Monday, June 16, 2014

Lemon-Blueberry Crumble Bread

Tangy lemon and juicy blueberries combine in a moist bread, under a delicious crumble topping, for a particularly delightful treat

Lemon-Blueberry Crumble Bread

1 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh)
2 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons  milk
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
Juice and zest from one lemon (2-3 tablespoons juice, 2 teaspoons zest)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Using cooking spray, grease 9 x 5 loaf pan. In large bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, butter and milk.

Mix thoroughly.

If you're working with a fresh lemon, it is easier to collect the zest and then juice the lemon. Add lemon zest.

Add lemon juice.

Mix. If you're working with refrigerated lemon juice and dried zest, obviously, order does not matter. :) Add dry ingredients.

Blend thoroughly. Mash 1/4 cup blueberries, add with remaining, intact blueberries to mix.

Combine gently. Pour into prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and butter.

Mix until smooth.

Sprinkle evenly over batter. It will be clumpy, but divide the clumps as much as possible. You want fairly even coverage, with no giant blobs of topping.

Bake bread for one hour, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Topping will be golden brown, and possibly deeper brown around the edges, but the color of the sides and bottom of the loaf should not be deeper than a golden brown.

Leave in pan for 15 minutes, remove to wire rack to finish cooling. Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Lemon-Blueberry Crumble Bread

1 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh)
2 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons  milk
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
Juice and zest from one lemon (2-3 tablespoons juice, 2 teaspoons zest)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Using cooking spray, grease 9 x 5 loaf pan.
Combine eggs, vanilla, butter and milk. Add lemon juice and zest, mix well. Add dry ingredients, blending thoroughly. Mash 1/4 cup blueberries, add with remaining, intact blueberries to mix. Combine gently. Pour into prepared pan.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and butter until smooth. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake bread for one hour, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Leave in pan for 15 minutes, remove to wire rack to finish cooling. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Perfect cheesy ranch burger

So I find that my burgers often tend to be a little on the dry side. I've tried fattier hamburger, but I wasn't crazy about the result. I played with cooking temperatures and times, and, again, didn't achieve the right level of moisture that I was looking for. And then...then I hit upon a simple and yet perfect ingredient: cream cheese. The flavor is mild enough that seasoning hides it, and it not only adds moisture but the creamy texture helps hold the burger together. And, best of all, you don't need that much of it to make a difference. So, without further ado, I present:

Cheesy Ranch Burgers

You will need
1.5 lbs lean hamburger
1 packet (3 tablespoons) Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon minced onion
6 1-oz slices of cheddar, white cheddar, or jack cheese1.5 tablespoons cream cheese
Sprinkle of black pepper

In a large bowl, add ranch mix onion and black pepper.

Cut cheese into small cubes, keeping them around 1/8" x 1/8" x 1/8".

Add to bowl. Add hamburger and cream cheese.

Mix thoroughly. Cream cheese will create a paste-like texture.

Press into 6 1/4 lb burgers (more, if smaller burger desired).

Grill over low temperature until cooked (varies depending on grill). Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, onion and/or your favorite condiments.

Cheesy Ranch Burgers

1.5 lbs lean hamburger
1 packet (3 tablespoons) Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon minced onion
6 1-oz slices of cheddar, white cheddar, or jack cheese
1.5 tablespoons cream cheese
Sprinkle of black pepper

Cut cheese into tiny cubes. Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Press into 6 1/4 lb burgers (more, if smaller burger desired). Grill over low temperature until cooked. Serve with tomatoes, onion and your favorite condiments.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Wall of Separation between Church and State isn't an atheistic or liberal conspiracy...

The following is a collaborative guest post, with my sister, Sarah. In its original form, it was her response to a FB discussion about religion in politics. Sarah was specifically answering an individual who cited as fact a highly misleading opinion piece that attempted to peddle the revisionist narrative that the wall of separation between church and state was merely to insulate Christians against pesky interference by those distasteful "others": a shield against the state interfering with religion, and a weapon to Christianize the heathen through politic machinery. Seeing what a very good response it was, I asked her if we could rework it for a blog post. What follows is the result of that work. 

There is a revisionist strain of teaching in modern day American fundamentalism, furthered by frauds like David Barton, that the Wall of Separation is largely a myth. It was not, as the fiction goes, religion that the founders wanted equally protected -- and separate from government -- but Christianity and its various sects; and, rather than "separate", they were to merely live in harmony. The founders were all Christian, and, seeing the conflict between denominations, wanted to create a paradise for and by, and exclusive to, Christians. This paradise would not promote one denomination above the other, but it would be a Christian land, a theocratic paradise that would certainly impose religion on its citizens. But rather than promoting Presbyterianism in one area, say, and Methodism in another, and Catholicism in yet another, it would promote a generic (but always, in practice, far right) Christianity. Alas for the fundamentalists, this is a poorly constructed lie that any honest examination of history will easily demolish: the wall of separation of church and state was clearly and fully intended to keep all religions, including Christianity, out of government, and to protect all faiths, not merely Christianity's many incarnations, equally.

