America: Where The NRA Is More Respected Than The NOAA

Americans still doubt global warming is occurring, which isn’t surprising, as far too many Americans believe the earth is only 6,000 years old.  Even though 97 percent of experts agree climate change is happening and we humans are causing it, Americans remain under the impression that the question is still unsettled?  These numbers suggest that disinformation circulated by the fossil fuel industry, utility companies and their political/media allies has successfully CONFUSED the public about the truth of global warming.  Spreading the perception that scientists are still undecided is the key to their strategy.   When the government adopts a policy of deception and disinformation about settled science, we have a problem that cannot be solved.

Since 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded for the contiguous United States, and subsequently a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, catastrophic events such as the massive fatal mudslide in Washington State will be the norm.  Officials claimed, following the Stillaguamish river valley catastrophe, the event was a total surprise.  In reality, scientists have warned of the ill-effects of excessive logging  which can result in immeasurable damage due to slides for sixty years.   The United States, as well as the rest of the world, will be forever changed by rising sea levels due to accelerated melting of the ice caps and the disappearance of permafrost in the polar regions. The view of North America is absolutely chilling, as this is the predicted model by the end of this century.  Most coastal cities and entire states (Florida) are literally under water. Most forecast models are rendered obsolete when the acceleration of CO2 (in parts per million) levels exceed the predictions every year.  Man-made catastrophic weather-related incidents are far different than “acts of god” like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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America’s coastline is very different in the future. Looks like Florida has no ground to stand on.

As a means of distraction from the dangers we face, the Right wages an imaginary war against a “tyrannical president” who’s trying to take away your guns. By obsessing over an issue close to the hearts of TeaPartiers, the conservative-owned media engages in mass distraction from real threats like rising tides, flammable tap water and deforestation.  There is pathetically scant regulation of the guns, where often no ID is needed to purchase firearms. The gun-rights advocates campaign against firearm registries across the U.S. which makes it very easy to procure instruments designed to kill. Unfortunately, the death-profiteers of the NRA are held in higher esteem than the scientists (accurately predicting rising ocean levels) according to the way our elected officials legislate.

The nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy was rejected purely on his stance on gun safety.  The NRA said Murthy’s “blatant activism on behalf of gun control” attracted their attention.  Apparently, calling out the dangers of gun ownership is too controversial for a society that is rendering the very planet our children will inherit uninhabitable?  Gun violence, including suicide, kills some 30,000 Americans every year, about the same number as car accidents. Cars are highly regulated for health and safety; guns, barely. So anyone who acknowledges reality and FACTS is shunned by the conservative led majority of the House because we can’t face the reality that the proliferation of guns has awful consequences.  Isn’t it ironic the same group that tries to conceal factual evidence and data from climatologists and the NOAA are the very same people who bury their heads in the sand over the regulation of guns?

Lacking the free flow of veracious information, a democracy and the government’s accountability become impossible. Willfully misleading the public on man-made climate change has been funded by dark money entities. Siding with an insidiously evil, profit-driven industry like the NRA is a perfect accompaniment to those who have made a career out of deceiving the American people in the name of selfish greed.

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The staggering statistics showing the gun-murder problem in the United States

The United States is an anomaly in the developed world. Not only are we preoccupied with gun ownership, but sadly, roughly fifty percent of our elected officials mandate the deception of our own children by teaching them biblical fiction as science. As expected, these are the same people who refuse to regulate the rampant pollution by their corporate sponsors while allowing access to guns by those very same children. It is safe to say the catastrophic destruction caused by climate change will not be alleviated by more guns.  Even without the potential catastrophe of climate change, anyone who thinks their arsenal of guns can match the power of our military is pretty darned delusional.

Our only hope for a sane government focused on the big picture, is by electing more Democrats to every office possible, starting with local political elections. Giving power to the party of the people is the only way to prevent the corporate destruction that is assured if Republicans continue to govern. Malevolent misanthropes should not be in charge of governing people. People who like government and believe in it should be the ones elected to office. Please urge as many people you can to vote in these midterm elections this year. Our lives depend on it.

