Craig Eisele on …..

May 19, 2012

To My Fellow Americans: Be Afraid… BE VERY AFRAID

Dear Fellow Americans:

It is great regret that I have to make this post…. but I am afraid… I am VERY afraid the way our individual rights have been stripped away one at a time bringing the threat of Orwell’s’ Big Brother into our lives. 

I am a Republican… I have been my entire life… and yet I have seen a change in my party that brings tears to my eyes and fear in my heart. We have become a monster party of Fear, Hate, Liars, Distorter’s of the Truth and while we clamor for less government.. we actually make more laws for the government to take away our individually right under the guise of keeping us safe and free from harm. We are a knee jerk society… we champion the  cause of the day.. we are insensitive to the needs of our neighbors and others we call  Americans…. we are bigoted, racist and sexist and secretly embrace every ism there is… all in the name of being good and show ourselves to be hypocritical in our actions. 

One by one we surrender ourselves by not standing up for our rights and the abuses that government has imposed upon us… and we are therefore sheep  being lead to slaughter as we will no longer be free…. If you cannot relate to the poem below.. than you are grossly misled n the America we live in today.. and worse I fear my own party more than the Democrats as my party has been hijacked by ultra right-wing extremists who are more dangerous to America than any threat from Iran, North Korea or Islamic extremists combined…  READ the  below and KNOW … You are the one they are coming for next…..

“First they came for my neighbor, and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to stand with me.” 

The “neighbor” quote is loosely based on the many variations of the famous poem attributed to Martin Niemöller:

When the Nazis came for the communists, 
I remained silent; 
I was not a communist.. 

When they locked up the social democrats, 
I remained silent; 
I was not a social democrat. 

When they came for the trade unionists, 
I did not speak out; 
I was not a trade unionist. 

When they came for the Jews, 
I didn’t speak up, 
because I wasn’t a Jew. 

When they came for me, 
there was no-one left 
to speak out.

[When the Nazis Came for Me
by Pastor Martin Niemöller]

Other variations include:

“They came for the Communists, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a Communist; 
They came for the Socialists, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a Socialist;
They came for the labor leaders, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a labor leader;
They came for the Jews, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a Jew;
Then they came for me – And there was no one left to object.”
[Martin Niemoller, German Protestant Pastor, 1892-1984]

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – 
Because I was not a Socialist. 
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist. 
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – 
Because I was not a Jew. 
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.” 
[The quotation stems from Niemöller's lectures during the early postwar period.]

I want smaller government and less regulations.. the problem is business today cannot be trusted anymore to  do the right thing and so we have more regulations.. just as when we see someone commit a horrific crime and we want more laws, so it is that business have proven themselves to be untrustworthy… 

There is class warfare.. but it is the extremely wealthy with few exceptions that are oblivious to the suffering that the average person is experiencing.

My party misstates the truth in that  a government is NOT a business.. .. when things are bad it has been historical in all governments to step up and help the country  through governmental spending as well as programs for the destitute… but we seem to  have lost our humanity in pursuit  of the dollar… A sad testimony to a America that has historically been generous to the world.  To deviate from that today is a mistake of monumental proportions and assures a country will stay in recession and decline for many years to come… and makes me happy I will not live to see my party destroy my country because of the tyrannical actions of a small base of hate mongers.  If I was not sick before.. my party would have driven me to this spot for my stomach turns every time I watch news with the ignorance that is portrayed by so many “PUBLIC Officials” but especially my own party.

If you believe Austerity is what this country needs.. then look at what has been happening in Europe…. the people are refusing to pay for what mess former .. (yes FORMER like Bush)  and now MY republican party  is taking us down the bad road again….. WHAT was the stated Goal of the Republican Party the last 4 year.. Not to make the country better.. but to make Obama a ONE TERM PRESIDENT… WTF.. we should be focused on what is good for the country NOT getting revenge because he won… we missed to point and hence an opportunity to make our party better.. and instead became bitter.

SO AMERICA… BE AFRAID.. BE VERY AFRAID FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY IN THE HANDS OF MY REPUBLICAN PARTY IS MORE  FRIGHTENING THAN ANY NUCLEAR WEAPON!!

January 30, 2012

Comparison of Mormonism to Christianity

Whether Mormons should be considered “Christians” is a controversial and rather complicated issue. Many Catholics and Protestants do not consider Mormons to be Christians because they believe the differences in doctrines are larger and more fundamental than those between Christian denominations.

On other hand, religious studies books tend to group Mormons in with Christians because: Mormons regard themselves as Christians; Mormonism emerged in a Christian context; and Mormonism shares much in common with other forms of Christianity.

Mormons also consider themselves Christians for much the same reasons as listed above. However, they consider themselves to be significantly different from other branches of Christianity. They regard themselves as neither Catholic nor Protestant, viewing both of those faiths as corruptions of true Christianity, which has been restored by Mormonism. 1

The following chart provides a quick-reference guide to the major similarities and differences between the beliefs and practices of Mormonism and mainstream Protestant Christianity. As is always the case with charts, the information is simplified for brevity and should be used alongside more complete explanations. The beliefs listed for both Mormons and Protestant Christians represent those of most, but not all, churches or individuals within each tradition.

