And I guess I don't have to join such an organization.

But I don't have to sit back and put up with it. Especially when, as on last Thursday, the Legion stands up in front of my grandson and tells him, and several hundred of his classmates, and their parents and other family members, that in essence if one didn't serve during wartime (essentially during one of their arbitrarily defined periods), one's service doesn't count. One is not a veteran.

That's nonsense.

There are thousands, perhaps even millions, who have served this nation, in the armed forces, in time of peace. Maintaining that standing force all through the Cold War is what kept the Soviets and the Red Chinese at bay. Even if one's service during this period consisted of nothing more glorious than waxing tanks for the Berlin Brigade's parades, or shoveling shit in Louisiana, as George Patton is alleged to have remarked ... all those men and women sacrificed years from their lives and families; a good many of them bled and died during 'peacetime.'

Both the Legion and the VFW limit their membership to vets who served during defined periods. What makes this laughable is that although one may have served during one of those defined periods, it doesn't mean that one served anywhere near a combat zone. For example, an Army troop who served his two years as a draftee during the Vietnam war, but served with the Berlin Brigade as a tank polisher ... can join the Legion. He is a 'Vietnam-era veteran,' but he is not a 'Vietnam veteran.' There is a real difference there.

But a tank polisher (or shit shoveler) who served his time doing the same 'military mission' outside of those periods, cannot join the Legion, even if he wanted to. And apparently, according to the Legion, he is not a 'veteran.'

That is utter nonsense.

This is Veterans' Day, and it is to honor all those who served this nation honorably and well, in war and in peace.

That is what the kids should be told. 

The American Legion's definition of 'veteran' does great disservice to a great many Americans.

11/2/17

The stupidity of American evangelicals

The Rooshins sure did play the 'conservatives' and especially, they played the evangelicals.

Selling Jesus down the road for 64 rubles.

Jesus apparently sitteth at the right hand of 'Bad Vlad' Putin.

That's what shallow, garbage theology mixed with politics gets you. How's that John 13:34 werkin for ya?

Well ... praise God, from whom all blessings flow:


Ain't this special? Annointed by the very hand of God, Ol' Pussy Grabber gets a hug in the Oval. From Jesus hisself.

 And praise Putin, for helping God and Jesus make it all better.They couldn't have done it without him.



 How stupid can American evangelicals possibly be. Well ... clearly, pretty much off the scale.




10/26/17

The Lost Cause


Well, the Lost Cause types are still going on about how their 'heritage' is being destroyed; how 'history' is being debauched ... over Confederate memorials and statues being removed, defaced, whatever.

But take a listen to this, and in particular, that line "... as he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free ...".




Then, take a watch of the link below, wherein Donald Sutherland, playing P.G.T. Beauregard in the flick "The Hunley," sings "Bonnie Blue Flag" to calm the white folk as the Evil Yankees' artillery thunders in the background.




It's a murrrrical! They sung Bonnie Blue Flag and the evil Yankees quit their barbaric cannon fahr!

If you don't know about the Bonnie Blue Flag, or the song about it, Google it. But, for the general fund of information, here are the first lines of it:

We are a band of brothers and native to the soil
Fighting for the property we gained by honest toil
And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star!

"Fighting for the property we gained by honest toil."

Hold that one in your head.




1:50. 'Stripes.' Luke 12:47. "That's Scripture."

2:46 near the end: "Sin? There is no sin. Man does how he pleases with his property."

Heritage. It's not a heritage of mint juleps and sweet tea under the magnolias or on the veranda. It's a heritage of blood, murder, savagery, rape.

10/25/17

The JFK Doc Dump

The JFK Doc Dump!

Yeah ... but we've always known The Truth about the JFK assassination. Most of it, anyway.

Remember this famous photo?



That's the fake. Fake news. Commie infiltrators in the liberal media, allowed to function as moles after escaping the righteous wrath of 'Tail Gunner Joe,' poisoned the American Fourth Estate.

This one is the real photo, recovered from the bowels of the Pentagon. It was taken at the infamous early sixties Dallas basement club, "The Garage". It is the unretouched original.



The fake was retouched by Angolan agents and slipped to un-American factions in the liberal pinko press - thereby establishing a Cuban connection.

The man behind Oswald, wearing the white hat, is reportedly Dean Martin, who had ties to Las Vegas and the Mob. The man in the top right corner, half-hidden, is rumored to be Tom Landry.