It must be stated from the outset, for it is often presented as a contradictory concept, that we do not suggest that the founders were irreligious or that they refrained from practicing their faiths. They were a largely religious body (although there were a fair share of deists and doubters in their ranks as well), and wise religious men at that – wise enough to understand the difficulty inherent in promotion of one faith over others.

Having seen both locally and overseas, in their present day as well as throughout history, the impact of theocratic tyranny, the founding fathers went to great lengths to protect against such a state of affairs manifesting in their country. Jefferson, drafter of the Statue of Virginia for Religious Freedom, had witnessed in Virginia, and long railed against, the practice of promoting one sect of one religion over all others. His efforts in promoting religious freedom in that state were not merely to protect individual sects, however, but everyone, regardless of their religious belief (or lack thereof). This is made clear in, among other places, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVII.
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Jefferson's vision of religious liberty extended not merely to the man whose belief in Jesus was somewhat different than his neighbor's, but to the man who had no belief in Jesus at all. The principle was the same, regardless of what deities (or none at all) were involved. And rather than being troubled that freedom of religion might allow too much dissent, Jefferson believed this freedom would separate real truths from pretenders, that free inquiry would bolster truth, rather than harm it. 
Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation.
This is, then, the mindset of the man who wrote the powerful lines:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
The use of language is important. Jefferson didn’t just say “God”, or “our God”, as he might of if he meant to narrow the field merely to believers in his deity of choice, or if he merely took it for granted (as revisionists pretend) that freedom of religion was only a Christian right. He specifically states that it is a matter between a person and “his” -- the individual’s -- god, and not any other. It is absolutely not a matter for the government, as it is an opinion and not an action. And then, most powerfully, he defines a barrier between Church and State. Not a protective wall to shelter one religion from state. A wall. And not a wall around one, a defensive line, but a wall between, a divider. In context of Jefferson’s words and writings, this is very clear: Jefferson did not intend that to be a wall that sheltered Christianity and allowed Christians to inject religion into politics, but a dividing wall, a separating wall.

"But, the early government employed chaplains!" the revisionist will declare. "They prayed. So, checkmate!" As with most of these claims, the revisionist draws wholly unwarranted and unsupported meaning from simple fact (when there is any fact involved at all). Meaning, more often than not, that they wind up with an interpretation that is entirely at odds with reality. From the first, there was concern among the founders as to what sort of interpretation might be taken from the fact that they prayed to their own god (concern well founded, as is evidenced by the fact that this discussion is even now ongoing). Madison, for instance, detested the notion of legislative chaplains. He declared that “[t]he establishment of the chaplainship to Cong[res]s is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles” because 
The Constitution of the U. S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation.
Madison also felt that military chaplains were unconstitutional. (Imagine the reaction from theocratically minded Christians of our current day if a contemporary politician were to advocate such a course of action -- and bear in mind, as you contemplate such a thing, the hysteria that ensued from, for example, the Air Force's decision to stop forcing cadets to pledge to a god they might not believe in, when they rendered the phrase "so help me God" optional).

But Jefferson took matters even further, beyond objecting to the governmental employment of persons in a strictly religious function, to refusing to even hold religious thanksgivings and fasts for fear that they would be perceived as having “some authority”. Adams regretted having recommended a national fast, saying that he feared it foreshadowed “seeds of an ecclesiastical history of US for a century to come”. He also noted at the time that the public spirit was so set against Presbyterians that the people would have preferred “philosphers, Deists, or even atheists, rather than a Presbyterian President.” Madison rejected public funds for religious charities multiple times, believing that a precedent “for giving to religious Societies” should not be set. Other founders did the same.

Furthermore, like Jefferson and the 20-god-worshipping polytheist, or atheist, whose rights to free belief he supported, George Washington declared to Jewish Americans (in his 1790 letter to the Touro Synagogue) that the US “requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens”, and that “[i]t is no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the free exercise of their inherent natural rights.” Not that the nation "requires only that you acknowledge the Father and Son of my religion, or at least bow to their dictates". Not that they should delight that "the benevolence of the Christian majority, and its government by and for Christians, leaves the worshipers of Touro Synagogue unmolested." No indeed: the congregation of Touro, and all people, enjoyed free exercise of natural rights that no one could infringe upon; and all that was required, rather than bowing to the "right" deity or submitting to the majority faith, was that Americans conduct themselves as good citizens.