 

Mormonism
Mainstream Christianity
Religious Authority All sacred texts equally, continuing revelations Bible (all), ecumenical councils and creeds (Catholic and Orthodox), official papal pronouncements (Catholic), continuing revelations (Pentecostal)
Sacred Texts Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price Bible (some include Apocrypha)
Trinity Rejected – Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct beings who are “one in purpose” Affirmed - Father, Son and Holy Spirit are of the “same substance”; three persons in one being
God Heavenly Father, who has a physical body Trinitarian God, who does not have a body
Jesus Christ Son of God, Savior, originally one of the spirit beings that all humans used to be (see Jesus Christ). Has a physical body. Son of God, Word of God, God, second Person of the Trinity (see Christology)
Holy Spirit A spirit being who is a separate being from God and Jesus. God, Third Person of the Trinity
Original sin Denied (see Human Nature) Affirmed (by most denominations)
Free will Free to do good or evil Free will to do good is seriously impaired
Purpose of Christ’s Incarnation Teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin Teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin, reveal God directly to humanity
Resurrection of Christ? Yes Yes
Salvation Both faith and works; works emphasized Both faith and works; faith emphasized (in most denominations)
Second chance after death? Yes, during a period of “learning and preparation” after death No
Afterlife All spirits go to the spirit world, undergo preparation, then rejoin with bodies in the resurrection (see Afterlife). The good spend the intervening time in spirit paradise, while the wicked go to spirit prison. Souls of wicked sent to Hell, believers go to Heaven for eternity (see Afterlife). In Catholicism, many believers will suffer in Purgatory before going to Heaven.
Hell The wicked enter an unpleasant “spirit prison” prior to judgment; after that, only the most obstinately wicked (like Satan) will be consigned to “Outer Darkness” for eternity. Place (or state of being) of eternal torment and distance from God.
Place of Worship Chapel or Temple Church
Meaning of Sacraments (Chr) or Ordinances (LDS) Ordinances are covenants between man and God and a means of grace. Some of them are necessary for salvation. Symbolic acts commanded by Christ (some Protestant); means of grace if received with faith (Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant).
Sacraments (Chr) or Ordinances (LDS) Include baptism, confirmation, the sacrament (Lord’s Supper), laying on of hands, ordination, temple endowment, and marriage sealing (see Temple Ordinances) Two common to all denominations: Baptism and Lord’s Supper. Total of seven in Catholicism.
Symbols No official symbol; cross is not used; the angel Moroni raising a trumpet is seen atop Mormon temples Cross, fish and others
Holidays Easter, Christmas, national and local holidays, birthdays, celebrations of events in Mormon history Easter, Christmas, saints’ days, several others

 

Mormonism
Mainstream Christianity

 

January 23, 2012

Is Santorum a Distraction for Gingrich??

He may not have much money or a ground game to speak of in Florida but Republican Rick Santorum will not pull out of the presidential race – much to the chagrin of rival Newt Gingrich and probably to the delight of a bruised Mitt Romney.

After Gingrich scored a resounding win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker badly wants to unite conservative and Tea Party elements of the Republican Party behind him ahead of Florida’s January 31 vote.

That would be easier to do if the socially conservative Santorum slipped away, especially in the face of a well-financed

Florida campaign by Romney. But Santorum vowed to keep his shoestring campaign alive as it heads to the country’s fourth most populous state after finishing third on Saturday.

“This is a long haul,” Santorum said early on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

But the former Pennsylvania senator with a penchant for sweater vests has battled from the back of the pack to a surprise win in Iowa’s caucuses and a respectable 17 percent of the vote in South Carolina.

“A few weeks ago, this may have seemed implausible,” said Jack Glaser, a professor at University of California, Berkeley. “But with his showing in Iowa and Romney’s slide in South Carolina and with the very deep flaws and vulnerabilities in both Romney and Gingrich as candidates, it is not laughable.”

Moving on to Florida, Santorum picked up on attack lines he employed against his former congressional colleague last week. He called Gingrich “erratic” and “a very high-risk candidate” who is out of step with the many Republicans on Wall Street bailouts, health policy, immigration and global warming.

At a rally in Coral Springs on Sunday, Santorum laid claim to being “the real conservative – the (Ronald) Reagan model,” and said he was best placed to win what he termed “the states that matter” – 10 or 12 swing states, including Florida, that could be key to the November general election against Democratic President Barack Obama.

“His staying around is much to Romney’s delight and possibly Gingrich’s dismay. If Gingrich had his way, he would want Santorum out,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist.

“And Romney would say, ‘Oh, don’t leave the race so soon’ … It’s like Cold War politics: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Santorum could be playing off the roller-coaster nature of the Gingrich campaign, which has been declared next to dead a few times since spring, as well as Romney’s stumbles going into the South Carolina vote.

“I think he might think he has a shot. He’s one (state) for three and so is everyone else except Ron Paul,” said Chris Galdieri, a political science professor at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Santorum is in third place in Florida with about 15 percent support, behind Romney at 40 percent and Gingrich at 22 percent, according to surveys aggregated by Real Clear Politics. Those polls were taken before the South Carolina vote.

Michael Phillips, Santorum’s state director for Florida, said the campaign had only two offices for now, in Sarasota and in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, but had “very engaged” volunteers.

A SHOT AT REDEMPTION

“He might not be able to raise money, he might not be lining up endorsements in Florida, but he’s probably holding out hope that if Romney has a couple more bad weeks, it’s better to be in the game than out of it,” Galdieri said.

“He’s probably thinking that Gingrich, even though he won South Carolina, is not acceptable as a nominee because of various things in his personal and political background. He might be thinking that if a bunch of dominoes fall in the right order, he could be the other alternative candidate to Romney.”

