Uncommon Sense

September 30, 2022

Oh Yeah, The End is Definitely Nigh!

Filed under: Culture,Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:27 am
Tags: , , ,

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado is known for her love of guns and God. (She’s the one who blurted at a Christian conference that Jesus didn’t have enough AR-15 rifles to “keep his government from killing him.” Apparently Boebert doesn’t realize that if Jesus didn’t get crucified and resurrected, there would be no Christianity today.)

In any case, Boebert was speaking again, this time at the Truth and Liberty Coalition’s “From Vision to Victory Conference” in Woodland Park. She said:

It’s time for us to position ourselves and rise up and take our place in Christ and influence this nation as we were called to do,” Boebert, of Silt, told the crowd, which responded with applause. . . .

We know that we are in the last of the last days,” Boebert later added. “This is a time to know that you were called to be part of these last days. You get to have a role in ushering in the second coming of Jesus.

Oh, it is Congressman Boebert’s last days, for sure. The next election, she gone. Nobody want a crazy lady repping them, unh uhh.

Follow-up to “Hopes and Prayers, Baby, . . .”

Remember Hurricane Sandy, the Superstorm which devastated parts of New York and New Jersey in October 2012? Remember the flooded subway stations? Remember the devastated seaside resorts and homes? When Congress finally got around to  passing the Sandy aid package, two and a half months after the storm, 180 representatives voted against it. (Governor DeSantis was whining about relief being slow before Ian left Florida’s shores.)

Oh, among those 180 were many “fiscally responsible” Republicans, including Republican Bill Posey, who represents Florida’s 8th Congressional District, which stretches from Vero Beach to Titusville and includes the Kennedy Space Center. And Republican Ron DeSantis, who then represented the Florida 6th, which covers the state’s Atlantic coastline just north, including Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. DeSantis was also one of 67 representatives to vote no on the smaller, earlier Sandy relief package.

“Florida, good luck with no more hurricanes,” said New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo at the time. “Who are you going to come to when you have these things? We need this, we need it now. Do the right thing, as we have always done for you.”

So now, let’s send DeSantis hopes and prayers and make him wait two and a half months, says Captain Petty (Me!). Oh, and blame the delay on DeSantis’s politicking.

 Mike Luckovich for 9/30/2022

September 29, 2022

Hopes and Prayers, Baby, Hopes and Prayers

Filed under: Culture,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 1:27 pm
Tags: , ,

The Republican Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has already whined about President Biden not providing funds to repair the damage Hurricane Ian is wreaking on his state fast enough, ignoring the fact that Biden has actually nothing to do with that function (FEMA does).

But DeSantis is running for President, so he makes shit up, and if it is about Democrats it is negative.

So, I suggest we give DeSantis the prescribed Republican aid in the event of such a catastrophe . . . hopes and prayers.

Send them all c/o Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida. Email, snail mail, Western Union, fax, etc. will suffice. Oh, you could telephone his office, too, if you wished.

September 25, 2022

Oh, Boy . . .

I was reading a Medium.com post with the intriguing title “Why You Cannot Respect All Religious Beliefs and Why Christians Must Not Do So.” (Of course, the title was in all caps which everyone by now knows is the way we shout in type!)

The author went on to make his point that you cannot believe those other religion’s nonsense because it conflicts with our nonsense, but along the way he states:

Islam views Him as merely a prophet and claims He never died on the cross as the event on the cross (which was reported by eye witnesses in the Bible as well as historians from all ages) was one big illusion (Surah 4:157).

“Him,” of course, is Jesus. And, according to the blogger Jesus dying on the cross was “reported by eyewitnesses and historians from all ages.” Again, the question to be asked is “how would he know?” The historians aspect is obvious because if the event had not been recorded, we wouldn’t know of it now, but historians can only report what they read and hear, no? I will focus in the “eyewitness” aspect from here on.

