Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Next time someone threatens you with the Wrath of God, here's what they're talking about

Here's a version of the Authoritarian God (it's an excerpt from Victor Koman's The Jehovah Contract):
***
A giant hand darted out of infinity at an impossible speed to seize me between a thumb and finger of planetary dimensions. Crushing pain steamrolled across me. The immense digits rolled my body around like a ball of snot; after ages of grinding, twisting agony, the fingers separated.

Across a million-mile chasm, bridged by an arm thicker than worlds, I stared at my quarry face to face.

His hair had been styled in a crew cut. I had never imagined that God would look like Jack Webb.

"I love you," bellowed a voice that rumbled deeper than earthquakes.

He had some way of showing his affection, having smeared my body across a good portion of his index finger. Stinging anguish cried from every particle of ruined flesh.

"Knock off the displays, little boy," I said. "I've been worked over by professionals-L.A. cops."

"I love all of you, and you've all turned your backs on Me."

"According to Your supporters," I shouted across the gap, "You gave us the ability to do so!"

"You stole it from the Tree!"

"Why didn't you take it back, Omnipotent One?"

"You didn't have to use it!" He put the squeeze on again.

When the fingers released, I said, "You're supposed to be all-powerful, yet You didn't remove the knowledge of good and evil from us. You could have easily corrected the Original Sin, yet a third of the angels turned against You. Why are the creations of a perfect God so flawed? Is there something we've overlooked?"

"Mocking me. You've always mocked me. I created the world for your happiness-"

"Yeah," I said, seeing an opening, "and filled it with storms and earthquakes and famines and wars and suffering when you could have made it a paradise."

"I had!" His voice thundered like a thousand Hiroshimas. "You broke the rules, and I had to throw you out!"

"You gave us the ability to break the rules."

"I didn't want mindless automata, I wanted free minds-"

"Then why," I screamed, "do You threaten us with punishment in Hell for exercising that freedom? You could have turned us into robots, but You didn't. Why can't You accept the consequences of Your actions?"

"I wanted you to choose Me freely, out of love for Me."

"Freely? Under threat of eternal suffering? Out of love? For a God that obliterates civilizations, murders infants, punishes the slightest deviation with brimstone and hellfire? On earth we have a term for that-protection racketeering."

"It's your fault, not Mine. You were bad."

I gazed around at the blood and guts smeared across the mountainous ridges of His fingerprint. "We only questioned Your authority."

"You disobeyed a direct command! You became one-in-yourselves. You became divine in your own right and left Me with nothing. Nothing!"

Thunderclouds formed around His one visible eye. Lightning flashed in His gaze. A hot blue bolt of energy sizzled a few inches to my right.

"It was She," He said. It was the first acknowledgement He had made-I wouldn't let it be the last. "It was all the work of the Woman. She conspired with the Horned One to ruin My Paradise. I sent My Son to destroy Her works."

"That reminds me," I shouted, desperate to find some sort of leverage. 

"When a God such as Jove or Jehovah impregnates a human, is it rape, incest, or bestiality?"

"Your mockery damns you!"

"Then take away our power to mock! Don't keep killing and maiming, expecting to coerce us into loving You in self-defense. We're too tough to knuckle under!"

"Her doing. She tempts you back into sin, forcing Me to discipline you."

"Forget it, pal. I take the rap myself. As long as I have free will, I reject You. Don't pretend You're giving us a choice when the wrong choice results in eternal torture. You're giving us rules-rules for slaves."

He snarled. "You must obey your God!"

"Why?" I asked. It was an ancient child's game, but it just might work.

"Because I created you."

"Why?"

He stiffened up-millions of miles up. He towered over me until I shuddered from terror.

"Because I wanted to recreate My own image."

"Why?"

"So you would obey Me!" His voice rolled like the sea.

I wasn't going to get back into the whole free will contradiction again-He seemed rather impervious to logic. I gathered together all my resolve, half-expecting the result.

"Why?" I asked.

" BECAUSE I'M BIGGER THAN YOU! "

To America's military sons and daughters: Jesus will never want you to kill anyone in His name.

It has come to my attention that there are religious fools, (which usually starts among the officers) currently serving with you.

These American pretend soldiers are not your typical noble American warriors who have sworn an oath to defend the country and Constitution.

Rather, they have taken it upon themselves to pretend that the old Testament God who gets mad enough to kill people is still in charge.

They believe that the same false god inspired the U.S. Constitution and formation of a military order of soldiers who are to be primarily warriors for His Son.

Do not be tempted to take their spiritual opinions, advice and counsel as gospel my child.

America is not God’s chosen weapon of vengeance nor enforcement of a freedom all over the world won with blood and at the point of a weapon.

America is not the home of modern versions of medieval crusaders who plundered, raped and killed while believing that God and Jesus wanted them to do so.

America is not the home of generals whom God has ordained nor has Jesus authorized to kill indiscriminately in His name.

Never should America be commanded to blow them away in the name of the Lord.

Never should you be legally authorized by any officer or non-com to commit murder or any atrocity as your duty to God and country.