Santorum has been praised by some for recent performances in Republican debates, and with fewer candidates on the podium as the field has dwindled, his national exposure will only rise as the debates roll on.

The four Republicans still standing will debate on Monday in Tampa and Thursday in Jacksonville.

Four more debates are scheduled by mid-March, all of which could better position Santorum for whatever comes next.

“He’s angling for some political capital, whether it’s a Cabinet position or it’s a run for another office down the road,” O’Connell said. “All you need is a plane ticket to move to the next spot. So why get out when you can still be a factor in this?”

Speaking on CNN on Sunday, Santorum said he felt “absolutely no pressure” to drop out, adding that after the South Carolina vote, Romney was “no longer the inevitable candidate.”

“Our feeling is that this is a three-person race. The conservatives are polling better than Governor Romney is. The real conservative is yet to emerge and that’s me. We think we present the finest opportunity for conservatives to win,” Santorum said.

In Coral Springs, the small crowd warmed to Santorum’s message. “We feel he’s genuine, more personable – more for the common citizen than for corporations,” said Lydia Usategui, 57, a psychiatrist from Miami.

Galdieri said there was a redemptive element to Santorum’s campaign. The social conservative lost his 2006 Senate re-election bid by a crushing margin.

“Instead of being the guy who lost by 18 points in his own state, he can be the guy who made a credible run,” Galdieri said.

January 22, 2012

Is Newt Gingrich Mentally ILL? Lee Siegal of The Daily Beast Thinks So.,

Newt’s Delusions of Grandeur

The Daily BeastBy Lee Siegel | The Daily Beast – Fri, Jan 20, 2012

Hypocrisy is one thing. Mental illness is another.

Watching Newt Gingrich excoriate the media for making his personal life an issue in Thursday’s presidential debate, you realized that he wasn’t merely guilty of not practicing what he preaches. The real issue isn’t that Gingrich has done things that he castigates others for doing. The real, disturbing issue is what seems to be his deeply embedded pattern of finding his own sordid nature in other people, and then mercilessly persecuting them.

“Projection” is a psychological commonplace. The person suffering from depression will find depression everywhere. The person in the grip of lust will see randiness in everyone he meets. And on and on. We all see, in one degree or another, the world in terms of our own condition. Our sanity depends upon the degree.

Borderline personality, clinical narcissist, megalomaniac, sociopath—however you want to characterize Newt Gingrich, he clearly has difficulty distinguishing his own reality from that of other people. The man who cheated on his first wife as she lay in a hospital bed with cancer proclaimed in 1992, just as the Democratic National Convention was taking place, “Woody Allen having non-incest with a non-daughter to whom he was a non-father because they were a non-family fits the Democratic platform perfectly.” The man who then went on to cheat on his second wife compared Democrats, two years later, to Susan Smith: “I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. The only way you get change is to vote Republican.”

The man who brought down Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright on ethics charges in 1988 for an improper book deal himself used political funds to promote the sale of his own book.  As House Speaker, Gingrich had 84 ethics charges filed against him. And this compulsive philanderer and morally challenged legislator routinely accuses American teenagers of immorality and poor blacks of lax moral natures.

If all this were only hypocrisy, Gingrich might legitimately expect voters to shrug off his lapses of decency and humanity. As he thundered to the debate audience sitting inside the Charleston arena Thursday night (a pathetic tin parody of Joe Welch’s “Have you no sense of decency?”), “Every person in here knows personal pain.” Because of the law of projection, we often stumble privately and then try to restore our sense of moral dignity by harping on precisely the same deficiencies in other people. As petty and sometimes mean-spirited as that may be, it is a run-of-the-mill hypocrisy. It is simply a psychological convenience for getting through life.

But hypocrisy becomes mental illness when we seek to punish people for our own tendency to hurt other people. When Gingrich treats his wives worse than chattel and then turns around and attempts to demonize others for what he declares are their hurtful moral missteps; when his projections have the potential to cause harmful concrete consequences—that is a diseased relationship with the world that puts him on a par with every tyrant who ever wreaked his damaged personality on the society he governed.

Perhaps Gingrich’s sickness—what Santorum nicely called that “worrisome moment” in Gingrich—is what led him to commit political suicide in 1996. That was when he blamed his obduracy during the government shutdown over the budget on being snubbed by Clinton on a flight to Israel. People who cannot separate themselves from the reality around them go berserk when that reality turns and bites.

But, then, lacking a solid core, projectors like Gingrich secretly lust after the identities of the people they persecute. Gingrich lashed out at Clinton for the latter’s moral trespasses during the Lewinsky scandal, but he had long fancied himself Clinton’s legislative soulmate, as the two worked on making Social Security and Medicare solvent. His fury at Clinton seemed to be fueled by a desperate desire to inhabit Clinton’s charm, his intellect, his “vision thing,” his grandness. The echo of Clinton’s “I feel your pain” was unmistakable in Gingrich’s “Every person in here knows pain.”

Clinton was, however, at his worst, a wily rogue. Gingrich is the projector/persecutor so proud of his “grandiosity” who has replaced human relations with abstract ideas, and whose sagging posture and enervated demeanor seem propped up by spitefulness and revenge. This Gingrich is no slick rogue. He is, to bluntly state the ugly fact of the matter, a very sick man.

A Brief History of “State Capitalism”

Something old, something new

A brief history of “state capitalism”

IN SEPTEMBER 1789 George Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as America’s first ever treasury secretary. Two years later Hamilton presented Congress with a “Report on Manufactures”, his plan to get the young country’s economy going and provide the underpinnings for its hard-fought independence. Hamilton had no time for Adam Smith’s ideas about the hidden hand. America needed to protect its infant industries with tariffs if it wanted to see them grow up.

