Saturday, December 18, 2010

Surely the Founding Fathers would want to see this civic ideal come to pass.

An informed citizenry would be the best counter-influence against lies, videos, and outright demagoguery. An informed citizenry will be one of those civically-intended checks and balances ...

Right?

Not if there is a failure to take into account a need for citizens to learn critical thinking. If that doesn't happen ... this is the sad failure we all have to live with .... dimwits who don't know they are dimwits living among us.


Fox News viewers are much more likely than others to believe false information about American politics, a new study concludes.
The study, conducted by the University of Maryland, judged how likely consumers of various news outlets and publications were to believe misinformation about a wide range of political issues. Overall, 90% of respondents said they felt they had heard false information being given to them during the 2010 election campaign. However, while consumers of just about every news outlet believed some information that was false, the study found that Fox News viewers, regardless of political information, were "significantly more likely" to believe that:
  • --Most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely)
  • --Most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points)
  • --The economy is getting worse (26 points)--Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points)
  • --The stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points)
  • --Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)
  • --The auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points)
  • --When TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points)
  • --And that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points)
In addition, the study said, increased viewership of Fox News led to increased belief in these false stories.

 Of course the obvious conclusion may be even scarier

... the unfortunate intersection of a dimwit with unlimited funds with which to self-entertain forms a group of broadcast dimwits who are in truth no more critically thoughtful than their gullible broadcast targets.

The blind leading the blind with all of them forcefully trying to insist there are no skid marks in their underwear.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rather be part of the global bully club than admit that we could and should do much better?

Well ... are you a blow hard patriot who thinks what's good for America better by-god be good enough for the rest of the world? Are you offended by folks like wikileaks who reveal our darkest side to public view?

... Or are you a patriot of courage, willing to learn about the hard stuff and publicly oppose it so that an end to national shame might come closer?


Tea-Patriot question: Cut taxes where and how much?

Seattle Times: Did voters favor 'cheap soda' over health care for poor?

Washington voters in November rejected new taxes, including one on candy and carbonated beverages.

The title of this article asks an acutely moral question with implications across the greater societal spectrum in America where civic sounding fluff against taxes comes hard against society's ability to care for it's most vulnerable members.

In the Darwinian Survival-of-the-Capitalistic-Fittest cartoon world beloved of those who profess that shallowest sort of conservative thoughts a gigantic moral question arises.

Does free market priority (of which there is nothing sacred, holy or indisputably the best economic form)  supersede  the priority of the highest good of all concerned?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why do so many equate Christian attitudes to moral hypocrisy? Well ... sometimes it's better to resist the urge to speak.

Writing about the beliefs of Elizabeth Edwards, who passed away this week and who did not believe in the Christian version of salvation and the hereafter, Donald Douglas and his religious/political observance again demonstrates why Christians are equated with moral hypocrisy.

Clearly Elizabeth Edwards wants to put her faith in something, be it hope or strength or anything. But not God.
I wonder if it's just bitterness, that's she's been forsaken by more than just her estranged husband --- that's she's been forsaken by Him.
And imagine if she'd have become First Lady. Americans generally expect outward expressions of faith in our presidents, Christian faith especially, and thus in our First Ladies as well.
... Being anti-religion is cool, so Edwards' non-theological theology gets props from the neo-communists. Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn't find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I've been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought.

Douglas refers to Elizabeth Edwards' Facebook goodbye.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

... they can see how pathetic a society we are ... and it amuses the rest of the world

You will not find a more accurate dependency- intervention essay this year ... blunt, crude, brutally honest and should be required reading for everyone who still lives in the "it's not too late crowd."

The rest of the crowds in mamby-pamby land and the arena of pretend patriots wouldn't understand it.

If you are insulted by the import of this essay and its title, bite your proud lip, gird up your loins and find the courage to read, ponder and start asking questions.

If you are content to have someone already giving you answers to questions you have not really asked and ignoring the ones you might ask, you just might be the dumb subject yourself. You wouldn't DARE read Joe Bageant all the way to the end now ... would you?


AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?
Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga

By Joe Bageant


Excerpts:
... digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

... Doubting readers may consider America's health institutions, the insurance corporations, hospital chains, physicians' lobbies. Between them they have established a perfectly legal right to clip you and me for thousands of dollars at their own discretion. That we so rabidly defend their right to gouge us, given all the information available in the digital age, mystifies the world.
... Purposeful ignorance allows us to enjoy cheaper commodities produced through slave labor, both foreign, and increasingly, domestic, and yet "thank god for his bounty" in the nation's churches without a trace of guilt or irony.
... Americans fail to grasp this because the most important fact (that a helluva lot of folks can't afford to bid, and therefore get to die early) never gets equal play with capitalist political propaganda, to wit, that if we give free medical attention to low income cleft palate babies, a wave of Leninism will seize the nation. That is cultural ignorance. We breathe the stuff every day of our lives.
But when Americans too poor to buy health care nevertheless vote to retain the corporate auction process, that is cultural stupidity.
... Cultural ignorance dictates that the best way to stop foreign terrorists flying into the country is by humiliating American citizens flying out of the country. Go ahead, grope me, X-ray my dick and for god sake don't let anyone bring a large bottle of shampoo on board. In an obedient, authority worshipping police state, physical insult and surveillance are proof of safety. 
It's profitable too, and not just for scanner manufacturers. The brouhaha over body scanners and crotch groping provide media with titillating fuel for ratings, thereby driving up TV advertising rates, which is passed on in the price of products we buy.
So we pay to be insulted, have the hell scared out of us, and to unknowingly have our behavior shaped. Under American style capitalism, this mobius strip of cultural ignorance is called a win-win situation for everybody. 
This also conveniently distracts us from the everyday human insult we practice on one another, as a result of state manufactured cultural misinformation -- fear.
... Societies declining into obsolescence understandably resist looking forward, and hang onto their past mythologies. Consequently, both liberals and conservatives in America feed on myths of political action which died in Vietnam. The results are ludicrous.
Tea Partiers attempt to emulate the 1960s protest gatherings by staging rallies sponsored by the richest beneficiaries of the status quo. For the average TP participant, the goal, near as I can tell, is to "start a new American Revolution," by wearing foodstuffs, screaming, threatening, and voting for nitwits. Media pundits proclaim the Tea Party "a historic populist movement."
... Progressives also fancy a revolution, one in which they participate through the Internet petitions, and media events such as the risk free Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity, where no one risked even missing an episode of Tremaine. Seeing people like themselves on television was proof fighting the good fight.
The Stewart rally was nonetheless culturally historic; we will never see a larger public display of post modern irony congratulating itself. 


