Padre Steve on “‘Targeting’ Pride” …

One week from today will be the beginning of Pride Month, and I have grave concerns for the nation, especially for the LGBTQ community.  Pride Month is meant to be a time for celebration, a time of great joy for people who have been repressed and suppressed for centuries and are finally getting the respect we all deserve.  But this year … this year feels different, for there are threats of violence against the LGBTQ community … threats stoked by politicians like Ron DeSantis, fueled by religious leaders and media outlets such as Fox ‘News’.  There was that ludicrous “scandal” about Bud Lite beer, and more recently employees of Target stores nationwide have been threatened and harassed, ultimately causing Target to remove or relocate some of their Pride merchandise.  I am incensed … everybody should be!

There are two “men of the cloth” for whom I have great respect.  One is John Pavlovitz, whom most of you are familiar with, and the other is Padre Steve Dundas, a recently retired lifetime Army and Navy Officer and Chaplain.  This morning, Padre Steve posted the following on his Substack account, and his words simply must be shared.  He is angry, as am I, that humanity and caring for others seems to be taking a backseat in this nation to prejudice, hatred, and violence.

“Targeting” Pride

Steve Dundas

25 May 2023

It seems that emboldened Christian extremists in the South, read MAGA States are making headway in their efforts to force major retailers to remove LGBTQ+ merchandise from their stores. Their efforts are criminal. They have wrecked displays, damaged merchandise, and threatened employees at Target stores throughout the South. In response, Target has removed merchandise from some stores or relocated it to less visible places in their stores. See this article:

The attacks are being driven by intentionally misleading reporting from Fox News, other Right Wing propaganda outlets, as well as Republican political leaders and Right Wing Christian Nationalist “Pastors”, and organizations like the American Family Institute.

My thoughts. First, I don’t think that Target or any other retailers should bow down to hate filled violent anti-LGBTQ+ persecutors. I think that they should call Law Enforcement and have those that damage property, and threaten or harm employees or other customers arrested, and press charges. Not to do so is to embolden them to commit more acts of violence and vandalism, in other words to precipitate an anti-LGBTQ+ version of the Nazi Kristallnacht. It is no different, it may be smaller in scope, and not yet back by the police power of the State, but in every State where these attacks are happening multiple laws are being passed to limit the civil rights of LGBTQ+ citizens.

Second, if the shoe was on the other foot, and people opposed to Christianity went into a Target and vandalized specifically Christian religious merchandise in seasonal Easter or Christmas sections, or went to the “Inspirational” books section and destroyed Bibles or books on the Christian life, what would happen?

Please click link to read the rest!!!

Has a Small Nation in The Balkans Shamed The USA?

I have long valued the opinions of our friends across the big pond … they often see us more clearly than we see ourselves, for they have the benefit of distance, they are not bombarded every day with the flaws of the “American Way.” One of those is our good friend Roger, whose post I share today. The U.S. touts itself as “the freest nation on earth,” but are we? Methinks we could learn a thing or two from the Serbian people …

The World As It Is. Not As It Should Be


Sometimes, more often than we would like we label. It can be a political view, a social grouping, a community and even a whole nation. This is another of those which has long, long history in Humanity’s stumbling.

Back in the 1990s Yugoslavia tore itself apart in a series of wars which themselves had their own series of complex back-stories. There was a lot of anger at what was going on and the supine approach of European governments. Being the largest grouping of peoples The Serbs got the worst press. With execrable characters like Slobodan Milošević on the loose it was all too easy to ditch all sense of proportion. Eventually there was a peace of sorts, but that legacy remained. And it’s not too hard to find within the European media some news item, article or book which may still point a finger at Serbia and its peoples as…

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Bob Shepherd: Are Trump and His Allies Fascists?

I tread softly when it comes to making comparisons to Donald Trump & Hitler, to trumpism and fascism, for it can often sound like sour grapes, like hyperbole. But last Friday, Diane Ravitch dedicated the bulk of one post to Bob Shepherd, one of the wisest men I know of, and his post about the comparisons of Trump and his ideology, if he can be said to have one, vs that of fascist leaders in the past, primarily Hitler. I think he makes his point quite well. The post is a bit long, but fascinating and thought-provoking, so I really hope you’ll take the time to read it. Thank you, Diane and Bob!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bob Shepherd is a polymath and a daily reader of the blog. He has been involved in every aspect of educational publishing, and most recently, he was a teacher in Florida. He graciously offered to help me with two of my books—The Language Police and Slaying Goliath—by carefully editing them before they were turned in to the publisher. And we have never met!