And...eyewitnesses have said that the man in the light suit, who is getting ready to put his left foot forward and his right foot back, is actually the ghostly figure from the grassy knoll. That's the One Remaining Mystery. Who is he? A CIA agent? A tool of General Walker? Fidel Castro's third cousin, Manuel? A KGB agent, presumably the one who trained 'Bad Vlad' Putin?

Tomorrow .. We will KNOW!

Taking a knee for social justice

From Rear Admiral Mike Baker, USN (Ret):

Taking a knee for social justice

It just amazes me that this is such a difficult concept for so many people to grasp. It ain't rocket science. It's just ... America. Is America so difficult to understand?

In 1943, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote an opinion about kids who were expelled from school for not saluting the U.S. flag because they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, Justice Jackson’s words and those of additional justices resonate with our times and are the ones that you should carry with you and use to guide you when people discuss this issue. 

“The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.”

“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.” 

 “Words uttered under coercion are proof of loyalty to nothing but self-interest,” wrote Supreme Court Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas in a concurring opinion. “Love of country must spring from willing hearts and free minds, inspired by a fair administration of wise laws enacted by the people’s elected representatives within the bounds of express constitutional prohibitions.”

10/24/17

The Pentagon Two-Step

So ... I'm curious. We're getting the Pentagon two-step on 'The Nigerian Incident'. Why were they there? Why were they there, dependent on the Frogs for air support? And civilian contractors? WTF were they doing there? The Twit-in-Chief is clearly clueless about any of this. His gen'ruls aren't much better. Three weeks after, and they're still looking for their asses with both hands, trying to come up with a story.
Where is the Outrage!™ from all the ranters and ravers over Benghazi? I'll tell you where it is. It isn't. Benghazi was a show. It gave the 'conservatives' a reason to crap all over Hillary and her crew. They really didn't give a rat's rosy red ass about the Benghazi casualties. It was an excuse to take shots at Hillary.
Where are they now?
How come we aren't hearing the Outrage!™ from Hannity and the rest of the right-winger mouthpieces?
I'll tell you why. They don't really give a rat's rosy red ass. The only ass they care about is Trump's, and they're doing their best to cover that.
Hey ... how about all those NFL fans take a knee this Sunday, in memory of the dead soldiers, and as a protest of the stupidity that got them killed?
No, we won't see that. Nope.
If Ol' Heel Spurs plays it right, his boys over in the Pentagon will come up with some good targets, and we can spend a hundred million or so blowing up some Nigerian desert. Remember Syria? And then we'll see Hannity and the rest of the right-winger mouthpieces running around with patriotic stiffies, babbling about 'beautiful American weapons.'
I smell nước mắm.

10/21/17

Lock 'em up!


“And I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it,” Price said. “Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition. So we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. What would you advise or are there any methods legally that we could do that would curtail the spread?”
"It just seems to me it's almost frightening the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers -- well, they are carriers -- but, potential to spread," Betty Price said. "Whereas, in the past, they died more readily, and then at that point, they are not posing a risk. So, we've got a huge population posing a risk if they're not in treatment."
If there are no current methods that can be used 'legally,' we can always make 'em legal.
Perhaps we can bring back eugenics boards. North Carolina had one - either in board form or in commission form - until 1977.
We could also get rid of the 'LGBT community' as well, as they are a pestilence upon the land (introducing a little 'Christian' Right think here). Perhaps we could extend it to Mexicans and other undesirables as well? Democrats? Just think of the potential here. We could clean up the country. Take us back to the Good Old Days.
Eugenics boards were concerned with sterilizing the untermenschen. For The Price Project, all we need to do is take it to the next level.


We don't want to question this. It might upset John Kelly.

10/20/17

The arrogance of John Kelly

After listening to John Kelly defend Ol' Heel Spurs, I was wondering ... "Gen'rul ... how can you do that? How can you defend this?"

It appears I'm not the only one.

John Kelly’s defense of Trump was absurd. And he surely knows it.

I can understand some of this, if Kelly sees himself as providing some level of sanity in the romper room that is the Oval Office.

But he went too far with some of his hyperbole.

Indeed, for some reason Kelly decided to take a shot at Wilson over the funding of a Miami FBI building. I'm not sure what that has to do with Ol' Heel Spurs' comments; perhaps it's a deflection technique. If so, Kelly should have stuck to something factual:

Video appears to show Kelly misrepresented speech of Dem lawmaker he called an 'empty barrel'

Rather than sinking to the low, bottom of the cesspool level of his boss.


Then we have another perspective from The New Yorker:

John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup

Kelly's positions:

Those who criticize the President don’t know what they’re talking about because they haven’t served in the military.