To my kids and grandkids: It's YOUR future not mine. People of my generation in charge have done nothing to disprove the dumbness. Besides, why would you take serious the opinions of past-their-prime oldisters while you are convinced that you are just now moving into yours?

It's time you stopped fiddling around in the on-deck circle while aging never-were-stars keep swinging in vain for the fences with your lives and treasures.

If it's not already too late, turn your cute little cap around, drop your cell phone, turn off your HD, forget about who can dance, who can survive and whose birth certificate is in the Smithsonian.

Come on!

Step up to the plate and take charge.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meddling: Arrogant ignorance swabbed with naivete defines human fondness for prejudice

Reference the legal jousting around whether or not the right to marry is the property of nosy and meddling churches.

A speaker hired by a church tells a judge the intentions and reasons behind what God does, When God does it … and why.

 

The key reason that marriage has existed at all in any society and at any time is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally produce children.

Society has no particular interest in a platonic relationship between a man and a woman no matter how close, no matter how committed it may be, or emotional relationships between other people as well.

But, when a relationship between a man and woman becomes a sexual one society immediately has a vital interest in that for two reasons - one, society needs the creation of new life for the next generation.

But secondly, [society’s vital] interests are actually threatened by the possibility that unintentional and unwanted pregnancy will mean that the child is born out of wedlock and raised by, in all likelihood, its mother alone and that directly implicates society’s vital interests. – Charles Cooper, a mere lawyer pretending his is the opinion of the Law-Giver, arguing in support of Proposition 8

I agree with the judge who responded that the legal scribe’s presumptive logic about the mind of God better applies as a reason to prohibit divorce.

 

Sorry … but the notion that God loses sleep in his own bedroom because of what happens in another bedroom … and that God awakens and stirs up dull and delirious biblicists and tells them to go meddle has long ago crossed over into the venue of ridiculous.

 

I support the right of anyone to marry anyone else … nothing more, nothing less … we have no business meddling.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The most beloved conservative commentator in Republicanistan still thinks his adoring listeners are stupid.

From the hallowed 11/24/10 broadcast from Premier Radio Network's The Rush Limbaugh Show:



   How many native americans were killed by the arrival of the white man through disease and war?
   ... how many people have died since the wm arrived due to lung cancer, thanks to the Indian custom of    smoking? 
  Who are the real killers here?
Where are our reparations?
PZ Meyer gave the best response ... one I challenge any adorer of Limbaugh to refute point by point or logic of argument ... that is of course if Limbaugh is wrong about how dumb his listeners are.


The white man nearly exterminated all of the native peoples of this continent by infection and execution and confinement.
Conversely, the European invaders have thrived, have suffered no general deprivation of life or liberty at the hands of the native population (although there were transient local flareups of violence that did cause suffering in white populations, but which were always followed by imposing greater torment on the natives).
White peoples: massive net gain. Native peoples: massive net loss. Fat privileged jerks like Rush Limbaugh do not get to play the persecution card.
And don't even get me started on the smoking comment.
Watching your children die of smallpox, seeing your friends gunned down by cavalry, having your land stripped from under you, watching your way of life eradicated, and seeing your descendants condemned to a life of poverty does not quite stack up against lighting a stogie and sipping brandy with your over-privileged pale-skinned buddies.
And who, I ask, is profiting from tobacco? I don't think it's the native Americans.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Unemployed? Here's an idea.

Letter to the Duke of Milan Applying for a Position

Having, most illustrious lord, seen and considered the experiments of all those who pose as masters in the art of inventing instruments of war, and finding that their inventions differ in no way from those in common use, I am emboldened, without prejudice to anyone, to solicit an appointment of acquainting your Excellency with certain of my secrets.

1. I can construct bridges which are very light and strong and very portable, with which to pursue and defeat the enemy; and others more solid, which resist fire or assault, yet are easily removed and placed in position; and I can also burn and destroy those of the enemy.

2. In case of a siege I can cut off water from the trenches and make pontoons and scaling ladders and other similar contrivances.

3. If by reason of the elevation or the strength of its position a place cannot be bombarded, I can demolish every fortress if its foundations have not been set on stone.

4. I can also make a kind of cannon which is light and easy of transport, with which to hurl small stones like hail, and of which the smoke causes great terror to the enemy, so that they suffer heavy loss and confusion.

