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Pondering the latest attack on Christians.

christians under attackNot very long into the press coverage of the terrible tragedy in Oregon, the interview with the father of one of the survivors brought up the possibility that the gunman may have asked some of the victims if they were Christian. (I believe that has now been pretty much confirmed.) The “media” as the folks on Fox and Rush like to call them, reported that information but did not editorialize on it. Of course, Fox et al immediately used that fact to bolster their construct that Christianity is under attack in America (it is not as far as I can surmise from reading both responsible conservative and responsible progressive sources). (more…)

Facebook Timeout

Well, folks, I have just had enough of Facebook for a while.

F2F Conversation MatterAlthough it used to be fun to keep up with the doings of my friends, things have deteriorated to the point the majority of postings, mine included, have become political, or even worse, ideological and extremist. Our nation, and my Facebook friends who reflect that, has become so polarized and proselytizing that my stress levels have greatly increased. I have learned that when you take on a Facebook friend, you also get their friends, and their friend’s friends. I have a fairly wide diversity of Facebook friends and as the friends of friends get added in, the vitriol just becomes too much.

The only option seems to be unfriending those with a conservative bent, even if (more…)

EPA’s mine spill?

Mine drainage near Silverton Colorado

2014 – mine drainage near Silverton Colorado

One of my friends posted on Facebook, justifiably upset over the very recent spill of hazardous water from an abandoned mine tailings pond. In part, she was upset with EPA. I understand her frustration.

But I have to speak up in defense of the EPA. [Self-disclosure: For 25 years, beginning with the passage of the legislation creating the EPA and the Clean Water Act, I was an active (more…)

Carrying for Our Warriors

purple heartI am leery of most charities that advertise on TV – just too many horror stories about misuse of funds by the directors/founders and extremely high percentage of funds going to professional solicitors. In the last few years, I have become especially concerned about the rise of veteran-related charities.

First, I am ashamed that our country, given the billions of dollars that flow to the military contractors year after year, cannot find the will to properly care for our warriors, wounded or not. It sickens me to watch the Republican dominated Congress and Senate belittle the appropriateness of funding veteran services. Instead, they prefer to rely on the private sector and faith-based organizations to do the job our government should be doing. All the while funneling billions of dollars back to the military-industrial complex that pay huge portions of their election funding.

Why must our veterans rely on charity? (more…)

Hoist with his own petard

marijuana-300x297I have been amused by the situation the republican “leadership” finds themselves in with respect to the recent move by Washington D.C. to legalize recreational personal use of marijuana. Now, please do not misunderstand me; I have no strong feelings about this specific issue, probably because I have no personal interest in using pot (though I do have strong feelings about the devastating impacts of long prison terms for those caught with pot while we look the other way at financial criminals who raped the economy and destroyed so many lives). As you may know, last November the voters of D.C. overwhelmingly (70+% voted for the measure) voted to allow limited possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 or older. It is important to know that the new law is carefully structured so as to not violate any federal laws currently on the books. But you might guess the reaction from the conservative right: they are outraged. And they are stumbling over themselves trying to get on camera blasting the decision by DC, threatening dire consequences if DC’s mayor tries to implement the new law without their approval. “We would encourage the Congress to not be so concerned with overturning what 7-in-10 voters said should be the law in the District of Columbia,” Mayor Bowser responded at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. Doesn’t this sound just a bit like the rhetoric used by Judge Roy Moore and his ilk when threatening to “nullify” federal laws giving same sex couples the right to marry?   (more…)