At age 86, my Mom’s short-term memory is not what it used to be. But ask her about being a child in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and she has some pretty harsh memories that give you some sense of how growing up in country that officially deemed your kind as subhuman, can negatively impact a child’s psychosocial development.
Hate hurts. Institutionalized hate is devastating to people of all ages, let alone children. The fact that Jewish children in America in 2014 have to bear witness to this kind of hate for their kind, is depressing.
Did you know that hundreds of boats voluntarily evacuated half a million people from Lower Manhattan on 9/11?
Regardless of whether or not you agree (and for the record much of the time I do,) with Bill Maher’s liberal-tolerant perspective on American politics, he is in fact a religious fanatic in his own right. His religion is atheism and he’s not just adherent, Bill Maher is a high priest of his ‘ism.’ Like all religious zealots, Maher doesn’t miss an opportunity to insult and degrade adherents to other creeds. This brilliant humorous and political pundit who eloquently champions inclusion and human rights in the world of politics, is one of the most judgmental and intolerant people you’ll meet when it comes to religion. In Bill’s literal application of his faith, anyone who believes in any kind of deity is guilty of elevating leprechauns and nursery rhyme characters into divine beings.
What Bill Maher can’t or won’t recognize is that the God that he rejects with such zealotry is probably not the same God most people of faith actually believe in anymore. And that’s yet another common thread between Maher and other religious fanatics: the god that Maher is sure doesn’t exists and that loves to knock is a totally anthropomorphic being who thinks, acts and behaves like an egocentric, emotionally vulnerable bearded wizard in the sky who has the power to control anyone and anything.
Bill Maher will never discuss or acknowledge the monumental reformations of the two oldest monotheistic faiths have undergone over the centuries. To acknowledge that there are today more sophisticated, spiritual, altruistic ideas in Judaism and Christianity about a higher power that inspires us to love and perform acts of human kindness would be antithetical to his literal, antiquated application of atheism. Progressive theologies, inclusive and tolerant religious teachings in organized religion actually subvert Maher’s efforts to paint all people of faith as ignorant, bigoted, fairy-tale believers.
On September 10, 2014, Maher appeared on the Charlie Rose show where he delivered a hateful diatribe about Islam. Maher had no kind words for the second most followed monotheistic religion on Earth: All Muslims men are misogynist; all Muslims believe it is their religious duty to kill all non-Muslims.
No doubt, if Bill Maher had proclaimed similar simplistic defamatory generalizations about Christianity, HBO would cancel his show and he would be a pariah personally and professionally.
If Maher is really so sure that Islam is an evil force in this world, wouldn’t it be more appropriate for him share those convictions in conversation with Muslims who could affirm or challenge his reasoning? Verbally executing someone or some group who cannot defend himself is cowardly. Those of us who are troubled by Maher’s bigoted rant should join in challenging him to have a civil exchange of ideas with one or more educated, thoughtful American citizens who identify with the Islamic faith.
But sadly, when it comes to crucifying religion, Maher like all fanatics has little use for facts and ideas that challenge his personal beliefs. In fact, here’s something to think about: I’m sure that if Bill Maher would promise to stay away from talking politics the folks at Fox Noise would love to have another Islamophobic demagogue on their team of professional agitators.
Why do political conservatives, Republicans, Fox Noise watchers, the Mayor of Bullshit Mountain -Bill O’Reilly, Chief Justice Roberts and friends, all want you to believe that racism in America is history? Because it is history or because it serves their interests, their prejudices, their political agenda to say that it’s not?
And here’s a video of a man found guilty by police for sitting on a bench in a public space. His crime? He ain’t white.
One of the great joys of my life these days is doing volunteer work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) here in Columbus, OH. Whether it’s sitting on the floor of the Clubhouse with a sibling whose parent is visiting with a sick child or walking around the Emergency Department giving out teddy bears to kids experiencing pain and fear, I feel very blessed to be able to assist the medical staff of the hospital with the life-saving work they are engaged in 24/7.
This video accentuates the sacred and important being done by the thousands of people who work in pediatric units and children’s hospitals the world over.
Thank you NCH for the joy and privilege of helping your world-class team do the most important work a person can do.
As you may have heard in the mainstream media, gun instructor Charles Vacca, 39 was accidentally shot today by the 9-year-old girl he was teaching to use a Uzi submachine gun. (She of course needed to learn how to use a machine gun because sooner or later the evil Mexicans with their drugs and diseases or the useless “coloreds” on welfare -or Obama and his anti-American militia are coming for gun loving, Christian Amerikkkans.)
The following meme was found on Vacca’s Facebook page by the sane folks at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The post tells us a bit more about the late gun instructor: He was a homophobe who not surprisingly, had some serious issues when it comes to understanding what it really mean to be confident, masculine man.
Until I read this article in Politico Magazine, I like many, thought that Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry’s indictment sounded more like partisan misuse of power than a legitimate response to malfeasance. After all, how many reasonable people think that the head of a “Public Integrity Unit” deserves to keep her job after being arrested for DUI and is caught on video verbally abusing police officers? From the information much the world outside of Texas had, Rick Perry was simply trying to force an ethically tarnished public servant from office.
This informative article tells us that Rosemary Lehmberg’s arrest gave the Perry administration the perfect cover it was looking for to put the brakes on the watchdog group’s investigation into how the Governor’s office was abusing its powers to in the cause of providing a state grant to a well-connected bio-tech firm.
