A long time ago my father an attorney who practiced civil law and eventually was certified to appear in front of the N.M. Supreme Court, was in awe of the United States Supreme Court. Shortly, before he died in 2006 (he was born in 1920), we talked about the decision Bush versus Gore (2001). He was appalled at what was done. The GOP dominated court used the 14th Amendment to make the decision (which it says cannot be used for any case because in fact it applies to both sides), and said that Bush’s 14th Amendment rights were violated. Then the decision was made and the Court says it can never be used as a precedence in any other case, or be quoted. This in and of itself is unprecedented in its history since 1795. I think now he would say: “The Supreme Court has faded into mediocrity.”

Trump’s lawyers in December 2017, in the Russian Investigation, are using elementary arguments that Nixon threw up in his defense and each was thrown out. Of course it plays well on Fox News—“he is in a Witch Hunt.” The interesting thing is on CNN and MSNBC they invite all the retired Watergate attorneys on and they say the law is clearly against Trump.

But sadly, SCOTUS is much further right today than in 1974 – thanks, in part, to that soulless corporate sycophant trump appointed. That’s something that’s getting far too little attention; that we can’t do anything about anyway – not only SCOTUS (Mitch McConnell; he stole that appointment from Obama) but trump is jamming federal judgeship nominees through as fast as he can – without vetting them at all, just off lists given to him by extreme right wing groups (or in at least one case the spouse of someone on his staff), without regard to whether they are at all qualified – or without conflicts of interest; congress is just rubber stamping them.
donna.tritz

WHM: Yikes! Yes, Bush vs. Gore 2001 a decision based on 14th Amendment that is never used in decisions because it automatically would apply to both parties—and a decision that can never be quoted again? Citizen’s United in 200X based on what a 1898 case that the law clerk wrote an opinion in the margins because he was paid off by the Railroad?
Thom Hartmann has written extensively on this, and here is a recent snippet:

“There’s one particular cancer that has attacked our body politic, and that cancer is money in politics. We tried to get that out of politics in 1973 after the Nixon scandals.

We passed some really strong laws. You can’t give more than $1700 to any presidential candidate. You can’t give more than $4,000 to a political party, all that stuff.

And the Supreme Court blew it up in 1976 in the Buckley v. Valeo case.

What Move to Amend is trying to do is to go around the federal politicians by going to the individual states. And if you can get 34 states to pass a resolution saying that the constitution should be amended to say that corporations are not people, money is not speech, and then you get 38 states to ratify that, it becomes an amendment to the Constitution.

That’s something we’ve got to be doing and that’s what Move to Amend is all about. That’s the beginning. Once you get the money out of politics, then you don’t have the forces working against you to try to stop you.”

Yes, the Supreme Court has faded into mediocrity.

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I completed the RCIA in my San Isidro Catholic Church in 2017 and I am to give witness to the next class of students. So I have been putting together some notes:

I want to give them the most important teachings I learned that enabled me to go from a doubter to a believer.  I grew up in a household that consisted of an Episcopal Sunday School Teacher and a German Reform Sunday School Teacher whose brother would later become a minister.

My readings in our RCIA book, titled: The Seekers Catechism: The Basics of Catholicism (by Michael Pennock). In this book I discovered some of the answers to which I had questions for 40-55 years.  The 55 year question coincides with the death of my sister Jaime Ellen Mee.  It goes to the very basics—the Existence of God.

No one can know everything about God; and some things will always be a mystery to us.  CCC 212-217.  “We cannot know God.”  Page 8.   See once you accept this, the burden is lifted from you to chase after many things, like creation myths or why God does or doesn’t do something; i.e., “stop Hitler.”  Other questions from the RCIA book hit me: “If God knows all, how can we have free will?” CCC311; to which the answer is: God’s knowledge does not force us to do anything—“If God is good, why is there evil?” CCC 272-74; to which the answer is: evil is the absence of good; when we turn from Go’s love.

So back to my parents and the death of my sister.  This is when they turned from God and said: “How can there be a God that takes the lives of innocent children?”  Then this is where my religious training hit a road block; and was my biggest challenge in RCIA.

There is temptation to ask God for special favors or even why are you doing this to me?  To which we need to know that God is busy.  There are special intercessions that can be made for us by the Saints.  Mary is the most powerful and you can approach her through the Rosary.  But each saint has a niche or a purpose in our faith.  San Isidro for rain; San Antonio for lost things and to return soldiers to us safely.

