Monday, October 5, 2015

Week of 10/05/2015

Return of The Still More Quick Thoughts
So here we are once again with a lot to talk about and having a hard time just picking one subject to focus on.
Let’s start off with...
Davis And The Pope –Kim Davis strikes again!  The Rowan County clerk managed to get a private audience with Pope Francis when he paid Washington a visit this past week.  Of course, she didn’t secure the meeting herself.  Her attorney did, who just happens to be the head of the bible-thumping Liberty Council.  You know, the high-powered religious law firm created by the late Jerry Falwell (which is why they don’t pay taxes).  No big surprise, then, that after the pope left, he made a passing comment that government officials should be able to refuse to do things that go against their beliefs.
Now, of course, the Vatican is back-peddling the Pope’s clandestine meeting.  They’re saying that the Pope visiting with Davis shouldn’t be treated as an endorsement or support over what she was doing that resulted in her being sent to jail.
Oh come on guys!  You know that’s precisely what Davis and her high-powered attorney were looking for!  They wanted that illusion that even the most “liberal” leader of the Holy See was on her side in violating the Constitution of the United States of America and her oath of office.  They didn’t even wait for the Vatican to announce the visit!  They were boasting that the Pope met with Davis and supposedly told her to “stay strong”.  It was a PR stunt.
If I had to speculate, I’d guess that Pope Francis wasn’t even told the details of what Davis did that caused her to go to jail for five days.  He was probably told that she was being jailed “for her beliefs” and not for either doing her job or allowing anyone else in “her office” to do that job as per the Constitution.  And that’s following the script that Matt Staver and Davis and the other thumpers have been trying to shove down our throats on the subject.
I’ll make it simple, guys.  Remember the saying “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” in the New Testament?  That was designed to be a test; a way to get Jesus arrested for speaking out against the government.  He supposedly resolved that by saying “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and render unto God that which is God’s”.
So let’s get brutally honest here... in America, marriage is Caesar’s, not God’s.  Yes, it was traditionally a matter of church, but now it’s owned and controlled by the state.  It is a government endorsed legal status with rights and privileges and a tax status all its own.  And you can thank your race-hating conservative Southern predecessors for that, because making marriage a matter of state and not church was a way for them to carry out their supposedly “God-given” right to discriminate after the Civil War.  That is, until those “damned lib-ur-ul courts” stepped in a century or so ago and said that was still unconstitutional.  I’m talking about the discrimination part, that is; not the part about making marriages a matter of Caesar.
So again, Ms. Davis, if you can’t do your job as a part of Caesar, then you need to resign from Caesar.
Speaking of the Pope – I just need to get this out there.  I know it’s going to piss off the Catholics, including those at my alma matter of Saint Anselm College, but it really needs to be said.
The pope is not infallible.
There, I said it!
The pope is a man chosen by other men to carry out the role of leading the Roman Catholic Church.  As much as the Catholics would like to say that decision was guided by some higher power, it’s still the decision of very mortal and very fallible men.  Likewise, when Pope Francis speaks, he’s not channeling some higher power with every syllable uttered – unlike some bible-thumping ministers that claim to be God’s exclusive spokespeople or proclaim a certain presidential wannabe to be “God’s Anointed Candidate”.  Pope Francis is mortal and fallible.  He can only explain things how he sees them through his experiences and understandings.
So when he’s talking about poverty and charity and humility, he’s talking about how he sees things from his perspective.  We know what “The Book” says about it, and while his immediate predecessors have hedged on those subjects, Francis isn’t afraid to speak out on them and criticize his own house for not living up to that book.  When he says “who am I to judge” when it comes to same-sex relations but still doesn’t care for same-sex marriages, he’s again speaking from his own views.
And it is funny that the cons and neo-cons love to use a book that they claim is their sole source of inspiration when it talks about things that these same cons and neo-cons then condemn as being “socialistic”.  Or, like Bill Maher sometimes says in his comedic bits on HBO, maybe they do have their own version of “The Bible” that the rest of us don’t know about.
DeKalb’s Embarrassment – DeKalb County has a serious problem.  That problem is DeKalb County.
The much-awaited “official report” about corruption in DeKalb County is out, and saying that it is “rotten to the core” is putting it mildly.  The immediate recommendation from the two “outside” investigators that conducted this report is that the interim CEO and a good portion of the county commissioners need to resign. 
Of course I said “interim CEO” because the actual CEO for the county is a convicted criminal who only has his job until the appeals process has been exhausted... in a few years.  You see, that is how corrupt the county is.  Even convicted criminals get to keep their jobs!
Bear in mind that the report they gave wasn’t even a complete accounting of the corruption going on there.  Not long after the investigators began doing their work, that same interim CEO cut off the scope of their inquiries.  So what you see in the report, with all of the sordid details of expenses and hotel pay-per-view porn purchases, is apparently the tip of the corruption iceberg.
What the county really needs is a complete wash of the government.  Everyone there gets removed and they can’t run for their jobs again for five years.  But I guess that would make too much sense, wouldn’t it?
Then again, this is what you, the mindless DeKalb County residents, voted for time and time again.  And you’ll vote for it again this coming November, simply because it’s an “off-off” election.
Georgia’s Execution – Georgia solved the problem of having only one woman on Death Row by finally executing her for her crimes.  Kelly Gissendander was put to death for masterminding the murder of her husband by her boyfriend.  During the eighteen years of delays and appeals, she claimed that she reformed, that she learned the error of her ways and became a minister for other female prisoners.
