07/19/2013

Blah

Hahahs

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05/17/2013

Breitbart.com editors either cannot read, or their intentions are clearly to willfully deceive. As with Benghazi, this hurts them terribly.

My cousin shared this article from Breitbart with me. It’s about the IRS scandal and how the IRS targeted Tea Party or other “conservative” groups for extra questioning and “intimidation.” From the way it looks, this could be a legitimate scandal for Obama’s administration, and it’s going to have legs according to Rachel Maddow. I’ve personally noticed over the last week that all of a sudden, many GOP and conservative websites had been doing some really good reporting on this. They cite legitimate sources, they use media reports (without all of a sudden talking about how the media is terrible), and they stick to the facts. Honestly, I really started to believe Obama and his administration could be in some serious trouble. If the right wing media doesn’t have to make stuff up to make you look like a criminal, you probably did something wrong.

This is the IRS I grew up with.

But then I read the Breitbart piece my cousin shared. Now, it claims that the New York Times (iknowritetehgraylady!!!!) basically attacks the Obama administration. According to Breitbart, the NYT “in no uncertain terms and with no hedging…reports that the Obama administration was aware of the fact that the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups as far back as June of 2012.” That’s a pretty heavy claim, and knowing the Times as well as I do (I’ll admit that they’re unquestionably liberal and they soft-pedal anything that hurts liberals or progressives when they can get away with it), I was surprised to hear that the Times would go all in against the administration like that. So, I kept reading. In the Breitbart piece (linked above), they say that the Times reported this:

The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

Now, they either misquoted the Times or the Times changed the article (from the looks of my own google searching, the Times may have changed it), but basically, that’s what the Times reported. Basically. Here’s the paragraph they cited and how it reads now.

The inspector general gave Republicans some fodder Friday when he divulged that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel he was auditing the I.R.S.’s screening of politically active groups seeking tax exemptions on June 4, 2012. He told Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly after,” he said. That meant Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

Two problems here with Breitbart’s reporting. One, the paragraph on nytimes.com as of this writing, and even the paragraph Breitbart provides, does not report that the IRS was targeting Tea Party or conservative groups. It says “politically active groups,” which could be anyone from the Tea Party to Planned Parenthood. Claiming that the NYT declared in “no uncertain terms” that the administration knew about the IRS targeting the Tea Party is factually inaccurate, and I all I had to do was read the paragraph they used as evidence.

The second problem here is, let’s say I grant that the administration WAS aware of an investigation into the IRS’s conduct vis a vis Tea Party groups: what does that mean exactly? So the admin was aware of an investigation. If the administration tried to STOP that investigation, then you have a scandal, and a potentially massive one, I would say. But, if someone tells you, “Hey, we’re investigating this thing,” and your response is, “Okay cool. Let me know how it goes,” that’s about as scandalous as a baby farting in church. From the same NYT article Breitbart cited, “Treasury officials stressed they did not know the results until March 2013, when the inspector presented a draft.” So, until two months ago, no one could have known anything about the RESULTS of the investigation—only that an investigation was taking place.

This is a scandal?

SHOPT

This is precisely why, especially with Benghazi, most Americans aren’t responding to GOP and conservative efforts to attack Obama. Obama’s faithful opposition has been trying to destroy him since 2007 (and you could probably say 2004, after he gave his DNC speech) when he first declared his candidacy for president. Ever since then, they’ve thrown everything they possibly can at the guy: where’s the birth certificate, release your college records, Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, he’s a secret Muslim, he’s an atheist, black liberation theology, he’s un-American. None of that has stuck. Obama weathered through it all, and he was able to do so mostly because all of that is either a. complete bullshit or b. the GOP and conservatives overplayed their hands before they had all the information. The Fast and Furious scandal should be have been way bigger news. But, when there have been impeachment talks since about a month after Obama was elected (Maddow NAILS IT here), any real opposition tends to be lumped into the existing nonsense opposition. The incessant outrage and indignance from Obama’s detractors gets dull. People start tuning out. It loses its force.

It’s the boy who cried wolf.

