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  • By Hemant Mehta

    What is it with Oklahoma legislators and their obsession with the Ten Commandments?

    After a years-long battle — which they lost — over a monument outside the Capitol building, State Rep. Joh […]

    • I have found this:

      “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on
      the Christian religion.” —John Adams

      I think I have read many times (at Dawkins and Sagan books, I think they were talking about Jefferson and Paine, etc.) that “founding fathers” of America were not religious and didn’t founded America upon religion.
      I shiver every time when I hear “christian nation”, “chatolic state”, “islam state” … . All same rhetoric of nationalism, dehumanization, primitivism, establishing of malignant power over citizens and people in general, horror,…

    • @OP – What is it with Oklahoma legislators and their obsession with the Ten Commandments?

      We should remember the first and “great” commandment (translated into honest reality)!

      My god-delusion commands me to promote its status, standing, and memetic spreading, over that of all living things, and over all rational thinking – regardless of the interests of humans, communities, laws, or ethics!
      Thus speaketh the master and commander of my indoctrinated brain!

    • There are of course other translatable commandments operating in the US!

      .2. Thou shalt not laugh at ridiculous god myths, or think critically about preached dogmas.

      .3. Remember to turn up one day a week to purge reasoned thought from your mind, and to listen to patronising preachers disparaging honest information and non-believers in their absence.

      .4. Honour the political establishment, so your working days may be long to keep the wealthy elite in luxury.

      .5. Thou shalt not kill – unless some deluded government wants to test out new weapons on some military adventure in a foreign land.

      .6. Thou shalt be sexually repressed, and have your sex-life dominated and dictated by theocrats.

      .7. Thou shalt not steal – unless thou art an elite rogue trader, mega-church televangelist, corporate executive, quack medicine salesman, paid lobbyist, sponsored politician, or banker!

      .8. Thou shalt not bear false witness – unless thou needest “alternative facts” to promote your god-delusion, YEC preaching, personal enrichment, political ideology, or denial of legal or constitutional requirements!

      .9./10. As commanded by TV advertising, – Thou shalt covert thy neighbour’s mansion, wife, car, servants, and life style, and work long hours in poor conditions for the elite who have these, – (led by the delusional propagandist media con, that such honest work could achieve this sort of wealth and conspicuous consumption of resources).

      And the one missing from Catholic Commandment lists and the OP:


      .11. Thou shalt promote god-delusions and commercial products, with graven images on ecclesiastical buildings, stone tablets, advertising hoardings and television.

      Perhaps a print out of these “commandments” could be attached to any erections politicians put on public land!

    • Perhaps a print out of these “commandments” could be attached to any
      erections politicians put on public land!

      I would love to see these translations directly beneath each commandment. A nice little dose of honesty!

    • Modesti

      One of the great humorists of his time. Carlin was more than fun; he told the truth.

      “This country was founded by slaveowners who wanted to be free.”

      I share your horror of nationalism, and the phrase ‘Christian nation”; but if it is presented in certain contexts that characterization does have some validity.

    • Western civilization was Christian for most of its time. Do you really think you can cancel this within some years of so-called “modernization” and atheist propaganda? You atheists are utopians. Look at history: once I debated with my atheist father about religion. He became excited and said that all wars had a religious background. I asked him what World War II had to do with religion? Hitler and Stalin were both atheist, the worst murderers and liars of all time.

    • This is an answer to Alan4discussion whose comment was deleted…

      Hitler also made propaganda with the third Reich, which had a Christian background in that it refers to the Holy Trinity. Does it matter? No, because what counts is his personal beliefs and purposes, which was undeniably atheist. I mean his intention was not to build a nation based on Christian values. Quite the contrary. His hatred against Jews was based on hatred against religion. He also persecuted Christians.

      The Japaneses had a god-emperor just as Nero and other Roman emperors took themselves for gods. What has this to do with Christianity? Maybe I was not clear enough: when I debated with my father it was about the Christian religion. I am not as naive as to say that everything that happened during Christianity was ethical. It is well known that humans make errors, so also Christians. The question is whether atheists can create a better world as they pretend? Definitely not because every time a ruler attempted to do this he miserably failed. Look at national socialism, communism, etc. And I am sure that someone will again try it and lead the world into an unprecedented chaos.

    • Web Hopper

      Western civilization was Christian for most of its time.

      That the Christian religion played a big role in Western civilization is undeniable. What we need to consider is what are the good results and what are the bad results of this. There are plenty of disastrous actions perpetrated by all sorts of Christians in our history. What’s wanted here is an account that is as historically objective as we can achieve. What is the value in just stating what is presented in red above? It gives no valuable information and leaves one with the impression that you’re going for a slam dunk rhetorical win for the purpose of furthering some sort of personal agenda.

      Do you really think you can cancel this within some years of so-called “modernization” and atheist propaganda?

      If it was my personal goal to “cancel this” I’d be pretty discouraged at this point. What would it take to cancel this? I suppose the first thing to be done to achieve a cancellation of this historic reality would be to order a massive worldwide book burning event. Also delete every mention of it off the internet. You see where I’m going with this. It’s ridiculous.

      I have no authority to speak for all atheists, it’s not possible to do so, but I’ll take a stab at it and say that atheists would appreciate a truthful and objective analysis of historical events in the interest of discovering and understanding the role of all religions in the course of history. What did it do right? Where did it go horribly wrong? How can we do things better? The whitewashing of history is not an atheist thing, is it? If you think so then consider presenting some examples. Also, what are some examples of “atheist propaganda?”

      Hitler and Stalin were both atheist, the worst murderers and liars of all time.

      This has been discussed here many times and when stated by those who are hostile to atheism, stands as an example of a statement that is parroted by those with little understanding of the actual motivations of both Hitler and Stalin. There is no direct line of motivation from Atheism to mass murder. Lack of a belief in supernatural deities couldn’t possibly drive atheists to mass murder and hate. If you disagree with this please feel free to explain how that could happen. Otherwise, stop just repeating these ridiculous simplistic statements just because they are convenient in your hostile view of the atheist community.

