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Anthagio
Posts tagged democrat.
+ "It shouldn’t be a bragging point that ‘Oh, I don’t get involved in politics.’"

"It shouldn’t be a bragging point that ‘Oh, I don’t get involved in politics.’"

Fake sign?  Doesn’t matter…the sentiment is there.

Fake sign?  Doesn’t matter…the sentiment is there.

stfuhypocrisy:

I was talking recently with a new friend who I’m just getting to know. She tends to be somewhat conservative, while I lean more toward the progressive side.

When our conversation drifted to politics, somehow the dreaded word “socialism” came up. My friend seemed totally shocked when I said “All socialism isn’t bad”.  She became very serious and replied “So you want to take money away from the rich and give to the poor?”  I smiled and said “No, not at all.  Why do you think socialism means taking money from the rich and giving to the poor?

“Well it is, isn’t it?” was her reply.

I explained to her that I rather liked something called Democratic Socialism, just as Senator Bernie Sanders, talk show host Thom Hartman, and many other people do. Democratic Socialism consists of a democratic form of government with a mix of socialism and capitalism. I proceeded to explain to her the actual meaning terms “democracy” and “socialism”.

Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens take part. It is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Socialism is where we all put our resources together and work for the common good of us all and not just for our own benefit. In this sense, we are sharing the wealth within society.

Of course when people hear that term, “Share the wealth” they start screaming, “OMG you want to rob from the rich and give it all to the poor!”  But that is NOT what Democratic Socialism means.

To a Democratic Socialist, sharing the wealth means pooling tax money together to design social programs that benefit ALL citizens of that country, city, state, etc.

The fire and police departments are both excellent examples of Democratic Socialism in America.  Rather than leaving each individual responsible for protecting their own home from fire, everyone pools their money together, through taxes, to maintain a fire and police department. It’s operated under a non-profit status, and yes, your tax dollars pay for putting out other people’s fires. It would almost seem absurd to think of some corporation profiting from putting out fires.  But it’s more efficient and far less expensive to have government run fire departments funded by tax dollars.

Similarly, public education is another social program in the USA. It benefits all of us to have a taxpayer supported, publicly run education system. Unfortunately, in America, the public education system ends with high school.  Most of Europe now provides low cost or free college education for their citizens. This is because their citizens understand that an educated society is a safer, more productive and more prosperous society. Living in such a society, everyone benefits from public education.

When an American graduates from college, they usually hold burdensome debt in the form of student loans that may take 10 to even 30 years to pay off. Instead of being able to start a business or invest in their career, the college graduate has to send off monthly payments for years on end.

On the other hand, a new college graduate from a European country begins without the burdensome debt that an American is forced to take on. The young man or woman is freer to start up businesses, take an economic risk on a new venture, or invest more money in the economy, instead of spending their money paying off student loans to for-profit financial institutions.  Of course this does not benefit wealthy corporations, but it does greatly benefit everyone in that society.

EXAMPLE  American style capitalistic program for college: If you pay (average) $20,000 annually for four years of college, that will total $80,000 + interest for student loans. The interest you would owe could easily total or exceed the $80,000 you originally borrowed, which means your degree could cost in excess of $100,000.

EXAMPLE  European style social program for college: Your college classes are paid for through government taxes.  When you graduate from that college and begin your career, you also start paying an extra tax for fellow citizens to attend college.

Question - You might be thinking how is that fair? If you’re no longer attending college, why would you want to help everyone else pay for their college degree?

Answer - Every working citizen pays a tax that is equivalent to say, $20 monthly.  If you work for 40 years and then retire, you will have paid $9,600 into the Social college program.  So you could say that your degree ends up costing only $9,600. When everyone pools their money together and the program is non-profit, the price goes down tremendously. This allows you to keep more of your hard earned cash!

Health care is another example: If your employer does not provide health insurance, you must purchase a policy independently.  The cost will be thousands of dollars annually, in addition to deductible and co-pays.