The earliest account of this crucifixion event was in the Gospel of Mark, gMark, written sometime shortly after 70 CE, so 40 years later than the story says that the crucifixion occurred. Now, whoever wrote this gospel (the label “Mark” was added by Church officials some time later) does not claim to have been an eyewitness to the event, nor does he claim to have received eyewitness accounts of the event. Only when we get to the even later Gospel of Luke, gLuke (the label “Luke” being added by Church officials some time later) do we get a claim that the gospel is using eyewitness accounts, although not a single eyewitness is named, even though naming them was a common practice of historians of the time.

If one assumes the crucifixion event to have taken place, there would have been eyewitnesses in that someone needs to have carried out the act and there is enough physical labor involved that a crew was probably needed. Plus the Romans used crucifixions as a form of propaganda, they wanted them to be seen because they were a stark statement saying “Don’t let this happen to you!” so spectators were to be expected. So, if it happened, the probability that there were eyewitnesses is almost certain.

Needless to say, Jesus’s mission was interrupted. His message incomplete. And while many say that the remaining Jesus followers were expecting the Kingdom to come soon, would not Jesus’s words be worthy of being recorded, if for no other reason than to tell Jesus when he returned that “See, we listened and heard!” And modern scholars keep referring to a document not in existence, called “Q” which stands for “Quelle” the German word for source. The Q document is the source, they say, of the sayings of Jesus that appear in the gospels after gMark that didn’t show up in gMark, so somebody thought to write something down (if the Q document is not an imaginary thing, there being no physical evidence of its existence).

There were a few wealthy Christians in Jerusalem. Would not one of these people, hoping for an accurate capture of the all-important message, have hired a scribe to interview all of the eye-witnesses of Jesus work (not the spectators, the participants). And would not that scribe distinguish the words of the Apostle Peter, from the Apostle James? He wouldn’t just dump all of Jesus’s sayings in one big pile, would he?

If this had happened, then we would have had eyewitness accounts, but apparently it did not. Since it did not, or at least we do not have a copy of that record, apologists always claim there was a robust “oral record” in the Christian culture. But what is the source of this so-called, unprovable oral record? Is it eyewitnesses or gossip? Gossip is more likely and even gossip about eyewitnesses aren’t eyewitness accounts.

And the behavior of Christians going down the ages thereafter, selling pieces of the True Cross, selling pieces of Jesus’s cloak, selling nails that were used to crucify Jesus, etc. that they are perfectly willing to make up stuff, believe stuff that wasn’t or couldn’t be true.

But you can see what has happen, don’t you. The blog author here believes the accounts to be true. And, how could they be true if they were not eyewitness accounts? So, they must be eyewitness accounts, no? Again, Christian apologists argue back from their conclusions toward their data, and if the data aren’t there, they make it up: oral traditions, eyewitness accounts, etc.

Has Conservatism Run Its Course?

Since there is no longer a conservative political party in this country I am guessing that it is a good idea to define what I mean by “conservatism.” (It is different for different countries and different for different times.) My computer tells me that social conservatism is a “commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation” while political conservatism is “the holding of political views that favor free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas.”

Since social conservatism is at the core of political conservatism, that seems a good place to start.

When I was a youngin’ I often wondered what conservatives were trying to conserve. I was told “tradition” but that just means “the ways we have always done things.” Combine that and “opposition to change or innovation” and conservatism equates to preserving or “conserving” the status quo. Political conservatism therefore equates to preserving or “conserving” the political status quo.

When I was young, there was a conservative political party, the Republican Party. They have shrugged off that mantle, in favor of becoming a personality cult of Donald J. Trump, something conservatives of my past would have run for their guns to prevent.

So, I ask: “Who would want to preserve the status quo”? My only answer would be “the well off.” People who are socially or financially or politically well off would prefer that the good times kept rolling (Laissez les bons temps rouler!). And, lo and behold, the Republican Party of my youth was the party of the rich people and older people. There was even a meme to explain why this was so. It went “If you weren’t a liberal when you were young, you didn’t have a heart. If you weren’t a conservative when old, you didn’t have a brain.” It only made sense for the old folks to preserve their gains whether ill-gotten or otherwise.

