Showing posts with label terrorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label terrorism. Show all posts

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The abomination of desecration


Like millions of Americans, I watched the towers fall in New York City -- live -- on my television set.

Before they fell, I saw people leap to their deaths.rather than be burned alive.

I watched the Pentagon burn. I heard the stories from Flight 93, which gave us "Let's roll!" as a battle cry after Sept. 11, 2001.

Looking into the Omaha sky that day, I saw fighter jets and an AWACS plane. And no other aircraft for days.

I saw my country changed forever, and not for the better, in a single morning. That day, 2,996 people died. People are still dying -- many of them New York first responders -- because of that day.

Wikipedia
TO THIS DAY, I get a pit in my stomach whenever I see old pictures of the twin towers of the then-World Trade Center.

And this is how the Omaha World-Herald has chosen to commemorate that terrible day -- with a 9/11 coupon section. If there's a more telling embodiment of the America of  Donald Trump, who infamously called a New York TV station to brag (falsely) that his Trump Tower now was the city's tallest, I don't know what that would be.

Thousands die. Hey, that's a killer opportunity to make a buck! Right, Warren Buffett? Right, Lee Enterprises?

I can't wait for what the World-Herald has planned for Pearl Harbor Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On Flight 93 over Pennsylvania, when Todd Beamer told his fellow passengers "Let's roll!" as they fought to foil the plane's hijackers, little did we know how America would be rolling nearly two decades later.

It's enough to make one wonder whether our worst enemies are the ones who just might know us best.

Great Satan, indeed.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The suicide blames everyone but himself


This week on 3 Chords & the Truth, the first song is ‘A’ Train’s “Time Stops.” Interesting title . . . if only it did stop.

If only we could stop time long enough to figure out how to put the brakes on this runaway train that no doubt will end in our self-destruction.

Our self-destruction. The ongoing self-destruction of whatever we like to think of as “Western civilization” in our present age of everything falling apart.
 

You’ve seen the news — our president going to the wall for his border wall. Our president threatening his political opponent with violence by what he sees as his military and law enforcement . . . and his motorcycle gang. The massacre of Muslims at prayer on the other side of the world.

We got problems. But any problem we have, and by “we” I mean white folk like myself, cannot be blamed on an “invasion” of brown-skinned people across the southern border of the United States or by Muslim immigration.


If western culture, such as it is, is being subsumed by other cultures, and if those of European stock are being “replaced,” so to speak, by “invaders” whose skin is too brown for the tastes of some — it is because “Westerners” gave up on their culture and their future long ago. They not only quit having children, but also quit building up social capital and believing in the concept of commonweal.

If you don’t know what that is, look it up. You’re already online, Google it.

My weekly struggle with doing a music show that’s informed by what’s going on around us is not to be inundated by it to the point of being tendentious . . . or steeping all of life in partisan ideology. It comes down to deciding which elephants in the room to engage with or blow by.

But the elephant in the room this week is our impending ruin, thanks to our own prejudice, spite and self-pity. The elephant in the room every damn week is the demagogues we put in high places and how every damn day they give license to the greater demons of our fallen nature.

Thursday in this country — Friday in New Zealand — a white-supremacist spouting off about outsiders and “invaders” and the overwhelming of Western civilization by the unwashed hordes went on a shooting spree in Christchurch. Forty-nine Muslim worshipers were gunned down as they prayed in their houses of worship.



MUCH OF the rhetoric the gunman posted in an online manifesto was virtually identical to that of the president of the United States — the one as arguing for building a wall on the Mexican border and banning Muslim immigration to this country. The terrorist in New Zealand wasn’t the first to rail against invaders and “animals” — Donald Trump beat him to it.
 

Trump likes to demonize. He likes to put dehumanizing language and memes out there like armies sow the battlefield with land mines — you don’t know who is going to be blown up, but you damn well know somebody will eventually.

Let’s get our mind around this thing: The elected president of the United States — the former great hope for democracy and liberty in this world — gleefully and constantly eggs on the hateful and the unstable, both here and abroad, to turn their wrath on The Other as a means of aggrandizing himself and augmenting his political power.

Because of what he says and does, people undoubtedly have died. He has taken what used to be on the far margins of Western civilization and brought it into the mainstream. He has given courage to cowards and agency to aggrieved racists and bigots.

