A Break In The Weather

For most of the last few days, PennLive.com has been covering the weather.  But a piece on Trump’s latest gaffe did provide some “Click Bait”.

One other thing that the piece did mention was how many conservative voices are starting to turn on Trump.  Interesting as the latest issue of The Nation, which I have not read yet, puts thier endorsement of Bernie Sanders on the cover.

While the right needs to run from the GOP frontrunner.  The leading voice of the left can for once endorse a candidate without holding their nose.



American Goliath–Or America’s Hydra?

One of the many things I have been trying to do this year is become more involved with my faith.  The way Pope Francis has tacitly embraced elements of Liberation Theology has made me a lot more comfortable and even prouder of my Catholic faith.

One of the readings for today was the classic tale of David and Goliath, but what got me to thinking was the response that I chose to listen to.  Much of it involved elements of what my Dad might call “Dominionism”; the reflection was a rant against Planned Parenthood, the media, China and Islam.

But there was a message that much as David, young as he was, was able to slay a giant, so might the faithful.  Never mind that the vision in the reflection is one of what would be little more than Sharia Law with a Crucifix, but we activists are slaying perhaps not a giant, but a hydra.

This beast we are fighting has many heads that are showing themselves; in Flint, MIchigan, we see racism and economic discrimination, with Trump, perhaps the main head, we see authoritianism and fear, and  with the standoff in Oregon, insurrectionism.

David used a sling and a stone; while Hercules relied on some help from his mortal half-brother.  We have resources of own we can use, it’s just a matter of how we apply them.

Airing ‘Dirty Laundry’

My hamper was bigger than the dryers in my complex, I had; an odd pair of socks, two sweatshirts, a pair of jeans and a T-shirt that needed to be dried.   I decided that I would take these clothes to a local laundromat.  While there, I saw a letter that a sales tax on laundromats is being proposed.

Now, I can see a sales tax on dry cleaning, as that can be passed on to the purchaser.  But to put a tax on the laundromats seems not only impractical, but a legitimate case of a tax truly hitting the poorer residents.

One patron did not seem amused, but much of her animus seemed directed at the poor, instead of those at the top.  The patron did not realize that the refusal of the Republicans in the State’s General Assembly to put taxes on gas extraction, etc is part of this standoff.  To help her out, I did point her to Rachael Maddow, the One People’s Project and The Rick Smith Show.

Making the “Dog Whistle” Louder?

January 13 brought the news that Al-Jazeera America will go off the air in April.  Ending a 3-year effort to being old-fashioned investgative reporting  back to the airwaves.

The reasons for it’s demise may have been many; the decline in oil prices, the association by many American’s of Al-Jazeera with terrorism.  I think some of it may have been a lack of a niche.  At the time it debuted; FOX News was targeting that AM-radio set, CNN staking out a middle ground, and MSNBC going after the NPR set.

My question is, what will Verizon do with that space come April. Might they pick up Al-Jazeera English, or might they consider adding a channel like Link TV or Free Speech TV.

Since at least Verizon has added channels like NewsMax, One America News, and even Glen Beck’s The Blaze channel to the lineup.  I would expect them, like PennLive.com, to further reach out to the mobile estates.

Creating a Monster?

As is typical for me, I’m a bit behind.  I did want to comment on an article, and an event I was at, from the week ending the 2nd of January.

The article was a piece critical of Donald Trump; what made the piece interesting was that it came from George Will, one of the people seen as an intellectual voice of the American Right.  While the piece is long on the history of past intra-party struggles in the GOP, the piece neglects that Trump may be a monster of the GOP’s creation.  The end result of nearlky 60 years of relying on a base of lower-middle or lower-class, less-educated, rural, white males.  This may have been the result of a need to counter the growing power of urban and suburban areas.

One need only look to how the GOP brought the “Dixiecrats” and “Boll Weevil” Democrats into their fold.  Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and Reagan’s “Welfare Queens” all were little more than stepping stones on the road to the Trump campaign.

I got to see and stand against this monster on the 2nd, when I stood with nearly 250 counter-protestors to a protest of an agency in Lancaster, PA that was assisting in resettlement of refugees.  I wonder how many of the folks protesting Chrurch World Services were at the rally in Harrisburgh in October.  The rally that featured a front group for skinheads unfulrling a banner.

The counter protest began at a local park, where the two organizers set the background and gave us our marching orders:


After a short walk, we met the folks that are likely examples of Trump’s base.DSC_0036010216


A few shouts were exchanged, including an ill-fated attempt by me to get a group of the counter-protestors to chant “We don’t want no fascists here!” That only cost me my voice.

There were some very creative and positive signs from the counter-protestors, some of my favorites were:

There are opportunities in the upcoming weeks to support the refugees.  On January 16, “The Seed” in Lancaster, PA is putting on a fund-raising show, the show starts at 9:30PM and has a $4-$8 sliding cover. The 17th brings a Concert for Refugees to Tellus360, one of Lancaster’s newest spots, for a 21 and over show with no cover and a 5PM start.