DoubleSpeak…

If I were a conspiracy theorists I would believe that #CO3 and his cohorts have this all planned out.  First, they try to convince everyone who will listen that the current news media is all fake and not to be trusted.  And then they put out their version of news as shown by this New York Times snippet below shows.

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I’m sure their base believes these sort of things. I just hope that there are so few of them as to be easily defeated in coming elections. That is if we sane Americans learned our lessons the first time and vote. We should never let the radical fringes pick a future president.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

Tit For Tat…

 “Congress is deadlocked and can’t act.” I think that is the greatest blessing that could befall this country. 

-Will Rogers (Weekly Article #59, January 27, 1924)

2018-06-06_07-30-09.pngI just can’t understand how the leadership of the Republican party can blame the Democrats for not getting anything done this year.  Come on Mitch, you guys control everything and still can’t accomplish the daily chores necessary to keep the country running. All you have managed to do so far is to take healthcare away from millions and pass a budget-busting tax cut for the wealthy.  You personally need to take responsibility for your lack of leadership but of course, that will never happen. You are simply too much like the current leader of your party who refuses to EVER admit that he that he is not perfect or made a mistake. Even if obstruction is keeping you from passing legislation, can’t you remember you personally invented the current definition of obstruction just a few years ago during the first years of the Obama administration? A tit for tat is hell, isn’t it?

But in reality, as Will says, your inability to do anything is perhaps the greatest blessing that could befall us.  Keep up the lack of work guys, at least until we can replace you with someone who will put people instead of party first.

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I Get All The News I Need From The Weather Report…

2018-05-10_10-25-12.pngI didn’t realize how freeing it could be to disentangle myself from the political world. It used to be that I spent a good half hour every morning browsing my internet feeds for political stories.  That process now takes about five minutes or less. The PBS Newshour that I watch the morning after now takes about 10 -15 minutes of my time. The rest goes by at “super fast-forward”. Especially when #CO3’s picture shows up.

The title of this post is from the album by Simon & Garfunkel entitled “Bridge over troubled waters”.  I gotta do a post on that song soon. Getting back to the topic at hand, keeping today’s politics beyond arm’s length certainly is less stressful. I used to scan the daily news to get the latest Trump screw-up but I don’t do that anymore.   I’m sure they will continue to come with increased intensity as each day passes but I just won’t be reading them anymore. There is simply no use in getting upset about things that I have no control over.

For some, speculating what Meuller has uncovered is a way of life. For some, dissing Meuller and everything he finds is a way of life. At this point, it is not likely that any minds will change on this topic. Just tell me when the Special Counsel issues his report and when the impeachment starts and I might get engaged at least at some level again. But, until then I get all the news I need from the weather report.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

Christianist Cult of Trump…

I will admit up front here that I cherry-picked the quotes below and the Facebook shot from a very long, agonizingly long, article from a Catholic site entitled Patheos.  The author is Mark Shea who is evidently a regular contributor to that venue.

The gun debate is an obvious case in point.  Virtually everything I have had to say about it turns on a very fundamental moral point, summed up here:

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The Christianist cult of Trump advertises itself to the world as the face of Real Christianity.  So proud is it that it routinely declares the pope a heretic as it cheers for the lies, corruption and sometimes appalling cruelties to the poor and contempt for common decency that characterize this Administration.  And the world watches and believes them when they say they are the true representatives of the gospel. They see when Christians give Trump a mulligan for fornicating with porn stars and join in declaring his victims to be liars. They see every lie and cruelty excused and know Christianists are full of crap.

via Why Don’t you Talk about Theology Instead of Politics, Mark?

Like many theologians, the author just can’t seem to come to the point directly. He needs to circle around it many times. But I think what I pulled out of the post is tantamount to what “Christianist cult of Trump” is doing to damage the face of Christianity.

But then again I firmly pray that these cult members are actually a minority fringe whose time will come.

I want to close out this post with another quote re-inforcing the damage these fringe groups are doing.

2018-02-25_11-58-04.pngAt a certain point in “God and Donald Trump,” the recent theological gymnastics on display from Tony Perkins and Jerry Falwell, Jr., among others, to explain ongoing conservative Christian support for a president who (allegedly) paid off a porn star weeks before Election Day so she would keep quiet about their (alleged) affair become clear. There will be no point at which Trump’s most loyal evangelical and charismatic supporters declare they have had enough. Because to do so would be to admit that they were wrong, that God wasn’t behind Trump’s election, and that their Holy Spirit radar might be on the fritz. That it was, after all, about something as temporal and banal as hating his Democratic rival.

via Millions of Americans Believe God Made Trump President – POLITICO Magazine

Of course, they are wrong that God put Trump in the Oval Office.  We now know that Russian trollers did it. 🙂  Will there come a point in time when Christianity will totally morph into a political organization without any reference to the spiritual one or even to the messages of Jesus? Will the word “Christian” like the word “gay” become something totally different than its previous definition? The jury is still out on that.

