Monday, December 11, 2017

It ain't just Alabama were fools multiply when good people are silent, but that's good place to start

At one time, prominent Alabama people tried to persuade Alabama's legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant to run for governor against George Wallace. Coach Bryant gave it serious thought, then decided not to do it. He was a football coach, not a politician. 

Early dreams last night, including a pat on the back from Coach Bryant, pointed this former Alabama practicing attorney ex-pat on the lam in Key West toward the special Alabama US Senate seat election tomorrow, featuring what I personally view a freak of nature, the Republican candidate, Roy Moore.
About whom, a Key West born-again Christian, lifelong Republican (BACLLR) friend emailed yesterday:

In opinion pages of today's. NYT a piece to the effect Why I No Longer Consider Myself an Evangelical Conservative.   You can pull it up online. He does not like Moore much to put it mildly. You could copy it for your blog

Of course he does not like the Don either

He had worked for RR in his second term

I replied:

Thanks -

Here's a link to that article:
Preserving my identity as a Christian conservative means turning away from two movements that have shaped my life.
Too late to include in today's post. Perhaps in tomorrow's.

I really like this man's take on Trump and Moore, and what they represent and are doing to the Republican Party, and to America.

As I read this man's words, I thought, heck, Trump and Moore have made the Republican Party and "Evangelicals" today's George Wallace and his congregation.

As you probably recall, late in life, Wallace claimed to have second thoughts, went around apologizing to blacks for his awful treatment of their elders. I thought, perhaps hoping to gain their political favor as well as buy a ticket into heaven later on. 

Who knows to what lofty level Wallace would have risen in American politics, had he not been shot in the abdomen and spine, which left his legs crippled and him fighting for his life against infections the rest of his life.

BACLLR  wrote back:

Thanks. I knew you would appreciate his perspective.  He had penned anti Trump pieces even before the Access Hollywood tapes

A moral guy true to his principles 

I replied:

Yeah, he put God over Trump and the current Republican Party.
John Paul Jones
"I have not yet begun to fight."

Email from another Key West friend, who gets copies of my daily musings and asked me the other day if Alabama is going to be the capitol of the world?

Sloan, why do you think that virtually all of the emphasis concerning Roy Moore has been on alleged molestation?  It's  not that what he was alleged to have done to  those girls was not dreadful, but a former judge who disobeyed a federal court order and some want him to  be a senator? what can their reasoning be on that alone much less that and molestation?

I replied:

Excellent questions.

Alas, the Alabama, and the U.S., religious right care nothing for a Federal Court order telling Roy Moore he cannot have a Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama Supreme Court building, nor for a later Federal Court order telling More he cannot order Alabama probate judges to enforce an Alabama ban on same sex marriages ruled unconstitutional by a Federal Court, nor for the Alabama Supreme Court twice removing Moore from the Supreme Court for his refusal to obey those two Federal Court orders. In fact, the religious right loved Moore for disobeying those two Federal Court orders, and the religious right loved him even more when he was martyred by being twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court. 

The religious right also love Moore because he's against abortion, homosexuality, and liberals, which they equate with the Devil.

Back in time, Governor George Wallace vowed segregation forever in Alabama. He stood at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, defying efforts to integrate that college, and was removed by the Alabama National Guard, which was mustered into action (federalized) by President John F. Kennedy. Wallace's popularity in Alabama, already high, soared. I was amazed when Alabama blacks became Wallace supporters in the early 1980s, keeping him in the Governor's mansion in Montgomery. 

The folks who backed Wallace early on in Alabama, and later when he ran for president, before he had infiltrated the blacks in Alabama, remind me a great deal of the people backing Roy Moore in Alabama, and of the people who blindly back Donald Trump. They also remind me of the rise to power of Adolph Hitler. While I figure that seems crazy to some, or a lot, of people, I wonder if they know about this recent warning from Barack Obama?

If Doug Jones wins in Alabama, it will, I think, be due to a massive black and woman voter turnout against Moore. I imagine there will be a heavy, or massive, voter turnout in Moore's camp.

I think if Moore is elected, the same coalition of dissatisfied Americans who have deified Trump, will deify Moore. 

I can imagine that if Moore is elected, and Trump runs again, Moore will be his running mate. 

Perry, this is not about reason. Nor is it about the law.  Nor is it about God, because if God was running this picture show, it would be very different.

This is about emotions. This is about beliefs. This is a religious jihad. And liberals are the enemy.


My friend wrote back:

Didn't expect or deserve such an extended and articulate response Sloan. Thanks.  For sure it's high drama no matter which way it goes.

