Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Changing gears...

Well, not really, but sometimes, in the realm of watching, remarking on, and publicizing the idiocy of the right wing fundamentalists, sometimes something particularly nasty and smelly gets your attention and takes your focus off of their focus on politics.

Today is such a day.

On Facebook, I saw someone post a link to a web page on Patheos, called "Above all love, Unfundamentalist Christians", where the blogger posted a letter from a woman who had, at a younger age, been raped.  In the middle of her sad story, she revealed this about the pastor she went to for counseling after the rape:
While I was literally still bleeding from the attack, he told me (and I quote) “It’s too bad that you didn’t force him to kill you instead. That way you could have at least died a virgin.” 
Emphasis mine.

It is easy to simply call the pastor a misogynistic asshole, shake your head at his abysmal counseling manner and move on.

But it isn't that simple.  His attitude didn't come from out of the religious ether.  It didn't come purely from a cultural tradition, either.  It's kind of both, and it something that badly needs to be fought and fought hard.

This statement reduces the poor young woman (16 at the time) to nothing more than a womb with legs.  The entire worth of her person boils down to her ability to bear a child, and her virginity is the certainty (to her husband) that the child is his.

Besides the obvious misogyny involved here, there are a couple of things to criticize over this attitude.

First, it comes out of a time and culture where one thing was important - your body heir.  Your heir embodied the continuation of your estate, and any titles you may have that would be hereditary.  It was vitally important that the heir be of YOUR blood.  Because, of course, the blood of the nobility was different from others, and one didn't want the by blow of some tryst mucking up the family talents (or lack thereof).

Of course, for 99.9% of the human race, none of that mattered - but social imperatives always embody what is important to the ruling class.  Screw the little people - but the little people inevitably pick up those imperatives and comply - just in case, you know, you get incredibly lucky and the king makes you nobility.

So, without DNA testing, how does one make sure that the firstborn IS yours?  You keep your wife locked up tight and away from errant penises and ensure that she was a virgin when you got her.  When the fate of entire countries depend on a tightly controlled bloodline, women become walking, talking wombs.  Nothing else is important about her.  Just her ability to deliver your heir.

If that doesn't seem really all that important, look up the story of the reign of Henry VIII of England, whose entire reign was focused on what we now know is his early inability to sire a boy.  Of course, they didn't know that then, which is why he dumped an an entire basketball team's worth of wives trying to find one who could present him with an heir.  (He did finally get one, Edward VI)  His search resulted in the separation of the Church of England from the Catholic Church, as he sought an annulment from the Pope, which was refused.

Like I said, serious stuff.

That cultural imperative was bolstered by the teachings of the Church, which was a result of the embodiment of the Pauline teachings on the dogma of the church, which resulted in the subjugation of women by the church.

Combine that with the needs of the nobility to ensure "pure" bloodlines, and the limitations on the worth of women as baby-making machines is guaranteed.

Problem is, none of that is necessary any longer.

First, the requirement of the inheritance of the first born is sort of passé these days.  Nobody gives a shit.  Well, maybe a few European noble families still do, but with the attention of the press and photographic pack hounds, the need to lock up their women is kind of redundant!

Plus, with DNA testing, the need to lock them up to make sure the first born is yours isn't necessary.  A simple swipe in the inner cheek, a few days wait and you KNOW - so she's got every incentive to make sure she doesn't get preggers when she screws around!  Not if she cares, anyway.

As for the other 98% of us, few of us have that kind of focus on the issue.  Oh, the 1% still do, since there are often billions of bucks involved, but most of the human race either can't afford the cost of the test or really doesn't care so much.

In addition, here in the US, we have this thing we've built up called freedom.   It also endorses and glorifies something else - the supremacy of the individual.  People, individually, have power, have rights and are extolled for their independence.  Well, of course, if you're a man, or maybe an extraordinary woman.

Like the movie character, The Unsinkable Molly Brown.  I could also name some other truly extraordinary women whose real life stories also bring them into this realm where we, as a society, value them as people.  Scientists, actresses, teachers.  Political leaders.  Captains of Industry.

