How the Democrats Should Deal With a Republican Senate

With the US mid-term elections only 6 days away, polls are showing that republicans are favored to pick up seven senate seats in the election.  That would give them at least a 52-48 majority in the US senate, more than enough to shift all the senate committees and their chairpersonships over to republican control.

Worse things have happened, such as when a Mars-sized asteroid collided with the Earth 4.5 billion years ago (or 6000 years ago if you a fanatical religious evangelical wingnut).  Yet, there was a benefit to Earth:  the moon formed from the debris and helped to stabilize the Earth’s environment, allowing life to develop.  But if the republicans end up controlling both houses of congress, it’s hard to fathom any benefit to America, unless one is a millionaire or billionaire, or a large corporation.

All might not be lost IF the democrats can manage to win at least three or four of the most contested senate races, such as Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire and a couple others.  It’s still possible, since the national democratic strategists have for quite some time been formulating a “get out the vote” campaign.

But if that campaign fails (and it may, due to democratic voter apathy and less than stellar independent voter support for democrats), then Obama is going to have to contend with the most hostile congress in over 80 years.

The GOP will claim they won a huge mandate (by having a one- or two-vote majority in the senate..Whoop-de-f**king DOO!!).  And the republican senate will no doubt attempt to pass all those incredibly stupid, short-sighted, billionaire-industrialist-friendly, middle-class-and-environment-UNfriendly conservative bills that the House will send up to them, including the nine-hundred and forty-seventh attempt to repeal Obamacare.

If the democrats can learn ANYTHING from the minority senate GOP over the past six years, it should how to emulate the massively excessive GOP use of the filibuster in the senate to block legislation.  And add to that the GOP’s keeping their extremist fringes in line long enough to vote as a block.  After all, the minority republican senate filibustered and blocked more legislation in the past six years than all previous years of the existence of the USA COMBINED.

Additionally, if the dems lose the senate, they should study and adopt the political tactics that the republicans relied upon to foment unwarranted fear and hatred in the low-information voters, who constitute more than half of all people casting ballots.  These are, for example, folks on food stamps who hate government social safety net (a.k.a. “giveway”) programs, people earning minimum wage who believe the corporations and industrialist billionaires will take care of them, those who want the government to keep its hands off their Medicare, folks who truly believe their God will make them rich, and the people who think that the health insurances companies really care about their health.

They are the same people who are too lazy and/or too stupid to do their own online research to find the truth, because they believe that computers are ONLY useful for buying stuff, playing games and secretly looking for porn…and maybe some email if they can someday figure out the difference between voice-mail and email.

After all, how else can one explain how and why the poorest, most rural, least educated, and most religious states in this country, such as Alabama and Mississippi, are solidly red?

The minority democrats must also ALWAYS blame EVERYTHING on the republican congress….if gas prices go up, if a commercial jet goes down, if there is a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, if the tomato you bought yesterday has a worm in it…EVERYTHING.

Additionally, they must loudly and repeatedly claim that the republican congressionals are leading the country down the same path as that which the Nazi party took Germany down prior to World War 2;  every time a republican even sneezes, the dems should be warning about the ruin and death being brought to the USA by the republican majority in both houses of congress by spreading disease through targeted, purposeful, virus-loaded sneezing.

And finally, even though the economy may continue to improve (largely because of initiatives of the Obama administration), the democrats must repeat loudly and often that the economy is getting worse, that most people are starving, that the record stock market is smoke and mirrors, and that the republican congress is sucking the life-blood out of the nation like so many crazed zombie vampires.

If the democrats can implement a political program such as this one (invented by republican strategists), they will sweep the 2016 elections and send the GOP running for the hills (where they can continue inbreeding).

Of course, it’s a very large “IF“.  After all, democrats like facts and logic and reason while republicans like myth, innuendo, fear, hatred, and religion in government.  But to paraphrase both Popeye the Sailor Man and Neil Armstrong:

“Ya gots to do what ya gots to do”…for the good of all humankind.  🙂

 

Is Islam REALLY That Violent??

