Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Feynman Series - Curiosity

Neat, isn't it? According to the blurb that accompanies this video, "The Feynman Series is a side project of The Sagan Series, an educational project working in the hopes of promoting scientific literacy in the general population."

The rest of them are here.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Thanks, Obama!

The Ebola stuff is interesting to me, because I remember the hysteria last year, here in Nebraska.

I remember a commenter on a local news site here who observed that our medical personnel were dropping like flies, all across America. What were we going to do when we ran out of doctors and nurses, having lost all of them to this dreaded disease?

Yeah. At the time, one nurse had caught Ebola in America. One. And she hadn't died of it. In fact, she never did die. But in right-wing fantasyland (no connection to reality whatsoever), doctors and nurses everywhere in America were dying off in the Ebola epidemic. Thanks, Obama!

Of course, our right-wing news media helped fuel the hysteria. And when the hysteria could no longer be maintained, our media just ignored it. There was absolutely nothing after that. But then, if you can't scare dumb white people, what's the point to news at all, right?

I say "white people," because the scary black man in the White House, the secret Muslim funding ISIS and spreading Ebola, is the biggest subject of hysteria in my state. Admittedly, there are apparently lots of reasons for hysteria on the right (even if Obama seems to be the cause of all of them).

That would explain it

Note that I very much respect your right to hold those beliefs, whether I find them ridiculous or not. But I do not respect the beliefs themselves.

If you expect me to respect your beliefs, please back them up with evidence.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christianity refutes itself

Tis the season for videos about Jesus, huh? But these have been quite good, haven't they?

In fact, the creator of this video also made a (short) series of videos called "Jesus Was Not the Messiah." I find it very interesting, although the fact that the New Testament was written after the Old Testament, by authors who were very familiar with what the Old Testament said, makes fulfilled prophecies pretty ridiculous as an argument anyway, don't you think?

Of course their 'Messiah' would be portrayed as having fulfilled the prophecies in the stories his worshipers told about him. What else would you expect?

Five stupid things about the Nativity

But this video, unlike the last one I posted, is just in time for Christmas...

Vaccines - too many, too soon?

This is nothing to do with Christmas, but it's important information which needs to be passed around as widely as possible. Don't you agree?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christian terrorism

Remember when we were shocked that Republicans supported torturing prisoners of war? Oh, we were so innocent back then, weren't we?

Now, they support terrorism. Christian terrorism. American terrorism. There is no other word for it. Republican candidates for President of the United States argue for deliberately killing innocent families. How is that not terrorism?

Ted Cruz apparently wants to nuke the Middle East. (Yeah, he's not honest enough, not man enough, to say it outright, so he just implies it.) How is that not advocating terrorism?

Of course, Republican audiences cheer for everything, no matter how evil it gets. Admittedly, Jesus was a big supporter of terrorism, wasn't he? Torture, too, as I recall.

Or was that the other guys? Gee, who nailed whom to a cross, again? (You know, that's something Republicans haven't suggested yet, bringing back crucifixion. I suppose it's only a matter of time, huh?)

But then, they're cowards. Terrorism works very well on cowards, because it gets them to overreact out of fear.

But you had me at torture. I was aghast enough at that. Americans torturing prisoners of war? Unbelievable! Oh, how little I knew. As I say, it was a more innocent time. Now, Republicans plan for America to become the world's foremost terrorist.


PS. Note the last part of this, where Cenk Uygur says:
"Like the fundamentalist Muslims, these fundamentalist Christians believe in killing civilians. They don't have any problem with it at all. They just said it!  'We'll kill their families and we'll carpet-bomb their cities.

This is the kind of insane crap that Ann Coulter used to say, to be so over-the-top, to garner attention. Right? Now, it's become mainstream and gets wild applause at a Republican debate. So, understand who you are. You're in league with the terrorists. That's what terrorists do.

Terrorists say, 'We will kill their families and we will bomb them indiscriminately.' Republicans agree."

Ann Coulter used to be extreme. But when fanatics take control, you can never be too extreme. Ann Coulter is mainstream these days. So is Rush Limbaugh. How do you make a living being extreme when this is mainstream Republican thinking these days?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Good guy with a gun

Of course, this was done for humor, but I have to wonder about people, every time I hear that 'good guy with a gun' crap.

