Four Weeks In

Number 42 of a series

politics-trumpbelievefoxnews

The drip goes on. I’m over half way through. Daniel Dale, with the Washington bureau of The Star, compiled a list of 80 fabrications by the Snowflake-in-Chief, all during the first four weeks of the new administration. Here is number 42:

42. Feb. 5, 2017 — Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly

The claim about his travel ban: “I think it was very smooth. We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travellers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully … General Kelly — who’s now Secretary Kelly — he said he totally knew, he was aware of it, and it was very smooth. It was 109 people.”

In fact: The implementation of the ban was anything but smooth — it produced confusion in foreign countries, in America and even within Trump’s own government — and it affected far more than 109 people. A lawyer for the Trump administration said in court that 100,000 people had their visas revoked; Homeland Security officials announced that 721 people had been denied boarding at airports; thousands more were left uncertain about their status or were forced to change plans. Trump’s press secretary has clarified that the 109 figure refers solely to “the initial group of people that were in transit at the time the executive order was signed” — which is not even close to the total number of people impacted.

La de da de da, indeed! Here is the dictionary definition of fact-deprivation. How long can he keep this up? Better yet, how long am I going to keep this up?

Until there is no skin left.

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Friday Funny

One of a series

The above photo was posed for me by a professional actor, who signed a release to allow me to use the image. But it illustrates this week’s case of the funny criminal:

Burglar leaves cellphone at scene, authorities say

August 1, 2014|By Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel

Forgetfulness landed a burglar behind bars, police say.

After Wayne Wade, 46, broke into a Hollywood home, he left his cellphone on the victim’s bed, they say.

When Wade called to retrieve it, a police officer on scene heard it ringing and answered. Wade told the cop his name and said he needed his phone back, according to a police report a judge read from in court.

Fingerprint evidence from the phone has tied Wade to five other burglaries, Broward County Judge John “Jay” Hurley said.

Funny for us. Not so much so for Wayne. Check back next Friday for more.

Heart Of Dumbness

Third in a Series

I previously posted a truncated review of Ray Comfort’s book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think. That skeleton review only covered Ray Comfort’s views on science, which turned out to be amusing. His views on religion are no less so, and this concerns additional aspects of his views.

In his book, Comfort launches into a chapter devoted to creationism, as opposed to modern science. Chapter One has the title “Creation Must Have a Creator.” Following that are six more chapters dealing with Comforts views on morality, faith, and the Bible. Chapter Two deals with human conscience and its implication for the divinity of Jesus. The title is “Our Conscience Testifies to a Creator And Our Need For a Savior.” It’s worth a look. An example of Comfort’s thinking is exhibited throughout the book, and the following paragraph illustrates:

The same Creator Who gave us all of this to enjoy clearly wanted true abundance for us—not mere survival. He loves us. An impersonal force like evolution, if real, would have left us sitting on that bare rock, because it wouldn’t care about us beyond mere survival. But God does, and He proved it when He gave us this incredible planet to inhabit. The evidence of His existence and of His love is all around us. And, as mentioned in the last chapter, even atheists will have no excuse for denying Him on the Day of Judgment.

Comfort, Ray. You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics (Kindle Locations 633-637). WND Books. Kindle Edition.

Take the following: “The same Creator Who gave us all of this to enjoy clearly wanted true abundance for us—not mere survival.”

First, Comfort opens with the premise of the existence of a creator, he capitalizes the word, and he imbue’s the creator with a love for humanity and a desire that people enjoy the world and all that the creator provides. That would partially explain the story of the Flood of Noah, wherein all but a few people were killed, and it would also help us understand the horrible existence experienced by a large part of the human population. Barring that, let’s give Comfort the benefit that he made prior attempts to justify his premise. What’s more?

Take the next: “He loves us. An impersonal force like evolution, if real, would have left us sitting on that bare rock, because it wouldn’t care about us beyond mere survival.”

In truth, an “impersonal force like evolution” requires a habitable world before anything like human beings can develop. All indications are that the human species developed on the very large continent of Africa, which even today offers an abundance of environmental possibilities. Times appeared to have been difficult for the early human population, considered to have reached a low point of about 10,000 individuals about three million years ago. A blog post in Why Evolution is True gives an account. Following that, some currently resplendent populations dropped to as few as 1200 individuals 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Comfort clinches his argument with “The evidence of His existence and of His love is all around us. And, as mentioned in the last chapter, even atheists will have no excuse for denying Him on the Day of Judgment.”

