America is indeed naked and afraid, of the truth

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I’ve ignored most of the so-called reality shows for decades. Never watched a second of that obvious travesty Honey-Boo-Boo. Had no idea who the Duggars even were until the sex scandals broke and the family was exposed for its ugly secrets. Jinger Dugar recently admitted to People Magazine. “It was so unreal, I still have trouble comprehending it today. But just the reality of this, this person we thought we knew, the person that we loved greatly – we still love – just the hard pain that has caused.”

Really? What did you expect when you turned your real life over to the landscape of unreality? Some of us say that’s tough luck if you succumb to the unreal pain created by   profiting from America’s prurient instincts. You got what you deserved, Jinger Duggar.

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Yet speaking of prurient instincts: Is there any more conflicted show on television than the Discovery Channel feature titled Naked and Afraid? It features people who volunteer to be dumped in the wilderness with no clothes on. Only instead of honoring that nakedness with actual footage of their actual genitals, Discovery Channel blurs out the supposed naughty bits.

In Europe and other parts of the world where people are comfortable with nudity and act like grownups about it, there would be no need to blur anything out. But in America taboo subjects and titillating subject matter are exciting fodder for a guilt-ridden society where naked bodies are publicly frowned upon by good conservative households. Yet we know that the Bible Belt consumes more porn than any other part of the country. Thus we are forced to pretend that these mostly naked people are not really naked at all.

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This cognitive dissonance is emblematic of the false brand of morality American conservatives love to profess. Yet the daily news seems full of uptight Republicans persecuting people for having the audacity to engage in sex. Yet these same people keep getting caught having affairs and engaging in sexual escapades that emerge as scandalous revelations about their repressive lifestyles.

So in keeping with the repressive culture in America, Naked and Afraid should be titled Afraid of Being Naked. Because why do America’s beaches play this pathetic game where people dress in thongs, yet can’t strip those stupid-looking garments off and actually be naked? It’s false morality writ large, that’s why.

The sin of nakedness is all in the minds of those who want to control the moral culture of America. These are the same people, we must recall, who tend to want “less government” in our lives. Yet neither can they resist using government to impose their prudish, anachronistic values on the populace every chance they get.

That’s why Naked and Afraid so fits the American television audience. It is a perfectly contrived flirtation with the taboo. It is so imperfectly ugly as an imitation of honesty that it defies even the title of the channel that airs it, turning the Discovery Channel into an oxymoron. There is no Discovery there at all. You can’t see the real sunburned breasts on those women, nor the dangling penises afflicted by flies and abrasion. One does get to see clearly a number of butt cheeks in various states of flabbiness or good form. And let’s be clear: butt cheeks are now the language of acceptable nudity. How ironic is that? These naked asses make an ass out of all of us.

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It’s thus no coincidence that the King of All Asses Donald Trump (tRump?) has risen to prominence on the American political scene. He’s grown popular by faking a powerful personality with codified statements such as “You’re fired.” And why would Americans embrace this reality show? The words “You’re fired” are the two words Americans most hate to hear.  Yet millions of Americans faced those very words during the last economic downturn.

It was all brought on by the gambling speculation of an investment and financial industry that claimed to be “too big to fail.”  In other words, they could not be fired despite the massive failures they had caused.  Then all those bad mortgages sold through predatory lending had to be socialized and paid off through governmental bailouts.

That was the ultimate reality show, wasn’t it?  It left us all left naked and afraid for our investment portfolios. How would we survive if we’re left alone in the jungle with nothing to wear but our Nike tee shirts? Those don’t really cover anything. The rest was all a blur for a few years.

This is the price we pay for a lack of honesty and the constant infatuation and flirtation with wealth that leads so many people to believe they’ll see “the goods” of security when in fact the entire investment industry is geared to profit the sellers and not those who hope to grow their nest eggs. These are the naked facts, people. And they’re after your Social Security money as well. If they can, they will indeed leave you Naked and Afraid. Because then they have you where they want you. Helpless and afraid.

You can believe what you want, but reality will ultimately prove you wrong about the belief that people like that have your best interests in mind. The whole reason reality shows exist is because they are cheap to produce and use participants as sucker actors to capitalize on their moment of fame. TV producers have been laughing all the way the bank for years at the expense of all those who believe and participate in reality TV. It’s a giant farce. Just like our investment industry. We’re fools for believing in it. For that matter, even the belief in the so-called free market and laissez-faire capitalism need a reality check as well. It might not hurt to take a naked look at the real effects of all these notions that we’re being honest with ourselves.

But you can go on watching the reality show we’re given, if you like. It’s not reality, but sometimes the best we can do is stare at the blurred screen and imagine we’re seeing something true and interesting. Or naked. Just so we feel real.






On Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader

150430-berniesanders-editorial.jpgListen, I was listening to Bernie Sanders long before he was Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. He was a weekly guest on the Thom Hartmann show to which I regularly listened. I liked his ability to answer political and legislative questions in real time, right over the air.

The political stumper that Bernie has become is a somewhat different creature. He’s right argued that the political system is rigged against him. He’s correctly asserted that America’s economic system has giant flaws. He’s proposed massive public investment in America’s educational and health care systems. I even agree with him that America has all the money it needs to pay for these supposedly “socialistic” programs that are in fact simply the logical actions of a nation determined to improve the lives and minds of its citizens.

Because honestly, the Republican Party has done everything it can to divest Americans of the opportunity to make a fair living, get a good education and put it to work in an equitable economy. We’ve watched Republicans publicly flog the Unemployment Compensation system and accuse people thrown out of work by the economic crash of being “too old and lazy” to want to go back to work. We’ve heard Republicans use rampant racism to disenfranchise those they most fear. That would be anyone with brown skin or a different religion that outnumbers the dwindling numbers of angry, largely white so-called Christians who hardly lift a finger to reconcile their capitalistic dogma to their equally dogmatic fundamental brands of faith.

Republicans are a hot ideological mess compared to men like Bernie Sanders. Republicans are more like an ideo-illogical mess. They’re don’t even claim to be whores with hearts of gold, because their repressive tendencies always seem to hide some massive personal scam waiting for exposure. Just ask Dennis Hastert if you don’t believe it. Or Newt Gingrich. All those fundamentalist Republican preachers in sex scandals.