But Ol' Heel Spurs hasn't served in the military, either. Unless, of course, Kelly is willing to give credit for Trump's time in that military boarding school 'they' shipped him off to. I'm not. Sorry, gen'rul, you'll have to do better than your tortured reasoning in that paragraph.

The President did the right thing because he did exactly what his general told him to do. 

Here we see the arrogance of the retired gen'rul. How could anyone question his genius, his 'correctness.' Perhaps he and Ol' Heel Spurs are more birds of a feather than we thought.

Communication between the President and a military widow is no one’s business but theirs.

Total nonsense. The gen'rul needs to get a grip. It's the widow's business with whom she shares 'the communication.'  Neither Trump nor the gen'rul get to call that shot.

Citizens are ranked based on their proximity to dying for their country.

Great truth to that. We already see vets ranked based on whether or not they were 'combat vets'. Given that somewhere around ten percent of vets have ever seen combat of any kind, much less been trigger pullers ... well, what's the point of attending Veterans' Day ceremonies or other such festivities. You have to be The Right Kind of Vet. And, in addition to being a 'combat vet,' you have to be a political 'conservative.' (Read that as 'offensive tightass who never got the point of the oath of enlistment/commissioning).

Here's the corker:

Before walking off the stage, Kelly told Americans who haven’t served in the military that he pities them. “We don’t look down upon those of you who haven’t served,” he said. “In fact, in a way we are a little bit sorry because you’ll have never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our servicemen and women do—not for any other reason than that they love this country.”

Listen up, all you NFL fans with your Outrage!™ over the Kneelers showing disrespect to the flag, the nation, and the military.

There's a General of Marines telling you you're losers and don't love the country, because you never served.

There is significant disconnect between the nation's civilians and the military. The Gen'rul, with his shrill arrogance and condescending manner didn't make it any better.



10/18/17

Golf schedules


White House staff drafted Niger sympathy statement for Trump that was never released

The statement was circulated among NSC officials as well as Defense Department officials. But it was never released, and it was not immediately clear why.

Oh, c'mon, Donnie! It was right there under your golf schedule all along!

Check's in the mail!

Trump offered a grieving military father $25,000 in a phone call

But in a statement Wednesday afternoon, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: “The check has been sent. It’s disgusting that the media is taking something that should be recognized as a generous and sincere gesture, made privately by the President, and using it to advance the media’s biased agenda.”

A classic 'The check's in the mail, honest!'

Not until WaPo called him on it.

Like the rest of Ol' Heel Spurs' "generosity," it turns out to be so much BS.

But we all know what we signed up for ...

But we wander ... remember when Ol' Heel Spurs was on 'The Apprentice,' and he made all those promises to contribute to fave charities?

He didn't.

It was someone else's money, through the Trump Foundation. The man really is a Democrat at heart.

The only cash donations were from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, the family charity that Trump established in 1988. But the Post also pointed out that Trump hadn’t given any of his own money to the Trump Foundation since 2008—almost all of its funding came from other people, including some of his business associates.

and

Most of the money in the Trump Foundation from 2001-2014 did not originally come from Donald Trump. Between 2001 and 2008, the president donated a total of $2.8 million, or 0.08% of his $3.7 billion fortune, to his own foundation. From 2009-2014, Trump gave $0 to the group. He remained its president but financed its activities with money from outsiders, including Comedy Central and NBCUniversal.

Trump the Magnificent

Karen Meredith, the Gold Star and Military Families coordinator for VoteVets, who lost her son, First Lt. Ken Ballard, in Iraq, said Trump's "actions and words on this entire matter of the fallen in Niger is disgraceful, and unbecoming of a President of the United States and commander in chief."
"This is not about you, it is about them. It is about all of us who lost our loved ones, in war," Meredith added. "For once in your life, please stop making everything about you. For once in your life, at least pretend to know what empathy is."
Even pretending would require that he put someone else before himself.
He just can't do that.
He can't.
She's right about one thing. The man is disgraceful.
But then ... we all knew what we were signing up for.
I'm wondering where are all the Outraged!™ NFL fans. Too busy drinking cheap beer, eating cheaper weenies, and looking for flag capes and other such crap to wear, all the while proclaiming what great patriots they all are?
Speaking of 'patriots,' someone tell me why this is disrespectful:


While this is not:


and why this posturing loudmouth twit in his flag shirt:


is more of a 'patriot' than someone who actually has the balls - or a knee - to protest against social and cultural wrongs.

Or is it just as SteveO says: "Because they're white Americans, they can do whatever they please with the flag as long as they aren't burning it or kneeling during the anthem. At least that's how I see it."



