Sappy Sarah Palin Claims Ted Cruz Is Dead (To Her)

8571336506_24b0320377_bSarah Palin couldn’t make the Republican National Convention (aka the Regressive Incest Fest). Her son, Track was on trial for domestic-violence assault, interfering with the report of a domestic violence crime and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

You’ll be happy(?) to know that Track got off with a pinky tap on the wrist. Two of the charges, domestic-violence assault and interfering with the report of a domestic-violence crime, got dropped and all he has to do is attend some classes.

As a result of this distraction, she’s been a bit quiet until yesterday. But, you know Sarah, if there’s a way to insert herself into the news stream, she’s gonna grab it.

Enter Teddy Cruz! Or more specifically, Teddy boy’s “Vote Your Conscience” speech at what was supposed to be hairball’s coronation.

On Wednesday, (I suppose in the spirit of unifying the party behind the “Great Orange Blunder”) Cruz was invited to speak at the convention. As with most of the convention, this move was VERY poorly thought out.

Hairball had called Cruz’s wife ugly and claimed his father had something to do with the Kennedy assassination. Did anyone really think he was gonna roll over and play servile puppy? Cruz has a multitude of personality disorders, but he’s not Chris Christie.

Anyway, after Cruz not only didn’t endorse the Regressive nominee, but asked everyone to vote their conscience (if they could remember where they left it) he was soundly booed and castigated by tea party types.

Voting your conscience? Regressives can’t have people doing that. Most of them don’t even know what a conscience is. (Well, after all, it is an over-4-letter word.)

With an opening like that, was the “half-baked Alaskan” front and center to “refudiate” Cruz? You betcha!

Sarah used to be a Cruz’er, back when he was running for Senator in 2012 If fact, Cruz even credited her for his win. but those days are dead and gone. (And, according to “Caribou Boobie” so is he.)

Instead, the half-term, half-wit decided to hitch up with hairball’s run for presidential wannabe in hopes of an administration gig she could quit after destroying it. (Energy Secretary, for those of you who didn’t click the link.) Since then, she’s been tossing some of her best(?) word salads in support of the hairy chee-to.

After Cruz’s speech, Sarah high-tailed it over to Breitbart to give Cruz a piece of her mind. (As if she could spare any.) She titled her post “Sarah Palin to Ted Cruz: Delete Your Career.

Cruz’s broken pledge to support the will of the people tonight was one of those career-ending “read my lips” moments. I guarantee American voters took notice and felt more unsettling confirmation as to why we don’t much like typical politicians because they campaign one way, but act out another way. That kind of political status quo has got to go because it got us into the mess we’re in with America’s bankrupt budgets and ramped up security threats.

It’s commonplace for politicians to disbelieve their word is their bond, as evidenced by Cruz breaking his promise to endorse his party’s nominee, evidently thinking whilst on the convention stage, “At this point, what difference does it make?” We’ve been burned so horribly by that attitude that voters won’t reward politicians pulling that “what difference does it make” stunt again. Politicians will see — it makes all the difference in the world to us.

She even sent along a delightful little video:

It’s probably safest not to invite both Sarah and Teddy to your next shindig, although it would certainly liven it up a bit.

Stay tuned. I have the sinking feeling that this isn’t the last we’ll hear about this.

Nate Silver Projects a Tsunami in November

Donald_Trump_and_Hillary_Clinton_during_United_States_presidential_election_2016Nate Silver has the best record around for calling electoral college results in presidential elections. In 2008, he correctly called 50 of the 51 states’ electoral college results. The 51st “state” was Washington, D.C. (He missed Indiana by 1%.) In 2012, he called all 51 correctly.

What makes Nate so successful is that he goes beyond poll averaging and uses probability theory. And no, I’m not going to go into the details of probability theory, this post is going to be nerdy enough with all the numbers and “weighting” and the different types of poll forecasts. Being a non math major myself, I’m going to try to explain all this in language real people speak. If you’re into esoterica, I’ll provide some links so you can nerd-out to your heart’s delight.