For a hundred years, America has struggled to bring equality to both sexes.  It has taken a wide range of activities, court cases, Congressional fights and a widespread change in social attitudes to turn this around.

And now, today, we still have the blowbacks - the conservatives who cannot relinquish the thought that a woman cannot be more than a womb.  Most of them have taken refuge in the Evangelical movement in the US.  Fundies.  Still hanging onto the biblical admonishments to not allow women the right to even talk, much less have authority over men.

Hence this young woman's humiliation by a pastor who felt that her worth as an individual had been so damaged, she would have been better off dead.

Is this what we want for our children and our grandchildren?  Is this what we want for the future?  The continuation of a misogynistic "tradition" designed for a feudalistic society that no longer rules us, indeed, no longer even exists?

No.  This is NOT right.  A free society which values the individual must value ALL members of its population.  Equally, with no reservations.  No special privileges, no special conditions.  All members of this society must have the complete autonomous right to determine their own fate and their own way of life within the constraints of the legal and social bonds we all agree to.

No exceptions, none. Not for so called "traditional" reasons, nor for religious reasons.  This is a society in motion.  Constantly moving, constantly changing.  Our technology has changed radically the way we live, the way we see the universe around us, the way we conduct our lives and relate to each other.  It will continue to make changes similarly in the foreseeable future.

We have no time for feudal throwbacks, either ideas or people.  The world today moves too fast, and the rules of the past are no longer useful, but are instead harmful.

We can't afford that.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Three stories, one point. American traditions under attack, but fighting back!

Today, I've got three stories for you.  One is totally nuts, one is crazy in a good way, and one has elements of both, plus makes a point.

The first is about the preacher of a church in North Carolina.  A perfect example of crazy.
Marc Grizzard, of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, says that the first King James translation of the Bible is the only true declaration of God’s word, and that all others are “satanic”.
Not only is he crazy, but he is ignorant, too.
 The New Revised Version Bible, the American Standard Version Bible, and even the New King James Version are all pronounced to be works of the Devil by Pastor Grizzard and his followers. 
Pastor Grizzard said: “I believe the King James version is God’s preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God… for English-speaking people. 
“We are burning books that we believe to be Satanic.”
 He is ignorant, because it is well known by biblical scholars - even the apologetic ones - that the King James version he likes so much is acknowledged to be the absolute worst translation of the bible ever.  If your objective is to know what the original authors of the books of the bible wrote and meant, it should be the last translation you'd want to pick up.

Oh, and the book burning part is pure idiocy.  Grandstanding at its worst.  This is pure ideology, not theology.

Second, a pastor in Mississippi, Dr Michael Minor, embarked on a personal odyssey to improve the health of his congregants after coming to his church (in 1996) and finding an epidemic of obesity so bad he was burying them at the rate of one a week!  His latest effort?  Pushing ObamaCare.
He has had marked success. "You can see the difference. People are much better sized, way better. And once they get it off, they want to keep it off," he said. 
Now he is taking on the much bigger task of trying to get the state's nearly 275,000 uninsured people to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 
With technology problems dogging enrollment on Obamacare health insurance exchanges, the roles of people like Minor are becoming increasingly crucial in determining the success or failure of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. 
His church is one of only two organizations in the state to get a federal "navigator" grant to help the state's uninsured sign up for policies provided through Obamacare.
Go read the article about him, it is a wonderful example of someone who truly cares, and puts his preaching into practice.

His understanding of his holy book is diametrically opposed to the idiot in North Carolina.  It is also opposed to the understanding of the bible of a women who runs a homeless kitchen in South Carolina you may have heard of.

This third story is about a humanist group in South Carolina who offered to assist at a homeless soup kitchen in Spartenburg.  They were rebuffed rather sharply.
… Landrum, executive director of the Soup Kitchen, told the Herald-Journal she would resign from her job before she let atheists volunteer and be a “disservice to this community.”“This is a ministry to serve God” she said. “We stand on the principles of God. Do they (atheists) think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is? Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.“
It seems to me that it is that director who doesn't know what atheists are!  How did the group respond?
Despite the setback, the atheists pulled through for the people they were trying to help. On Saturday, they gave away over 300 care packages to the homeless, each package costing about $15 and including things like gloves, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, lip balm, snacks, etc.
They didn't get nasty, they didn't call names. they set up across the street to take advantage of the homeless gathered at the soup kitchen to provide further help.