If you commit such acts you will be guilty of shedding innocent blood and will not be able to blame it on the moral cowards who commanded you.

If you fall into that kind of pit I encourage you to make immediate contact with me so that we can try together in all our love and devotion to do whatever it takes to protect your life, your integrity and your soul.

Unlike those military liars, I cannot nor will I ever demand that you blindly accept my own moral judgments in place of your own.

Unlike those military liars I CAN promise you that you WILL be accountable for blindly accepting as some sort of duty and obligatory response to the foolish evangelizing they believe they have the power to force on you.

There ARE people in and close to the military who will back you up should you ever have to stand up to your officers and non-coms who want you to believe they can punish you for ignoring their religious attitudes and practices.

I can help put you in contact with them.

I praise you for your willingness to serve our country.

Amber Waves of Grain Trampled by Corporate and Lobbied Crop Circles

Baseball, Mom, Apple Pie, Home of the Brave and Land of the Free ... the American Homestead of core values.

Although in reality such a homestead does not exist - we still talk of the American Dream - core values that have been the specific notions around which elections have been won and lost. As an internal visualization tool, The American mythical homestead has driven the grandest, most successful and most popular events, changes, adjustments, creations and repentances that we've seen in our history.

That idealized homestead never included a unanimous endorsement of supposed free-market economics dominated by naturally sociopathic corporate entities. It never included subordination of individual rights and freedoms to the priorities of corporate dominance and certainly did not include evolution of the government into a source of camouflaged corporate welfare.

In that regard, a pure and successful free-market society has never existed, has never proven itself a success nor proven itself a universally beneficial system for public well-being.

Chartering corporations in the 19th Century was a means of financing expensive public works for the common good and was never intended to create non-human "entities" with citizen status who would eventually pool vast amounts of cash for legislative bribery. The consequence of that action has been the current lopsided economic oligarchy in which combined financial assets beyond the means of individual citizens have overwhelmed equality - creating instead a vastly uneven field upon which life and subsistence in this country occurs.

Such could only be accomplished through political activism driven by cash offered to humans who could and would follow the money with those same votes they were elected to wield on behalf of individual human constituencies. When pondered and considered honestly; when valued for what they truly represent, our mythical core values reflect the undeniable rebuttal to politicians who declare that government should be run as a business.

At best, that notion reflects a very narrow view of economic reality in this country and is perhaps best exemplified by the foolish economic speeches of trying-to-get-in-or-stay-in-office politicians.
These have used an inappropriate logic from a prior time and circumstance that reveals a weak grasp of anything below the implied affluence of the consumer perception of life in this country. Most politicians consciously or unconsciously have come to equate their personal financial success as a blend of entrepreneurial wisdom and determination fortified by civic understanding of the laws of economics.

I seriously doubt that in his own mind Mitt Romney two years ago was speaking to anyone else besides the Republican financial support base. His opinions reeked of a condescending self-interest that suggested assumptions of economic ignorance at the level of working America. Most of these prominent megaphones want you to believe that justice for all is found on the back of a dollar bill more so than in any Constitution and for decades the Republican Party has portrayed itself as the home of the most fiscally wise and honest conservatives.

In reality, once unleashed by their political successes beginning in the 1990's, with great fanfare they put on the Sacred Miter of reform, picked up the Scepter of change and Vestments of political righteousness to affect a "fiscally responsible makeover " that in reality more than anything else set in motion today's most powerful contemporary economic embarrassments.

For example we saw a welfare reform in the 1990's that has only marginally resolved even half the problems of poverty in this country. We also saw an irresponsible and self-interested repudiation of the Clinton presidency's attempt to address national health care inadequacies. Resistance to the Clinton efforts was foolish, ideological, partisan and primarily greed-based.

We also have seen going back to the presidency of Reagan how the "fiscally responsible" party of change actually changed many American core value freedoms into unprotected vulnerabilities subject to the whims and greed of corporate capitalism. Somewhere along the line came the idea that government should be run primarily like a business.

Republicans have never satisfactorily explained at a national or state level how running the government as a business specifically benefits and protects the physical and economic well-being of the majority of citizens. While any business will look at its bottom line and look for ways to refuse to spend money such is not the principle priority of government. We do not need first and foremost a government that from the outset looks for ways to say No.

What would a government do with "greater profits" created from denials and refusals to spend on the social infrastructure that supports and protects all citizens? If not the citizens, then who are the shareholders to whom government business-runners owe their highest allegiance? We have already seen what they would do.

A simple examination of the Medicare D legislation reveals that the single most effective use of government surpluses is not unlike what Republicans did with Social Security dollars. By arm-twisting and with no eye single to what's best for Social Security recipients, they twisted so-called reform into a slop trough for business - forcing greater sums of tax dollars directly to businesses in the form of required choice of allotment of citizen-owned government cash.

You are now required to spend part of your social security dollars by legal allotment. The government will give it only to a corporation - all you get to do is choose which shark you want to pay.

