Thursday, March 26, 2015

Apocalypse

Apocalypse

1. We now are living in the church age and moving toward the Rapture, toward the End Times.

2. Jesus has given us our talents and instructed us to occupy until he comes. We then will be judged on how wisely we used our talents. Because Jesus is returning soon, we better not waste our talents.

3. Jesus will Rapture all true believers out of this world. They will just just disappear, ascend to Heaven with Jesus.

4. With the loss of Christian influence in the world, Satan will have free rein to take power through a political leader, called the Antichrist, who then will rule over the world for seven years. This period is called the Tribulation.

5. Antichrist rule will lead to a series of wars, which will culminate with Jesus returning (second coming) with an army of saints to fight the battle of Armageddon, in the literal land of Palestine.

6. Jesus will defeat the Antichrist, vanquish evil, and establish a new kingdom that will last one-thousand years.

7. Then comes the Final Judgment.

The Three Brothers Myth

The Three Brothers Myth

The family story often is of three brothers who immigrated to America, rarely two or four or five or six. Sometimes one is lost at sea during the voyage over, or one went north, one went south, and one headed west, never to be heard from again. There are rarely any sisters involved in the big move across the ocean.

Be wary of the three brothers myth. Confirm through your research that there were, in fact, three brothers, that the three brothers were indeed brothers and not two brothers and an uncle, for example, or that the three brothers were not just three men with the same last name.

Obama Hatred

Obama Hatred

I find it difficult to have a rational discussion with many (most) who dislike President Obama. Either as a result of Fox News or their innate inability to think rationally (or both), they continue to throw up the same stuff. Here is a sampling. I omit the really stupid stuff (birth certificate; vacation days/golfing; travel expenses; actually a Muslim; does not love America; etc.).

Obamacare is a failure and is ruining the United States.

President Obama has no foreign policy achievements, none.

Employment remains high because President Obama changed the method used to determine the unemployment rate.

And, of course, Benghazi.
Iran: Nuclear Weapons Negotiations

Is no deal really better than a bad deal?

This is what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his US Republican sycophants are preaching? What happens if no deal is reached?

Without an agreement, Iran will be free to continue developing nuclear weapons. Sanctions may be extended and even strengthened. However, most international sanctions are porous. And, do not discount that Iran already has taken into consideration the possibility of increased sanctions.

Currently, the so-called P5+1 are negotiating with Iran. This includes Germany and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: United States, Russia, China, France, and United Kingdom.
If the negotiations break down, what is the likelihood of reassembling this coalition? Will China and Russia come back to the table? Russia sold to Iran much of the nuclear equipment now being used. Would Putin use Iran as a pawn in his apparent desire to expand Russia's sphere of influence?

Both Israel and the United States have stated that Iran will not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. Thus, if no agreement is reached, what will happen? The answer is not pleasant, at least not to some. Without an agreement, the remaining option is force -- using military might to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. But will it work? And at what price?

Most Cops Are Not Your Friend

In My Opinion, Most Cops Are Not Your Friend

Not legal advice from a lawyer, but:

Unless you have suicidal legal tendencies, never, never, never, open your mouth to a cop. Did I say never?

Never allow a cop into your house unless there is a warrant. And, even then, call a lawyer. Can you decipher a warrant? Like handcuffs?

If your child is involved. Never, never, allow a cop to speak with your child. What they say will not be used to help your child.

Have excuses? See above: Shut the fuck up.

Offer nothing. Protect your rights. Here is more:

Caswell County Courthouse: "In God We Trust"

Historic Caswell County Courthouse to Have "In God We Trust" on the Facade

This unanimous decision by the Caswell County Board of Commissioners was posted earlier. Here is the article from "The Caswell Messenger":

"The Caswell Messenger" (Yanceyville, North Carolina), 18 March 2015

[Caswell County] Commissioners unanimously approved an outside proposal to display the words "In God We Trust" on the exterior of the local government center.

The proposal, presented by Fred McClure of the U.S. Motto Action Committee, invited Caswell to join up to 20 other North Carolina counties who have recently moved to display the national motto on the outside of their own government centers.

Letter to President Obama on Iran

What is in the recent letter from Congress to President Obama on the Iran nuclear weapons negotiations? The letter is dated 20 March 2015?

