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The Cruelty of Neo-Catholicism in the Age of MAGA…or How Covington Catholic Punks Turn My Stomach

As part of the yearly commemoration of MLK Day, MSNBC aired a documentary about the slain civil rights leader. Prominent in the film was the Selma march in 1965, a watershed moment in the fight for African-American equality. Filmmakers and TV cameras captured Alabama policemen beating peaceful protestors. I’ve seen this southern horror many times, but what I failed to notice were some of the white protestors who had joined the blacks for the second Selma demonstration. There they were, Catholic priests and nuns, outraged by the injustice of it all, arm-in-arm with negroes (the term of the day), doing God’s work and living the Church’s clarion call for social justice.

Flash forward to DC last weekend, on MLK weekend no less, and witness the new Catholic-protest paradigm–mocking minorities instead of fighting for them and wearing the insignia of an amoral, racist sociopath (Trump). Now ask yourself, what happened to Catholic dogma in the intervening 54 years? How did the fight for social justice devolve into a cruel, senseless joke? What’s at the heart of neo-Catholicism’s heartlessness?

Writing in OpEd News, B.K. Faunce has an answer. “What you see in these fresh-faced, Trump-loving young men is the inevitable product of a decades-long shift the Catholic church has undergone in moving away from its historical roots in social justice (love thy neighbor) and into its philosophical and ideological opposite, a postmodern or neo-Catholicism.”

Instead of the earnest demeanor of Selma Catholics doing what Jesus would do, the postmodern Catholic displays a smug superiority and is given to demeaning those who are not them–white, condescending, and dismissive. Or as Faunce describes the typical Covington kid, “…sunny, smarmy, privileged, uncouth, aggressive, abusive. Someone whose life is taken care of and whose needs are met, whose clothes are cleaned and pressed, whose food is prepared, whose room is cleaned. Someone who looks no further than the end of his nose to see the world reflected in his own image.”

Who made them this way? Certainly, indulgent parents who taught them no social values beyond what they, by birthskin, are entitled to. The right of white and the diminution of all whose shades are darker. But where is the church in all this? Aren’t the teachings of Jesus part of the curriculum? How do the faculty and clergy overlook the fact that the Nazarene was a long-haired, destitute outsider who deplored the corruption and amorality of the political establishment and reminded us that what we do to the least of men we do to him?

In the age of pedophilia scandals and Vatican excess, the church has circled the wagons. As Faunce puts it, neo-Catholicism demands “Do unto others before they do unto you. Aid and abet the ruling elites: you never know when you might need a friend…Take from the poor and give to the rich. Cheat homeowners, ignore climate change, poison drinking water everywhere. Above all else, demonize the poor, the aged and the infirm, for they will inherit nothing but the whirlwind…neo-Catholics reject outright the good news of the New Testament in favor of Iron Age traditions that emphasize cruelty, hatred, violence, greed and war.”

Where are the Catholic leaders in all this? Are they to blame for the ugly paradigm shift? They are so worried about their own survival that they have made deals with the devil himself. Don’t prosecute us; don’t outlaw our outlaw enterprise; look the other way when we violate children; don’t take away our tax exemption; keep pumping the dough into the collection basket…we need it for our defense fund.

If the MAGA punks of Covington Catholic are the practitioners of neo-Catholicism, then they learned it the hard way, from parents and clergy who care about no one but themselves. If Selma happened today, 2019 Catholics would condemn those uppity blacks for having the temerity to demand equality in a world that belongs to the white man by Scripture and force.

www.amazon.com/dp/1948260085

Liberals Don’t Get It; Trumpites Are A Different Animal

There’s a scene in the TV series “The Sopranos” where Dr. Melfi, Tony’s psychiatrist, is told by her husband that “there is no cure for a sociopath…they are animals.” It suddenly dawns on Dr. Melfi that all of her years spent working to help Tony have been for naught. Psychoanalyzing an animal is pointless. Talk therapy does not help. Meds don’t help. Trying to understand them is pointless. Ascribing normal human standards to their behaviors is an exercise in futility. In the end, one must realize that they can’t be persuaded, shamed, or cajoled to do the right thing. They have no conscience or morality. They are concerned only with themselves, and they live to prey on others.