Get familiar with the term stochastic terrorism. It’s the governing ethos of our federal government . . . as represented by the 45th president of the United States.

Remember Anwar al-Awlaki? His primary job with al-Qaida was propagandizing ordinary Muslims into a radical state . . . and then they might join al-Qaida, or they might just blow up stuff and kill people as freelancers. It didn’t much matter to him, and he didn’t much know who would do what or where.

But he pretty much knew somebody would do something.

He stopped doing that one day in Yemen, when an American drone shot a few Hellfire missiles up his rear end. A few years later, Americans elected their own Anwar al-Awlaki as president.

Who swore to us Friday that right-wing terrorism wasn’t a big problem. Well, at least not for him.

Well, may God have mercy on us all, because it will not end well for a people that refuses to recognize the simple fact that God made us all and loves us just the same.

In Galatians, the apostle Paul told us:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.”
WE GOOD Christians — at least the ones so ready to beat brown people to death with their Trump-autographed Bibles — forget that those slaughtered Muslims in Christchurch knew a little about Abraham themselves. As did the slaughtered Jews in Pittsburgh last year.

As do the Latino Catholics at our southern border.

Perhaps the best all of us who the president has again threatened with violence by "his" cops, "his" military and "his" Bikers for Trump can hope for is that this present darkness is merely the prelude to dawn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Rep. Adolf Gump

I can't be sure, but a fat legislative Bubba from Georgia throwing it in reverse with his britches around his feet and trying to use his ass as a battering ram while screaming "AMERICA! AMERICA!" could be one of the signs and wonders Jesus told us would herald the Apocalypse.

It's in the Bible. Somewhere in the back.
THIS HERE? Also from Georgia. This fool is running for governor.

Oh . . . we sooooo doomed.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Land of the sucker, home of the coward


You know about Charlottesville. You know what President Trump said (or, rather, didn't say) about Charlottesville.

You probably have heard some Trump-addled right-wing ditwad blame the neo-Nazi riot in the Virginia college town on former President Barack Obama, or Black Lives Matter . . . or on any damned thing apart from the neo-Nazis and their chief enabler and encourager, Donald Trump.


You even might have heard some Trump-loving American fascists -- and make no mistake, to love Donald Trump and his agenda is to be an American fascist -- blame Heather Heyer, 32, for her own death in an act of neo-Nazi domestic terrorism. I have heard just that. Then again, I am originally from the fascist stronghold of Baton Rouge, La., and sometimes read the comments on local news stories there.  (I need to quit doing that.)

Heather Heyer
As the demented Nazi-apologist argument (such as it is) goes, Heyer is to blame for her own demise . . . because she was there. And for being a hateful "libtard" who had the gall to protest against white-supremacists who, after all, were exercising their First Amendment rights.

In the words of the American troll's favorite American antihero, "BAD!" Or was it "SAD!" ? I forget.


THIS BRINGS me to something Al Jazeera English dug from the depths of YouTube. I hesitate to bring Al Jazeera into this, because someone sees "Al Jazeera," thinks "MUSLIN TERRORISS!!!" and what's left of their brain freezes up. Anyway. . . .

What the cable-news outlet found and posted to social media was a clip from the 1947 reissue of Don't Be a Sucker, a 1943 anti-fascist propaganda film produced by the U.S. War Department. Cliff's Notes version: The film opens with a montage of all the ways one can be suckered, segues into a fascist stump speaker on the courthouse square in Anytown, U.S.A., then outlines the rise and fall (and toll) of Nazi rule in Germany.

The clip going around Facebook, et al, was supposed to be a history-based argument on the evils of fascism and white supremacy. And that it indeed is. But if you hunt down Don't Be a Sucker on the Internet -- a high-quality version is downloadable from the Internet Archive -- and watch the whole thing, much more becomes clear. Clear as someone caught in the high-wattage beam of a concentration-camp spotlight.


Cleaned-up a bit for 21st-century consumption, the fascist agitator's spiel in the public square is a remarkable facsimile of a Donald Trump campaign speech. The National Socialists' tactics to divide and conquer German society resemble something as contemporary, and Trumpian, as today's headlines. And our divided, faltering American society today is ripe for the conquering.



