Monday, November 29, 2010


The Republicans have expressed reluctance to meet with President Obama because he "dissed them" last year.  (Apparently, his cogently expressing a different opinion and vision is considered disrespectful to some Republicans.)

The Republicans are complaining about him dissing them?

That party of "You Lie?" the party of Sarah Palin's bullying sarcasm?  The party which kowtows to Beck and Limbaugh?  The party of unceasing lies about him?

The party of whom Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said “I just find it deplorable that some people on my end of the aisle want to find everything wrong and nothing right about the man as a man"?

They are complaining about expressions of disrespect?

And the country isn’t roaring with laughter?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Checks and Balances and Free Enterprise

Corporations have done many fine things, they have developed many fine products and improved the quality of life in many ways, and they deserve credit and recognition for these accomplishments

But the driving corporate motive of profits for a select few is a  non-starter when it comes to serving all of We the people of the United States.

What have we seen when the concepts of "free enterprise" and a shackled government have dominated our economy and country?
  • The "Robber Barons" and rapacious monopolies as the industrial revolution kicked into high gear after the Civil War;
  • Exploitation of workers, including child workers, in sweat shops with no provisions for their health and safety.  (In the US 100 years ago; in the third world today);
  • A meat industry 100 years ago which produced and got rich on unsanitary meat.  (And a food industry today which can neither promise nor deliver safe and healthy food);
  • Triangle Shirt Waist Factory tragedies where hundreds of workers were incinerated because workers weren't entitled to safe working conditions.  (Today: the Upper Big Branch Mine collapse, the 47 killed in the Xingdong Number Two Mine disaster in China, etc);
  • An economy of rich and poor, with a scant middle class.  (After a century of progressive economics and a blossoming middle class, we are seeing the middle class rapidly disappear in the face of Reaganomics and right wing economics);
  • A couple of centuries of repeated series of banking failures and panics about every 15-20 years; put on hold during effective use of the New Deal banking regulatory scheme, revived with the crash of 2007-8 following the Reagan to Bush II's evisceration of effective banking regulations);
  • A country in which many of our legislators were bought and sold by those with the money (also in modern revival);
  • A country where the elderly and the sick and the dispossessed had no safety net.
  • Toxic waste dumps, A Great Lake which was near dead, vast "islands" of waste clogging our oceans, a climate on the edge of changing all of life as we know it.
  • Millions of jobs outsourced to foreign countries at the huge economic and societal cost to our country.

Unrestrained govrnment is bad, but so is unrestrained "mammon," AKA unrestrained commerce and corporatism.

Our country and economy do best when we have balance - when we have checks and balances on the centers of power.

Our votes are a check and balance on government.

Where are the checks and balances on "free enterprise" and the giant corporations which use that concept to seek profits for a few among us at the expense of people, the environment and basic justice?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Which Dem for President in 2012?

Subsequent to this Post, President Obama has denied that he is caving to Republican demands that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest be extended.

Subsequent to that subsequent update, he caved.

It seems to me that anyone who claims to be fighting deficits and yet is in favor of tax cuts is really just interested in gutting our government.

Remember, those tax cuts were enacted when tax revenues were high enough to generate a surplus - and Republicans felt tax cuts were more important that paying down the deficit.

Dear President Obama.

You failure to fight for the reinstatement of the higher tax rate for the richest convinced me that my working for your election in 2008 - (knocking on doors, working the phone banks as a volunteer) and voting for you - were misguided. Your election has not resulted in any apparent concerted attempt to achieve the change I and so many others had hoped for and which you lead us to believe you represented.

This latest capitulation simply continues the trend of increasing disappointment.

Fight, darn it. Don't roll over and say "gee, this is the best we can do." You haven't even tried.

Are you really the president of the United States?

Sadly, I ask because your actions and inactions belie that alleged fact,

And sadly, I am pretty darned sure I actively campaign for _anyone_ who opposes you for the 2012 Democratic nomination.

With immeasurable disappointment

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jesus, Sulphur and International Law. A Parable for Oklahoma

Long long ago, in land far, far away, a prince, son of The King, sent his 12 followers on a quest, telling them:
“Go to the lost sheep of this land and proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’  Do really good stuff for people.
“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.  Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodomville and Gomorrahburg on the day of judgment than for that town which has denied its hospitality to you..
“You see, long ago, Sodomville would greet travelers and strangers with threats of mayhem, and my Dad really taught them good that He meant it when he commanded them,  ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ 
"Remember, the people of that town violated His commandment and His code of hospitality, and they were done unto by His raining down burning sulfur, killing them all."

The commandment to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” was one of the very first of international laws.

Oklahoma has now forbidden its courts from considering international law in deliberating on how to best do justice.

And Oklahomans seem to be, well, less then welcoming to the Muslim’s among them.

If Oklahoma law is supreme, I guess the people of Oklahoma don’t have to worry about that international law involving doing unto others.

If, however, the law of the Lord is supreme, perhaps Oklahomans should consider joining Abraham and splitting for Zoar before the next rain comes.  (They say Zoar, Ohio is lovely this time of year.....  )

As Doc Luke told us, “Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.  Remember Scripture, and beware the fox, who ruins the vineyards.

Many areas of American law embody the idea of “freedom of contract.”   In consensual matters, we have long promoted the idea that the parties should have the liberty to decide what law should govern their interactions.

Oklahoma has struck a mighty blow against the American concepts of freedom and liberty.

Not to say their whistling past the graveyard of the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" concept.

Thus endeth the lesson....