I replied:

Yes, high drama, with high stakes, a Shakespearean play, but it's not in England, or Denmark, or Venice.

This morning, I emailed him:

The Key West Citizen today, Dec. 11, carries this syndicated article.

According to the article, attorney General Jeff Sessions, from Alabama, said he cast a write-in vote for a distinguished Alabama Republican. However, most Alabama political leaders polled said they are voting, or have voted, for Moore. 

An interesting read. 

Republican Party before anything.

The oldest profession alive and well. 

The Devil, no metaphor, delighted. 

Republican Party every bit a religion as Southern Baptist Convention, KKK, Free Masons, Nazis, Lutherans, Communists, Presbyterians, Atheists. 

But then, so is the Democratic Party.

I'd love to hear the Deist Thomas Jefferson's thoughts from wherever in hell he is burning forever according to Roy Moore's religious view.

On a personal front, 
Yesterday, I reported that my homeless vodka addict girlfriend Kari Dangler had been arrested and jailed for trespass and is in the jail's sickbay, detoxing. 

In my next to last dream before dawn today, I was at Fort Zachary State Park, in Key West, being targeted by a Key West police officer for lying in my hammock, while other people lying in their hammocks were not being bothered by the officer. I called him out and stood him down, even has he drew his pistol and aimed it at me. I told him I was going to have his badge, I am a lawyer. He turned and walked away, making verbal threats at me.

Then, I was told in my sleep, "Reattach your soul."

Kari and I used to hang out a lot together at Fort Zach.

On waking, I figured the dream meant Kari had been targeted by a Key West police officer, who had it in for her for something that had passed between them in the past and/or because of what I have published about the Key West Police Department in the past. I have thought for some time that I am why some Key West police officers target Kari.

I also figured, "Reattach your soul" referred to a line in a poem that jumped out of me in May 2003, in Key West:

"His wife is his soul."

I figured I need to reconnect with Kari. Visit her in the jail, when she can have visitation. Put money onto her inmate commissary and telephone accounts.

Here is that entire poem, which I figured when it upped and jumped out of me as fast as I could write it in my journal, was the golf course I would play the rest of my life:

I am a man.

I said,
I am a man!

What means it,being a man?

A man is a warrior:

he lives by a code of honor,
his word is reliable,
his actions confirm his words,
his commitment is holiness,
his enemies are welcome at his hearth,
he fears but moves forward,
he cries and gets up again,he hates but forgives,
he loves and let’s go,
he doubts but trusts God,
he’s a good friend,
he seeks resolutions,
he demands nothing,
he risks everything,
he regrets his mistakes,
he seeks to make amends,
he puts others’ welfare first,
he accepts apologies truly made,
he expects nothing back,
he lives ready to die,
he laughs when he “should” scream,
he screams when he “should” laugh,
he sings just because,
he shrugs off insults,
he learns from misfortune,
he cusses God for making him,
he wishes he was done,
he loves children and animals,
he relishes a woman’s scent,
he smiles when he’s content,
he knows God’s his master,
he walks in rainbows,
his garden is the world,
his way is nature,
he loves fishing,
his wife is his soul,
his food is life,
his pay is whatever he receives.
Yep, he’s crazy.
Fort Zach, Key West, January 2016


