Sharia Law, Deth to Liburals and the Silly Section at its worst.

obama scares me

When we lived in Bay Center, on Willapa Bay (the Washington coast), our next door neighbor had a  little but loud dog, Tito;  a ferociously loud yapper who took it upon himself to defend his territory against all invaders.

That pesky neighborhood-disturbing yapper once caught my attention and I looked outside. Someone had thrown what looked like popcorn out on the road in front of the neighbor’s house and ten to fifteen crows were hanging around after the free grub.

Tito thought not. I watched then as the crows first positioned themselves on telephone lines and trees in a kind of tactical circle so that Tito would be busy trying to keep them all away. When a few of the crows landed at one end of the food, Tito went after them. On the opposite side, other crows swooped down and began feasting. Tito of course turned and roared after the offenders leaving his previous quarry free to move in themselves. It took less than 10 minutes for the popcorn to disappear.

I thought about how the defensive tactic of airborne bombers and submarines illustrates the value of diversion as a means of avoiding destruction. When the pilot or submarine commander orders the release of chaff after an enemy air-to-air missile or torpedo is discovered, the result is supposed to be that the “electronic” attention span of the missile or torpedo is disrupted, distracted and veers off in pursuit of a pseudo target. The planes and submarines remain free to pursue their objective.

Well, the bad guys are using chaff on us.

It seems that like torpedoes, air-to-air missiles and Tito the homeland protector, we who strive to challenge and resist the foreign and domestic policy agenda that Mr. Trump relentless pursues, face an almost daily dose of distracting chaff and crows who draw our attention away. We chase the chaff and run around barking at the distracting crows  while the real vultures stay their course and swoop down on the unsuspecting to bite off more and greater chunks from what is of the people, by the people and for the people.

In this regard, I suppose many would say that manipulators a la Trump and company do their job with so-so success based on skill and powerful success based on voter gullibility. I’m not ready to ascribe to the Trumpsters some idea of superior genius that most of us lack. I do acknowledge their willingness – the outlandish gall, if you will – to simply go ahead and try whatever works; whatever can be gotten away with.

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Since the title promises something about Sharia Law let me make a few observations that I have seen elsewhere and are not necessarily my own original thoughts, although I intensely agree with them.

Consider this :

SHARIA LAW  and  REPUBLICAN PARTY AND SUPPORTERS. Both pursue
Government based on Religion
Women with less rights than men
Gays persecuted, and physically attacked
Science rejected religious doctrine pushed
No separation between church and state

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The truth is, no one – in any official government or political party (Democratic, Libertarian, Republican, Constitutional or Green) capacity has suggested or proposed that the United States of America adopt Sharia Law as a code by which people will be governed.

However talking-head stampeders,  broadcast networks working for the bucks,  talk show hosts in need of large audiences to generate the bucks have created and pushed the rumor. Why?  Well, because  – like you and me – they need income.

Making folks unreasonably mad (or scared) enough to keep coming back pays their bills. To hell with truth, they have bills to pay and an angry gullible audience with wild imaginations fits the bill perfectly.
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Which brings me back to crows, distractions and our smart dog Jake. A few days later I was cleaning out our freezer and found two loaves of special bread we had purchased a couple of years before on a trip. It was obvious by the few spots of mold, that two-year old frozen bread would not do for our menu. After letting the loaves thaw, I was about to toss them in the trash bin when I remembered Tito.

Oh, more entertainment… and I tossed both loaves out on to the road between our house and the neighbors and watched for Tito.

Jake on the Beach

Tito did not appear, but my own dog, Jake, (who is part Australian Shepherd and Collie and looks like Lassie with a blunt nose) wandered out into the road and sniffed at one of the loaves. Wasn’t his cup of tea and he started to ignore it. At that point another neighbor from up the street walked by with his own dog who sniffed at the other loaf, took it in his mouth and carried it about 30 yards up the road before dropping it and moving on.

