Rev. Al Stumbles

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Tawana Brawley and Rev. Al Sharpton

Many of you know the Reverend Al Sharpton from his MSNBC show, Politics Nation, or from his prominent insertion of himself most recently as spokesperson for Michael Brown’s family in Ferguson, MO. But Rev. Al’s been around a long time.
I first remember him as a spokesperson for a young woman named Tawana Brawley.  Al was a bigger man in those days, with hair styled after the soul singer James Brown. Anyway, Tawana claimed she had been raped by six white men, smeared with feces, and left naked in a garbage bag not far from her former apartment. Rev. Al took on her cause with gusto. Unfortunately, it turned out to have been a hoax. But I don’t remember Al apologizing for all the bloviating charges he made. A pity.
But it didn’t phase Al. He went on to espouse other causes, some of them incredibly troubling and wrong, like those of Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo. This cases should have been protested, and the police should have been castigated for their actions. But I never felt comfortable with him leading the charge. Because he always seemed like he was hiding something. Because he brought alienation to a higher plateau.
He was a fringe actor in those early days, all fire and brimstone bringing the wrath of heaven down on the black people’s oppressors. Al had the look and the deep profundo voice to get the soundbites, and the causes he espoused-and still espouses-are ones that should disturb American society. But there was, and is, something that makes one wonder about his title, the ‘Rev.’ Others mindlessly keep referring to him by it. I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything reverential, penitential, or reflective in him.
Now, it seems, he’s getting lambasted on his tax debts. According to a New York Times investigation, the Rev owes the federal government $3.6 million. Just one state tax lien on a for-profit business, Revals Communications, was originally reported by the Times to total $695,000, but has since been corrected to be $916,000. Naturally, Rev Al denies the allegations. And since he just had a big 60th birthday party at the Four Seasons (one of New York City’s most expensive restaurants, where more than $1 million was raised for his National Action Network), he contends he will be able to pay off all his tax debts. No problems. No worry. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.WizardOfOz_276Pyxurz

What’s so deeply disturbing about this is how we just expect this behavior. He styles himself a reverend, for Christ’s sake, but his National Action Network failed to turn over payroll taxes to the federal government for the last two years. Bills went unpaid to providers, while Rev Al traveled first class to events and protests. What kind of clergyman is this? I’m troubled by his blatant use of the honorific, too, since he has no congregation. More than that, I find it appalling that MSNBC ever gave him his own show, which he continues to star in all the while he leads protests and offers himself as a spokesman for the inevitable grieving families who exist today and will invariably arise tomorrow.  If the Rev is entitled to a soapbox, why not every lunatic in the far right? (Oh, I forgot about Fox News. They’ve already got that, and MSNBC goes after them for that.)

Most seriously, Al has wormed his way into the highest echelons of power, befriending Mayor Bill DeBlasio and President Barack Obama. He sits on political panels giving his insights into national affairs, all the while failing, like Carnival Cruise Lines and so many American companies, to pay the taxes he clearly owes. He obviously likes the finer things in life. He’s slimmed down and taken to wearing impeccably tailored clothes. But he’s still in it for himself, for what he can get and for the power he can grab. Does he now think like Leona Helmsley that “only the little people pay taxes?”

It would be the perfect end for this buffoon if taxes did him in, like Al Capone. Because he may style himself as the Reverend Al, but he’s still a gangster at heart.

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Jesus Would Freak

Hawaiian Diocese Implements New Contract: Gay Teachers Can Be Fired

Hawaii’s Roman Catholic Diocese has drafted a new employment contract for its teachers that makes being gay or marrying your same sex partner grounds for dismissal.  Other grounds include abortion, in vitro fertilization, and unmarried cohabitation, along with euthanasia and renouncing the church. Curiously, there does not imagesseem to be a provision dealing with divorce. Now Jesus did mention divorce four times in the New Testament but never said a word about homosexuality. (That really isn’t too surprising since the term was not coined until the late 1800s, but he could have spoken about men lying with men and vice versa for women. But he didn’t, apparently, since none of the gospels contain any quotes on that topic.)