The right-wing wants everyone to be armed. That way, when you hear gunshots, you pull your gun and run forward, just like everyone else. But then,... who do you shoot?

'Bad guys with guns' don't have 'bad guy' tattooed on their forehead, as far as I know. Do you just shoot the brown people or something? And if you're going to shoot everyone with a gun, you're going to be shooting other 'good guys with guns,' just like they'll be shooting you.

It just makes no sense whatsoever. Even if you see the 'bad guy' - and can identify him as a 'bad guy' - how do you know that there's just one of them? It's going to be a very stressful situation, you know. How about all the other people with guns, if gun-nut fantasies come true?

Keep in mind that you won't have a lot of time to think about it. You're going to be pointing your gun at other people, and they're going to be pointing a gun at you. The 'bad guy' might not even be there anymore. Or he might already have been shot by a 'good guy' who you mistake for a 'bad guy' when you see the shooting.

Even trained police officers make mistakes like this. All the time. Have you missed the entire Black Lives Matter controversy? What really happens when everyone carries a gun? Check out these GunFAIL compilations by David Waldman.

But there's yet another problem. Who is a 'good guy with a gun'? Isn't it someone who hasn't shot anyone else yet?

Dylann Roof was a 'good guy with a gun' until he killed nine people in a black church. Robert Dear was a 'good guy with a gun' before he shot up that Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. The NRA would have hit the ceiling if anyone had tried to keep them from owning guns. You're not going to discriminate against conservative white men, are you?

Alex Kozak was a 'good guy with a gun' - and an "open-carry" promoter who carried his gun everywhere - before he shot Andrea Farrington three times in the back for refusing his sexual advances. George Zimmerman was a 'good guy with a gun' before he accosted Trayvon Martin for the crime of walking while black.

Retired cop Curtis Reeves was a 'good guy with a gun' before he killed Chad Oulson for texting his daughter in a theater. And both James Pullam and Robert Taylor were 'good guys with guns' - with their concealed-carry permits and everything - before they killed each other in a road rage incident which wouldn't have happened if they hadn't both been armed.

But gun nuts are faith-based. They have their dogma, and that's it. Of course, they're encouraged by the NRA, which works for gun and ammo manufacturers, and by politicians who also work for such big-money donors. But what about the rest of us? We don't have to buy their bullshit.

What has happened to my country?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The societal sickness of Fox News

Another one from Josh Marshall at TPM:
It's hard to explain exactly why we submit ourselves to this. But in our New York City office we spend most of the day listening to Fox News. In moments of tension and incitement such as these it is difficult to capture the sheer scale and measure of the storm of hate, lies, nonsense and febrile fear that constantly flows out of it, minute by minute and hour after hour. I've become particularly focused in the last couple days on the almost constant stream of often small but highly significant falsehoods which go together to create a frightening and highly distorted image of the world.

Just now we're listening to this show "Outnumbered" where a woman named Andrea Tantaros (who manages to combine in her person in a concentrated form everything that is awful about Fox News) went on a tear about how it was that the San Bernardino shooter's brother was allowed to attend a press conference sponsored by CAIR the day after the attack, 'spouting CAIR talking points' as opposed to being in FBI custody. Why wasn't the whole family in FBI custody, she ranted? Well, as far as I know, the person she's referring to isn't Syed Farook's brother but his brother-in-law. His brother is actually a Navy veteran who lives in a different part of Southern California and, from everything we've heard, had absolutely nothing to do with his brother's crimes. ...

These might seem like small or picayune examples. But they are constant. And they build up to a whole tapestry of falsehoods, that combined with incitement and hysteria create a mental world in which Donald Trump's mounting volume of racist incitement is just not at all surprising. They are the false links that piece together the chain of distortion and lies that would simply collapse without them. You may have noticed that Fox felt compelled to suspend two on-air personalities yesterday because of rants about the President. But they were suspended not because of general tone or extremity but simply because they lapsed into profanity. When I saw this yesterday, it didn't seem surprising because the tone has become so hyperbolic and the climate of outrage and drama against the President not endorsing a military escalation or a clampdown on American Muslims so extreme that it's hardly surprising that a couple of regulars would slip into profanity.