In Holland, an individual will pay around $35 monthly, period.  Everyone pays into the system and this helps reduce the price for everyone, so they get to keep more of their hard earned cash.

In the United States we are told and frequently reminded that anything run by the government is bad and that everything should be operated by for-profit companies. Of course, with for-profit entities the cost to the consumer is much higher because they have corporate executives who expect compensation packages of tens of millions of dollars and shareholders who expect to be paid dividends, and so on.

This (and more) pushes up the price of everything, with much more money going to the already rich and powerful, which in turn, leaves the middle class with less spending money and creates greater class separation.

This economic framework makes it much more difficult for average Joes to ”lift themselves up by their bootstraps” and raise themselves to a higher economic standing.

So next time you hear the word “socialism” and “spreading the wealth” in the same breath, understand that this is a serious misconception.

Social programs require tax money and your taxes may be higher. But as you can see everyone benefits because other costs go down and, in the long run, you get to keep more of your hard earned cash!

Democratic Socialism does NOT mean taking from the rich and giving to the poor.  It works to benefit everyone so the rich can no longer take advantage of the poor and middle class.

They’ll Know We Are “Christians” By Our “Love”

onewonderfulbug:

(Trigger warning: politics, religion, socialism, prejudice, racism, hypocrisy, rape, pedophilia, etc.)

Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here at our respective desks around the country and around the world to hear something different (yeah, right).  Brother Ian is going to be preaching today.  You might not like the message.  But it’s been weighing me down for a long time, a LONG damn time, and now I’m finally letting it out for all to read.

Long before the re-election of President Obama, I saw a lot - a LOT - of conservatives bringing out the same old chestnuts they’ve been using since he first took office back in 2008.  Words like “socialist.”  Words like “communist.”  Since last Tuesday night, it’s gotten worse with people crying to the high heavens that America is going to hell in a hand-basket that America is doomed, that America is, in fact, DEAD because this liberal, socialist, pinko commie with a foreign name and “non-traditional” skin color was re-elected.  A lot of this was coming out of the mouth of “Christians.”

Please note the quotation marks, there.  It’s “Christians,” not Christians.  Let me be clear about who and what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about people who use it just as a label.  I’m talking about people that spend more time condemning what they don’t like rather than living the teachings that their namesake professed.  I’m talking about people who love to SAY that they love Jesus more than they actually DO love Jesus.  These are the people that give the religion a bad name.  But the truly disheartening part?  None of the ACTUAL Christians call them out on it, either because they can’t see the difference, which is truly sad, or they don’t want to offend their fellows.

Luckily, since my highest Christian authority is that of a lector and a member of our church choir, I don’t really have to worry about the latter.  So I’ll continue.

Brothers and sisters, the priests, pastors, and reverends can stand at their pulpits and condemn secular society as the reason why there are not more young people in the church and why so many turn away from God.  They can talk about the evils of a fast lifestyle, lots of shallow friends, money, drugs, partying, and everything else.  But what a lot of them fail to mention or even realize is that their brothers and sisters in Christ are just as responsible for making Christianity and all its facets look bad.

There is unmitigated hypocrisy in our churches in the people who have come in to the church looking only to have the “Christian” label attached to them.  We have people that go to Church on Sunday so they can look holy for other people.  They read about how Jesus said that his followers should care for the sick, feed the hungry, help the poor, clothe the naked, that “what you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” (Matthew 25:40, look it up.)  These same people will then go home, away from prying eyes, and rail against helping people get food, medical care, and the like because they “don’t want to create a dependency” and calling it “socialism.”

I wonder if they would consider the idea that Jesus was a socialist?

