Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

God Loves Guns

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Based on the President’s Easter benediction, you would think God loves guns. Certainly, it’s plain: God loves strong military might.

On Easter, we hold in our hearts those who will be spending this holiday far from home — our troops on the front lines. I deeply appreciate the sacrifices that they and their families are making. America is blessed with the world’s greatest military, made up of men and women who fulfill their responsibilities with dignity, humility, and honor. Their dedication is an inspiration to our country and a cause for gratitude this Easter season.

God Bless America, may she always be right!

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…..psst…what are you doing looking down here….yes, May God Bless America and may she always be right….That’s what I typed….

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psstt….why do you continue to scroll down…what? We weren’t right about WMD in Iraq? My goodness, do you think we are on shaky ground here?

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Psst…why do you keep scrolling down….God does live the Military, particularly ours. God thus, must love guns, no? Am I wrong?

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Allah Akbar!

What? Nothing yet on the Spitzer scandal? [Edit: I see I’m not the first]

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Very well then, allow me to be the first [Edit: I see someone beat me to posting on this.]. It is being reported that Eliot Spitzer, Democratic Governor of New York, has been ‘caucusing’ with some pretty high class and expensive prostitutes. When I say expensive, I mean in the $1,000 and $5,500 per hour, $50,000 per week-end range. He at least has the decency to avoid the “wide stance” style defense and is considering resigning. He’s made his apologies. Spitzer hasn’t been charged with a crime, yet, although, depending upon how he paid for the services, he could be charged with a crime worth up to five years in prison if he attempted to conceal the source and purpose for the payment, which I think it likely that he almost certainly would have done. The question is, what now?

Can he — should he — stay in office? Of course if he committed a crime, even if he’s not indicted for it, he probably will have to resign. After all, as chief executive for New York, he’s the guy at the head of setting policy for prosecutions and the administration of justice in the state. How would it look to have someone who committed a crime while in that position to stay in office. And, of course, if he’s convicted of a crime, he’ll be forced to resign or be impeached as I doubt he can run the state from his prison cell.

But what if he committed no crime? After all, presidents have engaged in sexual daliances while in office — Kennedy and Clinton spring immediately to mind but they certainly don’t exhaust the list — why should governors resign just because they’ve been caught in extra-curricular activities? Spitzer isn’t even splitting hairs over what the definition of ‘is’ is.

This also raises the question, peripherally, of whether prostitution should be illegal at all? The Libertarian in me says “No” but the Christian moralist in me says “Yes.” The ‘we mustn’t enact Christian morals into law in a secular nation’-ist in me says “I’m not sure that there aren’t sufficient societal harms involved in prostitution to keep it illegal even without questions of religious scruple but it’s possible that those societal harms aren’t mostly the result of its being illegal” so I just don’t know.

Anyway, what do you all think?

Irrational fear of foreign culture or accurate social commentary?

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

I report, you decide.

Mark Steyn recently authored the book America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, a book which may appear to European multiculturalists and American liberals as the rantings of a hateful, zenophobic rube and to Muslim groups as the textual equivalent of a hate-crime, the mere publication of which constitutes a human rights violation (e. g., Steyn and Maclean’s magazine may have to face investigations by Canadian Human Rights commissions at the instigation of a group of Canadian Muslim law studens at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and the Canadian Islamic Congress; Steyn for having published the book and Maclean’s for having published an extract from the book) for suggesting, as I understand his thesis, that unassimilated Muslims, invited by European nation states to alleviate the problems presented by the demographic declines of their own native populations — populations that are growing older and are demanding to be kept by their bloated welfare states in the fashion in which they’ve become accustomed to demand — are posing a threat to the very democratic institutions and free culture that the Muslims were invited into and this precisely because many of those Muslims refuse to assimilate to their host culture and because their hosts refuse to demand that they do; that the diminishing fertility rate of Western Europeans in these states will eventually see the native Western Europeans be overtaken by the higher fertility rates of those Muslims in their midst; that violent overthrow of these cultures (though violence is already apparent in these countries) will ultimately be unnecessary since, once in the majority, Muslims in Europe will be able to exercise their vote to turn Europe into Eurostan. Indeed, some of these countries have been making said accomodations while Muslims are still minorities, perhaps to stave off violence.