By this time the crows had gathered and Jake, like Tito two weeks earlier, found himself invested in keeping the crows from stealing the bread. He stared at the other loaf some 30 yards off as several crows landed and started biting out chunks. Jake rushed toward the action and the crows took flight. Standing over the far loaf he looked back to see the crows landing around the other loaf still on the road on front of our house.

Now Jake is not Tito, not excitable and has a herding and guarding instinct that astounds me at times. He looked at those crows for a moment, took the distant loaf in his mouth, trotted over close to the first loaf – causing the crows to fly off. He then proceeded to bury the loaf he’d carried back to our house, digging a hole less than 15 feet from the first loaf. The crows helplessly watched Jake bury that loaf knowing he was not to be distracted.

When he was through, he trotted over and “stayed the course” with the remaining loaf – keeping the crows from their thievery. I don’t know how long Jake sustained his vigil but I realized that his own tactic of setting aside one distraction for another more appropriate time while continuing with his original task of preventing the crows from achieving their objective was a valuable life lesson.

Think about that the next time you encounter chaff meant to distract you; things like immigrants taking your jobs, Sharia Law, Hillary’s sins, Obama’s birth certificate or just plain satanic liberal agendas.

Although they may evoking sufficient media interest that worsens with public gullibility, they are still not credible topics worthy of attention. Aren’t there more important things upon which your anti-aircraft missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes ought to remain focused, locked and loaded?

Partisan manipulators are not geniuses. Their strongest attribute is cunning combined with a willingness to try anything that might work.

Working to think one or two steps ahead of them is hard but not impossible. The benefits are enormous – the ability to ignore nonsense while closing in on the underbelly itself.

There are intelligent ways to sort out flying bullshit when it fills the breeze around you. Those who thrive on un-original thinking – in effect attempting to be seen credibly by copying and pasting their way to glory – for the most part break one or several of the following when trying to be seen as persuasive.

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Should we continue to look the other way and pretend that reality shows, serial killers, dancing contests and comic book television and movies are more important? Is it not a false notion that truth omitted from our most prominent broadcasters must not be relevant if they are not talking about it?

Do we let spin doctors and propagandists encourage us to ignore things that should arouse in us the most intense indignation one can imagine – an indignation that we as a people truly did not authorize a president to do?

Is the president once again going to continue to try to fool most of the people most of the time?

Only the sleepiest among us believe fair and balanced campaigns from Foxy liars are going to lead to a fair expression of what should be done about Iran that’s in the best interest of corporate America.

Only the blindest followers of a misunderstood code continue to insist the citizens are not patriotic if they don’t blindly accept the unchallenged political self-interest of its commander-in-chief and his doofus decisions.

Perhaps the sleepiest among us are those who thought they were doing God’s work by voting for the incumbent in 2016.

Why? Because only the most outrageous Christian hypocrites make mountains out of moral molehills at the expense of the heart and compassion of the real teachings of Jesus.

Why do we let these people sell us bridges and worthless stock in pseudo-American ideals that no majority of us ever endorsed?

Why do we robot-like jerk to attention when leadership waves the flag.

But then, maybe worrying about liberals and rumors of Sharia Law ARE significantly more important than the reality we live in.

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July 4th, The Declaration and a most powerful tool of the underdogs

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As Michael Waller wrote, “The size of their egos may be seen as inversely proportional to the thickness of their skin.

 

I understand that NPR has a July 4th tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence now going on 30 years. Last year saw among some supporters of President Trump responses reflecting a mental framework of someone who flees when no one pursueth”

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The Declaration was many things that inspired an assortment of feelings among the inhabitants of the American colonies and the England that seemingly held undisputed power of those same colonies.

One of the inspirations achieved by the Declaration of Independence was that of ridicule and mockery of people in power and their supporters who took themselves too seriously.

Those who attempt to keep power by intimidation and force are usually terrorized at the prospect of being ridiculed – disrespected if you will – before a public audience. Such people many times are possessed of self-images that have little bearing on how people really think of them. One objective for such narcissistically inclined individuals is a campaign to establish a domineering political environment that is reinforced by yes-men/women toadies, to preserve an image.