State capitalism has been around for almost as long as capitalism itself. Anglo-Saxons like to think of themselves as the perennial defenders of free-market orthodoxy against continental European and Asian heresy. In reality every rising power has relied on the state to kickstart growth or at least to protect fragile industries. Even Britain, the crucible of free-trade thinking, created a giant national champion in the form of the East India Company.

The appetite for industrial policy grew with the eating, and after the second world war intervention became a mark of civilization as well as common sense. The Europeans created industrial powerhouses and welfare states. The Asians poured resources into national champions.

This long era of state activism has left a surprisingly powerful legacy, despite the more recent fashion for privatisation and deregulation. The rich world still has a large number of state-owned or state-dominated companies. For example, France owns 85% of EDF, an energy company; Japan 50% of Japan Tobacco; and Germany 32% of Deutsche Telekom. These numbers add up: across the OECD state-owned enterprises have a combined value of almost $2 trillion and employ 6m people.

The new kind of state capitalism started in Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew, its founding father, was prime minister for more than 30 years and a tireless advocate of “Asian values”, by which he meant a mixture of family values and authoritarianism. He rivalled Beatrice Webb in his faith in the wisdom of the state. But he also grasped that Singapore’s best chance lay in attracting the world’s most powerful corporations, though he rejected the laissez-faire ideas that flourished in Asia’s other great port city, Hong Kong.

Singapore could easily have remained a tiny oddity but for a succession of earth-shaking events. The first was the oil embargo imposed by the Arab petrostates in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, quadrupling the price of oil and shifting the balance of power in the world economy. Arab governments tightened their control over the newly valuable oil companies and amassed growing financial surpluses. For them the economic shock was proof of the power of their oil weapon. For the Chinese it demonstrated the importance of securing a safe supply of oil and other raw materials.

The second event was Deng Xiaoping’s transformation of China. Deng borrowed heavily from the Singaporean model. He embraced globalisation by creating special economic zones and inviting foreign companies in. He espoused corporatism by forcing state enterprises to model themselves on Western companies. And he concentrated resources on national champions and investment in research and development. By doing all this, he plugged 1.3 billion people into the world economy.

The final event was the collapse of Soviet communism. This was initially seen as one of the great triumphs of liberalism, but it soon unleashed dark forces. Communist apparatchiks-turned-oligarchs grabbed chunks of the economy. Between 1990 and 1995 the country’s GDP dropped by a third. Male life expectancy shrank from 64 to 58. Once-captive nations broke away. In 1998 the country defaulted on its debts.

The post-Soviet disaster created a craving for order. Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s president, reasserted direct state control over “strategic” industries and brought the remaining private-sector oligarchs to heel. But just as important as the backlash in Russia was the one in China. The collapse of the Soviet Union confirmed the Chinese Communist Party’s deepest fear: that the end of party rule would mean the breakdown of order. The only safe way forward was a judicious mixture of private enterprise and state capitalism

As Romney so eloquently has stated  that there has been a frontal assault on Capitalism, we should begin this debate on how Capitalism has been  for centuries and later to discuss how it has evolved.  I do not think there is ANY candidate that does not believe we need to have capitalism at the core of our  society. It is how it has become perverted and has gone against the other cores of our society  those being humanity, equality and the protection of the health well-being and rights of all citizens of the United States is above all  … even CAPITALISM. We now must seek a balance  for all these values to peacefully coexist again.

It is my intention to bring this  need to the forefront of the rest of this presidential election cycle

January 20, 2012

How to BUY an American Presidential Election

And then there were four, and as the field narrows so does the flow of money…. but NOT the amount… as much much more will be flowing in the comming months.

So HOW can a President of the United States and an entire political party be bought…. lets look  below and see shall we…..

Ahead of the South Carolina Republican primary set for Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced Thursday he is dropping out of the race and throwing his support behind Newt Gingrich. That leaves Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum to duke it out in the last debate Thursday night before the vote over the weekend.

Before Perry called it quits, polls by both CNN and Politico showed Romney with a shrinking lead over Gingrich with Paul in third and Santorum in fourth (Perry had been dead last).

The other big news on the trail Thursday is Santorum’s official win over Romney in Iowa. A certified tally of the vote shows Santorum won by 34 votes.

Whoever wins the South Carolina primary on Saturday, a lot of attention will no doubt be focused on the Super PAC ads that have run non-stop in the state, just as they did in Iowa and New Hampshire and have started in Florida.

The pro-Romney “Restore Our Future” Super PAC is credited with dragging down Gingrich’s poll rating in Iowa, which resulted in Gingrich losing to Santorum, Romney and Paul. One of the recent ads claims “Newt has a ton of baggage,” criticizes him for his “30 years in Washington flip-flopping on the issues” and shows him siding with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore on global warming.

Super PACs are a relatively new phenomenon and definitely new to Presidential elections. As with anything new, there are a lot of questions surrounding what exactly Super PACs are and why they are now part of the country’s democratic election process.

John Dunbar, managing editor for The Center for Public Integrity’s online web publication, joined The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task in the accompanying interview to help us answer these questions and to discuss the impact Super PACs are having on the race.

What Are Super PACs?