Here’s what he said in Matthew 5:31-32. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Whew! That is heavy. Unfortunately, the world has moved on in the two millennia since Jesus’s time, and divorce in the United States is no longer only available if you can prove your spouse committed adultery. In fact, in the not-too-distant past, proving adultery was made easier by the marriage partners, one of whom would agree to be in some motel/hotel somewhere with another person where the other spouse or private detective engaged for the purpose could easily obtain the photographic evidence needed for the court to grant the divorce. Here in the great state of Nevada, the most common ground for ending a marriage is irreconcilable differences. Read: “We can’t/don’t want to get along any more.” And that should be enough. Marriage should not be a burden to be endured for a lifetime. Humans have recognized that and laws have been modified and updated.

Apparently, Holy Mother Church accepts the inevitable, too, because there seems to be no provision in the contract punishing divorcing and/or divorced people from teaching in the Catholic school. Meaning the Church can ignore that particular teaching because society does. But they are still hung up on sex of any kind. It’s a pretty myopic view of the world to still demand that people who love each other not cohabitate. It’s a denial of the law of the land (Roe v. Wade) to insist women have no abortions. To tell couples who want children that they cannot make use of in vitro fertilization unless one or both wants to lose their jobs is just plain cruel. I thought that’s one of the Church’s goals, to have people have more babies.

I confess I don’t know when and why the Church developed such an ickiness regarding sexuality. Popes, cardinals and bishops have been fucking men and women for centuries. Take, for example, Pope John XII (955-965 C.E.). When he was found to be plotting against the Holy Roman Emperor Otto, the emperor sent emissaries to Rome to find out what was happening.

“The mission returned with juicy details about the pope’s innumerable mistresses, fat and thin, rich and poor: the one whom he had made governor of cities and loaded with church treasure; another who had been his father’s paramour before him, whom he had made pregnant and who had died of a hemorrhage; of the pope’s indiscriminate seizure of female pilgrims. “The palace of the Lateran,” they reported, “which had once sheltered saints, was now a harlot’s brothel.””

(John Julius Norwich (2011-07-12). Absolute Monarchs (Kindle Locations 1561-1565). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.)

Perhaps this list will enlighten you: (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sexually_active_popes)

Popes who were married

Saint Peter (Simon Peter), whose mother-in-law is mentioned in the Gospel verses Matthew 8:14–15, Luke 4:38, Mark 1:29–31. Clement of Alexandria notes that “Peter and Philip begat children”[3] and writes: “When the blessed Peter saw his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, ‘Remember the Lord.’ Such was the marriage of the blessed, and their perfect disposition toward those dearest to them.”[4] In some legends dating from at least the 6th century, Peter’s daughter is Saint Petronilla.[5][6]
Pope St. Hormisdas (514–523) was married and widowed before he took Holy Orders. He was the father of Pope St. Silverius.[7]
Pope Adrian II (867–872) was married before he took Holy Orders,[8] to a woman called Stephania, and had a daughter. His wife and daughter were still living when he was elected Pope and resided with him in the Lateran Palace. They were murdered by Eleutherius, brother of Anastasius Bibliothecarius, the Church’s chief librarian.[9]
Pope John XVII (1003) was married before his election as Pope and had three sons, who all became priests.[10]
Pope Clement IV (1265–1268) was married, before taking Holy Orders, and had two daughters, who both entered a convent.[11]
Popes sexually active before receiving Holy Orders

Pope Pius II (1458–1464) had at least two illegitimate children, one in Strasbourg and one in Scotland, both born before he entered the clergy. Pius delayed becoming a cleric because of the requirement of chastity.[12]
Pope Innocent VIII (1484–1492) had two illegitimate children during his youth, both born before he entered the clergy.[13] His nepotism towards these has been described as “lavish as it was shameless” [14] He married off his elder son Franceschetto Cybo to the daughter of Lorenzo de’ Medici, who in return obtained the cardinal’s hat for his thirteen-year-old son Giovanni, later Pope Leo X. Savonarola chastised him for his worldly ambitions.[15]
Pope Clement VII (1523–1534) had one illegitimate son before he took holy orders, identified as Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence.[16]
Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585) had an illegitimate son before he took holy orders.[17][18]
Popes who were, or may have been, sexually active after receiving Holy Orders

