Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IS MERRY CHRISTMAS GREETING BIBLICAL?

Apologies for the weird formatting. Not quite sure how to fix this.

ust had a very subversive thought. We have this whole crop of fundies with their "if it isn't in the Bible it isn't 'Christian.'"

News flash Christmas isn't in the Bible. Yes, the story of the birth of the future footsore rabbi from Nazareth IS in the Bible. But, if I have my history straight official commemoration of the birth started during the reign of Constantine.

Christmas? Christ's mass. Yep, the December date close to the solstice is part of what became the yearly liturgical cycle starting with what has become Advent and ending with Pentecost. As follows

Christmas Eve
Feast of the Nativity
Feast of St. Stephen (first official martyr)
Feast of St. John for John the Baptist
Feast of the Holy Innocents (Herod's blood bath)
Just because
Feast of the Holy Family
Eve of the Feast of the Holy Name
The Feast of the Holy Name Jesus' circumcision, either one
Feast of Mary the Theotokos
Epiphany when the three kings arrived with gifts is on January 6. And in many countries THAT day is the day gifts are exchanged.

All of these traditions were added years or centuries after the Bible was written. So, the whole argument about what to say is really, well totally weird. We get all hung up on the words while conveniently forgetting that Jesus (if he existed) was a Jewish guy who was crying in the wilderness with the messages of the old Hebrew prophets in the hope that maybe, just maybe people would listen this time around.

Of the few of you who actually know me you will know that my sense of humor is well, sort of off the wall. Out in far left field actually.

God has sent prophets over the years from Amos through Jeremiah to Zechariah with mixed and apparently futile results. This is how it goes in my weird imagination,

"Son I need to talk to you. Remember that conversation we had a three or four eons ago on the other side of the Milky Way."

"Yeah, the one where I end up on earth eventually learning the difference between oak and cedar and end up walking the length and breadth of the Holy Land?"

"That's the one. It's time. I've got a great family all picked out for you."

"OK dad, Catch you on the flip side. I've got a feeling I'm going to get into more trouble that all the other prophets put together."

"Afraid so, Son."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

POST TRUTH AMERICA

I wish this tool would read a history book. Preferably Bruce Catton's the Coming Fury about the run up to and the first few months of the Civil War.

How many of you know that there were four, yes four, presidential candidates in 1860?
Abraham Lincoln for the Republicans
Stephen Douglas for the northern Democrats
John C Breckinridge for the southern Democrats
John Bell for the Constitutional Union Party
And we all know how well THAT turned out. Douglas damn near killed himself touring the south after the election trying to persuade them not to secede.
Nearly a century later the Dixiecrats turned on Harry Truman for his early civil rights efforts. During the Johnson administration and the Nixon era the Southern strategy resulted in southern Democrats becoming Republicans and a lot Republicans (me included) becoming Democrats. Couldn't stand the thought of being in the same party as Tricky Dick Nixon.
So yes there are people of color in this country (Doh) And you sir should be locked in a small room with basic facilities, MRE's, a stack of history books and not allowed out until you've read them. There will be a test.
So much post truth America.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

ANOTHER GENERATION

I believe that the Millennial Bernie Bots and third part supporters realize what the boomers who just might be willing the choose the lesser of two evils have in our psychic photo albums.

November 1963. Snapshot of the vice principal holding a piece of paper for the home room teacher to read, That's how we learned about Dallas. Snapshot. A woman in black holding the hands of her children as they said goodbye to a husband and father who just happened to be the president. Snapshot. That same figure leading the mourners through the streets to the cathedral. Snapshot. A new president who basically told the secret service that if he was afraid to march where the people could see him he didn't deserve to be president. Snapshot, The horse with no rider, boots reversed in the stirrups. Sounds. Those damn drums I'll hear into eternity.

Snapshot. The faces of three missing civil rights workers. They found their bodies in an earthen dam in Mississippi. Snapshot. A woman named Viola Liuzzo gunned down in a drive by on the lonely highway at night. Sanpshots from different times. Police dogs set on school children. Fire hoses blasting non violent civil rights protesters, Four girls killed when a coward bombed their church one Sunday morning.

It went on year after year. A little girl, naked and screaming, running from her village that had just been napalmed. A Vietnamese officer caught on film as he shot a prisoner in the head. Napalm, B52's, we had to destroy the village to save it, Agent Orange,

A southern governor standing on a college campus promising segregation forever. That same governor gunned down in an assassination attempt. A man of peace gunned down in front of a motel in Memphis. A presidential candidate gunned down in a hotel kitchen minutes after winning the California primary in 1968.