And then, of course, we have a much more troublesome situation.  I’m looking squarely at you, Roman Catholic Church.  Yes, I’m a member, but it’s time someone told some of you for our own good to get the fuck off of your high horse.  People who willingly hide and hush-up the abuse of little children by priests - oh, stop whining, fuck you, you’re tired of hearing about it?  Well, I’m tired of the fact that it even fucking happening in the first place - do not have any business in telling people how to live their lives at all.  Period.  Here is ANOTHER reason why people don’t want to have anything to do with organized religion, because it’s just like politics, everyone in the church heirarchy, Catholic or otherwise, seems to just be more concerned about their own job security.

Will somebody smarter than me explain to me why we call ourselves a Christian nation and be all about how we’re based on Judeo-Christian values when it comes to making sure those ICKY GAY PEOPLE don’t get married, but somehow, those Christian values seem to disappear when it comes to actually HELPING PEOPLE?  Will somebody smarter than me explain why a lot of the same people who are supposedly pro-life when it comes to a fetus are pro-death penalty?  Will somebody smarter than me explain to me why there isn’t more outrage that Catholic abuses were covered up?  And, for the love of God, will SOMEBODY smarter than me explain to me why actual Christians refuse to call “Christians” out on their bullshit!?

People honestly and truly wonder why folks like me are so adamant about separation of church and state.  It’s because the state has enough hypocritical bullshit and it don’t need all the hypocritical bullshit that comes with the double-talk that “Christians” put out.

I don’t know whether or not “Christians” outnumber Christians, but I’ll tell you one thing, brothers and sisters, they’re certainly the louder of the two groups and that is why I am begging you, Christians, I am BEGGING you now.  Get your shit together and call out these people on what they’re doing because they’re not gonna listen to me.  I probably lost them a few paragraphs back when I suggested Jesus was a socialist.  Tell these “Christians” that you’re tired of them trying to act the part all the while going against everything Jesus had to say.  Tell these pretenders that if they want support, they’re going to have to earn it.

And tell these phonies to stop shitting in the pool for the rest of us.

Brother Ian is OUT.

Well worded, and mostly pretty well said.  Let me answer one of your questions though. The problem with “Christians” is largely because their rule manual, the Bible, can be used to justify whatever the heck they want.

It’s true that if you follow the life of Jesus, you by and large get a guy that seems to be the exact opposite of what the “Christians” seem to want him to be.  He was also a guy, however, that in fact said almost nothing to overrule the rest of scripture.  Why aren’t gays permitted to marry?  The Bible clearly says that they should be killed, and Jesus said many times that not a single word of the law was to be ignored.  By some Christian reasoning just allowing them to live is being overly generous.

It is very true that many if not most of the things that Jesus talks about involves helping the poor, but the Old Testament is also pretty darn big on smiting enemies and condemning sinners and laziness.  I really shouldn’t need to list examples…they are everywhere.  So, to excuse not helping the poor, all the a Christian needs to do is turn to the right passages.  ”It’s not that they are poor, it’s that they are lazy and full of sin.  They should be condemned, not aided.”

The problem comes from obeying a book rather than obeying the heart, from the simple-minded classification of people rather looking at the whole of who they are.

Whatever Jesus was, whether or not he even existed, his biggest problem is the vague, nasty, and contradictory book into which he has been written.  The Biblical Jesus was purported to be many good things, but he also talked about hating and leaving families, hating parents, and said dozens of ridiculous things about not being such-and-such if you want to get into heaven.  And then there’s Revelations, where he comes back and does this Auschwitz thing.

If you cherry pick the good, you can also expect others to cherry pick the bad.

So if you support Christian churches advocating peace and love, I’m certainly not going to be against you.  But unless you thoroughly edit that book you’re passing out, others can read it and get some ideas that you might not like that much.

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+ 
Chris Howard:  America really looks like this - I was looking at the amazing 2012 election maps created by Mark Newman (Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012 ), and although there is a very interesting blended voting map (Most of the country is some shade of purple, a varied blend of Democrat blue and Republican red) what I really wanted was this blended map with a population density overlay. Because what really stands out is how red the nation seems to be when you do not take the voting population into account; when you do so many of those vast red mid-west blocks fade into pale pink and lavender (very low population).
So I created a new map using Mark’s blended voting map based on the actual numbers of votes for each party overlaid with population maps from Texas Tech University and other sources. 
Here’s the result—what the American political voting distribution really looks like.

