Fear Not

 Posted by on November 27, 2015 at 12:29 PM
Nov 272015


Tom Tomorrow

Over 150,000 US citizens have been killed by gun violence since 20015ox the amount killed by terrorists. But thanks to the NRA, who opposes restricting the sale of semi-automatic rifles to individuals on the terrorist watch list, the gap is likely to decrease. According to that radical leftie rag, The New York Post:

More than 2,000 people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list legally purchased weapons between 2004 and 2014, a Government Accountability Office report says. The roughly 700,000 people on the list are still allowed to buy firearms — though felons and drug addicts are not.

Cutting to the chase: The NRA, arguably the most powerful legislative lobbying group in the US, makes the terrorist mission easier. No need to smuggle in weapons over the borders–plenty of military style assault rifles out there ready for the buying.

Of course, Daesh/ISIL/ISIS  and other terrorists won’t be coming into the US disguised as Syrian refugees, the vast majority of whom are young moms and kids and orphans. Refugees spend up to two years of heavy vetting, waiting to get into the country. Or to put it another way, waiting to escape the very terrorists that cause so many ‘Muricans to wet their beds at night, judging by the fear based rhetoric they regularly ingest and spew.

Nope, real terrorists (in contrast to imagined ones) can simply enter the US through the front door bearing a valid passport or visa. Already, there are an estimated 5,000 European nationals who have traveled to conflict zones in the Middle East, where they have presumably received some military training. They can simply hop aboard a plane along with tens of millions of tourists, businessmen, and students that legally enter the US every year.

So, don’t look for terrorists to be carrying weapons as they deplane. More likely they’ll be carrying large fruit baskets with Thank You cards addressed to the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre.

If the faith of the Most High has entered your heart, then shall you abide free from fear throughout all the days of your life. Fret not yourself because of the prosperity of the ungodly; fear not those who plot evil; let the soul turn away from sin and put your whole trust in the God of salvation. The weary soul of the wandering mortal finds eternal rest in the arms of the Most High; the wise man hungers for the divine embrace; the earth child longs for the security of the arms of the Universal Father. The noble man seeks for that high estate wherein the soul of the mortal blends with the spirit of the Supreme. God is just: What fruit we receive not from our plantings in this world we shall receive in the next.”

-The Urantia Book

From Their Apocalips to God’s Ears

 Posted by on November 24, 2015 at 6:06 AM
Nov 242015

Last Tuesday, GOP presidential candidate, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, in response to the brutal terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Mali, called for the creation of federal agency to promote and propagandize Christian values. Not in front of a conservative, Evangelical gathering in Iowa, mind you, where some 33% of Iowa Republicans wants to criminalize Islam. But in front of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Even the pearl clutching Lindsey Graham mocked Kasich’s idea, stating that: “I don’t think we should be promoting Judeo-Christian values in the Arab world. I think that was the Crusades.” Boom! Well, it didn’t take long for Kasich to walk back his initial proposal, now claiming that we don’t need such an agency after all. Instead, he called for the rebirth of the Voice of America. Or something.

You’da thunk that Kasich would have learned from the lesson of George W. Bush, who immediately after 9/11, twice called for a “crusade” as part of an aggressive military strategy to punish the evil doers. Not only did W. ditch that needlessly provocative rhetoric, but to his credit, praised and defended Islam:

September 20, 2001

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.

Rather than highlight the differences between Christians and Muslims, let’s identify a key commonality instead; specifically, the belief by both that we have entered into an apocalyptic, end times. In the Christian tradition, the Book of Revelation describes a bloody, catastrophic conflict, culminating in the triumphant return of Christ, the Messiah, when peace and justice is restored.

In Muslim eschatology, the end times are foretold in the Hadith, a collection of teachings attributed to the Prophet Muhammed. The Hadith foretells the arrival of a fierce warrior, Muhammad al-Mahdi, (aka The Twelfth Imam, aka The Missing Imam) who vanquishes the wicked, and after a similarly bloody conflict, also brings peace and justice to the world. (The two main sects of Islam, Sunni and Shia, differ in their beliefs as to the origin and history of the Mahdi, but both recognize his indispensable, world transformative role.)

But here’s the kicker: Accompanying the Mahdi will be the Prophet Isa; aka the Prophet Jesus:

According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi’s tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal(literally, the “false Messiah” or Antichrist).