It is obvious to those who are not blinded by partisan advocacies that neither party's failures will guarantee any movement for genuine reform unless among those victories a specific mandate is included. It must be a mandate that reflects the will of the people; a mandate opposed to bought-and-paid-for civic policies enacted at the behest of monied lobbyists. Voters must simultaneously have opportunity or means of formalizing a mandate to remove, severely restrict or equalize the playing field when it comes to lobbying our representatives for change.

We need to intervene and force corporate lobbyists out of our elected officials' waiting rooms.

We're losing our trust in whatever the Mythical American Core Values ever were. Nothing is taking the place of that trust except perhaps cynicism and an ever deepening self-absorbed behavioral pattern; a pattern that only underlines what historians will eventually describe as the reason for the collapse of the middle class and the slide into economic disaster of every low-income family and single citizen in this country.. A future mythology may be only a speculation about an American Dream once believed to exist.

Last time McConnel, Boehner, McMorris-Rodgers and company had this opportunity this is what they did.

Why Your Medicare D is so Dang Dumb
© Arthur Ruger, 2006
Thinking that Congress had your best interests in mind when they legislated the new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit?

Think again.

To understand why your new Med D prescription benefit is so complicated, confusing and expensive for your budget, you must understand one thing about the economic theory of the elected Republican majority at the national level.

"What's good for corporate capitalism is good for the country."

 They really believe that. They really believe that economically and socially the wisest plan is for  "pseudo conservative" legislation to force all of us to get out of the way while tax cuts to the rich and loopholes to business make our lives better.

Right ...

Medicare D is modeled on one of our classic corporate capitalist national failures: our commercial health insurance system. That's the vaunted one that under the most powerful economic force in the world has left us in 37th place globally in terms of effective and quality national health care.

That's the vaunted one that any system modeled after Britain or Canda or any other country where EVERYONE is covered would never exceed the profit-defined intent of corporate America's capitalist dream.

Here's how they did it ... and you must remember the power of lobbying in this country and how senators and congress persons can't decide how to vote until a corporate capitalist prompts their wisdom with cash.
These wise lawmakers chose some 260 private insurers (corporations who supported this scheme with lobby money given primarily to - you guessed it - Republican lawmakers. Republicans, you surely remember, are the majority in congress and therefore have the power to turn the scheme into law). These wise partisan lawmakers have forced you to choose one of those elite insurers.

Who are these chosen 260?

Why they're private pharmacy benefit insurers, HMO's, pharmacy organizations like Walgreen's, Long's and Wal Mart. You surely didn't think they are social-minded or populist organizations like the Grange did you? Naw, these aren't social minded do-gooders. They're the profit-minded self-interested.

Our economically "wise" lawmakers have now made it legal for our government to send YOUR medicare money - I mean it, the actual money that would be used as your individual medicare benefit - to the corporation you have to pick  from among the 260.

It's an automatic revenue the corporation will spend advertising or marketing costs for in order to out-muscle the competition which will then be passed on to you as part of the additional premiums you'll pay out of pocket for your medicines.

This is a free-market system run amok.

In some areas seniors have 40-50 choices of plans. The plans have confusing choices of options, many of which involve differing monthly premiums (ranging from $0 to $60).
There are combinations of deductibles.
There are combinations of co-insurance (your percentage/their percentage of the medicine's price).
There are options to try cheaper generic drugs.
There are "tiers" (levels of priority and/or allowability) based on copays, generics, preferred brands, non-preferred brands, specialty drugs ... and whether you buy from an "in-network" pharmacy with discounts or "out-of-network" pharmacy with no discounts.

There is no standardized nomenclature (no set of names, concepts, options and plan definitions that are standard among all of the 260 chosen corporate medical monopolists.) One uses the phrase "co-pay"; another calls it "deductible".

What if we folks have questions?

Well,  we can go on line to a web site with a complicated web answer-giver. If you're one of the 75% of seniors who have never gone on line - well, chin up! A whole new cyber adventure is out there just waiting for you to invest in another corporate hog-trough sector by buying a computer and joining the internet surfer society.

What's going to happen with this pick-your-pocket-because-you're-over-a-barrel scheme?

Remember, the Republicans got this doofus plan passed with a projected price tag of $400 billion - a little less than the current sub-total for war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan by the way.
But wait! We then learned that the Bush Administration told Medicare officials - in the tradition of Bill O'Reilly - to SHUT UP. They were told to keep the real cost which is in excess of $550 billion a secret.

What about the sacred chosen 260? All vendors are not expected to remain "competitive." That means that not all vendors are expected to survive in the free-market system.
No, the biggest sharks with the biggest teeth and the biggest lobby dollars will win the survival of the health insurance fittest. We'll  see the 260 reduced to perhaps 10 survivors; mega-innsurers who will slug it out for all the leavings of those other 250 who just couldn't make it.

And instead of free-market capitalism we'll have closed-market monopoly based on sending Medicare tax dollars to friends of the Republicans.

Who might that be?

