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KING ARTHUR

I did this when I first began teaching high school English. That makes it about 40 years old.

KING ARTHUR

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Way back, long before our time, Uther Pendragon was king of all England. Well, a large part of it anyway. He wasn’t all that bad as kings go, but giants, dragons, and evil knights were allowed to be part of everyday life. King Uther had a son, but he hadn’t gone about it in a proper way, so he had to hide him. He gave his son to Sir Hector, a kindly but minor land owner, who raised him as his own.No one knew who the boy was, so he was made a squire to Hector’s son, Kay, when he got to the proper age to become one.

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There was a magician at Hector’s house named Merlin. Arthur, as Uther’s son was called, found him in the forest one day. A wise man, Merlin taught Arthur lots of things so that if he became king, he would be a good one. But Arthur didn’t know he was in line to be king because he always thought he was Hector’s son.

When Uther died, England needed a new king, and because no one knew he actually had a son, an heir, as things usually seemed to happen just before the Middle Ages, who the new king was would be decided by magic.

A sword stuck in an anvil sitting on a rock appeared in London one day, and according to some words written on the rock, whoever could remove the sword would be the king of all England.
It sat there for a very long time.

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One year Sir Kay was at a tournament in London and realized he had forgotten his sword in his tent, so he sent his squire, Arthur, back to get it because that is what a squire did.

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As he ran to the tent which was some distance away from the tournament site, Arthur saw the sword in the anvil, figured he could save time, and pulled it out and brought to Sir Kay.
Arthur couldn’t read, so he had no idea that according to the words written on the rock, he was now king.
When Arthur told Sir kay where he had gotten the sword, Sir Kay told everyone that h had pulled the sword from the anvil and was king, but when he was made to put the sword back and pull it out again, he couldn’t do it.
Arthur figured Sir Kay must have put it back crooked so it got jammed, walked over to see if he could jiggle it a bit so Kay could pull it out, and pulled it out himself.
Suddenly, he found he was king.

Arthur established the Knights of the Roundtable to destroy the giants, dragons, and evil knights.
All the good knights of the world joined up, and went all over Europe (America wasn’t known about back then), and made sure that justice, right, and peace were promoted.
It wasn’t always easy, and some evil knights thought there was something wrong with Arthur’s brain.

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One of the Knights of the Round Table was actually a king, King Pellinore, but he had a very small kingdom. Pellinore spent most of his time chasing down Glatisant, the questing beast.
He wasn’t going to kill it, however. His family had been cursed and was bound to follow it. When h was young, Pellinore had actually found Glatisant, but they found they liked each other, and so he let it go and the two spent the rest of Pellinore’s life playing Hide and Go Seek.

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Not long after becoming king, Arthur married Guenivere, just as Merlin said he would. Merlin also told Arthur the marriage would not be an easy one since Guenivere was very young and beautiful. Anyone who saw her saw she was beautiful, ad may men had a hard time remembering she was already married.
One knight, Sir Lancelot, not only fell in love with her, but they both carried on behind Arthur’s back.
But Lancelot wasn’t really that bad a guy. Guenivere was beautiful, and Lancelot was handsome and young.
Lancelot spent a lot of time trying to become the best knight he could, and like all the knights of the Round Table he went on a lot of quests, a series of adventures.
He fought a lot of bad knights and won.

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Another knight was Sir Gawaine.
He was sitting at the Round Table during a general meeting one night when a knight in green armor entered the room and challenged anyone to strike him with his own sword to injure him. Of course, he did point out that he would have the opportunity to strike back.
Gawaine accepted the challenge since knights were not supposed to turn challenges down, swung the Green Knights sword and cut his head off. That would seem to have eliminated the Green knight from having a turn. But the Green Knight picked his head up and, after saying he would come back on the same day the following year, walked out of the castle.
On the same day a year later, when all the knights were sitting at the Round Table, the Green knight returned with is had back on. Sir Gawaine stood up to let the Green Knight have his turn at hitting him, but because he had had a whole year to run away and hide, but didn’t, the Green knight was not only impressed with his courage, but admitted he was Gawaine’s father.
During this time in history people seemed to have had odd ways of finding out who their fathers were.

