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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

We have heard the paranoia time-and-again.  Especially from North Korea.  Every time the U.S. and South Korea plan a training exercise, North Korea claims that it is really a cover for an invasion of the north.  We hear all sorts of bellicose rants from their “leader” about how the North will defend itself against these aggressive moves.

Unfortunately, we are now hearing the same paranoia from our own right-wing wackos.  That is right, we are hearing that a military exercise designed to train our special forces, as well as other parts of our military, that is being conducted in seven states this summer is really a conspiracy to enforce “martial law.”

This summer, the military is planning a training exercise in seven states.  In five of those states, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado special forces troops will be training.  In a statement, the U.S. military said:

Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15.

USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.

While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.

The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities. In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands.

The public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas. The most noticeable effect the exercise may have on the local communities is an increase in vehicle and military air traffic and its associated noise.

Military training exercises are nothing new.  They have been going on since there was a military.  It is the only way to make sure our troops are properly trained in performing their duty.  But, over at Infowars, Alex Jones, infamous for his conspiracy theories doesn’t believe the military.  His Infowars has started a crazed attack on the exercise.

For example, The Drudge Report aggregated a number of stories about the exercises, directing readers to Infowars—including a March 24 story that said the trainings in Utah and Texas led observers “to fears that traditionally conservative areas may be a simulated target for future domestic operations.”  Yeowee!

What their fears really boil down to is that the administration is secretly preparing for an “invasion” of Texas!  Don’t believe me?  Take this from a frightened Texas citizen’s reaction:

The idea that training among small towns in the USA is supposed to provide “realism” for operating in Afghanistan or Iraq is utterly absurd. For one thing, small towns in America don’t have teams of local rebels setting up roadside IEDs to destroy humvees and their occupants. Special Forces operatives are more likely to encounter people hurrying their way to Starbucks than trying to run any sort of armed resistance actions. No, military training on the streets of America isn’t “realistic” training for fighting wars overseas. It’s only “realistic” for military action that takes place on the streets of America itself.

Or how about this gentleman from “The Common Sense Show” who has become convinced that this is far more insidious even than a practice for the day the U.S. military launches martial law throughout Texas:

In recent days, I have learned that the reason that we are seeing Jade Helm activity in so many areas and we are also witnessing the prepositioning of massive military equipment, is because Jade Helm forces will isolate certain geographic areas, thus trapping a segment of the population and keep them from fleeing to other areas. The second part of Phase III of the Jade Helm operation will be the insertion of Special Forces death squads among the civilian population which will target key dissident leaders.

Really?  The military is going to insert Special Forces “death squads” to target key dissident leaders?  Just who might these “dissident leaders” be?  God-fearing Patriots, that’s who.  Groups like the Tea Party of course!  This gentleman from “The Common Sense Show” went on to say:

“Patriot groups across the country are preparing to launch a ‘Counter Jade Helm’ operation to keep tabs on a controversial U.S. military exercise that some fear is part of preparations to train troops for civil unrest and martial law”. Among those protesting the Jade Helm 15 drills are former Special Operations forces as well as many veterans groups. Along these lines, I am beginning to receive invitations to speak about Jade Helm to various groups including the Oath Keepers.

In case you don’t know who the Oath Keepers are, they are former and current members of the military who take an oath to disobey orders which violate the constitution. Who decides what the constitution says in these matters is apparently left up to Alex Jones.

Then there is this:

“It’s the same thing that happened in Nazi Germany: You get the people used to the troops on the street, the appearance of uniformed troops and the militarization of the police,” Bastrop resident Bob Wells told the Statesman after the meeting. “They’re gathering intelligence. That’s what they’re doing. And they’re moving logistics in place for martial law. That’s my feeling. Now, I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. I hope I’m a ‘conspiracy theorist.’”

The really scary part of all of this nonsense, is that the Governor of the State of Texas, Gregg Abbott, has bought into this stupidity.  Or, maybe he has always believed these conspiracy theories all along.  Anyway, yesterday, the AP reported:

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday asked the State Guard to monitor a U.S. military training exercise dubbed “Jade Helm 15″ amid Internet-fueled suspicions that the war simulation is really a hostile military takeover…

“It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott wrote. “By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans.”