Well, United Health Group is spending 75 million on marketing and operations for this new Republican give away.
Aetna= $50 million
Cigna: $40 million
Humana (a midwest regional insurer)= $80 million.
Pfizer's in there too. You know Pfizer ... Bob Dole sold his Viagra perspective for Pfizer.

But those investments are chump change compared to what happens when all the Medicare clients sign on to automatic directed payments to the chosen hog-trough recipient. This is the Republican American Way of course and whatever premium you pay to your chosen insurer will include recovery of that marketing money.
Then there's this: You'll hear words of wisdom from the Medicare RX Education Network and may receive mailings in envelopes bearing a return address of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. You are forgiven if you mistakenly assume these are official government communications to you.

They are not.

They have been allowed by Republican free-marketer politicians to use the government's official logos.
And if you run into something called "Medicare Today," you'll be seeing a creation of the Healthcare Leadership Council.

Who's that you ask?

Well, a group of hospitals, drug companies, medical equipment makers and academic medicate centers joined up some 300 members. They then raised millions of dollars for "outreach" to get seniors to sign up and authorize one of them to receive government Medicare dollars earmarked in your name.

The 37th best medical care system in the world is 37th because that system functions in the tradition of Exxon-Mobil's double-digit billions of dollars quarterly profits. However, the 37th best medical care system is #1 in what is the truest priority: Turning billion-dollar profits while at the same time failing to adequately treat and protect all of its citizens.

That's the linkage between corporate lobbyists and corrupt politicians. That linkage and system is more and more revealing itself as foundational to the failed economic politics of contemporary corporate conservative Republicanism.

BattleStar Democratica-Republica seeking Mythical Core Values

The notion of "America's Core Values" haunts our society in a manner not unlike the frantic crew of Battlestar Galactica hunting for the rumored Edenesque "Planet Earth. "

Some of us voice the yearning but most do not register feelings until someone in prominence - this cycle it's Obama - touches that tender nerve of idealism.

Yes yes ... baseball, Mom and apple pie are internally reinforced images, but they constitute merely the gate to the family homestead. The homestead itself is where the house, the property and the family members sustain themselves by mutual trusting dependence on a value system based on love, tolerance, economic equality, industry and opportunity.

That homestead has never existed in this country.

However, as an internal visualization, it has driven the grandest, most successful and most popular events, changes, adjustments, creations and reforms that we've seen in our history.

Our idealized homestead never included a unanimous endorsement of supposed free-market economics. It never included subordination of individual rights and freedoms to the priorities of corporate dominance and certainly did not include evolution of the government into a source of camouflaged corporate welfare.

In that regard, a pure and successful free-market society has never existed, has never proven itself a successful nor universally beneficial system for public well-being.

When pondered and considered honestly; when valued for what they truly represent, our mythical core values reflect the undeniable rebuttal to politicians who declare that government should be run as a business.

At best, that notion reflects a very narrow view of economic reality in this country and is perhaps best exemplified by the contemporary conservative candidacies of those knowledgeable and those who only pretend-knowledgeablity.

In 2012 Mitt Romney typified most politicians who have come to equate their personal financial success as a blend of entrepreneurial wisdom fortified by civic understanding of the laws of economics which somehow generate a natural entrepreneurial compassion for the less successful. Most of these prominent megaphones want you to believe that justice for all is found on the back of a dollar bill more so than in any Constitution.

We seem to hear this nonsense more from conservatives and/or the Republican Party who have for the last 50 years portrayed themselves as economically wise fiscal conservatives.

In reality, once unleashed by their political successes beginning in the 1990's, with great fanfare they put on the Miter of reform and picked up the Scepter of change to affect a "fiscally responsible makeover " that in reality represents today's most powerful contemporary economic embarrassments.

For example, we saw a welfare reform in the 1990's that has only marginally resolved even half the problems of poverty in this country. We also saw a rebuttal of the Clinton presidency's attempt to address national health care inadequacies. Resistance to the Clinton efforts was foolish, ideological, partisan and primarily greed-based. These were un-American refusals to reform or change health coverage in this country. This has remained even more radically unchanged with the political lack of will to do anything in terms of health care reform but propose repeal of Obamacare which in itself was the best of the worst that was compromised into law. Why? In my opinion it has been the Republican party's willingness to harm the citizens in the name of opposing anything Obama or Democratic.

We saw how the "fiscally responsible" party of change actually changed many American core value freedoms into unprotected vulnerabilities subject to the whims and greed of corporate capitalism.



These same fiscal hypocrites continue to campaign as if they were successful self-made representatives of a mythical American Dream available to all voters. Republicans have never satisfactorily explained at a national or state level how running the government as a business specifically benefits and protects the physical and economic well-being of the majority of citizens.

One simple example is that any effective business will look at its bottom line and look for ways to refuse to spend money as a means of generating greater profits. They HAVE to look for ways to say No. A government run as a profit-motivated business would do the same.

What does a government do with "greater profits" created from denials and refusals to spend on the social infrastructure that supports and protects all citizens? Are refusals to expend funds to the needy or most vulnerable in the name of "fiscal responsibility wise and good public policy?