1. No Pathway to a Bomb
2. Must Know What Iran Has Already
3. Cannot Trust Iran
4. Negotiations Should Recognize Iran's Support of Terrorism
5 Congress Has a Role
_______________


1. No Pathway to a Bomb: A final comprehensive nuclear agreement must constrain Iran's nuclear infrastructure so that Iran has no pathway to a bomb, and that agreement must be long-lasting. [This primarily has to do with centrifuges that enrich uranium.]

Ted Cruz: Sweet Obamacare Irony

Sweet Irony

Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare.

The newly announced Republican presidential candidate told CNN's Dana Bash on Tuesday that he will sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act -- a law he has been on a crusade to kill.

Common Core



Sweet Angel of Death


The Nabka: The Year of the Catastrophe

The Nabka: The Year of the Catastrophe

Nakba Day (meaning "Day of the Catastrophe") is generally commemorated on 15 May, the day after the date of Israeli independence. For the Palestinians it is an annual day of commemoration of the displacement that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.

During the 1948 Palestine War, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed.

These refugees and their descendants number several million people today, divided between Jordan (2 million), Lebanon (427,057), Syria (477,700), the West Bank (788,108), and the Gaza Strip (1.1 million), with at least another quarter of a million internally displaced Palestinians in Israel.

The displacement, dispossession, and dispersal of the Palestinian people is known to them as an-Nakba, meaning "catastrophe" or "disaster.”

Political Correctness

Political Correctness

Political correctness (or PC) was in decline for a few years, but has returned with a vengeance. This is borne out by the recent spate of protesting the appearance on college campuses of even the mildest controversial speaker.

Many now are treating even faintly unpleasant behavior or ideas as full-scale offenses. One analyst has defined these as microaggressions (small social slights that might cause searing trauma, often self-induced).

What happened to freedom of speech, if that freedom ever truly existed? Where are the defenders of those who espouse what they perceive as unpleasant ideas?

“Freedom of speech is a constitutional guarantee, but who gets to exercise it without the chilling restraints of censure depends very much on one’s location in the political and social cartography.”

- - Bettina Aptheker

"Playing the Race Card"

"Playing the Race Card"

Many conservative opponents of President Obama use a mindless defense to any suggestion that their dislike of the President is based upon race. They just accuse their critic of "playing the race card." This, of course, avoids the subject, and is an easy but simplistic method of argument.

The following is from a recent Playboy interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney:

“At different points, President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have suggested that racism is a factor in criticism of them. Is there any truth in that?”

Cheney responded: “I think they’re playing the race card . . . ."
_______________

Watch for the race card defense, as it may be a smoke screen for latent racism. At a minimum, it indicates a lack of thought.

Dr. Eben Alexander's Near-Death Experience


"I Had a Dream"

Dr. Eben Alexander had a dream that was real to him. Hallucinations can be "real" to those who have them. A brain deprived of oxygen functions differently. His claim that his brain was completely shut down has been disproved.

However, even if you accept his description of his medical condition, how do we properly assess his primary conclusion?: "Death is not the end of consciousness." This is what the religious call the "soul."

Dr. Eben is arguing that his near-death experience provides evidence that a soul exists. Others have made this argument, which in a more-developed form goes like this:

Sometimes, when people are near death, they have weird experiences: experiences that seem like their consciousness is leaving their body. These experiences are rare -- even those who believe in the soul acknowledge that near-death experiences only happen to a small proportion of people near death -- but they happen.

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

Some who call themselves liberals have a knee-jerk negative reaction to anyone who professes support for the principles of Ayn Rand. They appear to do so based entirely upon the identity of the person, and not based upon any knowledge of the teachings of Rand. They mumble something about "Atlas Shrugged," throw in an ad hominem comment or two, feel smug, and move on.

Many arguments are available to oppose those who espouse Rand's views. Research what they are, and you will be in a better position to engage Rand proponents on a rational level.

Yemen Civil War

Yemen Civil War: Outsiders Intervene Against Houthis

A few weeks ago, I posted here an explanation of Sunni and Shia Muslims, and recommended that this divide be kept in mind when analyzing events in the Middle East. Today, that divide is on display in Yemen.