This is what liberals do not understand about Trumpites. We try to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that their anger is somehow justified. We look for justification for their irrational hatred of Hillary and Democrats. We hope that Trump’s language and behavior are just a means to a better end. We delve into sociological causations for the disaffection of the white working class. We make excuses for college-educated females who voted for Trump. We desperately search for a glimmer of sensibility in half of all voters supporting a compulsive liar, sexual predator, tax cheat and business fraud.

Liberals, please listen. There is no humanity in a Trumpite. Stop attributing human qualities to non-humans. They are animals, devoid of compassion, empathy and concern for the greater good. They live, breathe and think only for themselves. The rest of us are merely marks in their con games. Like their leader, they use humans as a way to get what they want for themselves. And they couldn’t care less if others are happy, safe or prosperous as long as they are. Take Obamacare, for example.

You know why they want to rip it apart? It’s not because they have some deeply and thoughtfully considered socioeconomic objections, or that they see a better way of implementing universal care. No. It is simply because they do not want others, especially those beneath them, to be cared for. The well-being of others makes them furious, especially if their tax dollars contribute in some small way to that abomination. Even if Trumpites have their own wealth and comfort, they do not want others to share in the same abundance. For what is the point of being prosperous if others have it too? Remember, animals fend for themselves. Sociopaths are merely snakes on the prowl, not beneficent do-gooders.

Gun obsession is another example of the sociopath’s self-centeredness. In his view, the world is a jungle, and a weapon gives him the advantage. The animal seeks to intimidate and cow others, and he assumes that all others are animals too…ones from which he needs to be protected. It never enters a Trumpite’s head that liberals want everyone to be protected, that the greater good is served by keeping guns out of irresponsible hands, that liberals want humanity to exist on a higher plane of shared decency and respect. For the animal there is no such plane. There is only the jungle. There is only me.

Liberals, wake up. Trumpites are animals. Conscienceless, amoral, hateful, brutal, and completely devoid of remorse. (If Democrats had won the election despite losing the popular vote by millions, they would have felt guilty. But not these animals.) Stop treating them like they are human. Call them out for what they are. Shame them for their shamelessness. Be relentless in pointing out their inhumanity. And don’t forget, you cannot appease an animal. You cannot compromise with it; you cannot work with it. It will bite your head off as soon as you turn your back on it.

Thankfully, in America animals are still outnumbered by human beings. Appeal to human beings’ decency and sense of righteousness. And stop trying to figure out Trumpites. Sociopaths are incurable.

The Truth Of The JFK Assassination Is Coming Dangerously Close To Being Revealed

With the release of yet another devastatingly truthful book about Allen Dulles, one of the masterminds of JFK’s assassination, it is getting harder for the mainstream media and its talking heads to keep their wall of lies from crumbling.  David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government is an irrefutable indictment of the plotters and their motives; so convincing that even writers, publications, and media outlets on the periphery of the establishment are taking pick axes to the half-century of illusions that officialdom has used to keep us blinded.  Reviews of Chessboard are unanimous—we can no longer deny  the evil Dulles and his cronies perpetrated on the country, including the murder of our 35th President.

Writing in “Foreign Policy Journal,” David Swanson admits that “…there’s not nearly as much disagreement regarding what happened to John and Robert Kennedy as major communications corporations would have you believe…your darkest suspicions about how the world operates are likely an underestimate. Yes, there is an amorphous group of unelected corporate lawyers, bankers, and intelligence and military officials who form an American ‘deep state,’ setting real limits on the rare politicians who ever try to get out of line…For those of us who were already convinced of that up to our eyeballs, Talbot’s book is still one of the best I’ve seen on the Dulles brothers and one of the best I’ve seen on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.”

