I used to be a Republican

I used to be a Republican. There have been a lot of great Republicans; Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt , Dwight Eisenhower, the Rockefeller brothers. Hell, I even voted for Nixon in '68 (but don't tell anyone!) I even supported George, Mitt's father in '68 until he dropped out of the race. There were no "birthers" like Trump and the others today who claimed he was ineligible to be President because he was born in Mexico.

The Measure of Success

How do you measure success? Dollars and Cents? By that criteria Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, MLK, even Jesus were failures. Real success means doing something with your life that lets people live better lives, makes the world a better place to live. Getting rich is just a side affect that some experience. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, got rich, but more importantly, they were successful. Mitt Romney got rich.

The Middle Class

One of the favorite “buzzwords” the politicians keep using is “middle class.” Do you know who Romney or Obama are talking about when they use it?  I don’t. It would be helpful if they would tell us who they mean when they say “the middle class.”  I suspect they are not talking about the same people.
My curiosity got the better of me and I did a Google search to see what I could find.  I got 510,000,000 results.  I looked at a few.

Budget

Dean Heller along with all the other Republicans keep harping on the fact that Congress hasn’t passed a budget in three years.  Does it matter?

Que Sera, Sera

"It is what it is" is obviously true, but "que sera, sera" is not.  I reject the idea that we have nothing to say about the future.  We can not change the past, (although there have been many attempts to re-write history) but "what will be" is what we make it.

What I learned watching the RNC.

Mit Romney is a nice guy and his wife loves him.
Paul Ryan once washed dishes and waited tables at a restaurant.
As President and Vice President they will “lead from the front.” I didn’t learn where they will lead us or what path we’ll follow.
They will “protect” medicare. They didn’t say who or what from or how they’ll do it.
They will “restore America’s future.” I have no idea what they mean by that and they didn’t say.

The Source of all Evil

Good, Bad: Right, Wrong: Justified, Unjustified: Justice, Injustice: Evil.
Good is that which produces happiness, joy, pleasure, comfort, health, ease, knowledge, understanding, love, empathy, etc.
Bad is that which produces sadness, depression, stress, pain, sickness, ignorance, intolerance, hatred, anger, animosity, poverty, prejudice, persecution, etc.
Right is that which results in Good.
Wrong is that which results in Bad.
Justified is that which is Right or that results in both Good and Bad but the Good outweighs the Bad.
Unjustified is that which is Wrong or that results in both Good and Bad but the Bad outweighs the Good.
Justice

Contradiction

“UNAWARE OF THE CONTRADICTION…. There's an old joke that goes something like this: my neighbor went to public schools before joining the military. He went to college on the G.I. Bill, bought his first home through the FHA, and received his health care through the V.A. and Medicare. He now receives Social Security. He's a conservative because he wants to get the government off his back. I mention the joke because a surprising number of right-wing activists don't seem to appreciate the humor.

Anger and Fear

Anger and Fear.
“Three types of anger are recognized by psychologists: 
The first … is connected to the impulse for self-preservation. It is shared between humans and non-human animals and occurs when tormented or trapped. 
The second type of anger … is a reaction to perceived deliberate harm or unfair treatment by others. …. 
The third type of anger is … related … to character traits …” 
“… angry people are more likely … to blame a person's behavior … on his nature than on his circumstances.

History of the Pledge of Allegiance.

History of the Pledge of Allegiance.
1892
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
1892 to 1923
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
1923 to 1924
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of

GDP History

Democrats have occupied the White House in 26 of the 62 years since 1948. Average GDP growth in the country over those 26 years has been 4.01%.   Republicans have occupied […]

Election

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”- George Santayana (1863-1952)  “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” “We cannot solve […]

The Good Old Days

Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude. It rests on doubt in human nature; it distrusts improvement, clings to traditional institutions and prefers the past to the future.

the devil is in the details

From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/24/republican-jobs-bills_n_1687647.html.
Economists say Republican Jobs Bills won’t Actually Create Jobs. They are narrowly targeted and are really  special interest driven.  Jobs are a second or third-order effect, not the main priority of the bills in the package.
At the heart of the GOP jobs package is a push for rolling back regulations … gutting environmental laws that regulate clean air and water …  (ie.

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion
It is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches, it is the state of pretending to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie.
 
“The only vice which cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy.

Buzzwords

Buzzwords are coded expressions that evoked a specific message for one group while sounding innocuous to others.

Hacked

My websites all got hacked.  This is now day 3 of cleaning up and recovering.  One site (Saintly Sins) is still down.  The nerds at DreamHost.com responded very fast. I sent them an email Saturday night … had a response Sunday morning. They had scanned and repaired all that they could, gave me a list of all files on all   sites repaired, a list of all files on all sites still infected, a list of all files on all sites in danger of being hacked, and detailed instructions on what and how to get it all cleaned up.