So, the Republican Party was the party of Big Business, the rich, etc. and the Democratic Party was the party of “working people,” aka the non-rich, labor unions, poor people, oppressed minorities, etc. And, if you can believe it, each party had conservative and liberal wings, because there were substantial differences between the members of the two parties. This resulted in some overlap between the two cohorts, which made collaboration somewhat easier.

Well, there is no longer a party that wraps a conservative mantle around its shoulders. The GOP is attacking the FBI and other governmental policing functions, when it used to be the party of “law and order.” Oh, yeah, the law, pfft who cares? The only law that applies is “If the Donald did it, it was legal.”

The GOP used to be in favor of infrastructure repairs, voting in favor of projects large and small to keep the country’s roads and waterways and electric power distribution grids useful. They were even in favor of having a clean environment, and having public healthcare. Now they seem to want everything to make profits for the richest of the rich, and government should stay out of almost everything, except the courts and the military. The courts are to keep people who can’t afford good lawyers in line, and the military is for anything else needed to keep the coffers of the rich full to bursting.

So, is conservatism dead?

Plain old social conservatism, you know, conserving the status quo, is dead in the water as the social conservatives have been infiltrated and taken over by the religious right, which is trying to turn the country into a theocracy (and if you really, really, really want a civil war, that sure is a way to cause one).

The conservatism of my youth is dead, and if not dead, it is certainly gone. (William F. Buckley, were he still alive, would surely agree.) So far, only a lunatic fringe has stepped up to take is place. I hope that is not the only candidate. And I am still wondering what will replace the liberals who have disappeared, also. Maybe the progressives currently starting to exert some power?

September 20, 2022

The “Special Master” in the Trump Documents Investigation is a Political Joke

Filed under: Politics,Reason — Steve Ruis @ 8:50 pm
Tags: , ,

The judge issuing the “Special Master” order has declared that the investigators must stop investigating all of the documents until they have been reviewed.

This is insane. The “Special Master” is to determine whether any of the documents are subject to attorney-client privilege or executive privilege. But none of the classified documents can be so described, so those documents should be set aside for investigators to continue their work.

To have a government document go through the classification process basically precludes it from being a private communication belonging solely to the president.

Clearly the judge issuing this order is motivated more by politics than by the law. And the standing of the judicial branch of our government sinks more and more rapidly into the mire.

Donald Trump Veers Off Script

Filed under: History,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 8:48 pm
Tags: ,

Donald Trump has been bleating threats about what will happen should he be arrested and charged with any of his numerous crimes. He clearly doesn’t want to spend any time in prison.

This not how his mentor did things. What possibly has thrown Mr. Trump off is that his election was a shock and a surprise to him. He did not expect to be elected, which is what his mentor experienced.

But then Mr. Trump got back on track when he staged a coup that failed, as did his mentor. His mentor spent a year in prison as his penance, albeit in a posh institution in which he had every amenity, even a personal secretary.

Then his mentor was freed by a friendly judge (sound familiar?) and in short order he was elected into the highest elective office in the land and shortly after that was declared to be absolute dictator of his country.

The plan worked fabulously for Adolf Hitler and Mr. Trump seems hell bent on following that path. Why he is resisting going to prison is off script, though.

I Wonder . . .

Filed under: History,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 8:45 pm
Tags: ,

I just finished reading “The Jesus Dynasty” which concluded that Jesus had a human father, that he was a faithful Jew who sincerely felt that the Kingdom of God was “nigh” and that he would precipitate God’s intervention on Earth to establish that Kingdom. His message was “repent your suns,” and obey God’s commandments to prepare your way. Oh, and the resurrection didn’t happen literally, just “spiritually.”

Then he issued his belief that Christianity could move forward from this position, even though almost all of the basic tenants of Christianity were made moot, because “. . . at the core of all forms of Christianity are the teachings of Jesus, and more than any other factor, it is the compelling portrait of Jesus that has attracted so many to this faith.”

Now, he says this after saying “The message Jesus preached was transformed into the person of Jesus as the message—the proclamation that Christ (aka Jesus) had come and died for the sins of the world.”

