September 16, 2023

"Listen up GOP candidates and your pious flock, according to me and my son, woke is good." God*

By Hal Brown

* Disclaimer: I do not profess to know God actually said "listen up GOP candidates and your pious flock, according to me and my son, woke is good." I think that the Bible's deity probably would say this. There's more about my faith history on bottom of the page.

I read the following in Raw Story:

Click above for article

This was my comment in Raw Story in response:

 If there was a capital G god, the most real tradtional all powerful diety decision maker ruling over Earth and all points in every direction to the end of the Universe and perhaps beyond, you know, the capital G god who looks like one of the images below, why would capital H he have had a son he sent to Earth who preached a message to mankind that in its essence was what the GOP is calling woke. Read (Newsweek) "Evangelicals Are Now Rejecting 'Liberal' Teachings of Jesus" here.


The Newsweek article has as its central premise that Trump, other GOP presidential candidates, as well as many members of the party who are pandering to Evangelicals  have "transformed the political landscape in the U.S. to the point where some Christian conservatives are openly denouncing a central doctrine of their religion as being too weak and liberal for their liking."

I didn't read the Daily Beast article cited in Raw Story since I don't have a subscription but I did look at the other article. It was from The Christian Post (below) describing the speech Ron DeSantis gave which concluded with this sentence: He told the audience, “As president, we are going to leave the woke mind virus in the dustbin of history, where it belongs, once and for all.” 

Click above 

Here are two other Raw Story comments with illustrations (click to enlarge):

A commenter who goes by SailorRet posted many more images here.

Below are a few of the other comments in Raw Story which I think make excellent points:

“I don't know how you could be a leader without having faith in God," DeSantis said. 

The only member of the Founding Fathers who had beliefs similar to Evangelicals was John Adams, and get this, he was also the only member of that group who was an abolitionist.

(Yeah, maybe that was a big reason he and Thomas Jefferson hated each other. But the point is clear.)

Yeah. Woke is why young people are putting off getting married and having kids. Not because they can't fucking AFFORD to have kids thanks to 40 years of union busting and trickle down pushed by their own party. 🙄

Too bad for them, the young people aren't buying their line of bullshit the way boomers and a chunk of my generation (X) did.

No lie. My 20 year old asked me what they could do to avoid struggling with bills and stuff the way I sometimes do. I looked them straight in the face and said "Don't have kids unless you have a great job and you're living with someone who also has a great job. I love you and your sister, but kids are expensive and you need two solid incomes to raise them" (my ex, their mother, was stay at home and ran off with her affair partner just as she was supposed to go back to work, but that's a different story). My 20 year old is LGBT and doesn't want kids anyway. My 20 year old also votes. And NOT for RepubliQans.

So thank 40 years of GQP union busting and trickle down. Not woke (whatever the fuck that is).

"And it’s the faith in God that gives you the strength to stand firm against the lies, against the deceit, against the opposition."'s having a strong moral compass and a desire to do the right thing (for others as well as yourself) that keeps people unwavering.

It's very weak, and irresponsible, to act as if some invisible being is directing and supporting you, because it's a lie and you know it. You do what you want, giving into your hate and fear, because then you can take it out on others - and blame the outcome on your deity.

As for "COVID-ism", Vivek? We all know every single one of you candidates is vaccinated. So you can fk off with that bs.

And you'll never eradicate "wokism", because that's just respect for others and not trying to control who people are. Us telling y'all to stop banning books is not the same as you telling us which gender we are. You're just so convinced you're right, when you're very, very wrong!

Ex-Vice President Mike Pence told the audience, "The facts speak for themselves. Today more young people are delaying having a family altogether. The share of never-married adults has tripled since 1980. People are getting married later, having children later in life; declining U.S. birth rates" — all the "hallmarks of decline."

Phvck YOU Q-Tip! That's called freedom to decide when or what to do in ones life. What is declining is American's showing up on Sunday mornings for sermons, which now a days at many churches are white Christian nationalist propaganda.

These. Christofascists. Are. Insane. I've posted this quite a few times over the past several years on quite a few threads, but it bears repeating: When you mix religious fanaticism with political fervor, you have big trouble. Wasn't it Barry Goldwater who said, "when fascism comes to the United States, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible"?

...""protect children from 'indoctrination' in public schools.""...
Now THERE is projection on steroids... Religious schools of ANY religion are breeding grounds for extremism and bastions of indoctrination. Manipulation at its finest.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" ... OOPS forgot about that, did you? If we all followed the dictate of keeping government out of religion and vise-versa, and ENFORCE that, we'd be much better off.
But NOOO, they claim to be pure and god-fearing, but then reality bites ... right, Kristi Noem and Corey Lewandowski? Donald Trump and (..MANY..)? Ken Paxton and his side piece?

