Saturday, January 18, 2020

Christianity & Inconsistency

     Christianity is so inconsistent.  Preaching ‘judge not lest ye be judged’, Christians are always the first in line to judge.  They quote biblical rules then ignore them wholesale.  Some bible verses say God is kind, merciful and benevolent.  Frighteningly, many others say he’s jealous, angry, cruel, unmerciful, destructive and ferocious. Some verses command a brother to marry his brother’s widow, another forbids it. Some command you to sell a child into slavery for certain crimes. Others say to love them - but, don't spare the rod! Almost all biblical instructions about children say you should beat the Hell out of them for their sins. (Otherwise they will be terrible people headed straight for Hell after they’re all grown up.)

    It makes your head hurt, the inconsistencies do.

    That’s the problem with most ‘faiths’, religious myths and other fairy tales;  They can be so doggone irrational. They sure can produce some pretty irrational 'followers' too. Some faiths like Christianity, can also be pretty damned inconvenient for those followers who venture beyond the rules. It’s no wonder God-Bothering Christians like Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Michele Bachmann get so conflicted and confused. We probably should not even mention Franklin Graham or Jim Bakker. The clincher though is there’s always the fact that you can always redeem yourself in the Christian God’s eyes for ANY sin except - wait for it - disbelief in the Christian God! Now, how convenient is that? Thousands of Christian ‘Holy men’ have taken in tons of treasure from this very concept alone over the twenty-odd centuries or so since the Christianity was invented.

    Another big problem with Christianity is, if you don’t subscribe to the proper flavor of Christianity - according to and decided by the individual Christian ‘Holy Men’ and other Christian leaders, it can mean your livelihood if not your very life.

    “What? You’re a Huguenot (Baptist Mormon, Jew, etc.)? Off with your head then!”

    “Praise God and have a blessed day!”

    Quite literally Christians, especially the evangelical types, have historically been more than willing, even eager it sometimes seems to me, to kill you if you are of the wrong flavor in their eyes. The Muslim world calls the wrong flavors 'infidels', in common with some Christian and other religions. Most secular societies have almost gotten a handle on the issue of persecution of infidels today, however. Still, you can be condemned and heavily punished because you are not a ‘perfected Christian’. Ann Coulter can give you instruction on that point, as she has done for some Jewish people over the years, even when they really didn’t ask for the lessons. Few people voluntarily ask evangelicals for their ‘instruction’ It is merely forced upon us gratuitously and completely unsolicited. The Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the Jehovah Witnesses (JW) are perhaps the best known flavors of those in our country.

    Here’s a fun little true story about my own encounter with two women from the Jehovah Witnesses. Several year’s ago my wife became irritated with strangers coming to our door for various reasons. She bought a little metal sign reading ‘No Solicitation’ which she simply laid inconspicuously on our porch floor next to the door. That seemed to work well until one afternoon when the doorbell range. I got up from my chair to see who was at the door, who turned out to be two lumpy middle-aged women with severe hairdos carrying the JW literature in their hands. I was a little irritated because our sign hadn’t stopped them, so I simply pointed to it.

    They’d obviously seen the sign, because one then said, “Oh, we’re not soliciting.”

    That lie just flew all over me at the time - I have a sort of short fuse most times anyway so, without even thinking I replied,

    “Well, here you are whoring for Jesus aren’t you?”

    You can probably imagine the look they both gave me before they turned around and angrily stomped back to their car idling in our driveway with a man behind the wheel. It was literally the visual equivalent of ‘Well, I never!’ My wife was a little nonplussed when I told her about the encounter. The great thing though is that the word must have gotten around because we have not been bothered with one single unsolicited knock on the door in the two years since. Even the LDS kids leave us alone now. Whoo Hoo! Best thing we ever did!

    Many people don’t want ‘a ticket to any Christian ‘Heaven’ even  if some folks believe we're in urgent need of them. No Sir, thank you very much. Many of us would rather take our chances with the world of reality. Besides, can you imagine having to put up with all those sugar-mouthed cynically insincere Christians for eternity? I wouldn’t want to be in any ‘Heaven’ which allowed such sanctimonious God-blatherers in no matter how many times they might have been ‘born again’. Who would ever volunteer for that kind of punishment? That would surely be Hell indeed!

    Non-Christians are justifiably offended by some Christians constantly and agressively evangelizing everyone else. What right have CHRISTIANS to inflict their ‘beliefs’ on anyone else? Are they special somehow? The fact is, they aren’t and they DON’T have any right. To put it in a way that’s easier to understand - it’s like some insidiously persistent salesman constantly haranguing you every day to buy something you don’t want because, first,  you strongly suspect it's fake, and secondly, it’s something you don’t need, or would ever use, and thirdly, it's something you never asked for in the first place!