This post has gone viral for me, and I couldn’t be more pleased.  For some reason there is something really beautiful about this.

Chris Howard:  America really looks like this - I was looking at the amazing 2012 election maps created by Mark Newman (Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012 ), and although there is a very interesting blended voting map (Most of the country is some shade of purple, a varied blend of Democrat blue and Republican red) what I really wanted was this blended map with a population density overlay. Because what really stands out is how red the nation seems to be when you do not take the voting population into account; when you do so many of those vast red mid-west blocks fade into pale pink and lavender (very low population).

So I created a new map using Mark’s blended voting map based on the actual numbers of votes for each party overlaid with population maps from Texas Tech University and other sources. 

Here’s the result—what the American political voting distribution really looks like.

This post has gone viral for me, and I couldn’t be more pleased.  For some reason there is something really beautiful about this.

+ 
Chris Howard:  America really looks like this - I was looking at the amazing 2012 election maps created by Mark Newman (Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012 ), and although there is a very interesting blended voting map (Most of the country is some shade of purple, a varied blend of Democrat blue and Republican red) what I really wanted was this blended map with a population density overlay. Because what really stands out is how red the nation seems to be when you do not take the voting population into account; when you do so many of those vast red mid-west blocks fade into pale pink and lavender (very low population).
So I created a new map using Mark’s blended voting map based on the actual numbers of votes for each party overlaid with population maps from Texas Tech University and other sources. 
Here’s the result—what the American political voting distribution really looks like.

Now THIS is the most accurate map that I’ve seen, and it is fascinating.

Chris Howard:  America really looks like this - I was looking at the amazing 2012 election maps created by Mark Newman (Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012 ), and although there is a very interesting blended voting map (Most of the country is some shade of purple, a varied blend of Democrat blue and Republican red) what I really wanted was this blended map with a population density overlay. Because what really stands out is how red the nation seems to be when you do not take the voting population into account; when you do so many of those vast red mid-west blocks fade into pale pink and lavender (very low population).

So I created a new map using Mark’s blended voting map based on the actual numbers of votes for each party overlaid with population maps from Texas Tech University and other sources. 

Here’s the result—what the American political voting distribution really looks like.

Now THIS is the most accurate map that I’ve seen, and it is fascinating.

thisoneandonlylife:

thisgingersnapsback:

And here we witness Donald Trump’s breakdown…

Are these for real?  If so, LOL.  Real or not, I’m pretty sure the world is laughing at Trump.

thisoneandonlylife:

thisgingersnapsback:

And here we witness Donald Trump’s breakdown…

Are these for real?  If so, LOL.  Real or not, I’m pretty sure the world is laughing at Trump.

Why I was once a Republican

The idea of being a fiscal conservative appealed to me intellectually.  The idea is not that roads don’t need to be built, or that people don’t need assistance.  It was, for me at least, that government wasn’t the most efficient way to get these things done.  Private industry, being actually profit motivated, had incentive to do the jobs much more efficiently than government could.  Therefore, smaller government made sense to me.  To me, it was simply about how to get things done the most efficient way possible, and looking at government waste and red tape it seemed clear to me that government wasn’t it.

And then there was Ayn Rand, of course.  I saw the logic of the Randian philosophy…yes, people who work hard should get paid for it, and should be rewarded.  Highly skilled and intelligent people should be entitled to the fruits that their brains and skills give to them.

And in the utopias outlined in the Rand novels, it worked.  The heroes were fucking geniuses and the other people were dolts.  Never were the heroes motivated by anything but excellence.

And, being young and naive, I never even noticed how unrealistic the worlds that Rand created were.  Being naive, I never thought through past the neat little conservative ideology.  It never occurred to me that maybe reality didn’t fit into simplistic conservative solutions.

