Democracy is threatened by a filibuster not by allowing the majority vote make the decision. Under the filibuster you need a supermajority to carry the day in the Senate. Over what issues you may ask? Any issue you do not like is the answer. Unless of course you can convince the parliamentarian that it is a financial/budget issue in which case the majority can win by the most votes. Let me just say I like to make decisions by consensus.
But I had to learn the hard way you cannot do consensus with people who are of the disagreeing kind. In consensus decision-making people can support the decision or they can choose to step aside and support the decision of the group or step aside and offer no assistance with the implementation with the decision. On rare occasions when the decision was against your personal morality or thought to be a horrible decision you can refused to let a decision proceed. The problem was some folks had personal morality problems with everything. They apparently had bigger consciences than the rest of us. They would choose to hold up the process with anything that did not appeal to them. Whether it be office equipment or taking a stand on a moral issue. They were not interested in consensus but interested in the power consensus gave them.
Consensus offers many good things. One is everyone is on the same page and has been heard. It also offers a way to oppose without being unnecessarily oppositional. There is an understanding where everyone stands. It also allows the group not to have obstructionists.
The problem with consensus most do not have the concept of stepping aside or a spirit of cooperation with those whom they disagree. They assume that if a decision does not go their way they are almost responsible to become an obstructionist to the decision. Instead of believing that to allow a different opinion to proceed, despite negative feelings about it is a sign of strength; they view it as a weakness. Other people believe they should have a voice even in things that do not concern them. They also choose to believe that everything is of a moral concern to them. The combination of these two attitudes conceding is a weakness, everything is something of which to be concerned, and there is nothing that is not of moral concern to them leads to an obstructionist who feels justified in any action they may take.
This is the problem with the filibuster. The other side is not currently exhibiting a willingness or spirit of cooperation. Their leader (Mitch McConnell) has stated his agenda is to defeat the other’s agenda (President Biden). But it should be remembered the Republicans did not adopt a new platform in 2020 at their last convention. RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda; RESOVLVED, That the 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention. This was an unusual step and a total abdication of their responsibility to then President Trump. But Trump is the former guy now and we have no idea of what the Republican Party can say they in general stand united on. But we do know they want a voice on every issue. And that voice is to just say no to the other side’s agenda.
The filibuster is meant to bring the two sides to engage in a compromise that each could live with. Policymaking depends on each side entering in the process with mutual openness to the process. Yet one side’s leader has stated as their agenda to just say no. Others feel their way must win at all cost. Therefore, compromise is not the goal only forcing their will on the other is. They also act as though their side alone is patriotic, moral, or reasonable. Now both sides can have people that hold these attitudes but the Republicans hold these beliefs in much greater numbers than the Democrats. Also most Republicans hold these beliefs in a steroid high strung manner.
So, the question becomes can Democrats operate with Republicans when you hold a one vote majority. The power in the filibuster in this case grants the minority not only power but all power to obstruct the process. They are only going to agree to a policy that they view is heavily weighted to their side. This is demonstrated by their two proposals on the infrastructure bill. They offer Biden no new or little new money for infrastructure. They object to his way of paying for the bill and offer no starters for their way for paying for their bill. They do this despite Biden Administration’s suggestions being desired by a vast majority of Americans polled. They do this despite the Biden Administration’s winning the electoral college and popular vote. The arguments they offer for doing this are arcane. Biden did not win the election. Which he did according to the States election officials, courts, and even Congress which they are apart of. Although the Democrats won the Senate from the Republicans they won more seats from the Democrats in the House. They Republicans did win more seats but they did not take the majority in the House. And the fact is there were more Democratic seats up for reelection than Republicans. The more extreme Republicans accuse the Democrats are baby eaters and how could you compromise with that.
A super majority is ideal but an impossibility on issues such as infrastructure and voting rights something traditionally they would have no trouble agreeing on. But the era of Trump, QAnon, Limbaugh, McConnell does not make this possible. I do believe this era will pass but the filibuster allows too much power to obstructionists in the meantime. For now a simple majority will have to do.
Maybe it is my ego but I have never understood the white supremacist replacement theory. I mean are they that threaten by the competition of other races that they always create an environment where they have a leg up. Do not bring those non-white immigrants from other countries because they may bring ideas that everyone will like more than our white America. Call me a proud white boy but I am confident that my white culture can stand alongside those of other cultures.