So we now have a governor of one of our own states who is spurting out the same paranoia that North Korea spouts every time there is a training exercise in South Korea.  I guess paranoia is not the sole domain of North Korea.

In order to put this in proper perspective, Glenn Smith, the director of the Progress Texas PAC said:

“Abbott’s pandering to paranoid, secessionist fools would be comical if it wasn’t so costly and frightening.  Abbott has the state military confronting the U.S. military because some nut cases fear, what, armed U.S. takeover of Texas? Seriously? What next? Will Abbott call out the troops to protect us from alien abduction, abominable snowmen and Bigfoot, or should I say an invasion of Bigfeet?”

There you have it.  The U.S. military is conducting a training exercise that is really a  covert operation that is intended to “invade” Texas and impose Martial Law on its citizens.  Forget the fact that there are 15 military bases and hundreds of thousands of military personnel already stationed in Texas.

Remember one thing about Texas.  They are not about to give up on their paranoia anytime soon.  Just the other day, a Congressman from Texas announced that the riots in Baltimore were really being caused by “same-sex” marriage.  I am certain that Alex Jones and Abbott will be able to link this “invasion” of Texas to same-sex marriage too.

This is what happens when a major political party let’s their fringe take control.  Paranoia becomes mainstream!

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We have heard our Conservative Christian friends talk a whole lot about abortion and same-sex marriage.  Basically, they are against both.  Their concerns are based on religious beliefs and, in their opinion, should be banned from our planet, not just our country.

Let us assume for just one minute that these people actually have a religious belief based on the teachings of Jesus.  Don’t laugh, hear me out.  If these people do believe in the teachings of Jesus, why are they not crying loudly about another morally objectionable issue?  The idea of Income Inequality!

According to all four gospels of the new testament, Jesus taught that being rich does not get you into heaven.  He even said at one point “it is more difficult for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.”  Now, I am not a theologian, but that sure sounds like a put-down of rich people to me.

There is another passage where he tells people “to cast off all of your possessions and follow me.”  Again, that sounds like someone who is not in favor of material things.  Finally, to make matters even worse, when asked about paying their taxes to Rome, he said “give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and give unto God that which is God’s.”  In other words just pay your damn taxes!

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus praised the meek and the poor, but did not praise rich people.  Funny how Jesus seems to have left out the rich every time he wanted to praise some group of people.  It does make you wonder what he would be saying today, doesn’t it?

If these Conservative Christians are so pious, shouldn’t they be the loudest screamers about income inequality?  Shouldn’t they be the ones openly and vociferously supporting a $15 per hour minimum wage?  Shouldn’t they be the ones who support unions so they can continue their work to ensure a “fair share” of the profits for the working people?

Unfortunately, quite the opposite is true.  They are the ones who want to block the minimum wage increases needed.  They are the ones who demonize unions.  They are the ones who support paying women less than men for doing the same work.

If you go to most of these Conservative Christian churches, you will hear how if you are rich, “God is blessing you”.  If you are poor, “it is your fault for being lazy.”  If you are a working stiff trying to make ends need, you shouldn’t complain.  You should just “thank those rich people” for hiring you at those lousy wages.

The real shame in all of this is that the non-rich who attend these churches, buy into this crap.  They buy into it because they have fallen into the trap of believing what the idiot in the pulpit says because he “is a man of God.”  And, that proves that Conservative Christians are only interested in material gain and not the “souls” they claim to be saving.

The Conservative Christians and their political cronies all cry about this becoming a “godless country.”  Of course, they blame the left for making it so.  If America is becoming a “godless country” it is the fault of Conservative Christians.  It is their policies that have created a situation where the working wages of Americans has fallen to a low equal to 40 years ago, while the top 1% earnings has increased over 300 times what it was 40 years ago.

But saying that they have become “godless” isn’t exactly true.  Rather, we should be calling them out for making the dollar their “God.”  That is the only “religious” belief system they follow.  All Hail The Almighty Dollar!  Maybe those crosses in their churches should be replaced with dollar bills.  Then they would be honest about their “god.”