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In Ridicule as a Weapon, a White Paper of The Institute of World Politics (2006), Michael Waller relates the following story that demonstrates the power of mockery in the face of seemingly unreasonable behavior driven by a sense of self-righteous power based on violence.

Americans have used ridicule as a potent weapon to cut its enemies down to size
since the Revolutionary War. Ridicule served two wartime purposes: to raise the people’s morale by helping them to laugh at their enemies, and to dent the morale of enemy forces.

Despite their far superior training, discipline, skill and firepower, the British were
unprepared for combat with the colonists. The Americans were guerrilla fighters who had the bad form not to stand in formation on a battlefield and to shoot at enemy officers.

The British handily won the first engagement, the Battle of Lexington in April,
1775, but suffered heavy losses during their march from Concord back to Boston with Americans shooting at them from behind trees and rocks. Bostonians jeered.

Among the many poems and ditties circulating around Boston after the opening shots of the war at Lexington and Concord was this one:

How brave you went out with muskets all bright,
And thought to befrighten the folks with the sight;
But when you got there how they powder’d your pums,
And all the way home how they pepper’d your bums,
And is it not, honies, a comical farce,
To be proud in the face, and be shot in the arse.

Such mockery stung: the British army at the time was the finest, most experienced
and most formidable in the world, its officers and men proud of their history, in their view, of gentlemanly warfighting.

The practically un-trained, mostly un-uniformed, often un-disciplined, frequently uncouth, and generally low-class American riffraff, in British eyes, were no worthy adversary at all.

With fife and drum as important means of battlefield coordination and
communication, British troops ridiculed the Americans with songs like “Yankee Doodle,” whose mocking lyrics the colonists changed and embraced as their own anthem.

That counter-ridicule operation unsettled the Redcoats. One British soldier recorded, “After our rapid successes, we held the Yankees in great contempt, but it was not a little mortifying to hear them play this tune.”17

Image result for british and colonists yankeedoodle

 

To run when no one pursues is a tell. It reveals the insecurity of a leader who cannot tolerate disagreement, let alone criticism as well as the insecurity of supporters who resort to violence in reaction to public criticism of their leader. I am not speaking strictly of the current Republican crop, but I will quote a much admired Republican President who agreed with me.

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. – President Theodore Roosevelt

Last night we watched The Last Laugh on Netflix which is about how survivors of The Holocaust talked and reacted (positively and  negatively) to humor and humorous attempts by others to cope with an on-going horrible atrocity.

I cannot compare my life to the life of those survivors, but it got me to thinking about the power of ridicule, satire and mockery to resist bullying in all its forms, particularly in these past years of political change.

Image result for life is beautiful movie marching

 

As a teenager I believed that I was a physical weakling and would be no match in a fist fight with anybody, a bully coming after me or should I choose to pick a fight with someone else as part of the teen macho image making we all went through.

To this day I have long memories and personal grudges against young men who I felt tormented me and whom I felt exploited my reluctance to engage in violence as cowardice. In retrospect over the years, I’d rather have a memory of responding to the challenges with boots and fists – and take the inevitable beating I knew would come –  rather than look back upon times when I felt I had no courage to stand up for myself.

At one point, there is a particular memory of someone sitting on my chest and poking me in the face. Feeling helpless, I could only fight with words and discovered – despite my pain and suffering – that my desperate mockery got to him. When he realized that I was mocking him and no amount of fisticuffs could make me stop, he got up and walked away. I have no illusion that he thought he’d lost the fight, but I knew somehow that my resistance had served me well.

I have always had a sense of humour that has in fact served me well in helping me philosophize circumstances that I have no choice but to endure. Such is the power of ridicule, satire and parody.

In many cases our comedians and cartoonists are part of the buttress of resistance to political, physical, emotional and psychological tyranny. Ridicule and mockery as a tool of deterrence as well as response against public outrage ought to be more readily aroused.

