Enough

stop2

Politicians claiming to be the examples of righteousness condemn other people’s children and how they are raised, but protect their own kids for the same offenses.

Politicians condemn people as predators based on debunked stereotypes only to be found diddling kids in the past and in the present.

Politicians and pastors who pass judgment on and promote laws against Gay people are found to be on hook-up sites like Grindr.

Politicians claim they are the defenders of the sanctity of marriage while on their second, third, or fourth marriage. Some are even found to be having affairs.

Politicians who condemn the sex lives of others are found to have been paying liaisons for silence.

It seems either the politicians and their supporting religious leaders feel their promoted moral codes do not apply to them, or they think that they just will not get caught.

It might be good if the politicians stop playing religious leader and attempting to pass laws that govern people’s personal lives, and get back to making laws that support the American people, create jobs, rebuild the country’s infrastructure and the middle class, support the poor and the veterans, and stop passing religious based laws that it has become clear they cannot themselves follow.

If they want to run churches they should attend a divinity school of their chosen religion and get appointed to one according to that church’s processes, and not treat the halls of the capitol as if they were churches.

They should be upholding the Constitution, not the Bible.

And they should stop acting like the morality police until they have policed themselves.

Who really got God angry?

broke1

The best interpreter of the Bible is the Bible itself.

Oh, people can tell you whatever they want to think any passage of a translated Bible means, but if the Bible says what a verse means, you really can’t argue with that.

The best source is the source

Because of a careful misrepresentation of the story of Sodom, not only do far right conservatives blame other people for something of which they are innocent, but they are able to get away with what they do by blaming others.

Take all that is going wrong today, storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, wars, terrorism, and the latest floods in Texas. The fashionable thing for conservatives is to claim they are all because of Gay people and all that Sodom business when Gay people actually do not figure into the story of Sodom at all.

Unless Lot was a total moron, why would he have offered his daughters up for rape by an angry mob of Gay people standing at his door step as if that would not get them totally riled so that, rather than go quietly away, they would most likely attack the house.

His daughters would not get raped, but his visiting angels would certainly have had a rough go of it.

Not a good strategy if you are trying to protect them.

If he had sons, this would make more sense if Gay people were at the door.

God was going to destroy everyone in the city, including Lot, who, we have to assume with a future pillar of salt wife and daughters, was straight, before the angels got there. What was His reason for wanting to do that before  He sent angels to warn Lot after Abraham had bargained with Him to spare at least the only good guy there? If you listen to the GOP and Bible thumpers, He didn’t decide to do anything until after they had gotten there. If you read the actual story, the decision had been made long before anyone stood at Lot’s door.

Nowhere in the story does it mention that God had one reason before the angels got there, and then changed His mind after.

But these people hold that God destroyed the place because of all the Gay people who were there.

When did He say that?

He didn’t.

He said the people in Sodom were not righteous, but did not explain what that meant.

Open for interpretation?

Not if you read more of the bible when in Ezekiel 14 it specifically says, “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy”.

They were selfish, self-serving, and lacked charity toward the less fortunate.

If you accept what the Bible says the bible says, it becomes obvious that Gay people are the scapegoats so that those really responsible for God’s wrath can avoid blame.

Face it, when the high roller evangelists say that all the world’s present problems are caused by God’s anger about the same conditions as in Sodom, it needs to be remembered that their sin was arrogance, abundant food, careless ease, and not sharing that to help the poor and needy.

Sounds like the conservative congress to me, and those religious zealots who support them.

So, let’s put the blame where it should be, especially with the flooding in Texas.

It is happening there, not because there are a lot of Gay people and God can’t take the time to sort them out for destruction, but because of all the conservative Republicans like Ted Cruz, who are arrogant, have lots of stuff, but refuse to help the poor and needy.

Jeb Sawyer whitewashes the fence

whi1

“Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does the GOP get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”

That put the thing in a new light. Marco Rubio stopped nibbling his apple. Jeb Bush swept his brush daintily back and forth – stepped back to note the effect – added a touch here and there – criticized the effect again – Rubio watched every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:
“Say, Jeb, let me whitewash a little.”

Jeb considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind:
“No – no – I reckon it wouldn’t hardly do, Rubio. You see, Dick Cheney’s awful particular about the truth about the Iraq War– right here on the street, you know. Yes, he’s awful particular about this story; it’s got to be done very careful; I reckon there ain’t one media outlet in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it’s got to be done.”

“No – is that so? Oh come, now, lemme, just try. Only just a little – I’d let you, if you was me, Jeb.”

“Rubio, I’d like to, honest injun; but Dick Cheney – well, Scott Walker wanted to do it, but he wouldn’t let him; Lindsey Graham wanted to do it, and he wouldn’t let him. Now don’t you see how I’m fixed? If you was to tackle this whitewash, and anything was to happen to it”.