If not the citizens, then who are the shareholders to whom government business-runners owe their highest allegiance?

What is to be done with those profits generated by an elected government run as if it were the same sociopathic "person" based on self-interest inherent in the non-human entity in this country known as a "corporation?" Yes, folks, based on it's need to survive and grow is by definition sociopathic.

Having taken some whacks at Republicans, I'm not about to imply that Democrats would have been able or even willing to reverse many of the legislated mistakes of the past 20 years in this country.

It ought to be obvious to those citizens who are not blinded by partisan perspectives and propaganda that neither party's victories in the future will guarantee any movement for genuine reform unless among those victories a specific mandate is included. It must be a mandate that reflects the will of the people; a mandate opposed to bought-and-paid-for civic policies enacted at the behest of monied lobbyists.

Voters must simultaneously have opportunity or means of formalizing a mandate to remove, severely restrict or equalize the playing field when it comes to lobbying our representatives for change.  We need to intervene and force corporate lobbyists out of our elected official's waiting rooms.

In this regard, any pretend apologetics from Hilary or other candidates trying to justify accepting corporate donations is worthless. What is simultaneously real and imagined in an almost mindless and tragically immature assumption - rarely expressed but always the basis of attitudinal and tactical thinking - is the self-serving notion that pragmatism usurps any desire or commitment to an ideal.

Partisan activists who consider themselves wise and who are intimately involved in the campaigns of their most beloved candidates almost always belittle ideal thinking. They use the chestnut that you have to play the game in its forever-deteriorating manner in order to win power.

Only then - once in power - can the victor look up the core values even he/she have probably forgotten and restore America to its mythical former glory. Such thinking neither proves nor wins anything but individual personal advocacy duels.  It also demonstrates and reveals a cynicism that fuels the ever-increasing loss of a civic appreciation for how things work in this country. This is an obvious tactic non-religious candidates of both parties have had to utilize.

That's why too many of us - and I mean this literally - are too stupid to see through political tactics generated by polls and political consultants.

Candidates wearing real or memorized earphone prompters so as to conceal their inability to think on their feet and give genuinely honest answers are not the candidates who believe in America's Core Values.

We're losing our trust in whatever the Mythical American Core Values ever were. Nothing is taking the place of that trust except perhaps cynicism and an ever deepening self-absorbed behavioral pattern; a pattern that only underlines what historians will eventually describe as the reason for the fall.

A future mythology may be only a speculation about an American Dream once believed to exist.

the worst president we've ever had ... who? Baby Boomer Shame

Desperate to Leave the Scene of His Own Accidents ... 
and be remembered as ... what?
Former Vice President Dick Cheney took another swipe at President Barack Obama on Tuesday, criticizing him over the Iran deal framework put in place last week.

Cheney, who accused Iran of having "one of the most radical regimes in history" and being "sworn to destroy Israel," told radio host Hugh Hewitt the deal will be a "burden" on the next occupant of the White House.

"This is a totally radical regime that is the premiere sponsor of state terrorism in the world, and Obama's about to give them nuclear weapons," Cheney said. "

It's, I can't think of a more terrible burden to leave the next president than what Obama is creating here."

Cheney went on to call Obama "the worst president we've ever had.

If you had somebody as president who wanted to take America down, who wanted to fundamentally weaken our position in the world and reduce our capacity to influence events, turn our back on our allies and encourage our adversaries, it would look exactly like what Barack Obama's doing," Cheney said. - Source:HuffPo 4/8/15 
Now mind you, as a practicing curmudgeon, the single most important thing I've learned as a member of an audience in the present of one guy saying stuff about the other guy who he wants to make look worse than himself ... well ... 

is to personally follow up on what is said. If, as it was most of the time, I was unable to speak to the declarer in person, I had to go into forbidden territory ... you know, do some work ... look stuff up ... don't depend on lefty or righty talking heads to define what I just heard or read.

Seems to me there should be more personal assessment of things and less gullible-belief of them there mindslinging broadcast stampeders and political candidates.

Nuff said about looking stuff up.

Let me get this straight: Mr. Cheney says that Obama is the worst president and, I presume has logic, history, research and honesty on his side as he asks you and mean to be the judges.

I have no need to defend Mr. Obama other than to say that if Cheney is right, President Obama has to come in under a bar his predecessor - with the help of Mr. Cheney - set pretty ... well ... low.

Now I'm going to offer the following pictorial resume with some commentary and refer you to that famous Fox News chestnut: I report and you decide.


We know that in terms of executive privilege, what Mr. Cheney says about Mr. Obama looks a lot like what we were saying about Mr. Bush for 8 years.


Liars liars pants on fires ... you decide.


And if Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney were telling us truths, is this what we really needed to make us and the Middle East more secure?


Here's the essence and harvest of the Bush, Cheney & Associates wise leadership plan for American security and stability in the Middle East


When things got even butt-uglier, desperate times called for desperate measures eh? And the Dick-Cheney-we're-not-the-worst-presidency launched this sort of thing. Did that do anything to ameliorate the passions of our supposed victims/enemies whenever they had the opportunity to inflict physical messiness on non-Middle-Easterners in the name of their own foreign policy and their own superior religion?




