Dismal theology-related quote for the day

We have been praying, God, that you will expose those things that are being done in secret, to be brought out to light. God, we are seeing you expose the shenanigans of Satan that are trying to hold this country down, that are trying to get in the way of us moving forward as a country, as an administration, under the president. God, we pray that you will expose the FBI, the CIA, the Mueller investigation, whatever the enemy is trying to use and connive under the table.

The deep state will be exposed and whatever they try to do, it will boomerang and people will know they are not messing with a man, with an administration, they are not messing with a country, they are messing with the hand of Almighty God and He will not put up with it.

Mark Gonzales, Holy Man

Gonzales is the Executive Director of something called the Hispanic Action Network, and this prayer was spoken during a conference call of POTUS Shield members. POTUS Shield, y’all should know, is “a council of prelates that is assembling to raise up a spiritual shield. You are invited to join us as we bring this anointed assembly in intercession, prayers, declarations, and decrees of The Word of the Lord across our nation!”

<< SIGH >>

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Conspiracy buffs freak-out: Smell-the-sickness edition

Fox News fans are freaking-out about the Parkland shooting survivors demanding sane gun laws:

‘How much are they being paid?’ Fox News fans trash
teen Parkland survivors who demand stronger gun laws

In response to a Fox News tweet about students in Parkland, Florida rallying to demand change to gun laws in the United States, many pro-gun Fox fans lashed out at the students and said they didn’t know what they were talking about when it comes to guns, despite the fact that a gunman last week murdered 17 of their classmates with an AR-15-style rifle.

One of the most common themes among the Fox fans was that the students were being paid by a shadowy left-wing donor to speak out, while other commenters accused the students of swallowing too many Tide Pods.

There’s no hiding the sickness on the right any more, no mistaking the malice or stupidity or nihilist rage.

And there certainly is no reasoning with them; they have to be defeated so decisively that there’s nothing for them to do but crawl back under their rocks and pout.

There has always been a sick Right in America. It was their cries of “Tyranny!” in reaction to the Constitutional provision which allows the Congress to make a 2-year allocation of funds for the military which gave us the Second Amendment. They said during World War II that Franklin Roosevelt was really named “Rosenstein” and in thrall to the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy. They rallied to Father Coughlin, and then Rush Limbaugh (who is now calling for concealed-carry in schoolhouses), and Sean Hannity.

But the Loony Right has never — before Donald Trump, that is — had a majority in Congress and installed one of their own in the presidency.

I think we’re at a tipping point, though, that the sane and decent people of the country have seen enough to have a clear-headed view of the malice and ignorance that drives the Loony Right — the evangelicals, the gun nuts, the neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists … on and on.

It must be clear to everybody by now that The Donald has undertaken to obstruct justice; that there is a strong prima facie case that his campaign cooperated with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election; that his outright refusal to sanction Russia’s meddling is flirting with treason. He has to be removed from office, and the sooner the better.

But the Republican Congress, the Evangelical Right … they’re joined to Trump at the hip; they can’t turn on him, because if he goes down, then they’re going down with him. They will refuse to acknowledge that they see what they see, they will refuse to acknowledge that they hear what they hear, they will refuse to say what they have always said. They are totally and irrevocably whored to Trump and his Big Lies — and now they have to defend him or share his fate.

We, the People, have to do the work ourselves. We have to go the polls next November and vote against every Republican on the ballot — local, state, national.

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Dismal theology-related tweet for the day

Never forget: Y’all are no damn good, and only constant warfare can suppress the putrescent wickedness that is innate in you, the wickedness that permeates every atom of your being and fouls and soils your every thought and action, et cetera, et cetera.

Also, it helps if you send John Piper money.

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A day of reckoning for the Loony Right

Watching the rally in south Florida today, called following the Valentine’s Day school shooting, hearing the public lashing of The Donald and local Congressmen, there is no mistaking the mood: We’ve had enough.

Good. Donald Trump is an incurious, ignorant, unpatriotic and amoral cynic who is wildly out of his depth, and his enablers are whores servicing the NRA, the Evangelical Right, the xenophobes — that whole sick pastiche of paranoid far Right loonies united only by hatred of modernity.

