4/27/17

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.


4/26/17

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!



4/25/17

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.

4/22/17

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.

4/21/17

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.

Failure.

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.

and

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?"

Nope.

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.

Low-rent Palin

Palin invited Ted Nugent and Kid Rock to the White House because 'Jesus was booked'

This is very disappointing.

I can't imagine what Jesus was thinking.

Turning down an invitation to slurp grits with Ol' Heel Spurs *and* Sarah "DoubleWide" Palin?

How can He consider Himself a RealAmerican™?

And how does this affect the GOP vetting Him as chairperson for the RNC?

I mean, like, it's enough to rattle one's faith.

I'll confess to at first thinking Palin was great. It didn't take long for her cheap, low-rent behaviors and attitudes to come bubbling up. Now, she's where she belongs, on the edges of the trash heap of history. That Ol' Heel Spurs would invite this trailer trash to the White House is not in the least surprising. He is the best evidence that being obscenely rich can't buy you class.

Nugent?  I'll confess to having had mixed feelings about him. He has that out-spoken all-Merkin quality that many people admire. But too often, he just comes across as a rude asshole, also an example of how having a pile of money, and even some talent, can't buy you class. This latest episode just goes to show you you can take the boy out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the boy.

Kid Rock is not a factor. From my perspective, a non-entity.

Here's the thing that got it all moving:

On Wednesday evening, she posted one of the three guests making faces in front of Hillary Clinton’s White House portrait from her time as first lady.

“Yeah, yeah,” Palin said Thursday on CNN. “I think the picture says it all.”

Yeah, yeah. It sure does. We can thank God that this childish bit of low-rent trash didn't end up as Vice President of the United States.

Best comment I"ve seen yet on the photo op:

"Yeah, Sarah Palin, that's Hillary's portrait hanging in the White House. Where's yours?"

4/19/17

Back when the White House had faith


Remember when the White House had faith?


"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.

and

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?

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.


I remember attending a 'National Day of Prayer' shindig here in The Smile Hi. Yep. Down at the Santa Fe Plaza. Our own Tony Bolen foamed in Outraged!™ fury at how the closet Muslim was going to end the National Day of Prayer. Obama never did any such thing; there is absolutely no evidence that he even remotely considered such a thing ... but that didn't faze Bolen nor those of his ilk, and they were and are legion.

So where is the evidence of Ol' Heel Spurs marvelous (some might say 'miraculously convenient') conversion experience?

How is that 'Christian' conviction Ol' Heel Spurs claims to possess translating into behaviors and accomplishments in the government?

I'll tell you how.

It isn't.




4/18/17

Anchors aweigh, m'boys!

Remember when Ol' Heel Spurs was going on about sending in *his* Navy? Like, you know, to rattle the Fat Little NORK's cage a bit.

“We are sending an armada, very powerful.”

Fake news.


 Instead of steaming toward the Korea Peninsula, the carrier strike group was actually headed in the opposite direction to take part in “scheduled exercises with Australian forces in the Indian Ocean,” according to Defense News, which first reported the story.

Neither the Pacific Command nor the Pacific Fleet responded immediately to requests for comment.

I'll bet they didn't.

It seems that Vinson and Carrier Strike Group 1 (aka 'the armada') won't be anywhere near Korea till the end of the month.

New trash can appears; residents react!

4/17/17

Pence and his A-2 jacket

America Can’t Do Much About North Korea ... but whatever it can do, it will need China.


I must say that Pence looked pretty spiffy, in his personalized USAF A-2. No, it wasn't a 'Top Gun' Navy flight jacket. Those are G-1's, with a faux fur collar and no epaulets.

But he did look spiffy. Like a real bad ass. And he went out there and stared sternly at the NORKs. The NORKs, apparently unimpressed, took a bunch of snappies.

Despite that the NORKs didn't cower in fear, I felt a quiver of all-American patriotic passion at the very sight. It just made me want to launch missiles or drop bombs, or at the very least, recite the pledge of allegiance.

