Thursday, May 4, 2023

A lot of American Churches have become so self-absorbed


A lot of American Churches have become so self-absorbed that it cares little for those who are outside–unless there’s a possibility of bringing people in and making them just like them. Once outsiders come inside, they need to assimilate—that’s just the rule. (And for many that also means pay your tithe so we can do fun stuff to appease members,....... invite outsiders in to show what a warm and wonderful church they are.... and pay the pastors mortgage and car. (For the record, most of the mega church pastors are also listed as some of the richest people in the country........Tithing required....even though the Malachi requirement was so it could bring "food into your storehouse" by tithing to the storehouse)

Many Churches are continually "reinventing themselves" with the latest plan for church growth. The apostle Paul did not live an extravagant life but he got the message to the world. He died in a horrible way. But if a person is living to just to stay alive they are going to lose.
(the only standard should be Romans 12:2 which is a goal any and every church should preach and promote...but no manner of theocracy can dictate it).
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
And then it means they insist that the Church’s standards become and/or remain the law of the land. But, then, which form of Christianity tops the theocracy? United States of Methodist? United States of Baptist? United States of Charismania?...and on and on..
Amos 5:21-24:
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!“

Same verses paraphrased:

I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Unhush Money

 Since Trevor Noah left "The Daily Show" they have been trying out new hosts. This week it is Roy Wood Jr, who is also, so far, my favorite.


   On Tuesday Wood reported:

" it’s not all bad for Trump,” Roy Wood Jr explained on the Daily Show. . Because it’s been reported that in the 48 hours following his indictment, Trump managed to raise $5 million from his supporters. “Do you know how many cigarettes that will get you in prison?” Wood asked.
“Honestly, this might be teaching this man the wrong lesson,” Wood concluded. “Trump will start telling people to snitch on him for other crimes he did, just so he can get that bag, too. Trump will be the first man in history to pay un-hush money.”

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

If convicted of all 34 felonies, Donald Trump could go to prison for up to 136 years.


  Donald Trump was charged with a whopping 34 felony counts of falsifying business records—in the same New York courtroom where the Trump Organization was found guilty of tax fraud last year—and entered a plea of not guilty. Indictment focuses on 3 hush money cases, If convicted of all 34 felonies, the former president could go to prison for up to 136 years. 

     Rolling Stone reported that Trump  was “offered a chance to surrender quietly and be arraigned over Zoom,” but chose “a midday, high-profile booking at the Manhattan courthouse” in order to make it clear that he’s being crucified—and is happy to take the heat so his followers don’t have to. (BTW, none of Trump’s supporters have falsified business records to cover up a six-figure payment to an adult film star while running for president of the United States.) “It’s kind of a Jesus Christ thing,” a source familiar with Trump’s legal team told the outlet. “He is saying, ‘I’m absorbing all this pain from all around from everywhere so you don’t have to’ [and] ‘If they can do this to me they can do this to you’…that’s a powerful message.”
     Trump's next scheduled court date in New York isn't until Dec. 4. That means a trial might not start until January, on the cusp of the 2024 Republican presidential nominating process. At Maralago, on the evening after the arraignment, Trump, of course said “This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 election, and it should be dropped immediately,” But truthfully it wouldn't have mattered when or what was happening because Trump always paints himself as the victim. Being the victim seems to be his one and only superpower. For a guy who claims to be so smart he is always the innocent concerned official who is always the major victim. It will be the only crown of his legacy. A severely tainted crown, but a crown nonetheless.

We are now so desensitized to the frequency of mass shootings that we now actually give a sigh of relief and say "Thank God, it was only six people, it could have been so much worse." Before we have even emotionally absorbed one tragedy there will be another in a matter of days. " What is wrong with us?", a letter to the editor in a Louisiana paper writes,  "When did holding on to power and "winning" become more important than the sanctity of life? When did we give up on the concept of community and working together to create a better, safer, more equitable community for everyone?"

The 98th Session of the South Dakota Legislature wrapped up Monday with Veto Day. Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported:  "Winner: Criminal Justice.' The state is funding the construction of two new prisons to ease overcrowding at the women’s facility in Pierre and the men’s facility in Sioux Falls. Construction on the women’s prison in Rapid City is slated to start in the summer. Meanwhile, the Department of Corrections will start the process to design and find the next location for the men’s penitentiary in the Sioux Falls area."
Yet the prison population of South Dakota is about twice that of North Dakota. Before they spend money to build a new prison, they might try using North Dakota as a template to reduce prison population to half of what it is now. 
     The Leader writes "Reducing the prison population by half should solve our short and long term prison problems. A rough calculation suggests that half the prison population would need half the space, half the staff and a lot less expense. This should be very attractive to fiscal conservatives.The prisons are currently managed by the Department of Corrections. The high numbers of people who return to our prison system suggests they are not correcting much." ​

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Disinformation is the easiest thing to find on the internet.


