Archive for August, 2022

Christians, they ain’t

Author: admin

I grew up during years when families went to church. Together. And regularly.

Ours was one of the “mainline” variety. We were taught to love, to honor, to do good works and to respect others. Christianity, they called it. Taught it. Tried to live it.

Christianity. A simple five-syllable word. Very familiar. Denoting love, industry, honor, charity, giving, caring for others and living with adherence to the laws of God. A word spoken in nearly all the languages of the world.

But, nowadays, something’s happened to the word “Christianity.” It’s been hijacked by some folks who’ve used it as justification for disruption, distortion and attacking some of the norms of society.

There’s a form of Christianity extant in our world these days that says, “My way or the highway.” Its adherents believe – make that strongly believe – all of us should abide by and live our lives as they do. Their rules should be the rules for all of us.

We’re seeing this version of Christianity used as a shield in a story out of Boundary County, Idaho, for example. There, a small group of these good “christians” (deliberately small “c”) have demanded the local Librarian toss out 400 books these “christians” say promote homosexuality, bestialityand other indecent lifestyles not to their liking.

The pressure’s been so bad Librarian Kimber Glidden is quitting the job after only nine months, saying nothing in her background could have prepared her for the extremist pressures.

Bonners Ferry is a town of about 2,500 souls. At one of the entrances to downtown there’s a large, red sign saying “This is Trump Country” with an adjoining poster promoting a far-right candidate for Governor.

The Librarian, the Library Board and county commissioners have been inundated with disrupted meetings, attempted recalls and baseless charges for nearly a year by a couple dozen of these “christians” who want those 400 books eliminated. Now!

Well, the “christians” may have their list of books they want banned. But, the library doesn’t have those books. Not one title. None!

Still, that hasn’t stopped the near-rioting, outrageous demands and constant badgering by the “christians” who’ve now driven out the Librarian. No books they want banned exist there. Not one!

Does that “christian” bunch represent all of Boundary County? No, not at all. But, the “christians” have their agenda – their demands that no one in the entire county should have access to “those filthy” books. No, Sir. “Not here!”

This sort of minority bloviating is not confined to Idaho. Or Oregon or Washington. And, the “christian” minorities here and there have demands for all sorts of things. Basically, they want to impose their will – their lifestyle – their religion – their rules on everyone else.

There seems to be a constant that connects most of these malcontents. And, that is they are Trump voters. Their Trump hats, shirts and flags are ever-present in their demonstrations.

For me, there’s a huge disconnect in these people. They call themselves Christians and many actively quote -at length – from the Bible. But, they pay allegiance to a guy who’s currently under investigation by several government agencies and who has at least 22 active court filings charging him with fraud, sexual misconduct, cheating on his taxes and more.

I just don’t get it. This guy doesn’t only have feet of clay. He’s clay clear to the top of his chemically-treated hair. And, one of these days – sooner rather than later – one of those investigations is going to lead to his being formally charged with a crime and a likely conviction. Maybe more than one.

We’re seeing more of this “my-way-or-the-highway” playing out in our politics. Both local and national. Creating these groups, giving them far-right books/videos, furnishing lists of demands for this-or-that, making distinctive clothing and flags – all of this has become a new right-wing “cottage industry” of sorts.

And, it isn’t just libraries in small towns under attack. Our national system of public education is a prominent target. Their demands of our tax dollars to support their private schools – read academies – is a popular subject at the moment. Legislatures from coast-to-coast are being inundated with carbon-copy demands.

Yes, these folks call themselves Christians though they don’t live the teachings of Christ. They don’t shelter the homeless, feed the hungry or clothe the poor. They demand rather than ask. They want others to obey their made-up rules. They follow another “Pontius Pilate.” Or, maybe a new Judas.

These folks will disappear, in time, along with their man-made ideas. They’ll find some new “culture” to adopt. A new leader.

But, real Christianity, in its many forms, will survive. It will outlive them all. Always has. Always will.

Just wishing

Author: admin

I’ve had a birthday this month.

Since I was a “pup,” I’ve been told I could have a “birthday wish.” There’s been many a birthday and many a wish but none so heartfelt as this year: may Democrats hold the House in November. AND the Senate!

Now, I’m among those who realize that statistically, that may not happen. Off-year elections tend to see losses for the political party in the White House. At the moment, that’s the Dems. So, the “pros” in the pre-election guessing game are already giving the edge to the GOP. And, probably, wisely so.