Saudi and allied warplanes struck rebels in Yemen on Thursday, with Saudi Arabia threatening to send ground troops and inserting itself into its southern neighbor's civil war, potentially opening up a broader sectarian conflict in the Middle East.

The swift and sudden action involved 100 Saudi jets, 30 from the United Arab Emirates, 15 each from Kuwait and Bahrain, 10 from Qatar, and a handful from Jordan, Morocco and Sudan, plus naval help from Pakistan and Egypt, according to a Saudi adviser.

The Egyptian state news agency on Thursday quoted Egypt's Foreign Ministry as saying Egypt's support also could involve ground forces.

What do those countries have in common? They're all predominantly Sunni Muslim -- in contrast to the Houthi rebels, Shiite Muslims who have taken over Yemen's capital of Sanaa and on Wednesday captured parts of its second-largest city, Aden. The Saudis consider the Houthis proxies for the Shiite government of Iran and fear another Shiite-dominated state in the region.

The second map shows in green the area of Yemen controlled by the Shia faction, called the Houhtis.

Afghanistan-Iran-Israel


Afghanistan-Iran-Israel

If you are concerned about Israel, you should be concerned about Iran. If you are concerned about Iran, you should be concerned about Afghanistan. Look at the map.

Note the lengthy border between Afghanistan and Iran.

The US has 9,800 troops on Iran's border, and has in Afghanistan sophisticated military facilities constructed over the past fourteen years (including bases that can accommodate large transport aircraft) . Yesterday, President Obama revealed that these troops will remain in Afghanistan longer than originally planned. This should come as no surprise.

The US has stated that it will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. We currently are attempting to prevent this through a negotiated agreement. If that agreement fails and Iran continues to develop a nuclear weapon, the US is well-placed in Afghanistan to use the military option.
Thus, if you care about Israel, you must care about Afghanistan.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

US-Israeli Relations: Spring 2015

Notwithstanding my personal feelings for Zionists, I would be surprised if the current rift amounted to a major shift in US-Israeli relations.

That little enclave of 8 million people is too geo-politically important for the US to cut it loose. Israel is allowed to do things that publicly we claim to abhor, but privately applaud. It does much dirty work for the US, and may be called upon again -- to take out (at least degrade) Iran's nuclear weapons capability. It also keeps certain Arab states nervous.

I view Israel as our pit bull on a leash. Periodically, we need to jerk the leash a bit. That appears, in part, to explain President Obama's strategy: give Bibi's chain a jerk or two to keep him in line.

Those who underestimate President Obama do so with a veil of ignorance over their face. He is one crafty dude. I believe this will be borne out by history.

Congressional Letter on Iran (20 March 2015)

Love Letters in the Sand

On 20 March 2015, 367 members of the US Congress send a letter to President Obama on the ongoing negotiations with respect to Iran's nuclear weapons capability. Here are the points made.





1. No Pathway to a Bomb
2. Must Know What Iran Has Already
3. Cannot Trust Iran
4. Negotiations Should Recognize Iran's Support of Terrorism
5 Congress Has a Role

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth's Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used, as appropriate, by citizens in any country.
In its original form it read: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Key West

This is an imperative stop for anyone visiting Key West, Florida. However, there are issues. The Conch Republic is just a joke. Cuba is not 90 miles away (it is 98 miles). It is not the southernmost point even in Key West (that point is visible from here).

Key West is an island, thus not being connected to the continental USA. And "Home of the Sunset"? About the only accurate aspect of this "buoy" is that it is indeed in Key West. But, still a great spot for a photo -- I guess!

English: National Language

English

H.R.997 - To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress' powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article I, section 8, of the Constitution.

Sponsor: Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4] (Introduced 02/13/2015)

Climate Change

Climate Change


I am waiting for a post that attempts to use the record snowfall in New England and the cold weather also being experienced there to ridicule global warming (and, while at it, make fun of Al Gore). The problem is that they confuse weather and climate.

This ridicule aside, most in the scientific community agree that the planet is warming. That does not mean that we will not experience extreme meteorological events. Moreover, that we are experiencing such swings also is cited in support of man-made climate change.

Increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has, according to the preponderance of the scientific evidence, a direct impact on the climate. The carbon dioxide level is increasing. Thus, the climate is changing. Man is directly responsible for the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Accordingly, one reasonably could conclude that man is causing climate change (including global warming).