The current 3rd Congressional District of Nevada, Rep. Joe Heck (@RepJoeHeck on twitter), cares absolutely nothing for the environment, job creation, relief for the poverty-stricken and education for his constituents.  This is why I am supporting Erin Bilbray for my House Representative.  Not only has she been a champion on women’s health, pediatric health and job creation, but she has actually worked for the NOAA, so she is extremely devoted to utilizing the massive solar and wind energy sources of the Southwestern United States.  I urge my fellow Nevadans to get out this fall and vote for a candidate who understands solar power is much more important than the power wielded by the NRA.

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Republicans Outraged Americans Are Happy With The Affordable Care Act

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The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary . H.L. Mencken couldn’t have predicted the hysteria generated by the rollout of a plan to insure every American, since we don’t have Single-Payer (government run healthcare).  The fear-mongering from the media has been unprecedented as they have malevolently exaggerated the negatives of President Obama’s signature healthcare law. No President has faced such unparalleled sabotage and antipathy from those on both sides of the political spectrum. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been panned by the Left for not going far enough (it’s not single-payer) and the Right because it has anything to do with the administration of the first black president. Ironically, the ACA is THE Republican plan formulated by the Heritage Foundation, Romneycare and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R).

Until the idea of a health insurance mandate was proposed by the Obama Administration, right wingers were all for the mandate which would require all Americans to be covered by private, for-profit insurance companies. The motivation behind the law was to help 45 million uninsured Americans get coverage.  Even the most deleterious acts of environmental disaster have been covered by the media more favorably than this genuine effort to help people. Truly, big corporate malfeasance is held in higher esteem than a plan to save lives. The media has been complicit in sabotaging the rollout of the ACA and it’s time for them to be called out on the carpet.

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Republican Governors are responsible for the deaths of thousands

Now we’ve reached five million  sign-ups on the healthcare exchange and every poll taken shows overwhelmingly, Americans do NOT want to repeal the law in its entirety.  Contrary to the horror stories of a disastrous website (which is now functioning perfectly), mass insurance cancellations and “death panels,” the ACA has given millions coverage for the first time in their lives. I’d love to see these Republicans inform parents their child is no longer covered because he or she had the misfortune of being born with a preexisting condition. See how popular the GOP becomes when they revoke the insurance the minimum-wage employee can now enjoy due to the Medicaid Expanision under the ACA.  Poor Americans and previously uninsurable citizens can FINALLY go to a doctor without the exorbitant costs of an Emergency Room visit. The GOP wants to take this away from countless Americans and have spent millions on repealing the law FIFTY times and counting.

Naturally, the insurance companies are going to act in the interest of profit, not results. Their timing of sending out cancellation notices (which they’ve always done, before the ACA) right when the website was launched with much difficulty was no accident. They are bankrolled by billionaires who wish to maintain the status quo of the most broken healthcare in the Western World while making the President look bad.  Labor groups like the Culinary Union in Las Vegas may be experiencing higher rates of insurance as the insurance industry is behaving in typical profit-driven fashion.  The costs to establish a functioning healthcare system will be an initial sacrifice, but as more people enroll, the costs will go down. As history has shown, Social Security and Medicare were vehemently opposed, more so by Republicans of course. The ACA has the dubious honor of being the most contested of the three revolutionary social welfare programs.  Many Americans couldn’t imagine life without Social Security and Medicare and soon Affordable Care will be considered a necessity.

It does seem as if the enrollment target which seemed unattainable in October, 2013 may actually become a reality by March’s end. Much to the dismay of those afflicted with Obama Derangement Syndrome, especially the TeaParty wing of the GOP, this law could be the stepping stone to a functioning healthcare system like the one in Germany and France. The Republican viewpoint of good government helping people terrifies those who are simply horrible at governance (Republicans). With a strongly mobilized Democratic base running on the merits of the ACA, the 2014 midterm elections could give the President a functioning Congress. If only the media was on the side of the people who need Obamacare to save their lives instead of favoring the vile agendas of the insurance plutocracy, this painful transition towards functioning healthcare for all could happen with minimal trauma and unnecessary loss of life.