As to the “weighting” I referred to above, that can be explained easily: ALL POLLS ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY! Different pollsters have different histories when it comes to accuracy and different pollsters have different biases. (Kind of explains those commissioned by Bullshit Mtn, as well as some others.) Nate takes those factors into consideration when he “weights” his polls. For the nerdy among you, you can check out those ratings here.

If you check out Nate’s projection web page, you’ll find three sets of projections;

  1. “Polls only” is based only on polls from a particular state; for example, only polls of New Hampshire are used in the New Hampshire forecast.
  2. “Polls plus” is based on state polls, national polls and endorsements.
  3. “If the election were held today” (I think you can figure out this one all by yourself.)

Ok, enough preamble, let’s get to the good stuff.

Yesterday, (6/29/16) Nate released his first projection for the 2016 general election. If you’re a Dem, it’s a doozy! If you’re a Regressive, not so much and if you’re a Trump (aka “hairball”) chump, you might look for a convenient cliff to take a flying leap off of.

If the election were held today, (6/3o/16) Hillary would get 47.8% of the vote, compared to hairball getting 42.1%, giving her an 81.3% chance of winning the election, as opposed to hairballs chances of 18.7%. She would rake in 338.3 electoral votes to hairball’s 199.1 and Libertarian, Gary Johnson’s .6%. (Yeah, I know electoral votes don’t come in tenths, but we’re talking mathematical probability here.)

In the “polls only” projection, the numbers are 49.0% – 41.8% (popular vote) and 352.4 -184.4 (electoral vote); giving her an 80.2% to 19.7% advantage.

The “polls plus” projection looks a bit better for hairball, but not much. There it’s 48.7% – 44.4% (p.v.) and 318.0 – 219.8 (e.c.) giving her a 73.8% – 28.2% chance of winning.

But, what’s really interesting in the projections are this cycle’s “swing states.” A couple of the “usual suspects” are there: Ohio and Florida, but this time around, Missouri, Arizona and North Carolina make the list, with Georgia not too far behind. (The times, they are a changin’.)

Now, bear in your mind (if you’ve got the room up there) that things do change. In politics a week is a year. Therefore, projections also change. Nate updates his every day. If you want to keep up, here’s the page.

Stay tuned!

Featured Image Photo Credits: Gage Skidmore (Donald Trump), Gage Skidmore (Hillary Clinton), Krassotkin (derivative) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Hawaii Leads The Nation In Gun Legislation

gun-market-militarized2-1024x768With a congress more beholden to the NRA than the 90% of the population that want something done to regulate guns, it seems that it’s up to the states to take the necessary steps in responsible gun legislation.

And no, that doesn’t mean the guys in the black helicopters are coming to confiscate your shootin’ irons. (Although, if you think it does, maybe in your case, it should.) For the rest of us, Hawaii has taken several constructive steps in the right direction.

Last Thursday, the same day Democratic members of the House staged their sit-down protest over inaction on gun legislation, Hawaii’s governor signed a landmark gun legislation bill. The bill, (SB 2954) which took effect immediately, authorizes county police departments in Hawaii to enroll firearms applicants and individuals registering their firearms, in an FBI criminal record monitoring service, called “rap back.”

According to the governor’s press release,

The service notifies the agencies when a firearm owner is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country. This will allow county police departments in Hawaii to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms. The law also authorizes the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center to access firearm registration data.

State Senator (and gun owner) Will Espero called it, “Common sense legislation that does not hurt anyone. It just means local police will be notified.

(In case you’re curious, the NRA is NOT HAPPY about this. That alone, tells you it’s good legislation.)

As you can imagine, the NRA finds this one of the most extreme bills we’ve ever seen. The law could affect gun owners outside Hawaii, because the state requires visitors carrying guns to register.Amy Hunter, spokeswoman for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

This was not the only gun legislation that the governor, David Ige (A Democrat, naturally.) signed into law. Two other needed bills were also signed into law. One, (HB625) disqualifies a person convicted of stalking or sexual assault from owning a gun. The other, (HB2632) requires anyone diagnosed with a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder to surrender their weapons.