5. I can noiselessly construct to any prescribed point subterranean passages either straight or winding, passing if necessary underneath trenches or a river.

6. I can make armoured wagons carrying artillery, which shall break through the most serried ranks of the enemy, and so open a safe passage for his infantry.

7. If occasion should arise, I can construct cannon and mortars and light ordnance in shape both ornamental and useful and different from those in common use.

8. When it is impossible to use cannon I can supply in their stead catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other instruments of admirable efficiency not in general use—I short, as the occasion requires I can supply infinite means of attack and defense.

9. And if the fight should take place upon the sea I can construct many engines most suitable either for attack or defense and ships which can resist the fire of the heaviest cannon, and powders or weapons.

10. In time of peace, I believe that I can give you as complete satisfaction as anyone else in the construction of buildings both public and private, and in conducting water from one place to another.
I can further execute sculpture in marble, bronze or clay, also in painting I can do as much as anyone else, whoever he may be.

Moreover, I would undertake the commission of the bronze horse, which shall endue with immortal glory and eternal honour the auspicious memory of your father and of the illustrious house of Sforza.—

And if any of the aforesaid things should seem to anyone impossible or impracticable, I offer myself as ready to make trial of them in your park or in whatever place shall please your Excellency, to whom I commend myself with all possible humility.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Da Vinci got the job and kept it for sixteen years, until the French invaded the city and captured his employer. Leonardo da Vinci died in France, prematurely old, at the age of sixty-seven, in 1519. Though hailed by the later centuries as a “universal genius,” he felt that his “greatest schemes in science remained unrealized” and that “his quest for perfection in art” was unsuccessful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What great American commercial corporate enterprises are keeping our families fed?

Tax cuts and mis-guided conservative political philosophy and values are not keeping our economic ship afloat.

Republicans know this and tea-party electeds wouldn't believe it unless one of their American idols admitted it first.


You know what sickens me? You do Ya lying namby pamby Jackwagon!

Ex-worst president hawking his "truth-telling" memoir book.

David Corn writes in Mother Jones
In discussing the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush notes, "That was a massive blow to our credibility—my credibility—that would shake the confidence of the American people." He then adds: "No one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn't find the weapons. I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do."



It wasn't funny then and it sure as  hell hasn't gotten funny since. More from David Corn:
... Then Bush displayed a photo of himself looking for something out a window in the Oval Office. His narration: "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere." 
The audience laughed. But the joke wasn't done. After a few more slides, there was a shot of Bush looking under furniture in the Oval Office. 
"Nope," he said. "No weapons over there." More laughter. Then another picture of Bush searching in his office: "Maybe under here." Laughter again.
Bush was actually joking about the missing weapons of mass destruction. He was making fun of the reason he had cited for sending Americans to war and to death, turning it into a running gag. His smile was wide and his eyes seemed bright, as the audience laughed.  
Say what you will according to party and philosophical political savvy (or lack of it) ... lies got us there ... as my wife Lietta published for years in her original blog , thousands of members of America's families were Dying to Preserve the Lies.

More from Corn's Mother Earth opinion:
...In yet another act reminiscent of Soviet-style revisionism, Bush in his book does not mention this dinner and his performance there. If he indeed felt ill whenever he pondered the missing WMDs—as he insists in his memoirs—how could he turn this into a crass punchline? 
Asking that question provides the answer. He is fibbing in his book. 
Moreover, this small episode is proof of a larger truth: Bush's chronicle is not a serious accounting of his years as the decider. As for the hundreds of thousands of readers who shelled out $35.00 for the book, expecting the former president to level with them, the joke is on them.
It is precisely for this reason that if we must learn from history to avoid repeating our most tragic mistakes and errors of judgement ... we need to be honest and above the political bickering of who has the cleanest bathwater ... who has the purest of hearts ... and who loves their country above consuming, money and entertainment the most.

We need to recognize this man for what he said and did ... what he was and what obviously he is today ... regardless of his flawed and plagarized  historical play of truth versus fiction.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I apologize for ever having been a Prudential Insurance Agent

Americans dying in foreign wars in order for blood suckers like Prudential and friends to make big profits holding on to death benefits, investing them and never telling the surviving family members that the sooner they take control of their money, the sooner it will actually be put into an account that they own.

There is nothing entirely laudable about this practice and no reason for Veteran Affairs to even allow an insurance or investment company a legal control that can be exploited for profit.

Prudential & Met Life making big bucks off dying soldiers - who sure as hell died for something other than this

Six months later, opening the checkbook, she tries to buy a bed. The check is dishonored. On Armed Forces Day, she tries to buy a camera. The check is dishonored.
The money isn’t sitting in a bank. It’s sitting in Prudential Financial’s investment account. Prudential handles life insurance for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The money is earning investment income for Prudential. It is paying Cindy 1% interest and other families 0.5%. It is earning Prudential 4.8 to 5.69%.
... Retained-asset accounts are standard operating procedure. Not just for Prudential: MetLife says To help you through what can be a very difficult, emotional and confusing time, we created a settlement option, the Total Control Account Money Market Option. It is guaranteed by MetLife.
It is not in a bank. It is in Metlife’s corporate investment account. All guarantees are subject to the financial strength and claims-paying ability of MetLife. 
... Gerry is former president of MetLife Marketing. He also invented retained-asset accounts back in 1984. He says that MetLife makes $100-300 million a year on death benefit investment returns. 
... Over at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Stephen thought that the money went into a bank. Maybe I didn’t ask enough questions he says. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The little man should watch what he proudly admits to ... or never leave home again

The 43rd president is a war criminal as is his sidekick Qail-Shooter Cheney.

