• Myanmar’s ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’

    Wirathu Buddhist Bin Laden Myanmar
    Wirathu, the ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’ of Myanmar.

    Sharing this because I’ve heard it said that all of the world’s religions have some history of violence — except Buddhism.

    Well, leave it to people.

    Religion is a vehicle, like a car is a vehicle. The vehicle of religion is intended to help people arrive at a certain destination. But, like a car, the vehicle of religion can be misused.

    Meet Wirathu, Myanmar’s ‘Buddhist Bin Laden,’ as he is called.

    From The Star online:

    Barbet Schroeder spent months with Ugandan dictator Idi Amin at the height of his power, when corpses would wash up every morning on the shores of Lake Victoria and Kampala was rife with rumours that he was eating his opponents.

    But in his decades of documenting evil, the veteran Swiss filmmaker says he has never been as scared by anyone as he was by a Myanmar Buddhist monk named Wirathu.

    “I am afraid to call him Wirathu because even his name scares me,” the highly acclaimed director told AFP. “I just call him W.”

    “The Venerable W”, his chilling portrait of the monk who has been accused of preaching hate and inciting attacks on Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority, has been hailed by critics at the Cannes film festival as a “stirring documentary about ethnic cleansing in action”.

    What dismays Schroeder is that Wirathu, whom Time magazine dubbed “The face of Buddhist terror” in a 2013 cover, is utterly unfazed by the chaos and suffering he has unleashed.

    More here.

  • Trump Sells Out Israel To Impress Russians

    Donald Trump smug smileThe secret intelligence Donald Trump boasted about in front of his Russian buddies?

    It came from Israel.


    The lives that could be lost. The dangers we could face.

    From the NYTimes:

    The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to the episode.

    Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and a major intelligence collector in the Middle East. The revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries. It also raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East.

    The potential for catastrophic fallout from the child in the White House, the child dying to impress others, is incredible.

    I’m scared now.

  • Trump Campaign Chair in Kentucky County Arrested On Child Sex Trafficking Charges

    Donald Trump, Tim Nolan
    Donald Trump and Tim Nolan.

    Well, here’s the ugly:

    Tim Nolan, a local Republican political figure and the former chair of the Trump campaign for Campbell County, Kentucky, has been arrested and charged with “felony human trafficking of a minor, felony inducing a minor to engage in sex, and a third count of giving alcohol to a minor,” according to an indictment filed in Boone County, KY earlier this week.

    According to the The River City News, who obtained the indictment on Friday, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has charged Nolan with “human trafficking (a class B felony), first degree unlawful transaction with a minor (a class C felony), and third degree unlawful transaction with a minor (a class A misdemeanor).”  All of the alleged felonies were committed in 2016, while he was chair of the Campbell County arm of the Trump campaign.

    Nolan is also a former judge.

    More ugly:

    According to the indictment, obtained by The River City News, Nolan is accused of subjecting a minor under the age of 18 to “commercial sexual activity”. He is also accused of inducing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Nolan is also accused of providing alcohol to a minor.

    More here.

  • Tell Secretary Kelly: Bring DACA-recipient Juan Back from Mexico!

    Juan Manuel Montes
    Juan Manuel Montes

    Return Juan Manuel Montes to his home and family immediately.

    On February 17, Juan Manuel Montes was walking to a taxi stand in his hometown in California when he was approached by border officials and asked for his papers. Though Juan was legally authorized to live and work in America through the DACA program, he was deported to Mexico just hours later.

    This is a direct consequence to Donald Trump’s mass deportation agenda and the acts of an unaccountable agency. Juan Manuel must be reunited with his family in California as soon as possible. Join us in demanding Secretary Kelly take immediate action.

  • Daniela Vargas Released From ICE; SPLC, Others, Celebrate

    Daniela Vargas
    Daniela Vargas

    No doubt to the consternation of President Donald Trump (it still aches to type that, to say it), Daniela Vargas has been released from ICE. The freedom of the 22-year-old #Dreamer was heralded by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

    We’ve just won an important legal victory.

    Today, Daniela Vargas, a 22-year-old aspiring math teacher, was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. A week ago, she had been detained by immigration agents moments after speaking publicly about immigrants’ rights.

    It was a transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up. We filed a habeas petition to force her release and to stop her deportation.

    “We’re joining the community in celebrating the release of our client, Dany Vargas,” said SPLC Deputy Legal Director Naomi Tsu.

