January 7, 2024

Civil War and Reconstruction

By Glenn

It seems there is a fundamental lack of knowledge about the American Civil War and Reconstruction.

*Why did the relationship breakdown? Slave owners wanted the right to EXPAND slavery. US voters elected Lincoln because he promised to stop the EXPANSION of slavery.

*Why did most of the Slave states attack the USA? They were the loser in the election, and they feared Lincoln would take away their heritage. White believed Lincoln and the Federal government would discriminate against them. They fought to preserve white supremacy. The slave owners designed the to protect white supremacy and slavery.

*What was the result of the Civil War? The USA strengthened the Union and diminished the power of state governments. To enter the Union, states that participated in the the insurrection had to A) give up race based slavery B) allow all men, including slaves, the same voting rights C) treat all persons born in the USA as a citizen with equal rights and due process D) bar insurrectionists from public office.

Feel free to watch a series of my lectures on the Civil War and Reconstruction. After watching, feel free enter a conversation.


January 5, 2024


By Glenn

One of the big questions about “faith” is the modern use of the word.  It has come to mean, especially in the Non-Darwinian states, “belief”.  These Bible Belt Christians will whip you with the Bible and proclaim their own salvation because they believe Jesus is their personal Lord and Savior. 

One of my favorite songs is Amazing Grace. It is beautiful and moving, but it also helps spread confusion about theological words.

It begins with “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!” Grace saves, but what is Grace.  The word come from the French word “mercy.”  God is kind and merciful.

The second verse takes it into a slightly different direction.  “’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved; how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!”  Here we have two new paths to salvation: fear and belief.  If you believe, grace will relieve your fear.

This emphasis in belief entered the Christian debate early.  At the Council of Nicaea, the Roman Emperor Constantine wanted to use Christianity as a political force.  He couldn’t use them if the Christian communities argued about beliefs. 

Constantine called Christians together at Nicaea, and the leaders of the “Catholic”, or universal, church agreed on a creed.  The English word comes from the first word of the Latin document: “credo”.  It began with “I believe in one God…” and then introduced a whole heavenly host of complicated theological concepts.

Accepting the creed was the first step to entry into the Church and path of salvation.  If we fast forward to the Twentieth Century, American evangelicals shortened this creed to “I believe Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior.”

The “faith” of the scripture, on the other hand, means “trust.”  God told Abraham to leave Ur, and Abraham trusted God that it would turn out better.  This life would be materially better not only for him, but his family and his descendants.

Jesus came from this “trust” tradition.  He emphasized a radically different part of that tradition. Following in the footsteps of Amos, Jeremiah, and Isiah, Jesus preached that God heard the cry of the poor, the sick and the stranger.

The Jesus of the Gospels emphasized the trust commandments and asked his followers to self-sacrifice.  If Christians sacrifice themselves, their lives will be better.  This is the mystery of the cross.  Feed the Hungry.  Cloth the naked. Be kind to the stranger and immigrant.  Love your enemy.

El Greco, Disrobing of Christ, Year 1577–1579

Your life might not get better immediately.  In fact, you may suffer more in the short run.  Christianity is NOT a prosperity message. Trust leads to a better eternal life.  There is no way to prove what happens after death.  You simply must trust. Love you neighbor.

December 1, 2023

Kissinger Paid for Nixon’s Reelection

By Glenn

Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, like W Bush and Dick Cheney, lied about wars. They all threw American lives away to advance their political careers. They were deplorable before it wore a Red Hat.

Nixon and Kissinger conspired to prolong the war in Vietnam War. Their reason? Win an election. They traded American and Vietnamese lives to win an election.

November 23, 2023


By Glenn

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Alexandre’s Goulash in Vienna 2010
November 11, 2023

Cost of Veteran’s Day

By Glenn

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Western Europe hasn’t seen a war between states in 78 years. The United States hasn’t seen a war between states in 158 years. Peace is possible once politicians and people stop trying to control each other, stop trying to steal from each other and stop trying to cheat each other.