But that’s not what I’m particularly interested in at the moment. What I’d like to focus on is this post by Steyn on The Corner, the group blog at National Review Online because, whatever the merits or demerits of the thesis of his book, I think he makes an interesting point. Quoting from and commenting on a column in the Boston Herald, Steyn writes:

‘A while back I mentioned Harvard’s decision to ban men from its pool and fitness center six times a week in the interests of “accommodating” Muslim women. Our pal Michael Graham picks up the theme:

In the old days, Harvard would have laughed if some Catholic or evangelical mother urged “girls-only” campus workouts in the name of modesty. Today, Harvard happily implements Sharia swim times in the name of Mohammed.

At Harvard, that’s called progress.

‘Well put. And thus “progress” comes full circle. In Minneapolis last year, the airport licensing authority, faced with a mainly Muslim crew of cab drivers refusing to carry the blind, persons with six-packs of Bud, slatternly women, etc, proposed instituting two types of taxis with differently colored lights, one of which would indicate the driver was prepared to carry members of identity groups that offend Islam. Forty years ago, advocating separate drinking fountains made you a racist. Today, advocating separate taxi cabs or separate swimming sessions makes you a multiculturalist.

‘Every society has culturally self-segregating groups - the Amish and whatnot. But they’re usually in small numbers somewhere out on the edge of the map. In Europe and Canada, the self-segregating group happens to be the principal source of population growth, which presents a profound challenge to societal cohesion. America does not face the same scale of problem, but nevertheless “sharia creep” ought to be resisted before it becomes remorseless. The rest of Michael’s column goes on to explain why that doesn’t happen: at Harvard and elsewhere, bigshot Saudi princes waving gazillion-dollar checks are in effect buying silence about one of the central questions of the day - Islam’s relationship with the west.’

Thus endeth Steyn. This is a good point. Suppose the Phelpses demanded that American universities institute separate exercise and swiming times for gays and straights because they can’t bear the thought of straight Americans sweating or appearing in revealing swimwear in the presence of gays? Oh how the howls would be heard from liberals around the country but how does that substantially differ from Muslims demanding separate exercise and swimming periods for Muslim women over religious and cultural concerns for modesty? Isn’t there a tinge of “separate but equal” here? Sure, granted that we’re not talking about seperate facilities here but merely times when the majority is excluded for the sake of the minority but how is separate for the sake of a minority discriminatory interest any more equal than separate for the sake of a majority discriminatory interest. Doesn’t the evil of discriminatory practices consist in the fact that they are discriminatory? And this is doubly discriminatory in that it tends to (a) perpetuate the Muslim discrimination against women — they’re weak, must be protected by men, cannot be trusted to participate fully in society with men without either drawing to themselves unwanted sexual advances from men or, worse, lasciviously inviting said sexual advances — and (b) it deliberately excludes men during those periods? Or is discrimination that perpetuates discriminatory stereotypes of Muslim women for the sake of a minority (Muslims in America) somehow ethically pure while discrimination that perpetuates discriminatory stereotypes of gays for the sake a majority (straights in America) or discriminatory stereotypes of women is evil? Or, more succinctly:

Forty years ago, advocating separate drinking fountains made you a racist. Today, advocating separate taxi cabs or separate swimming sessions makes you a multiculturalist.

I don’t call this progress. I call it capitulation to demands for special treatment based upon religious scruple. If the Phelpses can’t bear the thought of exercising or swiming in the presence of gays, they can damn well stay home or move somewhere where gays are hanged. If Muslims can’t bear the thought of their women showing skin in the presence of men, they can keep them covered head to toe, locked away at home or move somewhere where women are gang-raped for the crime of appearing in public insufficiently covered or imprisoned and beaten for the crime of appearing in public unaccompanied by a family member.

Or am I committing a hate crime for even suggesting this?

Institutions that would not dream of making exclusionary and discriminatory accomodations for the religious scruples of Christians should not be making such accomodations for Muslims.

Cal State Quaking Over Quaker

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Modified Loyalty Oath

I’ve recited the Pledge of Allegiance more times than I can count. When I joined the military, I took an oath not unlike those taken by the President. The oaths don’t prevent anyone from dishonoring them, but they do remind those swearing them that more is at stake than simply winning an election or enlisting for military job training.

Our current President is a case in point. He swore oaths as a member of the Texas National Guard and as President and one could argue that he hasn’t exactly vigorously protected the Constitution or battled against all enemies foreign and domestic. However, every job doesn’t require a loyalty oath. We don’t require them of trash collectors or computer programmers, but some states require them of state employees.

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PA wants doctors to be protected.

