Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why is Nobody Talking Turkey?

Originally posted on WHYS as feature blog.

Signs Things Aren’t Going Well In Iraq.

In the midst of all this election mud flinging, there are a few stories of importance being missed. There is one in particular that bothers me. How come nobody is talking about the fact that Turkey invaded Iraq last week. The Iraqis government is not happy about it, but seems powerless. The AP version of the story can be found here (Iraq Demands Turkish Withdrawal).

Didn’t the whole Iraqis citizenry vote for a government? As an American I can tell you that most people will agree that our government’s first responsibility is to provide military protection against foreign invading forces. What kind of sovereign nation with control over it's own destiny has another countries invading forces running operation inside of it's borders? How can a people be expected to give loyalty to the government if the government can't stop a foreign army from entering and fighting with their population? What if Ireland popped into England and blew up a few cities with no response from London? What if Canada invaded Maine with no response from Washington?

The current administration routinely touts the success of the latest media catch phrase, “The Surge”. How can they say they are “meeting their objectives” when another country is invading one area of the country they are “liberating”? The Kurdish region has been cited as the biggest example of success in Iraq. A typical report can be found here. (U.S. ambassador calls Kurdish region 'shining example' of the way Iraq should be). If your most successful region is being bombarded by a foreign military, what does that say about your chances of standing up for yourself? Why can’t the US troops stop them?

If you combine this recent example that things are not so rosy in Iraq, with a few other indicators, it should lead to questions. One of these that seemed to also slip by this week was that “Muqtada al-Sadr extends cease-fire”. What? Ok so you have a foreign government invading and dropping bombs on cities in the north AND you have a band of non-governmental renegades vowing to “extend” the cease fire, for now. Could you imagine if a private militia in say Waco Texas decided that it would operate outside the laws of the US government? My guess is that they would burn the compound down. A “ceasefire?” How about the Iraqi government declares him a criminal and arrests him? That is what most working government would do.

From a little while back we see yet more evidence that things are not going well in Iraq. The US strategy changed to arming the people who were recently shooting at our soldiers. (US arms Sunni dissidents in risky bid to contain al-Qaida fighters in Iraq.) This was to the opposition of the Iraqis government. So even the US’s own political machine is undermining the validity of the elected government. Were the Sunnis the people that the US originally invaded Iraq to remove from power?

Al-Qaida has never made up more then 3% of the overall attacks in Iraq. The truth is that they have increased attacks throughout the Middle East and the world 10 fold or more since the US has went on the offensive against them and made them famous. If this is success, I sure would hate to see failure.

The lowering of troop casualties, decrease in troops, ceremonial handing off of empty cities, and talk of elections seems to have a dishonest feel. This whole thing reminds me of this stuff you can buy for your car that is an “engine treatment”. The engine treatment is designed to last just long enough to sell the car to the next sucker. Try to come back on them and they will say, "It worked fine when we sold it to you." It will be you that people are cursing as they see the obnoxious trail of white smoke you left behind. It will be the democrats that catch the blame for the civil war and poor intelligence finding of this administration.

But then again the media is biased and only highlights the negatives.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Real Face Of Hillary Clinton

Man, if there ever was an example of politically pulling back the curtain, this week has been it. Hillary Clinton, who has been employed in Washington by the tax payers for twice as long as I have been able to votes, is putting on a drama show over a flyer being circulated. This was enough to bring her screaming from the shadows like some Medusa.

Forget for a minute the words she is saying. (I have always said, “never listen to the words coming out of a politicians mouth. Judge them by their actions and their results.”) If politics is nothing else it is a poker game. Every gambler knows holding an even steady face no matter what the situation is the key to success. When are loosing, you might still win if you hold a calm cool composure and scare your opponents out of the pot. If you do loose, simply nod, slide your next ante up, and turn your attention to the next hand. If you win, scoop the chips to your pot and other then that the reaction should be the same. Hillary has no poker face. On the world circuit you can not wear your emotions on your sleeve.

There is something scary to me about somebody who acts like they want the presidency so bad. I know they all do, but the inability to control your posture when staring down a defeat is unbecoming of a great leader. To be president you have to almost convince me that you already have another job lined up if that one doesn’t work out. You can’t appear chase that power like some crack head begging for another fix.

I hate to point it out, but many, many people have come and gone in this campaign season. Only one staring down defeat has acted like, well a woman. Crowing, crying, and showing emotional weaknesses are not becoming traits.