That climate change has become a political issue is not surprising. Many scientific issues were politicized over the years. However, the death of the planet (its inability to support human life) is different. It is final.

ISIS

ISIS

We are the United States of America. We will not be jerked around. We will be enticed into a full-scale war against a bunch of JVs. We will fight other people's wars. We support Shia? Or is is Sunni? Or do we know the difference?

Oh crap, where is the oil? Just lead me to the oil. But, what about the Jews? We love them. Why? I forget. Oh yeah, it is in the Bible. First the Bible, then the oil. Or is it the other way around? Oh crap:

I got so excited I crapped my JV pants.

John Candy

John Candy

Super Bowl 23, January 22, 1989 San Francisco vs. Cincinnati: As the story goes, with the 49ers down three with three minutes to go, Joe Montana calmed down a nervous huddle by pointing into the crowd and asking, “Isn’t that John Candy?” Then he proceeded to march the team 92 yards downfield for the game-winning touchdown to John Taylor. Cool customer.

Second Amendment

Second Amendment

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

 On June 26, 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the United States Supreme Court issued its first decision since 1939 interpreting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense. It also ruled that two District of Columbia provisions, one that banned handguns and one that required lawful firearms in the home to be disassembled or trigger-locked, violate this right. However, since the District of Columbia is a federal enclave, the applicability of the Second Amendment to the states remained an open issue.

King v. Burwell

King v. Burwell

This is the current challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) pending before the United States Supreme Court. Oral arguments are scheduled for March 4, 2015.
Issue: Whether the Internal Revenue Service may permissibly promulgate regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Recall that states had the option of creating their own exchanges, which many did. Where a state did not create an exchange (36 states), the federal government stepped in and created an exchange (HealthCare.gov) so the people of the state would have a place to go for insurance coverage.

However, the statute creating the Affordable Care Act states that subsidies are available to those otherwise qualifying people who purchased insurance through state exchanges. If the Court agrees, subsidies (tax credits) would be denied for those using the federal exchanges in states that decided not to implement their own exchange.

While this may seem just a "technicality," the case could gut a major provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows millions of people to obtain health insurance. Without subsidies, millions of people would not be able to afford insurance. If these people do not participate in the program, it would fail. The ACA requires individuals to either purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty, and it is the mass participation that keeps the pool of the insured from being drawn only from those who most need expensive medical care.

Sunni and Shia Muslims

Sunni and Shia Muslims

The division between Sunni and Shia Muslims is one of the oldest religious schisms in the Middle East - and is one that seems increasingly to be shaping the destiny of this troubled region as thousands of devotees from both sides pour into Syria. Jihadist al-Qa'ida volunteers on the Sunni side and Hezbollah militants on the Shia side, are joining what is fast becoming a transnational civil war between the two factions.

There are around one and a half billion Muslims in the world. Of these, somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent - estimates vary considerably - are Shia. In most countries these Shia are minorities in a Sunni homeland. But in Iraq, Iran, Bahrain and Azerbaijan they outnumber their co-religionists.

What makes Syria different is that there a Sunni majority is ruled by a Shia minority. The Alawites, the sect to which President Bashar al-Assad and much of his army officer elite belong, are Shia. That situation is the mirror opposite of Iraq under Saddam, where a Sunni strongman lorded it over a Shia majority - until the invasion of Iraq, when elections put the Shia in charge, insofar as anyone can be said to be running that chaotic country.

Syria

Syria

What is going on in Syria?

Sunni Arabs make up the largest population group in that country. However, Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria and Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian armed forces, is Alawite, a subset of Shia. The al-Assad family has controlled Syria for forty-four years. It nominally operates within the Ba'athist political party, which it controls. The Ba'ath party seized power in Syria in 1963 after a coup d'├ętat. Since March 2011 (the Arab Spring) a civil war has been waged by those wishing to remove Bashar al-Assad from power. The revolutionary opposition to al-Assad is not monothilic, with various groups being in revolt. Al-Assad has been brutal in his reaction to the revolution.

