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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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The other day, Ted Cruz, the Canadian Senator from Texas said he wants to reverse a policy the prohibits military personal from carrying personal guns on military bases.  Is he serious?  He claims that the military in keeping military personnel from “exercising their Second Amendment rights” and the policy must be changed.

He also said the he has been “pressing” the Senate Armed Services Committee Chair, John McCain, to hold hearings on the vital matter.  John McCain yesterday scoffed at that claim saying he hasn’t heard a word from Cruz on the matter, nor has anyone on his staff heard from anyone on Cruz’s staff about the matter.

“Maybe it was through some medium that I’m not familiar with. Maybe bouncing it off the ozone layer, for all I know,” McCain said according to The Hill. “There’s a lot of holes in the ozone layer, so maybe it wasn’t the ozone layer that he bounced it off of. Maybe it was through hand telegraph, maybe sign language, who knows?”

The fact that Cruz is running his mouth about something he knows absolutely nothing about is not new.  He is known for that.  The fact that he has lied about “pressing” McCain on the matter isn’t new either.  I cannot remember a time when he has said anything that could even be considered as “true.”

Why this sudden interest in whether or not military personnel can carry personal weapons on military bases?  Votes from the gun crazies.  Cruz, and other conservatives claim that the shooting at Foot Hood and the Navy Yard are perfect examples of why military personal should be carrying their own guns.

According to these conservatives and their mouthpiece Cruz, military bases must be real dangerous places to live and work.  According to these people, our military bases are defenseless against those “outsiders” who mean to do us harm.  Of course, that is total nonsense.

The Foot Hood incident happened because a military person shot people with a gun.  He was even in uniform when he shot his fellow soldiers.  The Navy Yard was different, but it showed a lack of security rather than “open season” on our bases.

I lived on military bases.  They are without doubt the safest place to raise your family.  They are protected by a huge contingent of armed police, all military, and crime is almost non-existent.  Adding personal weapons to the mix will not help make them any safer.

Besides, are military personnel supposed to be allowed to carry personal weapons when they are in uniform?  The idea that there are no personal weapons on military bases is ridiculous.  Military personnel do own personal firearms.  When they live on base, they must follow certain procedures, but they are not banned.

Maybe Cruz should concentrate on something he knows something about.  He never served in the military, so he obviously doesn’t understand that way of life.  If he had, he would know that military personal live under a different set of rules.  The Uniform Code Of Military Justice is not exactly the same as civilian law.  Although we are given the same rights under the UCMJ, it is not exactly the same.  Plus, we are sworn to abide all legal orders from our senior officers.

Despite its flaws, and the military has a whole slew of flaws, the vast majority of military personnel serve with discipline, honor, and dedication to duty.  The military is also based on team work.  We need to be able to trust our people.  Discipline, honor, and dedication to duty appears to be something that Cruz doesn’t understand.

Then again, Cruz doesn’t seem to know very much about anything.  He doesn’t understand that our government must meet our debt.  He doesn’t understand that everyone in the country isn’t rich and deserves a livable wage for their toils at work.  He doesn’t understand that the Constitution protects everyone, not just the people he agrees with.

There is one thing that Ted Cruz does understand very well.  Hate!  He is very good at attacking immigrants, non-Christians, the poor, gays, blacks, and women.  This is something that Ted Cruz is very knowledgable about.  Problem is that once you get past the Republican Primaries, that isn’t something that will get you elected president.

Ted Cruz is a total buffoon.  He has no understanding of life outside his own little protected bubble.  I might suggest that he be sent back to Canada, but I won’t be that cruel to our northern neighbors.  Still, I wish he would just shut his stupid mouth and let the grownups deal with our problems.

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The Republican Party seems to be putting together quite a show for the 2016 Presidential Elections.  Many people are calling it a “clown show.”  I suppose that is one way to look at it.  However, I am not going to be talking about it being a “clown show” because the outcome is far too important for that.  Rather, I think it is time we hold these people to the fire about how they plan to rebuild the middle-class in this country.

Because of my military service, I have lived in many parts of this country.  I have seen the good and the bad.  Yet I have always been an optimist about America and just how far we can progress as a people and nation.  The only problem is that I have slipped in my optimism in the last several years.  Not because I don’t believe in the American people and the American worker, but because the Republican Party has been on a mission to destroy everything that I thought was America.

