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Archive for the ‘Gender Issues’ Category

In 1960, John F. Kennedy ran for President.  John F. Kennedy was Catholic.  In our long history, only one other Catholic won a party’s nomination for President before Kennedy.  That was Al Smith who lost big-time.  When Kennedy won the primary for the Democratic nomination, the protestant population had a fit.

The argument ran that if Kennedy was a Catholic, he would disregard the Constitution in favor of his Church’s teachings.  This, according to the protestants was not only wrong and dangerous, but also treasonous.  How could a Catholic protect the rights of non-Catholics if he followed the teachings of the Pope?

Kennedy was forced to give a speech telling the American people that he was first and foremost an American.  He assured the population that he would not abandon the Constitution in order to follow his church’s teachings.  He said that although he was a Catholic, his faith would not dictate his handling of the Constitution and the rights it afforded.

In 1960, Kennedy won a very hotly contested election against Richard Nixon.  Some on the Republican side even called it controversial.  In either case, Kennedy won over the majority of the people with his I am an American first speech.

Today, we are facing a similar problem.  At last count, there are 16 people running for President on the Republican side.  Every one of these candidates are in step with the “conservative social agenda” of the Republican Party.  In a word, they are instep with a “religious” belief that says their religion trumps the Constitution.

You can look at just about every issue in their “conservative social agenda” and see that they don’t give a hoot about the Constitution.  Rather, they believe in their religious teachings as being “superior” to the Constitution.  If that was a troubling aspect of the 1960 election involving Kennedy, why isn’t it a troubling aspect of the 2016 election?

The biggest block of the “conservative social agenda” is the anti-abortion stance.  The major argument against abortion used by these candidates is that they are “saving the lives of the unborn.”  However, the definition of “life” and when it starts is a matter of personal determination.

Conservatives of all religions believe life starts with conception.  That is their right to believe that.  Others however, believe that life begins much later.  Therefore, having an abortion before the time they believe “life” begins is not wrong.  Conservatives cannot abide by that definition.  Theirs is the only definition they want to allow.  This is not based on science, it is based on religious beliefs.

As a result, their stance against abortions is a purely “religious” belief that they think trumps the Constitution and the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.  They say your belief of when life begins is wrong.  They say you must abide by their religious belief.

The argument against same-sex marriage follows similar lines.  The conservatives are constantly claiming that “God” defined marriage as between one man and one women.  But, their argument runs out of steam as soon as you realize that polygamy was a standard practice among the ancient Jews.  Especially the “royals” of the ancient Jews.  If marriage was defined by “God” as between one man and one woman, why were so many kings of the Jews married to so many women at the same time?

Also, if they truly believe that God defined marriage as between one man and one woman, and that their religious marriage ceremony ends with the words: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” how can they defend divorce and remarriage?  How is it that the state should recognize remarriage as being “legal” with all the rights defined in by law?

If conservatives really believe in what they are preaching, shouldn’t people who are divorced and remarried to someone else be denied the same rights they want to deny same-sex couples?  Shouldn’t inheritance of a second spouse be taxed as if that person was not a spouse?  Shouldn’t companies deny health coverage to that second spouse since they aren’t really married?  Isn’t divorce and remarriage an attack against “traditional marriage?”

Let us assume for just one minute that these Republican Candidates really believe what they are saying.  Let us for just one minute believe that these candidates are really that “religious.”  Shouldn’t that make the rest of us ask them the same questions that Kennedy faced?  Shouldn’t that make the rest of us believe that they will disregard the Constitution anytime they believe it conflicts with their religious beliefs?

The Constitution is very clear in its stance of the separation of church and state.  It even says you cannot force people to make a religious commitment to hold office.  Yet, all of these Republican Candidates are trying to do just that.  They are trying to force religion down our throats.  They are trying to use their “religious beliefs” as a rallying cry to openly deny civil rights to those who don’t follow their teachings.

The biggest difference between these candidates and Kennedy is that Kennedy never used his religion as a reason for his election.  Each of these candidates are pandering to specific religious sects in order to get their votes.  They are openly defying the basic principle of the separation of church and state.

That alone should be enough to disqualify every one of them from holding the office of President.  It is very obvious that these candidates are not interested in “Protecting the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  Rather they are all in favor of eliminating the Constitution from our lives.  Only their beliefs matter.  If you think differently, you lose!