Just like now. The GOP just got dealt a KILLER hand. This IRS scandal is a real problem. It’s a potential game-changer for them in their never ending quest to destroy Obama. And what do they do with it? Rather than sticking to the clearly reported facts, they start to make shit up. Over the last three or four days, I’ve been following this story, and everything the right wing media was claiming seemed legitimate.  And then I read this article from Breitbart, and my eyes roll back into my skull in horror and disgust at the incompetence or dishonesty of it all.

Plain and simple: the New York Times did not say that the Obama adminstration knew of this “scandal” before the election. They knew of an investigation. Investigations ≠ scandals.

I’m not saying the Obama administration isn’t to blame for this: I’d love to see a full investigation into what happened and who knew what. And if there’s any evidence that this is in any way linked to the Obama administration, or if there’s in any way any evidence which shows that Obama or his administration tried to OBSTRUCT the investigation, then well shit. The GOP finally has themselves a legitimate, undeniable Obama scandal. The GOP and conservatives would do very well by themselves to sit back, shut up, let the facts come out, then attack. This could be what they’ve been waiting for since 2007.

But instead, we get Breitbart’s editors either proving themselves illiterate or revealing themselves as dishonest pageview whores. Keep up the good work, conservatives. Watching you shoot yourselves in the foot, pat each other on the back, and blame Obama for your self-inflicted wounds will continue to be entertaining, even if they’re infuriating at the same time.

04/15/2013

The real lessons to be learned from the bombing in Boston.

Some thoughts on bombs.

  1. Bombs don’t kill people. People kill people.
  2. Just think, if any of the runners were carrying bombs, they could have stopped this by defending themselves and others. With their bombs.
  3. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a bomb is a good guy with a bomb.
  4. No one who’s buying a bomb should be forced to undergo a background check.
  5. Limiting the size of bombs will not make anyone safer. You can just set off some more small ones!
  6. Now is not the time to be talking about putting restrictions on the kinds of bombs people can buy.
  7. The government is buying a lot of bombs, so why can’t we?
  8. Oh look. Now Obama’s going to go around and try to take everybody’s bombs away.
  9. These guys really make us responsible bomb owners look bad.
  10. Hollywood and video games are responsible for glorifying bomb violence.
  11. Just remember: bombs in public places which dismember the bodies of eight year old children are all part of God’s plan.
04/14/2013

Politically correct.

It’s gotten to the point where whenever I see the term “politically correct,” I kind of just read it or hear it as “educated.” It’s a really handy tool. Here’s an example.

Someone says, “Things are too politically correct these days.” All I see is, “Things are too educated these days.” See how simple that makes it?

When people complain about things being politically correct, they’re complaining about the nuances of what it’s like to be living in a modern society. They yearn for the days when they could just talk about people as being “wetbacks.” Like Republican Don Young did recently. Young can’t be bothered to learn or understand how terms like “wetback” or “spic” are actually harmful to certain communities—until it threatens their political careers. Then they learn really quickly what other people have learned steadily over the last 50 years:

Language has a force to it, and using it to denigrate entire communities has real world, legitimate social effects. Every time we use words like “wetback” or “spic,” it reinforces the notion that there are “real Americans” with names like Young and “fake” Americans with names like Rodriguez or Gonzales.

This isn’t “political correctness.” It’s education and understanding, and it applies to just about every situation where groups of people are being targeted as homogenous entities. The kind of people who want to lazily talk about “the blacks,” or “Muslims,” or “the gays” as singular groups are the same kind of people who complain about things being “politically correct.” They can’t be bothered to understand the complexities of today’s America, especially the complexities of what it’s like to not be in the majority. And so they lament how other people are forcing them to confront the fact that saying things like “the blacks whatever just need to work harder, then they’ll succeed” has been and continues to be an incredibly stupid way of looking at how a society works. It’s not that simple now, and it never has been.