Anyone who wishes to call himself a Christian, should follow the teachings of the person whom they claim to be following.  Christianity is supposed to be about compassion for the downtrodden.  It is supposed to be about loving your neighbor.  Don’t take my word for it, read the gospels and you will see I am right.

Christianity is supposed to be a religion of “love and peace.”  Conservative Christians have made it a religion of hate and discrimination.  In his fictitious “War on Christmas”, the self-anointed prophet, Bill O’Reilly says we shouldn’t take “Christ out of Christmas.”  Why not?  Conservative Christians have taken “Christ out of Christianity.”

It is my opinion that these people need to just shut the f… up!  Maybe then we can get on with making America better for all of its citizens!

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The violence that erupted in Baltimore yesterday is a tragedy.  I also believe that it serves no purpose in changing opinions and/or views.  I have always spoken out against violence.  I lived through the riots in the 60s and I was against the violence then.

I did participate in protests in my past.  I protested for civil rights and against the Vietnam War.  But, I refused to partake in any violent act.  I considered violence as counter-productive to any cause.  Violence will only turn independent thinkers against what you are trying to achieve.

I supported Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his non-violence approach to civil rights.  As a truth in that struggle, the violence that was perpetrated against the non-violent protesters helped sway the American people in favor of backing the Civil Rights Bill.

Unfortunately, what has happened in Baltimore was bound to happen.  If not in Baltimore, it would have happened somewhere else.  In the last ten to twenty years, we have seen a dramatic increase in deaths during arrests.  I am not even going to suggest that all of these deaths were the result of bad cops going beyond their authority.

However, I am going to say that way too many of these deaths were a direct result of bad cops going beyond their authority.  The fatal blow came when the police departments failed to take credible action against those bad cops.  It came when prosecutors refused to press charges against these bad cops.  As a result, these bad cops received indirect approval of their bad actions and they continued.

This is not something that has taken place in the last couple of years.  It has been going on for at least a full generation, if not longer.  Police Officers have a very difficult job.  They actually do put their lives on the line for the general public.  But, when bad cops abuse their power and target any specific group of people, then go unpunished for their acts, everyone loses.

I have worked closely with several police departments across this country.  I personally know there are bad cops in every police department.  I have met them.  I have heard them.  However, police departments, in the cause of unity among its members, are very slow to punish these bad cops.  It is almost like they are afraid that if they punish the bad cops, it will put everyone else in a bad light.

Quite the opposite is true.  If a police department refuses to punish their bad cops, it makes the public believe all cops are bad.  It makes the public very suspect of anyone in a police uniform.  As a result, when something like happened in Baltimore takes place, the public is suspect of any “investigation” the police department may conduct.  It will also make the finding of such an investigation suspect.

When you put together that with the over-militarization of police forces, something is going to break.  When people feel helpless against the very department that is supposed to protect them, violence won’t be far behind.

I am sure that the violence in Baltimore has nothing to do with the case.  It is as the mayor said thugs taking advantage of a bad situation.  Those people should be caught and held accountable for their actions.  On the other hand, it will be unfair to categorize all protesters as violent extremists.  Until yesterday, all of the protests were peaceful.

It is time that this country has a real dialogue on police activities and police extremisms.  Every person who puts on a police uniform is not a “good guy.”  Many people who wear a police uniform should not be allowed to because of their bigoted views.

It only exacerbates the situation when departments and unions defend bad behavior simply because the bad behavior was conducted by someone in uniform.  The uniform should not be a shield used to protect bad behavior.  It should be used as a symbol of what good behavior is supposed to look like.

Violence is deplorable in all fashions.  That includes the riots that have taken place in Baltimore.  It also includes the violence perpetrated against the civilian population by bad cops.  Both have to stop.  Both have to be addressed properly.

In order for a police department to be successful in reducing crime, it needs the help of the public.  How can police departments expect the help they need when the public doesn’t trust them?

In a lecture I once gave, I said that perception is the driving force behind whether or not crime is a problem.  I told the audience that if people perceive that there is a crime problem, there is one.  If people believe there is no crime problem, there isn’t one.  That perception cannot be changed regardless of what the statistics say.