The relationship between Bashar al-Assad and al Qaeda and ISIS is uncertain. Outwardly, Syria claims it is under attack by al Qaeda and ISIS. The Syrian foreign ministry called on Jordan, which is part of a U.S.-led aerial campaign against ISIS, "to cooperate in the fight against terrorism represented by the organization Daesh and Nusra Front ... and other terrorist organizations associated with them in Syria and the region." Daesh is a Arabic acronym for ISIS and Nusra Front is al-Qaeda's Syria wing. Both have seized land in Syria. The United States has said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against ISIS. Bashar al-Assad undoubtedly has had dealings with both groups.

Both ISIS (Daesh) and al-Qaeda (Nusra Front or al Nusra) are Sunni Muslim. Bashar al-Assad is Shia (actually Alawite, a subset of Shia). Thus, on a fundamental religious level, al-Assad and these two groups are not compatible. As the authors of a recent study for the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, put it: “Assad is the perfect al Qaeda villain. He is an Alawite and therefore a heretic, he is a secularist and therefore an apostate, and he is conducting a war without quarter against much of his Sunni population.” The same could be said for ISIS, which also is Sunni.

While acknowledging that the presence of the jihadists has served Assad in propaganda terms and has helped to dissuade the West from offerring major military support to the rebels, analyst Brian Fishman, a fellow with the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, argues there is a difference between “an explicit partnership or an implicit alignment of interests.” He maintains: “The more important story about the rise of al Qaeda in Syria is that the opposition and their supporters made the tragic strategic blunder of tolerating and sometimes enabling al Qaeda linked organizations.”

This is a fluid situation of potential strange bedfellows who may share common short-term goals. However, never forget the Sunni-Shia scism if you really want to understand what is happening.

Kurds

Who Are the Kurds?

Between 25 and 35 million Kurds inhabit a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never obtained a permanent nation state.

In recent decades, Kurds have increasingly influenced regional developments, fighting for autonomy in Turkey and playing prominent roles in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, where they have resisted the advance of the jihadist group, Islamic State (ISIS).

The Kurds are one of the indigenous people of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what are now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia. Today, they form a distinctive community, united through race, culture and language, even though they have no standard dialect. They also adhere to a number of different religions and creeds, although the majority are Sunni Muslims.

In mid-2013, ISIS turned its sights on three Kurdish enclaves that bordered its territory in northern Syria. It launched repeated attacks that until mid-2014 were repelled by the Popular Protection Units (YPG) - the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Unity Party (PYD). The turning point was an offensive in Iraq in June that saw ISIS overrun the northern city of Mosul, routing Iraqi army divisions and seizing weaponry later moved to Syria.

The ISIS advance in Iraq also drew that country's Kurds into the conflict. The government of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region sent its Peshmerga forces to areas abandoned by the Iraqi army. Since then, the Kurds have been an inegral part of the West's plans to defeat ISIS.

Mosul, Iraq

Mosul

Mosul is a city of over a million people in northern Iraq, some 250 miles north of Baghdad. It is currently the largest city controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant ("ISIL"). The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial areas on both banks.

The city's population grew rapidly around the turn of the millennium and by 2008 was estimated to be 1,800,000. Although half a million fled in 2014, it was still over a million at the end of that year. With the 2014 ISIL occupation, primarily Sunni Muslims remained in the city.

The fabric muslin, long manufactured here, is named after this city. Another historically important product of the area is Mosul marble. People from Mosul are called Maslawis. The city of Mosul was home to the University of Mosul, which was one of the largest educational and research centers in Iraq and the Middle East. Until 2014 the city was a historic center for the Nestorian Christianity of the Assyrians, containing the tombs of several Old Testament prophets such as Jonah.
In June 2014, ISIL took over the city during the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive.

God Not In US Constitution

God Not in the Constitution

Often seen on the Internet and elsewhere: To find God in the Constitution, all one has to do is read it, and see how often the Framers used the words "God," or "Creator," "Jesus," or "Lord."
Except for one instance, however, none of these words appears in the Constitution. The exception is the Signatory, where the date is written as follows:

"Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven."

The use of the word "Lord" here is not a religious reference, however. This was a common way of expressing the date, in both religious and secular contexts. The lack of any these "religious" words does not mean that the Framers were not spiritual people, any more than the use of the word Lord means that they were.

What this absence of these words does show is not a love for or disdain of religion, but the feeling that the new government should not involve itself in matters of religion. In fact, the original Constitution barred any religious test to hold any federal office in the United States.

