Prosperity at what Cost

Do you know what I like best about the New Testament?  The part where Jesus of Nazareth tells his followers to starve children, withhold medical treatment from the ill, turn out on the streets the aged, judge others and find constant fault .  Yeah I really like the part where The Christ told the people to be uncharitable, judgmental and to seek personal wealth at the expense of others.  I also really like the part where he told the priests to build massive edifices to themselves and their own egos and demand the last dime from a poor mother so the minister could buy a new Cadillac.

Those are the parts of the New Testament I really like.  What those parts aren’t in the New Testament?  Are you certain? Surely they must be, those are the Christian values we are legislating. Those are the Christian values our oh so Christian government and their supporters are telling us are the foundation of our Christian Nation so they must be there somewhere, you and I simply haven’t read the Bible correctly.

Pope FrancisIf you can’t find that part of the New Testament either, perhaps we need a real ‘Come to Jesus’ with those who claim Christianity is the framework, no the very foundation of the United States, but fail abysmally to follow any of its tenants.  Maybe it is time for those of us who have a problem with the entire Prosperity Gospel to stand up and hold accountable those who have decimated generations of our people, the very  soul of our nation through their greed and complete lack of empathy. I like this new Pope in Rome, he has turned the fervent followers of the gospel of self, the theology of Free Market on their ears and their asses are thoroughly chapped.  Pagans that is what he called them recently, I like that though I suspect true Pagans might take exception.

We come to the end of another year and we have slipped further down the road to perdition.  You don’t agree with my assessment of where we are today let me give some examples, tell me where I am wrong:

  • Income gap widens between the ‘have’ and the ‘have nots’.
    • The American Dream is out of reach for many today and the once robust middle class is disappearing.
  • More children are hungry and living in poverty than at any time since the Great Depression.
  • More families are homeless.
  • Unemployment remains steadily high, above 7% overall but in some groups above 10%.
  • Education is slipping, we are falling steadily behind other nations in all critical skills;
    • Math, Science, Technology, Literacy
  • Retirement guarantees for those who fought for this nation will be cut, while Congress will keep theirs intact.
  • Banks and bankers, those nefarious organizations and the men who lead them, you know the ones who nearly brought the world economy to its knees and we the people bailed out, they fought and won to remain free to do it again.

That is just a partial list there are worse things we should acknowledge though, things we say only in whispers to each other for fear of the backlash.

The culture war is in play, it is in full force, it is insidious and ugly.  This is a war to win the hearts and minds of those who do not have the wherewithal to discern truth from lies, what they know is their life is getting worse, the American Dream is out of their reach and it is someone’s fault.

The war on women is ramping up; it is insidious and nastier by the month.  We think of this as only the issues on abortion, it is not.  This is across the board; it is rape, violence, education, access to healthcare.  It is how women are portrayed by and in media when it comes to single mothers, poverty and welfare.  It is a host of issues placing women in a harsh and glaring light, forcing us onto a scarlet carpet for a slut walk not of our choosing.

Racism is not a thing of the past; truthfully, racial tensions are high and the ugliness only the icing on a cake that has been slowly baking since the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.  The viciousness spewed daily by those in the media and those hidden behind avatars in social media is nothing less than horrific.  Those who deny the blatant racism within our society are nothing less than willfully ignorant.

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Should I continue?  This is simply rubbing the tip of an iceberg I personally find bone chilling.

As the year draws to a close, I wonder what have we done to fix what is broken, or are we instead caught in an endless loop.  Caught simply pointing out the problems, pointing at our dysfunctional government and corrupt elected officials then shrugging, thinking there is nothing to be done.  Have we simply decided to laugh at their stupid, inane utterances, while wondering at the constituency that elected them without demanding change?

Let me help, they are us. Unless we do something, unless we stand up we are that constituency that continues to elect the idiots, the fear mongers, the Hawks, the Free Marketeers; we are the problem even if we don’t pull the lever.

The rich continue to enrich themselves, to serve a God I don’t think most of us recognize.  The rich have convinced a very large part of this nation and many other nations of a number of things that are not true, have never been true and will destroy us, soon if we don’t start speaking up, if we don’t start demanding a change in behavior both public and private.

I leave you with this, a discussion of empathy something we are sorely lacking.

Note: all references to the Bad Bible were a take off on a Twitter comment. For the life of me I cannot find the original Tweet, however my comment is not a copy.

Big Dreams Little Tent

soapboxpileThe indifference of the public is astounding. Don’t get me wrong, most are quick to jump on the bandwagon for their causes, wanton in offering up their opinions, fast to draw down with their observations. In fact, I have 3,400+ Facebook ‘Friends’ many of whom frequently interact with me when I offer the opportunity to discuss current events, especially politics that is unless I ask for their opinion with the following tag line:

 This is a Question not a debate, it is for something I am writing.  Many people most on the Right (Conservative) but some even on the Left (Liberal) have said they want smaller Government. What exactly does that mean? Don’t give long answers please, specifics what would you eliminate and why. If you want to pass this around to others that would be most appreciated. Again, no debate. If you see an answer you disagree with do not challenge it, it is irrelevant all I am looking for is what are people thinking. Your help is most appreciated.

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Perhaps I should have promoted this, even paid. Facebook isn’t what it once was, yet usually at least some of my family will jump in to tell me their ideas. I have family who have distinctly different views from my own; they are usually good for at least a response or two. So, besides learning Facebook isn’t what it once was, what did I learn?

  1. People don’t have ideas they can define easily.
  2. People just want to complain.

I don’t think I was necessarily surprised by this, I was however disappointed. Nearly two years ago I wrote on another site an ode to Progressive Political Thinking, or how I would fix what was broken. It isn’t that I believe my views are perfect or can fix everything, I simply think if we sit down together and talk through the issues we face as a nation we can correct our course. I don’t believe the majority of us are that far apart in our thinking, despite the labels we slap on our lapels or the signs we place in our lawns.

What is it most of us really want? I wonder now, how many of us can really say what it is they believe in without the use of “Buzz”. How many of us can answer simple questions?

  1. What does Smaller Government mean?
  2. What does overturning Roe-v-Wade mean?
  3. What does a Secular Government versus a Christian Nation mean?
  4. What does Debt versus Deficit mean and why are either or both bad?
  5. What are Austerity Measures in terms of the economy?
  6. What is the War on Drugs?
  7. What is the War on Women?
  8. What are Entitlements?
  9. What is Supply Side Economics?
  10. What is Demand Side Economics?
  11. What is the Trickle Down Theory of Economics? Has it worked?
  12. What is the environment and how do we influence it?

I wonder how many in this nation truly understand these questions and their own answers to them. I have many other questions, these are good ones though as these get asked and debated frequently in many of the forums I frequent. The interesting thing is, no matter what side of the political spectrum you might be on most of us start at the same place, with the same desires and same wants.

  1. Freedom and independence.
  2. Leave my children (future generations) with a better world.
  3. More money in my pocket.
  4. Greater opportunity.
  5. Safety of person.

I truly believe if normal everyday people sat down at the table, despite our differences we could sort out the issues and find common ground. I don’t believe most of us are that far apart, sure we might have issues we care deeply about on a personal level, things we feel passionate about; but ask yourself, are those things truly what you and I should be willing to bring the nation to its knees over? I wonder, have we allowed ourselves to be distracted by what isn’t of vital importance to the success of a nation. Have we bet the future of our children on the petty snark rather than demanding the big promises we are capable of and once achieved.

How sad.Kickm

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