Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Definition of a Hypocrite

Wikipedia says: Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in a general sense, dissimulation, pretense, sham.  A person who indulges in hypocrisy is a hypocrite.

In the past, Donald Trump has tweeted, "An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."  4:23 PM - 6 Aug 2012.

He also tweeted, "Congratulations to @RealSheriffJoe on his successful Cold Case Posse investigation which claims @BarackObama's 'birth certificate' is fake."  8:56 AM - 18 Jul 2012

How about one of Trump's hallucinations, recounted on George Stephanopoulos' TV show:
TRUMP: “Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: “You know, the police say that didn’t happen and all those rumors have been on the Internet for some time. So did you misspeak yesterday?”
TRUMP: “It did happen. I saw it.”  ( )

He also said this, "There was a picture on the front page of the National Enquirer, which does have credibility," Trump said to a room of volunteers and staffers in Cleveland, adding that the tabloid "should be very respected."  In May, Trump had said to Fox News, "You know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being -- you know, shot....Right prior to his [Kennedy's] being shot, and nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don't even talk about that. That was reported and nobody talks about it."  (Go to )

Here's a delusional Trump tweet for you: "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."  3:30 PM - 27 Nov 2016

Now Donald Trump wouldn't promote the existence via a tweet of a "sex" tape unless it actually had sex in it and it the person he was accusing was actually in it, would he?  Oh yes he would:  "Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M(achado) become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?"  5:30 AM - 30 Sep 2016

Let us not forget Trump's favorite target, Hillary Clinton and the charitable Clinton foundation in a campaign statement: "Hillary Clinton is the defender of the corrupt and rigged status quo... The Clintons have spent decades as insiders lining their own pockets and taking care of donors instead of the American people.  It is now clear that the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history.  What they were doing during Crooked Hillary’s time as Secretary of State was wrong then, and it is wrong now. It must be shut down immediately.”

And that brings us to today, January 11, 2017, with Trump dismissing any possible conflicts of interest and complaining about "fake news" and the "media" being unfair...

Although Trump demanded Clinton close down her charitable foundation from which she made no money (we know this because we have seen her tax returns) and has done much good work with 87% of monies going to the needy, "He told a news conference he had formally given 'complete and total' control to them in a bid to avoid conflicts of interest.  Mr Trump's lawyer, Sheri Dillon said the President-elect had 'isolated' himself from his businesses.  But the Office of Government Ethics said Mr Trump's plan didn't 'meet the standards' of former presidents.  The organisation's director Walter Shaub said the office's primary recommendation was that Mr Trump 'divest his conflicting assets'."  ( )

And of course, now he sees "fake news" everywhere (except for coming from himself):
"That's something that Nazi Germany would have done," he said.  He was replying to unsubstantiated allegations that his election team colluded with Russia and there were salacious videos of his private life... Mr Trump said the information "should have never been written and certainly should never have been released...   It's all fake news, it's phony stuff, it didn't happen," he said, adding that "sick people" had "put that crap together... it's an absolute disgrace". ( )

Trump was not happy that an allegedly "fake news" story damaging to him made it into print and was complaining about it being leaked by Buzzfeed while at the same time falsely accusing CNN of linking to the report, which it did not.  He threatened to throw out a CNN reporter from today's news conference.  I guess CNN is no National Inquirer.

Please note that this "fake news" was actually a privately created report given to John McCain and the intelligence community and in no way was it classified material.  If it is "leaked" to Buzzfeed, there is no culpability necessarily on the part of the intelligence community.  They had no ability to keep the report secret if someone in private life had decided to send it to Buzzfeed.  It's a private report; anyone could have written it, gotten it and forwarded it.  The sources of the report apparently had enough credibility to inspire a John McCain and others to consider it to be worth investigating by the intelligence community.  That is not "fake new" - it's real news.  The report may prove to be false itself, but the fact that this report is being investigated is real news and its leak may be perfectly legal.  Its leaking certainly is as ethical as Trump's birther claims, his claims about Ted Cruz's father and other lies that Trump has promoted.