As Talbot so clearly lays it out, JFK had many enemies, the most deadly of whom were the masters of America’s secret government—the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, America’s oil cartel, and Wall Street moneychangers.  Dulles was the ringleader of these traitors.  After he had trapped Kennedy into the Bay of Pigs mess, Kennedy fired him and other sacred intelligence cows.  Dulles swore revenge, and marshalled all the malevolent forces who wanted the President dead.  The result was Dallas, 11/22/63.

Swanson, summarizing the work of Talbot and others, explains, “[JFK] wouldn’t fight Cuba or the Soviet Union or Vietnam or East Germany or independence movements in Africa. He wanted disarmament and peace. He was talking cooperatively with Khrushchev, as Eisenhower had tried prior to the U2-shootdown sabotage. The CIA was overthrowing governments in Iran, Guatemala, the Congo, Vietnam, and around the world. Kennedy was getting in the way…Kennedy had made enemies of bankers and industrialists. He was working to shrink oil profits by closing tax loopholes, including the oil depletion allowance. He aggressively went after steel corporations and prevented their price hikes.  Kennedy wanted to eliminate or drastically weaken and rename the CIA. Yes he threw Dulles and some of his gang out the door. Yes he refused to launch World War III over Cuba or Berlin or anything else.  This was the sort of behavior that could get you overthrown.”

With his courageous work, Talbot has blasted the wall of secrecy surrounding Allen Dulles and his evil cult.  Will CBS, NBC, ABC, the New York Times, et al, pay attention?  Or will the bastards be the last to report the truth of THE crime of the 20th century?

www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Jeb is dead wrong; W was responsible for 9/11 Attacks. His advisors ignored warnings.

Recently Donald Trump has taken much criticism for blaming the 9/11 attacks on George W. Bush. Bush’s brother Jeb has been particularly incensed.  Jeb’s outrage has gone unchallenged by the major media, of course, because they has a hard time remembering what happened yesterday much less 14 years ago.  Since no real fact-checking  of Trump’s claim is taking place, I have done a little research myself, and it turns out Trump is absolutely correct.  Trump has shoveled a lot of political manure the last few months, but putting the blame for 9/11 on the George W. Bush administration is absolutely justified.

According to a New York Times article written by Kurt Eichenwald and published on Sept. 10, 2012, W and his cabinet had ample warning of the impending terrorist attacks. Eichenwald wrote, “On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s presidential daily brief — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.’ A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.”

And this was not the only briefing on Al Qaeda ignored by W’s administration. Eichenwald reported that “…the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release [are even worse]. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it. The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that ‘a group presently in the United States’ was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be imminent.”

So, yes, it is irrefutable that W and his bungling advisors stood by and did nothing as Al Qaeda planned its attack. No administration has ever been so negligent or culpable in failing to protect U.S. soil.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Bush’s incompetence wrought catastrophic devastation in the days and years after 9/11:

  1. He squandered the surplus left him by Bill Clinton when wasted trillions on an unnecessary war and enriched his crony defense contractors (Halliburton, Carlyle, Blackwater, etc.) for shoddy work.
  2. Hundreds of thousands of innocent lives slaughtered.
  3. Destabilized the Middle East, which led to the formation of ISIS.
  4. Plunged U.S. into debt to the tune of $3 trillion.
  5. Officially sanctioned torture as American foreign policy.
  6. Invaded the wrong country.
  7. Let the real terrorists get away.
  8. Gave safe sanctuary to the Bin Ladens.
  9. Alienated the rest of the world; created hatred for America that lasts to this day.
  10. Destroyed Iran’s number one enemy.