      I feel sorry for your atheist father. If he’s alive, please direct him to this website. It seems he may be in need of a compassionate community for the validation he lacks at home.

    • Lack of a belief in supernatural deities couldn’t possibly drive atheists to mass murder and hate. If you disagree with this please feel free to explain how that could happen.

      As a Christian, I could explain you my point of view about this, but it will not convince you since it is a Christian point of view, which you do not agree upon. It is build on a logic you reject. So I only tell you to look at history that’s all.

    • Web Hopper #10
      Feb 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      This is an answer to Alan4discussion whose comment was deleted…

      It has not been deleted. It has just been set aside by the anti-spam system for moderation of the link to NAZI_-Christian artefacts. It has now reappeared.

      Hitler also made propaganda with the third Reich, which had a Christian background in that it refers to the Holy Trinity. Does it matter? No, because what counts is his personal beliefs and purposes, which was undeniably atheist.

      He was always a Catholic, but may well be CALLED an atheist by those applying the “No True Scotsman fallacy” to the more evil Christians they wish to disown!

      I mean his intention was not to build a nation based on Christian values.

      His intension – being proclaimed “the “New Luther by his propagandists” was to create a Christian based NAZI Reich Church.

      The link on my earlier comment when it reappears, will show numerous NAZI-Christian medals and other artefacts.

      Quite the contrary.

      Not at all! Many Christians went along with NAZI ideology.
      Even before Hitler ,Germany had “Got Mit-Uns” on soldiers belt buckles, and later under Hitler “Gott Mit Uns (God With Us) Nazi Buckle” with a swastika!

      His hatred against Jews was based on hatred against religion.

      As did the anti-Semitic Christian churches of the 1930s.

      He also persecuted Christians.

      . . . . Later when those Christians disagreed with him and when he no longer needed them to help him achieve power!

      The Japaneses had a god-emperor just as Nero and other Roman emperors took themselves for gods.
      What has this to do with Christianity?

      Nothing! – But it had a lot to do with religion – which is the word you used in your earlier post @#7!

    • Ok, I agree the matter is complex. Maybe you want to read this Wiki article:
      Religious views of Adolf Hitler
      Stalin and communism are more representative for a militant atheism.

    • Web Hopper #16
      Feb 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Read this:
      Religious views of Adolf Hitler

      @ your wiki link – Raised by an anti-clerical father[4] and practising Catholic mother, Hitler was baptised and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church as a boy. Though he was sometimes critical of its teachings in adulthood, did not join in its rites, and planned a “reckoning” with the Church when politics allowed, he was still a member at the time of his suicide.[5][6] During his political career, Hitler said he supported Christianity in public speeches.[7][8][9] He sometimes made the claim in private statements,[10][11] though confidants like Goebbels and Bormann noted the reverse, and there is a consensus among historians that he became hostile to religion, mainly Christianity, at some point during adulthood.

      Anti-clerical does not mean atheist.
      Your link shows that he was a Catholic – and a lying Catholic who used Christianity for his own purposes. He became hostile to religion when it came into conflict with his purposes and his ideology, although some churches supported him.

      The Deutsche Christen (German Christians) were a German Protestantism movement aligned towards antisemetic principles of Nazism.
      The DC were sympathetic to Hitler’s goal of uniting the individual Protestant churches into a single Reich church.
      The DC was first formed in 1931 and the flag was flown during marches and demonstrations.
      (See my link @#8)
      This has NOTHING to do with atheism!
      Hostility to other people’s religions by fanatical believers in their own versions of gods, is nothing new!
      Historically – Crusades have been fought over such issues!

    • Web Hopper #16
      Feb 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Stalin and communism are more representative for a militant atheism.

      Stalin is representative of militant Communism which was unsurprisingly anti Christian, – given the the church supported the Czar in trying to put down the revolution, and had supported the aristocracy while it abused and oppressed the people!

      Stalin purged atheists just like he purged everyone else!

    • Dan:

      …and the phrase ‘Christian nation”;
      but if it is presented in certain contexts that characterization does
      have some validity.

      Dan, I don’t understand. Can you tell me what do you mean? 🙂 … Did you mean that it is actually reality and in some contexts one can only agree with it? 🙂

    • Loved everithing Alan (and other atheists said hahaha) and this from LaurieB:

      Lack of a belief in supernatural deities couldn’t possibly drive
      atheists to mass murder and hate. If you disagree with this please
      feel free to explain how that could happen. Otherwise, stop just
      repeating these ridiculous simplistic statements just because they are
      convenient in your hostile view of the atheist community.

    • @Modesti #19

      Dan, I don’t understand. Can you tell me what do you mean?

      Maybe he was referring to the demographics: about 70% of Americans claim to be Christian.

    • Vicki #22

      Yes I supose so… that is why I wrote that “…that it is actually reality…” I supose he was refering to that fact (reality). 🙂

    • Web Hopper #16

      Stalin and Communism are more representative for a militant atheism.

      Why?

      Stalin was a tyrant.
      Communism as practised in the Soviet Union was a totalitarian regime.

      If you were to remove the persecution of religion from both Stalin and Soviet Communism, you’d still be left with a tyrant and a totalitarian regime.

      In fact, you only need look at pre-Revolution Russia – a country in which Orthodox Christianity held great power and influence – to see that militant atheism is by no means a prerequisite for tyranny. The structures and expectations of tyrannical power formed the backdrop of that country for many centuries before Communism and Stalin and atheism came along. Indeed, there has been no shortage of tyrannical religious regimes and movements over the ages, and not just non-Christian ones either.

      It is an unfortunate feature of the debate about religion vs atheism that there is a tendency to try to view everything through its lens. Totalitarian regimes have espoused both religious and anti-religious philosophies and policies and so, if we’re seeking to identify the underlying causes of tyranny and totalitarianism, there is little point atheists simply pointing at religion or religious people simply pointing at atheism. The truth is, the causes of tyranny are very much more complex and multifaceted than that, and in any case, tyrants will work with what they’ve got.

      Nor is it meaningful to cite numbers of people killed by the different forms of tyranny over the ages, as though that revealed anything about the relative malevolence of religious vs anti-religious regimes, since at different times and in different places tyrants (whether religious or anti-religious) have had different numbers of people in their power and different technological means of controlling/persecuting them – and consequently different numbers of victims.

