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Gender: Male
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Current location: Chicago, Illinois
Member since: Wed Dec 25, 2019, 01:02 AM
Number of posts: 1,455

Journal Archives

Lack of Constitutional Understanding Disqualifies Congresswoman Boebert


Representative Lauren Boebert told a church in her home state of Colorado, "The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our founding fathers intended it. And I'm tired of this separation of church and state junk. It's not in the constitution."

She got it wrong, of course. But the church gave her a standing ovation, making them just as wrong as she was. Personally, I think she should be held to a higher level of accountability for demonstrating such ignorance of the constitution as an elected official who should know better. But this is an egregious example of an ideology that has made its way into the Christian faith across the board in most of its American denominational, and non-denominational, expressions.

I think that anyone who wants to run for public office at any level, and especially for Congress, should be required to answer every question correctly on a constitution exam. If they can't, then they are disqualified from seeking their party's nomination. If becoming a member of Congress requires an oath of loyalty to defend the constitution, then everyone taking the oath should have an understanding of the constitution.

Good reasons for optimism on the part of Democrats for the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections


"I have continually argued that this election cycle is going to buck historical trends," writes Joe Trippi, of the Lincoln Project.

"The GOP has nominated a crop of loons, and continues to do so. Their policies are extremely unpopular. Their assault on women's rights has motivated Democrats like never before," he says.

I tend to agree with him. Kansas proved, on Tuesday, August 2nd, that turnout wins elections, and that the backlash from the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, overturning Roe v. Wade, will indeed have a major impact on the turnout of Democrats and the outcome of the midterm elections. Voter registration has surged to record levels among Democratic party constituencies since that decision was handed down, especially among younger women and black women. The gun legislation issue is causing major panic among Republicans who are scrambling to figure out how to position themselves on the legislation now coming out, mainly to do damage control and try to keep their gun nut voters motivated to vote in November. And January 6th is the gift that keeps on giving.

Our education system was designed to be the safeguard for democracy. It is supposed to provide the nation with an educated electorate that is capable of preserving our democracy and electing a representative government by informed voters with solid critical thinking skills, who, for the most part, understand the background of constitutionally guaranteed rights. But it is having a hard time making progress against the radicalization of extremism. The results of the November 2022 election must hit the reset button, as we figure out how to handle extremism and at the same time protect free speech and freedom of conscience.

It's a Miracle! 281 dead people who voted in Arizona election in 2020 are found alive!


Just more evidence, on top of the already Mt. Everest-high pile of it that proves Trump's claims of massive voter fraud are really a massive lie.

Arizona's Republican faction may well be the single most backward, provincial, profoundly ignorant group of Republicans anywhere in the country, worse even than Texas, Alabama or Florida. Dominated by a religious sect that believes God is a man with thousands of wives who lives on the planet Kolob somewhere out in the universe, haunted by the ghost of Barry Goldwater, and emerging from a 2022 primary with some of the more crazy extremists from the lunatic fringe of the GOP on the ballot, the choice in 2022 may be more of one between sanity and insanity, reality or fantasy, democracy or fascism, than anywhere else in the country.

On a more positive note, I believe change is coming to Arizona and 2020 was just the beginning. It's been building for more than a decade. Helped along by the cruel extremism of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who motivated thousands of mostly Latino voters to register and oust him, and then continue to show up and keep him out, and by economic growth that is attracting a stream of new residents across the Colorado River from politically liberal California, the Democrats have emerged with a slim, but growing majority of voters while the GOP declines in voter registration in the state. Much of the GOP decline is due to the defection of white, college educated women from the party, noticeably accelerated by the recent Dobbs decision of the Supreme Court. The polling data looks great for both Katie Hobbs' run for governor, and for Mark Kelly to keep his Senate seat, and, thanks to Fann and the Cyber Ninjas, to capture the majority of both houses of the legislature.

My vote goes to candidates who are committed to protect religious liberty, church-state separation


The answer to the often asked question, "How can you be a Christian and vote for a candidate who supports abortion?" is simple. If I let that single issue determine how I cast my vote, to the exclusion of all other issues, I will be contributing to the election of many incompetent politicians who do not support representative democracy, equal rights and individual freedom, regardless of their stance on abortion. In most cases, they're really not pro-life so much as they are interested in how they can profit off of that position in terms of getting elected. I'm free to practice my Christian faith because of constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty. If the religious liberty of those who hold a different faith perspective than I do is in jeopardy, then so is mine.