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When all the giants, dragons, and evil knights were dealt with, the Knights of the Round Table had very little to do. Knights being idle could have been a bad thing.
So Arthur, looking for something for them to do, sent them all out to find the Holy Grail, a sacred cup. Even though around two-hundred knights went looking for it, only Sirs Gallahad, Bohort, and Percivale actually found it.
You would think if it was all that important a thing they would have taken good care of it, but soon after it was found, the Holy Grail was lost again, and it hasn’t been seen since.

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It happened along the way when Arthur was first king, and you have to remember that he went directly from squire to king with no training in between, a witch queen, and Arthur’s half sister, Queen Morgause, cast a spell on him, and just as magic had been used to get Arthur’s father, Uther, together with her mother when Arthur was conceived, she used the same magic so she conceived Arthur’s son.
Morguase’s son was named Mordred, and he grew up to be evil and jealous of Arthur.
He also knew he would be the one to destroy Arthur.
When Arthur was out of the country doing something noble, I would imagine, Mordred attempted to become king by first saying that Arthur had died when he was away, and then by starting a civil war.
Mordred had convinced some knights that he would give them all kinds of good things that Arthur hadn’t if they fought for him, and, well, there are always greedy people who can be bought.

Arthur’s time was up. He had done all that one man could be expected to do.
In the final battle of the civil war, Mordred and Arthur killed each other in hand to hand combat.
Being old at the time, Arthur accepted his death as part of his story, and, besides, Merlin had once told him that he would return when England really need him.
When Arthur died Sir Bedivere took his body to a boat that brought it to the Isle of Avalon.

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The body was accompanied in the boat by three rather odd looking women, and along the way to the Isle, one of them took Arthur’s sword, called Ex Calibur” since it was the one that he had taken from the anvil that sat on the rock, and gave it to a hand that rose out of the lake.
Waving the sword, the hand went back under the water, and the sword has never been seen again, and the people of England are waiting for the day that Arthur would return when they would really need him.

Contradiction? What contradiction?

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Yep.

The president did what the GOP wanted when he delayed that part of the Affordable Care Act that they demanded he delay, and now they have voted to sue him for doing that.

He acted on his own without the approval of congress, although in  response to the demand of congress.

That’s serious enough to sue him over.

John Boehner was hoping to pass a Republican spending bill that would provide $659 million to deal with the child migrant crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Well, he couldn’t get the votes he needed to do that, so in response to congress’s failure to act, Mr. Boehner and his fellow travelers demanded the president act on his own because he has the power to act unilaterally “without the need for congressional action”.

“There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries.”

This would seem to go against the law suit that was based on the GOP claim that the president had bypassed “the legislative process to create his own laws by executive fiat”.

Now they want him to do just that because,  just like in the other cases when he acted on his own, they cannot get the job done.

A spokesperson for Harry Reid announced, “Senator Reid agrees with House Republican leaders’ statement that President Obama has the authority to take steps on immigration reform on his own. He’s glad Republicans have come around and hopes this means they’ll drop their frivolous lawsuit against the President instead of continuing to waste the American people’s time and money.”

Remember, congress is willing to spend taxpayer money to sue the president for doing what they now demand he do.

When he did what they demanded with the ACA, the GOP sued him.

If President Obama does what the GOP is demanding now, will they turn around and sue him?

 

The GOP back in 2009

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Since the moment President Obama took the Oath of Office, the Republicans began doing whatever they could to bring him down.

They even had a meeting while all the inaugural balls were going on where they set up the game plan to that end.

The Right Wing media began immediately talking about the need to remove Obama from office, and if it looked like the president might have made a mistake that could play into that Fox jumped on it.

It started with Michael Savage of Fox who, within 50 days of the president stepping into the Oval Office, claimed he was out of control. “I think it is time to start talking about impeachment.”