So go ahead and flame away, Donald. You finally got one right.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Even The CIA Now Admits It Covered Up The Truth Of JFK’s Murder

As Earl Warren once let slip to a dogged reporter (there used to be such people in America), “You’ll not know the truth of the JFK assassination in your lifetime.” To the dismay of all democracy-loving people everywhere, Warren was right. Only dedicated researchers and writers, like David Lifton, Mark Lane, and James Douglas, largely ignored by the mainstream media, have dared to seriously investigate the murder of the century. Thanks to them we know much more now than we did 50 years ago. However, the truth of the conspiracy, which involved LBJ, the Joint Chiefs, Texas oil billionaires, and disaffected CIA rogues, has never been acknowledged by the establishment press or any government agency.

The best we can get from investigative “journalists” these days is admission of CIA lies, half-truths, and talk of indirect involvement. Such is this case with the latest revelation by a “name” journalist. Former New York Times reporter Philip Shenon, in an article for Politico Magazine, writes, “Even the CIA is now willing to raise these questions [about CIA involvement in JFK’s death]. Half a century after JFK’s death, in a once-secret report written in 2013 by the CIA’s top in-house historian and quietly declassified last fall, the spy agency acknowledges what others were convinced of long ago: that [John] McCone [CIA chief under JFK] and other senior CIA officials were ‘complicit’ in keeping ‘incendiary’ information from the Warren Commission.

“According to the report by CIA historian David Robarge, McCone, who died in 1991, was at the heart of a ‘benign cover-up’ at the spy agency, intended to keep the commission focused on ‘what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’—that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.’ The most important information that McCone withheld from the commission in its 1964 investigation, the report found, was the existence, for years, of CIA plots to assassinate Castro, some of which put the CIA in cahoots with the Mafia. Without this information, the commission never even knew to ask the question of whether Oswald had accomplices in Cuba or elsewhere who wanted Kennedy dead in retaliation for the Castro plots.

“The report offers no conclusion about McCone’s motivations, including the question of why he would go to lengths to cover up CIA activities that mostly predated his time at the agency. But it suggests that the Johnson White House might have directed McCone to hide the information. McCone ‘shared the administration’s interest in avoiding disclosures about covert actions that would circumstantially implicate [the] CIA in conspiracy theories and possibly lead to calls for a tough US response against the perpetrators of the assassination.'”

Shenon, knowingly or unknowingly, is the latest conduit of the CIA’s limited hang-out position, to wit: “Yes, we covered up the truth, but we did not set up Oswald to be the patsy, hire the real hitmen, use assets to alter the Zapruder film, issue a false autopsy, alter the President’s wounds, kill and intimidate witnesses, or collude with the new President, the Joint Chiefs, or Texas oil billionaires to remove the 35th President from office…even though we hated him and were secretly at war with him throughout the thousand days of his administration.”

In truth, Shenon and his like bore me. At best, they should be pitied for being duped by CIA disinformation; at worst, they should be scorned for helping covering up the truth under the guise of “uncovering bombshell information” which does nothing more than exonerate the CIA. If you want the real truth, read Jim Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable…or my book, The President’s Mortician. And don’t be fooled by pseudo-journalists.
http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Right-Wing Benghazi Witch Hunt Exposed for What It Is: An Attempt to Lower Hillary’s Poll Numbers

The longest investigation is U.S. Congressional history has officially and publically been declared a devious, cynical, taxpayer-funded political ploy. We on the left have always known this, but now even a GOP leader has conceded this. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made this stunning admission on FOX News:

“What you’re going to see is a conservative Speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

Notice how McCarthy made no mention of the Americans who died in the attack on our Libyan embassy, which was ostensibly the whole point of the investigation in the first place. Those deaths, it turns out, are superfluous.

Steve Benen, reporting for MSNBC, put it this way: “Note, McCarthy sees the committee as a legitimate accomplishment of the Republican Congress, not because it’s uncovered relevant details about an act of terrorism, but because Hillary Clinton’s ‘numbers are dropping.’ This, in his mind, is evidence of the GOP majority using its power effectively – by using a supposedly non-partisan investigatory vehicle to embarrass a Democrat with dubious allegations.