In New Hampshire this past weekend, about 20 Republicans showed up to espouse why they should be considered presidential material.  We heard the usual talking points.  We heard all about how the government is trying to take our guns away.  We heard all about how evil same-sex marriage is.  We even heard that Social Security is a bane on society and should be radically changed.

We did not hear a single word about how the Republican Party plans to restore our middle-class.  I would guess that is because the Republican Party isn’t interested in restoring our middle-class.  As a matter of fact, I firmly believe that the Republican Party wants to eliminate the middle-class from our society.

Since taking over both Houses of Congress, the Republicans have passed not one meaningful piece of legislation targeting the restoration of the middle-class.  And, make no mistake about it, the middle-class is shrinking.  It has been under attack at least since 1981 when Ronald Reagan took office.

The Republican Party, at least in my opinion, is directly responsible for the loss of our middle-class.  They have passed laws that favor the rich and punish everyone else.  They constantly talk about “balancing the budget” and then put forth budget proposals that give huge tax cuts to the rich and take away the social safety net from those who desperately need it.  They want to severely cut food stamps, WIC, and even education.

They have fought tooth-and-nail against raising the minimum wage.  They claim that raising the minimum wage will ruin our economy by cutting jobs.  Yet, in areas where the minimum wage was raised the economy is doing better than areas in the same region that have not raised it.

In fighting the Affordable Care Act, Republicans claimed that the “government will get between you and your doctor.”  Yet, it is the Insurance companies that are between you and your doctor.  Not the government.  They tried to claim that there would be “death panels” that would let our seniors die.  Yet, it was insurance companies that decided, and still decide, which treatment you will be covered to receive.  Their answer to the ACA is to go back to the way it was and just let the insurance companies decide who lives and dies by determining how much they will pay for your health care, and/or cut you off completely.

Republicans have waged a massive war against unions.  Many Republican controlled states have passed what they call “Right to Work” laws, which have really become “Right to Work for Less” laws.  Every state that has these “Right to Work” laws lag behind in wages to states that have strong unions.

It was unions that brought up wages in the 20th Century.  It was unions that created the 40 hour work week.  It was unions that created a safer work-place and helped get OSHA into existence.  When we had strong unions, the income inequality shrunk.  Workers were able to negotiate a better wage deal for themselves and rightfully share in the profits created by their labor.

One of the very first things Reagan did was fire all of the Air Traffic Controllers who went on strike in the 1980s.  That signaled the open warfare against unions, and Republicans have fought it with a vengeance ever since.  They don’t want workers to get a fair share of the profits.  They don’t care if workers are injured on the job.  A while ago, I wrote about how they are trying to do away with worker’s compensation as we know it.

Republicans complain that too many people are on things like Food Stamps, WIC, and Medicaid.  Yet, they do nothing to force those conglomerate corporations who are putting these people on these programs by not paying them a livable wage.  It is no secret that companies like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Burger King, Big Lots, and a host of others are bilking the American taxpayer trillions of dollars every year by paying so little to their workers that they have no recourse but to apply to the Federal Government for help.

And what do the Republicans want to do to “punish” these corporate welches?  They want to give them tax cuts.  So, not only will they continue to supplement their profits on the backs of the American taxpayer, they will not even have to pay their fair share of taxes.

If you own a small business, Republicans are doing their best to put you out of business.  They are not interested in “saving small business” they are interested in eliminating the competition for their corporate donors.  You are paying for their employees.  By forcing their employees onto Federal Programs, you are subsidizing these corporations.

Local communities are very willing to give huge tax breaks to the likes of Wal-Mart in order to get them to put a store in town.  Once that happens, Main Street starts emptying out.  Look at small towns across America and you will see more “For Lease” signs in store fronts on Main Street than “Open For Business” signs.  Why?  Because these large corporations come in with their huge tax breaks, low wages, and slash prices just long enough to put their small business competition out of business.

Many of us still remember the Soda Shops.  We remember the small electronics store that not only sold televisions, but fixed them as well.  We remember department stores that were owned locally.  We remember the locally owned corner drug store and grocery store.  Where have they all gone?

Most went out of business because they couldn’t compete against the giants and their huge tax breaks and government subsidized wages.  Many went out of business because factories shut down and shipped the work overseas where the company could pay twenty-five cents an hour in sweatshops.  And, the Republicans gave those out-sourcing, American job wreckers a tax cut!