He was followed within a year by Sean Hannity.

Just after Obama’s reelection a Fox reporter had tweeted, “the first order of business should be a full investigation of Benghazi — followed by impeachment proceedings”.

Other reasons to justify impeachment offered were sequestration, the Boston Marathon bombings, and Obama’s “dictatorship”. Now add Central American children, the Ukraine, and Israel vs Gaza.

If something George Bush did turned out to be a real whopper of a mistake, like two wars, an economic disaster, laws like the one that says kids who come across the border from non-contiguous countries had to be given medical attention and an assessment of their condition, Dubya was written right out of the list of presidents and all his mistakes were put on Obama.

His mistakes were so bad, even the GOP knew if applied to Obama, they would make him look real bad.

When John Boehner talked of suing the president for over use of executive power politicians and pundits demanded more.

They demanded impeachment.

Darrel Issa, meanwhile, jumped from alleged scandal to alleged scandal at times holding firmly to a “scandal” until all he held on to was smoke.

GOP members of both houses and wannabes like Sarah Palin demanded impeachment.

But in spite of documented reality, the Republicans and conservatives in general have now started to claim that the Democrats and the White House are the source of all the impeachment talk.

As the law suit and impeachment talk are beginning to backfire both in the form of public opinion and fund raising to deal with it, the GOP needs to change the story.

Representative Steve Stockman of Texas even told conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi that President Obama wants the move for impeachment because “his senior advisors believe that is the only chance the Democratic Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat. Evidently Obama believes impeachment could motivate the Democratic Party base to come out and vote.”

The new House Majority Whip, Representative Steve Scalise, even claimed, “this might be the first White House in History that’s trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president.”

Martha MacCallum of Fox News ignored what has been going on at Fox when she said, “The White House itself has been talking a lot about this potential impeachment, even though a lot of members of the GOP want nothing to do with it.”

She carefully danced around the number of the GOP that have been speaking of it, and demanding it.

Fox’s own poll claims that 56% of Republicans support impeachment. .
Rep. Steve King told Brietbart that if President Obama enacts executive actions regarding immigration, “we need to bring impeachment hearings immediately before the House of Representatives.”

Impeachment is obviously a bad move for the Republicans, so it is no surprise that when he was asked about it, John Boehner in attempting to fool the American people while assuming we are too stupid to have understood what the GOP and its allies have been pushing for a while now, explained away the GOP’s own actions by saying it is a “a scam started by Democrats at the White House. We have no plans to impeach the President. We have no future plans”.

The whole thing comes from “the President’s own staff” and from congressional Democrats.

“Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year’s elections”, Boehner now claims.

A Fox pas

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When a Channel like Fox News runs around making issues out of non-issues, promoting stories as if they are real, grasping onto debunked scandals because all of this fires up the people who will most likely continue to watch and raise the ratings because you are telling them what they want to hear, there is always the possibility that you will lose control and forget a complicated story, or may forget, as you introduce a new story with all the hype, that you spoke differently about the same topic under other circumstances.

In its ongoing rush to find anything that they can blame on President Obama, Fox has discovered that they can tap into what is a shameful side of America and its less than charitable attitude toward the children fleeing Central America to make Obama look real bad, and one of its most effective tools in this case is to pretend that he has abandoned the Border Patrol, or at least has put them in a dangerous position.

Recently losing control of its own narrative, Fox reported that Border Patrol agents near the Rio Grande River was fired at by someone using .50 caliber weapons, although none were hit.

“Border Patrol sources said the rounds were clearly identifiable because .50- caliber weapons make a distinctive noise when fired.”

In most of the United States the .50 caliber sniper rifle is treated like a hunting rifle.

In an odd turn of events Fox News personalities like Heather Nauert on Fox & Friend used the .50 caliber rifles as evidence that “there is an all-out war on at our southern border”,  while her cohorts like Jon Scott described the rifle as “a weapon of war”,  and explained that “the slugs a .50 caliber weapon fires are so big that body armor really won’t do you much good”.