All-in-all, three common sense laws to better protect citizens from the epidemic of mass murders in this country. (And yes, when there are more mass murders in a year than days in a year, it is an epidemic!)

Featured Image Photo Credit: Pål Joakim Olsen Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

 

Wing-nut: Dump The 9th Circuit, I Don’t Like The Way They Voted

6160800774_2cee6170bc_bLarry Pratt speaking at LPAC 2011 in Reno, Nevada.

Photo Credit: Flicker; Photographer: Gage Skidmore

A gun-butt organization is mad as hell at the 9th Circuit Court for their recent ruling on concealed weapon toting and they want the 9th Circuit eliminated. And no, I’m not talking about the NRA.

There’s been a lot of invective aimed at the NRA in the wake of the Orlando mass murders as well as the other mass shootings. And, quite frankly, it’s been well deserved. But, believe it or not, compared to Gun Owners of America (GOA), the NRA comes off like a bunch of liberal pansies.

According to Rational Wiki,

They [Gun Owners of America] not only oppose all new background checks (similar to the NRA), but would also like to see all existing background checks and other gun purchase restrictions removed. Furthermore, a major goal of the group is to also remove penalties for “straw purchases,” sales made to those who intend to sell or give the weapon to someone else who cannot pass a background check. As Larry Pratt put it, ‘There would be no straw purchasing if there were no limits on who can carry a gun.’

That brings us to the “wing-nut” in the headline, one Larry Pratt. He’s the co-founder and Executive Director of GOA.

The Southern Poverty Law Center‘s profile on Larry, describes him thusly,

Larry Pratt stands at the intersection of guns and Jesus, lobbying for absolutely unrestricted distribution of firearms while advocating a theocratic society based upon Old Testament civil and religious laws. A pivotal figure in the rise of right-wing militia, or “Patriot,” groups, he spoke at the notorious 1992 “Gathering of Christian Men” in Estes Park, Colo., where 160 neo-Nazis, Klan members, anti-Semitic Christian Identity adherents and others arguably laid the groundwork for the militia movement that would explode in 1994. He believes that white Christians must arm themselves for self-protection in the inevitable social implosions and riots that are soon to come.

Among some of Loony Larry’s oral-fecal emanations:

  • We are looking at a major assault on the right to keep and bear arms, and it is kind of reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, where they used doctors as part of their torture routines and got people sent to the camps for improvement of their mental health.
    —”Talk to Solomon Show,” 2013
  • While the United States has forgotten its success in this area, other countries have rediscovered them. It is time that the United States return to reliance on an armed people. There is no acceptable alternative.
    Armed People Victorious (comparing militias during the American revolution to death squads in Guatemala), 1990
  • The right to keep and bear arms is just as important today as when the Bill of Rights was drafted. The right to keep and bear arms will be important until Christ comes again, because until then, people will be sinful. Crooks will steal, and murderers will kill, and government officials will tyrannize. The common thread is man presuming to make himself into a God.
    —”Tools of Biblical Resistance,” 1983

At this point, I think you get the general idea of the mind(?) set of the man.

He’s inserting himself in the news again because he’s upset that the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give citizens the right to carry concealed guns in public. In fact, he’s so mad that he wants the court abolished!

Last Friday, he showed up on “Liberty Roundtable” and called the judges “King George clones” and claimed they were responsible for “the destruction of the Second Amendment.” Oh, and the revolutionary war was the response when “King George came for the guns.

But, not to worry, Loony Larry already done thunk up a solution to the problem: Courts cost money and Congress holds the purse.

It can simply say that in the Ninth Circuit or any federal court, questions of concealed carry may not be considered, period, paragraph, and no funds will be available for such consideration. Takes it off the table right there. They could also — and I might even prefer — to remove that jurisdiction from the courts.