Duplicitous GOP Wants Women To Work Full Time While Staying Home To Raise The Kidsp

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Less than one year ago, Lou Dobbs and Erick Erickson vehemently asserted how important it is for family stability that the woman stay home and raise the kids. Dobbs stated: three-quarters of the people surveyed recognize that having moms as the primary breadwinner is bad for kids and bad for marriage, and reality shows us that’s the truth. In 2009, the Blue Eyed Snidely Whiplash Lookalike, Rep. Paul Ryan derided the idea of job lock where one’s healthcare is irrevocably tied to one’s employment. So the GOP seems like they’re in agreement about the importance of worker freedom and the flexibility of a job to meet everybody’s needs in America, right?

A logical-thinking person would presume the GOP wants nothing more than to preserve the traditional family and provide Americans the choice of working only if it is needed to support the family financially. Work should not be tied to the healthcare of a person, except when the Black President decides upon a policy that gives people that freedom. When you consider the degree of racism in the party, it is not surprising the GOP managed to flip flop their entire world view when the President’s signature healthcare law went into effect. Not unlike the “subtle” racist undertones of the Teaparty or the composition of Florida juries for cases where a black teenager is gunned down for no good reason, the GOP can’t help but loathe everything the African-American President supports. Even if they once applauded the Heritage Foundation’s corporatist model of insurance company-based healthcare, the moment the President passed the law, the entire party has been on a mission to destroy it. Any law that helps women, especially minority women, must be neutralized as economic mobility is taboo to the Patriarchal-White-Christian-Male-Republican America.

Preexisting conditions are no longer keeping Americans, especially those near or beyond retirement age, bound to jobs solely for the purpose of maintaining health coverage. This opens up jobs for the younger workforce who have higher rates of unemployment. Eliminating job lock provides folks the option of choosing to remain in the workforce, retiring or finally starting that entrepreneurial venture they’ve dreamt about.

The CBO has concluded Obamacare (the ACA) would cost 2.5 million jobs, and this phrase was immediately exploited by the GOP Senate. The agency (actually) said that some Americans would choose to stop working or work less because of the law. Naturally, the Conservative media falsely tied the idea of freedom in the workplace to a loss of jobs and more lazy Americans on welfare. Republicans want a polarized society with an oligarchy of mega-rich corporate owners with a system of labor barely discernible from indentured servitude. According to these misanthropes, it is perfectly acceptable to distribute healthcare based on employment and social status. The pursuit of happiness is only applicable if you are healthy or fortunate enough to afford it. American women should most certainly do something about this disgraceful party during the 2014 midterms.

Time To Revise The Second Amendment

As the casualties from America’s long love affair with guns continue to mount to levels unparalleled in other developed countries, the idea of vastly overhauling the Second Amendment is seldom considered . In 1982, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was commissioned to do a history of the Second Amendment in Strom Thurmond’s Senate Judiciary Committee. This is when the lost amendment (as it was known because no one ever wrote about it) was successfully manipulated to serve the bottom line of the profit-driven National Rifle Association. This was the beginning of the end of sensible discussion on guns. The NRA along with Reagan and Utah Senator Hatch helped usher in an era where hundreds of thousands Americans have needlessly been killed by a gun.

The facts are very clear: nations with stricter, almost prohibitive laws on guns have minute levels of gun deaths when compared with our country. The Second Amendment wasn’t designed to arm all citizens. Verifiable statistics and study shows states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides. This is fact. More guns equal more homicides, suicides and gun-related accidental deaths. Naturally, the gun-pushers will pawn the issue off as a mental health matter, but the prevalence of mental illness in a society is only weakly correlated with gun-related deaths. Guns are responsible, in the USA, for the deaths of more people, occurring more easily and more often than gun-free societies.

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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. This does not mean every Tom, Dick and Henrietta out there should brandish a lethal firearm. The big problem is we have over 270,000,000 guns in America. How can our nation change the insanely psychotic statistic that there are 88 guns for every 100 Americans?