The best part of this story, and why you should go to this link to read the whole thing, is that another soup kitchen, run by a different church group, has asked the humanist group to come assist at their facility!
“[the Greer Soup Kitchen] even wrote to us during the recent media frenzy to tell us how much they look forward to us coming.”
It seems that the media attention attracted the other group's attention, and they decided that the first was just doing it wrong.

I have a point to make about this.

The driving divider in all this is obviously people's differing interpretations of the christian bible.  Some see it this way, some see it that.  Some groups hate gays, others welcome them as just another christian.  Some will accept help without condition, others only think christians can meet the test.  Some folks see ObamaCare as another way to provide healthcare to the needy while others just see the needy as moochers.

While the godless are busy shattering people's ideas of what it is to be godless.  One CAN be good without the assistance of a deity.

Is that my point?  No.

My point is that without the divisions of differing interpretations of the bible, it would be easier to come together to solve this country's problems.  For over forty years, the conservatives (allied with the religious right) have dragged their feet, fighting every attempt by the left to weave a safety net for the needy of this country.  Today, more and more people are coming to see how the obscene amount of money we spend on the military could, all by itself, turn the problems of the poor in this country around and probably end poverty once and for all.

But we just can't overcome the opposition to it engendered by the propaganda pushed by the right wing, often spread in churches, large and small.  Lies about who the "moochers" are on welfare.  Lies about contraceptives and abortion.  Lies about health care.

Lies about Obama and his health care law.

It IS encouraging to see people like Dr. Minor who are willing to put ideology aside and do good for the sake of doing good.  It IS good to see the Greer Soup Kitchen step in and offer a place for the humanist group to assist in spite of their differing religious beliefs - to see them recognize that doing good is an end in itself, and not just an expression of religious belief.

That kind of changing attitude is going to make things better in this country, IF we can see more people put religious differences aside and come together as Americans.

As Americans.

As Americans, we have a system that was designed to allow differing religions and traditions to live side by side with a minimum of strife.  On the whole, it has worked remarkably well.  So well, religion has thrived here, without the artificial restraints other countries have put on its practice.

People from other countries with a history and tradition of animosity towards other ethnic groups or religious groups come to this country and often live side by side with their former enemies - peacefully!  That animosity becomes less of a necessity here, where religious freedom is itself a tradition and a way of life.

But our own tradition is under attack.  The right wing extremists in this country, led by the Dominionists, are trying to change people's ideas of history, trying to re-write that history to make it seem as if this has always been a christian country.  Their goal is to turn us into a theocracy, where only their brand of god worship is acceptable.

It doesn't need to happen that way.  We need to fight that attitude, and spread the ideals of tolerance and progressivism.

Whether you are a believer or not.

Friday, October 25, 2013

How much longer do we have to listen to this charlatan?

I really hate to get personal on people because of their views, but sometimes, I just have to make an exception because what they say is so vile.

So, when, exactly, is Pat Robertson going to get too damn old for TV?

His latest insanity is to berate and denigrate the mother of a blind child because she called into his show to ask why God hasn't healed her son't blindness, even though she has prayed over and over for it to be healed.

What did he say, you ask?
“I have dealt with people who are deaf and you rebuke the spirit of deafness and they get healed,” Robertson claimed. “I don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Why don’t you try that and if it doesn’t work, try something else.”
Spirit of deafness?  Really?  I don't recall there being any such thing in the bible, but then, I might be wrong.  The mother of that child may have been wrong for praying instead of going to a doctor - or maybe she did and they couldn't help.

More likely, they could have, but she couldn't afford the treatments.  I didn't hear Robertson volunteer to help, did you?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Popes come, Popes go...

This last Monday, Pope Francis was quoted as making an amazing statement.

