Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Heather Heyer

Kenneth Frazier:

Because we have no president.

Epistle to Reverend Puckey

I suspect the Methodist Church will soon change its policy on excommunication. 

Dear Reverend Puckey:

My name is Kevin Robbins and I attend Hudson Falls UMC. I’m writing because you and I disagree. This is in regards to a Facebook post put up by Kathi Cech and liked by you, disliked by me. I’m overlooking the notification I received in the comments that I can’t possibly be a Christian because I’m a liberal. You may not have seen that, and may or may not agree with those sentiments. But, you did click like on the Dinesh D’Souza quote.  If you’d care to respond, my e-mail is maxbaer@yahoo.com. I corresponded with Reverend Mudge and he informed me that I’m “engaged in a debate that is dividing all of the UMC.” I attempted to engage in a debate on Facebook without much success. No one wanted to discuss it.
D’Souza said: “The paradox of liberal tolerance is that it extends to Marxists, transsexuals and Islamic radicals – but not to conservatives or Christians.”
I’m curious what you find agreeable about the quote. How many living Marxists can you name? And how many liberals that are supporting them? The Russians took up kleptocracy around the time of Boris Yeltsin. Nicolas Maduro might be a Marxist, but I doubt many liberals are supporting him. Maybe Harry Belafonte and Sean Penn?  I’d say President Trump is giving him support by threatening him and rallying people to his side.    
I agree that we are tolerant toward transgender folks. What should we be? Hateful towards them? We liberals have company anyway. The brass at the Pentagon and some Republicans in Congress recently smacked down President Trump’s attempt to bigly discriminate toward transgender service members. But wait, wait; that’s not all. Some members of the Methodist Church are tolerant, too. A transgender person named M has recently been ordained as a deacon.
D’Souza insinuates that liberals are in league with ISIS and al-Qaeda. I would require some evidence of that scurrilous charge. We do support Muslims being able to practice their religion without being subjected to attacks like the recent one in Minnesota (and so many others). And why are they being attacked? Possibly because of hate-mongers like D’Souza. Actually, we support transgender folks not being attacked, as well. Would it be offensive if I said conservative Christian tolerance extends to the right-wing extremists in Virginia? I can already see it doesn’t extend to liberals. Why is it acceptable to push hatred of them?
Presumably some of my best friends are conservative Christians. I don’t bring my politics into church so I don’t know for sure. I’m not intolerant of conservative views or people who hold them. I am intolerant of bigots like D’Souza who use fallacious, straw man, nonsense arguments to spread hatred.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire.

Be Well,

Kevin Robbins

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What's Good For Exxon is Good For Rex

I realize all administrations have engaged in realpolitik. Ask Matt Funiciello.

Every American president since World War II has believed that our nation benefits from the spread of economic and political freedom. Oppressive regimes are more likely to seek destabilizing weapons and to harbor terrorists. Democratic nations are more peaceful and more likely to engage in trade. Democratization (for the most part) cannot be imposed, but it can be encouraged — unless that great, defining national mission doesn’t fit in the PowerPoint presentation. 

Yes, off and on they've tried to encourage that sort of thing, too. And Trump and Tillerson?

Here is a story for Tillerson to consider, told to me by a United States senator who was in Africa confronting a leader about human rights abuses. At one point during their testy exchange, the (increasingly) oppressive ruler said, “Well, Trump is on my side.” The senator, to his credit, responded, “Trump doesn’t even know your name.” Which is probably true. But the impression that the United States no longer cares about human rights has filtered down to third-rate despots everywhere.

Eh, not so good

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met Monday with America's top diplomat, where he voiced solidarity with the U.S. amid global concerns over North Korea's nuclear program and angrily dismissed media questions about human rights abuses by his government.

As long as he's against North Korea. 

Would You Rather Be Eaten By a Shark or a Crocodile?

Or have Mike Pence as president? Or keep Deferment Donald?

(Trump’s) efforts — as bad as they might be — have been so far confined to the margins. Trump has not passed any major legislation or, for that matter, built any walls.

On the other hand, his most significant and appalling contribution has been to normalize lying as an ordinary tool of the presidency. He has ghettoized truth, confining it to something characterized as the lying and disloyal mainstream media. He lies for purpose and he lies just for the hell of it. His lying is such that it ought to be a mental ailment. Call him politically insane.

And sure that looks bad along with too many other things to mention.

His views, especially regarding social and cultural issues, are to the right of the right. He is famously antiabortion, recommends abstinence as the entire key to sex education and has taken the unique view that condoms are useless in AIDS prevention. As for global warming, back in 2000 he said it “is a myth.”

In 2002, Pence took to the floor of the House to declaim on evolution. Like many of its opponents, he misused the term “theory,” making it seem like a guess or a speculation. In science, a theory is an explanation of how things work. This is quite different from what Pence cited as a comparison — “that God created man in his own image.” That’s religion and not a theory — and that’s a fact.

And Cohen goes on to point out what a vile hypocrite Pence is for overlooking all the things that make Trump the most nihilistic bastard ever to walk the Earth.

Exploding Heads at SGFUMC

Some of my fellow members of the Methodist Church may wailing and gnashing their teeth soon. God, I hope so.

Hillary Clinton wants to preach. That’s what she told Bill Shillady, her longtime pastor, at a recent photo shoot for his new book about the daily devotionals he sent her during the 2016 campaign. Scattered bits of reporting suggest that ministry has always been a secret dream of the two-time presidential candidate: Last fall, the former Newsweek editor Kenneth Woodward revealed that Clinton told him in 1994 that she thought “all the time” about becoming an ordained Methodist minister. 

The ordination of Pastor Hillary would be either the first or second most likely thing to raise the blood pressure of the lib haters in South Glens Falls. This story was one I'd seen awhile back and it had slipped my increasingly decrepit mind. 

Barclay, a transgender person who identifies as neither male nor female and thus uses the pronoun “they,” was commissioned on Sunday as the first non-binary member of the clergy in the United Methodist Church.

There are some open-minded people in the church. Praise Jesus!