I predict that if any of these Republicans win in November 2016, and their wacko friends are still in control of Congress, you will one day be walking down the street and a man in a leather coat will walk up and say “papers please.”  Forcing your religion on everyone else cannot be successful without real control over people’s lives.  That may be “religiously” acceptable, but it is unconstitutional.

 

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In a couple of weeks the Republicans will hold their first debate of the 2016 Presidential Race.  Yeah, I know, it is probably too early for such things, but after all, it is only about six months away from Iowa and New Hampshire.  So, with a total of 16 candidates, and probably more before the whole thing gets really going, they probably think it is time to weed out some of the less likely successful candidates.

The problem I am having with the current crop, isn’t that they are running.  It is what is coming out of their mouths.  A lot of people in the media, especially on the left, are calling a number of the current crop of Republicans “wackos” or “cuckoo-birds” or “clowns.”  Sorry, I won’t buy into that description.  It is far worse than that.

The problem I see is that these people are actually describing their vision of what America should look like.  They are actually, for once, being honest about their hatred for everything a democracy is supposed to be.  They are showing us, with their own words, that if there was ever a crop of candidates running for President that really hate America, they are it.

There is the vulgar, bloviated Trump calling immigrants “rapists” and disparaging former POWs.  We have the ALEC mouth-piece Walker telling America that unions should all be banned and we should be happy with whatever the company says we should be paid or how many hours we should work.  We have the Canadian Senator Cruz hating anything that has to do with governing or compromise for the common good.  We have the theocratic hypocrite Huckabee saying a deal with Iran “will lead the Israeli’s to the gas chamber.”

Then we have the more “moderate” Republicans like Bush, the brother of one of the worst President’s in our history talking about taking away abortion rights and reproductive rights from women and eliminating Medicare.   Then we have that outreach candidate Rubio who claims that “no one wants bad air or water” yet is calling for the elimination of the very agency responsible to protect our air and water, the EPA.  His reason?  It is hurting his rich donors who rely on polluting our air and water to make their millions.

The list goes on and on.  Everyone of these “candidates” seems to find something about democracy that totally disgusts them.  They constantly tell the American people, they are only trying to listen to the American People.  Yet, they continuously vote against the very laws that the vast majority of Americans want passed.  When I say “vast majority” I am referring to poll numbers at 70% or more.  How is that listening to the American People?  Simple, you are NOT  the American People, unless you belong to the top 1% of the income earners.

In several states, photo ID cards are required to vote in person.  Yet, these same states have very lax laws pertaining to absentee voters.  It is far easier to cast an improper vote by absentee ballot than at the polls.  Yet, they claim they are just protecting the ballot box.  Of course the only people who will have trouble getting their photo ID will be young people, poor people, and old people.  All people who Republicans don’t want to vote at all.

Women’s rights have been under attack since the country was founded.  Women have always been classified as “second-class citizens.”  They weren’t even allowed to vote until 1920.  Republicans want to control how they live their lives, how many children they must have, and what decisions they can make for themselves.  According to Republican candidates, women are not capable of putting together a “rational” thought.

If women are allowed to participate in the job market, Republicans say they must accept less money for doing the same job as their male counterparts who are doing the exact same work.  Why?  Because they are women, pure and simple.  They don’t have the same economic needs as men do.  Besides, women should be kept at home, barefoot and pregnant.  They should be totally dependent upon men for their lives.

Republican candidates are all up in arms about the Iran Nuclear Deal.  As mentioned, Huckabee claims it will lead to the next holocaust for the Jews.  The funny thing about all of this is that the largest area of anti-Semitism in this country is in the south.  You know, places like the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas.  More synagogues and Jewish Cemeteries are defaced in the south than in any other part of the country.

I have always found it funny that the Republicans claim to be the biggest supporters of Israel when the vast majority of their constituency are mostly anti-Semitic.  Since groups like the KKK and Aryan Nation and others have their headquarters in these states, it doesn’t take a lot of thought to know this is true.

Republicans, led by their propaganda machine Fox News, has shown continuously that they don’t like the idea of talking about people of color being killed by Police.  They always turn the tables and say that if that person of color just followed the police officer’s orders, they “might” still be alive.  I like that “might” they always seem to throw in there.  When things like “Black Lives Matter” come up as slogans to stop police violence, they try to turn the tables and come up with things like “All Lives Matter.”