According to Radio Vatican, the Pope said:
“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”

I am reminded of a photo meme on Facebook that pops up occasionally that quotes President Carter as saying:
"If you don't want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don't."
After searching for a bit, it seems that the statement was made by John Fugelsang, but comments indicate that Carter has made statements of that nature, including his "resignation" from the Southern Baptist Convention.

Another photo meme is attributed to a popular comedian, Stephen Colbert:

The Catholic Church is an old, monolithic institution.  It is, arguably, the oldest organized institution in the world, and is certainly the oldest monarchy to survive into modern times.  As such, the Pope is the titular head of that institution and supposedly sets the tone, direction and the goals of it during his reign.

That said, its history shows that when a Pope bucks the general trends and opinions of the rest of the church hierarchy, it doesn't always go his way.  Popes have, in medieval times, even been murdered for bucking powerful internal factions of Cardinals.

Now, that doesn't mean that I am saying that this new guy in in danger of his life.  This IS the 21st century, after all, and one would hope that after around 1800 years, it would have matured to the point that internal differences of opinion might be settled in a more - civilized - manner!  I am noting this because the direction this new Pope seems to be trying to steer the Church is a radically different direction from recent Popes' policies, and seems certain to anger church groups on the radical right fringes of Catholicism, many of whom got privileged treatment from the last couple of Popes.

Be careful, though as you are tempted to cheer this new guy.  Don't think for a moment that he is changing Church dogma or teachings.  He isn't.  He is merely warning the men who control powerful parts of the church under his direction that their past very public focus on very conservative teachings is driving rank and file Catholics away.  Those very conservative teachings are still there, still in affect, but he wants to focus instead on the kinder gentler things most Catholics DO support.

A sort of misdirection, if you will.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"  I can hear the famous line from the Wizard of Oz still ringing out, desperately trying to divert attention from the revelation of his subterfuge by the little dog.

It didn't divert the attention of his audience then, and it won't work for the Pope now.  The curtain has been pulled back, their true nature has been revealed by the light of public scrutiny.  As long as the Conservatives in the Republican Party in the US are stupid enough to keep ringing the bells of extreme right wing fundamentalism, and the US Council of Bishops keeps on helping them pull the rope, the words of the new Pope may sound nice, but they won't fool many.

In OUR world, unlike the fictional Oz, there are many more than just one man behind that curtain, and we desperately need to pay attention to what they say.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Furlough - and how it should elevate people's opinions of the government.

Before I start, I guess I'd better kind of apologize.  I haven't published anything here for over a week.  Yeah, I've been furloughed, but that didn't give me more time - less, if you can believe it.  But approaching the reality of missing a paycheck - and as a senior government employee, that paycheck isn't hay - has put me in a kind of funk.  Missing that check will hurt, big time.  The worst part is not knowing how long until they do decide to give me one - whether a replacement or one for work done after we go back to work isn't clear at this point.

But that's about my personal troubles, which isn't what I wanted to talk about today.  Federal workers are just pawns here, and our troubles aren't the worst of what is hurting this country.

Sure, some of it starts with us - since I've been off work, I've curtailed a number of what would be normal activities - many of which involve spending money.  The vendors I would have spent that money with didn't get it, and in my area - they're probably missing money from my friends and neighbors who are also Federal workers, too!  So there's that.

But what really sparked this post tonight was Rachael Maddow (and Ed Schultz).  She made some remarks on a segment where she was talking about how the popularity of the Republican Party is suffering a major historical loss of popularity - because of the shutdown, specifically.  Much of that is the result of a lot of folks in this country who either have been or will soon start missing government checks they have been used to getting.

Seniors, single mothers, small business owners, disabled vets, families of vets killed in action, the list goes on.  People are beginning to realize the sheer scope and size of a government that many had taken as an abstract concept - one their party has been telling them for a long time is bad for them and too intrusive.

The problem is, they never realized that the "intrusiveness" was masking something valuable - support in the form of government money.  Or perhaps government inspectors ensuring that their food is safe to eat, their drugs safe to take, the air they are breathing is clean enough to not make them sick.

In the abstract, 800,000 government workers sounds like a lot of tax money - and if nothing else, right wingers have been taught that taxes are THEIRS, and anything that it is spent on is negative.