      But I think your comment at #10 shows you’re not suggesting that tyranny always requires militant atheism; but rather, that militant atheism must always result in tyranny. If you’re being fair, though, I think you need to acknowledge that any militant regime will result in tyranny for its citizens (think Franco, Salazar, Pinochet; consider, too, that Robert Mugabe is a devout Roman Catholic who has been made welcome at the Vatican).

      The problem is a regime based on militancy, of whatever kind.

      And here I think fairness demands that we be careful about our vocabulary. The term “militant” has a broad spectrum of meanings, ranging from “enthusiastic and assertive” to “violent and bellicose” – which are not at all the same thing.

      Religious people often call atheists “militant” for no stronger reason than that the atheists in question have dared to challenge religious claims or the role of religion in society. In effect, “militant” becomes another term for “non-silent”. I have certainly encountered “enthusiastic and assertive” atheists, but so far, I’m glad to say, none who have been “violent and bellicose”. If I were to encounter this latter group, I would agree that I wouldn’t want them running my country, but that would be because they were “violent and bellicose”, not because they were atheist.

      But all this is in any case not really relevant to the article in the OP, which isn’t about atheism, militant or otherwise, but simply about secularism – which is not synonymous with atheism but simply means that the government of a country should be quite separate from religion: not hostile to it, but not promoting it either. Simply viewing religion as a private matter for citizens rather than a public matter for the state. The vast majority of atheists, however “militant” in the sense of “enthusiastic and assertive”, would be in favour of a secular state, not an atheist one.

      The USA has a secular constitution. This means it is unconstitutional for a state-funded school to display the Ten Commandments, since these are inherently religious. Indeed, not even just religious, but specific to Judaism/Christianity/Islam. The point of a secular state is that it is there on equal terms for all – Jews, Protestant Christians, Catholic Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists and anyone else, regardless of their religious beliefs. And therefore cannot promote any one religion, or family of religions, above any other.

      The freedom to practise a religion is far greater and more secure for followers of any and all religions in an avowedly secular state than it would be for a Christian in an avowedly Islamic state, or a Muslim in an avowedly Christian state, or (although atheism is not a religion, but rather a stance on religion) for an atheist in any theocratic state. (NB. The Soviet Union was not a secular state: it did not take a neutral stance on religion.)

    • @7

      Hitler and Stalin were both atheist, the worst murderers and liars of all time.

      Wars are invariably caused by dogma, whether religious or otherwise. Nazism, Marxism, Christianity, Imperialism – all are dogmas and all have caused wars and been responsible for countless deaths and suffering.

      To date I have never heard of a war started in the name of free-thinking.

    • 22, 23

      Modesti (Vicki)

      I don’t know exactly what I meant, to be honest…. I think I meant that there are a lot of Christians or so-called Christians in this country; and religion and heritage has become intertwined with a sense of (national) identity. Being Christian is part of their culture (whatever that means). I am not suggesting that Christians are more American than anyone else. I think that there are quite a few White Anglo-Saxon Christians and Southerners, unfortunately, who do feel that way, who feel that this is “their country.” That’s ridiculous, of course.

      I wish Trump and that guy Miller, and Bannon, would leave us all alone. I’m embarrassed to be an American. Watching the news as I write. A bunch of fear-mongering liars.

    • Dan #26:

      You know I do not really understand this people need to be labled. This need to be part of a herd in order to have some identity. I don’t know…perhaps they do not have identity and dignity as an individual and it is safer to belong to a group. Like: “oh super, I have found this group of nation lovers and now I now who am I”. Is it possible that people are so scared of every day life and future that they do not want individuality? I presume that feeling of “being safe” is fundamental for anyone, but it is horrible when those who find safeness in herd are enable to stand someone elses freedom in such degree that they are willing to “kill” you and that freedom. To deprive individuality of others who do not belong to their herd? I know that govenments fuels that fears. They like their citizens to feel scared as much is possible…than they can offer salvation, right?

    • It is clear to anybody with a brain, that religion has lost a lot of it’s power in western Europe, but it is still pernicious in it’s grip over quite a substantial number of 21st century people. Even in Britain we still allow parents to hack bits off baby boys in a iron-age blood sacrifice to the Abrahamic / Islamic god delusion. I still find this quite alarming! The moment when mankind looks to the stars with one mind is the day we can look beyond our primitive past! I don’t live in hope though, far too many small minded morons clinging to their bronze age “culture”. No concessions to the feeble minded! To cede that all ideas are equal is the biggest folly of todays liberal mind-set.

    • Modesti (others)

      I found this passage:

      “The nationalist is by definition an ignoramus,” the Yugoslav writer Danilo Kis said. “Nationalism is the line of least resistance, the easy way. The nationalist is untroubled, he knows or thinks he knows what his values are, his, that’s to say national, that’s to say the values of the nation he belongs to, ethical and political; he is not interested in others, they are no concern of his, hell—it’s other people (other nations, another tribe). They don’t even need investigating. The nationalist sees other people in his own images—as nationalists.”

      Btw, someone I know made what I thought was a good point a few days ago. When Trump’s senior adviser says that thousands of illegal voters affected the election and that crime is getting worse and that the “media’ is fake, then these people are engaging in nothing short of “Domestic Terrorism”! Yes! Bull’e eye. We are in the hands of domestic terrorists, trying to disseminate fear, mislead the country, and generate confusion. Why won’t CNN call it like it is?

    • While the bill talks broadly about posting “historically significant documents,” there’s no doubt that’s just a cover for the Decalogue. -OP

      The religious right is always trying to trick the public. They are using, in this instance, “historical significance” as a pretext to propagate religion, and to try undermine the establishment clause and to weaken the separation of church and state. They know that the constitution is not on their side, so they have to resort to subterfuge, a trojan horse. These people…

      “Hell is other people.”—Sartre

    • @M27Holtz #28

      Even in Britain we still allow parents to hack bits off baby boys in
      a iron-age blood sacrifice to the Abrahamic / Islamic god delusion.

