Friday, November 27, 2015

why we need to keep religion

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus' description of himself "I am the Good Shepherd" (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: "To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Nowhere in the Constitution is there a reference to divine being.  In fact, the first amendment explicitly forbade the establishment of any official church or creed.  So while many people see an attack or war on Christianity, people are generally just trying to ensure the enforcement of the first amendment.  Do people want Christianity to go away?  How many people would prefer this country to not have any Christians?  Not many. Especially since most of the people are Christian. It’s not that people value Muslims or Atheism. Yes, okay, some Atheists would prefer to see Chrisitianity disappear, but they are a percentage of this minority. I would say, almost universally that people are just valuing the freedom our country is founded on. There is not a confined amount of beliefs in our country. Its not that we have to take someone’s belief away top make room for someone else’s belief. I have not taken any measurements, but I’m sure they will fit. The people accused of making war on Christianity just want to ensure that other people are allowed to practice their religion.
People are afraid that we will become a non-Christian country. That we will turn Muslim. But that is the beauty of our country and our Constitution. It’s why we need to keep religion out of our government and just follow the framework of our founding fathers. Leaders can and should be directed by their religious beliefs, but the laws stop up from becoming a theocracy.

But our founding fathers created our government on the principles of Christianity. We do have the words on our money and such, but what where is it in the constitution?  And okay, lets follow their religios beliefs then.

Founding Fathers

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the ...
Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When creating the foundation of our nation, our founding fathers did not look to the Bible for ideas. They did not have the Bible open and then write An eye for an eye. No they built, (without doing research on this) on ideas most directly from the French and other European countries philosophy of enlightenment. Of course, this was not all. They looked at and built upon the Roman and Greeks.
I like that our nation has many Christians in it. That our principles of interacting with people is Christian and not Muslim. But we are not a Christian nation. We are a nation that values and protects peoples’ right to worship as they please. And this is the reason we are strong. Not our Christian values. If the strict Christians had control of our nation as the Muslims have control of Iraq and other middle eastern countries, we would not have a good society.
Women would not have choices over the bodies. People would be persecuted for the sexual orientation. Want proof, close your eyes and imagine our country as the republican presidential candidates speak.
Scary.  People being kept track of and judged on their religion. Woman forced to adhere to the Bible.

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my god and myself alone.
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, 11 January 1817, in Lester Cappon, ed. The Adams-Jefferson Letters, (1959) p. 506, quoted from Jeremy Koselak, "The Exaltation of a Reasonable Deity: Thomas Jefferson’s Critique of Christianity"

Plenty of Poor

Rich is the country with plenty of poor.   Joseph Heller

Heller wrote this in his book Picture This. He was describing how in The Netherlands, textile companies sought out children to work in their mills.  How succinctly Heller described the truth of corporations. It does not need to be this way. But it is.

Countries need industries. Industries need profits. How do they make the most profit? By having cheap labor. To maximize profits, companies charge as much as they can while paying as little as they can.

That is what is happening to our country.  Koch brothers and the tea parties are tricking working class people into providing cheap labor. They want to degrade education so that people are not smart enough to work at high paying jobs. They gather power by going against abortion and wanting to turn back our values to the 50s. We had work values in the 50s, but our moral compasses were terrible.

Like Heller said, the more poor people we have, the richer our country is.  More and more our country is corporations.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wisconsin Open for Corruption

Let’s stop those times when a bad person kept their job. Sure. The problem is that without the civil service process (private sector jobs), there are people that should be fired and are not. People should take a moment and think to themselves if they ever had a coworker or boss that should have been fired. Private sector people, think of how many incompetent employees you know. It is the same amount in the state system. You would solve nothing.

The hiring process is slow in the state. But is not because of the civil service system. If we should test kids to make sure they are competent, shouldn’t we do that for employees? The process is slow because of funding. Hiring moves along at a snail’s pace to save money in a foolish manner. It is not getting the approval of the employee, but the approval of the money for the position.