That includes whether or not the public will trust the police as well.  Until police departments start proving they will weed out the “bad cops” the perception will be that all cops are bad.  We all know that is untrue.  But, perception of things drives our trust.  As an unfortunate result, Baltimore may not be the last place we see violence over these kinds of cases.

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Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage.  It is expected that by late June, it will render its decision declaring whether or not same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.  A lot of experts are saying it will rule in favor of same-sex marriage, but I am not so sure.  I never try to figure out how 9 people will rule on any issue.  I hope they rule in favor of same-sex marriage, but I won’t hold my breath.

According to last weeks ABC/Washington Post survey, a full 61 percent of Americans favor legalizing same-sex marriage.  That is the largest margin in favor of the subject in history.  Republicans like to say that they only support “what the people want.”  Yet, the vast majority of Republican Candidates are opposed to same-sex marriage.

I have never understood the reasoning behind their utter hatred for the matter.  They often come out with ridiculous commentary about how same-sex marriages will “ruin the very fabric” of America.  Just how two people who love each other getting married will “ruin the very fabric” of America seems to escape me.

They claim their opposition is religious.  They cite the bible as the reason for their hatred against homosexuals.  Yet, in the New Testament, the testament that is supposed to be the one that Christianity is based on, has no such discriminatory language against homosexuals.  It takes some real “poetic liberty” to claim that any passage in the New Testament says homosexuals are “sinners.”

Besides that, this was the same type of argument that was used in order to ban bi-racial marriages in the past.  The haters then claimed that the bible said that blacks and whites were not to be married.  In truth, the whole Jim Crow laws were based on this false claim of biblical justification.

These candidates also say that our country was founded on the Judeo-Christian values.  That is not true.  The mere fact that the founding fathers needed to include the “separation of church and state” in the constitution says that they intended this to be a secular country that allows religious practice no matter what your religion is.  That is a far cry from being a Judeo-Christian country.

One of the funniest arguments to me is that same-sex marriage will destroy traditional marriage.  No one on that side of the argument has ever pointed to one definitive fact that makes this claim even remotely plausible.  I am still waiting for that nice Christian family to have a divorce because a same-sex married couple moved into the area and that caused their marriage to break-up.

I believe that if you really look closely at the demise of the “traditional family” values in America, it isn’t because of homosexuals and their desire to be married.  It is due to the simple fact that over 50% of marriages in America end in divorce.  The number one cause of divorce in America isn’t the homosexual “agenda” it is infidelity!  On top of that, many of the fighters against same-sex marriage have been married multiple times.  Isn’t that something that is against religious beliefs?

The purveyors of this hatred towards homosexuals has nothing to do with religion.  It has to do with politics.  Pure and simple.  According to Ted Cruz, if same-sex marriage is legalized in all 50 states, “religious liberty” will absolutely go away.  His stupidity is based on the fact that he thinks anyone who favors same-sex marriage is part of the “fascist liberals” who hate Christianity.

Of course, Ted Cruz’s idea of “religious freedom” is that you are allowed to discriminate against anyone you don’t like, as long as you can say “the bible tells me so.”  He constantly talks about the constitution, yet he continuously puts his interpretation of that book ahead of the constitution.

This hatred towards homosexuals, as I said, is pure politics.  In that survey I mentioned above, a full 70% of conservatives are opposed to same-sex marriage.  Since it has become necessary to gain the conservative support in order to win the Republican nomination for president, it is no wonder this topic is front-and-center in their debates.

I don’t know which rings more hollow.  Ted Cruz and his opponents ramblings about “religious liberty” or Ted Cruz’s comment that he would love his daughter just as much if she came out as homosexual.  That, at least to me, was a stunning comment on his part.  He may love his daughter as much if she were homosexual, but he would still fight to place her in a second-class citizenship position without all the rights of everyone else who isn’t homosexual.

Even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, this hatred will not go away.  You will see Cruz and others on his side of the aisle try to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriage.  Of course, they will be doing this in the name of “religious liberty.”

The term “religious liberty” has been dusted off by today’s conservatives in order to sway you into believing that discrimination is “constitutional” in America.  They want you to believe that they are the only people who are “smart enough” to decide who shall benefit from civil rights.  You simply have to sit back and let them make the rules, even if you don’t agree with them.