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One way to vastly lower the number of weapons is to offer a gun buyback program. These events have enjoyed tremendous success for the gun owners and the community. In cities like Baltimore, Los Angeles and Phoenix gun buy backs were wildly popular and beneficial. What happens when the gun buy back becomes MANDATORY by law? How does that fare?
After the tragedy in Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1996, Australians collectively decided to outlaw casual gun ownership and made it extremely complicated to own a firearm. The buy back was a success and the country has not had a mass shooting in over seventeen years. By outlawing all semi-automatic rifles, along with semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and then created a restrictive system of licensing and ownership controls, the Australians enjoy a far lower gun homicide rate. It CAN be done in America, but no one will try to battle gun manufacturers who enjoy the fewest restrictions on liability and loosest regulations of any industry.

1. A federal firearms trace database is off-limits to the public
.The ATF can’t require gun dealers to conduct an inventory to account for lost or stolen guns; records of customer background checks must be destroyed within 24 hours if they are clean enough to allow the sale; and trace data can’t be used in state civil lawsuits or in an effort to suspend or revoke a gun dealer’s license.
2. The military can’t impose additional regulations on service members who own guns. Less than one year after the Fort Hood shooting, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., introduced a bill prohibiting new regulations on Defense Department personnel’s private guns. It also prohibited commanders from inquiring into private gun ownership.
3. You can carry a gun inside a national park or check a gun when riding Amtrak. In 2009, Congress voted to allow visitors to national parks and wildlife refuges to carry a loaded firearm. (Previously, the guns had to be locked, unloaded and stowed away).
4. (Perhaps most importantly) The gun industry is shielded from many lawsuits involving criminal misuse of guns. The law has not stopped gun litigation, but it has created an obstacle for litigation, where judges are more inclined to dismiss suits of negligence filed against manufacturers and dealers for not taking proper safety precautions.
5. Congress has removed federal funding for firearms-related research. So in actuality, we don’t have accurate data reflecting the trend that a gun in the home makes you FAR MORE LIKELY to be a victim of gun violence than those in households without a gun.

The lower 48 states are all connected to one or more states. Prohibitive gun laws in one state will not change the rates of gun homicides if an adjacent state has much looser laws. The entire country must be united to achieve the goal of lessening the unacceptable levels of gun-violence. With a mass shooting almost weekly, we have yet to hit the tipping point where people are fed up enough to change the gun culture. The lawmakers are far too well financed by gun companies to be motivated to change policy. The myths that more guns indicate a safer society are believed by far too many.

It’s time to stop the malicious, calloused and irresponsible people from twisting the Second Amendment and put sanity back in our legal system. Senseless gun proliferation is the problem, PERIOD! Guns kill, statistics don’t lie and Americans don’t need to die needlessly from senseless gun ownership. No small change will make a difference. It’s time to apply the Second Amendment as it was intended. If only outlaws have guns, wouldn’t their chances of ownership be a hell of a lot smaller if the Black Market price of a gun approached $10,000+? Couldn’t the problem be mitigated by charging exorbitant prices on ammunition? Of course these ideas all could work, but without the country coming together to achieve this goal by taking drastic measures, these gun-induced nightmares will continue.

Media Scrutiny Of Obamacare Is Downright Excessive

HHS Sebelius and POTUS
HHS Sebelius and POTUS

Lately, every newscast opens with the Healthcare.gov website “disaster.” From Fox to MSNBC, no newscast can resist relishing in the difficulties the Obama Administration has experienced with the launch of the website.  The costs of the site have been conflated by over $534 million, as if this president regularly spends with the reckless abandon of his predecessor, George W. Bush.  Not once this week have I heard anyone mention that the 40+ Obamacare repeal votes have cost American taxpayers a grand total of $54 million.

It seems as if so many in the media are just waiting for the first black president to flub up and each news outlet wants to make sure they are the first to point out any and all missteps. CNN even has an Obamacare website navigation clock which replaced the Debt Ceiling Deadline and Government Shutdown Clock, designed to magnify the inefficiencies of the site.  How dare there be problems with a website designed to coordinate fifty states with thousands of insurance companies!