And, if that doesn’t do the trick,

The only court that is constitutional, that must exist, that must be able to operate, is the Supreme Court. If Congress decided that they actually stood for something, they could tell the Ninth Circuit, ‘You’re the former Ninth Circuit, we’ve decided we can do without you. You guys make life so difficult, it’s gonna be better without you. Buh-bye.’

For a “patriot,” he sure don’t know diddly about how the U.S. government works, do he?

 

2nd Amendment Nitwit Challenged Daughter To A Gun Fight

gun-449783_960_720Gun fights are fun to watch in the movies. Two cowpokes facing each other at high noon on a dusty western street in front of the Long Branch Saloon: great fun!

Gun fights in real life: not quite the jollies. Especially between a deranged dad and a daughter.

Raising children can be difficult at times. Anyone who’s ever had teenagers particularly, can testify to that. I raised three of them myself and somehow we all managed to survive. They evolved into kind, loving, productive adults and the only harm I suffered was a batch of grey hairs. But, let’s be honest, not every adult is a capable of handling the job.

Photo Credit: El Paso County Sheriff's Office

Photo Credit: El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

Case in point: Robert Williams, a 38 year old “man” who probably should never have been allowed to reproduce. (That’s him in the mug shot on the right.)

According to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, on June 1, 2016, at approximately 7:30 PM, deputies were dispatched to a shooting in the 6200 block of South Calhan Road. (A rural area to the east of Colorado Springs, Colorado.)

Upon arrival, the deputies were told that this deranged dad had let an argument with his under-aged daughter escalate to the point in which he pulled out a gun and pointed it at his wife and daughter.

He then instructed his daughter to go get another gun that he had stashed in the house so they could resolve their issues with a duel.

After she got the gun, he fired a shot at her and missed. She returned fire, but also missed. As his daughter and wife fled the house, this idiot went out to the shed and grabbed a shotgun, which he then pointed pointed at his wife. She grabbed it away from him and took the children to a neighbor’s house and called 911.

Mr Williams was booked into the Criminal Justice Center on two counts of Felony Menacing, Prohibited Use of a Weapon and Child Abuse. (Not sure why Attempted Murder was not among the charges.)

Was Trump University A $40 Million Dollar Fraud? (VIDEO)

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2Donald Trump (aka “The DONALD”; aka “His Hairness: aka “hairball”) is running for CEO of the CSA (Corporate States of America.) In his campaign, he keeps bragging about his YUUUGE fortune and his “Trump Class” business acumen. Since political claims are fair game, I did some checking. Turns out, he’s a lousy businessman. In my research, I’ve run across 19 major business FAILS in the last three decades. The one that is currently garnering the most attention, was his much “Trump”eted Trump University.

Trump University was founded in 2005. The “University” part of the name was a stretch of extreme magnitude. Not only wasn’t it a university, by it’s very definition, it wasn’t even a college offering degrees or even licensed as a school. The New York State Department of Education said that it was “misleading and even illegal” to call itself a university. What it was, was a series of real estate seminars, held in various hotel ballrooms around the country.

The advertising for Trump U included a number of claims:

  • consumers would learn “everything [they]need[ed]to know” to become successful real estate investors; Attendees at the three day seminars discovered, that despite claims that vital secrets to would be disclosed, to get those really secret secrets it was going to cost them a lot more and failure to pay meant failure. (Can you say, “bait & switch?”)
  • consumers would quickly recoup their investment by doing real estate deals, with some instructors claiming that consumers would earn tens of thousands of dollars within thirty days; (Somehow, that never seemed to happen.)
  • instructors were “handpicked” by Donald Trump; In fact, several instructors came from other fields and some of those that did have a real estate background became instructors after going bankrupt with their own investments. And, it turns out, The DONALD didn’t do any of the “hand picking.” That job was pushed off onto subordinates.
  • consumers would be taught Donald Trump’s very own real estate strategies and techniques; The curriculum wasn’t developed by Trump. It was developed by a company that creates material for motivational speakers.
  • consumers would receive access to private sources of financing (“hard money lenders”); Actually, instructors provided handouts with scripted talking points for students to use in their phone calls with credit card companies, explicitly encouraging people to falsify their current income. (Last time I checked, credit card companies weren’t exactly “private sources of financing.”)
  • the three-day seminar would include a year-long “Apprenticeship Support” program. Never happened!