Pope Julius II (1503–1513) had three illegitimate daughters, one of whom was Felice della Rovere (born in 1483, twenty years before his election).[19] The schismatic Conciliabulum of Pisa, which sought to depose him in 1511, accused him of being a “sodomite covered with shameful ulcers.” [20]
Pope Paul III (1534–1549) who, according to some sources, held off ordination in order to continue his promiscuous lifestyle, fathering four illegitimate children (three sons and one daughter) by his mistress Silvia Ruffini. He broke his relations with her ca. 1513. There is no evidence of sexual activity during his papacy. He made his illegitimate son Pier Luigi Farnese the first Duke of Parma.[21][22]
Popes sexually active, or accused of being sexually active, during pontificate

Pope Sergius III (904–911) was accused by his opponents of being the illegitimate father of Pope John XI by Marozia.[23] These accusations are found in Liutprand of Cremona’s Antapodosis,[24] as well as the Liber Pontificalis.[25][26][27] The accusations are disputed by another early source, the annalist Flodoard (c. 894–966): John XI was brother of Alberic II, the latter being the offspring of Marozia and her husband Alberic I, so John too may have been the son of Marozia and Alberic I. Bertrand Fauvarque emphasizes that the contemporary sources backing up this parenthood are dubious, Liutprand being “prone to exaggeration” while other mentions of this fatherhood appear in satires written by supporters of late Pope Formosus.[28]
Pope John X (914–928) had romantic affairs with both Theodora and her daughter Marozia, according to Liutprand of Cremona in his Antapodosis.[29][30](See also Saeculum obscurum)
Pope John XII (955–963) was accused by his adversaries of adultery and incest.[31][32] The monk Benedict of Soracte noted in his volume XXXVII that he “liked to have a collection of women”. According to Liutprand of Cremona in his Antapodosis,[24] “they testified about his adultery, which they did not see with their own eyes, but nonetheless knew with certainty: he had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana his father’s concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse.” According to E. R. Chamberlin, John XII was “a Christian Caligula whose crimes were rendered particularly horrific by the office he held”.[33] Some sources report that he was rumoured to have died 8 days after being stricken by paralysis while in the act of adultery,[31] others that he was killed by the jealous husband while in the act of committing adultery.[34][35][36][37] (See also Saeculum obscurum)
Pope Benedict IX (1032– became pope in 1044, again in 1045 and finally 1047–1048).[38] He was accused by Bishop Benno of Piacenza of “many vile adulteries.”[39][40] Pope Victor III referred in his third book of Dialogues to “his rapes… and other unspeakable acts.”[41] His life prompted Saint Peter Damian to write an extended treatise against illicit sex in general, and homosexuality in particular. In his Liber Gomorrhianus, Damian accused Benedict IX of routine sodomy and bestiality and sponsoring orgies.[42] In May 1045, Benedict IX resigned his office to pursue marriage.[43]
Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) had a long affair with Vannozza dei Cattanei before his papacy, and by her had his illegitimate children Cesare and Lucrezia. A later mistress, Giulia Farnese, was the sister of Alessandro Farnese, who later became Pope Paul III. Alexander fathered at least seven, and possibly as many as ten illegitimate children.[44]

Or how about these guys?

Popes accused of having male lovers during pontificate (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sexually_active_popes)
Pope Paul II (1464–1471) is popularly thought to have died due to indigestion arising from eating melon in excess,[45][46] though a rumour was spread by his detractors that he died while engaging in sodomy.[47]
Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484) was alleged to have awarded gifts and benefices to court favourites in return for sexual favours. Giovanni Sclafenato was created a cardinal by Sixtus for “ingenuousness, loyalty,…and his other gifts of soul and body”, according to the papal epitaph on his tomb.[48][49]
Pope Leo X (1513–1521) was allegedly a practising homosexual, according to some modern and contemporary sources (Francesco Guicciardini and Paolo Giovio). He was alleged to have had a particular (albeit one-sided) infatuation for Marcantonio Flaminio.[50]
Pope Julius III (1550–1555) was alleged to have had a long affair with Innocenzo Ciocchi del Monte. The Venetian ambassador at that time reported that Innocenzo shared the pope’s bed.[51]

So the Church has had a long history of sex at the highest levels, while demanding celibacy from the frontline priests, nuns and brothers, with the earliest textual references occurring in the 4th century. You’d think they would understand that sexuality is a natural facet of being human. But they don’t, and hypocritically, they have fastened on women and homosexuals to vent their spleen on. Now, in Hawaii, Catholic school teachers have become the whipping boys/girls. There’s a certain ugliness in this contract decision–not the least of which is that the teachers had no input into the contract provisions, and as such the contract is one of adhesion–it has none of their particular brand of religion’s alleged love for God’s children. I would recommend that Hawaii’s Catholic school teachers get other jobs and let the schools hang.

