Sunday, April 15, 2018

MASTER OF NOTHING

So the Trumpster wants to boast about so sort of mission accomplished. Well, my favorite ex navy warrant officer does his usual excellent job of breaking that claim down.

Remember the current occupant is a salesman. Has been, still is and always will be. And if you can sell something while lying through your teeth? Hell yes, a salesman will do that and laugh all the way to the bank about how stupid you were to part with your money for his snake oil. And as we seem to be drifting to ramping up our presence in the Middle East so the man child in DC can claim to be more of a, damned if I know what here are the lyrics to a Bob Dylan piece that I've posted  before.


"Masters Of War" by Bob Dylan

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.


And remember how Faux Noise announced the whole scenario while standing in front of a picture of a mushroom cloud.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

TIME TO MOVE ON

Like it or not this,sadly has become the face of American Christianity. The more moderate believers keep hoping there is something to salvage. There isn't.

I've said it before. The face that the cult of American Christianity seen by the rest of the world is beyond salvage. Beyond redemption. Find another way. Find another road. Leave this cult to rot on the vine. Let it be dead and buried. And let the sign on the headstone read "this far and no further."

Thursday, April 12, 2018

GUNS INTO TOOLS

You can pronounce lead as either "led" as in the metal or "leed" as in what Moses and MLK did for their people. This group takes guns, has them melted down and turned into tools. Some of those tools are shovels that are then used to plant trees.

From Isaiah 2:4 "And He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords in plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and neither shall they learn war anymore."

We can't trust the elected hired help to do a damn thing. We can't trust the far right evangelicals to to a damn thing. Funny how when the nutjobs call on a boycott of the NFL for taking a knee for peace that's freedom of speech. When kids cry out that they are tired of being targets in a shooting range, are insulted and railed against the talking heads tell them to rely on elected leaders to do the right thing.

Hell will freeze over and pigs will fly before that happens.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

DRUM MAJOR FOR A DREAM


I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Just that the well has run pretty dry.

Martin Luther King was martyred fifty years ago today. This poem was written in remembrance. And to point out that some dreams are too "expensive to be realized."

DRUM MAJOR FOR A DREAM
Ira G Zepp, Jr.

Your dream was clear,
We understood it perfectly.
Liberty and justice for all –
But that was too costly
For us, too expensive
Too dear, as they used to say;
Have-nots having
Disinherited, inheriting.
Is that what you meant by
Lowering mountains and
Exalting valleys?

But you beat your drum
Slowly, persistently, non-violently.

Your dream was clear,
We understood it perfectly.
Heaven on earth.
But heaven can wait.
It is often unwise and untimely for color of skin
To give way to content of character: for black, white
Brown, red yellow
To live together in Shalom.
Is that what you mean by
Making rough places plain
And crooked paths straight?

But you beat your drum
Lovingly, redemptively, faithfully.

Your dream was clear.
We understood it perfectly.
Love your enemies,
But that is impractical, not
Calculating enough.
Loving those who despise you
Who speak calumny against you
Enables us to be brothers and sister
In the Beloved Community.
Is that what you meant by
Seeing the Promised Land?

We understood all of this
So perfectly, saw it so clearly
That we beat the drummer
Senselessly, violently, fatally.

Poem was found in a little volume with the same title. Printed in India. NOT the good old US of A. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

CREATION NEVER STOPPED

I did an earlier opinion entry about the state of public, media reported Christianity in America. I hold to that opinion but what the media reports isn't the whole story. I love the essays of Wendell Berry but the farmer who writes essays on the land and how we misuse it also writes poetry about the land and our relation to the land and to creation. One of his favorite subjects is the Sabbath. This is an excerpt from his collection This Day. A collection that spans years from the late seventies to the new millennium.

"But I am a bad weather churchgoer. When the weather is good, sometimes when it is only tolerable, I am drawn to the woods on the local hillsides or along the streams. The woodlands here are not 'the forest primeval' or 'wilderness areas.' Nearly all are reforested old tobacco patches abandoned a lifetime or more ago, where you can still see the marks of cropland erosion now mostly healed or healing, 

In such places, on the best of these sabbath days, I experience a lovely freedom from expectations; other people's and also my own. I go free from the tasks and intentions of my workdays, so my mind becomes hospitable to unintended thoughts, to what I am very willing to call inspiration. The poems come incidentally or they do not come at all. If the Muse leaves me alone, I leave her alone. To be quiet, even wordless, in a good place is a better gift than poetry.

On these days and other days also, the idea of the sabbath has been on my mind. It is as rich and demanding an idea as any I know. The sabbath is the day, and the successive days honoring the day, when God rested after finishing the work of creation. This work was not finished, I think, in the sense of once and for all. It was finished by being given the power to exist and to continue, even to repair itself as it is now doing on the reforested hillsides of my home country.