Before you say I am biased and would be singing a different tune if it had been Clinton putting out flyers that “represent Obama’s views in a negative light.” There has been plenty of negative stuff written about him. From emails about his lineage to twisted statements about his anti-Iraq war support. He simply re-clarified his position and moved on. He didn’t stand out there crowing and mocking him like he is some kind of 5th grader who got tattled on.

I could go on, but I will end with this message I wish somebody could take to the Clinton campaign. Hillary, if you want to be president ever, you better grow some balls. You may have been in Washington for a longer time, but it really seems the only experience you have gotten is how to play the underhanded corruption game. That is the "change" America is trying to get away from.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

10 Questions I Would Like to Ask the Religious Right

There is about 10 questions I would love to ask the evangelic Christian right wing conservatives, or even ask just and “Christian” conservative that still supports the current administration, or any like minded candidates. Questions that relate directly to the contridictions between what they believe and what Jesus "Christ" taught.

Like most good things, a decent point/ question requires some preliminary perspective. Kind of like every conversation has to start with a “hello, how are you?” Most of the time whoever you are debating with won’t let you get a long set up to a question out. But if I could My first question would go like this.

I once had the pleasure of watching a guy hand roll cigars. He had a jig that was a piece of wood with hole in affixed off to the side, as he rolled each cigar he would drop it through the hole. Most, he would set in a pile to be moved to the packing table. Some would drop through and he would put them in a separate basket. Some would not fit through the hole and those would go into the same separate basket. I asked a friend of mine about the separated cigars and he said, “They are called seconds. If they are too narrow or rolled too thick they are considered rejects and sold at a reduced rate.” I said, “you mean a cigar can actually be too big to be perfect?” So here is a guy who is a master at what he does. It wouldn’t shock me to hear that this guy had rolled a million cigars in his lifetime. Yet he still needed a test to ensure they are exactly what he is looking for.
So, my Conservative Christian colleagues, the first question for you is this.

1) Do you think that God has a test hole for his creations?

I do. Not only do I think it but logic and the bible documents it. I believe that if there is a God, the living dimension that we exist in is that testing ground. (It is also why even though I live my life guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ; as the worlds only agnostic Christian, I am still going to Hell when I pass on.) I believe “life” as we know it is the hole where we are sent through to see if we are worthy to get into heaven. Sure god is the master, but the inherent flaw in his creation is “free will”. He saw he had problems with it when he created Lucifer.

2) I think if I simplify what I just said by saying, “We are all sent here as a test to see if we are worthy to get into heaven.” Do you agree?

I think I still got most religious minded people. I think I still keep you when I say, “God is testing your faith in him.” Now for the twist. I talked about the next part in the post “Jesus Would Never Get Elected and Heaven is Run By a Communist Government” Here is where I might loose some of you. I do not believe Jesus’ primary mission was the forgiveness of all our sins. No where in the bible does it say he was sent her “to forgive our sins” Let us face it. If the almighty wanted to forgive us, he could just wave his hand and do it. Then it would be “on to the next day, forget about it.”

However. I believe that Jesus’ main mission was to demonstrate how to live communally and how to demonstrate how to prove faith in his father at death. Let us take one step back to where we both agree that this is a test.

3)What would “God” be testing you for? What qualities is it that he is looking for that would be required for you to live in eternal peace and happiness with all of heaven's other residents. Doesn't it make sense that he is testing to see if you are an asshole?

If heaven is to be this peaceful and tranquil eternal experience, wouldn't it make sense he needs a way to filter out the aggressive, selfish, self-important, weak willed trouble makers.

Now that I got you kind of thinking I might be on to something, wrestle with this thought. So God had tried a bazillion things throughout the millenniums to teach us humans the skills and qualities required to get along with each other in peace and harmony for eternity. It was all to no avail. He talked to the first people and told them what they had to do, and they didn't listen. So he moved on to hard love. Then he flooded the world and again they didn't listen. He dammed them with diseases, droughts, and plagues of insects and still they didn't listen. Still through the gates of heaven passed few, and to the “seconds basket” of Hell went many. Then he shook off his conservative roots and thought, “maybe it is my fault that my children don't understand. Maybe because I was never there to show them the way, they have never been taught the proper way to act, the truth.”