Unless it comes back to them.  Now that the checks aren't or are threatened to not come, a lot of folks are beginning to take this seriously.  They are beginning to understand that this government is not an abstract concept, not a pie in the sky kind of thing to be spoken of as if it's something that affects others but not them.

This government is food stamps.
This government is aid to local school districts.
This government is national parks that attract customers to local businesses.
This government is food safety.
This government is aid to single mothers and their children.
This government is aid to disabled vets.
This government is safety in the skies.
This government is maintenance money for our national highways.
This government is scientific and medical research into human diseases.
This government is clean air and water.
This government is inspections of EVERY oil pipeline in the country to prevent oil spills.
This government is water safety along the entire coastline.
This government is border patrols.
This government is weather safety and prediction.
This government is emergency response to natural disaster.
This government is emergency response to transportation disasters.
This government is control of the economic system to prevent another Great Depression.
This government is control of interstate commerce.
This government is a safety net for seniors, the disabled and the poor.
This government is law enforcement.

This government is all these things and a thousand other items I could have gone on about for thousands and thousands of lines.

Some decades ago, two people, a man and a women, embarked on a crime spree across the central US. They robbed banks, shot people and raised general hell.  You remember Bonnie and Clyde, right?  In some circles, they were almost Robin Hood style heroes.

But to a lot of folks, they were true villains.  You see, in those days, there was no FDIC.  If a bank were robbed - either by gun or by pen, the money was gone.  Not recoverable, unless the robbers were caught before they spent it.  So, all those banks they robbed lost money, and it was the little folks at the bottom who lost - sometimes everything they'd saved for a lifetime.

That was one problem.

Another was law enforcement.  In the roaring twenties, on into the thirties and forties, law enforcement didn't do much information exchange.  States didn't do much to assist each other in catching criminals, and it was often easy for a bad guy to slip across State lines to avoid arrest.

Gangs like the Bonnie and Clyde gang changed all that, and it was the power of the Federal Government, able to reach across State lines with national reach and authority, that enabled us to begin to get a handle on that kind of crime.

Safeguarding our lives, our prosperity.  Both the FBI and the FDIC helped to stop bank robbery as a major source of crime.

Yeah, that "government" everybody on the right seems to think intrudes into our lives too much.

You know, the one that built the InterState Highway System.  The one that rocketed our economy into the stratosphere after WWII, by enabling people and goods to cross the country in just weeks instead of months.  The highway system that every major Corporation today depends on to get its goods to market - inside the country or out - yet whines to high heaven if asked to pay their fair share to maintain it!

Yeah, that government.

The one I work for.  The one that works for YOU.

I have a message for the Democrats.  Yes, me, little old me.  The message?

Get off your asses and start pushing Progressive ideas and ideals!  For Obama's entire tenure as President, he has tried reaching across the isle to deal with Republicans, even going so far as to bring Republicans and Republican policies into his Administration to show a willingness to compromise.

I say, enough is enough.  If the last two weeks haven't shown you how unwilling the Republicans are to compromise, I don't know what it would take.  The only thing today that is getting their attention is the fact that they are now polling at the lowest level they've ever polled, since that poll was started!

Yeah, now that it has been banged into their thick skulls that they are f'ing LOSING this fight, NOW they want to begin talking seriously.

Well, I say fuck 'em.  I'm already a paycheck down, as of tomorrow.  I say let the bastards sweat.  Make them come clean, and I mean clean.

But don't stop there.  Rub it in. Show the bastards that their tactics have not only made them lose, but that they've pissed off the wrong set of people.  Force them to raise the debt ceiling for a year, but make THEM make serious concessions in some of their most important talking points before giving an inch.  Make the bastards agree to bringing back the budget to pre-sequester levels.

Mr. President, Mr. Reid, Ms. Pelosi, please.

Support, push and FORCE more progressive policies and do it in the next year.  Do it BEFORE the next election, and I guarantee you that you can bring out your base for the 2014 elections, and we will be ENTHUSIASTIC!

But you've got to give us a reason to be passionate.  We HAVE to see, indeed, we have to KNOW that you three have OUR backs and care about the things WE do.