Local newspapers were never perfect, but also never gave the pretense that they were. They could sometimes reflect community prejudices, or cozy up to authorities they should have challenged. But the social costs of losing local coverage genuinely rooted in communities is profound.

Local news organizations encourage people to use businesses, go to theatres or join campaigning groups. They inform people about rights and services. They promote accountability and democratic oversight – even more important when power is devolving. But they also sustain communities in less tangible ways. They make people feel part of society. They allow them to assess what they read in the context of their own experience, and encourage them to see news as a source of practical and helpful information, rather than a matter of theoretical discussion and emotional reaction. Margaret Sullivan, a US media critic, warned that their erosion is a danger to democracy itself. It allows disinformation and emotive political rhetoric detached from fact to flourish. Disinformation is the easiest thing to find on the internet.
    My personal choice for news is local news for most things. After that its a weight and balance time to look at major news sources where there are people trying to make a living which depends on an audience and a good share of the ratings. Most of them believe that sensationalizing a story is the best way to draw an audience. And, for many, truth is not the most important thing if a lie will get them more traffic which can revert to more money in their pockets.
     These kinds of resources can lead us through many "Max Headroom" moments. ("Max Headroom" was a pre-internet 1985 movie which to some degree became a prophetic insight in what was to come). I remember watching it on a rented VHS on my first "high tech" VHS player and thinking how weird it would be if this really happened...but I could see some possibilities.
     Today I have the ability to watch literally thousands of movies at the flick of a remote without having to go to the Video Rental store. But, also, I have almost that many sources available for news and it has many many trails​.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Gateway Pundit: The right wing king of misinformation and grift.


Gateway Pundit is a irresponsible web site that pulls news out of reality and makes it their own by rewriting whatever the real story was and making it a right-wing talking point.  Case in point they (they, by the way, is Jim Hoft) reported that "Dominion Voting Systems sued FOX News for $1.6 billion in a defamation lawsuit in March 2021.  ". 

      As near as I can tell that one sentence is all Hoft got right. 
     He then added: "The AP reported on the suit in a very nasty and biased report" and then Hoft added as a garnishment: "The AP included numerous falsities and biases in its report, so much so that it looked like it was written by Dominion." Hoft went on to say that Fox has filed a suit against Dominion now.....which they did not. Fox did filed a response to the Dimonion claim which stated that  “Dominion is fundamentally mistaken. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press would be illusory if the prevailing side in a public controversy could sue the press for giving a forum to the losing side.”
     It is, of course, the old "First Amendment" argument the right wing likes to lean on which is supposed to allow them to say whatever they want. Not true, of course. Lying is not a First Amendment right.
    The only out Fox News could have might be that they would want to post a disclaimer on every report saying "This might not be true" but it's a good story. Or maybe rebrand their "News Corporation" as a satire site. Right wingers, of course, would still pick out the stories they want to push as true. As a former right-winger I understand clearly that they are motivated by one thing: Affirmation." It does not matter if what they are spouting is true...just that some of their fellow right wingers give them affirmation.
  One other note: Hoft reported that "Mark Beckstrand, a Dominion Sales Manager, confirmed that other parties “have gotten ahold of [Dominion’s] equipment illicitly” in the past. There is no information to back that comment up. But if you punch it into google you will find several website reporting the same thing. But...they are ALL right wing nutjob sites. Sometimes it's hard to tell who created the story but they all post the same things and right winger seat it up like candy. 

Saturday, February 18, 2023

In Exchange for a few brain cells, you can be an Ultra Maga, Too!


Maga and Ultra Maga?? I am presuming that if one is using fewer brain cells or simply lack basic critical thinking skills one can claim "Ultra" status cuz why not create a title that means you're just a bigger idiot then the regular ones?

Read a lot of right wing posts today & about 90 % of them are

linked to blogs or sites that I would presume if I would see the author I would hear a banjo picking the "Deliverance" theme in the background.

     Jack Smith has subpoenaed Mike Pence.
Subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith requests documents and testimony related to the failed attempt by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election, which culminated in the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
To be truthful......I am beginning to have some doubts about what the end game is. It's been over two years now and we already know through the Jan 6 Committee about a lot of the info they already have....which seems more than enough. If they do not charge leaves the door open for him or someone like him to do it again. It could be, however, that Smith and friends are just trying to make the case rock solid. (Which should be relatively easy just based on info we have already seen and heard. )

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The True Faithful Become a Smaller Demographic Every Generation


Interesting observation from A.M. Pitzer way back in 1912. ​ It could be written today. It's quite possible that every generation could have said (and can say) something like this as man has only a vantage point of where he is in the time-space world of "NOW," but I also suspect that, as long as God allows this world to continue the "faithful" will be smaller with each generation that passes until God says "It's enough"