He wrote on his own blog:

A few years back, a friend, someone whom I respect, challenged me on Facebook, saying that Trump might be a lot of things, but he wasn’t an actual Fascist. Well, I beg to differ. If it steps like a goose, . . .

Here are a few of the clear signs that, yes, Fascist is precisely the term to describe Trump, his supporters, and those who wish to assume the orange mantle:

Alliance with other Fascists/Authoritarians. D.T. allied himself…

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Beavis and Butthead-like

Roger and I have often talked of our mutual blogging buddy, Keith, as being our ‘gold standard’. While Christians have that saying, “What Would Jesus Do?”, or WWJD, Roger and I have one that is WWKS, or “What Would Keith Say?” But despite the fact that he is calmer, more soft-spoken and mild-mannered than people like myself and Roger, he does a fine job of getting the point across, as you will see in his most recent post!


People who follow this blog know I am not a fan of labels or name calling, as I view them as lazy arguments. The user wants you to accept their labeling without debate or further study. It is akin to weaponization of a term that can do the dirty work for the user.

I would prefer to define the actions rather than actor. So the focus should be on the lying not the liar, although it is very hard to separate them sometime. There are occasions where actions are so over-the-top that it is interesting to contrast them to characters who do the same over-the-top actions to illustrate the inappropriateness.

Earlier this month, the former president was found liable to the tune of $5 million for the sexual assault and defamation of E. Jean Carroll. While he is appealing the decision, his own deposition did not help his cause nor…

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Smorgasbord Funnies 2023 – Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – Ravens and Blessings

I am out for the afternoon … Chris has the afternoon off and we are going out to eat … at a restaurant … for the first time since March 2020 — more than three years!!! And then a trip to the bookstore, so I’m going to let our friends Sally & Debby entertain you this afternoon! Thank you, S&D, for always making us laugh!!!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Firstly, some funnies foraged from the web from Debby Gies – D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby  for expert foraging…

D. G. Kaye – Buy:Amazon US And:Amazon UKBlog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness: Timing – of people and events in our lives

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….


One day while he was at the track betting on the ponies and nearly losing his shirt, Mitch noticed a priest who stepped out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the 4th race.

Lo and behold, that horse — a very long shot — won the race.


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Some Questions – and some Answers

If you are a political writer, no matter which side of the political divide you stand on, sooner or later you will pick up a few haters … people who not only vehemently disagree with every word you write, but also feel a need to make it personal, to get in your face, to be rude and disrespectful. I’ve had a few, and with one exception they all gave up when I stopped posting their comments. One even threatened to find me and kill me. Our friend Ben Berwick has a long-time hater-follower who goes by the name of Asher Slade, and ol’ Asher, even in light of the latest surge in mass shootings, believes the answer is more guns … in the hands of more people everywhere. I found Ben’s response to him to be both well-written and far less toxic than I probably would have been! Oh, and as you read Ben’s response, keep in mind that Ben lives in the UK, not the United States, and it seems to me that he understands both our Constitution and our current gun situation better than most U.S. citizens do! Thanks, Ben!

Coalition of the Brave

In a rare display of reason, Asher Slade (the MGTOW with whom I have had a number of strong disagreements) asked some questions. His post is below:

You can feel free to post what your arguments and positions actually are and how you would while still respecting our consitution you would try to solve the mass shooting issue.Remember all free people have a right to self defense. Mine are clear more gun ownership not less next to no gun free zones protect schools with either willingly armed teachers or security staff . Make fewer soft targets and watch how much the issue self corects. Mentally unwell person tries to shoot a place up a gun owner around them or security put the threat down as fast and as safe as posible . Bad people exist we do not want to create more victims by making it so only criminals will…

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That Pesky First Amendment Scores Again!