As I wrote last night, this is sort of like a national Milgram Experiment. [Note that my post about that is here.] Are there limits on how far you can go as the possible nominee of a major national party? Seemingly not. ...

But it's not about Trump. It's about his supporters. A big chunk of the Republican base is awash in racism and xenophobic hysteria. And this is the food that they feed on every day. It's a societal sickness and we can't ignore it.

Fox 'News' - and the Republican Party in general - have fed Americans this toxic slurry of racism and xenophobic hysteria for decades now. It started long before Fox, with the GOP's notorious 'Southern strategy' of deliberately wooing white racists, after the Democratic Party abandoned the racist wing of their own party to support civil rights for black people and other racial minorities.

Politically, that was a huge success for the GOP. The Republicans took the entire South from the Democrats and attracted many northern racists, too. I've known many former Democrats who switched to the Republican Party at that time, because the GOP did such a good job of wooing racists.

Republican leaders were able to use those racists to advance their own political power and their own political goals (mostly, giving tax cuts to the rich). They had to throw the racists a bone occasionally, but mostly this was just rhetoric.

But it worked so well, they continued using it. For example, they've deliberately stoked panic about Hispanic immigration. (That's worked particularly well here in Nebraska.) Right-wing talk radio exploded with Rush Limbaugh and others competing on who could be the angriest, who could proclaim the most outrageous lies, who could most ramp up his gullible listeners to the heights of hysteria.

And then Fox 'News' came along and showed how you could really make money - and advance Republican Party goals - by pushing anger, bigotry, and right-wing lies.

Today's Republican Party has thrived on garbage like this. Fear, bigotry, anger, hysteria - all have greatly benefited the GOP financially and politically. But as sane people have increasingly left the party, and elderly white racists die off, the crazy has become more and more concentrated. This is the party base now. This is the Republican Party.

All of the Republican candidates for president have taken advantage of the sickness they've helped create. Donald Trump just does it better than anyone else. But people like Ted Cruz aren't far behind, not at all. This is the Republican Party today.

It used to be that Republicans were careful to use racist dog whistles - messages that resonated with racists without being too blatant. Blatant racism would turn off more moderate voters. (Racism would still work on those voters, of course, but only if they could tell themselves that they weren't racist.)

Most Republicans try to do the same thing when it comes to Hispanics and Muslims. They try not to be too blatant about their bigotry and xenophobia. But Donald Trump doesn't even bother. After all, he's trying to woo the Republican base, and the base doesn't have such qualms. Not anymore.

As I've said before, this reminds me of the French Revolution. When fanatics take control, you can never be too fanatic. When the mob rules, you can never be too extreme. In the French Revolution, as the mob rushed madly to the left, the people left behind lost their heads (literally), even when they'd been leading the revolution previously. You couldn't stand still. You had to be more and more and more extreme all the time.

It's similar in the Republican Party of the 21st Century, only they've all been rushing madly to the right. You can never be too extreme for extremists. Note that the worst thing one Republican can call another is "moderate." Moderation is the kiss of death in today's Republican Party - not literally, not yet at least. So far, Republicans only lose their heads figuratively, not literally. But no Republican politician can stand being considered "moderate."

This is extremism. This is bigotry and xenophobia. And increasingly, as I noted yesterday, this is fascism in America. Have we forgotten how Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler came to power?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Our national Milgram Experiment


From Josh Marshall at TPM:
You may think of Donald Trump as a crafty blowhard intuiting the darkest recesses of the American mood and riding that wave into ever-escalating racist incitement, militant derp and extremism. But this evening it occurred to me that it may not be that at all. ... You probably know about the notorious Milgram Experiment, conducted by the late Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram in 1961. In the experiment subjects were tested to see how far they would go in inflicting extreme pain - escalating electric shocks - on other test subjects simply because a figure in authority, the person running the experiment, told them to do so. So how far would the subjects go?

It turns out really, really far. Sometimes they'd keep inducing shocks with a chilling indifference. In other instances it would be clear that the test subject knew what he was doing was wrong. But instructed to continue, in almost every case, that's what they did. (The person on the other side of the glass wasn't really being shocked; they were pretending, but quite convincingly and often begging for mercy and expressing fear of death.)