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Protected from those nasty lawsuits and actions brought about by the physicians refusal to provide medical procedures or medications that they deem against their religious beliefs. From the RawStory writeup:

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1255, also called the Conscientious Objection Act, would absolve medical care providers of liability in cases where reproductive care was denied based on a practitioner’s religious or moral beliefs.

Services a provider would be free to withhold, with immunity, include performing an abortion, artificial insemination, and prescribing birth control or emergency contraception (also known as the “morning-after pill”).

Notice it’s all about reproductive procedures and medications. Nothing else. Surely there are other types of procedures and medications that some physicians would find against their religious beliefs.

Leave it to the Republican’s to narrow it down to reproductive issues. Must be an election year.. ;)

Pell Grants For Kids = Vouchers In Disquise

Monday, January 28th, 2008

This is the first I’ve heard of this, and so I’ve not had a chance to review the President’s proposal. However, it seems like he’s got another plan to divert public funds to parochial and private education. Watch as the separation of church and state shrinks again.

The fact is, parents who can afford to send their children to private schools don’t need the assistance. Moreover, there are a tremendous number of things broken with our public educational system. Can’t Bush find something in the system that needs a remedy and fix that instead of creating a new welfare system for the rich?

White House counselor Ed Gillespie, describing Bush’s plans for a new school initiative, said Monday afternoon that Bush “has some concerns about the declining number of faith-based and parochial schools in inner cities around the country and low-income neighborhoods.” Because of this, Gillespie said, Bush is ready to “urge Congress to enact a program he calls `Pell Grants for Kids.’ ”

The money would “provide alternatives for children now trapped in struggling public schools,” Gillespie told reporters.

Right. Ask any educator currently working as a teacher in a public school if No Child Left Behind has been good for America’s school children and you will discover how good Bush is at fixing what’s wrong with our public schools.

Incidentally, does any one else wonder why didn’t the Education Secretary make this announcement? Does the president always trot out lawyers because he has something to hide?

If you want to take a look at some more detail about my views on how to fix education, have a gander at this post, that post,,this other post, and how about searching my whole blog for the term education and see what comes up.

Just as an aside,do you think Bush would be in favor having a serious chunk of his “pell grants for kids” money going to some Islamic Private Education Organizations that start up? They would be faith-based, wouldn’t they?

Electing a President has begun

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Thankfully, the rising sun in the east will gradually warm our nation to hope over desperation with the eventual replacement of King George in the White House. No offense to all our British friends intended. Here in America, since 9/11, we have been living under a dictator that even an election that replaced political leadership in both houses of Congress did not deter the President. Signing statements continue and future generations will see his laws stricken down as un-constitutional.

History will prove out that George Bush was the worst President of all time simply because he thought he was omnipotent and without question. He is the third rail of Republican politics and you do not see too many advertisements with him hugging the candidates from his own political party do you? He is the equivalent to the persona non grate in the (stolen) election of Al Gore for President where Bill Clinton could not step on the welcome mat because he was never invited. While Bill Clinton sold out the respect of the office he served, George W. Bush sold out his nation to the highest bidder. No matter what good they each have or had done as President, the perception is the rule.

We as a nation need hope and for that matter many of the current candidates for President do not deserve even remotely the chance at serving in an office that represents you and I to the world. If you want to send your sons and daughters off to war for the next eight plus years then by all means vote for a candidate that thinks King George is right! Make sure you have a huge cemetery plot picked out because any war in the Middle East will take a couple thousand years to settle. History is funny that way. Fight them there or fight them here works till there is nobody left here to send there. It’s a fanatical religious war that has been going on since the times of Jesus Christ and it is not going to end any time soon. Supporting our military to protect our shores and not some desert goat grazing argument between feuding tribes is questionable with some of these candidates for President. Top three MSM dictated winners from both parties are clueless but rhetoric buys votes.

Who has a plan that makes sense to get our nation back to what matters at home? You have to ask yourself if your opinion can be bought and if so for what price? Can your vote be bought in one breath and your rights sold in the next sales pitch as an American citizen? You can read in the papers every single day the amount of self esteem that the big three of each party are willing to sell. Character is replaced by what you want to hear but the truth is not. The truth never goes away no matter how you try to bob and weave around it. It’s like serving fried fish for dinner on Friday. Somehow it still lingers in the house on Monday. How can you vote for a person that is supposed to support all of the American people when they blow off one states voters to fight for another states on yet another day?

