Out With the Old…

There’s an old saying.  It has a lot of variants but it goes something like this: If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart.  If you’re not a conservative when you’re old, you have no head.  People who DO become conservative like to use this line as a way to suggest they find some deeper understanding as they age and naturally become conservative.

My personal feeling is that the phrase simply describes a phenomenon of aging.  Another way to say it is this: when you’re young, healthy, and vibrant – when your body and brain are working at their optimum – you think well.  Therefore, you tend to be liberal.  After years of abuse by the world, alcohol, injuries and just plain age – when your body and brain are no longer functioning well – you think poorly or, perhaps, just “less effectively.”  THAT’S when you become more conservative.

I think that has been happening to Diane Feinstein over the years.  Now, don’t get me wrong, here.  I’m not suggesting Feinstein is some kind of rabid tea-bagger hoping for the end of America but she certainly seems to have moved right with age at a time when an increasing number of Americans are tiring of the “incremental baby-steps” approach.  People are looking for more progressive representatives.

Apparently, the California Democrats agree.  They’ve endorsed Kevin de Leon in his bid for the US Senate despite the elder Statesperson’s request that they remain neutral.  Feinstein’s camp suggested such an endorsement might lead to inter-party squabbles.  It might.  Perhaps, since the California Democrats have endorsed their preferred candidate, she might consider stepping aside with grace and supporting the new wave.

Ha ha, just kidding.  Of COURSE she’s going to run.  Hell, she’s still the odds-on favorite to win.  I don’t have any major heartburn with that.  She’s been (mostly) good for California for years.  But she’s 85.  She’s held her seat since 1992.  That’s 26 years!  She’s the oldest sitting Senator.  Perhaps it’s time for new blood; a new vision…

Handlers and Assets…

I’ve been listening to Chuck Schumer and other Democrats call on our National Embarrassment to cancel his one-on-one with Putin.  The position is that because there’s so much evidence – like the 12 Russians just indicted for conspiracy – linking the Russians to attempted disruptions of the last “election” it’s probably not a good idea to have a private, one-on-one meeting.

That’s the correct position, of course, but only in a world where right and wrong matter.  We no longer live in that world so, right or wrong, the meeting proceeds.  Besides, do you actually think a spy enjoys the authority to tell their handler whether or not they’ll answer a call?  I don’t think so.  Putin calls, Trump responds.  That’s the way it works.

I’ll tell you this: Trump will be lucky if Putin doesn’t make Trump blow him before they trade information and the next assignment…you know, just to show who’s boss…

Retrospect…

I heard a talking head on KGO radio going over the list, in detail, of all the various and sundry ways the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh is going to harm various groups in this once-great nation.  Besides riling up all the people who stand to suffer now, I’m not sure what his point was.  But I found myself thinking about the DNC.  I continue to wish they had just done the job the corporate charter says they exist to do: facilitate fair and honest primaries.

I have high confidence President Sanders would NOT be doing the damage this group is doing…

Refusing to Learn…

It should not be surprising that Trump’s stupid trade war seems to be harming Americans more than anyone else.  If actions speak louder than words – and they do – Trump seems to be anti-American.  The Chinese (among other nations) have decided to respond to Trump stupidity by attacking Trump supporters in this trade war.  The retaliation the Chinese imposed is aimed directly at “heartland farmers” for example – they’ve cancelled nearly their entire order of soy beans from the US.  This has caused many on the left to declare that perhaps NOW the Trumpsters will see what’s happening.

Don’t hold your breath…

These are not fact-based people.  They’re fully faith-based and they will not allow the interruption of their faith by a few obnoxious facts.  Fox “News” will find some way to blame Democrats and the Trump loyalists will just accept it – the same way any religious fundamentalist accepts what their minister says.  (“God WANTS me to touch you here…”)

Sure, it’s grabbing an anvil for use as a life preserver, but they’ll cling to their faith all the way to the bottom…

The Newest Religion…

Truth?  I’m not much on religion.  But I’d take any one of the “Big 3” Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) over this newest entry known as “Movement Conservatism” any day.  At least the Big 3 are acting like they’d like to make the world a better place.  Movement Conservatism is quite blatant about their desire to damage people, places, and things.  It’s the ‘Crush, Kill, Destroy’ part of their dogma.

If you didn’t recognize Movement Conservatism as a religion, you can be forgiven.  It arrived masquerading as a political movement but the more one interacts with a Movement Conservative, the more one sees the parallels to more mainstream religions and, after awhile, the similarities are simply too abundant to ignore.