Tuition ran from $1,495 for a three day seminar, to $35,000 for a “Trump Elite” membership, that included personal advice from His Hairness, himself. (Which he never provided.) In fact, he never even visited any Trump U classes. (In fairness, student’s did get to pose with a cardboard cutout of The DONALD.) All the students got for their $1,495 was a generic seminar and salesmen pressuring them to buy additional (and much more expensive) courses.

5,000 people paid Trump U around $40 million. And, while Trump U claimed it was formed as a philanthropic project and Trump would not financially benefit, his cut of that $40 million amounted to $5 million dollars.

According to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is currently bringing suit,

Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford on lessons they never got.

The NY attorney general is currently seeking “full restitution for the more than 5,000 consumers nationwide who were defrauded of over $40 million in the scheme, disgorgement of profits, as well as costs and penalties and injunctive relief prohibiting these types of illegal practices going forward.”

The AG’s lawsuit claims “Trump University also committed violations of federal consumer protection law.” It also accuses Trump U of “deceptive acts and practices,” false advertising, “operating an unlicensed private school,” refusing to provide mandated refunds and several other no-nos!

In the “playbooks” that were released by the trial judge, phone recruiters were given detailed instructions including the background music to be used. (“For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays.) Among the other instructions,

The words ‘I noticed’ have a powerful subconscious effect on people because they send a subliminal message to them that they stood out in the crowd, that they are attractive or charismatic or that they impressed you. People love recognition and attention.

You don’t sell products, benefits or solutions — you sell feelings. You may begin with some small-talk to establish rapport but do not let them take control of the conversation. You must be very aggressive during these conversations to in order to push them out of their comfort zones.

Money is never a reason for not enrolling in Trump University; if they really believe in you and your product, they will find the money.

Trump, of course, is responding to the trial with his usual demeanor: that of a seven year-old, screaming insults on the playground. Here are a couple of examples tweeted by the twit.

I have a judge in the Trump University civil case, Gonzalo Curiel (San Diego), who is very unfair. An Obama pick. Totally biased-hates Trump.

I should have easily won the Trump University case on summary judgement but have a judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who is totally biased against me.

Then, last Friday at a rally in San Diego, hairball said,

I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine.

The judge was born in Indiana.

Trump’s lawyers have managed to get the fraud trial postponed until after the election. That raises the possibility of a sitting president having to testify under oath in court as to whether he perpetrated a $40 million dollar fraud.

On May 32, 2010, Trump University morphed into the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. He got sued over that one too. In a New York trial, he was found personally liable for running an unlicensed school and ordered to pay restitution to approximately 800 students suckers.

Stay tuned!

Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz Getting Dumped?

Photo Credit: Donkeyhotey

Photo Credit: Donkeyhotey

It seems that Bernie backers aren’t the only ones fed up with Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s tyrannical rule of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). According to one pro-Hillary senator,

There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on.

Other Hillary-backing senators are worried that she’s too divisive a figure to unify the party in the upcoming general election. Right now, the discussion is about getting rid of her before the Democratic Convention.

On condition of anonymity, a senate aide said,

The question is: Has she become too toxic?

The Hill” reported that one senator stated,

I don’t see how she can continue to the election. How can she open the convention? Sanders supporters would go nuts.

A senior Democratic source told CNN,

There is a lot of sentiment that replacing her would be a good idea. It is being discussed quietly among Democratic senators on the floor, in the cloakroom and in lunches.

Debbie has already been stripped of some of her Convention power. Normally the DNC Chair would appoint all 15 members of the platform committee. This time around, she’s been limited to four. Of the remaining 11 positions, Hillary will fill six and Bernie will fill five.