4) do you believe that Jesus was sent to bring a “new way” that was different then the old testament. So far you have to admit this jives with all of your Christian historic teachings. teachings. Adam and Eve, Moses, then finally a new way. A “New testament” that reflected a huge change in God's attitude.

Well he is God and can't actually come down to earth, so he has to send a piece of himself. Himself in his human form. On to earth came Jesus. As human as God could get. Again this still jives with all the biblical teaching. So Jesus shows up on the scene to say, “No, revenge, hate, greed, lust, and self obsessed importance is wrong!” An eye for an eye is out, and “turn the other cheek” is the new way. Jesus came to say that, “God had been wrong in the past and because of it he forgives all sins and with his death a new day will dawn.” He says he is here to show you the way to heave is through self restraint, tolerance and ultimately sacrifice. He was even going to demonstrate it by allowing his enemies to torture and kill him. Give up all your wealth, power, and humble yourself. Only in this way can his father believe that you have faith in him and trust him to give you a better place in the next world. Your death is the hole in which God test you one last time. If you are selfish a-hole in the time of death, how can he trust you won't be one when you get to paradise? After all he created you with free will, I would assume that doesn't go away after you cross into the other detention.

As proof to this train of though I offer you Jesus' death. He didn't go on a rampage and kill all of those people that had wronged him or “God's Chosen people”. He didn't call an army of arch angels to cleans the world of non-believers. (thank god or who would we have to kill today) He didn't even save himself. He let them nail him to a cross. Even though he had the power to shed the nails and caste a shadow of revenge on his persecutors that would haunt them throughout the rest of history. He simply accepted his fate. Why, because he had faith that his master and his father truly had something better waiting for him on the other side. He believed that there was nothing, not a wrong unrighted, a death unavenged, a dollar not earned, an unhonored right that could keep him from that what he truly in his heart believed. Eternal paradise.

5) What point do you think god was trying to make by having his only son, flesh and blood, the most powerful human to ever live, accept a torturous and painful death? Why not let him lash out at his persecutor and kill them all in a display of his father's might and power?

To me there can only be one answer to that question. God wanted Jesus to demonstrate for all of his other children the amount of restraint and tolerance required to make the cut to get into heaven. Jesus was still a man, with free will all that makes us human. His level of understanding of faith is akin to Einsteins understanding of Physics, I respect each of them equally for their strengths. Unfortunately I understand each subject equal to their level. This description even offers an explanation of disease, catastrophes, old age, and just about any other approach to death you encounter. The dying get to prove themselves, and the living are offered challenges to prove they are worthy to enter into paradise once up for their final approach.

Question 6) For the right, and all Christians, is where are the holes in this theory? Can you document them with biblical passages?

Question 7) when your are standing at the proverbial “Heavens gates” how will you justify your acceptance into paradise? How will you explain your, “kill them all”, “nuke 'em all”, I am protecting mine, “the poor are all lazy”, “they all look like terrorist”, lustful, intolerant, revenge driven , animalistic nature? How will you explain that you heard Jesus' words but did none of what he instructed? What proof will you have that when you enter those pearly gates that you won't be a flaming asshole that will disrupt the peace and harmony because of something that you perceive is an insult?

Question 8) Can you name one person In Iraq or Iran that you know threatened your life or the life of your family? I do not mean that some agent of the government told you they did. We have seen the falsities presented by this Administration since day one.

Question 9) Is a simple math word problem. If to arrogant violent bastards are in a room together, what are the chances that a fight will eventually erupt over the coarse of eternity? If you put one hemp rope wearing pacifist and a gun toting “don't tread on me” patriot in a room together, how long before the “patriot” got sick of hearing the “hippies” weak ideologies and just shoots him? Last, how long do you think two far left “make love not war” liberals could sit together, given an endless supply of skunk weed, and discuss the finer parts of conservation? In the end, one asshole spoils the whole party.

Last question 10) If God is testing you to see if you are worthy of getting into his eternal commune, What would he say about the undying support for an administrations who used lies, deception, and greed driven profit to encourage a war against a people who had no ill intent towards the U.S and its citizens? Saying, “but I didn't think they were lies.” in the face of so much evidence probably isn't going to buy you any favor. God's assumption would have to be if you were so easily bamboozled that you might bee too easily corrupted once in heaven. If an ever changing reason to kill a leader for using weapons the the US once supplied him wasn't enough. If the “no-bid” contracts to companies affiliated to the administration wasn't clear. If the destruction of a family made up of two people who had dedicated their lives to ensuring the US national security in order to save face wasn't enough. If you can be so easily tricked by the shallow parlor tricks, what makes you think your a strong enough sole to enter the gates of eternal peace?