    The Christian God is a mythical, invisible, intolerant dictator existing mysteriously (and miraculously!) in the sky (heavens). Proof of God, according to Christians, is the ‘Holy word’ written in a book of stories by the hippies of their day, and other itinerant (unemployed) herdsmen over 2000 years ago, passed down in many translations, iterations and editions since. The Christian God has about the same gravitas as the Norse god Odin, except having  a much more aggressive and threatening sales pitch. Odin at least had a host of other lesser gods around him who liked to gather to party at Yggdrasil, the magical tree which reached from the Earth to Heaven. They didn’t need all those lightning bolts, floods and thunder in the sky and other grand and stupendous displays, just a great big magic Ash tree! I probably should mention Thor’s Hammer though, which was pretty outrageous.

    Odin even had a wife named ‘Frigg’. Right there you can see that Norse men, in Odin’s world at least, really were made in ‘God’s image’! For Ragnar’s sakes he had a wife, and her name was FRIGG”! How fitting and proper, and far more satisfying that is, especially when you consider Frigg’s name has continued to construe a pertinent meaning to almost everyone in the English speaking world to this very day!

    No rational human person has ever actually seen God (or Odin), but the Christian God is said to be a fierce, uncompromising, jealous old white male guy (of course!) with a long unkempt beard, armed with a sword, lightning bolts and a 10mm Glock automatic pistol when in the United States. In the US he’s also waving an American flag - and don’t try to wave one of those damned pansy-assed Canadian maple leaf rags at our US Christian God! Nosirree Bob! That ain’t gonna pass muster!

    If the Christian God were to actually appear in the flesh anywhere on Earth today, he would immediately be either, shot, jailed or institutionalized by authorities as a deranged lunatic and menace to society. The strange thing about that is that almost 100% of Christians (at least the ones who have convinced themselves they are personally ‘saved’) pray daily for that very thing - that their Christ will appear, gather all the faithful to his bosom - even the dead in their graves for two thousand years(!) - and levitate that entire ghastly load - the living AND the dead - to Heaven instantaneously! The Zombie Apocalypse ain’t got nothing on evangelical Christians!

    Then He will destroy the Earth by fire!  I told you Christians say He is a real bad ass, didn’t I? Well, he must compete with Odin and Thor, not to mention Buddha and a bunch of other gods too.

    But, who am I to say those things won’t happen? Nobody, and I may well regret my sins of disbelief and suffer hellfire for eternity. But, I am a rational, thinking man and apologize if I hurt your feelings by believing and saying that any mythical god is just that - an insufferable myth! I’m not the only one who feels that way, or has felt that way in the past. For your reading pleasure, here are just a few:

"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"
- John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
- James Madison, letter to Wm. Bradford, April 1, 1774

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."
- Thomas Jefferson in an 1813 letter to Baron von Humboldt

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
- Benjamin Franklin

Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.
- George Washington

To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.
 - Ben Franklin

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absented myself from Christian assemblies.
- Ben Franklin

(Yes Benjamin. I did exactly the same thing myself at the age of 16!)

*This post contains my personal opinions regarding religions, Christianity, and especially evangelical Christianity. The story about the Jehovah Witnesses women and the appended quotes are all true.)

Monday, December 30, 2019

Ruby's PR Job

Ruby Sinclair already knew it was not going to be a good day before she got to work that Tuesday. You could say the bloom was coming off the rose on the fabulous job she had thought she had been so lucky to get at the time. Oh hell yes, it had a certain amount of glamour and paid extremely well, but the duties were, well, let’s just say the duties were a bit on the arduous side for Ruby’s taste. She knew today in particular was going to be a real bitch, not that was at all unusual. In fact, the bitchy days had well outnumbered the good days since day one. The only time she got a break was when the boss was out of town. Even then though, things could, and often did, get crazy. Ruby didn’t know how much longer she could take it.

“Goddamit! Isn’t Ruby here yet?” she heard her boss holler from back in his office as she walked down the hallway. “Where the hell is that twat?”

Ruby heard a short reply which she could not make out, some excuse in her defense she knew.

The time was 9:29 AM and Ruby’s day wasn’t even due to officially begin until 10 AM. but, Ruby had found out quite early on that’s not how things worked with this guy. And to think how great she once had thought this man wasI In fact, Ruby’s boss was a total and complete asshole, and it didn’t seem to matter whether he liked you or not. She knew by now the only person who mattered to her boss was he, himself. And, that was absolute and total!

“You tell that twat I want to see her right away, and to get her ass in my office the second she comes through the door!” Ruby heard the boss holler. The voice which replied belonged to Wanda Cardocci, another of the boss’s aides. The boss had several aides, with different shades of authority. Ruby and Wanda were on the bottom rung.

“Yes, Sir.” Wanda replied respectfully as Ruby stepped into the office she shared with her, who rolled her eyes dramatically as she motioned towards the boss’s door, then twirled her forefinger in a spiral motion pointed at her own temple. Ruby grimaced sardonically and walked through the door into the boss’s office.

“Where the goddamned hell have you been?” the boss demanded angrily. “I’ve been waiting hours for you to finally decide to get your ass to work!”

“Yessir.” Ruby answered. Ruby knew from experience there was no good reply to the boss’s question/statement so she didn’t bother to offer one. From experience she also knew her boss neither cared, expected, nor wanted a reply.

“Well, now that you’re finally here, we’ve got some fires to put out right away.” Ruby could see that several newspapers, all opened to their front pages were scattered across her boss’s desk.

