Romulus Augustus


Romulus Augustus appeared on my Facebook page yesterday. Written by Nigel Best, a fellow Canadian who echoes my sentiments –

When a dog has fleas, a powder helps. worms? it’s given medicine.

When the dog has cancer, it’s only right that the animal is put to sleep.

So it should be with Romulus Augustus, such is the name of the dog.

Romulus is the mastiff American republicans adopted a couple of years ago. Despite some fears about his temperament and his propensity to shift in an instant from licking to snarling, the party took him in, gave him a few dog whisperers, and put him out on show.

“somehow, he manages to grab us all in a certain way, despite a certain revulsion at the slobbering jowls,” gushed one junior senator at Romulus’ inaugural event just 12 months ago.

Excess salivating aside, the party membership in America needs to accept what the rest of us could already discern on that cold day, the dog looked very sick.

Republicans had to have known something may be going on when their mastiff started pissing on the bed. with some hindsight, perhaps the congress should have done something earlier, but when one has a pet, it’s sometimes hard to accept this day will arrive, especially not this quickly.

By mid-year, it was a little more difficult to afford or reconcile Romulus’ sneaking into offices and pissing on senators’ heads as they attempted to sleep on office sofas between late-night committee sessions.

“all i needed was him to quieten down and curl up in my lap, but he just could not, or would not,” said a Utah congressman. “yet, it still seemed possible he would take a turn for the better.”

It’s hard to hear that something one has coddled is riddled with inoperable tumors, though it probably helps to understand some of the animal’s most outlandish and erratic behaviors stemmed from a systemic sickness.

It must have been difficult to shake off questions about his behavior, even as they were being mocked and ridiculed.

Was that perhaps because some were in horror at the appearance of being aloof to his plight? Now that there’s no disguising this sickness, will there be any pity for the appearance of being almost inhumane?

It should not have come to this, but look, Romulus is barely able to breathe. he can barely walk. having gone almost blind, like any creature in a similar situation, he is afraid. that accounts for his bared teeth and attempts to bite at any shadow that flits across his dimming pupils.

It is cruel to keep the sick animal on a life-support system. at the same time he is taxing your well-being, putting your health at risk with the constant not knowing what is next.

It’s never easy letting go. having to have done it before, dog owners will tell you, whisper gently into Romulus’ ears as the sharp needle is administered.

You will detect in his final moments that this is exactly what he has been wanting from you. those early-morning yelps of desperation that would rouse you daily from your slumber, those were his appeals for this moment.

You will know he will be thanking you as the drug helps him slip into oblivion.

So, in the sake of empathy, now is the moment to say goodbye to Romulus Augustus. as the saying goes, every dog has its day.

Top 11 Drooling And Slobbering Dogs Neapolitan Mastiff

 

Grab Them By The Pussy


America, you elected a swell president A year ago this week, a month before the election, you said “Meh” to “grab them by the pussy”. Nobody cried “fake news”, how could you – Trump’s abominable core was irrefutable. Amid the propaganda frenzy of “crooked Hillary”, did you think the world would overlook dismissal of a  “grab them by the pussy” president? How about your wives, daughters, sisters, mothers? Could Trump grab your daughter by the pussy provided he made America great again?

If you support Donald Trump watch this video. When you’re done, explain to your wives, daughters, mothers and sisters why a great nation condones exploitation of women as sexual objects. When you’re done, ask yourself if a man like this represents your core values. Have a word with yourself, explain to your sons they too can take advantage of women if they’re rich and powerful enough. A year after “grab them by the pussy” defined your president, ask yourself how excusing his loathsome sense of entitlement makes America great.

Jagmeet Singh and Roy Moore – A Tale of Two Nations


MPP Jagmeet Singh at his annual community BBQ in 2014 (cropped).jpg

Take a long hard look at Jagmeet Singh. Who is this man, where was the photo taken, does he frighten you, make you nervous? If seated next to him on a flight, would you ask to change seats, initiate conversation, bury your head in a book? All you have is an image and name –  faith, politics and geography determine whether you see a smile or menacing scowl.

Enough playing around – allow me to introduce Jagmeet Singh, as of October 1, 2017, leader of the federal New Democrat Party. World media qualifies Singh as “Canada’s first non-white politician to lead a national party”, and first “turban wearing Sikh to sit as a legislator in Ontario”. Apparently it never occurred to world media someone should ask  Canadians for perspective. Had anyone bothered, it wouldn’t fall on my shoulders to tell you Canadian tongues aren’t wagging over Singh’s colourful turbans. It makes no difference to us, all we see is a fresh face and youthful enthusiasm.