Liberty and Justice for all, not guns, create peace. Millions in Europe had to die to accept this lesson. Can’t we just learn from the dead? Your duck god and my chicken god might need to live off of our blood, or your duck flag and my chicken flag might demand a fresh grave, but Justice and Liberty allow us to Live, not rest, in Peace.

Please remember when you vote, you either Live with Liberty and Justice, or you die with control and bigotry. We can have a happy veterans day when there are no longer families grieving their dead relatives. Until then, we should allow remember what it costs to be a veteran.

Tranchée Des Baïonnettes

October 13, 2023

Elections Have Consequences

By Glenn

As we wake up to another day of chaos and unwillingness to compromise, it might be helpful to remember that elections have consequences.  Elections are not a game.  Elections are not about teams.  Elections are about the future you want for yourself, your children, and your neighbor.

In 2006 the voters in the Gaza Strip voted for a theocracy at home and perpetual war against Israel.  Hamas told their voters that they would neither compromise with other Muslims nor compromise with Christians and Jews.

Hamas wanted a society built on their understanding of God’s law.  God’s law required them to destroy Israel.  God’s law required women to stay at home, produce children and convince boys to die in the perpetual war.

This ideology looks a lot like European fascism.  While it is using a language of liberation, it is not offering others freedom.  Hamas is not willing to let others make choices.   Hamas asked its voters for the power to build a militant theocracy and the majority of voters in Gaza gave it to them.

Once elected, Hamas did what other fascists did before them.  They shut down internal dissent.  They eliminated other Palestinian voices and told their people that perpetual war was the only option until Israel no longer exists.

Hamas does not represent all the Palestinians.  Israel made peace with the elected leaders of the Palestinians on the Westbank.  Is it a perfect peace? No.  Does Israel always treat Palestinians with justice? No.  Should Israel stop new Settlements? Yes. The issue today, however, is Hamas’ war.

Hamas represents Gaza.  Hamas chose war.  Hamas started a war by crossing the border and killing unarmed men, women, and children as well as soldiers. Gazans are paying the price for their votes.

Hamas lost the battle it launched.  Hamas was driven back.  On the way back, Hamas took hostages into Gaza.  Hamas did not view the defeat as a loss but as another fight in their perpetual war.  Hamas continues to send rockets into Israeli cities.

Israel is now fighting back.  The death, destruction, and loss of innocent life is horrible.  Gaza is starting to look like Atlanta in 1864 and Dresden in 1945.  When a people elect a pro-war, militant government with uncompromising politicians, the results are devastating.

Hamas choose to build its military infrastructure under innocent people.  It built its rocket factories under women and children.  Hamas stores it weapons under women and children.  The civilian devastation is the direct result of choices Hamas and its voters made long ago.

Hamas could end this today by surrendering and asking for peace.  Hamas will not.  This war, like wars before it, will come to an end.  Thousands will die. Men will die. Women will die.  Children will die. We know this, because fascists always glorify a violent struggle.

The only question left is how quickly this war will end.  This is the war Gaza voters wanted.  They voted for it.  They prayed for it.  How many more must die for it?  

May 18, 2023

Conservative Ideology Is A Debt Problem

By Glenn

For the first hundred years of American history, there was one cause of public debt: war.  The United States of America started in debt, and it paid its bills.  There wasn’t another spike in debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio until the American Civil War.

At this point, you might ask what is the debt to GDP ratio?  It is the amount of our public debt compared to the size of our economy.  That ratio is the number that economists care about. 

It is not hard to understand.  Your bank will lend you more money if they know you have a high income and high long-term earning potential.  The bank will lend you less money at a higher interest rate if they know you have a low-income and low long-term potential. 

During the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War and WWI, US debt rose to about 35% to 45% of annual GDP.  The Fourteenth Amendment is clear that Congress has a duty to pay the debts: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

When Congress passes a budget, it authorizes the President to incur debt to pay bills beyond the amount collected from taxes.  A 1917 law theoretically places a limit on how much debt the US government can borrow. 

That law has never been tested in court. Every time the USA has approached that limit Congress has always voted to pay its bills.  For this reason, investors worldwide consider US public debt as one of the safest investments in the world. 

