Showing posts with label America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label America. Show all posts

Thursday, August 15, 2019

This breaks my damn heart


1962. It was the blackest of years; it was the most idealistic and hopeful of years.

Jim Crow refused to go quietly in the South. Communism, and the fear of it, haunted everything we were, did and said in America. Between us and the Soviet Union, we almost blew up the world.

But also in 1962, if we made it through October, the world would be a better place by springtime -- we just knew it.

Young Americans brimmed with idealism. Black college kids and white college kids risked their lives for their ideals in a peaceful assault against segregationist brutality in Dixie.

The youth of a country that 17 years before had vanquished Nazi Germany and militarist Japan found inspiration in a young president who challenged them to ask what they could do for their country.

JOHN GLENN orbited the earth three times. Next stop: the moon.

America had set its gaze on the New Frontier, and John Stewart of the The Kingston Trio could write liner notes like these above.

I was 1 year old. Hope was alive and kicking. Even in the South.

2019. A broken-down, 58-year-old music-show and blog guy sits at his iMac, typing. He wonders what the fuck happened.

He reads the hopeful, idealistic and oh-God-how-naive words of the late Mr. Stewart, and he wants to cry. He fears that there are no more tears left. Even more, he's terrified that fear will be put to the test again and again.

"So now, as never before, an age of introspection is reaching every one of us." Now our nation is becoming what we've willed within ourselves -- a heart of darkness.

"The horror! The horror!"

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

We have reached our sell-by date as a country


Let me try to get my head around this thing: Nike yanked a special-edition Fourth of July shoe because Colin Kaepernick was offended by the Betsy Ross flag "because of its connection to an era of slavery."

Two immediate reactions:

1. Supportive as I was of the kneeling protests during the national anthem at football games and the like . . . Nike and Colin Kaepernick can kiss my red, white and blue ass.


 2. The Constitution of the United States has an even more intimate connection to the "era of slavery." Perhaps we need to just rip up the whole fucking thing and call a merciful end to a country that seems to have attained -- and blown past -- its sell-by date.



We're outta here, bitches. And we're keeping the beef.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ignore the Johnsons, reap the whirlwind

I attribute the present state of American culture and politics to, back in 1980, people not listening to the anti-drug message of the Brothers Johnson.
Angel dust was, and is, some bad juju.
Things could have been so, so different today had we listened to some common sense advice and not trusted that dust. But we didn't, and now we must rely on legal weed and lethal opioids to dull the screaming of our brains as they react to the suck surrounding us.

The suck that came because "Don't trust that Dust" was just too flippin' complicated a message for we idiots to embrace 39 years ago . . . when we still might have had a chance in hell.
That is all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Trump save Amerika from the advancing horde!

The hordes, circa 1907.

This is for all you descendants of the hordes. You know who you are.

You're the Heebs. The dagos. The Polacks. The micks. The greasers. The spics. The bohunks. The krauts. The frogs. The chinks. The Japs. The gooks. The camel jockeys. The cheeseheads. The Scandihoovians. The Russkies. The towel heads. The wetbacks. The coonasses.

Me, I'm mostly frog and coonass, with significant DNA from the cheeseheads, krauts and micks.


All of my ancestors came to the United States "the right way." When they came over to the land of milk, honey and red-and-black genocide, "the right way" generally was understood to be "getting off the damn boat without tripping on the gangplank and drowning in the drink."

Actually, my French and Cajun ancestors never came to the United States -- they came to the Spanish colony of Louisiana in the 1780s. Les Americains came to them in 1803 . . . in 1810 to those on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River after the rise and fall of the West Florida Republic.


My people may have thought of les Americains as les hordes -- I don't know.

That's not important now. What's important is that, at some point, in American history, descendants of previous hordes swarming toward American shores decided that the next wave of immigrants were the real horde, the one that totally was going to fuck up "American culture" for everybody. Right after, of course, they stole every last American job.

Recently, Real Americans (TM) have been concerned about the tag-team hordes of Muslim Suicide Bombers and Latin American Rapist Drug Smugglers. (Hey! It must be true! President Trump keeps saying it, and millions of people with bad teeth and worse educations keep repeating it!)

