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Here’s the kind of story that makes you go “Wow!” in a sickening way.

With her ash cross of Christ prominently on display, the Fox “News” hostess Laura Ingraham and her guest came out celebrating the weapon of war used in the latest school massacre, then proceeded to beat up the parents, who they know absolutely nothing about, while they’re down.

    “This is a security issue. It’s not a weapon issue,” Cohen said. “That kid had parents. Where’s the parents?”

My question when I saw this was, “Where is God in this kind response?”

Go here to see the interview.

“Jesus wept.”

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Christianity has always been counter-cultural, and what could be more counter-cultural than Ash Wednesday, a day in which we Christians remind ourselves that we are dying and will one day all be as dead as so many door knobs.

What could be more counter-modern than awareness of our own impending death, despite our mortality being the only fact of life that really matters, since death alone determines how we live.

Hallmark ain’t making Ash Wednesday cards.

Thank God.

This is one of days on which Ash Wednesday and the St. Valentine’s Day, a secular observance custom-made for your friendly florist and the good folks at Hallmark, fall on the same Wednesday.

That said, I urge you to click on the link here and listen to the terrific poet and Christian thinker Malcom Guite read his “Sonnet for Saint Valentine.” Every day, Guite makes poetry come beautifully alive even for those who usually don’t get poetry and generally can’t abide it.

Our Christian tradition grew and flows from Judaism. The Old Testament scholar and preacher Walter Brueggemann notes in The Message of the Psalms that “the remarkable thing about Israel is that it did not banish or deny the darkness from its religious enterprise. It embraces the darkness as the very stuff of new life.

“Indeed, Israel seems to know that new life comes from nowhere else.”

Check out a sample of Brueggemann’s great book here.

I’ll be trying from now through Easter Sunday to post daily reflections here.

In the meantime remember that “by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” — Gen. 3:19


My bad.

In my attempt at being all too clever with a subtle, written wink, I was so subtle at the end of the previous blog post–which I’m reposting in full with a different ending–that readers didn’t get my drift, as they say.

Because I don’t have an editor to look over my shoulder or point out ruts I get into, I’ve always had a bad habit of blogging on the fly, not always letting a post sit for a while and revisiting it with clear eyes to make sure my meaning is clear to somebody who takes the time to read what I have to say.

I assumed that readers at the end of the post–as it originally appeared–would understand that I was citing Cornyn as my hero for a day, because I crouched what I wrote originally in his own weaselly language: with a maybe, and a sorta.

I thought readers would get, after reading all that went before it, that I was calling him my “sorta” hero with a wink and a nod, as if to say, “Get it?” He’s not really my hero.

Had I let it sit and looked at it again with fresh eyes I probably would have been more unequivocal at the end.

What I meant to say is that Cornyn is just another gutless, Republican ass who is too terrified of Trump and his red-state voters to be honest.

He is in no way, except in a sarcastic way, my hero for 10 seconds, and never will be.

I’m sure his family probably likes him though.

I sure as hell don’t.

Sadly, Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died all too young in service to his country. To make a sad situation worse, his tragic death was exploited for political gain. R.I.P.

I can’t sing songs of hosanna for Texas Sen. John Cornyn enough today.

He is my Texas hero for the day.

Not that I normally agree with Cornyn on many things, since he is a member of a once great Grand Old Party that has thoroughly lost its moral and ethic compass. (Which ain’t to say that the other party is the party of saints.)

I have to give Cornyn his due today because he is the only Republican leader who has admitted that Republicans from the White House down to the statehouse of Texas, along with the leading purveyor of fake news Breitbart, were dead wrong about how a young Texas Border patrol agent died.

Actually, Republican leaders who lie with impunity like Donald Trump, the other Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have been insisting for months upon months that the Texas Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was murdered by “nasty, nasty” foreigners who sneaked across the border into America.

They claimed this about the agent with no evidence whatsoever to back up claim.