      I had my son circumcised when he was born, but not for any ritualistic reasons. I heard it was healthier, and so far the data backs me up on that.

      http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/08/27/159955340/pediatricians-decide-boys-are-better-off-circumcised-than-not

    • Wonderful passage from Danilo. 🙂 Nationalism … the easy way. Yes. Concur with domestic terrorism…the media are especially involved in that terrorism by not addressing the subject more seriously. Avoiding the true meaning of things. Evil is always accompanied with lies…it is main characteristic of evil. As long as media will cover lies evil will flourish. Unfortunately most of the people think that lies, avoiding, pretences are not something important. Perhaps they will understand it when it will be too late,…when that domestic terror take them away choices and freedom. ” Hell is other people” …yes… good old projection. 🙁 Evil always see itself (or represent itself) as a victim. And a bible is so full of that ‘sublime sacrifice’. Horrible, horrible. 🙁

    • Modesti

      Sociopaths always represent themselves and those they are loyal to as victims. I watched an interview with Kellyanne Conway, one of the most dangerous and loathsome human beings I have ever had the displeasure of listening to. She wouldn’t answer any of Jake Tapper’s questions about Trump’s lies and kept portraying him as a victim. And she’s a top adviser. Pathetic. Classic display of sociopathic defensiveness.

      These people are evil. Horrible situation.

      -Dan-ilo (Nice nickname.)

      P.S. “Hell is other people.” I was being ironic; I am a non-believer. I’ll phrase it another way: if there is no God, then there in no Devil; so how do you explain the recalcitrance, determination, and utter malevolence of Trump’s team? (It really does seem at times like they are minions, being controlled by something….)

    • @Vicki #31

      the data backs me up on that

      Thanks for the link. It did outline both sides of this particular debate, which is good. Personally, I’m unconvinced at the verdict. Setting it up there with vaccination – as one doctor did – seems to be pushing an agenda.

      I’m reminded of “more doctors smoke Camels” type endorsements.

      But then we’re biased. Me and my foreskin, that is.

    • Kellyanne’s a propagandist, is dangerous. But she’s not as dangerous as Stephen Miller, senior adviser to the President.

      Miller just said: “the authority of the President must not be questioned.” Those are the words of a fascist; and don’t kid yourselves that it isn’t.

    • I am just looking at this interview with this Mrs. Conway (con – way hahaha). I struggle a bit with language because they speak so fast. Anyway, when he talks about terrorist attacks that are not being reported… how does he know about attacks if they were not recorded? Other attacks not being covered? One should wonder why doesn’t he says what are exactly those attacks. Clearly, he is an terrorist with an agenda against journalists. She came to this white house to serve she says. hahaha … a minion indeed. She thinks only because Trump is now president journalists shouldn’t question him and his actions… she said that journalist are not showing him respect. She thinks that he deserves respect only because he is now president? Evrybody should now stop asking him to be responsible and bow down to a Führer? But that is what servants do and how they think. He has to earn respect.

      Oh, I interpreted that “Hell is others” means that in the head of an evil person, hell and evil ones are always other people and never themselves. They are unable to see evil in themselves so they see it everywhere else (in others) … like a projection. Yes, those people in Trump teams are like minions haha. They have this blind respect and obediance toward authority (Führer) perhaps because it gives them identity and spine which they do not have in the first place. And that it gives them a sence of power (over someone; …which is sick because that is what psychopats need) . I don’t know. Just thinking…

    • Dan #33
      Feb 13, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      P.S. “Hell is other people.” I was being ironic;
      I am a non-believer. I’ll phrase it another way:
      if there is no God, then there in no Devil;
      so how do you explain the recalcitrance, determination, and utter malevolence of Trump’s team?

      God-delusions – Demon-delusions?????
      If the “fuhrer” is a worshipped god-figurehead – why can’t his disciples obey their demon-delusions, which demand that life is a repressive Hell for other people???

      Dan #35
      Feb 13, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      Miller just said: “the authority of the President must not be questioned.” Those are the words of a fascist;

      “Saint” Mother Teresa had this “repressive Hell”, off to a fine art, with her “experiencing the suffering of Jesus doctrine”! !

    • Dan #33

      I’ll phrase it another way: if there is no God, then there is no
      Devil; so how do you explain the recalcitrance, determination, and
      utter malevolence of Trump’s team?

      Well, colour me controversial but I’d hazard a guess that the fields of psychology, psychiatry and sociology will prove more fruitful in this endeavour than a headlong rush to embrace supernatural explanations … 😉

    • Marco,

      …no God, then there is no Devil; so how do you explain…

      I haven’t (yet) lost it completely; I was just extending my “hell” metaphor, and adding a wee bit of poetry and irony – to spice up my expressions of abhorrence of these frightful people.

      Modesti, that’s a good point: Ms. Conway has come to Serve! An apostate from the depths of fiery Hell!

      Your interpretation of the phrase that everyone associates with Sartre’s No Exit, is a fine one.

    • Dan,

      Feeling slightly better today after the notorious Flynn was drop kicked into oblivion. One down – several more to go…

      The press are after them like bloodhounds now. What a goddamned circus.

    • Laurie

      Yup. Their loss is our gain. I hate that arrogant nazi guy Miller. He looks and sounds like a nazi! Did you see him on Sunday? And why doesn’t Trump get rid of the notorious Bannon, that deranged pseudo-intellectual? A bunch of truly nefarious people. That Dr. Price fellow is awful, the new H&HS guy. He was asked about women and birth control and got annoyed, said something about how important it is to protect religious liberty.

      Trump has his head up his ass. I’m going to turn on the fake news now. (Kidding; it’s not all fake. Maddow was good last night. Starting to hate Chris Mathews.)

      Have a good day.

    • I’m watching “fake news” MSNBC now. I’m relieved that numerous dems are calling for complete investigation all the way to the top. Trump is screwed. Don’t tell me he isn’t in it up to his neck and Pence is no innocent angel either, the hypocrite.

      I missed Maddow last night but what’s the problem with Matthews? I always find him to be a formidable interviewer. Aggravates me by molly coddling the Catholic church and so do Mica and Joe on Morning Joe. eye roll. whatever.