DONALD TRUMP knew that two years ago. American Nazis and other assorted white supremacists know it today. It is no accident that many of the racist rabble on parade in Virginia were chanting "Heil, Trump!" as they gave their stiff-armed Nazi salutes.

What the government of the United States warned its citizens about more than 70 years ago now is running the United States government. American voters who damn well ought to have known better -- been better -- put fascism in that high position.


Think about that, if you can stomach it.

Then think about what the hell you're going to do about it.

Friday, March 17, 2017

EWTN: Blowing the smoke of Satan up your butt


If EWTN radio or television -- or the network-owned National Catholic Register -- is what you rely on for any true sense of what the holy Catholic Church really is all about, I now refer you to the great John Prine.
Blow up your TV throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try and find Jesus on your own
At least then you'd have a fighting chance.

Above, you see what passed last month for a "news interview" with President Trump's counter-terrorism aide, Sebastian Gorka -- whose main claim to fame before combative interviews with press outlets that aren't EWTN News was having worked for Breitbart and being tight with chief Trump adviser and alt-right enabler Steve Bannon. At the time, Gorka was making the media rounds in defense of the Trump Administration's first court-stymied, patently immoral executive order on immigration, popularly known as "the Muslim ban."


Prior to that interview, Gorka had raised Washington eyebrows by wearing, both at a Trump inauguration ball and on a Fox News Channel interview, what The New York Times termed as "a medal that could be interpreted as a nod to Miklos Horthy, a Hungarian leader who entered into a strained alliance with Nazi Germany in the early years of World War II."

According to a story in a national Jewish publication, "Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been 'under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany' during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward."
The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands. 
Gorka’s membership in the organization — if these Vitézi Rend leaders are correct, and if Gorka did not disclose this when he entered the United States as an immigrant — could have implications for his immigration status. The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitézi Rend “are presumed to be inadmissible” to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Gorka — who Vitézi Rend leaders say took a lifelong oath of loyalty to their group — did not respond to multiple emails sent to his work and personal accounts, asking whether he is a member of the Vitézi Rend and, if so, whether he disclosed this on his immigration application and on his application to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2012. The White House also did not respond to a request for comment.

But Bruce Einhorn, a retired immigration judge who now teaches nationality law at Pepperdine University, said of this, “His silence speaks volumes.”

The group to which Gorka reportedly belongs is a reconstitution of the original group on the State Department list, which was banned in Hungary until the fall of Communism in 1989. There are now two organizations in Hungary that claim to be the heirs of the original Vitézi Rend, with Gorka, according to fellow members, belonging to the so-called “Historical Vitézi Rend.” Though it is not known to engage in violence, the Historical Vitézi Rend upholds all the nationalist and oftentimes racial principles of the original group as established by Horthy.

Gorka, who pledged his loyalty to the United States when he took American citizenship in 2012, is himself a sworn member of the Vitézi Rend, according to both Gyula Soltész — a high-ranking member of the Vitézi Rend’s central apparatus — and Kornél Pintér — a leader of the Vitézi Rend in Western Hungary who befriended Gorka’s father through their activities in the Vitézi Rend.

Soltész, who holds a national-level leadership position at the Vitézi Rend, confirmed to the Forward in a phone conversation that Gorka is a full member of the organization.

“Of course he was sworn in,” Pintér said, in a phone interview. “I met with him in Sopron [a city near Hungary’s border with Austria]. His father introduced him.”

“In today’s world it is rare to meet anyone as well-bred as Sebastian or his father, Pali,” he added.

If correct, Gorka’s membership in the order is notable because, as Pintér and other members explained, affiliation is possible only via a solemn initiation rite in which new members take an oath swearing undying allegiance to the Hungarian nation and the Vitézi Rend’s goals: “I, Vitez [name], swear on the Holy Crown that I know the Order’s goals and code, and based on the orders of the Captain and Order Superiors will follow them for the rest of my life. I never betrayed my Hungarianness, and was never and am not currently a member of an anti-national or secret organization. So help me God.”
The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
ebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
bastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.
The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.
Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
bastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.
The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.
Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
bastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.
The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.
Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
bastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.
The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.
Read more: http://forward.com/news/national/366181/exclusive-nazi-allied-group-claims-top-trump-aide-sebastian-gorka-as-sworn/
SO, IN THE FACE of an administration with clear alt-right ties pushing a draconian immigration policy consistently condemned by the magisterium of the Catholic Church, what did News Nightly anchor Lauren Ashburn ask her massively controversial guest? This.