It used to be okay to respond to women who report rapes as though they were lying or making things up. It used to be okay to look at a woman dressed a certain way and say, “Oh, she deserved it.” It used to be okay to say, “If my son’s gay, I’m sending him away” (my father said this about me once—threatened to send me to Texas when we lived in NY). It used to be okay to call men with earrings “faggots.” (Score another one for my father! He called me that when I put on a fake, magnetic one to judge his reaction.) It used to be okay to compare gays to pedophiles. It used to be okay to say, “Hey look at that successful, talented woman over there. She’s really attractive!” It used to be okay to suggest that the way for women not to become pregnant was to keep an aspirin between their knees. And it used to be okay to say:

“There is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects—certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man.” – Abraham Lincoln

But those things aren’t okay to say anymore, and it’s not because they’re politically incorrect: it’s because they’re staggeringly ignorant and ignore the real inequality that so many people in this country face on an everyday basis.

“Stop being so politically correct.” = “Stop being so educated.”

09/28/2012

Racial Harmony in America.

So, after a long nightmare of having Time Warner cable service, I had finally had enough of channels disappearing, garbled audio, and staticky picture on channels as simple as ABC. I swear to you, and I am not exaggerating, I called Time Warner’s customer service line more often than I called anyone else. It was ALWAYS at the top of my recent calls. They are simply the worst. I don’t know why I toughed it out for so long because I barely watch television, but I did.

But that’s all over now. I canceled the service. Good riddance. I hate them with the power of about a third of the sun.

So, I was left with two choices:

  1. Have no cable television whatsoever and save money.
  2. Get DirecTV.

I was leaning heavily towards having no cable. I’d done it before for around two years. The only drag is not being able to watch live sports on ESPN or SNY or YES or MSG. Was it really worth it to pay for cable just so I can watch something as silly and meaningless as sports?

Well, when you add DirecTV’s Sunday ticket, for free, hell yeah it’s worth it. For signing up for two years, I got a year of Sunday ticket free. Awesome.

So I go online and set up an installation. I only realized afterwards that this might be a problem. My landlord has been renovating both the interior and exterior of the building for about the last three months. It’s endless. Every morning I wake up to the sound of hammers and saws cutting through something. Only now, though, has the exterior of the house finally come close to completion. And now, with DirecTV, I had to ask my landlord if it would be okay for me to bolt a giant dish to his house.

This is kind of what the back of the house looks like now.

It didn’t go well.

He wanted nothing to do with it being on the house. He didn’t mind it being somewhere else, but on the house he just spent months renovating? I completely understood his position, and figured, “Screw it. I don’t need cable.” I called DirecTV to cancel. They told me not to worry about it and let the technician come and see what he could do. My landlord said to call him and ask before they did anything.

So the technician comes over and suggests putting it on the roof of the garage, which had not been renovated. All he and his partner would have to do is run a wire along existing phone wires. Perfect. But still, my landlord was resistant. He was against putting even a single new line into the house. I’m on the phone with him trying to explain how simple it would be, but he’s not having it. He’s Russian (a Russian Jew, and there are many Russian Jews in the area), and he speaks English much like many other Russian men speak English: he yells it. So, I’m standing there on the phone trying to reason with a man who’s yelling at me, and the technician and his partner are just waiting with their hands on their hips. Eventually, my landlord is tired of yelling English at me, and he asks to talk to the technician.

I hand over the phone, the technician says exactly what I said, and after a minute, we have clearance to put one single hole into the house. Awesome.

I get back on the phone with my landlord and he says to me, “Is he a black guy?”

I was NOT expecting that question, but I answered truthfully, “Um… yeah. Yes he is.”

“See, black guys they don’t care about the work. He’s going to make a mess. I don’t need him putting four holes in my house. You need to watch him and make sure he doesn’t mess anything up.”

I started to laugh at how fantastically racist all that was, but I was a little worried about my own part in this process. I don’t need the blame if this guy makes a mistake. I say, “How am I supposed to make sure he doesn’t make a mistake? Once he makes the mistake, he makes it. I can’t unmake it.”

“Just watch him. Make sure he doesn’t drill like four holes in the house.”

“Um, okay. I’ll do what I can.” Which was literally nothing.