The big screen TV mounted on the wall was tuned to the Fox News channel where Brian Kilmeade was as usual blathering on about something. Ruby knew the boss had almost certainly watched the latest Sean Hannity show too since he always had it taped if he wasn’t going to be available at its broadcast time. The boss never missed Sean Hannity. Never.

“And some of the fires are getting to be goddamned big ones too.” Her boss continued in a disturbed way. "We gotta get right on 'em!"

“Yessir”. Ruby said.

Ruby already knew what the boss’s rant was all about since she had checked his Twitter feed during breakfast. That was part of her job description in fact. As per usual, the boss had tweeted something stupid and inflammatory, then contradicted himself twice. The backlash was considerable and unmerciful. Ruby had already made a few notes about possible tweets in response to suggest to the boss. However, unhappily in the meantime her boss had fired off several more uncensored tweet salvos himself without consulting with anyone. Everything had gone to Hell and now it would be Ruby’s job to try to sort all that out, do damage control and repair things as best as she could. And any way you sliced it, Ruby knew she would get the blame. That’s just who Ruby’s boss was. It was always someone’s fault besides his own. Always, without exception. Ruby learned that on day one too. The boss constantly acted and reacted spontaneously without thought, or consultation with those in the know, then when things ran off the rails he found someone to blame. Often her job made her think of a ditty she’d once seen in a little frame hanging on some underling's office wall:

“I’m not allowed to run the train,
The whistle I cannot blow . . .
I’m not allowed to say how far,
Or where those railroad cars can go.
I’m not allowed to blow off steam,
And, I cannot ring the bell . . .
But let that goddamned train jump the track,
And, just see who catches Hell!”

That was Ruby’s job these days to a tee. Before this job she had been a junior PR person for a mid-sized firearms manufacturer. That job had been challenging enough, but there she’d had a superior whose job it was to take the brunt of any backfire or criticism. In this, her current job Ruby was on her own. But, that previous job was also the real reason she had her current job. Her boss wanted someone with experience in dealing with attacks from the left side of the political spectrum, and she happened to be the highest fruit on the tree who would accept the job offer.

However, she had lately begun thinking this new job was just not worth the hassle even though she now held a fairly impressive job title and her current salary was three times her previous one. Her boss was just too difficult. She was beginning to understand why she had been offered the job in the first place. It was simple. No one wanted to work for the unthinking megalomaniacal bastard who was now her boss.

Ruby was convinced that if her boss would only let her do her job and not interfere by running off his mouth - and irresponsibly using his Twitter finger - her job would be ever so much simpler and pleasant. Instead, he was an unrestrained ‘loose cannon’ who could not control his visceral impulse to malign and demean others through personal insults and attacks, even those friendly to him. Again, it was just who he was, and no matter how obscene he could sometimes be, Ruby knew he couldn’t help himself. If you thought about it, maybe it really wasn’t his fault. That was the only reason Ruby had not already quit this otherwise wonderful job.

But still, in the back of her mind Ruby did sometimes wonder if her boss’s  behavior might actually be intentional, and was merely another arrow in his quiver of ‘job skills’. Nah. No one could be THAT odious could they?


Ruby’s boss had made some nearly illegible scribbled notes on a yellow pad. He tore off the top sheet and angrily threw it across his desk at her. Ruby didn’t make an effort to stop it as it flew past the desk and fell on the floor. Her mood just would not permit that.

“What the Hell’s wrong with you goddammit?” Her boss shouted. “You on the rag or somethin’?”

Ruby said nothing as she very slowly and deliberately leaned over to pick up the yellow sheet. Ruby was holding herself in strict control, but she’d finally reached her limit today. She directed her fiery gaze fiercely at her boss’s eyes. He quickly got the message.

“OK, OK, “ Her boss said hastily. “Just forget I said that and let’s get down to business.”

But, her boss did not apologize. Ruby knew he never would in a million years. He was simply incapable of admitting to anything wrong.

Ruby said nothing as she continued looking directly at her boss. He broke eye contact and shifted nervously, apparently unsure of what she might say or do next. Ruby knew resolute females always made her boss uncomfortable, but she had not, until now, wanted to make a blatant display of her own strong will. After staring a couple more seconds she dropped her eyes to the yellow sheet which was covered with almost indecipherable hieroglyphics. After several months experience though, Ruby could generally sort out the gist of the boss’s notes.

Her boss had recovered enough by now to use a more forceful tone as he said, “Now those are my points I want to get across to those idiots.”

Anyone who questioned the boss in the slightest was always and invariably classified as an ‘idiot’.

Ruby quickly read through the boss’s notes and replied in a neutral tone, “Yessir. But I must point out that some, many of these things you want to say are not true.”

She did not want call them actual lies, which his comments obviously were.

“What in Hell you mean, they’re not true?” He huffed. “I think they’re true.”

As politely as she could muster, Ruby said,”No Sir. Some of these things are simply not true. Those points have already been argued and proved not true. Therefore, we, you, should not be saying them. Sir, It is my job as your PR person to protect your position and reputation. I would not be personally comfortable publishing such things, and I will not put my name to those.”