During the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt convinced Congress to take on more debt for public works projects like schools, airports, dams, and bridges.  Conservatives cried in frustration.  They had already failed to end skyrocketing joblessness by trying to balance the budget. 

FDR’s New Deal put America in a good position heading into the Second World War.  The economy was on the right track and became the Arsenal for Democracy.  American factories used borrowed money to manufacture the tanks, planes and ships needed to beat back tyranny.

When the war ended, neither Democrats nor Republicans wanted to return to the failed economic policies that lead to, and prolonged, the Great Depression.  America taxed the wealthiest citizens and rewarded wage earners.  A strong economy produced more taxes that paid down the debt from the Great Depression and the War. The debt to GDP ratio fell from 115% to 35%.

Not until the 1980s did a third cause of debt emerge in American history. Ronald Reagan led a conservative revolution to reverse the previous fifty years of taxing the rich to pay for government services.  He cut taxes for the rich and services for everyone else.  Reagan’s deficits drove the national debt to GDP ratio up from 35% to 45%. 

The lessons from this history are clear.  Use diplomacy and alliances to reduce unnecessary wars. Effectively regulate financial markets to stop them from burning the economy down. Ignore conservative politicians who claim tax cuts and deregulation will balance the budget.

May 11, 2023

If I Had A Hammer

By Glenn

Have you ever heard the saying, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”?  I’ve heard it all my life.  It served me as one of those wise sayings: use the right tool for a job.

My dad would certainly agree.  He would get so angry when we used a pair of pliers or a crescent wrench instead of a properly fitting combination wrench.  Even when a tool had multiple uses, like a crescent wrench, I was taught to use the more specialized tool.

It turns out, however, that historically speaking, the phrase “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” is not that old after all.  Most versions of it come from the 1960s in psychological studies. 

It shouldn’t have surprised me.  The 1960s is a decade known for breaking with old habits.  Women and African Americans fought against discriminatory laws and won.  For centuries, discrimination was the hammer used to beat down every problem nail.

It took listening to women and minorities to find Civil Rights solutions.  Those solutions came in the form of new laws that outlawed discriminatory behavior.  As Dr. Martin Luther King knew when he marched on Washington, government was a solution.

Today, we have a gun violence problem.  We are in fact on track to have a record number of mass shootings in America like the one in Allen, Texas on May 6. As reported in the Guardian, “the US is on pace for 60 mass killings this year. There were 31 in 2019, 21 in 2020, 28 in 2021 and 36 in 2022.”


The conservative solution to this problem is more guns.  Conservative politicians have flooded our streets with unregulated weapons designed for a battlefield.  It should come as no surprise that they have turned our schools, malls, and churches into war zones.

In Stark, Louisiana a 14-year-old girl simply wanted to play hide and seek in her neighborhood.  It is a game my friends and I played all through the summers growing up.  Instead of fun, she won a bullet in the head.  Luckily, she lived.  Will the next child?

Kaylin Gillis was not as lucky.  On April 15, 2023, her boyfriend used someone’s driveway to turn around.  The homeowner shot her dead. 

Every statistic shows that more unregulated guns have led to more shootings and more death.  Clearly handing guns out like candy is not the right tool to stop the rise in gun violence.  We are not going in the right direction.

There are sensible and more effective tools in our box to fight gun crime.  There must be universal background checks for every gun purchase.  A person carrying a gun in public must have a license and training. All gun owners must have liability insurance for each gun just like all car owners have insurance for each car.

We can have a “well-regulated militia.”  We can protect the lives of innocents Americans in schools, malls, and churches.  It is up to us to tell conservative politicians to stop dropping the hammer on our health and safety.  We need a new tool.

May 3, 2023

Conservatism Is Expensive

By Glenn

Fox News just agreed to pay $787.5 million for lying about Dominion voting machines.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton offered to use $3.3 million of tax dollars to settle a whistleblower case.  Donald Trump paid nearly $300,000 to cover up his extramarital affairs.

