5/31/17

The Chamber Pot

So.

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

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

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

Well.

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

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

Oh, the humanity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let's get with the program!

5/24/17

Fixation

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

But Fr. Richard has an opinion on that:

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

and

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

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

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

5/22/17

"I never mentioned Israel ..."

Trump drags his scandals back into the spotlight on foreign trip


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

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

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

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

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

I feel ever so much better.

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

The Wall






Trumps' grasp of religion and politics.

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz



The Islam Two-step

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

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

Nope.

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

New tricks: Donald Trump’s reset on Islam


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


That's a hoot.

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

This is my kind of pastor.

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

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


Dear Frank

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christ’s servant and yours,

Peter

5/11/17

A snapped shower cap?

An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia

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

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

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

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

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

One bitch-slap at a time ...

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

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

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


Our pathetic excuse of a president

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosenstein on verge of resignation over Comey firing

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

And then we have this:

White House furious after being trolled with Russia Oval Office photos

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

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

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

Hiding in the bushes

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

Babbling incoherently.

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

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

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

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

Whacked. Simply ... whacked.

"White Hot"


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

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

Well.

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

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

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

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

5/2/17

The Mudfog Workhouse Health Insurance Policy

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



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

Trump's history lesson

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

Colbert bashes Trump

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


 


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

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