Ruby’s boss exploded then. “Goddammit! If I say they’re true, then they’re true by God. I’ll not be having you tell me what’s true and what's not, dammit! You’ll put out what I tell you to publish by God, whether you think it’s true or not, dammit!  And, I just don’t give a shit if something makes you uncomfortable!”

“No Sir, with all due respect I will not do it, period.” Ruby said calmly. She had now passed her threshold at last.

 “I quit.” She said.

There was a stunned silence for a few seconds as the boss stared at her in disbelief.

Then he hollered,  “Goddammit! You can’t quit because you’re fired! Clean out your goddamned desk and gimme your keys!”

“Yes Sir.” Said Ruby, polite to the end. “And before I go I’d like to present you with one of my special, custom-made bumper stickers. I’m mailing one of these out to each of the staff this afternoon too. And, if you should find you need or desire extra copies, by tomorrow you’ll be able to order them online through my internet store.”

Then Ruby opened a folder and withdrew a brand-new bumper sticker which she handed to her boss. Ruby had the great satisfaction then of seeing her boss read it and see his eyes widen before he furiously threw it across the room.  He sputtered incoherently.

In big, bold red letters on a white background the bumper sticker loudly proclaimed:

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Liars Are Gonna Lie - Especially Donald J. Trump

There are several sorts of Liars.

First is the Unconscious Liar. This is the person who unconsciously lies, either to spare themselves embarrassment or loss of pride on some little inconsequential bit of information or the other, or the person who tells small lies in order to spare someone else's feelings. These kinds of liars are sometimes unaware that their untruthfulness even comes out of their mouths. When they know, they usually feel somewhat guilty about it. Most everyone at one time or another either is or has been this sort of liar, where a small deception 'helps' rather than 'hurts'. I think we learn this mostly harmless trait in early childhood.

There is the Swindle Liar. This is the person who is deliberately trying to con or trick someone else out of something, usually money or something of value. These people will literally tell you anything to gain their way. Many used car salespeople and other high-pressure salespeople are this kind of liar. They usually think nothing or lying to their wives or husbands about their illicit affairs either. A Swindle Liar often schemes and constructs elaborate scenarios and 'facts' to 'validate' the lies they tell others.

There is the Narcissistic Liar. This is the person who lies to others in order to elevate or validate themselves to others. The pitiable part about Narcissistic Liars is they convince themselves to the point they literally believe their own lies. They almost never admit to 'alternative facts' even in the face of overpowering contrary information.

When I was in high school, a classmate was an extreme example of this kind of liar. He was absolutely compelled to tell lies to varnish his name. (Does this strongly remind you of anyone?) Actually, it was his notoriety, since everyone knew he was so full of BS about himself. Whenever he launched into some long, convoluted tale about his personal heroism, or other fatuous claims, the listener would sarcastically say, 'Yes, Jim' (Jim was not his real name). I remember at graduation when the principal called out names to receive diplomas, he called 'Jim Xxxx, the author of all those 'Yes Jim' stories.' Those in the audience tittered since it was a very small town and everyone knew about Jim.  Our current president reminds me so very, very much of Jim Xxxx!

Donald J. Trump has been described as a 'malignant narcissist'.  (Look it up - you will be appalled at how well this term fits the man and the other traits associated with this diagnosis!)

There is also the Habitual Liar. This is the person who lies so much it does not matter to them whether they tell the truth, or tell an outright and demonstrably, proven lie. The truth simply does not register with these people. Their 'truth' is only the lies they tell. When caught in a lie it does not bother them in the slightest. They just simply shrug it off with a duplicitous smile, often accompanied by a small joke. Their attitude seems to be, "well, everybody does it, so that's why I do."  Perversely, Habitual Liars often lie when the truth would actually serve them better. They seem constrained to lie as much as possible. The only time they tell the truth is when they are compelled to under penalty of law or other serious costs to themselves. Even then, they will attempt to hide the truth as much as possible.

I am firmly and personally convinced our current president, namely Donald John Trump, is all of the above, except possibly, probably the Unconscious Liar. There does not seem to be a kind, caring or sensitive molecule in this person's being. He is totally tone death to all but himself.

Of course, I am not the only one who believes this. Columnist Bill Moyers seems to hold a similar opinion:

What mystifies me, however, is why Mr. Trump has so many 'followers' who believe everything coming out of his mouth, or in his tweets. Mr. Moyers has thoughts on that too. To that, I would add, that Trump's followers believe what they want to believe. It is a corollary to his claim that he "could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York, and shoot someone and not lose a single vote!" I believe on that point Mr. Trump tells the absolute, unbridled truth. No matter the sordid fact about Trump that is uncovered and validated, his followers simply ignore it. He has convinced them it is 'Fake News', and they will argue you into the ground in the face of proven fact! Like Trump, the facts simply do not register with them either. It is also proof of the claim that if you tell a lie often enough, plenty of people will end up believing it.

What bothers me though, is that our news media do not consistently call him or his spokespersons out on outright lies. They often allow them to simply ignore a question or answer another, a sometimes completely unrelated question to help the liar to obfuscate the truth. 