Which American President has done more to impose the following image on the rest of the world when our interests are threatened?


 Well ...




In the interest of full disclosure, I am and have not been a respected of Republicans since they quit selecting honorable men to run against Democrats and that was back in the 1990s.

Nor am I a respecter of Democrats since they have proven to be a spineless posse who won't stand up for the American people and have been unwilling or afraid to start a public bar fight with crooks and liars in the other party.

But I am an American citizen, and American Veteran and I believe in but don't see a lot of civic honesty.

But I want to speak as a Veteran.

I've listened long enough to Dick Cheney's pretenses to knowing more about what it means to command in wartime than veterans who've been there and done that. Mr. Cheney hasn't ever been there.

Pretending to speak as someone who has been there and has done that demonstrates the desperation of ignorant arrogance. Giving public speeches that preach only to a Reflublican choir where you most likely won't be challenged-  that's what chicken hawks do ... desperate chicken hawks.

Posturing as one so wise about real leadership is part and parcel of the shallowness by which he pretended to govern and administer responsibilities in a way that respects the country and its citizens.

The reason for that in view of his lack of personal military experience is the intellectual hubris and academic assumptions. Book learning is still just book learning. A college education without on-the-job experience and exposure is still limited to textbooks and theories.

A Vice President's inability to express empathy with the American military's day-to-day reality continues to broadcast much more powerfully and loudly than his criticisms around who is fit or unfit for leadership - particularly in a military role.

In partnering with George Bush, who seemed to think that substance communicates itself in swagger, bravado and foolish stubbornness, they pretended to the wisdom of Lincoln and Roosevelt, both of whom actually demonstrated wise wartime leadership.

Mr. Cheney and his president revealed something more like the rash arrogance of George Armstrong Custer. Political advisers then and now have been so blatantly devious, manipulative, and disingenuous that it is no longer possible to separate the candidates from their managers regardless of a pretense of aloofness and no connection to campaign negativity and dirty tricks.

Mr. Cheney's discredited opinion will ultimately have significant impact on a terrorist attack. Such an attack, if it comes, will have occurred at a moment whose impact could have been diminished if Cheney and Bush had given a higher priority to America's need for greater preparation and homeland protection while on watch and not wasted our resources in a singularly misguided and mismanaged context in Iraq.

The least helpful Americans are those currently elected and former officials who have demonstrated a fear of straight talk, an unwillingness to accept responsibility, a willingness to manipulate and even falsify truth in an all-out attempt to stay in office. They include politicians who have compromised legitimate conservative values in an unwise desire to further the interests of one party at the expense of the country.


Even the members of the Republican choir have offered opinion about Cheney's assertions. Would you believe the propaganda flagship, Fox News?

Megan Kelly interviewed Cheney live last June and quoted from Cheney's article, in which he and his daughter Liz Cheney wrote: "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."

"But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir," Kelly said. "You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction; you said we would be greeted as liberators; you said the Iraq insurgency was in the last throes back in 2005; and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to, quote, 'rethink their strategy of jihad.' Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?"  - theweek.com

It has been asked, "Who wants to be the last soldier to die for a lie?"

An equally important question to be asked is, "Who wants to be remembered as that part of an electorate persuaded to vote for candidates whose most powerful political efforts demonstrated an acute lack of moral and ethical integrity, on obsession with secrecy and little reverence for the truth?"

Ignore at your own risk ... inferiors are waiting to govern your ignorance


                                         Vote fer me ... I'm tuff on stuff


Who said this:

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors?
Got a campaign coming up. Doesn't it seem like a circus of performing inferiors. Well, at this point based on who is saying what, who is doing what and who is pointing at what ... they all act like the inferiors in their heads have overruled the wisdom of their hearts.

"I would govern you!!" they shout, and then behave as if meditated and well-considered thoughts are exactly what should be avoided. No ... it's better to blurt out stuff

... cause there's a lot of us guys in the audience who are well-trained blurtees. We buy into the shallowest of notions and think a doofus is wise because he can wrinkle his brow and tell you what's wrong with everyone else.

But ya know, it ain't so much the outrageous stuff that comes from the minds of the candidates who want to get our attention.

It's our own - yours and mine - shallow and gullible minds that consider angry and inflamed self-righteous talk from candidates as serious and believable fare that brings all this stuff on.

Ask any bartender. The best way to shut down the loudmouth in the tavern that always says the dumbest stuff is best quieted when the rest of them either ignore him or toss him out the door in exasperation at the time being wasted.

                                                  Tom Bumbouncer

An adult speaks to the show offs who think the rest of us are gullible

Vote Fer Me! I'm Tuff on Stuff
The desperate party and it's candidate show-offs are up on the stage doing the see-how-great-I-am shuffle?

I seriously doubt that the congressional de-funders actually took a poll in their home states and districts to see if their constituents actually want them to defund Planned Parenthood.