“It’s almost as if the House Majority Leader assumed he was among friends, dropped his guard momentarily, and admitted out loud what Republicans are only supposed to say in private.

“There was no real reason to create this committee, and the panel itself no longer serves any legitimate purpose. McCarthy’s unexpected candor was welcome – it was, to be sure, surprising to see him make such a concession on national television – but it served as a timely reminder that the Benghazi investigation that no longer focuses on Benghazi is now little more than a taxpayer-financed farce.”
http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

I’m Boycotting The Evening News; I’m Sick Of Its Conservative Bias

The other night as Scott Pelley tried to lull me to sleep with yet another “kitten rescued from a tree story,” it suddenly occurred to me that watching the nightly news on the major networks is a huge waste of time. With all the destruction and deceit created by right-wing extremists in this country, it is obscene that CBS, NBC, and ABC focus such large blocks of time to celebrity gossip, cute puppy stories, heartwarming human interest (e.g., the blind person who succeeds in college), and other “news stories” meant to assuage my fears, curry my favor, or make me overlook systematic dismantling of democracy. I’ve come to the conclusion that nightly news broadcasts are nothing more than light entertainment, used by corporate sponsors and owners to sell me financial services, cars, and computer widgets. Real journalism is dead. The days of Walter Cronkite editorializing about the futility of the Vietnam War, Harry Reasoner denouncing segregation, and Howard K. Smith exposing Nixon as a criminal are long gone. And the insidiously deceptive part is that the things they will not tell you are the very things which are tearing democracy to shreds. Here are just a few of the things which go unreported by ABC, CBS and NBC.

1)The Proliferation of Guns and Gun Deaths in U.S.
In 2014, approximately 35, 000 people died by gunfire in the United States. It is estimated that 2015 deaths will exceed that number. The Center For Disease Control reports that gun violence costs American Taxpayers over $500 million annually in direct hospital costs. Yet you will not hear these stats on the nightly news, because these cowardly “journalists” are fearful of NRA and right-wing backlash.

2)Scandal-Free Obama Administration
Over 130 members of Ronald Reagan’s administration were either accused, indicted, or convicted of crimes. The two Bush administrations squandered our national treasure and destroyed countless lives with needless wars; billions of taxpayer dollars which funded those wars are still unaccounted for. War criminals like Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Don Rumsfeld have been given a free pass. On the contrary, the Obama administration has been absolutely scandal-free. Yet the contrast between his administration and others goes unnoticed in print and broadcast media.

3)Illegitimacy of Extremist Right-Wing Views
If Scott Pelley were broadcasting the nightly news in Berlin in 1933, he would hide behind the veneer of fairness and present the Nazi party viewpoint alongside the democratic stance. This analogy applies today, as right-wing extremism is presented as a legitimate opposing view on all issues. Even when right-wing politicians take ridiculously hateful positions, these positions are given equal time. A dumbed-down American public construes these positions as legitimate.

4)Right-Wing Presidential Candidates’ Lies and Scandals Go Unchallenged, but Hillary Clinton Gets Incessantly Hounded About Non-Issues Like Benghazi and E-Mails.
Carly Fiorina lied about seeing a video of an aborted fetus with a beating heart lying on a clinic table somewhere. No video exists. Planned Parenthood does not harvest human brains and limbs and organs for profit. Yet these lies, and a thousand others, are not exposed by the mainstream media. Viewers who believe everything they see on TV get a warped sense of reality.

5)Where the jobs went
Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness. Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg as multinational corporations account for only about 20% of the labor force.  When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

6)Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality
In 2014, 10% of the people held approximately 88% of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1% alone held 40% of all net worth. The ultra-rich are hoarding all the wealth. Soon nothing will be left but scraps for the poor. These statistics are nonpartisan and available to all reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the mainstream media?