And, that is the definition of fascism!  In spite of what Mr. Cruz says, there has never been a “liberal fascist” regime in the world.  Even the Communist regime in Russia and China were not based on liberalism, it was based on conservatism.  Liberalism is allowing people to live their lives with civil rights protections so they cannot be discriminated against because they are different.

I am not a member of any religious group or sect.  Yet, I do not favor the idea that the state should order religions to perform same-sex marriages.  That should be left for them to decide.  There are Christian churches that do recognize and even perform same-sex marriages.  That is true “religious liberty” that is protected under the Constitution.

On the other hand, I do not believe that any religion has the right to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.  That is not “religious liberty,” it is “religious dictatorship.”  In its Citizens United ruling, the Supreme Court opened up our electoral process to the highest bidder.  Something that Campaign Finance Laws were intended to prevent.

What will be the fallout should the Supreme Court uphold the bans on same-sex marriage?  Which “different” group will be next in the crosshairs of the conservatives?  Will it be immigrants?  Will it be women?  Will it be blacks?  Will it be Catholics?  Will it be Muslims?  Will it be Methodists?  How soon will it be before only “White Conservative Evangelical Christians” are the only group protected by the Constitution?

If you wish to scoff at these questions, you are probably part of the problem.  If you scoff at these questions and are not part of that “White Conservative Evangelical Christian” group, you will not scoff for long.  A ruling against same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court will mark the opening of further legalized discrimination laws in many states.

When the haters win, society loses.  When haters win, the end of our democracy isn’t far behind and the beginning of Christian Sharia Law with its terrorism will follow quickly behind!

 

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Twenty years ago, in Oklahoma City, a truck blew up next to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  168 people were killed in that explosion, including many children who were at a daycare center in the building.  This was, at the time, the worst terrorist attack on American soil.  The terrorist was not a Muslim.  It was a crazed insurrectionist named Timothy McVeigh.

The anniversary of this horrific event passed this past Sunday.  And, hardly anyone noticed.  At the time of the bombing, I was working as a Security Manager and I actually knew people who worked in the building.  One person I knew as injured, and another was killed.  So, this anniversary means something to me.

Yet, as we watch the political landscape change over that 20 years, we are beginning to hear some of the very same words that McVeigh used to justify his bombing.  The problem is that these words are coming from people actually wanting to be President.

Two years before the bombing, McVeigh told a student reporter at the 1993 Waco standoff:

The government is afraid of the guns people have because they have to have control of the people at all times. Once you take away the guns, you can do anything to the people. You give them an inch and they take a mile. I believe we are slowly turning into a socialist government. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control.

Then, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne La Pierre tried to justify his own insurrectionist language in a letter he sent to NRA members on Meet the Press.  He wrote in his fundraising letter:

It doesn’t matter to them that the [federal Assault Weapons Ban] gives jack-booted government thugs more power to take away our constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property, and even injure or kill us. Not too long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens.

Just a few days later, former President George H. W. Bush resigned his membership in the NRA.  In his letter he said:

Your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.

It would be nice to say that things calmed down after all of this.  And, for a time, it seemed to do just that.  But today, we are hearing the same kind of insurrectionist rhetoric from actual Republican Candidates for President of the United States of America.

That crafty Canadian Senator Ted Cruz wrote a fundraising letter to his supporters.  In it he said:

The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t for just protecting hunting rights, and it’s not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right… to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny–for the protection of liberty.

There was very little criticism from Republicans or conservatives about this item.  Senator Lindsey Graham tried to say something, but it was extremely weak criticism at best.  He said “well, we tried that once in South Carolina. I wouldn’t go down that road again. I think an informed electorate is probably a better check than, you know, guns in the streets.”

Graham is looking to run for President himself.  It might appear that he would take a little harsher view of Cruz’s viewpoint on this matter.  But that won’t happen.  Remember Graham bragged about owning an AR-15 so he could shoot people in his neighborhood following a natural disaster.  How is that for Presidential material?