The tweeter-in-chief (whose personality and IQ may or may not be why they call it Twit-ter) largely managed to stem the tide of Muslims Who Blow Shit Up, but he's having limited success in stopping the Menace Coming From Mexico. (I mean, you'd think he'd extend professional courtesy toward a horde of rapists, but I guess not. They. Must. Be. Stopped.)

THERE IS SOME overlap between our present horde threats; Trump tells us that "unknown Middle Easterners" are mixed in among the Latin American rapists and drug smugglers, and he's "alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy."

It's the nativist obsession du jour. It's The Caravan, it's coming up through Mexico from the violence and grinding poverty of Central America . . . and it's coming for you. That is why our president says it's a National Emergy.

I am unsure what a National Emergy is, but it must be Serious, because it's Capitalized like Border Patrol and Military. And Southern Border.


Now, I have no proof of this, but it may be significant that Ellis Island also is capitalized, and that had something to do with why it was bad over a century ago to let in all those Heebs, dagos, bohunks, krauts, Scandihoovians, Polacks and Russkies. Of whom almost none spoke English, which until recently was our unofficial national language before it was replaced by Trumpian.

I digress.



WHAT WE DO know is that The Caravan is a National Emergy because it is almost entirely a horde, which is coming to invade America and rape your women and force all the signage to be en Español. This is bad, because Real Americans (TM) still have to master the English "lanoguage."
According to Trump, The Caravan, in fact, is an attack on the United States. Really.
President Donald Trump on Monday vowed to send as many troops as necessary to the U.S.-Mexican border to block a growing caravan of Central American migrants, calling their trek “an assault on our country.”
In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY aboard Air Force One, the president said there were “people from the Middle East” in their ranks, reiterating a claim he made without evidence in a morning tweet. The president declined to say whether his assertion was based on intelligence agencies or some other source.

While Trump has made unsubstantiated charges that Democrats had funded the migrants, he said the television footage that showed them straggling north was rebounding to the political benefit of Republicans in the midterms. The caravan could be seen on a TV, tuned to Fox News, on the wall of his office aboard the presidential aircraft.
“I think this could be a blessing in disguise because it shows how bad our laws are,” he said. “The Democrats are responsible for that.”

That was akin to the unexpected political repercussions of the bitter Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court justice. The controversy helped energize GOP voters in advance of the Nov. 6 elections, he said.

How many troops was he prepared to send to the border?

“As many as necessary,” he replied.
AND THE REFUGEE I saw on television being pushed down a Mexican road in a wheelchair is the same as a resurrected Santa Anna in a Sherman tank. Desperate mothers with their small children? No different than Pancho Villa, no doubt.

Really? Really. Ask American Conservative senior editor and blogger Rod Dreher, who has invoked (for the 975th time, but for the first time concerning this continent . . . I think) the dystopian 1973 French novel, Jean Raspail's The Camp of the Saints, which depicts desperate hordes from India descending on southern Europe . . . and a continent too culturally and spiritually exhausted to defend its borders -- and Western culture and civilization.


THERE'S THAT word -- horde. Not "caravan." Not "column." Not "migrants." Not "refugees."

Horde. That's quite the loaded word. There is no such thing as a good horde.

Dreher was alarmed Monday that over the weekend, "the migrant horde" had grown to about 5,000. Later media reports said the caravan now might number 7,000-plus.

But, hell. The man was slinging exclamation marks like a methed-up fishmonger at a Washington Post report that the Border patrol was apprehending "a caravan a day" -- 1,500 people -- at the U.S. border with Mexico.

"Fifteen hundred a day!"


Holy fuck! It's the Latino Apocalypse!

"Fifteen hundred a day!" They're invaders! Invaders, I say!

Actually, Dreher did say.


SO . . . like, what do we do? Can we shoot the "invaders"?

To Dreher's credit, he's not so sure. Unless there are no non-lethal ways to keep poor women and children from "invading" the richest country on earth? So, maybe as a last resort 5-year-old Jesus gets a slug in the head just shy of territorii Americae?

It's just so goddamn complicated!