Prosecution of both of them is something human dignity and social justice demand. Were it in my power I'd extradite the two of them in a moment's notice. They did not serve their country well  .... nor with honor.

Unless the 43rd president of the United States has been grievously misrepresented, he has admitted to authorising and sponsoring the use of torture. Asked whether he approved of “waterboarding” in three specific cases, he told his interviewer that “damn right” he did, and that this practice had saved lives in America and Britain. It is hard to overstate the enormity of this admission.

... I can’t think of any other American president, in my lifetime, who would have spoken in this way. Mr Bush should have remembered the words of the great Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, who said in 1863 that “military necessity does not admit of cruelty”. Damn right.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Were Founding Fathers deists, evangelicals or something else? Perhaps all of the above … with occult beliefs thrown in

 

Mitch Horowitz throws this monkey wrench into the discussion of how religious, how pious and how devout the original American Christians and their secular-minded co-patriots were.

Occult America is the name of his book which hits the nail on the head in terms of no absolute defining belief or morality as the original basis for founding America and authoring whatever the Dream is supposed to be.

An earlier but equally informative examination of occult and magical thinking in the early decades of America’s history was written by Michael Quinn whose honesty and quality scholarship got him booted out of the Mormon Church.

Early Mormonism and the Magic World View is an exhaustive recounting of the role of 19th-century folk magic  and lore that was part and parcel of how early Americans in general saw the world and those who united with Joseph Smith and became part of the Mormon experience. 

The obvious conclusion is that those who asserted the strongest early impact on religion in this country were not the authors of what social conservatives consider the secular society so harmful to America’s core values.

Nor were the founders the authors of the judgmental and authoritarian Christianity the most outspoken religious activists proclaim today.

The real truth lies inside the radical extreme opinions of our modern and currently popular atheist bomb throwers of the Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens ilk as the equally explosive grenades flying out of the reactionary Christian right with it’s imperialistic claims about the one truth and a born-again experience over which those particular biblical literalists claim proprietorship.

Books that survey occult and magical thinking are not mere entertainment, but necessary to understand both historical as well as contemporary religious or spiritual mindsets.

Alan Watts wrote more than 50 years ago that without mysticism Christianity would devolve into a mindless fundamentalism.

He was right.

Read both books if you date. The devil is not in the details nor will note-taking angels report you to that judgmental god that is not real.

But you might come out of the experience more the wiser.

About One Special Veteran

Atop one of the bookshelves in another room in my home sits the triangularly-folded American Flag given me at the gravesite of my father back in 1993.

Dad's death came upon us quite suddenly. We had long anticipated his passing as the years wore on - our unspoken suspicion that it would be liver failure that would get him.


We were right.


When our fears were realized things happened quickly. From  the time of diagnosis to the grave site was six or seven weeks in February and March, 1993 when I drove the 800 miles to Idaho so we four adult children could meet with his Doctor. Then a drive back to Idaho a few weeks later in March for his funeral.

As the oldest son I was allowed to speak at Dad's service in the church in the small town where I grew up - a village from which Dad rarely strayed over most of his life. The longest time away was his service in the war.

I remember standing at the podium in that funeral service and looking into faces of folks old and young whom I'd seen in that church practically every week for the first 19 years of my life.
I recall assuring all the devout and not-so-devout  who had come to the service that although my Dad had not been a church-goer, was not temple-endowed (an LDS thing) nor temple-married, none of that mattered to God. There was joy in heaven when Dad showed up.

I grew up in a house Dad paid $47 a month to purchase in a town four blocks wide and four blocks long that sheltered less than 500 souls.

My earliest memories of Dad working are at the gas station he ran in the late 40's and early 50's. Then he became a John Deere farm-implement salesman all over the Southeastern corner of Idaho.

Dad did alright selling tractors cause lots of farmers knew him as the singer and sax player in a three-man combo that played every Friday and Saturday night for 20 years from the Wyoming line to Pocatello.

That was my Dad as I grew up knowing him.

I didn't know what he did in the war until one night when I was playing on a kids' Morse code toy connected by a long wire to the neighbor kid next door. Dad got a big grin, went into a closet and pulled out a large chrome or silver electronic Morse-code device that was much more than push down on a cheap plastic tab.

After plugging it in he laid his arm on the table so that the end piece fit between his thumb and first finger and began moving his wrist back and forth causing the metal key to touch connectors on each side at the other end. They emitted a beeping sound. Dih-dih-dih, dah-dah-dah and all that.

He folded up the newspaper and although he hadn't touched the device to my knowledge since the late 40's he proceeded immediately to "send."

He tapped out an entire Salt Lake Tribune newspaper article at an incredible speed that sounded like it might be as fast or faster than I could have read it aloud.  

That was his duty - among other things - that he did in the war while stationed on the Aleutian Islands . He sent, received and monitored radio transmissions out over the Pacific.
He didn't talk about it.

So far as we knew he had no apparent combat scars and never had to fire a weapon in anger at anybody. There were a couple of photo albums of Dad in training in Missouri and Wisconsin followed by pages of Aleutian shots - mostly quonset-hut barracks.

But Lietta and I watched a show in the past year about how back then Japan took one of those Aleutian Islands and the Americans had to fight like hell to throw them back out.
Those were the years Dad was there but I never heard him talk about those events and to this day none of us know whether he participated in battle.