So, if Christians were to accept Jesus as discovered by the author, they would have to give up his miraculous birth, his resurrection, and Heaven and Hell, his “sacrifice as the “Lamb of God,” sin forgiveness, and more and still be Christians.


My mind is boggled that someone could think this.

Allow me to gauge the impact of the elimination of just Heaven and Hell from Christianity. If the promise of glory in Heaven or punishment in Hell were to be removed from Christianity, I suspect that church membership would plummet. Granted there are “Christians” who believe when we die we are dead and that is all (Scandinavian Lutherans?) but in this country, most Christians state that they will be reunited with their loved ones in Heaven and that their enemies would suffer eternal torment in Hell.

Imagine is there were no “immortality,” no “life after death,” no “meeting of dead relatives” or for that matter, meeting “Jesus in the Sky.” Christians would be free to do all of the raping, killing, and looting they say us atheists are. They would also be free from tithing, church attendance, etc. as the “carrot and stick approach” of Christianity would no longer exist.

And really, if you were to ask the average Christian what Jesus’s teachings were, what do you think you’d get in response? If those “teachings” are the primary attraction to Christianity I would expect people to go on quite a bit. Instead, what you get is the Golden Rule, and love your neighbor, and maybe love God with all your heart, and . . . and . . . <cricket, cricket, cricket>.

Earth Calling John Roberts, Come In Please

Filed under: Politics,Reason — Steve Ruis @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , ,

A recent news report (ArcaMax) stated:

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts said he’s concerned criticism of the Supreme Court over controversial decisions has veered into attacks on its legitimacy as an institution. Speaking publicly for the first time since the court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, Roberts said criticism of rulings is “entirely appropriate,” but that the court’s role doesn’t change because people disagree with its decisions.

“’People can say what they want,’ he said late Friday at a conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where lawyers and judges gathered to discuss legal developments. But ‘simply because people disagree with an opinion is not a basis for questioning the legitimacy of the court.’”

So, all who are claiming that the legitimacy of the Court is being rapidly eroded, including me, are motivated simply from disagreement with the decision and not via any of the infantile, erroneous arguments put forth by the majority? Just that?

How about in the Kennedy v. Bremerton School Dist. decision (06/27/2022)? The majority claimed that the football coach was praying in private! The school district actually offered the coach a private space to pray in, but the coach refused that offer and insisted upon praying on the 50-yard line of the football game immediately after the game concluded. Do the Justices know what the purpose of a football stadium is? It is to allow people, many people, to watch what is happening on the field. Were the stands empty when the coach did his thing? No? So, the coach turned down an actual private space for his prayers, insisting on this very public space and your majority concludes that the coach was exercising his First Amendment right to pray “in private.” Did the justices or their clerks read the documents submitted? Did they see the photos?

The Chief Justice seems to have mastered the straw man argument. He claims that all of those claiming the Court is losing legitimacy because they disagree with the outcome to be mislead. Okay, what about the many thousands left who are criticizing the shoddy work of the majorities in these case? What about us?

You Don’t Need a Ladder to Get Off Your High Horse

Filed under: Business,Culture,Morality,Sports — Steve Ruis @ 8:31 pm
Tags: , ,

I was watching a televised MLB baseball game the other night and I realized that in large chalked letters running up the first base side of the field was the name of an online gambling site, an “official gaming partner” of the team.

Apparently now that all major sports in the U.S. have endorsed gambling we know what had kept them biased against gambling was that they were not getting a cut of the action (now they are). Of course, the purists will talk about how gamblers were at the fringes of their sport, trying to bribe players to affect the outcomes to favor their bets, but, that no longer seems to be a problem, now that the sports are getting a fair share of the loot involved and, well, the players are making more than the gamblers are.

So, can MLB and the Baseball Writers Association (and the Veteran’s Committee) stop blocking Pete Rose’s entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Yes, I know the HOF is a private organization, which has its own rules, but being flaming hypocrites shouldn’t be one of them. The man accumulated more hits than any other player in the history of MLB, for Pete’s sake.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.