10/16/17

Self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing

Lying, self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing scumbag. 

Using dead GI's to make himself look good. What a sorry sack of fecal matter.

Trump claims Obama, other past presidents didn't call families of fallen soldiers

"So the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls, a lot of them didn't make calls. I like to call when it's appropriate, when I think I'm able to do it."

Liar. A damned liar. He had to make it about himself, and he had to take a cheap, lying shot at Obama.

This is the self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing asshole that whines about the NFL's kneeling.

What a pathetic, lying, cheap, fake excuse for a President of the United States.


The four Green Berets were killed last week, actually, nearly two weeks ago. Trump said nothing. 

Then ... people asked questions ... 'why has Trump said nothing ...'. 

And then, the light came on in the Oval Office. Now he claims to have written letters to the families. "They're going out in the mail today. Maybe tomorrow." Right. "The check's in the mail. I swear." 

But then ... he just had to use it as an opportunity to take a cheap shot at Obama, and make himself look good. "Look at me, everybody! See what a good boy am I!" The man is disgusting. He keeps finding new lows. I suppose in that sense, we might see him as 'innovative.'

In 2012, when four Americans were killed in Benghazi, then-President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton received those caskets and addressed families at Joint Base Andrews.

Trump's been out golfing as the caskets of the Green Berets have been returned.

And Bannon? Bannon was shooting off his face to 'values voters', claiming that anyone who criticizes Trump is 'disrespecting' the armed forces. That's quite a reach, but the 'values voters' are lapping it up like Reverend Johnson's Kool-Aid.


“Nobody can run and hide on this one,” Bannon told values voters Saturday, referring to Republicans who dared criticise the president while U.S. troops are serving abroad. Bannon did not mention why the president himself would remain silent about soldiers killed in action.

Meanwhile, Trump himself addressed so-called 'values voters:'

"President Donald Trump dove into America's culture wars on Friday, touting his administration for "returning moral clarity to our view of the world" and ending "attacks on Judeo-Christian values."

What would Trump the pussy-grabbing, philandering, lying Twitbully know about 'Judeo-Christian values.'

"We're saying Merry Christmas again."

Who ever said we couldn't, other than in the fevered imaginations of 'persecuted' evangelicals.


"Values voters." What a farce.

10/13/17

"... a last resort ..."



Top recruiter: Just 136,000 out of 33 million young Americans would join the Army


“In recruiting command, our soldiers who come out and recruit, we tell them to be giving guests. They show the community itself what the Army is all about,” he said. “We dispel a lot of the rumors, a lot of the stigma that is involved with the military.”

That stigma comes from several places. One is that “Generation Z,” as it‘s been dubbed, is much less likely to want to leave home and see the world than others, Bowers said.
“Many of today’s youth are not inclined to want to leave their family and friends,” he said. “Family and friends, they oppose them joining the military service.”

And according to a study, many young Americans see the Army as a last resort, not a top choice for their future.

Really?

“Family and friends, they oppose them joining the military service.”

"...many young Americans see the Army as a last resort..."

Yep. Really. And that's my perception of many young Americans and their families and friends as well, as I paddle about in the sea of life.

Kind of makes that 'thank you for your service' and all the Outrage!™ over the NFL just so much bullshit. Which is exactly what it is. Bullshit.

Who do all those Outrage!™ mongers think they're fooling?

10/11/17

Closet Muslims and Pastoral Pimps

“The Trump administration isn’t obligated to continue this council, but it is obligated to ensure that’s it’s not preferring some faiths over others or seeming to do so,” said Rogers, who currently serves as a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “And the continuance of this Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, even unofficially, and the apparent failure to have any comparable entity that is open to non-evangelicals, sends a troubling message that the administration prefers evangelicals over other people of faith.”

Trump is dismantling Obama’s religion initiatives

Obama didn't do too badly in taking care of various religions, despite being a radical closet Muslim bent on destroying the nation. Trump, on the other hand, has his band of political whores and pastoral pimps, and the hell with everyone else.

How's that '... protect and defend the Constitution ...' working for ya, America?

Robert P. Jones, author of “The End of White Christian America,” observes, “One of the most astounding shifts in modern politics has been the utter transformation of white evangelical Protestants from being confident self-described ‘values voters,’ who measured candidates for office against a high bar of moral character, to anxious and unwavering Trump supporters who have largely dropped these standards for a candidate they believe will deliver policies that benefit them.” He explains that “white evangelicals have exchanged an ethic of principle that might hold a political leader accountable to consistent standards for a consequentialist ends-justify-the-means posture that simply stops interrogating character, the quality of leadership, or the morality of actions when it’s beneficial.”