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Actions vs. Opinions

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to non other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

[Emphasis added.]

Thomas Jefferson to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut,

January 1, 1802

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

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Bryan Fischer Wins the Comstock Award (again)

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Bryan F Bloviating Into the Ether

Bryan Fischer, president of the American Family Association, has won the Anthony Comstock Award for Priggery again. The award, in memory of the famous man of morals, Anthony Comstock, salutes self-righteousness and superiority assumed without any basis by people whose true happiness comes from creating problems, pain, and suffering for others. Comstock (1844-1915) famously

Anthony Comstock in his prime.

Anthony Comstock in his prime.

began his moral crusade by complaining to his superior officers during the Civil War that other soldiers were using profane language. Naturally, there was no reason for the use of filthy language, considering that the troops were engaged in a filthy war in filthy surroundings, doing filthy things to filthy other men. Why would they even consider cursing?

The reason Fischer received the award is his moving statement on his radio program today declaring the fight against homosexuality to be the defining battle of our time. Notice that he doesn’t focus solely on same-sex marriage, but goes for the whole magillah. I’ll tell you it was a big surprise to me because I thought we had left the battle against homosexuality way behind us, like when most of the country said, “Yeah, so you’re gay. So???” But not for Fischer. It is his calling to drive all those gays back into the closet where they belong.

I admit it felt strangely empowering to have him put us all in the group he calls ‘Big Gay’, like we belong with Big Oil and Big Business. But maybe it’s just me, because Fischer says that every time Big Gay gains ground (say, like, when courts interpret the law against discrimination against us correctly) Jesus is forced “into retreat.” Wow, the strength we have! I had no idea that the lesbian and gay push for marriage equality was anti-Jesus, or anti-Yahweh, or anti-Mohammed. I thought it was a demand for the same rights that Comstock and Fischer enjoyed just by being born.

Fischer did say, though, that if the “forces of sexual normalcy” (can’t wait to see what their uniforms look like) prevailed, America would be returned to that “shining beacon of morality and decency for the entire world.” Whew! At least there’s a way out. But–there’s always a but–if the “forces of sexual deviancy” (now those will be some dynamite uniforms) prevail, “every part of our culture is going to be corrupted, it will be contaminated beyond repair, and America…will plunge the world into a moral abyss of darkness and depravity.” OMG! Really?

What is ironic in what these holier-than-thou reformers spew on the airways and in meetings around the country and beyond is that they’re right. If something doesn’t change, if people don’t fight the good fight, our culture will be degraded, it will be despoiled, and we will pitch headlong into a new dark age. But it’s not because of gays and lesbians’ existing in this country. It would be because of the narrow, sanctimonious, misguided moralistic views of crazy Christians like Bryan Fischer, who wouldn’t recognize Jesus if he came back and spoke to him directly.

See, here’s the thing. These religious fanatics would have us deny science, believe without proof of any kind, and leave the governing of our country up to them. As you can see by the breadth of legislation passed by members of the Tea Party, who embody this religious fanaticism, the country is essentially running in place. Oh, except for Obamacare, where people are getting insurance they couldn’t get before, and things like the Lily Ledbetter Act that empower women to demand the same pay as men for equal work. And the winding down of two unnecessary wars. Yeah, except for things like that, the far religious right has done shit-all in moving this country forward. I’m figuring that’s because they want to move this country backward and, at least for now, keeping it from moving at all is good enough.

