Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Pro-Fetus Crowds are Imposters

Nothing about this quote from more than 300 years ago has been proven wrong.

An honest man, like the true religion, appeals to the understanding, or modestly confides in the internal evidence of his conscience. The imposter employs force instead of argument, imposes silence where he cannot convince, and propagates his character by the sword.
- Junius (Letter 41, 1770)

The recent Colorado Springs shooting - where a terrorist (there is no other word to describe him right now) charged into a Planned Parenthood clinic with guns blazing and then shot at cops responding to the emergency - proves Junius correct.

The terrorist - a man with various addresses hailing from North Carolina up to Colorado, with a back history of violent behavior to his exes and neighbors - was someone willing to employ force, someone wanting to impose silence and fear on others, and sure as hell propagated his character by his sword guns.

This is a man who reportedly told the cops who finally arrested him "no more baby parts." This is a reference to accusations by "pro-life" (which aren't, they're more pro-fetus than that) groups that Planned Parenthood was harvesting aborted fetuses for body parts: accusations that had been proved a hoax created by selective editing and baseless speculation.

The entire pro-fetus movement are this: imposters and terrorists. They want an absolute ban on abortion (and contraceptives, which means they're really in opposition to sex they can't control), but they can't convince a majority of Americans who understand there are grey areas - rape, incest, the health of the mother - where abortion is a necessity.

So where they can't convince these pro-fetus wingnuts would impose violence: destroy the abortion providers, kill the doctors, threaten and stalk the women and families. They lie about abortion providers to try and trick the public into hating abortion as an option.

They violate every aspect of Christian grace, forgiveness, and adherence to the Commandments that honest Christians - those who modestly confide to themselves their faith - abide.

They're not even really pro-fetus, these yellers and screamers. If they truly were about protecting the fetus and the birth child, they would be lavishly giving out funds and supporting pre-natal and post-natal health care services to ensure safer births and healthier children, and pushing that agenda over the concerted effort to shut down, burn down, or shoot out clinics to their whims.

They'd be tripping over themselves to vote for food stamps aid for starving families, promoting child care services and pre-education programs that aid children in growing up smart and prepared. They're not: many of these "pro-fetus" leaders fall silent or disparaging towards the poor and hungry the second those fetuses turn into actual living babies.

No, this is what these Imposters are: they are pro-Judgment. This is what they truly love, being able to stand there - Bible in one hand and a pointing index finger with the other - and pass moral judgment on those they deem "inferior" to their morally perfect "superior" selves.

Have you ever been to a clinic protest? I've seen several at the clinic in Gainesville in the years I lived there. The small crowd gathered there weren't about salvation or praying, they are there with signs declaring others to be "murderers and sinners." I recall one sign railing against the "whores" who sin by using birth control pills. Those people weren't there for Jesus, or salvation, or grace: those people were there to show off, and they were there to pass judgment on those they hated.

That's nothing compared to the horror stories you can find online about these Pro-Judging crowds stalking people to their homes and threatening their families. But that's still part of their psyche: their desire to belittle and weaken their "lessers" drives these pro-judgers into bullying people 24/7 regardless of common decency and true grace.

So, no, don't call these pro-fetus people "pro-life" because they are not. Don't call these pro-fetus people Christians because, by their actions of loud denouncements and self-serving hypocrisy and destruction of lives, they are not.

Call these terrorists for what they are.

Call them Imposters.

And deny them any victory they seek, because they seek destruction of all others so they can rule over the ruin.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Yet Another Act of Terror In the USA: Home Grown, Targeted Against Women, And Not At All Surprising

I'm personally busy this weekend coping with getting the 50,000 word count to NaNoWriMo, so all apologies I can't really write more than this, but here goes.

Today, there was YET ANOTHER SHOOTING.

This time at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.

This time, there were police present and the gunman still went up and shot them, wounding four (or five) of them. Current reports is that one police officer has died. There are two dead out of eleven wounded.

The gunman was taken alive. Photo evidence is that the gunman is a white middle-aged man.

I file this under "Why I Am Not Surprised" category.

I am not surprised the terrorist is a white man over a certain age who is likely failing at anger management.