But, taken as a group, Republicans in the House have become less a political party and more a group of “aginer’s” and scavengers. Promoting nothing but division and hate. While their brothers and sisters in the Senate could be measured the same but, over there, they’ve lacked the meanness and vitriol found in the House. They just vote “no” and walk away from the “scene of their crimes.”

Speaker-wannabe McCarthy has been the most critical outspoken and mean-spirited Republican serving under a Democrat-majority. For the purpose of that description, I’m ignoring the continual ignorant and childish outbursts of Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor-Green. It’s to be dearly hoped that, for the purposes of enhancing the IQ of Congress, they and their ilk will be disposed of in November.

No, there’s something more – something just a bit terrifying in McCarthy pronouncements when interacting with the media.

He wants to be Speaker of the House of Representatives so badly that he sounds churlish – if not a bit childish – in his acting out “Just you wait until I’m Speaker.”

Example: Within hours after the FBI served a proper warrant for the search of Donald Trump’s Winter abode, McCarthy popped up on Twitter with a threat aimed squarely at our current Attorney General. He warned Mr. Garland to save all his documents and “clear his calendar” for 2023 hearings under a Republican House majority.

Seems a bit like “counting your chickens before…..” or something similar. But, there he was. Huddled there, next to the throne, awaiting his coronation. And spewing out orders – read threats.

My guess – and this is just common sense – is that the AG and his attending legal brains checked, rechecked and checked once again before asking a federal judge for permission to invade Trump’s abode. Further, I’d have to think anyone challenging Garland on that action will hit a brick wall trying to find something – anything – wrong with the process.

McCarthy’s already promising investigations of Hunter Biden and others of the President’s family, friends and members of his Cabinet. He’s talked of certain Republicans being named chairmen of various committees. He’s even announced the subjects those committees will be looking into.

He wants the top job in the House so he can deal out punishments to Democrats he sees as his “enemies.” He’s not talking of ways to end the bitterness and in-fighting we voters want a stop to. He’s not looking to create worthwhile legislation or work in tandem.

McCarthy wants the Speaker’s job solely for the political power it represents. He doesn’t talk about the serious and widespread responsibilities of the office. No. He sees all Democrats as “nails” and he can’t wait to get his hands on a hammer – er, gavel.

As Speaker, McCarthy would be a loose cannon. His current words and actions are less those of a professional political leader and more of a belligerent boxer, sitting in his corner awaiting the bell for the first round.

If I were granted a second birthday wish, it would be for comity, friendship and working together in our national Congress. It would be for renewed professionalism, maturity and a reborn sense of responsibility in the conduct of this nation’s legislative needs.

Kevin McCarthy represents none of those things. It’s to be dearly hoped his outspoken coveting meets a dead end in about 11 weeks.

I’d make that another birthday wish to that effect but I’ve already had two.

Begone, foul spirit

Author: admin

Are you sick of Donald Trump?

I am!

How much does it take before this man must face punishment for SOMETHING? How many laws must he break – how many lies must he tell – how many women must he violate – how many people must he hurt before something – somewhere – results in his being separated from society?

Before he was President, he monopolized our news coverage each hour of every day. In the four years of his presidency, his face and name were thrust upon us 24/7. In the 18 months of his ex-presidency, we’ve been saturated with him everywhere around us for one damned thing after another. Now, it’s for stealing top secret documents of God-knows-what. Is there no end of him?

There are those who repeatedly tell me “Just wait. Just be patient. One of these days he’s going to go just a little too far and the ‘long arm(s) of the law’ will bring an end to his running free.”

Oh, yeah? Just how much further does he have to go? To Mars?

But, maybe we’re getting close. Closer than we – or he – have ever been. It presently appears to be a race between the Fulton County, Georgia, DA for vote tampering, the New York AG for tax fraud and the feds for stealing top secret documents and possible espionage.

Frankly, I don’t care who gets him or for what. Just nail the bastard!

Nightly, on TV, “taking heads” tell us why he should be indicted, for what and how long the punishment should be. Next morning, the newspaper hits the porch and he’s still there! Everywhere!

One of the best lines on Facebook recently was the feds should dig up the grave of Trump’s first wife near the #1 tee box on his New Jersey, golf course ‘cause he may have buried some docs with her.

Frankly, I wasn’t surprised to learn he’d stolen classified documents upon leaving office. But, what I’d really like to know is if the recovered materials have been copied. I doubt even the state-of-the-art FBI labs can determine that. But, I’d really like to know.

