The Trump Effect

tru

It seems that the Republican Party has given in to Trump.

The Republican presidential candidates seem to be cannibalizing their own party in an effort to out crass Trump.

They see that he is getting popular, so they are not careful with how they say things. They are just letting the nasty out.

Makes you wonder what things would be like if the guy getting all the attention and support had been a nice guy.

But this is the Republican Party. They did away with nice a while ago.

And of all of them, like that kid in middle school who wants to be seen as a somebody, Ted Cruz is trying so very hard to sit at the Trump table. He defends him, modifies his own “principles” to be more like him, and loves to appear with Trump at gatherings so he can be seen with the coolest kid in the seventh grade.

If it weren’t so dangerous, it would be cute.

tru1

And then there’s that Kentucky business.

dav1

There are none so blind as those who cannot see, or simply choose not to.

While attempting to deny taxpaying American citizens their constitutional rights, and attempting to play the role of victim, the religious right claims that anyone who objects to contemptible treatment by the religious right are persecuting them, and that not allowing them to discriminate against American citizens is an attack on their religious freedom.

They continually contradict themselves, and, apparently, assume no one will notice, and if they do, it is just more evidence of persecution.

Kim Davis is the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk who first refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, and then refused to process any marriage licenses to anyone due to her “Christian” beliefs, after the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality.

The blanket moratorium on marriage licenses is her attempt to cover her conscious acts of discrimination, an action she would not have taken if her refusal to issue same sex marriage license wasn’t called for what it was.

Discrimination, and very targeted discrimination at that.

This has made her a martyr to the Christian right as she fights to have her religious beliefs allowed to have precedence over the laws of the land.

She is the new champion of religious “freedom”.

However, Mrs. Davis has been divorced and remarried multiple times, and, although Jesus said nothing about Homosexuality, He did have something to say about divorce and remarriage.

We have this in the New Testament upon which Mrs. Davis claims she bases her religious convictions:
Mark 10:11-12
So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

She has, according to Jesus, her Lord and Savior, committed adultery a number of times, and there has been no mention anywhere that she has refused to issue marriage licenses to those people who are divorced and seek remarriage because of those beliefs of hers.

This would make her religious convictions a little too selective.

In a further contradiction, when the Rowan County Attorney accused her of dereliction of duty because state law says:

“A public servant is guilty of official misconduct in the first degree when, with intent to obtain or confer a benefit or to injure another person or to deprive another person of a benefit, knowingly commits an act relating to his office which constitutes an unauthorized exercise of his official functions or refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office or violates any statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation relating to his office”,

her response was that she will take any dismissal to the Supreme Court, the very body whose decision on marriage equality she chooses to ignore.

So, apparently, the Supreme Court is wrong if she does not like the ruling, but it will be correct if it rules in her favor.

If the first decision was wrong, how can she turn to SCOTUS for a decision that could be equally wrong?

Or are her convictions based on relative convenience.

Then and now. Move over, Jesus.

rab5   

Remember when the fruits by which a certain religion would be known were feeding the hungry, healing the sick, being kind to widows and orphans, welcoming strangers in their midst, providing homes for those who lacked them, selling your riches and giving the money to the poor, and being those who brought peace to the world and good will to men?

Don’t see much of that these days.

As a matter of fact all 27 books in the New Testament, and all 47 or 49 in the Old Testament, depending on whether it is the Protestant or Catholic version, seem to deal with only one concept, but none of these.

The whole of the teachings Of Jesus Christ can be summed up with one commandment, “Don’t let the Gays get married”.

Nothing else counts.

We have a need for jobs, homes, food for children, benefits for veterans we create with our almost nonstop wars, health care, and environmental conservation, but even our politicians have reduced the need of the American people down to one concern, “Don’t let the Gay get married”.

Four Republican presidential candidates have signed a pledge to overturn the SCOTUS decision that ruled in favor of marriage equality, and promote a Constitutional amendment banning it.

The pledge also includes committing to banning any positive treatment of marriage equality in public schools and directing the Justice Department to investigate any supposed harassment of marriage equality opponents.

The four candidates (so far) are Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum who have signed the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) presidential candidate pledge.

According to its president, Brian Brown, “NOM has invited every candidate for president to sign our pledge, and we encourage those who have not yet signed to do so as soon as possible.

While many of the GOP candidates talk the talk about supporting marriage, these four candidates have distinguished themselves as true champions, having pledged to the American people to take very specific actions to advance the cause of marriage.”

Catholics are no longer the objects of protestant America’s disdain. Jews are off limits because of the Holocaust and politicians’ loyalties to Israel. Blacks are petty hands off now, except in certain misty situations.

But when you need a scapegoat because your ideas and principles are actually vacuous and impotent, Gays are always there to scare people to Jesus or the conservative version of the American Taliban.