It’s amazing how the comparison of many of the top three leaders advertisements is so much like buying sliced deli meats at the supermarket. You can buy the mass produced product that was sliced months ago with a use buy date or you can vote for quality deli meat that you saw sliced and delivered to your hand one on one. It isn’t pre packaged and you have to buy what they tell you that you need, you can pick what you want. The top three in both parties are those pretty packages of meat and the rest are sliced to your liking as an American. I recommend custom cut slices and only the amount I need.

This post is being written during the Iowa Caucus, I have no clue who will come out the winner or loser in the race for President but I can hope that the folks of Iowa saw through the sales pitch of the top three from each party and tossed them all to the curb. That may not be what happens but it is the process that has begun to replace the Dictator in Chief. That I am truly thankful for.

Papamoka

Cross posted at Papamoka Straight Talk and Micael Linn Jones

United States of Jesus Christ

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

In this little experiment that we call America there is the freedom of religion as one of the many foundation blocks of our entire society. Added to that foundation is our freedom of speech. Toss in the Bill of Rights and you have a firm base to build your nation on. Then you add in all the decisions by the Supreme Court that becomes the support beams to hold up the roof.

When it comes to the Presidency in the Unites States it is not a bad thing for the President to have a strong sense of faith and belief that there is a higher power but you can not govern by it. Square peg, round hole. With such a diverse population we are not a society of one size fits all and when it comes to religion that little theory can or should implode a candidacy for President. We may be a nation under God but we are also one nation with many variations under God. Over at the Washington Post they have this interesting piece of Reverend Huckabee’s version of faith and the Presidency.

Huckabee Stands by ‘Christ’ CommentBy LIZ SIDOTI
The Associated Press
Sunday, December 30, 2007; 5:19 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa — Mike Huckabee, a Republican relying on support from religious conservatives in Thursday’s hard-fought presidential caucuses, on Sunday stood by a decade-old comment in which he said, “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.”

In a television interview, the ordained Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor made no apologies for the 1998 comment made at a Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Salt Lake City.

“It was a speech made to a Christian gathering, and, and certainly that would be appropriate to be said to a gathering of Southern Baptists,” Huckabee said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He gave the speech the same year he endorsed the Baptist convention’s statement of beliefs on marriage that “a wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.” Huckabee and his wife, Janet, signed a full-page ad in USA Today in support of the statement with 129 other evangelical leaders.

Snip - Cut - Co-Pay

In the NBC interview, Huckabee, a longtime opponent of legalized abortion, said he does not believe that women should be punished for undergoing the procedure, but that doctors might need to face sanctions.

“I don’t know that you’d put him in prison, but there’s something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead,” Huckabee said.

He also argued that his emphasis on his Christian beliefs does not mean he’s alienating atheists. He said, if elected, he would have no problem appointing atheists to government posts. - Washington Post

Where do I start when it comes to Governor Reverend Huckabee? I’m just guessing that Mike Huckabee believes that God made women with smaller feet than men so they could get that much closer to the kitchen sink to do the dishes. For that matter all of you woman that were beaten or abused by an abusive testosterone bag of bones should have pulled a Tammy Wynette and stand by your man. Bruises heal, bones mend and you probably did something wrong anyway. In his mind or in his teaching woman are and will always be second class citizens and that is just simply wrong. Then there is the added point that if Hillary is elected then Bill is really the President. That hurts my head to even think how that would work.

Roe vs. Wade, under Huckabee, nope. Kiss it good bye under the cause of the Christian Right. All you pro choice people that think your body is your own will need to line up for womb inspections under Das Fuhrer Huckabee. You better start praying that your babies didn’t have sharp finger or toe nails. Any scratches on the sacred chalice and life building organ will be cause for lethal injection. He isn’t totally against the death penalty but I could be wrong.

Then he pulls a Paul Pot from Cambodia and locks up all of the OBGYN doctors that might have performed an abortion. Then they can focus on all of the Lawyers that fought for and defended Roe vs. Wade and lock their asses up too. He will pay for it first by the added tax on one bedroom trailer home sales for back alley locations that will skyrocket as Planned Parenthood and other such medical offices are shut down. Then he might just add a wire coat hanger tax but that is a little to graphic to explain.

Mike Huckabee is standing by his statements on bringing America back to Christ but he can’t see the difference between Americans and America. No two American’s are alike and where one person finds abortion totally disgusting and wants the law changed, that same person believes that the death penalty is appropriate for crimes against our citizens. Pick one but you can not have it both ways if you swear to God above to be righteous.