It’s been widely reported no American banks will loan to Trump for any reason. Not hard to believe with all his defaults. So, he’s had to turn to European lenders. The largest of these has been Deutsche Bank to whom he has also defaulted. But, they still “lend” to him.

What if some of those top secret documents were copied and used as “collateral” for new business loans?

Now, not a word has been written or spoken about such a happening. Strictly my thoughts. But, what if?

Everything Trump owns is mortgaged to the hilt. He’s been borrowing from one lender to pay the previous one for years. Sort of a real estate “Ponzi scheme.”

But, if the New York AG is successful in nailing him for playing “hanky panky” with the state tax folk and banks by manipulating the value of his properties, Trump’s likely to default on more loans. Which would leave him with just a shell of his former holdings.

He’ll surely want to get back into business somehow. Going back to European banks would seem to be his only hope. But, what does he have to offer them that’s not already being used as collateral on previous loans?

Now, maybe I spend too much time in the many wine tasting rooms we have around the Willamette Valley. Could be even Trump hasn’t thought of such a scam using our strategic secrets as that necessary collateral. But, what if?

Until the federal investigation(s) are over, we won’t know if such a scenario has been played out. Maybe not even then.

But, as I said at the start of this missive, I’m sick of the SOB and distrust him so much I’d like to think he thought of such a scam long before I did.

So, somebody! Somewhere! Working on an indictment. Please! Please get it done. We’re waiting!

No, not at all

Author: admin

Some critics of this space have, from time to time, accused me of hating Republicans. Seems they think I’m too critical of the breed.

Actually, I don’t hate Republicans en masse. I hate specific Republicans who do stupid, hateful and dumb things. I hate Republicans who try to subjugate others by race or economic status. I hate Republicans who try to twist and bend laws meant to protect the citizenry from – in some cases – Republicans who twist or bend laws. I hate armed, so-called Republicans who threaten people using intimidation and guns.

Other than that, I even have Republican friends. Yes, I do.

Names like Everett Dirksen, Barry Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller and other honorable GOP’ers who spent lifetimes in service to the nation and their party deserve respect. And I do. Earl Warren, Margaret Chase Smith, Bob Dole and Howard Baker come to mind.

There are – and have been – hundreds and hundreds of Republicans who’ve labored long and hard in our nation’s political vineyards. The Republican Party has – most of the time – been a worthy opponent in the country’s domestic political dramas.


The current breed, doing everything in its power to disenfranchise voters in a dozens states, does not deserve to stand on the firm foundation those previously mentioned built and sustained. They’re a weakened bunch, trying to cling to the power they were handed.

The problem they face is not the cruel lie of voter fraud they claim. It’s that more people than ever before marched to the polls in 2020 and voted. Legally. More voters exercised the franchise and many in the belligerent GOP chorus found themselves on the losing end of the stick. That’s what drives them to create as many roadblocks as possible to slam the door on any chance of that happening again.

At the moment, legislatures in GOP-controlled states have some 250 bills in the hopper to curtail millions of legitimate voters from casting ballots. It’s pretty obvious the dirty hands of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are at work here, given the similarity of the paperwork.

Some critical parts of the Republican Party are slowly becoming inured to replacing facts with ignorance – to live in a phony existence where black is white, green is really blue, up is down.

Example: A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found 55% of Republicans falsely believe the Biden victory was the result of illegal voting or rigging. Just over 60% of those queried agreed the election was stolen from their idol.

A recent CNN poll of voters showed Democrats (79%) and Independents (64%) believe the January 6th attack on Congress weakened American democracy while only 36% of Republicans shared that same view.

The blatant ignorance of many in the GOP is showing up in bad legislation that won’t withstand the light of day or the certain-to-come court challenges.

Example: Idaho has a recently-enacted law providing $4-million for the legislature to fight future court battles sure to come from some of the “bad laws” being served to Idahoans under the guise of “good laws.” Just last week, the state hired more Boise attorneys to defend a draconian abortion law. That 4-mil won’t last long.

Been happening for years. With its steady losses to court challenges, the Idaho Legislature has become the largest depositor in the “Boise Attorney’s Retirement System.” This year looks to be especially spendy.