      There’s a White House briefing coming up in a few minutes. This will be very interesting.

    • P.S. I love this. Watching some leading Democrats now talking about an independent investigation, and how spineless the Republicans are; for the most part; they appear indifferent to Russian interference and are stonewalling.

      Now Trump is going to know what Hillary went through! The shoe’s on the other foot now. But what Hillary did was nothing. She’s a fine public servant (imo), and never put our security at risk, not deliberately. This is something. This whole Russia thing really is a threat to national security.

      I love justice. I don’t want to say too much too soon, but this doesn’t look good for the new administration.

      Flynn calls himself a scapegoat. What a dirtbag.

      Spicer’s coming up soon. Hahaha

    • I used to think Mathews was okay. But ever since Trump was elected he’s become wishy-washy. He doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore. I find him annoying now. He is no longer formidable; he has lost his edge. I think he’s either scared or showing his true corporate senile-conservative colors now.

      Micah is the biggest jackass on TV bar none. Can’t stand her. She rolls her eyes and pouts, is a prop, says nothing, cares about nothing, seemed happy when Trump won.

      Press conference was more of the same: BS.

      Btw, Laurie, it was a trust issue. Got it? A trust issue. Not a legal issue, a trust issue, trust issue. It was not a legal issue; it was a trust issue.

    • Dan
      re: Mica – Can you blame her? Joe is incorrigible!

      Trust issues. Right. I might have a few myself. Thanks a lot Dan! You’ve sent me scurrying right back into therapy!

      Kidding. I’ve never been in therapy. Probably should have though.

      At least something to add that is somewhat on topic – apparently Devos the delusional mind slave has been touring around to get some idea of what her top level government job might entail, ~eye roll~ and Trump has commended her for being tough through the difficult proceedings. Apparently they discussed public schools, charter schools, private schools and homeschooling!! Here we go. Fundamentalists LOVE homeschooling so that they can control what is somewhat learned and definitely what is conveniently ignored. Don’t even tell me that taxpayer money will support homeschooling!!! Don’t go there! Why are they even talking about this at highest government levels? Tell me I’m being paranoid please.

    • Laurie

      Did you see the press conference with Spicer? “Trust issue.” I hope you got my joke. He kept saying that.

      (Do you really have trust issues? Okay, you need in-depth psychoanalysis, on the couch, five days a week!)

      McConnell doesn’t want an independent investigation!

      My crazy stepsister home-schooled her kids, and that freak is a born again Christian. You’re right; fundamentalists love homeschooling. Charter schools = glorified home-schooling.

      (Personal remark: my mother took a very bad fall on the ice. She’s hobbling around now. The good news is thats she does weight lifting, takes good care of herself, has strong bones. Nothing broken.)

    • Alan,

      Breaking news: Trump is ordering an internal investigation into the white-house leaks that led to the exposure of Flynn.

      But he and his party are dead against an independent investigation into Russia’s interference in the election.

      It’s positively infuriating!

      And inspiring….

      It’s the theater of the absurd, comedy, surrealism, realism, drama, and last but not least, tragedy, all rolled into one. What a play it would make!

    • What sort of disciplinary action could be taken against Conway?

      Dan,
      I saw Spicer. Yes I got it!

      A fall at our moms’ age frightens me. Broken hips etc.

      Next dismal failure for Trump will be his visit with Netanyahu coming up soon. Trump intends to solve the Palestinian problem. Right. Press will discover them wrestling on the carpet in the oval office with Netanyahu stuck in a headlock under the coffee table. Trump diplomacy. Next month a thousand more settlements appear out of nowhere in the occupied territories. Same old story.

    • A4D

      The book was better. Even more telling was the follow-up book, The Final Days. It was full of minutiae and a bit lumbering, but reading about Nixon crumbling psychologically was somehow satisfying. His entire cabinet grew increasingly frantic as the walls closed in. Ah, the reporting team of “Woodstein.”

      The investigation(s) need to be independent. The Republicans can try to put it off, but it would be better for the country if it was sooner rather than later.

      Dan

      The next few weeks will be pretty interesting. Will it be history repeating itself, as in Nixon’s fall? Or life imitating art, as in Shakespeare’s soothsayer warning Caesar to beware the Ides of March?

    • @#15 – Mein Kampf (1925-1926)
      Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew,
      I am fighting for the work of the Lord. (p. 65)

      Reflecting on my earlier comment, and the allegeged “benefits to societies of religions”, – this could equally well have been written by a Palestinian jihadist up-holding the same “commandments” in the struggles with Zionists in last few decades!

    • Vicki,

      I didn’t see read the book. How could it be better than the movie? Redford and Hoffman! Two greats. (I’ve met Bernstein.) I look like a young Redford.

      I don’t know what’ll happen. I think Trump is, in some ways, far worse than Nixon. He’s blaming the media again for Flynn’s fate, and is upset about leaks; but loves leaks when they benefit him.

      Maybe “Putingate” will be his undoing.

      I hate Netanyahu and Trump’s a complete ignoramus, a beast.

      Alan, Palestinian jihadists? That sounds like Breitbart-style propaganda. (Unworthy of you.) Why conflate the two and create false equivalents? Israel has been the victimizer, and has committed many atrocities, many human rights violations, and has violated international law. The brutal and legally invalid occupation is the issue, must end. There are not two sides to this issue, in my opinion.

    • Alan

      P.S. Are there Palestinian jihadists? Yeah. Were there some black slaves that wanted to wipe out all whites? Probably. But the underlying problem was slavery, not those slaves. Not the best analogy, but you see my point (I hope); I’m sure there were religious Jews living in the Ghettos, in Nazi Germany, who wanted to wipe out the Germans, etc.

      Sorry I said you sounded like a Breitbart guy.

    • Dan #54
      Feb 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Alan, Palestinian jihadists? That sounds like Breitbart-style propaganda. (Unworthy of you.)

      Not really! – Such people exist!

      I did not say all Palestinian fighters ARE jihadists, – merely that some of them are!

      Why conflate the two and create false equivalents? Israel has been the victimizer, and has committed many atrocities, many human rights violations, and has violated international law.