No one is denying the problems the website has had.  But remember, it’s a website, it is not the entire system.  It will be fixed.  But seldom do we hear of the preexisting conditions that have been eliminated by the revolutionary program.  Seldom do we recall three-fourths of the medical bankruptcies (which account for 60% of all bankruptcies in the U.S.) were filed by those with insurance. Seldom does anyone interview one of the thousands of Americans that have benefited from the Affordable Care Act.  Why is that?  Perhaps because the media gave a pass to George W. Bush; as expectations were so low of this man of very mediocre intelligence?  The Bush-Era Tax Cuts received a fraction of the negative press the Obamacare website has received upon their onset in 2002.  By comparison, there was a significantly greater outrage expressed when President Obama extended the Tax Cuts in 2010.  In order to renew jobless benefits during the holidays, the President was put between a rock and a hard place much to the dismay of many of us Americans, especially those of us who are fiscally literate.  Unfortunately, the decisions of the Commander in Chief are not always black and white, especially where millions of vulnerable Americans were concerned.

It doesn’t seem to matter how excessive the expenditures of the previous administration were, nor what the GOP Teaparty-controlled Congress incurs.  The Bush-Era Tax Cuts amounted to $1.8 trillion that we will never see again.  The recent shutdown cost taxpayers around $24 billion according to Standard and Poors estimates, but the blame on the Ted Cruz-led Teaparty was minimal by comparison to the harsh critique levied upon Kathleen Sebelius and the President.  Tomorrow we will see unprecedented scrutiny of our Health and Human Services Secretary during the hearings because, apparently, this is the greatest scandal to befall us in our nation’s history.

Religious Nuttery and Political Hypocrisy: Crazy Teapartiers

These are dark times indeed. To punish America for having the audacity to elect a black man TWICE, the GOP will try to deliberately ruin America’s economy. The Democrats are pragmatically trying to avoid economic disaster while Republicans sing funeral songs like Amazing Grace praying instead of governing. Senator Ted Cruz still believes shutting down the government was a good idea. Their abject hypocrisy and ignorance are stunning.

It was rare for a person to surface who embodies the appalling hypocrisy of a self-proclaimed “god-fearing” man and the deliberate ignorance of the “Christian” homeschool movement. The Reagan plan to defund the crap out of education is coming to fruition. There’s now a whole generation of ignoramuses. A consortium of this type of cretin has created the 113th Congress, a willfully ignorant group who vociferously oppose reason, logic and facts. These self-important monsters could easily topple our great nation if we don’t expose their insidious objectives. Governing by crisis is the chosen method of these TeaParty troublemakers. They exist only to serve their gigantic corporation CEOs. The most noteworthy of these asshats is Greg Collett, a devout Mormon from the great state of Idaho, who is running for state office in 2014.

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Clearly, anyone who is a staunch member of the Teaparty has obvious contradictions abound. The grassroots organization is funded by hate groups like The Heritage Foundation, who want to take our country “back” from that Black guy who dared to win two presidential elections. Collett goes a bit further. Obviously a Romney supporter, Greg prohibits his children from consuming GMOs, the signature products of Bain Capital’s Monsanto, a company Romney helped make into the industry giant it is today. Collett proclaims, “I avoid all refined sugars and corn syrup, enriched flour products and other processed foods, GMO products, and foods that have unpronounceable ingredients”. Naturally, he won’t research who’s responsible for assailing our population with these harmful products. This is common for Teapartiers; they rail against things they don’t quite understand. That’s why this man hates government. He doesn’t understand it.

Government is force, and using government to force men to do good works takes away the agency of man. When government is used to take money from one citizen and give it to another (even for a seemingly good cause) it simply amounts to legal plunder, making government, and those that support it, the criminal.

Like 20% of Idahoans, Greg Collett is a staunch advocate of homeschooling, as there’s just not enough Brigham Young in our history. An educated populace whose curriculum is decided by anyone but the Teaparty Right Wing is their biggest enemy. Even though the Heritage Foundation and Romneycare comprise the basic format of “Obamacare,” the Teaparty cannot support it because their racist objection to all President Obama’s policies coerces them to take drastic action to oppose it.