He called it a battle field weapon.

Steve Doocy pointed out the gun is “powerful enough to kill somebody from more than a mile away”, and Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. described it as “multiple times the power of an M-16″.

While the gun is considered “a devastatingly powerful weapon against which most troops, most law enforcement, no civilians, have any means of defense”, it can be purchased by anyone aged 18 or older who passes a background check at a licensed gun dealer.

But Fox’s close friend, the NRA, has long opposed the regulation of .50 caliber rifles.

The inventor of the .50 caliber rifle, Ronnie Barrett, sits on the NRA board of directors, but Fox kept using a picture of the rifle to illustrate its reports on the border shooting.

While Fox admitted for the sake of its story that the rifle is a weapon of war and something that can harm the Border Patrol, the NRA claims that .50 caliber weapons pose no threat to the general public.

When Chris Christie vetoed a ban on the rifle in New Jersey, NRA’s lobbying wing, the Institute for Legislation praised him because “these firearms are used by competitive shooters and collectors, and are not misused in crime.”

The NRA even claimed that those who say it is a sniper rifle are spreading a type of “phony terrorism hype”.

Fox’s reporting would seem to contradict this.

So it would seem that Fox will support not regulating the .50 caliber rile when it wants to pander to the Second Amendment, or should I say the conveniently interpreting Second Amendment crowd, but will say the opposite if it can use that to make it appear that President Obama is somehow complicit in endangering Border Patrol Agents if that helps their created narrative.

Owning poor people

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Paul Ryan has issued the results on his hearings on poverty at which one poor person was allowed to testify.

The major feature is the Opportunity Grant, which would consolidate certain programs that Ryan deems duplications.

Each state would receive a lump sum which they would then mete out to various organizations within the respective states that work with poor people.

As he stated such a lump sum program “would consolidate up to 11 federal programs into one stream of funding to participating states. Each state that wanted to participate would submit a plan to the federal government”.

One obvious problem is that not every state has the most generous of attitudes, and the states’ treatment of the poor would be subject to internal politics.

Once a state’s plan was approved, the state could then experiment with how best to deliver benefits.

This is because, the states “are more effective than distant federal bureaucracies”, having as they do an “intimate knowledge of the people they serve—as well as their ability to take the long view.”

Low income people would have to meet with counselors who will design a “Customized Life Plan” which will have goals, benchmarks, and penalties for any failures to meet any provision of the plan.

Now, having been a teacher for 38 years, and having been a victim of recent “educational reform”, I would have to question if these “plans” would be truly designed with real input from the poor people involved, or if they would be a generic plan that would be somewhat modified to be applicable to individual cases, or left intact and result in a relatively irrelevant program forced on the poor person.

According to my last teacher contract, if a teacher was to be put on a “Plan for Improvement” the teacher was to have some input into the plan, but too often teachers were just handed a plan, told their signing for it was their input, so that Math teachers were expected to improve their approach to literature lessons and literature teachers their approach to mathematical word problems because provisions for both were contained on the POI since every teacher who was given a Plan was given the same one.

Failing to comply with any provision could result in steps to have the teacher dismissed, so improvement had to be measurable.

I know of one case where a teacher with perfect attendance received the generic plan that included a directive to improve her attendance, something that could not be done, and could, therefore, be viewed as “Failure to Comply” if the principal had ulterior motives beyond actually helping a teacher improve performance for the sake of the students.

Judging from follow up actions of the principal there were ulterior motives, and considering that a later investigation showed the principal was not always honest in what he did, these ulterior motives were proven to exist, and were not the defensive imaginations of the teachers involved.

Ryan’s plan would include the minimum requirements:
1) A contract outlining specific and measurable benchmarks for success
2) A timeline for meeting these benchmarks
3)Sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract
4)Incentives for exceeding the terms of the contract
5)Time limits for remaining on cash assistance

Although there would be a reward for finding a job before the expiration of the contract, there would be consequences for not having found a job regardless of the present lack of availability of them and the 2 applicants for every 1 job statistic.

