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rhett o rick

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Member since: Fri Apr 22, 2005, 01:05 PM
Number of posts: 37,637

Journal Archives

Thanks Supremes - Down the Slippery Slope To a National Religion

The Supreme Court rules that government meetings can have an opening prayer. How can that not violate the Constitutional right of separation of Church and State?

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation's traditions. "The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers,"

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/supreme-court-upholds-prayer-public-meetings-n97221

Let’s get this straight; Justice Kennedy says that the prayers are only “ceremonial”? I wonder what God thinks about that. And they should be allowed because they are “traditional”? Wasn’t that an argument to support slavery? Oops, shouldn't say that too loudly, next the Court might strike down the 13th Amendment.

I counter the “ceremonial” and “tradition” argument with the slippery slope argument. Next thing you know the theists will be including God on our money and in the Pledge of Allegiance. Seriously, if you allow non-proselytizing prayers, you will start to get more proselytizing prayers.

As I see it, praying out loud with head bowed and maybe hands together is proselytizing. In my opinion the words, "and thank Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior" or something similar, is Christian proselytizing and has no business at government meetings. It is certainly aimed at impressing someone other than God. I haven’t seen any evidence that God cares how you pray so why does it have to be demonstrative? If you want your particular god to bless the meeting, discuss it with him or her in the parking lot before you go into the meeting.

The bad thing about this is that it pressures others to conform to the will of the majority. Who wants to be the only one in the room that isn’t praying? And what about other religions? Do they get to say their own prayers?

The Constitution is crystal clear in it’s meaning of, “ no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Having Christian prayers at the beginning of a government meeting qualifies as a test. You might as well ask public officials to raise their hand if they are not a Christian.

The religious Right-Wing has won another battle for "one nation under Christ".
Posted by rhett o rick | Fri May 9, 2014, 10:12 AM (0 replies)

This is only a secret to those that live in a naive denial bubble.

It has to be glaringly obvious what has happened to our "two party" system. It's only logical Captain, that the wealthy oligarchs would buy control of both parties. Duh!

The naive among us (maybe they're just lazy) want sooo badly to be able to know who to support from only their party affiliation. D's are good and R's are bad, and plez dont complicate things by pointing out the flaws in that thinking.

The naive are ecstatic that the Republican Party appears to be in major trouble. They believe that their troubles would all be over if the Republican Party just disappeared. They dont recognize that the value of the two-party system. They think we would have just one big party of good guys, that the right-wing ideologies die with the party (I think cherry is their favorite flavor).

I have been saying over and over that a Clinton vs. Christie race would be win-win for the Wall Street Oligarchs. Now it looks like a Clinton-Bush race*. Same difference. Maybe we should dispense with the election and flip a coin to see whether Clinton or Bush should be president with the loser being the Vice President. The Wall-Street Oligarchs are already celebrating.

The fact that Clinton is a favorite of Wall Street isnt a secret except for those with their heads in their sand.


*IMHO the BFEE still are a faction to be reckoned with KR's finger prints are all over Christie-Gate. Just sayin. Always keep your eyes on KR.

Dont Forget to Support Your Local Foodbanks and Soup Kitchens

Local foodbanks are struggling. In tight economic times, donations to foodbanks tend to dry up. And this is the time when help is most needed as more and more people are relying on local foodbanks for help.

Please donate non-perishable foods. Even if the cans are dented or past expiration date they may still be good.

Donating cash is the best because foodbanks usually can buy about three times more food for the dollar than you can.

It’s also important to donate time. At our foodbank about 75% of the labor is volunteered.

Some foodbanks take clothes and household items that they give away for free.

Foodbanks usually need simple things like boxes, plastic grocery bags, and glass jars. Ask your local foodbank what they need.

Some people are wary that their donations are distributed fairly and efficiently. Volunteer to be a member of the Board of Directors and influence the operations of your local foodbank.

Also help the homeless. Our foodbank works with local soup kitchens and street ministries. Here are some specific items the homeless value:

Hats*, socks*, coats, rain ponchos*, space blankets*, tarps, tents, sterno, canned meats and meals that can be opened w/o opener, bottled water, hand sanitizer and first aid items, granola bars*, bus tokens, grocery gift cards, etc.
*Some items can be purchased in quantity at low prices online like at Amazon. Note, if you use Amazon, use smile.amazon.com and they will donate to your designated charity.

Please support your local foodbank.

Edit: Corrected to smile.amazon.com (Not pushing Amazon but just providing info)

That would be the smart thing to do, but unreg-capitalism doesnt have a mechanism for that.

In unreg-capitalism the goal is having the greatest wealth. So who is going to step forward and "let loose" with their wealth?

Adam Smith thought that enlighten-self interest would drive individuals to build or create wealth. And I dont think he was wrong. But he was relying on these capitalists being "enlightened", and that is not practical in the capitalistic system. Those that are "enlightened" are soon buried by those that let greed lead the way. It is so much easier to steal wealth than create it.

Bad Analogy Time: Unreg-capitalism is like have no speed limits on our roads. Those with the biggest cars would bowl over everyone else.

And that's your justification for what exactly? When David takes on Goliath some people

immediately side with David and some immediately side with Goliath, revealing to me authoritarian issues on both sides. That may include me (not in this particular case) because I do have authoritarian issues. I tend to mistrust authoritarians unless proven otherwise. And I believe those that side with Goliath also have issues with authoritarians. They tend to trust authoritarians until proven otherwise. And in the case of priests, continue to trust authoritarians even after proven otherwise.