There is a lot to be swallowed with this. The evidence for a creator and his love for us (humans) is all around. That’s an argument? If joy of life is evidence “all around us” for love of the creator, then pestilence and misery are evidence for the creator’s disdain for our species. Or evidence for absence of a creator.

Not quite. Comfort plays the obverse side of the coin:

The suffering in the world is due to our living on a planet polluted by sin—not to God’s hatred or neglect.

Comfort, Ray. You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics (Kindle Locations 641-642). WND Books. Kindle Edition.

He says more, but this line is pertinent, and he restates this in different forms in multiple places. Elsewhere, Comfort defines sin, not as doing what is harmful to people, but as going against the creator’s wishes. Reading the entire book is going to give you to understand that living a good life is not the path to redemption. Only the acceptance, completely and without reservation, of Jesus the savior will garner salvation. It’s an idea that will not go over well with the Jews or the Muslims, but Comfort does not press that point, especially regarding the Jews.

But back to another point of Comfort: “[E]ven atheists will have no excuse for denying Him on the Day of Judgment.” Comfort completely misses the point that atheists know there is no “Day Judgment,” and there will be no need to apologize for denying a creator. Comfort’s reasoning is horribly circular, except for those who already believe.

Subsequently in the chapter Comfort gets dangerously close to scientifically verifiable matters:

The conscience is a dilemma for the believer in evolution. He doesn’t know why it exists. Neither do the experts. Why would evolution create something that tells us that it’s wrong to lie, to steal, to kill, and to commit adultery? Was primitive man committing these sins before he evolved a conscience? If he wasn’t, why did the conscience evolve? If he was, why did the conscience evolve?

Comfort, Ray. You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can’t Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics (Kindle Locations 656-659). WND Books. Kindle Edition.

A simple explanation for the development of a “conscience” in human populations is that its existence is beneficial to promotion of the populations containing conscience. People do not willy nilly commit offenses against society, because they are descended from people who have survived in a society that nurtures human life and mutual benefit. My explanation has never been demonstrated to be correct, but it is an explanation derived from reason and not from wishful thinking.

Subsequent chapters of the book exhibit quite the bizarre, and I will touch on those in later posts. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Four Weeks In

Number 41 of a series

politics-trumpuntruethings

The drip goes on. I’m over half way through. Daniel Dale, with the Washington bureau of The Star, compiled a list of 80 fabrications by the Snowflake-in-Chief, all during the first four weeks of the new administration. Here is number 41:

41. Feb. 5, 2017 — Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly

The claim: “I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.”

In fact: This was one of Trump’s most oft-repeated lies of the 2016 campaign, and it has been thoroughly debunked. Trump did not express opposition to the war until 17 months after it began. Asked on radio in 2002 if he supported the looming invasion, he said, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” This was in line with a statement he made in his 2000 book: “If we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion.” A day after the invasion, he said, “It looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint.”

La de da de da, indeed! He is the dictionary definition of fact-deprivation. How long can he keep this up? Better yet, how long am I going to keep this up?

Until there is no skin left.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

Safety should be everybody’s concern. Your personal handgun is the key to your safety in today’s turbulent society. Your right to carry a firearm for protection is guaranteed by the Second Amendment. So, how’s that working our?

Tampa firefighter accidentally shot fiance while in car

– Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputies said Sunday Tampa Firefighter Logan McClain, 29, accidentally shot his fiance while getting his hand gun out of the car’s center console.

Investigators said the 28-year-old victim was shot in the right thigh. She was taken to the hospital with injuries that were described as non-life threatening.

Keep reading. Don’t forget to keep your powder dry.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Snowflake-in-Chief

New game in town

This series is titled Snowflake-in-Chief for a reason. The administration of Donald Trump has been the skowflakeist in recent memory, making for interesting reporting and even more interesting watching. This came up on CNN yesterday. It was a panel discussion hosted by Don Lemon  (CNN) and featuring the following:

  • Ben Ferguson, host of the Ben Ferguson Show (upper left)
  • Angela Rye, former Executive Director Congressional Black Caucus (upper right)
  • Paris Dennard, CNN political commentator—Director of Black Outreach for President George W. Bush (lower left)
  • Symone Sanders, former press sectary for Bernie Sanders (lower right)

What unloaded all this was a back and forth between reporter April Ryan and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. It is not news that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. Ryan was asking a question and was being too persistent. The result is today’s source of humor. From NBC News:

Stop Shaking Your Head’: Sean Spicer Lashes Out at Reporter April Ryan

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer snapped at a female reporter on Tuesday over a question about the administration’s image, telling the veteran White House correspondent to “stop shaking your head” — a snide comment that drew rebuke from Hillary Clinton and several prominent women journalists.