The consequences for “Failure to Comply” could include “immediate sanctions and a reduction in benefits” according to Ryan.

Obviously, besides tying the working poor to a program that might not take that into account, Poor people will be signing a contract where the state government would b running their lives, and could cut them off over failing to comply totally with their plan, regardless how much or how little control the individual had over their environment and the nation’s economy.

It could also put the poor at the mercy or larges of their respective state attitudes toward those in need.

 

A thought on Gaza

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When we deal with the Israeli/Gaza situation, most people will claim that whether right or wrong, Israel’s attack on Gaza was motivated by the deaths of three Israeli teens.

What most do not remember, and this does not justify revenge killing, is that the week before these deaths, Israeli police had killed 5 Palestinian kids who were simply out on the street.

Yes, outrage at the deaths of the three Israeli teens was justifiable, but only as long as what was presented to the public was actually the facts.

Presenting this as an act of Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed,  “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay”, and then the present bombing and raids began.

But now, officials admit the kidnappings were not Hamas’s handiwork after all, but that of an independent group acting on their own, and Israel knew this for quite some time.

What was ignored was that first, this killing would be a really foolish act by Hamas who would have known a more powerful Israel would act, or overreact, and second, such an act would jeopardize the agreement to form a unity government with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of the West Bank.

It has been found that Israeli intelligence knew that the boys were dead shortly after their disappearance, but promoted the idea that they might be found alive. It kept the story on the front page, whereas announcing that they were dead would have ended the story.

Israel’s actions during the supposed search for the three teens kept the public fired up, even though they had already been found, and the search was mere theater.

When the “Aha Moment” came, that point at which the teens were finally “discovered” dead,  public opinion had been manipulated and the public was whipped up to a frenzy that would blindly accept Israel’s “justified” response.

The manipulated suspense had created anger.

But it hasn’t ended. This manipulation and playing the public continues.

I was in Oklahoma City when the Murrah building was blown up.

There was a rumor that ordinance had been secretly and dangerously stored in the basement of the building in the down town area, which explained the severity of an explosion that was bigger than what the known explosives would have produced.

There were discussions about the crater that was left, and questions why the building had to be imploded before those with the questions could thoroughly investigate.

Professional people were asking about the differences between a single bomb on the street creating an explosion and a crater, and the crater that would have been created if ordinance below street level had produced a secondary explosion.

When I have seen the rockets hitting the homes, schools, and hospitals where the Israelis claim Hamas is storing rockets and other ordinance, I have yet to see the secondary explosions that would be cause by igniting what is suppose to be stored at these locations.

And, no one covering the explosions on the news has referred to the secondary explosions that the stored ordinance would cause either.

I admit I am not an expert in this field, but being in Oklahoma City in 1995 and hearing the questions and discussions  that took place does make a person conscious of things they might otherwise not be even remotely aware of.

I also wonder if, after constantly claiming the schools and hospitals were only bombed because they had been places for ordinance storage, the Israeli’s thought they could hide behind that when they bombed a U.N. refuge.

Did they think people would just let it slide?

Leaving Hamas out of the cease fire discussions, and ignoring what they said would make a cease fire acceptable, Israel and Egypt created an agreement they had to know Hamas would reject solely to get that rejection so as to justify Israel’s further actions.

John Kerry is trying for another cease fire, and is including Hamas in the discussions this time.

“We are working toward a brief seven days of peace. Seven days of a humanitarian ceasefire in honor of Eid in order to be able to bring people together to try to work to create a more durable, sustainable ceasefire for the long (term),” Kerry said.

Unfortunately, John Kerry’s plan for a cease fire may also be rejected. Israel, which didn’t get its way with the last cease fire, is opposing this one because it addresses some of Hamas’s demands.

So the outrage and support of Israel’s actions were based on false information and manipulation.

