“Those less favored in life should be more favored in law.” – Powell

This quote by Thomas Reed Powell sums up all that is wrong with the current conversation about the deficit. So much of the rhetoric is about punishing the already economically punished and rewarding the secure and even the exploiters.

Liberal thought is that we are all part of a larger community that is willing to lend a hand to those in need. A hand of helping, not slapping further down. Liberals remember that “There but for the grace of God go I.” Fortunes can turn in an instant; won or lost in a day.

The Republican debates have been especially telling. I was dismayed about the audience reaction to Mr. Paul’s discussion of what should happen to a 30-year old man with no insurance who hypothetically needs medical care to live. The support for “let him die” tells me that this country needs some heavy duty re-education about community and the value of human life.

What does it say about the people of America (or at least that group of people) if we are willing to let those less fortunate die because they have no insurance, either by choice or necessity. If you have no insurance, you die in a situation where medical treatment could save a life? It’s so negative and nihilistic. (From Wikipedia – nihilism is “characterized as “emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value.)

We all need help once in a while. It shouldn’t be a death sentence to not have insurance, nor should losing your job mean that you are forever unemployed and reduced to poverty. How does that build community, or country? It doesn’t.
It’s a rejection of human idealism and an acceptance of animal fatalism – survival of the fittest. It’s more war on the middle class. It’s political and economic extremism. Is this who we are as Americans? I can’t accept that.

I think that most Americans value life and want to enjoy the best for themselves and their families. And they are willing to work and contribute to achieve it. They are willing to lend a hand to those who are unemployed and struggling until they get back on their feet because we have all seen how easy it is to lose everything when jobs get cut. Most Americans want to be respected and are willing to extend respect to others, even in the hard times.

I think that most Americans want to move forward not backward and are being manipulated through the (conservative) media by fear, greed and big money. I think most Americans are more liberal than they give themselves credit for.

I have more faith in America than that. Let’s keep talking about who we really are and maybe the majority will awaken to their own goodness and start shouting down the exploiters.

Let’s talk about liberal living as a step forward, not backward. Let’s move toward optimism, not negativity and nihilism.

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Budget Cuts Mean More Misery. Why? Life is Cheap.

The New York Times ran an article today about Obama catpitulating to the demands of the depression makers. It made me sick.

I’ve been looking for other voices in this time of accerating chaos. They are out there: Jean Houston, a visionary and activist in Social Awareness, Barbara Max Hubbard, an expert in the human evolutionary process in these times and some others I’ll talk about in another post. There is a way out of the current shit, but it will not come from the system that has made itself so radically sick. Einstein said you can’t solve a problem using the same processes and ideas that created the problem. That’s where we are today. We as a country and culture are very ill, and we have to fire the doctors and find our own solutions, and we have to start talking about it a lot more.

This is the comment I posted as Lallen56 to the article “Obama Budget Pivots From Stimulus to Deficit Cuts.”

The cuts to education and every program that supports actual people shows me that the Republicans are pushing to make the American worker extinct. If fewer people are educated they can justify outsourcing more jobs to countries the demand less in wages but still support education. Cheap engineers, cheap attorneys, cheap computer scientists, cheap everyone.

Our lives are cheap to them and they are the ultimate Grinches. It’s a race to the bottom. I am disgusted that Obama has capitulated to this degree. My only hope now is that the Republicans so overstep their bounds that their cruel, domination agenda becomes obvious to even the most staunch TPer’s. Neither party seems up to the challenges. Maybe the solution will come from the trenches.

There are movements afoot that emphasize evolutionary possibilities. More people should know that this doomed scenario is not the only one. (See Jean Houston, Barbara Max Hubbard and others like them.)

We can do better. We can form a culture that supports those who participate, but it will mean a complete overhaul of our economic and political systems. It can be done with determination and activism toward systems that build caring communities rather than punitive surfdoms dominated and ruled by corporate overseers and cruel warmongers.

It’s time for us to grow up and be civilized. It can be done. Wake up.

More tax cuts to save us from the recession caused by tax cuts-GENIUS!