By comparison to those lying zealots, Bill Clinton is a saint. And his wife Hillary still has not been proven to have done one wrong thing. Sure, she exaggerates a twitch or two, but she’s a political realist in the end.

That’s far more than can be said for men like Ted Cruz with his goddamned God Complex. Or Donald Trump who seems to think he’s a Golden Idol worthy of worship. The rest of the ungodly mess that Republicans sent forth for inspection withered and sank like a troop of squalid mushrooms sprouting from a shit pile. Scott Walker? There’s a foul stench around him. Jeb Bush? He smelled a little too rich and ripe. Even that stinker Mitt Romney cropped back up for a few weeks. And what did it get him? A portabella goodbye, that’s what.

So I’m not dissing Bernie Sanders on that level at all. I like Bernie compared to all these fecal greaseballs. And Bernie is a genuine contender. I’ll definitely credit him with that.

But I don’t get the feeling he wants the Democrats to win. Bernie distrusts the entire system, and with good reason. There’s just one problem with that. A man like Bernie can deliver true evil into power.

03-ralph-nader.w529.h352.2x.jpgIt happened once before with Al Gore and Ralph Nader back in 2000. Gore would have made a wonderful, rational and considerate President of the United States. But Nader went after anti-establishment, populist voters from a greenish stripe and wicked off just enough votes to keep Gore out of the White House. And in so doing, he let George Fucking Bush get in.

That moment in history has cost America dearly. We got the lying-est White House ever. True evil came in the back door with that vicious bastard Dick Cheney. Add in a right-wing-nut-cabinet that took us to war on lies in Iraq, and that ignored the clear warnings of impending terrorist attacks…which ultimately delivered the excuse they were seeking for action in the Middle East…and Ralph Nader starts to look like a real selfish villain in all this.

And I’m equally concerned right now that if Sanders tells his supposedly smart voters not to support Hillary Clinton, we could get a President Trump in the White House. Or just as bad (maybe worse) a President Cruz.

That would be fucking stupid. There is no way either of those men deserves to use the White House restroom, much less sit in the Oval Office.

Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader have way too much in common for my taste. I’m trying to figure out what it is about determined Jewish men that makes them such a danger to American interests. All I tell you is that King David did everything God told him to do. Yet when it came time to build a temple to God, David was told he had too much blood on his hands. There’s a lesson in that somehow. It is possible to care about your cause a little too  much.

I love a revolutionary as much as the next person. Because John Lennon knew the benefits and risks of revolution.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

What we’re witnessing is the destruction of America. But it’s not the work of liberals destroying traditional values, because it took more than 100 years of liberal political revolution to give equal rights to women and blacks. It’s taken just as long to make progress for gays and other minorities. Those are Constitutional values that are actually fulfilling the vows of our Founding Fathers for equality. Conservatives have fought that revolution tooth and nail, and helped destroy American lives in the process.

And it’s not socialism compromising the benefits of capitalism, because without regulations, free markets clearly and frequently spin out of control. We have the Great Depression and the Recent Recession to illustrate that fact.

It’s not a black President that threatened to destroy America, but fear of that man that promulgated a fierce wellspring of ugly racist populism now being fed by men like Donald Trump. And it’s not a lack of religion that destroyed the influence of Christian values in America, but the prostitution of biblical knowledge to fit a highly opportunistic brand of religion that shed the teachings of Christ to don the trappings of power.

And to combat these horrific influences on our culture and the nation at large, it is important that we not allow the leaders of this brand of political furor and zealotry to take greater control. Already we’ve seen what the warmongers can do to the national treasury with the post 9/11 escapades and nation-building overseas. We’ve seen media like Fox News cheerlead these ventures and lead with euphemisms such as Fair and Balanced to confuse and propagandize political priorities as fact.

You’re all witness to these devastating games, and some refuse to question their own roles, clinging to single issue contentions over abortion, gay marriage or taxes as excuses for installing liars and zealots and religious nuts into positions of power. Those people have no concern for America as a principle. They only care about America as an instrument for their repressive desire for control, hatred and bully politics.

And that’s what scares me about men like Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader. They don’t seem to see the forest for the trees.

The April Fool’s joke that really has to end, because it’s no longer funny


Today is April 1st, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. And while driving around to appointments, I flipped my radio station to an AM station.AM 560 is the Chicago version of Fox News on conservative crack. The host was talking about John Kasich, a candidate for the Republican nominee for President, and going on about how little Kasich actually knows about the Muslim religion. “But even if he doesn’t know a thing, I’ll still vote for him over any Democrat and four more years of downward spiral and Hillary Clinton making nominees for the Supreme Court.”

And I thought, “He can’t be serious. This is like an April Fool’s joke. Exactly where is this supposed “downward spiral” he’s talking about? Employment is down to 5%. In March the economy added 215,000 new jobs. Gasoline is down around $2.00 per gallon. America’s energy future is more secure than it has been in two decades. Yes,

Yes, the health-care “industry” is in flux due to competitive issues between insurers and providers. Republicans blame Obamacare, but that’s a joke too. Rates on insurance premiums rose 12% per year under all eight years of the Bush regime. If anything, the American healthcare scene now resembles the Hockey Stick model of global warming made famous several years ago by Al Gore. Healthcare is overheating not because of Obamacare, but due to the accelerating demands for wide profit margins from three distinct sources; insurance companies, healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical giants who keep jacking prices for everyday drugs and refuse to allow the government any negotiation powers to keep costs under control.

The joke of the claim that Obamacare caused these problems is that healthcare was pointing toward an overheated dynamic long before Obamacare came along. The plain fact is that Republicans ignored these issues all eight years of control under Bush. That’s not a product of insight or even prudence. But it is evidence of denial, and possibly corruption of purpose wrought by political paybacks and campaign support to buy off politicians from doing their job of regulating an overheated industry. Conservatives proceeded on the canon that healthcare economics if left alone would take care of themselves. Or God would step in. And what an April Fools joke that has turned out to be.