Tucker Carlson recently complained about immigrants using the replacement theory, But the truth is he will be replaced because he has a one note song to sing and pounds the keyboard with it over and over again. He came from privilege and married into wealth he has not had to compete. Everything was handed to him. When he did compete the CIA rejected his application and MSNBC let him go. He has finally found a home for his one note show on Fox News. He apparently does not want to compete on a level playing field. He knows he might lose if he competes in a field with a lot of different opinions and abilities exist.
It reminds me as a military brat I would go to the nice gym that was on the military base. I would try to play in pickup games. Most all of the soldiers on the basketball court were black. They would not choose me. I was white and not a soldier so therefore they would always make me call down and wait for the next game to start. One day a 5’2 man who could not dribble or shoot and run the court very fast so there was no defense coming from him was chosen. I gave them my best are you kidding me look and called the next game. But I was determined when it was my time to play, I would stay on the court by continuing to win. I would show them my value. Now I was probably on those courts an above average to good player, but I made myself indispensable by hustling, rebounding, and playing solid defense. And because I spent a lot of time on the sidelines watching everyone play I began to know who to choose to create a winning team. Eventually, they would choose me to keep me from selecting a team that could not be beaten. I found a way to compete, win, and belong.
But these less than proud boys (maybe I should call them the unsure boys) insist that the scales continue to be tilted in their favor. You may replace me but I will make sure it is a poor choice for you. Now this may be considered arrogance but I enjoy other cultures and love to experience them but to be honest I am never threatened by them. I do notice the pros and cons of various cultures and try to learn from them. I think my life would be less rich and boring with out the many cultures I have been able to experience.
But it was not because of my whiteness that I won the basketball games. It was perseverance, a little skill, and a lot of watching and thinking. The idea of white culture unaffected or improved by other cultures does not exist. We started by learning from the Native Americans what foods to grow here. Since then Africans taught us how to grow rice and other crops and without their labor and ingenuity the South would never have risen in the first place to only fall later. The Chinese used their expertise in explosives to help build a railroad through the Rocky Mountains to bring to us the transcontinental railroad. Latinos have contributed to the culture of the Southwest enormously.
Our music is influenced by both black and Hispanic culture. Asian culture has taught us the art of meritocracy. Native American tribes influenced our confederations and according to Benjamin Franklin our views on democracy itself. And as the world becomes smaller through advances in travel and communication we will literally be left behind if we do not let other cultures inform us.
We admit this when we talk about corporate cultures. We look at other businesses and companies to determine what is it in their cultures that might inform or improve our companies that we are not currently doing.
It is possible in some future world that my culture may be asked to sit on the sidelines. But surely we can eventually prove that we have something to offer or they will be less than because of your exclusion. If not I guess we will have to result to rigging the system or staying on the sidelines as the other cultures pass us by.
There have been two Republican Presidents presiding over two different pandemics at the beginning of their terms. Ronald Reagan (HIV/AIDS pandemic) and Donald Trump (Covid-19) both have similarities and their way of handling the pandemics. Reagan for the most part refused to even say the words AIDS as a nod to the Moral Majority who helped him get elected and Trump would raise racial enmity with the term Chinese Flu and other things to appease his far right followers.
Reagan would not dispute the Moral Majority when they said AIDS was a curse on the ‘Gays’. Reagan would oppose the dispensing of needles to prevent AIDS and Trump would mock the use of face masks to prevent Covid-!9. Trump because he did not know how to address the pandemic spreading across the United States would use a herd mentality as his ultimate plan. This was let enough people die and the population will eventually develop immunity. Reagan would not be influenced to address AIDS especially as long as the misinformed ideal that gays were the only ones being affected by the disease. Both of these approaches belie the often Republican proclamation of the value of life.
The apologists for Trump will bring up the fact that he closed the borders tot eh Chinese population although this policy conveniently bled into his anti-immigrant policies anyway. Reagan’s apologists will boast of his placing good Cabinet members such as Surgeon General Everett Koop to handle the crisis even though Koop would experience blowback from the White House Staff for his press conferences on AIDS. This was much the same thing that happened to Dr. Fauci in the Trump administration.