There’s just one problem... this is someone who manipulated others into doing her bidding.  She was convicted and sentenced to death for doing just that.  No, she didn’t actually carry out the murder, but she supposedly talked her boyfriend into committing it, she provided the instruments, verified the deed was done, and aided in the disposal of the body and covering it up.  And supposedly she even tried to have witnesses injured and others commit perjury to secure her possible acquittal.  She was a manipulator.  And there is no way that you can ever trust someone like that.  No matter how many times she could claim to be changed, she could never really be trusted in her sincerity.
Besides, her “salvation” didn’t bring her husband back to life.
Enough With The Kardashian Klones! – I’m serious about this.  I am sick and tired of hearing about Kim Kardashian and her sisters and all of the knock-off Kardashian wannabes who think they can replace them!
I’m also sick and tired about TV personalities and Facebook posts that talk about how “so-and-so is the same age as (insert Kardashian/Jenner name here) and this person celebrated her birthday differently from (insert Kardashian/Jenner name here) and yet nobody cares about her like they do for (insert Kardashian/Jenner name here).”  No, of course they don’t!  Because the Clan Kardashian do what they do to generate money, and “so-and-so” doesn’t.  The person that you think should be more important than the Clan Kardshian doesn’t spend their time building a brand out of nothing but their name and their looks and then market that brand for the sake of the brand.  And that’s what it is, folks.  It’s all about marketing a brand.
By the way, if you really think that your wannabe should replace Kim Kardashian, then that wannabe needs to either release a sex tape and/or pose for Playboy Magazine.  That’s what it took to create the whole mess in the first place, so if your wannabe doesn’t want to step up, then you need to shut up.
Oh, and Kardashian never could “break the Internet”, so what makes you think a wannabe ever could?
Speaking of which...
Enough With The Body Shame/Anti-Shame! – I am equally sick and tired of hearing about both body-shamers and the efforts to supposedly “silence” the body-shamers.
It’s bad enough that the body-shamers are bitching and whining and wailing and bitching and whining some more about fictional comic book characters and how they appear in comic books.  Now you have the “anti-shame” crowd, who seem to make it their mission in life to “shame” the body-shamers by showing off their own bodies.
Demi Lovato was the latest in this “anti-shame” craze by posing naked in Vanity Fair without make-up or supposedly any photo retouching.
Except... I’m sorry, but I’m not impressed by it.  And I’m usually one of the first ones to defend the female form!
Maybe because, like a lot of the other photoshoots being pushed by the “anti-shame” crowd, there’s still a lot being held back.
Listen, there are a group of women called “Suicide Girls”.  They’re far from perfect.  They have tattoos and piercings and weirdly-colored hair.  And yet they have no qualms showing what they have and showing that they can still be beautiful.  They do a far better job of defeating the body-shame crowd, and yet you don’t hear too much about them. 
I wonder why that is.
How Many, Apple? – Here’s a little strange tidbit... does anyone know how successful those Apple watches are?  Only Apple does, and apparently they’re really not talking right now.  Strange, given how they boast about their other products and how many people mindlessly wait in line for them the moment they are released.
Maybe that explains why they’re spreading their watches to more than just their own branded stores.  Apple watches are going to Target and Best Buy so more people can buy them.  They’re doubling down on the watches, which isn’t that bad of an idea.  I wish Microsoft would do the same thing about the cellphones they bought from Nokia.
Water On Mars And Pluto Is Back! – So the big news from NASA is that there’s flowing water on Mars!  And this comes not long after one of our exploration satellites did a fly-by past the non-planet Pluto and took the best images to date of the non-planet and its moons.
So of course this leads some newspaper commentators to ask why we can’t go back into space.  Why do we need Russia’s help to get to the International Space Station?  What happened to us and our quest to get out there?
I’ll tell you what happened.  Our government stuck a lily-livered bureaucrat in charge of NASA who decided that America doesn’t need to spend money to put humans in space, just keep launching satellites and robots.  By the time we put some real leaders in charge of that agency, the shuttles were already being scrapped and we were left bumming rides off other nations.
And it doesn’t help that NASA gets its funding from a political faction that hates science and campaigns on anti-intellectual platforms.  A faction that relies on the electorate being mindlessly stupid so they won’t question their decisions.
Oh, by the way, whatever anyone does, don’t let the people in California know that Mars has water.  They might want to claim it before Haliburton can.
More Fear And Fear-Mongering – So some young guy with a chip on his shoulder and a lot of firepower shows up at a college that he doesn’t attend and goes on a rampage.  Here we go again...
“This wouldn’t happen if more people had guns.”
“This is proof that Christians are being murdered by haters!  We’re being persecuted and executed!”
“Why can’t we just lock these people away so they won’t come after us?”
And now we have the arrest of four young people for a plot to storm their own high school in Summerville, California to carry out their own shooting spree.
And if there is any way to wrap all of what I’ve just talked about up, this is it...
Everyone keeps on asking “why” when in truth they really don’t want to know the answer. 
The young man that can get his hands on guns and ammunition does so because it’s a whole lot easier to do than to get legitimate help for his problem.  It’s easier to dismiss the person with the problem than to reach out to them.  It’s easier to just say “pick yourself up by your bootstraps, because we all have bad days and we just have to deal with them” than to understand that your definition of “bad days” have no basis to the reality of that person’s average day.
It’s easier for us to fixate on the body image of others than to reach out to someone that could use a friend.  We’d rather fixate on getting the latest Apple product, or find out the nonsense of some prefabricated commercialized hype, than to say hello to a neighbor.
We’d rather listen to fear and keep ourselves ignorant than to really figure out why these kinds of problems go on.  The truth is that we let ourselves down every time one of these incidents happen, and as long as we fail to see the problem for what it is, we only set ourselves up for the next incident to happen.

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