YEP. You know you really and truly live in a Christian nation when mercy is when you don't shoot Jesus bambino and his mama in the head during their flight from Herod into Egypt to keep them from "invading" the United States as they flee violence and grinding poverty in Central America. 

But, you may exclaim, "It's a massive caravan! Five thousand, nay, 7,000 people! What if they were armed guerrillas!?!" (Oh, wait. Dreher already brought up the armed guerrillas. Sorry.)

To which I respond "1907."

Specifically, April 17, 1907.

On that day, 11,747 immigrants were processed through Ellis Island in New York Harbor, on their way to permanent residency in these United States of America. As I said before, in 1907, all that was required for the wretched of the earth of legally immigrate to this country was . . . to get here.

Unless, of course, you were Chinese. In 1907, they were chinks, sometimes Chinamen or slants, and we banned their entry from the 1870s to the 1940s.

Anyway, April 17, 1907, was the high-water mark for immigration through Ellis Island. That year, 1,004,756 souls entered the United States there. Averaged over 365 days, that's a "caravan" -- actually, a flotilla -- of (rounding up) 2,753 "invaders" every single day.

That year, 1,285,349 immigrants entered the country via all ports of entry. The estimated population of the United States in 1907 was 87,008,000.

Here's some more perspective for you: In 2016, 1.18 million people immigrated legally to the United States, which had an estimated population of 323,127,513.
 

OVERRUN? Have we been overwhelmed by "the wretched refuse" of countless teeming shores? Can we not accommodate one more of the "homeless, tempest-tost"?

If the perpetually nativist -- and racist -- Donald Trump and the perpetually alarmed Rod Dreher are going to make a case for extinguishing Lady Liberty's lamp beside the golden door, they're damned well going to have to do it apart from numbers and demographics.

In 1910, the total immigrant population of the United States came to 14.7 percent. Remember, there really wasn't such a thing as illegal immigration then.


And in 2016, America's immigrant population -- legal, illegal and temporary residents -- came to . . . wait for it . . . 13.5 percent.

If the combined 33,074,071 souls who live in Guatamala, Honduras and El Salvador said "Screw it!" got up and started marching toward the southern border of the United States -- then we might have a problem. On the other hand, Cherry County, Neb., is a fair piece bigger in area than Connecticut (and just a little smaller than Hawaii) but has only 5,818 inhabitants.

That's a middling size in this state. Arthur County, which is almost half the size of Rhode Island, has a population of . . . 457. Although some folks may have died or moved out since last year.


THEN AGAIN, there never has been room enough in America for "those people," whomever "those people" happen to be at any given point in our history. I don't know -- maybe there always has been room for the English and the Norwegians, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Whenever I see footage of yet another of Adolf Trump's Nuremberg for Dummies rallies (or, for that matter, when I read yet another of Dreher's Camp of the Saints exercises in hand-wringing over the overwhelming of Western Civilization by the "hordes"), I always think of a story our parrain used to tell us about his school days in early 20th century south Louisiana.

Uncle Joe wasn't my godfather -- that's what "parrain" means in English -- but that's what all us cousins used to call the husband of Mama's second-eldest sister. And I guess the fact that we called him "parrain" would be proof enough for tons of alleged Americans that Frogs and coonasses like us don't belong in this country, despite the fact that we were in Louisiana long before "les Americains."

Parrain was a good bit older than Aunt Rose. In fact, he was of the same generation as my maternal grandparents, who were born in the late 1800s, and that was the first English-speaking generation of the family. Which had been in Louisiana, remember, since the 1780s.

Even though my grandparents and Uncle Joe were English-speakers, they were bilingual, and French was the language of their households. That is totally like the situation of many, many second-generation Mexican-Americans (and Dreamers) today -- the kids translate for the parents. In fact, my grandparents were the translators between their French-speaking parents and their English-speaking children.


There's a reason their kids only spoke English, and it goes back to what happened to Parrain . . . and thousands upon thousands of French and Cajun schoolchildren in early 20th-century Louisiana. The short version of the story is that one day the teacher, one of les Americains, heard Uncle Joe and his friends conversing in French, and le professeur beat the shit out of those coonass kids.

