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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 06:15 PM
Number of posts: 42,057

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

After Spending $20 Million to Pass #GOPTaxScam, Koch Bros to Save More Than $1 Billion This Year

From the article:

Charles Koch and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists and right-wing mega-donors, stand to save between $1 billion and $1.4 billion in income taxes each year from the tax law passed last month by Republican lawmakers and signed by President Donald Trump, according to a new analysis out Wednesday.
The new report by the Americans for Tax Fairness details how those estimated tax savings would come from a combinations of the Koch's personal liabilities and that of the business empire, Koch Industries. And while based on available financial data, the analysis, the group explained, "does not count how much the brothers might save in taxes on offshore profits or how much their heirs will benefit from weakening the estate tax."

To read more:


When I read stories about $1,000 bonuses, and modest wage increases for WalMart associates who often qualify for welfare because they earn so little, this story puts the GOP tax giveaway in perspective.

Descending On A Montana Town, Neo-Nazi Trolls Test Where Free Speech Ends

From the article:

In the pristine resort town of Whitefish, Mont., members of the small Jewish community believe that neo-Nazi online trolls have crossed a line. They went right past free speech rights, residents say, and made credible threats of violence.
It all began over a year ago with a reported argument between a local Realtor and the mother of one of Whitefish's most controversial part-time residents, the white nationalist Richard Spencer.....

Things got ugly quick. The resulting "troll storm" shed new light on an increasingly common – and unsettling – tactic of far-right extremists that have gained more prominence since the 2016 election......

"These are not informational opinion or any other kind of protected First Amendment communications, these are assaults," says John Morrison, Gersh's attorney, a Democrat and the former Montana state auditor.

To read more:


Hipsters of the holy: How a Toronto church became a hit with young believers

From the article:

On a recent Sunday, the foyer of Toronto's Central Technical School looked like the orchestra pit of an Arcade Fire concert.
Many forearms were covered with tattoos, many male faces were covered in beards and the median age was about 30.
The morning's second service at C3's western campus was about to begin, with close to 300 people in attendance.

To read more:


The human mind is a pale reflection of the Creator.

I understand the need for a human-centered idea that humans are at the pinnacle of existence, the lords and masters of the universe. Such an insular, human-centered belief, for belief it is, is to be expected.

It is similar to a child's belief that her/his parents are the best and smartest parents in the world.

And we all share a desire to believe that our own thoughts are the best thoughts, and are motivated by the best of desires.

But we cannot create in the sense of how the Creator created all of existence. Yes, scientists can create life forms by modifying existing material, and artists can create works of art, but such acts are at best a pale imitation of the creation exhibited by the Creator when that initial spark was provided.

This creative impulse is a reflection of the idea that we are created in the image and likeness of the Creator.

Good news: Catholic bishops side with labor unions in Supreme Court case

From the article:

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are backing public sector unions in an upcoming Supreme Court case, pitting church leaders against the Trump administration and conservatives in a legal battle over how organized labor is financed.

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Protestant, Muslim, Atheist, Jew: 4 leftist perspectives a year into Trumps presidency

from the article:

At his inaugural one year ago, Donald Trump thrilled religious conservatives by laying his hand on a family Bible and the Lincoln Bible and promising that the United States would “be protected by God.” Though Trump lost the popular vote, he won the presidency with the support of the vast majority of white evangelical Christians. And he had taken on a cadre of evangelical preachers and lay leaders as his advisers.
But if Trump has invigorated that swath of religious America, he has also galvanized the religious left.

To read more:


The GOP plan for governance by continuing crisis

Why do the Democrats generally avoid the most obvious point on the budget?

First, all spending Bills originate in the House of Representatives. And the GOP, under Paul Ryan, controls the House.

Second, the House has been unable to pass a spending bill that can pass under the Hastert Rule*.

Third, all of these Continuing Resolutions are only temporary measures with no guarantee of continued funding for any agencies.

In my opinion, every Democratic politician should refer to these 3 points in every conversation on the budget. When a conservative media figure talks about the budget, these points should be repeated over and over. Everything else is a distraction from the unavoidable fact that the GOP has failed to propose or pass an actual budget.

*For those who may not know, the Hastert Rule refers to the practice, first started by former House Speaker (and current admitted pedophile) Dennis Hastert that insures that the GOP Speaker will only bring up a Bill that can pass with only GOP votes. So no Bill has ever been proposed by a GOP Speaker since that time unless it can pass with only GOP votes.
So when GOP politicians and talking heads talk of the need for bipartisanship, remind them of this.

Atheism doesn't poll well. That begs the question of....... why?

From the article:

It's true that Americans remain at least somewhat open to atheist officeholders. In one regular polling question, Gallup asks Americans what types of people they would (or would not) vote for as president. For example, 91 percent of Americans say they would vote for a Jew and 81 percent say a Mormon. Fifty-eight percent of Americans would vote for an atheist. That's not only a majority but a record high for atheists.

To read more:


NOTE: As some may have noted, this is the same article that I cited in a previous post about the under representation of atheists among politicians. But I felt it deserved its own stand alone post.

According to the survey, 58% of voters would vote for an atheist. Obviously 58% is a majority so assuming that the respondents were being reasonably honest, why do the other 42% even care that a candidate might not be a theist?

Again, according to some surveys, most atheists identify as Democrats. So what would stop an open atheist from running in a Democratic primary? Among presumably more liberal voters, this should be a non-factor.

Progressive people of faith: Jimmy Carter

From the article:

Carter, who is now 91, famously described his life and motivation with one overriding theme: faith. "I have one life and one chance to make it count for something... I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands - this is not optional - my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference."

To read more:


Discovering the Grace of God

From the article:

I grew very much to know who God was. Although my therapist was Christian and I was Muslim, what he taught me was more than the Catholic Church, Sufism, and the mosque combined. I have been taught to forgive those who had hurt me, and to forgive myself. It was my lack of mercy, not living Godlike, that clouded my life.
It was through Grace, that I gained enlightenment. It was not because I repeated God’s name a 100 times. It was through jihad (inner struggle). I truly struggled to be with Him

To read more:


An interesting story of one person's struggle to find God.
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