"You have a big target on your back at the White House and are criticized, like many there, on a daily basis. How does your faith help you get through that?"

Slanted softball questions are nothing new for EWTN News. Hey, y'all! Watch this.





FRANKLY, Pravda, Granma and the People's Daily were far more subtle purveyors of state propaganda back in the day. And one other thing: The Soviets, the Fidelistas and the Maoists weren't selling people their toxic stew of fakery in the name of Jesus Christ and His church.

EWTN, though, seems intent on conflating Catholic piety with GOP politics at a time when Republican politics has repudiated its ordinary right-wing tomfoolery to follow a protofascist pied piper. And the late Mother Angelica's cable network lets this Trumpian filth masquerade as Catholic truth, all in patent opposition to the clear teaching of the catechism, the American bishops and Pope Francis.

Today, Christians are worried about the coming persecution of orthodox believers who oppose the immoral cultural Zeitgeist. What is far more pressing -- and dangerous -- to Christians, however, is the ongoing subversion of the faith and its adherents by evil politicians and their ideologies.

The persecutor can only kill the body. The subversive, on the other hand, can corrupt the church and destroy soul after soul.


Today we find the dominant force in Catholicism's media sanctuary filling with the smoke of Satan. The teaching and governing authority of the church ignores this at all of our peril.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Getting the picture in the Age of Terror


It's summer in Omaha. And with the beginning of summer comes the College World Series, a fine way to spend a sultry evening in late June.

Added to the mix, starting next week, will be the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, just across the street from TD Ameritrade Park downtown.

The CWS is Omaha's signature event, one that has become part of this Midwestern city's very being. It has come to symbolize what we all love most about amateur sports and about America's national pastime.

IT'S THE PICTURE Omaha wants to present to the country, and the one America wants to present to the world. Here, three of these pictures belong together.

Three of these pictures are kind of the same. Can you guess which one of these doesn't belong here?


Now, with apologies to Sesame Street, it's time to play our game.

Proceed.


SORRY for the blurriness of the picture that's not the same, the one immediately above. The sports Nazis of the NCAA won't let me bring my digital SLR with the long lenses into the stadium, and when you zoom in with an iPhone camera, you get what you get.

So let me tell you what you're seeing here. The Omaha policeman on the right is carrying what appears to be some permutation of an AR-15 -- an assault rifle. These officers are stationed right before you get to the ticket-takers, and you don't get more in plain sight than that.

It took me aback -- not that CWS security hasn't always been this heavy in our post-9/11 world, but that this year, in the era of ISIS and a week past Orlando, it seems to be more conspicuous  than ever. In your face, even.

I'm not faulting the local cops. I'm not questioning the security strategy. And I'm certainly not getting in the face of the cop with the military-grade firearm to get a better picture of his assault rifle. Besides, I look rather Mediterranean in this Age of Trump.

What I am saying is this is sad. Damned sad. It might be the right thing, but it is so, so wrong.

America's right-wing, gun-nut wingnuts don't want us to become just like those socialist "Euroweenies." Seen the security at the Euro soccer championships in France?

Looks to me like we just have.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

We go on hurting each other, tearing each other apart


The United States has suffered -- yet again -- a horrible mass shooting. Another mind-numbing, soul-killing episode of domestic terrorism.

This latest, early Sunday morning, came as some madman of Afghan heritage and a Muslim upbringing shot up a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 and wounding more than 50 others in the deadliest mass shooting in American history before an Orlando SWAT team gunned him down. The mass-murderer -- the terrorist who aimed to deal with homosexuals the same way Adolf Hitler did -- pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in a phone call to 911 dispatchers.

The atrocity's aftermath, unsurprisingly in these times, has been one of scapegoating, recriminations and outright mau-mauing on all sides. Unsurprisingly, our country's angry-ideologue class, along with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have been in the middle of the national freakout.