They then cry when someone calls out that it isn’t white people being systematically murdered by police officers.  They refuse to reasonably discuss the possibility that maybe, just maybe, these police officers are in the wrong and not the victims.  But that would mean having to actually acknowledge that this country still has a race problem.  Something they refuse to even consider.

Their latest gambit is their cry for “religious liberty.”  According to them, if your religion says it is okay to discriminate against someone else, then it is legal to discriminate against them.  If your religion says it is wrong to have an abortion, you must stop everyone else from getting an abortion.  If your religion says it is wrong to use contraceptives, then no one should be allowed to use them.  If you are a Muslim, you should be put on a “watch-list” since you are obviously a terrorist.  And to help things out here, you are not supposed to be allowed to immigrate here.

That is their definition of “religious liberty.”  To them, “religious liberty” means that they are free to believe what they want.  You on the other hand must believe what they do.  If you don’t, you get no civil rights.  If you don’t believe what they do, you are second-class citizens.  If you are a minority, you must “do as you are told” and not think for yourself.

The Christianity I was taught says we are supposed to “help” the poor.  The Republican idea of “helping” the poor is to eliminate the social safety net.  Medicaid?  Who needs medical insurance if you are poor?  Medicare?  No, get a voucher and spend thousands of dollars you don’t have to keep your insurance.  Social Security?  Why are so many people living so long?  If they outlive their “expire-by-date” let them just fade away.

According to them, Christianity is really all about helping the rich get richer.  It is all about making sure the poor louts stay poor.  It is about letting the sick and elderly just die away to save money.  It is all about cutting public education funding.  Poor kids are supposed to stay poor, so why bother to educate them.  Women should know their place.  They are nothing but homemakers and baby-factories.  Like children, women should be seen and not heard.  Their only purpose in life is to “serve” their man and spread their legs whenever they are told.

That is what these 16 Republican Candidates are offering our country.  That is what they believe America should be.  They want America to be a white society, run by rich white men, and bereft of everyone else.  That is their utopia.  That is their definition of the American Dream.  If you are a worker, you don’t have the right to the American Dream.  Just shut up and accept what pennies they throw at you for your labor.

Jobs?  Health Insurance?  Livable Wage?  Union Representation?  Women’s Rights?  Civil Rights?  Those are all “socialist” or worse yet “communist” ideas.  They have no place in America.  They have no place in our society.  They are all evil ideas put forth by “Satan.”  But, don’t take my word for it.  Just listen to the trash coming out of their mouths.

My first impulse is not to watch the first debate on August 6.  But, it is also like watching a train-wreck.  You hate what you are seeing, but can’t take your eyes off of it.  The problem is that if any one of these dangerous people actually make it to the White House, that train-wreck will be America.  That is the real danger facing us.

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I am not really sure what to say about the political environment today.  We have been ensnared into falling into two basic camps.  Conservative or Liberal.  But, as everyone really knows, that is insane.  The American people as a whole are neither conservative nor liberal.  I believe that the vast majority of the American people are in the middle.

There are arguments about whether or not we are middle-left or middle-right.  I really think it depends on who is running for office.  Yes, there are pockets where ultra-conservative and/or ultra-liberal politics wins out, but that is really a minority not the majority.

This is all coming to a head during this 2016 Presidential Election Cycle.  You can see it everywhere you care to read headlines.  Some “pundits” are calling for a more radical liberal agenda.  Others are calling for an ultra-conservative agenda.  Neither is even listening to the American People.

There are even those who are now claiming that Donald Trump is a “refreshing” political voice.  They argue that he is willing to speak his mind regardless of whom he pisses off.  They say we need more politicians like him to keep our politics from becoming too “boring.”

This is all stupid rhetoric.  What we really need is for our politicians to actually look at our problems and listen to the people.  That is not as hard as you may think it is.  However, it isn’t going to happen, especially on the Republican side, because they believe that the country is ultra-conservative.  They believe that the American people want to be able to discriminate against someone.  They believe that the American people want religious leaders to dictate policy.

Democrats are not much better.  They are very quietly saying things they have said for years.  They also listen too much to Wall Street.  Remember, Wall Street is where most of the money comes from in order to run for office.  As a result, both sides of the aisle have allowed for regulations on financial institutions to be relaxed again.  This is becoming the same old tired politics from our past.

