America is Ruled by Kings

America is Ruled by Kings
Dave Speck

No, I’m not talking about corporate kings, though that is a serious problem with American politics, today, but I”m talking about the Supreme Court, or more commonly known as the Roberts Court.

Nowhere does our constitution say that the Supreme Court has the authority to overrule the other two branches of government. Nowhere!

So, what are they doing telling the voters who have voted for health care reform that we can’t have it because their insurance industry overlords don’t want it? I don’t care what the insurance companies want. What matters is what the voters want.

It’s criminal , the condition of our Supreme court and it’s time we started electing some democrats who can appoint some judges and start impeaching the criminals that are now there.

The Supreme Court has no right to be telling us ,the voters, what is constitutional.That’s why we elect representatives and we don’t elect the court.

What is this so hard for them to understand? The Supreme Court was supposed to be the weakest of the three branches of government and now it’s like America is ruled by nine kings and queens and what the voting public wants doesn’t matter.

How did America get this screwed up?

America is Ruled by Kings

Is Obamacare’s Mandate Illegal

Is Obamacare’s Mandate Illegal

With all the news these days on the Roberts Court deciding what’s illegal, it’s time we stopped and thought logically about this issue.

Let’s take a trip back in time to the founding of this country. Imagine, if you can, what it would have been like putting together a government for a new country. What would you want your new government to be able to do?

First of all, you would want to make sure the new government couldn’t do any of the bad things that caused our separation from England.

Secondly, you would want to ensure that the government, we the people, could fix things in our new country that get broken.

To think for a minute that anyone would want to say that it’s illegal for we the people to fix things that are broken in our country is just plain ignorant. What kind of a country would that be?

I can tell you what kind of country it would be. It would be a country like America where the multinational corporations decide what’s legal and what’s not because they control the Supreme Court.

This simple fact, if nothing else, should make it plain as day that we the people are allowed to fix our broken health care system.

It’s really that simple.

The only people who are trying to sell us that it’s illegal are the corporations that will have to quit this immoral behavior.

The Benefits of Obamacare

The Benefits of Obamacare
by
David Schlecht

I went to Google and searched for a list of benefits of Obamacare. The only things I could find in the first five pages (before I gave up) were right-wing think tank pages full of lies and distortions.Have they no morals left on the right?

In other words, there’s no way for the average American to get an honest list of their benefits from Obamacare. No wonder! Every single American should be overjoyed about the fact that we have finally started to get a handle on our out-of-control medical insurance industry. Yeah for us, America!

But, the majority of sites that Google shows are all about how Obama’s commin’ for yur guns and you gramma. I’m surprised every American doesn’t believe this garbage, these lies, from the party of low morals.

So, I decided to try to compile a list of my own that people can read so they can make a fair and unbiased decision on how best to benefit from Obamacare.

Before I start, though, I want to let the ambitious amongst us know that you can download the whole 1,000 pages of the bill and read it for yourself. Also, there is a very nice interactive tool that can help walk you through the parts of the law that benefit you specifically.

One last point, due to opposition from the Republican party, much of the law couldn’t go into effect immediately, so when you read the list of benefits, remember that some don’t take effect right away.

So, let’s get to the list of benefits:

Benefits of ObamaCare

  • New tax credits are helping small business owners with the cost of providing health insurance for employees,
  • Young adults can now stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26,
  • Parents whose child is born with birth defects and childhood diseases won’t have to fight to keep their kids healthy because insurance companies are now prohibited from denying coverage for children with pre-existing conditions or placing lifetime limits on care
  • Seniors are getting help with the cost of their medications, giving them peace of mind and putting more money in their pockets
  • An additional 2.5 million young adults have gained coverage since September 2010
  • Nearly 54 million Americans with private health insurance, including approximately 20.4 million women have received preventive health services such as cancer screenings and immunizations at no additional cost (learn more about the health care law and preventive services and health care law and women)
  • The average senior on Medicare will save $4,200 on their health care by 2021, and more than 5.1 million people on Medicare have already saved an average of $635 each on prescription drug costs (read more on the health care law, seniors, and Medicare)
  • Families and small business are saving money on health care, and families who purchase private health insurance through exchanges that begin in 2014 could save up to $2,300 on their health care each year (learn more on the health care law and cost control)
  • No more insurance cancellations when people get sick.

Benefits for Women:

  • Being a woman is no longer a “pre-existing condition.”
  • Insurance companies can’t charge you more for being a woman either
  • Having a pap smear still sucks, but at least you don’t have to shell out a co-pay for it
  • You also don’t need a co-pay for birth control anymore
  • Have kids? Or want to? The law helps with that too.