For me it is a good thing I don't commit believe in any of that crap. My reasons are driven by a plan the was presented by the man that would just make good sense if enacted right here and now in the land of the living. Simply if we all stop fighting and killing each other we could have heaven here on earth. As the worlds only agnostic Christian, I believe Jesus had a great plan, just not certain if he was the “son of God”. His way is the only way to accomplish the ultimate human goal. That is to leave the world a better place then when you entered it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why Not Hillary? One Word: Corruption

Everybody knows that Hillary will have trouble standing apart from John McCain on many of the issues. You are hearing about it these issues daily on the major news outlets. She voted for and never apologized for authorizing give Bush a blank check to use on Iraq. McCain and Clinton have both supported amnesty for illegal immigrants. They both have deep rooted ties to Washington with very little job experience outside of “the Belt Way”. You can also hear all of the major news outlets voicing the opinion that is on most peoples lips that the voters want a change form the Bush and Clinton dynasties.

What hasn’t come up was Whitewater. What we all tend to forget is that the Lewinski scandal wasn’t originally an investigation into the sexcapades of the sitting president. That is just where it ended up when they couldn’t get anything concrete to stick. Kind of like being unable to pin murder and racketeering on Al Capone, so they eventually took him down with tax evasion charges. So it was with the Clintons, and Hillary was in it deeper then Bill. 14 people that were close friends and/ or business acquaintances with the Clintons ended up with convictions of a gambit that stemmed from fraud to bribery. Many of them received presidential pardons. The Wikipedia found here is really well documented at the end.

The Continuance of these “murky business practices” has not stopped with her bid for presidential campaign. A decent outline of her connection to Norman Hsu, another charged criminal involved in another investment scheme. It seems ever where the Clintons go there is an “investment fraud” lurking just beyond their affiliation. A link to a post synopsis of the Norman Hsu story can be found by clicking here. The same charges were leveled and just missed Bill Clinton while president. An “investor” name Charlie Trie in Little Rock had funds returned or rejected after an investigation revealed the donations were made by people who couldn’t afford to write such large donation.

The point is this. If you are tired of the environment of corruption in Washington, then you must stop voting for people who are soaked in it. Weather it is Bush and Cheney with their connections to military contractors and Oil and energy companies, or The Clintons who seem to have an unending supply of associates with “investment fraud” convictions they are all the same. None of them have the best interest of the US economy and the well being of its people in their intentions. We don’t have the margin of error that we had in the 90’s. The tech boom was an anomaly. Unless somebody develops a Teleportation device over the next couple of years, it won’t happen again. In the 90’s the economy couldn’t help but to make money. All a president needed then was to sit back and get a blow job. The margin of error now is not so forgiving. Decisions made in the next 16 to 24 months could determine weather we retain our position as a world economic powerhouse or assume a role closer to that of post cold war Russia.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Economic Circulation Debate

The following is a debate conducted via comments. The link to the post on can be found her.

Input would be apreciated.

I disagree on a critical point. A healthy economy is not defined by the quantity of money, but neither is it defined by increased velocity. Look at some collapsing economies in history where inflation is the culpurit. High velocity is almost always present as people try to get rid of the hot potato - the dollar - as quickly as possible.

That hints at what is fundamentally wrong with your idea. Increased velocity is not the answer to create a healthy economy. That suggests that people should be spending as much money as possible as quickly as possible. And that's exactly what's gotten our economy into it's current state of turmoil.

Inflation simply means today your labor hour can buy less then it did yesterday. Inflation was not always a bad thing. This model is a snapshot. In the past as Inflation presented itself, it was corrected by a slowing of the flow. This model doesn't break down the effect of credit. The pools of the wealthy are made up of credit assets. The top 4 paid CEO's in past years have been those of lending institutions. Spending of money that we don't have that has gotten our us into the situation it is in.

Actually, that's not what inflation is. Inflation is an increase in the money supply. This in turn forces prices up, because people demand more dollars for their goods and services as the amount of dollars increases.I do agree that spending money we don't have has been the cause of our problems. But the way to fix it is not spend more. People should tighten up their spending and pay their debts. This WILL cause a recession. But a recession is necessary to clean out our system.