Pulitzer prize-winning 'Politifact' has published some interesting charts on Trump's 'truthfulness'. You will note that 84% of what Donald Trump says qualifies as either an outright lie ('Pants-On-Fire'), mostly false, or only half-true.  I consider this to utterly unacceptable in any leader of any advanced nation, let alone the United States of America.

Screenshots of Politico's charts appear below:

Monday, December 25, 2017

An Open Christmas Letter to President Donald J. Trump

An Open Christmas Letter to President Donald J. Trump

December 25, 2017
To:  President Donald J. Trump
C/o, The White House
In an Upside-down, Alternative Universe

Dear Donald -

May I call you Donald? 

I deduce already that you must inevitably receive millions, nay perhaps even billions, of irate, hateful and disrespectful letters, tweets, emails and other unpleasant messages each and every day, including, maybe especially, on the weekends. Even if those messages are so very richly deserved, and in the flavor of the holiday season, I want to be the one to choose today to write a letter of thanks to you.

So, how are you doing anyway? I'm guessing you're having a stressful time right now what with all the craziness associated with your presidency. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't think that part will change very much for you in the near future, at least not for the better. So, I wanted to get this letter to you while there is yet time.

I realize even though you are a ‘Christian of Political Convenience’, Christmas is the ‘reason for the season’ as Christians are so fond of incessantly and insistently pointing out. So, in the spirit of our traditional holiday season of 'good will' - even if there does not seem to be much goodwill going around these days - I'm now writing this letter of thanks to you.

Let me say up front, that I know you cannot help being the person you are. Like everyone else, you are merely a product of your DNA,  your heritage, and your life experiences heretofore. Because I know that, and pity you, I will now lay all my own rude criticisms completely aside. There are plenty of others already pointing out your many faults, ad infinitum, and with no need of input from me. Today others may do all the railing against your malignant personality as they wish, but I will not.

Therefore mine is a simple message of thanks. I decided I have to be thankful for you being the person you are, deep down. After all, I don't have to like you to be thankful for you, do I? Here are my reasons for thanks:

First, you have exposed for all the world to see, and as no person has ever done so completely before, the deep, ugly and pervasive currents of hate, racism, and misogyny running through about 30% of our country's population, your 'base'. I thank you for defining and exposing that ugliness;

Secondly, you have single-handedly shown a bright spotlight on the malignant hypocrisy running through such a large percentage of the so-called 'evangelical' movement. Not all mind you, for there are still some left who are truly 'Christian in Deed' too, but they sure seem to be in the minority when it comes to politics. We can now fully appreciate the emptiness of the primary evangelical 'message', and the hollowness of their 'faith'. We can see their readiness, even eagerness to overlook so many heinously unchristian characteristics in a person so long as they might agree with certain narrow-minded notions they hold. This I have always strongly felt, but never before seen so richly proven as by you. Never before have the scales so dropped from my eyes as now, and I thank you for that;

Thirdly, the results of your words and deeds since being sworn into office have completely validated and identified for the nation and the world, who today's Republican Party actually is. Sadly, the Party of Lincoln has conspicuously proven to be now completely and totally dead. Not one single vestige of it is left, and only the post-mortem and burial remain. Yes, the GOP still breathes as a political entity in name, but it assuredly is no longer the Party of Lincoln. I thank you for so richly proving that.

Next, I wish to thank you for bringing the poisonous vipers of white racism and nationalism, and the sick perversion of the so-called 'militias' and other right-wing crazies, out of their rat warrens, gutters, trailer parks and even in mansions for all the world to see. We always knew they lurked there in certain dark places, but had no real idea who they actually were, or how many they are. Now we have a much clearer picture and how huge a threat they are to the nation and the world. Knowing this, we can now work in earnest to heal this threat. I thank you for being the root cause and catalyst for bringing so many of these vermin out into the light of day;

Next, I wish to thank you for bringing all the corporate demi-gods and wealthy oligarchs out of their boardrooms and mansions to support you and your so-called 'tax cuts'. Yes, there are sure plenty of tax cuts for the already wealthy, but all at the expense of public debt, public health, education, and eventually, to everyone not already wealthy, not to mention our children and grandchildren. What kind of con game is that anyway, where everyone is promised a tax cut, but only the already rich get to keep theirs? I suppose this only proves the real 'Golden Rule': "Them that has the gold, rule".  We knew this already, but never has it been so solidly and soundly proven before. I thank you for proving that;

Next, I wish to thank you for exposing the threat of treasonous Americans who worked so assiduously with Russians and others to undermine our democracy, and now even threaten the survival of our very nation. This is a clear, alarming and very present danger no one in the general public had even suspected. We now realize some - too many - Americans we admired and respected, were actually traitors to the nation which nurtured, supported and blessed them with opportunities. We know that in the name of greed, they sold out their souls and the nation which made their success possible in the first place. Had it not been for the example you yourself set, we might never have known this. I thank you for that.

