Tag Archives: Muslims

Roy Moore would bring a scary element to U.S. Senate

I don’t have a vote in Alabama. Whatever I say about that state’s U.S. Senate race is worth, well, damn near nothing to the voters there.

But if Roy Moore gets elected to that state’s Senate seat, then he’s going to be involved in legislation that affects citizens far beyond the Alabama state line.

Moore is the Republican nominee. He beat a sitting senator, Luther Strange, in the Republican primary this week. Strange was appointed to the seat after Jeff Sessions left the Senate to become U.S. attorney general. Moore now is going to run against Democratic nominee Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor.

Why does Moore give me the heebie-jeebies? He’s a religious zealot, that’s why.

He says homosexuality is an abomination and goes against God’s will. He once said that “homosexual activity” should be made illegal. He operates under the premise that “God’s law” takes precedence over the law of the land. He has said that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in the U.S. Congress; he made that assertion specifically about Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of two Muslims now serving in the U.S. House.

He was removed twice as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The first time was because he removed a Ten Commandments monument from the court’s grounds; the second time was when he refused to obey a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal in the United States.

His reasons for both actions? Fealty to the Old Testament.

Moore went to law school, so he knows what the U.S. Constitution says about religion. It declares, among other things, that there shall be “no religious test” required of anyone seeking public office.

If he’s elected to the Senate this fall, he will be required to take an oath that commits him to obeying and defending the Constitution. I feel the need, therefore, to remind Judge Moore that the Constitution is a secular document. 

***

Here’s what I wrote about Moore earlier this year:

‘Ayatollah of Alabama’ seeks U.S. Senate seat

 

Why the silence on mosque bombing?

The president of the United States is elected to represent all Americans.

He takes an oath to defend us, to fight for us against our enemies. The presidential oath makes no mention of certain Americans deserving more protection than others.

Some of our countrymen have been attacked. Their place of worship was bombed. It is a mosque near Minneapolis, where Muslims pray and worship.

And yet … the president hasn’t condemned the attack. His silence on this incident is, shall we say, deafening in the extreme.

We all know of Donald J. Trump’s feelings about Muslims. He once called for a complete ban of all Muslims entering our country; he softened it somewhat; the federal courts have challenged what’s now called a “travel ban.”

Meanwhile, some Americans who happen to be devout Muslims are dealing with damage being done to the place where they worship. They need a word of support and encouragement from their president.

It’s time for him to deliver it.

Keep yammering about ‘fake news,’ Mr. President

I used to have mixed feelings about Donald Trump’s use of what is becoming an-almost hackneyed term.

“Fake news.”

The president tosses it out there with utterly no self-awareness, that he is the King of Fake News.

Barack Obama was a foreigner; thousands of Muslims cheered the Twin Towers’ collapse; Obama wiretapped the Trump campaign office; millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton.

There’s more. It’s all fake news.

Yet the president persists in using that term to hang around media organizations that report actual news that he deems to be too negative.

Negativity equals “fake news.” You got that?

Thus, the president has established a mantra that plays well among the media-hating base of American voters who more than likely — as then-candidate Trump once famously said — would still vote for him even if he were to “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.”

Do I want him to stop using the “fake news” dodge?

Not really. It just demonstrates that this president doesn’t know a single thing about the difference between what’s “fake” and what’s real.

Court (more or less) restores Trump’s travel ban

The notion of banning people from entering this nation because they come from places where most citizens practice a certain religion remains repugnant to me.

The United States of America is supposed to stand for a principle that welcomes all citizens of the world. That’s no longer the case.

Donald J. Trump’s ban on folks coming from six Muslim-majority nations has been kinda/sorta restored by the U.S. Supreme Court, which today issued a 6-3 ruling to back the president. Today’s ruling overturns a lower court decision that threw out the ban on the basis that it discriminates against people because of their religion.

What does it mean? I guess it bans anyone who comes here who lacks any “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Others can come in, according to the court.

My question remains the same: Will any of this make us safer against international terrorists? I do not believe that’s the case.

It’s just a partial ban

Nothing in the president’s initiative prevents U.S. citizens from committing acts of terror. The U.S. Army psychiatrist who killed those folks at Fort Hood in November 2009 is an American, to cite just one example.

