Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Good Question

Tonight I heard a very good questioncomputer?: “Why should a person working full time have to live in poverty?”  For myself I feel that the answer is they shouldn’t have to live in poverty.

Now before we go any farther let me make something very clear.  I’m asking the question is “Why should a person, working 40 hours a week, be paid an amount that is less than the poverty line for a single person?”  I’m not even considering those people who are married and their spouce isn’t working.  Nor am I talking about a single parent.  I will leave these people out for later thought.  I’m just dealing with a single person working full time and they are being paid the national minimum wage and the poverty line for where they work is greater than their income.

I have yet hear anyone on the right give me an answer to this question.  Maybe they just haven’t heard if before, no mater how unlikely that might be.  Lets be generous and assume they haven’t and give them the opportunity to address this question.  Here’s your chance.  Please!  Give me an answer, I’d really like to hear it.

Promoting Affluenza

safe_image.phpI don’t think Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga) has given much thought to just what lesson all of the kids would be learning if the ones getting  “free lunches” are the only ones having to ‘work’ for their lunch.  If one group of students can pay for their lunches from money given them by their parents but another group has to ‘work’ to earn their lunch just what lesson will be learned?  If the lesson that is to be learned is that TANSTAFUL (there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) wouldn’t it be better for all of the students work for their lunches in stead of just one group?  Are we not just denying  the wealthy children  this most valuable lesson in life and in the process assisting in promoting affluenza?

Capatialism the Free Market & Christianity

With the reaction of many of the right wing talk-bobble-heads to this past weeks comments by Pope Francis has brought to the forefront a question I’ve been asking for several years now.  I’ve been asking various and  people I know who make a point of pointing out that they are Christians just where in either the scriptures or other Christian teaching (or Philosophy) that Usury is no longer a sin in their denomination? I should like to point out that even in the link on Usury in Wikipedia talks about unethical or immoral monetary loans and not just making loans for money.

Other than a couple of very very strict Calvinists who equate being successful as the same as being one of the Elect, I have yet to get any citations or references.  Strange.


Why the GOP aposses Pres. Obama’s nominations

Many of the congress watchers know that when the GOP regains control of the Senate that they were sure to change the rules on the filibuster to keep the Democrats from doing exactly what the GOP has been doing since President Obama was first elected.  Specifically using, over using really, the rules on closure to slow down or stop most of Obama’s nominations.  The past few years they have been particularity hostile to Obama’s judicial nominations.  Why this is seems to escape most of the talking heads and beltway pundents.  This being the case here is my 2 cents.

Right now judges on the federal bench number 390 nominated by the Democrats and 390 nominated and somewhere around 90 empty seats.  For most of my life I’ve been listening to the right wing complain about the ‘liberal judicial activism’ and watched the federal courts become more and more conservative activist.  With the 90 empty seats on the bench I think the GOP/Conservative Movement fear that all there work over the last 30+ years is going to be set badly back if Obama & the Democrats get to fill the empty seats.

I also think that the GOP is looking at the demographics.  They are loosing badly in the struggle for newer, younger members to the Democrats and Independents.  This is not the first time in the history of the USA that a political party has seen it’s support wither away.  An the first time, I think, is very close to what is happening now. The “The Midnight Judges” was caused by the up and coming Democratic-Republican Party vs the Federalist Party and the Federalist were wrongly thought to have gone and filled a large number of new judgeships because they wanted to keep control of the judiciary.  They reason I think that this is the best comparison because this marked the start of some of the most vitriolic political era of US history and I think that all of the vitriol spewing forth since the election of President Obama  is quite similar.   I hate to think that the GOP fear of its loss of control of either or both of the Executive & Legislative branches is motivating

Socialism, Marxism and Christianity

529fa354d76bf.preview-300Just to add my own 2 cents worth into the hullabaloo over Pope Francis’ comments about Capitalism and as a longtime student of Political Philosophy & Theory I’d like to say “So?”.

First to start off, lets be clear just because something is socialist it does not follow that it is Marxist.  If you don’t believe me just read George Orwell’s  commentaries of Marxism.  That said, anyone who has taken the time to really study the basic teaching of most any of the denominations of Christianity is aware of where classic socialism gets many of it’s ideas from.  I have yet to find any Christian denomination that isn’t about the community, or as some put it “The Body of Christ”.  It is about helping, supporting, etc others who need it.  So is Socialism.  They just go about getting it done differently.  Socialism uses the power of the state, Christianity uses the power of the church.

So right wing bobble-heads I say, Get Over It.  Just because you have joined hands with some Christians, or people who claim to be Christians, who seem to think Jesus said ‘Greed is Good’ doesn’t make it so.

By there works you will know them.  (with apologies to  Mark 7:16)

The 1st Amendment, Citizens United and the law of unintended effects

In 2010 SCOTUS came down with the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission I made the prediction that declaring that corporations were ‘persons’ and had The First Amendment right to Free Speech would have unintended consequences that would come to haunt the Supreme Court.

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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

This week the first of these consequences has come home to roost for the Roberts Court with the decision by the Court to take up two cases dealing with the rights of a corporation to exercise it’s right to freedom by denying their employees medical insurance that covers several types of birth control.  I will not go into the right or wrongs of these two cases here.  Rather I will deal with the conundrum the court faces in making any ruling at all.

The problem facing the court can be stated thus:

  1. Rule in favor of the corporations stating that given that they are legal persons they do have a protected right to practice their religion.
  2. Rule against the corporations stating that they are not legal persons, overturning/contradicting Citizens United, and they do not have any first amendment rights
  3. Rule in favor of the corporations stating the decision is based on something other than the person-hood of corporations and their first amendment rights
  4. Dito option 3 but ruling against the corporations .
  5. Rule against the corporations, even though acknowledging they are persons for Free Speech but not persons for anything else in the first amendment, or just for religious freedom.

The problem facing the court is as simple as it is difficult to deal with….the court never gave a clear and detailed explanation of why a corporation is a person.  Worse it did not show, in anyway, how a natural person implicit rights as enumerated in the 1st amendment is any way different those right implicit to a legal person  when they acknowledged that legal persons have the right to free speech.

I shall be very interested in following these cases and see what the court does.