We are to rest on the sabbath also, I have supposed,, in order to understand that the providence or the productivity of the living world, the most essential work, continues while we rest. This work is entirely independent of our work, and is far more complex and wonderful that any work we have ever done or will ever do. It is more complex and wonderful than we will ever understand. 

From the biblical point of view, the earth and our earthly livelihood are conditional gifts. We may possess the land given to us, that we are given to, only by remembering our intimate kinship with it. The condition of the people is indistinguishable ultimately from the condition of the land. Work that destroys the land, diminishing its ability to support life, is a great evil for which sooner or later the punishment is homelessness, hunger, and thirst. For some, the context of this thinking has switched from religion to science, but the understanding of the land as a conditional gift has not changed."

More later.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

THE NO HEART INSTITUTE

More propaganda from the libertarian think tank, the Heartland Institute, on climate change. The Institute plans to send their little propaganda piece to all the science teachers in the country. Personally I would be tempted to take it down to office and find the paper cutter. Or the paper shredder in they have one. Once reduced to tiny pieces of paper I'd mail it back to them.

Most reputable scientists who actually deal with climate and its effects on the world agree that climate change is largely driven by human actions and industry. The group also claims that a warming climate would actually be beneficial. Tell that to the Pacific islanders who are losing their land. Tell that to populations in countries like Bangladesh that will face permanent flooding as the seas rise. Tell that to cities in low lying or sea level areas like Manhattan and Miami. What will happen to countries like the Netherlands? What will happen in areas along the equator, Iran, the rest of the Middle East, India or the Pacific Islands bordering Asia as the temperatures rise to lethal levels? Yes it will be warmer in northern Canada and Siberia and Alaska. But, as temperatures rise the permafrost melts with the potential of releasing methane that has been trapped for thousands of years and methane is a much more powerful green house gas than carbon dioxide.

Science fiction and fantasy writers were using climate change as a plot device back in the sixties and seventies. The subject was used in TV shows and movies back in the seventies and eighties. Thats more than a generation ago.

The old adage still holds true. Follow the money who benefits now from a problem that will only get worse? Those who benefit now probably know change is coming and hope their money will protect them when the whole sorry house of cards comes crashing down around our ears. I have a great niece who is all of two days old. I tremble at the thought of the worst that her future may hold.

Incidentally the institute no longer publishes a list of donors. What they call harassment I call the right of customers to tell a company "I buy your product. I don't like how you spending the money I gave you so I won't buy your product anymore." And if an individual or corporation supports what the institute supports they shouldn't mind the rest of us knowing about it. 

Check out the Wickipedia entry for them. Check out some of the other causes they support and the lies that have been told. Bit of an eyeopener.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

RESPECT

I don't make a secret of the fact that I respect blogger Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station. This is a long entry and I may have linked to it before. But, seriously the last two paragraphs don't make sense unless you read the rest of the entry.

The current occupant was "elected" to the office of president of the United States. He appears to believe that being elected to the office entitles him to the respect "earned" by actually filling the office and fulfilling the duties that come with that office.

So far all we've seen are twitter storms, tantrums and the occasional  wandering, disjointed speech. Speeches peppered with claims of how smart he is ect. ect. ect. Now he wants a military parade. Because. Somebody else had one? He saw one on a History Channel documentary about Nazi Germany or the USSR? Or, God/dess help us something on North Korea?

I am prepared to respect the office. I do not, have not, and probably will never respect the individual currently occupying that office.

Friday, February 9, 2018

WHERE WERE THE KANGAROOS

There is a christian "theme park" called Ark Encounter. Pushed by young creationist Ken Ham who does have an environmental biology degree but not one in Geology, the park claims to have created a replica of Noah's ark. Now that I think about it he doesn't have a degree in theology either.

Anyway the park is in Kentucky and Ham managed to wangle tax exemptions promising that the park would provide jobs and increased tax revenue in a state that desperately needs the jobs and the revenue. Note: as far as I can tell neither the jobs or the revenue have come through.

When the park was opened there was a fair amount of side holding. Said side holding brought on by the displays of baby dinos that were supposedly some of the ark's passengers. Because you see babies take up much less space than their parents. No explanation of how they kept the baby meat eaters from eating the baby plant eaters however. Actually how did they keep the lions and leopards from eating the antelopes? The recent film Noah solves part of the problem by using some sort of herbal combo that when burned puts all the animals to sleep for voyage. No dinos on board though.