So there you have it, a moment of harmonic convergence, if you will. Maybe the Mahdi and Isa should hold a joint press conference and tell this planet’s denizens to chill the hell out. (Hullo! Anybody up there?)
As The Urantia Book puts it:

You must first recognize man as your brother, and if you honestly desire to do by him as you would have him do by you, the commonplace dictates of justice, honesty, and fairness will guide you in the just and impartial settlement of every recurring problem of economic rewards and social justice.

FASCIST (Updated)

 Posted by on November 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM
Nov 202015

Trump Fascist

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule.”
— Donald tRump


Betty’s Pie Whole is the last place on earth that you would expect to find a copy of FASCIST magazine. It’s strictly a place for stuffing delicious pie into one’s pie hole.  That’s it.  So finding this cover of FASCIST staring up at me from a booth seat was sort of like finding a piece of fresh ‘n gnarly roadkill stuck to a church pew;  emphasis on “pewww.”

But there it was.  And being me, I was compelled to pick it up.  As you can see, the cover is, well, Damaging.  If I have to explain that, you wouldn’t understand.  I started paging through the Mag after ordering a strawberry-rhubarb pie, to find Trump saying, “We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule.”  He’s right; I’m upset; he’s ruining my pie fest, and my country.

Yesterday, Trump apparently refused to say how his Muslim “registry” would be different from the Nazi’s policy of forcing Jews to register. The New York Times:

When asked how a system of registering Muslims would be carried out — whether, for instance, mosques would be where people could register — Mr. Trump said: “Different places. You sign up at different places. But it’s all about management. Our country has no management.’’

Asked later, as he signed autographs, how such a database would be different from Jews having to register in Nazi Germany, Mr. Trump repeatedly said, “You tell me,” until he stopped responding to the question.

Public Policy Polling completed just yesterday found that 27% of likely Republican primary voters support shutting down all mosques in the U.S.  Just 38% said they opposed the idea, and 35% were too busy searching for their own butt to even answer.

So Ima have to get back to you on this, after I read the mag, drink some wine, and I have some pie to finish; but I’ll tell you this.  I’m already intellectually apoplectic over Trump’s comments, and just forget about Carson’s comparison of Syrian refugees to rabid dogs.  These nut jobs have already ruined the holidays, not to mention the next year of our lives.  Bet on it.

Fear mongering is like sex for Republicans, and they just can’t get enough of it.  I think it’s about absolutely time to bring the hammer* down on their little we we’s… there’s no place for this shit in America.

*Yeah, a two pound hammer.


Let’s start with a few facts.


Trump was pressed on the idea of a registry by an NBC News reporter Thursday evening while the candidate campaigned in Iowa. Asked if there should be a database system for tracking Muslims in the United States, Trump said, “There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases.”  The reporter asked if that was something Trump would put in place as president. Trump replied: “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.”

Trump also told the reporter that Muslims would “have to be” registered and said that the registration process could occur at “different places.”

So let the weaseling begin.

In an interview on Fox News Channel on Friday evening, Trump tried to clarify his position. “I want a watch list for the Syrian refugees that (President Barack) Obama’s going to let in if we don’t stop him as Republicans,” he said.

As “Republicans”;  not Americans. Because Americans don’t play that shit.

“I want to have watch lists. I want to have surveillance. I mean, we’re not a bunch of babies,” he said.

Not a “bunch of babies”?  Sigh.

Trump has also voiced support for closing certain mosques as a way to contain the terrorist threat in the U.S.

The House passed legislation this past week essentially barring Syrian and Iraqi refugees from the United States. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has slotted the bill for possible Senate consideration, though it’s unclear whether the chamber could get enough votes to override a threatened veto by President Barack Obama.

The Republican candidates’ unified criticism of Trump was striking.

His rivals have vacillated in how they have handled other inflammatory comments from Trump, apparently wary of alienating his supporters while increasingly concerned that he has held his grip on the race deep into the fall.

Other perspectives.

Civil liberties experts said a database for Muslims would be unconstitutional on several counts. The libertarian Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro said the idea violates basic privacy and liberty rights.

Marci Hamilton, a Yeshiva University legal expert on religious liberty, said requiring Muslims to register appears to be a clear violation of the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom.  “What the First Amendment does and what it should do is drive the government to use neutral criteria,” Hamilton said. “You can use neutral criteria to identify terrorists. What it can’t do is engage in one-religion bashing. That won’t fly in any court.”