Whether this is enough is being debated. As a Senior Senate Democratic Aide put it,

There’s a strong sentiment that the current situation is untenable and can only be fixed by her leaving. There’s too much water under the bridge for her to be a neutral arbiter.

Another senator said,

We need to get this figured out and come together, Hillary’s got the nomination. She needs Bernie’s energy. It’s time for her to accommodate. It’s time to pick hard-nosed people to cut through things and figure out a deal.

Debbie does have her defenders. Nancy Pelosi told CNN that,

DNC Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz enjoys the support of Members of the House Democratic Caucus for her leadership in unifying the party and winning in November.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), is backing Debbie.

I think Debbie Wasserman Schultz has done a good job. If you look at her platform committee appointments, she really gave a lot of room to Bernie supporters.

Also, some of the support seemed to have a bit of an anti-Bernie flavor to it. Michael Nutter, a former Mayor of Philadelphia, the host city for the convention told CNN,

This is like someone who comes to your house, says they don’t like the food, your TV is too small and I’m not particularly thrilled with what your kitchen looks like and then walks out complaining. She’s been leading the party, he just became a Democrat and now suddenly believes that he should be in charge.

And, of course, there’s no “Debbie love” on Bernie’s part. Bernie has endorsed Debbie’s opponent in the Florida Democratic primary and has even started fundraising for him.

Bernie’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, summed up their take on the matter, telling MSNBC host Steve Kornacki,

It’s been clear there is a pattern of conduct from the beginning of this campaign that has been hostile to Bernie Sanders and his supporters, and really, she’s become a divisive figure in the party.

It probably also doesn’t help her efforts that American Crossroads, a GOP super-PAC, has endorsed Debbie in the primary. The president of American Crossroads, Steve Law, said,

Congresswoman and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has played a critical role over the past several years in the massive Republican gains we have achieved at the state level, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the U.S. Senate.

Whether she goes or stays won’t be decided until Hillary and Bernie negotiate a deal to heal the party and discuss what to do with Debbie. President Obama is expected to have a say as well.

Stay tuned!

hqdefault-2From the department of “How Can I Miss You if You Won’t Go The Hell Away?” comes word of Josh Duggar’s dream of making a TV comeback.

If you are asking yourself how an adulterous, pedophile (not to mention hypocrite) could worm his way back on your tv’s after being kicked off the tube for his disgraceful actions. (Actually, it was mainly due to the loss of ad revenue.) Let me explain how it works on Planet Khristian.

  1. You must do penance. In Josh’s case, he supposedly spent time at a Khristian camp atoning for his sins through labor. I say “supposedly” because there’s no actual proof that he did. He just disappeared for a few months.
  2. You must make multitudinous mea culpas. This is best done by going on sympathetic shows like those on Bullshit Mtn or maybe Dr. Phil. And, if they won’t have you, send a sympathetic surrogate, like wife Anna. (According to US Weekly, that’s exactly what he’s doing.)
  3. Do a “born again” tour. Khristians, particularly, love to hear sobbing confessions of your past misdeeds and how you spent hours on your knees begging Big Daddy to forgive you and how he spoke to you, telling you that your sins were forgiven and that you’re now “white as snow.”

According to US Weekly’s source, who’s supposedly someone close to the family,

If that goes well and people are sympathetic towards him, he is sure he can convince TLC to give him and Anna a spin-off – something to do with healing their marriage within the Christian faith.

Why, you ask, would he put himself through all that? MONEY!

Josh’s current and very fitting occupation is used car salesman at daddy’s car lot! According to Gallup Polls, that’s the least trustworthy occupation in the country. (Even bible thumpers score higher.) And, while it may be an appropriate occupation, it just doesn’t bring in the big bucks.

As US Weekly’s source put it,

Getting another reality show is the only way he can think of to make real money.

Will TLC give him another chance? Will advertisers overcome the stink and throw some Grover Clevelands (He’s the mug on the $1000 bill.) their way if they do?

Stay tuned!