As it is, there are millions running around proclaiming that they "live by" the demands in their religious texts, but they fail to even provide a modicum of proof that their god exists.
Should that not be STEP #1 before committing to your chosen cult? ... I.E. Prove there is a basis for your beliefs in magic? Asking too much, I know...

A personal note:

I was raised a secular Jew.

I suppose I am so un-Jewish that I just had to be reminded what today was, so I am adding this to the blog:

My town of Mt. Vernon, NY at the time I lived there had a very large Jewish population and I barely knew any Christians. There was one Christian family on my block. 

As a adult I was amazed to learn that three of the major players in the failed illegal attempt in 1947 (when I was three) to buy the soon to become a sovereign country of Israel a surplus aircraft carrier named the Attu for $125,000 (described in article here) were my neighbors. They lived literally next to my house or one house away. I discovered that the men I knew, the fathers of my best toddler friends, were being investigated by the FBI and there were agents prowling the treelined streets of my  tranquil neighborhood.  I am still in frequent touch with two of these friends.

My great-grandfather was one of the founders of a major synagogue tthere.

Click above to enlarge

Most of my male friends and all of my boy relatives went to Hebrew school and went through the   bar mitzvah ceremony with the attendent big party afterwards. My parents couldn't afford this and didn't believe it was important anyway. 

They taught me that God was simply a force for good.  I used to say the "now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to God my soul to keep, God bless Mommy and Daddy etc." prayer every night when I went to bed. I stopped believing in God when I pretty young after one experience. I had terrible stomach cramps and was sitting on the toilet. I was already doubting that there could be an actual God but was in such pain I said out loud "God I promise that if you stop the pain I will believe in you." The pain persisted for a long time. I figured nobody with the power to stop it existed because after all I knew I was a good kid and didn't do anything which I needed to be punished for.

Now if I had to describe my position on matters of faith I would call myself an ethical atheist.

September 15, 2023

Kevin McCarthy is no Tony Soprano. (He's also not Hadleyville Marshall Will Kane.)


By Hal Brown

Update: These two images also illustrate my point.

As a Sopranos fan I had a reaction to the Raw Story article below:

House GOP near 'the Godfather II stage' where 'the whole family kills each other': Republican lawmaker

Excerpt (my bold added):

Infighting among House Republicans has gotten so intense that some members are drawing analogies from classic mobster movies to describe it.

One unnamed congressional Republican told Semafor this week that relations among his colleagues may have reached "the Godfather II stage” where “the whole family kills each other.”

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), meanwhile, explicitly compared House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to TV mob boss Tony Soprano, in that "everybody thinks they’re going to kill him and he comes out alive."

Somehow I don't see McCarthy as a Tony Soprano taking care of family business, but who knows, maybe everything will turn out ducky for him. If you watched the Sopranos you know about Tony and the ducks in his swimming pool, and his killing member of his Mafia crew Fabian Petrulio.

Click above to watch final High Noon scene

I just don't see McCarthy coming out the victor, even if he puts on his best "don't piss me off" Mafioso face, can throttle the life force out of those who dare cross him, or shoots it out with his enemies at high noon

He's not Tony Soprano and he's not Marshall Kane. He can't even be sure he'll be Marshall of the House next week.

As far as I know McCarthy doesn't smoke cigars, but now that the GOP has allowed smoking in the House maybe if he wants to instill fear in his caucus he should take it up in Tony Soprano style.

Just because he can talk like a gangsta doesn't make him a gangsta.

September 14, 2023

The Republicans profess to be bluebirds. The Democrats need to be buzzards.

The bluebird  is reputed to bring happiness and cotnribute in a salubrious way to the human emotional ecosytem . Buzzards are smaller than vultures and they prefer to hunt, attack, and eat their prey while the creatures are somewhat alive, though they will also eat dead or the unfortuate human and thus have a useful role in the biological ecosystem.

Here are some of the Republican bluebirds of happiness:

This one keeps flying against the window, knocking himself out, and doing it again and again:

The only one with an ethical compass that acutally functions is this senator and he's not going to run for a second term.

You can listen to an eastern blue bird's song here.
I admit to bias when I look at the faces of the GOP MAGA monarchy and don't see anything comporably to the bluebird above.

I'm not saying that one can look at the faces of people and decide whether they are what in the "olden times" was called good character.  I will say that when I look at the Republicans pictured above most of them remind me of the most evil of the three white supremacist kidnappers in the show about MI-5 rejects called Slow Horses (97%/93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes on Apple TV).

If the actor who played him, Brian Vernel, got on an elevator with me I'd try to get off on the next floor no matter where I was headed.

I don't have time to put together a photo array of Democrats but when I see everyone from President Biden, espcially juxtaposed with Donald Trump,  and every other Democrat making the news, I don't see psychopaths.