It seems to me to be a little bit on the inconsistent side (I'm really being tongue-in-cheek here, so bear with me) to moan and complain about Christians being captives in an immoral, pagan, Babylon-like culture, while supporting politicians, specifically one in particular, who spent their entire life crafting a public image that bears the same marks as Babylonian paganism. Since the rhetoric is being used, I'll consider that permission to put my point in those same terms. If the secular culture of America is analogous to that of ancient Babylon during the captivity of Israel, then Trump is the chief Babylonian.

There's no such thing as a "Christian" way to vote. Voting for candidates who promise a short list of political reforms judged to be "favorable" to right-wing Christians, while those votes support candidates from a party in which the current direction is to dismantle voting rights, the representative democracy and the constitution that limits government power, overturn religious liberty in favor of an established, approved religion and set up an oligarchy of the billionaire class. I don't believe for a minute that every candidate who claims to be pro-life holds that position out of conviction. It's a bargaining chip.

Instead of White Christian Nationalism, here's where the Christian Church should be influencing

American culture and society.


Christian practice cannot be legislated into acceptance. If it isn't motivated by the inward spiritual transformation that occurs in conversion, then it becomes dead ritual. If it is visible, then the practice of values like honesty and integrity, sense of community and purpose that includes a lifestyle of simplicity, avoiding excess and being good stewards of common resources, having a desire for the common good, the equality, giftedness and inherent rights of all humanity and living a life that promotes peace, are the influences Christianity contributes to society and culture, as well as government in a democratic union. If it does not do this, then it is not Christian.

Get familiar with White Christian Nationalism and the Pseudo-Christian cult that is

a danger to Democracy.

And apparently, a danger to the real Christian church.

Rachel Maddow led her show off this evening with a story about Gerald Lyman Kenneth Smith. Smith passed away in 1976. He retired in the 1960's in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, purchasing and renovating a Victorian mansion, and then, on the property he owned, building a large statue of Jesus Christ, known as the "Christ of the Ozarks" on Magnetic Mountain, overlooking the town. A nearby hillside provided a place for 6,000 seats and the backdrop for the set of a seasonal Passion Play, depicting the last days in the life of Christ. The tourist attraction also features a Bible museum.

Smith was not the original white Christian nationalist, but he was a passionate advocate for it all of his life. He was a Nazi sympathizer prior to and during the Second World War, his rhetoric was virulently anti-Semitic and violently racist, referencing "mongrel" races and using many of the same sources the Nazis did for their anti-Semitic rants against the "conspiracy of international Jewry". He founded both the America First political party, and please make the connection to that name, and ran as its nominee for President in both 1944 and 1948, never earning very many votes, but gaining enough support to finance the campaigns, and the Christian Nationalist Crusade. The latter earned a citation for being anti-Semitic from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith.

Bubbling beneath the surface of Republican party politics for a long time, the intersection of far right politics with some elements of the Evangelical branch of American Christianity has brought this pseudo-Christian Fascist cult to the surface and revealed that a number of politicians adhering to this philosophy have already been elected to state legislatures, several governors and members of both the House and Senate.

White Christian Nationalism will also destroy democracy. It will use democratic tools to get elected, and will then dismantle them, as it is already doing. Since it promotes inequality between people, those who are, in its perspective, "less equal" or subservient in some cases, are not extended any rights that permit them to participate in the government through the prescribed means, mainly the ballot box. And what we're seeing, through Trumpism and some of its promoters, is virulently anti-Semitic and violently racist, particularly against African Americans, though they also consider Latinos as "mongrels" and part of the plot to "mongrelize" America.

What Chuck Todd and NBC's "Meet the Press" Left Out is Part of the Problem Democrats Are Facing


My television would normally not be tuned in to Meet the Press on a Sunday morning. It was tuned to NBC from something I was watching last night, and I left it there while getting breakfast in the kitchen. The panel discussion caught my attention, because they were putting up polling data and discussing its effects on the mid-term elections. I got teased in to sticking it out because of an appearance by former Vice President Al Gore but the panel discussion, featuring host Chuck Todd, along with Yamiche Alcindor, Maria Teresa Kumar, Stephen Hayes and Jake Sherman, was quite informative.

Informative, that is, in that what appears to be a round-table discussion with media-types that attempts to appear intellectual, authoritative and spontaneous can make some observations while looking at facts, and at the same time, miss some obvious points altogether. I'm sure that these discussions are not anywhere near as spontaneous as they appear, and that the talking points have been outlined before they go on camera. The presence of Kumar and Alcindor lent some credibility to the discussion, and they helped insert some perspective that didn't support what's becoming the tired, old narrative about the party in power losing in the midterms, which was the theme that Todd kept pushing.