In the early twentieth century, we saw unions fighting for worker’s rights.  Unfortunately, we saw riots and even killings during these fights.  But, when the unions won the battle, the middle-class took off in a big way.  People actually began to earn a livable wage.  Health insurance was included in their packages.  Safety at the workplace began to get better.  In a word, there would be no middle-class today if it were not for the unions then.

We have not seen the all-out war against the American Working Class for almost 100 years.  Until now.  There is definitely a huge difference between the two parties.  The Republicans have become the party of the 1%, and they are very boastful about it, too.

In the last 30 or 40 years, the Republican Party has abandoned the American Dream for everyone.  They now prefer to only allow it for the very few.  They keep talking about how we should “buckle under” and work hard to get ahead.  How we can only gain prosperity through hard work and dedication.  Yet, they want to abolish inheritance tax on the rich so their children don’t have to pay any taxes on the billions they inherit without having to work for it.

If you are a one-percenter, you can look forward to huge benefits from the Republican Party.  If you are one of the 99% of America, you can look forward to paying for those huge benefits to the one-percent.  If you are a small business owner, you can look forward to continuing to subsidize your large competitors.  Every single Republican Candidate favors these policies.  That includes every candidate at the federal, state, and local levels.

So, you see, I cannot consider the side-show in New Hampshire as a “Clown Show.”  The stakes for the average person on the street are way too high for levity.  Rather, I consider what took place in New Hampshire as the opening salvo’s in the “War On The Working Class!”  The only question is are you ready to fight back?

In the 1992 Presidential Election, Bill Clinton said “it is the economy, stupid.”  It is still the economy today.  We have two choices in the next two years.  We can elect the party that wants to eliminate small business and the middle-class, or one that will fight for them.  In case you haven’t noticed, the economy always seems to do better with a Democrat in office than when a Republican is in office.  That should tell you something!

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We have seen the headlines and we have heard the radical right claim that there is a war on Christians.  What better way to deflect your war on democracy than to put the blame on democracy?  If you really pay attention, that is exactly what is happening in this country right now.

A term you have probably never heard before, I am willing to use right now.  Our country, our very democracy, is under attack by a “Radical Christian Agenda!”  Yes, you have all heard a similar phrase used by the right against gays, blacks, liberals, etc.  As in “Radical Homosexual Agenda.”  The truth is, Radical Christians are the real villains who have a radical agenda that will fundamentally change our country.

The other day, Mike Huckabee told an Iowa news radio station the “military is waging war on Christians.”  Really?  The military is probably the most secular organization in the country.  Yes, there are homophobes, Islamaphobes, and pure xenophobes who are in the military.  But, as an organization, the military does not force anyone to believe in any religion.  That is the problem as Mike Huckabee sees it.

The self-anointed prophet, Bill O’Reilly, has been crying about a “war on Christians” for years now.  He started with his ridiculous “war on Christmas” and it has just gotten worse over the years.  He claims Christians are the truly “moral” people in the country.  Sorry Bill, I was taught that purposefully lying is not “moral.”  Quite the opposite.  So, until you fess up to your deliberate lies over the years to make yourself look good, keep quiet about morality.

All of these so-called “restoration of religious freedom” bills around the country really have nothing to do with “religious freedom.”.  The people who are introducing these bills in the various states don’t give a rat’s ass about religious freedom.  What they really want is the right to discriminate against, segregate, and even kill those who don’t believe in their radical Christian beliefs.  If you think I am exaggerating, look at the proposed ballot initiative in California that calls for the “putting a bullet in the head” of homosexuals.

The real goal of this Radical Christian Agenda is to eliminate our democracy.  They want to establish a dictatorship in America that would rival the most gruesome dictatorships in history.  Their goal is to establish a society where their group are the only ones who can say what is civil rights and what is not.  They want to be able to determine that discrimination can only be defined as you not following their radical Christian beliefs.

If you desire to “fit in” you will have to adopt their beliefs.  You will have to accept that same-sex marriage is illegal and homosexuals need to be “eliminated.”  You will have to accept that abortion is illegal and that your belief otherwise will just get you put in jail.  You will have to accept that only white evangelical christians will have the right to vote.

In order to justify their goals, they are quick to point out the atrocities that ISIS is committing in other countries.  What they fail to tell you is that is exactly what they want to do right here.  Only it will be the Christians who are committing the atrocities.

They want to shut down our border with Mexico.  They want to eliminate immigration to any group other than “white European Christians.”  As far as these people are concerned, White Christians, especially White Evangelical Christians are the “supreme race” and therefore are the only people who deserve rights.

