Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Off The Rails

Even a number of conservative Republicans have decided that the current party is off the rails. Former Senator, UN Ambassador and Episcopalian Minister John Danforth had comments like this in the New York Times:
Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. ............The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement.
When government becomes the means of carrying out a religious program, it raises obvious questions under the First Amendment. But even in the absence of constitutional issues, a political party should resist identification with a religious movement. .............As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around.

They have the power, completely. The good news is it looks, as one might expect, that they are taking it over the edge. It will certainly take some work from the opposition and more time but I feel like this is the beginning of the end for the American Taliban. Unfortunately these religious groups, through the ages, have not taken it well and have often resorted to violence when their primacy was challenged. I fear we may see this before it is all settled.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Robber Barons

Of course we know the conservatives are the smart businessmen who can run a tight ship and be fiscally responsible with our taxpayer dollars.
Or maybe thats just what they say. Of course then we have the oil for food program.

Failed Leadership

The call has gone out on this page several times. Now it is showing up in other places. When will someone in a leadership position finally push this , build a consensus and go with it?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Religious Diversity

A good example of why it's important to maintain freedom of religion.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer left his church last week after the pastor wrote him a letter suggesting "it might be easier for all of us" if he leave.
Greer, whose orders on the Terri Schiavo case have brought him criticism, is a Southern Baptist who attended Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater.

I guess they thought he should rule on the law of God and not the law of man. Wouldn't that be fun if all our "Judges" did that?
The God of my life loves me unconditionally. I guess the same can't be said of his church. That's not a church I would want to be a part of.
I read something a while back that said that people, in growing numbers, are picking a party first then the pricipals. I find that a scary thought. Hell, that's truly just a sales job. Unfortunately, that is the way I see people doing spirituality also. Pick a church before finding the principals. Shouldn't you be developing principals first? Otherwise isn't it just a cult? Sheeple. I'm all for your right to freedom of worship. Many have become better people through religion. I'm all for that. In large measure, here is my religion. Any chance I could hold a different view on spiritual matters and not be evil and destined for eternal damnation? Geez, no wonder this country is so divided. is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. - Thomas Paine

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Dependent Nation

From The American Prospect:

I'm not saying we're destined to decline. But we had better jog ourselves out of the eternal sunshine ...and start dealing with our real economic and political problems. We cannot stop China's sun from rising, but we can keep our own from setting.

I had a little bull session with a friend of mine that is definitely more to the conservative side than I am. I was, actually we both were, shocked at how many issues we agreed on. I am hopeful that a new consensus may be slowly forming. Unfortunately we have to sift through the "never wrong" ,"evil enemy" wurlitizer before we get to people.
I think deep down inside most Americans understand that America is becoming a dependent nation. I also think most Americans see it as a mistake that we should let ourselves be dependent on other countries to survive.
We need a robust manufacturing base not just to be independent but to make sure we also have the people with the skills and innovation to keep us at the top of our game.
Not only are we goods and manufacturing dependent but we are also oil dependent, and even economically dependent with Japan and China combined owning $906 billion of the roughly $1.1 trillion of U.S. Treasuries held overseas.
They hold the credit card debt. What propitious for them time will they decide to manipulate all that money?
Can we become energy independent and a leader in alternative energy? Can we be the leader in industry and innovation? Can we balance our bills, be an example for the world in matters large and small? Yes we can. But we have to face today's perilous facts first and then UNIFY behind an agreed vision for our country. Can we remain the beacon for another 225 years? Yes. Could we fall hard and fast? I fear the table is being set.

Reality? What Reality?

"Just last week, DeLay marshaled a budget resolution through the House of Representatives that would cut funding for Medicaid by at least $15 billion, threatening the quality of care for people like Terri Schiavo." DeLay spokesman Dan Allen fired back: "The fact that they're tying a life issue to the budget process shows just how disconnected Democrats are to reality."

So when he's doing the job we (some of us) elected him to do he is acting from a viewpoint of amorality? Not thinking about the issues other Terri Schiavos may face? Whos reality?

American Taliban

The phrase American Taliban was found quite objectionable by one of my conservative listeners. According to him it was waaaaay different in America with the fundamentalists because they weren't trying to kill everyone who disagreed with them. Oh Really?! I guess he should have said "yet". That's what happens when you pander to the extremists to get elected. They start thinking they run the place! These people who so long preached federalisim and states rights now attempt to overthrow it when it doesn't suit their purposes. Why, that sounds like some linguini spined conservatives! That sounds like flip floppers! Where's my flip flops!?
I get so distressed with the fetus people trying to push their guilt off on me. I have seen them defend the life of embryos and fetuses. I have seen them defend the life of a 15year bedridden, questionably conscious woman. In between though it seems you're on your own. How about having a little guilt about the 15 billion in Medicaid that might have improved someone's "culture of life". Maybe we will just wait till they are all on a machine and then insist on care. Their guilt doesn't work on me and it shouldn't work on you either.
With standard procedure these radical republicans and their screech machines have gotten away from the legal issue or even the moral one and turned toward vilifying the opposition. Michael Schaivo is now suspect of all kinds of terrible misdeeds. Is anyone suprized? Is their anyone left that hasn't figured out their M. O. at this point. It's been so long since we really discussed issues and so long since we have been able to discuss different viewpoint without being or making an "enemy" I fear we have forgotten how. I am actually a quite spiritual person and on a moral basis I have mixed feelings on this issue. I don't believe in legislating my morality as the rule for all though. Not in America. They will now be interfering with our religious freedom. Please stand by.
Listen to the Rush Limbaughs, the Sean Hannitys and most ideally Anne Coulter. They aren't trying to have a debate. They are attempting to whip people into a frenzy, a wild mob. Well they've accomplished that. Let's see how well they like their country with a bunch of barely controllable/totally unbending zealots deciding et al.