Original disagreement: Spending money as fast as we can is not the way out of this mess. I and our legislators both disagree with you. Odd occurrence that I agree with them. I disagree with how they plan on getting that money into the system. Nobody talks about where the "economic surge" money is comming from. Printing $150 billion is wrong. Taxing rich is wrong. Adjusting the way workers are compensated is more American.

"Adjusting the way workers are compensated" is just a euphemistic description of a socialist system, where the government tries to engineer the economic system. Which, by the way, never works out right. Also, I think you need to seriously examine your velocity theory. It's fundamentally flawed.

Then we are already "socialist" because we have minimum wage, anti-monopoly laws in effect. We don't have to pay the owners of the road and help comes when we call. Socialism suggests community control of the all assets. Free enterprise democracies the government doesn't control the assets, it just sets the rules. The way out our situation is to spend real money as fast as we can. Right now 60% of us don't have any. It is impossible to have the American dream right now without financing it.

spending= jobs= spending= jobs. savings or paying off debt is good for the individual, bad for the system. A minimum percentage wage is a way to correct a flaw in the system that would be symbiotic to our economic rules. We all want TV's, dependable transportation, healthy educated family members, vacations to Disney land, ect. That includes employees of RCA, schools and Disney. Bill Gates doesn't need anymore. who is going to employ these people if we don't spend. Have other sugestions?

The problem is, you're oversimplifying the economy. You're trying to describe the economy as a machine. It's not. Think of it instead as an ecology - like a rainforest. You cannot control how an ecology works. Scientists have tried to do that with Biosphere 2 and it failed miserably. It fails just as miserably with the ecology of the economy.Are we in a system with socialist leanings? Absolutely. And we need to fix it ASAP - not continue it by trying to manage the distribution of wealth.

You are suggesting taking money from one place and putting it in another, assuming that it will be put to better use there. But look at the effects that will cause.That money has to come from somewhere - and when you take it from Group A and give it to Group B, Group A will no longer be able to use that money. They won't be able to spend it or invest it to strengthen the economy.And don't get me wrong. Spending is necessary. But the cure for a spending addiction is NOT to spend faster.

I disagree, it is a machine. The economy was created by man, the ecology was not. The economy can not be controlled because we are still using local agricultural economy based tools to control a industrial/ service based global economy. Welfare, taxes, and supply side economics have little and unpredictable influence. While these elements of socialism are counter productive, all non-violent societies must have socialistic elements to keep from collapsing into Darwinistic natural law.

The declaration of independence that our founders used to inspire men to give their life contains, " among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men..." The preamble of the constitution outline the government claiming responsibility for equal welfare to all its people. These are very socialistic statements. If the government didn't vow propagate fairness it could never retain the loyalty of the whole community.

Not suggesting the government take money from anybody. Buying power? Yes. I am simply imply that the government implement a policy that would close the disparity gap revalue the dollar. If group "A" has all of the electronics, cars, furniture, and housing space they need, they are not spending that money. Money not spent means work not done. If group "B" is empowered by deflation then they will buy the things group "A" doesn't need. In most cases group "A" ends up with the cash again anyway.

I'm confused... If the government is taking away buying power, how is it not taking away money? Maybe I'm missing something...Again, I think you're oversimplifying the situation and the economy as a whole. I know I mentioned "group A" and "group B" - but there is no clear division like that. I used those terms because those were the terms you were communicating in, but the fact of the matter is, there is no "group A" and there is no "group B."

Economic force on the bottom by increasing the minimum wage, buying power is taken from the top, though the tops wages remain steady. Good news; every small loss at the top is a huge boost to the bottom. Bad news: when minimum wage is increased, a period of economic adjustment occurs, the bottom end of the income ends up back to where they were, if not worse off. A term known as wage disparity. "Class" breakdown is determined by this figure.

An approach that raises buying power and is so effective at the bottom while holding the top wage earners to an indirect effect is the only way out of the current crisis. In 2007 Apple's company wage disparity rating was about .0032%.That is the difference of it's CEO and it's janitor at $10 p/hr. an increase to .005% = about $12,000 increase for the janitor. Huge to the janitor, nothing to the CEO. Want to give the CEO a million dollar raise? Got to give the janitor a $50 yearly raise.