Evangelical conservatives are proving their harshest critics right


Protecting and Defending

"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem," said Goodell in letter sent to teams on Tuesday. "We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us." He said it is important that the league "move past this controversy."

The letter came the same day that Trump called for the elimination of unspecified tax breaks the league receives because of the National Anthem protests.
Uh huh. Goodell just knuckled under.

Of course, the NFL voluntarily gave up those tax breaks a couple of years ago, so what's Ol' Heel Spurs babbling about? Perhaps this:

Trump has one thing right about the NFL: It gets too much taxpayer funding

I wouldn't expect him to know the difference between taxes and subsidies. The real horselaugh here is that the TruePatriots™ are getting all bent out of shape over some players kneeling ... while the NFL is bending 'em - the TruePatriots™ - over. No problem, though. Pass the peanuts, and gimme one of those 8 dollar beers and a 6 dollar chicken weenie.

But here's the thing:

Now that the President of the United States is directly threatening people who are exercising their First Amendment rights ... good argument can be made that we have that 'state action' that triggers suppression of free speech within a Constitutional context. We have the chief executive of the United States threatening government action in order to suppress free speech. A reasonably decent lawyer should be able to do a pretty good run with that.

How's that '... protect and defend the Constitution ...' thingie workin' for ya, America?

Fear

"Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem," said Goodell in letter sent to teams on Tuesday. "We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us." He said it is important that the league "move past this controversy."
The letter came the same day that Trump called for the elimination of unspecified tax breaks the league receives because of the National Anthem protests.
Uh huh. Goodell just knuckled under. But here's the thing:
Now that the President of the United States is directly threatening people who are exercising their First Amendment rights ... good argument can be made that we have that 'state action' that triggers suppression of free speech within a Constitutional context. We have the chief executive of the United States threatening government action in order to suppress free speech. A reasonably decent lawyer should be able to do a pretty good run with that. How's that '... protect and defend the Constitution ...' thingie workin' for ya, America?

Ignorance and apathy are often thought to be the greatest threats to our Constitutional values.

Under Trump, we can add fear to that.

10/10/17

Kneeling

The parts of the US Code that deal with the flag and the national anthem are advisory in nature. The word 'should' is used, not 'shall.' The code says that one 'should' stand, not that one 'shall' stand. Why do you think that is so?

As Commander Capen points out in his post over on the USNI site, specific acts are described that are considered improper. Kneeling is not one of them.

The code says nothing about kneeling being disrespectful.

It's almost laughable that in a nation founded through violent protest (that whole Revolutionary War thing, and all that preceded it), a peaceful protest would be considered 'un-American.' It *would* be laughable, were it not such an ignorant position to take, by so many who consider themselves to be experts at being "American."

There is much in copwork that requires fixing. I know this, because after I retired from the armed forces of these United States, I spent 18 years as a police officer, on the mean streets of Cowville, USA. We (I still consider myself a member of the Brotherhood of the Bacon) are far, far from being a Gestapo or FSB, but there is much that needs to be fixed. Despite the co-opting of organizations such as BLM by those with more 'impure' agendas than repairing social wrongs, that remains true. This is what drives the NFL players. They are criticized as being rich, pampered, fairly ignorant men. Some of them are. Many of them, however, are surprisingly articulate. I see nothing wrong with them using their position, their fame, to project this agenda of social change. Would anyone pay attention to Festus McGoober, who spends his days shoveling cow pies down at the local feedlot?

You don't get to choose the manner and method of protest. If, when Rosa Parks decided she'd had enough, and the local white meat had told her ... "Mizz Parks, we understand you all ain't happy, but really, this protest of yours is aggervatin' the power structure. Go on now, sit in the back a the bus, and write a letter to the editor" ... where would civil rights be today?

And consider this: kneeling is the gesture, the action, of a supplicant. "Please, America, look at what is going on and fix it." That's what I'm seeing. I'm not seeing disrespect. I'm seeing Americans who rightfully want change.

If kneeling is now disrespectful, a lot of self-righteous 'patriots' and 'Christians' are in deep kimchee with God ... because he sees right through the phony crap, the posturing and the pandering, and understands full well the falseness of the gesture on the part of such people.



On taking a knee


From Commander George Capen, USN (Ret), on Pence's Twit as he left the Colt's game:

Disrespecting Soldiers, Flag, or Anthem?