And here we are, the experiment taken nationwide.

Intended or not, we have a grand national version of something very similar. How far will this go? Donald Trump started calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. Then he called for the rushed expulsion of over 10 million residents of the United States. This was followed by proposals to create a national registry or database of American Muslims. Late last month it was the continued invocation of a lurid racist fantasy of thousands of U.S. Muslims cheering the fall of the Twin Towers from across the river in North Jersey on 9/11 — in many countries something that might be charged as racist incitement to violence. And then today, we have the culmination — or perhaps better to say, since this can't possibly be the end of it, the next massive upping of the ante — which became inevitable in the wake of everything that preceded it: Donald Trump, frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, says Muslims as a religious class should be banned from entering the United States.

What's next?

It reminds me of Nazi Germany, of the lead-up to the "final solution of the Jewish question" by the Nazis.

I'm serious. I'm very serious. The Nazis didn't start by killing six million Jews. That was just where they ended up.

Already, we have people supporting torture - Americans supporting torture!  I still struggle to believe it. Already we have Americans proposing to end freedom of religion. Already, we have fear-mongering, exaggeration, and stereotyping.

This is fascism. What's next? Where will it end?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Seth Meyers: Obama on terror

I've never been a big fan of Saturday Night Live, but I always liked Seth Meyers when he was there. Still, he's really come into his own on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

I'm still disappointed that Jon Stewart is gone, and The Colbert Report, too. (Stephen Colbert on The Late Show just isn't the same) But Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore are pretty decent replacements, and better yet, John Oliver and Seth Meyers have been superb.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A moral outrage and a national disgrace

There was a front page editorial in the New York Times yesterday, "End the Gun Epidemic in America":
(M)otives do not matter to the dead in California, nor did they in Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Connecticut and far too many other places. The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms.

It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism. ...

...politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.

It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation. ...

What better time than during a presidential election to show, at long last, that our nation has retained its sense of decency?

That's just an excerpt, of course, but let me emphasize this paragraph by repeating it: "It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation."

Freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Constitution, too, but slander and libel are still crimes. So is treason. You can still be arrested for falsely yelling, "Fire!" in a crowded theater. No right is absolute.

Freedom of religion is also guaranteed by our Constitution, but you can't burn witches alive. You can't sacrifice people - even willing volunteers - to your bloodthirsty god. You still have to obey the law, no matter what your religious beliefs might be.

Personally, I don't think that the 2nd Amendment is about individual gun rights at all, but rather the rights of states to equip their national guard units. (You know, the whole "well regulated militia" part that gun nuts prefer to ignore.)

But even if I'm wrong about that, it doesn't matter. No rights are absolute. Reasonable regulations are absolutely constitutional. Not that we'll get any. We have mass shootings every single day, on average, and it does nothing. Even when it's children, we do nothing.

We've lost all sense of decency, apparently.

I like this woman


From TPM:
Missouri state Rep. Stacey Newman (D) pre-filed a bill Tuesday that would restrict access to firearms in the same way her state restricts access to abortion.

Newman's bill includes a 72-hour waiting period for purchasing guns and watching a 30-minute video on firearms fatalities before purchasing. It also requires the firearms dealer be at least 120 miles from the purchaser's residence.

The bill would require that a gun purchaser visit an emergency room at the nearest "urban hospital" on a weekend between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. "when gun violence victims are present."

Within 72 hours of their purchase, the individual also must meet with at least two families who have been victims of firearm violence and two faith leaders who have presided over funerals in the last year of a child gun violence victim.

Of course, it's Missouri, so there's not the slightest chance it will pass. Not that it would pass anywhere, really. But I love the whole idea here.

I suppose she won't be too popular with the NRA, though. Of course, that's another plus in my book. :)

Amanda Marcotte does it again

Seriously, Amanda Marcotte is one of the most clear-thinking people on the internet. I don't think there's anything I've read from her that isn't perceptive and intelligent. She's just exceptional, all the time.

Obviously, I'm impressed. And here she goes again with "Liberals are not soft on, sympathetic towards, or defensive about Islamic terrorism."