The totally out of control Democratic convention in 1968. AKA as the Chicago police riots. And it went on.

What did all this have in common? Individuals or groups of people who were so damn sure they were right they were willing to kill for it. Burn down the neighborhood for it. Blow up a church for it. A few, a very few, were willing to die for it.

I guess I could go on. But I suppose this is my answer to the "true believers." Most of us learned to temper our idealism. "Hey, what he or she is saying sounds good. What are their chances of actually accomplishing this."

Well, we have a nightmare in the making on our hands. And a reminder. Every vote you didn't cast because the candidate didn't suit you was a vote for a candidate that was even worse.



















Sunday, November 13, 2016

DENMARK 1943 OR RESISTANCE IS NOT FUTILE

In late September 1943 Denmark had been occupied by the Germans for over three years. Denmark had a fairly small Jewish population and they had been left alone. Until a few days before Rosh Hashanah.

The plan was take the Jews on the eve of the Jewish New Year when they would all be at home. That was the plan, A German attache told a Danish politician who told other Danes who warned he Jews. They were hidden in hospitals, warehouses, private homes, shops while the Dane negotiated with the Swedish government. The Swedes agreed and nearly seven thousand Jews were smuggled across the straits to Sweden. When they returned after the war they found their houses, shops, gardens and pets pretty much as they left them.

The Germans managed to arrest about four hundred people and most of them survived the war. Song writer Fred Small wrote a song, Denmark 1943.

The song can also be found on YouTube.

 DENMARK 1943

And it's Eichmann and Himmler are turning the screws
The Fuhrer they say grows impatient
"How can it be Denmark's Jews still walk free
After three years of kind occupation?
We will take them like sheep in their beds as they sleep
On the second night of their new year
Devoutly at home they'll be helpless alone
When they cry out no one will hear"

But Duckwitz the German tells Hedtoft the Dane
"My friend I have dangerous news
In three hours the transport ships will set at anchor
You must warn them warn all the Jews"
Soon good Rabbi Melchior stands in the synagogue
"There'll be no service today
The raids come tomorrow, dwell not on your sorrow
By nightfall we must be away"

Refrain:
And it's fire up the diesel and look out for swells
We're leaving Espergaerde behind us
Who strike at our friends strike us as well
We'll pray the patrol boats don't find us
When the sirens are wailing and shouts fill the night
Never will you stand alone
So it's over the Oresund
Till the day we can welcome you home

Sompolinski the tailor on the eve of Rosh Hashana
Gathers his family near
"The Lord is my light and salvation
Whom on this earth shall I fear?"
When a young Danish gentile steps into the glow
Of the candle with tears flowing down
"Good neighbors flee - I pray you believe me"
And as quickly the young man is gone

Christian policemen, shopkeepers, and teachers
Tell their friends of the quickening storm
While students on bicycles race through the streets
Searching for Jews to be warned
And Katlev the foreman blurts out to the trainman
"My family has no place to hide"
"Well bring 'em to my house," the stranger replies
"And we'll spit in the damn Nazi's eyes"

Refrain

And it's fire up the diesel and look out for swells
We're leaving Espergaerde behind us
Who strike at our friends strike us as well
We'll pray the patrol boats don't find us
When the sirens are wailing and shouts fill the night
Never will you stand alone
So it's over the Oresund
Till the day we can welcome you home

Ellen Nielsen the fishwife in the port of Drag√°¸r
Has no use for political views
She'll call out the catch, "Fresh salmon, fresh cod"
Comes a whisper "Please help, we are Jews"
"But if you are Jews you're not safe on the street
I know a man with a sail"
Till moonrise they sleep in the shade of her eaves
And escape on the fisherman's keel

Rabbi Melchior hires a young trawlerman
To ferry his family across
After twelve hours afloat in a scurfy old boat
Morning light shows the same Danish coast
Says the skipper "I'm afraid of the German blockade
So we've motored in circles around"
The rabbi gives a shout, with one blow knocks him out
And steers a straight line 'cross the sound

Refrain

And it's fire up the diesel and look out for swells
We're leaving Espergaerde behind us
Who strike at our friends strike us as well
We'll pray the patrol boats don't find us
When the sirens are wailing and shouts fill the night
Never will you stand alone
So it's over the Oresund
Till the day we can welcome you home

Frozen with fright in the October night
Families huddle in basements and barns
Mistaking each breath for the angel of death
The Gestapo, the shot, the alarm
Then down into the hold with the stench and the cold
And drug all the babies with schnapps
Someone shouts, "Valk√°mmen till Sverige
You are in Swedish waters at last"