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

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/kz7xjn/theres-good-reason-to-be-optimistic-about-jagmeet-singh

Singh’s turban isn’t remarkable, Canada’s Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan sports a tidy turban. We’re not shielding our children’s eyes or spewing right wing hatred of secret religious agendas.

Hargit Sajjan

Roy Moore

Time to meet Roy Moore, Alabama Republican gearing up to face Democrat Doug Jones in December election to fill senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.Moore isn’t one to distinguish between Sikh and Muslim, one look at Singh would send Roy into Biblical orbit. Moore’s record of fundamentalist absurdity reads like an extremist right wing manifesto. Where to begin, do I start with once a Judge Roy suspended twice from the position of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court – first for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments outside the Alabama Justice Building, again for instructing probate judges to enforce a state ban on same sex marriages despite a federal ruling that found it unconstitutional. Heck no, that would be regular crazy, Moore”s crazy deserves a shrine of shame. Ponder 9/11 and the Sandy Hook massacre being God’s way of punishing America for lack of religious commitment. He rejects evolution, wants homosexuality to be against the law, opposes homosexuals running for political office, wants to ban Muslims from entering politics, opposes preschool because attendees are “much more likely to learn a liberal social and political philosophy”, doesn’t believe Obama is a U.S. citizen and believes God put Trump in the White House.

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

Jagmeet Singh champions all that Roy Moore abhors. Jagmeet Singh wouldn’t be possible in America, Roy Moore couldn’t exist in Canada. Ponder that as a tale of two nations.

 

Remember When George W Bush Was The Worst Thing Happening To America?


Once upon a time George W Bush made me throw up in my mouth. From weapons of mass destruction lies to the Hurricane Katrina debacle, his administration peppered every measure of decency with hypocrisy. Personal frustration gagged at every Bush simper, bumbling attempt to feign good old Texas boy sincerity and puppy dog eyed protestation of honorable intent. Who knew that one day remembering Bush meant oddly nostalgic recollections of Bozo the Clown.Who knew Trump’s Insane Clown Posse would control the Big Top.

In 2006 Neil Young’s album Living With War sang Bush protest. “Lets Impeach The President” balked at lies, abuse of power, racial injustice, fear mongering and war.Eleven years later, calls to impeach Bush teeter on laughably quaint reminders of a simpler time.

 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – Climate Change Scrubber Extraordinaire


If you visited the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources website on October 30, 2016, this is what you found –

Earth´s climate is changing. Human activities that increase heat–trapping (“green house”) gases are the main cause. Earth´s average temperature has increased 1.4 °F since 1850 and the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. Increasing temperatures have led to changes in rainfall patterns and snow and ice cover. These changes could have severe effects on the Great Lakes and the plants, wildlife and people who depend on them. While no one can predict exactly what climate change will mean for our Great Lakes, scientists agree that the following changes are likely if climate change patterns continue.

Increased summer and winter temperatures will cause increased evaporation, lower lake water levels and warmer water, resulting in reduced habitat for cold water species and a loss of critical wetland areas.

Decreased winter ice cover will also contribute to increased evaporation and lower lake water levels which could have severe economic consequences for our valuable shipping industry, lakeshore recreation, and coastal businesses.

Changes in rain and snowfall patterns (including more frequent and severe storms) could change water flow in streams and rivers and increase stream bank erosion and runoff pollution.

The good news is that we can all work to slow climate change and lessen its effects. To find out more about climate change and how we can all help, please visit the following links.

Take a peek today and weep over climate change denying Governor Scott Walker’s obliteration of truth  –

As it has done throughout the centuries, the earth is going through a change. The reasons for this change at this particular time in the earth’s long history are being debated and researched by academic entities outside the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The effects of such a change are also being debated but whatever the causes and effects, the DNR’s responsibility is to manage our state’s natural resources through whatever event presents itself; flood, drought, tornadoes, ice/snow or severe heat. The DNR staff stands ready to adapt our management strategies in an effort to protect our lakes, waterways, plants, wildlife and people who depend on them.

http://www.snopes.com/wisconsin-department-natural-resources-removes-references-climate-website/

The Wisconsin DNR’s web page was scrubbed of all uses of the word “climate” and altered to imply a lack of consensus about anthropogenic global warming in the scientific community.

 

In God We Trust


The last thing this Canadian possesses is a degree in American history. Perceptions stem from proximity, reading, news media and travel – personal experiences responsible for cementing notions of “In God We Trust” America as “One Nation Under God”. It never occurred to me that one nation under God was created by corporations in a post Depression United States.

The United States began with a secular motto – E Pluribus Unum, Latin for “One For Many”, a reflection of one federal state comprised of many individual religious and political units.