So  much for one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

Rather than pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States, these candidates are willing to pledge to tear it apart to be able to discriminate against someone.

Whose turn will it be next?

 

bad gamble

am1

A lot of men took big chances signing up with Ashley Madison.

Some, especially those hypocrites who condemned others using family values and the sanctity of marriage as their weapons, got really burned.

But there is a little irony to this whole thing.

Ashley Madison claimed it had a 70/30 gender split – with a 1:1 female/male ratio in the under 30 set.

But when its files got hacked and released, those ratios actually turned out to be more like 35 million men to only 5 million women.

Those aren’t good odds if you are really intent on finding someone to cheat with.

According to David Evans, an industry consultant who has contracted with Ashley Madison in the past, “Ashley Madison has paid people to write profiles, and they’ve allowed fake profiles to proliferate on their site.”

It’s just the way that type of industry is.

Think of those old phone dating services advertised late at night when gorgeous women told you that you needed to call them now, implying one of them, or someone like them would answer, rather than calling a room full of actors.

People called little suspecting they were getting someone in an office carrying on a conversation based on a fluid script.

Hey, it was either that or dressing up like the Statue of Liberty at tax time and waving to passing cars.

Not that it is the same thing, but it is somewhat similar, my first summer in Oklahoma I got a job selling vinyl siding over the phone, but because of my New England accent I initially had very little success with the rural numbers the computer dialed up since my accent sounded foreign, and the people I called preferred to buy American. I affected a Southern accent, and my sales increased.

They liked the Southern boy.

Dating sites have found that no matter how many men, and apparently there are a lot of them, happily sign up for services, women are not so eager. So, they need a staff who can write profiles various enough to sound like a lot of women.

On the internet you do not hear the person that interests you. You read what they write, and one person can pretend to be many, like trolls on news sites often do in the comment sections.

So while men are writing to Bernice, they may be totally unaware that the profile they have chosen, and the person with whom they correspond might just be Bernard.

The celebrities who have been exposed gambled their marriages and families on what could very well have been a scam.

Besides the membership fee, these guys paid a big price.

Ooopsie

clo2

It all started back in 1992 when her husband, Bill, was running for president, and for the last 23 years it appears the GOP, being afraid of Hillary , has been trying to find something, anything, to ruin her.

And they have failed each time.

Each Benghazi investigation has come up with nothing but yet another committee to hold more hearings.

They have tried mightily to have something come of their email “scandal” assertions, only to be proven that their desires for something did not match the reality of there being nothing there.

They even went after her trusted staff person, Homa Abedin, hoping to prove she was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Instead of the GOP dealing with issues of importance, they have frittered away time looking for some side issue that they can make a big deal out of so they can destroy Hillary Clinton personally, and once done with that, they will stroll into the White House.

Perhaps, a more mature approach would be to engage her on the issues.

Or are they afraid of a woman who is strong enough to take them on?

 

(Tip of the hat to Geoffrey Feldman of Lowell MA)

What kind of baby?

 

bo

We are all familiar with the tactic of naming people, both individually and as groups, with some impersonal term so that we do not have to look at them as the people they are, which makes it easier to speak ill of them..

Gays become “abominations”; people coming to this country to escape oppression and possible death become “illegals”; and, although they will fight for the right of a fetus, having Right to Life people call babies born of these people “anchors”, removes their humanity so you can turn your right to life backs on them and that which is necessary to keep them healthy and alive.

We don’t have to deal with humans that way, but can fight against illegal anchors, some of whom could be abominations.

When Donald Trump descended the golden escalator in his building with most people writing it all off as performance art by someone who would be laughed off the stage, few realized he was about to speak to certain people’s fears in the crass terms they wanted to hear someone articulate out loud, especially someone with prestige and money.

It validated themselves with themselves.

Now Republican candidates are doing their best imitation of him and adopting his terminology hoping to get the necessary fringe vote.

Scott Walker was on the “14th Amendment Birth Right” page as was Jeb Bush until he found himself in an awkward position, something about his wife not becoming a citizen until after she started having kids, and now claims he has really been talking about Asians all along.

This is one example of the “anchor baby” concept for those who are not familiar with it.

Raj, the daughter of a bank manager, first came to the United States on a scholarship to study for her doctorate in nuclear physics at Louisiana State University. She was here on a student visa and was three months pregnant. She had been promised a month’s maternity leave even though she was not covered by the university’s health plan since her pregnancy was a pre-existing condition.

Her child, Riyush, was born on June 10, 1971, six months after her arrival.

He was a citizen, so regardless of any future actions like quitting school, or not fulfilling the requirements of her scholarship, Raj could stay to raise her American child.

Her husband, Amar, came to the United State because of the child, giving up his position of assistant professor of engineering at Punjab University in Chandigarh, the new capital city of their home state.

So the mother came to this country as a student on a student visa, and the father was then able to join her because of their American born son and the convenience of the maternity leave.