Seven thousands of Jews smuggled over to Sweden
By fishermen, nurses, and priests
Hitler sends Eichmann to hunt them down
But his quarry have vanished like mist
When the war's over the Jews return
Cheers and flowers adorn their way home
"We're not heroes or martyrs," so say the Danes
"We were just looking after our own"

Refrain

And it's fire up the diesel and look out for swells
We're leaving Espergaerde behind us
Who strike at our friends strike us as well
We'll pray the patrol boats don't find us
When the sirens are wailing and shouts fill the night
Never will you stand alone
So it's over the Oresund
Till the day we can welcome you home

And today we will welcome you home
And today we welcome you home


Saturday, November 12, 2016

STEPPING ON SOME TOES





"So nice to keep seeing these things that tell me I must not be a Christian because I voted for Donald Trump. I mean here I was thinking that my personal relationship with God is more important than who I voted for to be president...... 

But of course ostracizing people over their choice of President is a great way to spread the kingdom of God right?"


Spotted this comment on this FB page.   He also blogs at Formerly Fundie. The writer is a Mennonite with a couple hard earned doctorates in branches of theology. Please follow the link and check out the picture of him with his adopted daughter. A girl who just might have a target on her back.

There are so many comments I could make, most of them unkind to say the least, But if you'll notice there are no names named. No one is called out. If this individual sees himself in this picture he's put himself there not Ben Corey. And that is his problem, not Ben's.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

WE'VE TRIED BEING UNDERSTANDING

and empathetic. It hasn't done a damn bit of good.

There were a couple of left leaning Christian pages on Face Book yesterday with the themes that we need to be more "understanding" of Trump's supporters. Have a dialog. Show some empathy, Goddess I think I''m going to throw up.

Those of us on the so called left who happen to be Quakers, semi pagans, outright pagans or fellow citizens who trying to keep this country from being dragged back at least a century have talking, trying to be more understanding, forgiving, whatever for the last forty or fifty years. It hasn't
accomplished anything except the growing contempt from the religious and political fundies.

In case you haven't been paying attention the Great Orange One has been endorsed by the KKK, white power militants, gun nuts and all around nutty nuts, I've seen websites calling for a race war and what sounds pretty much like ethnic cleansing.

Ever here of The Turner Diaries? It's the Bible for some of these haters. Google the title you can probably find a version on line. Read part of it if your stomach can take it. I have two nephews and a foster niece who would all have targets on their backs if these people ever came to power. The guys married beautiful young women who just happen to be mixed race. Indonesian and Japanese if anyone is interested.

They'd be in danger because of who their parents were and the guys would be in danger because they married them. Race defilement they call it. As for unofficial niece? She is engaged to a very good looking, smart, successful young man who just happens to be an African American. Race defilement again,

I also have no intention, nor do I see the need to be"understanding" or "empathetic" towards individuals who spout Bible verses that would turn women into baby making door mats. I don't have much use for individuals who use the C word to describe the democratic candidate, have indicated they'd be really happy if she were in prison or worse, Don't have much use for politicians who want us to believe that only Republicans can appoint justices to the Supreme Court.

I could go on, but I believe you get the picture.

Oh, and I don't want this bunch anywhere near my library. All those books on liberation theology, gods and goddesses, I think that is pretty self explanatory too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING THE TERRORISTS ARE COMING

Whatever. Keep people scared by whoever or whatever and maybe we won't notice that they're stealing the country out from under us.

Another Mauldin piece. This was drawn around the time the so called Red Scare was heating up.  Never mind that we were technically on the same side at the time. Nothing much has changed has it.



Monday, October 31, 2016

DON'T SINK THE BOAT

Bill Mauldin was one hell of a cartoonist. He got his start during WWII drawing for Stars and Stripes. A collection was published late in the war titled Up Front. And he won the Pulitzer Prize.

Go forward a few years and Bill was back in the states. Still drawing cartoons. A lot of them had a definite edge to them. He wasn't the only GI to come back to the US of the late forties and early fifties who found himself wondering what they'd gone through hell  to protect,

Those cartoons ended up in a book titled Back Home.The piece is pretty self explanatory. And it might be older than me it sums up our current dismal politics pretty well.

Yo! Idiot politicians and your supporters. You can't sink ONE end of the boat without sinking the OTHER end.



Source Back Home page 236 in my copy. Courtesy of my trusty digital camera and Photoshop. Actually there are quite a few good pieces in this book. This could be fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

WASHINGTON ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Early in his first term George Washington made tour of the New England states. At that time Rhode Island had not ratified the constitution so he skipped that state, In the summer of 1790 Rhode Island ratified the constitution and Washington, with Jefferson and New York governor Clinton in tow, set out for a visit.