Pence's father was in Korea for the first dance-around with the NORKs.  Pence Père received the Bronze Star for his service there.

Pence himself hasn't done much except serve as a political whore most of his life. And posture in a USAF A-2.

Pence Fils in in the Marines.

Veep Pence and Ol' Heel Spurs have had a taste of blood, what with those Tomahawks and the MOAB. Blowing shit up is so much easier than not, and it really works in the polls. There's nothing to get the patriotic juices flowing in Copper Kitchens all across Murrica than a good saber-rattling.

So Pence Fils may have an opportunity to get his own Bronze Star, or maybe even better, like a flag-draped casket, and a couple of buglers, and a firing party, all in dress blues, with a suitably senior Marine officer handing Pence Mère the flag, with a stern-looking Pence the Veep, presumably in his spiffy, patriotic A-2, looking on.

Getting through this without bloodshed on a biblical scale requires a commander-in-chief who can string a couple of thoughts together without sounding like a fourth grader from the lowest quartile on the standardized tests. Someone who has actually read a book or two about history, and strategy, and politics on the world stage.

We don't have that. We have Trump, a buffoon who has discovered bombs. Big bombs. The best bombs in the world.

4/12/17

The illusory life of Sean Spicer

And the best one of the day ... proof, of sorts that we have not lost our minds.

Sean Spicer Is the Perfectly Awful Spokesman That Donald Trump Deserves

"The president often says stupid, impulsive, indefensible things. Why shouldn't his press secretary do the same?"

Good point. By having a mindless, parrot-like sycophant like Spicer spewing more garbage, we are all much better off.

God help us if Ol' Heel Spurs were to come up with an urbane, smooth and polished liar to gloss over his incoherence. We might actually believe the garbage that comes out of the Oval.

With Spicer we are under no such illusions. We can pretty much assume that everything coming out of his mouth is a lie.

Hoist by his own fake news petard



Putin Hoists Trump on His Own Fake News Petard

"The succulent truth of the chemical attack is that Putin’s lying mouth has forced Trump to endorse the findings and accuracy of his own intelligence establishment—the same intelligence establishment he has repeatedly vilified on Twitter and compared to Nazis."

Yep.

"Not that Trump isn’t capable of slithering his way out of an unflattering or criminal finding of his campaign’s conduct. As he proved during the campaign, he will go to any length to avoid horrid truths about his views and his conduct. The master of diversion, he maintains a stockpile of news glitter he can dispense at a moment’s notice to reroute the national debate into one of his vile culs-de-sac. Alas, his fidelity to the truth—the chemwar finding—is consistent with the rest of his persona: It’s situational."

And 'yep' again. It was said of Ben Carson that 'he has a complicated relationship with the truth.'

With Ol' Heel Spurs, it is much simpler. The man has no relationship with the truth

Waffler-in-Chief

The Waffler-in-Chief changes again ... how many flip-flops is this on health care and tax reform?

Trump changes course again, says health-care repeal must happen before tax overhaul

"The comments from Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney mark a sharp reversal from the administration’s approach just a few weeks ago. After they were dealt a stinging defeat when conservative Republicans refused to vote for a GOP health-care plan, Trump angrily said he was pivoting to tax reform and has been peppering his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, for details of their tax timeline ever since."

Not to worry. It isn't that they don't have a clue ... it's simply a 'procedural issue.' I'm sure that we are simply too stupid to get our minds around the man's sublime genius

Imitation and flattery

I'm wondering what kind of syrup he likes on his waffles.

3 big ways Trump is starting to sound like Obama on the economy

 "In an interview Wednesday with the Wall Street Journal, Trump reversed his stance on three economic issues, moving closer to the policies of his predecessor. Trump has continually changed his policies since launching his presidential campaign in 2015, and whether his latest statements represent a shift or a one-off set of comments remains to be seen. But if Trump follows through on his latest promises, he'll have adopted a large segment of Obama's economic platform."

Apparently The Big O wasn't quite the Compleat Incompetent Ol' Heel Spurs would like us to believe. What's that they say about imitation and flattery?

