Saturday, January 13, 2024

The 2 Biggest Reasons Why Americans Are Turning their Backs on Religion

In God We Trust.

Well, maybe not so much in these chaotic times despite the motto being on American currency since 1955 when it became law by a joint resolution of the 84th Congress.

Since the turn of the century attendance in churches has declined. With fewer younger participants, the typical age congregants are rising.

But the two biggest factors for the recent decline of organized religion are the pandemic and politics.


There's been a growing movement among evangelicals mixing politics with religion. This polarization has paralyzed our government and threatened our freedoms.

There's what I call the core evangelicals who actually follow the teaching of Jesus Christ. Then you have people who identify as evangelicals but don't go to church or follow the teachings in the bible. They use the term as a cultural marker.

It's the latter group who mindlessly follow Trump like he's an orange Jesus that pose the biggest threat to the church's legitimacy. These so-called evangelicals are among the core base of Trump's cult. 

Worse, they have infected Congress and our judicial system with their sick ideology that rejects true Christian values.

The Pandemic

According to a nationwide report Christian clergy are experiencing a post-pandemic burnout that's prompting many to think about leaving their jobs.

More than 4 in 10 of clergy surveyed in fall 2023 had seriously considered leaving their congregations at least once since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The high rates of ministers considering quitting reflects the "collective drama" that both clergy and congregants have experienced since 2020, according to a survey by the Hartford Institute for Religious Research.

Many clergy members cited dwindling attendance, declining rates of volunteering, and members resistance to further change as factors that have discouraged them.

As it stands, at a time when truth is constantly challenged, American churches face an uncertain future.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

'A Good Day for the Constitution and Democracy' A Pushback on Book Banning

Thanks to Florida's fascist Gov. Ron DeSantis the state has the distinction of banning more books than any other red state.

Florida school districts and public libraries have become battlegrounds for MAGA morons determined to indoctrinate students in radical ideologies.

The good news is there's a court case against this growing fascist movement involving the Escambia County School District for pulling more than 1,600 books from school libraries.

U.S. District court Judge T. Kent Wetherell II refused the state's request to throw out the plaintiff's case against book banning and gave the district 28 days to respond. The judge ruled that the First Amendment claim could move forward.

In a truly stunning move, the school district even banned at least five dictionaries along with eight different encyclopedias.

* The American Heritage Children's Dictionary

* Webster's Dictionary for Students

* Merriam-Webster's Elementary Dictionary

* The Clear and Thesaurus Dictionary

* The Dictionary of Costume

The Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe it or Not, were among the eight banned encyclopedias.

Pen America, an organization that supports prosecuted writers and promotes literary culture filed the lawsuit against Escambia last May. 

The school district is trying to keep students from accessing dictionaries which, in defining sex and other concepts like LGBTQ, are considered to violate state law 1069.

However, the judge said the district could remove books only for legitimate reasons, such as the inclusion of pornographic material, not because officials consider them "woke" or immoral.

This lawsuit is extremely important. It's a first of its kind federal lawsuit alleging that an earlier set of book bans and restrictions violate their rights to free speech and equal protection under the law.

As it stands, the far-right lunatics in this country are doing their best to take away our freedoms, from women's rights to banning books. We're in a battle to retain the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. Vote Blue in November.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

MAGA Members Ambushed in Contempt of Congress Hearing on Hunter Biden

It was like Custer's last stand. 

Pumped up MAGA House members eager to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for refusing to attend a closed door, Soviet style, interrogation, had smirks on their faces.

This was going to be fun. Each MAGA member had visions of great media coverage as they owned the liberals. 

Then Hunter Biden appeared with his lawyers and offered to testify before Congress right then.

There were gasps of surprise. There were angry murmurs like bees in the room as everyone witnessed their unsolicited presence as they sat before the panel. 

Suddenly Comer's clown show was in trouble as his hypocrisy was exposed to the world. This wasn't supposed to happen. The look on Comer's face was somewhere between rage and resignation.

Democratic members circled the MAGA loyalists and shot them down with one fact after another. It was almost embarrassing to watch how easy it was.

