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Friday, August 23, 2019

Cardinal Pell loses appeal

Cardinal Pell, found guilty of child sex abuse, has lost his appeal and must stay in prison. This is good news, but what is very discouraging is the number of Catholics - including the pope (Pope Refuses to Condemn Pedophile Cardinal Pell, Even After Losing Sex-Abuse Appeal) - are refusing to accept the verdicts against Pell.

I'm not surprised. Pell has been the darling of conservatives for decades, living a life of luxury and power first in Australia and more recently at the Vatican - they can't let a little thing like raping children get in the way of that. This is a miscarriage of justice!!! ... just ask the National Review (The Strange Case against Cardinal Pell).

I can't help thinking most Catholics just don't really care about sex abuse in the church. - it's become just sort of the cost of doing business.

For those few who might actually care about who Cardinal Pell has been and his involvement with child sex abuse, here's a past interview a few years ago with journalist David Marr on Australian TV about his essay on Pell, The Prince ...










Thursday, August 22, 2019

Trump: king of Israel

In the news: Trump's bizarre comments about American Jews and their voting habits, and his assertion that he is seen by Israelis as "the king of Israel" (The bigot-in-chief slimes American Jews).

As I've written in the past (Jerusalem: Trump and the Evangelicals), any warm feelings about Trump by Israelis is based on a misconception on their part ... Trump doesn't care about Israel or Israelis, he cares about the US Evangelical vote.

Here's a bit from an article in The Washington Post that explains what I mean ...

Trump sees all U.S. Jews as Israelis because his Christian Zionist allies do, too

[...] Christian Zionism — specifically, the millenarian eschatology that has gained significant popularity on the evangelical right in recent decades — is a potent force in U.S. domestic and foreign policy. The strongest supporters of an uncritical, anti-Palestinian foreign policy are white evangelical Christians — the most politically mobilized segment of the president’s base. Their support for Israel is grounded in the Book of Revelation, which dictates that Israel must be “restored” to the Jews before the Jews convert en masse, redeeming themselves for having once rejected Jesus. This redemption comes in fire, and at the cost of complete erasure of any distinct Jewish identity; it is a hallmark of the end of history, a time of tribulation that will exterminate the faithless.

The bipartisan sacrality of Israel in American discourse, in which even the mildest criticism of the state is treated as a third-rail issue, has far less to do with the delicate sensibilities of a tiny (if loud) Jewish minority than with this strain of Christian theology. This has been true since the efflorescence of Christian Zionist preaching on the religious right in the 1980s, dispensed by figures such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. But Trump has once more displayed his gift at saying the quiet part aloud. It takes a bold man to pull back the curtain on evangelical, Bible-based foreign policy and declare himself King of Israel.

Among the many adherents of the Christian Zionist worldview, which seeks to steer Jews as pawns toward a future mass conversion, is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo, a fervent evangelical, has openly discussed his longing for the Rapture; speaking to a reporter from the Christian Broadcasting Network in March, he said it was possible that Trump had been sent by God to protect Israel from the Iranian threat, adding that he believed “the Lord is at work here.” That interview took place in Jerusalem, where Trump had just relocated the American embassy .....


Here's a bit from Wikipedia's article on Dispensationalism: US Politics (check Wikipedia for the sources) ...

Israel has allied with U.S. evangelicals and dispensationalists to influence U.S. foreign policy, including protection of the Jewish people in Israel and continued aid for the state of Israel. Israel's alliance with televangelist John Hagee began in the early 1980s as he met with every Prime Minister of Israel since Menachem Begin. Since the mid-2000s Israel has been in commercial alliance with televangelist and sometimes-politician Pat Robertson, and in 2005 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "we have no greater friend in the whole world than Pat Robertson."

Political commentator Kevin Phillips claimed in American Theocracy (2006) that dispensationalist and other fundamentalist Christians, together with the oil lobby, provided political assistance for the invasion of Iraq during 2003.

Dispensationalists typically endorse the modern state of Israel, consider its existence as a political entity as God revealing his will for the Last Days, and reject anti-Semitism.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Trump screws over women again



Planned Parenthood Withdraws From Title X Program Over Trump Abortion Rule

Planned Parenthood is leaving the federal Title X family planning program rather than comply with new Trump administration rules regarding abortion counseling.

The new rules, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, prohibit Title X grantees from providing or referring patients for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency .... Planned Parenthood and other medical groups say the rule is unethical and interferes with the doctor-patient relationship ....


This stupid change will probably raise the abortion rate, but of course the Republicans don't actually care about reducing abortion, they care about punishing women.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Yoda

Strange pic of Yoda laying on the orange kitchen table, looking out the window at the birds by the birdbath. She's not in focus, but somehow I still like it ...

It's not about the economy

With the possibility of an economic recession looming, pundits have worried that most of Trump's supporters will abandon him if things go financially south.

I don't think Trump needs to worry about that. Why not? Because I believe 'the economy' is not the real reason so many Republicans voted for Trump - it was just the acceptable excuse for why they did. An example of this is the way so many farmers negatively impacted by Trump's trade war with China are still loyal to him, despite losing so much money.

Trump's supporters actually voted for him because he promised to go after the people they hate ... racial minorities, uppity women, religious minorities, gay people, tree-huggers, immigrants, the coastal elites, and progressives of all stripes. Not only did Trump promise to go after them, he gave his supporters permission to finally publicly vent the rage they've had against these people.

Today on Meet The Press, some of the reporters on the discussion panel expressed that same opinion ...



Friday, August 16, 2019

RIP: Peter Fonda



Actor Peter Fonda (brother of Jane, son of Henry) has passed away today. He's probably most well known for a movie from 50 years ago, Easy Rider, which won the First Film Award (Prix de la première œuvre) at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. I still remember seeing the movie at the theater. Here a kind of sad song from the film, Ballad of Easy Rider ...