Trust me, you do NOT want us to get discouraged and stay home in a year.

None of us do.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I'd rant, but it wouldn't do any good.

This week's drama in DC hits home.  I'm a Federal worker, and my leave for this week was cancelled - I am now on furlough.  Meaning that beginning October 1st, assuming the Congress doesn't pass some kind of funding bill for all or part of FY 2014, I won't get a paycheck next Friday, October 11th.  Meaning that a lot of bills won't get paid.  And THAT will affect my credit rating, folks.

Thanks, Boehner.

I say thanks to the Speaker of the House because it is in his direct power as part of his job to determine what bills get voted on and when.  Considering that all 200 Democrats and at least (so far) upwards of twenty Republicans are willing to vote on a clean Continuing Resolution to get us back to work, that's enough (under normal working conditions) to get that bill passed.

But Boehner won't let it hit the floor.  He is held hostage himself by the Tea Party wing of his caucus, such that he refuses to allow it to be voted on.

Why does that tea Party want to drag this thing out?  Because they've been planning this thing for over three years, since before the election of 2010!  Rachael Maddow has a pretty good take on this, along with plenty of video of Republicans threatening just that.  Oh, and in at least one video, there's a conservative audience clapping, so this isn't and has never been any kind of a secret.

Just in case you've got some Republican friends claiming that the Democrats are at fault, here's a timeline of just how the budget process has played out this year.

So, what's the REAL reason for all this?  Right wing politics.

For thirty years or more, extremists in the Republican party have been making their usual noise about a broken government, an evil government, one that is out to take your guns and restrict your liberty.  For thirty years, they've been relegated to a very small, lunatic fringe of far right wingers using ultra-patriotism to disguise their hatred for the Union of the North and their long held wishes for a return of States' Rights.  Of course, you and I and every other sane American knows that the real government has no such designs and is comprised of quite normal Americans trying their best to do a difficult job.

So, what does an extremist do when his most cherished predictions fail to come true?

You MAKE them come true.  In this case, you take over the Republican Party and prove that democratic forms of government don't work by doing everything you can to prevent them from working as designed.  You obstruct, you obfuscate, you dig in your heels and delay, and in the end, you make your point by making the government shut down (as you've been telling your constituents you would for three years) by extorting the President and the major party with something you KNOW they will not and cannot accept.

This is not an accident.  This is not just wild, crazy people doing insane things.

This is a cabal of conservative right wingers determined to bring this government down.  So, you ask, what will they put in its place?

Good question.  I doubt that all them have a good answer.  Many of them have probably been promised money, jobs, and security in some new regime, but I'd bet that the details have been sketchy and lacking.  The money, I'd bet, has been good so far!

But look at their allies.

For those who have read my blog for a while, you'll remember my numerous writings about Dominionists.  After this, go to the main page and click on the tag Dominionists, and you'll get a whole list of posts.

Read them, and you'll get a good idea what is probably in store.  But don't count the Plutocrats out yet - they've had their moneybags in this, too, so look for some Corporate goodies thrown in, too.

Am I being alarmist?  I don't think so.  Look at this objectively.  I know us lefties have been throwing around words like crazy, nuts, insane and a lot of others in a similar vein to describe Republican antics over the last five years.  The word "stupid" has figured prominently.

But these are NOT stupid people.  You don't get elected to Congress being stupid unless you've got some smart backing and advisors.  (translation:  handlers)  Those handlers are not employed by stupid people.

There IS a motive behind this.  People don't go insane on a national basis just because there's something in the water.  Yeah, many of the conservative audience in Southern States may BE stupid.  They may BE completely flummoxed by Fox News.  But again, what's behind it?  WHO is behind it?

Why does a Christian preacher get away with praying to god for an ARMED insurrection against a black President?  Where's the outrage?  Why hasn't every Patriot on the right ridden this man out of his TV studio on a rail, tarred and feathered?

Because it is all orchestrated.  Yeah, call me a conspiracy nut, go ahead.  But when the Dominionist-led Army rides into Washington DC and a Dominionist President is installed in the White House, don't say I didn't warn you.

I'm updating my passport.  (After the government is reopened...)