Monday, October 25, 2010

The GOP Wants It Both Ways

     During the past few months the Republican Party has come out with some interesting policy statements. Here are a few examples:

      On July 3rd Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia delivered the GOP response to President Obama's weekly radio address. His entire discussion concerned the national debt, “one of the most dangerous threats confronting America today.” He went on to say, “At some point we have to say 'enough is enough'” The entire address is available on youtube.
     On July 11th Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona said, "You should never have to offset [the] cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans."
     The very next day Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, backed up Senator Kyl's statement with the following, “So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject.”
     Apparently this is the official position of the party: We can't afford to do whatever is necessary to prevent layoffs of teachers, police, etc., or to aid the unemployed, but we can afford to cut taxes for people who make campaign contributions to senators.
     As always, Republicans continue to attempt to “starve the beast.”
******
     As we have seen, the Spirit always builds on what has come before; nothing appears out of nothing. If a construct with reference to an object in physics or chemistry is inadequate or incorrect, it will soon be replaced by new and more accurate constructs. The original “hard” object is still available for further transcendence and transformation. A construct with respect to a strictly mental construct, e.g., morality, justice, love, etc. is hard to refine because its referent varies from user to user.
     Constructs – The spirit Runs Through It.

The book or a free download is available in paperback or on Kindle.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Tea Party Candidate

     I think most people would agree that a candidate for U.S. Senator or Representative should have some modicum of personal responsibillity, although some of the current crop seem to be lacking in that respect. So when I saw the responses that the GOP senate nominee from Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, made on a nationally televised debate, I thought I would take a quick look into her background.
     She was born on August 27, 1969, and has been a marketing consultant, worked in public relations, and appeared as a political commentator on several news media outlets including Fox News. In 2006 and 2008 she ran for Senator in the primary elections, and was soundly defeated both times.
     In 2010 she scored a surprising primary upset against nine-term Representative and ex-governor Mike Castle. Her victory was due to backing by Sarah Palin and an infusion of cash in the amount of $150,000 from the Tea Party. Her campaign also received a boost when a political consulting firm hired by O'Donnell released a Web video insinuating that her opponent was having a gay affair.
     Originally a political liberal, at the age of 21 she saw graphic pictures and descriptions of how an abortion is performed; as a result she became an evangelical Christian and Republican, chose to live a chaste life, and promoted sexual abstinence.
     She attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, and although she attended the commencement ceremony in 1993, she did not receive a diploma until September 1, 2010. She claimed the degree was held up because of unpaid tuition, but the University said she had only completed her class work during the previous summer.
     She lost her position at Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a non-profit conservative educational organization. She claims she was fired because of gender discrimination – the ISI claims it was because she was running a personal for-profit business during business hours.
     Her home was scheduled to be sold at a sheriff's sale because she defaulted on a mortgage in the amount of $90,000, but a month prior to the sale she sold it to her boy-friend. (So much for a life of chastity.) Then she moved to a townhouse, where she paid half the rent from campaign funds because she used part of the house as an office.
     In 2010 the IRS filed a lien claiming she owed taxes from 2005 in the amount of $11,000. She says it is a mistake and a computer error. Between 2007 and 2009 the Federal Election Commission cited her eight times for failing to supply contributions reports on time. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has claimed that she used $20,000 of campaign funds as "her very own personal piggy bank" by claiming campaign expenses during a time in which she was not engaged in active campaigning.
     Politically O'Donnell opposes abortion under any and all circumstances, even including rape and incest, although in the event a choice has to be made, she would let relatives choose whether the mother's or the child's life may be saved.
     She opposes embryonic stem cell research, all tax increases, cap and trade legislation and Congressional earmarks. She is for a balanced budget, a simplified tax code, repeal of the healthcare legislation and unrestricted gun ownership. She says she will base all her decisions on the Constitution and not on her personal beliefs.
     She believes that Darwin's evolutionary theory is “a myth,” and supports teaching creationism in the public schools. Although she has stated that sexual behavior is a personal matter, she also told a newspaper that homosexuals have an "identity disorder" that is "adopted through societal factors.”
     During a 2006 debate, O'Donnell has said that the Peoples Republic of China is plotting to take over the United States, and claimed that she has classified information which supports this claim.
      In the 1990s, O'Donnell took a public stance against masturbation, calling it "sinful". She now says that her views on this matter “have matured,” whatever that means.
     During the 2006 campaign she told The News Journal of Wilmington that she was reluctant to get into politics. “but as someone who prays about every decision I make, I felt like God was leading me in the other direction. During the primary, I heard the audible voice of God.”
     The Tea Party is rapidly becoming a credible voice in politics, but the same thing happened with the Bull Moose Party in the 1912 election. The Party garnered 27% of the Presidential vote, more than the regular Republican candidate, and nine House seats. By 1916 the Party faded into oblivion.
     Will the Tea Party suffer the same fate? If so, it will be because they put forth candidates like Christine O'Donnell.
******
     The situation is worse when we use language for mental constructs. These days the big bone of contention in politics is “morality.” Is abortion moral? Is war ever moral? Should people be allowed to die when they become brain dead? Under what circumstances are any of these positions moral or immoral? What does the construct “moral” signify?
     Constructs – The Spirit Runs Through It.