Hubba hubba.  Reality.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, at a Tennessee rally Friday evening, said, “Mr. Trump has attacked Mexican immigrants, he’s attacked women, and now he’s attacking Muslim Americans. At some point you have to ask yourself, is that the kind of country we are?”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Trump’s words were “outrageous and bigoted.”

One of those comments actually gets right to the point.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said requiring people to register with the federal government because of their religion “strikes against all that we have believed in our nation’s history.”

See?  At least one Republican is able to state the obvious.

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who has challenged Trump’s lead in the GOP race, said the U.S. should have a database on “every foreigner who comes into this country,” but he rejected the idea of tracking U.S. citizens based on their religion.  “One of the hallmarks of America is that we treat everybody the same,” he said. “If we’re just going to pick out a particular group of people based on their religion, based on their race, based on some other thing, that’s setting a pretty dangerous precedent.”

Because, picking out a particular group of people— “foreigners”?  “…based on their religion, based on their race, based on some other thing”— some thing like, say, being immigrants, or refugees, who don’t want their children to die in a senseless war—  “…that [is] setting a pretty dangerous precedent.”  Could his soft-pedaling of racism and bigotry as “setting a pretty dangerous precedent” be meant to ease the shock of America’s actual values on the Republican base, who Carson and Trump are depending on to win the nomination?

“Old things are passing away;
behold, all things are becoming new.”

Perhaps.  But Fuck that.  Any candidate—Republican or whatever— willing to take a dump on our values for political gain, for fear of the “foreigner”— must, as the seer of old said—  pass away. And I say, good riddance.

What’s In A Name?

 Posted by on November 17, 2015 at 10:45 PM
Nov 172015
17 Nov 2010, Ar Raqqah, Syria --- Sheikh Ghazi Rashad Hrimis touches dried earth in the parched region of Raqqa province in eastern Syria, November 11, 2010. Lack of rain and mismanagement of the land and water resources have forced up to half of million people to flee the region in one of Syria's largest internal migrations since France and Britain carved the country out of the former Ottoman Empire in 1920. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri (SYRIA - Tags: AGRICULTURE ENVIRONMENT) --- Image by © KHALED AL-HARIRI/Reuters/Corbis

17 Nov 2010, Ar Raqqah, Syria — Sheikh Ghazi Rashad Hrimis touches dried earth in the parched region of Raqqa province in eastern Syria, November 11, 2010. Lack of rain and mismanagement of the land and water resources have forced up to half of million people to flee the region in one of Syria’s largest internal migrations since France and Britain carved the country out of the former Ottoman Empire in 1920.

What’s in a name? That which we call a turd by any other name would smell as rank.
William Shakespeare [with apologies thereto]

In the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attack on Paris last week, GOPer presidential candidates are wetting themselves over the opportunity to change their image as clueless opportunists to macho champions of national security. A pissing contest has developed among the majority over whom would be tougher on the terra’ists than the feckless, petulant, secret Muslim in the White House. The centerpiece  of this emerging strategy is to put tens of thousands of combat troops into the Syrian meat grinder. (Time for a reprise of  The Who’s Teenage Wasteland?) Thus far, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and celebrity entertainer Donald Trump have resisted putting “boots on the ground,” but don’t be surprised if they start walking that back as the campaign heats up.

Another refrain emanating from the right wing noise machine is to attack anyone that won’t accept their rhetorical construction, radical Islamists, to describe terrorists that use a distorted interpretation of the Muslim religion to justify their actions, and to recruit impressionable and disaffected youth. (For a counter-view, see Juan Cole’s Top Ten Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism.)  That includes Senator Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama. Framing the conflict that currently exists between less than 0.01% of the world’s Muslims and the largely Christian world as a Clash of Civilizations is part of The New American Century promoted by some of the same neocons that are part of  Jeb Bush‘s foreign policy team— you know, war criminals— like neo-conman Paul Wolfowitz, who helped “liberate” Iraq by toppling Saddam Hussein, setting into motion the very chaos responsible for the crisis that now infects the entire Middle East. (ISIS is the direct descendant of al-Qaeda in Iraq, created in 2004 to fight the US invasion.)

Naturally, the current batch of GOPer presidential candidates are too dense to realize that they are playing directly into the hands of the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh propaganda noise machine. Its operators would love nothing more than to get the non-Muslim world to condemn, by association, one of the world’s great monotheistic religions.