There is an "A" and a "B". "A" = those who can afford to buy the things they need to pursue the dream with out credit. Group "B" is made up of those who's only way out is to risk the credit game. Group "A" has all of their basic and extended basic needs. They don't want or need more TV's cars, housing, leisure products."B" lives paycheck to paycheck. Just one major set back away from being belly up. The balance between keeping the family happy and keeping them healthy is often a tough choice.

Sure, you could say that "group A" includes the "haves" and "group B" includes the have-nots, but that distinction is so impractical that it ought to be left in Sherwood Forest for Robin Hood and his Merry Men to deal with. The problem is, the economy is a complex thing. I know you say that it is like a machine, since it is created by man - but I would argue that it really isn't created by man. I personally that God has put it into place and man uses it like all of God's other creations.

Of course, you may not believe in God, but it is still a stretch to compare the economy to a machine - subject to man's constant tinkering. A carefully balanced organism is a far more apt description.

And I have to disagree adamantly about the founding documents supporting - even to a small level - socialism. In the Declaration of Independance, right after the part about the endowment of certain unalienable rights (which you quoted), it says that the government's job is to secure these RIGHTS. It doesn't say that the government should provide for them. As Will Smith said so well in The Pursuit of Happyness, happiness is something that has to be pursued. The government can't give it to us.

Socialism - a broad array of ideologies with the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. This screams, "by the people for the people." You can not disconnect the fact that the instant the government says it is going to enforce the will of the people to govern common shared resources evenly. Those resources include protection of rights. if you make it a "representative democracy" you are knee deep in socialism.

Remember a pure democracy the government does only the will of the majority vote. If the majority says, "kill the minority." Pure democracy government must do the will of the majority. Any intervening factor introduces a leftward movement of the needle. The senate was defiantly a socialistic idea. Your state no matter how big or small, in area or population gets an equal vote in the table. Rhode Island has just as much power in the senate as California. That is darn near a communistic idea.

You can spend up to 12 years getting a doctorate in which you study how different adjustments effect the economy.Designing an car is a collaboration. The body designers do things only to find the engine placement won't allow the arrangement. A discussion and then a correction in plans occur. So it is with the economy. There are so many forces that governments manipulate, never quite sure how it is going to fit into the system. Man has only two options with an organism. Kill it, or let it live.

First, for perspective, I am probably the worlds only Christian Agnostic. I believe Jesus existed. His words are my master and my teacher. If the world followed his advice we could be using our technology expanding too other planets and not killing each other. But as for who his father is? We depart there. I have always said that if I was an apostle I would have been Thomas who needed to touch Christ's wounds upon resurrection. Jesus was a Hippie, and heaven a big commune. No money needed.

Jesus was once asked about paying taxes that seemed unfair. In Mathew 15-22 he clearly states, "Give me a coin. Whose image and signature is on it?" "Creaser" they replied. Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's. Every religion that is dominate functional regions of the world, have prophets who are not concerned with the economics of men. It is "the root of all evil". Only man can create such vile inspiration for greed.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Republicans, Vote For The Best Democrat!!

So Romney is out and McCain is the choice to represent the republicans. Boy how does that feel guys? Now you know how the liberal Democrats felt when Kerry got the nomination. There is discussion on weather they will be able to rally the conservatives.

Not to point out the obvious. But there has been roughly 14 million votes cast in the democratic primary as opposed to the republican 8.5 million. Combine that with the low opinion of the war, the current administration, and the rabid corruption that has spiraled this country into economic pneumonia and there can be no doubt about November’s results. I recommend that republicans choose which of the democrats they want to run the show for the next 4 years and vote for them.

The republican party was the party of comical relief this time. They all fought about who is “the most conservative.” Then discussed how they would bludgeon the economy by staying in an unnecessary quagmire, further stagnate the economic flow by championing Reaganomics (Great we are having a problem with economic flow and the Republican suggestion is to increase the dam that supplies the only assured stream flow in hopes it will eventually burst), and dividing on illegal immigration issues. The whole time Ron Paul a true conservative by definition is shunned and chastised.

Here is the honest reality facing those who are “conservatives”. You need a democrat in the white house the same way a boxing match needs a referee. Republicans are so over committed to the “fight in Iraq” that they can’t stop themselves. The Democrats will take the office, if republicans are right, they will make things worse, and 4 years latter Republicans will sail into office on a message of ‘we told you so”. I recommend you go out an pick the lesser of two evils amongst the Democrats. Please join with us to make Hillary cry one more time. We thank you for your support.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Did You Say That The Constitutions Didn’t Say Anything About What?