But why let such a necessary check-with-your-voters procedure stop them. Even if their own constituents  aren't being loud and stoopid enough in supporting them, they must assume that everyone else's constituencies do ... and that makes it a broad public sentiment to defund.

Right?

Well, consider the fruits of these pretend we-think-this-is-the-most-importanto-thing-right-now crowd.

These are strictly junior high school antics and maneuvers.

Won't someone - an adult preferably - explain the facts of life to them.

Well, one very smart, thoughtful and capable adult lady did.

Now if they can just find someone smart in their own crowd to interpret what she said that may have been to deep or complicated ...

Did you fall down, hit your head and think you woke up in the 1950's or 1890's?

Elizabeth Warren:

“I come to the Senate floor today to ask my Republican colleagues a question, Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950s? Or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?”
“Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s healthcare centers.
And her very complicated declaration (from someone among their own body who knows),

“Just to be clear,” Warren continued, “even though the abortions performed at Planned Parenthood are safe and legal, the federal government is not paying for any of thm. Not — one — dime.”
Now, can't this party of kindergarten konservativism and reactionary religion just start spending time on things worthwhile to the whole nation ... at least once in this decade?

one conservative viewpoint we as Americans must sustain

In combination with the theology around Atonement and Redemption, Jesus offered a practical means for letter-of-the-law human beings to transition into a compassionate and forgiving society. He pressed for a society liberated - at least spiritually- from the either/or governance of God as managed by Jewish leadership and either/or civil obedience as managed by Roman authority.

There IS one conservative viewpoint we as Americans must sustain - spiced however with more activism. It's our Christian traditional way of looking at the teachings and role of Jesus as perhaps the most compassionate human being who ever lived.

In truth, such is the ultimate fundamentalism and evangelical literalism that must be the sole basis for a call to traditional values.

When Jesus asks that we take his gospel to all nations we take a message that has to do with our relationship to God and not God's compulsion by extortion as a tactic rather than a theology.

The current religious political agitation will not result in the resolution of who is right over who is wrong. It could, however, result in a victory based on political scheming by one side over another... certainly not the way of the Master. Such would be a false victory in that both sides would lose, America would lose and would continue down the path toward curse and byword for the rest of the world at large.

The success of the historical Protestant Reformation might be best described as a win/win circumstance in that God did not repudiate one point of view at the expense of the other. Both Catholics and Protestants survived. Both remain powerfully connected to Christian tradition and beliefs today.

However, the weakness of that victory displays itself among Catholics and Protestants who remain steadfast in their insistence that the other does not have total truth or authority. The Pope's recent declaration of Protestant invalidity by not being the original true church while narrow-visioned Protestants with their merchant-like (must have it in writing) obsession with authority who ignore Catholic wisdom as coming from a false or un-authorized source.
Protestant literalists seem to forget that all Luther did was yank the Bible out of the hands of his Catholic superiors while keeping for the most part the same theological assumptions that drove Catholicism with it's insecurity about its own power and led to the Dark Ages.
The ultimate consequence from such absolutist thinking is of course the assumption that God is a nit-picker with note-taking angels from whom he will arbitrarily and without mercy or compassion declare who is good and worthy and who is sinful and deserving of punishment.

Right.

At issue is not whether the United States was founded with intent that America ultimately becomes a Christian nation. At issue is that we have more than 225 years of experience living under a Constitution that, in its own way, is one of the most successful historical documents ever.

In our history we have seen the evolution of a multi-faceted society based not only on religion and philosophy, but on cultural diversity without which our positive American mythology of a melting pot could not be such a uniting part of our national psyche.
Under our Constitution we have seen the growth of a habitual way of looking at things - an automatic stance if you will - that allows for diversity of opinion and the freedom to express opinion. It is hard to make the case that deterioration of those aspects of society that each of us have deemed "deteriorating" - according to our own sense of common good and the idea of public decency - is the fault of the Constitution and can be remedied by taking its proven formula of success and modifying it into something that codifies a specific viewpoint.
We absolutely have no need of religious reins-taking of our political process as a path to America's personal and global salvation.

New theologies - whether they be about “Prosperity“, “Dominionism“, “Spiritual Warfare” or the “End Times” - ought not be the basis for seeking government power at the expense of society as a whole. If we are to reform moral and ethical practices in this country, we need to define Jesus’ Good Samaritan, Prodigal Son and Sermon on the Mount in relationship to our power as a diverse society,

to our prosperity as a tool of reform,
to our lost influential position on a global scale as an instrument of advocating peace,
to our lost spiritual and cultural values as a means toward compassion toward one another.

There is a need for resurrection.
We all know what kind of restorative process I'm talking about.

These ain't no Harlem Globetrotters ... hell they ain't even the Pomona Polecats!!





Trump and his all stars: Flynn, Bannon, Conway, DeVos ... 
and now Sessions. Sitting in last place ... awe come on!!!

My Congresswoman from the 5th Congressional District, Cathy McMorris Rogers, needs to be sent to the minors. She plays ball for a self-styled Washington all-star team that seems to have no understanding of the rules and philosophy of the civic game of governance.