As for all you Atheists or other icky religious persona non grata, the Post Office will be plastered with Huckabee appointees. Don’t even think about SCOTUS. Those positions will be reserved for zealous religious proponents of bringing America back to Christ.

By the way, screw all you Jew’s too from the Huckabee campaign. Merry Christmas, Happy Easter and all of the other religious holy days we as Christians will stuff down your throat under a Huckabee administration.

Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave at about fifteen thousand RPM’s right now. Look up for yourself on Google why he wrote the separation of church and state. Then look up whom he wrote it for and against.

Voting for Mike Huckabee is voting against all that America was founded on. Your right to believe in the choice of faith you want or to ignore faith entirely. Huckabee is hoping that many people will take their faith to the poll and elect him as America’s beacon of light back to Christ but I personally do not believe Jesus ever wanted a political office that proposed hate or judgment on anyone he loved. All you non believers included.

Our nation and the foundation it was built on will stand strong when we have a President that believes that his or her faith can not come first when governing. We are a house built with many products called faith and the roof needs to be replaced. Mike Huckabee is not Jesus Christ, I know Jesus Christ Sir. And you Sir are no Jesus Christ.

I’ll probably go to hell for that last one but I could not resist.

Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Biggest lies of the year..part deux

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

I report..you decide..all of this is from FactCheck.org:

Rudy’s Adoption Deception

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani claimed adoptions went up 65 percent to 70 percent when he was mayor of New York City, when in fact adoptions at the end of his tenure were only 17 percent higher than at the start, and they were falling. His manipulation of official statistics was a classic case of using data selectively to create a false impression.

Levitating Numbers May 7, 2007

Rudy’s False Cancer Claim

Giuliani claimed in a radio ad that men suffering from prostate cancer have only a 44 percent survival rate under England’s system of “socialized medicine.” The true figure is 74.4 percent. Giuliani’s bogus statistic was the result of bad math by a campaign adviser with no particular expertise in cancer research. It was denounced by any number of cancer experts including one who called it “nonsense.” Giuliani stubbornly refused to admit his error, claiming the 44 percent figure is “absolutely accurate.” It isn’t.

A Bogus Cancer Statistic October 30, 2007

Bogus Cancer Stats, Again November 8, 2007

Rudy’s Inflated Cop Count

Giuliani falsely claimed that he grew New York City’s police force by 12,000 officers, but 7,100 of those he counted were already housing or transit police who were simply merged into the New York Police Department. The actual increase in the size of the city’s uniformed police officers was about 3,660, or about 10 percent, and the cost of hiring about 3,500 of them was partially covered by the federal government under President Bill Clinton.

Cop-Counting Cop-Out October 9, 2007

Rudy’s Bogus Crime Claim

A Giuliani TV ad falsely claimed New York City experienced “record crime … until Rudy.” In fact, the city recorded its highest rates of both violent crime and property crime years before he took office. The downward trend was well established before he was sworn in.

The Not-Quite Truth About NYC November 27, 2007

Rudy’s Tax-Cut Puffery

Giuliani constantly repeated that he “cut or eliminated 23 taxes” while mayor of New York City, but eight of those were initiated at the state level, with the mayor cheering from the sidelines. A ninth cut, one of the largest, was opposed by Giuliani in a five-month standoff with the City Council, until the mayor finally acquiesced. He can properly claim credit for initiating only 14 of the cuts.

Giuliani’s Tax Puffery July 27, 2007

Richardson’s Job Inflation

Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson continually boasted of creating 80,000 jobs since becoming governor of New Mexico. But official figures showed a 68,100 gain when he first started making this inflated boast. He based his claim on a definition of “jobs” that includes unpaid workers in family businesses and freelancers who don’t draw a paycheck.

Richardson also claimed he “made New Mexico 6th in job growth,” when the state already ranked 6th for the 12-month period before he took office and later fell to 17th under Richardson’s stewardship.

Richardson’s Job Boast August 22, 2007

Richardson Flunks Math and Science

Richardson also claimed over and over that U.S. students rank 29th in the world in math and science. Not true. The two leading international assessments of student achievement rank U.S. students better in all cases, and in most cases much better, than Richardson claims. U.S. students do post mediocre scores compared with those of other industrial nations, but Richardson is using a fanciful number that paints too dark a picture.

