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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 2,354

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Tough question. Best short answer I can think of...

...is that the Gospel Message ("Love One Another" is also reflected in the core beliefs of
any number of other religions. From Confucius' Golden Rule (which sounds an awful lot like
the "Do on to Others" message in Christian teaching) to the respect for Others and the Earth
taught by 'primitive'/indigenous people, it would appear that there's at least a little bit of
consensus on the meaning of spiritual values, no matter where or from what religious tradition
different people are from.

But what also seems to show up, in looking at Christianity and other belief systems as well,
is that the basic message is often received differently, in sharply contrasting ways. Some
people are able to accept that "it's not all about you," that the real meaning or purpose of
life is bigger than the recipient. Other folks are more afraid, more angry or full of themselves
or whatever, so they tend to confuse their own personal outcomes with the fundamental

For whatever it's worth, that contrasting world view also seems to be echoed in political
life. Hard line Republicans (I'm talking about today's Republicans, not the leaders who once
helped define that party, like Eisenhower or Dirksen or Percy) now emphasize "You're on
your Own" when it comes to critical decision-making, and Democrats prefer to consider
"we're all in this together" when the answer to the question is really important.

As a professing Christian, myself (I'm Eastern Orthodox, and have to admit that I honestly
value weekly get-together's with some of my most valued personal friends, on a regular
basis) it bothers me that that's the way things go, established-religion-wise.

But what are you going to do?

Decide if fear, isolation and anxiety are going to rule your life, or maybe there's more to
it than that.

It's not unlike health care. We pay more for less.

And the difference goes in to the pockets of ALEC-supporters like
AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, who fund politicians who make sure that
we'll always get more of the same:


I saw comparisons of the quality of service on Counterpunch, but
this Alternet article came up higher:


Since 1991, the telecom companies have pocketed an estimated $320 billion --- that's about $3,000 per household.

This is a conservative estimate of the wide-scale plunder that includes monies garnered from hidden rate hikes, depreciation allowances, write-offs and other schemes. Ironically, in 2009, the FCC's National Broadband plan claimed it will cost about $350 billion to fully upgrade America's infrastructure.

The principal consequence of the great broadband con is not only that Americans are stuck with an inferior and overpriced communications system, but the nation's global economic competitiveness has been undermined.

In a June 2010 report, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked the U.S. 15th on broadband subscribers with 24.6 percent penetration; the consulting group, Strategy Analytics, is even more pessimistic, ranking the U.S. 20th with a "broadband" penetration rate of 67 percent compared to South Korea (95 percent), Netherlands (85 percent) and Canada (76 percent). Making matters worse, Strategy Analytics projects the U.S. ranking falling to 23rd by year-end 2010.

The article suggests that too many politicians are being paid too much cash by too many lobbyists to have any concern at all for their constituents' phone bills.

There might be a larger umbrella covering both points of view.

As in, while *most* people don't value old newspapers so much that they fill their living space with them,
and *most* people don't enjoy the company of dozens of felines.... some do.

Similarly, while most of us (99.9%) are untroubled and unfazed by the sheer gravitational force -- constantly
drawing more assets towards its own center -- of a really, really, really large pile of wealth, for a select few that
astronomical physical PULL is a life-affecting issue.

Either way, what may have begun innocently enough, with a small pile of accumulated good reads or a couple or
three kitties (or consider the early, start-up/entrepreneur years of Ebeneezer Scrooge's business career), it all turns
into something resembling the Sorcerer's Apprentice. ....I once had the misfortune of spending a couple or three days
with someone who was both a hoarder and a miser. "Annie" was only hours from a sheriff's eviction. No one
in her family, none of her kids, none of her other 'friends' would help her pack up all those valuable THINGS filling
the attic, both floors and basement. So it was me and two Mexican-(not quite legally)-American gentlemen hired
off the street for ten dollars an hour packing semi-priceless paintings, sculptures, carvings and other objets d'art
into stacks of plastic totes. Every one of those THINGS had a value (known to the last penny) but there was no
oxygen in the house. It was stifling in that place, with the collective weight of all those valuable assets pushing the
air from everyone's lungs. With the clock ticking down and the Sheriff due to arrive within hours -- and big piles of
stuff still unpacked -- it was like waiting for Death. The inevitable moment when a normal person would figure out,
"no, you can't take it with you, maybe there are just a few other things making life worth living" but that never
happened. It was 3 in the morning but I had to leave, with "Annie" working the phone, planning to move into a much
nicer place in a few weeks. By herself. It was a steal of a deal, the new house, but I never saw the miser again so
I don't know how it all turned out.

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