If Israel’s intentions were correct and its actions justified, why did Bebe manipulate public sentiment with a false narrative?

And there is a part of me that wonders if Gaza’s Simply being in the way of Israel getting to the gas reserves under the ocean floor just beyond the beaches of Gaza might have a part in all this?

 

Equivalent?

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I guess you would have to call it a Faux Equivalency.

Already Fox News has resorted to calling the influx of the children from Central America an “Invasion”. It sounds threatening, and like something we have to protect ourselves from.

They even have gotten some of the Texas politicians to use that term so they can scare people into seeing an emergency and an attack on them that doesn’t actually exist.

And when you listen to those who oppose temporarily housing the children from Central America at military bases in their areas, they, too, refer to the invasion from which they must protect their community.

So, obviously labeling things with negative terms, no matter how irrelevant, works.

Now Fox has applied this tactic to Michael Sam so they can present one openly Gay football player, and by extension all Gay people, as a threat to a popular sport that macho men will want to protect from this assault, and what will have a negative effect on the team that will upset the fans.

It is called “Gay baiting”.

Even if they never thought about a distraction, the fans will have to now.

The seed has been planted.

On Fox and Friends this past week, the crazies on the couch spread the false connection of the kiss that Michael Sam gave his boyfriend when he got the news he had been drafted to the Rams with Michael Vick who had engaged in promoting dog fighting, and killing the losing dogs by drowning or hanging them.

Moany, Mae, and Jerk were discussing Tony Dungy’s comment that “I wouldn’t have taken him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.”

Dungy was the first Black, Super Bowl coach that had had no problem supporting Michael Vick after his time in prison for his dogfighting offenses like electrocuting, shooting, hanging, and beating dogs to death who didn’t fight well.

So apparently he is under the impression that Gay men kissing is more of a distraction than someone known to torture and kill dogs.

But the Fox and Friends group didn’t bother to dispel this rather odd comparison, but ran with it.

Lost in the fog Elisabeth Hasselbeck, making one of her View worthy additions to the discussion offered, “Sure, is the distraction bigger than what will occur on field? But he’s getting slammed. Tony Dungy is getting abused in the media. It’s a fact that this story is a big deal in the media. You know, Michael Sam, did he make it a big deal? Who knows?”

Michael Sam did not make it a big deal. He only came out truthfully as himself so that he would not have to play a character who plays football.

He removed what could have been his biggest distraction and could have negatively affected his performance and his team.

Steve Doocy noted that the former coach had been called a hypocrite for helping Vick get his career going again.

A man who killed dogs in some rather cruel ways because they did not fight viciously enough did nothing to help himself or his team, but whatever distraction would result from his entering a locker room with team mates who owned dogs, or had kids who owned one wasn’t as bad as a man in love with another man

Kilmead supported Doocy’s assessment by stating, “Steve, to your point. Michael Vick, coming out of prison, he was a distraction in the locker room because that’s a major story every time you walk in.”

So, apparently is Michael Sam?

In an ESPN poll 86% of NFL players said there was no issue with Michael Sam

But rest assured, even if there isn’t one, Fox will either pretend there is, or do their damnedest to create one to fire up their dwindling viewership and create a news story, or pretend there is one.

Meanwhile, the NFL decided to bench Ray Rice for just two games after he was charged with felony aggravated assault for allegedly striking his wife unconscious. There was a security video of him dragging her, unconscious, from an elevator they had both entered on a lower floor.

No distraction there. No one in the locker room with a wife or girlfriend will think twice when he comes in.

Right?

But, then again, he wasn’t kissing another guy, his boyfriend, he had only beat his wife unconscious.

 

It is simply theater

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There’s actually doing something, and then there is doing something so you look good.

Governor Rick Perry of Texas wants to look good, oh, and tough to boot.

He wants to put at least 1,000 National Guard troops on the border in response to the flood of incoming children from Central America.

What the reactionary conservatives like to refer to as an “invasion”.