This willful ignorance of truths and facts on the part of one political party can truly damage our entire system of governance if not the actual Republic itself. States controlled by such people, believing lies over truth, fraud over fact and traipsing behind their false “prophet” can produce dangerous laws, subvert truths with lies and lead us all into truly disastrous situations.

Our country, with its military and strategic leadership, has been looked at by other countries for many decades as the guarantor of peace. Many of our laws have been adopted by others because of our strength and wisdom. Many of our leadership practices have provided a sense of unity in our worldwide relationships.

A few crackpots in our governance can damage all that. A national political party, riven with lies, faithless practices and a determined ignorance of reality can substantially weaken not only this country but others as well.

We can’t afford a faithless Republican Party, run by fools blindly following a fool.

Nope. I don’t hate all Republicans. Never have. But, honestly, most of the ones I respect are either dead or retired. Most of the ones on active GOP duty, well………………

Angry statistics

Author: admin

Taken as a whole, Americans are in a sour, somewhat angry mood as we get closer to what is probably the most important off-year election in our brief national history.

Pollsters, questioning dozens of different test groups in dozens of different places and using literally hundreds of people of all ethnicity and economic backgrounds, are coming up with nearly the same conclusions.

We are a worried, troubled nation with many expressing doubts in the abilities of government(s), afraid of future financial conditions and casting about for solutions to seemingly intractable problems like climate change and rising costs of nearly everything. Especially gas at the pump.

Using one such sampling – taken a month ago by CNN and its polling arm – we can see the same profile developed, matching so many other groups.

In sum, the CNN poll, conducted by SSRS, found the public’s outlook on the state of the country to be the worst it’s been since 2009 and the worst view of our economy since 2011.

The sampling group put Biden’s approval rating at just 38-percent with 62-percent disapproving. Even lower, just 25-percent supporting his handling of the economy.

Some 75-percent said inflation and the cost of living were their most pressing problems. A year ago, that figure was at 43-percent.

Even the support of Democrats for Biden was down 13-points just in the last few months. Also dwindling, support of Black and Hispanic voters.

Maybe the most troubling finding is that seven out of 10 say Joe Biden isn’t paying attention to the country’s pressing problems. Seven out of 10!

Those are terrible numbers. Especially with so much riding on those off-year elections.

The problem I find with those polling outcomes is that so many people think the President can just issue an order or decree and such things as high gas prices can be overcome. Or, that Biden can do something about high interest rates. Just order it and it’s done! Which is, of course, wrong-headed.

If the President had any control over gas prices, for example, they’d be at $1.50 a gallon. Why wouldn’t any political professional act to drop the per-gallon costs if he or she had the ability to do so? And inflation. If a wave of the presidential hand could change the level of pain, why wouldn’t we be seeing that wave from the Oval Office?

But, take heart. There’s this. With so much anger being directed at both major political parties, there may be a third choice at the polls. Maybe the most hoped-for – and potentially viable – third party to come on the scene.

Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman (Republican),
one-time Congressman David Jolly (former GOPer) and businessman Andrew Yang have filed the necessary paperwork to form that third choice, calling the movement “Forward.” Just one word.

In their announcement of “Forward,” you could read – between the lines – these political pros have been listening to pollsters and small group movements of dissidents looking for change.

“Political extremism is ripping our nation apart, and the two major parties have failed to remedy the crisis,” the three wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “Today’s outdated parties have failed by catering to the fringes. As a result, most Americans feel they aren’t represented.”

Citing the outcomes of several polls, they said some 63-percent want a third party choice.

The goals of “Forward,” as cited by the organizers, are seeking a change to ranked voting in national races, finding answers to gun issues, abortion, open primaries, the end of gerrymandering and nationwide protection for voting rights.

Jolley said Americans – in large numbers – agree on such issues.

“Forward” hopes to be on the ballot in 15 states this Fall and all 50 by the 2024 elections. If so, it would be the first time a third party has been that successful.

Serious, experienced Independent candidates are on the ballots this year in several states. Betsy Johnson is one. She’s on the 2022 ballot in Oregon, running for Governor. Most political observers are giving her third-party candidacy serious thought.

Given the rampant anger over political stalemate in Congress, blame being cast on both Republicans and Democrats for achieving nothing to ease the burdens at home, voters wanting progress on issues of abortion, access to guns, lowering gas prices and curbing inflation, maybe “Forward” has a chance of being successful.

If you’re one fitting the pollster’s profile of an angry, dissatisfied voter, you ought to check ‘em out. Might help with the heartburn.