Never mind that the acting head of Border Patrol at the time suggested in a memo to agents that the death was from an accidental fall, noting that there was no evidence to suggest any foul play.

Never mind that Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo, who was on the scene that night, told the Dallas Morning News two days later that the evidence he saw was “very consistent with a fall.”

The sheriff’s theory and that of the Border Patrol’s own leader didn’t fit the Republican need for a sensational murder in order to pump up support for Trump’s border wall.

(Trump, by the way, tweeted and repeated the big lie that Martinez was viciously murdered, citing the need for his Great Big Beautiful Wall. One might surmise that he gave not one damn what his own Border Patrol leader and the sheriff on the ground said, or that he had any sympathy for the dead agent. He made the death all about his damn wall because that’s what he does: makes everything about him and his wants.)

The aforementioned Republicans, and their shameless “news” agents at Breitbart, have spread the blatant lie about the agent’s death as far and as wide and as long as they could since it happened Nov. 18.

Sean Hannity and the Republican Propaganda Machine at Fox News had a field day with it. I’m sure they will be correcting the record for viewers, but I’m not holding my wind.

* * *

Fox, like Trump and all the Republican leaders who now have egg on their faces, are being loudly silent now that the investigation is over and done and the ruling is accidental death.

In typical Republican fashion, they won’t apologize for spreading clearly false information.

Nobody will come forth and set the record straight.

No. In fact, amazingly, Abbot and the state of Texas still have a reward posted for Martinez’s phantom killers!

Which leads us back to Sen. Cornyn, who has backed off the Big Lie.

“Maybe it’s a cautionary tale that all of us need to take a deep breath when things like this happen and realize that we don’t have all the information and wait until we get a little more information before reaching conclusions,” Cornyn said.

OK, so it’s not exactly a full-throated apology for misleading the Martinez family and all of us American people and the world.

The Senator’s statement is full of wobbly political verbiage with a reference to it maybe being a cautionary tale.

It might have received national attention had Cornyn called a press conference and stated emphatically that the Republican Party, his party, got this dead wrong and needs to stop politicizing people’s deaths for political gain.

He might have received national attention had he said he promises that he will try to be more cautious and is urging his colleagues to stop the political games with tragedies.

But with the Republican bar being as low as it is, I’ll take what Cornyn has said.

In the World of Republican Liars and Weasels, this has about a millimeter of forthrightness to it.

Which makes Big John is my hero today!

But not really.

Not at all.

He is no hero of mine.

Cornyn likes to come across as the dignified, reasonable Texan, but there is no coming across as dignified or reasonable if you are as scared of Donald Trump and Trump voters as he obviously is.

By the way, here’s something God said for Republicans everywhere to think.

THOU SHALT NOT LIE.

The crisis in the U.S. Church has almost nothing to do with being liberal or conservative.

“It has everything to do with giving up on the faith and discipline of our Christian baptism and settling for a common, generic U.S. identity that is part patriotism, part consumerism, part violence, and part affluence.”

— Walter Brueggemann

China has great big military parades, but they don’t need a military to conquer the United States. They’ll do that by calling in all the money we owe them. We’ve borrowed kazillion of dollars from them since President Bush, who never grew while in office but is growing now, needlessly invaded Iraq and financed it with money borrowed from China, with interest.

Hello. It’s me.

I’ve been unplugged for about 10 days or so, busy living my good, blessed life, going blind from so much reading and research for a project I’m involved in, and reconnecting with my Lord and savior Jesus Christ by unplugging from any and all news and also from Facebook, where every meal looks so yummy and every dog so happy.

Me, I’m adjusting to life as a vegetarian, which is far more satisfying than I ever would have dreamed it could be but that’s another story for another day.

This morning I did some peaking at the news and social media bulletin boards to find that, at bottom, nothing has changed in 10 days.