Democrats seem to think that talking quietly is the correct choice to get elected.  Republicans think that being boisterous is the way to get elected.  The problem is that both sides are only looking at primaries and not the over all health of our country.  Instead of discussing how they foresee the country moving forward, they use 20 second sound bites to talk down the other side.  It is basically our fault.  We allow them to use such tactics because we refuse to ask the tough questions.

I said earlier it isn’t difficult to find out just what the American People want.  If you look at the polls, you can see a lot of issues where there is a majority opinion on lots of issues that politicians still try to divide us over.  Things like gun control, for example.  You will discover that the American People want to be able to own guns.  Yet, you will also find that the majority of Americans want reasonable control over who can own guns.  The vast majority of Americans believe in Universal Background Checks before being allowed to purchase a gun.

The majority of American people believe that same-sex marriage is protected by the constitution.  They do not want the government telling churches or religions that they must perform religious marriages, but they do believe that same-sex marriage is legal and should be protected.

You will also find that the vast majority of Americans believe that income inequality is a real problem in growing our economy.  They want a higher minimum wage.  They believe that the super rich should pay more in taxes.  They believe in Social Security and Medicare.  They believe in a woman’s right to choose abortion or not.

Put simply, the American People do not want anyone in government running their personal lives.  They expect the government to protect them from violence, crime, and robber barons.  They expect a fair chance to reach their own version of the American Dream.

But, instead of hearing plans about how we can best achieve the wishes of the American people, we hear about things that only matter to a slim minority of the electorate.  We only hear about what the Conservative Christian Cult wants to hear.  We have politicians calling immigrants “rapists” and other derogative terms.

This is not politics.  This is hate.  This is control.  This is pure stupidity.  As I said this is mostly our fault.  We fail to hold these wackos accountable for their stupidity.  We tolerate their ignorance and hate.  We just turn away and then say, well candidate A is less evil than candidate B.

Then we blame the candidates. We call them liars.  We say they are only interested in their own power.  We have mid-term elections where less than a third of registered voters actually show up to vote.  The next time you really want to blame someone for our political largess, look in the mirror.

The next time your elected official says the Affordable Care Act must be repealed, stand up and ask what is their plan to replace it?  Don’t accept 20 second sound bites as an answer either.  Make them spell out their plan.  The next time they say they support the troops, stand up and ask why they slashed the VA budget again.

The next time they talk about gun rights, ask them who should be allowed to own guns?  Should criminals and mentally impaired be allowed to own weapons?  If not, how are you going to keep them from owning guns without universal background checks.

These are just examples of things you can ask about.  Don’t let the fringe groups on either side take over the conversation.  Make your elected official and candidates answer serious questions.  Make sure they are held accountable and go to the polls.

Democracy only works when the people participate in it.  If you continue to stay home on election day, we will lose the very liberties you cherish so much.  And, it will be our fault!  I say it is time to “take our country back.”  We need to take it back from the crazies before it is too late for all of us.

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To borrow a line from the movie Blazing Saddles, “What in the wide world of sports is going on here?”  The Republican Party’s candidates seem so far out, that they belong in a comedy movie.  Unfortunately, this is way too serious to compare it to a comedy movie.

The right-wing seems to have lost all reason.  The Candidates are all trying to one-up each other on stupidity.  We have Donald Trump saying that immigrants are “rapists.”  Of course the Canadian Senator Cruz agrees with him.  I guess all of those rape cases on our college campuses are being committed by those undocumented immigrants cutting the grass and not those nice male college students.  How could we have missed that?

Of course, not leaving it there, the Donald also said we should “invade” Mexico.,  I am not quite sure why we should invade Mexico.  Doesn’t he realize that if we annex Mexico after our invasion, all of those Mexicans would become citizens?  There wouldn’t be any need for that terrifying thing called “amnesty.”

Pat Buchanan is at it again too.  He is saying that the court’s ruling on same-sex marriage and that the Ten Commandments must be removed from an Oklahoma court-house would cause another “civil rights movement” this time from the right.  In his latest column, he claims these rulings would spark a rebellion similar to the Revolutionary War to “throw off the shackles of unjust laws.”  Apparently, Pat believes that civil rights for everyone is somehow “unjust.”