Because that’s what conservatives do best. Deny facts. They deny global climate change, and the theory of evolution, and any sort of metaphorical interpretation of the Bible (despite Jesus’ own use of metaphor in his teachings) in order to deny any sort of progressive viewpoint that leads to reformation. That’s true with environmental management, sustainable health care, or cultural equality. The conservative worldview is a pathetic, anachronistic joke.

And for the last eight years Republicans have been complaining that President Barack Obama is ruining the country. Or out to ruin the country. Or thinking about ruining the country. And all the while, the country has been on the rebound from the devastating effects of eight years of Republican “leadership” (denial by force) that spawned two costly wars, allowed terrorists to kill more than 3000 people on American soil, fostered torture, proved its inability to govern or be prepared for national emergencies during Hurricane Katrina, and crashed the economy through tax cuts and an overheated financial and mortgage industry that was “enjoying” a regulatory environment that was far too lax.

Yet the supporters of all that furious mess created by Bush and his conservative henchmen still insist that it is Barack Obama that has “ruined” the country.

So I came to a conclusion today. Modern conservatism nothing more than a protracted April Fool’s prank that has gone on too long. The Republican Party long ago lost sight of what the word “conservative” stands for at all. And let’s be honest: that’s what happens when a prank that really harms someone goes on too long. Then it becomes too difficult to admit you were the perpetrator. Admitting even one shred of responsibility exposes the massive involvement. So Republicans have behaved like a bunch of guilty frat boys who killed the School Mascot Goat by stuffing its front end with too many beers and its back end with too many sexual innuendos. Now they rally around the original concept of Reaganism (the School Mascot) and laugh off the consequences. They seem to have no shame and embarrassment at the pain and transfer of wealth their joke has wrought. “Can’t you take a joke?” they all seem to be saying. “And it’s your fault actually. You’re the one who let us near the goat in the first place.”

At this point it’s quite clear the joke is actually on them. Conservatives are freaking out because the King of April Fool’s is their leading candidate for the Republican nomination. The joke got out of hand quite quickly during this presidential campaign. The man with the orange face and a massive combover should have been an obvious warning that the Republican movement has become a joke. At one point their leading candidate stood up to say, “I could shoot people in the street and people would still keep voting for me.”

Or something like that. He does not truly care what he says. This April Fool does not even appear to believe anything he says. He only talks to generate controversy, then accuse the media of his own foibles. He is a massively painful prank foisted on conservatives, who wondered early on if he was indeed a serious candidate at all, or just a funny prank played by future President Hillary Clinton to destroy the Republican Party.

In any case, it is working. Those other serious jokesters Ted Cruz and John Kasich are the only prankster left on the campaign trail with the orange clown winning the prank race for the nomination. To prove the point this is all a ruse, Cruz even quoted lines from a movie about a liberal president as a means to defend the honor of his own wife, who was accused of being ugly and potentially a slut by the orange candidate whose only goal is to trump the truth with false rumors and underhanded practical jokes.

This is the April Fool’s joke that has to end. The Republican “platform”, cobbled together as it is by from disparate purposes in social, fiscal, political and religious conservatives, is the biggest joke ever perpetrated in the modern era. The four factions cannot possibly be reconciled if a person puts an inch of thought into it. True Christianity theology simply does not abide with laissez-faire capitalism. And social conservatives seeking to control the cultural dialogue are in direct opposition to political conservatives who want less government.

The entire conservative movement is a farce. A practical joke concerned only with power and control of the cultural narrative. And if people continue to support this farce, the joke is on them. April Fools, everyone. Are you one of them?


The conspiracy Jesus does not want you to miss

IMG_3854The Easter season for many Christians is a time to celebrate the rise of Christ from the dead to reign in heaven. And whether you accept the story of Christ as atonement for your sins, or something more subtle, on the order of giving yourself completely over to God, the Passion story is a compelling and humbling example of self-sacrifice.

For many Christians the Easter story begins and ends with that sacrifice. Nothing more need be said. But there’s a practical layer to the Easter story that Christians entirely focused on heavenly transcendence too often fail to consider.

It is the conspiracy Jesus does not want you to miss.

What secret could Jesus possibly hold that we don’t already know, that hasn’t been explored sufficiently by theologians, or canonized in the church?

You might know something about this secret if you pay attention to the entire Passion narrative. The Bible loved prophecies, and the story of Jesus entering the city on a donkey or young colt is the echo of a predicted fulfillment of a Messiah who will return to restore Israel and its people to glory and self-rule.These were important hopes back then. In some respects, those hopes remain today. Many Christians openly hope for the return of Christ, and think that is the secret Jesus wants us to know about his comings and goings in this world. But like many good conspiracies, those people may be wrong.

We instead find the real and noble conspiracy, and one Jesus does not want us to miss, in the message everyone seems to want to avoid in the story of Christ. He was a radical in every sense to those who ruled in his era. The leading religious authorities were skeptics of his claim to be the Son of God. The Romans considered him at best a weak imitation of a true king. All were more interested in his supposed abilities to do magic than his actual message. “Blessed are the meek…” Jesus is quoted from the Sermon on the Mount.

Hardly the claims of a king. Not in that era.

So fixated are we on salvation during the Easter season that the real conspiracy of Jesus goes uncelebrated. His clearly political motives in defying both sources of profound authority seem so worldly, almost unnecessary for the Son of God. And then his unwillingness to defend himself, so that he would appear to be a fool in front of foolish men? What sort of secret was that to keep from all his accusers.

Before his capture and trial, Jesus tried to educate his disciples on the secrets of his ministry. They begged him to speak plainly, not to rely on colorful parables and organic stories about yeast and bread and water to convey his message of spiritual grace and hoop.

But Jesus chastised his own disciples, telling them, “Are you so dull?’

And that is the real conspiracy of Jesus. He warned his disciples that much of God’s wisdom need be hidden from authorities in order to be heard and accepted by true believers. In the hands of the authorities, true wisdom becomes twisted into thorns of power to be jammed down on the heads of those seeking hope and truth.

In fact, the reaction of those in power to the notion that “Blessed are the meek…” is to turn that conspiratorial truth into a threat. The powerful see weakness where Christ sees power. Those with selfish interests turn that call to humility into an excuse to dominate.