Take your pick on whom to blame, because everybody's getting tarred so far. Our battered, crumbling American society is in a bad patch of its ongoing nervous breakdown, and American Conservative senior editor and blogger Rod Dreher ain't feeling so good himself:

Most conservative Christians I know find Donald Trump to be an excrescence. But as the attacks on Christians mount, and the campaign to demonize religious liberty as cover for hatred goes into overdrive, they will have to consider more carefully whether or not to vote for Trump as a matter of self-protection. As the AP story said:
Trump uses rhetoric that has resonance for Christian conservatives who fear their teachings on marriage will soon be outlawed as hate speech.
“We’re going to protect Christianity and I can say that,” Trump has said. “I don’t have to be politically correct.”
Every conservative Christian I know who has told me he or she is voting for Trump, despite everything, has said fear of what Clinton will do to religious liberty is at the heart of their decision. I get that. Boy, do I get that. And this week, it’s becoming ever clearer.
SO . . . what we're hearing is that, for fear that Hillary Clinton will open up a can of politically correct WhoopAss on believing Christians, it is somehow understandable and legitimate that allegedly believing Christians would cast their votes for a candidate who:
  • Actively and unequivocally encouraged violence against protesters at his campaign events

  • Clearly stated his support of torture — acts that not only are profoundly immoral but also are defined as war crimes in both domestic and international law

  • Differs not a whit from Hillary Clinton on abortion, based on his record and not his multiple campaign positions on the subject

  • Has reiterated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, an act of religious bigotry that flies in the face of U.S. constitutional law and would, soon enough, be used against Christians once the forest of the law had been cut down and we had nowhere left to hide

  • Has called for the retributive mass murder of terrorists’ wives, children and families because “We gotta be tough.

  • Has used blatant bigotry and stereotyping to scapegoat and engender hatred toward Mexicans as a whole

  • Sought to bully a federal judge of Mexican heritage presiding over a lawsuit against him, deploying outrageously racist arguments in the process

  • Refused to immediately repudiate the support of onetime neo-Nazi and KKK grand dragon David Duke, and who regularly sends out rhetorical dog whistles to skinheads, Kluxers and all other ilks of alt-right refuse

  • Has refused to rule out using nuclear weapons in the Middle East and even Europe. Europe! 

  • Is a well-known moral degenerate who routinely denigrates women, this in addition to his entire adult lifetime of sexually using and objectifying them. (We are supposed to elect this as president of the United States because we’re freaked out over gays and the tragically gender-confused? Really?)

  • Has built a long “business resumé” of shady dealings, crackpot schemes, failed ventures born of sheer narcissism and, finally, alleged out-and-out fraud

  • Routinely bullies his political opponents

  • Routinely threatens his political opponents

  • Routinely makes slanderous and outrageous accusations against his political opponents, the latest being against the president of the United States when he insinuated Barack Obama was somehow in cahoots with Islamist extremists.
St. Maximilian Kolbe
I AM SORRY, but even thinking of voting for such a candidate won’t fly — not on grounds of one’s faith in Jesus Christ . . . not on grounds of one’s support of the United States Constitution and the rule of law.

That may mean that Christians are just f***ed in this election but this is the real world, and f***ed happens.

As for myself, I’d rather be honorably martyred under Hillary Clinton than live in dishonor under President Trump, effectively repudiating my Catholic beliefs as I shoveled moral excrement upon my Savior and my faith.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ein volk. Ein reich. Ein furor.


The more I see of Ben Carson, the more my mind's eye flashes back to Cleavon Little disguised in a white robe and hood in Blazing Saddles.

Blazing Saddles was hilarious. Ben Carson is just weird . . . and scary. And he's leading the Republican presidential field.
 
At any rate, it's come to this in America 2015 as we embark yet again on the quadrennial farce, er, campaign -- a black dude using a picture of the collapsing World Trade Center on 9/11 to race-bait Syrian refugees. You can't make this stuff up.

I WISH someone had as some sort of sick joke. Instead, the joke is on human decency and American democracy, and it's no laughing matter.

Demagoguery such as this ought to automatically disqualify any politician who stoops to it as a serious candidate not only for the presidency, but for anything. Voters who fall for it are unworthy of the responsibility placed upon them by the dictates of democratic self-government.

Meanwhile, for Ben Carson's next act, he'll stampede some cattle through the Vatican. That'll show them papists for helpin' to resettle them A-rab terrorists in 'Murica.



Monday, November 16, 2015

NOW they're worried about homelessness


The good news: American right-wingers are focused on homelessness now.

The bad news: I think the Republican Congress is about to eliminate welfare, food stamps and the rest of the "social safety net."