At the age of four, the child decided he wanted to be known as Bobby because of Bobby on the Brady Bunch.

And thus Bobby Jindal came to be.

Bobby Jindal seems to believe that he can throw out terms, speak to the bigotry of some voters without anyone noticing what a contradiction he is and how, in the case of “anchor babies” and those who bear them, that he is denigrating his own mother, and calling into question the convenient timing of her coming to school in Louisiana when she did.

According to Bobby Jindal’s beliefs, a person is a person at the moment of conception which would mean that Bobby Jindal is an Indian from the sub-continent of India, and not really an American citizen.

He was a person there.

Jindal emphasized this when he said on FOX that the Left just will not use the word “baby” but, instead, uses other terms when speaking of the unborn:
“What I find offensive is Hillary Clinton — the left. When you look at those Planned Parenthood videos, they refuse to call them ‘babies,’ they call them ‘fetal tissue,’ they call them ‘specimens.’ What’s really offensive is the left refuses to say ‘babies.’ Instead they say ‘fetal tissue,’ ‘specimens,’ they are a bunch of science deniers.”

So Jindal was a full-fledged baby when his mother got here, and had been a person for the previous three months.

Of course, this was all a non-issue before the new Republican “concern” for “anchor babies”, at least those born of those evil illegal immigrants who have to get through Central America and across deserts to be able to conveniently have their babies here as opposed doing it the inconvenient student visa way.

 

The Donald’s threat

boo1

Pope Francis, who it would seem just might have a passing knowledge of what Christianity is, has spoken against the greed of capitalism.

He has stated that “trickle-down economics” hasn’t worked, that income inequality is bad for the majority of humanity, and that present day capitalism is not only corrupt, but toxic .

As Pope Francis has written:
“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 naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

This hasn’t been sitting too well with Donald Trump who suspects the pope might speak about these things when he visits the United States in a few weeks, and so he has warned:
“I’m gonna have to scare the Pope because it’s the only thing … The Pope, I hope, can only be scared by God. But the truth is — you know, if you look at what’s going on — they better hope that capitalism works, because it’s the only thing we have right now. And it’s a great thing when it works properly”.

He even threatened the pope with ISIS.

When it comes to delivering his threat Trump said:                                   “I’d say, ‘ISIS wants to get you. You know that ISIS wants to go in and take over the Vatican? You have heard that. You know, that’s a dream of theirs, to go into Italy.”

So, watch out pope.

Donald is going to round up his ISIS posse and come at the Vatican.

It was NOT an apology

apo1

Let’s be honest.

An apology is not an apology if it is not directed toward the person who was actually hurt, and you do not earn forgiveness unless you apologize to that person either.

If I were to rob from you or physically harm you, my apologizing to my family for the shame I brought them in no way constitutes an actual apology until I apologize and make amends to you.

This is Josh Duggar’s original apology, before the multiple rewrites that followed, when it was revealed he had a paid membership on Ashley Madison, a web site that helps people cheat on their spouses.

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.

I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.

I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust.

The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.

As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.”

Josh Duggar

But if you noticed, he did not apologize to those Gay people whose lives he hypocritically misrepresented, and whom he used as scapegoats when promoting his organization’s (The Family Research Council) agenda.

He did NOT apologize to those Gay kids that were thrown out of their homes and forced to survive on the streets by parents who thought they were doing the correct religiously based thing.

He did NOT apologize to those kids whose lives were made a hell on earth by their peers, or even total strangers, who harassed and bullied them in the name of religion.

He did NOT apologize to those Gay kids who took their lives when life and social treatment overwhelmed them.

He did NOT apologize to those families of Gay kids who may have realize too late that the way they treated their kids was wrong, and now live with a physical separation from their living kids, and an eternal separation from their dead ones.

This is NOT an apology.

It is an attempt to further dupe people into treating him as if all is just fine now that he has said the right things.

The essence of his apology,

“I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him”,

is not directed to the victims of his hypocrisy, but is a veiled appeal to those in his family and those who share his religious views that this just be allowed to fade away and not hurt the family’s broadcast franchise.

He wants sympathy, not forgiveness, and he certainly does not want this minor peccadillo to turn people away from the upcoming special and hoped for future reality show where his parents, who chose not to address his sexual difficulties when he was young, advise people on sexual abuse.

He needs to apologize to those he really harmed in his quest for money.

One tangible way to show he is truly sorry might be to volunteer some time at a shelter that addresses the homelessness of those children who have been thrown out of their homes in the name of religion and the FRC propaganda he espoused because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Oh, and without making a reality show out of it.

 

just my impression

ooh1

It’s just a gut thing, but for a very long time I have been of the impression that this generation of Republicans, when they were young, were those kids in class who always reminded the teacher to give homework and not to forget a promised quiz.

And their reminder was always followed with a smug smile.