"Vice President Pence is entitled to his opinion and his right to protest is just as valid as any other American’s. But he doesn’t speak for all active duty or military veterans. At the USNI 2017 Naval History Conference “Military and Politics: Proper Participation or Perilous Partisanship?” Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said, “I wore the uniform so they could do that.”
"[Mullen] made it clear that this was their right and those that served, at least two of us, believe their right to protest is supported by our military service. It is not disrespecting either of us for the NFL players to use the performance of the national anthem as a time to protest. Taking a knee was, in fact, intended to be a respectful method of drawing attention to a national issue. Strike one.
and then:
"The National Flag Code, Chapter 1, Title 4 of the United States Code, provides the law and defines the actions that are disrespectful to the flag. Kneeling in its presence is not one of them. I have seen countless businesses flying excessively tattered American flags and I go out of my way to let them know that is disrespectful. Likewise, I am ever conscious to ensure no flag flies higher than ours. Desecration and mistreatment are also punishable as are a handful of less common circumstances. I encourage others to know what is and is not disrespectful and to take action when the flag is being disrespected. Strike two."
and then:
"Chapter 10 of Title 36 in the U.S. Code does provide specific customs (not punishable) such as standing with right hand saluting (military) or over the heart (civilian) during playing of the national anthem. Some may interpret anything other than the observing the custom as being disrespectful. I believe respectful protests are intended to buck customs. The anthem itself has nothing in the lyrics that defines disrespect. In general, protest is not customary and is protected by the First Amendment. The right to protest is protected (punishable if violated) and therefore has precedence over customs. Strike three."
and then:
"I don’t like watching the NFL protests, but I am proud to have served in a nation where they have the right to do so. I will continue to salute during the national anthem and freely express my opinion, too."
Effin' A-skippy on that last transmission.
God bless America. Wayda lay it out there, Commander.

10/9/17

Obama's bump stocks

Ignorance continues to dominate the right-wingers/'Christian' Right/Silent Majority.

They're still going on about Obama and bump stocks. Memes abound. Apparently, Obama himself approved bump stocks. It's not true, of course. What is true is that some low level official in the ATF, back during the Obama administration, did in fact approve bump stocks as legal. The entire story on that is not difficult to find, though clearly it is beyond the research capabilities of the right-wingers/'Christian' Right/Silent Majority.

It was a dumb decision. No doubt about it. The reasoning of the official, along with the concurrence of the ATF command, is sketchy at best. It makes on wonder if anyone in the ATF knows anything about guns. But it's been that way a long time, since well before Obama. The NRA has been going nuts over ATF for decades.

Trailering onto the bump stock thing, we have ... Fast and Furious ... the ATF's gunwalking scheme that appears to have been authored by a slow-witted 6th grader. Fast and Furious was in fact poorly conceived and poorly executed, and it was in fact during the Obama administration that this fiasco occurred. But it has nothing to do with bump stocks, or the Las Vegas massacre, or the price of yellow cake in Tehran.

The point that the right-wingers/'Christian' Right/Silent Majority are missing completely, either out of total ignorance (quite believeable) or by choice, since it doesn't fit their agenda (equally quite believeable) is that incompetent gunwalking was taking place well before The Big O and Eric Holder arrived on the scene.

Operation Wide Receiver is the first known ATF gunwalking plot involving Mexican drug cartels. It began in 2006 (when was it that Obama was elected?) and ran into late 2007 (when was it that Obama was elected?). The ATF's gun-selling stooge in Tucson eventually sold 450 guns - AR15's, semi-auto AK type rifles, and Colt .38's (whether those are Colt 1911A1's chambered for .38 Super, or .38 Spl revolvers, is not clear), almost all of which went 'walking.'

Incompetence is not a unique attribute of 'libtards.' Clearly it applies across the board to Republicans and other far right ideologues.

Episode 8: "The History of the World"

Those who think that the 'issues' dividing the nation today are something new, something unheard of, something that exceeds anything in the past, really should watch this one.
It helps put into perspective the childish, petulant whining of today's 'Christian' Right, and the so-called 'Silent Majority'.
The 'Silent Majority,' which became the 'Moral Majority' ( a real oxymoron there), and includes the 'Christian' Right ... brought us to the point we see in Episode 8, 'The History of the World.'
In the fifty years since, their thinking and world view has not changed.
In the next episode, we'll see Lam Son 719, a total fiasco, a military abomination that Nixon and his sycophants declared a 'great victory, a testimonial to the success of Vietnamization.'
In the last episode, we saw how the treasonous Nixon - aided and abetted by the patriotic 'Silent Majority' - committed treason by sabotaging the Paris peace talks. Nixon, and his 'PeacePlan with Honor™', dragged the war on for nearly four more years, and killed another 19,000 GI's.
The 'Silent Majority.' The unthinking, unquestioning Majority.
Same people who gave us Trump.