I am not surprised the target was a Planned Parenthood clinic. There is a literal war on women being waged by the Religious Right in our United States, and the fight over Planned Parenthood is part of it (you might be surprised to learn there's been arson attacks and other threats to clinics the last three months. The major news outlets don't report them as much nor make the direct connections.)

I am not surprised that the arguments and excuses of the NRA about "oh we need more people with guns to keep us safe" are meaningless. There were armed police there and this gun-wielding terrorist showed up and still opened fire and people still got wounded and killed. How many more "good guys with guns" could have stopped this?

I will not be surprised when the Far Right - the media outlets, the political leaders, their Presidential candidates, all who spent all these months and years attacking Planned Parenthood and pretty much calling on acts of violence like this - turns this around and blames Obama for being evil, or blames women for being baby killers, or blames the cops for defending the clinic instead of arresting those baby killers, or blames libruls for "politicizing" all this. At no time will the Far Right actually stop and go "oh crap, we're promoting violence and killing people in violation of our supposed Christian teachings."

I am not surprised anymore. Because this sh-t will keep happening. Because one side of the political aisle - Republicans and their Far Right members - profits from this violence and madness.

Don't be at all surprised we'll have another mass shooting soon, over something that angers some white guy or group of white guys with guns.

After all, we just had a group of angry white guys attempt a mass shooting over something political that pissed them off just three days ago. THREE DAYS AGO.

So set the clocks. In three days, another mass shooting. Another angry white guy with a gun. Another political argument the haters are resolving through bloodshed and death.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Pagan Turkey Sacrifice Day 2015!

And on this day, the Good Lord let us witness this:

There are few other ways to celebrate this day of crazed, bird-carving ritual of dismemberment and consumption.

Well, there's always football.

Never Forget.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Unitarian Support for Syrian Refugees

I added this as an update to an earlier thread but I wanna highlight this for its' own.

The Unitarian Universalist congregation has a charity working for Syrian refugees. If you want to help out, that's a great place to start.

It will also be a nice F-CK YOU to the Republican Party leadership that's been showing themselves as a bunch of cowardly haters. Just look at Texas, where their asshole Governor is telling humanitarian charity groups in the state to stop helping refugees altogether.

Pretty much telling churches and social aid groups to stop clothing and feeding the poor and huddled victims of an ongoing war zone. Pretty much violating the teachings of Jesus to care for the hungry and the poor and those in need.

As Candida Moss points out, The Christian Bible is clear about what to do about refugees: HELP THEM.

...If I sound shrill, it is because this is profoundly obvious. It’s not as if, in pointing out the fundamentally un-Christian nature of this political posturing, anyone is asking for a high level of Biblical literacy: “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is a foundational Christian teaching and used in many denominations as a shorthand for the ethical teaching of the Bible as a whole...
...Are there risks involved in accepting large numbers of refugees? I’m not a specialist in this region so let’s for the sake of argument concede that there might be (although as the Economist has shown, none of the 750,000 refugees admitted since 9/11 have planned or committed terrorist acts against the U.S.). I am a specialist in Christianity though, so allow me to say that, biblically speaking, it simply does not matter if there are risks. There are more than 30 Biblical passages encouraging people not to be afraid and to trust in God. Allowing oneself to be terrorized is not the Christian option. Fear does not permit Christians to abandon the modern imperative to help those in need. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Republicans Are Cowards (update)

Update: Thank you Crooks and Liars audience for checking in from Mike's Blog Round-up. Please take a moment to glance about the blog, leave a comment if you wish, and don't forget this is NaNoWriMo month and I wanna see a word-count on your novel by 50,000 words at the end of November! I'm at 30,000-plus right now... Please check below for updated links especially the second one, thanks.

Update to the Update: Um, hello BoatBits? Getting a bit of traffic from that blog. Nice to see you. Stay for the veal, it's the best in the city.


In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris last Friday, our Republican Party leadership has shown its true colors.


From their Presidential hopefuls down to their Congressional leaders to their state governors, each and every Republican leader has shown themselves to be a bunch of selfish, uncharitable, graceless, hateful cowards.

