May 6, 2016

Veteran homelessness drops

Center on Budget & Policy Priorities

 Homelessness in Los Angeles has dropped by 30 percent among veterans even while rising for residents overall, the New York Times reports — progress that local officials attribute to housing vouchers for veterans.  “Where we invest, we see results,” says the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s executive director. 

Nationally, the number of homeless veterans has dropped by 35 percent since 2009, according to the single-night counts that local communities perform every January.  While the recovering economy likely played a role, much of the credit goes to the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program, which provides rental assistance to homeless veterans along with case management and clinical services through VA medical centers.

Climate change causes oxygen loss in oceans

eats shoots 'n leaves

The oceans are losing oxygen, and climate change is the culprit.

Areas earliest hit are the western coasts of North America and Africa and the northeastern coast of South America.

The result will be major shifts in marine life, including the development of major dead zones.

And given that much of the world depend son ocean fish for protein, the changes could portend serious human and political crises.

From the American Geophysical Union:
A drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world and should be evident across large parts of the ocean between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study.

Scientists know that a warming climate can be expected to gradually sap oceans of oxygen, leaving fish, crabs, squid, sea stars, and other marine life struggling to breathe. But it’s been difficult to determine whether this anticipated oxygen drain is already having a noticeable impact.

“Loss of oxygen in the ocean is one of the serious side effects of a warming atmosphere, and a major threat to marine life,” said Matthew Long, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and lead author of the study. “Since oxygen concentrations in the ocean naturally vary depending on variations in winds and temperature at the surface, it’s been challenging to attribute any deoxygenation to climate change. This new study tells us when we can expect the impact from climate change to overwhelm the natural variability.”

The real Donald Trump

A guide to Trump's biggest lies

Thirty law suits that reveal the real Donald Trump

Trump's corporate rap sheet

Trump's corporate rap sheet

How Trump has tried (and succeeded) to avoid taxes

Trump's Mafia linked business pal comes to the fore

Trump uses foreign workers for his beach club

Trump declares war against First Amendment

Via Jim Angel
Trump sums himself up
"I really don’t even know what I mean, because that was a long time ago, and who knows what was in my head.” - Donald Trump, in an interview with NBC News, when asked about a 2002 Howard Stern interview in which he voiced support for the Iraq War. - Political Wire

196 people Trump has insulted and what he has said about them

3 in 4 young black Americans say they’d feel like fleeing the country if Donald Trump is elected

Federal judge rules Trump involved in ripping off union workers

The real Donald Trump

Why Trump is not to be trusted with nuclear weapons


Trump urges collective punishment - a war crime under Geneva Convention

75% of Trump's claims are lies

When the Trump firm blocked black renters

Let's be fair: Trump doesn't hate all Muslims

Trump would deny full citizenship to Muslims

Donald Trump wants to shut down some mosques

Donald Trump thinks your wages are too high

How the immigration policy Trump praised actually worked

Donald Trump has filed for business bankruptcy four times

The vicious Donald Trump

Trump not only wants the White House, he may want your house too

Trump provided homes for for some nasty people

Trump, the high school bully

Why Trump needs therapy not votes

Trump hasn't voted in a primary since 1989

NY Attorney General says Trump U defrauded 600 students

Trump talks (and thinks) like a third grader

Great moments with Donald Trump

Trump likes waterboarding

Who Trump wants in his government

Donald Trump's dumbest remarks

Trump even bought his audience

Donald Trump vs. Indians

Counter Current News 

The year was 1993, and Donald Trump had his sights set on Native Americans, because their casino was destroying his Atlantic City casino, as the most popular in the United States.

While he was giving testimony before the Congressional Subcommittee on Native American Affairs, Trump tore into the Pequot Indian Nation – members of which had been protesting against his attacks on their casinos – arguing that they must not be legitimate Native Americans because they didn’t look like the racial stereotypes he imagined.

“They don’t look like Indians to me and they don’t look like Indians to Indians,” he griped.

Trump went on to accuse Native Americans of working with the Mafia. He argued that “it will be the biggest scandal since Al Capone and it will destroy the gambling industry.”

