Divine priorities

nascar

Today, while doing some housework, I had the television on in the background.

When one of those “this program expresses the views of the advertiser and not that of station management” came on, I flipped through the channels to find something that wasn’t selling me the latest food preparation device, or attempting to give me a guilt trip about no supporting a village in the Andes, and I came upon the NASCAR race.

A NASCAR volunteer pastor was praying over all the cars and drivers, asking God to guide the race to a good conclusion.

It was one of the longest prayers before any sporting event I had ever experienced.

Although there was the obligatory reference to the troops (Pan to flag shot), God was never asked to do anything about the people in Western Africa, or all those people being harmed in the Middle East, or even a request to guard all those persecuted Christians in this country.

Nope, Just the request to pick the right race car in Jesus’s name.

The fluidity of conservative principles

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Today on conservative radio, as I was slowly snaking along the Suicide Alley section of Route 6 on Cape Cod, I listened as the host goaded his call-in listeners to say the most uninformed things about Ebola.

This, of course, meant that facts had to be ignored, and that, as much as they belittled the appointment of an Ebola Czar, they had to not only ignore that, because of the NRA’s pressure we do not have a Surgeon General, but the idea of a Czar was not Obama’s, but the idea of their beloved GOP.

Although he seems educated enough to have corrected the misconceptions, the host reinforced them, obviously to inflame his audience rather than educate them on the facts.

But in this case, and in things I have read, the biggest stretch of the truth is that those who have been fighting the veracity of the theory of evolution are now supporting their fear mongering by claiming that unlike what the doctors and scientists have been saying about the Ebola virus not being an air-borne contagion, they are now predicting the end of mankind as we know it when the virus mutates to survive against what  we know will kill it.

Suddenly the very basis of evolution, survival of the fittest, is the only way they can continue to spread their fears.

While the facts that only three citizens of the United States have been found to actually have Ebola, and that the virus came in by plane and not with children from Central America may not be all that earth shattering, the fact that evolution is now being relied on by its traditional opponents to support their claims, just might be.

 

Dr. Geography Brown

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When he ran for the Senate in Massachusetts Scott Brown touted himself as the independent voice that would speak for the people of the state.

Then he pledged that he was going to be the 41st vote to get rid of the Affordable Care Act thus becoming part of the Monolithic GOP, and disregarding how Romney Care in Massachusetts was doing the citizens well.

When he voted against his party’s line in the senate, it was usually when a bill was going to pass or fail by a majority anyway so his vote was not needed either way. He thus appeared to be independent as opposed unnecessary.

When his vote actually counted, he went with his party.

He claimed he was as totally dedicated to the people of the Bay State as he now is to the people of New Hampshire.

He is so concerned about New Hampshire that his campaign ads generally speak about the southern border and opposition to Obama, with very little dealing with what is good for the people of the state unless it is in the most generic GOP terms.

He is the expert on the Southern border who is more concerned about all those Central American kids than Obama and his opponent for the New Hampshire senate seat are.

He is more concerned about ISIS in the Middle East and their possible crossing of our southern border than Obama and his rival for the New Hampshire senate seat are.

Now, he is more concerned about Ebola sneaking over the southern border coming from countries south of it than Obama and Jean Shaheen, his senate seat rival, are.

Of course the fact that the countries these people are coming from have no cases of Ebola does not seem inconsistent with the claim they will be the source of the virus entering the country as opposed its coming in from Canada where people are more likely to have flown around the world where they could have come in contact with the virus, than the people in Central America are.

You would think, if he had the best interest of the people of New Hampshire as a priority, he would be little more concerned about our northern border and a little less obsessed about our southern one.

It’s this reliance on the scare tactic of Ebola, though, that is a little off. Actually it is a little hypocritical.

I had not been back in Massachusetts all that long when a national meningitis outbreak was traced back to a local compounding laboratory. It was a compounding laboratory, like so many others, that was not subject to regulation.

As we were getting close to the 2012 elections and Brown was facing Warren, Brown donated $10,000 to the Meningitis Foundation of America. This was part of a larger donation that had been given to his campaign by the owners and executives of the pharmacy responsible for the outbreak.

Brown had advocated for the loosening of the USDA regulations that applied to such compounding laboratories which were supposed to mix prescribed drugs for individual patients, not produce such compounded drugs in bulk.