So, I hang up and walk up to the technician. What do I say? Well, I tell him exactly what my landlord said, about the whole black guys doing bad work, and explained that this was probably why he was giving us such a hard time. The look on the guy’s face was perfect. It was a great blend of “WTF” and “Oh, now it makes sense, I’ve gotten this dozens of times before.” I start laughing and just shrug my shoulders, and he shakes his head. We start walking back into the house, and he asks me, “Well what the hell is he? Pakistani or something?”

“Nah, man. He’s a Russian Jew.”

“Oh a Jew? They’re the worst. That explains it. I don’t know why they’re so mad at us. Black people didn’t do nothing to them. They need to be mad at the Muslims. They’re the ones trying to kill them.”

Wonderful. I just stand there laughing, enjoying the beautiful racism these gentlemen are throwing around. It’s really interesting to watch it be exposed like that. It’s not often you get to see it that honest, that removed from political correctness. It’s like seeing a deer in the wild. You know they’re in the woods, but you don’t see them all that often. When you do, you just kind of have to slow down and take in the moment.

So, the technician motions to his partner and he asks if he heard what I said. The partner is dark-skinned, definitely some kind of Indian/Arabic lineage (I didn’t ask him to specify). I told him what my landlord said and the guy, with a face which would have been expressionless were it not for an ever-so-slight angry sneer, just shook his head and said, “He’s lucky he’s not here right now.”

Yikes.

Ah. Now I know what Towers you’re talking about.

Then he tells me a story about how earlier in the day, he was installing something for some white lady. He was outside of her window running some wires, and he overhears part of the woman’s conversation with another man in the house. He heard the woman say something to the effect of, “down the towers.” He only caught part of it. The man she was speaking to said, “The towers? What towers are you talking about?” The lady answered that question by simply pointing at the Indian/Arabic guy working to make sure she can watch Cupcake Wars. Oh, those Towers. Right.

I ask the guy, “Really? That’s insane. It was that obvious?”

“Yeah. But, what can I do? If I confront the lady or say anything back, she could complain and I could lose my job. I couldn’t really do anything.”

“Wow. That is just awful.”

With that, the three of us fell into an awkward silence. Not much else could have been said. The technician told me where he was going to run the wires, and I asked him how he was going to do it. He started to explain, and now I have DirecTV. It’s awesome.

08/15/2012

The Daily Caller is a conservative site where racist, hateful scum go to get their news. Coincidence?

Michelle Obama disappointed in Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas [VIDEO] | The Daily Caller.

Tucker Carlson is despicable.

“Want to come to my website and say that Michelle Obama is a ‘tranny’? Want to call her a ‘mullie’ and compare her to Chewbacca? Have a desire to call her a ‘snuff lipped Sasquatch’? No problem! Come on over; make yourself at home. I’ll just sit here silently while you do your thing.” – Tucker Carlson.

Want to go to a website where the article takes a joke where everyone is smiling and having a good time on a late night comedy show and distorts it into someone “scolding” someone else?

Then, after that, in the comments, the First Lady of the United States is called an “ape woman,” Moochelle, “a tranny with a ball sack,” and a “snuff lipped Sasquatch.”  Michelle Obama is compared to Chewbacca. She’s called a “mullie.” People make jokes about “not wanting to know what she puts in her mouth.” She’s called a “commie bitch.”

And that’s just in the first three pages of comments. There are 12 of them. I didn’t read them all.

Is that Tucker? Hey, Tucker!

These guys feel right at home in the Daily Caller’s comment section.

Want to go to a website like that? Click that link up there right above Tucker Carlson’s stupid bow-tie and mosey on over to the Daily Caller, where racism and hate are alive, well, and patting themselves on the back repeatedly. It’s not like these comments are being shouted down. It’s not like they’re being removed by the website. It’s been over a day in some cases, and those comments sit there proudly, some of them with more than 20 other people “liking” the comment in support of the racism or hate.

And weirdly, many of the Chewbacca comments are repeats. It seems to be like a real thing conservatives say openly about her. Like it’s a meme or something. I had no idea it even existed. They have photo mock-ups and everything.