Can a private, profit motivated industry be more efficient than a government body?  Absolutely.  Can a private, profit motivated industry necessarily be counted on to perform what’s best for society as a whole instead of their own best interest?  Absolutely not.  Look at the privatization of the prison industry.  Prisons make profit, and the more prisoners there are, the bigger the profits.  It is in the private prison’s best interest to incarcerate as many people as possible, and thus we find private prisons paying money for ever harsher laws to fatten their pocket books.  There are few who would argue that this is in the best interest of society, even though it may be “cheaper” to society’s pockets.

Welfare, it can be argued, is government enforced charity.  Since not paying taxes is a prisonable offence, it can even be said that welfare is charity at the point of a gun.  Giving to charity is something that makes someone feel good about oneself, and paying taxes really does a sucky job of this.

Charities, however, can in themselves be horribly crooked and inefficient.  If we can agree that society as a whole is better off without people dying on the streets of starvation, or having children raised homeless and uneducated, then it simply behoves us to look for the way to help the most people in the most efficient way possible.  Charities even when properly run cannot always provide reliable assistance.  Government, inefficient as it often/usually is, can at least provide consistency necessary for people to truly help themselves.

We can also take it as a moral imperative that helping out those in need is the “right” thing to do.  This imperative never actually occurred to me as a Republican, because the question of HOW to help out others is not something that is part of Conservative philosophy, at least not from my understanding of it.

I considered myself a fiscal conservative but a social liberal.  In the 80s, voting for a Republican didn’t seem as damaging to social liberalism because the politics of encoding conservative morality into law didn’t seem to be as big a goal as it seems to be today.  I was ignorant on the subject of abortion, and actually limiting the rights of women or minorities seemed like things out of the Fifties.  We didn’t need to worry about such things in a “modern” age like ours, did we?  The attempt to legislate moralities based on Biblical bullshit 20 years later left me flabbergasted.

Why was I a Republican?  In summary, it was because I was naive and I liked simple rules.  It wasn’t because I was an evil person who wanted to throw pregnant mothers out of their homes.  It’s just that these mothers never factored into my way of thinking.

Reality has a liberal bias, but that does not mean that all liberals have a better grasp of reality than all conservatives.  Reality is fucking complex.  Neither pure liberalism nor pure conservatism (if such things exist) can fully answer the needs of a large and complex society such as ours.  Ideologies provide guidelines and rules of thumb, but only through a thorough study of social realities can we truly find the best answers to social dilemmas.

So, take from this what you will.  And vote for Obama on Tuesday because he’s objectively better than the other viable alternative.

Peace and stuff,

~ Steve

+ YAY MEEEEEE!!   :-D

YAY MEEEEEE!!   :-D

+ The Bible does have some wisdom in it, beyond doubt.  Too bad more people don’t pay attention to this kind of thing and want to kill gays instead.  :/

The Bible does have some wisdom in it, beyond doubt.  Too bad more people don’t pay attention to this kind of thing and want to kill gays instead.  :/

Vote Democrat

Vote Democrat

elementary-son:

I understand that the Democratic Party needs to win over some religious voters, but I am very disappointed that they made belief in God part of their platform. I am absolutely not okay with this. I support them to the death over the Republicans, but the fact that they’re using extremely sketchy tactics to include this in the platform just so that they can get the Israel part included… Not okay. There was certainly not a clear two-thirds majority. This is NOT good.

Yeah, it’s disappointing, but with everything at stake in this election I can (almost) forgive them for it.  I think it was handled very badly, however.

goodreasonnews:

It’s getting tougher to be a Republican in some parts of the country while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.

In Tennessee, an incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Shariah law, the code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions. And the state’s governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim.

Lee Douglas, a dentist just south of Nashville and an anti-Shariah activist, points to the Muslim woman hired in Tennessee’s economic development office as evidence of an “infiltration” of Islam in government. Douglas helped draft a resolution criticizing the governor and Islam. A version of the document has been signed by a growing list of GOP executive committees, from rural counties to the state’s wealthiest.