He added that “it’s obvious that organized crime is rampant on the Indian reservations.”

His remarks were so incendiary that the FBI actually had to issue a statement saying that they found no such evidence that any Indian casinos ever had mob ties.

Where the hell did all the good Christians go?

From our overstocked archives

Sam Smith, 2011 - Several Republican candidates claim that they each got a call from God to run for president. If true, then God is no more reliable an ally than Barack Obama.

Of course, these candidates may be deluded or they may be lying. It wouldn’t be the first time. People like this have a long history, except that they used to be regarded a hustlers of the poor and the weak, objects of ridicule by comedians or figures in novels you hoped you would never meet.

As HL Mencken noted, “Deep within the heart of every evangelist lies the wreck of a car salesman.”

That perspective changed with television, which allowed religious frauds to gain a national audience, aided by a myopic media that increasingly accepted them as the true definition of “Christian.”

In fact, they are vainglorious Lord name takers as reliable in religion as Bernie Madoff was in investments.

It’s not really the business of a Seventh Day Agnostic such as myself to point this out, but if the media ignores the fact and liberal Christians huddle cringing in their sanctuaries, afraid to confront the desecrators of their own faith, somebody’s got step in.

To cite Mencken again, “True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge.”.

The Christian right is, in fact, a bunch of hypocritical, heretical, blasphemous apostates.

Let’s start on its own ground – literalism - with a few items compiled some time back by James M. Kauffman. professor emeritus at the University of Virginia:

- The Christian right keeps stores open on Sundays. “The seventh day is a Sabbath to God your Lord. Do not do anything that constitutes work.” In fact, Exodus tells us to kill those who work on Sunday, even though this seems to conflict with the federal code, not to mention the Ten Commandments.
- The Christian right eats shrimp, crab, lobster, clams and mussels in violation of the Bible: "These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you. . . ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcasses in abomination."
- Its men have contact with women in periods of menstrual uncleanliness as prohibited by Leviticus
- It presumably supports slavery as that is clearly permitted by the Bible.
- Many on the Christian right – like other Americans – have eyesight problems yet they continue to approach the altar of God as prohibited in Leviticus.
- Their men cut their hair, including around the temples, though banned in the Bible.
- Some of these men also like to play football though the Bible says that touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean.
- Women on the right – including Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin – wear garments made of two different kinds of thread, a violation of biblical law.
- Plenty of Christian conservatives curse. Presumably the righteous in their midst should stone them as called for by the Bible.

And now a few items compiled by Protestants for the Common Good for a constitutional amendment on marriage based on biblical rules:

A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)

B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines, in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

E. Since marriage is for life, neither the U.S. Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)

F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe, and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

Now let’s turn to some more compassionate segments of the Bible:

- The Christian right supports killing through war and capital punishment in violation of the Ten Commandments.
- It commits adultery, also forbidden by these commandments. Just one example, from the New York Daily News in August 2004: "With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer [for the GOP convention], high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party. Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden."
- It doesn’t love its neighbors like itself and shows no consciousness that this is – according to the Bible - as important as “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
- Nor does it “do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.”
- Nor does it respect the claim that the earth is the Lord’s and all that therein is, or it wouldn’t be so dismissive of climate change and its consequences.
- Instead of, in the manner of Jesus, driving the money changers out of the temple it helps their toadies get reelected.
- It has no idea of how to “love thy enemies.”
- It has never answered the key theological question raised by Ray Stevens in his epic work, “Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?”
Would Jesus be politicalif He came back to earth?
Have His second home in

Palm Springs, yeah, and try
to hide His worth?
Take money, from those
poor folks, when He comes
back again?

There’s absolutely no reason for the media – in the false name of objectivity – to treat such con artists as religious representatives of Christianity and there’s no reason for real Christians to act like such wusses. Us Seventh Day Agnostics, skeptics and secularists shouldn’t have to do your work for you. Besides, if Jesus were to come back and see what a lousy job you’re doing on his behalf, he’d be really pissed.

Jazz break

Ella Fitzgerald: April in Paris