Next, I wish to thank you for clarifying for everyone to see, how little our national institutions and laws are prepared for dealing with idiocy and depravity in the Oval Office. I mean no personal disrespect in saying this, and merely want to point out a fact of life. It is a fact and had not you, or another person of your type and caliber not somehow gained the office of the most powerful person in the land, we might have continued going our merry way in ignorance of that danger. Now that we know, perhaps we can now do something to ameliorate and block such a circumstance in the future. I sincerely do hope so, and if we don't, then it is our fault, not yours! The Founding Fathers certainly never imagined such a thing, and If not for you, we might never have realized the danger. I thank you for that.

I could go on, but there is a limit for anything - which I cling to as hope for the future. When I told my wife I planned to write a letter of thanks to you, she got angry with me. Poor thing, she absolutely hates you, with a passion I never imagined for her. If she had her way, she would have you drawn and quartered tomorrow if not sooner, and tells me almost every day "I hope that bastard Donald Trump dies today!"

But not me. I confess I don't hate you per se, just the result of your 'being' as it were, and I certainly do hope to see your time in the Oval Office cut short, but not through death. I want you to live a long, long time. I want you to be around to witness the damage and destruction your time of idiocy and depravity in the Oval Office has wreaked on our nation. I want you to be around for a long, long time to witness your name and reputation dragged through the mud by at least one future generation and feel the shame that is being and will be heaped onto your name forevermore. I am surely glad I am not you.

And, I will always be very, very thankful for that!



Citizen of The United States

Friday, August 25, 2017

Don't Underestimate Trump Supporters!

Don't underestimate Trump Supporters!

I am as bothered by the current Trump chaos as anyone. Like many people, I  am tempted to lump all his supporters into the ‘low-info, stupid voter’ category, who I am now calling ‘Trumplings’. It's evident that Trumplings actually are uneducated boobs who bought into Trump's con, and his ‘Make America Great Again’ scam. It’s just so hard to believe that anyone with a modicum of intelligence could actually believe any word from, or support such a monster as Donald Trump. While it's  true that many Trumplings are moronic fools, I believe it's a huge mistake to classify all Trump Supporters are stupid or unintelligent. 

Notice I have separated Trump people into two categories, i.e., “Trumplings” and “Trump Supporters”.

I think many Trump Supporters are smart and intelligent people, and thereby dangerous. The problem is, so many, most, of these are warped and perverted individuals in their thought processes and suffering from a pitiable dearth of character and ethics, not to mention personal sensitivity. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an example of the sort of person I am thinking about here. Ted Cruz is another.

Ted Nugent on the other hand, would qualify as a high profile Trumpling, a dumb-assed, low-info, (and narcissistic!) moron. Mike Huckabee and Paul Lepage, current governor of Maine are two more. These are the types Trump himself was referring to when he claimed he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue in NYC and his ‘supporters’ would not care. The pitiful part of that statement is that it is literally true for these types of his enablers!

I believe it's a result of an inexorable propagandizing of their very souls, rendering them completely incapable of considering other viewpoints. I also think they are almost always culturally predisposed for this to happen. Think ‘White Nationalism’ and 'fervent religiosity' as two facets of this type.

A great many Trumplings seem to be of the Christian evangelical persuasion, which to me, marks them as victims of a life-long subjugation of personality to the evilness of a perverted religion in a very similar way as radical Muslimism affects its adherents. And history proves that the Christian version can be every bit as dangerous if left unrestrained. Obviously, not all Christians are Trumplings, but many of evangelical types appear to be. For some reason, many Catholics seem to be as well. I say this as a lifelong agnostic, having no religious persuasion, except perhaps ‘anti-religions’.

I am very struck by the eerily similar way that today’s US radical right-wing so closely mirrors the German and Italian Fascists of the 1920’s, ‘30’s and 40’s. Many of those folks were educated, intellectual, and very effective people with the regrettable flaw of possessing evil souls, if I might use that word. There has always been a sort of right-wing Fascist mentality throughout recorded history, and conservatism has always been its close first cousin. These are the folks who cling to the past, and who can easily be motivated by fear, particularly fear of change, and fear of those unlike themselves. All it takes to get them excited and aroused is some rabble-rouser like Trump (or Hitler) who cultivates and nurses their fears. Fervent nationalism, religion, and racism are very often the first go-to catalysts for fear used by rabble-rousers.

Now deceased columnist, intellectual and conservative icon William F. Buckley perhaps described conservatism most succinctly:

“A conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!’ “

The more I read, the more I see the world throughout history has had a roughly equal complement of Yin/Yang types, conservatism versus liberality. There seems to be a roughly obvious balance today, though the pendulum does tend to swing back and forth over time.

Nazi Fascists of the past had plenty of the stupid, sheep-like followers too, who bought into the Hitler’s mythical scam of ‘The Fatherland’ and ‘Lebensraum’, and not at all unlike how Trump’s ‘America First’, 'Make America Great Again', and ‘Build That Wall!’ slogans motivate his own obscene hoards today.

My point is, I believe it's a grave mistake to lump today’s American Fascists into an ‘all-dumb-as-rocks’ category. Many Trump Supporters are intelligent, well-educated people with plenty of energy, patience, and pragmatism - a dangerous mix for any group when they have an agenda, which our own Fascists today surely do. It is very dangerous to underestimate groups like these. The world has already made that mistake once which almost sent civilization back to the Dark Ages. (Twice, if you count the Visigoth barbarians' defeat of the Roman Empire - which actually DID result in a Dark Age!)