What was supposed to be a contempt of Congress hearing for President Biden's son Hunter turned into a referendum on Republicans who also refused to respond to subpoenas.

Rep. Jamie Raskin read them out loud.

Jim Jordan. Kevin McCarthy. Andy Biggs. Scott Perry. Mo Brooks. All were subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. All had first-hand knowledge of events that happened that day but refused to respond. They still haven't.

And there they were, going after President Biden's son for doing the same thing. MAGA moron Nancy Mace made a fool out of herself spewing malicious lies and venom like a snake.

My favorite part was when Hunter and his lawyers got up and walked out when Marjorie Taylor Greene was about to speak. You could see she was visibly shaken because her moment in the limelight was disappearing with a contemptuous Hunter and company.

Reporters followed them out the door as Greene helplessly watched while shouting insults.

Hunter's trip to Capitol Hill was a great legal strategy. It forced Comer to put up or shut up. He did neither. Instead, he sat there and absorbed the scorn heaped on him with a blank stupid look and stubbornly went on with the hearing.

As it stands, Comer's clown shows continue in spite of no evidence and outright poison partisan politics on display for all of America to view.

'The King of the NRA' Resigns Just Before Corruption Trial

The National Rifle Association is trying to pull a fast one on New York Attorney General Letitia James prior to their trial for corruption in New York.

In a sly move NRA attorneys are hoping to dodge penalties in the civil corruption trial before it even starts by claiming their leader Wayne LaPierre's sudden resignation proves there is no longer "ongoing and persistent" wrongdoing at the gun lobby.

The gun lobby claims that jurors should hear evidence of the NRA's "course correction," including that LaPierre is on his way out in a recent court filling. The NRA was not LaPierre's enabler, they argued. Rather they were a victim of "former rogue officers" which apparently includes LaPierre.

AG Letitia James was skeptical over the timing of the resignation, just three days before trial. That it was meant to gain an advantage at trial.

After standing with LaPierre for 30 years the gun lobby has suddenly claimed he was a rogue. In her opening statement AG James promised jurors that testimony over the next five weeks would show that loyal NRA employees considered LaPierre as their "king."

Let's stop here for a moment.

Why would the 76-person gun lobby board suddenly decide to un-throne their king of 30-years? The guy is highly popular in the five-million membership non-profit. He was re-elected in 2022 despite the fact he was being investigated for corruption at the time.

My guess is it's an end-run. His supposed resignation is a red herring. As soon as the trial is over, the board can turn around and reinstall the King

AG James realizes that, so she is asking the judge to bar the NRA from ever reinstalling him back to his throne. Her reasoning is sound. LaPierre is still going to get in trouble and the NRA is still going to be held accountable regardless of their scheme. 

Loyal LaPierre board members looked the other way and actively enabled his greed, according to AG James.

As it stands, the NRA has been ripping off its membership for three decades. Regardless of the results of this trial I fully expect the group to continue lying and fearmongering to raise funds which will eventually end up in their pockets. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

There's Nothing Graceful About Growing Old

The next time I hear someone talking about growing old gracefully I'm going to clean their clock!

There's nothing graceful about wrinkles, or your skin turning into parchment paper.

There's nothing graceful about palsied hands so bony their almost luminescent.

There's nothing graceful about food running down your chin because your dentures are loose.

There's no way to be graceful when you stop in the middle of conversations and forget the current subject and start babbling about something else.

There's nothing graceful about wearing eyeglasses so thick your eyes look like boiled eggs.

There's no way you can appear graceful when the battery on your hearing aid isn't working and you're desperately trying to read lips and look cool by nodding constantly.

It's hard to be graceful when your inner organs are at war after years of misuse resulting in flatulence and worse. 

It's also hard to be graceful when your children, and great grandchildren talk about technological things that simply don't make sense to you...without getting irritated.

I know people mean well when they say someone is aging gracefully despite being hard of hearing, nearly blind, and barely being able to walk but let's get real... there's nothing graceful about growing old!

As it stands, I thought a silly rant might make your day today. I hope I achieved that goal. 