7)How ALEC is destroying democracy
ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. Sounds innocuous enough, but don’t be fooled. This organization, perhaps more than any other, is killing the democratic system. It is funded by the richest right-wing corporations and individuals in the country, who have bought and paid for most, if not all, right-wing politicians. ALEC drafts its own legislation and then demands that its whore-bought Republicans pass it. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:
• Stand Your Ground laws
• Voter ID laws
• Right to Work laws (union busting)
• Privatizing schools
• Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by ALEC. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor. They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the “liberal media” will send some reporters. But don’t hold your breath.

8) The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress
The filibuster has been used a record number of time since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster. This is more obstruction than occurred in the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II administrations combined. In 2013, during the first 6 months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. The GOP has also succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.  Where’s the coverage? Where are the reporters asking why nothing is getting done?

Where does one go for hard news and good, old-fashioned muckraking journalism in America today? You got me. Adlai Stevenson once said, “The free press is the mother of all our liberties and of our progress under liberty”; and Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.”

Without a watchdog media exposing corruption, hypocrisy and the dismantling of democracy, we will devolve into a totalitarian state, run by and for the powerful few. Maybe this is what it was like in 1933 Berlin; we’re closer than ever to fascism.  Thanks, Scott Pelley, and you other talking heads masquerading as journalists.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

End Of The World Near; I Agree With FOX News Commentator’s Defense Of Pope

As a lapsed Catholic, I have mixed feelings about Pope Francis. When I listen to him speak, I think, “This is a great man. He reminds me of the Jesuits who taught me to revere the intellect, care for those who have less, and be wary of blind believers who deny reason and use the word of God for their own profit.”

Then I remember why I turned my back on the Church: my Sunday donations that were used to defend pedophiles; archbishops who raged against abortions, but did not speak out against war or the sickening culture of American gun violence; the hording of Vatican treasures while the world’s poor go hungry.

I was raised Catholic in the ‘50s and early ‘60s when mass was an obligation, and no one questioned the sanctity of the religion’s rituals. But as the ‘60s wore on, and the world as everyone knew it changed, the Church became irrelevant. The same tired, empty homilies of parish priests had no revelations or insights about war, bigotry, and inequality. I came to view the Church as meaningless at best, hopelessly outdated at worst.

The Jesuits, however, were a different matter. They did not flinch from the turmoil of the late ‘60s. They addressed the existential nature of life head-on. They were not afraid to discuss relevant matters like war, poverty, and inequality. In their classrooms I read atheist literature, discussed the lack of empirical evidence for the existence of God, and learned to respect science. They taught me how to think for myself. Faith that was unchallenged by the intellect was not a worthy faith. Thus, I lost my faith. Or I never had it in the first place.

After high school, I left Catholicism behind. I’ve never looked back until now; Francis has aroused some ancient sentiment in me. His Jesuitical message has pissed off the right wing; and anything that angers those jackals deserves my attention.

Francis is not some ivory tower papist issuing staunch, anti-human edicts. He is a man of the people and a man of his times. Like Jesus, he walks among us, defends the poor, denounces hypocrisy, and condemns war for profit. It takes courage to do that; he does not seem to give a damn what American conservatives think of him. For that alone he deserves praise. Even the idiots at FOX News recognize this. Shepard Smith, of all people, had this to say about the right’s dissatisfaction with Francis:

“I think that we are in a weird place in the world when the following things are considered political. Five things, I’m going to tick them off. These are the five things that were on [the pope] and our president’s agenda. Caring for the marginalized and the poor. That’s now political. Advancing economic opportunity for all. Political? Serving as good stewards of the environment. Protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom globally. Welcoming [and] integrating immigrants and refugees globally. And that’s political? I mean, I don’t know what we expect to hear from an organization’s leader like the pope of the Catholic Church other than protect those who need help, bring in refugees who have no place because of war and violence and terrorism. These seem like universal truths that we should be good to others who have less than we do, that we should give shelter to those who don’t have it. I think these were the teachings in the Bible of Jesus. They’re the words of the pope, they’re the feelings of the president. And people who find themselves on the other side of that message should consult a mirror, it seems like. Because I think that’s what we’re supposed to do as a people, whatever your religion. I mean, it seems to me — and I think to probably, as Bill O’Reilly would put it, most clear-thinking Americans — that that’s how we’re supposed to roll.”