Definition of “fanatic”:

noun: fanatic; plural noun: fanatics

1. a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.

  1. synonyms: zealot, extremist, militant, dogmatist, devotee, adherent; More

    informalmaniac
    “a religious fanatic”
    • informal
      a person with an obsessive interest in and enthusiasm for something, especially an activity.
      “a fitness fanatic”
adjectivefanatic
1.filled with or expressing excessive zeal.
  1. “his fanatic energy”
    ____________________________________________________
    When folks in the advanced western industrialized world look at these definitions, it’s easy to understand how Islam can be blanket-characterized as a hostile and violent religion.  This  belief is reinforced by the fact that in Islam’s holy book known as the Quran, there are references on almost every page that refer to violence against “infidels”, or “non-believers”.
    Consider the attacks since 1993 against western world assets such as the attack on the New York World Trade Center in 1993, and again on 9-11, and the attacks on the USS Cole and American embassies in Africa, plus attacks in Madrid, Spain and London, UK. based upon those attacks, it’s easy to understand how most people will make a blanket judgement that all Muslims are violent fanatical extremists and potential suicide bombers.
    However, how accurate is this?  Is 21st century Islam being painted with too broad a brush?
    There is always a danger in lumping a large group of people under one header as though they were all the exact same.  Consider that Christianity and Judaism each are made up of multiple sects:  Christians divide into Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Protestant which further subdivides into hundreds of denominations, and so forth.  Judaism divides into Reform, Conservative and Orthodox, which further divides into multiple sub-divisions.
    Thus, lumping all of Islam into one group is as unfair, unrealistic and inaccurate as lumping all of the above-mentioned Christian religions into one group.
    Furthermore, until the 1940’s/early 1950’s, Islam was perhaps more tolerant and less fanatical a religion as a whole than other western religions.
    In fact, during the dark and middle ages Christianity certainly demonstrated endless intolerance for anyone who did not devoutly believe what the church wanted them to believe.  The crusades of the middle ages are known to have been brutal land grab attempts replete with massacres on the part of the Holy Roman Catholic Church (center of the Holy Roman Empire).
    Some historians claim that the crusades were simply an attempt to free lands taken by Muslim conquest in the Holy Land (Palestine or modern Israel), but even if this was true, it would indicate a fanatical effort in the name of one religion against another religion.
    Based upon the above, the idea that Islam can be defined by a single all-encompassing definition actually flies in the face of history and reality.  Islam is practiced much as all other religions are practiced, particularly in the modern western industrialized world.  Muslims, like most Christians and Jews and folks of every other religion in an enlightened society, do not believe that every word of their “holy book” literally.  For the most part, western Muslims do not believe in stoning to death or “honor” killings, any more than anyone else does.
    On the other hand, in the middle east many Muslims seem to be gravitating towards the idea of a Muslin caliphate, or an Islamic state with strict adherence to Sharia law and total intolerance of anyone who disagrees or is not a believer.  In fact, a 2013 survey of 38,000 individuals by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that a majority of Muslims in the middle east favor sharia as the law of the land, as listed below:
    Afghanistan (99%),
    Iraq (91%),
    Pakistan (84%),
    Egypt (74%),
    Jordan (71%).
    This is also true of many majority-Muslim countries in Africa.
    While there certainly are Muslims in the West who also believe in sharia law, they do not represent a majority of their faith, any more than western fundamentalist Christians do.
    What all this points to is that in places with strong, long-lived educational systems and advanced social systems, fanaticism gives way to reason.  As a result, it is grossly inaccurate to define a blanket classification for entire groups of people, based solely upon the religion they were born into.  The important parameters and characteristics of their lives such as their up-bringing, education, environment, geography and many other factors influence how people live and what they believe.
    The Islamic state, which is attempting to establish its own caliphate in Syria and Iraq, is an example of the most fanatical extremist violent aspects of Islam.  On the other hand, the Muslim family living next door who are good friends and neighbors with everyone around them represent the other end of the Islamic culture.
    With all due deference to Bill Maher and Ben Affleck, of course  🙂
    (click to watch)

Are Atheists Really Against Those Who Believe in God?