These people have jobs? These people are employed? It’s just so unimaginable that this kind of thing exists in places where people openly accept it. There’s barely any criticism of the blatant racism and hate at all of this on the site. There’s two or three people criticizing it in the comments, but I’m one of them. And there are hundreds of comments and scores of commenters. The rest of it goes unchecked and encouraged by others.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that you would find language like that at a website which is proudly conservative and backs the Republican Party on almost every issue. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the commenters are all in support of the GOP and conservatives. I’m sure there’s no correlation between the racism and the conservative movement,  and I’m doubly sure all that racism has nothing to do with why so many conservatives are incensed by the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is their president. I’m sure it’s all one big coincidence.

——————

And while I’m here, where’s Twitchy now? Where’s Twitchy to document all of this “leftist hate?” Someone make sure to contact Michelle Malkin and let her know how terrible these leftists are.

06/15/2012

Twitchy.

Michelle Malkin’s “Twitchy” page is an insult to the political intelligence of this country. Malkin is a bottom feeding, sycophantic, intellectually dishonest “reporter” who created a website which features only the most insane tweets from anonymous idiots on Twitter who dare to say mean things about conservatives. She then offers this up as proof that “the left” is hateful.

Yeah. She uses Twitter posts from anonymous people and tries to pass that off as a legitimate talking point against people like me. Like I’m the same as some nameless 15 year old who said something mean about Sarah Palin.

Go over the Fox Nation or The Blaze and check out those comment sections if you’d like to see some hate. It’s despicable. But, I know they’re just random internet commenters. They say awful things under a mask of anonymity. It would be stupid of me to create a website and catalogue those comments because no one of any intelligence would consider it a true representation of “the right.” They’re the extreme, unhinged right. Just like the random idiots on Twitter do not represent the left. Any thinking person knows this.

Except Malkin. She’s not stupid, though; she’s dishonest. Her site completely ignores ANY of the racist, vile, disgusting things that conservatives say. Why? Because she’s not interested in being honest or fair. She’s interested in lying in order cater to her base of unhinged conservatives who want “proof” that “liberals” and “the left” are terrible people. She lies to create profit. She is the worst kind of offender in today’s political media: dishonest and manipulative while being bombastically and egotistically proud of it.

06/15/2012

Obama Interrupted by Conservative Blogger During Immigration Speech.

Watch as the president, for the second time in his term in office, is interrupted in the middle of giving a speech like no other president has ever been interrupted before.

Joe Wilson, who has the self control of a small child.

First it was Joe Wilson (R-SC) who screamed, “YOU LIE!” at Obama during Obama’s State of the Union address. That had never happened in the recorded history of this country. And, it wasn’t like those “Code Pink” idiots  who interrupt Republican politicians during speeches. Let me repeat: Code Pink are a bunch of assholes for the way they go about getting their message into the media. Those are extreme activists. They’re a part of a vast, unsupported minority.

But, when Obama was interrupted during his SotU, that was a sitting member of the United States House of Representatives screaming at the president. It wasn’t some fringe group. It was an officially elected member of the Republican establishment. Sure, he apologized afterwards, but then he went and raised money off of what he did. He raised money off of his disrespect for the president. That’s how sorry he really was.

And now, a few years later, we have another first. Another time the president is interrupted in the middle of a speech. This time, it wasn’t a member of Congress, but it also wasn’t a member of Code Pink or the Tea Party or PETA. It was a “professional reporter” for the hyper-conservative blog “The Daily Caller.” His name is Neil Munro, and he is a professional member of the conservative media. He gets paid to report things that conservatives want to be told. He was given a pass to have the ability to cover the president’s speech, and he used that privilege to disrespect the president by interrupting him mid-speech, just like Joe Wilson did.

(While I was writing this, Munro and the Daily Caller published a reaction to this mess. My updated reaction is on the bottom.)

Neil Munro, who is as professional as a waiter sneezing into your dinner. Photo outright stolen from NPR.

