Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Destroy the Guns

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. [Isaiah 2:4]

Mormons, along with many Christians, believe that at some point the resurrected Jesus will return to Earth and reign over 1000 years of peace. We call this the Millennium and we look forward to, and are supposedly working toward, that day.

In light of the current renewal of the "gun control" debate subsequent to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, I just thought I would quote this scripture to remind all the gun-totin', NRA member, 2nd Amendment, "Christians" in this country that there will be no Millennial Peace on this Earth until we literally melt down all the guns and turn the metal to more productive uses.

Those who manufacture and sell guns are promoting Satan's plan of "blood and horror" on this Earth, and they are doing it for no other reason than "power and gain" . Those who buy guns for "Self-defense" (rather than legitimate law enforcement use) are buying insecurity, not security.

The more guns that are available, the more gun violence there will be. Period. This simple logic has been twisted and obscured by well-financed gun-lobby rhetoric, but it is still true. I wish that my fellow Mormons would stop supporting the agents of death and focus on building the Kingdom of God.

I don't suppose the current Senators from Utah (Hatch and Lee) will vote to eliminate assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. I wonder how Jesus would vote?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney Commits to Radical Right Agenda

Up until now, most of Mitt Romney's campaign speeches could have been given by any Presidential candidate, from either party,  running against an incumbent. They have had essentially no substance. We're going to "take America back," "rebuild America," "restore the American Dream," "create jobs," "save Medicare," "restore hope." And, of course, the current President has "failed the American people" with his "failed policies" and "lack of leadership."

Yada yada. We all know he will say anything (and lots of nothing) to get elected.

But now, with his selection of tea party darling Paul Ryan as his running mate, he has confirmed his commitment to the Grover Norquist, David and Charles Koch, Wall Street Journal, vision for America. An America wherein the middle class, the poor, the elderly, the infirm, and those trying to go to college give up more to support the billionaires.

The facts are there for those willing to see with their eyes and hear with their ears. The numbers do not lie. As Jason Linkins pointed out today on The Huffington Post, "Ryan's plan to reduce taxes is to raise them on nearly everybody."  "His plan to balance the budget is to not balance the budget." And "His plan to reduce long-term health care costs is to ration out vouchers that diminish in value over time, relative to rising costs."

Grandiose rhetoric, proven bad policy (have we already forgotten George W. Bush?), pandering to the super rich, persecuting the poor and the elderly, these things should remind us of the warnings in the Book of Mormon. The choice could not be more clear.

But, sadly, Utah will no doubt vote overwhelmingly for these guys. God help us.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mitt Wrong About People

"Mitt Romney tells us, in his own words, he believes corporations are people.
"No, Mitt, corporations are NOT people. People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They love and they cry and they dance. They live and they die. Learn the difference."
-- Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren (D)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rich People are Measurably More Dishonest

Seven scientific studies have shown that people from higher economic classes behave more unethically than people from lower economic classes. Specifically, the studies showed that rich people were more likely to lie in a negotiation, cheat to win a prize, and endorse unethical behavior at work.

Two of the studies showed results that cause me to shake my head and roll my eyes. The first showed that upper class people were more likely to break the law while driving. Specifically, they were significantly more likely to cut off pedestrians and other drivers. (This should not surprise most drivers!). The second, showed that rich people were more likely to take candy that had been set aside for children. (In other words, rich people literally are more likely to take candy from babies!!!).

Clearly the 1% and their Republican allies are the problem.

Higher Social Class Predicts Unethical Behavior by Kiff, Paul K., et al
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, February 27, 2012 pp. 4086-4991.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting Away with Murder

This past week, Casey Anthony, the so called "tot mom" was found not guilty of killing her 2 year old daughter Caylee. I did not follow the media circus surrounding this case, but apparently many Americans believe Casey got away with murder. 

On his Friday night HBO show "Real Time," host Bill Maher openly equated the Casey Anthony verdict with Republican policy.

"And before you accuse me of equating the Casey Anthony verdict with Republican thinking -- save your breath, I am. I'm equating them. If you're a working-class American who still votes Republican then you don't get to bitch about that verdict," said Maher.

"[Half of American voters] say 'I'm with the party that cuts all these programs for real people, for the 99 percent. Planned Parenthood, environmental protection, college, health care, infrastructure, but holds the line on private jets.' Voting for them is as stupid as voting not guilty for the mom who lost her baby for a month and went looking at a wet t-shirt contest.

"We're now being told that if multinational corporations bring home their current overseas profits of $1.4 trillion, they'll only be taxed five percent on it because we're told it will create jobs. It won't. It didn't, just like the last time we tried it in 2004. Companies took the savings and paid it out to themselves in dividends. Yes, Republican base, you are just like that jury. It's pathetically clear who's killing the middle class but you keep letting them get away with murder."

Monday, May 02, 2011

Mission (Finally) Accomplished

Osama bin Laden was killed yesterday in Pakistan in a focused, 40-minute, US military operation. Today, many in the US and around the world are celebrating. According to President Obama's announcement on television last night, the first intelligence pointing to bin Laden's location appeared last August. This means that the planning, from first hint to successful operation took over 8 months.

I have to say that this careful, precise, well-planned operation is an example of why we need to elect smart leaders. George Bush the younger could never have done it (and, in fact, didn't). Smart leaders hire smart managers; and smart managers plan important, tricky operations carefully. Cowboys ride after the first target they see and start shooting. I believe President Obama should get full credit for this successful operation and that it is an example of clear, intelligent, decisive leadership.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Fire the Rich

The March-April 2011 issue of UTNE Reader has reprinted an essay from Counter Punch by Davis Macaray entitled, Fire the Rich: A radical fix for the economy that greed destroyed. Here is an excerpt:

Shrinking incomes, fewer jobs ... but bigger corporate profits. Not a good sign.
Yet when you broach the dreaded subject of "class warfare." you get blank stares. When you try to demonstrate, through charts and graphs and scores of real-life examples, that the system is largely rigged to accommodate the wealthy and the powerful -- and that we face an unfortunate us-versus-them dilemma -- people back away.
There's an old joke. An Oxford professor meets a former student and asks what he's been up to. The student tells him he's working on a doctoral thesis about the survival of the class system in the United States. The prof expresses surprise. "I didn't think there was a class system in the United States, " he says. "Nobody does," the student replies. "That's how it survives."

I recommend reading the entire article. The middle class has been under serious attack for some time now. Thanks to the super rich, we are well on our way to becoming a third world country, And no one in the mainstream media is talking about it...