Our friend Annie airs some of her frustrations with the “mainstream” media today, and I share her views. Ever since Chris Licht took over at CNN, the network has swapped truth-telling for leaning to the right of center, as is evidenced by their upcoming ‘town hall’ with the ignoble Donald Trump. But Annie also talks of the White House Correspondents Association dinner that was held last Sunday. She shares two great clips that are a must-see, and shares her views, again views with which I fully concur! Thank you, Annie, for this excellent post reminding us of just how crucial true freedom of the press is to our democracy … or what remains of it.


I am often critical of the mainstream media, whom I find too insensitive to the fragility of our democracy in their determination to present “both sides” of issues that often don’t have two sides.

For example, I’m more than frustrated with much of the coverage of the House Republicans’ willingness to throw our economy over the cliff if Biden doesn’t accept the demands of their most radical, irresponsible members.

Instead of focusing on the dangerous Republican behavior, reporters are asking: “Why doesn’t Biden just sit down with Kevin McCarthy and reach a deal?”

By a vote of 217-215, the House Republicans passed a dreadful bill, which McCarthy promised his most far right members would be the floor to any negotiations, leaving no room for a deal they knew would be unacceptable to the President and the Senate.

Oh, and another example of media irresponsibility is the incomprehensible CNN Town Hall…

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Smorgasbord Funnies 2023 – Hosts Sally Cronin and Debby Gies – Dog Collars and Holidays

Another dreary, cold and rainy day … it seems that Spring cannot make up its mind whether to stay or not. Who can blame it? Anyway, I thought we could all use a big of a chuckle today, so let’s visit Sally & Debby and see if they can make us laugh! I especially love the one about the pastor’s collar – check it out! Thanks, Sally & Debby, for always bringing a ray of sunlight into our lives!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Firstly, some funnies foraged from the web from Debby Gies – D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby  for expert foraging…

D. G. Kaye – Buy:Amazon US And:Amazon UKBlog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s latest post in her series Spiritual Awareness: Timing – of people and events in our lives

Now something from Sally’s Joke book archives….

Off on your holidays….maybe at some point….

A travel agent looked up from his desk to notice an old lady and man peering in the shop window at the posters showing exotic locations around the world. The agent had enjoyed a very lucrative week and seeing the shabby nature of the couple looking in the window he decided…

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You absolutely should have to show I.D. to be able to vote in our elections. Only American citizens are able to votes. Can you change my mind?

Blogging friend King Arthyr presents a logical, linear, constitutional response to the many new voter disenfranchisement laws that have been passed in nearly every state, including my own. By the time you read the last sentence of his post, you will be astounded that any lawmaker could pass such narrow, restrictive laws as have recently been passed at the state level. THIS, my friends, is why we need the United States Congress to get off their collective arses and pass federal voting rights legislation that would override any state restrictions! Thank you, Arthyr for this excellent post!

Arthyr's Home on the web

Second Amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Conservatives, you state that the 2nd Amendment says gun control/gun regulation is illegal, because it says the right to own and bear arms cannot be infringed, correct?

Now, let’s look at voting:

Twenty-Sixth Amendment

Section 1:

The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2:

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

So, the Constitution states any citizen who is 18 years or older cannot have their right to vote denied due to age.

Fifteenth Amendment:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall…

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“No Labels” Is Up to No Good!

Things are not always what they seem, are they? When the magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat or a quarter out of his ear at a magic show, we laugh … it’s all in good fun. But when a candidate for office or a political organization start playing shell games, the humour is gone, for it is our very lives at stake. Our friend Annie has a cautionary warning about a political organization that on the surface, seems to support centrist, bi-partisan policies and politics, but when you pull back the curtain, there is much more to it than first thought. It rather reminds me of what was behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. Thank you, Annie, for this very timely warning … forewarned is forearmed.


Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on

NOTE: I have determined to focus my blog posts on positive developments whenever possible. But frankly, the story I’m writing about here worries me a great deal.

It also infuriates me. There may be many folks with good intentions involved, but at the heart of this effort appear to be greed, deception, and a flamboyant disinterest/carelessness about the fate of America.

If you’re asked to participate in any efforts with the “No Labels” name attached—such as signing a petition to get their organization, which they refer to as a nonprofit, on the ballot in your state—please consider carefully before agreeing.

The “No Labels” rhetoric is designed to appeal to patriotic Americans who feel themselves without a political home. No Labels claims to be a “moderate, centrist” group. I realize that’s an attractive stance for many people these days.

But “No Labels” doesn’t mean…

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