Those stupid coonasses -- and for certain of les Americains, the slur coonass always was preceded by "stupid" -- needed to become American, and Americans speak English. Only. And by the mid-1960s, the French language had almost died out in Louisiana, except among the old folks. Like my parrain. There's a term for that today -- at least among those who don't shit themselves at the thought of a "horde" of poverty-stricken desperates fleeing toward sanctuary in the richest country ever.

I think the term is "cultural genocide."

IT WAS carried out by a country that never even asked the "stupid coonasses" whether they even wanted to be Americans back in 1803. Les Americains were the purchasers, the "stupid coonasses" were the spoils.

And I had to take French in high school and college, because my mother could only speak a few words. My kraut, cheesehead and mick father, I don't think, had any desire to pick up any of that "coonass" lingo.


Because, no doubt, us real Americans -- and our blessed culture -- are better than the other guy.

God bless Amerika.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

This is a thing on Facebook. Probably Russian.


This is called "How We Lose Sure-Thing Elections." And November hardly is a sure thing.

This also is called "How We Start a Civil War." South of the Mason-Dixon Line, it's called "What Got Us to Fight to the Death . . . and Finally Win."

I despise Trump and what he stands for with every fiber of my being, but I'd join the fascists and fight to the death with 'em if this was the sort of revenge his removal would visit upon whole swaths of the country, entire religious denominations and entire demographic groups . . . including the region I live in and the religious demographic I belong to.


It wouldn't be a matter of me being a fascist; it would be a matter of simple, calculated self-preservation for myself and on behalf of people I know and love.
 

THIS IS stereotyping and demonization worthy of Donald Trump himself . . . and of his idiot followers. It is goddamned madness, and this sort of thinking will lead to a bloodbath like this country never has seen once it gets out of hand.

Which I expect it to do.


Madness is upon us, and we're all eating it up like a hog does slop.

Come to think of it, how much do you want to bet "Renee Torres" is really Renata
Torchinovich, hard at work in a cubicle at the Troll Factory in St. Petersburg. As psy-ops, this stuff is golden -- the dog whistle is blowing, and "progressives" are howling at the moon.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Oh, for f***'s sake

 
We know the right has lost its mind. It's been happening for years, and the EEG finally flat-lined with the dawning of the Age of Trumpquerulous.


With all the ugliness and stupidity -- and, frankly, Nazification -- of the Republican Party, it has been all too easy to give the Loony Left a pass. Until, of course, Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now the culture wars have gone nuclear (so far just figuratively), and the prospect that somehow, at some time, Roe v. Wade might be overturned has led to widespread hysteria among those who care. Who really care. Who. Really. Really. Care.

Those who care about some women's bodies, just not those in utero. It seems the only shared belief across America's great cultural divide is that everything is a zero-sum proposition. For every winner, there must be a loser, and for every survivor, there must be a corpse in her wake.


For social liberals, dogma says "Kill your kid now. In the womb."

For social conservatives who've given themselves over to the worst devils of the GOP's nature, dogma says "What's your hurry? We can always kill 'em at our leisure after birth. And then we can blame someone else."


BUT I'M NOT HERE to talk about abortion. Or same-sex marriage. Or Obamacare.

I'm not even here to talk about the chipping-away at the Voting Rights Act and the further mischief a conservative court could inflict upon it.

I am here to stare dumbstruck at Item No. 3 on this "progressive" Democrat's Twitter laundry list of "OHMYGAW! OHMYGAW! OHMYGAW" -- Brown v. Board of Education . . .  gone? The court-sanctioned return of "separate but equal"? Jim Crow?

Really?


What the actual f***?

Do you people even listen to yourselves? Don't answer that.


And now, a message from our sponsor.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nazis to the right of me, Jacobins to the left . . . .

GOP TV ad . . . fresh from the propagandist's

Kara Eastman isn't going to know what hit her.

Kara Eastman
Eastman is the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Nebraska's 2nd District, which is purplish but often goes red. She beat the purplish former Democratic holder of that seat, Brad Ashford, who lost last time to the redder than red Republican, Don Bacon.