Unfortunately the President elect seems to have no ability to discern "fake new" from real news, and sadly a large minority of Americans cannot as well.  And even before the inauguration, that a large minority of Americans are learning to accept gross hypocrisy and lies on a scale even more grand than I could have ever imagined is the biggest real news of the day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today Was a Bad Day, November 9, 2016

Today, November 9, 2016, was a bad day, .

It was a bad day for voters; the presidential candidate that more voters voted for than any other candidate lost the election.  The person with the second most votes won the election.  This is the second time in the last 5 presidential elections that this has happened.  Since the party in power has now benefited both times from this absurd system, nothing will change.  The U.S. will remain the only country in the world where losing the popular vote is sometimes better than winning it.  We do not have a democracy; instead we play a game with odd rules that often rewards something other than the will of the people.  Instead of making everyone's vote count equally, some votes in some states are relatively irrelevant while some votes in a handful of states are all important.

It was bad day for Muslims; the president elect has stated he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the country on the basis of their religious beliefs.  Other religious folk, no matter how dangerous, crazy and un-American their beliefs may be are welcome as long as they are not Muslims.  Furthermore, the president elect has hallucinated seeing thousands of Muslims on the roofs of homes in Jersey City, New Jersey, celebrating the attack on the World Trade Center back in 2001 on TV.

It was a bad day for women who have been sexually assaulted.  They now have a president elect who has bragged about sexually assaulting women and we have all seen the women who have been the victims he claims to have assaulted.  He has insulted them horribly for confirming his own claims.

It was a bad day for women who may sometime have an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy.  They may be forced to have their babies, even if they are the victims of rape or if the pregnancy poses a danger to their lives.

It was a bad day for women who are not fashion model thin; for women who are over 35 which is "check-out" time according to the president elect; for women who are "nasty"; for women who do not have huge breasts; or for women who have faces the president elect does not like.

It was a bad day for persons with pre-existing conditions.  It was a bad day for young adults under 26 who have been insured under their parents health insurance plans.  They may lose their health insurance sometime soon.  Even those who complain about their premiums exploding may have second thoughts when they try to buy their insurance outside of the exchanges created by the ACA and lose their subsidies - as they would have had to do before Obamacare was created.

It was a bad day for those who are scientifically oriented and have concerns about global warming and the teaching of evolution in schools.

It was a bad day for people who are appalled that a candidate encouraged the illegal hacking of his opponent's email account.  At the same time the president elect never offered to release his own tax returns, much less his own emails.

It was a bad day for people who care about the deficit.  The president elect's budget plans would explode the deficit - but will there be fights over the debt ceiling by Republicans in the next 4 years as there were in the previous 4 years?

It was a bad day for the undocumented -  even if they are persons who were brought here as children and have known no other country.  All are to be deported, period.

It was a bad day for most taxpayers who will have a greater share of the tax burden after the rich get their incredible tax cuts.

It was a bad day for persons who believe corporations are not people.  Future supreme court judges will be chosen, in part, based on their inability to tell the difference between a human person and a corporation.

It was a bad day for future victims of gun violence.  Not only will no reasonable gun laws be passed but even research and  record collection of gun related crimes and violence will remain prohibited because some do not want to know the truth.

It was a bad day for those with disabilities.  The president elect has no problem mocking you.

It was a bad day for those who value honesty and rationality.  Most of what the president elect said during the campaign was untrue and why should that change now?  The campaign that began with birtherism ended with false claims too numerous to list.

It was a bad day for Americans; the campaign that said "we are stronger together" lost; the one that said "lock her  up" won.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Trump & Guns

This is too much to believe!  Donald Trump and guns!  Let us do a chronological review:

"In November (2015), Trump told a crowd of several thousand at a rally in Knoxville, Tennessee, that "Paris is one of the places in the world that's toughest on guns" so Parisians were left vulnerable when the terrorists struck.

"There was nothing anybody can do," he said. "I know one thing, in this room, it's a whole different story, right?" The crowd cheered.

He was right that it was a different story than Paris — but that was because of the Secret Service people in the room, not citizens packing guns.