    “But we will continue to challenge the unconstitutional actions of ICE agents in this case and will not rest until she is no longer under threat of deportation. It is counterproductive and harmful to our communities for ICE to be targeting aspiring young people in this country and we urge ICE to release other immigrant youth held in detention.”

    Read more about Dany’s case and the SPLC’s efforts to ensure detained immigrants have access to counsel.


    Your friends at the SPLC

    “A transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up” indeed. This was ugly and wrong.

    As is the Trump-declared war on immigrants.

    It must stop.

    More about Dany’s case here. Read. Celebrate tonight. Remember the many, many who do not make the news.

  • Lawmaker Names Bill Banning Conversion Therapy After Mike Pence

    Mike Pence conversion therapy
    Mike Pence.

    A well-deserved jab at dangerous Mike Pence recently from a New York Erie County lawmaker:

    The Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE — would block the harmful practice of trying to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors in New York’s Erie County.

    More from our friends at The Advocate:

    Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke is trolling the president-elect by introducing a law banning conversion therapy under his name. Known as the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE for short — the legislation, if passed, would make the New York county just one of a few municipalities to block the practice. Currently, five states and D.C. prohibit the use of conversion therapy outright.

    The name is a direct jab at Mike Pence’s 2000 campaign website, which openly supported the harmful practice of attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors.

    Well done.

  • Report: Trump To Offer Crazy Rudy Giuliani Secretary of State

    crazy rudy giuliani
    Crazy Rudy Giuliani is reportedly Trump’s choice for Secretary of State.

    And down the rabbit hole we continue to fall.

    From the Chicago Sun-Times:

    Rudy Giuliani is the favorite to be secretary of state in Donald Trump’s administration, according to a senior Trump official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the source isn’t authorized to speak on the record.

    And then this:

    The official said there’s no real competition for the job, and it’s the former New York mayor’s if he wants to take it. (emphasis added)

    There’s no competition for Secretary of State? Does anyone in the President-Elect’s team actually want to work? Do any of them have a clue what it takes to run a country?

    Those questions are rhetorical.

  • Chicago Ald. Milly Santiago and Colleagues Sound Like A Bunch Of Damn Fools: #Cubs

    Milly Santiago crying foul
    Ald. Milagros “Milly” Santiago speaking during the Chicago City Council meeting. Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Brian Jackson/For the Chicago SunTimes

    Chicago Ald. Milly Santiago and her self-entitled colleagues on the Chicago City Council sound like a bunch of damn fools complaining about not being able to get in to see the Cubs for a World Series game.

    She and other aldermen are crying foul because the Cubs withdrew their offer to sell council members World Series tickets at face value. This after the Chicago Board of Ethics ruled that accepting the special offer would violate the ban forbidding aldermen from accepting gifts in excess of $50.

    They can all go pound salt.

    From the Chicago Sun-Times:

    Ald. Milly Santiago (31st) said she’s “a poor alderman” who can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for Cubs tickets purchased on the secondary market.

    “We were not the ones reaching out to the Cubs for some freebies or for some special treatment. The Cubs actually reached out to all of us to offer face-value tickets and those Cubs fans have to say yes. I said yes. I said of course I would like some tickets. We paid for them,” said Santiago, who described herself as a die-hard Cubs fan.

    Santiago branded the controversy triggered by the Board of Ethics narrow interpretation of the city’s gift ban “kind of insulting, humiliating and embarrassing for us” for a perk that wasn’t all that hot.

    “First of all, those tickets were not front-row tickets. They were all the way in the upper-deck. If I went like this, I would almost touch the ceiling. That’s how bad those tickets were,” Santiago said, lifting her arm over her head.

    Right. The seats stunk. The aldermen would have been sooooooooo unhappy.

    Imagine the arrogance.

    Imagine their sense of entitlement.

    Imagine all the “little people” out there who have to go on <gasp> ticket exchanges, paying thousands of dollars for the chance to stand in Wrigley Field during one of the games.

    Imagine all the people.

    The little people.

    Imagine a bunch of self-entitled pols crying foul, all the way home.

    Let them pound salt.

  • Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump: Live Blogging

    hillary clinton v. Donald Trump
    Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump. (Screenshot)

    10:39 p.m.

    And, it’s over. Handshakes.

    10:37 p.m.

    Trump goes after Rosie O’Donnell.

    Rosie O’Donnell.

    Says he was going to say something terrible about Hillary and her family, but decided not to.

    10:34 p.m.

    Trump said Clinton does not have a presidential look, Holt said. She’s the first female nominee of a major party.