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I have three words for this


As I write this, 129 people are dead and 352 lie wounded in Paris after coordinated terrorist attacks attributed to ISIS -- the Islamic State in Syria, Etc., Etc., and So On.

Apparently, some delicate flowers out there are upset this is taking away from the coverage of the "terrorist attack" at the University of Missouri, where rednecks wielding AR-15s and hand grenades slaughtered hundreds of students of color and left hundreds more grievously wounded. . . . Oh, wait.

Redneck idiots yelled the N-word, and somebody drew a swastika in poop.

As bad as that is, and as much as that needs to be dealt with, it's not the wanton slaughter of 129 people and the wounding of 352. And I have three words for those hysterical and solipsistic nervous Nellies who are demented enough to think it is.

Unfortunately, this is a family blog.



HAT TIP: Rod Dreher.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The truth will set us free


I’ll be honest with you. It chaps my a** to read the smug comments of some of you Northerners, so certain of your rectitude. But it also breaks my heart to read the smug comments of some of you Southerners, so certain that this is only a matter of fighting back the forces of political correctness, because no American could possibly take genuine offense at a symbol second only to a burning cross in standing for white supremacy and racial terror.

I am glad to see the Confederate flag go. Yes, there are about a billion more important things on the racial front than the fate of this flag. The disappearance of the Confederate flag from public places will not educate one more black child in a failing school, or help a single black child growing up without a father in the home, or do a damn thing for black families trapped in their homes after dark because of gun violence. That’s all true. You can re-name a city thoroughfare after Dr. King, but that won’t keep it from being, as it is in too many places, one of the worst streets in town. Same deal with the flag.

But taking it down is still the right thing to do. There is no getting around the fact that the armies that went to battle under that flag fought for a nation and a political and social order built on enslaving Africans. And there is no getting around the fact that the same flag was resurrected in the 1950s by Klansmen and other white supremacists, and wielded as a symbol of resistance to equality for black Americans.

The Confederate flag is largely invisible to me, in a way that it is not invisible to black Americans. I can, and do, ignore it as an example of badly dated nostalgia, but Dylann Roof made it very, very clear that for some white people, the flag remains a potent expression of racial hatred. He forced many of us whites who aren’t particularly fond of the Confederate flag, but who don’t think about it much, to pay attention to that symbol, and to see it through the eyes of black Americans.

And so did the amazing grace of the people of Mother Emanuel AME church.
My friend Rod Dreher speaks for me here, as does New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.

Many of the folks who are now jerking their knees so hard in defense of their "heritage" and the flag they say represents it, are jerking them so hard they're hitting themselves square in the chin. They are liable to knock themselves plumb out.

Lots of these folks fancy themselves to be fine Christian people and, no doubt, not just a few of them are finer Christians than I. But you cannot be a good Christian without acknowledging you're a damnable sinner in need of the cross . . . and in need of sincere repentance and a firm purpose of amendment. You can't get there without being acquainted not only with the sins of your own volition but also those in which you've been implicated.

We Southerners cannot escape the plain fact that the flag with which we were raised is the banner of the South's -- and America's -- original sin. Hatred and subjugation of blacks is the original cause for which that flag flew, and it again represented that same cause when it was resurrected in the 1950s and '60s.

The Rebel flag was and is the banner of rebellion -- rebellion against the United States, rebellion against the "self-evident" truth that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It matters not a whit whether we're speaking of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Stars and Bars, the Stainless Banner or the Blood Stained Banner. They, and the cause they represent, are the standards of rebellion, rebellion against our fellow man and against the Creator Himself.

In bowing down before this idol, this golden calf of moonlight and magnolias, of grits and mustard greens, "heritage" loving Southerners also bow down before the Father of All Lies, the devil who hated both slave and slave master as much as he loved the death and suffering inflicted by the overseer's whip . . . and the foot soldiers' rifle fire and artillerymen's cannon balls.

SATAN WAS the lord of Montgomery, and he was the lord of Richmond. Finally, for eight days, he was the lord of Danville, Va. He cheered on the Grim Reaper at First Manassas, known by Yankees as the First Battle of Bull Run. He sharpened death's scythe at Antietam. He delighted in Pickett's charge up Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg but later rued the outcome of the Civil War's pivotal battle.