Asked about the rules after that rally, Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said, "Any assumption that non-authorized law enforcement personnel at this venue or any other Secret Service-secured protected event were armed would be inaccurate." She said if someone who did not have authority to bring a weapon showed up with one, that person would be arrested by local authorities."  (Go to .)

So here he is criticizing Paris for being tough on guns while his own event banned guns and only law enforcement could legally have guns.  As usual, the facts seem to have an anti-Trump bias.  More facts...

"GOP front-runner Donald Trump said Sunday that he will take a closer look at an online petition calling for the Republican convention this summer to allow guns into the convention space has received tens of thousands of signatures on  The petition notes that Ohio is an open-carry state, but that the website for the Quicken Loans Arena--the site of the convention in Cleveland--says the venue forbids "firearms and other weapons of any kind."  "This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk," the petition reads. "As the National Rifle Association has made clear, 'gun-free zones' such as the Quicken Loans Arena are 'the worst and most dangerous of all lies.'"  (Go to .)

Yup, for the sake of the safety of Republicans, no guns are allowed at the convention.  But all guns allowed everywhere else, apparently.

Fast forward to June 13, 2016 after the horrible mass murder at the Pulse nite club at the hands of a crazed Muslim gunman:  "Trump said on Friday night, "If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here — right to their waist or right to their ankle — and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes 'boom, boom,' you know, that would have been a beautiful sight folks."

Speaking on "The Howie Carr Show" on June 13, Trump said, "It's too bad some of the people killed over the weekend didn’t have guns attached to their hips, where bullets could have thrown in the opposite direction. Had people been able to fire back, it would have been a much different outcome."  (Go to .)

Afterward, after an outcry of criticism (even from the N.R.A.!) Trump tried to claim he was talking about arming authorized guards at the club even though it was well known that the club had an armed guard who actually fired at the perpetrator.  He was simply outgunned by the assault weapon equipped killer.  Everyone believes Trump as actually referring to the club goers and for good reason - why would he refer to security guards as "those wonderful people."  This is not to say that security guards are not wonderful but it  is doubtful that was Trump's intent. In my book he is bald-faced lying.

Finally, after the Orlando tragedy:  "Michael Steven Sandford was arrested at the Saturday rally after grabbing at the holster and handle of a gun at the hip of a Las Vegas police officer who was providing security at the event for the presumptive Republican nominee.

A federal magistrate on Monday found that Sandford was “a danger to the community and a risk of non-appearance” and ordered that he be held without bail, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, who also confirmed that Sandford is a British citizen... 

The complaint, which was filed on Monday in the US district court for Nevada, says Sandford “knowingly attempted to engage in an act of physical violence against Donald J Trump ... by attempting to seize a firearm from Las Vegas Metropolitan Department Officer”.

Sandford allegedly told a US agent, referred to in the complaint as special agent Swierkowski, that he had driven to Las Vegas from California in order to kill the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

According to the complaint, Sandford had gone to a gun range called Battlefield Vegas on 17 June in order to learn how to shoot. There, he fired 20 rounds from a Glock 9mm pistol, which, the complaint says, was the first time he had ever fired a gun.

The document also states that Sandford told Swierkowski that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try it again. He claimed he had lived in the US for approximately a year and a half and had been planning to attempt to kill Trump for about a year but finally felt confident enough to try it on Saturday, according to Swierkowski’s report."  (Go to  .)

Before we go further, give  the arresting security person a raise - job well done!

But why didn't Mr. Sandford just buy a gun at a gun show or wherever they cannot do background checks and bring it to the rally and shoot Mr. Trump?

Answer: Oh yeah, guns are banned at the rallies and only authorized law enforcement such as the Secret Service are allowed to have guns.  That is why he had to try to take a gun away from an officer and fortunately he failed.

Yes, Donald Trump may be alive because of being "tough on guns" but sees no reason to share his good fortune with others.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Terror in Orlando: You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Texas Lt. Governor believes "Something is Good Because God Says So!"

You can't make this up!  As if on cue, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick tweeted the following, appearing shortly after the terror in Orlando, Florida.