Fischer and his ilk have got their linens in a lump because the world isn’t the same as the one they remember so fondly, when they ‘had it all’, so to say. When men could treat women as their property and take their marriage rights when and where they wanted them, when there weren’t many uppity blacks who didn’t know their place, when fags and dykes stayed as hidden as possible, when the poor were that way because they were lazy-that’s what he misses, and that’s what drives him to his extreme, unsupportable positions. He’s going to have a cow when the United States Supreme Court declares that the right to marry belongs to all Americans. But he has Plan B. I’m sure he’s already booked a flight to Uganda, where he can feel right at home.

Sorry he couldn’t be here in person to pick it up, but I am honored to present the Comstock Award to Bryan Fischer. (I hope he understands the symbolism.)

The Anthony Comstock Award for Breathtaking Stupidity

The Anthony Comstock Award for Priggery

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Trump on Immigration

A brilliant view into the pea brain of one of America’s most well know bloviators, a pillar of bigotry and falsehoods. BTW, Friederich (Fred) Trump, the Donald’s paternal grandfather, immigrated from Kallstadt, Pfalz, Germany in 1885 and became an American citizen in 1892. No endless years of waiting for Grandpa Trump! He was an entrepreneur, as would be many undocumented people in the US today if allowed to be hear legally. The idea that all these immigrants are only coming for your jobs is as preposterous as the idea that Trump has a full head of hair.

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March 6, 2014 · 4:53 pm

Unchristian Kindness

999272_547359685320649_674475798_nMany posts on FaceBook (far too many) make cruel and mean statements about our brothers and sisters. For example, here is one lately making the rounds to your left.

So you should like this post if you agree with its sentiments. And what are those sentiments? Well, clearly, if you need assistance to buy food, you should not be spending the government benefit you receive on a pleasurable experience, namely, dining out. The person(s) who developed this visual clearly believe in its message, since they chose to make Like the preferred answer. Note the exclamation point at the end of “if you agree”. There is no such punctuation at the end of “Comment if you disagree.” So it’s safe to assume the developers believe their boxed statement to be true.

Consider that the purpose of food stamps is to help people buy food to eat. That’s what the guidelines for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program say: “Foods for the household to eat.” It further specifies that the ‘foods’ include “bread and cereals, meat and poultry, fish, dairy products”, things that most people think of when they think of food. But it also specifies that “In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.” So using them in restaurants was contemplated and specifically laid out in the statute providing the SNAP benefits.

And why not? Dining out is a pleasurable experience. Why should people on food stamps be denied that? It’s not like they’re going to the Ritz Carlton’s dining room. And in order to qualify for SNAP benefits, they’ve got to demonstrate a need. So there’s no offshore account in the Cayman Islands hiding in the background. Frankly, if the restaurant accepts the food stamps, there’s no reason SNAP recipients shouldn’t eat there.

So what’s behind the obvious animus in the visual? I believe it’s this: our inherent belief that the other guy is ripping off the system that we pay into. We so easily accept the belief that people who require government assistance are lazy, shiftless, scheming cheats, and the meme travels at lightning speed within our limited worlds. We-and I mean all of us-have a tendency to assume the worst about our fellow passengers on Spaceship Earth. Put two people in a room alone and I give them 30 minutes before they find a reason to look down on each other.

Look how it affects people who do use SNAP benefits. Here’s one mother’s comment:

 I am furious at some of the comments posted here. Yes there are some that take advantage of food stamps and welfare. But there are a lot of individuals that are going through a rough patch and need the help like my family. I work full time, I pay taxes but because I hit a rough patch. I don’t deserve to eat a restaurant, even it is only once a month. My kids don’t deserve to be treated every once in a while. So they don’t deserve it. Most of you on here are so ignorant. I don’t think restaurants should accept it but to say we are lazy because we are on food stamps. Tell that to my kids who dont get to see their mom because she is working 12 hour days to pay the bills.

The sad part of this is that the developers of the visual above, and the people who are sending it around the internet, would most probably describe themselves as loving christians, and if they didn’t belong to an organized church, they would no doubt subscribe to christian principles. It is these same christians who, like Pharaoh long ago, have hardened their hearts against the weakest of us. They need to take a long hard look at how they express their christian values, because to us nonbelievers, they sure as hell look like hypocrites, mountebanks, and phonies.

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McCarthy Redux

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been said to have been a brilliant student at Harvard Law School. But it is hard to reconcile that successful law school experience with the arrogance he has demonstrated, the preposterous claims he has made, and the outrageous policies he espouses. Take, for example, that 2010 speech he made in which

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership...