First, she notes the two most recent mass shootings, at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado and at the office party in San Bernadino, and contrasts the reactions to each. Then:
To wit, conservatives are extremely defensive about the Planned Parenthood shooting, but clearly see it as a political “win” if the San Bernardino shooting was rooted in Islamic terrorism. Even more bizarrely, there’s a sense, particularly in right wing circles, that the opposite is true for liberals: That we somehow have reason to be on the defense if this shooting, as it looks like it will be, is an act of Islamic terrorism. ...

We’ve been down this road before. After the Paris attacks, accusing liberals of somehow being protective of or defensive of the teachings of ISIS became a popular talking point on the right. Republicans harped endlessly on the Democratic candidates for avoiding the inexact and needlessly provocative term “radical Islam.”

It’s part point-scoring, and part projection. After all, conservative Christians continue to blindly endorse radical rhetoric and beliefs that lead to Christian terrorism of the sort that we saw at Planned Parenthood, so they assume that the “other” side has a similar problem, just with Islam instead of Christianity.

Sadly, it’s not just conservatives who make this asinine assumption, either — there’s a certain arrogant, pseudo-liberal type of atheist who also seems to think that liberals are somehow more sympathetic to or protective of Islamic terrorism than Christian terrorism. After the Paris attacks, Bill Maher, while grasping that it’s probably unwise to bomb blindly, still sneered, “It was probably not the Amish,” as if liberals were suggesting otherwise. Sam Harris went even farther, echoing Ted Cruz’s rhetoric about how Christian terrorism isn’t even really a thing, and assuming that the only reason liberals support the Syrian refugees is that we’re blind to the threat of Islamic terrorism.

This has gone on long enough. It’s time to say it straight: Just because conservatives believe there’s some kind of global battle between Christianity and Islam doesn’t mean that liberals have to agree, much less that they take the “Islam” side of that equation. On the contrary, most liberals see fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam as categorically the same and categorically illiberal in their shared opposition to feminism and modernity.

This goes double when it comes to the fringe actors in either faith who become radicalized and turn to violence to impose their theocratic views on the unwilling. Liberals understand that there are theological and political differences between the different kinds of radical fundamentalism that lead to terrorism, but we are keenly aware that people who pick up a gun in the name of God have more in common with each other than they do with the rest of us.

What liberals object to is the conservative tendency to erase all distinctions between the relatively few Muslims around the world who have violent views and the majority of Muslims who, whether they are conservative or not, do not agree with ISIS or Al Qaeda’s distortion of Islam. ... Just as it’s important to maintain these distinctions when talking about Christianity, it’s equally important to keep these distinctions in mind when talking about Islam.

There’s nothing in that logic that suggests that liberals have some secret googly-eyes for demagoguing radical Muslim fundamentalists, anymore than we love Pat Robertson. On the contrary, we tend to see them as basically the same kind of misogynist, homophobic authoritarians who hide behind God to get their way. To suggest otherwise is not just dishonest, but irresponsible, since it can hinder the very diplomatic efforts we need to keep people alive.

Great, isn't it?  I'll go further. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. As an atheist, I don't particularly like that, any more than I like the fact that there are 2.2. billion Christians or 1 billion Hindus.

I don't agree with any of them. But they don't have to be my enemies. We disagree, but so what? With freedom of speech and freedom of religion, you're allowed to disagree. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that disagreement is a good thing. If you never speak with anyone who disagrees with you, how could you ever have confidence in your own beliefs?

It would be stupid - incredibly, astonishingly stupid - to make 1.6 billion people our enemies without having a very, very good reason for it. Why would we be dumb enough to do that?

And who wants it? Well, Islamic terrorists want it, for one. But why would we do what they want? That just makes no sense whatsoever.

Right-wing Christians want it, too. Both groups of fanatics want to see this as a war between Christianity and Islam. But why in the hell would we sane people want to go along with that? I just can't imagine that kind of mindset.

I sure as hell, as an atheist, don't want to make it a war between atheists and believers. We're heavily outnumbered, for one thing. For another, we can do just fine with freedom of speech and freedom of religion. And for a third, we'd destroy everything we want in a civilized society if we tried to outlaw religion - even if we did have that kind of power. The whole idea is just... stupid.