At their first stop, Newport, the party was greeted by Moses Seixas. He was a merchant and spokesman for his congregation, Yeshuat Israel. In part of his greeting he noted that his congregation had been deprived of the"invaluable rights of free citizens."

Washington wrote this letter in reply. The underlined sections make it plain that he saw America as a place where we would all be free to worship as we believed and that one group was not set above another. Source Ron Chernow's bio Washington A Life. Letter text from the website of the Touro Synagogue. Located in Newport, Rhode Island it is the oldest Jewish congregation in the US and the oldest synagogue building still standing.

Gentlemen:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.

If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.




G. Washington

Friday, October 21, 2016

WHY SHE'S VOTING FOR TRUMP

Mae Beavers is a Tennessee state senator. She supports the Republican candidate for president and explains why in this op ed piece.

I shared the link on FB and decided that I had a pretty good blog entry sitting there just waiting to be edited.. 

Ma'm if your values include supporting a candidate who has been sued more than three thousand time for not paying his bills and sometimes not paying his employees, go for it.

If your values include tarring whole ethnic groups as drug runners and racists, go for it.

If your values include supporting a candidate who hasn't turned down support from racists, I'm getting some doubts here. Some of those racist supporters apparently want to start a race war that includes what we called ethnic cleansing when Yugoslavia broke up.

If your values include banning the members of an entire religious community from entering the US whether they might be terrorists or not, I can't stop you.

And I can't stop your from supporting a candidate who was reported to have asked “if we have nukes why can't we use them?” I hope you know that nukes aren't just bigger, better TNT.

If your values allow you to support a man who apparently hasn't opened a book in years and claims that he “instinctively” knows what to do about damn near anything I'm starting to feel a little sorry for you.

And then there's the claim that because he went to military boarding school as a high school student he knows more about military matters than the generals and claims that avoiding STD's while sleeping around in college was his personal Viet Nam, I have to ask this. How in the heck did you manage to get elected in the first place?

Marching onward. If you choose to support a candidate who just about out Palins Sarah Palin in producing reams of word salad, what kind of dressing would you prefer?

If you believe that American values include electing a man who apparently can't run his own businesses but believes that he is qualified to be the head of one of the largest nations on the planet, with the largest cache of tools to to wipe out our fellow humans, I have to assume that perhaps you haven't thought this all the way through.

If your values include supporting a man who seems to view any venue where there are young women as his personal meat market, then madam you are a traitor not only to your sex for every decent man in the country.

If your values include supporting a man who has managed to insulate himself with followers who don't dare tell him no then you are part of the problem not part of the solution.

Hamilton, Washington, Madison, Monroe and Adams (father and son) are probably spinning in their graves. I suspect the Old Hickory, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster or John C. Calhoun are too happy with the current state of the union either. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

IT'S ALL A GIANT PLOT

Back in 2000 the Democrats pretty much sucked it up when the Supreme Court stopped the recount of the Florida ballots and basically appointed George W Bush as president. We didn't like it very much but we stepped aside and watched while the country was dragged into two wars and the worst recession since the Depression.

Now, we have a candidate who is the least qualified for the office in the history of the nation. And he says he'll "think about it" when he has to face the inevitable on November 9. Granted the losing candidates aren't  REQUIRED to officially concede when they lose. It is considered to be the polite and gracious response to the will of the voters.

There is a critical lack of critical thinking skills in this country, Maybe it's always been that way, I don't really know. Have any of the folks who are so damn sure the election is going to be rigged actually thought through how hard it would be to rig the results in one state, much less the whole country?

Then there's the idea that whole busloads of noncitizens are going to be able to vote because as at east one person has claimed "you don't have to be registered to vote to be allowed to cast a ballot." When was the last time some of these folks registered to vote? Now that I think about it, when was the first time.

When was the last time they actually showed up to cast a ballot? You know, walk up to the poll workers, tell them your name, have them find your name on the list of registered voters and sign your name. Like the joke about Chinese laundries. No name, no vote.

But the drum beat has been going on for weeks, months. It's rigged, it's rigged, it's rigged.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

i OVERLOOKED THIS

When I wrote my entry yesterday I made a major oversight. I mentioned our casualties. I did not take note of the death tolls of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians. Figure from the net from the mid fifties to the mid seventies 1,450,000. I'm assuming the deaths were caused by both sides.

No matter which side is right the civilians take in the neck. Over and over and over.