 

Politics As A Cure for Spiritual and Social Loneliness?

Most of us can probably cite at least a couple of reasons for the conditions we find ourselves in today. Some blame the Internet, some religious exclusivity, or maybe religious politicization. Others say it is just plain self-centeredness. I don’t suspect that many put loneliness as part of the mix but maybe it is deeper than we realize.

2018-01-08_18-18-38.pngWhen politics is used as a cure for spiritual and social loneliness, it’s harder to win people over with policy or philosophical arguments. Everything is shaped on a deeper level, through the parables, fables and myths that our most fundamental groups use to define themselves…

Trump’s supporters follow him because he gets his facts wrong, but he gets his myths right. He tells the morality tale that works for them.

It should be said that people on the left and on the right who try to use politics to find their moral meaning are turning politics into an idol. Idolatry is what happens when people give ultimate allegiance to something that should be serving only an intermediate purpose, whether it is money, technology, alcohol, success or politics.

Source:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/opinion/when-politics-becomes-your-idol.htm

I can certainly see some truth in the words above.  It is now a well-known fact that the rural areas of the nation are where most of the Trump voters came from. Many in that area are more isolated than their urban neighbors. Most likely, they are also less educated but maybe that is another story.  Does that make them lonely, it could, especially among us senior citizens.

I have never understood why senior citizens would vote Republican when one of their fundamental goals is to make drastic reductions to Social Security and Medicare? They see services for the elderly as dreaded “entitlements” that need to be eliminated. For seniors to be Republicans is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.  It is widely known that one of Mr. Trump’s primary support groups are people over 65. I think I have some experience with that group.

There are many seniors, including me to some extent, who are isolated from the mainstream.  We spend the majority of our time by ourselves. Some choose, like the current Oval Office occupant, to spend many hours a day in front of the TV. For the most part, they only know the world through cable news networks or probably just one of those networks. Since politics is the major source in their lives they take the topic on as a friend that they no longer have.

I can remember my grandma in the 1950s being obsessed with TV wrestling.  She never missed her wrestling show and would shout and scream at the bad guys on the flickering black and white tube.  No matter how much we tried to convince here that TV wrestling was fake she simply would not believe it. I think the same thing kinda holds for many who are supporting Mr. Trump today.  There are many seniors who have pledged allegiance to him no matter what he may do. That totally misguided faith puts a stain on all of us over 65.

Politics has a place in everyone’s life but it should only be for intermediate purposes and not as an idol onto itself.

Was 2017 the Craziest Year in U.S. Political History?

Here we are starting out another new year. I’m just happy we survived 2017 without too much permanent damage or at least damage we can’t undo when sanity finally returns. I’m sure you are like me in thinking that the current Oval Office occupant is the worst in our nation’s history.  But maybe he isn’t, at least quite yet.  I choose two years from the reference source below at possible proof of that:

1865: An assassination, a racist, a political fracture

2017-12-30_16-03-03.pngThen, five days later, came the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. “Here was the rebellion put down in the field,” Grant later observed, “and starting up in the gutters.” The Great Emancipator and head of the Republican Party was succeeded by Andrew Johnson, a Democrat and an unapologetic racist, throwing American politics into turmoil. The Ku Klux Klan loomed just over the horizon. The events at Appomattox Court House had briefly promised regional harmony, but the radical change in leadership at the White House hinted that the deep fracture between North and South would harden into a permanent feature of our national life, a source of lunacy that bedevils us to the present day.

1968: ‘It’s hard to think of a more chaotic year’

2017-12-30_16-08-10.pngIt’s hard to think of a more chaotic year in contemporary American history than 1968. After years of mounting social discord over civil rights, civil liberties, changing codes of behavior and the war in Vietnam, many citizens now firmly believed—be it with hope or dread—that a revolution was nigh. The year began with the Tet Offensive, which convinced many Americans the war was unwinnable, and ended with the presidential election victory of Richard Nixon, a man whose political career had been said to be over just six years before. In between, turbulence reigned.

Source: Was 2017 the Craziest Year in U.S. Political History? – POLITICO Magazine

I don’t think any president really chooses his vice president thinking that he will not survive his term in office. In 1864 Lincoln was looking at the end of the bloody Civil war and chose his running mate to sound the theme of unity when the South returned from their traitorous ways.  Little did he know that a few short months later Johnson would be in charge of those times. Despite all the spin that they tried to give me recently at the Johnson Presidential Library in Tennessee Johnson did a terrible job. He basically tried to just do a little slap on the wrist and then return to everything the way it was before Fort Sumpter.

I lived through 1968 so I have a first-hand account of that year. Even though I was a naive twenty-two-year-old trying to just get through college, I knew things were bad. There were riots in many major cities, killings on college campuses and pure havoc at the political conventions that year. Things were bad and it was hard not to notice it.

If you want to feel a little better about today’s world browse through the source list above to see other bad years.  Things have been about as bad as now several times in our history and we survived each of those times.