When I was growing up Dad belonged to the American Legion - which meant very little to me until the day I was called to the High School office and was told that I had been selected to go to the Idaho Boys State (a summertime mini-legislature at the State Capitol.)

My mother said it was because among boys my age  eligible to go, it was my Dad's active membership in the American Legion that gave me an edge.

No, he didn't talk much about what he did in the war.

My younger brother and I are also Veterans who in the 1960's enlisted within six weeks of each other. We both held Security Clearances and neither of us talked at all about what we did back then.

We were Cold Warriors, but Dad's was Hot.

None of us talked about it casually ... ever.

You served, you paid attention to your duties and kept most of it to yourself.

We learned to be just like Dad. 

In the words of singer Dan Folgelberg, when it came to serving, Dad was the leader of our Band.

In his later years we all had become somewhat estranged from Dad because of his drinking and deliberate quest to be alone all the time.

My mother divorced Dad when I was in my early thirties and living in Texas.

Dad didn't move far away from that $47-a-month house. I remember visiting him when I was in my late 30's and he was living in an apartment 16 miles from where he had raised me.

The room was mostly dark, the curtains drawn and the television was always on. I knew he had the TV schedule for all three network channels memorized. He once told me he was ready for us to leave cause one of "his shows" was about to come on.

There was no bookshelf in his living room - just a night stand next to his lazy-boy. There were a couple of photograph albums full of pictures taken in the late 30's, 40's and early 50's. There was also a thick and heavy remembrance book about World War II.

I have that book and those albums on the same bookshelf where the tri-corner Flag sits atop it on the highest shelf.

After the funeral we drove less than a mile to the town cemetery. It was cold and the wind was blowing  but there was a fine group of family and friends who watched as his flag-draped casket was off-loaded from the mortuary limousine and in short order lowered into the ground.

I don't remember who retrieved the flag from that casket but when he gave that Flag to an American Veteran's son, the son finally cried.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Politics … to eschew or not to eschew: Arthur comes out of the closet.

eschew:  –verb (used with object) … to abstain or keep away from; shun; avoid: … to eschew evil.

I know  … I know … recently I have declared myself to have become an eschewer of political activism.

However … in view of recent catastrophic failures on the part of the two biggie parties alongside the success of the Joe Pesci third or “tea” party contenders … my upcoming retirement in 2011 may very well devolve to a case of “you gotta eat and I gotta eat.”

So come  08/31/11 when I stop mumbling excuses for the state and federal welfare system, things for my wife and me will be what passes for Medicare and VA benefits for me and nothing for my beautiful sweetheart until she finally grows old and reaches SS eligibility. My out of pocket COBRA expense for Lietta looks to be about half my state retirement.

So I’m going to need another source of income and if history is any sign of future trends, the refusal of Americans to buy the quality printed or downloaded literature of the sharpest intellectual knife in the Bay Center drawer leaves me no choice.

I thought about applying for a job as a bartender at the local tavern but my brother Randy talked me out of it.

In his own experience you end up having to drink as much or more than your customers to stay popular and attract the big spenders to your establishment.

Since alcohol aggravates my gout (that’s arthritis to you red meat, turkey and seafood eaters who also drink fermented pleasures and remain in denial as to why your toe hurts,) I can’t be the bartender guy I was looking forward to being … you know - the guy in a pony tail, suspenders and a plaid shirt who says “What’ll ya have?” to every fisherman, oyster farmer and tourist who comes through the door.

The local fisheries won’t hire me cause I’m too old (age discrimination maybe?) and the owners ain’t convinced I could hit anything driving a boat or walking around the shoreline in waders when the tide is out.

That leaves politics I guess.

I was going to see if I could be appointed Bay Center Tavern Beer Sign Monitor but the city mothers gave that job to a Native American who is also a Veteran and has no history of political partisanship.

Then I thought  I might run for County Lug Nut Inspector but there’d be too much travel involved and overnight absences from my beloved.

So, since the previous owner of my house was at one time one of the 3 county commissioners … and because I was asked by several local supporters to think about running against incumbent Mr. Keino in his next re-election …  I considered it. 

But what if some woman runs against me and Keino … given the recent history in Pac County where two women easily ousted the incumbent  commissioner this year? Then you combine that the lack of success of the state’s most prominent Republican in winning out over the little women incumbents he’s tried 3 times to whup and failed, I get nervous.

So maybe my best bet is to set up an exploratory committee to look at running as a Republican in the next election, get elected governor and replace the current bureaucrats who obviously were brought in as hired guns to …

to …

oh heck, who knows why she appointed those foreign outsiders including the DSHS secretary who commutes to work from Wisconsin?

So I’m coming out of the closet today and announcing an exploratory committee to consider my joining the Republican money takers, I mean, party, and run against the Democrats in 2012 for governor.

I mean, going back to 2004 the only republican they could find who fit the mold as a Wall Street money attractor, BIAW stooge and national Republican marionette was Dino Rossi. So, I might as well pull up to the trough and put my mouth where the money is.

Now I know you’re thinking … “aw he’s just being silly,” but hear me out.

If I follow the carefully laid out plan that state Republicans, the BIAW and those  pretend – conservative think-tankers had for our state,

I’d be able to put a bunch of homeless and disabled citizens out on the street,

release a few trouble-making perverts from prison wearing “Impeach Obama!” t-shirts as the state Republicans have been agitating about for the past three elections

and throw in busting the union and lowering all state employment to minimum-wage scale.

