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Wednesday, Sep 28th

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Can't Hear the Good News with All This Screaming

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The count of breathtakingly insane religions, cults, and allied wackos on the scene on any given day is limited only by your ability to use higher numbers.  Members always profess goodness and light, then commit dark and damaging acts.  The claims are high-minded, the deeds are low down.

Religion is an ancient subject and it gets older all the time.  Very old.

Sample just one nutball, a so-called pastor, by name of Terry Jones -- yes, the same one who burned Korans last year, instigating days of intensive rioting in Afghanistan.  This year, he's out to best his record, and has succeeded:  He backed a film providing insults aplenty for Muslims, who say it defames Islam and its holiest figure, Mohammad.

Once again, rioting and death follow this pastor's so-called good works.

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Getting All Up in Someone's Faith

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It's Sunday, and Elvis's Bible just brought $94,000 at auction.

We are left in the pews wondering what Jesus might have made of that, in light of so many clear instructions and concise admonitions that the wealthy are to give their riches and material possessions to the poor.

There are likely no specific passages in the Bible providing a loophole to hoard wealth in order to buy a spendy celebrity Bible, but the ironies are still striking.

Not to get into a scripture-shootin' war here, but you'd think Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:33, and Proverbs 22:16 -- among many others -- would have had plenty to say to the devout, and have guided and coaxed much better behavior by now from all well-heeled Bible-thumpers.

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Dancing as Fast as We Can, and Then Some

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Every time we seem to make any progress as a species, we tend to immediately slump back from the effort, exhausted.  Then, we invent something to take care of the new problem we've created from our initial efforts, and go on with our lives -- satisfied with a job well done.

In other places and times, this might have been called playing to a draw, but in our country, it's usually called Progress.

One of the most hair-raising and intriguing dances is life itself, of course -- although global climate change, religious conflicts and wars of all kinds are spine-chilling, too.  Those dances are all still in continuous motion, as is the case with the most intricate, hypnotic motions.

Here are some steps I've fallen over lately, ( just call me Dances with Gooney Birds ), and which have yielded curious results on examination:

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Look it up

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'Look it up', this is something you'll never, ever hear from the right. They love their talking points that they treat as facts, as they do with any opinion that pops into their heads. Even when they quote an actual real number, they never put it into context.

 

The big headline today on the rightwing 'news' sites is that the workforce non-participation total is now 89 million. They are implying and hoping you will accept this to mean that there are 89 million unemployed people (all on welfare of course). This is simply nonsense. The number represents everybody over 16 who isn't institutionalized or in the military. Even if you are a 100, you are counted as a potential worker if you have stayed out of the nursing home.

 

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Memory, Through the Looking Glass

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You might remember President Obama saying he wanted to look forward, not back.  You may also remember Speaker Pelosi telling all of us that impeachment was off the table.

Memory is a most peculilar thing.

Those forgive-and-forget statements grow more stunning with time.  This is especially true now that Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, has in effect crashed any hopes of holding Bush administration officials accountable for torture and other abuses and crimes.

Holder has said no one would be prosecuted in the deaths of two prisoners held in CIA custody.  The chief lawyer of the U.S. government has said the lack of prosecution is not from moral acceptance but is symptomatic of the record being "not sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction."

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The Living is Easy in Romneyville

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Incredibly, the Republicans think they can pull a Ronald Reagan stunt and work the 'Morning in America' scam on the voters again. Carter lost a big chunk of the union vote who blamed him for the bad economy caused largely by Nixon, they foolishly believed Reagan to be on their side. Mitt Romney doesn't pass the smell test for most voters, even with many of those who will vote for him anyway.

 

But are you better off than four years ago? Well, the banks are no longer dropping like leaves from the trees after an early frost. At 4.5 million, more jobs have been created than Bush lost, in fact more than he created in 8 years. In total Bush's new job creation was a net zero. The first decade of zero growth ever.

 

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Bizarro Phases & Places

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It's been a long weekend of eyebrow-lifting reports, likely the perceptual hangovers from the holiday, combined with the come-and-go effects of our ongoing intersection with the Bizarro Universe.

Steely-eyed readers with exceptional powers of recall will remember these odd and unpredictable effects on life in this universe first began because of -- or resulted in -- Willard Romney's selection of Paul Ryan to be his Veep-runner in this marathon presidential race.

Head of Monitoring at the Truly Vast Array of Radio Dishes, Optical Telescopes, and the Koole-Lukking Instrumentation Cluster at Imposing Institute, Dr. Oliver Sudden, said, "We've been keeping an eye on Bizarro outbreaks over the weekend, and there's been a rise in dumbfounding events -- although there's nothing quite like Americans having a long holiday during a full moon, either, to kick things up a notch."

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