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Hometown: Green Mountains
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Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 9,736

Journal Archives

John Pavlovitz: This Isn't Christianity


Keying of another discussion https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212648160 I was struck by the text and image of another from this pastor's site. FWIW, I am an atheist but appreciate truth-telling.

This isn’t Christianity

We need to be really clear on something, because there seems to be confusion out there lately:

This isn’t Christianity.

They may use the word and steal the iconography and cop the aesthetic, but that is where the resemblance diverges and where the similarities end. There remain no other commonalities with which to rightly associate the two.

This isn’t Christianity.

It is spiritual misappropriation: the violent hijacking of something helpful and weaponizing it in order to do the greatest amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. It is a hostile takeover of something beautiful and grossly disfiguring it to terrorize people with.

This isn’t Christianity—that is, not if Jesus was Christian.

If Jesus was Christian, then Christianity is:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
— Jesus (Matthew 5:3-10)

And there is nothing of mercy or humility or purity or peacemaking in this thing claiming to be Christianity.

No, this thing is the antithesis of all of it.


The Guardian: Trump the predator - book release


Will this make any difference to the magapaths? Will this just reinforce the old white men's feeling that the dump is "one of them". A good old boy who knows how to have fun.

A new book uncovers fresh allegations of the president’s inappropriate sexual behaviour.

We all know the story by now. In 2005, Donald Trump was caught on tape bragging that his fame allowed him to sexually assault women. In 2016, as he was running for president, that recording, the so-called Access Hollywood tape, was made public, resulting in a stream of women coming forward and alleging that Trump had groped or otherwise sexually assaulted them. He was elected anyway; the women’s stories didn’t seem to matter. But they should.

If we have understood one thing in the two years since actor Alyssa Milano tweeted #MeToo, sending the then 11-year-old phrase viral, it is that when women are not listened to, men in positions of power are left free to abuse their authority. When the accused abuser is the president of the United States, those allegations and how they are handled matter all the more. Thanks to his bully pulpit, Trump’s words and actions resonate far beyond the deeds themselves.
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And then there is the question of collective responsibility. If we avert our eyes from the allegations of Trump’s abuse because we find it distasteful, we tacitly endorse his behaviour. When we dismiss or ignore his objectification and denigration of women, we legitimise it. Leaving these attitudes and actions unchecked allows them to proliferate.

Edited and extracted from All The President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator by Barry Levine & Monique El-Faizy, published in the UK on 23 October by Trapeze

'Tell the truth ... for a change': ex-President Carter's advice to Trump

Source: Reuters

Former Democratic U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Tuesday called on President Donald Trump to cooperate with Congress’ impeachment inquiry, saying his refusal to comply with lawmakers’ requests has left Americans grappling for answers.

The Republican leader faces allegations he abused his office by pushing Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Earlier on Tuesday, the Trump administration blocked a key witness from appearing before three House committees, prompting a subpoena.

“Tell the truth, I think, for a change,” Carter told MSNBC when asked what advice he would give Trump.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-whistleblower-carter/tell-the-truth-for-a-change-ex-president-carters-advice-to-trump-idUSKBN1WN28W?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

I'm not sure the pResident is even capable of spelling Truth, let alone saying anything truthful.

Slate: "A Former ICE Chief Melts Down" - absolutely incredible, appalling, and expected.


Thomas Homan, the Trump administration’s acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement from January 2017 to June 2018, helped to transform the agency into an arm of Donald Trump’s nativist agenda. During his 17 months, ICE escalated its terror tactics against immigrant communities, tormented thousands of individuals in ICE custody, and lied to federal courts. On Thursday, asked to answer for his agency’s conduct and policies in a congressional hearing, he responded with a meltdown that perfectly captured a lawless organization’s rejection of any rules or authority that might limit its power.

The most indelible moment arrived when Homan’s time expired—and he refused to stop speaking. Jayapal attempted to gavel him down, but he continued to insult her. His rant ended with a moment of rage as he lectured Jayapal: “I’m a taxpayer, you work for me!”

Former ⁦@ICEgov⁩ Dir. Tom Homan shows no respect to ⁦@RepJayapal⁩ during a House hearing today after going over his time, shouting out,
“I'm a taxpayer, you work for me!” pic.twitter.com/kVK2VlWinG
— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) September 26, 2019

This was not his first blowup at the prospect of having to answer to criticism. Earlier this month, Homan engaged in a similar performance, attempting to shout down Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after his time expired. Like Jayapal, Ocasio-Cortez had to gavel him down.