My previous blog entry had a simple choice that we all, as moral individuals, have a responsibility to decide and then live by: Is Something Good Because God Says So?  Or is Something Good Because it Makes the World a Better Place?

Obviously, Lt. Governor Patrick has made his decision.  If God says so, it is good.  This would probably be comforting to those who sympathize with the terrorist perpetrator.  Am I exaggerating or misconstruing Mr. Patrick's intent?

Here is what he said afterward in defending himself: “The verse has nothing to do with God’s judgment on any one person or a specific group of people. If some chose to read into it what they wanted they either have never read Galatians Chapter 6 or have misread it,” he said.  “Some wanted the post pulled down and others did not. Let me be clear, I didn’t pull down the FBI post & tweet because God’s word is wrong. His word is never wrong,” Patrick wrote. “Taking down his word would be like tearing a page from the Bible because we didn’t like what God was telling us. I took it down to stop the hateful comments and the misinformation being spread of God’s message to all of us- straight or gay.”

Yup, God is never wrong so the perpetrator had no choice, did he, Mr. Patrick?  And who says we can't agree on religious matters?

The Terror in Orlando: Is Something Good Because God Says So?

It is perhaps the central philosophical/theological question of all: Is Something Good Because God Says So?  Or is Something Good Because it Makes the World a Better Place?

What do YOU believe?

The perpetrator (I will not repeat his name here) of the horrific killings in Orlando, Florida earlier today, June 12, 2016, probably believed the following; that gays were an abomination and that God (the one that he believed in, not the one YOU might believe in) endorsed the killing of gays and their sympathizers.

From the Koran (7:80 - 7:84) "And (We sent) Lot when he said to his people: What! do you commit an indecency which any one in the world has not done before you? Most surely you come to males in lust besides females; nay you are an extravagant people. And the answer of his people was no other than that they said: Turn them out of your town, surely they are a people who seek to purify (themselves). So We delivered him and his followers, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind. And We rained upon them a rain; consider then what was the end of the guilty."

The "rain" referred to above is probably something like "brimstone" which would lead to the death or "the end of the guilty."

This is not much different than the following from the Old Testament which is actually more clear in  its viciousness: (Leviticus 20:13, New International Version) "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

One would think that since the source of belief in the Christian God and the Muslim God (and Jewish God) are the Holy Books quoted above, that opposition to homosexuality would be common among Christian and Muslims.   One would be correct in thinking that.  It is only very recently in the history of Christian society that homosexuality has approached majority acceptance and indeed not nearly all American or other Christians are on board with that opinion just yet.  Ted Cruz was infamously endorsed for President by a Pastor this year who prefaced his endorsement with his reminder that homosexuals should be executed according to his infallible Bible.  Ted was pleased with the endorsement.  (Go to "Why Is the Media Ignoring Ted Cruz’s Embrace of ‘Kill the Gays’ Pastor?"" .)

So I ask you again; what do YOU believe?  Is Something Good Because God Says So?  Or is Something Good Because it Makes the World a Better Place?

Of course I can hear you objecting by saying that the "True God" would NEVER tell you to do something that is wrong.  The problem is that the perpetrator of the horror in Orlando would agree.  Yes, ISIS would agree.  Bin Laden would have agreed.  ALL the terrorist fanatics would agree.  That is the problem - if God says to do it, it becomes the RIGHT thing to do.  It becomes the thing you MUST do.  This argument is of no use.

This leaves basically the final feeble argument against where we are inevitably heading; the objection that the perpetrator did not believe in the one "True God."  His God was a "false" God and the answer/solution is to believe in the "True God."

What is a "false" God?  Answer:  Basically a "false" God is what  the other guy believes in.  What you believe in is the "True God."  And what your "True God" says to do is, of course, "good."

And, of course, the perpetrator believed he worshiped the one and only "True God."  That was his opinion and your opinion is no more than that - an opinion.  As much as you'd like to transform your opinion on the  nature of the "True God" into a fact, you cannot do it anymore than the perpetrator could do it.  At the very best all you can do is present the evidence for the one "True God" and test your conclusion.