Richardson Flunks Two Subjects September 12, 2007

Mitt’s Immigration Malarkey

An ad by Romney in New Hampshire claimed that his rival John McCain “voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security.” That’s untrue. Nobody who is in the country illegally could be paid any Social Security benefits under McCain’s immigration bill. What McCain and 10 other Senate Republicans voted against was an effort to strip illegal aliens of a right they currently have: to apply the taxes they paid and the time they worked while in the country illegally as credit toward future Social Security benefits if and when they become citizens or legal residents.

The same ad said one of the differences between the two candidates is that Romney “opposes amnesty” for illegal immigrants. But Romney himself once called McCain’s immigration bill “reasonable” and said it was “quite different” from amnesty. Indeed it was. The McCain bill would have required those here illegally to pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees to gain legal status.

In an earlier TV ad, Romney cast himself as tough on illegal immigration, saying “I authorized the [Massachusetts] State Police to enforce immigration laws.” He doesn’t mention that his order never took effect. It came in the closing days of his administration and was rescinded by his successor

More Mitt Malarkey December 28, 2007

Tough Guy on Immigration? November 9, 2007

Mitt’s Meth Miss

Yet another Romney ad attacked Huckabee in Iowa, claiming Romney “got tough on drugs like meth” in Massachusetts while Huckabee “reduced penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine” in Arkansas. But the legislation Romney supported never passed. Furthermore, convicted meth dealers face prison terms in Arkansas that are four times longer than those in Massachusetts, even after the reductions Huckabee supported. The reductions were drafted with help from Arkansas state prosecutors to ease prison overcrowding.

Romney on Huckabee II December 19, 2007

Mitt Mauls History

Romney claimed that Democratic President Clinton “began to dismantle the military,” but really it was Republican President George H.W. Bush who started making deep cuts in defense budgets years before Clinton took office.

More Mitt Missteps July 9, 2007

Hillary’s Trumped-up Troop Claim

In a TV ad for her presidential campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton falsely claimed that members of the National Guard and military Reserve didn’t have health insurance until she and a GOP colleague took action. “You would think that after all the sacrifices and service of the National Guard and Reserve protecting our country, they would have had health insurance. But they didn’t.”

In fact, most of them did. All active-duty Guard and Reserve troops were covered by federal insurance long before she became a senator. Furthermore, four out of five non-active-duty guardsmen and reservists also were covered by their civilian employers or other sources. Clinton did help expand and enhance government health care coverage for reservists but can’t claim credit for creating coverage where none existed, as this ad implied.

Exaggerating Help for Troops December 20, 2007

Huckabee’s Tax Hooey

* Huckabee tried to duck charges of being a tax increaser by claiming an Arkansas gasoline tax hike passed after 80 percent of state voters approved it. But the referendum vote on highway repairs didn’t occur until after the tax was increased.

Huckabee also claimed repeatedly that he cut taxes “almost 94 times,” sliding by the fact that 21 other taxes were raised during his tenure, resulting in a net tax increase.

Huckabee’s Fiscal Record November 21, 2007

“FairTax” Falsehoods

Proponents of the so-called “FairTax,” prominently including Huckabee, claimed that a national sales tax of 23 percent could replace both the federal income tax and Social Security taxes, and eliminate the Internal Revenue Service.

In truth, the actual rate of the proposed tax would be 30 percent, when calculated the same way as state and local sales taxes. And it would have to be 34 percent to raise the same revenue as the taxes it would replace, according to a bipartisan presidential commission. The FairTax would, for example, raise the price of gasoline by roughly $1 per gallon at today’s prices and cause a $150,000 new home to cost at least $195,000 including the 30 percent tax.

And while the Internal Revenue Service might disappear, two new federal bureaucracies would be needed: one to administer the sales tax and another to keep track of sending out hundreds of billions of dollars in checks every year to compensate taxpayers for the regressive nature of sales taxes. The proposal calls for “prebates” to all taxpayers of all taxes paid on purchases up to the poverty level. That of course would require an IRS-like system to validate each person’s income and the amount of “prebate” they are due.

Unspinning the FairTax May 31, 2007

Edwards’ Empty Threat

Former Sen. John Edwards said, both in a TV ad and constantly on the campaign trail, that as president he’d tell Congress to act within six months to make sure all Americans have health insurance or “I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you.” But he would have no such power. Lawmakers have health coverage granted by law, not by executive fiat.