Spicer got into a heated exchange with American Urban Radio Networks’ correspondent April Ryan at the White House press briefing after the reporter asked how President Donald Trump’s administration would work to repair its image.

Ryan followed up with a question about Trump’s meeting with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whom Trump made a vulgar comment about in 2006.

Spicer then accused Ryan of wanting to push an agenda, telling her from the podium to “stop shaking your head.”

“April, hold on, it seems like you’re hell-bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays,” he said.

“I’m sorry, please stop shaking your head again,” he added.

A reporter should stop shaking her head? Good thing Spicer didn’t notice I was shaking my head while I watched this on YouTube. What is equally interesting, maybe more so, was the response of panel members Ferguson and Dennard. Both have a conservative bent, to say the least, and both jumped in to prop up the administration.

Lemon: Paris, I know you want to jump in. He became annoyed [for asking the question], how is he [Trump] going to revamp his image, given the rocky start this administration has had. Is that a reasonable question for her to ask?

Dennard: No, I don’t think it was an unreasonable question to ask, if that had been the only question. I think it was a series of questions, back to back to back, and that she was not giving him a chance to  answer the questions. And oft times what happens is, when you give an answer these journalists do not like, they continue and press and press until they try to get you to answer the way they want you to answer.

Lemon: That’s what a reporter does…

I’m with Lemon on this. I am not a reporter, but when I ask somebody a question, and they make an attempt at evasion, then I get to thinking there’s something more here, and I  press for details—something to back up what the person has just told me. Sometimes I ask peripheral questions, when all the while the question I want to ask is “What did you do with the body?”

At the heart of the matter is Trump’s charge back on 4 March that President Obama ordered wire taps on his (Trump’s) phones in Trump Tower. That has devolved into  multiple (another way of saying unanimous) reports back from the Justice Department that no such order was given, nor could it have been given by a president. That migrated into the matter coming before  the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, headed up by Devin  Nunes, Republican congressman from California and previously a member of the Trump administration transition team. At a point a few days ago Congressman Nunes saw fit to get himself to the White House with the errand of reporting to President Trump that a review of intelligence documents revealed transition team members had been recorded during monitoring by American intelligence agencies. Trump quickly leveraged this revelation into vindication of his original claim, and subsequently Nunes was back on the White House grounds receiving additional information. As a side note, practically all Democrats and some Republicans in the government see these goings on as evidence Nunes has allegiance to the administration and not to the Committee. Under this pressure, Secretary Spicer turned unusually prickly, even for him.

An item appearing in The Week elaborates further:

Ryan was reminding Spicer of all the Russia-related news the White House is dealing with — the scuttled Sally Yates testimony, President Trump’s widely dismissed claims he was wiretapped at Trump Tower, the broader Russia investigation — and Spicer cut it, rejecting the premise. “No, we don’t ‘have’ that,” he said. “I’ve said it from the day that I got here until whenever that there’s not a connection. You’ve got Russia. If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection.”

Nevertheless, Ryan persisted. Spicer selectively insisted that everyone has dismissed reports of Trump-Russia collusion, despite the ongoing FBI investigation, and told Ryan, “I’m sorry that that disgusts you. You’re shaking your head.” He accused her of pursuing an “agenda” and ignoring “facts,” and when she changed subjects to ask about a White House visit by Condoleezza Rice, Spicer accused Ryan of being “hellbent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays,” adding again: “Please, stop shaking your head again.”

Yes, reporter for the American Urban Radio Networks April Ryan, quit shaking your head when the press secretary evades your questions and dresses you down. Ryan recalled her impressions following the briefing:

“I’ve been here for 20 years, since 1997, the second term of Bill Clinton,” Ryan told MSNBC’s Katy Tur afterwards. “We’ve never seen anything like this before. And my question was simple. How do you change the perception problem basically? I don’t know verbatim what I said, but that was the impetus and the crux of my question. And it went off into this Russian dressing, no shaking my head or whatever.”

“I understand what Sean is doing,” Ryan said, “Sean is being the White House press secretary talking about and trying to make this administration look better than what it does right now. Unfortunately, I was roadkill today.”