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Mmmmm :)



If you've seen the Google doodle, you know that today is the birthday of Ignacio Anaya Garcia, the inventor of nachos. I still remember the best nachos I ever had ... room service at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon, 1989. Yum :)

Conspiracy theories



Trump has been pushing the conspiracy theory that Bill Clinton had sex offender Jeffrey Epstein killed to keep him from revealing incriminating info about him. Trump is doing this, of course, to deflect suspicion from himself ...



- Trump was friends with Epstein for decades and there are plenty of photographs and videos available on the internet showing them hanging out together. Here we see them evaluating women together at Trump's estate in 1992 ...



- Trump has been accused of raping a 13 year old girl at one of Epstein's parties.

- Jeffrey Epstein died under bizarre circumstances in a federal prison. Though he had trued to commit suicide a few weeks ago, he was taken off suicide watch after only 6 days ... his cellmate was removed from his cell, though having a cellmate reduces the chances someone will commit suicide ... the guards of his cell did not inspect his conditions every 30 minutes as is normal. And Epstein's autopsy shows he had several broken bones in his neck.

- Who is in change of that prison? Attorney General William Barr. The same William Barr whose father once hired Jeffrey Epstein to teach at an exclusive high school though he had no college degree and no teaching experience. This is the same William Barr who has shown himself to be willing to lie in order to protect Trump.

Connect the dots.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Naked ladies

The naked lady flowers are blooming ....



Here's Prince Wendel napping near them ...


Monday, August 12, 2019

Captain Marvel



My latest movie rental was Captain Marvel ...

a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers .... Brie Larson stars as Danvers, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law. Set in 1995, the story follows Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after Earth is caught in the center of a galactic conflict between two alien civilizations.



The movie was pretty fun and answered some questions, like how did Nick Fury lose his eye? The film comes between the last two Avengers movies and Captain Marvel figures into the last film, Endgame (which I haven't seen yet). It's probable that you need to be acquainted with the whole Avengers/Agents of Shield storyline to appreciate Captain Marvel, but maybe I'm wrong.

One of the interesting things about the movie was the inclusion of songs from the 90s. Here's the final song that comes with the end credits of the film, by the band of the wife of the late Kurt Cobain ...



Trump: Endangered Species Act

Trump is dooming the Endangered Species Act ...



I guess the ongoing extinction of animal species on the Earth isn't quite going fast enough for Trump and the Republicans. The only thing the Trump administration is good for is destruction.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein dead



He apparently committed suicide early Saturday morning by hanging. A a ton of questions arise about this, which Joy Reid addresses in the video above, from the weird conditions in which Epstein was held to the fact that Trump's suck-up, William Barr, is entangled in the whole thing.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Picture = 1000 words



This photo was taken by Trump's promo people at the El Paso hospital where those injured by a white supremacist shooter were being cared for. The baby in the photo was hurt when he lost both his parents - they shielded him from the bullets - but he was able to go home soon after, to relatives. When Trump went to the hospital, none of the injured victims would see him, so he sent for the baby to come back to the hospital for a photo op. Trump and Melania grin as they display the baby, and Trump, whose hateful rhetoric was quoted by the shooter, gives a thumbs up. Then Melania post the photo for all to enjoy. This is sick.

The Atlantic: Trump’s El Paso Photo Is Obscene

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Trump carnage



As Chris points out, Trump hasn't financially helped those voters in his base, just his fellow rich guys, but Trump has instead hurt a lot of people. I think what Chris doesn't understand is that many (most)? of the people in Trump's base actually voted for him not for the help he might give them, but for the pain he would cause those they hate.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Wild pigs & assault weapons



When I was in high school, some of us kids used to go camping on the California coast near Point Reyes National Seashore. Sometimes, when we were in the foresty part of the park, we'd see feral pgs, or as we deemed them, "the wild pig and his women" :) They left us alone and we left them alone.

I thought of this today when I saw a strange rural defense of assault weapon toting ... one may need to defend ones children from the terrible danger of pig attacks ...









My suggestion for those on the front lines of feral pig attacks ... maybe you could try a fence instead of an assault weapon.

Monday, August 05, 2019

"The Republicans will never ...

... do anything on gun control. Nothing. Ever." - David Jolly

Trump gave his teleprompter speech on the shootings ... so lacking in sincerity and acceptance of his own responsibility for what happened. He blames video games and mental illness for the shootings ... criminologists say most mass shooters are not mentally ill and do not use violent video games. Republican lawmakers do their Trump-toady act.

Watch what former Republican Congressman David Jolly has to say about Congressional Republicans and gun reform ...



When I was a kid, the only Republicans I knew were my grandmother and her sister, Auntie Bert. They were conservatives and religious, but good people. When I was a teen I started seeing the ugly side of Republicans.

They were the people who stood in line behind us in the grocery store, criticizing our every food-stamp sponsored choice, because poor people don't deserve cookies bought with tax dollars.

When we were in high school/college and spoke out against the Vietnam war, they were the ones who told us to "love it [America] or leave it".

They were the people who, when they found out I was collecting social security disability as a young adult for being legally blind, told me I was a social parasite.

When I volunteered at a Planned Parenthood, they were the people who let me know it was scandalous for women to have control over their own reproductive lives.

You could say I grew a dim view of Republicans, but never did I think that opinion could fall as low as it has since Trump became president. It really seems now that there's nothing inside them but cynical self interest.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Domestic terrorism

Mayor Pete Buttigieg comments on the two recent mass shootings ...



Why won't Trump/Republicans allow gun safety laws? They are complicit in all this mayhem.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Turn to Stone

Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra ...



xx