Marco Rubio even got into the act.  In a speech before the National Right to Life Committee’s annual convention in New Orleans on Friday he compared the fight against abortion rights to the fights to end slavery and for women’s suffrage.  Seems that Rubio thinks that abortion and contraception should be banned world-wide.  He called the historic Roe v. Wade decision “historically and egregiously flawed.”  But didn’t say how it was so flawed.

According to Rubio, the current resident of the White House has sought to expand women’s right to choose (and access to birth control), which is just awful. He hoped the crowd would help send him to the White House so he can reverse any progress that might have been made under said occupant.

Then of course we have Jeb Bush claiming that we are simply just too lazy to help grow our economy.  When the firestorm broke out, he claimed he was taken out of context so it sounded worse than what he meant.  So, to be fair, here is his quote in context so you can decide for yourself.

My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.

I guess he means that if you are working two jobs, getting paid minimum wage for each and have trouble getting by, the answer is just to work more.  Who needs sleep?  Besides, “work makes you free.”  Haven’t we heard that somewhere before?  Like “Arbeit macht frei” signs greeting prisoners entering concentration camps the Nazis ran during World War II?

Of course, this stupidity isn’t limited to just Presidential Candidates.  The governor of Oklahoma said she won’t remove the Ten Commandments from public property simply because she “doesn’t want to.”  Even though it was her State Supreme Court that made the ruling.

Talk Radio’s bloviated fat drug addict was also at it again.  He called Pope Francis a “clown.”  What is the reason for his remark?  The Pope criticized unfettered capitalism.  According to the drug addict:  “Pope Francis is in Bolivia, and he’s come out with another of his anti-capitalism remarks. The Pope, Il Papa, the vicar of Christ said that unfettered capitalism is the devil’s dung.”

As I said earlier, if most of these wackos weren’t running for President, all of this would make for a great comedy movie.  Unfortunately, they are running for President and that is very scary.  We have a couple of candidates calling our neighbors to the south all rapists.  We have one saying we are facing either another revolution or civil war.  And one who compares denying women rights to abortion and contraception as being the same as “women’s suffrage.”  And one who says we are all too lazy to help the economy because we don’t want to work 100 hours per week.

The civil rights of Americans are not part of any of these people’s agenda.  Rather, they want to limit your civil rights to what they believe is right.  They want you to toe the line in order to make others more rich, others more powerful, and others simply run your life.

This is what the Republican Party has sunk to.  This is what the Republican Party wants you to believe is patriotism.  This is what the Republican Party wants you to vote for come November 2016.  In my opinion, what we are really watching is a true American Tragedy.

How have we sunk so low that too many of us tolerate this idiocy.  Worse, too many of us actually believe this idiocy.  Let’s hope reason takes over real soon or we will be in worse trouble than we already are.

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“Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”

George Wallace 1963 Inaugural Address

Today, it is 2015.  We should be well beyond this bigoted phrase.  However, we have not passed beyond the world of bigotry and hate.  Government officials in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, among others, have taken up this mantra.  The only difference is that they are now wrapping themselves in the hatred of religion.  Or, I should probably say they are wrapping themselves in the false Religion of Hate!

Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was constitutionally protected in all 50 states.  Even before this decision, the Religion of Hate was busy passing laws that would deny same-sex couples the right to marry and/or get services from private business to celebrate their marriages.

This Religion of Hate came to us under the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” laws they passed.  According to these laws, if you wish to discriminate against same-sex couples, all you have to do is say “I have a deeply held religious belief” against them.  That makes everything perfectly legal for you to discriminate against anyone you wish.

During the Civil Rights era, we heard the same stupid arguments about segregation that we are hearing now about same-sex marriage.  It was “God’s Will” that the races be separated.  They used that wonderful phrase from the bible that said “each shall seek their own.”  It was nothing more than Religion of Hate and it was endorsed by many politicians like George Wallace.

The Attorney General of Texas has openly said that county clerks in his state do not have to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples if they don’t want to.  They are being allowed to break their Oath of Office with his blessing.  He even said there are hundreds of lawyers who are willing to defend these oath breakers, many pro-bono.  How nice.  The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, has just joined the long list of bigots in political power like George Wallace.

Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee has said that clerks should “resist” this ruling.  He is calling for “civil disobedience” by pubic officials because he believes the court “overstepped” its bounds and “created a civil right that does not exist.”