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Trump’s Perverse Allure Is Explained By Renowned Psychologist

If you’ve been baffled by Donald Trump’s poll numbers, you’re not alone. Sane people dismiss him as a pompous jackass, short on substantive policy and long on name-calling. If you ever played in the schoolyard as a child, you will recognize his type. He tries to get his way by bullying others, especially the weakest and most vulnerable among us. When the bully gets challenged, he stomps and huffs and name-calls, and then sulks and pouts until his sycophants gather round him to assuage his ego. This drama is almost infantile and laughable for anyone over the age of eight, but, then again, no one has ever accused Republicans of being mature, rational, and beyond expressing juvenile behavior. Having said all this, I still did not understand how a thrice-divorced, pro-choice (until recently), non-religious New Yorker like Trump could hold any appeal for the southern, Evangelical right-wing. That is, until I read what Dr. Scott Keiller had to say in a recent edition of OpEd News.

According to Dr. Keiller, a professor of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University, Trump displays the classic traits of a narcissistic authoritarian. And those who were raised in authoritarian households, and who may have even been abused as children, are naturally drawn to someone like Trump. Even if Trump’s political views do not comport with theirs, his sycophants are succumbing to what is familiar to them: an authority figure who is self-involved, abusive, and tyrannical. Here’s how Rob Kall, Editor-in-Chief of OpEd News puts it:

“Dr. Keiller’s research on narcissism, prejudice, and authoritarianism has been published in peer-reviewed journals published by the American Psychological Association and others, including the Journal of Personality Assessment, Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Psychological Assessment, and Sex Roles.

“Trump is a narcissistic, blustering, offensive, abusive bully and buffoon. He is, among all the billionaires in the world, the most desperate for attention, the fastest to attack critics. There is widespread agreement that he is a narcissist. That tells us a lot about his supporters.

“Trump is pulling between 25 and 32% in polling. That’s about the same ballpark for the percentage of people who were victims of child abuse of one kind or another. It’s also about the same percentage for right-wing authoritarian types.

“[Dr. Keiller] explained authoritarians as people obsessed with rules, who very much follow self-proclaimed experts on how life should be and moral. Someone who is authoritarian is seeking a leader to follow and blindly obedient. They are very conventional, very submissive to authorities, seeking people to dominate them.

“[Dr. Keiller] also talked about narcissists. People who are in abusive relationships are very often abused by parents who are narcissistic and sometimes also psychopathic. All psychopaths are narcissists. Victims of childhood abuse may become abusing narcissists or they may, and often do, enter into relationships with abusive narcissists. It’s a vicious cycle. It makes sense that most authoritarians who seek out leaders to be submissive to, are recreating the life they grew up in. They were abused as children and they seek leaders who will abuse them.”

This clarifies why those who support Trump do so with full knowledge that they are doing it at their own peril. They know full well that Trump is a tyrannical narcissist, but it is just this sort of personality to whom they are drawn, even if, in the end, they know and expect that they will be mistreated. Perhaps Republicans like being victims; they are both sadists and masochists. Often times I have heard them utter empty and angry aphorisms like, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way,” as if there are only those who abuse and those who get abused. No in-betweens. No shades of gray.

And this would explain why it is next to impossible to reason with a Republican (psychopath). They are psychologically wounded and, thus, absolutely incapable of seeing truth. They are hopelessly mired in living their lives according to old paradigms, built on bigotry, violence, misuse of power. They are victims who care only about themselves and their own survival. Not the greater good.

Now I have some understanding of how we wound up with two Bushes, Nixon, and Reagan as presidents. This is why Sarah Palin is so popular with Tea Partiers. Sick and twisted as it seems, Republicans slogan should be, “Hurt me Daddy, because it feels so good.”

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/098882907X