Dan River: Duke Energy

Duke Energy

Will Dan River recover during our lifetime?

Immigration Executive Orde


Immigration Executive Order


Here is part:

It Removes the Age Cap for "Dreamers"

Those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the group informally known as "Dreamers," will be expanded under President Obama's executive order. DACA previously allowed those who entered the United States illegally as children under the age of 16 to avoid deportation and receive work permits. But eligibility was limited to only those born after June 15, 1981. This birthdate limitation has been lifted, and even undocumented immigrants who are in their 40s (who were brought here as children) will be able to apply for DACA.

Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch: US Attorney General Nominee

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Feb. 26, 2015, vote for Loretta Lynch to become the next attorney general, but when the full Senate could take up her nomination is still up in the air.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent out a formal notice on Thursday setting the time for Lynch’s vote. Several Republicans on the panel, including Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, have signaled they support Lynch or are open to voting for her to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, which would allow her nomination to clear the Judiciary Committee.

However, a number of GOP senators — such as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Jeff Sessions of Alabama — have suggested filibustering her nomination on the floor unless President Barack Obama reverses course on his executive actions on immigration.

With other Republicans opposed to preventing a vote on the first black female nominee for attorney general, and all 46 Democrats supporting the Lynch nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) may be forced to file a cloture motion to end a GOP filibuster. That move would delight Democrats as much as it would outrage conservative outside groups opposed to Obama’s immigration policies.

Source: Politico.

Everyone Lies

"I was in the special forces."

Everyone Lies: Bill O'Reilly, Brian Williams, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Tuesday apologized for lying about serving in the special operations forces in a conversation with a homeless veteran that was caught on camera earlier this year.

McDonald made the claim in January while he was in Los Angeles as part of the VA's effort to locate and house homeless veterans. During the tour, a homeless man told McDonald that he had served in the special operations forces.

"Special forces? What years?" McDonald responded. "I was in special forces."
_______________

Obama Not A Christian?

Obama Is Not A Christian

President Obama is being challenged by the Republican right (whatever that is) as not being a Christian. I hope they are correct. I hope he is an atheist.

American Sniper

The man killed 160 human beings and we celebrate his "service"? He was not drafted, but chose to kill. If you believe in "Hell," this man is there.

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly

So the Republican Party prevailed in the recent mid-term elections and now control both houses of the US Congress. But, why are they in such disarray, are allowing the White House to control the agenda, and keep shooting themselves in the foot? And, at the same time, the White House is on a roll.

No Religious Test

Article VI, paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution, the “No Religious Test” clause, states:

“[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Brian Williams and Bill O'Reilly

Brian Williams and Bill O'Reilly

Chris Christie

Christie: A Bridge Runs Through It

Fox "News"

Fox "News"

I have been monitoring Fox "News" for a while. However, with limited time remaining on this sphere, I can no longer take it.

Accordingly, I will leave it to Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, and Jon Stewart's replacement to keep tabs on Bill O'Reilly and the other "reporters" at Fox "News." I wish all well.



 Liar, Liar

Christianity: National Religion

Christianity as US National Religion

A majority of Republicans nationally support establishing Christianity as the national religion, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.
The poll by the Democratic-leaning firm found that 57 percent of Republicans “support establishing Christianity as the national religion” while 30 percent are opposed. Another 13 percent said they were not sure.

AIPAC




AIPAC

Islamic Terrorism Nomenclature

Manufactured Controversy: Islamic Terrorism Nomenclature

Daniel Benjamin, who served as the State Department’s top counter-terrorism official from 2009 to 2012, said he believed that the dispute was a “pseudo-controversy” driven largely by domestic politics, even if it has produced some clumsy moments in the White House press room. What the debate has missed, he said, is that any American president has to think about how his words are received overseas.

“Our allies against ISIS in the region are out there every day saying, ‘This is not Islam,’ ” said Mr. Benjamin, now at Dartmouth. “We don’t want to undermine them. Any good it would do to trumpet ‘Islamic radicalism’ would be overwhelmed by the damage it would do to those relationships.”

--- New York Times (18 February 2015)

God and the Bible: Circular Reasoning

God and the Bible: Circular Reasoning