If you truly want to believe and accept Christ, and especially the sacrifice he made in the name of all people, to instruct us on the power of humility and devotion to God, must be to personally sacrifice the will to turn religion into a political force designed to deliver advantage unto yourself.

Because barring that, people fall prey to their own desires, and go out preaching in public about their piousness and devotion to God. And those people Jesus distrusted most of all. “Do not pray in public…” he warned. “Or make a show of your piety.”

That is the conspiracy of faith that Jesus does not want you to miss. He hid his own authority and truth behind the will to be mocked, even tortured, rather than claim some position of power for himself. He hid his messages in metaphor, and indeed, the entire Bible follows that formula for concealed grace. Those who take scripture literally gloss over the real meaning of this conspiracy of truth. They turn the Bible into a weapon rather than a tool of grace. They force interpretations of scripture on the heads of believers like religious crowns of thorns.

Thus they aggressively miss the conspiracy of the Bible entirely. Yet that conspiracy is what the Easter season is truly all about. The willingness to place humility before politics, and endure sacrifice before personal gain.

Without that will, it does not matter if Christ rose from the dead or stayed in the tomb. The secret of faith lies buried behind a stone if the kingdom of God cannot be accepted on those terms. All other claims are a celebration of self. And nothing more.


A new reality show titled “Jesus Dies Again”


Word just came down from heaven that the Statute of Limitations on Forgiveness of Sins has just expired. It’s a sad thing, but it probably had to happen. Apparently, God has decided––and we all know God changes his mind now and then–– that the world needs yet another lesson about the meaning and value of life.

He’s tried several times before to cure the human race of its greed and ugliness. Let us recall the rhetorically powerful Noachian Flood, which wiped out every living thing on earth that wasn’t bundled up in a dirty old cruise ship.

When that didn’t work, God threw his own Son Jesus into the Roman Meat Grinder as a means of atonement for human sin. But people still did not get the message.

Even that act of sacrificial atonement, if you want to look at it that way, could not permanently compensate for the level of greed and corruption being foisted on the world by a growing cabal of literalistic latter-day religious types and conservative political companions who have turned the name of Christianity into a brand symbol for gross consumption and hateful zealotry.

So God has decided the time to act has come again. This time round the Good Lord has determined that a Reality Show will be the best way to get the people’s attention. And thus, we will be treated to an elegantly crafted six-week mini-series titled “Jesus Dies Again,” a series of contestants will be invited to conduct a trial for Jesus Christ.

God is quite interested to see if the outcome will turn out any better for his Son than it did 2000 years ago when the habitually vicious Roman Procurator Pontius Pilate washed his hands and sealed the fate of that Jewish itinerant preacher named Yeshua. You know how the story goes.

And we should not forget that the religious leaders of the day had plenty to do with the trial and execution of Yeshua. Their flaw was not that they were Jews, or that they sent Yeshua to be tried and killed by Romans. Their flaw was that their legalistic interpretation of scripture prevented them from comprehending the real message of Jesus, which was a call to grace and a plea for mercy and forgiveness on behalf of all people of the world.

Instead, those power-obsessed religious leaders of Yeshua’s day saw his emergence as a threat to the authority, their religious economics and a way of life they thought they’d earned by running the Jewish faith like a Whole Foods Market: A lot of expense for stuff you should be able to get a lot cheaper.

So God will work with producer Marv Bernstein (by no coincidence also a Jew) to create the new Reality Show  titled “Jesus Dies Again.” (Premiering Easter Sunday on TBS).

The show will put modern religious leaders and political types being put to the test of trying to acquit Jesus before a jury of his peers. And if somehow the guest judges do not find a way to defend the legacy and preaching of Jesus Christ… by actually proving that his message of caring for the poor, loving your neighbor and forgiving your enemies is enough to justify his life…Jesus will be crucified all over again. And Again. And Again. Until someone gets it right. The show will last seven days, and if no one Saves the Savior, the world will be finished. The human race will be wiped out.

“We’ve always looked at the Resurrection as the ultimate form of recycling,” says onetime Hollywood filmmaker turned Reality Show producer Marvin Bernstein. “We Jews have a sense of humor about these things.”

And of course, the show “Jesus Dies Again” will also feature cameo celebrity readings, songs and rap interpretations of passages from the Book of Revelation. Viewers, in turn, will be invited to Tweet their 140-letter prophecies out to the world as a commentary on what they’ve just heard.

“We were going to work with Facebook,” Bernstein admits. “But we all know that thing is a god-awful mess. All those phony memes and such. It’s like hell on earth if you think about it. People calling you Friends when they actually hate your guts for everything you post.”

“So we’re going with Twitter. That’s how the world works now,” Bernstein chuckles. “If God wrote the 10 Commandments today, it would take him 10 Tweets to get them all onto one stone.”

Celebrity cameo readings from the Book of Revelation will also be featured. Reported stars who will be involved in a hip-hop and song segment called REVOHLATION will include Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and .25 Cent, the star whose public value got cut in half when his stock options took a hit in the recent recession. “I’s a goddamned shame,” his publicist K’Noh Tweeted. “Niggah can’t get a break in this worhl.”

And speaking of breaks. The show Jesus Dies Again will feature a re-enactment of the Battle of Armageddon, which of course has yet to happen, and probably never will. But that won’t stop more than 20,000 extras from gathering on the Bonneville Salt Flats to act out the battle between Good and Evil. The scene will be filmed by a team of more than 50 remote-operated drones while scenes are live-edited by a team of graphics editors working for $30.00 an hour in Belarus. “It truly will be a global operation,” producer Bernstein enthused. “Almost like the real Armageddon.”

Easter’s coming up quickly, and God decided the time was right to force people to take stock of their lives. The trial lawyers and judges in the series Jesus Dies Again will feature the likes of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and that famous Christian proselytizer Mike Huckabee. “Trump is like Pontius Pilate and King Herod combined,” Marv Bernstein enthuses. “But let’s see how he does keeping those fake types from crucifying Jesus because he’s a goddamned liberal.”