Of course, the crazies need to outdo even Ted Cruz.  Dr. Ben Carson, speaking at the NRA national meeting in Nashville in April said:

As I got a little older and approached the teen years, I saw a lot of guns. They weren’t necessarily carried by people who were law-abiding citizens, either and I remember seeing people lying on the ground with bullet holes waiting to die. I remember both of my older cousins who we lived with were killed and I remember the drug dealers, many of whom we liked because they brought us candy. I remember the days when they would be killed and there was a lot of carnage that I saw. And then as a surgeon, I spent many a night operating on people with gunshot wounds to their heads; and all of that is horrible. But I can tell you something. It is not nearly as horrible as having a population that is defenseless against a group of tyrants who have arms and that’s what we have to always bear in mind in this nation.

And since the NRA meeting became a Republican presidential campaign event, Ted Nugent just had to get into the act as well.  Nugent is the wacko who is a NRA Board Member and had once mused about shooting Senator Harry Reid claiming our “government has turned on us.”  But to be certain his message was clear, he went on to say:

Go forth into that quiet night and let our government know we want separation of powers. Tell them to be the watchdogs our Founding Fathers wanted them to be, not to be a united force against the citizens. So take this good [guns] and use it against the bad and the ugly. It’s a target rich environment. If it was duck season, there’d be so many ducks, you could just close your eyes and shoot ’em. Don’t close your eyes and don’t shoot just yet, but plow forward and demand accountability … So now let’s take all that good and crush the bad and the ugly, when we identify the gun-grabbers and freedom-haters.

If this all sounds familiar, it is because it is.  Go to any of the fascist groups website, and you will find very similar language there.  It is almost like Ted Cruz is getting his material from one of these fringe hate groups.

While we are at it, something that isn’t being talked about very much is the fact that an anti-government group called “The Oath Keepers” have gathered at the Sugar Pine Mine in Oregon to provoke another standoff with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents attempting to temporarily shut it down due to the violation of federal regulations.

Or, do you remember the T-Shirt that Timothy McVeigh was wearing on the day he blew up the government building in Oklahoma City?  He got the shirt at a gun show.  It had a picture of President Abraham Lincoln on the front with the words “SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS [THUS ALWAYS TO TYRANTS].” On the back, it featured an excerpt of a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “THE TREE OF LIBERTY MUST BE REFRESHED FROM TIME TO TIME WITH THE BLOOD OF PATRIOTS AND TYRANTS.”

It is sickening enough to me that 20 years after we buried 168 people who were victims of that horrific terrorist act, we are hearing the same rhetoric as Timothy McVeigh used.  The real troubling part is that this rhetoric is not just coming from fringe elements, but from our Republican Politicians who wish to be President!  If they are so comfortable using insurrectionist language to get elected, what kind of country would they usher in if elected?

But, it is a very bad omen that indicates just how tight of a grip the NRA has on the Republican Party.  If the NRA and presidential candidates like Cruz and Carson keep spouting such nonsense, how long will it be before the next Timothy McVeigh takes another shot at the government and kills hundreds of people?

Twenty years ago I wept for the loss of people I knew in Oklahoma City.  Six years later I wept again over the loss of friends I lost during the 9/11 attack.  To me, there is no difference between these two terrorist attacks.  Except that today, some people running for President scream about the second, but seem to support the first.  The first is even more frightening to me because it was carried out by a citizen of our country.  It is harder to stop people like McVeigh than a foreign terrorist.

I just hope that as a nation we find the strength to slap these insurrectionists down and shut them up.  If not……

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Tennessee obviously want to lead the way in the anti-woman agenda bill competition.  Of course, just passing such anti-woman bills is not enough.  They also have to call women liars and cheats.  Then the get to call doctors as money-grubbing sloths only interested in the abortion “business” for money only.

This all started with HB 977.  In this bill, the GOP wants to make women wait 48 hours and attend “counseling” before having an abortion provided.  This is simply another attempt by a GOP controlled state to make women go through nonsensical non-scientific “counseling” before having the abortion they, their families, and doctor have all agreed to.

See, women are not allowed to make up their own minds on such subjects.  The GOP obviously believes that women are simply too stupid to make any decisions by themselves.  No, once they make their decision, the GOP must abuse them with “counseling” that is ridiculous and meaningless.  Unless, of course, you want bully a woman into changing here mind.