In conjunction with 1) the well-nigh hopeless economic situation facing the vast majority of young Arab Muslims, impoverished by the massive concentration of wealth into the hands of a few autocratic oil sheiks and their families (the ultimate example of wealth inequality); and 2) the history of Western military intervention in the Middle East that included putting military bases in the holy land of Saudi Arabia (which gave birth to the original Al Qaeda), together they provide a terrorist recruitment bonanza.  As former top aide and speechwriter to President George W. Bush and Washington Post opinion writer Michael Gerson writes:

Rejecting a blanket condemnation of Islam is not a matter of political correctness. It is the requirement of an effective war against terrorism, which means an effective war against the terrorist kingdom in Syria and western Iraq.

Not to be outdone by their Congressional colleagues, currently some 28 Republican governors and one Democrat have stated that, despite President Obama’s pledge to accept ten thousand Syrian refugees, a paltry sum compared to the commitment of individual European countries (Turkey is already hosting two million), they’re going to pull a Lester Maddox and block the “golden door ” of immigration with a big fat pick ax handle.  At least thirteen governors,  12 Democrats and one Independent, have said they would accept the refugees. While the Refugee Act of 1980 prevents states from refusing admittance, that won’t stop the Republican governors from posturing the hell out of the issue. Look for them to dump the mechanics of changing the law on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Since 9/11/2001, none of the 784,000 refugees admitted into the country, some 35-40% of which are children, have ever been arrested on terrorism charges. Thus far, the federal government’s vetting procedures have worked just fine, thank you. (EDIT: By another accounting of approximately 785,000 refugees, a dozen have either been arrested or removed; none were from Syria.)

Furthermore, Wingers are attacking Bernie for saying Climate Change is the USA’s number one national security issue, despite reports from the national security community affirming same. (See also On the Record: Climate Change as a National Security Risk According to U.S. Administration Officials.) Instead of acknowledging that these reports even exist, Wingers resort to outrage and personal attacks, accusing Sanders of being weak on defense.

Most wars are the product of resource scarcity. In the case of Syria, a devastating drought forced rural farmers to abandon their farms and migrate to the big cities to feed their families. This created social pressures that resulted in a number of peaceful demonstrations that asked for greater governmental support. These pleas for humanitarian assistance were met with extreme violence from the government of Basshar Al-Sadad, and rapidly devolved into a catastrophic civil war. Initially, Sadad sent in his goon squads to suppress the protesters. When that didn’t work, he upped the ante. Among other war crimes, he denied food and medicine to desperate civilian enclaves, and dropped barrel bombs on them from helicopters, some of which are believed to have contained chlorine gas, according to the Syrian American Medical Society.

Funny how one thing leads to another. The same mindset that denies anthropogenic climate change as a factor leading to regional wars, denies that US the Exceptional is no longer capable of being the world’s policeman. They’d rather pursue their own ideological crusade. Some day maybe they’ll reach the same level of  insight that the great philosopher Pogo reached when he observed: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

If Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz had their way, they’d amend Emma Lazarus‘s poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty as follows:

“Give me your tired, your poor,  (so long as they’re Christian)
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free (except the chlorine gassed, who might be terrorists in disguise),
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. (maybe not Anders “I’m 100% Christian” Breivik, though)
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me: (Muslims need not apply, despite what the Constitution says about religious tests)
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” (Sorry, out of order)



 Posted by on November 13, 2015 at 4:12 PM
Nov 132015

MITTWilliard “Mitt” Romney

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh. . . It may be time to review some of the more insane republicans out there who are currently unemployed. Like Mitt.
Oh, and have a great weekend, y’all.


 Posted by on November 6, 2015 at 10:12 AM
Nov 062015

Man Up Carly! TEA BAG Magazine is not known for mincing words, muscles, minions, or tea, for that matter.

I get a kick out of satire, so I subscribe to some pretty whacky rags in order to find it:  LIAR, BLOWFISH, WINGNUT, NATIONAL LAUGHINGSTOCK, Apocalypse, Bullshit Runner, DICK, F’TARD, HYPOCRITE, ReThugBot, The NEW JOKER, and of course, the raucous and always edgy TEA BAG.

Anyway.  I was cranky before my feet hit the floor this morning.  There was a huge cat-gang fight this morning in the back yard around 2:30 a.m.;  didn’t sleep well after that and felt like shit when I finally got up.  But that changed when I stumbled out for the mail and saw the cover of the November TEA BAG Magazine.

I guess a lot of sensitive, compassionate Republicans have their panties in a twist over “the liberal media’s double standard for conservative women.” Who knew?