Another thing the Trump apologists will talk about was the implementation of the Warp Speed Vaccine Program administered during tenure as President. Yet Trump while asking schools to open did not offer money to help them open all the while refusing to encourage mask wearing mandates. Reagan apologist love to mention his funding of AIDS research but failing to mention that the Democrat Congress would continually have to more than double the amount he required to make it substantial enough. Each seemed willing to spend enough to say they were spending money on the pandemics but neither seemed too willing to supply the funds needed.
Both presidents would show an uncaring attitude toward the fatality numbers that both pandemics would cause. Trump seemed unmoved as the number pushed past 500,000. Reagan seemed unmoved even as the number increased to 89,343 deaths during his administration. It took Reagan three years before he would make his first significant remarks on the subject. And many speculate that his Hollywood friend Rock Hudson dying of AIDS was at least one of the reasons he finally would come out on the subject of AIDS.
Of course, there were differences such as Reagan was able to perform the empathy task of the job, while Trump was a total disaster at empathy. Trump spent most of his presidency attacking in hateful ways his opinion of his opponents, Reagan by contrast was able to reach across the aisle and even make friends with people such the Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. It is interesting that both came to us in part through the entertainment world. Reagan an actor and Trump a television reality star.
My point is that Republicans have a history of mishandling pandemics because of their concerns to make a culture war issue out of the pandemics. They have never been the right to life party when it comes to things that they disagree. They can only be said to be interested in fetuses. They also should have no real credibility when it comes to issues such as healthcare. Their prejudices, inability to administer a government, and their unwillingness to fund health issues will hamper them in providing the care we need.
Let it be said that we have seen two pandemics in recent times (AIDS and Covid-19) and both times Republican presidents and their administrations mishandled or ignored the situations causing the deaths of many. The party of pro-life turns out is not so much. They are quite capable of finding groups to be expendable. Gay, elderly, poorer communities and so forth were found suffering under the pandemic policies of these two presidents. And as for their most devoted followers they took the road of moral superiority to justify their support. No masks or vaccines become a cause under Trump. Under Reagan hatred for gays, bisexuals, and junkies became cause celebre. Hopefully the next pandemic will have a President who values all lives.
*Ronald Reagan Presided Over 89,343 Deaths to AIDS and Did NothingWalt Odets on the First Years of the AIDS Epidemic and the Stigmatization of Gay MenBy Walt Odets July 22, 2019 In Literary Hub
Our dog Suki is psychotic. At least when it comes to me. She constantly growls at me not in a I am going to bite you way but in a your presence gets on my nerves way. I do not fear the dog she is small compared to me and her teeth are unhealthy. She also feels a need to avoid me at all cost. She scampers away whenever I am near. She will not even go out the back door if I am sitting between her and the door. She will even do this when her prime motivators of food and I gotta pee are at stake. I have fed her special snacks, discipline her when she has growled at me, spent long times petting her as she trembled under my strokes until she stopped. But she still does not like me and growls away. I have learned to live with it. She is a pound dog and I do not know what has come before.
I have a rocking chair. It was my favorite Father’s Day gift ever. It is ergonomically perfect for me spiritually and physically. I sit in it and I feel better. It is the only thing that I own that makes me feel this way. Of course, in the narrative of this story Suki chews the wood on the chair permanently scarring it. When my wife told me this I was sadden and angry. After sitting in another chair assessing the damage I got up quietly and walked away to catch myself. Suki was in the room where I usually sit and she panicked when she saw me and started her frantic bouncing and pacing from the other side of the dining room table from end to end anxiously waiting what am I going to do. Sometimes she will growl to let me know she is not pleased. I usually ignore it. But today the psychotic dog was doing her psychotic thing and I lost it I threw a book at her and hit her. Not a big book, definitely not an expensive book. I am a bibliophile after all. For a period of about an hour I raged at her not to scare her but to make my wife know I was not pleased at her dog.
My friends always expect more from me than I can give them. Sometimes I do not take charge in that manly way which would make my life and theirs easier. I am too much about consensus to do this. Sometimes I do not believe in a philosophical ideal or social practice as they so want me to do. Sometimes I am not good enough to pull off the things they expect me to do professionally or spiritually. Sometimes I let the other side win because the fight does not seem worth it to me. Climb your ladders control your little fiefdom it is such a small matter to me. And for the most part this I have learned to accept will be the eventual end of their expectations and sometimes the closeness of our friendship. But there our times when I am by myself I will weep and tears will fall deep in my soul that I was not good enough to make the things I knew to be the right come into being. I am no Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King Jr. That is not an excuse it just is.