George Zimmerman Blames Trayvon Martin’s Parents For His Death

hqdefaultGeorge Zimmerman, an anal pit whose only claim to “fame” was shooting an unarmed teenager and getting away with it, is sleazing his way back in the news cycle again.

For those of you who were vacationing in Antarctica at the time, a bit of background might be apropos.

Back in February of 2012, George sighted Trayvon walking down the street after dark. Since this was in a gated community and Trayvon was black, George had a feeling that something nefarious was afoot. He called the police with his concerns and was told to back off. However, Trayvon was wearing a “hoodie” and George knew that hoodies were the favored attire of black hoodlums, so he followed him. An altercation broke out and George, fearing for his life (according to the only survivor) “stood his ground” and pumped a slug into Trayvon’s chest, killing him.

(Well, that bag of Skittles that Trayvon was carrying did look mighty lethal and who knew what was in his can of Arizona Iced Tea?)

After his 15 minutes of infamy expired, George’s life hasn’t exactly been beer, broads and bar-b-cue! He’s been in and out of scrapes ever since. And, he’s repeatedly tried to regain his old notoriety with stunts like tweeting crime scene photos of his victim.

Last week, George put the gun that killed Trayvon up for auction last week and got hilariously trolled by characters like “Racist McShootface” and others who bid the price up to $65,000,000. (Good luck on getting that money.) This week, he’s given an exclusive interview to “The Daily Beast.

Vanquish any thoughts about George issuing a mea culpa. Au contraire mon frere, (How’s that for mixing Latin and French in the same paragraph?) George took the opportunity to point the blame where it really (to him) belongs: Trayvon’s parents!

They didn’t raise their son right. He attacked a complete stranger and attempted to kill him.

And, not only were Trayvon’s parents poor at their job, they abused him and tried to hog George’s media spotlight:

Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin did everything they could to capitalize on her son’s death. She was never a mother figure to him. Tracy Martin couldn’t have cared less about their son. He treated him like a dog without a leash.

When George was asked how Trayvon’s parents might feel about him making major money selling the gun that killed their son, he replied,

Sure, I’m sorry for any parent that has lost a child. That being said, I also believe it’s their duty to have an internal dialogue to see what they should have done better and what they should have done appropriately.

So, you see folks, this whole incident was someone else’s fault, not George’s. George is really the victim in this whole affair.

 

Can States Establish Their Own ‘Official Religion’? (VIDEOS)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

It has often been stated that this country was originally settled by people escaping religious bigotry and in some cases that’s true. What’s not so often stated is that once here and established, they practiced their own brand of religious bigotry.

One of the best cases in point are the Puritans.

Puritans were firm believers in the “my way or the highway” practice of religion. More often, the “highway” led to the stocks or worse. Non-conformity, religious or political, was NOT tolerated.

In 1636, Roger Williams was found guilty of preaching “newe & dangerous opinions” and was exiled. Banished from Massachusetts, he went a bit south and founded Providence Plantation, a much more tolerant colony. You probably know the area by its present name: Rhode Island. In 1660, they “legally” murdered four Quakers and kicked the rest of them out. The four were condemned to death and executed for their religious beliefs by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Legislature.

There are numerous other examples, but let us jump ahead to what I refer to as the “Hateteenth Century.”

  • (1700) New York and Massachusetts solved their Catholic conundrum by kicking out any Catholics in their jurisdictions.
  • (1701) North Carolina passed the Vestry Act, making Anglicanism its official religion.
  • (1708) Connecticut passed their 1st statute that allowed “full liberty of worship” to Anglicans and Baptists.
  • (1771) The State of Virginia jailed 50 Baptists worshipers for preaching the Gospel contrary to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
  • (1774) Massachusetts Baptists were put in jail for not paying taxes to support the Congregational Church.
  • (1777) American Philosophical Society member, Thomas Jefferson, completed his first draft of the “Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom“, which states: “No man shall be forced to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.”
  • (1785) Another APS member, James Madison, penned “Remonstrances Against Religious Assessments” advocating separation of Church and State.
  • (1786) The legislature adopted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which disestablished the Anglican Church as the official church and prohibited harassment based on religious differences. (Good luck with that one.)
  • (1789) The Bill of Rights was ratified. The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • (1796) Andrew Jackson opposed the inclusion of the word “God” in Tennessee’s constitution.
  • (1796) The Treaty of Tripoli was conducted. Article 11 states: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