The Trinity (page 31 CCC236) is a difficult concept.  As a non-practicing Catholic it was mind- blowing.  I thought my “cute” answer to you would be 3 in 1 oil.  But once again the answer is: “We can never fully comprehend the doctrine of the Trinity” and “God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves.”  So even more mind-blowing as you learn about it.  Later we find that: “when one person of the Trinity acts, the other two persons also act.”

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Reading 1 Wis 13:1-9 11-17-2017

All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
But yet, for these the blame is less;
For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Gospel Mt 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (cf. 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Third Sunday of Advent
Reading 1 Is 61:1-2a, 10-11

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God.

I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
in my God is the joy of my soul;
for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its plants,
and a garden makes its growth spring up,
so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise
spring up before all the nations.

Dear Will,

We, the People, own 640 million acres of public U.S. land that our families explore, hike, hunt, fish, raft, cycle, ski, and camp. Much of it is filled with Native American holy places, archaeological treasures, and important animal habitats.

This treasured land supports our country’s $887-billion outdoor recreation industry which employs 7.6 million people.

Trump’s “Happy Holidays” gift to We, the People, is to steal millions of acres of our public land. Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument will be reduced by 85 percent, and its Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be cut in half.

This is the largest grand theft of protected land in American history!

And this is just the beginning. Trump has ordered his Interior Secretary to review 27 more monuments this year alone, including New Mexico’s Organ Mountains Desert Peak and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments.

To add salt to the wound, Trump’s EPA is easing requirements to allow mining companies to clean and dispose their toxic waste on our public lands!

But who has the means, opportunity and motive to commit such a crime?

Trump and his Republican Congress know that the States can’t afford to maintain these lands. So as soon as they get them from the Feds, the States will immediately sell them to mining, oil, gas, logging, and real estate development companies that donate big to Republican causes and politicians.

This terrible theft of protected land must be stopped now, before it’s too late!

Join me NOW to fight back against this terrible theft, before it’s too late. Together we CAN do it but I need your help!

Ben Ray Luján
U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District
Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

 

There really needs to be healing of the Democratic Party. I started this post on April 27, 2017 and it is now 12-9-2017 and it hasn’t gotten much better. We now know that Russian money and agents and bots are continuing to exploit the Bernie-Hillary rift. Plus I imagine that any Al Franken information is also tainted since he became such a champion against them.

But back to the original topic. The fight over who is right is destroying our chances in 2018 and 2020 and is getting so junior highish that it is really not worth listening to. We known (or should know) that political parties are messy and antiquated so expecting them to do the right thing is a little naive.

The thing we can do is to take over the Democratic Party with good people and the issues are solved.

Hillary-Bernie: A Breach that Must be Healed

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/27/democratic-party-2018-races-midwest-populism-trump Healing Democratic party

(Not a lot of savings–go into Defense for $2-300 billion.  They are starting to spend a lot overseas.  Chinese electronics on our fighters [kind of unprecedented].)

President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would completely eliminate 66 federal programs, for a savings of $26.7 billion.

Some of the programs would receive funding for 2018 as part of a phasing-out plan.

Here are the programs the administration wants on the chopping block.


Agriculture Department — $855 million

·       McGovern-Dole International Food for Education

·       Rural Business-Cooperative Service

·       Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program Account

·       Single Family Housing Direct Loans

Commerce Department — $633 million

·       Economic Development Administration

·       Manufacturing Extension Partnership

·       Minority Business Development Agency

·       National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants and Education

Education Department — $4.976 billion

·       21st Century Community Learning Centers

·       Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants

·       Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

·       Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property

·       International Education

·       Strengthening Institutions

·       Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants

·       Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants

·       Teacher Quality Partnership

Energy Department — $398 million

·       Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy

·       Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program and Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program

·       Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility

Health and Human Services — $4.834 billion

·       Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

·       Community Services Block Grant

·       Health Professions and Nursing Training Programs

·       Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Homeland Security — $235 million

·       Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program

·       Transportation Security Administration Law Enforcement Grants

Housing and Urban Development — $4.123 billion

·       Choice Neighborhoods

·       Community Development Block

·       HOME Investment Partnerships Program

·       Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program Account

Interior Department — $122 million

·       Abandoned Mine Land Grants

·       Heritage Partnership Program

·       National Wildlife Refuge Fund

Justice Department — $210 million

·       State Criminal Alien Assistance Program

 

Labor Department — $527 million

·       Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Training

·       OSHA Training Grants

·       Senior Community Service Employment Program

 

