Saturday, July 23, 2011

You Have No Mandate To Rob The Legal Owners

I don't usually forward chain letters, even when I agree with them.

But this one has a point and those self-aggrandizing politicians who can posture proudly preening in front of a tea-party minority are barking up the wrong tree and leaving turds on the wrong lawns.

To wit:

An "Entitlement???"

What the hell is wrong here?

Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes.

If you averaged only 30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500.

If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working (me) you’d have $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!

If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff ever had.
Note to All Republicans and those dumb Democrats who agree with them:

We invested in the USA ... we paid in ... we were promised a return ... the USA owes us that debt and we are not less worthy than Wall Street ... and you are not Bernie Madoff ... no matter how hard you try to be.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What about those Mormon candidates?

11 years ago voters in this country  elected a Christian candidate PRECISELY because he declared himself a born-again believer who appeared to be the real thing; a biblical-literalist evangelical American willing to separate the sheep from the goats, the good guys from the evil doers and use America's might and muscle to bring it on and get it done.

We hear now and will continue to hear paid political pundits harp about how Mormons and their beliefs are too far out of step with those so-called conservative Christian values that have had such an impact on public discourse during recent decades.

To succeed at all it seems that John Huntsman and Mitt Romney will have to figure out how to calm down all those evangelical king-makers who somehow equate religious disagreement with their specific literalism to treasonous non-constitutional attitudes that will lead to the end of America as we know it.

No matter the rhetoric and wish for a Christian nation, we absolutely are not and do not have any historical or founding-father mandate to be one. We are not a society that only moves forward on an assumption that God has already said all the important stuff once and for always and that everything God would ever say to us He has said in the Bible. No other source of morality and ethics is needed.

I consider that assumption dangerous because one would have to avoid critical thinking and voluntarily reduce and limit religious practice to a rigid bible experience of God that might as well be not only written in granite, but limited in experience to the same dry shallow and inflexible understanding of things spiritual.

Biblically hobbled in terms of civic responsibility, all of us would have to set aside our own understanding of why America has been the greatest democratic republic in history.

We would have to fall back on worn out false assurances of Biblical literalists, particularly the politically powerful ones like Judge Scalia who think the Hebrew tribal Old Testament system of judgemental and punitive governing was the will and wisdom of an wise and all-knowing God.

Put in another way, we would be putting God inside a box from which He could not escape because of our foolish religious assumption that all we need to know is in the book. If it's not stated in the book how we justify whatever we're to justify - a choice, a reaction, a conclusion - God must not want us to know it or do it.

I've never viewed nor used the Bible that way. I did however perceive that George Bush, the former openly fundamentalist and evangelical President along with those Christian Right extremists who support him did and still do use the Bible in that way.

Would Mitt Romney or John Huntsman preside in the same manner and based on the same religious pandering?


With God stuck inside the Bible and with American conservative religious voters stuck in a 19th-century life that is full of black/white and either/or constructs, many American religious civic-minded voters feel as if they are stuck in a church listening to preaching about irrelevancies.

There are still many Christian political celebrity voices in the tradition of the politics of Falwell, Dobson, Robertson and Donohue advocating and encouraging the shallowest among us, (Palin and Bachmann come to mind, not to mention the silly morale gestures verbalized by Newt Gingrich.)

Ought not our immediate reaction be automatic resistance to the idea that a majority of American Christians would believe and vote as if that kind of religious bigotry were the norm?

In terms of self-righteously bigoted electoral behavior, many state legislatures in Bible-dominated states are behaving badly; self-revealing themselves as god-talking panderers to the values of a constituency that pays little serious civic attention until they do something stupid. (Recently Georgia and Alabama come to mind with their public legislative stoning of unwed mothers with stillborn babies.)

There is little perceptual difference between that kind of judgmental bigotry and the ravings of the likes of Fred Phelps whose self-appointed duty is to help God hate someone.

To wit,
"American Veterans are to blame for the fag takeover of this nation. They have the power in their political lobby to influence the zeitgeist, get the fags out of the military, and back in the closet where they belong!

Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death."

When your presidential candidates openly flirt with the single-focus narrow-minded priorities of an electorate they assume wants to hear that kind of thinking, would you want them to preside?

Granted, Phelps is a joke.

However, labeling Mitt Romney and John Huntsman Christian heretics because of religious prejudice based entirely on differing interpretations of what it means to be Christian is in fact a loss of civic wisdom.

Case in point, Rev. Falwell told America of his true definition of what constitutes being Christian,
"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."
No one owns the definition of what constitutes being Christian unless there is someone they don't want to be Christian.

Not voting for a candidate because he's Mormon but buying the bull crap coming from the Religious Right is civic wisdom? For example, Gary North - Institute for Christian Economics is hardly wise Christ-based civics:
"The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant-baptism and holy communion-must be denied citizenship. This is God's world, not Satan's. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians."
Or get this one from Jay Grimstead - Coalition on Revival:
"We are to make Bible-obeying disciples of anybody that gets in our way."
More from the born-again politics of Jerry Falwell who was always a source of non-critical and suspect civic wisdom:
"We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism...we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today...our battle is with Satan himself.

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers. AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.

The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc."
We have no perceptual basis of comparison with that sort of stupidity in word and deed from Huntsman or Romney.

And yet ...

A Mormon president would be dangerous in what regard?

Compared to the sort of historical heritage from previous self-confessed believing Presidents?
  • Teddy Roosevelt - part of an American deception to launch a war with Spain for land greed?
  • Rutherford B. Hayes - thought by some to have stolen an election?
  • James Buchannan -who launched a silly invasion of Utah based on lies and disinformation?
  • Ronald Reagan - tough-talk bluffer, presider and decider during the genocidal Iran-Contra years?
  • James Knox Polk - lied and misled the country into a war with Mexico primarily for land greed?
  • Lyndon B. Johnson - of our troops dying to preserve the lies-fame in Viet Nam?
  • Richard Nixon - impeachable lies and disregard for truth.
  • George W. Bush -born-again freedom-spreading American evangelical who is responsible for more civilian deaths in Iraq than Saddam Hussein yet insists that God told him to attack?
One might then conclude that if in 2000 and 2004 God with divine power willed the election of George Bush on the American Citizens then might we believe that God prefers political religious bigots who insult the intelligence of the more genuinely religious majority and kowtow to the weak and feeble-minded god-talking minority?

There still seem to be many believers out there in noncritical-thinking-land who renounce President Obama with an assortment of dubious and illegitimate justifications.

However he is without dispute the most worthy Democratic candidate and will be a formidable opponent to any Republican who wins the party's nomination. I have some reservations regarding Mr. Obama and will attempt to act with civic wisdom when I decide how to vote.

But how I vote in 2012 is my business and not subject to anyone else's opinion or exhortation.

If I choose to vote against a Republican candidate who happens to be Mormon it won't be because of the church to which he and I share membership.

So to those afraid of what a Mormon President might do?


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