 

Your Circle of Empathy

Your Circle of Empathy
by
David Schlecht

One finds countless excuses why conservatives are so different than the rest of America, excuses that range from authoritarian followers, to misplaced morals, to compartmentalized thinking, to downright sociopathy, to just plain ignorance. Many times you will see writers trying to fit all or even most of the symptoms into one shoe box or another. You will also see writers trying to put these in a less than honest light to help buffer some of the raw ugliness of their findings.

I’m going to present another perspective. This isn’t so much separate from all the rest but is rather a unified theory that includes many of the other findings and concepts.

Your Circle of Empathy

Humans have a natural inclination to feel and exhibit empathy. Your degree of empathy and the size of your circle of empathy is primarily dependent on one thing, your feeling of safety. There are other less influential factors, such as mental illness like sociopathy but this essay does not deal with those. But, it has been found that the vast majority of ruthless business owners are clinically psychopathic, finding gratification in stealing candy from babies. This is no exaggeration.

But, alas, that is a whole blog post all in itself.

Kinds of safety affect ones circle of empathy

There are many kinds of safety. Primarily, safety can be defined as freedom from want and fear. Are you afraid for your personal safety in your home and neighborhood? Are you afraid of the Mexicans invading America to steal our jobs? Are you afraid of the mooslems coming for ya? Are you afraid you won’t have enough food to feed the family tonight? Are you afraid you’re losing your home? Are you afraid that lump in your breast or throat is cancer and you don’t have decent insurance? Are you afraid you’ll be shot by a vigilante on your way home some night? Are you afraid Omaba’s commin’ for your guns?

There are countless types of fear and uncertainty that we face every day.

How Fear Reduces Our Empathy

When you have little fear and are adept at dealing with you fear, your capacity for empathy is naturally quite high, your circle of empathy contains the entire universe. You feel for the wildlife losing their habits to human encroachment, you feel for the oceans that are being poisoned and are dying around us. You feel for Mother Earth. You would probably even feel empathy for life on other worlds if they existed.

That is the natural state of human empathy.

Why do you suppose that is? Caring for the earth has allowed our small clans and societies to coexist in the world. If the cave men hadn’t survived by coexisting with the world, you and I would not be here today. Therefore, empathy is in our genes.

Now, let’s take away some of the safety. Let’s consider two small societies, living close together. When the food becomes scarce, the loving neighbors become competitors for the scarce food. They become “the other.”

If your town is hungry, you don’t have time to worry about the health of the rain forest. It’s time to slash and burn so you can feed your family. It doesn’t matter how many plants and animals have to die.

Your circle of empathy has just gotten much smaller. Even your next door neighbors are now looked at like possible competitors. In fact, when food becomes even more scarce, the loving community becomes bitter rivals. Now, it’s each family out for themselves.

Even more scarcity, more fear of hunger, and families start to split apart. Siblings are left to fend for themselves. One parent abandons the family, some times just to go out and die of hunger, leaving the food for the remainders. Sometimes parents will even abandon children when things get bad enough. This is a point where this theory ends. Some will sacrifice for the kids and many will not. The argument is, “They’ll all just die when we’re gone anyway, and we can always have more kids when things get better.”

Still some will stay together and die together and some will not. Seldom will both parents remain. We see this all the time in hunger stricken countries in Africa.

At this gruesome extreme of the safety scale, nothing is safe. The family dog starts to look like possible nutrition to keep the children alive. The size of our circle of empathy at this point includes just ourselves, and maybe our children.  That’s a pretty small circle compared to the first circle encompassing all the universe.

“Let Him Die”

How big is the circle of empathy of a person who yells, “let him die” when asked about medical care for a sick but uninsured neighbor? In this example, it wasn’t just a single person, but the entire Republican debaters and audience. Not a single person disagreed, though many were too embarrassed to admit out loud that they agreed.

Cultivating the Culture of Fear

There is no hiding the fact that the Republican party cultivates fear and capitalizes on the irrational voting behavior of their followers. The psychopathic millionaires and billionaires running the Republican party, you know, the ones without any empathy, reduce the empathy of their followers through fear and then add to that fear by reducing the safety of the American voters by destroying the things that make us safe, like industry regulations, water and food safety, drug safety, Social Security, Medicare, sitting idly by while religious fanatics attack America, taking us off to war on illegal wars.

If you don’t control your fear, the Republican party will control you.

 

 

 

The Effects of Religion on Society

The Effects of Religion on Society
Paul Johnson

It’s interesting to look at the effects that religion has on society. Below, you will be able to visualize the effects of different social trends, including religiosity, health, teen pregnancy, education, and income disparity. This data was compiled from multiple sources, mostly being from the census data.

Each graph shows two social issues on a state-by-state basis. Look to see how many peaks in one line match peaks in the other line. This indicates that both the social indicators are high in that state. Look for the number of valleys that line up as well. All the states are in alphabetic order so you can find your own state by counting the number of tick marks.