The night after Suki chewed my rocking chair I had a dream. I process a lot in my dreams so I try to be aware of them. In the dream I am playing football and we are playing a team of Nazis in a holocaust camp. I want to beat them so bad. I take the ball (of course I am the quarterback) and get the defense to come to me and I toss the ball at the last minute. The awaiting teammate has the field clear for them. It is the perfect option play. The runner is free I chase after them to block anyone that might tackle them. I am pull my hamstring but I push ahead to ensure a touchdown. The runner starts calling out to the crowd for friends who are always there cheering them on. But today they are not around. I am shouting for them to not be distracted but to keep running and score the touchdown. This is all happening in slow motion replay in my dream. The runner suddenly without warning runs out of bounds to his friend’s house to check on them. I am angry at him and chase him into the courtyard where he has finally found his friends. His friends welcome him even though he has obviously interrupted a ceremony. The ceremony is the unveiling of a statue of a mutual friend of all of us who has died while doing the right thing. I wake up.
I am a religious anarchist. Religion is only good when it offers improvement of the lot of humanity and myself. If we put most of religion on a scale of justice it would fail this assessment; especially Western Christianity. Those churches who are neutral in the damage they are doing or harmful should die out and leave humanity alone. Jesus spewed out of his mouth the lukewarm church of Laodecia and judges harshly the church of Ephesus for losing its first love in the book of Revelation. I believe you must live your convictions, even when they hurt or make no sense to anyone else as long as they are not harmful. If you do not live your convictions you are not living at all.
I owe Suki an apology, she was disciplined and that should have been enough. I owe my wife an apology by wanting her to feel the pain her dog had caused me, And I owe my daughter an apology for setting an example of how not to be in this world. I have to plan out these apologies because I am no Mother Theresa. My faith must make me act and be useful to me and humanity or it should die.
A recent Supreme Court decision in which the conservative judges decided in favor of religious groups who want to continue to meet in groups over ten or more despite Covid 19 restrictions is dangerous. The decision said this right is protected under the religious freedom article of the constitution. Regretfully, this shows the dumbing down of the Supreme Court.
Anyone should understand that just as freedom of speech, another right protected under the Constitution, is limited so is religious freedom limited. Oliver Wendell Holmes said in one of his momentous decisions about freedom of speech ‘you do not have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater’ there are also various limitations on religious freedom. The court would decide later in a more defining ruling that speech cannot create a ‘clear and present danger’. This phrase is used to define between an innocuous inflammatory speech and a seditious or inciting to violence speech.
The limitations that the Justices overruled in the religious freedom case center around the health and endangerment of the congregants and their communities. It is illegal in most states to have snake handling services because of the threat of harm to the participants. It should be noted is applicable even when the congregant is agreeable to the service.
The court decided against whether religious faith could be used by parents to deny their children various treatment. They used the standard based on the severity of the medical problem, the likelihood of success of the proposed treatment and the limited potential harm of the treatment. It was “well-settled that the state may order medical treatment for a nonlife threatening condition, notwithstanding the objection of the parents on religious grounds, if the treatment will, in all likelihood, temporarily or permanently solve a substantial medical problem” The court recognized that the state could not order treatment over religious objection of the parents if the treatment was “risky, extremely invasive, toxic with many side effects, and/or offers a low chance of success”.
This is the consistent ruling by state and federal courts in favor of the state over the religious practitioners when a child is endangered and can receive medical assistance that has a strong chance of mitigating the child’s health in a beneficial manner.
Cults that involve the sexual or physical abuse of their children or parents can and are prosecuted. Even when the practices are religious. Religious groups are not able to practice polygamy in all but one state and the stated purpose for allowing polygamy in that state is to remove a barrier in the reporting of abuse in polygamous relationships.
Again and again in various cases we find that religious freedom is restricted when it endangers the congregants. So what does it mean when the conservative justices decide that despite prevailing medical opinion that religious groups (or any group for that matter) of ten or more is medically dangerous.
The recent decision from the Court says that religious groups are allowed to endanger their congregants as long as they fly their religious freedom flag. Even if one is willing to accept the harm they can potentially do to themselves; what about the people who are not in their religious community. They too can be infected because the congregants are allowed to meet in potential super spreader groups. While your group may find it funny to yell fire in a crowded theater it is not allowed because of the harm of a stampede it might create thus creating a clear and present danger to the persons in the theater.