In truth whether mocking a vain president for his narcissism, an armed-to-the-hilt 2nd- amendment shopper in a department store, bands of grim and staring marchers waving swastikas, and the always present emotional trigger-happy racists willing to call the cops on anyone who hurts their feelings or raises the insecurity of their own fears and suspicions we would do well to more overtly laugh at antics of those who take themselves way to seriously.

The same national contempt that continues to rise against the junior high school male chauvinism that manifests itself as sexual abuse and harassment is the same national contempt that must rise against the bullies who threaten our own internal stability and who have embarrassed and discredited the nation in the eyes of the global community.

Michael Waller’s Conclusion

Ridicule is a powerful weapon of warfare. It can be a strategic weapon. The
United States must take advantage of it against terrorists, proliferators, and other threats.

Ridicule is vital because:

• It sticks.
• The target can’t refute it.
• It is almost impossible to repress, even if driven underground.
• It spreads on its own and multiplies naturally.
• It gets better with each re-telling.
• It boosts morale at home.
• Our enemy shows far greater intolerance to ridicule than we.
• Ridicule divides the enemy, damages its morale, and makes it less attractive to
supporters and prospective recruits.

• The ridicule-armed warrior need not fix a physical sight on the target. Ridicule
will find its own way to the targeted individual. To the enemy, being ridiculed
means losing respect. It means losing influence. It means losing followers and
repelling potential new backers.

• To the enemy, ridicule can be worse than death. At least many enemies find death
to be a supernatural martyrdom. Ridicule is much worse: destruction without
martyrdom: A fate worse than death. And they have to live with it. Ridicule as a Weapon

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Let’s hope our jesters, comedians and cartoonists never stop

Let’s talk civility, name-calling and whining.

Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi Rebukes Maxine Waters for Endorsing Harassment of Trump Officials

Nancy seems to be afraid of a bar fight. In fact, she and her party seem to be so involved in performing for a non-existent audience of voters who are more interested in the idealistic than in genuine good-versus-bad and winner-take-all bar fights that they will take it on the chin rather than take it to the bullies.

Didn’t you eat it up when John Wayne asked a bully, “How about the boy? Ya gonna hang him too or just beat him up some more?”

Truth is, bullying – not just the school or social media type – is rampant in the United States. Bullies are everywhere, the majority of whom are semi-educated and gullible followers of those politicians of both parties who arouse their anger, unjustified indignation and misplaced hatred.

If one is honest, the western icon of good-versus-bad  made a career out of confronting bullies of all ilk. He didn’t do it by walking in general stores armed to the teeth and posturing like a drugstore cowboy. Most folks forget that,  preferring to see the bad guys as mostly “other”: dirty and unkempt outlaws, outcasts,  Mexican villains and Indian savages. More importantly and in truth, many of John Wayne’s main villains were greedy rich white men who gave marching orders to the dirty, unkempt, non-white minions their were exploiting.

It seems to me that excessive emphasis on not hurting the sensitive feelings of political whiners, name-callers and apparent civic absentees is like being nice to a rabid animal totally intent on biting you regardless of how nice and respectful you are. It’s a one-sided relationship. The whiners for the most part are not far above a purely narcissistic notion that I’m-right-you’re-wrong-and-yew-better-not-hurt-my feelings else I might tantrum.

 

On whining, name-calling and the absence of genuine civility in political and religious discourse.

Bullies don’t like it when all the little kids start keeping their lunch money in their pockets and talk sassy talk.
And of course we Americans who are too busy consuming to understand this stuff only understand that as usual we are expected to react as a shallow, simple and gullible audience.
Like mushrooms fed manure in the dark and who are told to ignore the liar behind the curtain, we simply must be offended.
– ‘Cause that’s what Americans do.

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I recall a story told me by my two youngest siblings about their relationship and how each manipulated or tortured the other. Each one references aggressive or passive-aggressive incidents as part of their ongoing rivalry and relationship.