The election in 2016 will be a turning point for our country.  If the Radical Christian Agenda wins, it may be the last general election we ever have.  If you don’t believe me, just listen to the wonderful “candidates” the Republicans are fielding.  Listen to Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and you will hear this Radical Christian Agenda being spouted daily.

The only real “attacks on Christians” are the backlash you hear when someone tries to use their “religious beliefs” as an excuse to discriminate against someone.  That is not an attack against “religious beliefs,” it is an attack against bigotry!  If your religion tells you it is okay to be a bigot, I suggest you find another religion.

On the other hand, you see these Radical Evangelical Christians attacking homosexuals, women, blacks, Latinos, and non-Christians.  These same-sex marriage bans, anti-abortion bills, anti-immigration bills, and voter suppression bills all show who the true attackers are and what they are after.

They attack science and education.  They hate evolution and want to ban it from our schools.  They hate America’s true history and want to ban all of the “bad” stuff from history classes.  They want to keep women subjugated to the will of men.  In their eyes, women are only around to have babies, and nothing more.

Anyone who stands up for the rights of others is not a “true American.”  Anyone who stands up for peace and negotiated treaties to maintain that peace is a “supporter of terrorism.”  They are the only ones who are allowed to determine what the truth is.  Your truth is wrong.  Your beliefs are wrong.

There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus that says it is okay to discriminate against anyone.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  He preached peace and harmony among men.  He told you to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  He told you to “turn the other cheek.”  The ministry of Jesus was love, not hate!

You can mark my words here.  If you are not part of the Radical Evangelical Christian cult, you will be persecuted as much as the rest of us should they gain power.  You will discover that their meaning of “religious freedom” is that you must follow their religion.  Otherwise, you will be considered an “outsider” too.

As the campaign season starts ramping up, please listen to these preachers of the Radical Christian Agenda carefully.  They are lying to you and believe you are stupid enough to buy into their hatred.  History is full of examples of what happens when the public swallows these kinds of lies.  We must fight to ensure America is never included in that horrible history!

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This has been going on seemingly forever.  Banks and other “financial” businesses seem to keep getting away with criminal behavior, because the Federal Government does nothing about it.  It is time for this to stop!

After the 2008 economic meltdown, caused almost entirely by rip-off artists in the banking and financial industries, no one went to jail.  Why?  Because the agencies that are supposed to protect us from these predators, are simply waiting for an offer to join them and make millions of dollars ripping us off.  That is why!

The Department of Education is supposedly in its final review of Navient.  Navient Corp. is an education loan giant.  The company got caught intentionally overcharging about 60,000 active-duty troops on federal and private student loans over nearly a decade.

The company, which neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing, agreed to pay $60 million to troops as part of its settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Department of Justice.  It was after this agreement that the Department of Education started its own investigation.

The American Legion, last month, accused the Department of Education of favoring its loan contractors over service members. “The department seems to be doing everything possible to undermine the Justice Department and the CFPB, and they’re doing a hell of a job,” Steve Gonzalez, an assistant director in the Legion’s veterans employment and education division, said at the time.

This doesn’t start or end with the Department of Education either.  Federal banking regulators planned to publicly accuse the company of violating the Service Members Civil Relief Act until after Navient warned its investors.  This is more about protecting investors than it is about protecting the public.

That is what is wrong with our economic system today.  And, if you think that campaign financing laws contribute to these problems, you are probably correct.  The whole system is stacked against those who need the help.  It seems okay to bilk millions of people using predatory housing loans.

It seems okay to bilk millions of people who just wand an education using predatory student loans, even if those students are military personnel.  It seems okay to overcharge interest on credit cards.  It seems perfectly okay for these institutions to do whatever they want as long as they contribute to someone’s campaign.

Yes, some will tell me how banks like Wells Fargo, and Citi Group paid huge penalties after they got caught.  But their profits from their illegal schemes were far bigger than the fines they paid.  And, they are gearing up to do it all over again with Republicans trying to defang regulations, again!

When are these criminals going to have to start paying for their crimes with jail time?  It appears never!  Even when you get caught ripping off active duty military personnel, you don’t go to jail.

Herbert Hoover once said “the business of America is business.”  That infamous quote came just before the Great Depression.  Today, thanks to deregulation happy Republicans, that quote is “the business of American businesses is to rip-off the population.”

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