The PAC in “Super PAC” stands for political action committee. PAC have been around for a long time but Dunbar explains what makes these new groups “super” is they “can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and labor unions, and take those funds and spend them to elect or defeat a federal candidate.”

“These are called independent expenditures,” he continues. “The bulk is spent on advertising, though they can include direct mail and other costs. These committees cannot coordinate with the candidate they are supporting. They affect the election the same way any political ad can affect an election — by convincing voters to support or oppose a candidate.”

It is the unlimited nature of these organizations’ fund-raising that separates them from PACs of the past.

What’s the Financial Impact?

Total expenditures by presidential Super PACs in the early primary states is $26.5 million as of January 18, according to The Center for Public Integrity.

Romney has benefited the most. To date, $9.5 million has been spent on his behalf, much of it coming from Restore Our Future. Gingrich is the second-biggest benefactor with roughly $4.5 million thrown to his cause, mainly through Winning Our Future, which has run ads depicting Romney as a corporate raider and job killer.

Who Is Behind The Super PACs?

Many of these organizations are founded and run by former employees of the candidates they support, which makes it easy for them to coordinate a message without direct communication from a candidate.

As for the money flows, only the contributions made through first six month of 2011 are currently public. The next disclosure report comes at the end of the month after many of the primaries will have ended and the GOP candidate is likely already named.

But what we know so far indicates the mega rich are the prime contributors to these Super PACs. Here a list compiled by The Center of Public Integrity:

  • Restore Our Future: The pro-Romney Super PAC received $1 million from hedge fund manager John Paulson and $1 million from Bain Capital managing director Edward Conard, which was originally reported via a shell corporation.
  • Winning Our Future: The pro-Gingrich Super PAC received a $5 million check from billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
  • Red White and Blue Fund: Wyoming billionaire Foster Friess gave half a million to the pro-Santorum Super PAC.
  • Priorities USA Action: This Super PAC favors President Obama. Dreamworks chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg contributed $2 million and Fred Eychaner of Newsweb Corp. gave $500,000.

Where Did Super PACs Come From?

“The Citizens United Supreme Court decision and a lower-court ruling in 2010 allowed corporations, individuals and labor unions to make unlimited contributions to independent organizations that use the money to support or defeat a candidate. The ruling led to the creation of super PACs,” writes Dunbar.

A handful of states are trying to fight back by introducing legislation that would amend the constitution. Five states in 2011 introduced bills to amend the constitution, and 7 states did so in 2010, according to FreeSpeechforPeople.org. This week the “Occupy” movement takes this message to courts and corporations around the country. (Stay tuned for additional Daily Ticker coverage Friday)

Why Should You Care?

Proponents of Super PACs will tell you these committees are good for America as they promote free speech by allowing people and corporations to spend as much money as they want to support whatever candidate they want.

Dunbar disagrees. “That’s a terrific argument [only] if you’re a billionaire,” says Dunbar.

January 19, 2012

America’s New Class System

How Fares the Dream?

“I have a dream,” declared Martin Luther King, in a speech that has lost none of its power to inspire. And some of that dream has come true. When King spoke in the summer of 1963, America was a nation that denied basic rights to millions of its citizens, simply because their skin was the wrong color. Today racism is no longer embedded in law. And while it has by no means been banished from the hearts of men, its grip is far weaker than once it was.

To say the obvious: to look at a photo of President Obama with his cabinet is to see a degree of racial openness — and openness to women, too — that would have seemed almost inconceivable in 1963. When we observe Martin Luther King’s Birthday, we have something very real to celebrate: the civil rights movement was one of America’s finest hours, and it made us a nation truer to its own ideals.

Yet if King could see America now, I believe that he would be disappointed, and feel that his work was nowhere near done. He dreamed of a nation in which his children “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” But what we actually became is a nation that judges people not by the color of their skin — or at least not as much as in the past — but by the size of their paychecks. And in America, more than in most other wealthy nations, the size of your paycheck is strongly correlated with the size of your father’s paycheck.

Goodbye Jim Crow, hello class system.

Economic inequality isn’t inherently a racial issue, and rising inequality would be disturbing even if there weren’t a racial dimension. But American society being what it is, there are racial implications to the way our incomes have been pulling apart. And in any case, King — who was campaigning for higher wages when he was assassinated — would surely have considered soaring inequality an evil to be opposed.

So, about that racial dimension: In the 1960s it was widely assumed that ending overt discrimination would improve the economic as well as legal status of minority groups. And at first this seemed to be happening. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s substantial numbers of black families moved into the middle class, and even into the upper middle class; the percentage of black households in the top 20 percent of the income distribution nearly doubled.

But around 1980 the relative economic position of blacks in America stopped improving. Why? An important part of the answer, surely, is that circa 1980 income disparities in the United States began to widen dramatically, turning us into a society more unequal than at any time since the 1920s.

Think of the income distribution as a ladder, with different people on different rungs. Starting around 1980, the rungs began moving ever farther apart, adversely affecting black economic progress in two ways. First, because many blacks were still on the lower rungs, they were left behind as income at the top of the ladder soared while income near the bottom stagnated. Second, as the rungs moved farther apart, the ladder became harder to climb.

The Times recently reported on a well-established finding that still surprises many Americans when they hear about it: although we still see ourselves as the land of opportunity, we actually have less intergenerational economic mobility than other advanced nations. That is, the chances that someone born into a low-income family will end up with high income, or vice versa, are significantly lower here than in Canada or Europe.

And there’s every reason to believe that our low economic mobility has a lot to do with our high level of income inequality.