'Disrespecting' the flag

Mike Pence's flagrant waste of tax dollars

Very patriotic.
What a horse's ass.
A very patriotic horse's ass.
"On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence made a big show of leaving an NFL game early. He declared himself upset that some players knelt during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. “I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our national anthem," he declared, as if attacking those things was the intent of the athletes."
No ... they are not 'disrespecting' the flag, the country, the anthem, the military, or veterans.
How many times do they have to say it.
“This is not about the military, this is not about the flag, this is not about the anthem,” 49ers Safety Eric Reid later told reporters. “My mother served in the armed forces. Three of my uncles served … I have the utmost respect for the military, for the anthem, for the flag … This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country … I will keep doing what I feel is necessary, to use the platform that I have, to make changes. It's really disheartening when everything you were raised on, everything I was raised on, was to be the best person I can be, to help people who need help, and the vice president of the United States is trying to confuse the message that we're trying to put out there. I don't know what to say about it.”
I do.
Pence is a tight-ass horse's ass.
"The flight to Indianapolis alone cost an estimated $100,000. The total price tag will also include ground transportation and security. It’s more than most Americans earn in a year.
An aide to the VP told CNN that the trip to Indianapolis “was planned for weeks because former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was being honored.” Spending six figures to send an official to honor a multimillionaire athlete epitomizes the swamp. That is the best way that Pence can find to spend our money and his time? And that’s assuming the trip really was meant to honor a player. According to President Trump, the two men discussed the possibility of players protesting during the national anthem and planned on Pence leaving if that happened. In other words, the president and the vice-president made a premeditated plan to spend six figures traveling to an event knowing it was very likely Pence would not even attend."
Swamp rat.
Very patriotic. I am ... inspired.

For the general fund of information ... this is showing disrespect for the flag:


10/3/17

Trade schools for the elite

College Is Trade School for the Elite

“I’m worried that the idea of vocational education has become so popular,” wrote David Leonhardt of the New York Times . “We shouldn’t be promoting vocational education at the expense of general education.” Instead, “expanding the number of four-year college graduates also deserves to be a national priority.”

Maybe. Mr. Leonhardt is pitting vocational education against the ideals of higher education—independence of thought, breadth of knowledge and understanding. It’s not hard to see how important these ideals are to a democracy, in which political sovereignty lies with the people at large. If the people are ignorant or fixed only on grubbing for a living, they may make awful—and irreversible—mistakes.

The problem is that so little of those ideals really operate in most of American higher education."

What does he mean by that last? That America's colleges are the refuge of the elite and effete? The intellectual snobs who know so much better what we little people need, than we do ourselves? The refuge of the privileged? Ivory towers peopled by liberal, God-hating, America-hating professors who in another time might have been card-carrying Commies? Everything the right-wingers would have us believe?

Noooooo ... not quite.

"Judged by the catalogs, curricula and websites of American colleges and universities, American higher education already is vocational. The number of degrees in nursing, social work, education and the holy quartet of STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—vastly outweighs those awarded in the humanities, which is where we’re supposed to find the pure arts of thinking. One out of every five bachelor-level degrees is in business—which is to say, accounting, marketing, management and real estate—while one in 10 is in a health-related field.

Business and education lead the parade among master’s-level degrees; the bulk of doctoral degrees are in medicine, law, biology and engineering. The highest-growth fields since 2008 have been homeland security, law enforcement, firefighting, parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies."

Guelzo's claim is that America's colleges and universities are alread 'vocationalized,' just not for the grubby and greasy welders, electricians, mechanics.

It isn't too shabby an article, taken on the whole. One might even say it's a real STEM-winder.

10/2/17

Puerto Rican teamsters on strike

Far-right media make up Puerto Rican truck strike to absolve Trump over Hurricane Maria response

Well, proving once again that rational thought and the ability to do simple research are well beyond the capabilities of the Trumpsters ... we have the latest bit of 'fake news' from the far right:
The Puerto Rican teamsters - the truck drivers - have gone on strike, and that is why they are unable to distribute the Trumpian largesse.

It is, of course, so much bullshit.

"Far-right and fringe media are baselessly claiming that truck drivers in Puerto Rico have gone on strike in order to benefit themselves and sabotage President Donald Trump’s relief efforts after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. The Teamsters Union issued a press release on October 2 denouncing the hoax."

"Baselessly." How about adding "mindlessly" to that.