Still, Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D) proposed an exemption for victims of rape or incest.   Needless to say, GOP lawmaker is Sheila Butt went bonkers.  According to Rep. Butt, this is just a political stunt.  She said:

This amendment appears political because we understand that in most instances, this is not verifiable. Let’s make sure these women have the information and the understanding to act.

This nice “Christian” lady from Tennessee believes that you cannot verify that a woman was raped or a victim of incest.  Apparently, every time a woman claims she is a victim of one of these horrendous crimes, she is simply lying in order to get around this abysmal law.

Fitzhugh then had the unmitigated gall to suggest that women are actually able to comprehend both the magnitude of deciding to terminate a pregnancy and the gravity of rape and incest.  He said:

I just don’t think women take something like rape or incest lightly. And I can’t imagine any person would take advantage of that type of situation. Fortunately or unfortunately, it may not happen much. But it is certainly a condition that women need to be protected from, and that we should not give them a more burdensome process because their pregnancy is a result of one of these two actions.

Unfortunately, Rep. Butt and the other GOP butts in the house voted to “table” Fitzhugh’s amendment.  So, it won’t be part of the bill which is surely going to be signed by the state’s biggest GOP butt, the Governor.

But, don’t think that his is the only instance of Rep. Butt showing off her ignorance.  Earlier Fitzhugh offered a different amendment.  He wanted allow doctors to exempt patients from the 48-hour waiting period for mental health reasons.  Rep. Butt once again showed her “Christian Charity” on this matter.  She said:

Putting this psychological harm bypass into the bill is really a loophole for the abortion industry. It allows someone who is going to profit from abortion to get the waiting period waived.

Just to be clear about all of this.  According to Rep. Butt, every woman who claims to have been raped or a victim of incest is a liar.  Every doctor who wants to grant an exemption to this “waiting period” is simply out for the money.  It is really nice to see just how sympathetic this woman is to other women.

Bills like these are simple attempts to legislate specific religious beliefs into law.  They serve no other purpose.  Other than attempting to control the lives of women.  It is open season on women across the nation.

As I wrote yesterday, none of this nonsense being vomited up by conservatives has anything to do with religion or religious beliefs.  It is all a simple way to keep women down and under control.  And it stinks.  And it is wrong.  In my humble opinion, the GOP is using “terrorism” against women to deny them their civil rights.  But don’t worry, even if you believe they are correct, once they get women “back in their place” they will come after you, too.

 

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It is very easy for people on the left to poke fun at our conservative brothers.  It seems that almost every day some conservative says something that most rational people would consider inappropriate.  It also is true that almost every day a conservative controlled state passes another law that infringes on the rights of its citizens, all in the name of “liberty.”

There has been a lot of talk about these so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, anti-abortion bills, one state even passed a law that allows for carrying concealed guns without a license!”  Conservatives are continually railing about the “red menace” still threatening our way of life.  They argue the Iran Nuclear Deal is “giving in” to Iran.  They continue to harp that the ACA is bad for your health, although they don’t have any alternative to offer.

Conservatives deny that climate change is real.  There are states like Florida that actually ban public workers from using the words “climate change.”  They claim that man has had no influence on the weather.  Texas conservatives are hugely against doing anything about “climate change” all the while the western end of their state is getting hotter and drier by the day.

But, rather than poking fun at these conservatives, I think it would be better to try to understand them, just a little.  That is the only way to really fight back and gain the support of the American People.  See, conservatives are really living in the past.  Conservatism by definition favors the status-quo and hates progress.

Face facts, do you really think that all of the crying about evolution and not teaching the bible in school has anything to do with religion?  No!  It has to do with the fact that conservatives want to remain in a time when bad things that happen like drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes could all be handled by saying it was “God’s will.”  If you allow science to teach something other than “God’s will” you don’t have any basis for your fantasies.

As I said once before, the phrase “it’s God’s Will” is a convenient excuse to believe that nothing is really anyone’s fault.  That explains their consistent denial about climate change.  They want you to believe that man is not helping the climate to get warmer, it is “God’s Will.”  Therefore we just have to put up with it.