Consider: the first and most important aspect of any religion is faith, right?  Archie Bunker best sums up faith when he says, “Faith is believing in something you’d have to be crazy to believe in!”  Basically, it comes down to accepting positions despite available evidence rather than in keeping with it.  I don’t advise accepting things on faith if you have a choice but religious thinkers live that way on a day to day basis – and then wonder why things don’t work the way they’re “supposed” to…

But faith, alone, isn’t the only aspect of religion.  Religions promote sacred texts.  A few of the favorites of Movement Conservatism include ‘Atlas Shrugged’, written, ironically enough, by Ayn Rand – an atheist.  There’s also ‘Democracy in America’ by Alexis de Tocqueville, ‘The Conscience of a Conservative’ by Barry Goldwater and ‘The Turner Diaries’ by William Luther Pierce…

Religions thrive on myths and other sacred stories, as well.  We’ve all heard them.  One of the favorite myths of Movement Conservatives involves their patron saint, Ronald Reagan who once said, “…tear down this wall” and, in the myth, the wall was gone the next day – a miracle!  (Okay, so it took years after that speech before the wall came down and, yes, every President from Kennedy to Reagan gave some version of the same speech but only Reagan gets the “win.”  See the entry on ‘Faith.’)  There are others, of course.  “Tax cuts for the rich benefit everyone” and one of the newest, “They’re sending criminals.”  The stories are intended to reinforce the teachings.  They’re supposed to make the faith-based aspects seem real…

Religions use symbols.  Christians have crosses.  Jews have the Star of David.  Movement Conservatives have Pepe the Frog, the Confederate Flag, and various forms of the Swastika.  Symbols are important to religions.  They give the acolytes something tangible to look at to remind them who they are…

There are supporting social structures to Movement Conservatism, too.  These can best be seen in the rallies that take place from time to time, hosted by their current leader, Donald Trump but the daily gatherings at Fox “News” serve to keep the acolytes believing…(and contributing)…

Religions are supposed to offer ethical and moral directives to their followers that teach them how to behave and Movement Conservatism is no different.  They offer teachings like, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it”, “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps”, and “Knock the crap out him, would you?”  This is probably my biggest issue with Movement Conservatism; it intentionally seeks the worst of humanity rather than trying to support the best.  As an example, Christianity teaches that among the worst qualities of humanity are pride, greed, envy, gluttony, and wrath.  But those are the very attributes Movement Conservatism embraces and promotes…

“Wait,” you might wonder, “what about their God?  It can’t be a religion without a God to worship, can it?”  Well, no, it can’t but they’ve got that, too.  Movement Conservatives worship the great Prophet Profit.  There can be no greater God and all things must be done in His holy name…

Religions are often born of other religions.  Christ was a Jew, for example.  In the same way Jews left Judaism to become Christians, Christians have now, in turn, left Christianity to become Movement Conservatives.  It’s often a slow-moving thing.  Early Christians continued to count themselves Jews for a long time but after awhile, it became clear that the beliefs of Christianity had so deviated from Judaism, they needed to be their own group.  The same is happening to Christians today.  The Movement Conservatives sprang from Christianity but the differences have already separated the goats from the sheep – if you take my meaning.  (If you don’t, check Matthew 25:31 in the Christian Bible.)

Many Movement Conservatives still count themselves Christians – but they aren’t.  Not anymore.  When one embraces Movement Conservatism, one rejects Christianity.  The teachings are at odds – diametrically opposed as a matter of fact.  You can be one or the other…but you can’t be both.

I’ll tell you this: the next time you find yourself in a discussion with someone who seems perfectly reasonable but WILL NOT accept factual information no matter what you say, what source you cite, what proof you offer, realize you’ve fallen into a religious, NOT a political, debate.

Who Wins?

Scary.  That’s the only word I can think of for what’s coming.  Scary.  I just finished reading an opinion piece from the BBC called, ‘What is Donald Trump’s Family Separation End-game?  The writer opines that there’s a two-fold strategy in place: one, get his stupid wall or, failing that, two, motivate his base.

It should say enough that terrorizing little children motivates his base to fall out in support.  It’s motivating Democrats and progressives to fall out as well but in defiance – so at least lefties won’t find themselves on the wrong side of history and they won’t have to tell themselves comforting lies in the future.  The question is, who wins?

Ted Cruz says liberals will crawl over broken glass to vote in the upcoming mid-terms.  Republicans, of course, will be the ones breaking the glass.  I’ve never wanted to agree with Ted Cruz but I hope he’s right about this one.  Dems and Progressives MUST fall out to vote.

History supports the notion that Republicans win when there’s low voter turnout.  (Do a search onGoo Goo Syndrome.”  They KNOW this to be true.  It’s the reason they work so hard on voter suppression.)  But they can be counted on to vote in every “election”, every single time.  Dems and Indies are less…compliant.  But history ALSO supports the notion that when something big is happening, Dems DO come out in large numbers.