Conservative bullies target individual Muslims. Apparently, having a Muslim on staff, even in the seemingly banal position of “economic development office,” is the new black baby. Keeping it classy, there, Republicans. Real classy.

Do these people even understand what Shariah Law is? Yes, it would be totally unconstitutional for Shariah Law to be legally enforced in any city, county, or state…and that’s why it isn’t enforced in those places. Shariah Law, where practiced at all, is practiced generally in basement courtrooms in Islamic communities, and local residents go there to have decisions made about their various difficulties.  The decisions made are totally non-binding legally, much like the decisions made in a family counselling office. ~ Steve

+ leftybegone:

They see Atheism as a benevolent alternative to religion, and so when their “lack of religion” ends up causing harm, they try to make excuses for it or ignore the atrocities altogether. Because they are the wise-folk, Atheists, and the religious are simpletons, and therefore Atheism is peaceful and can never do any harm. So there must be some other explanation for all of history’s greatest mass-murderes just HAPPENING to be Atheists

Honestly, you’ve had this explained to you more times than I care to count.  If you choose to remain deliberately ignorant and stubborn, that is really your problem, isn’t it?
And, even if atheists were as evil as you claim them to be, it would accomplish absolutely nothing in bringing about the existence of your non-existent god.  Are you suggesting that atheists at least pretend to believe in a god that they can’t believe in?

leftybegone:

They see Atheism as a benevolent alternative to religion, and so when their “lack of religion” ends up causing harm, they try to make excuses for it or ignore the atrocities altogether. Because they are the wise-folk, Atheists, and the religious are simpletons, and therefore Atheism is peaceful and can never do any harm. So there must be some other explanation for all of history’s greatest mass-murderes just HAPPENING to be Atheists

Honestly, you’ve had this explained to you more times than I care to count.  If you choose to remain deliberately ignorant and stubborn, that is really your problem, isn’t it?

And, even if atheists were as evil as you claim them to be, it would accomplish absolutely nothing in bringing about the existence of your non-existent god.  Are you suggesting that atheists at least pretend to believe in a god that they can’t believe in?

Politics - Atheism and Liberal Bias

svell-drengr submitted: 

is it just me or do atheists seem to be a largely left leaning group? I am an atheist who is also very left leaning and I wanted to know what your thoughts on the subject are.

One of my favorite quotes is from Stephen Colbert, “reality has a well-known liberal bias”.  For many reasons, I think there is a lot of truth to this statement.  First of all, once your through out the Bible as a source of authority, one is forced to look objectively at fairness, morality, and values.  Things like hatred against homosexuals simply can’t be made to be justified when looked at objectively.

Atheists are also more likely to look at actual evidence as opposed to propaganda.  For questions like birth control / condoms, the evidence is clear that they reduce diseases, teen pregnancies, and, thus, abortions.  Whatever your views on abortion, it is hard to argue against anything that would reduce the need to have one.

So, even if you just use these two factors, the odds are pretty strong that you are going to find more liberal politicians that share these observations that conservative ones.  Hence, you are much more likely to align with the liberal politicians, often taking on many of the rest of the views that the liberal camp encompasses.

I’m for reality, in whatever form it takes.  If reality seems to point to indicate that some people should suffer more than others, I tend to look at the question harder and try to find ways around the suffering.  If another nation is threatening to murder millions in terrorist attacks, for example, the first thing that may come to mind is that going to war with this nation might minimize the loss of life in the long run.  War universally sucks however, so the key might be to step out of the box…if war is not an option…what else might be done?  Deeper thought might suggest to possibilities that might seem “left leaning” and anti-war, but in reality it just might be seeing a way to do something that minimizes overall pain.

So, if most (but by no means all) atheists tend to lean to the left, I would suggest that it’s because reality is in that direction.

~ Steve