Of course, by this time tomorrow, he could have changed his 'mind' again, and be off on some totally irrational tangent.

Trump's illegal and ill-advised Syrian strike

Most polls are showing a slight majority of Americans approve the Syrian strike ordered by Ol' Heel Spurs.

Apparently Ol' Heel Spurs was deeply moved by viewing images of dead Syrian kids. I suspect that most us of were and are moved, even deeply moved, by such images. But does that justify a peremptory unilateral airstrike, particularly when there is no identifiable imminent threat to the United States?

When a reality-TV president orders a missile strike

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams said during a broadcast. “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen, ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.’ And they are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making, what is for them, a brief flight over to this airfield.”

“Guest after guest is gushing,” tweeted Sam Sacks, the co-founder of The District Sentinel, a website focused on federal policy. “From MSNBC to CNN, Trump is receiving his best night of press so far. And all he had to do was start a war.”

Arguably, Ol' Heel Spurs did not start the war. It was moving along quite well on its own. Nonetheless, what he did do, was by any definition an act of war. He did it as an emotional reaction. He didn't do it as part of an on-going policy or strategy. He didn't even follow his own criticisms of Obama, back in 2013, when he castigated Obama for even thinking of acting without consulting Congress. Back then, Assad had gassed a lot more Syrians, too, 1500 or so, nearly 500 of which were children. Mitch McConnell went on about how there was no 'imminent threat to the United States.'

Apparently neither they nor their accomplices saw the photos, back then.

Trump’s extraordinary instinct for television is matched by his appetite for it. He rarely sleeps, The Washington Post reported, and instead “watches enormous amounts of television all through the night.” During the presidential campaign, he told Chuck Todd, the Meet the Press host, that he got military advice by watching “the shows” on cable.

God help us, the man who has the authority to loose the nukes gets his advice from the likes of Ollie North, Ralph Peters, and the rest of the retired hacks who are making a quick buck with their 'expertise.'

But it gets better. Or worse, depending on your perspective.

Trump's unlawful attack on Syria

Indeed, from his statements on Thursday, it seems at least possible that, moved by the horrific video images of Syrian children suffocated by a gas attack, Trump simply decided to "do something" because, as he said in his statement, "No child of god should ever suffer such horror."

The impulse to act without thinking would be understandable. Careful planning and clarity of purpose aren't easy in a fast-moving international situation. But the framers of the Constitution constructed a mechanism to reduce or eliminate the danger that a president would take the nation to war on a fleeting impulse.

The Trumpkins apparently pride themselves on being Constitutional experts. Yet clearly, in supporting this Constitutional faux pas, they demonstrate a great ignorance of that document.

Donald Trump's action in Syria proves he is not in league with Putin, says his son Eric

Actually, it does no such thing, but for the moment, that's another story.

"Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I'm sure she said: 'Listen, this is horrible stuff,' " Eric Trump told the Telegraph.

Eric Trump is not involved with the administration and is currently running the Trump Organization in his father's absence along with his brother Donald Trump Jr.

"I stay out of politics and I stay out of the administration, but you can tell he was deeply affected by those images of the children," he added.

"My father will act in times like that. And by the way, he was anti doing anything with Syria two years ago. Then a leader gasses their own people, women and children," Eric Trump told the Telegraph. "At some point America is the global leader and the world's superpower has to come forward and act and they did with a lot of support of our allies and I think that's a great thing."" Eric Trump told the Telegraph. "At some point America is the global leader and the world's superpower has to come forward and act and they did with a lot of support of our allies and I think that's a great thing."

Ivanka was heartbroken. That's grounds for launching 59 Tomahawks? Ivanka has three kids. That's grounds for launching 59 Tomahawks?

This item is Trump the Younger's greatest bit of bullshit:

And by the way, he was anti doing anything with Syria two years ago. Then a leader gasses their own people, women and children.

Trump was anti-doing anything in Syria four years ago, when the far larger murder of Syrians took place. Trump the Younger complete blows over that, as though this latest incident is unique and standing alone. It is neither.