Ben Ferguson was the other panelist to push back, to defend the administration:

Ferguson: First, he didn’t lash out at her. He defended the White House, and I think there is one thing that the press sometimes does, especially in the White House. They act as if somehow they’re above the average American person, or they’re somehow better than other people, or they’re elitists, or they’re special.

Right. A person, selected by a responsible news organization selects from its cadre a qualified reporter to attend these White House briefings, where often the most critical news affecting the planet gets disclosed. And then these reporters are expected to humble themselves and act like Archie Bunker next door. What does that remind me of? Oh, yes:

A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.

There have been times in the past when a reporter needed to get hard nosed with the President of the United States:

During Richard Nixon‘s presidency, critics accused Rather of biased coverage against him. At a Houston news conference in March 1974, Nixon fielded a question from Rather, still CBS’s White House correspondent, who said, “Thank you, Mr. President. Dan Rather, of CBS News.” The room filled with jeers and applause, prompting Nixon to joke, “Are you running for something?” Rather replied, “No, sir, Mr. President. Are you?” In his question, Rather accused Nixon of not cooperating with the grand jury investigation and the House Judiciary Committee in relation to the Watergate scandal.

Do we need snippy White House Correspondents, such as April Ryan, even today? Especially today. You go, April.

Four Weeks In

Number 40 of a series

politics-trumpdefeatisis

The drip goes on. I’m half way through. Daniel Dale, with the Washington bureau of The Star, compiled a list of 80 fabrications by the Snowflake-in-Chief, all during the first four weeks of the new administration. Here is number 40:

40. Feb. 5, 2017Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly

The claim: “California in many ways is out of control, as you know. Obviously the voters agree, otherwise they wouldn’t have voted for me.”

In fact: It is hard to fact-check nonsense, but this is nonsensical. California governance was not one of the subjects debated during the national campaign, and not even pro-Trump pundits argued that his victory was a reaction against California. Further, Trump was trounced in California voting: 62 per cent for Hillary Clinton to his own 32 per cent.

La de da de da, indeed! He is the dictionary definition of fact-deprivation. How long can he keep this up? Better yet, how long am I going to keep this up?

Until there is no skin left.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

I watched this back in January, courtesy of Amazon Prime Video. I should have saved it for Christmas. But, no. It’s Midnight Clear. If the title sounds familiar, recall this:

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold!
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all gracious King!
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Yes, that’s what this is all about. There is no Wikipedia entry, so I’m getting details from IMDb. The production company is listed as Jenkins Entertainment. My early guess was the setting is Houston, but filming actually took place in Dallas. The scenery just looks Texas, not to mention car license plates. It’s Christmas eve. It’s grim.

This movie is drama as a morality play. We are going to get lessons in life before the 95 minutes run time is up.

The opening scene shows Lefty (Stephen Baldwinabout to lose his job. He’s a demonstrated loser. There must be a badge for demonstrated losers, but Lefty seems to have lost his. He’s sleeping in his car because he’s homeless. A co-worker is coming to wake him and tell him he’s late for work. It’s a good way to keep your demonstrated loser badge.

midnightclear-01

Yes, Lefty does lose his job. Reporting for work he is told by his boss that his days with the company are over. Goodbye. On his way out Lefty steals some stuff from the company and takes it to sell.

midnightclear-02

We meet a host of other characters facing life crises. Here is Kirk (Kirk B.R. Woller). He runs a convenience store/gas station. He has become embittered with life.

midnightclear-03

Here is Eva. Elderly, living alone, planning to  end her life. Her plan to take all her medication at one time is thwarted by the arrival of a visitor.

midnightclear-04

Things get worse for Lefty. His wife has divorced him, and he is unable to get visitation rights for his son. At a meeting with his ex-wife’s lawyer he explains why he is called Lefty. He is actually right-handed, but when he was growing  up his family didn’t have much money, so when  he played baseball he had to borrow his brother’s baseball glove. His brother was left handed and others called him Lefty, because he fielded left handed.

At the meeting he is asked if his current address is still as listed. He attempts to flummox the lawyers by claiming he has just received a promotion at work, but the extra money hasn’t come through yet, so he doesn’t actually have a place to live. That ends the meeting. No court is going to grant visitation if you don’t have a home.

midnightclear-05

Lefty’s next move is typical of him. He goes to a shop across the street from his ex-wife’s house and bums a cell phone from a customer, telling him he has to make an important business call. Then he phones his ex-wife Heather (Faline England) and cusses her out, falsely telling  her that her freaking lawyers screwed him over because she and her dorky boyfriend don’t want him to visit his kid. The shop owner comes out with a baseball bat and forces Lefty to return the phone to its owner.

