Thursday, November 05, 2015

Legal Loansharking

 Short on cash and without a strong enough credit history to get a bank loan to tide them over, Melissa went to a payday lender, taking out a meager $450. When they weren’t able to pay the debt back in a matter of weeks, the amount ballooned to $1,700 thanks to the high interest rates, fees, and rollover loans (loans that get folded into new, larger loans when a borrower is unable to repay their initial loan). ... With fees and incredibly high interest rates, which can range between 300 and 600 percent when annualized, failure to repay within that short time span can make the debt mount quickly. The Atlantic Magazine.
"The brutal way in which America’s hardest-working folks were forced to internalize the values of a gangster capitalist class continues to elude the left, which, with few exceptions, understands not a thing about how this political and economic system has hammered the humanity of ordinary working people."Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting With Jesus

Monday, November 02, 2015

Not Ready for Prime Time

The 2016 GOP presidential candidates want to change the rules under which future debates will be held. Tired of the "gotcha" questions, they now want to control not only the questions asked but the structure of the debate itself. Allowing the candidates to control the debate will eliminate open discussion and reduce the debate to a series of scripted, audience tested sound bites.

The media has turned everything, including our politics, into grist for the entertainment mill with deleterious consequences for our democracy. 

Confusing political engagement with the consumption of entertainment, sections of the political class have been won over to the idea of reality politics.Frank Furedi, Dumbing Down? Don’t Blame the Media

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rep. Chaffetz Bitch Slapped

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) Utah failed in his attempt to discredit the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, during recent congressional hearings. Rep.Chaffetz was clearly embarrassed when one of his key charts, supposedly pulled from Planned Parenthood files, was identified as being created by a little known anti-abortion group.  Chaffetz, openly embarrassed and struggling to regain his composure, never apologized for his lack of oversight saying only that "we will get to the bottom of the truth in that." Following the conservative playbook favored by second-rate politicians like Sen. Joe McCarthy and Rep. Newt Gingrich, Rep. Chaffetz's  "big lie" tactic failed to discredit Planned Parenthood or to unnerve its well prepared spokesperson. 

“Make no mistake: Despite what we hear, Republicans are doubling down on their war against women,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D) New York said, adding later, “We need to recognize this fight for what it is — it’s about banning a woman’s right to choose.”

Monday, September 21, 2015

Citizens United: Government for Sale

But hey, let's look for a positive. Let's realize that these presidential candidates are there not because the people want them to be there. They are there because every one of them has a filthy rich guy or two behind him, trying to buy themselves a stupid president who'll blindly follow their orders (Trump being the only exception, since he himself is the rich guy standing behind himself). 

All of these stupid crazies represent and speak for money and money alone: not for actual voters. The only thing that these GOP presidential candidates are any good at, or good for, is raising money. 

Will Rogers was right: A fool and his money are soon elected.

See more at:

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Balkanization of Education

Imagine an America in which all children are educated according to biblical, Christian principles instead of modern, secular, liberal values. According to Chaplain E. Ray Moore (Lt. Col. USAR Ret.), such a scenario is not just possible, but essential if Christians wish to reclaim the American culture.

Moore is adamant that Christians don’t have permission to put their children in harm’s way under “pagan, atheistic education,” as the vast majority of evangelical Christians are doing now. He warned 80 percent of Christian children who attend public school through their entire K-12 lives are leaving the church and abandoning the Christian faith. Moore wants to see a change.

“If we would change our ways, in a decade we could create a whole new private Christian and homeschool system that would educate tens of millions of children,” he declared. “And then it could be used as a way to evangelize and re-Christianize the culture.
The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.  Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rick Perlstein's Auto de Fay

An article published by The Washington Spectator is causing a stir after its author claimed the American POW/MIA flag is a racist symbol, “useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage.”
The Spectator’s national correspondent Rick Perlstein argues that the flag, which is meant to honor U.S. military personnel taken as “prisoners of war” or soldiers “missing in action,” is nothing but a cult invented by President Richard Nixon “in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim.” (Washington Times)

I believe Mr. Perlstein  inflammatory article was intended to stimulate a more nuanced and reflective review of the complex political issues surrounding America's involvement in the Vietnam War. The belligerent tone reflected in many comments clearly indicates that our wounds, both the physical and the emotional, on this the 50th anniversary of the war remain unhealed. I believe our righteous anger would be better expressed in reexamining those policies that led to such a tragic loss of blood and treasure. Simply stated, the article was intended to stimulate renewed thought on a subject of profound significance to all veterans. "Those who fail to learn from history," wrote George Santayana, "are doomed to repeat it." 

Friday, July 10, 2015

End of the Color Palette

America's transition to a multiracial society is not without its serious problems. Each small gain by people of color is seen to be balanced by a corresponding loss by the dominate white culture.