This “reform” bill and the people that will call me names for posting this all want a scapegoat. Unless you can provide some facts to back it up. And not just a handful, but show that it is a problem. Tell us how unions keep terrible employees from getting fired. All they can do or could ever do is sit on disciplinary meetings and provide representation if the union thought a wrong had been made. Unions have helped wrongly accused. They may have even helped someone to be given a second chance to improve. That is not a bad thing. People keep their jobs in the private and public sector through cronyism. This would increase without civil service tests and objective criteria that a resume-based system would not have.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Do What the Bible Says

Any religious leader should be condemning hate and violence of gay people everyday. Their sermons against it should be 100 sermons against such acts for every anti-rights to gay people sermon. To me, even gentle intolerance of gay people contributes to the environment where gay people are done violence and those that do it are in part responsible. Pray for them if you must, but condemn bigotry loudly. Be homophobic if you want to do so silently, but those that do violence (physically and verbally) must hear everyday- You are in the wrong. You are the sinner and the pervert.

Friday, November 13, 2015

If Women Ruled The World

If women ruled the world

I am not a fan of If women ran the world, there wouldn’t be any wars.  It’s just too trite.  It also negates the fact that there are women out there that can do terrible things. However, when I asked myself what makes the Middle East volatile, I thought about how the culture continues to subjugate women.

 I believe the two may go hand in hand.  The question to why women are treated like property is simple.  Men enjoy the power.  They have their interpretation of the Quran to back them.  However, other cultures had that same power over women as well as conquered and indigenous people and they have at least improved in the treat all people well department.

Let me be clear, I am not condemning all Muslims or their faith.  In the book The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad talked about the ebb and flow of how badly women are treated in Afghanistan regimes (such as the Taliban).  The more brutal of people in power, the more women are treated like property.


What is it that cultures that treat women like property fear?  I don’t think they can identify their fear, but it must be there.  Do they fear losing control?  Are they afraid of progress?  That women will prove themselves to be smarter?

Is our progress due to the move toward equality of women in our culture?  The comparison makes me say yes.  Some cultures love of violence also makes me say yes.  Why exactly, I have yet to work out.  I suspect that industrialization forged new roles for women that empowered them and left men no choice but to treat women differently.  Then birth control gave women the opportunity to more fully step away from subservience. 

My main point is that female intellect not infused into the decision making process stops cultures from finding nonviolent options.  A female candidiate for president would not keep us out of war or force us into a war.  However, if women ran a few of the Muslim cultures……

Other thoughts:

Women at first were taught to read and write to be able to make future generations good citizens.

They were also taught to be more desirable to high class men-  people did not have arranged marriages.

Industrialization made print materials readily available and more difficult to be illiterate. (Knowledge is power).

Let's Make Abortions a thing of the Past

Want to prevent abortions?  Will making them illegal prevent them?  The tool I believe will result in less fetuses being killed is a focus on Emotional Intelligence. It should be taught in school. I think it is the answer to many things. 
When I was in high school, I had a class called Sociology.  It was taught by the AV specialist.  No I don’t know why.  She was a large-boned woman in her fifties and had some manish qualities about her.  She was known for being gruff.  However, that Sociology class did not have any curriculum normally associated with the study of Sociology.
Let me also point out that it was a small class.  Six or seven of us although I do not remember who they were. I also want to set the scene in that our school was farm community.  Most kids majored in Wood Shop.  Anyway, this teacher had us read articles on living life to the fullest.  We read Leo Buscaglia’s book Love and watched his speeches.  The class was not about Sociology, but about approaching life with vigor and a positive attitude.  About choosing love, avoiding bitterness, and empowering yourself.
Now I did not become the perfect human being after that class.  At times I seemed to have learned the opposite lessons  and yet…
What if we had such a class?  Instead of encouraging people to have abortions that have emotional repercussions later or telling them that you are a sinner and terrible, we gave women (and men) tools to be happy.  To keep their mind open and to teach them to be anything they want to be. 
We may think of someone having an abortion as this promiscuous person that sheds off a fetus like a hang nail.  However, I think 99% of the time they see it as a desperate act in a desperate situation.  An EQ class would teach people that there are always options.  That things are never as bad as they seem.  However, this class would do more than that.  It would teach young girls that they have value beyond what society often tells them.  Society tells them that they need to be sexy and in fact have sex if a guy puts the moves on them (do this for every guy, but do not be a whore).  It would teach them to take care of themselves and to not fall into sex, but to have sex when they are ready and to do it responsibly.  It would teach young people to set goals that are best achieved by delaying sex and not taking risks.  
It would also help teach them that mistakes do not often put them in desperate situations-  allow them to see options.  A good emotional intelligence would teach them that there options and that they have the power to make them.  They would not feel desperate and trapped and see no good way out when they did get pregnant.  I think by loving themselves they would be more able to do something loving for a fetus and for potential adoptive parents.  It is all in the framing of the situation. Perhaps for the boys, society and their own fears would not tell them that there life was over-  they had screwed it up by knocking up a girl and then some of those boys that run away and abandon the girl wouldn’t.