In a letter to New Church in Baltimore, Washington expounded on this notion: “In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.” He further felt no qualms in recognizing the religious beliefs of others, as in his 1796 address to the Cherokee Nation: “I now send my best wishes to the Cherokees, and pray the Great Spirit to preserve them.”

In short, our founding fathers and early presidents not only embraced a wall of separation between religion (including Christianity) and state, but envisioned a far more solid thing than the patched and leaking barrier that today remains. Contrary to revisionist claims that this wall is a new and radical invention, it is in fact as old as our country, and a far more (dare I say, too?) lenient wall than that which was originally established. The founding fathers had studied history's religious tyrants, and dealt with plenty from their own day; they saw what modern day would-be theocrats are either too blind to see or too foolish to understand: that the wall of separation is the only effectual assurance of true religious freedom, and as important for the majority as the minority. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Walker's Wisconsin recovery not so miraculous...

One of the things I often hear from Scott Walker fans is, "But, look, we're doing better now than before Walker took office! Therefore he's doing a great job." Nevermind the fact that this follows the national trend -- that the economy was in terrible straits at the time he took office, and has been improving since, and so is to be expected, to some degree at least. But how good are we really doing?

Turns out, not as good as our neighbors, and not as good as we should be doing.

Wisconsin has created between 32,000 and 56,500 fewer jobs than what normally would have been predicted from the state’s historical job creation relationship with its neighbors since January 2009, according to a report from a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh economics professor.
Now, to be fair to the administration, there are a lot of variables and a lot of items that might have an impact on this. The study author did try to take this into account.
Based on that historical data, he created three separate models to project what Wisconsin’s job growth would have looked like if the state had followed the same relationship it had exhibited during the base period. A fourth model extended the base period from January 2001 to December 2010, the month before Gov. Scott Walker took office.
On the topic, McGee notes
“It has been clear for some time that Wisconsin was underperforming in job growth, relative to our neighbors. What wasn’t clear was whether this underperformance was relatively small or relatively large,” McGee said of why he undertook the study. “I would say that any of the measures I developed weren’t perfect — which is why I ended up developing several measures — but taken as a whole, they do supply a fairly consistent picture of the approximate size gap.”
And, unsurprising to anyone who has followed Walker's "clean water restricts the free market!" dismantling of our environmental regulations, Wisconsin has been
out-performing its neighbors in terms of jobs in the natural resources area, along with manufacturing, in recent months, while underperforming in areas like construction, with the service sector feeling the hardest impact, particularly since the summer of 2011.
Also, predictably, conservatives are having a hard time accepting the numbers. Says the conservative MacIver Institute's president, Brett Healy:
 Is the author suggesting that Governor Walker’s numerous tax cuts and attempts to target tax credits to new and expanding businesses has led to less private-sector job growth?
This "trickle down to the rescue" answer, of course, references, among other things, Walker's election year bribe recent piddly tax cuts, which were apparently granted on the notion that you can spend an entire term making a mess of things, cutting essential services, selling off the people's property for the benefit of private entities, leaving the poor to die without healthcare, taking away equal pay protections, falling woefully short of your campaign promises, playing accounting tricks & skirting the law to reward who you want and hide what you like from the public, etc., etc. -- but the electorate will forget all that for a few bucks a month during the election year. Just as long as you keep blaming those public sector workers...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

PwG: God's regrets, God's Immutability, and the Genesis Story

Should the Genesis story be taken literally as an accurate telling of events? This is the second of an on-going series, examining the flaws in consistency, logic & theology that arise from a literal reading/interpretation of Genesis, as peddled by young earth creationists and others. For more information on the what's and why's of the series, go here.

One issue that proponents of literal interpretations of Genesis seem to miss, or bypass without any intellectually honest examination, is the conundrum arising from an all-knowing, unchanging God's regret at having created humanity. The story is often told as a tale of crime and punishment -- humanity sinned, therefore its divine creator destroyed all human life (but one family) and most animal life as retribution. And while that is part of it, that's not all of it.