Last week Alan Krueger, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, gave an important speech about income inequality, presenting a relationship he dubbed the “Great Gatsby Curve.” Highly unequal countries, he showed, have low mobility: the more unequal a society is, the greater the extent to which an individual’s economic status is determined by his or her parents’ status. And as Mr. Krueger pointed out, this relationship suggests that America in the year 2035 will have even less mobility than it has now, that it will be a place in which the economic prospects of children largely reflect the class into which they were born.

That is not a development we should meekly accept.

Mitt Romney says that we should discuss income inequality, if at all, only in “quiet rooms.” There was a time when people said the same thing about racial inequality. Luckily, however, there were people like Martin Luther King who refused to stay quiet. And we should follow their example today. For the fact is that rising inequality threatens to make America a different and worse place — and we need to reverse that trend to preserve both our values and our dreams.

January 15, 2012

Southern Baptist Evangelicals Declare “Mormonism is heretical to Christianity”

Mormonism is heretical to Christianity??  Well that is the Claim of a Southern Baptist Evangelical Leader… read below for more:

The Theological Differences Behind Evangelical Unease With Romney

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

The Rev. R. Philip Roberts, the president of a Southern Baptist seminary in Kansas City, Mo., is an evangelist with a particular goal: countering Mormon beliefs.

Mr. Roberts has traveled throughout the United States, and to some countries abroad, preaching that Mormonism is heretical to Christianity. His message is a theological one, but theology is about to land squarely in the middle of the Republican presidential primary campaign.

As the Republican voting moves South, with primaries in South Carolina on Saturday and in Florida on Jan. 31, the religion of Mitt Romney, the front-runner, may be an inescapable issue in many voters’ minds. In South Carolina, where about 60 percent of Republican voters are evangelical Christians, Mr. Romney, a devout Mormon and a former bishop in the church, faces an electorate that has been exposed over the years to preachers like Mr. Roberts who teach that the Mormon faith is apostasy.

Many evangelicals have numerous reasons, other than religion, for objecting to Mr. Romney. But to understand just how hard it is for some to coalesce around his candidacy, it is important to understand the gravity of their theological qualms.

“I don’t have any concerns about Mitt Romney using his position as either a candidate or as president of the United States to push Mormonism,” said Mr. Roberts, an author of “Mormonism Unmasked” and president of the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, who said he had no plans to travel to South Carolina before the voting. “The concern among evangelicals is that the Mormon Church will use his position around the world as a calling card for legitimizing their church and proselytizing people.”

Mormons consider themselves Christians — as denoted in the church’s name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yet the theological differences between Mormonism and traditional Christianity are so fundamental, experts in both say, that they encompass the very understanding of God and Jesus, what counts as Scripture and what happens when people die.

“Mormonism is a distinctive religion,” David Campbell, a Mormon and an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in religion and politics. “It’s not the same as Presbyterianism or Methodism. But at the same time, there have been efforts on the part of the church to emphasize the commonality with other Christian faiths, and that’s a tricky balance to strike for the church.”

On the most fundamental issue, traditional Christians believe in the Trinity: that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all rolled into one.

Mormons reject this as a non-biblical creed that emerged in the fourth and fifth centuries. They believe that God the Father and Jesus are separate physical beings, and that God has a wife whom they call Heavenly Mother.

It is not only evangelical Christians who object to these ideas.

“That’s just not Christian,” said the Rev. Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, a liberal Protestant seminary in New York City. “God and Jesus are not separate physical beings. That would be anathema. At the end of the day, all the other stuff doesn’t matter except the divinity of Jesus.”

The Mormon Church says that in the early 1800s, its first prophet, Joseph Smith, had revelations that restored Christianity to its true path, a course correction necessary because previous Christian churches had corrupted the faith. Smith bequeathed to his church volumes of revelations contained in scripture used only by Mormons: “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” “The Doctrine and Covenants” and “Pearl of Great Price.”

Traditional Christians do not recognize any of those as Scripture.

Another big sticking point concerns the afterlife. Early Mormon apostles gave talks asserting that human beings would become like gods and inherit their own planets — language now regularly held up to ridicule by critics of Mormonism.

But Kathleen Flake, a Mormon who is a professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt Divinity School, explained that the planets notion had been de-emphasized in modern times in favor of a less concrete explanation: people who die embark on an “eternal progression” that allows them “to partake in God’s glory.”

“Mormons think of God as a parent,” she said. “God makes the world in order to give that world to his children. It’s like sending your child to Harvard — God gives his children every possible opportunity to progress towards this higher life that God possesses. When Mormons say ‘Heavenly Father,’ they mean it. It’s not a metaphor.”

It is the blurring of the lines between God, Jesus and human beings that is hard for evangelicals to swallow, said Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Pasadena, Calif., who has been involved in a dialogue group between evangelicals and Mormons for 12 years and has a deep understanding of theology as Mormons see it.

“Both Christians and Jews, on the basis of our common Scriptures, we’d all agree that God is God and we are not,” Mr. Mouw said. “There’s a huge ontological gap between the Creator and the creature. So any religious perspective that reduces that gap, you think, oh, wow, that could never be called Christian.”

Mormons tend to explain the doctrinal differences more gently. Lane Williams, a Mormon and a professor of communications at Brigham Young University-Idaho, a Mormon institution, said the way he understands it, “it’s not a ‘we’re right and they’re wrong’ kind of approach. But it’s as though we feel we have a broader circle of truth.