This class would teach social skills and to avoid harming themselves or others. To choose their life and to choose to love those in their life.  

The 1% try to end the middle class.

Maybe people are becoming too dependent on government.  Maybe people want the government to do too much. Even if these problems were true, I think we have a bigger problem-  the loss of the middle class.  I have heard that and didn't think that sounded too bad.  However, this does not mean half the people are going down and half going up, it means most are going to the poor side.

In history, when this happened, there were revolts and revolutions.  In our country unions were formed and there was bloodshed.   These were caused because people were being slowly buried by the oppression.  They had no choice.  Thanks to government and its protection, we cannot be starved.  As employees we are guaranteed rights.  So we cannot be indentured by owing money to the company store.  We can make enough money to get buy and even have luxuries such as big tvs and cell phones.

However, this does not make things fair.  More importantly, the current trend of giving power to the companies does not make us sustainable. The fact that we have won some protections simply muddies the waters and makes the line less clear.  We are not hungry in the street.  This keeps us from becoming violent.  This keeps the problem from being dealt with.  But it is there and it is getting worse. 

Government labor laws and yes government assistance keeps people from rioting and disrupting the nation as a whole.  In exchange, the rich people have to give up some money to have a stable and lucrative environment to do business. Without unions-given labor laws, companies and the rich could do the free market thing and people get what they can strive for.  This would come down to - I will make my money at the expense of other people because they can. Besides the misery it would cause, this would lead to a disruptive economy and chaos.  This would sort things out.

However in today’s society, we do things through laws.  To prevent chaos, the government steps in and makes things equitable.  This protects the rich and the poor.  Just because the rich are not able to keep the lower class in a state of not surviving, does not mean that they should be allowed to buy the government and do what they want.  They are a part of The United States and need to conform to our ideals and protection of freedom.  Right now they are slowing buying those ideals and protections up.

The further we get from equity and we are moving away from it, the more this country moves towards chaos.

Are Unions bad?

Are unions Bad?

Years ago, I worked with a guy who explained that our employer had wanted to fire him.  Did in fact fire him.  It was only through a misstep in the procedures that the employer and the union had in the bargaining agreement that he was still on the job. 

So this is an example of a union protecting someone that should have gotten fired, but did not.  However, that is the only example I’ve seen.  At one time I was even a union steward.  And in that time, I did not see the union keep someone from getting fired.  The bargaining agreements did have language that ensured that the firing was a careful, thoughtful process.  Yet, no one that should not have gotten fired, did not get fired.  It did, however, allowed the employees and the employers guidelines to keep a person and make sure they got back on track. 

A few years ago, there were layoffs.  Those people got laid off.  There were procedures to help the people the people getting laid off and to help them.  In this case I do not think it was the union that was responsible.  It was the employer trying their best to do the layoffs humanely. 

When it comes down to it, a union can only help a person getting in trouble by sitting with them in the procedures and giving that person someone to talk to.  And yes, listen to the procedures in case they can find ways to get the discipline revoked. However, the employer simply has to follow the guidelines set up.  Those guidelines are stacked in favor of the employer and I will concede that that is fair.

So I think the union making an employer keep someone that should be fired is rare.  More often, an incompetent person is kept around for other reasons.  It is simply my opinion that 55% of any profession has people that are dolts.  This is true for union or nonunion.    The union did not create them or cause them. 

Those people that do not like unions are either rich people trying to get richer or people looking for a scapegoat for their own incompetence.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Religion causes as many abortions as it stops.

In this article:

The Damaging Effects of Shame-Based Sex Education: Lessons From Elizabeth Smart

we learn how super religious edicts made Elizabeth stay with her rapists out of shame. It made her feel worthless and nothing comes from people feeling worthless.  Unfortunately I think that often strict religious upbringing does just that. Religion allows for mistakes, but with children, they often just feel the pressure.

This pressure makes them rebel and have sex.  Because of religion, they do not use contraceptives and end up pregnant.

Now we may think, well without religion, then there could not be abortions. However, desperate teenagers without fully formed brains will look for ways out of their problems. This will endanger their lives as well as those of the fetus.

Secondly, abortions are legal. Right now shame is causing many of the abortions.