It was the bulk production that caused the outbreak.

Was he making symbolic reparations with some of the money while keeping the rest?

Brown, who is warning about the “diseased” undocumented people bringing illness to the United States, also had sold his contributors’ contact list to an anti-vaccine conspiracy theory promoter, Newsmax, who sent out emails to them bearing Brown’s name.

One email claimed to offer “simple strategies…to prevent, treat, and reverse memory loss, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders.”

Another email had cited Dr. Russell Blaylock as an expert on health issues.

Among some of Blaylock’s medical gems are that the Soviet Union introduced AIDS into the United States, the CDC is not to be trusted, and Health Care reform was a Nazi thing.

So knowing this, it would be rather surprising if people put their faith in Scott Brown as an expert in diseases, or even see him as someone who has anything legitimate to say on the topic.

Heck, anyone who went to grammar school would wonder about his geographic grasp of borders.

But they will listen to him, and will buy what he sells.

After all, this is a man who has spoken with kings and queens to arrive at his political views.

 

Hail to the Czar

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Heard on the radio and have read on the internet, both in articles and the comments after them, that what is needed is that one unifying voice to filter out all the noise and rumors, and give the county direction regarding Ebola.

Of course, in the process of this, they are claiming it is Obama’s policies that have prevented this from happening.

Once again, those who created the situation are endeavoring to blame others for their own failure and their having been bought by the NRA.

 

If it’s Sunday…………

mccain

I am somewhat addicted to those Sunday morning talking head news panel shows.

I don’t get to see them as often as I used to now that I live closer to family and have weekly trips off Cape to visit them.

It seems, though, that regardless how many weeks might go by before I get to see one of those shows, Senator John McCain i always on.

Not only does he seem to have an opinion on just about everything, but he is on so often, and has so many opinions, that even he gets a little confuse when it comes to consistency.

He will oppose boots on the ground one week, demand boots on the ground another, and will round it off by condemning boots on the ground the third Sunday he shows up.

He spins from not arming rebels, to arming them, to not wanting to when t becomes obvious they are up to no good and using the arms we gave them in between McCain’s change of mind.

The government is too bloated, then it needs an Ebola Czar, even though he went against the Surgeon General nominee.

We are doing enough, too little, then some but not enough on most things.

The people who work for him in his office must be going crazy keeping track of his opinions and sides, or they have just given up and figure that it is so confusing, that people will remember only the lat thing he said.

His personal secretary must cringe when she is asked to read back a letter he has been dictating.

It used to be, “If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press”.

Now it seems to have become, “if it’s Sunday, it must be another day with John McCain”.

Name that disease.

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Guess the disease.

1) No one really cared when it seemed limited to a small percentage of the population.

2) No one cared when this small percentage of the population was comprised of people for which others found reasons to support their dislike of.

3) there was no money allotted to research until it seemed to enter the majority population

4) Facts about it were downplayed in favor of rumor and fear mongering

5) Pundits made wild statements about where it came from and how a person could get it.

6) Pundits began to attach politics to the disease.

7) Conservative politicians said that people with it were going to die anyway, so those with it should just be allowed to die, or be put away until they did.

Now here’s a hint:

In one disease money was denied to fund research because the disease was a “punishment” from God inflicted on those who were abominations. Funding only increased when it was discovered that this disease was already in the general population and had quietly been affecting the lives of the majority, something that was not noticed for a while as it is much easier to see an imagined concentration in a small population than in a large one.

Think: It is easier to find one Waldo in a three ring inflatable pool with very few people in it than it is to find a number of Waldos in a picture of a crowded beach.

In the other disease, according to Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health, a 10 year hold on spending on the agency has “slowed down” critical research. In that time period, 2004-2014, the budget had only increased by about $1 billion which may seem like a lot, but not if inflation is figured in.

A Democratic bill to boost the NIH’s budget to $46 billion by 2021 doesn’t seem to have a chance of getting anywhere.

According to Collins, since Ebola has been around for a while there could have been a vaccine, except, “NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here…Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

George W. Bush cut funding for the CDC in every budget , and under the Republican leadership it has had its funding cut by $600 billion since 2010.