“My daily life tries to be about Jesus Christ,” he said. “And in that way, I don’t think I’m much different from my Protestant friends.”

In a Pew poll released in late November, about two-thirds of mainline Protestants and Catholics said Mormonism is Christian, compared with only about a third of white evangelicals. By contrast, 97 percent of Mormons said their religion is Christian in a different Pew poll released this month.

Mr. Mouw said that only a month ago he was called to Salt Lake City to mediate a theological discussion about Mormonism among four evangelical leaders who had collaborated with Mormon leaders to pass the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage in California. After two and a half days of discussions, the group was divided on Mormon theology, Mr. Mouw said.

“Two concluded that while Mormons are good people, they don’t worship the same God,” Mr. Mouw said. “Two concluded that Mormons love Jesus just as the evangelicals do, and they accepted the Mormons as brothers and sisters in Christ.

“That’s the split,” Mr. Mouw said, “and it’s very basic.”

January 3, 2012

Dear Media Coverage of the IOWA CAUCUS

Please be advised that  the vast majority of this country is NOT interested in the  ridiculousness they call an event taking place in Iowa… in past presidential elections it may have mattered.. but most of us find it a best a joke.. and at worst a national disgrace.

INSTEAD OF THE IOWA CAUCUS can we please watch  reruns of 1960 bowling championship games.. or  maybe how to cook food from Uzbekistan…  or even I LOVE Luck episodes 1 through a gazillion…. ANYTHING BUT THE CRAP that is taking place in IOWA

Watching people hand knitting sweaters has more appeal than what you are showing us in IOWA

August 16, 2011

THE GREAT AMERICAN RIFT

THE GREAT AMERICAN RIFT

3 years ago I said that as far as our economy was concerned it did not matter who won the presidential race because we were in for very difficult times… I just never realized myself HOW difficult those times would become.

Across the country Americans are still in shock that they are so much worse off than they were in 2006… and most do not see it getting better although the all hope it will… but in reality I see nothing to indicate it will get better… OHH yes I see SOME economic reports that show this thing or that thing  is getting better…  only to find out  later that  it as not as great as reported originally… This makes most of us think that we cannot trust the economic data being provided anymore.

Let’s take the rate of inflation… for most of us that means the CPI or the Consumer Price index… most of us see greater inflation in our household budgets than what the government reports… this is not new… in fact the government over the past 30 years or so has CHANGED how this inflation figure is calculated 19 times.. . Yes, you read that correctly, that is not a typo…..  NINETEEN times, each and every time decreasing the actual inflation that a normal household really experiences. Don’t believe me… look at your utility bills that last few years… or see how much your food Costs are… and the size of the package your food is in… it may not appear smaller… but if you look at the actual weight on the package it is… you are paying the same or MORE for less.

Gasoline, food, utilities insurances (Health and auto and homeowners) and much more that are most of the actual budget of a home are sky high and wages are not up… and taxes have risen in some areas like the so called penny tax School taxes in many places are HIGHER than property taxes… and we are not getting the bag for our buck there… but I will save education issues for a later post. Even my cable bill with Comcast or the new name X-finity is outrageously high… and like most Americans I am fed up, frustrated and feel helpless when my elected officials are getting good paychecks and NOT helping the people who they were elected to serve… Politics which was always a dirty word has become so bad that I fear some people will cause physical harm to me if I bring it up in a conversation….

OK so I hope most of us can agree with the into here… now for what I see as the GREAT AMERIAN RIFT.

No surprise that Politics is to blame for where we are… the only difference we may have is WHO or Which Party you feel is responsible… and to tell you the truth I don’t care which side you’re on… it is bad. Politics used to be negotiating from an ideological viewpoint the ways in which to make this country great and keep it great… NOW however I see it as just an argument on Ideology… and the polarization of this country has never been so great since the Civil War that tore this country apart and took decades to recover economically and more than a entry to mostly heal the social divide (which unfortunately still exists in areas of racism, homophobia, religion, women’s rights,  and the Right to Life movement, etc) we are a nation divided to the point that if we could  see one state on one side of the issue I would not be surprised if a succession movement evolved again. But geographical divides will never be tolerated… and so, because of politicians, we find ourselves involved and on the brink of another civil war in this country… the GREAT RIFT will cause a great divide that may never heal under our current form of government.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease… or so they say… but Politics has become a situation of such Ultra extremists in both parties controlling the entire party and hence setting an agenda that is not in keeping with the actual real beliefs of those in that party…. And WORSE… not being honest loyal Americans FIRST.  IF they were good Americans I believe they would want and FIGHT for is best for the PEOPLE of America….  It is PEOPLE who make America great… and sadly we are losing that greatness because of cowardly politicians. They bow to those motivated to vote… so I say with a loud voice the GREATEST THREAT TO THE AMERICAN WAY IS VOTER APPATHY

Children of parents who constantly fight and call each other names and LIE never fare well in life Citizens of a country whose politicians are so intransient in their positions suffer from that as well…  Unless your party gets 80% of a vote where at least 80 percent of the registered voters voted… THEN YOU DO NOT HAVE A MANDATE FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC…you simply won an election… so get over your self-grandioseing and get on with helping America… you incessant BS is aggravating to most Americans to say the least.

Someone needs to come out and speak for the SILENT MAJORITY and the loud mouths and liars are in control lately… I believe 80 percent of Americans are not happy with either party the way they are behaving… and this polarization of America MUST STOP. Am I angry?? DAMN right I am.