Though the whole program was not blatantly one-sided, it was pretty clear, especially in that panel discussion, that Kumar and Alcindor, who try to be objective and unbiased, were put in the awkward position of having to correct and challenge misinformed or irrelevant statements, or redirect the conversation when facts were ignored. Though I don't watch this program very much, that seems to be the pattern of the other panel discussions I've seen there over the past year. Sherman and Hayes just took up time, made their comparisons and analysis of 2022 in comparison to the GOP waves that occurred in Clinton and Obama's first terms, avoiding most of the relevant facts of the discussion.

The January 6th Committee made its case; we, the people, now expect justice


In a systematic, thorough, well-organized, articulate manner, the January 6th committee has made its case against the former President. Minds have been changed. I don't expect that those who are loyal to Trump, rather than to America, will acknowledge any of what the committee has laid out, but that's not as large of a constituency as it might seem. Will it lead to an indictment, a conviction, and the massive relief that would provide as people realize America really is a country based on the rule of law? If it doesn't, then there's no justice in America.

The future of American democracy and the Constitution of the United States is now at stake. It has proven to be one of the strongest political documents in world history up to this point. It has been challenged, and the challenges have been met with the enforcement of its principles as necessary. It has held. That's what needs to happen now. The Republic and the Constitution need to be defended, and in the process, to be strengthened in order to continue to support the enduring foundational principles that make America a nation. And doing that is in the hands of the Democratic party's leadership, including President Biden, the justice department and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

I hope Attorney General Garland makes Mitch McConnell regret derailing his nomination to the Supreme Court. I hope, when this is over, that they wish he'd been on the court instead of at the justice department.

A pseudo-Christian political cult is endangering our religious liberty


I am able to write what I write, believe what I believe and practice my Christian faith as I do because I am an American, and the Constitution of the United States gives me that right. And as Thomas Jefferson said, "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Those who have been paying attention should have noticed a sharp change in the direction of the Republican party as its agenda becomes more pointed toward obstruction and opposing the extension of rights to citizens they do not deem as worthy to have them than it has focused on agenda that will actually use the resources of government to resolve, as best it can, some of the besetting problems of our society and culture in this day and age.

But this pseudo-Christian cult is a group that is coming on with the attitude that they are on a mission from God, and that it doesn't matter what they do, including whatever means they may deem necessary to grab the government out of the hands of the "godless liberals" because they are more loyal to their cause than they are to the United States Constitution. And because they believe that their cause is righteous, and they think that God will hold their coattails and cheer them on, they are dangerous. We saw just a hint of the anarchic violence many of those who are philosophically compatible with this pseudo-Christian movement were willing to commit on January 6th. If democracy continues to prevail by handing the rule of law over to the "libs" that these people hate, which by the way is also not a Christian value, that will become a common occurrence in state capitals and in Washington, DC.

The best weapon we have in our hands is our freedom of speech and our freedom of conscience. And freedom of speech and conscience depend on exercising it by voting and casting an informed ballot. Informed. If people don't vote, then it won't take an insurrection to overturn democracy and set up an autocratic dictatorship. It will happen when the democratic process turns in on itself as people vote for leaders who will dissolve it for them.

Some voters in a deep red West Virginia county like Bernie Sanders


We need to think creatively. West Virginia would have benefitted tremendously from both of the signature bills that the Biden Administration has proposed and the people there need to know that. And they need to know who's standing in their way. We don't have much time, Democrats. The GOP is offering nothing. We should be out in front on this.

Sanders' message resonates with voters there because he sides with the marginalized and disenfranchised and against corporate wealth and power. He is exactly the right person to be critical of Senator Manchin's obstructionism. The political pundits say that if there's a Democrat challenge to Manchin's re-election bid in 2024, the party will lose the seat. And that's probably the case. But a true, independent populist, who speaks the language of the people like Sanders does, might just be able to pull it off.

West Virginians get ignored. It's not a big state, it's now down to just 4 electoral votes and it isn't high on the list of corporate headquarters or big business. I spent summers trudging up and down rural roads in the mountains, going up and down the "hollers" selling books to earn college money in Mingo and McDowell Counties. My parents grew up there and had to leave when there was no work to be found. It's a beautiful place, and yes, while it is remote, isolated and lacks a lot of educational and community resources, the people who live there are Americans who deserve to have the same opportunities as everyone else does. They want a hand up not a hand out, and that's what they could have had from this most recent bill that the Biden Administration wanted to get passed.
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