As for the current state of the world, there are apparently clear reasons why God is so pissed at the state of humankind. Recently a publicist from Heaven, Inc., the production company producing the series Jesus Dies Again, has sent a faxed document to news operations around the world. It appeared to indict the activities of the American oligarchy, The Bush Family and its associations with the military-industrial complex. The faxed press release read:

“Considering Marvin Bush’s security firm was in charge of LaGuardia, United Airlines and the WTC on the day of the 9/11 attacks, God thinks the idea that the 9/11 tragedy was an inside job is hardly a stretch. And it was all done on the day when a national drill simulating a commercial airline highjacking mandated that all fighter aircraft stay grounded. And then every shred of evidence — the beams, concrete — all of the debris field from the fallen towers was immediately loaded on barges and shipped to China for recycling before investigators got to look for traces of explosives, radiation, etc.”
The press release from God went on to say. “The Bush Family Crime Syndicate is the most far-reaching and nefarious organization in the world. It has infiltrated every level of finance (Herbert Walker was a banker who funded Hitler, don’t forget), military-industrial complex (Carlisle Group), energy industry (Halliburton), and intelligence (CIA, NSA — remember George Sr was Director CIA before becoming Vice President, and it was his team led by Ollie North that ran Iran-Contra, securing the White House for Reagan over Carter, and a photo shows GHWB present on the day John F. Kennedy was shot). Not to mention the international illicit drug trade. The Whore of Babylon sells drugs.”
In other words, God is pissed that this stuff has all been allowed to transpire in the world. He’s ticked off that the mixed ideology of the Republican Party with all its selfish indignation has been allowed to corrupt the very foundations of Christianity and has now wrought an Orange Creature far worse than the Anti-Christ. That would be none other than Donald Trump, whose golden hair belies his evil nature.
But like the merciful God he has always been, God is going to give people a goddamned second chance to prove they’re capable of getting the message of Jesus Christ after all.
But if they don’t,  Jesus Dies Again. And Again. And Again. And Again. And Again.And Again. And Again. And if the Reality series concludes without producing one innocent verdict, that’s it. The world’s fucked. And there will be nothing anyone can do about.
So tune in. It’s going to be a Great Show, and a wild ride.


Not feeling the sympathy for Hulk Hogan

HoganOne can’t help hear the news about Hulk Hogan’s legal judgment against, a website famous for sharing sex tapes and exposes of celebrity and individual scandals.

The advent of revenge porn and celebrity nudes on the Internet has produced notable events such as the great Fappening that launched nude pics of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and others. Invasion of privacy is serious business, and stolen digital photos and movies are definitely theft of both privacy and dignity. People who are victimized by those acts deserve legal recourse.

Yet somehow the Hulk Hogan case feels different. This is a guy who made his living in shiny tight shorts in a sport that really wasn’t a sport at all. The great deception of pro wrestling was a manufactured titillation of violence and revenge. In other words, the Hulk Hogan we all know from public exposure really is a fake. He doesn’t use his real name, and his choice of conducting a reality show belies any real desire for privacy.

One could argue that objectively, a porn video starring Hulk Hogan in the act of screwing a best friend’s wife is just another extension of the false reality he created to generate fame and fortune. It is a far different circumstance from the invasion of privacy constituted by the release of a sex video by an angry or profiteering boyfriend. That ruins lives.

HoganBut Hulk Hogan’s life was not ruined by the release of yet another round of grandiose (and possibly gross, I have not watched it) video of his penis. So what? There are 7 billion people on this earth. About 50% of them have penises of one shape or another.

Hogan pranced around the wrestling ring with his barely covered penis on full display. He participated in a violent mockery of sports. He is an overblown, possibly-steroid-induced caricature of a real person.

So it’s a bit difficult to muster much sympathy for the man. But then I consider pro wrestling as much an affront to common sense and civility as a XX rated porn movie show in public. We’re seeing the consequences of the public’s inability to separate fact from fiction in the rising star of Donald Trump on the political scene. True perversity is less in the subtlety of what happens in the bedroom and much more about what happens in public. It’s funny how the Republicans have had that backwards all these years, and are now paying a price about as bad as Hulk Hogan, the man exposed for being a phony in every respect. Or lack of it.

How do you compare to Donald Trump?

gettyimages-698334Millions of Donald Trump admirers are hoping the man can run all the way to the White House with an incomparable vision for America.

But that raises a question, doesn’t it?

If Donald Trump’s American Dream is incomparable, with his billions of dollars, reality show stardom and a personal brand slapped on everything from ties to skyscrapers, exactly what is his political brand?


If you plan to vote for the man, how do you personally compare to Donald Trump?

If you don’t have the courage to criticize and mock women for their looks, then you don’t compare to Donald Trump. Trump has publicly mocked Rosie O’Donnell, accosted Megyn Kelly, made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face and talked about women as sex objects in incomparably ugly fashion.

But The Donald doesn’t stop there. Because if you don’t propose bombing the families of your enemies in an act that constitutes a genuine war crime, then you don’t have the same values as Donald Trump.

Perhaps you’re like Donald Trump if you like to make fun of people with physical disabilities, or mock people who are overweight, or have people of color shoved out of your political rallies by your largely white supporters. These are all well-documented instance in which Donald Trump behaves like an ogre, and people cheer. So someone’s doing some comparison out there.

Hey, maybe you even compare to Donald Trump in having four business bankruptcies, carefully orchestrated in the public eye as “reorganizations.” And God Bless if you’re savvy enough to isolate your personal obligations from the companies you run, so that you don’t really have a stake in the game even when thousands of other people suffer the economic consequences of your actions.

That’s the mark of a real winner. Let the harm fall to others. It’s a trickle down world, you see, which is why Donald Trump is winning the Republican nomination. People seem to love to vote for candidates who guarantee that they’ll confer advantage to everyone who wants to kick the person below them on the social ladder. Donald Trump is truly incomparable at that, and his millions of angry minions want the chance to kick someone a notch down from their social status.

You’ve got to be tough to compare yourself to Donald Trump. He’s fired a couple wives, for example. Perhaps he’s just views them as property, because when you’ve traded in a few wives through divorce, they all start to look the same.

Creepy purity vow photos.jpgAnd make no mistake. Donald Trump is a real “family values” man. After all, he has publicly lusted after his own daughter. Nothing like a little incestual father-daughter thing going on to attract all those creepy faux-Christian dads posing with their daughters in purity vow photos. Trump’s a hard act to follow, you might say. But these guys look like they’re on their way.