The Bill of Rights

James Madison’s draft of the Bill of Rights was prepared and introduced shortly after the First Congress convened in 1789.
Quoted from:
 http://ratify.constitutioncenter.org/constitution/index_no_flash.php
“The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending

The 1st amendment

All these people who keep yelling about the Constitution and how it’s being violated by the government and keep insisting that “This is a Christian country.” and  claiming the government is carrying on a “War on religion” need to read it.
Here’s a link to the constitution.
https://constitutionus.com
And here’s what the 1st amendment actually says:
¨Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

A BIG BANG

Took a break from the Republican melee and watched Big Bang.  SERENDIPITY!  It dawned on me that Romney is the political incarnation of Sheldon … out of touch with reality;

Doing too much good.

The Mars Candy decision to reduce the size of their candy bars is a farce!  The First Lady’s desire to improve the health of the nations children is laudable but this is ridiculous.  Does Mars expect to sell less product? NO!  They expect you continue to buy the same or even more!  Instead of 1 large Mars bar they expect you will buy 3 or more small Mars bars!  Do they expect to decrease their profit? NO!

Freedom of Religion

I checked the preamble to the Constitution and guess what? It starts with the words “We the people.” It does not begin with we the hospitals, schools, day care centers, soup kitchens, or any other institution … not even churches!  The first amendment guarantees freedom of religion to “We the people” it does not guarantee freedom of religion to hospitals, schools, day care centers, soup kitchens, or any other institution … not even churches!

Knowledge and Reality

I was reading an article in the Wikipedia on Jewish philosophy at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_philosophy  and the section far down the page at:
Traditionalist attitudes towards philosophy
which reads: Haredi traditionalists who emerged in reaction to the Haskalah considered the fusion of religion and philosophy as difficult because classical philosophers start with no preconditions for which conclusions they must reach in their investigation, while classical religious believers have a set of religious principles of faith that they hold one must believe. Most Haredim contended that one cannot simultaneously be a philosopher and a true adherent of a revealed religion.

Texas Fires: More Vengeance?

Michele Bachmann seems to be missing a great opportunity in her battle for the Republican Presidential nomination. If  she can call the earth quake and hurricane Irene God’s vengeance for us electing Obama President she should be calling  the Texas fires God’s vengeance for electing Rick Perry Governor.

God’s Vengeance

I was wondering how long it would take for some religious fanatic to say it. “I don’t know how much God has to do…. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?'” I thought it would be some Islamic fundamentalist saying it was God’s punishment for us killing Bin Laden. It wasn’t it was a fundamentalist of another persuasion …

More on Seperation of Church and State

My father, a fundamentalist Baptist Minister, opposed, (no he was actually angered), by public events that included pray.  He based his opinion of such acts on the verses which you can check out here:  http://bible.cc/matthew/6-5.htm  and here  http://bible.cc/matthew/6-6.htm and here  http://bible.cc/mark/12-17.htm  and here http://bible.cc/john/9-31.htm.  He agreed with Billy Graham that what these verses made abundantly clear was that  ” Sin erects a barrier between us and God.

Fundamentalism

Christian Fundamentalism 
This is a condensed summary of what Fundamentalist Christians believe.
There is only one God.
God is a Spirit. (That is he has no physical or material existence. [Unless he chooses to have one like when he “… became flesh and dwelt among us.”])
God is omniscient (all knowing [although he sometimes asks questions like “…

Separation of Church and State

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary not with-standing.”

Cyberspace is forever

Once you put something on the internet it stays there forever!
There was a lot of news recently about privacy in the digital age we now live in.  Back in 2002 I had written a piece on that subject for a web site in England.  I thought it might be relevant today and that I might repost it so I looked for it.  I was surprised to learn that I no longer had a copy of it on my computer’s hard drive.

Food Memories

We watched Julie and Julia the other night.  (Weren’t going too. We were just going to see what it was about.  Three hours later we had watched the whole thing.  It was ok.
Anyway, set me to thinking about food.  My first memory of food is from when I was about 5 years old and my sister joyce (she would have been about 12) made me toast and hot cocoa morning. I couldn’t believe how wonderful it tasted.  I can still remember the taste perfectly.

Election Reaction

My reaction to the elections is a bit delayed.  I guess I’m still a little in shock.  Needless to say I did not expect the outcome.  When I discussed it with Professor Levine at UT and he predicted a 50 seat loss in the house.  I REALLY thought that was impossible, I told him maybe 30 seats.  WOW was I wrong!  So, Renan, you were right and I was wrong.
I still don’t believe the American people have actually bought-in to the Tea Party agenda.