Wall street couldn’t help but come slobbering (I mean with mouths watering) in my direction to run against Murray or Cantwell. My age wouldn’t matter given the precedent set by Mr. McCain who won re-election this year even though he’s the last living American to have heard the Gettysburg Address in person.

As the wife of a U.S. senator, Lietta would not need Obamacare so she could politicize her words against my political foes with total disdain and devoted loyalty a good wife should evince (sorry to those who can’t use “evince” in a sentence.)

So if you’re looking for a ground-level opportunity here it is, 15 feet above sea-level on the Willapa Bay.

I’m looking for ideas for slogans, logos, catch phrases and disinformation issues from which to launch a serious Republican candidacy.

As I’ve stated before, had Dino Rossi been the incumbent this year instead of Patty Murray,  even a mediocre tea-party candidate would have knocked him out of the primary …

… se we don’t need to worry as to whether or not initially the state and national republican party embrace me as their guy.

When the only viable party candidateto me is Harvy Hoehandle from Elk Snout, Washington, they’ll come around to me with their hats and the money pouches in their hands.

I’ll be able to pay my bills and buy a brand new in-America-made Toyota.

Think of my candidacy in the following tradition:

”Vote RUGER! Never too late to change horses in mid-stream or while cleaning out the barn!”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My employer used “process analysis” to help us work more efficiently … you see, it’s like this

I went to a mandatory 4-day training to learn about speed and efficiency in our work since we are trying to do so much more with less staff.

4-days of learning how to break tasks down into “moment by moment” activities that after analysis help us move faster.

Well … when you try to move assistance activities more quickly, you run the risk of sacrificing accuracy and worse … quality of work.

That’s where the following story (anonymous – no attribution as to who wrote it) comes in. 

How management consultants can make a difference

Last week we took some friends out to a new restaurant and noticed that
the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket.

It seemed a little strange, but I ignored it.

However, when the busboy brought out water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket.

Then I looked around the room and saw that all the staff had spoons in their pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup, I asked, "Why the spoon?"

"Well," he explained, "the restaurant's owners hired Andersen Consulting
to revamp all our processes.

After several months of statistical analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. This represents a drop frequency of approximately three spoons per table per hour.

If our personnel are prepared to deal with that contingency, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift."

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon, and he was able to replace it
with his spare spoon. "I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now."

I was rather impressed.

I also noticed that there was a very thin string hanging out of the
waiter's fly.

Looking around, I saw that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. My curiosity got the better of me, and before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"

"Oh, certainly!" he answered, lowering his voice. "Not everyone is as
observant as you. That consulting firm I mentioned also found that we
can save time in the restroom."

"How so?" I was getting more curious.

"See," he continued," by tying this string to the tip of your you-know-what, we can pull it out over the urinal without touching it and that way
eliminate the need to wash our hands when we are done, shortening the
time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent."

"But tell me, after you are done, how do you put it back?"

"Well," he whispered, lowering his voice even further, "I don't know
about the others, but I use the spoon."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

As a spiritual people ought we not say to public moral ad-men that enough is enough?

 

Regardless of the political rhetoric, we do not have to accept as absolutes the advocacies of those who insist that such and such is precisely what Jesus would do or precisely what Jesus wants or wanted.

The judgmental Letter of the Law, essentially Old Testament thinking that had evolved into the lethal judgmental society of Jesus time (and accurately portrayed in the Mel Gibson film) was not and is not something that Jesus supported or advocated in any way that can be proven by modern biblical literalists of Christian Right Social Conservatives

We read that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and others are of the view that Old Testament Law would and will be quite viable as a foundation for a remodeled American legal system.

Scalia has written that government as an instrument of capital punishment is something ordained of God.

That’s nonsense.

Jesus in Matthew says “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

At what moment did he fulfill the Law?

Was it sometime during the final 12 hours – The Passion of the Christ?

I suppose there are those who insist that in his dying, he did so.

However, is it not possible that he might have done so prior to the application of capital punishment ordained at that time by God and Caesar ?

When confronted with the woman caught in adultery and have been justified – even required – by “The Law” to join in the stoning, perhaps Jesus (the Son of God)  brought the Law to fulfillment at that moment.

By introducing the idea of sinlessness and innocence as a requirement of those who would judge and execute did he not take away the murderous right of judgmental legal bigotry?

At that moment did he not repudiate the Law of rigid and inflexible imperative and replace it with a new precedent of governance that requires wisdom, consideration and compassion?

Must the moral high ground be a place of condemnation first, judgment second followed by draconian social penalty intended as punishment?

Does the Sermon on the Mount preach that idea?

Do the parables of The Good Samaritan and Prodigal Son preach that idea?

Can we honestly declare that Jesus was a Conservative Capitalist who favored the rich at the expense of the poor and whose life incidents and teachings inform the radical objectives of the extreme Religious Right?

Honest people realize the implications of their own convictions.

Dishonest people pursue what they want by compromising their convictions at the expense of their own integrity and end up attempting to manipulate others by withholding or distorting truth.

Political parties and candidates can weaken themselves by denying the source of their internal convictions and conscience that inform their highest aspirations.

Are we remaining quiet and non-participating while the political forces around us are turning this land of the free and home of the brave into a land of the deceived and the home of the brave new cowards?

We must take that moral high ground from those who think they own it and that they can dictate some personal higher morality to the rest of us.