First, the court did not “create” anything.  This ruling came about because someone challenged the same-sex marriage ban in their state as being unconstitutional.  They argued that these bans denied them “equal protection under the law.”  The court simply agreed with their argument and said that the laws banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

Second, there was nothing in the Supreme Court’s ruling that said that ONLY same-sex marriages were protected.  They did not ban heterosexual marriages.  They did not say that a Roman Catholic Priest MUST marry a same-sex couple.  This was a ruling that declared same-sex civil marriages have the same legal rights as heterosexual marriages.

No one lost any civil rights in this case.  No one has suffered any harm in this case.  No one has been allowed to “attack” Christians in this case.  To the contrary, all this case did was ensure same-sex couples have the same civil rights as everyone else.

But, when you subscribe to the Religion of Hate, you are expected to deny civil rights to those terrible “others.”  You are expected to be able to deny dignity to people of religions that do not subscribe to the Religion of Hate.  You are expected to claim that you are the ones under attack even though you have not been affected at all.

There have been a lot of instances of hate in our country.  We have endured the evil of slavery.  We have endured the evil of the Jim Crow laws.  We have endured bigotry against Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists.  We have seen the Religion of Hate preached from church pulpits and state houses and even the halls of Congress.

The real unfortunate part of this narrative, is that the Republican Party has endorsed this Religion of Hate.  Where are the other Republicans bashing their right-wing nuts?  Where are the complaints from other Republicans that these members of the Religion of Hate are not speaking for the party?  You don’t hear any of that because the party as a whole has endorsed, and placed its political future, with the Religion of Hate.

The Religion of Hate says that marriage was defined by God as between one man and one woman.  A few weeks ago, I saw a church sign at an Episcopal Church, I don’t remember where it was located, that read:

There are thousands of Christians that are homosexual.  Get over it!  God

We need to see more signs like that one.

All of this hate speech from people like Paxton, Cruz, Gohmert, Huckabee, Jindal, and the rest of the so-called “Christian Right” only proves how un-Christian these nuts are.  They do not subscribe to the religion of Christianity.  They do not subscribe to any religion that teaches tolerance and love.  No, they are the new purveyors of the Religion of Hate.

Even non-believers know that Jesus taught love.  He taught tolerance.  He taught not to judge others.  His was a religion of peace, tolerance, and love.  Three things that were basically unheard of at the time.  That is why I can say absolutely that Conservative Christians are NOT Christians at all.

They are simply bigots, racists, and haters.  They are nothing more, and nothing less.  That is the religion they want to force on everyone else.  As the song said:

Go ahead and hate your neighbor.  Go ahead and cheat a friend.  Do it in the name of heaven.  You can justify it in the end.  There won’t be any trumpets blowing, come the judgment day.

Is there anything more evil than the Conservative Christian’s “Religion of Hate?”

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All I can say is this has been some week.  We have seen everything from the sublime to the horrific.  We have seen mass murder by a white supremacist in Charleston, SC.  We have seen terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and other places in the world.  We hear that “abstinence only advocate” Bristol Palin is still unmarried yet pregnant again.  We have seen the Supreme Court rule against conservatives in the Affordable Care Act.  And now, we see the Supreme Court rule that same-sex marriage is constitutionally protected.

I don’t know how to classify this week.  It has been a tragedy for sure.  But, it has also produced groundbreaking rulings from the Supreme Court.  There is so much to talk about, it is hard to pick and choose which topic should make it today.

I have decided that the wacko reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the same-sex case merits the most ink right now.  Not because the other items are not important, they are, but because I have not seen so much hate and bigotry openly spouted from conservative mouths since the 60s.  In his descent, Scalia said to “ask a hippie.”  I openly admit that I am a hippie.

If Scalia were to ask my opinion, I would say that he does not understand just what the Constitution of the United States is about.  The Constitution is not, and never was, intended to use religious beliefs to create the “law of the land.”  He also said this decision was a blow against democracy.  However, he misses the point that the Supreme Court was established for the sole purpose of determining which laws are and are not constitutional.

It has always been the duty of the Supreme Court to state which laws are unconstitutional when they turn out to be prejudicial against minorities.  Democracy, in order to work properly, needs “checks and balances” to ensure equal treatment under the law for everyone and not just those whom a majority believe deserves those protections.

