Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
Poor little god!
Gov. Huckabee says God has been “systematically . . . removed from our schools.” (You know, as in: “should we be surprised that our schools become places of carnage?”)
I have seen people removed from schools. A police officer – usually large – escorts away a scrawny 7th grader who’d done something along the lines of smoking dope in the bathroom. The kid vanishes, last seen as a pair of small eyes barely elevated enough to peer solemnly out the cruiser’s back door window. Removed.
Apparently, something similar happened to Gov. Huckabee’s god.
Too bad. Some kind of law enforcer that must’ve been, stronger than god and all. Some pathetic little god that was, too, that heavies could just toss him into the back seat and whisk him away.
I wonder what god it was. Does it sound like the same one who spoke to Job:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angelsshouted for joy?”
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
or lead out the Bearwith its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?
Has that God ever been small enough to be “systematically removed” from any place in the cosmos?
See, I know students and teachers and administrators and bus drivers and secretaries and custodians and para-professionals who pray their way through every day of their public school careers. They’re pretty convinced that “the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him . . . ” Right there. In school. They don’t pray “on street corners” “to be seen by others,” (as Matthew describes – and that kind, when commanded by staff people, is illegal, thank God.) They pray, instead, secretly, to a God who is unseen, believing that he hears and responds.
That kind of prayer in school is protected by every court in America.
Wouldn’t that kind of God have to be present now, right now, everywhere, no matter what people do? And, as far as that God being “systematically removed,” well, LOL.
Nate Silver, the bright statistical analyst over at FiveThirtyEight, points out that left-leaning Democrats in the House may have more influence on the debt ceiling/budget cutting wars than it seems: Mr. Boehner may not be able to pass a bill without their help.
Any what might that look like?
The payroll tax cut could be a winner all-around. It’s something most liberal Democrats would like, particularly if it comes on the employee side rather than the employer side or if it is specifically tied to job creation. It is one of the few vehicles available to Mr. Obama to provide for economic stimulus. And, given that the accounting in any deal is likely to be fuzzy, it might give Republicans some cover to say they had voted for tax reform rather than a net tax increase.
Maybe it’s a way to bring a tiny grain of “the least, first” priority to negotiations that appear to bode ill for America’s poor and middle class.
It’s worth reading, here.
- FiveThirtyEight: Republicans Take Risk in Debt-Ceiling Brinkmanship (fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com)
- FiveThirtyEight: The Ryan Budget Tipping Point (fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Behind the Republican Resistance to Compromise – NYTimes.com (wpvins.wordpress.com)
Copyright law apparently prohibits reproduction of this amazing graphic; I hope you’ll give it a glance anyway. Follow the link to scan Baghdad via Google Earth, with every lost Iraqi life – at least, those we know about – marked.
Government is bad,
We should cut its funding whenever we have a chance to do so.
Of course, then …
Government agencies end up under-staffed, under-equipped, and unable to keep up (years-long immigration-hearing delays come to mind, or the Katrina response, or …)
Government’s best and brightest administrators get fed up and leave, finding industry positions that ask less and pay more,
Which opens the door for …
Incompetent, patronage-appointed bureaucrats become administrators (“Great job, Brownie!”)
Proof! Just look at how badly this agency functions! Government is the problem! It can’t do anything right!
Maybe the idea that “government is the problem” needs to be replaced with “bad government is the problem.”
Finally, a related quote:
(Newser) – Barack Obama’s former car czar says he had no choice but to fire GM’s Rick Wagoner. “Everyone knew Detroit’s reputation for insular, slow-moving cultures,” Steven Rattner writes in an essay for Fortune. “Even by that low standard, I was shocked by the stunningly poor management that we found, particularly at GM, where we encountered, among other things, perhaps the weakest finance operation any of us had ever seen in a major company.”
Aha! “Business is the problem?”
‘Course not. Bad business is the problem.
Here’s a story of a Christian conversion. Can you guess who’s talking?
So one Sunday, I put on one of the few clean jackets I had, and went over to [a church]. And I heard [a pastor] deliver a sermon … And during the course of that sermon, he introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ. I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things I was too weak to accomplish myself, He would accomplish with me if I placed my trust in Him. And in time, I came to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world and in my own life.
It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of [this church] one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany. I didn’t fall out in church, as folks sometimes do. The questions I had didn’t magically disappear. The skeptical bent of my mind didn’t suddenly vanish. But kneeling beneath that cross [at the church], I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works [...]
Answer after the break. Read the rest of this entry »
Long after midnight, some years ago, I found my son in the fetal position on the floor outside our bedroom door, in intense pain. We rushed him to the hospital. Pancreatitis, it was. He received good treatment. And in some days, he mostly recovered.
That night came to mind just now as I read these paragraphs from Sojourners:
Two weeks ago, Sam* died suddenly. He was only 21 years old, strong and healthy, preparing for a life ministering to youth. Cause of death: acute pancreatitis and previously undiagnosed diabetes. Reason for death: no access to health care to treat the incredible pain in his stomach – until it was too late. The bottom line: While angry protesters disrupt town hall meetings and national organizations spread fear-based lies, lives are lost.
The current health-care system leaves you and me just as vulnerable to lack of care as Sam was. Health-care reform is just as much an issue of justice, of preserving and celebrating life, as it is an issue of caring for the vulnerable. [...]
[T]he current system “renders the best health care to the wealthiest, depletes the savings of solidly middle-class Americans, and leaves 46 million with no health-care coverage at all.” [...]
[A]t Sam’s funeral there were no angry shouts or accusations. There was only shock and grief among the 400 friends and family members who attended.
Had I been born in a different situation, that death would have happened at my house; that shock and grief at my church. I would still know it today.
How long will we tolerate the fact that profits are more important than lives in America? How did we become so hard-hearted as to turn our backs on the victims of such perversion? What kind of monsters have we become?
* Name changed to protect the privacy of his family.
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- Commentary: Frightening future if reform fails (cnn.com)
- 70% of individuals covered by some form of private insurance still pay on average 43% of their total health care expenditure (iflizwerequeen.com)