Thursday, September 2, 2010

Where Are The Statesmen Today?

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
-Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanac

"As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of all government to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith."
- Thomas Paine, Common Sense 1776

"Every new and successful example of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matter is of importance."
- President James Madison, in a letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

"We all agree that neither the government nor political parties ought to interfere with religious sects. It is equally true that religious sects ought not to interfere with the government or political parties. We believe that the cause of good government and the cause of religion suffer by all such interference."
- Rutherford B. Hayes, in a statement as Governor of Ohio, 1875

"Whatever one's religion in his private life may be, for the officeholder, nothing takes precedence over his oath to uphold the Constitution and all its parts--including the First Amendment and the strict separation of church and state."
- President John F. Kennedy, Look magazine interview, 1959

"It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others."
- President Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Benjamin Rush, 1803

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
- President Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1802

"Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated."
- President George Washington, in a letter to Edward Newenham, 1792

I think we could use more of this caliber of politician in this day and age.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Government Sponsored Praying... Yeccchh!

Susan Narvaiz, mayor of San Marcos, Texas, sent a letter to area clergy and congregations inviting them to "a community wide prayer gathering" to pray for the city's sister city, Santiago, Mexico, and its mayor who was recently tragically killed. This prayer event took place Aug. 30, 2010.

Adding to the inappropriateness of a government-sponsored community prayer event, the mayor wrote the clergy:

"Also, August 30th marks the one year anniversary since we held a prayer meeting for rain, we will give thanks for the rain that we have been so blessed with this year. Please let me know if you have any questions, we believe this is the right thing to do to show our support for Santiago, and we need your help!"

It is a serious violation of our treasured constitutional principle of the separation between church and state for any elected official to hold a public prayer service, or to enjoin citizens to pray at all. Prayer is something that Thomas Jefferson as president pointed out was beyond the purview of elected officials. Elected officials hold civil powers alone.

This is not the first time that San Marcos is in the news for mixing religion and government. The San Marcos city council prays at its meetings. San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz backs that too, saying "I think it’s our right (to pray at government meetings). It’s our history. If they can do it in Washington, we can do it in San Marcos. I have a belief that it serves a higher purpose to do so."

An interesting point... but the folks "in Washington" are wrong, too.

Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally - Interviews With Participants

What starts out semi-sane quickly dives down a rat hole of idiocy... the stupid... it burns!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Economists agree: Stimulus created nearly 3 million jobs


The White House says the multiyear $814 billion stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009 boosted employment by 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs and raised the nation's annual economic output by almost $400 billion. A recent study by two prominent economists generally agrees, crediting the pump-priming with averting "what could have been called Great Depression 2.0."

If President Obama expected anyone to say, "Thank you," however, he's been disappointed. In a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 59% of respondents disapproved of the president's handling of the economy. In the partisan war over the economy's performance, the word "stimulus" has became synonymous with "boondoggle," making the notion of a repeat any time soon highly unlikely — especially if Republicans seize control of one or both houses of Congress in November.


This is the kind of thing that dismays me. The stimulus was not enough -- and it was known at the time that it would not be enough -- but blustering Republicans opposed it and pansy Democrats caved and weasled to a lower amount.

OK, that lower amount probably saved us from a second great depression -- happy about that. But fer fuck's sake, the Dems had majorities everywhere and they couldn't muster up the courage to do what needed to be done? Too bad.

And it is a shame that Obama is getting the blame for all of the economic woes. Sure, some of the blame belongs on him for not doing enough... but when it comes from those blowhard know-nothing fucksticks on Fox, that is ridiculous.

Now the right is crowing about extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy because that will stimulate the economy. Bullshit! I'm tired of hearing the rightwing lie that tax cuts create jobs. They don't! They create more wealth in the pockets of the wealthiest.