Steve Bannon is a good example of the type I mean. I believe Trump himself, is merely a Hitler wannabe, without the cleverness or intellect required. He doesn’t seem to have one-quarter the smarts Adolph Hitler had, thank goodness. Yes, he may be able to read, even read well, but he doesn’t bother. He probably has a good, basic raw intelligence too, but he appears to be too lazy and bored to develop that into any meaningful intellectual power, which is likely a good thing for us all.

In my view, the saving grace of our current national political chaos, of which Trump is but the figurehead, is that it will ultimately be self-regulating, and will very likely result in much needed political change for the better.

That is certainly my hope!

"Side With The Truth Tellers"
  Sir Harold Evans

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Trump Nation and Taxes

"Tax reform" is in the news. The GOP has promised to do that. Golly gee, wonder where that is going? With the GOP now solidly in charge all around, any halfway sentient person already knows, except for Trump supporters of course.

Almost no one likes paying taxes, although you might think by all rights they should. For most people, and corporations too for that matter, the more income or profits you have, the higher the tax rate is and should be. So, all in all, the more you make, the more you would keep, even after a higher tax rate - and the happier you ought to be, right?

But, that's not how it works in reality. The more money people - or corporations - make, the more inclined they seem to be to use tax avoidance scenarios. 

For individuals, unless they are in that top 5% category, the kinds who use tax shelters and offshore banks, there is a limit to how much taxation you can avoid without going to jail. Small businesses are generally in the same category. But, for big corporations it is an entirely different story,  These guys operate under an entirely different set of actions. Same rules, yes, but most assuredly a more imaginative, and sometimes even borderline (and over!) criminal way of utilizing them.

Not all big corporations do so, lest I be accused of being anti-capitalist. (Actually, I do sometimes flirt with being anti-capitalist, be that's a subject for another story). Some big companies do stand right up to pay their fair share, honestly and completely with no cute cheating. But a majority of the bigger companies DO NOT. And, the bigger and more multi-national they are, the more likely they are to be creative in avoiding taxes.

Here's a chart with the trajectory of US corporate tax rates over the years. The takeaway is, starting from a high of 58.8% in the late 'sixties (during the Richard Nixon administration!), there has been a more or less steady decline ever since to 35% beginning in 1993, and where it now stands today. Historically, you must go back to BEFORE WWII to find a lower rate!
Corporations, and their hand-maidens in Congress like to point to this chart showing, among other things how the US is among the highest corporate taxing nations in the world.  And, I'd like to point out right here that both major political parties have their hands in this evil pudding. It's not just a GOP thing, although now with Mr. Trump in office - and bloviating about his 'tax reform' plan the GOP is determined to reduce the official rate even more!

Ah, but there's also a multi-trillion dollar catch. The chart above is merely the official, US Department of Revenue rate. This chart accompanied always by all the GOP venting over 'high taxes' is a prime example of what I call a 'Graphics Lie". The rate actually PAID by corporations - called the 'Effective Rate' - is altogether different, and is but a very pale shadow of the official rate. The Effective Rate for corporations for recent tax years in the US is an aggregate 12 percent or so. In 2011 - the latest year I can find - the Effective Rate was 12.2% - the lowest since World War One! The current international average is over 16 percent.

The tax rate for an individual in the US is 15% for income between $9276 and $37650 for crissakes! For a 'head of household it's 15% for income between $13251 and 50,400! Something smells very rotten in Denmark if you ask me!

Here's a chart over the period since WWII, with the actual Effective Rate., i.e., "Reality":
Overall, corporations today pay just 9% of US Federal Revenue, down from over 30% in the 'fifties!

Below is just one example from down under. There are hundreds more for anyone interested in finding out more. I, myself am just simply too disgusted - and mostly naive too I know, to root them out. Taxation is a tedious, dry and dusty subject after all, truly loved only by the devious, the OCD and the anally-retentive I'm guessing:

Rupert Murdock's News Corp has one cute little trick it employs to avoid paying taxes in Australia (I'm sure they are creative in avoiding taxes everywhere else too):  The gist of it is they loan money to themselves from a foreign subsidiary at an exorbitant interest rate (at twice the industry average), then deduct the interest. The truth is, they loan money to themselves at high interest, deduct the interest as an 'expense', and meanwhile pay the 'interest' to themselves on the other end. I'm sure the 'subsidiary' does the exact same thing in reverse too, to avoid taxes on their end. It's a win-win-win-win as far as you like for Murdock and the News Corp.

Multi-nationals spend big bucks employing tax lawyers to find loopholes to avoid taxation. The thing to remember, however, the loopholes would not be there in the first place without the legislation.

And, here is where the story becomes truly appalling. Now that corporations are defined as 'people' in the US, and there is no limit to their political contributions (read, 'bribes to legislators'), it is party time in corporate boardrooms. Corporations are now in the position to buy any legislative favors their itty-bitty little hearts desire - and they are doing so with wild abandon. Thus, now corporations are completely free to vote with their money, and all their shareholders are too. This is what amounts to de facto double-voting in the interests of corporations. Am I right?