Unfortunately even believers often admit that their God cannot be tested.  The Book of Job reminds us "who are we to question God?"  The evidence for which God is the "True God" is not evidence at all; instead belief in the "True God" is built upon faith - and faith is supposedly a gift from very the same True God whom we are trying to test and by no definition of the word can "faith" be considered reasonable evidence.  Furthermore I have never heard a rational process for determining which faith is a "True  Faith" and which faith is not.  To claim that there are many contrary "True Faiths" is to accept that sometimes 2 = 3.  Is a God that is Jesus the same as a God that is not Jesus?

Is your faith the "True Faith"?  Is your Holy Book the "True Holy Book"?  Is your God the one "True God."  For all of these questions the perpetrator of this act of terror and all other religiously inspired acts of terror, would  answer "yes".  These fallible humans all elevate their fallible opinions to indisputable facts.  Conversely, reasonable persons understand that the "facts" they believe are true are conditional and probable - not certain and taken on faith.  Reasonable persons use evidence, logic, and science and accept that "facts" can be tested and subject to disproof.

Those who instead rely on faith for determining their absolute truths all uniformly and conveniently claim that reason, evidence and science cannot answer the deepest questions of human existence while implying that their personal opinions CAN answer them in an absolute manner.  This certainty on the part of the faithful in knowing the Truth is seen as a virtue by them as opposed to the incredible danger and arrogance it actually presents.  The scientific viewpoint is uncertain, conditional, testable and ultimately far more  humble.

If you have managed to read this to this point, I will ask one final time: Is Something Good Because God Says So?  Or is Something Good Because it Makes the World a Better Place?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Has the Republican Party Become the Anti-fact Party? The Birth of Lie-based Initiatives!

Like many others, I have taken my shot at explaining Donald Trump's appeal to Republican voters.  In this matter I have a great advantage over the mainstream media; I do not have to avoid explanations that paint a less than  flattering portrait of the voters who, in turn, are the customers of that same mainstream media.  How many people would stop patronizing a media outlet that came to the conclusion that Donald Trump's appeal to his party was based on the willful ignorance, bigotry or the irrational fear of many millions of Americans, the very people that a media outlet needs to appeal to in order to stay in business?

Yet the evidence is overwhelming; Trump's initial appeal was to birthers.  About 50% of the Republican Party was on board with the idea that Pres. Obama was not born in the U.S.  A small minority of Republicans believed that Ted Cruz was not born in the U.S. when, in fact, he was
NOT born in the U.S.  Neither fact is a secret, but this is what they believe anyway.

Start adding up the other things that a majority of Republican voters believe that are contrary to the facts as best as we can know them; many believe in Creationism, and Young Earth Creationism at that; most deny that Global Climate change is a result of human activity as if the effects of Greenhouse Gases is debatable.   But now you can add an impressive new list of willfully ignorant items or outright lies that Republican voters are willing to accept, overlook or even embrace.  What about the total lack of negative push-back by voters when Trump re-tweeted a

2015-11-23 11_56_07-Donald J. Trump on Twitter_ __@SeanSean252_ @WayneDupreeShow @Rockprincess818 @C.png
fictitious, false, inflammatory and racist chart (see above);  or when he implied that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of JFK; or when he accused Hillary Clinton of abusing women who had affairs with her husband; or when he suggests that former Clinton aide Vince Foster did not commit suicide but may have been murdered with Clinton involvement; or when he said that John McCain was not a war hero; or that he saw thousands of Muslims on rooftops on TV celebrating 9-11 in New Jersey; or when he calls Bernie Sanders a communist...  I am sure I've missed dozens of whopping big lies.  (Go to .)

The one common thread in all this is that what Trump supporters like about Trump is precisely his dislike of fact; facts have become "politically correct" and possess what Colbert has described as a "liberal bias."  Of course facts really do not have such a bias but yes indeed many people now oppose "facts" because it is "politically incorrect" to oppose facts and being "politically incorrect" is a good thing!