“Oh, shucks, I’ll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say – I’ll give you the core of my apple.”

“Well, here – No, Rubio, now don’t. I’m afeard – ”

“I’ll give you all of it!”

Jeb gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. And while the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more innocents. There was no lack of material; media outlets happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time Rubio was fagged out, Jeb had traded the next chance to Graham for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Fox bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with – and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Jeb was literally rolling in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles,part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn’t unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar – but no dog – the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash.

He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while – plenty of company – and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn’t run out of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.
Jeb said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.

Jeb mused awhile over the substantial change which had taken place in his worldly circumstances, and then wended toward headquarters to report.”

 

(Almost Mark Twain)

It’s got to be an evil plot

tex1

Because I intend to be traveling to Oklahoma City toward the end of June, I am very interested in the present weather news in that area as I am really hoping there are things still there to see and roads to get there to see them.

I remember back in 2010 when I had gotten home from a stay in the OU Medical Center there were a few days of heavy rain that helped in avoiding the temptation to go out and about too early and against doctor’s orders. Although my apartment was in a four-plex on top of small rise above the street in front in Mesta Park, it was still at the bottom of the hill that went from 13th Street down to 23rd, and the buildings on the North end to the block, mine included, acted like a dam holding back much of the water that was running down Lee Street and into the alley. The water had reached the top of the three steps to my back door, but because of the crawl space, the water ran under the building, out through the front, and down to the street, although I had to continually check to see if it was rising somewhere under the building and into it.

Streets in Oklahoma City were being flooded, and storm drains over run. But, as bad as it was then, it was nothing like what the pictures show now. The flooding I was there for was a scale model of what has been happening this spring.

There is going to be a lot of damage, most of which is not going to be covered by flood insurance because, up until now, who would have thought of needing it?

This means calls to Washington DC to get federal money for disaster relief for two states, Oklahoma and Texas, that continually curse at the federal government, and boast about their being uber-independent.

The governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, has made an art of speaking loudly about the Oklahoma Spirit of independence that rejects federal government dependency, while running to the phone after every tornado, fire, and flood. After Hurricane Sandy, the two senators of the state voted against disaster aid to New York and New Jersey unless there were offsets, yet when their own state needed relief after a fire or two and a horrendously icy winter they were not concerned about offsets. Their concern was reserved only to other states in need.

Texas, ever in competition with Oklahoma, who can forget the race for the most executions in a given year that took place not too long ago, also brags about independence until they need to ignore it.

And, with their present flood situation, that time would be now.

After amping up the Texas paranoia concerning Jade Helm 15, the U.S. Special Operations training planned for several southwestern states this summer, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for the Texas State Guard to monitor the mission.

He is going to make sure that the federal government is not going to come into his state, take away everyone’s guns, round Texans up in closed Walmarts, ship some off shackled in specially designed FEMA train cars, and take over the state.

The federal government is the evil overlord that must be rejected, and FEMA is its collective minions

But now there are the floods.

According to President Obama, “I assured Gov. Abbott that he could count on the help of the federal government. We have FEMA personnel already on the ground. They are coordinating with Texas emergency management authorities and I will anticipate that there will be some significant requests made to Washington. My pledge to him is that we will expedite those requests”.

So Texas is presently working with FEMA, and can only stay true to its independence from the federal government by refusing to ask for federal disaster aid, or rejecting any that is forced on the state.

Historically, these two states lead the FEMA Relief Pack when it comes to asking for and getting money paid by the rest of the states with Texas at 75 times to Oklahoma’s 45. The next closest state is California with 24; 51 below Texas and 21 below Oklahoma.

Apparently the federal government is evil until you need them, and certain states are truly independent provided the rest of us are there to help them when it’s needed.

Or, is all this rain part of a plot to make sure that places like Texas need to rely on the federal government, and once trapped, will find they have been taken over.

Secession after getting federal help without paying back the rest of us who foot the bill would be a horrible introduction when it comes to foreign relations between the United States and the new nation of Texas.

Holiday’s over. Back to normal.

vet1

The parades are over, the television tributes are put to bed, and those who needed it were seen at the parades and flew a number of flags.

It is a little over five months before we have to put up the flags, give the speeches, have a parade or two,  and say the right things about veterans.

In the meantime, we can relax, and most people and the majority of politicians can take a break from caring about them.

Republicans lecture the pope

pope1

With this being the opening weekend of the summer tourist season, and Monday having been the actual kick off day, unless you really had to be somewhere, like at a BBQ you got invited to, your best bet on Cape Cod was to stay home and let the seasonal residents and their visiting relatives have the roads.

With me having really basic cable, that meant my being subjected to war movie marathons and tribute shows, or some sporting events in which I had no interest.