So, if corporations are 'people', why aren't they paying taxes like people you ask?

Here's a chart which will put that in perspective for you. This chart shows what percentage of US taxes corporations pay, and what individual income tax payers pay. FAIR WARNING! This one just might blow your mind:
It's pretty damned obvious that corporations have turned out to be pretty damned special as people isn't it? And, that is the nut, kernal, and gist of this story.

There's a long list of big corporations who paid no taxes at all, with some getting billions back in tax 'subsidies'. Here are just a few out of the hundreds:

Try to keep these things in mind the next time you spend your hard-won dollars. Also remember, that corporations are heavily into propagandizing these days. They are free to spend as much as they like - those expenses are tax deductions for corporations after all - to influence public opinion in their favor, while the individual may not. No tax deductions for you or me for such silly things!

The sad fact is that the US is now a true oligarchy in all but name. And if Herr Trump has his way, our nation just could get officially renamed as "The Trump Nation of and for Trump and Other Companies".  Then, maybe Trump will feel himself on an equal footing with Putin/Russia Inc.

But, I doubt it. Donald J. Trump is an unsatisfiable megalomaniac. Too much is never enough for that man!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017



A: Presidential staff are once again reminded that the President is always RIGHT, no matter what, or when presented with so-called 'facts' to the contrary. The President has access to information which staff does not, and always understands his own truth when staff may not necessarily be so advantaged;

B:  Consequently, ALL statements the President makes must be regarded as 'true', notwithstanding alternative facts to the contrary. All staff are required to support the President's statements especially and particularly when or if presented with, or contradicted by indisputable alternative facts;

C:  Staff shall not contradict the President in any forum, public or private, even if supporting the President gives the appearance that staff are demonstrably and totally dishonest. Staff are reminded that loyalty to the President supersedes ALL ELSE;

D:  The ONLY member of President Donald J. Trump's staff of relevance is Donald J. Trump himself. ALL others must defer to his decisions no matter the urgency of any situation, and his decision must apply no matter what;

E:  Ivanka Trump should be considered to be the eyes, ears and brain of President Trump, and primary decision maker in his absence. Ivanka Trump, even though considered by others to be 'without portfolio', is President Trump's defacto 'Chief of Staff' and is to be deferred to in all situations or decisions in the absence of President Trump. Only President Trump is entitled to question, contradict or reverse decisions made by Ivanka Trump;

F:  All male members of President Trump's staff positions must surrender their testicles upon accepting an appointment to the President's staff. One member of the President's staff is exempted from this requirement, that being Jared Kushner, who is expected to produce more heirs to the Trump bloodline. In return for his current position, Kushner has agreed that all his future progeny will be given the surname of 'Trump';

G: All female members (including Ivanka Trump) of President Trump's staff positions WITHOUT EXCEPTION, must formally sign in agreement and before a notary, to defend and to hold harmless the President against defamation or lawsuits in any form, including any and all accusations of such things as so-called 'pussy grabbing' by the President, even when the accuser is herself, her friends, acquaintances, or minor children. Female staff are reminded that President Trump's default position invariably is to contest any and all actions brought against him, his companies or enterprises and reserves to himself the right to utilize any defenses, methods, or points of attacks and retribution to destroy opponents, whether fair, legal or not;

H:  There are not now, nor will there ever be in the future, any known transgender or homosexual members of President Trump's staff. Any staff later exposed who should have been classified in either category will be terminated immediately and dealt with appropriately. No exceptions!

I:  President Trump's staff must always remember that mainstream media is THE ENEMY. The only news providers to be regarded as reliable are Breitbart, Infowars, and marginally to a lesser degree, Fox News. ALL others should be avoided, especially when they present a version of the truth or 'facts' at odds with the President's statements or actions. All staff are cautioned the above named Breitbart and Infowars should ALSO be avoided when they present facts contrary to presidential truth;

J: Only the President may tweet, unless given specific permission by the President.  The President at his discretion may at any time appoint an official presidential twitterer, who will be assigned the official title of 'Twitterer for Whitehouse Activity and Thinking'. President Trump has named Kellyanne Conway as the first official Whitehouse TWAT;

K:  The President's position is that the Office of the President of the United States of America is an extension of Donald J. Trump's business enterprises and activities. As such, the governance of the country must assume secondary importance in the order of priorities for the activities of the President Trump's staff. Staff are expected to place the furtherance of profits for any and all Donald J. Trump's enterprises as your first priority. Whenever there is the opportunity to increase profits for any of Donald J. Trump's companies coincidental with running the country, that opportunity must take precedence. The fact that may financially disadvantage the country must be of no consequence to staff and must not be considered. NO EXCEPTIONS!

L:  Previously ordered and stated, but being reiterated here: The President expects complete confidentiality and will accept nothing less from his staff:

'What happens in President Trump's White House STAYS in the White House!' NO EXCEPTIONS!

This above is an entirely invented work of satire, based on the realities of our current presidential administration.