My Sister talks about not being able to get her brother to pay attention to her so – in frustration – she commenced shouting loud enough for Mom, who was busy in the kitchen. “Mom, he’s being mean to me, he’s hitting me, he’s – ” [whatever assortment of whines intended to arouse Mom.]

Mom,  eventually aroused, walked in and either yelled at my brother or cuffed him and – ignoring his protests of innocence – told him to quit picking on his sister.

It worked for awhile. Then, after so much repetition of the same script, the next time my sister commenced whining, Mom became suspicious. She quietly approached the door to the living room and saw my brother totally ignoring his sister, reading or playing with his toys and having nothing whatsoever to do with his Sis.

At that point, Sis was given a lesson by a wised-up Mom.

listen to hear not reply

If you throw out your two cents with a terrified concern that someone might disagree with you, your performance is all about you and has nothing to do with your subject or your intended audience.

Your body language, your tone of voice and, truly speaking, the tone and manner of what you cut and past (is if it was your own original thought)  might just be the only tells necessary for anyone to penetrate your poker-playing face as well as an I’m-in-a-partisan-mob-and-we-are-correctly-against-you mentality.

Watch the following video and look for the “tells.”

It was put together by my friend, Dave Neiwert, Author of ‘Alt-America‘ and Pacific Northwest correspondent for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I admit that his focus has been on the political right. What is more important from a standpoint of civic citizenship are the models seen as the film progresses. In that regard, having been prompted as to what to look for before watching, one can see the limited rhetorical and speaking skills of many in the film who are unconsciously self-portrayed  as cut-and-paste speakers prompted by someone else’s speeches, broadcasts and writing.

Cut-and-paste speakers are not limited to one side or the other, one point of view or the other. In fact it is the either you are with me/ or you are or against me that self-limits the audience size and attention span.

 

 

“How about the boy? Ya gonna hang him too or just beat him up some more?”

Discussion of politics and religion is taboo? Sure it is.

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Peaceful people reluctant to quarrel
with neighbors or co-workers
about faith and politics
hide, afraid – until the day comes
when moderates,
liberals, and non-Christians
meet consequences
intolerably unpleasant.

Speak out as you are able.
Oppose a conspiracy
against people of faith
by preachers
who want to protect
all people of all faith
by whining about judges
marriage and women’s rights.

Unpleasant consequences
portrayed through emotion,
imagined senses of offended-ness,
victimization
and indignation
fueled by cynics
and rash pretenses
of outrage.

When the going gets tough, the Republican Toughies hide

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Cowards of the county … real snowflakes …. genuine cut-and-runs … bait-and-switchers … like the one we got in Eastern Washington District 5 who is touted as the most powerful Republican woman in the House.

They got nothing.

They wanted to run things … they got their wish … no one to blame but themselves and can’t dodge that bullet.

GOP Leaders Hiding From Angry Constituents To Avoid Obamacare Questions

By the way, Tom Cotton is the “big tough guy who committed borderline treason by sending a letter to Iran telling them not to comply with the Iran nuclear agreement, directly undercutting the President of the United States, that guy, the military guy, big tough guy, you know, he is running away from his constituents.”

 

The Republican Party still wants to repeal Obamacare. The Republican Party still has no idea what they’re going to replace Obamacare with. They know that, but more importantly, the public knows that and that’s why over the last couple of weeks, people have been showing up to offices of Republican representatives demanding answers, saying tell us what you’re going to replace it with. They’re not even necessarily saying don’t replace it, don’t get rid of it. They’re just saying, “We need to know that a replacement will be in place the second you repeal this, and we want to know what it is. After all, we elected you. We put you in office. The least you could do is tell us what you’re working on.”, but the public knows the answer. They know that the Republicans have absolutely nothing in the pipeline that would indicate that they have a replacement ready to go for Obamacare.