Donald Trump wants to build a massively expensive wall along the border between Mexico and the United States. He wants to force our neighboring nation to build that wall, as if that were an option for an American dictator to demand. Trump clearly wants America to behave like Germany in the Cold War, or Hitler before that. Build those walls. Ban those Muslims from entering the country. Isolate the elements of society that you don’t like. Be isolationist. Forceful. Rally the storm troopers if you must, but get it done. Trump is a fascist, in other words. And in today’s supposedly wiser society, an incomparable one at that.

Yes, The Donald is truly incomparable in a number of ways. It’s quite clear that millions of people are rallying to his cause because they think they can’t compare themselves to his legacy. But perhaps they should.



Is it right to hate your political and religious opponents?

Hate: to feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone)

Businessman Matt Bevin Challenges Senate Minority Leader McConnell In Primary ElectionThe word “hate” has come to mean a specific thing these days. “Hate crimes,” for example, are committed with an intent to target a specific person or people for their beliefs or lifestyle. Terrorism is a form of hate crime as well. The world is full of it. Full of hate and vengeance, retribution and revenge toward those we hate.

We’ve all run into hatred in one way or another. Perhaps there has been a person in your life for whom you feel an almost instant hatred. You can’t explain it. You just hate them from the minute they walk in the room.

Sometimes that is behavioral. They say or do things that set off alarm bells in your value system or your sense of protocol. When this happens in the workplace, and that person engenders hate in multiple people, they come to be the enemy. Sometimes they are a co-worker. At other times, the boss.

Then there are people for whom you feel hatred that you can’t really reach. Republicans love to hate Hillary and Bill Clinton, for example. Yet Clinton won the presidency twice, and his wife Hillary is the likely Democratic nominee. They just won’t go away, and Republicans hate that.

Hate from both sides

On the Democratic side, many liberals and Progressives hated on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The liberal contention is that the pair did plenty to earn that hatred by going to war on false premises, sponsoring torture and crashing the economy. Republicans have a name for that hatred. They call it Bush Derangement Syndrome. And it’s real.

But when you compare the reasons why Clinton and Bush are hated by their opponents, there is no moral equivalency. Bill Clinton got a blow job in the Oval Office. Bush allowed a terrorist attack to happen on his watch, went to war on false premises and destroyed the economy. Clinton got impeached for lying about the affair. Bush got nothing. Not even a slap on the hand.

So the degrees of hatred segments of people feel for those in political office, and even those running major religions, are based on varying degrees of justification. Surely the disrespect Clinton showed for the White House was not a show of class by any means. Sexual scandals are common in politics, however. If they don’t hurt the flow of government, they are typically are forgiven in some way, unless they persist. Fortunately or unfortunately, that’s how power works and has always worked.

Turtle power

When it comes to power and its use and manipulation, few have been so successful in their hatred toward another politician than Mitch McConnell, the Senior United States Senator from Kentucky and Majority Leader of the Senate. For whatever reasons he has chosen, McConnell hates everything about President Barack Obama. McConnell swore before Obama even took office to make him a one-term president. During seven years in office, Obama has been blocked on many fronts by the efforts of McConnell to prevent anything on the President’s agenda from passing.

Now McConnell has stood forth and sworn to prevent any Supreme Court Justice nominee from even being considered. He’s rallied Senate Republicans around his cause just as he’s used his authority to attempt to stalemate any progress in America over the last seven years.

Success in spite

Yet despite McConnell’s efforts, Obama has been a successful president on numerous fronts. The economy recovered from a massive meltdown during the late term of the Bush presidency. Obama has presided with a steady hand over chaotic world affairs. The nation has not been attacked by any organized efforts at terrorism during his tenure, as it was under Bush. The nation’s gas prices are currently at an average of $1.70 under Obama, the result of progressive, and sometimes unfavorably seen, approvals for gas exploration across the nation.

All the things that Bush swore to do, including not using the military for nation-building, Obama has done. That infuriates the Republican Right. It particularly infuriates Mitch McConnell, who in his fit of pique grossly admits that the Supreme Court has been a partisan tool for legislative action.

That grandly exposes the lie that the Supreme Court is a non-political entity. It has been used to install a President (George W. Bush) and pass a law allowing dark money to flood the world of elections (Citizens United). Justice Antonin Scalia dumped his originalist interpretation on the Second Amendment and turned it into a free-for-all in terms of the right to bear arms, and there are now more guns than people in the United States.

That is the legacy of the conservative Supreme Court. It has only been forced to uphold Obamacare by the fact that it would have been politically inexpedient to prevent millions of people from getting healthcare coverage. The provision in the law that enables people with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance is a clear protection of human rights. To do otherwise would be equivalent to issuing a death sentence to a significant portion of the population.

Actions speak louder

These are not exaggerations. These are the direct product of legislative action by the Supreme Court. And now Mitch McConnell and his fear-driven buddies in Congress all want to prevent President Barack Obama from carrying out his constitutionally prescribed duty to fill the court vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

It is a hateful thing to oppose one’s enemies without reason. But it is a more hateful thing to oppose one’s enemy for the very reason you refuse to admit is true. The clearly partisan hope is that a Republican can win the White House and install another conservative judge. The other source of fear is that the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, is not under the control of men like Mitch McConnell. But they know cooperation is possible if enough power is traded along the way.

These are all motivations worthy of hatred toward those who carry out such political chicanery. In the past, and with the murder of President John F. Kennedy still unsolved in the minds of so many Americans, it is worthwhile to consider how much political hatred has afflicted the nation. Going back a bit further, to the time of Lincoln, it was a Republican who took a bullet to the head. All for rescuing the Union, Lincoln was a great man in a time of intense political hate. But at least he got to largely finish his mission, and the gunman John Wilkes Booth failed to reverse the flow of justice in American political history.

Not so with Kennedy. And not quite so with the attempted murder of Obama’s legacy as President by men like Mitch McConnell. There are many kinds of murder in this world, and many kinds of hate. If anyone has earned the hate of Americans who support a balanced, cooperative government that gets things done, it is Mitch McConnell.