Anyway I was listening to the score from the film on YouTube (really strange music BTW. It works in the film but not by itself.) It hit me. The heck with the dinos. Where were the kangaroos? And all the other Australian marsupials? I mean it's a long way from the Middle East to Australia. And last I heard there are no kangaroos in Iraq or Iran or Turkey or....lol. And it's a long way from Mount Ararat to Australia and there's a lot of water to get across. Inquiring minds would like to know the answer to that question. I won't be holding my breath though.






Sunday, January 28, 2018

GENERATIONS

More than once I've had a comment on story answered with "if you don't like it here..." And my usual answer, back when I cared enough to answer, ran along these lines." I'm Scots, Irish, English, Welsh, German and I go back far enough to include Kievan  Russ and Armenian. And for all I know some Hungarian. The last ancestor to land here came off the boat in New York in 1850. Boarded in either Belfast or Liverpool. The earliest in the middle 1630's in Massachusetts. Or what became Massachusetts and Connecticut. Where do you think I should go and if you can beat 1630 we'll talk." Funny how no one has ever answered back. Can't imagine why.

Anyway this entry was inspired by this story. Arizona used to be part of Mexico so at least some of those Latinos being harassed have probably been here awhile. And then there's that pesky Native American who has us all beaten on the centuries his family has been here.

Wonder how many of those flag waver's ancestors came through right after Ellis Island was opened. When if you looked healthy and strong enough to work in the factories or sweat shops you were in like Flynn. And the current occupant is second gen on his father's side and first gen on his mother's. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Christianity in America is Dead

And so is so called evangelicalism. It was a long, slow decline into dementia beginning a couple of generations ago. Cause of death. Pride. Thirst for Power. Hate and dismissal of anyone different from them; whether in appearance, language or faith. Claims of persecution when that persecution wasn't happening.  Indifference from the other side. Ignorance. You can probably add more causes. Finale resting place? Empty hearts and souls.

I know. I know. The progressives and the moderates and semi radicals keep trying to breath new life into the corpse. But then one of the so called christians (the small c is deliberate) finally admit what we knew all along  and make it final. All the CPR and artificial respiration isn't going to bring it back to life. The word is like Marley's ghost only you could take those chains and stretch them all the way to Pluto.

Read Perkin's words. Heaven knows this isn't the first time this attitude has reared it's ugly head. Isn't this what torqued the old prophets right down to the last one. You know the foot sore rabbi from Nazareth? Putting politics ahead of righteous action. Putting greed above caring? Putting hate above love? Calling down the wrath of heaven on those who don't share your beliefs while giving those in power a pass?

Before the followers of the Man From Nazareth took the name of Christian many of them used The Way to describe themselves. Some still do. The Eastern Orthodox for starters.

So take the word Christian and bury it. Put some flowers on the grave. If you can find any in polluted America and follow The Way

Sunday, January 14, 2018

IT'S NOT HIS FAULT FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME

See previous entry.

Of course that fact that Trump has been playing nuclear "my missiles are bigger than your missiles" with Kim John Un has nothing to so with the mistaken alert according to the White House and Trump's supporters. After all the government in Hawaii is currently controlled by the Democrats. "It's purely a state matter" and so on and so forth. I wonder what they would say if the state had a Republican majority. That they didn't have enough support for the liar and abuser in chief? 

IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING CHICKEN WITH THE NUKES WE WOULDN'T NEED AN ALERT SYSTEM. Sorry for shouting folks but really. You made it damn bloody obvious last summer that you have absolutely no understanding of the destructive power of nuclear weapons. Remember "if we have nukes why don't we use them?"

You are unfit to be in control of those weapons. So is Kim Jong Un. Two idiots playing chicken with nukes. I was foolish enough to believe that with the old USSR gone we might finally get some sanity in this world. 

What a fool I was. 