(reprinted from Politico Magazine 8/21/2014)
Why Liberal Pundits Are Wrong About the Perry Indictment
It’s much more serious than they think. Take it from us—we filed the complaint.
By CRAIG MCDONALD and ANDREW WHEAT August 21, 2014
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/rick-perry-indictment-liberals-110229.html#ixzz3BPtej7fZ
Reading an Austin newspaper on the morning of June 11, 2013, it struck us — then and there — that Texas’ longest-serving governor had broken the law.
A gubernatorial spokesman confirmed in that story that Gov. Rick Perry had threatened to veto $7.5 million in state funds for the Travis County district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned her elected office before the week was out.
Our office soon identified four state felonies applicable to the governor’s actions. They are: abuse of official capacity, coercion of a public servant, official oppression and bribery. We filed a complaint on June 14 with the appropriate authority: Lehmberg’s Public Integrity Unit.
Lehmberg properly recused herself from the matter because of her central role in it. Two months earlier she was arrested for driving drunk—with a bottle of vodka onboard—and for grossly abusing her arresting officers. Once sober, she apologized, pleaded guilty, served 22 days in jail, sought treatment and promised not to run for reelection in 2016. But she refused to resign, which would have allowed the governor to appoint her replacement.
Since a lot of you East Coasters seem confused by the Perry indictment — the New York Times editorial board wrongly called it “the product of an overzealous prosecution” — let’s put it this way: Lehmberg’s bottle of vodka was as much a gift to Texas Republicans as Eliot Spitzer’s libido was to Wall Street. Each of those officials handed their political enemies the instrument of their own destruction.
For at least 10 years, the Texas Republican Party has officially sought to strip Travis County of the public integrity unit, which prosecutes political corruption. In this bright red state, that office remains one of the few significant powers left in Democratic hands.
Last December, the integrity unit secured the indictment of an ex-official from Perry’s state cancer research fund for an improper $11 million state grant to a politically connected biotech firm. Combine the integrity unit’s power with Lehmberg’s drunken outing and it is no wonder that Governor Perry pounced.
The governor rightly argues that he has absolute authority to veto the Public Integrity Unit’s budget. Texas law does not, however, grant him authority to threaten another public official—even one who behaved as wretchedly as Lehmberg did. Notably, we filed our criminal complaint before Perry vetoed Public Integrity funding. After all, it was the governor’s threats—not his veto—that broke Texas law prohibiting an official from using the power of his or her office to coerce another official into taking an action, such as resignation.
What’s more, Perry continued to pressure Lehmberg to resign even after the veto. Official sources cited in media accounts confirm that Perry’s representatives continued to try to induce Lehmberg to resign by promising her a high-paying junior position in her office. That behavior is a potential bribery felony in Texas.
Understandably, Perry’s defenders don’t want to talk about all this: They’d rather replay Lehmberg’s arrest videos and assert Perry’s uncontested veto powers. These good public relations moves ultimately do nothing to address the serious legal charges against him.
The big lie in Perry’s PR playbook is to dismiss these charges as a partisan witch hunt. While there’s no bipartisan love between Perry and Lehmberg, Perry’s indictment has been advanced by Republicans. Recusing herself, Lehmberg referred our complaint to local Democratic Judge Julie Kocurek. Judge Kocurek also stepped aside, forwarding the matter to a Republican Perry appointee: Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield. Stubblefield assigned the case to Republican Judge Bert Richardson in San Antonio. And Judge Richardson appointed Michael McCrum as special prosecutor.
It’s hard to argue that McCrum has a partisan axe to grind. He served as a federal prosecutor under the first President Bush. The second President Bush later nominated McCrum to be a top federal prosecutor — with the backing of Texas GOP Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. If Perry’s indictment really is a partisan witch hunt, then it is one of the Grand Old Party’s making.
Meanwhile, the few people who actually have reviewed the state’s case against Perry paint a radically different picture.
Prosecutor McCrum repeatedly has said that he is disturbed by what he learned in interviewing more than 40 insiders involved in this affair and after reviewing hundreds of pages of documents. McCrum told Texas Lawyer that he believes that there is sufficient evidence against Perry on all four of the criminal charges raised in our complaint. “The charges are very serious,” McCrum said. “There is evidence to support them, and there is nothing political about what happened in my investigation or the grand jury’s deliberations.”
After reviewing the evidence for four months, the grand jury authorized McCrum to charge Perry with two serious felonies — abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, several grand jurors expressed frustration with those who blindly condemn their conclusions without seeing any of the evidence that jurors reviewed. “I think if and when the facts come out,” one said, “that’ll change.”
Texas’ last indictment of a sitting governor occurred in 1917, when Democrats exercised monolithic political power. A Travis County jury indicted Democratic Governor Jim “Pa” Ferguson for vetoing state funding to the University of Texas after its regents refused to fire gubernatorial critics. That indictment was the prelude to Ferguson’s impeachment and resignation.
Although we filed the complaint that triggered the Perry investigation, we don’t know exactly what evidence McCrum amassed for the grand jury. A trial would not only give Governor Perry his day in court but would let the public — and skeptical Beltway pundits — judge for themselves whether McCrum has the goods.