It must be nice to have millions of dollars to pay for bad behavior.  My momma always said, “Lazy people work the hardest.”  I’d like to add, “Believing conservative propaganda is expensive.”

These conservative lies stretch way back.  During the Great Depression Herbert Hoover promised economic growth with a balanced federal budget.  He watched as unemployment rose and businesses failed.

Both the American people and Franklin D. Roosevelt put conservative propaganda aside in 1932.  Not only did the New Deal put America back on track, but FDR also successfully lead America against NAZI Germany and Imperial Japan.

After the Second World War liberal policies built the largest middle class the world had ever seen.  The GI Bill helped veterans buy houses and go to college.  The Federal Government invested tax dollars in highway construction, aviation manufacturing and computer innovation. 

Laws protected Union membership and set high minimum wages. Wage growth and steady work lead to increased consumer spending.  This strong demand drove private investments into products from housing and automobiles to radios and televisions.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan exploited the energy crisis to demand tax cuts for wealthy investors.  He wanted to reverse the New Deal. Reagan told voters that the tax cuts would trickle down to wages and generate government revenues.

We are still paying for this expensive lie. The worker’s share of income dropped.  Reagan’s budgets created record deficits and debt.  Public investments in schools, roads and bridges slowed.

When President Bill Clinton reversed these losses, conservative voters rebelled again.  Clinton’s Vice President Al Gore wanted to use the Clinton surplus to pay down the debt and shore up Medicare and Social Security.  George W. Bush demanded tax cuts for the wealthy again.

Not only did Bush’s tax cuts explode the deficit, but Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction and started a foolish war in Iraq.  That war lasted over seven years.   Bush and the conservatives in Washington put it on our national credit card. 

Today’s conservatives in Washington may be different men and when, but they are selling the same snake oil.  They don’t have, and never had, a deficit reduction plan.  They want to starve the United States of revenue and cut Veteran’s Benefits, Social Security and Medicare.

Conservatives have a long history of fiscally irresponsible behavior.  It does not matter if it is paying hush money to a porn star or lying to start a war.  Why would you trust them?

April 27, 2023

Liberty and Justice for All

By Glenn

The Pledge of Allegiance ends with six memorable words: “With Liberty and Justice for All.”  As we say these words, we are setting a standard for our own behavior.  We will fight for liberty and justice for all.

These are very powerful words also embody my Christian faith.  On numerous occasions, priests and Pharisees tried to trick Jesus with complicated questions of law.  Jesus also found his way back to a simple answer: “Love your neighbor.”

“Love your neighbor” is the central message of Judgement Day.  When the Son of Man comes on a cloud, he will separate the sheep and the goats.  The sheep who feed the hungry, clothed the naked, were kind to the prisoner and welcomed the stranger will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  The goats who neglected the hungry, the naked, the prisoner and the stranger will be cast into the fire.

Surviving Judgment Day requires us to Love our neighbor.  Jesus saw this a commandment: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Many of Jesus’ parables give examples of neighborly love.  In the story of the Good Samaritan, a priest and a Levite saw a man lying beaten on the side of the road and “saw him, passed by on the other side.”  Unlike these two outwardly righteous men, a Samaritan showed mercy to the stranger and helped him.

In another story Jesus tells the story of the beggar Lazarus suffering outside the gate of a rich man.  The rich man, like the priest and Levite above, refuses to show mercy to Lazarus.  When they both die, Lazarus ascends to the side of Abraham while the rich man found himself in torment. 

With the tables turned, the rich man wanted mercy in the after life inside of torment.  Abraham told him that it was too late.  The rich man then begged for Lazarus to return and warn his living brothers.  Abraham rebuked him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

Meister des Codex Aureus Epternacensis

Both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke contain an expanded sermon on “Love your neighbor” that starts with “Blessed are the poor.”  Jesus then proceeds to describe righteous behaviors.  For example, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Jesus wasn’t interested in empty words.  In Luke he says, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.”

We need an American built on a rock.  That rock is Liberty and Justice for All.  We want Liberty and Justice for ourselves.  We must also guarantee it for our neighbor.  It’s the American way.