But because a few (several?) posters on a message board of thousands declared Snowden a hero shouldnt be used to rationalize that he isnt. But once again, and again, whether Snowden is a hero or not is beside the point. The important point is that we, as a society may have a trust problem with our elected and appointed people that are supposed to be working in our best interest. It is every bit our responsibility to assure that they are working in our best interest.

Most here recognize that the investigative report on Christie is most likely tainted. The same reasoning should lead us to be suspicious of investigative reports issued by the NSA about the NSA. And we should be suspicious of attempts by the NSA to smear anyone that dares to speak out in this democratic society.

If you want democracy you must demand it and be vigilant, and be very weary of those that ask you to blindly trust them.

I think to characterize capitalism as evil reveals part of our economic problem.

Capitalism is an economic system and itself isnt evil any more than a knife is evil. I know this sounds like I am being picky but believing that capitalism is evil goes along with the idea that capitalism is like a person and it isnt. Capitalism should be viewed as a tool which can be used for good or bad just like a knife.

Humans cannot live in society without rules. There is a natural tendency to look out for one's self. But to live in an orderly society, humans must some times sacrifice what's best for themselves to make the society function for the best of the society.

Also, it must be clear that when we say capitalism needs to be regulated, we mean "for the benefit of society as a whole" and not for a select few. Our capitalistic based system currently has lots of regulations, but they have been modified to benefit a very small, select few.

The SCOTUS did our society a great disservice in the Citizens United decision where they ruled that our Constitution restricted us as a society on how much we can regulate our capitalist system. They demonstrated their enormous power to overrule the Congress and the President. IMO this is out of hand. The SCOTUS has too much power (but that's a discussion for another day).

The argument that the capitalist (oligarchs) cant be regulated by society because it's not "democratic" is bogus. Our democracy isnt inherently laissez-faire. We as a society can and must control our democracy and economic system to benefit society as a whole and strip the oligarchs of their power.

Capitalism isnt evil, we must take responsibility to control it, by whatever means necessary.

Other than that, have a great day.

What's your position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

The TPP of course is a trade agreement that is being negotiated in secrecy from the American public.

Corporations are being allowed to either participate or at least see the text.

Some of the text has been leaked and has union leaders and environmentalists worried.

Previous trade agreements, like NAFTA, have been devastating to the American workforce.

The Administration is trying to push this agreement thru Congress via "fast-track" which will not allow debate or public input.

How do you feel about the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Why do some citizens have such hatred for whistle-blowers?

I think you will find that these are the same people that not only openly hate whistle-blowers also hate protestors like Code Pink and Occupy. They are quick to throw investigative journalists like Michael Hastings under the bus. They side with the corporations against WikiLeaks, Julius Assange and Pfc Manning.

So who are these people? Well we know that the Republicans fall into this category. They clearly have no empathy for the poor, seniors, the sick, our vets, working people, etc. They openly worship authoritarian leadership with leaders like Bush, Cheney, and Gen Clapper.

But Republicans aren’t the only ones that fall for the propaganda put forth by the corporate media and espouse hatred toward those trying to speak truth to power. It appears that some conservative Democrats are siding with the Republicans and the corporate media to try to silence whistle-blowers.

So apparently it’s not just a Republican thing to hate those speaking truth to power, but a conservative thing.

Fortunately we have DU where we are free to discuss these issues among politically liberal posters.

Having one big conservative party has effectively neutralized the progressives of the Party.

This wasnt an accident. Obama ran as a progressive and got support from the left. But immediately, starting at his inauguration he leaped right. I saw it with his choices of Rick Warren and Rahm Emanuel and the dismissal of Howard Dean. Couldnt wait to distance himself from the left.

Technically it's still a two party system but one party is conservative and the other party is wacko. This is the perfect system for the Powers To Be. They use the wackos to scare the hell out of us, then we are grateful for the party of Gen Clapper, Penny Pritzker, Tim Geitner, Lawrence Summers, Ben Bernanke, William M. Daley, Jeff Immelt, Dave Cote, Robert Gates, Gen Stanley McChrystal, Jacob Lew, Jeremiah Norton, Gen Petraeus, John Brennen, Chuck Hegal, Michael Taylor, James Comey, Robert Mueller, Rahm Emanuel, Gen Alexander.

And what is in our future? Eight more years of pro-Wall Street administrations and the sinking of American workers. How ironic that Citizens United may play a major role in getting H. Clinton-Sachs elected.

It's time we run the conservatives out of our party and back to the Republican Party where they belong.

The Stock Market is a fool's game. In a good economy it may grow with economic growth but the

big money is made in the fluctuations of the bubbles. Some bubbles are small and some are large. Big money can manipulate the bubbles to their benefit and the loss of the fools that think they might get rich (or even make an honest gain).

The fools believe the propaganda that they are "investing" in the economy or in a company. That is a bald faced lie. If I buy General Motors stock today, the company will not see a dime of that money. They wont use my money to help their company. I am essentially laying my money down as a bet that the price will go up. It is like going to the window at the horse races and saying give me $1,000 on GM. I take my ticket and watch the "race" hoping to cash in with GM in the lead.

Company executives have learned that they can make more money by manipulating their companies stock price and cashing in.
Alan Greenspan, who is so out of touch with reality that he was shocked when he learned that company executives would put their personal gain ahead of the health of their company. Idiot.

The Stock Market is one way to transfer the wealth in retirement funds from the 99.99% into the pockets of the 0.01%.
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