The meeting of religious groups of ten or more (usually not masked) fits the definition of a clear and present danger to not only the congregants and those they may interact with later. The only way that you can deny this is to reject the science involved in these prohibitions. Our conservative judges seem quite willing to do this. Sotomeyer implies this is the conservative judges unintended consequence in her dissenting remarks.
But to me the clincher is religious practice does not have to involve meeting in large groups. It might be a preferred practice but no self-respecting theologian or religious practitioner believes that it is necessary to meet in person for groups to practice their religious belief. I believe Jesus said 'where two or three gather I am there'. Many churches are proving this by the creativity they are exhibiting in zooming and you tubing their church services. Meeting in a group is a desirous but not necessary practice. So to limit this particular practice during a deadly pandemic is not to end religious freedom but to put a temporary hold on a religious practice that is a health threat to the members of a congregation and to the general public.
Slippery slope is not an argument, denial of science is not an acceptable argument, whining about the inconvenience of a pandemic is not an argument, saving lives and not allowing harm is the argument. You would think religious groups would prioritize this over a temporary halt of a religious practice. It is curious to me that conservative churches have allowed politics to enter the doors of their church even if it leads to the harming of their members.
The conservative justices in their decision have not only gone down a slippery path but have also opened the door for many other harmful practices. These practices will all be cloaked under the guise of religious freedom. Be forewarned the legal prohibitions against conversion therapy of gays by religious groups is being challenged in courts and is making its way up to the Supreme Court. Unless the court decides to return to deciding in favor of religious freedom being prohibited if there is harm to its congregants; we are opening a Pandora’s box of anything goes in Churches.
I hate when people begin to celebrate the Christmas holidays before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday unto itself. In some ways it is more Christian than Christmas. Thanksgiving is a time when we gather to have good food and breathe an air of appreciation of all the people in your life. You celebrate all the accomplishments of the last year. You even celebrate that you were given one more year to enjoy this world. It does not need to be impeded with the glitz of Christmas. Which is a total other kind of holiday. Christmas in part is when we like to show our love through giving or regifting. And we want to be there to see their reaction or fake reaction as may be the case. We want to experience our reward of giving a thoughtful gift instead of like Thanksgiving when the focus is to celebrate being together (and yes we want to gorge on the food also).
This year Thanksgiving is coming in the year of the Covid-19. If we are wise are celebrations will be smaller. Sometimes giving thanks is by showing what you are willing to give up for others. This kind of thanks is not the easiest to do. We can be selfish about how we want to celebrate our holidays. We can be selfish with who we want to celebrate. To have to disrupt our traditions and gatherings is hard. But there is a cliché’ that fits here ‘If you love something set it free if it returns it was and always will be yours if it does not then it was never yours to begin with ,’ Maybe for this one year we may have to give Thanksgiving as we have known it away. The problem is we are not a letting go people. We hold onto junk, grudges, leftovers forever.
So when conservatives decide that they will move up their War on Christmas to include a War on Thanksgiving it pisses me off. Conservatives ever sensitive to science and their imaginary conspiracies have decided that the liberal cabal is trying to take away Thanksgiving. We cannot have large groups in small spaces unmasked gathering from all sorts of different places they hear. That is all they apparently needed to set them off fighting a War on Thanksgiving.
They will now defiantly gather from all over unmasked in their homes to show how loyal they are to Thanksgiving but not necessarily to the people they will celebrate. The people will take a back seat to their new-found war. Instead of thankfulness being the center defiance will be the order of the day. Now of course not everyone who chooses to gather will become infected with Covid-19. This will of course in their minds justify their actions.
Thanksgiving is being robbed as a holiday as a time to rejoice in the good things of life such as friends, family, health, and other blessings. Thanksgiving is if the conservative right has their way to be a weaponize political tool to promote their philosophy. We have the right as individuals to do what we want. I thought Thanksgiving was about celebrating our togetherness not ourselves. I mean the idealistic first Thanksgiving was Native Americans and the Pilgrims who had many differences coming together to hopefully creating a union of friendship (of course we know what eventually happened to the Native Americans). They did the same thing to Christmas. You must declare Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays because we rule you drool.