The next step is to make certain that candidates can’t show their faces in public without being confronted:

  • Will you publicly commit to defending your country against home-grown fascism and removing Donald Trump from office?

  • Will you publicly commit to sane gun control — universal background checks that include mental health, a ban on military-grade assault weapons, and a cooling-off period of at least 10-days for the purchase of any firearm?

If a candidate won’t make those commitments, then vote for somebody else — and make certain they know those are deal-breaker issues.

Now and then I try to imagine what it’s like to know so little of American ideals and American history as to not recognize the existential threat that Donald Trump poses to this country, so inexperienced as to be unable to spot what smarmy and predatory frauds Tony Perkins et. al. are, so flint-hearted as to be unable to feel warmth toward those strivers who bundle-up the wife and kids and strike-out for the Gool Ol’ U.S. of A to build a better life for themselves.

That Deplorable One-third are not part of the decent, educated world; they are the ignorant, mean-spirited, backward-looking human sewage that the decent, educated world has struggled against all these uncountable millennia. And it does me good to know that Americans increasingly see what I saw years ago and are finally mobilizing against them.

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Lizard spies

Aeons ago, almost 2-decades, I wrote a feature for InTech magazine taking-up the subject of sensors which emulate the appearance of insects and perhaps even small lizards, such as chameleons. A drone could be made which looked like a bumblebee, I speculated, and used to inspect radioactivity emanating from a military installation; its appearance would draw no untoward attention, except perhaps annoyance.

Similarly, such sensors could be used to inspect remote nooks and crannies in industrial facilities if it looked like a chameleon.

What do you know? Iran is complaining that perfidious Western powers are using lizards for spying.

Iran’s Western enemies used lizards that “attract atomic waves” to spy on the country’s nuclear program, the former chief-of-staff of Iran’s military announced Tuesday.

[ … ]

We found out that their skin attracts atomic waves and that they were nuclear spies who wanted to find out where inside the Islamic Republic of Iran we have uranium mines and where we are engaged in atomic activities,” Firuzabadi said.

I don’t know of any magical power possessed by chameleons, but it is certainly possible to build a mobile sensor that resembles and behaves on first impression like a chameleon, and such a sensor could be used to inspect military or nuclear facilities without drawing too much attention to itself. I don’t know that the federal government has such a device, but I do know that at one time it was working on such sensors.

So there may very well be a kernel of truth in the story.

I used to keep an eye on the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) requests for proposals, because they were a handy tipsheet to w-a-a-a-y forward-looking technology. In the months preceding 9/11, I was tracking development of a suite of small, tough, Internet-capable sensors that detected sound, vibrations, temperature, et cetera, et cetera. The RFP specified that the sensor had to be able to perform after delivery of huge impulsive forces. An impulsive force is a blow — a fist to the nose, hitting the ground after you fall off the roof. An explosion, or the shockwave from an explosion, would qualify as an impulsive force — but the military isn’t putting sensors on building before blowing them up. So what was this sensor all about?

It wasn’t on the front-burner; it was merely something that I thought might be a story someday, and so every now and then I would look into the progress of the contract, make a phone call — that sort of thing. It was just an interesting little something that might eventually be a feature.

Then came 9/11 — and information about the contract disappeared, and nobody would talk to me about it.

It was years before I found out what had happened. The sensors had been successfully developed, and used in the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Thousands, tens of thousands, of these sensors had been dropped from airplanes over cavernous terrain (striking the ground with a large impulsive force). Once on the ground, they set up a local Internet-like communications network. If a Taliban fighter left the cave for a smoke, or to barbecue a rat, the sensor would detect it; eventually, a drone would pass overhead and wirelessly collect the data. Next day, a drone would send a missile into the cave entrance.

Nothing will ever replace armed men with boots on the ground, but technology in combination with AI is transforming warfare, too, and I don’t have the slightest difficulty believing we’re using a mobile, chameleon-resembling sensor in Iran’s nuclear facilities. I hope so.

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