Why I Can No Longer Call Myself an Evangelical Republican

There are times in life when the institutional ground underneath you begins to crumble — and with it, longstanding attachments. Such is the case for me when it comes to the Republican Party and evangelicalism.
I’ve been a part of both for my entire adult life. These days, though, in many important ways they are having harmful effects on our society.
The latest example is in Alabama, where Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate, stands accused of varying degrees of sexual misconduct by nine women, including one who was 14 years old at the time. Mr. Moore leads in most polls, and solidly among most evangelicals, heading into Tuesday’s election.
A bit of personal history may be in order here. As a young man I embraced conservatism as a political philosophy and the Republican Party as its political home. The first vote I cast was in 1980 for Ronald Reagan. I had spirited debates with classmates at the University of Washington in Seattle, which was hardly a hotbed of conservatism. They couldn’t begin to understand what I was doing. Yet I was proud to make the case for Reagan and consider myself fortunate to have worked in his administration in its second term.
At roughly the same time, I was in the midst of a pilgrimage of faith that started as vague deism but eventually led me to evangelicalism. Both the Republican Party, which was created to end slavery and preserve the Union, and evangelicalism, a transdenominational effort to faithfully represent Christ in word and deed, shaped my life and outlook, helping me to interpret the world.
Continue reading the main story
Politics and faith are hardly synonymous. They occupy different realms, and my faith has a far more important and cherished place in my life than politics. Yet both are significant to me, and the two spheres are not entirely distinct.
Some of the most impressive moral movements in American politics — the efforts to abolish slavery and to end segregation and the struggle to protect unborn life — have been informed by Christianity. Two of the monumental figures in the latter half of the 20th century, Reagan and Pope John Paul II, together helped to bring down one of the most malevolent political movements in history: Soviet-led Communism.
More recently, the global AIDS and malaria initiative is one of President George W. Bush’s greatest legacies; more than 13 million people are on lifesaving antiretroviral treatment as a consequence. This, too, was a policy that came about in response to human sympathies that were shaped in large part by the faith of Mr. Bush and some of his key advisers.
I don’t mean to imply that politics and religion are a perfect fit. Often they’re not, and over the years Christians, myself included, have not gotten the balance right. But overall I felt that the Republican Party and the evangelical movement were imperfect forces for good, and I spent a large part of my life defending them.
Yet the support being given by many Republicans and white evangelicals to President Trump and now to Mr. Moore have caused me to rethink my identification with both groups. Not because my attachment to conservatism and Christianity has weakened, but rather the opposite. I consider Mr. Trump’s Republican Party to be a threat to conservatism, and I have concluded that the term evangelical — despite its rich history of proclaiming the “good news” of Christ to a broken world — has been so distorted that it is now undermining the Christian witness.
Just the other day I received a note from a friend of mine, a pastor, who told me he no longer uses the label “evangelical” to describe himself, even though he meets every element of its historical definition, “because the term is now so stained as to ruin my ability to be what evangelicalism was supposed to be.”
Another pastor who is a lifelong friend told me, “Evangelical is no longer a word we can use.” The reason, he explained, is that it’s become not a religious identification so much as a political one. A third person, who heads a Christian organization, told me the term evangelical “is now a tribal rather than a creedal description.” In October, the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship, a campus ministry for more than 80 years, changed its name to the Princeton Christian Fellowship. “We’re interested in being people who are defined by our faith and by our faith commitments and not by any sort of political agenda,” according to Bill Boyce, who has led the campus group for decades.
There are of course a great many honorable individuals in the Republican Party and the evangelical movement. Those who hold different views than I do lead exemplary lives. Yet I cannot help believing that the events of the past few years — and the past few weeks — have shown us that the Republican Party and the evangelical movement (or large parts of them, at least), have become what I once would have thought of as liberal caricatures.
Assume you were a person of the left and an atheist, and you decided to create a couple of people in a laboratory to discredit the Republican Party and white evangelical Christianity. You could hardly choose two more perfect men than Donald Trump and Roy Moore.
Both have been credibly accused of being sexual predators, sometimes admitting to bizarre behavior in their own words. Both have spun wild conspiracy theories, including the lie that Barack Obama was not born in America. Both have slandered the United States and lavished praise on Vladimir Putin, with Mr. Moore declaring that America today could be considered “the focus of evil in the modern world” and stating, in response to Mr. Putin’s anti-gay measures in Russia: “Well, maybe Putin is right. Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know.” Both have been involved with shady business dealings. Both have intentionally divided America along racial and religious lines. Both relish appealing to people’s worst instincts. Both create bitterness and acrimony in a nation desperately in need of grace and a healing touch.
I hoped the Trump era would be seen as an aberration and made less ugly by those who might have influence over the president. That hasn’t happened. Rather than Republicans and people of faith checking his most unappealing sides, the president is dragging down virtually everyone within his orbit.
In the latest example of this, a rising number of Republicans are attempting to delegitimize the special counsel’s investigation into whether there were links between Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and Mr. Putin’s Russia because they quake at what he may find. Prominent evangelical leaders, rather than challenging the president to become a man of integrity, have become courtiers. What’s happening with Mr. Moore in Alabama — with the president, the Republican National Committee, the state party and many white evangelicals rallying around him — is a bridge too far for many of us. Where exactly is the bottom? And at what point do you pull back from associating yourself with a political party and a religious term you once took pride in but that are now doing harm to the things you treasure?
Institutional renewal and regeneration are possible, and I’m going to continue to push for them. But for now a solid majority of Republicans and self-described evangelicals are firmly aboard the Trump train, which is doing its utmost to give a seat of privilege to Mr. Moore. So for those of us who still think of ourselves as conservative and Christian, it’s enough already.

Obama Warns Americans Against Following In The Path Of Nazi Germany

 Sara Boboltz,HuffPost Sat, Dec 9 12:22 PM EST 

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