Whether or not Wilson or Munro are factually correct in their assertions is irrelevant. They may be, but as a politician and a media member respectively, they have to know that the way to disagree is not to be disrespectful. But they seemingly don’t think this president is deserving of the same kind of respect the last 43 presidents have received (I wonder what’s different about this one…?) This is pure disrespect, and it’s not coming from extremist groups who hold up signs at rallies of less than a hundred people. It’s not coming from idiots on Twitter who aren’t educated or civilized enough to form a coherent thought.* It’s coming directly from the conservative establishment. It’s coming directly from the people who are professional representatives of conservatism.

And conservatives have the gall to claim that it is the president who is dividing the country? It’s the elected representatives and the paid professionals of the “right” who are setting the example for inappropriate and disrespectful behavior.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Mark Levin do nothing but trash the president all day on their radio shows. And you know what? That’s fine. That’s fair game. But, it also sets the stage for these kinds of outbursts which have heretofore not been seen in American politics. One side of the argument is dragging the American media and politics further into the gutter, and it’s people like Joe Wilson and Neil Munro.

They’re a disgrace to America.

*And so is Michelle Malkin’s “Twitchy” page…

—————————

Update: Munro and the Daily Caller have published their reaction, and needless to say, it’s laughable. From Munro: ““I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States.”

Watch that video again. There is no way you think Obama is finished, especially given the way Obama speaks. He constantly pauses for effect (and likely to gather his thoughts). And even if he did think Obama was finished, Munro interrupted consistently afterwards. It wasn’t a one time, “Oops, thought you were done. Sorry,” kind of interaction. It was a repeated interruption, so much so that Obama had to remind Munro once that it wasn’t time for questions, and then AGAIN that it wasn’t time for an argument in the middle of the president’s speech. To say he had no intention of interrupting the president is laughable, to say the least.

Then there’s Tucker Carlson’s point about Sam Donaldson and Ronald Reagan. Watch the difference here.

Tucker Carlson, muppet.

Reagan was CLEARLY done. How do we know? Because he said he was going to let someone else (AG Meese) take the podium. That’s what people do when they’ve finished with their remarks. Compare that to Obama, who had simply paused for a moment. For Carlson to even attempt to create an equivalency here is preposterous. Rather than own their mistake and apologize, they’ll double down on it. Why? Because the conservative media has created such a toxic atmosphere for this president that they know they’ll be able to make more money out of insulting him than being respectful. And insulting him to his face? Even better. Pretty soon, just like Joe Wilson, they’ll be selling t-shirts and raising cash. Just pathetic.

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06/02/2012

Flushing, Queens, New York. Not Vlissingen, New Amsterdam.

Johan Santana celebrates after his no hitter. Straight up stolen from the AP.

I’ve always thought “Flushing” was a stupid name for a city. We associate the word mostly with toilets.

Terrible.

I was reminded of it last night as I watched Johan Santana throw the first no hitter in New York Mets history. In watching and reading the coverage from several media outlets across the nation, I saw many of them refer to the events happening in Flushing, and every time they said it, I remembered myself as an eight year old kid. When my dad told me the Mets played in Flushing, I was perplexed. “There’s a town called ‘Flushing.’ And the Mets play there? Gross.” I kind of felt like the rest of baseball has always silently snickered about how the Mets play in Flushing, referring to Shea Stadium as a toilet.

So why the hell is that town called Flushing?

Turns out that the area was originally named Vlissingen by the Dutch when they settled in what is now New York City. Vlissingen is also the name of an existing town in the Netherlands which has been around since 1315. All the way back in the 1600′s, the English started referring to that Dutch town as something more Anglo: “Flussingue.” That eventually became “Flushing.” So, after the British took over the New Netherlands colony, the New World Vlissingen simply became Flushing around the end of the 17th century.

All this happened a few hundred years before flushable toilets in homes became popular. The phrase “flush the toilet” was nearly non-existent in English writing until the 20th century. Here’s the Google Ngram picture for the phrase.

“Flush the toilet” historically.

So, you know, the name of Flushing, Queens where my New York Mets play has NOTHING to do with toilets. Not even close. I feel way better about the name now. My inner, snickering eight year old has been somewhat pacified.