      The point I was making, was about the conflicts religion creates, and the atrocities its conflicting god-delusions inspire. – Even when working from (roughly) the same god’s “holy texts and commandments”!

      Both the Zionists and the Muslim Palestinians claim their god is on their side! – along with meddling foreign Christians, further complicating the difficulties!

    • Dan

      How could it be better than the movie?

      The books are always better than the movies, with one exception: The Exorcist.

      I look like a young Redford.

      Lol, I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

    • Alan4discussion #53
      Feb 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Trump has made a whole string of careless impetuous executive orders, bypassing the Congress and the Senate, so it is perhaps no surprise that even the Republicans are starting to reign in his activities, as one after another emerges as an incompetent calamity in an incredibly short time!!

      The wheels are really falling off in incredibly short order. Less than a month in and it’s a continual stream of clusterF**s. Trump is clearly incapable of changing or moderating his behaviour which I’m sure stems from his narcissistic personality disorder which means he doesn’t believe that the rules other people have to abide by ever apply to him. However he’s not smart enough to be discrete. His tweet ranting about confidential information about Russian contacts being leaked surely implies that those leaks are true. His team was apparently in “constant” contact with Russian intelligence throughout the election campaign and it’s inconceivable that this was without his knowledge and in fact no doubt at his bidding. FBI director Comey still chose to keep quiet about all this though while feeling it essential to break the rule about not commenting on ongoing investigations when it came to Hillary. Absolutely disgusting.

      Obama could have stopped Trump’s campaign dead in its tracks with this if he hadn’t been so sure Hillary was going to win anyway. A massive blunder which has had appalling consequences for America and the world.

      Puzder dropping out now makes that the 4th Trump pick I think to have been proven to be a terrible choice although that description seems to fit all of them. However even the most die hard Trump supporters can’t ignore all of this surely. The Repubs in congress aren’t anyway. They’re looking like startled chickens with a fox in the hen house. They have no idea what to do or how bad the carnage is going to be.

      I think Trump will implode in the end. He’s totally out of his depth, lurching from one catastrophe to another, a poster child for Dunning-Kruger, total incompetence driven by massive ego. There doesn’t even appear to be any need to give him more rope because he keeps grabbing it unaided.

      Several months ago I made a comment that if the intelligence community and foreign governments felt they couldn’t reveal anything confidential to Trump in case it went straight to Putin that we might end up with a two tier government. The White House being bypassed due to lack of trust and a shadow government actually running things behind the scenes. That now appears to be coming to pass. It seems Trump received sensitive info over dinner in public at Mar-a-Lago with people holding up unsecure cellphones as torches so he could read it in front of them. Even the Republicans can’t ignore it any longer and although they’re trying to put a brave face on things in public they are apparently admitting their real feelings in private.

    • Alan

      The point I was making, was about the conflicts religion creates, and the atrocities its conflicting god-delusions inspire.

      I can’t argue with that, but I do take issue with this:

      Both the Zionists and the Muslim Palestinians claim their god is on their side!

      When you say “the Zionists” you are implying that they are all religious. They aren’t. Far from it. Zionism is a nationalistic, right-wing movement. It is distorted, inaccurate, and simplistic to portray Zionism as a religiously inspired movement only. They use religion for political gain, try to blur the distinction between Judaism and Zionism. Many Israeli Zionists are simply racists and nationalists, and do not have a religious bone in their body. A lot has been written about this.

      The Muslim Palestinians claim that God is on their side.

      First you say “some”, and then you say “The Muslim Palestinians” which implies all. Are the children and people, the families, in the occupied territories, who are just human beings like you and me, and who are suffering and trying to live, to survive, and who are being brutalized, and not “fighting” even, making that claim? Sorry if I’ve misunderstood you.

      Vicki,

      The worst film adaptation I’ve ever seen was Moby Dick, with Gregory Peck (who I also resemble).

    • Arkrid

      Pence is being portrayed as an innocent victim of Flynn’s bad judgement and deception. You buying it?

    • Dan

      Did you see the Netanyahu/Trump press conference? Very depressing.

    • Arkrid,

      Nothing is worse than Hillary lying about her health, when she was clearly at death’s door.

      There was tremendous interference with the election, from what I’ve heard. More than most people know. The Russians infiltrated the internet and furnished fake news stories. They are old hands at that kind of thing, and hired “trolls”, etc. The health-issue story was probably of Russian origin. Comey tipped the scale. All the polling indicates that that was a decisive turning-point. They were all working together, I think. But only an independent investigation will prove it. Or at least a well managed investigation w/ no conflicts of interest. Sessions cannot be involved. The Repubs don’t want an investigation, and it’s interesting that Putin took Obama’s sanctions very calmly. Uncharacteristic of him.

      I think they should do the election over. Unprecedented but necessary.

      They were all over Hillary, a good and capable public servant, because she didn’t tell anyone about her frigging pneumonia and the emails that didn’t affect our national security, and was certainly not a deliberate attempt to undermine it.

      Maybe people will respect Hillary more now, and will see the irony and the justice in his undoing due to real “crookedness”.

      Complete and utter hypocrisy. Hillary is not “crooked”; he is. (She made some mistakes. Granted.)

      As I said above, Trump et al are blaming the media again for Flynn’s exposure, and are upset about leaks; but they love leaks when they benefit them. This CANnot go on.

      Laurie, were my remarks to Alan (above) too harsh? off base? (You don’t have to read them.) Yes, I saw the conference. Depressing. Almost funny. Trump knows about as much about that issue as I do about physics. (But I fake it better.)

    • Arkrid (others)

      P.S. Had it not been for the leaks Flynn would never have been let go!!

      Not clear about your two-tier theory.

    • Dan #59
      Feb 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Both the Zionists and the Muslim Palestinians claim their god is on their side!

      When you say “the Zionists” you are implying that they are all religious.

      Their claim is based on biblical literacy of a land promised by their god.

      They aren’t. Far from it. Zionism is a nationalistic, right-wing movement. It is distorted, inaccurate, and simplistic to portray Zionism as a religiously inspired movement only.