This ruling by the Supreme Court has done exactly that.  It has decided that banning same-sex marriages denies equal protection under the law for a specific minority in this country.  That is unconstitutional!  I might suggest that Scalia take some refresher courses in Constitutional Law.

One of the biggest arguments is that the states should “define” marriage.  That may sound good, but there are federal issues at stake as well.  Remember, same-sex couples who have not been recognized or allowed to marry in those states that banned it are not protected when their partner dies.  Even if the will of the partner states the other is to inherit everything, the federal government can only give spousal relief and deductions to the Estate Tax if they are legally recognized as being married.  This goes for Social Security benefits as well.

A lot of this started because a woman sued because she was required to pay huge estate taxes when her partner died.  They were legally married, but the state they lived in did not recognize that marriage.  Therefore, the survivor was liable for Estate Taxes in the thousands of dollars.

Another factor deals with visitation and legal representation for terminally ill patients.  Same-sex couples in states that banned same-sex marriage were denied these rights by hospitals.  Even when a living will said the person’s partner could make a call on when to terminate life-support, if the state did not recognize that same-sex marriage, that right was taken away from the partner.

As a result, allowing states to define marriage, takes away these legal protections from same-sex couples.  That is not only wrong, it is unconstitutional.  That is one of the things this court ruling is about.

But, Scalia is just the tip of the iceberg.  The rest of the right-wing are all on oxygen bottles right now.  Their hysteria is liable to cause arteries to explode all across Conservative America.  America’s Crazy Uncle Louie Gohmert even says this ruling will cause our country to suffer major attacks because “God will remove his protective hand from America.”

I don’t believe in God’s wrath, but using his own words, maybe Crazy Uncle Louis should be asking if the flooding, drought, and other natural disasters in his own state may be because God is mad at Texas for being so bigoted towards their fellow humans.   Texas leads the nation in uninsured, restrictive voting rights, anti-Latino legislation, anti-immigrant policies, anti-women issues, and lots more.  Maybe Crazy Uncle Louie should be asking God’s forgiveness for his intolerance and using God’s name to justify it!

The list of crazies goes on.  The Canadian Senator Ted Cruz thinks we should elect the Supreme Court justices.  Mike Huckabee thinks we are on the road to a “Banana Republic.”  And Scott Walker is still trying to figure out a way to get around this ruling and ban same-sex marriages in Wisconsin.

The arguments these lunatics put forth are simply idiotic.  They claim that same-sex marriage is an attack on “traditional marriage.”  Just how it is an attack they never say.  We have had same-sex marriages for several years in some states, and I still haven’t heard of a single case where a “traditional marriage” couple got a divorce simply because two gays got married together.

Mike Huckabee even went so far as to say that this ruling is a “slap in the face to traditional married couples.”  Well, I am in a “traditional marriage” and have been for decades.  I do not feel like I have been slapped in the face.  Nor do I feel threatened because same-sex couples want to get married.

The biggest argument against same-sex marriage is always based in religious beliefs.  Crazy Uncle Louie says that one man and one women marriages are “biblical.”  So is polygamy.  How many wives did King Saul have?  Which “biblical” marriage is Crazy Uncle Louie in favor of allowing?

All of this is nonsense of course.  None of these arguments or sound-bites have any real meaning or reason why same-sex marriages should be banned.  All this ruling has really done is unloose the bigotry and hatred these people really hold for fellow human beings.

It has allowed the true bigots in government to show their true colors.  And, I am sure that it will get worse.  You will see more states pass things like “opt out” laws that allow government employees to discriminate against same-sex marriage by refusing to issue a marriage license based on “religious grounds.”

As I have written before, this ruling is proving just how tyrannical the conservative movement in this country really is.  They are not interested in the Constitution.  They are not interested in the rule of law.  They are only interested in controlling everyone else’s lives.  They want the power to say what is and isn’t legal.  They want the power to say who can and cannot be married.  They want the power to dictate how we each are to live our lives.

They are not interested in democracy.  They are not interested in anything except their own power.  Remember, this court has a conservative majority.  Yet, when the court handed down it’s ruling, the first thing out of conservative mouths is that this court is “making laws.”  No, they are not making laws.  They are determining which laws are and/or are not constitutional.  In other words, they did their job.