Whereas the GOP wants to claim their budget cutting deals only with fat, in this case it has affected health.

So, when the people at Fox News are thanking Obama for Ebola, and are claiming he has no interest in curbing it, and when people like Phylis Schlafly and others claim that Obama wants Ebola to spread so America will suffer, the expressions of gratitude, the “Thanks, Obama”, are being directed away from those whose actions have had consequences.

And I won’t mention the health insurance thing, or that coincidentally, two diseases hit the big time, one under a Republican president, the other under a Republican led congress,and that in both cases it was the denial of funding by the GOP that allowed the disease to spread.

Perhaps because they originally were seen in the “others” first?

Texas logic

kids

As more and more states are beginning to stop their foolishness, and their citizens are getting more of their inalienable rights with which they have been endowed by their creator, there are still some people in some states grasping at straws to prevent same-sex marriage.

Oh, they will recognize the people as a sources of tax revenue, but they will not allow them to benefit from those taxes by getting the benefits marriage imparts under civil law.

Here’s an example of the lengths people will go.

Greg Abbot, the Attorney General of Texas who is running for governor there, has filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals claiming that his state’s ban on marriage equality should stand because it reduces the number of babies born out of wedlock.

If Gay people can’t get married, then straight people will stop having baby producing sex until after the wedding.

If they can, then straight people will be having wild, unfettered baby producing sex before it.

And as we all know, in Texas, where there is no marriage equality there are very few children born out of wedlock now.

And, he can prove it because he knows that if Gay people can get married straight couples will be less interested in getting married.

It’s all so clear and logical.

According to Abbott, “Texas’s marriage laws are rationally related to the State’s interest in encouraging couples to produce new offspring, which are needed to ensure economic growth and the survival of the human race. By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage, Texas’s marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society. Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy.”

Now how can that in any way explain why straight couples will not get married, or will stop having sex before marriage?

He goes on the say, “There is no ‘fundamental right’ to same-sex marriage,” because “Texas’s marriage laws do not expressly classify based on sexual orientation”, which means the laws are constitutional because they don’t specifically apply only to gay and bisexual people”.

Correct me if I am wrong, but laws banning people of the same sex from marrying seems to be connected somehow to dealing with sexual orientation.

What proof does he need to back up his contention that Gay people getting married will keep straight people from doing so?

He doesn’t have to offer any as his brief states, “The State is not required to show that recognizing same-sex marriage will undermine heterosexual marriage. It is enough if one could rationally speculate that opposite-sex marriages will advance some state interest to a greater extent than same-sex marriages will.”

The proof is merely “because”.

I am thinking about all the time, effort, and document searching I could have avoided when I took on the OKC school district, and anyone who is a plaintiff can spare themselves, if I, and they, could go to court and simply tell the judge “I am right, just because I said I was”.

Even though marriage equality has the benefit of increasing household wealth and adoptions that may provide a stable environment for children, Abbott believes the legislature, and not the court, should decide if Gay people get the rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence that says “all men” without any qualifiers.

God gives the rights, but the Texas legislature should have power over Him in deciding who gets them.

He gives them to “all”, and Texas decides “some”.

He dismissed, out of hand, any parallels between same-sex marriage and interracial ones.

Because, well, just because he said so.

Other Texas politicians in their stretch to protect the marriage bans dragged out the traditional warnings that marriage equality will lead to legalizing pedophilia, polygamy and incest.

And, God knows, those things have run amok in Massachusetts since marriage equality was allowed there.

Oh, wait. There is actual and measurable evidence that that is not what happens?

But he said it would, so it will. And, well, just because he said they would result.

Even when entities like Amazon, Google, Starbucks, Target, and the American Psychological and American Psychiatric Associations present their own experience as the basis for illustrating that positive effects come from allowing Gays and Lesbians to marry, this can be rejected because, well, just because.

So, whereas marriage equality was thought to be a threat just to heterosexual marriage because, apparently no marriage ever ended in divorce before Massachusetts, which has the second lowest rate of divorce, okayed marriage equality, according to Greg Abbot, the Attorney General of Texas, it is also a threat to the economy and the future of mankind as straight people will stop producing off-spring.

Wow. I mean, just wow.

Up until now we were just responsible for natural disaster and wars.