I wasn’t surprised, really. Back about six years or so ago I went completely off the grid the entire month of December. It was one of the best and most productive holiday months of my life. But that’s another story too.

Now that was a great American military hero. Sadly, they don’t make his kind anymore.

So after my 10-day retreat from the world I have learned of the following in current events this morning:

— You-know-who wants a great big expensive military parade that will, presumably, make the evil dictators who hold such parades in North Korea, Russia, and China think twice about messing with America, which already spends more on defense than the next 12 countries in the world combined.

We don’t need an American military parade. That’s why we have the Super Bowl\Military Recruitment spectacle.

— The stock market has crashed. (My modest little portfolio is now under 30 feet of water. How’s yours?)

But of course, he takes no responsibility for the crash. He now thinks the entire stock market system is rigged against him.

Never mind that in his State of the Union Address (remember it? it was in all the news just 11 days ago) he was taking all the credit for the amazing — just amazing — boom in the stock market.

— One of his closest henchmen in the White House never should have been granted a security clearance because he beat the shit out of not one, but two wives, only to be defended to the high heavens by an exceptional war hero, John Kelly, who, as it turns out, has all the ethics of a common cad.

— The aforementioned Kelly’s boss had a really bad hair day. (Turns out the emperor has no clothes and not so much orange hair.)

— Nancy Pelosi (who, if there were any justice, would be in the pen for all the wealth she and the hub have attained with insider trading practices that were exposed by the “fake news” New York Times a few years ago*), held a 8-hour speaking marathon on the floor of Congress and was given a standing ovation for, presumably, making the pain stop. (*You could look it up. It’s a fact that Pelosi’s a plenty clever crook in a Congress populated almost entirely by crooks, some clever and most just in-your-face brazen about it.)

— Wisconsin Paul Ryan (speaking of grandstanding House leaders who have enriched themselves in “public service”) thinks a woman receiving a raise of $1.50 a week is proof that Trumponomics is the greatest thing since sliced Wisconsin cheese.

No words.

— And, well, all in all, I learned that the situation in D.C. is, as usual, desperate, and the silly season never ends, as if I didn’t know that when I went on my news and social media fast.

I also learned that Church in America is still being confused with the nation. (See the blurb about the military parade above.)

The good news is that Lent is coming and to observe Lent is to repent and win back God’s favor and it’s never too late for a person, or a nation, to bow down in repentance–in Lent season and every other day.



“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”

    There is a community of the spirit.
    Join it, and feel the delight
    of walking in the noisy street
    and being the noise.
    Drink all your passion,
    and be a disgrace.
    Close both eyes
    to see with the other eye.

    Photo by Tony Rath, Dangriga, Belize

    Late, by myself, in the boat of myself,
    no light and no land anywhere,
    cloudcover thick. I try to stay
    just above the surface,
    yet I’m already under
    and living with the ocean.

    ——-
    From Essential Rumi
    by Coleman Barks


I don’t call out political lies and injustices here and on Facebook and Twitter because I think I’m going to change anybody’s mind.

When I lived in Dallas I certainly never attended any protest rallies against needless wars or our unjust immigration policies because I thought it would achieve any immediate results. (And if I were still living in North Texas I’d be attending more rallies than I ever did for DACA kids, women’s rights, peace, and more causes.)

I don’t blog or speak my mind on Facebook against injustices because I want to be popular or loved or liked by everybody, even though I much prefer to be popular and loved and liked by people.

My views frequently go against the beliefs and convictions of many of my own best, lifetime friends and some family members, who love me (most of them) in spite of thinking I lost my mind a long time ago when I so adamantly protested the invasion of Iraq. That was definitely NOT a popular opinion in the wake of 9-11. (Remember all those Bush/Cheney bumper stickers and little SUPPORT OUR TROOPS magnets that were on 80 percent of the vehicles in Bush/Cheney strongholds like Dallas? Whatever happened to all that Bush love?)