I continue to cling to the notion that “extreme vetting,” which the president also has called for, isn’t a bad thing by itself. Indeed, U.S. customs and immigration officials need to do better at ensuring at points of entry that everyone coming here does not pose a threat; they’re doing that already.

Today’s ruling only settles it temporarily. The court’s next term begins in October and the justices will take it up fully then.

Score one for the president, though. He got a ruling he can live with, even though it won’t do a thing to make us safer against those who would harm us.

POTUS engages in selective outrage

I cannot take credit for this observation but I’ll share it anyway.

It comes to me via social media and the individual who sent it poses a fascinating notion.

He said that it took Donald J. Trump three days to say something about the white supremacist who is accused of stabbing two people to death in Portland, Ore., after they sought to break up a verbal argument between the suspect and two others — one of whom is a Muslim.

Then … some Muslims kill several people in London before being killed by police. Trump fired off a response in an hour!

Is this how the president plans to put “America first”?

Let the kids pray, Mr. Attorney General

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has decided to make an issue where none exists.

The non-issue involves some Muslim students at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, a Dallas suburb. They’ve been attending prayers in a classroom for years. They have been practicing their faith — of their own volition. The school has allowed the students to use the classroom and there’s been no issue with the other students.

Enter the attorney general, who has sent a letter to school administrators expressing his alleged concern about the Muslim prayers being recited in a public high school.

But then there’s this item, as reported in the Washington Post:

“Paxton attracted national attention last December when he waded into a dispute in Killeen, Tex., between a middle school principal and a nurse’s aide who put up a six-foot poster in the school with a quote from the classic animation special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that read: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.’

“After the principal told the aide to take the poster down, Paxton wrote to the Killeen school district: ‘These concerns are not surprising in an age of frivolous litigation by anti-Christian interest groups … Rescind this unlawful policy.’

“When the school district refused, Paxton helped the nurse’s aide sue, and won.”

So, there you have it. It’s OK to sanction Christian activities in a public school, but when a group of Muslim students seeks some quiet time to pray, why, the AG expresses concern?

I understand what the Constitution says about government establishing laws that favor certain religions. The Constitution does not prohibit students from praying on their own. That is what is occurring in Frisco.

As the Post reports: “’This ‘news release’ appears to be a publicity stunt by the OAG to politicize a nonissue,’ schools superintendent Jeremy Lyon wrote in reply to the state. ‘Frisco ISD is greatly concerned that this type of inflammatory rhetoric in the current climate may place the District, its students, staff, parents and community in danger of unnecessary disruption.’”

It’s fair to ask: Would the attorney general have expressed concern had the students been Christian?

Frisco school officials have told the Post that the state never asked about the nature of the prayers when the school began allowing the students to use the room. Why is Paxton raising the issue now?

The anti-Muslim climate in this country is being fanned by policies enacted at the very top of the government chain of command. The president of the United States seeks to ban refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries and has run headlong into objections from federal judges who contend his executive order violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As for what is occurring at Liberty High in Frisco, let the students pray, Mr. Attorney General.

Establishment Clause derails latest refugee ‘ban’

The nation’s founders were wise men. They didn’t craft a perfect governing document, but they got it mostly right.

They established the seven Articles within the U.S. Constitution, then set about to fine-tune it, tinkering with amendments, the first 10 of which guaranteed certain civil liberties to the citizens of the day.

The First Amendment is under discussion today as the nation ponders this idiotic idea by the current president to ban refugees from six Muslim countries.

Two federal judges have suspended the new rule on the grounds that it violates the Establishment Clause set forth in the very first amendment.

Interesting, yes? I think so. Here’s why.

The First Amendment protects three civil liberties: religion, the press and the right to assemble peaceably. It’s fascinating in the extreme to me that the founders constructed the First Amendment to prohibit the enactment of laws “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … ” Of the three liberties outlined, the founders listed religion first.

Donald J. Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0 does essentially the same thing  — with a few modifications — as the first executive order that a federal judge struck down. It targets Muslims, discriminating against them as they seek to enter the United States.

Sure, the president insists he seeks only to protect Americans against terrorists.

Three federal judges, though, have said violating the Establishment Cause is illegal. Judges in Washington state, Hawaii and Maryland have concurred that such an order is discriminatory on its face.

No can do, Mr. President.