But, in case you haven’t noticed.  The really scary part about all of this hysteria is that it is coming from every single Republican Presidential hopeful.  And, if you think their bigotry won’t affect you, think again.  Bigotry is never satisfied.  You may be their next target.

 

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On Monday morning, there was a completely odd interview or “conversation” on race.  As you might expect, it took place on Fox News “Fox and Friends.”  I guess it may not be all that odd since the people they were talking to was Erick Erickson and talk radio show host Richard Fowler.

However, even for these folks, it really got bizarre.  They started discussing whether racism was a “mental health issue” or just plain “evil.”  As such, you know they don’t believe that the Republican base is racist since they do not suffer from “mental health issues” or are just plain “evil.”

On Friday, Erickson wrote a piece that blamed the Charleston massacre on America’s inability to confront the fact that certain people — among them, Caitlyn Jenner — are mentally ill, and should be called out as such.  “A society that looks at a 65-year-old male Olympian and, with a straight face, declares him a her and ‘a new normal’ cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good,” he wrote.

Of course, Doocy just couldn’t resist bouncing off that comment.  He asked Fowler and Erickson whether “the real problem with our culture [is] that we cannot label mental health as an issue because we have accepted too many ‘eccentricities’ as normal.”

Erickson agreed by again linking transgender identity with evil, saying that “we can no longer label mental health issues, we can no longer label evil as ‘evil’ — we try to explain around that and immediately move to the political solution.”

According to Erickson, we shouldn’t be asking GOP potential nominees questions about mental health or evil either as that would “politicize” the issues.  Even though both agreed that the suspect in the church killings was a racist and a terrorist, we shouldn’t be talking about it being a mental health issue, because the suspect isn’t mentally ill.

That leaves us with talking about the “evil” portion of the equation.  But, according to Erickson if we try that, it will just go around to “gun control.”  So, let’s take into consideration several items about pure “evil.”  Do you know that more people are killed in the nation by gun violence than traffic accidents?  Do you know that about 99% of all serial killers or mass murders are white?  I would put that into the category of “evil.”

On the other hand, racism is pure “evil” as well.  There is no other explanation for it.  It started in this country when we began importing slaves to work the plantations in the south.  The simple fact that some believed that it was okay to own fellow humans is nothing short of pure “evil.”

The Civil War was fought with slavery as the backdrop.  Ever since the Civil War, there have been “evil” people in politics that wanted to keep segregation alive and well.  The Jim Crow laws are a perfect example.  The term of “equal but separate” in my interpretation is “evil.”  Denying people their civil rights based on anything other than common law is pure “evil.”  That is what Jim Crow laws did.

Today, we see additional examples of “evil” in our world and politics.  Denying people the right to marry and give them the same rights that other married people have, is “evil.”  Denying a person without a Photo ID card that perfectly matches everything else, is “evil.”  Denying women the same pay for the same work as men do is “evil.”

Allowing mentally ill people and criminals to purchase guns without having to go through a background check is “evil” since it puts guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t own them.  Lumping all members of certain religions as all being terrorists is “evil.”  Denying women to make their own choices about their own health is “evil.”

If the right wants to hold a conversation about evil, let’s have that conversation.  But, they don’t want that conversation either.  Why?  Because it is their policies that I am calling evil.  You cannot have a meaningful discussion about evil if the other side is endorsing policies that most reasonable people find evil.

All of this talk by Erickson and the rest of the right-wing is just a smoke screen so they can continue on their evil progression of taking rights away from everyone but themselves.  This incident even brought up the old argument about the Confederate Flag again.  Lindsey Graham, a Presidential Candidate, says that “it is part of who we are.”

That may be true.  But, I am sure that Lindsey Graham would be screaming at the top of his lungs if the government of Nuremberg, Germany started flying the Swastika over its government buildings.  After all Lindsey, it is “part of who they are.”  I have said for many years, the Confederate Flag is a symbol of “pure evil.”  It is time it goes away, except for maybe some history museums.

The biggest problem with the right-wing is that they not only want to “pick and choose” the parts of the Constitution they want to believe in, they also want to define what is evil and what is not.  If you are a transgender, you are evil.  If you are gay, you are evil.  If you support political policies that deny groups of people their civil rights, you are not evil.

No matter how you paint your picture, racism is pure evil.  Until the right begins to understand that, we will never get away from it.

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