That includes those who have, as a blend of political and religious understanding, an expectation that we can abuse and disenfranchise each other,

that we can ignore our poor in the name of profit and greed

that we can attempt dominion of our planet by force and exploitation as much as we want

- simply because in a coming time there will be a supernatural intervention that will clean up the mess we are making.

In that regard, if we as the real  spiritual majority in this country do not charge the moral high ground we will be Left Out, not Left Behind.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

If we are going to bring Jesus into our national political dialogue … let’s be honest about it.

What about those moral values god-and-politics Christians like to trumpet?

What are those values used to justify social and political attitudes? Why are they based principally on a literal-minded evangelical and fundamentalist religious definitions?

How have religious political activists forged a marriage between values and civics?

We hear of moral values as the basis for a lot of judgmental social and political thought ... and of course a criticism of those who disagree with that thinking.

Whose moral values are the true moral values?

Ultimately, when the religion card is played ... do not all of us best understand these values as they were expressed by Christ himself?

What were the socially moral values of Jesus?

PUBLIC PIETY & MORAL VALUES

Jesus said to beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them and that you do not force religion on anyone. Hypocrites make a public clamor of their own righteousness.
        "When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”
        “They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.”
THE POOR


Is it Christian to help the rich get richer at the expense of the poor?
Jesus teaches generosity to the poor. We should not refuse "him who would borrow from you.”
Jesus taught us to look constantly for ways to give.
“You received without paying, give without pay.”
Jesus taught us not to be focused on wealth, money and the desire for more and more of at the expense of all else - particularly the poor.

Despite television and mega church sermons to the contrary, Jesus did not say wealth and prosperity was equal to righteousness. Nor did he ever express the notion that the poor deserve their lot,    
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'
You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?"
Jesus spoke against corruption and greed in government.
        "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. “
Jesus condemned caring for only the "worthy poor."

The Levite (supposedly a righteous priest, minister or preacher), walked around the wounded victim on the highway telling himself, "My morale values are not your morale values. Actually your morale values make you unworthy of my charity."
The Samaritan only said, "Here, let me help you and take care of you."
Jesus said "Go and do likewise."

Jesus warned those who deliberately or casually ignore the poor and suffering.  
     "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom."
Jesus did not say that the health and well-being of children can be ignored.
        “Whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
WEALTH
And what about the so-called "prosperity gospel?"
        "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal.”
… Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
And do you think Jesus taught that those who trust God the most will be able to park their donkey’s next to the entrance of the temple?
Jesus did not teach that we should obsess on consuming.
        "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.
ECONOMICS/GOVERNMENT/TAXES
Jesus did not say that anyone -including the merchant class - is exempt or should not pay taxes.
        “Show me the money for the tax. Whose likeness and inscription is this? Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Jesus taught total respect for the working man, employment and job security.
"The laborer is worthy of his hire.”
Jesus condemned rulers who impose unfair burdens on the people.
        “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.
They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.“
ON CAPITALISM AND OTHER "ISM'S"
Jesus condemned the political, economic and philosophic ideology of men.
        "You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men. You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!"
ENEMIES


The meek inherit the earth.
        Jesus said to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”
Those persecuted for righteousness' sake own the kingdom of God.
What then regarding those who persecute?

MERCY

The merciful obtain mercy.

The Sermon on the Mount speaks against basing the need to "search and destroy" evil as an act of revenge.
Jesus taught that mercy is more desirable than sacrifice.

Christians must always be ready to ask, “Am I willing to sacrifice the sons and daughters of this nation in support of a war that has not been justified, or for an act based purely on revenge?"

Jesus said that collateral damage is unthinkable and against the wisdom of God.
        "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.“
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Jesus did not authorize capital punishment in any form. Those who would kill are insufficiently perfect to take upon themselves that right.
        "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."
Jesus repudiated killing in His name and invoking war to spread freedom.
If the Bible is God's word to the world, then Jesus' words are not meant just for Christians, but for every soul on earth and here is what he said:
"I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away.
They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.
And they will do this because they have not known the Father, or me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.”
PEACE
Peacemakers shall be called sons of God.
Anger and insult are serious weaknesses.
        Whoever says, "You fool!" will be liable to judgment and hell fire equal to the sin of killing.
Jesus repudiated war presidents.
"Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”
Jesus spoke against using war to force peace. When he spoke the following words, He could have spoken directly to what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan
        "Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.
For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation."
There is no such thing anytime anywhere as killing for Christ.


DECEPTION/FALSE WITNESS

Jesus affirmed that bearing false witness is sin.
Jesus said that we are accountable for everything we say, vow or promise and that our words will either justify or condemn us.
        "So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.”
Jesus taught that wisdom is equal with innocence. Conniving, secrecy and manipulation are not Christian virtues.
        "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way that man is a thief and a robber;
but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
   The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
        "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep."
GOVERNING
Jesus declared that those who lead must know what they are doing and be clean about it.
        "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. “
ON A CHRISTIAN ATTITUDE TOWARD SIN

Jesus did not say that we should distract ourselves by focusing on one or two issues at the expense of our overall well-being.
He did not say that Christianity would rise or fall over abortion and gay-marriage.
        “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!“
        "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity.
You blind Pharisee! First cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. “

        Jesus taught that since we do not judge we do not determine who will go to heaven and who will burn in hell.
        "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.”
We are in no position to declare that a gay person or couple who adopt a child and raise that child with love and honor will not go to heaven while a TV evangelist caught in adultery will be forgiven.
Jesus spoke against hubris and the art of being holier-than-thou.
        "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,
`God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'
But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!'
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Jesus did not consider the brother of the Prodigal Son more righteous, deserving or worthy in the sight of God than the Prodigal. The Father recognized the older brother's goodly life but then corrected his hubris:
        "Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found."