A.M. Pitzer quotes a newspaper and then adds his commentary:
"There is a growing impression among eminent private thinkers that Christianity is losing its hold upon men, and that the Church is a waning power; that the religious world is drifting from its moorings, and faith is becoming a tradition of the past."
​ The above quotation is from an editorial in the most popular newspaper published at the Capital of the United States. If the faith of the Church is to stand in the wisdom of men, then it will be the sport of every wind of doctrine, and bedriven hither and thither, according to the course of the popular tide; and if the Church has no better anchor than the wisdom of this world, then, indeed, will it drift from all its moorings, and be tossed continually upon the seas of ceaseless speculation. But if faith is to stand, not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God, in the sure Word of Truth that liveth and abideth forever, then, like its Divine Author, it is and will be the same yesterday, today, and forever. If faith be founded upon the Word of Eternal Truth, then the Church has an anchor sure and stedfast, entering into that within the veil. One prophecy of Daniel is fulfilled: "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased". The world has never witnessed a period of such incessant and intense mental activity."

Monday, January 23, 2023

Which -ghazi will the Right Wing Manufacture Rage About Today?


Gas-stoveghazi is a another right wing issue for them to manufacture rage about. No one is out to take anyones gas stoves. Same with Hillarys email-ghazi and Hunter Bidens Laptop-ghazi....not to forget the original Benghazi-ghazi. There's no there there on any of these right-wing rage points. The only intellectual way to pursue it is to not pursue it.

But we now have a benchmark rule: If Boebert, Gaetz, MJ Greene, Tuckkker Carlson or Ted Cruz are on the rage manufacturing trail...then you know whatever the issue it is more than likely not a real issue.

"Evil" to the right wingers is simply anyone or anything that does not accept their information as hard cold indisputable facts

 Rich Kozlovich (a rabid right wingnut) opened a blog post with these statements:

"On December 30, 2022.............posted a piece noting,  17% of Assaults on NY Jews Were Carried Out By Muslims “64% of the assaults were committed by black individuals, 17% by Asians (Muslim/Arab).”
     And he summized: "Did you know that?  No?  Why not?  I did!  Why? Because I’m searching news sources all the time, so the fact I know these things and most people don’t isn’t the fault of the people.  It’s the fault of the media because they focus on “their” narratives, and mostly those narratives are misdirection, logical fallacies, lies of commission and lies of omission."
     He then goes through small list of other issues of which he blames the media for not reporting on. But, interestingly, he was using a blog post, which can be shared to social media, and found in a Google search (How I found it) so I am to assume that only his chosen "media" is not the enemy but all the others are?
     What emphasizes my assumption is the fact that the info was posted on quite a few right - wing propaganda sites...and it appears that the information has no solid source for legit reporting. This, however, is the way the right wing media operates: They decry every media that does not push their narratives (or use that stupid two word  idiom: "Fake News") .
    The right-wingers battle with themselves for the most part when it comes the evilness of a media that will not report their baseless arguments. And they will be the first..(tho maybe the only) to tell you how much wisdom is in their information. 
     Kozlovich ends his argument with:
"One has to conclude there’s something seriously wrong with these people, and have no doubt in your minds, they really hate us, in fact, leftists hate humanity, and truth be told, they hate themselves, and the media is the agar and Petri dish in which their hate and vile behavior grows, thrives and spreads like an infectious plague on humanity."
     Just a reminder: "Evil" to the right wingers is simply anyone or anything that does not accept their information as hard cold indisputable facts. Hillary's emails, Hunter Bidens laptop, Benghazi (and more) are a important talking point to the Right Wing media. Just baseless and not important in the real world. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Support Your Local News Media

 A Newspaper in Long Island, New York (North Shore Leader) posted serious revelations about George Santos before the state and national elections which made it pretty clear that there was something wrong about the info Santos was telling people about him.  The national press, not even the New York Times, picked up the information. I find this disturbing because the national press has such a megaphone that I have to wonder where they were getting the information they were espousing. Or were they just too busy chasing after whatever wind came their way about Santos....and by "whatever wind" I mean what will draw attention to them, gain clicks on the internet or watchers for pundits. 

Personally I read a lot  of news...maybe too much. But if something is reported that sounds odd or unbelievable  I research a bit before I  push it. But I have noticed that one of the more credible news sources for anyone is their local newspaper or TV station. They tend to be involved in local stories and the reporters and writers generally live within the community or general area that their news is reported to. It is not foolproof, of course, as no one source hits 100% right all the time...but the odds are in their favor. 

All the major networks and news agencies, of course, are reporting everything that is wrong with George Santos now......but they should have been out there several weeks ago before the election. The information was there.