I wonder how many Americans have heard the name H. W. Prentis, head of the National Association of Manufacturers in 1940s America. Post Depression American corporations came up with a strategy to undermine Roosevelt’s  “New Deal” , a popular plan dubbed the Social Gospel movement, (helping each other with the aid of an activist government, rather than dwelling on sin, salvation and the afterlife) – corporate greed didn’t qualify. For the first time in U.S. history labor unions were empowered, workers had rights and government placed regulations on businesses. As such, big business needed an angle, and fast.

“Economic facts are important, but they will never check the virus of  collectivism,” thundered Prentis in a 1940 speech to the U.S. Chamber of  Commerce. “The only antidote is a revival of American patriotism and  religious faith.”

Corporate America funded conservative clergy to do their dirty work. Sermons equated capitalism with Christianity – good Christians go to heaven, good capitalists make a profit. They claimed the New Deal violated the Ten Commandments, it encouraged citizens to make a false idol of the federal government by worshiping it instead of God. They said it encouraged people to covet what the wealthy have, encourages them to steal from the wealthy in the form of taxation and bears false witness against the wealthy by telling lies about them. They preached that the New Deal was not a manifestation of God’s will, rather a sinful form of pagan stateism.

Rev. James Fifield of the First Congregational Church in Los Angeles became a pivotal figure in driving “spiritual mobilization”.  His congregation included the mayor and Cecile B. DeMille, a church defined by ultra rich movers and shakers.

“He tells these millionaires what they want to hear, which is that their worldly success is a sign of heavenly blessing. He has a very loose approach to the Bible. He says that reading the Bible should be like eating fish: We take out the bones to enjoy the meat; all parts are not of equal value. Accordingly, he disregarded Christ’s many injunctions about the dangers of wealth, and instead preached a philosophy that wedded capitalism to Christianity.” –

http://www.npr.org/2015/03/30/396365659/how-one-nation-didnt-become-under-god-until-the-50s-religious-revival

Spiritual mobilization defined Fifield’s recruitment of Ministers to the cause. Heavily funded by the likes of Sun Oil president J. Howard Pew, General Motors Alfred Sloan, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Association of Manufacturers – within 10 years 17,000 ministers competed for cash in sermon contests. Prizes awarded for sermons exemplifying evils of the New Deal, equating it to socialism and above all – convincing citizens that supporting business leaders was the only way to preserve the American way of life. Arguably the greatest sham in American history played out with diabolical perfection. Big business sat back and smoked cigars, slapping each other on the back as their shadow money funded “Freedom Under God”.

Fifield heralded freedom under God in opposition to “slavery of the state” on weekly radio programs broadcast nation wide over 800 radio stations. Big money chortled as Americans embraced a nation under God, a nation where pursuit of wealth led to heaven.

“In God We Trust” comes from the Star Spangled Banner –

“Then conquer we must when our cause it is just, and this be our motto — ‘In God is our trust.’

In God We Trust first appeared on some U.S. coins during the Civil War. Fundamentalist religious leaders managed to convince the Secretary of Treasury that atrocities of war were God’s punishment for America’s original sin – not being founded as a Christian nation. (Good historical link below )

http://www.religioustolerance.org/nat_mott.htm

Fast forward to 1956, the year President Eisenhower approved a resolution making In God We Trust official motto of the United States of America. By law, the phrase has appeared on all currency since 1957. U.S. courts have ruled on three lawsuits challenging the motto as unconstitutional. From reasons in Aronow v United States, 1970 –

“It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.”

Madalyn Murray O’Hair, et al v W. Michael Blumenthal, Secretary of Treasury, et al – 1979 ( O’Hair being notable for recent success in challenging compulsory prayer in public schools )

“From this it is easy to deduce that the Court concluded that the primary purpose of the slogan was secular; it served as secular ceremonial purpose in the obviously secular function of providing a medium of exchange. As such it is equally clear that the use of the motto on the currency or otherwise does not have a primary effect of advancing religion.”

Of note – the Supreme Court declined reviewing any decisions on the matter.

Back to spiritual mobilization, the impetus for ponderous ramblings that orbit propaganda’s dark realm. I need answers – do Americans understand the roll fat cat corporations played in equating capitalism with God? Do citizens actually believe Christianity preserves the American way of life? Why is it  difficult to fathom realities of corporate greed driving perception and policy. Did church goers know ministers competed for corporate cash prizes? Was spiritual mobilization the reason Eisenhower endorsed In God We Trust? Aside from placing annoying restrictions on the rich getting richer, what’s wrong with social gospel? My head hurts – E Pluribus Unum.