Is Donald Trump the Pirate or the Patriot King


There are a lot of people trying to make sense of the unlikely rise of Donald Trump to legitimate standing as the Republican presidential hopeful. It seems the man can say anything he likes, sensible or not, and people flock to his rallies as if he was was throwing out nuggets of gold off a captured Spanish galleon.

It turns out that even Trump supporters know that gold is anything but pure, or real. It was fascinating recently to hear Trump supporters interviewed on Patriot Radio, a conservative political station on Sirius XM. One reasonably intelligent-sounding fellow was asked about the appeal of Trump, and this is what he said. “Well, he’s honest. He may not have his facts down all the time, and some of the things he says are a little crazy. But he’s honest.”

America Right or Wrong

That attitude directly aligns with the conservative meme of “I love America, right or wrong.”

And that conveniently happens to fall close to the definition of the word patriot; “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.”

That’s certainly the language Trump is spouting. He’s called for a ban on Muslims entering the country on grounds that some Muslims are known terrorists. He’s also called for building a wall along the Mexican border, on grounds that some Mexican people cross the border illegally.

Trump is much like Captain Jack Sparrow from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. Jack Sparrow: Me? I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly… stupid.”

That’s Trump’s campaign theme in a bottle. Trump has repeatedly told the Republican Party and its voters they are too stupid for their own good. Let’s substitute a few characters in this dialogue from Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) to illustrate our point:


GOP: What’s your purpose in Port Royal, Mr. Trump?

GOP Voters: Yeah, and no lies.

Donald Trump: Well, then, I confess, it is my intention to commandeer one of these ships, pick up a crew in Tortuga, raid, pillage, plunder and otherwise pilfer my weasely black guts out.

GOP Voters: I said no lies.

GOP: I think he’s telling the truth.

GOP Voters: If he were telling the truth, he wouldn’t have told us.

Donald Trump: Unless, of course, he knew you wouldn’t believe the truth even if he told it to you.

And that, my friends, is exactly how Donald Trump took over the Republican Party.

Damn the damsels

And like any good Pirate King, he seems to view all women as whores, or something like whores, or at least his property. Again this short bit of conversation from POTC illustrates how Donald Trump views women as a commodity. Worthy of an exchange, and that’s about it. The fair Elizabeth is attempting to negotiate with the notorious Captain Barbossa…

Elizabeth: Wait! You have to take me to shore. According to the Code of the Order of the Brethren…

Barbossa: First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate’s code to apply and you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner .

Taking no captives aboard the Trump ship

Jolly Roger RoseTrump has refused to apologize for any of his arrogant plots. Just this week he attacked the Pope, for God’s Sake, over a question asked of the pontiff out of context. Yet Trump turned it into an opportunity to make himself look like more of a Christian than the leader of the entire Catholic faith. Trump is a pirate.

What Donald Trump excels at doing is taking the strengths of the opposition and turning them into a disadvantage. That is his entire political strategy. And it works. The reason it works is because people see that tactic as a supposed sign of strength, when in fact it’s just a bold lie flown like a Jolly Roger.

Yet that’s why Trump seems to be outsmarting all his opponents. All he’s really doing is stealing their best lines for himself. The same tactic was used on John Kerry by the Swift Boat truthers, who stole the narrative of Kerry’s war heroics and turned them on him. It worked. Truthers have tried repeatedly to attack Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but they have proven too smart and agile in their maneuverings to fall prey to the Swift Boat methods. That drives that brand of pirates all the more insane.

The same tactic was used on John Kerry by the Swift Boat truthers, who stole the narrative of Kerry’s war heroics and turned them on him. It worked.

Pirates by trade

Men like Karl Rove have made entire political careers out of this brand of political piracy. They know that if you can throw enough fear into your quarry on the high seas, you can often steal their best hopes without a fight.


That is exactly how Donald Trump took over the pirate fleet known as the Republican Party. The fleet, in general, is none too happy about their new captain. He’s conveniently ditched the Pirate Code on a number of occasions, and in some cases exposed it altogether.

You’re not supposed to break the Republican, er, Pirate Code. But Trump does so with regularity. He just laid waste to the diehard Republican claim that George W. Bush “kept the country safe” during his administration. Clearly that was never true, for it ignores the entire debacle of 9/11, and that was a direct result Bush & Cheney negligence and, as it turns out, a certain form of complicity with the idea that being attacked wasn’t an all bad  thing if it gave them an excuse to attack their doctrinal targets in the Middle East. Who needs truther fictions when the truth is so much more damning of its captains?

Trump want a cracker?

But Trump, like some blabbering parrot or other Caribbean cliche, even ripped the Bush administration over their lies about the reasons for attacking Iraq. This was full-on mutiny as far as the Republican world is concerned. So according to all definitions, Trump more of a Pirate than a Patriot.

In the classic sense a Pirate is a person who attacks and robs ships at sea.” But a pirate in the modern sense is one willing to “use or reproduce (another’s work) for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright.” And that fits Trump to a T. He’s stolen the narrative of the Republican Party for himself, plundered the intellectual property and the neo-conservative movement and sailed off with nary a wave to the losers left back on shore.

That would be Marco Rubio, the dandy Cuban Captain. Then there’s Ted Cruz, the modern version of Cortez, the Killer, who wants to be President because he believe it is his Destiny.

U.S. Senator Cruz speaks to members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women in San Antonio, Texas

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to members of the Texas Federation of Republican Women in San Antonio, Texas October 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Mitchell (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT) – RTX14H7R

He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun.

Like all good pirates

Donald Trump tried to warn his fellow pirates that he was coming some day. Yet like all good pirates, he knows how to veil his political ship to look like a friend at sea before throwing hooks over the bulwarks and climbing aboard, guns a-blazing and swords unleashed..

Before declaring himself a Republican because he felt he would appeal to GOP voters more, Trump said this about his political and economic views: “In many cases, I probably identify more as Democrat,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in a 2004 interview. “It just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans. Now, it shouldn’t be that way. But if you go back, I mean it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats. …But certainly we had some very good economies under Democrats, as well as Republicans. But we’ve had some pretty bad disaster under the Republicans.”

Last hopes and broken codes

Yet Republican voters by the millions are now calling Trump their last hope, and at the same time, the last true patriot running for President.