These people know nothing about the Constitution, and even less about proper and legal use of military force. The Trumpkins are not in the least bothered by this, and continue to swill the Kool-Aid by the tanker load.

4/7/17

The Syrian Affair

The hypocrisy and stupidity of Donald Trump and the GOP is explained very well in this article from Atlantic.

Trump's Syrian strike was un-constitutional and unwise

Trump was and has been viciously critical of Obama's 'red line' thing, and the fact that there was no real action on Obama's part.

“What I am saying is stay out of Syria,” Trump added days later. “AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER,” he emphasized, “DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA - IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!”

It gets even better:




Obama did take his case to the Congress, which is what he was supposed to do, given that there was no clear and present danger presented to the United States. He didn't need Ol' Heel Spurs to tell him that.

Mitch McConnell was vehemently opposed to striking Syria when Obama sought approval from Congress.

“But let’s be very clear about something. These attacks, monstrous as they are, were not a direct attack against the United States or one of its treaty allies ..."

Nor were the chemical attacks of this past week a direct attack against the United States or one of its treaty allies.

Trump was even more vehemently opposed, back in 2013. And yet, this week, he blamed Obama for this most recent outrage by Assad. He even accused Obama of plotting to use strikes back then, even before the 2013 Syrian attacks, as a way to boost his polling numbers.

Yep. He did:



So now we have Trump, having looked a couple of photos of dead kids, making an emotional decision to attack Syria. A more cynical person might think he was more motivated by an opportunity to boost his poll numbers, which are in the toilet, rather than any concern for some Syrian slum kids.

Here's a good list of Trump's ranting Tweets, about the 2013 Syrian chemical attacks, and how Obama should not intervene.

Back in 2013, “more than 100 House lawmakers––at least 98 Republicans and 18 Democrats––signed on to a letter formally requesting that President Obama seek congressional approval for any military response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” the Washington Post reported. “The letter, first written by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), suggests that failure to seek congressional authorization for military strikes would be unconstitutional.”

And the saber-rattlers in the GOP continue to run around with their peckers at high port.
I suppose in order to be a TrueAmerican™, I should make sure to set the flag out in the front of the house along with a sign, "God bless Trump!"

4/5/17

The evangelical message of worthlessness

From Fr. Richard this morning:

"...and it was good ..."; "... and it was good ..."; "...it was very good ...".

It was good because God saw it was good, and he should know, he made it all. Right?

Nope.

Fr. Richard's opening observation from this morning's mailbag:

"When Christians defined Jesus in a small way — as a mere problem solver for sin — we soon became preoccupied with sin itself, which is a largely negative foundation. We became blind to much else going on in this world except sin and its effects, which became preoccupations of most monks and reformers. One well- known Protestant reformer actually spoke of “total depravity” to characterize the human situation; another spoke of human nature as “a pile of manure covered with the snow of Christ.” With such a negative anthropology and without inherent human dignity, it is very hard for even a good theology to succeed. Grace can only build on—and perfect—nature; it cannot undo it, says Catholic theology. We must start where the Bible begins in Genesis 1: “It was good, it was good . . . it was very good” (Genesis 1:10-31)."

Then we have:

"Yet many Christian leaders and churches focus on shame and guilt, atonement and reparation, as if we were children frightened of an abusive father. Is there no greater meaning to our individual lives and history than to be chastened, corrected, and “saved” by God? Is there no implanted hope and goodness to first celebrate? The starting point of religion and life cannot be a huge problem. If we start with original sin (beginning with Genesis 3 rather than Genesis 1), our worldview is scarcity rather than abundance."

How many times have we heard these 'evangelicals' rant on about what unworthy worms we are. What losers we are. About how "... Christ died for our worthless, depraved, sad sack selves."

But he apparently did think we were worthy. Otherwise, why go through the whole crucifixion thing? What was the point of all that? I've never gotten an answer to that question that makes any sense at all. Not from the traveling 'evangelicals' with their message of worthlessness.

They're pretty good about passing the hat for 'love offerings,' though.

A pox on 'em all.