The Cat Food commission has presented it recommendations and it looks like they want to reduce the middle class to real servitude and the wealthy as the mega overlords. It’s probably doomed since gridlock is the name of the game in Washington, but it angers me that part of the proposal is even more drastic tax cuts than we got with Bush II. That’s part of what got us into a mess in the first place. Then the reduction of social benefits that the middle class has funded and earned, and more giveaways to the wealthy. Here’s my response to an editorial in today’s NY Times that said all those proposals were a good idea:

This proposal only intensifies the quest to eliminate the middle class, enrich the already wealthy, and permanently put the oligarchs in charge. Reducing taxes was part of the disastrous Bush scheme 10 years ago, and it has not lived up to the promise of prosperity for all. History proves that it never has and it never will. Taxes are income to the country and should be increased to help solve the problem. Let the Bush tax mistake expire, at least on the top income earners. The wealthy know how to stay wealthy and it’s time they put some skin in the game they are winning at everyone else’s expense.

Financial problems are solved by cutting expenses AND increasing income. This plan ignores the increase to income component completely. It’s more VooDoo economics mascarading as a solution. We can do better!
End of response to article.

It just seems outright stupid to intensify the policy that created the problem. If you are driving from Canada to Texas and all the signs say you’re headed for the North Pole, you don’t keep driving. You turn around. Unless you want to drive all the way around the world. This is not progressive and not moving forward.

Sorry for the political rant, but freakin’ Hell, this makes no sense. Canada and Costa Rica are starting to look really good.

Polarization in US Politics

The article by Gail Collins and David Brooks in the NY Times usually gets my dander up because although David thinks he is being thoughtful and moderate, he usually sides with the trickle downers and the political right for really dumb reasons (IMHO). They both bring up good discussion points, but what I find really intriguing are the comments that follow the articles.

The article I read today was “Let the Polarization Begin” and was a discussion about what the primary elections say about US voters.

The comments range from stating that the Demos will take a drubbing because Obama is failing to be enough of a leader, to the Repubs will take a drubbing because they are too extreme, Tea Party is crazy and has too much/little influence and so on.

My question is what the bloody hell does anyone do about it? How do you fight with boatloads of political cash and extremist positions?

One comment that hit home to me was from Aaron in Newton, MA. He says it’s hard to draw conclusions about the meaning of the primary because, well, . . it’s the primary and things change including political loyalty. Witness Joe Lieberman losing the primary as a Demo and winning later as an Independent. (Still mad at him for killing the public option!)

He goes on to say that “ Sadly, there seems to be high level of denial in the electorate about the realities of special interest group politics. Do the Tea Party followers actually believe they are somehow not in a “special interest group”?” He’s right. We are now an electorate of special interest groups whether we like it or not. He also points out that each person is free to work within a special interest group and basically vote with your dollars – just like the corporations. Interesting idea.

He says:
“Rather than get worked up about which party is more corrupt, or more out of touch, voters should find special interest groups they agree with, donate to and/or volunteer with them, and stop thinking that any one politician is going to somehow fulfill all of their wishes. You actually want the least ideological person to win, because that person is going to be most susceptible to special interest group influence, which is where you can actually have an effect on what gets done.”

Bob in Cincinnatti comments that as far as Rand Paul winning in Kentucky goes, that KY is one of the least mature states and is therefore easily influenced by radical voices, however nonsensical the message. For example, KY houses the Creation Museum where dinosaurs are depicted as coexisting with humans, has forever elected disproportionately white males to local and national offices, and is stuck in the distant past. The rest of the nation, he says, is not so backward, and that Mr. Paul and his ilk will fade into the white, old boys club smoke in time. Gee, I hope so.

I agree that big money has too much influence on our politics. But it makes sense to me to join with a special interest group and collectively make a difference within a larger, targeted context. The little guy can vote, and that’s important, but we have to also recognize that political change is less likely to happen without money and lots of it. Until that changes, we have to work with it. Use the special interest groups to some advantage.

At least it is an action to take, rather than a complaint to lodge. Actions speak louder than words, and if we work it right, even louder than money. Vote, contribute, and take action.

Inertia won’t change anything. Move it and action has a chance.