Of course he actually “speaks the truth” only as much as it serves him, which is very little. Instead he says what he wants, and that’s an empowering replacement for truth if you are a practiced Reality Show veteran who knows well that people cannot generally tell the difference.

The Pirate’s Code of the Republican Party used to be one os stealth. Simply refuse to acknowledge the lies, misogyny, racism and economic falsehoods that form the ship’s deck, and all is golden.

Now Donald Trump stands proudly at the helm, claiming loud and virulently that he is the Pirate King. Sure, he’s nothing more than a sailor drunk on rum and a emboldened by a series of thieving bankruptcies that made him a rich man again and again. But he knows how to brandish his curved cutlass like a boss. And when it flashes in the sun, people call him brilliant. He believes in their flattery.

Last refuge

ranchers-standoff-oregon-militia-malheur-national-wildlife-refugeIt has long been said that “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” The same is true of piracy. At the same time Trump has been rising in the polls, a band of land pirates out in Oregon took over a nature refuge in protest of the fact that people would not give them free grazing rights on public land. So they attempted to take back their perceived chunk of America with guns and threats. They were pirates, in other words.

So it is true that it has become impossible to tell the difference between people calling themselves patriots and people acting like pirates. Trump is the Pirate King these days, a man of great appeal to those confused by their very own codes of conduct. There is no conscience when you’re trying to steal what you could already own if you just cared enough to govern without a pirate’s greed.

A pirate king indeed.



Right wing conspiracy theorists have some catching up to do

scaliaWhen Justice Antonin Scalia was found alone and dead in his own room, conspiracy theorists on the political Right exploded with accusations he was assassinated. Some pointed a finger at President Obama, claiming it was a Leftist plot to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court with a centrist or left-leaning judge.

Republican politicians immediately screamed that they would never even dream of approving anyone nominated by President Obama.

In the face of all this immediate and politicized reaction to the death of Scalia, right-wing pundits cried “foul” at liberals for celebrating the man’s death. Matt Walsh on cried crocodile tears into his turtle soup at the notion that Scalia’s legend was being questioned so quickly. “Within minutes of the man’s death — and this, by the way, is a man with a wife, nine kids and dozens of grandkids — progressives erupted with applause and jubilation all over social media.”

I was one of those Lefties who took a swipe at Scalia. I believe his arrogance and narrow-mindedness superseded the life of the man.

And, how could one help but react politically when the immediate response (within minutes of Scalia’s death) from Mitch McConnell and the constipated Congress/Senate was to spew political diarrhea across the web.

Even Howard Kurtz at Fox News was a bit disgusted by the quick responses from both sides to Scalia’s death. “As a matter of political optics, I don’t know why McConnell didn’t wait until the president came up with a name. Then the Republicans could have come up with reasons why they opposed that nominee, instead of looking obstructionist by saying they’d block anyone for Scalia’s seat.”


But that reaction has a lot to do with beliefs in a conspiracy. That would be the supposed liberal conspiracy to turn the government into a massive controlling force over people’s lives. Never mind the fact that Republicans spend so much time passing laws to control a woman’s vagina and uterus, or that same-sex marriage, which by Constitutional law is entirely just, is a favorite hate meme for the Right.

Meanwhile liberals obsess over a conservative conspiracy to hand over America’s wealth and control to corporations and the privatization of public services. Of course, there is considerable evidence of a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the super rich. But that’s just a coincidence, right?

Neither of these ideological contentions is entirely true. But that doesn’t stop men like Alex Jones from claiming that the political left had put out a hit on Antonin Scalia. “I wish it was natural causes,” Jones said of Scalia’s death which was determined to have been caused by a heart attack. “But my gut tells me no. If this is an assassination, it signifies that they’re dropping the hammer. That’s the canary in the coalmine.”

A hard left

If Scalia were indeed murdered, it would likely be the first such partisan hit on a conservative American political figure. Gerald Ford survived two separate attempts at assassination, and Ronald Reagan, just one. The collateral damage from the attempt on Reagan’s life led to the conversion of James Brady to an adamant gun control advocate.

But when we go a little further back in American history, the successful assassinations of political figures begins to add up quickly. We have Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life was taken by an assassin in the late 1960s. Before that, it was Malcom X. And before that, Bobby Kennedy.

John_F_KennedyAnd of course, there is the ultimate American assassination, that of President John F. Kennedy. The events of that day are shrouded in highly suspect machinations of his body’s transfer and treatment during the flight back to Washington. There is little likelihood there was only one shooter that day in Dallas. The controversial editing of the Zapruder film points many fingers at a conspiracy to change the story of Kennedy’s assassination to a chance shooting by a lone gunmen. But all of sane America knows that’s a lie. There was a murder, and there was a coverup. And we should ascertain that everyone from the CIA to the mob had some hand in it.

The lone gunman fantasy was the conspiracy shoved down America’s throats. And the coincidence of Bobby Kennedy’s later assassination, and Martin Luther King, Jr. too. All these add up a directed attempt to slaughter political opponents at any cost.

We know that Scalia wasn’t murdered, but that won’t stop nutjobs from making the claims that he was. It’s a convenient political strategy to accuse your opponent of doing the very things at which your own party has obviously attempted and succeeded.

The real conspiracy here is that the sudden reaction on both sides to Scalia’s death is the product of a life and death form of aggressive gamesmanship. And the thing that is not a conspiracy is that ready access to guns and their murderous intent is typically responsible for threats on the life of politicals on the Right and Left.

jesus-blackBut it’s not always the case. The political right essentially assassinated Jesus 2000 years ago. The conspiracy to have him captured and tried before Pontius Pilate was calculated with murderous intent. Those political conservatives running the faith did not want competition from some radical, liberal country preacher. So they conspired to have him killed. It’s what the Right always does when it is losing the political battle. Dead men can’t prophesy against them.

Scalia died peacefully from old age and failing health. That’s actually the best way to go. The Left might have wished him dead, it’s true. But it did not actually do the deed. One truly wonders whether that was the case with two Kennedys and a King, Jr. Those bullets did not find their way to those men on their own. If the Left is killing people these days, they have a lot of catching up to do.