I didn’t go to town hall meetings to voice my opinions opposing the war or the treatment of undocumented immigrants and LGBT folk to lawmakers because I knew that by-god they’d listen to me and come around to my way of thinking.

I don’t insist on speaking God’s truth as I see it because I think I’m going to get results — or at least any immediate results.

I do it because of something Thomas Merton said to a young Christian peace-and-justice advocate who sometimes wondered “what’s the use” of agitating and advocating for peace and justice.

Merton wrote a letter to that young man, saying:

    “Do not depend on the hope of results.

    “When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on . . . you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.

    “As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.”

“And the truth shall set you free.”


That’s Mr. Trump on the left, and very much of Miss Stormy Daniels on the right. They are victims of a misunderstood relationship that would have made for bad political optics.

I have to say something about these lies in the fake news lately about Mr. Trump having a year-long affair with a porn storm named Miss Stormy Daniels.

Mr. Trump was married to Ivanka, who was pregnant, when this ALLEGED affair occurred.

It’s obvious from pictures and some stuff that Mr. Trump and Miss Daniels knew each other and were quite friendly with each other at one time.

But my thinking is this. I’m sure this Miss Stormy Daniels is a very nice person and that her relationship with Mr. Trump was strictly platonic.

We know this about Mr. Trump: Mr. Trump loves women, he employs many women and pays them very, very highly (including black women which PROVES he’s not a racist and anyway, NBC retained him on a TeeVee show with very high ratings to-boot), and he respects women.

And by the way, his beloved wife and daughter are women. First Lady Ivanka is the love of his life. Ergo … do you really think for one minute he could ever in good conscience betray his pregnant wife?

I’m guessing that IF Mr. Trump “paid off” Miss Daniels, it was for a good reason. It would have been very “bad optics” for the story of their friendship to come out at the very time Mr. Trump was calling for the lockup of shrill Hill.

It would be worse optics now that God has put Mr. Trump and Jesus back in the White House.

But we all know this payoff accusation is all so much fake news anyway probably, amiright?

Fake news is like an optical illusion. It’s not really real or not what it appears to be.

That’s why Mr. Trump is planning to award “fake news awards” today. (Those who say he is doing this to distract from the story about his harmless relationship with Miss Stormy Daniels are the godless haters who can’t get over him being elected by no less than 3 million people in the popular vote, give or take six million.)

Let’s talk about Bill Clinton. Why hasn’t he ever been raked over the coals for being a sexual predator and probably a rapist?

And not to change the subject, but why haven’t the Clintons’ theft of money that was supposed to rebuild Haiti ever been covered?

Why hasn’t Hillary ever been investigated for letting Americans be killed in Benghazi?

This is all because the dishonest news media and Democrats and communists (I repeat myself), they hate Mr. Trump and are totally silent about all the rape, plunder, and murder attached to the Clintons. (Rush is right: they had Vince Foster and others murdered, you know. They will stop at nothing!)

And by the way, why has Obama never released his college records to prove once and for all that he was NOT born in Kenya? Why can’t we see the place of his birth on THOSE documents? And did he make all D’s and F’s but get passed by liberal Harvard teachers? (Makes you wonder, huh?)

It’s not fair the way they treat Mr. Trump. Just because he’s politically incorrect when he froths at the mouth and says things like “I just wanna grab ’em by the PUSSY!!!!!”

Come on, man. It’s locker room talk.

That’s how Mr. Trump’s golf heroes like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus talked in the locker room when they were popping each other with wet towels, I’m sure.

Men like Mr. Trump just talk trash in the locker rooms but are very, very successful businessmen and a lot of people hate very successful businessmen because they are very rich people and they have envy for those rich, successful titans like Mr. Trump who makes great things like America even greater than it used to be.

You think Mr. Trump cares what his critics say and do?

He laughs in the face of all those snowflakes falling in all the stormy winter weather today.

God bless America, baby.