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

he alleged that there were 12 communists on the faculty of the law school. Yes, he was that specific: there were 12. And he knew who they were. Sort of. More like he knew who he thought were communists. It was the type of accusation made by that paradigm of virtue, Senator Joe McCarthy (R-Wisconsin), in the early 1950s, when he was getting on a role, the world felt an incredibly dangerous place, and people were building fallout shelters in their backyards because they thought nuclear war with the USSR was imminent. The same Joe McCarthy who averred he had a list of 205 communists working in the US State Department, but who never produced his list of names.

In response to such a scurrilous allegation, the late Senator William J. Fulbright (D-Arkansas) said, “The junior senator from Wisconsin, by his reckless charges, has so preyed upon the fears and hatreds and prejudices of the American people that he has started a prairie fire which neither he nor anyone else may be able to control.” The junior senator from Texas has now entered that same arena, and it seems likely that he has no idea that his words could start a fire even more devastating than McCarthy’s. It is probably useless to point out to Cruz that there are no communists on the Harvard Law faculty, and that law faculties tend to have professors who could be described as ‘left-leaning.’ It is the nature of academics that liberals gravitate to it while conservatives tend to enter businesses. Fortunately, the New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer called him out on this, yet even then his spokesperson insisted that Cruz was speaking the truth. Hardly.

Where else does he go off the rails. Well, given where the country is in the same-sex marriage debate, with a majority of millenials wondering why there’s such fuss about it, Cruz had something to say about Dallas’s mayor marching twice in gay pride parades: “When a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride that’s a statement and it’s not a statement I agree with.” Ok, homophobic. Check.

Or course, is against abortion. Very Christian. Neanderthal.

Joe McCarthy had a good run. He was born into a devoutly Catholic family. (There seems to be a high correlation between devout Christianity and outrageous politics, but more on that when I write about His Emptiness, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.) He was originally a Democrat but lost his first election, so he switched to the Republican party. He was elected judge of the 10th judicial circuit in Wisconsin in 1939, publishing slanderous materials about his opponent. After serving in the US Marines in World War II, he ran against Robert M. La Follette in 1946, where he accused La Follette of making a profit from the war and failing to join the military to fight. In fact, La Follette bought a radio station with a slim profit margin and was too old to join the military, but those truths meant nothing to McCarthy. He won, showing just how bad a job the American public does sorting out truth from fiction. On his first day in Congress, he called a press conference to give his views on how to end a coal miners’ strike then in full swing. (Does that arrogance sound familiar?)

He went along for a few year, failing to capture the nation’s attention. But then an investigation started into allegations that he had taken bribes from the Pepsi-Cola corporation. If proved, he might have been expelled from the Senate. He consulted with his closest advisors, which included a Catholic priest, who advised hi

Joe McCarthy - Colorized

Joe McCarthy – Colorized (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

m to begin a campaign to rid the government of communists. On February 9, 1950, in a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, he held up that infamous piece of paper that he said contained the names of communists working for the government. It must have been then that he realized he could soar on slander and innuendo. He ran for the senate seat of the senator who investigated his allegations of communists in the woodwork and won. By that point senators were afraid of him and he continued his outrageous demagoguery.

What did him in was television. He took on the US Army in an investigation of undesirables and it was televised. People of all stripes could finally see what a bully he was, and how he offered no proof for his shocking claims. Harry Truman said of him, “This is the first time in my experience, and I was ten years in the Senate, that I ever heard of a Senator trying to discredit his own Government before the world….” The most dramatic remonstrance was Joseph Welch‘s comment to McCarthy after the senator was ripping into a witness: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

McCarthy was finally censured by the Senate for his behavior. He died of acute hepatitis brought on by alcoholism in 1957.

Do you seen the similarities between Senator Cruz and Senator McCarthy? What can be expected is that Cruz will eventually go too far. He has already alienated most members of the Senate. No one likes him. But he doesn’t seem to care, and like Joe McCarthy goes blithely on stating absurdities and horrendous policies. He will crash and burn, but not before much collateral damage is done. Reasonable people can only hope that his time on the national stage is short.

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