Therein perhaps lies the beauty of our form of government, the one crafted by the founders who knew the value of restricting the power of the executive branch. They did it by parceling out power equally to the legislative and, yes, the judicial branches of government. They allowed for lifetime appointments of federal judges ostensibly to liberate them from political pressure and to enable them to interpret the Constitution freely.

The judicial branch has exerted its rightful authority yet again. It did not commit, as the president said, an “unprecedented overreach” of judicial power.

It has recognized the importance of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, understanding that the founders thought enough of that clause and the contents of that amendment to enact it first.

POTUS fired his own acting AG?

There’s been some interesting reporting overnight about the political earthquake that the president of the United States created.

Donald Trump fired acting U.S. attorney general Sally Yates because of her refusal to defend the president’s order banning refugees entering the United States temporarily from certain countries … where Muslims comprise the majority of the population.

Yates is held over from the Obama administration.

Here’s the weird part: Trump and his team reportedly asked Yates to stay on the job until the president could have his own AG confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The president selected her to be the acting attorney general.

Yates is known to be a dedicated career federal prosecutor who has worked in the Justice Department under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

She said she believed the president’s order was unlawful — under her understanding of federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution. I believe it is the duty of the AG — acting or otherwise — to follow the law and not necessarily to do what he or she is told to do by the president.

Trump chose Yates, who then followed the law.

Then the president accused her of “betraying” the Justice Department. Hit the road, he told her.

And now we have our first potential constitutional crisis.

Just think: It’s Day 11 of the Trump administration.

U.S. gives up title of ‘Beacon of Hope’

Let’s ponder this for a moment.

This United States of America used to be seen around the world as the place where everyone wanted to go. To visit. Or … to live.

It didn’t matter from where you came. You saw the U.S. of A. as the international beacon of hope. We have that statue in New York harbor that welcomes the poor and dispossessed.

That’s all changed, according to the current president of the United States. Donald J. Trump says if you come from certain countries and perhaps adhere to a certain religion, you are no longer welcome. The welcome mat has been rolled up, the door has been slammed shut and we won’t answer the bell when you ring it.

How in the world does this happen?

International terrorists? They’re to blame? No. We’ve had them in our midst for decades, if not centuries. Terrorists reside here at home, too. The president and his team say they want to protect us from those who would do us harm.

Really? What about the crazed corn-fed American-born morons who open fire in movie theaters, or at night clubs, or — for God’s sake! — in elementary schools! Or, say, the anti-government sociopath who blew up that federal courthouse in Oklahoma City.

The Trump administration has pushed the panic button. It has elevated the fear factor to new levels by excluding refugees from several Muslim-majority nations. But the president insists he isn’t invoking an anti-Muslim policy.

Well, Mr. President, it doesn’t look that way to me.

What’s next? Will he now send crews into the NYC harbor to remove that inscription on the statue?

Texas GOP fed up with agriculture commissioner?

miller-4_jpg_800x1000_q100

Sid Miller blew into Amarillo the other day, ate dinner at a downtown restaurant and then proceeded to make an ass of himself by making a big show of his displeasure with the meal he received.

That’s not even close to describing the misdeeds of this loudmouth politician.

The Texas Tribune is reporting that Miller, the Republican commissioner of agriculture, has become the king of fake news. He puts out bogus items as if they are true. He makes defamatory statements on his social media feeds about Muslims, Democrats … anyone who opposes what passes as his world view of politics and public policy. He collects these gems from ultraconservative websites and then posts them on his Facebook page, which he boasts as having tens of thousands of followers.

https://www.texastribune.org/2016/12/03/texas-ag-chiefs-facebook-account-fake-news-flows/

The Tribune’s analysis of Miller playing fast and loose with the facts is in the link. It’s so very interesting, and damning!

Get this: Texas Republicans just might be embarrassed and ashamed enough of this guy to run a serious primary challenger against him in 2018. How do I know that? Well, I don’t know it to be a fact, as it hasn’t happened yet.

However, I got a snootful today from a member of the Texas legislative delegation — a Republican, no less — who said damn near anyone would be better in the job as agriculture commissioner than Miller.

I happen to agree with that assessment. The guy is a loon.

My hope now is that if Texas Republicans are truly angry at the manner in which this statewide elected official has conducted himself that they’ll do something to get this individual out of office.