A bunch of goddamn scaredy-cats using their fear, their racism, and their xenophobia to start throwing hissy fits about our nation taking in Syrian refugees. They are attacking and accusing families and children of being monsters, instead of humans trying to survive a four-year-old civil war that's shown no sign of stopping soon because of the political mess the entire Middle East region is.

The hypocrisy is disgusting.

These Republicans scream about Syrian refugees being a threat to our communities, that they are coming to kill us all.  But they don't say a goddamn thing about our communities already under threat by gun-wielding angry guys who keep shooting up our churches and schools and malls. Oh no, they dare not say or do anything about the thousands of dead we are inflicting on ourselves because THAT might upset their Gun-worshiping NRA overlords.

The religious bigotry is shameful.

These Republican leaders go all in describing Islam as a violent, hateful dogma, but these so-called Christians are the ones spewing the hate and promoting the violence.

How telling is it that these so-called Christians are denying even the most basic fundamental human gifts of grace, hope, charity, and aid to those in need?

Here's the teachings of Christ:

Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’

THAT is the teachings of Christ when it comes to the sick, to the helpless, to families in need. And these Republican leaders are pissing all over that. They are the ones from 25:41-45, the deniers, the liars, the greedy, the abusers, the cursed.

What do you call someone who claims to be a Christian and yet denies the Word of the Son? What do you call someone who is the amoral and spiritless opposite of the Christ? You call them Anti-Christs. The lot of them.

The Syrian refugees are trying to survive, fleeing from a dictator killing his own nation and the terror extremists of ISIL eager to force Muslims into their world-view of Us vs. Them (and to kill the ones who won't).

These fear-monger Republicans, these Pants Wetting Hide-In-Our-Limo Commandos waiting in their media Green Rooms for the next Fox Not-News talk show to shill their hatred. They are playing right into the Absolutist, Us-Or-Them game the terrorists want to play. Because the more we act like xenophobic idiots the more they can sell THEIR fear-mongering to their populations.

All because the Republicans are more about FEAR now than they are about GRACE or HOPE or basic human decency.

The only thing to say about all this is clear:


America, we can and should be better than this.

Succumbing to the fear means we succumb to the hate, and from that we begin a whole new cycle of bloodshed that will never end until enough of us say "no more."

Stop listening to the fear-mongers.

Stop believing these Republican cowards.

Start being charitable, and honest, and hopeful, and listen to the Better Angels of Our Nature.

Update: Rude Pundit has a blunt and honest take on the Republican Cowards.

Also Update: On a positive note, Unitarians are offering support to Syrian refugees and can use a little help there, so donate if you can.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Things I Learned From The Democratic November 2015 Debate

1) That while Memphis is an excellent football team this season, Houston is still a dominant power and deserving of its current unbeaten status.

Wait a minute, hold on...

2) The talk about having Alabama in the playoff lineup is too early to confirm because there are still enough deserving unbeaten teams in Clemson, Ohio State / Iowa (one of them is going to win the Big 10), Oklahoma State, and Houston. I mean, there's also good one-loss programs out there like Notre Dame and Florida and Navy and... and... lemme start over.

3) The impressive improvement out of South Florida's program is the simple fact the Bulls have improved, recovering nicely from the debacle that was the Skip Holtz era and getting to where they have a balanced offense and an effective defense with talented players at key positions. Sure, the Bulls are likely going to an early December minor bowl game, but after the long drought of no postseason play we'll take anything and... and...


Friday, November 13, 2015

Paris Tonight, 13 November 2015 (update)

Dear God.

Tonight in Paris, there is blood and pain and sorrow all because of men with rage and murderous intent.

From the BBC:

At least 100 people are reported to have died at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris.
Gunmen took many hostages there before being overpowered by police.
Others died in a reported suicide blast near the Stade de France and gun attacks on city centre restaurants. Five attackers are reported killed.
Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.
The people getting killed are not soldiers, are not fanatics, are not evildoers or cardboard cutouts. They were going out on the town on a Friday night to enjoy the company of families and friends, and Dear God so many of them are dead now.

From Banksy: pardon me, this actually came from artist Jean Jullien.

Peace For Paris