Of course the GOP wants everyone to see the members of "The Squad" as evil incarnate...

and this guy as vying with the president for being the Devil himself:

The GOP bluebird feathered flock flies bringing happiness to the Trump minions because their stchick plays to the gullibility of so many brainwashed people who only hear what they want to hear (confirmation bias is the technical term). 

The Democrats, objectively trying their damnest to be bluebirds of happiness are loathe to be buzzards, to be birds of prey. They need to do to the Republicans what the Republicans are doing to them. A buzzard may not be as pretty as a bluebird, or as majestic as an eagle, or as cunning as hawks and ravens (also top avian predators) but they are damn efficient predators. I could have cited them in my blog but I want an aliteration so buzzards won out.

September 13, 2023

Loudmouth Legislators in House GOP on Dynamite Fishing Expedition

By Hal Brown

Disclaimer: I have only fished once in my life. It was as a teen when a friend and I rode our bikes to Twin Lakes in New York's Westchester County and using a worm and a lead weight I actually caught a bottom feeding 8 inch catfish. I threw it back.

"There is a colloquial legal term for McCarthy’s approach: It’s a fishing expedition" is a line from in David French's opinion column "Where's the evidence, Speaker McCarthy" in the New York Times (subscription).

I discovered dynamite fishing is a "thing" which you can read about if you look up "blast fishing" on Wikipedia. This is really the approach the House GOP is taking.

From Wiki: Blast fishing, fish bombing, dynamite fishing or grenade fishing is a destructive fishing practice using explosives to stun or kill schools of fish for easy collection. This often illegal practice is extremely destructive to the surrounding ecosystem, as the explosion often destroys the underlying habitat (such as coral reefs) that supports the fish. The frequently improvised nature of the explosives used, and undetonated charges, means danger for fishermen and divers as well, with accidents and injuries.

Fishing is generally a quiet endeavor, often contemplative pastime. Unless someone is trolling or using large nets, it is methological and anything but random. The term "fishing expedition" is a misnomer because it has nothing to do with real fishing for actual fish:

Fishing expidition meaning is an open-ended inquiry or investigation, often undertaken on the pretext of a minor or unrelated matter, whose real purpose is to uncover embarrassing or damaging information, as about a political opponent. Reference.

Those who have boats with giant motors make a lot of noise getting to their favorite fishing spots, but what they get there silence is de rigueur. Those who fish with flies, often tying them themselves, take pride in finessing the the fish and casting their fly to precisely where they think the fish are.

Would it be that the House GOP members merely made attention grabbing noise on their way to their fishing spot and then shut the hell up. No, they are intent on making as much noise as possible competeting to get the most attention.

Strategically, as I wrote yesterday in "Split screen: Impeachment is all about counter-programming against Georgia trial" the impeachment is an attempt to give the media something else to report on besides the upcoming trials. On an individual level it provides a megaphone for the egomaniacs to scream "look at me" as loudly as they possibly can. 

Who will end up winning the coveted Oscar as the loudest loudmouth in the House GOP? The oddsmakers probably have the victor being Marjorie Taylor Greene who is clamoring for credit being the first to push for the impeachment (but I don't know if she's going to be on the committee) edging out Matt Gaetz but Jim Jordan is probably waiting for the inquiry to start practicing his  growling gym-coach grilling for when he gets Hunter Biden to testify. Kevin McCarthy selected Jim Comer to lead the impeachment inquiry and Jim Jordan and Jason Smith of Missouri to assist in helming the inquiry (reference).

While on the subject of Marjorie MAGA Megaphone Taylor Greene, I begrudgingly give her credit for using this photo on her X page:

I am sure GOP House members are desperate to get on whatever committee is doing the inquiry if one isn't a a shoo-in.
Click to read

Before this most people outside of their districts couldn't pick Jim Comer  and Jason Smith out of a line-up. Now Comer is an up-and-comer and we'll wait and see whether Smith shines when the spotlight is on him.

File this under How to Pre-judge a Case For Dummies

“Since January, House Republicans have uncovered an overwhelming amount of evidence showing President Joe Biden lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s influence peddling schemes. Bank records, suspicious activity reports, emails, texts, and witness testimony reveal Joe Biden allowed his family to sell him as ‘the brand’ around the world to enrich the Bidens. And, thanks to two brave IRS whistleblowers, we know that the Justice Department – which has been sitting on much of this evidence – has prevented career investigators from pursuing information that could have led to Joe Biden.

“Based on the evidence, we support the opening of an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. The House Committees on Oversight and Accountability, Judiciary, and Ways and Means, will continue to work to follow the facts to ensure President Biden is held accountable for abusing public office for his family’s financial gain. The American people demand and deserve answers, transparency, and accountability for this blatant abuse of public office.”

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Amazing! Trump just got some bigots pissed off. By Hal Brown, MSW

  I had to read the RawStory article shown above three times to figure out what happened. Trump was showing his supposed support for law enf...