These particular all-stars are a collection of self-labeled  konservatives who still struggle with stick shifts and complicated words containing more than five letters.

These guys are hoping we won't have noticed just how "all-star" they are now 6 weeks into their watch. They seem to want the country to stagger forward handicapped by a flat tire at the highest level of our leadership vehicle.

We are getting no correct-direction signals from any of these leaders. They have no skill and are not up to the task of leading, let alone even managing difficulties. Despite the lop-sided political advantage of our most recent national election and the temerity and caution of the opposition party, these supposedly wise Republican leaders and strategists are demonstrating an incredible lack of skill at managing the affairs of state.

As James T. Kirk goaded Khan, "You [Republicans] just ... keep ... missing ... the target."

If there is such as thing as a "normal situation" in this country I could say that "normally" when one party emerges victorious in an election, those who voted for the other party can take comfort in the general high quality, integrity and bi-partisan value of governing wisdom of those who did win.

Not this time.

These guys make it look like this country elected the Washington Generals instead of the Harlem Globetrotters. They can't dribble, can't shoot and certainly can't play team-oriented ball.

They're constantly out of bounds, palming the ball, committing foolish and egregious personal fouls and falling further and further behind on the scoreboard.

They try to play on only one end of the court where the bleachers are full of fanatics who want to change the way the game is played, want to change who can play and want to change what the public address system is allowed to broadcast.

If you look down their bench, you don't see anyone riding the pines capable of substituting for the fumblers on the floor.

You do see some of those benchwarmers nursing dreams of future stardom by focusing on the bleachers when they should be focusing on the game itself.

You see flashes in the pan for whom the team's financial backers have big plans and lots of money but also a limited self-serving priority of filling more bleachers rather than championship rings.

Not the players ...
Not the coaches ...
Not the owners ...

... none of them show skill, wisdom or even a concern that the team remain viable, competitive and effective.

We're not witnessing the creation of any kind of winning tradition here in the spirit of the Cavaliers,  Cubs, or Patriots.

Oh no!!

We're looking at having to endure years of the 1960's Mets when Casey Stengal asked, "Can't anyone here play this game?"

The foolishness of the biblical literalist politician isn't biblical at all.


An Oklahoma lawmaker's anti-gay comments are attracting national attention. Lawmaker's anti-gay comments attract attention (News9.com)

I thought that when it comes to the worst of terrorism, the trigger word was "Islamofascist," not "homosexuals and homsexuality."

What kind of doofus word is islamofascist? Seems to me that only crowd that worships that word are the same ones who themselves want to use violence and exclusion as their practice of an imperial form of brotherly love.

How about "Christiano-Fascist" for the Kindergarten Christians who are giving politicians and preachers foolish talking points?

You find yourself stuck in the Chapel of the Kindergarten Religion and a preacher is throwing the BOOK at you. Or you are at a political gathering listening to someone you believe was placed in office by God.


When one or the other (or both) declare in their most powerful and nuanced voice that homosexuals and homosexuality is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism, you must remember who you are.


Remember that The Father is watching. We are all falling sparrows. And none of us fall far from the Tree.


If it is in your heart that the Father has approved of such a bigoted declaration or if you have been taught that the Holy Spirit prompts, leads and guides every sermon and political utterance from the born-again, then you belittle The Father with your assumptions.


Take the following advice based on the 5th Chapter of Hebrews:



... those put in charge of things pertaining to God on behalf of the flock absolutely have to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward. This because they themselves are subject to weakness.


They who talk to you of making sacrifice for your sins must make sacrifice for their own as well.


One does not presume to take the honor of speakership but only when called of God, as was Aaron. This of course means that the same sense of calling that aroused your preacher is a sense you yourself are fully capable and able to experience.


... unless that is hard for you to understand about yourselves and you lack the personal faith needed to do so.


Many have become dull in understanding - lazy even - and have given away too much personal will to preachers of kindergarten talking points.


By now you ought to be teachers yourselves rather than lazy Christians who go to meeting and let someone else do all the talking.


Perhaps you are one of those who need someone else to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God.


Perhaps you believe that the shallowest among you who nevertheless are able to memorize verses are the most justified because The Father places the highest regard on they who memorize the most.


If you regard yourself a spiritually mature rather than a spiritual infant, are not such preachers the least able to respond to your need for milk?


They encourage you to believe that you are receiving solid food. You must however pay attention.


They preach to you as if you were still infants, unskilled in the word of righteousness.


If the best your preacher or your pious Christian politician can do is to declare that homosexuals and homosexuality is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism, perhaps you'd best understand this.


They who say such stuff still need milk themselves.


Solid food is for the mature; those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

That's what it says in Hebrews 5.


I found it there, figured it out and believed it before any milk-needer could tell me that my conclusions are not "biblical" ... whatever that means.

Doofusness; The incumbent sitting Lame Duck American President

It's a vanity issue. For Mr. Trump that means he must satisfy Mr. Hannity, Ms. Coulter and these kind folks: On Networks and ...

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