*Most of the information about the historical aspects of Flushing and Dutch/English occupation was culled from Wikipedia, so I generalized it to make sure it didn’t really make a difference for the point I was trying to make. If I made any important mistake, feel free to point it out in the comments.

04/28/2012

Paul Ryan’s Republican Budget and the GOP in general are antithetical to Christ’s teachings.

“Your budget,” a group of Jesuit scholars and other Georgetown University faculty members wrote to Ryan last week, “appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.”

via Paul Ryan’s faith-based lesson – The Washington Post.

Jesuit scholars and I agree on something: Republicans don’t care about the poor, and they are the farthest thing from a political party which wants to emulate the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Christ washing the feet of his disciples. He served them, and he expected them to serve the poor as servants of God.

Christ told his disciples to serve and feed the poor because he understood that the poor are not poor because they choose to be. The GOP wants to cut the aid to these sons and daughters of God and calls them lazy for not being rich.

Christ told his disciples to cure and help the sick. And depending upon how you want to read it, he says to do it for free (Matthew 10:8). The GOP has no desire to do this. They hate the idea that the poor obtain healthcare without paying for it. According to the GOP, only the people who have money to pay for healthcare deserve it; the rest are too lazy and should lose everything just to stay alive.

Many conservatives even point out that if more people go to doctors who did not go before (poor people), doctors and the healthcare system will be overburdened, causing other people (the non-poor) to suffer. We can’t have that, now can we? We can’t have those with money burdened by the struggles of the poor, right? Jesus would have hated that. Oh wait. Maybe there’s something that says discriminating against the poor is a problem?

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing right.But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. [emphasis mine]

Why, that sounds like socialism! Class warfare! Class Warfare! CLASS WARFARE!

Nope. It’s just the Bible. James 2:1-10.

 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Communism! Communism! COMMUN—Wait Jesus said that? Sure. Matthew 19:21-24.

Christ told his disciples to turn the other cheek when someone strikes them in the face (Matthew 5:39). The GOP’s doctrine is to punch the other guy first when you’re afraid he might punch you.

Christ told his disciples not to judge other people (Matthew 7:1), but the GOP has judged for themselves who has the right to marry whom. And in the case of Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry, the GOP supported giving governments the right to criminalize the sex people can have in their bedrooms (they dissented in the SCOTUS decision in Lawrence v Texas)—because that’s why Christ saved that poor prostitute from being stoned and quickly sent her to jail. Oh wait. No he didn’t. He said he did not condemn her. No, really. He did (John 8:9-11).

Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” This is known as Jesus’ “golden rule.” I wonder how a GOP audience would respond to that.

Oh.

Christ said “woe unto the rich” and “blessed are you the poor” (Luke 6:20-26) which the GOP has apparently translated as: “Give the rich more money so that they might have more money to hire the poor, but only if it makes them more rich in the process (because, you know, that’s how capitalism works)—so that it’s even harder for them to enter the Kingdom of God.”

Blame the poor and desperate. Defend the rich and powerful. Just like Jesus did.

Paul Ryan.

In short, the ideals of the GOP and Paul Ryan are the farthest thing from the best and greatest teachings of Christ. Maybe the GOP agrees with me on something: Christ never existed so we don’t need to follow his rules.

I believe in these teachings anyways, though; not because Jesus was real or the son of a god, but because these teachings understand that the people who need help most are those who are the weakest. You don’t tell the weak to stop being weak like the GOP does. You reach out and offer help.

And honestly, all of these Republican positions would be well and good with me if the GOP didn’t cloak itself as the party of Christ. If they took a hardline stance saying that it’s good macroeconomics and is the way to make our nation stronger, then all right. I can see the argument there. But, they take it a step farther and suggest that cutting aid to the poor coincides with Christ’s vision. That’s just insane. It’s the opposite of his teachings, like many other GOP positions, and it’s an insult to the New Testament.

The insult to Christ and his “Word” doesn’t bother me very much, but the hypocrisy does. And it should bother all Christians more than it bothers me.

The Republican party is not the party of Christ, and that should be pretty obvious to anyone who’s ever read the New Testament.

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