I'm sorry I overlooked these deaths. At least our casualties have their names on a wall. Their families can visit, touch mourn, The nameless dead from the other side, who knows their names. Who knows when they died, Where they died. How they died.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

YOU DON'T GET OVER IT.

A follower of the Republican candidate for president has appeared in a video threatening the life of Hillary Clinton if she is elected president.

Dear mentally challenged right wing wingnut. Hey, go for it. Create a martyr. Tie lead weights to the GOP elephant and dump it in the Marianas Trench. Can't go much deeper than that you worthless POS. Forgive me I usually try to avoid giving in to the overwhelming temptation to cuss like a logger. Heck, I'm a logger's daughter so what the hey.

BTW how old are you? The picture on the website shows a bit of gray in your beard. Is it possible you were born after 1968 or weren't paying attention at the time? Never mind that you are threatening to try to overturn what would be a legal election for president, Never mind that you are threatening to shred the constitution you probably claim to support and respect.

You are threatening to commit murder. The murder of a legally elected candidate. I was in eighth grade home room when our vice principal came into the room. He held up a paper for Mrs. Redmond to read. That's when we found out what happened in Dallas. The president was dead. Time stopped for four endless days. I will see the horses, the flag draped casket and hear those damned drums until the day I die.

April 1968. I'm senior, Looking forward to graduation and college. I get home/ Mom''s loading daD in the car. His arthritis medication caused internal bleeding and by the way somebody shot Martin this afternoon, What?????? Time stopped again.

June 1968. Just out of high school. I'd listened to the primary results on my radio. Turned it off. Went to sleep and was greeted in that next sunny morning with "Bobby's dead." I'd turned off the radio just a few minutes before that fatal detour into the hotel kitchen. Time stopped again. When it started ticking again we discovered we were stuck with Tricky Dick Nixon. The only president to resign from office.

You slap a bandage on the bullet holes in your soul. You go on. But YOU DON'T GET OVER IT.

I'm a bit of a history buff. The first time the country split down the middle and talking was replaced by bullets this country fought a civil war. Four long bloody years.

The second time it was the sixties and seventies.Those were great years weren't they? Riots in the streets. School children bowled over by police dogs and water cannons. Murdered civil rights workers. Murdered students and a song titled Four Dead in Ohio. Getting caught in somebody else's civil war. Bombs, napalm, shredded lives and over fifty thousand names on a wall in DC.

Tell me. What makes you different from the fanatics fighting for ISIS and the other terrorist groups overseas? Guess I need to put on Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence because I don't expect an answer from you or the sorry excuse for a human being that you support,.

(Well, this was interesting. The entry took on a life of its own and took over.)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

VOTER INDIMIDATION

So Trumplestlitskin is urging his followers to go to "other places" (read minority neighborhoods) and basically intimidate anyone they perceive as nonamerican. Face palm, head desk and a scream that put the cats in the closet for the rest of the day if I actually did it.

The constitution guarantees your right to vote. Granted it leaves the details up to the states. But, it doesn't say a damn thing about me or anyone else having the right to try to keep my fellow citizens from fulfilling THEIR right to vote.

But, that's the rub this year, isn't it? If you aren't white, Protestant, afraid and preferably male you aren't really an American. At least that's the message the wildly flailing candidate the Republicans are stuck with has been wailing to the rafters in his desperate attempts to keep his campaign from sinking in the quicksand.

It would be easier to list the minority groups he HASN'T dissed. Well, he hasn't mentioned Native Americans since he tried to block a tribal casino some years ago. I don't think he's mentioned Asian Americans recently. Who's left? "Global conspiracies by international bankers and other cabals" has been shorthand for the Jews for decades. I'm surprised he hasn't mentioned The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Since he claims he hasn't read a book since he got out of college he probably hasn't heard of it. That particular piece of BS is an antisemitic forgery cooked up in Tsarist Russia around the turn of the last century. But, it lives on.

Blacks are thugs, Hispanics are rapists and drug runners, middle eastern refugees are terrorists in disguise. And women? You've probably ready what he's said over the years, what one of his sons keeps spouting to support dear ol dad.

If this seems a bit disjointed, that happens sometimes. I start and the piece takes over.

Anyway, If your state has early voting take advantage of it. Go in groups if you can. Outnumber 'em. If you have a cell phone that takes pictures use it. And ask them for their names and ID. A little reverse intimidation just might work.

Actually I wonder how many of these "brave" protectors of the constitution will actually have the guts to show up in precincts in minority neighborhoods. It's easy to boast you're going to be a little bit intimidating when you're surrounded by a sea of Trump signs. LOL