That is why Trump can lie about other Republicans as well as Democrats, Conservatives as well as Liberals, because it is the opposition to fact that his supporters adore.  Do not get me wrong on this - I am not saying that left leaning ideologues do not do the same thing - they do, such as in those who believed that Bush and Cheney somehow were in on 9-11 and "allowed" it to happen.  It's just that those leftist ideologues have not quite taken over the Democrat Party.  The ideologues/believers and anti-fact yahoos have taken over the Republican Party and their main goal is to oppose all kinds of facts that contradict their beliefs.

This is the mess that Republican leaders have created with their years, if not decades of pandering to the willfully ignorant in their ranks.  By promoting the "faith-based" initiatives the party has embraced in the past, not surprisingly the party members have evolved into demanding "lie-based' initiatives.  Trump is delivering.

You read that here first.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Is Ted Cruz OK with Executing Gays? Are Republican Voters?

Would you vote for a candidate for President that welcomes the endorsement of someone who openly advocates for the execution of homosexuals?  We're not simply talking about some candidate who merely opposes same-sex marriage but someone who was present when the killing of homosexuals was urged and then immediately afterwards accepted the endorsement of the person doing the urging and never protested or mentioned or admonished them for promoting the execution of gays.  Would you, under any circumstance, vote for this candidate?  You may get the opportunity.

The gay-execution advocate is Pastor (what a shock!) Kevin Swanson and you can hear his advocacy of gay executions here ( ) where he chastises Bob Jones III of the infamous Bob Jones University for apologizing last year for advocating executions of gays 35 years ago.

The candidate is Ted Cruz, and at an event in November 2015 accepted Pastor Swanson's endorsement shortly after Swanson railed against gays and thought that their execution was just because, well, God wants them executed and God is just!  That pretty much settles it.  Go to )

From  "From his radio program we learn that "As far as I know," Swanson said, "the Apostle Paul has not backtracked on Romans 1, in which he refers to the unnatural relation between males and males, females and females, and says such who does these things are worthy of death ... I'm going to be the last guy who stands up and says whatever Paul was saying when he said they're worthy of death, whatever Moses is saying in Leviticus 20:13 as communicated to God's people as the very law God, from the lips of God himself, I'm going to be the last person to say, well, God's law is unjust. And if anybody wants to say that, I'm going to be standing about 40 feet away, whatever the diameter of lightening is."

Later in that same broadcast, Swanson took issue with those who get outraged at the prospect of the government putting people to death for homosexuality, saying that it is no big deal when compared to the prospect of gay people spending eternity in Hell.

"When people focus on the civil penalty for the sin of homosexuality," he said, "they're diverting attention from the real issue, and that is the judgment of God upon that behavior ... Capital punishment? Execution at the hands of the state? Big deal! Big deal! That's nothing. That's nothing. In comparison with the judgment of God, the judgment of the civil courts, of the human courts, as compared to the judgement of Almighty God? No comparison!""

25% or more of Republicans prefer Ted Cruz as their first choice; 35% or more prefer Donald Trump, who has re-tweeted openly racist fraudulent libel against African Americans, painted Mexican undocumented immigrants with a broad brush as rapists and killers, insulted women, both generally and specifically for their appearances, wants to ban Muslims from entering the country based on nothing more than their religious beliefs, and has mocked a disabled person's disability. Oh, did we mention he was the leader of the Obama birther movement?

So 60% of the Republican Party either seeks to nominate someone who happily accepts without reservation the endorsement s of a would be gay executioner or someone who has basically viciously insulted pretty much every group aside from white non-Hispanic Christian males and has trouble drawing rational conclusions based on the evidence!

The problem, it would seem to me is not simply the candidates - it's the general public who seem to prefer viciousness, dogmatism and thoughtlessness instead of empathy, reason and thoughtfulness.  Correct me if I am wrong but there seems to be a strong correlation between anger, irrationality and ideological fervor.

What to do?  Although the media is reluctant to draw attention to the danger of religious dogma, the rational among us most continue to point out the danger inherent in all ideology, religious or secular and the threat that dogmatic political leaders pose to our country.