Edwards’ Empty Threat November 13, 2007

McCain’s Supply-side Spin

McCain claimed the major tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 “dramatically increased revenues” and that tax cuts in general increase revenues. Not true. The Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and a former Bush administration economist all said that tax cuts lead to revenues that are lower than they otherwise would have been – even if they spur some economic growth.

Supply-side Spin June 11, 2007

McCain’s Impossible Energy Dream

McCain promised that if elected he’d set up a massive government program to develop alternate energy sources and “we will in five years become oil independent.” But the U.S. imports two-thirds of its oil, and dependence is growing. Experts we consulted said McCain’s five-year goal is an impossibility. “There’s just no way,” said Frank Verrastro, director of the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “You can’t institute technological change that quickly.” Studies assessing how to achieve energy independence set target dates ranging from 2025 to 2040.

Republicans Debate in Iowa December 12, 2007

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Biden’s Bogus Labor Boast

Sen. Joe Biden claimed during a Democratic forum to have a labor record equal to or better than all the candidates present that evening:

Biden: Look at our records. There’s no one on this stage, mainly because of my longevity, that has a better labor record than me.

Actually, all the candidates on the stage had a better lifetime labor record than Biden, as measured by the AFL-CIO’s ratings of Senate and House votes. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Edwards had the best ratings, tied at 97 percent for their congressional careers. Biden’s lifetime rating brought up the rear at 85 percent.

AFL-CIO Democratic Forum August 8, 2007

Democratic Hot Air on Medicare

Democrats made a false promise to senior citizens by claiming that they had a painless way to bring about lower prices on pharmaceuticals. Michigan Rep. John Dingell summed up his party’s empty promise during House debate on their bill, H.R. 4:

Dingell: This legislation is simple and common sense. It will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.

That claim was contradicted by a number of experts including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the chief actuary of the Medicare system. Both said the bill wouldn’t bring the lower prices Democrats promised, because it wouldn’t have allowed the federal government to set up a “formulary” of approved medications for Medicare, such as the one the Veterans Administration uses to squeeze price concessions from drug companies for the drugs it covers. Formularies can be unpopular with patients if preferred drugs aren’t covered. The Democratic bill would require federal officials to negotiate while denying them any leverage. The bill passed the House but the Senate took no action.
Medicare Hot Air January 17, 2007

Bush Baloney on Children’s Health

President Bush falsely claimed that a proposal to expand the 10-year-old federal SCHIP program “would result in taking a program meant to help poor children and turning it into one that covers children in households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year.” That wasn’t true. Nothing in the proposal would have forced coverage for families earning $83,000 a year.

Actually, the Urban Institute estimated that 70 percent of children who would gain coverage under the bill that Bush attacked (and later vetoed) are in families earning half the $83,000 figure Bush used. One state, New York, had proposed (under current law) to allow families of four with incomes up to $82,600 a year to be eligible, but the administration successfully prevented that from happening.

Furthermore, the program wasn’t aimed at “poor” children as Bush claimed. Those in poverty generally are covered under Medicaid already. SCHIP was aimed at children in families without health coverage and with incomes that are above the poverty level.

Bush’s False Claims About Children’s Health Insurance September 21, 2007

Bush’s Iraqi Exaggerations

Bush played loose with the facts in an address address to the nation on Iraq. He said “36 nations … have troops on the ground in Iraq.” In fact, his own State Department put the number at 25. The White House later said the president was counting some nations that had troops in the country temporarily as part of a military exercise. Bush also said the city of Baqubah in Diyala province was “cleared.” But the Washington Post quoted a State Department official as saying the security situation there wasn’t stable at the time.

Operation Iraqi Gloss-Over September 14, 2007

Off-Base About Offshoring

An ad by a labor union PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Edwards in Iowa implied that the closing of a Maytag factory in the state and the loss of 1,800 jobs were due to “tax breaks to companies that move jobs offshore.” And it said Edwards would end such breaks. But the jobs didn’t move offshore. They were sent to Ohio. And eliminating the “tax breaks” in question probably wouldn’t do much to keep jobs in the U.S.

Not Working 4 Edwards December 19, 2007

“Lawsuit Abuse” Nonsense

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ran a TV ad claiming that “lawsuit abuse” is costing “your family” $3,500 a year. But that figure came from a study estimating the cost of all suits, not just abusive ones. The author of the study called the chamber’s ad “misleading.”

A False Ad About ‘Lawsuit Abuse’ May 11, 2007

by Brooks Jackson, with the staff of FactCheck.org

So, there you have it..all the lies and bs from both sides of the aisle..it’s a doozy ain’t it?