Genesis 6:5 reads

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and  that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Now, keep in mind that the same folks who peddle young earth creationism also believe that the god of the Bible is a an all-knowing, all-powerful deity. They also believe (as the Bible states) that he is unchanging:
It’s clear from verses such as these that God is immutable—His nature and character do not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
So what do they have to say about God's regrets?
God is grieving over disobedience and wickedness: a response that we should all have to sin. Again, this doesn’t indicate a change in His nature or character; in fact, it is His holy nature that demands this response of grief. As finite, created beings, we understand that there are consequences associated with our moral decisions. The Bible is quite clear on that matter (Galatians 6:7). Yet, the “relenting” of God is, in many cases, the voice of compassion and mercy from a longsuffering God extended to sinful creatures in need of grace.
God does not change. However, He can change how He chooses to respond to an individual or nation’s actions.
This is simply not an honest rebuttal to the point. Grief and regret can be and often are connected, but are different things. The text is pretty clear, regardless of translation, on this. They are connected -- the regret stems from grief -- but they are distinct emotions. The grief is for humanity's sins, the regret that he ever created humanity. By way of comparison, New American Standard reads
6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7 The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”  (Emphasis added)
King James states
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. (Emphasis added)
Regardless of translation, the import is pretty clear: God is grieved over the sins of mankind, and as a result he regrets/is sorry he made mankind at all. As a consequence of his regret, he will massacre "man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air". But God is not just grief stricken, and it is duplicitous to argue otherwise. He may have changed his mind about creating man as a result of grief, but it is nonetheless a change of mind. In the same way we might wonder why we've purchased a problem-prone vehicle after the fact, and sincerely repent having done so after it breaks down for the fifth time in a month, God (as the story goes) created a headstrong and disobedient people, and was filled with regret after they went astray -- and decided to wipe them out for good measure (and everything else, because, fuck it: everything's fair game in a divine rage tantrum). Except that, unlike the driver who falls for a slick sales pitch, God is supposed to be all-knowing.

Which brings up another interesting aspect. If God knows everything, and the Genesis story is literally true and happened as depicted in the Bible, his regret is absurd. He would have made mankind as-is, knowing exactly what we would do and when -- and how he would feel about it. If the driver above knew exactly when and where his car would break down, invested a great deal of money into it anyway, and, after what he knew from the first would happen occurred, then regretted his decision, we would say he was a moron. And we would certainly acknowledge that he had changed his mind: that he no longer viewed his foolish investment favorably. The point would be emphasized all the more if he went on a destructive rampage, deciding to destroy his vehicle (and every other that he encountered) as a result of regretting his purchase.

As a further point of curiosity, God is supposed to be all powerful -- which seems to indicate that he should have been able to find any number of alternative scenarios that would have been more to his liking (sparing him his sorrow and regret), because his power is unending. And, being all knowing, he would have known this: that, with his unlimited power, he could create a more palatable situation, where his regret would not be necessary.

It's worth pointing out that if God had truly made the best choice possible, he would know this (and, if not, what sort of "wise" "all-knowing" creature is he?). Therefore regret (not necessarily grief) would be rendered a contradictory emotion. In the same way that one grieves for an animal that must be put to sleep, but does not generally regret the decision knowing that it was the right thing to do, God's grief at mankind's waywardness would be a legitimate response, but his regret at creating them would not. It is an illogical response -- and while imperfect human beings can be allowed a moment of grief-stricken illogicality ("maybe if I had just waited another week...!"), it seems distinctly out of place in a perfect, all-knowing, all-wise divine being... So we come to this: if God's creation of mankind was not the best means of accomplishing what he wanted, he would have known from the beginning that it was a bad choice -- rendering this latent remorse idiotic.  If he had made the best choice, he would know this as well -- again, rendering the remorse futile. Either way you look at it, regret is absurd and illogical.

In summation, if the story is to be read as literal truth, God not only knew that the scenario would not play out how he wanted, but deliberately chose to create a people that would piss him off so badly he'd regret ever having made them in the first place; deliberately chose to create people who would piss him off so badly, in fact, that he'd want to kill every last one of them, and everything else besides; and, knowing with the absolute clarity that only an all-knowing creature could possibly boast what evil would happen and how regretful he would feel, did it anyway.

Put simply, regret is not, and cannot logically be, the sentiment of a perfect, all knowing, unchanging and all-wise being. It is, by its very nature, a change of heart. Sorrow at having performed some action is the result of imperfection, mistakes or perceived mistakes, a lack of foreknowledge, etc. It is almost always the outcome of information received or correctly weighted after the fact, and it is absolutely a re-evaluation of an initial position or action. It is an acknowledgement that you were -- or feel you were -- wrong to have done something in the manner it was done, that there would have been a better way to do it. To suggest that an all-knowing, all-powerful, wise and unchanging god actually repented, regretted or was sorry for creating humanity (or any other act), as a literal reading of Genesis does, is illogical and contradictory.