Now, the state and national party couldn't even get Heath Mello elected running against Mean Jean Stothert in just the city of Omaha, which is a lot more Democratic than the 2nd Congressional District as a whole. And Mello was a hell of a lot more attractive candidate -- one with plenty of political bona fides and a lot more in tune with average Nebraskans than Eastman.


And, yes, Eastman really is to the left of Nancy Pelosi. Bacon has been mentioning that early . . . and often.

To Nebraska voters.

Who are not to the left of Nancy Pelosi.

Or Brad Ashford, who got cashiered by the "progressive" Democratic activist base in a low-turnout primary.

Kara Eastman ain't gonna know what hit her.


BEFORE THE PRIMARY, one of Eastman's canvassers actually tried to convince me that Ashford was corrupt. I was born, raised and educated in Louisiana. I think I know a thing or three about political corruption. Brad Ashford ain't a crook.
 

The kid canvasser also told me -- as ominously as a 20-something can conjure -- that Ashford (adopt low, menacing voice here) "used to be a Republican."

My simple, yet brutally effective, response?

"So did I."

Game over. And also in November, most likely.

Despite everything, right now I intend to vote for Eastman. Maybe.I think.

Probably.

We'll see.


It is a massive ask of me to do that -- vote for the "progressive" true believer. At 57, I've been around long enough to distrust most true believers and under ordinary circumstances, I'd just write in my customary protest vote. And I still may not be able to make myself do it, despite Oberpeein'führer Donald Trump and despite the GOP having gone full Nazi.

Why? Because, to paraphrase Gustave Flaubert, "Heath Mello, c'est moi."

And what the Democrats did to him, they'd do quadruple to me.

Why? Because I ain't running for squat as a Democrat and therefore do not have to fudge a damned bit of what I believe as a practicing Catholic. I know what the Kara Eastmans of the "progressive" world think of folks like myself, and I'm reasonably sure of how badly they'd love to shove us right out of civil society.

Why? Because many have been really open about that.
 

THIS JACOBIN IMPULSE on their part absolutely would negate my agreement with about half of Eastman's platform -- and possibly being to the left of her on a few items. Pro-life? To the guillotine!

In saner times, when you agreed with someone on half of the issues, politicians like Ronald Reagan would count you as an ally. Hell, he'd also kick back with Tip O'Neill, the Democratic speaker of the House, for a few stiff ones after a hard day's political brawling.

Unfortunately, these are not saner times. Now, it's "purity or death."

Oh . . . and now Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court, and the future of Roe v. Wade and legalized abortion is back on the national table. And how. 2018 has just asked 1968 to hold its beer. We will be lucky to survive it.

So, turning back to "Will he or won't he vote for Kara Eastman in what's likely her lost cause of a congressional race?" . . . I'm still at probably. Well, definitely maybe. Or not. Basically, what I'm being expected to do is vote for my own figurative death in order to stop Trumpism, otherwise known as not-so-creeping fascism. Or perhaps I'm being asked to vote for my own literal death.

Who knows? We're not near done with the crazy in this country yet.

 
Not near done.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

There's no arguing with the hate-filled heart


I'm just going to leave this here, just so you can see that you don't have to leave the United States to find all the "shithole" you can stand.

As it turns out, "shithole" is a state of mind. "Shithole" is cultural. 

"Shithole" is directly proportional to one's -- to a culture's, to a political entity's -- willingness to tolerate the shitty thoughts and shitty words and shitty actions of shitty people.

From all appearances these days, it's getting a little ripe around here, "from sea to shining sea."

Our present political crisis is not Donald Trump and his stupid, malevolent and -- ultimately -- deeply counterproductive policies. Trump and what Trump hath wrought merely are symptoms of America's ongoing political, cultural and -- indeed -- spiritual crisis.

THE CRISIS is not difficult to understand.  Roughly a third, maybe a little more, of the American population is completely and demonstrably . . . fascist. Extremism in defense of cruelty, racist scapegoating and authoritarianism is no vice for a large subsection of our fellow countrymen.
 

And tolerance, ordinary human compassion and liberty is one. "Socialist," even.