      Whether they honestly believe this, or simply cynically use it to facilitate theft of land, it is nevertheless a, OT. religion based claim.

      They use religion for political gain, try to blur the distinction between Judaism and Zionism.

      Most minor groups of religious fundamentalists and extremists use the wider population of more moderate fellow believers as a pretend inclusive smoke-screen.

      The Muslim Palestinians claim that God is on their side.

      First you say “some”, and then you say “The Muslim Palestinians” which implies all.

      Yes. At first I refer to the fanatics – the suicide bombers etc. – but in such situations populations are polarised into “sides” by armed militias, which take an, “if you are not with us you are against us”, view.
      In these lawless situations, anyone openly neutral, is likely to be shot at by both sides or accused of being an undercover traitor!

      It is religiously tribal. (Thou shalt not kill/steal from, members of your own tribe – anybody else is fair game!)

      were my remarks to Alan (above) too harsh? off base?

      Don’t worry about it.
      I have a good nature and a thick skin – hardened in politics by people who make malicious attacks rather than misunderstood criticisms!

    • Dan

      I don’t think you were harsh. A4d can hold his own! These terms and positions are very important to clarify. I’m sick of being accused of being an anti-semite just because I’m critical of zionism. Sick of being shut up with an insult/ignorance like that. The whole thing is one big land grab with religion dragged in around the edges whenever they can find the opportunity to do so.

      I can’t believe the blundering ignorance of Trump at that press conference today. Very frightening. He blithely blabbers on about how a one state solution would be fine with him. Oh, whatever the Israelis and Palestinians want is fine with me…blah…blah… As if the Palestinians have one word to say about anything. ~snort~
      And he’s thinking fondly of moving the embassy to Jerusalem. Ho-hum, no big deal…blah…blah…

      Holy shit. Run for your life! Head for the hills!! This guy is gonna get us killed.

      Trump just made every extremist on both sides of the problem very excited today. Not good.

    • Maria Melo #65,

      “So Hitler was troubled in a similar way than a messianic religion is…”

      Interesting phrase. The great (late) historian George Mosse goes into the religious-ritualistic aspect of fascism at great length, in his book The Fascist Revolution, where he describes fascism as a political liturgy.

      (This book is considered by many scholars be one of the most important works on fascism ever written.)

    • @Alan #50

      More like a prequel to this one:

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

      Idiocracy (2006)

      Private Joe Bauers, the definition of “average American”, is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes five centuries in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed down that he’s easily the most intelligent person alive.

      .. check out the future President. Usually sci-fi underestimates the time needed for the imagined future to arrive. In this case they seem to have badly over-estimated. 10 years, not 500.

    • Alan,

      There are non-religious aspects of the Zionist movement, as this article makes clear. This subject really needs to be studied. It is complex.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zionism

    • LaurieB #60
      Feb 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Arkrid

      Pence is being portrayed as an innocent victim of Flynn’s bad judgement and deception. You buying it?

      Pence is keeping such a low profile it’s hard to know what he’s up to. His stance during the campaign was always anti Russia and I think his main agenda is purely religious based – homosexuality, abortion etc. I doubt he actually agrees on much with Trump but he’s swallowed whatever pride and morals he might have had to grab his moment in the spotlight. While he was endorsing Ted Cruz early last year he called Trump’s talk about a Muslim ban offensive and unconstitutional. I doubt he was even consulted about the Executive Order and I suspect he’s just being used as a convenient excuse to justify Flynn’s resignation to avoid Trump having to say he had any involvement.

      The intelligence agencies have now said they can confirm that parts of the MI6 guy’s Russian dossier are true, at least in terms of some conversations between foreign nationals which do seem to have taken place as described in it. Whether enough additional verification will come out in the end to hang Trump with it I tend to doubt although I’m quite sure Trump is up to his eyeballs in the whole thing and I’ve stated my views on what Trump and Putin have planned together at length in here previously. I just think there’s so much pressure on the issue at the moment that Trump can’t go ahead with lifting sanctions yet and getting Tillerson out there.

      I suspect Trump wants Pence as far out of every loop as possible and he’ll be pretty much a non-entity for the next four years. In fact I wonder sometimes if Pence is the source of some of the constant White House leaks in the hope that he’ll end up as President if Trump gets impeached.

    • At a press conference with Netanyahu yesterday Trump was asked a question about the rise in anti-semitic incidents in the USA since his election. All he had to say was we’re going to do everything in our power to prevent anti-semitism in any form – next question. However his response was bizarre to the point you have to wonder what’s going on inside the head of someone like this. He started rambling about the size of his electoral college win although perhaps we can be glad he didn’t mention the size of his crowds again. It’s reminiscent of the “stream of consciousness” ramblings that Sarah Palin used to spew out when she didn’t know the answer to a simple question. However I think it goes to show Trump’s obsessions and they seem to be mainly about “ratings” in his own little internal game show world. I wonder how he’s coping with the fact that every new poll shows his popularity continuing to plummet as he fills his cabinet with deplorables and gets humiliated by Mexico and then China when he tries to bully them. His ego and NPD illness will be trying desperately to maintain the internal illusion he’s the greatest person who ever lived but reality will be inexorably chipping away at this. I wonder if an actual breakdown will eventually result.

      http://time.com/4672402/donald-trump-anti-semitism-netanyahu/

      The scene: A joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An Israeli reporter asked a straightforward question about “a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States” since his election. Here’s how Trump responded:

      Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory that we had — 316 electoral college votes. We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221, but then they said there’s no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there. I will say that we are going to have peace in this country. We are going to stop crime in this country. We are going to do everything within our power to stop long simmering racism and every other thing that’s going on. There’s a lot of bad things that have been taking place over a long period of time. I think one of the reasons I won the election is we have a very, very divided nation, very divided. And hopefully, I’ll be able to do something about that. And I, you know, it was something that was very important to me. As far as people, Jewish people, so many friends; a daughter who happens to be here right now; a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren. I think that you’re going to see a lot different United States of America over the next three, four or eight years. I think a lot of good things are happening. And you’re going to see a lot of love. You’re going to see a lot of love. OK? Thank you.