The devil's spirits lifted when his standard again ascended flag staffs across the South after Brown v. Board of Education. He egged on every lynching, cheered for the white rioters at Ole Miss and bought the bullets for the rifles that fired on Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr.

God's greatest creation, and Heaven's first fallen angel, looked on with demonic pride when the forefathers of Dylann Roof blew up four little African-American girls in a Birmingham church. And the treacherous banner, the gold standard of rebellion, flew over it all.

We Southerners can have our moonlight and magnolias, our fried chicken and cornbread. We can love our bourbon and mint juleps, best enjoyed in the shade of a live oak tree. We can have all the good things that were left to us as part of our Southern heritage. We, however, are not permitted to ignore that God-damnable evil that is equally our heritage.

In doubling down on their defense of the indefensible -- in doing so a week after a racist Southern punk who loved the Confederate flag walked into Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, sat through a Bible study and then gunned down nine black Christians who had opened their arms and hearts to him -- too many of my fellow Southerners insist upon proving the old adage "There are none so blind as those who will not see." They will not see the obscenity of the symbolism they defend, and they will not see the obscenity of doing so before the bodies of nine African-American saints, nine black Christian martyrs, have even been committed to the good earth of South Carolina.

PART OF my heritage as a native Louisianian is that the moment folks decided Gov. Earl Long had gone off his rocker came with an angry 1959 speech to a legislature hell bent on segregation and nullification, as recounted by A.J. Liebling in The Earl of Louisiana. His rant was directed at the arch segregationist, Sen. Willie Rainach:


"After all this is over, he'll probably go up there to Summerfield, get up on his front porch, take off his shoes, wash his feet, look at the moon and get close to God." This was gross comedy, a piece of miming that recalled Jimmy Savo impersonating the Mississippi River. Then the old man, changing pace, shouted in Rainach's direction, "And when you do, you got to recognize that n*****s is human beings!"

It was at this point that the legislators must have decided he'd gone off his crumpet. Old Earl, a Southern politician, was taking the Fourteenth Amendment's position that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
AS MUCH as I hang my head in shame that part of my heritage looked upon being foursquare for the Fourteenth Amendment as a prepaid ticket to the funny farm, I also delight in the spectacle of a boozing, pill-popping politician -- who at the time was cavorting with a New Orleans stripper -- going waaaaay out on a limb to do the Lord's work, while "decent white Christians" were denying the humanity of those children of the Father whose skin happened to be of a darker hue.

No doubt, the Willie Rainachs of the Gret Stet of Louisiana were just trying to defend their heritage. That "heritage" denied Adam and Eve's original sin just as much as it celebrated the South's.

None of us has the right to deny our brothers' and sisters' history in order to celebrate a sanitized version of our own. Segregating the black children of God from the white children of God in a separate but unequal Southern heritage, where the latter get to whitewash the suffering of the former in the name of pride is a deal only Lucifer could love.


Truth will have none of it. Neither will history.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Crackpot calls the kettle black


What would Americans' ulcers do without Bobby Jindal?
 
Bobby Jindal:
Cable news troll

The Louisiana governor, who less than two weeks after the Charlie Hebdo massacre went to London to bleat about Muslim "no-go zones" there and across Europe, has just called President Obama "shameful" for mentioning that America has a gun-massacre problem a day after nine African-Americans were gunned down at a Bible study in Charleston, S.C.

Of course, Jindal did this on the Fox News Channel.

“I think it was completely shameful, within 24 hours of this awful tragedy, nine people killed in a Bible study in a church,” Jindal said. “Within 24 hours, we’ve got the president trying to score cheap political points. Let him have this debate next week. His job as commander in chief to help the country begin the healing process.”
Obama said Thursday the shooting shows the need for a national reckoning on gun violence. “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” he said. “It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”


SO HERE we have a failed governor of a poor Southern state "trying to score cheap political points" by lambasting Barack Obama for "trying to score cheap political points" in the wake of an act of domestic terrorism . . . just like he did overseas back in January.

Compared to Jindal, Obama is an amateur when it comes to "shameful."

Actually, the guy isn't a putative presidential candidate (whose hobby is bouncing the rubble of Louisiana as its worst governor ever) so much as he is the political version of an Internet troll. It's enough to make one wish America had a moderator who could ban GungaSpin2016 from the national comments section.