PERSONAL RELIGION

Jesus said that personal religious practice is done almost entirely privately.
        “Give alms in secret and when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
FORGIVENESS

Jesus taught us to forgive, forgive and forgive; to not be judgmental. It is not our job to point or condemn.
        "Judge not, that you be not judged.”
"Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."
CHRISTIAN VIRTUES

Jesus openly and bluntly told us of the most important virtues:
        "You shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
        "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind. This is the great and first commandment.
And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."
EVANGELIZING

Jesus said that He was the Truth, the Way and the Life.
His is the pattern and that pattern is a life of seeking active goodness and not blind obedience and aggressive evangelizing by force.

Christian evangelizing is not the “more-than's” proselyting the “less-than's.”

The Condescension of God is not the same thing as the condescending smugness of the 700 club.

        "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.
Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

POOR USE OF SCRIPTURE

Jesus did not teach us to take the Bible literally and try to apply ancient verses literally to solve contemporary problems.

Jesus did teach that religion is personal and manifests itself in acts and not blind obedience to words.
        “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men. But I know that you have not the love of God within you. How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?"
THE END TIMES

Jesus did not say that the End Times will happen according to faulty and imaginary interpretations of scripture that somehow require that Christians take over the world so He could return in glory.
        "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
        "Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

But he did say very clearly what he would do when He does come:
        "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
        For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.
Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."
        Then he will say to those at his left hand who had not attended the least of his brethren, "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

LOVE

As the highest morale value of all, Jesus proclaimed love,

not piety,

not righteousness,

not being born again,

not being saved

and not accepting Him as a personal savior.

        "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
        "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.”
        "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. This I command you, to love one another.”

JESUS CAN STILL BE FOUND IN TODAY'S WORLD

And Jesus said to His Father

         "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
and the ultimate farewell expression

        "Peace be with you. “

Friday, October 8, 2010

“They hate us because of our freedoms” – really?

 

If this should happen to me I’d hate somebody and pick up a gun and start digging IED holes and oh hell … wouldn’t you?

I don’t know how many times this has to be said before it is understood by the people that matter, but it is not hard to understand:

When you bomb people and kill their family, friends, and neighbors, burn down their homes and burn down their businesses and kill their livestock, spewing unexploded ordnance and munitions in fields where they work and their children play, it pisses them off.

Many of them even get pissed off enough to fight back against the people they think are responsible for the bombing.

They probably even form lifelong grudges when they find their mother and children in thousands of bloody pieces in their former homes.

Again, this is not rocket surgery. If they were not sympathetic to the Taliban and Al Qaeda before, after you bomb the shit out of them, they will be.

As far as I am concerned, the Obama reliance on this kind of warfare is the absolute worst thing he has done since he has come into office, yet, oddly enough, few seem to give a shit.

Mention “the professional left” at a fundraiser, and there is a six week freak-out. Bomb and kill a shitload of innocents, creating tons more terrorists and doing nothing to advance our War aims (whatever the fuck they are anymore), and a few people will sheepishly mumble about you not understanding the gravity of the situation. Pakistan has nukes, doncha know!

Well, if not having nukes means your population will be subjected to bombing missions for decades, who the hell wouldn’t want nukes? – John Cole

So how come so many in this country listen to blow-hole patriots who portray resistance to what this government continues to do as evil?

And how about this piece of highly accurate and acute wisdom from someone who commented at the Balloon Juice blog?  Google (“Cathars and Montsegur”)

Also Americans don’t understand history. In the southern region of France where I now live some people still resent the fact the crusaders from Northern France came & burned a lot of the locals at the stake in the 12th century. That’s yesterday by Middle Eastern standards.

Americans will still die in the year 2500 because of what we’re doing today.

the crowd flocked to the steps of the highest court in the land to watch the geeks of the Westboro Baptist Church bite the heads off of metaphorical chickens.

 

Bored? Want a closer look at the weird? I recommend

Mike Argento: Crazy Train Barrels Thru the Supreme Court

Army reservist Steve Clark:

"I think they should be out here," Clark said. "They're the biggest idiots in the world, and they're out here showing everybody that they're the biggest idiots in the world  -- and they have the right to do that.

Isn't that amazing? I served in the military to preserve their right to show everybody that they're the biggest idiots in the world.

Westboro Baptists brought their signs.

They held signs thanking God for dead soldiers and breast cancer. (The member of the Phelps clan thanking his maker for breast cancer called breasts "mischief makers." That's a new one to me.)

When challenged on their declarations:

She asked him why he hates Jews, and he said he didn't. He was expressing his love of Jews by informing them that God hates them -- that that's how he expresses love, by telling people what he believes to be the truth.

And from another Phelps supporter who saw an opponent praying:

And then it got weird. She shrieked at an onlooker, who was praying, "The God you're trying to reach won't listen to your crap."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

That’s all well and good but the U.S. is the world’s most important country and Americans the globe’s most important people.

I challenge any American to demonstrate how America’s core values, priorities, declared principles of freedom or pursuit of any dream supercedes anything written that follows.

PREAMBLE

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

  • Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

  • (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  • (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  • (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  • (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

  • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

  • Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

  • (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  • (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  • (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

  • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

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