    • Something I meant to comment on earlier but forgot. After Trump’s embarrassing 19 second handshake with Japanese PM Abe, Rachel Maddow showed a montage of Trump handshakes on film and they’re very bizarre. He tends to yank the person’s hand right in to his own body so as to pull them off balance and dominate them. It may be involuntary but it’s an insight into the strange compulsions raging inside him, his insecurity and need to control everything and everyone.

    • Arkrid #79

      There’s an animation of “the Trump handshake” on imgur: https://twitter.com/imgur/status/832019054365806592

      It’s very funny to watch, but goodness, yes, you’re so right – talk about involuntary signalling!

    • Arkrid

      “His [Pence’s] stance during the campaign was always anti Russia and I think his main agenda is purely religious based.”

      Too simple. It’s not just religious based. I for one will never fully understand the American far-Right; but there are other elements: why do they all (including “Christian” Pence) support the free market? Why do they support abolishing the ACA, etc.? Why are so may libertarians racists? (This is supported by history.) It’s about greed, power, exploitation, and private profit; there is a twisted ideological vision. Religion plays a role, and is one element among others.

      Maria, the “rites and rituals” associated with National Socialism (fascism) has a religious (mystical) component. That was all I was saying, and I thought that that’s what you were hinting at. The concept of “Destiny”, by the way, which I think you mentioned, is part of the language and ideology of fascism – and Christianity.

      Thanks for the info re Himmler, although I could have lived without it.

      Was the führer an atheist? religious? Who cares? Maybe he was a bit of both depending on the time of day. I think he just used whatever he could, borrowed whatever he could, to mislead and control people, to organize, to gain mass support.

      Soviet Communism (after Lenin), had many difficult and burdensome and tyrannical elements to it. (Some socialists scholars view it as a stage.) In any case, one mustn’t conflate “communism” with dictatorship and Utopianism. That is a very common impulse. It suggests an obscenely simple view, one held by most right wing capitalists and other prejudiced people. (Some scholars spend their lives studying Marx and Trotsky; you can’t just say that “communism” is bad, or that it one thing and one thing only.)

      I think Hegel did a lot of damage with his principle that Germany was the center of civilization and with his ridiculous notion that History was unfolding and would someday reach its goal: an ultimate and final fruition of some kind. That’s an illusion, a lie, it’s mythologizing.

    • Watching Trump’s press conference. He’s mentally unstable, out of control.

    • Dan #83
      Feb 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Watching Trump’s press conference. He’s mentally unstable, out of control.

      Mental health professionals are keeping quiet no longer despite the so called Goldwater Rule prohibiting the evaluation of public figures.

      Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).

      In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.

    • Hi, Maria,

      I hate it too when people relate atheism and evil. It’s so dishonest.

      I think I was conflating communism with socialism. I am democratic socialist, like Sanders (I think). Confession: I don’t know that much about communism. But I know one thing: it isn’t the same thing as fascism. A lot of people think it is, and that is just wrong.

      “In any case, one mustn’t conflate ‘communism’ with dictatorship and Utopianism. That is a very common impulse. It suggests an obscenely simple view…”

      I don’t think your views on this issue are obscenely simple. I’m sorry. Shouldn’t have said that. That wasn’t nice or fair.

    • Those with religious delusions, assume that a non-believer, would rape the person, or steal the old person’s money, because the invisible friend they have watching them every minute of the day, is ignored, thus the non-believer is free from “their” morality? What complete balderdash! If you need the threat of “hell” to stop you perpetrating serious crime, I would suggest that you need to see a psychiatrist to sort out the problems you have with your barely controlled need to commit crime.

    • Dan #64
      Feb 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Arkrid

      Not clear about your two-tier theory.

      Well it seems to be happening. I can’t remember the words of my original analysis which is buried in here somewhere from long ago but I feared that sensitive intelligence might have to bypass Trump when he got into office and go to trusted people in Congress such as McCain and Schumer who might be able to act on it behind the scenes without sending it straight to Putin.

      http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/some-intelligence-officials-dont-trust-trump-sensitive-info

      This is being reported from multiple sources now. The “constant” communications between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which we now know about but didn’t when I wrote the original piece only reinforce my opinion that I was correct.

    • Symbolism, a beautiful thing in poetry and art and in life, can be both beautiful and dangerous (ugly). It depends on context.

      Libertarians (free market and religious fundamentalists ) point to the statue of liberty and the flame and say
      “liberty for all” while they support discrimination based on “religious freedom”, and while they remove regulations for their own personal financial gain, at the expense of the all-important environment, and at the expense of the rights of animals (humans included) to live, to exist, and to thrive.

      Everything is context. Beware of how symbols and words are being used – especially the beautiful (potent) ones. And ask yourself who is using them and what the hidden agenda, if any, there might be.

    • Dan #90
      Feb 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Libertarians (free market and religious fundamentalists )
      point to the statue of liberty and the flame and say
      “liberty for all”

      while they support discrimination based on “religious freedom”, and while they remove regulations for their own personal financial gain,
      at the expense of the all-important environment,
      and at the expense of the rights of animals (humans included) to live, to exist, and to thrive.

      There was a joke – perhaps turning ironical under the Trump administration –
      That the statue of Liberty was on an off-shore island –
      awaiting immigration clearance before being let into the USA!

    • Maria

      Schopenhauer, a philosopher par excellence, referred to “ministerial” Hegel’s ideas as “castles of abstraction,” and accused him of using deliberately impressive but ultimately vacuous verbiage.

      Hegel (a charlatan) viewed the Prussian state of his day as perfect and the goal of all history up until then.

      As I said above, I think Hegel did a lot of damage with his principle that Germany was the center of civilization and with his ridiculous notion that History was unfolding and would someday (necessarily) reach its goal: an ultimate and final fruition of some kind. No. That is a groundless assertion.

    • maria melo #97
      Feb 19, 2017 at 9:13 am

      I had a last comment, edited it several times, but it desapeared, I didn´t delete it, so where is it?

      When due to my rubbish typing, or late additional thoughts, I edit several times, my posts disappear for moderation, but re-appear later.

    • All comments should now have been restored.

      The mods