He calls it “Operation Strong Safety”, but it isn’t exactly clear what the National Guard troops will actually do, as they certainly are not going to shoot at the kids.

That’s what the militias seem to want to do.

But Perry says this is necessary because, “I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault”.

It’s all imagery.

He wants to deter any child on his or her way from finishing the trip.

What seems to be overlooked, is that these kids are not sneaking into the country by dark of night, or using the most out of the way routes; they are walking up to border patrol agents and just turning themselves in.

The only thing that the National Guard will do, is supply more people for the kids to walk up to.

H. Steven Blum, who was the Chief of the National Guard Bureau from 2003 to 2009, those would have been the Bush years, has said,

“Until mission requirements are clearly defined, it can’t be determined whether this is an appropriate use of the Guard in this particular case. There may be many other organizations that might more appropriately be called upon. If you’re talking about search and rescue, maintaining the rule of law or restoring conditions back to normal after a natural disaster or a catastrophe, the Guard is superbly suited to that. I’m not so sure that what we’re dealing with in scope and causation right now would make it the ideal choice.”

In other words, using the National Guard at the border makes no sense, as the only thing they can do is say “Hi” to the kids and ask how things are going as they pass by.

Just as a reminder, Perry had come under fire during one of his presidential bids because he signed a 2001 Texas law granting in-state tuition rates at state universities to illegal immigrant students.

As recently as 2012 when answering those who faulted him on this he had stated, “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

The present situation may be a little different now, but it still calls for having a heart.

Now we have Perry trying to look tough even though the Border Patrol sees this as simply useless posturing.

The Texas Border Patrol agents would rather see the money go toward local law enforcement and necessary charitable aide.

Perry came up with his plan without talking to those who are on site.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said, “At this time, a lot of people do things for political reasons. I don’t know that it helps.” .

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra pointed out that, “The National Guard – they’re trained in warfare; they’re not trained in law enforcement. I need to find out what their actual role is going to be, but I think the money would be better spent giving local law enforcement more funds.”

So, other than looking tough, and spending money on what is arguably unnecessary and a waste of funds, it is all theater.

I do have to mention that many people I have spoken to since it came out that these kids need to be housed somewhere, have the heart I believe most Americans actually have in spite of the mean spirited people who run to the cameras and yell, or people like Perry and one local guy running for a state Senate seat who see the value in misrepresenting the kids

Popeye Kids

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Remember Congressman Steve King of Iowa’s claim last July about Immigrant children?

“There are kids that were brought into this country by their parents unknowing they were breaking the law. And they (supporters of immigration reform)say to me and others who defend the rule of law, ‘We have to do something about the 11 million. Some of them are valedictorians.’ Well, my answer to that is…it’s true in some cases, but they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents. For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. Those people would be legalized with the same act.”

In my experience, for every valedictorian, regardless of country of birth, there are hundreds who are not.

And, I am now having doubts about Popeye, as I may now have an inkling how his calves became shaped as they are. Since he always mumbled, perhaps it wasn’t English he was mumbling.

Maybe that wasn’t actually spinach.

Now, if someone could explain those fore-arms.

So with the present situation of thousands of kids coming from Central American countries to escape the gangs and the murders there that result from gang activity, Mr. King decided he would hold an anti-immigrant child rally this past weekend in his congressional district.

It was going to be a grand event.

About two dozen people showed up.

At a local protest on Cape Cod, there were between 20 and 30 people.

Perhaps this is a sign that Americans are not as mean as some would want us to appear.

First Contact

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Since I switched to my own blog, I have more freedom to deal with topics that interest me just because they do.

I found this story on the “inter-webs”, and it just struck me funny on one level, and a little scary on another as there are people who will buy into it.

We have just commemorated the first landing on the moon, and most of us who were alive then can remember exactly where we were, and with whom we were when we watched it on what was probably the only television in our homes at the time.

My class was in its last full month of a year long novitiate (yes, there was a time I felt I had a vocation to a religious life and pursued it) where we had no television, so we had to come down off the hill where the novitiate was to the college below that had some televisions.