    “I don’t believe Hillary has the stamina. I said ‘the stamina.'”

    As soon as he visits 128 countries or spends 11 hours testifying before a congressional committee, “then he can talk about stamina.

    10:33 p.m.

    Trump wanders again. “We are losing billions and billions of dollars.”

    10:30 p.m.

    “Words matter when you run for president and they really matter when you are president,” Clinton says. She acknowledges that this campaign has troubled many world leaders.

    “Our word is good,” she reassures.

    Says Trump never said what his alternative would be to deal with Iran.

    10:28 p.m.

    Holt: Do you support the current U.S. policy on first use [of nuclear weapons].

    Trump says China should “go into” North Korea, Iran has power over North Korea.

    10:27 p.m.

    Trump: Saudi Arabia and others should be paying us money.

    10:24 p.m.

    Clinton speaks of Iran. Sanctions were not enough.

    President Obama, John Kerry, she helped, shut down Iran’s nuclear program.

    Speaks of Trump’s “cavalier attitude” about nuclear weapons.

    “A man who can be provoked by a Tweet should not have his hand anywhere near the nuclear codes.”

    10:22 p.m.

    Trump keeps naming Sean Hannity as his source.

    Trump says that he has much better judgment than Hillary Clinton.

    “I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.”

    10:19 p.m.

    Trump: ISIS formed because of a vacuum formed  by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

    10:18 p.m.

    Trump: “NATO could be obsolete.” Says NATO does not focus on terror.

    10:17 p.m.

    Hillary speaks of cooperating with Muslims in America, not alienate Muslims and push them away like Trump has done.

    10:16 p.m.

    Clinton: George W. Bush made the agreement to leave Iraq. The only way we could have stayed would have been to have an agreement with the then-Iraqi government to protect American troops. That did not happen.

    10:14 p.m.

    Trump: “Had we taken the oil,” there would be no ISIS.

    10:13 p.m.

    Holt: “How will you prevent home-grown terrorism?”

    Trump: Speaks of ISIS.

    10:12 p.m.

    Clinton: “I have put forth a plan to defeat ISIS.” It does entail going after them online. We must also intensify air attacks against ISIS. Take out their “claim of being a caliphate.”

    “We’re hoping to push [ISIS] out of Iraq in a year.”

    This would be awesome.

    10:10 p.m.

    Trump talks about his endorsements.

    Now talking about ISIS.

    10:08 p.m.

    Clinton: We are not going to sit idly by and let state actors go after public and private information.

    “I was so shocked when Donald invited Putin to hack into Americans.”

    10:07 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton speaks on cyber security. There are independent hackers. There also cyber attacks coming from states. “The most recent and troubling of them has been Russia.”

    10:05 p.m.

    Trump says Clinton treated Obama horribly.

    “As far as the lawsuit,” admits he was sued, “we settled with no admission of guilt.”

    That just means cash flowed and the other side was silenced.

    10:03 p.m.

    Clinton: [Trump] has started his race for president on this racist, birther lie.

    Clinton: Trump was sued in 1973 because he would not rent to African Americans. “He actually was sued twice by the justice department.”

    10:01 p.m.

    Talking about a birth certificate. President Obama’s. “I was the one who got him to produce the birth certificate.”

    Lester Holt: “The birth certificate was produced in 2009. You continued to speak about it in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and January 2016.”

    10:00 p.m.

    “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. I did. You know what else I did? I’m preparing to be president.”


    9:59 p.m.

    Again, Lester Holt has lost control. Trump rambles on.

    9:56 p.m.

    Trump: “In New York City, we had 2,200 murders, and stop and frisk brought it down to 500.”

    Hillary: Crime has continued to drop under the current mayor. We have to work with faith communities

    9:54 p.m.

    Clinton speaking of “implicit bias,” which is a problem for all of us, she says. Police now are having to handle a great deal of mental health problems on the street.

    9:52 p.m.

    “We’ve got to address the systemic racism in our justice system. We can’t just say ‘law and order.'”

    Clinton is glad the federal government is ending private prisons. “I want to end them in the state systems.”

    9:51 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton bemoans the negative picture Trump paints of the Black community.

    “Stop and frisk was found to be unconstitutional,” Hillary says.

    9:50 p.m.

    Trump bemoans Chicago, “I have property there.”

    9:48 p.m.

    Holt: “Stop and frisk has been ruled unconstitutional.”

    Trump: “No, you’re wrong.” Blames the judge and current mayor.