In Collett’s mind, government is bad and only the LDS Church can force people to be kind. His ten children are expensive to care for. Collett’s kids are all on Medicaid. But he opposes government interference with healthcare. He believes our government is far too secular and his interpretation of the supernatural should be adopted by all. Of course he throws in concepts like tyranny, children are a heritage from god, ending funding for public education, Communist Manifesto, and the jewel of all, ‘I am against National Parks, but I visit them.’ This is a dangerously stupid man who throws out red meat for the Teaparty base.

Greg Collett is running again in 2014 for the position A, district 11 of the Idaho House. He’s lost twice before, receiving 25% of the vote in 2010 and 34% in 2012. The public should be outraged anyone with such a convoluted worldview could possibly win an election. The views he has stated reveal he thinks we live in a theocracy, rather than a democracy. It’s unfathomable how anyone –be they Mormon, Lutheran, Catholic, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Buddist, agnostic, or atheist– could vote for this lunatic. The Teaparty has undoubtedly shown how they revile government and will do anything to sabotage the institution.

LDS zealots like Collett and unstable, narcissistic Dominionists like Ted Cruz have proclaimed God tells them how to legislate. Ironically, they protest vehemently against Islamist theocratic regimes while behaving exactly like these misogynist lunatics. These people must be stopped, as they are the ones who shred the Constitution at every opportunity.

Bringing Back Eradicated Diseases in the Name of God

The late Christopher Hitchens <a href=”http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2011/12/the-20-best-christopher-
s-quotes/”>condemned religious leaders for the antiquated practice of “faith healing. ” These people are hostile to medicine because it undermines their position of power and naturally they deny the effectiveness of vaccines. The fact anyone would dispute the medically PROVEN practice of administering vaccines in 2013 is preposterous and unfathomable. Yet, the Lone Star State has once again found a way to shirk logical thought and scientific progress thankseeeeff to this North Texas mega church. Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Newark Texas is the culprit of a Measles outbreak in Tarrant County. Officials in neighboring Oklahoma were on high alert for cases of this rarely seen disease since the mid 1970’s. The Christian homeschool movement has been a primary supporter of boycotting essential vaccines

As of today, there have been twenty confirmed cases of a disease which has been largely eradicated in the United States. In order to combat the outbreak, church officials have promised to thoroughly disinfect the church using a professional cleaning company. They have offered a vaccination opportunity, but unfortunately two months after the fact. Sadly, the church has been the most vocal proponent of the discredited theory that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine causes autism, but, between his (Copeland’s) advocacy of faith healing and his promotion of the vaccine-autism link on his online talk show, he’s not exactly urging his flock to get their recommended shots.

Looking into this ministry a bit further, I learned it was anything but a humble house of worship. Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) is an EMPIRE whose wealth is generated by tax-free donations diverted to finance a multitude of for-profit industries.

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The assets, as reported by a CBS News investigation include: An 18,000 square foot lake-front home in Texas worth $6 million, a fleet of planes and a $20 million jet with a private runway strip just to name a few. The industries this Mega-Church controls are stunningly profitable as well. They include mining, oil drilling, real estate, ranching, livestock and an aviation company that includes Copeland Airport.

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The aviation branch allows the family of preachers to spread their mistrust of science and bigotry worldwide. This also enables these vaccination opponents to bring back diseases from foreign lands and spread them among the faithful, who actually believe god can heal with just the right amount of financial contribution to the coffers of these charlatans.

Twenty cases is precisely twenty cases too many in this age of science and progress. When a Republican Senator like Chuck Grassley finds the tax-free machinations of this religiously-based empire unsavory, it should set a precedent for the eventual demise of any religious organization who dares to steal and dupe their members. The sheer number of investigations stemming from the misuse of donations should raise more red flags. The American public seems far too willing to grant tax exempt status to these church-empires without following the money.

The depths of depravity of most, if not all of these mega churches should be exposed more often than the Right Wing can conjure up their brand of IRS scandals. Simply overlooking this willful malevolence could easily create a pandemic in a nation that should leave this Stone Age thinking back where it belongs. Shunning science (vaccines) affects everyone, especially those of us who want no part of their brand of stupid. We have too many modern day problems to revitalize diseases of the past. The least KCM could do is pay their damned taxes and stay the hell away from practicing medicine.