Well, The View knew; that’s who.

Chris Morris
Fiorina announced her forthcoming appearance on Fox News November 2 with a message: “My message to the ladies of The Viewis ‘Man up’.  If you want to debate me on policies … man up and debate me on them.  But don’t sink to talking about my face.”

That’s right, you liberal pussies!  “Man Up!”  Wait;  what?  Does she mean, act like a man?  Or just, like, toughen up.

Anita Bennett
“I was on ‘The View’ several months ago, they said none of that to my face,” Fiorina told host John Roberts, adding that the ABC hosts would never say anything like that about Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. “There is nothing more threatening to the liberal media, in general and to Hillary Clinton, in particular, than a conservative woman.”

Well wait, again already. “Several months ago” you weren’t “smiling enough,” as you said, so your plastered on, unchanging smile at the debate wasn’t something they could’ve mentioned back then, see?  And come on. A halloween mask doesn’t change its expression, dig?  And “demented” has a shitload of synonyms, take your pick I guess:

insane, deranged, psychotic, out of one’s mind, crazed, lunatic, unbalanced, unhinged, disturbed, non compos mentis; informal crazy, mental, psycho, off one’s rocker, nutty, around the bend, raving mad, batty, cuckoo, loopy, loony, bananas, screwy, touched, gaga, not all there, out to lunch, bonkers, crackers, cracked, buggy, nutso, squirrelly, wacko; the vulgar slang, batshit.

My personal choice in this instance: “batshit.”

Yeah, sorry about the missing video, it was from HufPo and YouTube yanked it there, too.  But not interested in putting up a piece of Brooke Baldwin’s “Litany of the Left bullshit, which is all I could find to replace it with.
But.  So I guess when tRUMP spewed his hateful rhetoric Carly’s way, he joined the “liberal media.”

So Carly, if, as you say, there’s nothing more threatening to the liberal media, in general and to Hillary Clinton, in particular, than a conservative woman,” then maybe it’s time you went the extra procedure and Manned Up by “growing a pair”— as in “testicals.”
That’s what I would really call “Manning up.”

Climate Changelings

 Posted by on November 4, 2015 at 4:39 PM
Nov 042015

Burning earth: http://www.topnews.in/climate-change-kill-quarter-million-children-2232503

We’ve got the whole world, in our hands. We’ve got the whole wide world, in our hands…

In the next world you will be asked to give an account of the endowments and stewardships of this world. Whether inherent talents are few or many, a just and merciful reckoning must be faced…[S]elfish stewards must accept the consequences of their deliberate choosing.– The Urantia Book

In a traitorous insult to wingnuts everywhere, four Republican Climate Change Affirmers announced Saturday that they have formed a working group to explore issues related to climate change.

What climate change deniers consider a strategic, if not a sacrilegious, violation of their “I am not a scientist!” dictum (a cornerstone of their What Me Worry talking points), Senators  Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have effectively neutered that rather transparent dodge (which is akin to saying “I don’t have an opinion on abortion because I am not a gynecologist”).

Pissing into the wingnut wind is not without blowback, however, especially when it contradicts one’s voting record. It will be interesting to see how Senator Lamar explains his votes for the Keystone Pipeline, and his vote against the carbon tax. Alexander has said as far back as 2009 that he thinks climate change is a human-caused problem, but he’s voted in favor of a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and in favor of a bill that would have prevented Congress from instituting a carbon tax.

There are even stirrings of sanity in the GOP dominated House. Following Pope Francis’s direct address to Congress in September, 11 GOPer have been emboldened to follow his interpretation of the teachings of Jesus concerning stewardship to include caring for the earth. Said El Papa during a speech in Manila earlier this year:

As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.”

And during a general address at Vatican City in April:

May the relationship between man and nature not be driven by greed, to manipulate and exploit, but may the divine harmony between beings and creation be conserved in the logic of respect and care.

Currently, 31% of Congress critters are Catholics, including the incoming Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Not that that is dispositive when it comes to voting on a given issue, but moral guilt can occasionally be a powerful motivator. I’m tempted to write somewhat sanguinely: “Baby steps. Baby steps.” But when it comes to avoiding catastrophic climate change (if you think we have a refugee problem now, consider what would happen if tens of millions of coastal dwellers start heading inland), I have to consider myself a curable optimist. I just don’t know whether the planet can wait until the fossil fuel industry funded climate deniers are brought to heel. It’s time to put the petal to the metal.