What can we say about ordinary "'Merkuns" who look at a traumatized, crying Latino child and have their first instinct be "Well, if her parents weren't criminals. . . ."? Lots. Little of it would be safe for work or fit for mixed company, however.

Furthermore, by the time one's mind is so warped and one's heart is so hard as the average member of the Trump base, there are no arguments to be made -- because the intended audience isn't listening. At all.


If Adolf Hitler were alive today, and American -- you can call him Al -- and if he were running on some variant of his 1933 platform, you can bet he'd be President Hitler. Because to a significant degree, he is.

Thus is our land . . . let's call it Amerika. Thus always have been various regions of our land at various points in our history. I know. I grew up in one during the waning days of Jim Crow and in its aftermath. And from this right here, being that WAFB is the leading news station in Baton Rouge, I see that Louisiana hasn't much changed.

Left alone, it's not apt to, either.


The fascist political tradition, like the hardened human heart, does not crack absent extreme pressure and a workable, moral alternative. The fight for the soul, and the very idea, of America is not going to be easy. It may well be as bloody, ultimately, as it was from 1861 to 1865. We can't know these things.

What we do know is we must fight . . . for our country as well as for our souls, too. God help us.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

'Well, just shoot up here amongst us --
one of us has got to have some relief'


Don't look at Boris and Natasha, who stole the 2016 presidential election for the biggest, vilest buffoon and existential threat to ever soil 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

No, look at the Mexicans! The Central Americans! They're overrunning our southern border! Raping our women! Sucking at the taxpayer teat! Talking funny! Montezuma's revenge! AAAIIEEEE!

And don't look at all-American concentration camps! They're . . . they're . . . essentially summer camps! Yeah, that's the ticket! Summer camps! Ex-cel-lent. . . .
If you thought Kirstjen Nielsen’s defense of the Trump’s administration’s policy that separates immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border was disturbing, wait until you see what Laura Ingraham had in store for her Fox News viewers on Monday night.

“Consistent with American law, when a party is arrested, your children are either sent to relatives or they become wards of the state,” Ingraham said. “So since more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents, and are temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps.”

The host did not show any images of children being held in cages, nor did she play audio of them screaming for their parents in agony as border agents callously joked, “We have an orchestra here.”

Instead, Ingraham channeled Ann Coulter when she used air quotes around the words “separated children” and attacked Democrats for supposedly feigning outrage in an attempt to “emotionally manipulate” the public for political gain.

SUMMER CAMPS populated by . . . "child actors"! Ooooooooh! That's good!

Just two days into this week, I got nothing left except despair and smartassery. And a Jerry Clower story tailor-made for a nation sick unto death of Donald Trump and his sycophants (pronounced something like "sicko fans").

To wit:


YEAH, ol' Jerry pretty much summed up our predicament with his tale of the coon hunt, John and the bobcat he tangled with way up a sweet gum tree. Most sane, nonauthoritarian and unbigoted Americans, I think, can identify with John.
"What's the matter with John?"
"HOOOOOOOOO! Shoot this thing! Have mercy! This thing's killin' me! Shoot this thing!"

"Johnnnnnn! I can't shoot up in there. I might hit you!"

"Well, just shoot up here amongst us -- one of us has got to have some relief."
SO . . . until somebody gets some relief, here's some smartassery which, I fear, comes way too close to the truth.



Monday, June 18, 2018

White God never has to deal with this. Real God always does.

Dr. Seuss (1940)

A Miami Herald columnist is just askin'.

"What if God were one of us?" Leonard Pitts wants to know.

"Singer Joan Osborne famously asked that question in 1995," he went on. "In her Grammy-nominated hit, 'One Of Us,' she envisions the author of all creation as 'a slob like one of us, just a stranger on a bus trying to make his way home.'"



Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article213298284.html#storylink=cpy
Hmmm . . . well, um. . . .
The idea of eternity contained in mortality was controversial. But it turns out that envisioning God as “one of us” is not at all uncommon. Indeed, our conceptions of God tend to be colored, perhaps inevitably, by our social affiliations. So says a new study in which University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers tested 511 American Christians to see how they envision God.