     The book or a free download is available in paperback or on Kindle.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Judging the Judge

     An escapade by a magisterial district judge made headlines in the local newspapers, but was probably relegated to page 10 in other areas.
     In Pennsylvania such judges conduct criminal arraignments and preliminary hearings, issue arrest warrants and search warrants in some cases; hear civil disputes involving $8,000.00 or less, and Landlord-Tenant disputes other than matters involving title to real estate; issue temporary Protection from Abuse Act orders; decide traffic, game law, and fish and boat code cases; conduct marriages, administer oaths and affirmations, etc. They are elected for six-year terms, and draw an annual salary of $80K.
     The judge apparently thought it was funny to hand out acorns stuffed with condoms to women near the State Capitol. Two of the women he approached disagreed with his humor, and complained to the Capitol Police. The judge was arrested forthwith and charged with disorderly conduct.
     Resisting the temptation to pass such judgments as “nutty” and “squirrelly,” and refraining with great difficulty from pointing out that the judge's office is located in Intercourse, PA, I will pass on to weightier matters.
     I find it really hard to swallow the idea that the judge was intentionally causing "public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm," the definition of disorderly conduct. And in a culture that has accepted prime-time TV advertising for products such as Viagra, Cialis, feminine hygiene products, etc., I think the ladies greatly overreacted to his “gag.”
     The joke may have been a bit tasteless, but illegal? Come on! He was not causing a problem any more than if he had been handing out advertising fliers or religious tracts.
     Having said that, the “offender” must know that judges generally are held to a higher standard of conduct than most other citizens. He is now subject to anything from a rebuke to loss of his job.
     If I were his boss, I would probably ask him, “What in the hell were you thinking?”
     And here is a bit of advice for the ladies: “Get a life.”
******
     In order to expand our understanding of the Spirit, I need to set up a new construct: space/time. When most of us think of dimensions, we picture the three spatial dimensions:length, width and height. We can also navigate in four dimensions — the above three plus a time dimension.
     An In-Depth Look At The Spirit's Activity – The Spirit Runs Through It.


     The book or a free download is available in paperback or on Kindle.

Monday, October 11, 2010

About the World Series...

      As I write this, the nation is celebrating its number two spectator holiday: the baseball playoffs and World Series. (Number one is the Superbowl.)
      In addition to being the national pastime, baseball has at various times been called a game of inches, a game of skill, a game of strategy, etc., etc. But at its major league level, baseball consists of a bunch of young millionaires playing a boy's game: hitting a round ball with a round stick.
      (I don't understand a new thing which has sprung up in the past several years. In football and basketball the teams high-five each other at the end of the game, but in baseball the winning team high-fives itself. Is this a new form of sportsmanship?)
      Anyway, I love baseball, and I like to think of it as a game of reconciliation. Whether one is liberal, conservative, libertarian or green; whether one is Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim; whether one is young, middle-aged or elderly; whether one is male, female or undecided; whether we are at peace or at war, we can all get together and enjoy the game. Oh sure, there are disagreements over Phillies vs. Reds, Giants vs. Braves, etc., but in the end we all just enjoy watching the annual athletic orgy.
      But on the downside, our fanatic attachment to spectator sports says something about our priorities. Considering the fact that we have millions of unemployed and uninsured people in this country, people who are concerned about where they will get their next meal, or where they will sleep tonight; considering the fact that we are at war in one (or many) part(s) of the world, and are simultaneously trying to build a democratic nation in Iraq, is it wise for us to commit so many of our resources to games?
      The annual reconciliation is temporary, it disappears when the Series ends – the hardships appear to be permanent.
      Think about it.
******
      If you were to accept the Spirit worldview, how much effect would it have on your day-to-day living?
      The objective answer is "not much." The sun would still rise tomorrow; people, nations and religions would still disagree with each other, your sore tooth would still require a trip to the dentist, and the young would still get older while the elders would eventually die.
      Even more importantly, you would still be responsible for supporting your family, and you would still be punished if you committed a crime. There will always be people who need help, just as there will always be people who need to be restrained for the good of society.
      Summing Up – The Sprit Runs Through It.

     The book or a free download is available in paperback or on Kindle.