    9:47 p.m.

    Trump, “African Americans live in Hell.” Calls for bringing back “stop and frisk.”

    9:46 p.m.

    Trump: “We need law and order. When I look at Charlotte, NC, a city where I have investments.”

    9:44 p.m.

    Holt turns to the question of race. “Everyone should be respected by the law,” Clinton says. “And everyone should respect the law.”

    Clinton speaks of “brave police officers” who also want reform.

    Clinton: “We have to tackle the plague of gun violence.”

    9:43 p.m.

    No focus. Clinton and Trump go back and forth. Lester Holt again tries to take the reigns.

    9:42 p.m.

    Trump, “Look, it’s all words. It’s all sound bytes.”

    Regarding people who did not get paid, “I took advantage of the laws of the country.”

    9:40 p.m.

    Hillary speaks of people she’s met who were “stiffed” by Donald Trump.

    Trump does not deny the accusation from Clinton, “Maybe he didn’t do a good job and didn’t deserve to be paid.”

    9:38 p.m.

    Again, Trump speaks. Lester Holt has lost control.

    9:37 p.m.

    “As far as my tax returns, you don’t learn much from tax returns. You learn from financial disclosures,” Trump said.

    9:35 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton: Trump’s paid zero in federal taxes. What’s he hiding? “There’s something he’s hiding.”

    “Were he ever to get near the White House, what would the conflicts be?”

    9:34 p.m.

    Clinton, “For 40 years, or 39, everyone running for president has released their tax returns.”

    9:31 p.m.

    Lester Holt to Trump: “You have not released your tax returns.”

    “I’m under a routine audit and I will release them” as soon as the audit is over.

    Dancing away from the question, now talking about a trade deficit.

    Holt presses Trump on his taxes. Trump says he gets audited often by the IRS.

    9:30 p.m.

    Trump goes after Clinton again. “We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble.”

    9:28 p.m.

    Lester Holt has lost control of the debate. Clinton speaks of the “Trump loophole,” “Trumped up trickle down” economics.

    “I don’t think top-down works in America,” Clinton says.

    9:19 p.m.

    Hillary speaking of her record. Donald Trump keeps squinting.

    The moderator, Lester Holt has already lost control of the debate.

    9:18 p.m.

    Hillary is keeping her cool. Donald Trump is speaking to Hillary.


    9:15 p.m.

    The debate is on. Donald Trump is wandering, drinking water already. Hillary’s best take-away so far? “Trump Dump Trickle Down Economics.


  • Illiana Christian To Become “Our Lady of White Flight,” Indiana

    white flightLet’s not mince words at what’s going on here.

    Too many people from Illiana Christian have made comments “on the side” bewailing the “changing demographics” at their current location in Lansing.

    Let us pull no punches.

    Illiana Christian is currently in the throes of a very expensive expression of white flight, running away to Indiana, close to St. John, Indiana, where the grass is apparently greener, but the faces are much whiter.

    From the Chicago Tribune when the move was announced:

    A Christian high school hopes to keep its doors open by moving to northwest Indiana, a decision that has upset some parents and alumni who want the school to stay in the south suburbs.

    Illiana Christian High School voted last month to leave Lansing and head about 12 miles southeast near St. John, Ind., an area that has seen the most enrollment growth in recent years, Principal Peter Boonstra said.

    So, according to Principal Boonstra, the school is moving, building new, in “an area that has seen the most enrollment growth in recent years.”

    Let’s take a closer look at the two areas.

    Lansing, Illinois, according to the Census Bureau in December 2015, shows a population of 28,486. 57.2% of the people in Lansing are white. 34.6% of the people in Lansing are African American.

    St. John, Indiana, according to data released from the Census Bureau in December 2015, has a population of 15,456.

    And here’s the rub…

    90% of the people in St. John, Indiana are white.

    Ninety percent.

    1.2% are Asian.

    Everyone else falls into the “Other Race” category. And those figures are small.

    So, good for them.

    Good for them.

    As for me and my family, we will choose the Lord, continue to live in the South Suburbs of Chicago, that place that is wonderfully, wonderfully diverse. That place where people of many races, ethnicities, and faiths, get along every day, living side by side, building bridges.

    Good luck, Illiana Christian, Our Lady of White Flight, Indiana, where The New Campus page shows three, smiling white children.

    We know what you’re up to.

    You’re running away, teaching your children to do the same.

    Are you really that certain that this is what Jesus would do, that Jesus was white?

    Because he wasn’t.