Intelligencer: The Ukraine Scandal Is Not One Phone Call. It's a Massive Plot.


That is true, as far as it goes. The quid pro quo in the call, though perfectly apparent, is mostly implicit. But the real trick in Trump’s defense is framing the call as the entire scandal. The scandal is much more than that. The call is a snapshot, a moment in time in a months-long campaign that put American policy toward Ukraine at the disposal of Trump’s personal interests and reelection campaign.

Last spring, Rudy Giuliani was openly pressuring Kiev to investigate Joe Biden. Giuliani told the New York Times, “We’re meddling in an investigation … because that information will be very, very helpful to my client.” The key word there was “we’re.” The first-person plural indicated Giuliani was not carrying out this mission alone. A series of reports have revealed how many other government officials were involved in the scheme.

When Trump ordered military aid to Ukraine to be frozen, he went through his chief of staff and budget director Mick Mulvaney. Congress had passed the aid, and Ukraine was under military attack from Russia, a fact that made the halting of the assistance worrisome to numerous officials in two branches of government. As the Times reported, lawmakers and State Department staffers were asking why the money hadn’t gone through.

They were given cover stories: Lawmakers “were first told the assistance was being reviewed to determine whether it was in the best interest of foreign policy,” the Times reported this week. “Other administration officials said, without detail, there was a review on corruption in Ukraine, according to current and former officials. Then, as August drew to a close, other officials told lawmakers they were trying to gauge the effectiveness of the aid, a claim that struck congressional aides as odd.”

Intimate portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama - in pictures (The Guardian)


Photographer Callie Shell documented the Obamas at home in Chicago, on the campaign trail and in the White House. Her new book shares candid images from the 10 years she spent photographing the family. Hope, Never Fear is published by Chronicle Books


Guns are for game hunting, not human slaughter


Since the national opinion writers have thoroughly covered the president’s role in stoking the violence we experienced last weekend we can agree that the next election offers us all the opportunity to repudiate his “thoughts and prayers” response to the violence he has encouraged. But there are two elements that ignite such violence and only one is our national leader. America’s saturation with 270 million guns is the other.

Vermont must look to its own role in the carnage and do better. We have among the most lax gun laws in the country. We also have one of the lowest per capita homicide rates in the country, but the opposite is true of our suicide rate. For decades, Vermont homicides occurred largely within families. Soured drug transactions accelerated the rate somewhat. A good year would be 12 murders, a bad year, 20. Chicago sees that on a weekend. Clearly, our lax gun laws are not affecting our crime rate, as gun rights proponents correctly point out.

But Vermont is not an island. The Gilroy Festival shooter bought his gun in nearby Nevada, as its sale was banned in California. In our national carnage, no state is an island. A drug dealer delivering $10,000 worth of fentanyl to Rutland can double his earnings by buying handguns here cheaply and easily and going back to sell them in New York City.

Moscow Mitch - A Different Recording

Cross-posted but a real foot-stomper. I bet even some kentuckians will want to stomp along.


Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths, Post Sexist

Source: ProPublica

The three-year-old group, which has roughly 9,500 members, shared derogatory comments about Latina lawmakers who plan to visit a controversial Texas detention facility on Monday, calling them “scum buckets” and “hoes.”

Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings.

Created in August 2016, the Facebook group is called “I’m 10-15” and boasts roughly 9,500 members from across the country. (10-15 is Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody.”) The group described itself, in an online introduction, as a forum for “funny” and “serious” discussion about work with the patrol. “Remember you are never alone in this family,” the introduction said.

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/secret-border-patrol-facebook-group-agents-joke-about-migrant-deaths-post-sexist-memes#164072

The worst of the scum. This is repulsive and repuglican.

Le Pen beats Macron in France as nationalists gain in EU vote

Source: Reuters

Marine Le Pen’s far-right party edged just ahead of the centrist alliance of President Emmanuel Macron in exit polls as French voters led what pollsters expected to be a nationalist surge in an EU parliament election on Sunday.

The defeat for the president was narrow amid a sharply increased turnout that was matched across the continent in what Brussels is portraying as a positive sign, in spite of gains for anti-EU groups.

But it was a bitter blow for those who hope the French leader can inspire Europeans to embrace the Union as an answer rather than as part of the problem in the face of social change that has bewildered and frustrated some voters.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-election/le-pen-beats-macron-in-france-as-nationalists-gain-in-eu-vote-idUSKCN1SV0QQ?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

The center and left of Europe (and the US) are being undermined by a concerted effort. From whom? Not just the Putin/USSR group but probably oligarchs around the world.
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