An all-powerful creature that chooses to perform an action knowing with absolute certainty that it will result in a mess so distasteful as to give rise to murderous regret over that action is not -- cannot be -- wise. Nor can such a murderous puppeteer be deemed merciful. And, perhaps most importantly of all, by definition he is not unchanging. Regret and steadfastness are mutually exclusive concepts. Regret is a change of mind, period. It is nonsense to suggest otherwise, and despite young earth creationists' attempts to brush over the contradiction, a literal reading of Genesis wreaks havoc on Biblical notions of God's wisdom, mercy, and immutability.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Two weeks in sixteen pictures

So regular readers will note that my blog has been mysteriously quiet these last two-ish weeks. Believe it or not, I've started a few posts but just never got around to finishing them. Why? Well, mostly because I've been busy, busy, busy with work, and, of course, the yard, now that Wisconsin's long winter/wintery spring has ended. In summation of the last two weeks, I present you with the following journal of photographic highlights. 

Blossoming apple trees

Bleeding heart

"You can't make me!"
Viola after Rainstorm

Viola after Rainstorm 2
Heading Home
Sunrise Rose
Sunset Rose
Rainstorm on the Horizon

Early Bloomer
Sleepy Cat

Crab apple after rainstorm

Oh, and somehow, since last Easter, this little guy...

ended up turning into this great, jolly monster :)

What the pictures don't include are the ten bajillion times I've mowed, already; the new fountain we put in; and Memorial Day. But, really, the pictures do tend to convey the overall idea. And, in case you hadn't guessed, this time of the year is one of my favorites.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Thugs with jugs", death threats, insults: gun rights advocates targeting women

Mother Jones has an article on gun activists and their targeting of women that is at once elucidating and mortifying. It details some of the tactics these "responsible gun owners" sink to -- threats, lies, violence and obscenities. It's particularly curious to see how that treatment compares to men in the same scenario. For instance, when a high school teacher spotted a group of heavily armed people acting aggressively, she called the police. Brett Sanders of Plano's Open Carry Texas posted a video to YouTube with her name and phone number -- a video that was criticized "not only for outing the woman but also because it was misleading: It claimed that the woman had called 911, though she'd called the nonemergency line of the Plano PD. And the footage it used came from friendly-looking demonstrations elsewhere—not from the one that the woman encountered." On the other hand, "[a]ccording to Plano police records, two other people called in with concerns about the demonstration that day—both men. No member of Open Carry Texas publicized their information." The teacher (whose name MJ withheld for her protection) was "pummeled with text messages and voicemails, copies of which she provided to Mother Jones. Callers told her she was a 'stupid bitch' and 'motherfucking whore.'" Eventually, the abuse grew so bad that she had to change her phone number. Lest you think that the deceptive video was frowned on by OCT higher ups, have no fear: they've got their man's back.
Sanders "didn't do anything wrong" by posting the video, nor is it relevant that he misidentified the type of call or used footage from a different demonstration, CJ Grisham, the founder of Open Carry Texas, told me. "Our point in doing that is to expose the kinds of people that are complaining about our rallies."
To Grisham's minimal credit, he did at least admit that he "would've personally done it differently." But lying and inciting threats against people is not wrong.

This is hardly the only charming activity in which Open Carry Texas has engaged. Grisham -- who would not, personally, have lied about and revealed the identity of the badgered teacher -- declared that it "warms the cockles of [his] heart" to see the following photo -- the conclusion of
a "mad minute" at a firing range [participated in by OCT members], pulverizing a female mannequin with a hail of bullets. They positioned the figure with her hands raised in surrender, naked from the waist up. Afterward, they posed with the bullet-riddled mannequin, her arms blown off and her pants down at her ankles. "Mad minute" is a military expression referring to a burst of rapid fire, and Open Carry Texas members have often referred to Moms Demand Action as "mad moms."

Aside from embracing symbolic violence against ideological opponents, Grisham has also referred to Moms Demand Action as "thugs with jugs" and other derogatory terms.

And, before anyone says, "oh, but these are just extremists, keep in mind:

Just three days before Open Carry Texas outed the teacher, a state Senate committee held a hearing to consider further loosening gun carrying laws, and Grisham was invited to give official testimony alongside NRA lobbyists. "Open Carry Texas was given a seat at the table," says Stephanie Lundy of the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. "It's serious. You can't write them off."
Nor are OCT the only nutjobs on the block. The MJ article details, among other things, some of the outrageous threats & terrifying instances gun-owning, background-check advocate Jennifer Longdon has had to endure. It's very much worth reading.