As you can tell from the bullet points, the tide shifted towards tolerance in the last quarter of the century. However, it obviously didn’t go away. And, as you can see from the chart below, state religions lasted well into the next century.

Time Between Original Colonial Charter and End of State-Supported ReligioncoloniestimelineSource (with additional information): ProCon.org)

In the 19th Century, we had the rise of the anti-Catholic American Republican Party Most people refer to them as the “Know Nothing Movement”. While not it’s original intent, the tag pretty much sums them up.

In 1915, the second incarnation of the KKK was founded. While the original KKK focused their hatred on n!&&ers and fellow travelers, the “new, improved” version added Jews and Catholics to their hate list. There was rampant anti-Catholicism aimed at Al Smith in his 1928 run for the White House and even charges that JFK would “take his orders from the Pope” in the 1960 presidential campaign.

Things haven’t changed much, though the targeting has shifted. All you have to do is listen to a campaign speech by THE DONALD (aka “hairball”) or any one of a number of right-wing Khristian bible thumpers and pundits when the subject turns to Islam.

In every single case sited, the perpetrators of this religious bigotry were primarily White, Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) and they are still at it. However, now they’ve added a new twist. This time around, they are the self-proclaimed “victims” in the self-imagined “War on Religion.”

One of their “defensive weapons” in this so-called “War on Religion” has been the distortion of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The act was originally passed in 1993 to protect the freedom of religious minorities such as Sikhs and native American religious rituals.

Then, “the law of unintended consequences” reared its ugly mug. in 2014, SCOTUS decided in “BURWELL v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INCthat since companies are people too, that they had religious rights as well. In that particular case the corporation’s religion didn’t care for contraceptives, so they didn’t have to pay for insurance coverage of the baby blockers.

From that point on “religious freedom” expanded to justify bigotry against the LGBT community. (Kim Davis, anyone?) Laws passed by Alabama, North Carolina and several other “red” states are the latest examples of that.

The ruling has even opened the door to denial of access or even referrals to abortion and contraception. What started out as a needed protective measure has morphed into legalized bigotry.

And, over the last couple of years, there’s been a new twist, or rather an old one, revisited.

In 2013, North Carolina legislators introduced a bill declaring that the state has the right to declare an official religion. The bill argued that states are “sovereign” and the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment cannot prevent states “from making laws respecting the establishment of religion.

The following year, a Mississippi group, Magnolia State Heritage Campaign, circulated an initiative declaring Christianity the state’s official religion. The text of the initiative stated

The State of Mississippi hereby acknowledges the fact of her identity as a principally Christian and quintessentially Southern state, in terms of the majority of her population, character, culture, history, and heritage, from 1817 to the present; accordingly, the Holy Bible is acknowledged as a foremost source of her founding principles, inspiration, and virtues; and, accordingly, prayer is acknowledged as a respected, meaningful, and valuable custom of her citizens. The acknowledgments hereby secured shall not be construed to transgress either the national or the state Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

It failed to get the required 110,000 signatures that time around. However, the way things are going, it may return.

For instance, in that same year, (2014) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas statedthat in his view the First Amendment religion clauses don’t apply to the states in the first place.

Most legal experts would argue that the return of state religions is very unlikely. However, most legal experts did not foresee SCOTUS’s ruling that corporations are the equivalent of people.

There is currently one vacant position on the Supreme Court with the likelihood of at least a couple more in the next few years. One more reason to vote for the Democratic nominee in November. The last thing we need are two or three more Clarence Thomases on the bench. And if a Republican wins the White House, that’s probably what we would get!