We were sent to the biology classroom that had tiered seating.

I was in the second row, just behind a Salesian priest visiting from Italy, who just happened to be bald, but not completely. I could see the television without any obstruction as he was just short enough for his head to be at the very bottom of the screen.

As the lunar lander was approaching the moon’s surface, the priest reached up to scratch an itch on his bald spot, slowly bringing his hand toward his head in a very slow arc as he leaned forward in rapt attention.

The closer the lander got to the surface of the moon, the more he leaned forward for a good look, and the slower the arc of his arm.

His finger tips finally reached his itch as Walter Cronkite intoned, “The Eagle has landed”.

I saw both the major and minor events happen simultaneously.

To this day, and especially on the anniversary of the landing, that whole scenario comes to my mind clearly.

We all assumed a future that included space exploration had begun at that moment, and beyond discussions of the ramifications of that in science classes, the possibility of meeting life on other planets and what that meant both theologically and philosophically were also discussed in the relevant classes.

As conservative as some of the priests and brothers at the college were, many being old world Italians of a certain age, the attitude was open and accepting of possibility.

One has to realize  that what was by all accounts a conservative religious environment 45 years ago turns out to have been more liberal than what religion has become since.

Kenneth Alfred “Ken” Ham, who is a year younger than I am, and so has seen the same world that I have, is a former science teacher and president of Answers in Genesis, a Christian group that operates the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

He recently debated Bill Nye the Science Guy on whether creation should be considered on a par with science when it comes to dealing with the origins of the universe.

He claims that the universe is 6,000 years old in spite of scientific evidence to the contrary, because of what is said in the Bible.

He has become persona non grata at Creationist conferences because he speaks of other Christians in the most unchristian of terms, but he still manages to raise money for his Creation Museum and his Noah’s Ark themed park.

In reviewing his debate with Bill Nye, his home country’s Australian Broadcasting Corporation said it “drew world attention, once again, on the United States as the home of whacky Christianity”.

Now as people remember the first walk on the moon, he has stated that it is pointless spending money in the search for extra-terrestrial life because it rebukes God and because aliens are damned to hell anyway.

Take that Mr. Spock.

You’re a nice guy Obi Wan, it’s just too bad you won’t be saved.

“I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life. Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions!
And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin — the Savior of mankind.”

For Star Trek fans, and those who enjoyed My Favorite Martian, he had this to say as well:

“Jesus did not become the ‘GodKlingon’ or the ‘GodMartian’! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.”
He condemns scientists because of their desire to explore our universe and potentially discover other intelligent life-forms, which could give clues to the origins of life.
“The answers to life’s questions will not be found in imaginary aliens but in the revelation of the Creator through the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to die on a Cross to redeem mankind from sin and death that our ancestor, Adam, introduced”.

Neil deGrasse Tyson may object to the rejection of curiosity when it comes to examining the universe, but as a scientist his reactions to this are to be expected.

If you really want to know how crazy this guy is, Pat Robertson, the resident crazy of the Religious Right responded to Ham by saying,

“Let’s face it, there was a bishop … who added up the dates listed in Genesis and he came up with the world had been around for 6,000 years. There ain’t no way that’s possible. To say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it’s time we come off of that stuff and say this isn’t possible.We’ve got to be realistic that the dating of Bishop Ussher just doesn’t comport with anything that’s found in science, and you can’t just totally deny the geological formations that are out there.
Let’s be real. Let’s not make a joke of ourselves”.

And for someone who believes in God and all that He is, Ken Ham seems to be a little blasphemous as he does not seem to want to accept that in our expansive universe, God can do whatever He wants and is capable of doing it.

I have this image in my mind of an alternate ending to the Star Trek movie “First Contact”.

Since people are waiting for the second coming, and no one knows what it will look like, I see the Vulcan ship landing in front of Zefram Cochoran, the door opening, the ramp extending, and, when the person coming out lowers his hood, it’s Jesus.

Bazinga!