I met a new friend that, in his own words finds "Rush Limbaugh too liberal" for his taste. So it was only a matter of time before nature took its course and we found ourselves wrapped around political axels. It was like having my very own chance to argue with Old Oxycontin and Viagra himself. I quickly found the frustration that Ron Paul feels when being asked to give a 30 second response to a 20 minute topic at a Republican debate. He would spit out facts and figures that seemed inaccurate and misleading, but standing in a bar, with angry cowboys and a band with a fiddle on stage, I found it hard to disprove. This is complicated by the fact that this dude is one of the sharper pencils in the Crayola box. I felt there was some silver bullet factoid that I could open his eyes and have him seeing the world in a new light. Alas, we just got really drunk and made comments about the local girl’s butts.

I have heard one of the arguments he made many times before, and I heard it again this weekend. I never understand what grounds they make the argument. He actually said, "The Constitution does not say anything about separation of church and state." HUH!?. (Imagine a sliding record needle here)

OK, if you do not consider any of the amendments and most importantly not the "Bill of Rights" which also includes the "Right to bear arms" as "part of the constitution", then by the letter of the statement he is right. I really don't think that anybody wants to concede the right to not be harassed by police, a prosecutor, or a judge. Nor would most people give up the right for their state to makes its own laws. If you want to give up those rights, then turn your guns in, we'll scrap the bill of rights and most of you will be in jail by the weeks end. Since the "cruel and inhumane punishment" clause will have been scrapped, we'll throw most of you in jail for 20 years for having a bumper too high and/ or chucking your PBR cans out of the window as you drive down the road.

Let’s say tossing out the bill of rights isn't appealing to you. After all claiming you are an American that doesn’t believe in The Bill of Rights is kind of like claiming you are a Christian who doesn’t believe in the New Testament. The bill of rights is considered part of the constitution after all. Well the very first amendment, the top of the list appears this statement.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...." The rest has nothing to d with religion.

In case that wasn’t clear enough for you, I will break down what that actually means. I think every "self-respecting" conservative will agree that language of choice is English. In fact that is what The Constitution was written in. The "Congress shall make no" part is pretty clear. So let us say you dispute the word “law”. Since the 12th century the word has meant, a binding custom or practice of a community : a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority, According to Merriam-Webster.

Updating, “Congress shall make no Law(binding custom or practice of a community : … enforced by a controlling authority) Respecting(giving a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation) an establishment of religions. The next obvious word to consider would be “establishment”. This is probably the hardest word to put into this sentence because “establishment” is a very different meaning then “establish”. The only definition of “establishment that fits though is, “a permanent civil or military organization” and/ or “a public or private institution”.

Continuing on we have so far resolved that the first amendment says, “Congress shall make no Law(binding custom or practice of a community : … enforced by a controlling authority) Respecting(giving a relation or reference to a particular establishment (public or private institution thing or situation)) of religions. The last word in the statement is religion. The most fitting definition is “a personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices” .
Out of fear of repletion and loosing your attention I won’t restate the statement again. The only hair left to split is to address anybody who said, “but I said there is no ‘church and state’ in the constitution.” The very definition of “church” is “an established religion.” Please note that two of the “shall nots” are encompassed with in the word church.

In case there are any confusions about the intent behind the first amendment, we are not left with out explanation. Thomas Jefferson was the main writer of many of our founding documents. His ideas were the craft and collaboration of many hours and days of discussion the other founding fathers. A great reference for his discussions and quotes can be found here.

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion” George Washington.

If that don’t get your sacrificial goat, maybe the words of Thomas Paine will clarify things for you.

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish [Muslim], appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the profession of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?" (Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason)

A further point by point argument can be found here.

The truth is that mixing Church and State is the quickest way to corrupt both of them. It still amazes me to this day how incredibly genius and how much foresight our founding fathers seemed to have. Time after time they made laws that seemed should have been met with extreme controversy back then. Yet they have found their clarification so relevant in today’s United States.

So the next time you hear somebody say it isn’t in the constitution simply ask them to recite the first 10 words of the first amendment.

That (separation of church and state) was never in the Constitution, however
much the liberals laugh at me for saying it, they know good and well it was
never in the Constitution! Such language only appeared in the constitution of
the communist Soviet Union” Pat Robertson quotes

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