Monday, January 8, 2024

Deep Denial: Republicans Insist on Pursuing a Fantasy Story

To be a member of the Republican Party these days you have to be prepared to live in an alternative world where truth and facts fall victim to wild conspiracies and big lies.

Take Rep. Elise Stefanik for example. She refuses to say the 2020 election was legal - despite mountains of evidence - and now she's saying she might not certify the 2024 election if she doesn't like the results.

That's traitorous talk in any book. A Congressperson openly warning she won't accept the real results of a presidential election if she doesn't like it. Why isn't she locked up?

House Speaker MAGA Mike calls the description of him as an election denier "nonsense" but he won't say Biden won the 2020 election. As a matter of fact, he was one of the chief drivers of the false elector grift that many GOP members signed on to that year.

Illinois presidential candidates are asked to pledge an oath not to overthrow the government (it's been going on 50 years and is more of a tradition than anything else) and to no one's surprise Trump wouldn't sign it.

Maybe his lawyers told him not to since he's currently being investigated for trying to overthrow the government in 2020.

What's hard to understand is the entire Republican Party is pursuing a fantasy about what a great world it would be to have Trump for president again. Despite his regime being the most corrupt in American history.

Again, facts bear out the toxic chaos that occurred during the Trump administration. We're still paying residuals for allowing his ardent followers to infect our courts and Congress.

There's no deep state, as Republicans claim. There's just a deep denial of reality for political purposes to gain power.

I began this year by promising readers I wouldn't write about Trump as much as I did last year. I'm failing already. When I look around for news stories to comment on 80% of them involve Trump in one way or another.

That poses a problem. As a retired newspaper editor and publisher, I'm used to commenting on the events of the day. Ignoring Trump - especially during this election year - is impossible. I just can't do it.

I will try to limit my coverage of the orange orangutan as much as possible. But this is the most critical year of my lifetime - and yours. The republic has never faced a more challenging year. We may sink into a dictatorship this fall if Trump is somehow re-elected.

Democracy is on the line. Listen to what Trump's saying right now. Believe him. He'll bring a scorched earth policy against anyone he deems an enemy and intends to expand presidential powers so that no one, or law, can stop him from ruling like one of the several dictators he currently admires.

As it stands, I never could stand by and ignore corrupt politicians. I exposed them at every opportunity. I guess some things never change.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Why Congress Can't Come Up with a Border Policy

In 12 days the first batch of government funding runs out if there's no agreement on border policies. 

A shutdown looms like a dark cloud over Washington DC.

With time running out for agreement senators return to Washington on Monday and plan on holding a full party meeting on Tuesday. That leaves 10 days for the House and the Senate to hammer out a deal. That would require a political miracle after years of total opposition on border security.

The rumor is the Senate's bipartisan border negotiators are optimistic about a potential agreement. Arizona Independent Kyrsten Sinema recently revealed she met with House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday. If that's supposed to encourage people, it fell flat with me.

Just look at the history.

If Republicans really wanted to solve the border crisis, why did they vote down a $100 billion-plus emergency national security spending package request last month?

The biggest sticking point remains striking a compromise (the word is not in the MAGA dictionary) over changes to the president's parole authority, which so far has been a red line for the White House.

The dirty not so secret reason is the GOP is more interested in using the hot topic border narrative in their political campaigns by casting all the blame on the Democrats for their inability to come up with legislation to solve the problem.

What would they do if legislation were actually passed? Republicans would lose one of their best campaign talking points. It would be like cutting their nose off to spite their face.

So, what happens next?


Did you know?

That presidential candidate RFK was Jeffrey Epstein's guest several times to Lolita Island? 

He even copped to it to News Nation when asked. "I took two plane rides with Jeffrey Epstein," he said. Infer what you will from this association. Those Kennedy boys do have a reputation.


Forest Gump?

There's a Toronto man who ran 242 freestyle marathons - marathon length runs with no set course - over the course of 2023 may have broken a world record.

Ben Pobjoy, who called his project the "Marathon Earth Challenge" traveled across North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, running 26.2 miles in each location.

Pobjoy said he submitted evidence of his runs to Guiness World Records for review.  


As it stands, "All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." - Mark Twain 

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...