Let’s get started…

Religion tracks poor health in almost all states

The above graph shows that states with highly religious people contains the most unhealthy people. Do sick people become more religious or are more religious states under served in the health industry?

Let’s look at teen pregnancies in religious states:

Teen pregnancies are higher in states that are more religious.
Teen Pregnancies and Religion

The two lines don’t match up nearly as closely as the unhealthy religious graph but the number of peak and valleys that match is well above 50%. It should appear obvious to anyone reading this that the religious communities have a problem with their youth being unprepared for their sexual inclinations. Abstinence education doesn’t stop sex, it stops intelligent decisions regarding sex.

Okay, let’s look at education and religion:

You can see the obvious correlations
Religion and Lack of Education

This graph tracks almost as closely as the first one. There is an obvious correlation between how uneducated a community is and how religious they are. There are endless psychological studies proving that the typical Republican is way below the average IQ of a Democrat, but this data seems to prove that there is also this same marriage of religiosity and duh.

The real question is, which is cause and which is effect? Does being dumb make you more susceptible to religion or does religion discourage knowledge?

Let’s look at Religiousness and Income Disparity:

Religion doesn't track income disparity
Religiosity and Income Disparity

There isn’t much correlation at all between these two. In other words, income disparity isn’t any more prevalent in religious communities than anywhere else.

But, if we compare income disparity and lack of education:

Lack of income tracks income disparity
Education and Income Disparity

These two data sets track each other very closely. It is quite obvious that communities with low educations are exploited by the wealthy. It also indicates that in communities where the mega-wealthy control the community, there is little chance of the people getting out from under their thumb. Education is the best solution to income disparity.

I hope you enjoyed the graphs and the narration that explains each.

Exposing the Republican Agenda

Exposing the Republican Agenda
by
David Schlecht

The longer the Republican primary goes on, the more disappointed Americans become of the Republican candidates.  Do you ever wonder why?

The longer the Democratic primaries go on, the more people become polarized with one candidate or another. Why?

If you have been paying any attention at all to the Republican primary, this year, it is painfully obvious, why. The more the Republican candidates cater to their base, the more out of touch they appear to the rest of America. America gets a good, honest look at that the Republican agenda is: more taxes for the working class, more tax breaks for the rich, profitize and destroy our government starting with our Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and pensions, going all the way through every facet of our country and divvy it for the billionaires who are funding them.

Unfortunately, though, many voters are ignoring the frightening display of destruction that is the Republican primary and they’ll just believe all the millions of dollars in lie-vertisements that the Republican party will be flooding into our living rooms.

Nevada’s Dean Heller Votes Against Americans Again

Nevada’s Dean Heller Votes Against Americans Again
by
David Schlecht

[Updated below]

Nevada’s senator voted for the Blunt amendment, today, you know, the law that would have allowed employers to restrict you from any medical procedures just because he didn’t agree with them. You know, like paying for a witch-doctor but not for lab work. Or not paying for birth control because all women should be barefoot and pregnant.

The amendment almost passed. It lost by a 51/48 margin. And, you know what, Nevada? Your representative, Dean Heller, sold you down the river. Lucky for us, the rest of the nation’s senators came to their senses.

It’s time to replace or recall Dean Heller. Bad for Nevada. Bad for America.

Update:
The Blunt Amendment would allow an employer to enact Shira law in his workplace. The blatant Republican ignorance has supported the Shira laws they so pretend to fear and loath. This idiot, Heller, seems too ignorant for even Nevada voters to support.

Pro-Christian Anti-Christian

Pro-Christian Anti-Christian
Paul Johnson.

If you were to create an organization that was the opposite of Christian, what would it look like? One easy approach is to look at all the things that were important to Jesus and oppose them.

Jesus spent most of his life helping the poor, feeding the poor, clothing the poor, or today would be housing the poor, healing the poor and the sick. He was against mixing church and state. He told his people not to show boast about their faith. He showed humanity and justice for the imprisoned. He opposed wealth and lived a life free of greed.

What other things can you come up with that were important to Jesus? He mentioned gays hardly ever so it’s not something worth associating with Jesus. There was no such thing as abortion in those days so you can interpret anything you want but if it was important to Jesus it would be obvious to all. But, he never talks of abortion.

Go ahead and think up any more things that were important enough to Jesus that he spoke of them often.

So, now we can outline the things that would make an organization anti-Christian.

What other things do you think would characterize an anti-Christian party?

The Republican War on Women

The Republican War on Women
by
Matthew K.

What is up with the Republican war on women? It makes no sense for the aggressive frontal attack on women and their rights. The war against their right to decide with their doctors what is the best thing for them, or the war against other medical necessities.

Many in the party have the attitude that women should just shut up and sit in the back of the bus with their heads covered.

It seems the party is so far out of the mainstream that they can no longer hide it.