Conservatives use the abortion battle to say “life begins at conception.”  But what they are really saying is that they want to be able to tell women what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do.  The last thing a conservative wants is for women to decide for themselves or for that matter even think for themselves.  In our days of yore, women were subjugated to the will of men.  That is how they want it to be in the future.

As a result of their backwards thinking, they have nothing to offer America except fear.  The Red Menace is still a threat.  ISIS is coming to America to kill us all in our sleep.  Gay couples are destroying the American family and the institution of marriage.  None of this is true, but they do make for great headlines.  Especially aimed towards other conservatives who are afraid that tomorrow will be different from today.

So, how do we fight against such backwards thinking?  We need to call them out for their stupidity, yes, but we also need to educate the populace on how this kind of backward thinking is ruining our economy, defense, and country.  Let’s look at climate change as an example something the DOD even says is a threat to national security.  See, everyone who is fighting the conservatives on climate change are making the wrong arguments.  If you really want to see a change in our energy policies, you need to hit them where it will hurt the most.  People’s pocketbooks!

Those who are arguing that fossil fuels are hurting the planet are correct.  But, they don’t take the argument far enough.  They only talk about how climate change is changing our planet.  That is serious enough, but if you want to get everyone on board, you need to show that changing our energy policies to renewable energy will actually create a boom to our economy.  You need to show that these conservatives are really stopping the creation of millions of jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Using renewable energy, like wind and solar power, helps reduce the costs of energy for every single American.  It reduces energy costs for manufacturing and other businesses.  It creates jobs that cannot be outsourced.  It creates education opportunities so people who currently work in the fossil fuel industry, like coal miners, can learn a new trade and secure economic stability in the future.

I don’t know a single business owner who would not like to see their electric bill cut.  I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t like to see their heating and air conditioning bill cut.  This can happen if we stop using fossil fuels whose costs are subject to the whims of Wall Street.

Of course changing our energy policies costs money.  We need to rebuild our energy infrastructure.  We need to upgrade our electric producing plants.  We need to reeducate our workers so they can benefit from the changes.  However, in terms of return on investment, we would probably recover these costs in less than 20 years.

It doesn’t matter to me if the rest of the world is going to follow us or not.  In my opinion, they will be forced to follow us because using renewable, cheaper energy will make America more competitive in the global market.  It will allow us to restore our manufacturing base at a lower cost, thus creating even more jobs.  More people working at livable wages means more tax dollars coming into the Federal coffers.  More money in the treasury will help pay off our debt.

The conservatives want to eliminate things like SNAP, WIC, and welfare.  What better way to eliminate the need for these programs than to create an environment where people can actually get a real job that cannot be given to someone in China?  What better way to help the poor than teaching them a trade that they can earn a livable wage with?

But no, conservatives would rather fall back on their tried and true method of claiming that climate change is “God’s Will.”  They are not interested in creating a better future for our country.  They are not interested in creating a better future for our children.  They are only interested in living in the past.  That is where they feel safe.  That is where they feel in control.

It isn’t hard to show the economic benefits that the average American can acquire if we change our policies.  Just look at what we gained from NASA and the space program?  Hell, we never had Tang before the space program.  We didn’t have personal computers either.

The benefits of changing energy policies would have just as much benefit to the average American as the space program had.  Maybe even more because these policy changes would put money into people’s pockets.  It would create job security.  It would return our manufacturing base.  It would create more research into things like cars that don’t need to burn gasoline or be limited to a few hundred miles on a battery charge.

It is time we show the American people that conservatism is holding back our economic growth.  It is holding us back from a future that would be far better than the present.  Be honest, you are not going to win the argument by telling people that New York City will be underwater in 100 years.  The people today won’t be around then, and frankly don’t care.

But, if you tell them they will gain economically by a shift in energy policies, if you show them that their children will have a more secure lifestyle, they will listen.  It doesn’t matter if you earn $1 Billion per year or $10,000 per year.  It is all about personal economics.  That is where we need to take the battle.

Naturally the conservatives will use the argument that it will “cost too much.”  But, the American people have shown in that past that if they benefit from changes, they won’t care how much it costs.  They will want it.  That is how you beat conservatives and take our country into a better future for our citizens.

 

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