If this is a war, it's a war between civilized people who accept - even treasure - freedom of speech and freedom of religion and those people who want to force their own beliefs on everyone else. There are Muslims on both sides of that war, just as there are Christians and Hindus and, yes, even atheists.

Furthermore, as a practical matter, it's a very good thing for American politicians - especially at the highest levels - to bend over backward making it clear that this isn't a war with Islam. Thus, there's a very, very, very good reason why Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, among others, try to avoid terms like "radical Islam," even though the terrorists themselves push the idea that they're fighting for their religion.

After all, why in the hell would we be stupid enough to do exactly what our enemies want?  ISIS and Al-Qaeda alike want to convince the world - and especially the 1.6 Muslims in the world - that their terrorism is a matter of defending Islam from the Christian West. I can't even imagine why we'd be dumb enough to help them.

Except that right-wing Christian fanatics also want to push that idea. And right-wing politicians see a political advantage in pushing it. (Note that these are the same people who used racism for political advantage, too. Nothing is too low for them, apparently. Their political ambition trumps everything else (pun intended).)

Of course, that's the other thing. Republican politicians and propaganda mills like Fox 'News' also see a political advantage in claiming that liberals are soft on Islam. Face it, Republican politicians do everything for political advantage. Well, all politicians do that to some extent. But for the Democrats, there tend to be limits. Democrats at least put America above their own political advantage.

I don't know what's wrong with Bill Maher and Sam Harris. But they're not politicians, and they only speak for themselves. And just because you're smart about some things, that doesn't mean you're smart about everything - and certainly not that you're right about everything.

Heck, even I've been known to be wrong occasionally. Well, once or twice, at least. Not recently. :)

Anyway, I'm not wrong about Amanda Marcotte, am I?

The Holy Quran Experiment: Islam or Christianity?

This is not in English (there are English subtitles), but it's remarkable enough to post, anyway. As many commenters suggested, I wish someone would conduct this experiment in America.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Are you depressed yet?

Are you depressed yet? Here's the Henry County Report about Alabama police officers planting guns and drugs on young black men for twenty years. They were racists, part of a Neoconfederate extremist group working against blacks and Jews.

This wasn't from the distant past, either. This started in the 1990s, apparently (with this particular group, at least). The district attorney knew about it when he prosecuted these innocent men, and as the report says, "They were supervised at the time by Lt. Steve Parrish, current Dothan Police Chief, and Sgt. Andy Hughes, current Asst. Director of Homeland Security for the State of Alabama."

Twenty years of framing young black men! Are you depressed yet? Yeah, it's a good thing racism is over, isn't it? LOL

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A huge, steaming Trump

OK, here's some more Trump. That's all I can manage today. Sorry, guys, but I haven't been able to post anything about the Planned Parenthood shooting. It's just too depressing.

Yeah, Republicans nationwide have hammered America with their lies about 'baby parts' and 'baby killers' over and over and over again - for their own political advantage, of course - until one of the gullible idiots who believe that stuff, less stable than most, decides to do 'God's will' with his AK-47 (which everyone in America needs for the coming race war, apparently).

It's right-wing Christian terrorism, but no one will say that. Indeed, Republican politicians and media outlets have been busy rationalizing away their lies. Ted Cruz claims the shooter was a "transgender leftist activist." Carly Fiorina calls this deranged white Christian a "protester" and compares murder to Black Lives Matter activists (who've also been taking fire from right-wing racists - literally - recently).

None of this is funny. It's not just random lunatics, either. Republican candidates for President of the United States lie with impunity. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz - these people are leading in the GOP. Their lies don't matter in the slightest.

Even the most hilarious lies don't matter at all, because the Republican Party doesn't care about the truth. Not even slightly. The Republican Party is entirely faith-based. Reality doesn't matter in the slightest to them.

And lest you forget, this isn't a fringe group. It's one of America's two political parties. It's backed by wealthy billionaires, corporations, and Wall Street - most of whom just want to use the crazies for their own financial benefit. The GOP controls my state, lock, stock, and barrel - and plenty of other states, too. They even control two of the three branches of our federal government.

None of this is funny. OK, I can still laugh at Donald Trump, but only barely. Remember, he's still leading - leading - the other crazies in the Republican primary for President of the United States!

What has happened to my country?