The one thing respondents agreed on was that God does not resemble Michelangelo’s stern old white man with a flowing beard. Other than that, there was no consensus. African Americans saw a God with African-American features. Young people saw a younger God. Liberals saw a loving God with younger, more feminine features. Conservatives saw a God who was white, older and who radiated power.

In other words, when we see God, we see ourselves and our values. But we may want to look again.
NO, we have gazed at our pseudo-spiritual navels quite enough, thank you very much.

We should look for all the ways God has come to us throughout creation -- how He comes to us still. Perhaps, just perhaps, we should for once consider what the hell has happened to heaven whenever it has come to earth.

It should not be necessary to point out, as much as I love the Joan Osborne song, that "One of Us"  merely restates what Christians have known for millennia -- God was one of us. He was . . . is . . . a Palestinian Jew, name of Jesus.

By contemporary American standards (and particularly those of the combed-over troll we call our president), Jesus Christ -- second Person of the Holy Trinity, son of Mary and one with the Father -- was a loser. He had neither a pot to piss in nor a window to piss out.

If the Border Patrol caught Him on the Mexican border . . . "Oh, Jesus. Another damn Honduran" . . . God incarnate would not find His predicament an unfamiliar one.

Children in detention facility, McAllen, Texas

WAIT. We were talking about how God is like us, remember?

Shut up.

When Jesus was an infant . . . His parents had to flee with their firstborn son across the Egyptian border as undocumented aliens. King Herod, of the MS-13 Herods, had put a price on His head.

Years after the family returned from exile, folks in God's hometown tried to throw Him off a precipice. Something about crazy talk and blasphemy.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, the Roman centurions tortured and lashed Him until His back was divinely raw hamburger, then they jammed a crown woven of 2-inch-long thorns down onto His head. They mocked Him, and then the local man from Rome, Pontius "What is truth?" Pilate sentenced Him to death at the unruly urging of a first-century conservative political base.

Then the authorities made Him carry the heavy, assembled wooden beams he would hang from to the site of His execution. Then the guards nailed his wrists and ankles to the cross and raised it up, so He would hang there and eventually suffocate.

While His mother watched.

Pitts again:
Consider that, then consider this: On the same day the study was reported, CNN.com ran a story about an undocumented immigrant from Honduras who says federal authorities grabbed her infant daughter from her as the baby was being breastfed When the mother complained, she was handcuffed.

It was just the latest outrage of the government’s so-called “zero tolerance” immigration policy, i.e., its decision to criminally prosecute every person who attempts to illegally cross the U.S. border. Until that decision last month, detainees primarily faced civil deportation hearings.

Since that decision, hundreds of children have been separated from their parents. Some detainees say U.S. officials told them their children were being taken for baths, then stole them away. They say no one will tell them where their kids are. Toddlers are being left in an unknown land with strangers, crying for parents they cannot find. The emotional trauma America is inflicting on these kids is incalculable. . . . 
No, this is evil — a just-following-orders, look-the-other-way, not-my-fault species of moral putrefaction brought to you by the most ostentatiously Christian political party in one of the most noisily Christian nations on Earth. The hypocrisy of it reeks to, well … high heaven.
Wikipedia
CHRISTENDOM HAS been giving varying degrees of that treatment to random individuals and groups for nearly 2,000 years now. Usually, we find some way to claim the God Seal of Approval when we do.

Ask me how -- I'm a Southerner, and we specialize in that shit.

What Trump is doing isn't new, it's just that he's so brazen about it, media technology is better now . . . and this administration adds a whack je ne sais quoi to every single thing it touches.

Furthermore, the only point to this Hitlerian spectacle on the Mexican border is sheer terrorism. It's that simple. You terrorize anyone thinking of illegally crossing the border -- or legally seeking asylum -- into not doing it.

Please. The administration has admitted as much any number of times. Don't even argue the point.

Al-Qaida flew jetliners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon to terrorize Americans right out of the Middle East. That terrorism worked about as well as this Trumpian terrorism will.