Mythic Past

I have had Thomas L. Thompson’s Mythic Past Biblical Archaeology and the Myth of Israel on my book shelf for years and finally got around to reading it a few months ago. Dr. Thompson rejects the generally accepted idea that the Israelites arrived in Biblical Israel as invaders of an already existing civilization, conquered and replaced it. (A stand that caused him much opposition in his field and was detrimental to his career.) Thompson basically asserts a gradual evolution of already existing cultural elements.

GOD

Suppose you wanted to have a conversation about God with someone. If there is to be any communication you’ll have to both mean the same thing by the words you use. The most important word in such a conversation will be God, and at least some minimal assumptions of what God is have to be made to have the conversation.

Elections

Some definitions from the dictionary
conservative |kənˈsərvətiv; -vəˌtiv|
adjective
holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation
noun
a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes,
ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [aiming to preserve] ): from late Latin conservativus, from conservat- ‘conserved,’ from the verb conservare
liberal |ˈlib(ə)rəl|
adjective
• open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values
• favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms
• favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform
noun
a person of liberal views
ORIGIN Middle English : via Old French from Latin liberalis, from liber ‘free (man).’ The original sense was [suitable for a free man,]

Toronto

The trip to Toronto has been great. Oh didn’t post that we were on our way did I. On the way home now and will be glad to get out of the cold.

Super Bowl Saints

Well beyond everyones expectations (except for the folks in New Orleans) the Saints have won and the Colts will have to sneak out of Miami in the middle of the night with their tails between their legs just as they did from Baltimore all those years ago. When I lived in Maryland the Colts were my team….until they packed up and sneaked out of town in the middle of the night.

Election 08

It occurred to me today that the Obama campaign is failing to address a very big concern of the voters.  The voters of the country have lost all faith in government.  His ideas and plans and policies are right but voters are not hearing from him what they are hearing form the other side and that is what is making them support McCain. McCain is constantly hammering home the idea that Washington is out of touch, Washington is corrupt, Washington is the cause of the country’s problems, Washington is the enemy of the people.

Political Catch Up

Liz and I were both delegates to The Clark County convention which was a disaster.  About 4 times as many people showed up for the convention as expected and the convention had to be reconvened weeks later to complete the voting.
Again, both Liz and I were selected as delegates to the Nevada State convention which met in Reno.  This was better run, but ran about an hour or two behind schedule all weekend.
Even though President Bill Clinton came to Reno to address the convention, the results of the caucuses were reversed at the convention.

Nevada Caucuses

The Nevada Caucuses took place Saturday and Liz and I attended our precinct Democratic caucus at the local school.  We had 117 show up.  Only 3 candidates received support and (unfortunately) Edwards only had 15 supporters.  The viability cut off was 18 and we were unable to convince anyone to join us so we had to redistribute ourselves. Obama managed to come out with 1 more delegate than Clinton in our precinct.  I still prefer Edwards and hope he can manages to do better in the remaining primaries.

Democrats Win

We just got back a week ago from a visit to Toronto, We were there during Thanksgiving and attended Thanksgiving dinner with the Democrats Abroad chapter in Toronto.Dinner was held at the George Brown College Ontario Hostelry Institute School of Hospitality.The students at the institute did all the work and provided a traditional Thanksgiving meal and were given a resounding round of applause for there work.In case your wondering how two visitors from Las Vegas got invited to attend this event, it was the result of the very political principle of “It’s not what you know but who you know that counts.”That is, the wife and

Election 2006

Have you seen the adds being put on by AARP? You know, the ones that say “Don’t Vote”?  Well not voting isn’t the thing to do, but that’s not what they’re telling us to do anyway.  What they’re say is “Don’t vote until you know where the candidates stand on the issues.”Well, I did that, I found out where the candidates stand on the issues and as a result I decided I wasn’t going to vote for any of them.Fortunately, here in Nevada for all the state wide and Congressional races we have the choice on the ballet to vote

TRUST ME!

George W. Bush: “…our intelligence activities strictly target al Qaeda and their known affiliates.” TRUST ME!George W. Bush:  ”…the government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval.”  TRUST ME!George W. Bush: “…the privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities.” TRUST ME!George W. Bush: “…We’re not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans.”   TRUST ME! George W.

Katrina

My thoughts and emotions on this subject are so great that I can hardly contain them and have a great deal of difficulty expressing them. But the President’s speech demands some comment.It was a good speech. He has a good speechwriter.