SORRY WE PUSHED THE WRONG BUTTON

Yesterday, Saturday, this message went out in Hawaii.
"Emergency Alert
  Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter.This is not a drill." Let's just leave out the fact that with less than a half an hour to seek shelter there is no shelter. You are on an island for God/dess sake.  Let me repeat.THERE IS NO SHELTER. Your deadly choice is fry at ground zero or die from  aftermath of the blast later. 
 I don't know if it went to all the islands but it was a mistake.Somebody pushed the wrong button during a shift change ignoring a computer prompt asking "is this for real" or words to that effect. 
As of now reading the BBC entry they don't know who pushed that button  And the oops everything is ok went did go out within half an hour. The alert did last long enough for folks with family in different locations to be caught with the dilemma of where do I go? Find the kids. Find my wife? Find my husband? Get to my friends? A lot of people thought they were going to die. Horribly. Alone. Stuck in traffic. Somewhere. 
My nephew and his wife live in Hawaii. So do her mother and sister (last I heard). And a lot of other people and a horde of tourists.
Dear undear current occupant. Your pissing match with North Korea has put these people including my relatives on the front lines. I strongly suggest that you and your entire family and all the Republicans in congress relocate to either Guam or Hawaii until an agreement with the nut in North Korea is worked out. After all you seem to believe that nukes are a good idea. 
If your insanity does release the nukes you and yours should be the first to go along with all the innocents who are in danger of being turned into charred fragments and fallout that just might turn parts of  Canada and the mainland US into a glow in the dark wasteland depending on where the jet stream is at the time. 
Silly me. I never imagined we'd end up with a "my nukes are bigger than your nukes" idiot with his finger on the go button as the president of this country.
Oh,and by the way. My nephew grew up in what I call the devil's little acre. North of the Umatilla arms depot and south of the Hanford Reach. Umatilla was where they built an incinerator to destroy this country's stocks of nerve gasses. And the high school gym was set up to be sealed and put under positive pressure in case of an accident. The rest of the locals were advised to keep supplies of plastic sheeting and duct tape so they could seal their windows. 
And on a final note Dan Rather sent out this Tweet. Or as many drinks as it takes to stop their hands from shaking. 
"I think Hawaii should buy everyone on the islands a drink of their choosing - on the state."

Here's a link to the Rather Twitter chain. Knock yourselves out.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A VERY SHORT RANT

It seems that the current occupant has had his yearly check up and is in perfect, perfect health.

However there appears to be at least one problem. This gang that can't shoot straight COULDN'T EVEN CARRY OFF A COMPETENT FORGERY OF THE DOCTOR'S SIGNATURE. Earth to ding dongs. Check out how the doctor you are claiming signed the paper work spells his thrice damned name BEFORE you make said paper work public.

And for a personal opinion. Given the current occupant's visible mental deterioration over the past year. If not sooner. Any physician wanting to hang on to their medical license would order a complete neurological workup along with the physical examination. And any family worth the description would back up that examination. Of course that assumes that the said family members aren't as greedy and corrupt as the head of the family. I'd say this bunch could give pointers to the Corleone family, but they wouldn't live that long.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A HANDSHAKE AND A PROMISE

This is a blogger I've followed off and on for several years. This is a link to his new blog. You can find his old blog here. It details his journey from a fundagelical cult through his life as a pastor in a very conservative denomination to the point where he basically said "the hell with this crap I'm outa here."
The entry in his new blog is about words. What they mean and using them in the way they are meant to be used. We've been shifting our words for a long time. Especially in ways that put one side on the defensive. Politically correct. Back in the day we used the word respect. Respecting women, respecting children. Respecting other beliefs. (and if my blood pressure can stand it why Nazis don't count) Respecting people who may not speak your language or be your skin color. 

A new one is "reckless disregard for the truth." In the context I've seen it used we are looking at good old fashioned slander and libel. 

Remember that oldie but baddie 'law and order." It used to mean nobody was above the law. We were all entitled to our day in court. That an orderly society was based on good laws that treated us all the same. That was the ideal and. Well, we know how far we've drifted from that ideal. Now it seems to be "yeah, we know what the words in the law say, but we'll tell you what they mean and we'll decide who it applies to." 

"I was in fear for my life." Oh, is that a good one. When you put on that uniform, strapped on that holster and took the oath to protect and defend you made a promise. And I haven't found a version yet that spelled out who you were supposed to protect and defend. And it was implied that your life was on the line not the life of the guy you thought had a gun or a knife. Or the man or woman who is mentally ill and can't comprehend your orders. Or the kid with earbuds reaching to turn down the volume. Or the man who is just walking down the side of the road.Or the guy selling illegal cigarettes.  Or, what the hell fill in the blanks. 

We can't have order when people believe that when it comes to them the laws will be enforced differently. We can't have order when you have individuals and small groups who have an out in left field interpretation of the constitution and argue that the law doesn't apply to them. Example the Bundys and the bunch who took over the Malheaur reserve. And the feds fucked up their cases so badly that these clowns are still walking around waving their guns. 

And by the way, when the second amendment was ratified there was no standing army worth the name in the newly minted United States. If there was a crisis the states were expected to call out the militia to act as an army. Well, that didn't work very well and we ended up, finally, with the military industrial complex. The militias in the south were also used to keep the slaves in line. And although you won't find much in the textbooks we're allowed to read a lot of those slaves didn't take kindly or peacefully to being slaves. 

Well, well, well here we are again. And once upon a time a long time ago if a man or a woman promised to do something and shook on it that was enough. No written contract was required. And if you didn't keep your word everybody in that small town knew it. If you said it was raining someone would probably look out the window to make sure. And that boys and girls is the country we are living in right now God/dess save us because it looks like we aren't going to save ourselves.