We Americans are the biggest hypocrites in the world, and the stupidest. Laura Bush correctly compared the aesthetic and means of this terrorism to the Japanese internment camps we built during World War II, but the spirit and tactics of what's being done in the name of the American people today is pure 9/11.

About which I'm sure Jesus Christ was giving Osama bin Laden a big thumbs up. Yeah, that's the ticket. Right, Jeff Sessions?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

It depends on WHICH law, now, doesn't it?


Just when you think the Trump Administration surely can sink no lower, some kakistocrat in the executive branch looks at you, smirks and says "Hold my Zyklon B."

Today in Berlin-am-Potomac, there was the daily White House press briefing with Obergruppenlügner Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the subject of children being forcibly wrested from their asylum-seeking parents at the Mexican border came up.

It went something like this.



During one exchange, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said to CNN reporter Jim Acosta, a frequent sparring partner, “I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences.”

Acosta had asked Sanders about Attorney General Jeff Sessions's attempt, earlier in the day, to use the Bible to justify the Trump administration's immigration policies, which include splitting up families that arrive at U.S. borders seeking asylum.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Other biblical passages, including some written by Paul, have been cited by advocates of softer immigration policies. In Romans 12, for example, Paul wrote: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. ... Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”
“Where in the Bible does it say that it's moral to take children away from their mothers?” Acosta asked.

“I'm not aware of the attorney general's comments or what he would be referencing,” Sanders replied. “I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law.”

Sanders and Acosta went back and forth until Sanders insulted Acosta's comprehension skills. On a telecast of the briefing, another reporter could be heard scolding Sanders for a “cheap shot.”

Sanders then falsely asserted that the Trump administration is separating children from their parents “because it's the law, and that's what the law states.” In fact, separation is not required by law but is a Trump administration practice that White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly calls a “tough deterrent.”

Sanders gave the next question to CBS's Paula Reid, who performed an on-the-spot fact-check.

Unmoved, Sanders continued to insist, falsely, that the Trump administration is simply doing what the law mandates. When Reid asked whether the administration will “take responsibility for its policy change,” Sanders replied, “It's not a policy change to enforce the law.”
OH . . . and this is what the United States' Catholic bishops think of the Trump Administration's "biblical" immigration policies:


Leading U.S. Catholic bishops on Wednesday escalated their criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling new asylum-limiting rules “immoral” and rhetorically comparing the crackdown to abortion by saying it is a “a right-to-life” issue.

One bishop from the U.S.-Mexico border region reportedly suggested “canonical penalties” — which could refer to withholding the sacrament of Communion — for Catholics involved in implementing the Trump policies.

The comments came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — the organizing body of bishops — gathered for a biannual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The topics of migration and asylum have long been a focus for the U.S. church; more than 50 percent of U.S. Catholics under the age of 30 are Latinos.

The statements, including by the conference’s president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, came two days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that fear of domestic violence or gang violence aren’t clear grounds for seeking asylum in the United States. Sessions said asylum claims have expanded too broadly.

But the bishops said the ruling this week came on top of other Trump White House moves that they oppose. Those include ending a program that protected from deportation the “dreamers,” young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, and reducing significantly the number of refugees allowed into the United States.

“At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence,” said a statement Wednesday by DiNardo in his capacity as USCCB president.
 
(snip)

According to the Religion News Service, Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger raised the possibility of implementing canonical penalties for Catholics “who are involved in this,” referring to children being separated from their families at the border. Canonical penalties can range from denial of sacraments to excommunication, though Weisenburger did not specify what he intended beyond referring to sanctions that already exist for “life issues,” RNS reported.

“Canonical penalties are there in place to heal,” Weisenburger said. “And therefore, for the salvation of these people’s souls, maybe it’s time for us to look at canonical penalties.”


Efforts to reach Weisenburger for details were not immediately successful late Wednesday.

Some activists noted that it was rare for bishops to even talk about spiritual penalties in a political context, aside from warnings from some bishops to politicians who support abortion rights. John Gehring, a former USCCB staffer who is now a progressive faith advocate at Faith in Public Life, tweeted that “it’s hard to overstate” the significance of Weisenburger’s remarks.