There are more sane people in this country than Republicans so, if Dems DO come out in force, we’ll win.  We’ll take enough control of Congress to stop President Beeblebrox in his tracks.  (For the uninitiated, the reference is to Zaphod Beeblebrox in Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ series.  His job, as President of the Galaxy, is to distract people from noticing what’s really going on around them…)

But the punitive crowd will still come out as well – and in force.  Dems often don’t bother with mid-terms.  So the question is, who wins?  The results will have consequences that determine the very soul of this once-great nation.  No, we’re not going to be able to impeach Trump – not just yet, anyway.  Sure, the House might vote for it but the feckless Republicans in the Senate will not lift a finger to stop Trump because he’s so lucrative for them.  Still, we CAN stop him…or, at least, slow him down.

It’s curious.  I have this belief that anything begun dishonorably is destined to fail.  It’s a fairly easy argument to make that the United States of America – what with all it’s official support of enslaving human beings – was begun dishonorably, which, in turn, means it MUST – sooner or later – fail.  Every day that goes by and the country I love falls further and further into a pit of it’s own making that it may never climb out of, I’m vindicated in my larger, over-arching belief.

But I’ll tell you this: I’m not happy about it…

Better Check Your Soul…

Donald Trump is a coward.  The self-described master of the deal is so hopeless at creating deals he has decided to kidnap children and hold them for ransom.  Only HE doesn’t do the kidnapping.  He orders his ICE minions to handle that part – the actual ‘doing’ part.  He can’t get his wall – the one he assured his acolytes Mexico would pay for; the one NO one is willing to pay for because it’s such a stupid concept.  So he does what he always does, blame someone else and throw a tantrum.  But it’s HIS policy and if you support him, you really need to think about it in stark terms:  He’s terrorizing children in an effort to blackmail Congress to give him his stupid wall and he blames Democrats for the policy HIS maladministration put into place.  For me, it creates the image of the abusive spouse who starts beating his woman (again) while intoning, “See what you make me do?”

I’ve heard the bullshit response: If you don’t want your children stolen, don’t bring them to this country illegally.  So much for your respect for the Constitution.  You see, the Constitution of the United States specifically bars cruel and unusual punishment.  It’s in the Eighth Amendment.  (Wait, there are Eight?  I thought it was just the Second…and the First when I want to talk…)  No, there are many more, in fact, but in the Eighth is says, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Is stealing someone’s child a cruel and unusual punishment?  Well, no OTHER civilized country on the planet does it, so it seems pretty unusual.  If I have to try to convince you that tearing a child from his or her mother is cruel, you’ve got bigger problems than a political discussion is going to solve.  You may or may not see it, but this is a new low from a group who specializes in new lows.

It DOES relieve the pressure of ever having to pretend again that you give a flying fig about either the Constitution OR your Holy Bible.  You just want the political “win”.  I AM actually relieved that I no longer have to extend deference to your religious beliefs.  ‘Conservative’ and ‘Christian’ are mutually exclusive terms and the phrase ‘Conservative Christian’ is an oxymoron.  That evil imp, Jeff Sessions, tried to lure you in by quoting Romans.  But if you claim to be Christian, aren’t you supposed to try to follow the teachings of Jesus?  You know…the CHRIST?

Oh, and that’s an important little bit of information there, that “try to follow” bit.  Apparently, it’s understood that people will make mistakes, perhaps backslide from time to time.  But you’re putting WAY too much faith in that whole “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven” bumper sticker.  Turns out, there’s more to it than that.  In order to receive your forgiveness, you’re supposed to have a contrite heart.  That means you’re supposed to know you made a mistake and intend to NOT make that mistake again.  If you think you can break a commandment on Saturday and then ask forgiveness on Sunday all the while planning to break the same commandment on Monday, your forgiveness will NOT be forthcoming.  (Not my rule – it’s YOUR book…)

Okay, so Romans was written by Paul.  But you’re not ‘Paulines’, you’re (ostensibly) Christians.  DID your Christ ever say anything that may have touched on the subject?  Let’s look at Matthew, shall we?  Specifically, Matthew 25:31 through 46, written in red (meaning the words are directly attributable to Jesus).

He says that when He comes back He’ll separate the people into two groups as a Shepard separates sheep from goats.  He’ll set the sheep at His right hand but the goats at His left hand.  Then He’ll tell the group on His right that they get to go to Heaven because “I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me“.  The group was all, “We didn’t see you, when did we see You?”  Jesus said, “Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, My brethren, you did it to Me“.

Then, he’ll turn to the other group – a sea of MAGA hats (made in China).  He’ll say, “You feckless fucks are going straight to hell.”  (They had to clean it up for later publication, of course…)  What the book actually says is, “I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick or in prison and you did not visit Me.”  Of course, the whiners all demand to know when they saw Jesus and failed to minister to him and he answers, “Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me“.

I’ll tell you this: If you continue to support Donald Trump after watching him terrorize children in an effort to blackmail Congress into doing his bidding, you’re following a deceiver and you’re doing it gleefully because you think you’re getting a political “win.”

But you’ve lost your soul…