I am a lifelong Republican… and quite frankly I am pissed off at my party… and the Tea Party in particular … for what they are doing to America today. BACHMAN… oh for crying out loud… Spineless politicians who will not say the truth about her obvious ignorance in the things she says… WHY… “OH well… She is a Republican and we can’t call her out on false statements!”… Most of America knows what you our LEADERS are afraid to say and would welcome honesty and straight talk for a change… at least I know I would… you lose my respect every day when you allow this type of behavior in OUR party…

I voted for Obama… why?? Because I tough he was better then what you put up for President… I like John McCain… but Sarah Palin… come on guys did you intentionally want to lose??

Taxes.. Can any republican say with all honesty that it is right for a Hedge Fund manager to make millions… sometimes hundreds of millions and only pay 15% taxes when his staff pays 30-40 percent in taxes.  And don’t give me the BS that he creates jobs with lower taxes… he creates NOTHING but profits a leach on society…. Shaving pennies from hundreds of trades a day in rapid computer generated trades… the Stock market is no longer a free and fair market with these types of shenanigans going on.

I would LOVE less regulation from Government… but greed and corruption exists and Corporations cannot be trusted to do what is right… they incentivized by one thing and one thing only profits… and who can blame them when you have corrupted the system so much as to let them fail the people of this country and demonize anyone who dares speaks up for the human condition in this country… instead encourage them to do what is right with financial incentives if need be… and then and only then will I support a reduction on regulations.. I said it above and I will repeat it again now: PEOPLE make America Great.. NOT businesses or corporations… we have the most creative and innovative collection of minds in this world… yet it appears they get sucked into how to maximize profit and to disregard the human condition.  I cannot begin to say how ashamed I am sometimes for being Republican… but yet I will not become a Democrat… for they are besieged with equally distasteful ideas… and will drive their party into the ground unless they learn to compromise and negotiate for the benefit of the American public … even if it is at the expense of some of their pet projects.  Simply put.. BOTH of your parties are more damaging to AMERICA then IRAN… because you have lost your souls for your ideology to the detriment of this country

China: China is NOT our friend,, and dependence on them for the benefit of business has NOT helped America.. Ohh yes it may have reduced some costs to the American Public… but in reality we lost more in jobs and wages and disposable income and reduced our GDP by doing so. And WHAT DID WE GAIN.. Corporate profits at the expense of our country… the same for NAFTA and other free trade agreements.. And now in our current situation we have no ability to create jobs for our unemployed as there are fewer factories to employ the people we need to give jobs to. WTO is basically a fare to the Hourly wage earner in the industrialized world.

Government is NOT the same as Households or business… and it not the same at FEDERAL level as it is on the state level… IN Economic down times like these GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SPEND MORE TO HELP CREAT JOBS AND BRING BACK A TAX BASE OF EMPLOYED PEOPLE (Do I have to remind you of Roosevelt’s initiatives that helped bring us out of the Great depression) … Cutting Corporate taxes does NOT create jobs as you have told people or by extending the tax cuts last time around you have not seen a real increase in hiring… and why is that.. Well Mr. Politician… our economy is more than 70% consumer driven: no jobs, no spending… no spending then no company wants to invest in plant, equipment or hiring… so where do the jobs come from…ONE word… INFRASTRUCTURE  as these projects are critical in America today when our infrastructure is crumbling and jobs are just not available anywhere else… and they have to be paid for by our government through HIGHER taxes on those that can afford and on corporations…

Why is it so hard for you to understand BASIC economics and tell the truth instead of pandering to a minority base of zealots who will destroy this country?

SO… what is the RIFT we are facing in America today? It is Class Warfare… based in steep and entrenched Ideology that is not often based in reality or honesty. It is the division in America not just between political parties but in the haves and have-nots… It is politically driven and fueled by greed and fear and is clouded by lies and distortions of truths… it is the worst of all types of warfare.. it is the kind that fuels revolutions in other countries… and destroys nations… it is  the warning bell to the fall of America as   great nation and we will not even know until we have fallen so low as  to not be able to pull ourselves up.  And it seems to be savored not only by our enemies and countries jealous of our success…. But also by the Media who likes conflict and sound bites and lacks the same courage to set things straight and to further polarize this country based on ideology.

So as this election season now seems to be starting and we have 15more months of this slander and false statement season and cowardly politicians on both side.. Remember this… WE are ultimately responsible for what is about to happen.. WE the SILENT MAJORITY… who has failed to speak up… who accepts  the media on face value… who blindly believes their parties rhetoric… and then the PEOPLE who FAIL to VOTE… as I said above the GREATEST threat to America today is Apathy.. a failure to vote and to make your voice head at the voting booths.. WE are responsible for the future of this Country….

Who among you will raise to the occasion and do the simplest thing to help it by voting… and who among you will just lay down and accept whatever happens… From the Primaries where you will select your candidate (*where I fear the most for my party in getting a BAD candidate again because the radicals get their supports to the polls and the majority of republicans just sit back and watch and then find out they have a  fool for a candidate)… to the General election where you should vote for the BEST person for President as opposed to your Party’s CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT…. WILL YOU STAND UP FOR AMERICA??

A final note to my Republican Party.. If you give me someone like Bachman as  our candidate I will NOT vote for her… but I will vote. Republican or not I am an American first… and that woman has no business even being in Congress let alone holding the office of President of the United States. Until you  my fellow republicans find your backbone and speak truth and care for the AMERICAN people I will not be able to vote Republican .

Greetings Ms Shelly, Whoever and wherever you are.

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

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