The daily Green acres, I Dream of Jeanie, and Bewitched hour blocks were put on hold until Tuesday, and without a TV schedule, I had to channel surf occasionally and wait to see what was coming on at the top of any given hour.

At one point I surfed to what is usually a movie station to see what was coming up, and had to sit through the last few minutes of some religious guy who was claiming that Pope Francis has no real concept of what it is to be Christian, and that his calling Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace” was proof that, unlike other Christian denominations like his own Southern Baptists, the Roman Catholic Church held an historic monopoly on anti-Jewish sentiment.

I guess, he chose to ignore the attitude toward Jews that was prevalent in his part of the country until the facts of the Holocaust guilted many into changing those attitudes.

This was not the first time that Pope Francis has been chastised for his not being “christian” enough for certain politicians who claim a monopoly on religious thought.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan resolution that was written in December 2013 to honor Pope Francis for his work towards social justice and his election, House resolution 440, was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and has been languishing there ever since.

Democratic Representative John Larson of Connecticut and Republican Representative Pete King of New York had written to Boehner last July to ask him to put the resolution to a vote.

“To my knowledge this would be an historic first. I ask that you take a look at a bipartisan resolution introduced by Representative Peter King and myself, acknowledging the first Pope from the Americas … it is my sincere hope that you will consider this resolution for the suspension calendar for a vote.”

The pope is just too liberal for some.

The pope, you see, has criticized unfettered capitalism and trickle-down economics, and has called for a more equal distribution of wealth.

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra¬lized workings of the prevailing economic system. People are still waiting.”

The pope is scheduled to be in the United States in roughly four months to speak at the Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and John Boehner has invited him to speak to congress.

In March 2014, when he had invited the pope to speak to Congress, John Boehner had written,

“His tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us—the ailing, the disadvantaged, the unemployed, the impoverished, the unborn—has awakened hearts on every continent.
His social teachings, rooted in ‘the joy of the gospel,’ have prompted careful reflection and vigorous dialogue among people of all ideologies and religious views in the United States and throughout a rapidly changing world, particularly among those who champion human dignity, freedom, and social justice.
These principles are among the fundamentals of the American Idea. And though our nation sometimes fails to live up to these principles, at our best we give them new life as we seek the common good. Many in the United States believe these principles are undermined by ‘crony capitalism’ and the ongoing centralization of political power in the institutions of our federal government, which threaten to disrupt the delicate balance between the twin virtues of subsidiarity and solidarity”.
Fast forward to this year, and you have Republicans upset because of the pope’s recognition of a Palestinian state.

They do not like the leaking of religion into politics.

“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do,” according to Republican Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.

Republicans have objected to marriage equality, not on Constitutional grounds, but religious ones, and have even advocated ignoring the Supreme Court if it decides in favor of it.

They have objected to a woman’s right to choose by introducing ever more restrictive abortion bills based on religion, not science.

And, they have advocated for selective discrimination and the special right to not have to follow the laws of the land in the name of “religious freedom”.

They want to wed religion to politics, but object to a Christian religious leader advocating that people who claim the United States is a Christian country exercise Christian principles.

Of course they cannot be too happy with the pope when he said,

“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new.”

Memorial Day

Today is the day we honor those who have given their lives and their youth in the service of our country

But that should go beyond slick slogans , television shows, parades, out flagging our neighbors while we leave the flags to hang until they deteriorate, and patriotic shouting matches that make us feel good, and must include taking care of the troops when they come home.

They should not face unemployment, loss of homes, lack of needed medical and mental health care, cuts to needed public assistance, and slashes to pensions and other benefits.

If we did not question the source of the money to wage two wars, we should not question where we can get the money to help those we sent to fight them.

If we can find ways to cut taxes to the corporations who benefit from the wars because they supply the weapons, uniforms, food, and gas, and who will benefit from what is gained when the wars are over, we can certainly find the money to help the returning troops, perhap by ending those big tax breaks given to those who have benefited.

Otherwise the phrase “support the troops” is just a hollow phrase to make us feel good, with no real benefit for the troops, as are those heart warming welcome home and surprise  hug-the-wife-and-kids videos we see on the news on a regular basis that never show how abandoned the service men and women become when the cameras go off and they go home.

I do not like war, but I taught some of the troops in my classes over the years and know them as people, not just “troops”.

This is a collection of my troop related cartoons done over the last several years.

may-11

help

One of Tom Coburn’s last acts as senator

Q-Faux-Patriots

bfe24e7e-f34f-4c91-9585-abbaf969f0a4_zpsa1ca675e

16f17db0-f69f-4f60-a0b7-62aa9422b036_zps8724699b

4

1ac1a1ed-1e51-47ff-9b46-9305dd72047b_zpse89fe8e4

9

I hope God gets the votes

give1

I was glad when Ireland voted for marriage equality.