State Department and USAID — $4.256 billion

·       Development Assistance

Earmarked Appropriations for Non-Profit Organizations

·       The Asia Foundation

·       East-West Center

·       P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid

 

State Department, USAID, and Treasury Department — $1.59 billion

·       Green Climate Fund and Global Climate Change Initiative

 

Transportation Department — $499 million

·       National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER)

Treasury Department — $43 million

·       Global Agriculture and Food Security Program

Environmental Protection Agency — $493 million

·       Energy Star and Voluntary Climate Programs

·       Geographic Programs

National Aeronautics and Space Administration — $269 million

·       Five Earth Science Missions

·       Office of Education

 

Other Independent Agencies — $2.683 billion

·       Chemical Safety Board

·       Corporation for National and Community Service

·       Corporation for Public Broadcasting

·       Institute of Museum and Library Services

International Development Foundations

·       African Development Foundation

·       Inter-American Foundation

·       Legal Services Corporation

·       National Endowment for the Arts

·       National Endowment for the Humanities

·       Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation

·       Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Regional Commissions

·       Appalachian Regional Commission

·       Delta Regional Authority

·       Denali Commission

·       Northern Border Regional Commission

·       U.S. Institute of Peace

·       U.S. Trade and Development Agency

·       Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

 Trump Budget Cuts

The title says a lot and I hope the reader understands the GOP’s bizarre fascination of sex but then the denial that they are ever involved in it.  Look at Fox News and the blonde bimbos that show maximum cleavage and sit on a couch with skirt with open legs.  This isn’t news it is pornography.

The GOP’s wheels out Michele Bachman (whose husband was banging a boy they made a financial settlement with), Marcia Blackburn, etc., and all these women have excessive makeup and lifting bras like you would expect a strip tease artist to dress like.

 

Let me throw out a few names Denny Hastert, Bob Livingston, Larry Craig, Gingrich, Giuliani, Domenici

There is something wrong with these WASP’s politicians of the Republican Party, I am writing something about it but it is so perverse, that I can’t stand it and I put it on hold. In defense of Bill Clinton during the Impeachment investigation, Hustler editor, Larry Flynt, also from Arkansas, offered a million dollar reward for sexual dirt on sitting Republican congressmen. He got over 100 validated replies (which is basically 1 in 5 of the 535). Only a few were released and caused the resignation of proposed Speaker of the House Bob Livingston. I wonder who the rest were? Denny Hastert, Larry Craig, Gingrich, Giuliani, Domenici, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewinsky_scandal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Bill_Clinton

The title refers to a television reality show I was trying to pitch, where I and my flip phone from 1994, would be in fact the last man in America to have an ancient flip phone that actually was in use and made the owner content without the need to upgrade and stand in line for hours while pitching a tent over-night to get the newest cell phone model.  You know because you have seen the over one trillion dollars in advertising that has gone on, just in the United States.  The general public is conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to salivate at the ringing of the bell when a new cell phone comes out.

Yet, the smaller and smaller phones will make those people go blind in ten years, and know the latest trend of bigger and bigger phones will cause more brain cancer and testicular cancer than ever before.

You know, from just reading this, that my television reality show would be much more interesting than the Kardashians or Honey Boo-Boo or the Housewives of Dallas—or whatever Hillbilly-based drama is proposed next.  Certainly much more entertaining and real than “You’re Fired trump” or whatever that idiot’s show was named.

The cell phone itself was building up such character for its debut.  It had a piece of Timothy Hay stuck under the cover, and despite my annual cleanings had a well deposited grease in those hard to reach areas.  The cover’s string was unraveling.  The seen through plastic was aging gracefully.  The belt clip was still also functional.  It was so small and compact that it was completely in tune with the rest of the world.  One hinge was broken but it kept on ticking…

My cell phone was a trusted protector—a truly noble steed—keeping my monthly bill at $9.99 a month for life as a second phone, according to it’s 1994 contract—then blocking SPAM because the data capabilities it had were so limited no SPAM could come through.    People would “text” and I could never read them before the phone shut off and restarted—so I was isolated from the outside world of commercialism, tragedy, and drama.

But, alas in 2017, my faithful companion hit the padded carpet and the other hinge dislodged and the display died.  it still would turn on and off on its original battery, but I couldn’t manipulate it anymore.  In going to the cell phone store the 20-something salesman said: “I’ve never seen a pone like this, and our training never covered it.”  He assured my wife and I, that the warehouse must have kept a data transfer cable from this bygone age.   And they did have it.

It bit the dust before fame and fortune could be ours….