…It’s not just Tom Cotton. Peter Roskam in Illinois, same thing. His office is no longer taking calls. They’re not accepting any calls from angry constituents wanting to know what the replacement’s going to be. They’re not taking calls from people who just want to know what you want to repeal it. Can you just answer that question and tell us why and not because Obama did it and not because you want a patient-centered healthcare plan? As Paul Ryan likes to say, fancy words that mean absolutely nothing. Patient-centered? Seriously, what does that mean, Republicans? Representative Barbara Comstock, same thing, hiding from her constituents, just like Tom Cotton and just like the entire Republican party right now.

They just want to talk to the senator.


“I’m no threat to the Senator  or his staff.

When religious rhetoric is used to garner electoral support we all lose.

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The key to a viable democratic republic is not a common religious righteousness. Rather, it’s a harmonious diversity in which there is an appreciation for differing perspectives. Differences are buttressed by an on-going tradition of keeping sacred the long-time legal reverence for individual rights and freedom.

It’s THAT freedom the we have seen denigrated through political rhetoric that portrays America as a global victim somehow authorized to extract vengeance against imprecisely defined “others”;

… that insists we can justifiably redress perceived wrongs against us with belligerent and rash behavior contrary to what I thought we all mutually considered “core values.” It’s THAT freedom that we have seen denigrated through religious social rhetoric that portrays American Christians as a social victims somehow authorized to assert themselves at the expense of the Bill of Rights – attempting to formalize social vengeance against imprecisely defined “others”;

Although it may not be necessary that those reading these lines immediately get out of their pajamas, turn off the computer and go picket the nearest Christian church, it is necessary that we pay attention to the voting patterns and habits of the last 35 years. In particular we ought to note the increased intensity of those who seem to feel that they are the only “moral-values” voters. These are the voters who have been apparently stampeded into the only political action required of them by their own activist Christian political celebrities.

They must continue to vote every two years.
They must be stampeded into keeping the supposed Christian-in-the-White-House IN the White House, accompanied by loyal and partisan congressional Republican crusaders; they who – on their horses with flags flying, lances ready and swords drawn – are ready to force their political ideology on those very gullible voters who bought the snake oil.

Showdown Coming

I see the “showdown” as not between conservative and liberal Christians nor as between conservative Christians and a coalition of every other citizen in this country. What I see is the possibility of conservative Republican congresspersons driven by the radical religious horses that got them there actually going so far as to legislate something that seriously alters how life is lived in this country.

I see foolish people triggering a showdown between right/left and liberal/conservative that explodes in an uncontrollable way – forcing everyone to choose sides when they badly would not want to choose – a choosing that has no socially redeeming value for human freedom and personal rights in America.

It’s one thing to enact laws the keep taverns 200 feet from churches. It’s something else to enact laws that seriously alter our national habitual understanding of – for example – our Bill of Rights and a separation of church and state.

If that happens, these radicals who thought changing the laws was all that was needed will have no clue as to why rioters don’t “play fair” just because “it’s the law now.” They will not be prepared to cope with mass refusals to quietly allow themselves to be taken off to jail instead of rioting and striking back.

If Taliban-like laws were enacted we could see narrow-minded militant literalists become self-appointed and God-approved executioners. We could see a mindless, illogical and unreasonable acting against the gay, non-Christian, political liberal or abortionist in the tradition of those who perpetrate hate crimes.

The first time a jury in a community dominated by literalist thinking found such a person not-guilty I think these radical religious politicians would find themselves with more than they could handle.

Would you just sit around and moan if periodically a van came down your street and you watched as your gay neighbors, your neighbor who had a private abortion, or liberal speaker-outers were loaded up and hauled off?

Not for long …

That’s the naivete behind the assumption that making a law enacts a specific morality which everyone will observe BECAUSE we are all afraid of the law and the consequences of breaking it.

That’s the tragedy that could come to pass so long as our public patriotism has the substance of tissue paper and we live afraid of paper tigers.

America has a chance … lest all the rebels die.