I was a bit surprised when it was suggested that having such a vote  be held here, or that if such a vote were to be held here it should not be held nation-wide, but within each state.

Seems those who love to play the role of the uber-patriot and rely heavily on their belief in God to bolster that stance, ignore the words of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”, when they demand a vote be taken to express their approval or disapproval of who gets those rights.

If they truly believe in God, why do they feel His endowing of unalienable rights to all people must meet with their approval.

So do they really believe in Him, or do they just say that when it conveniently supports their own ideas?

Either He is God, or He isn’t.

Either they believe in Him, or they don’t.

Tale of two approaches

sin1

For those who may think that the broo-haha surrounding the news on Josh Duggar is overblown, I guess it needs to be explained that when a family seems to make a career of judging others to the point of lying about them to do that, people do take notice when the biblical beam is found to still be stuck in that family’s own eye.

The Duggars paint certain people with the broad brush of predatory behavior and not being as “saved” as they are, while someone they claim to have raised properly has proven himself to be the very predator that they claim others to be, while they took steps to sweep it all under the rug.

When you claim that certain people “choose” a “lifestyle” that includes predatory behavior directed on the innocent, you also impugn those who raised them. You condemn the producer along with the product.

It gets worse when people discover that, in spite of claims of having dealt with it properly, it took two years to report the predatory activity to proper authorities, and that the counseling that was presented as a reason why no legal action need be taken turns out to be having sent the son to work for a friend in another city with no actual counseling having taken place. Adding to this that the predator then got a job with a very judgmental, conservative religious organization, and people just may see this as a fine example of hypocrisy and want to know the whole truth.

Five children, some his own sisters, are fondled by a self-righteous person who was raised to be so by his self-righteous parents.

But now that they have lost their TLC program that had presented them as the opposite to what they really are, it could be that there will be those who, while unforgiving of others who may be guilty of lesser offense, if not outright fictitious ones, will offer support while claiming that it is nothing more than religious persecution and a hypocritical attack on First Amendment free speech rights.

The former Arkansas governor and erstwhile presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, who also passes judgment on others and how they have raised their kids while protecting his own son from punishment for having tortured animals, is defending the questionable actions of the family surrounding the abuse and said he wanted to “affirm” support for the family.

“Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgment is not mature.”

He conveniently forgets that the parents’ judgment was mature, and they did what they could to protect the son with no regard for his victims, sweeping it all under the rug.

He likes the family, but seems to have little, if any, concern for the victims. Of course, the family’s endorsing his run for president this time around might hold more weight than the victims.

According to Huckabee, “No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility.”

If only the confession had come before he was found out, not after the report on his actions was uncovered; if only the counseling his father assured legal authorities was real was not just hard physical labor helping a family friend remodel a house; and if only an actual investigation had been done as opposed a “very stern talk” with his father and a policeman friend that took place at his home.

His action was not a sin so easily forgiven, but a crime that needed to be addressed as there were victims, unlike with many sins.

Huckabee also found fault with

“Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sin in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims.”

Obviously, he feels that it is wrong to attempt to tarnish the reputation of a “good boy” from a “good family” while he seems to have no problem finding fault with those who are concerned for the victims.

As the Duggars themselves have stated,

“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.

Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”

They claim things have been forgiven by God, with no proof other than their word for it, so things are just fine. Even the victims should be happy that God loves the Duggars

And then there is this.

A new bill introduced to committee in the Maine Legislature seeks to deny welfare and food stamps to anyone with a felony drug conviction.

And the conviction could be the result of a onetime thing.

You could have been at a party, tried something for the first and only time, and then the raid happened. A party gone bad after you finally gave in to see what the drug was like.

You could have even been in a car that was pulled over with no idea what was in the trunk until the police found it.

You did the time and paid your debt to society in a real place, not working for your father’s friend.

In Maine your only recourse is executive clemency, and Maine Governor Paul LePage has made it clear that people with drug or DUI convictions can forget it. He has urged lawmakers to push the bill through so Maine can stop spending tax dollars on people displaying “reprehensible personal behavior.”

The people who did the time are not only going to be denied assistance, but their children could be denied it as well merely for being someone’s kid.

In this case, though, even claiming God’s forgiveness won’t be of any help.

So you have two situations.

One allows you to commit a heinous crime repeatedly over time, have your family shield you from due process, label it a sin, claim God has forgiven you and so, then, should society, and you are done.

The other, in spite of it possibly being a onetime victimless act, and even after doing the time for the crime, stays not only with you, but can affect your whole family for years to come no matter how far back the crime was committed. It is not a sin that people will accept God has forgiven you for. It is something that even the God fearing will never detach from you.

Shouldn’t the words of Mike Huckabee apply to both cases?

“Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things”.

Nah.

You’re talking about loud, ostentatious religious people in one case and about, well, people who don’t throw their religion around in the other.