There was an an interesting letter to the editor in a local newspaper recently wherein the writer claimed that as a group, atheists were strongly opposed to ANYONE believing in a deity.  The letter stated:  “I don’t believe in Allah, but I don’t protest Muslims’ beliefs;  I just feel sorry for them.  Likewise, I don’t protest that atheists do not believe in God;  I just feel very sorry for them”

The very act of writing this unsolicited letter to the editor is the first proof that this writer is clearly protesting what he feels is a offensive non-belief system.

He also shows incredible arrogance by stating he feels sorry for Muslims because they believe in Allah (which is their word for the one universal God), the same God of Abraham whom Mohammad (Islam’s founder) believed in.  So ignorance joins arrogance as part of this writers characteristics that are clearly demonstrated as well.

But perhaps more importantly is this writer’s belief that there is something wrong and to be pitied in people who do not share his personal belief system.  Based upon how sorry he says he feels for atheists and Muslims, it logically follows that he (and people like him) feel sorry ANYONE whom does not embrace his belief system, such as Jewish people who don’t include Christ in their religious beliefs; or Hindi or Buddhists folks who do not believe in the western religions’ version of a supreme deity.

That is just plain “holier-than-thou” arrogance.  And yet, as heinous as this truly is, this writer is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the arrogance of the religious right.  These folks truly lust for their personal religious belief system to be forcibly implanted into the daily lives of EVERYONE, by writing laws and controlling government.

Sound familiar?

Besides the obvious similarity to the single-minded, brutally intolerant and inhuman arrogance that fuels the Islamic State’s (ISIS/ISIL) and its supporters and fighters, is that every major religion has had its share of brutal attempts at conquering free human thought.

For instance, the middle ages saw the crusades, which were little more than an excuse for the Holy Roman Catholic Church to rape, murder, pillage and steal land on their way to “liberate” the “Holy Land” from its Islamic residents.

And even in more modern times, there have been brutal acts of genocide in the name of some initially-religious-turned-political cause, such as the Nazis in World War 2 and most recently in Africa by fundamentalist Islamists in multiple African countries and multiple religious extremists.

It all starts with the arrogance displayed by the author of the letter to the editor mentioned above.  One group of people with strong unprovable beliefs wants to control the belief system of those around them, because the freedom the non-believers enjoy as they eat, drink and do Mary with impunity bothers them;  They have to follow weird restrictions in the name of some religious dogma.

Clearly, but for the nation’s strong law enforcement systems, these folks right here might be engaging in their own “jihad”, if they thought for a minute they could get away with it.  The fact that they CAN’T get away with it is quite probably the ONLY reason we don’t see more of such activity in the USA or other advanced western industrialized (and educated) nations.

By the way, the responses (so far) to the letter to the editor mentioned above are as follows:

“I was intrigued by the letter to the editor in the October 1st edition of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, in which the author asked:  “If atheists do not believe in God, then why are they so against anyone else believing in God?”

“The author also espouses a belief in God, but not in Allah, and claims to feel sorry for Muslims as a result of their belief in Allah.  But I was always taught, at multiple times in multiple venues by multiple teachers, that there is only one God and that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe in that same one God, regardless of what name is used in reference.  Additionally, the author’s statements begs the question:  “Do you also feel sorry for Jewish people because their religion does not mention Christ?  And how about Hindu and Buddhist folks whose religions do not include the same form of deity as the “western religions?”

“Atheists as a group in any free country are NOT “so against anyone else believing in God” or any other deity.  They are against the arrogant imposition of religion and religious beliefs by the religious right on government and other public entities.    To this end, I would respectfully submit that the problem atheists have with the those folks is their denial of clear, data-, evidence-, and proof-based science, as well as their endless attempts to influence government and other non-religious entities with their personal brand of religious “belief”.

Kill for peace, eh?   🙂