My optimistic side says oh the war will be over after the vaccines come and we can all celebrate without guilt any way we want to. But my realistic side knows America likes perpetual wars so this war will not be going anywhere soon. So what are we to do? Be thankful in whatever way we want. Life is good and my friends and family probably could use a break from me. And maybe next Thanksgiving we will be surprised at how many people will return.
Some white Americans did a good thing. They turned away from a xenophobic and racist president like none we have seen in our modern politics. Now that our country has defeated this horror with the force of minorities and the left wing of the democratic party, White America is wanting to reclaim their importance and power in the struggles of this great nation. Although, I have great hopes for Joe Biden’s presidency let us be clear we have elected a 78 year-old white male career politician and want to be congratulated on our wokeness?
Joe Scarborough and many others are saying these groups who saved white America from itself must now look to seek compromise with white America. While I of course agree, the need to compromise is inevitable. But we live in the reality of the Art of the Deal. I contend we have never been in an era of compromise in America but always in the art of the deal. A transactional deal in which white Americans wield the power and give only as much power away as they can get away with. The proposition we offer other groups is always predicated with what they will take and what we feel comfortable giving in return. Our goal is to keep as much of our fortune as we can and to grow that fortune even more. Our concessions are always about being sure to create deeper pockets for ourselves.
But things are different; white America needs to realize the compromises to be made are not for the minorities and left to move toward whites; but the white population must move toward the minorities and left. For the first time in our lives the ‘minorities’ (a term that will soon be obsolete) with a little help from their friends have assumed control.
Those asserting otherwise are attempting to usurp the newly found power of our minority brothers and sisters, reclaim their ascendancy, and reestablish an order that works in their favor. Yes, the voice of white America must be heard but they do not set the table of compromise, they join it! White America has acted as the host, inviter, table-setter, conversation starter, and convener in the American dream but now they need to sit at the table (hopefully round) and take their place but not set the menu. This will be hard because in America the conversation has always centered around what the white community will allow and not necessarily what the minorities want or need.
It is a hard time to be white in America. White privilege and power are disappearing. This election clearly shows that. Yes the white population will continue to have inordinate amount of both privilege and power in financial institutions, legal houses, and personal wealth but the election shows that America is becoming an inclusive land if not by choice but by the force of the electorate.
Jesus once said, “What does it profit one if they gain the whole world but lose their soul.” I would add to that my own words ‘we can gain a world if we listen and assume our place’. The decision is ours.
Well I decided to croak. Actually, the decision was made by people with a higher pay grade than mine. I have noticed when a decision to appoint death to someone it is made arbitrarily. I don’t think management had a grudge to settle with me or I made some catastrophic mistake that led to my demise. The narrative began ‘his time is up’ and developed from there.
Of course, I would have preferred an extension on life, but narratives are hard to change. Lord knows I used my considerable abilities to argue my case, but my Superior claimed they had mysterious ways I could not possibly understand. We all know this is the logical fallacy of ‘secret knowledge’ but I noticed my Superior gets away with it anyway.
Let it be understood when I say I decided to croak it does not mean I give in. it only means if it is time I will leave my office and make room for someone else to claim their space in the continuum. This thing called ‘it is your time' is quite the euphemism. What does it mean? A death is timely or untimely based on whose watch, what time zone, which calendar (Chinese?). Time is somewhat of a construct. What if I deconstruct time do I get to live longer? If I travel to the other side of the world do I get an extra day? I am confused.
There is also this concept that I accomplished what I came to this world to do. How do I know this? I mean I have a few more accomplishments I would like to achieve. If I can prove I can accomplish a few more significant things again do I get to live longer?
Now I hear you can bargain with My Superior for an extended time frame as in 'If you let me live I will do something I am not currently doing'. I have a few problems with this. The first is does not past performance indicate future performance. At least I hear this implied by all the investment firms. Secondly, Boss you have all the cards and the power differential in these bargains is clearly in your favor. Any agreement we make I could challenge in the court of life as being coerced from me by you and I do not have to perform my side of the argument. Besides threatening with death seems so unseemly and gangster like. Could you please show me a little love. I mean that is your brand according to many. And if we come to this bargain how do I know you want do a bait and switch. You will not die of cancer today, but you will be hit by a bus tomorrow.