Obsession

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

I was listening to a lecture yesterday by an expert on teenagers. He concentrated on the dangers that teenagers face as the mature. He was telling the audience about the dangers of drugs and alcohol when he took a moment to explain why some people become addicted to drugs and alcohol more easily than others. Obviously some drugs manifest in physical addictions, while other drugs manifest in psychological additions. At one time I recall being told that some people are more susceptible to psychological additions, and these people were said to have addictive personalities. Yesterday, the speaker went into a little bit more detail about this addictive personality.

The speaker yesterday spoke about obsessive behavior. He told us how a person with and obsessive personality has a higher probability of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. For example, an obsessive person might become obsessed with a multitude of different things before they even try alcohol. They might become obsessed with things that are overall very positive, or overall very negative. At some point along the way a person might realize that an obsession has taken over his or her life. And, because the obsession is an obsession the person is unable to make a break with the obsession. Obsession is a selfish behavior, because the obsession has a higher priority than any other issue or relationship in the person’s life. In many cases the inability to control obsession results in embarrassment in minor cases and self-hatred in the worst cases. At some point these feelings of self-loathing lead to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol in an attempt to “feel better.”

Once the person with the obsessive personality has self-medicated it isn’t long before self-medication itself becomes an obsession.

The speaker told us about obsession and insecurity and fear drive obsessions. Immediately I began to think about the authoritative personality that I wrote about on Friday. It seems that fear and insecurity also feed the authoritative personality. In fact, as I considered the authoritative personality and the obsessive personality I realized the authoritative personality might just be a form of the obsessive personality.

Think of the goal of the authoritarian. They tend to seek order and control. Obsessive personalities have very little control over their obsessions and they eventually seek to control them. An obsessive person will be tempted when he his trying to fight an obsession. An authoritarian personality makes rules and punishments in order to dissuade himself from the temptation. Ambiguity in rules lead to temptations. Ambiguity makes it more difficult to fight an obsession. A rigid framework with all the answers laid out for the obsessive person tries to take away the ambiguity, the free time and wishfully the temptation. But, the reality is that only the obsessive person can make the obsession go away by realizing that no obsession can be the answer.

Many groups tend to offer replacement obsessions as a solution. And, authoritarian frameworks offer a replacement obsession. An obsessive person will easily fit into a framework with a firm unambiguous set of rules and regulations. An obsessive person will seek comfort and security in continuously following these rules and regulations. An obsessive person would also find compulsion in making sure that every other member of the group is also following the rules and regulations. A large network of these obsessed people continuously following the rules and regulations and furthermore enforcing them results in a self-regulating structure provide comfort and security for its obsessive members. However, anyone from outside the structure is a threat to this security.

The fear of abandonment is high on the list of potentially destructive threats to the network. If members abandon the group the group shrinks and potentially withers. Those who abandon the group might prove that survival without the group is possible and perhaps even better. This image might lead to the unthinkable concept that the group is not the salvation of the members.

So, it seems reasonable to suggest that joining a authoritarian cult might be a response of an obsessive personality. Then again many of the things we do are responses to our natural tendency for obsession. I might even suggest that writing this very blog is an obsession of sorts. Waking up at 5:00 AM to go work out every morning is an obsession. Eating breakfast every morning and dinner every evening are equally obsessions. But, the point is that some obsessions are healthy and some obsessions are unhealthy and sometimes even dangerous. All of this goes back to free choice and freedom to choose “good” obsessions and avoid the unhealthy ones.

How do we determine which obsessions are healthy and which obsessions are unhealthy? I would suggest that the subject of the obsession would be one consideration. And, the intensity of the obsession is the other. For example, eating breakfast every day is a healthier obsession than drinking your lunch every day. However, eating 3,000 calories for breakfast every day isn’t healthy either. Similarly following rules and regulations are normally considered a wise practice. Even the occasional reminder to a passerby might help remind someone of the rules they may not be thinking about. However, demanding laws that take away a person’s freedom and liberty might be pushing the limits, like gun control or abortion rights. The obsession that some people have for controlling others is certainly an obsession that needs to be constrained.

The message here is simple. Obsessions in general are not horrid in themselves. Some people tend to have obsessive personalities that are prone to obsessive behavior. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If the obsessions that one chooses is a healthy moderated obsession it could be a good thing. However, if a person chooses unhealthy obsessions, it could harm the person, and perhaps it could harm our society.

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Don’t forget what Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit

Reflection


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