Mary (Mary Thornton) takes her son Jacob (Dominic Scott Kay) to visit her husband Rick (Kevin Downes). He is in a perpetual care facility, having received irreparable injuries in an automobile accident. He doesn’t speak. Things are grim for Mary.

midnightclear-06

Lefty steals more stuff from his former employer. He trades it for a pistol and some ammunition. His plan to use the gun to rob Kirk is aborted, and he leaves. His plan to kill himself with the pistol is called off, as well.

midnightclear-07

Mary is going to visit relatives for Christmas. Her car encounters trouble, and she pulls in at Kirk’s station. He fixes the car for her. Kirk and Mary get something going.

midnightclear-08

Eva turns out to be Lefty’s mother. They share dinner, and things begin to come together for everybody. Lefty and his mother go to church together.

midnightclear-09

This movie has no great plot. It’s a story of Christian redemption, loaded with syrup. Acting is par for a modern film. Contrast it with standard fare from 70 to 80 years ago. And nobody dies. Watch it when you are feeling down and need a lift.

The Golden Shower

Something interesting

From ABC World News Tonight with David Muir as seen on Hulu

The tale of the Golden Shower grows ever more enticing. Congress investigates connections between  the Trump campaign and the Trump transition with the Russian government of Vladimir Putin. The plot thickens:

The F.B.I. Is Scrutinizing Trump’s Russia Ties. How Will That Work?

Then-candidate Donald Trump would have had ample motive to elicit assistance from the Russians to turn around Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers. If the Russians had information from within the Democratic National Committee that could be used to embarrass Clinton, then so much the better. Comments made by Clinton  campaign manager John Podesta did prove embarrassing, and  they were obtained by cyber sleuth operatives under the pay of the Russians. Putin has an acknowledged disdain for Clinton, and purports to be on friendly terms with Trump:

Don. Don! People are not saying you slept with the guy. But what do you call a relationship? Another video clip elaborates:

 

Interviewer: Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, a conversational relationship, anything that you feel that you have sway…?

Trump: I do have a relationship.

Yes, Donald, that’s what we mean when we say you have a relationship with Vlad the Embalmer. It’s when you say in a news interview that you have a relationship, that’s when you have a relationship. Otherwise you would be a liar, and nobody wants to call you a liar. Yet.

A few days ago President Trump charged that then President Barack Obama had his phone tapped at Trump Tower. So far, nobody, but nobody, besides the President and a gaggle of right wing propagandists, have signed up to this narrative. However, last week, when a review determined that communications between Trump transition members and others to be named turned up in intelligence agency records, many saw this as a vindication of the President’s charges. Devin Nunes, chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which has been assigned to investigate possible Russian collusion, rushed to inform Mr. Trump of this helpful break. With irony that would gag a goat, Nunes assures all that there is still no evidence President Obama had Trump’s phones tapped.

So far, the significance of the dossier prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele, has not entered into the picture. The document, available on-line, includes charges Mr. Trump would find embarrassing, if they were demonstrated to be true. The title for this series of posts derives from some of the language in the Steele dossier.

There’s going to be more of this as the story unrolls. My liberal friends are shocked, shocked! They think Trump should be chased out of office forthwith. They are idiots. Having Donald Trump in office and a daily embarrassment to conservative causes across the spectrum is the best to come along since the Watergate fiasco over 40 years ago. Readers, batten down the hatches and ride this one out.

Four Weeks In

Number 39 of a series

politics-trumpliestotruth

The drip goes on. Daniel Dale, with the Washington bureau of The Star, compiled a list of 80 fabrications by the Snowflake-in-Chief, all during the first four weeks of the new administration. Here is number 39:

39. Feb. 5, 2017 — Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly

The claim about voter fraud: O’Reilly: “So you think you’re gonna be proven correct in that statement (that three million illegal immigrants voted)? Trump: “Well, I think I already have. A lot of people have come out and said that I am correct.”

In fact: Even if Trump is referring here to his broader claim of widespread voter fraud, not specifically the “three million illegal immigrants” claim, he’s still wrong: no credible expert has said Trump is correct. That includes Republican elections officials around the country. That Trump can find some conspiracy theorists to declare him correct does not amount to proof.

La de da de da, indeed! He is the dictionary definition of fact-deprivation. How long can he keep this up? Better yet, how long am I going to keep this up?

Until there is no skin left.