The promise that the next life will be better is another unsettling thought. First the only people making this claim are people who have not been to the next life. And how do they know I will think it is a better place. Streets of gold do not really appeal to me. Worshipping his Highness forever also lacks an appeal. Assimilating into one big soul seems to be what I have always avoided in this life. I have fought hard against participating in the herd mentality. Furthermore, coming back as someone else or something else is not appealing; I like who I am.
Of course, I do not want to be a whiny ass or snowflake about death but there does seem to be a certain amount of differences in the ‘qualities’ of death. Some go out in excruciating pain or a humiliating crapping in one’s pants while their love ones or a worker clean up after them: others gasp for breath one last time as they are surrounded by their families. Not only is there this death thing you have to deal with, there is also this random selection of who gets a ‘good’ death.
You have the concept of a death served a purpose. If this is so it means that a lot of deaths serve no purpose at all. This seems totally unfair. I think we all should demand a purposeful death. I am sorry Boss I am not going to do that chore unless you can assure me it serves a purpose. Otherwise find someone else for the job.
Finally, I want to say the whole system is rigged. Children are born into poverty and suffer early deaths because of disease and malnutrition. Some experience death because their medical coverage is not as good as the next person. Some people will do everything wrong as far as extending their lives (smoking, drinking etc.,) but have extended lives anyway. The wealthy no matter how mean, narcissistic and harm they do to the planet and others statistical live longer. This seems to be totally backwards. Now this is only my opinion mind you, but I think I could find plenty of people to agree with me. Unless of course there is a penalty of death for agreeing with me.
Now, I may seem I want everything an extension of life with accomplishments to follow that extension, a good painless death, and a death that has purpose; well the truth is I plead guilty as charged. And that is what I mean when I say I decided to croak. I know the penalty of sin is death. I guess it does not matter that I have always opposed the death penalty?
*I disavow any claims of my health that you may think you may garner from this essay. It has not yet been decided what are my physical health issues or for that matter my mental health issues are :) .
Marianne Williamson is currently being ridiculed. I believe we ridicule her at our own peril. I am not a Marianne Williamson fan but her words that this election is more than about who has the right plans but more about the dark side of America that has taken over the country is important.
We are no longer dealing with dark forces where the Mantra Love your neighbor as yourself is scoffed at publicly at our borders. The new mantra of fear your neighbor and everyone else is our new theology.
We are a nation in search of a new god. The god of Jesus is dead. Jesus’ teachings no longer effect the actions of our people. Those who talk about winning at any cost have nailed the coffin shut on the poor man who died on a wooden cross. What a loser. So sad.
The bring you the tired and poor mantra is being replaced by ‘we want only the well-heeled, educated, and wealthy’. The sage advice that a billionaire could never understand and be for the poor is replaced by if they have a gold-plated toilet and charities that are not used for charity celebrate their rise to great fortune. And when we are through praising their wealth and celebrity they give them your trust with your welfare.
In the bible the story for those who read it still it says Lamech’s boast ‘I have killed a man for wounding me; And a boy for striking me; If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold. Two chapters later the story told in the Bible is of god flooding the earth because it has become so wicked. We now have a president who prides himself not in defending himself but decimating his opponent on his twitter account and uses the government to exact revenge on those who oppose him or who would accuse them. Maybe this explains the reign of gun massacres our nation is facing.
We are in the battle not to see if America will live up to its stated values but we are in a battle to not have those values changed. Suddenly the new evangelical right has me defending the cherished old values of Christianity. I am the conservative and they are the radicals challenging the old ways by their forsaking of values they deem stale and not practical.
Jesus through his story of the good Samaritan and his clear words “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’ Are lost in the fear, power preserving, white majority in our country. These words of the dead Jesus who is nailed in a coffin by the Christians are replaced by the words we need people who think like us in our country or we will lose our identity as a country.
But this is nothing new. Christians in the South argued vehemently God ordained slavery and Jim Crow. Christians argue it was our given right to spread from sea to shining sea and all over the world because we are God’s country. The same variety of Christianity argues today that women are essentially not equal, that gays are an abomination, that white and might are right.
In a country who are currently rejecting their core values for a xenophobic and racist new philosophy it is refreshing to hear a call back to our spiritual selves. Because that will be the only way we return to assisting ‘the least of these’ and ‘bring the children to me’ values we held once upon a time.