And much of this is coming from the "Christian" Right. The evangelicals, who claim to be washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

Nonsensical 'conservative' bullshit.

From the Teamsters. The International Teamsters. Not the Puerto Rican teamsters:

Teamsters Denounce False Reports of Work Stoppage by Union Drivers in Puerto Rico

The truth is that members from Teamsters Local Union 901 in San Juan have been working or volunteering since the day after the hurricane passed, helping with disaster relief and recovery.

“Let me be clear – Teamsters in Puerto Rico have been working on the relief efforts since day one,” said Alexis Rodriguez, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 901. “Anyone that has reported anything different is lying. Our only agenda is to help bring Puerto Rico back better and stronger.”
“These viral stories spreading across the internet are nothing but lies perpetrated by anti-union entities to further their destructive agenda,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “The fact that they are attempting to capitalize on the suffering of millions of citizens in Puerto Rico that are dire need of our help by pushing these false stories, just exposes their true nature.”

Lies. Gossip. Falsehoods. It's what the 'Christian' Right does best. It's the hallmark of the 81% of 'Christian' evangelicals who voted for Ol' Heel Spurs. It's all you can expect from them.
Puerto Rico's teamsters have been working since the day after the hurricane, though many of their homes have been destroyed and their families are in shelters.

It's a cheap, low-rent, godless shot to accuse them of going on strike for more money or anything else. It's shameful. But if that serves the evangelicals' Great God Trump, it must be OK.

How about that Proverbs 13:5. I can smell a self-righteous evangelical prick a mile away.

9/25/17

"No, no, no! It's spelled 'r.e.s.i.g.n. not r.i.s.i.g.n ...".


An unloved child ...

Years later, America pays the price of an unloved child being farmed out to boarding school ...


Defense perimeter

Here's an interesting one ...

North Korea accuses US of declaring war

Trump twits what could easily be taken as a threat. True, it was presented in much the same manner as an exchange between two low-rent dweebs who have been shortchanged in the brains department ... but ... what the hey, that's what they are.

"North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Monday accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country by tweeting over the weekend that North Korea "won't be around much longer.""

Here's the thing. Back in January 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a speech before the National Press Club. In that speech, he defined the 'defense perimeter' of the United States as extending from the Aleutians, through Japan and the Ryukyus (that would be Okinawa for the geographically challenged) and on down to the Philippines.

He did not mention Taiwan (that's another interesting ball of wax; I've been long surprised we have not gone to war over that one. Anyone remember Matsu and Quemoy? I thought not ...).
Nor did he mention ... wait for it ... wait for it ... yep. Korea. He did not include Korea in the list of countries over which the US was willing to go to war.

That was in January 1950. Six months later, much to the shock, dismay, and total surprise of the United States, the NORKs invaded South Korea.

Things said, and things unsaid. No one said 'rational thought processes' were part of the 'let's go to war' business.

Dean Acheson, speech on the Far East, 12 January 1950

Flag code

The Twit-in-Chief once again demonstrates his ignorance:
The president tweeted, "Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!"
No ... not quite, Donnie. Kneeling violates the part of the federal code pertaining to the national anthem. So does locking arms. The code is quite specific. It also violates the flag code
Both sections of the federal code are also totally unenforceable, but that's another story.
Both sections of the federal code are frequently violated by red-blooded all-American patriots. But it's OK for them to violate the flag code, because ... they are red-blooded all-American patriots.
Or is this simply another 'executive order,' in which Ol' Heel Spurs modifies federal law to fit his own Twitness.

The hypocrisy of the flag-waving super-patriots when it comes to the national anthem and the flag is nowhere more apparent than in the dustup involving Michelle Manhart. Remember when the flag was being walked upon by students at Valdosta U in Georgia? And the flag was rescued by stalwart USAF veteran Michelle Manhart? God bless her! A TruePatriot™! Todd Starnes, that paragon of American patriotism and All-American Christianity, nearly had a patriotic orgasm in reporting the story. Manhart was a TrueAmericanHero™! God bless her! Yet ... Manhart had gotten the boot from USAF, after 13 years. Why? Why would a stalwart, heroic USAF vet (God bless her!) have gotten the boot? Well ... since you ask, here is why:



Yes, that is the stalwart, heroic, USAF vet (God bless her!) posing for Playboy. That might work for a civilian, but it doesn't work for a serving member of the armed forces of the United States. But wait! There's more!


And more!



It's kind of hard to become exercised over what is essentially a civil rights protest on the part of NFL players and others ... while the Christian Right ignores shit like this ... because it plays to their agenda to ignore it.