Day: August 26, 2011

Natural Disasters, Government, And Eric Cantor And His Tea Party Friends: The Battle For Fairness!

Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has declared that any disaster recovery relief funds for the earthquake this week in his state and the Northeast, and now the upcoming Hurricane Irene, will have to be funded by cuts in spending elsewhere!

Isn’t this pretty? The intervention of Nature, which has become so prevalent this calendar year, should lead to punishment of the less fortunate, who are more likely anyway to be victims of the natural disasters! So add insult to injury is the way Cantor sees it, and that deserves the outrage of the American people! How mean, nasty and hard hearted can a politician be? But realize Cantor represents the viewpoint of many conservative and Tea Party Republicans who care not a bit about human beings, unless they happen to be rich!

When one looks at the total cost of natural disasters this year, it is absolutely astounding, and will grow dramatically due to the recent earthquake and Hurricane Irene. Trying to imagine the total cost, in the midst of the Great Recession, is mind boggling!

These natural disasters include:

The Great Blizzard in the center and eastern part off the nation in late January and early February, cost about $2 billion

Five periods of massive tornado activity in the Midwest and Southeast,, four sets of dates in April and one in late May, with the first three costing $6 billion and 47 deaths total, and the last two costing $16 billion and the unbelievable total of 504 deaths, so a total of $22 billion and 551 deaths overall

The Southern Plains-Southwest Drought, heat waves, and wildfires, costing so far a total of $5 billion

Mississippi River and Upper Midwest flooding, costing a total of $6 billion

So the amount in total BEFORE the earthquake and the upcoming Hurricane Irene, and other likely landfall hurricanes later on this fall, is an unbelievable $35 billion!

With the fear that Hurricane Irene could cost as much as earlier devastating hurricanes, including Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the likelihood of more earthquake activity or volcanic activity, as well as other hurricanes, one has to wonder how America will survive the onslaught of nature if we are being told there will be no raising of taxes to deal with what God has wrought!

This is an ultimate test of what government is all about, and whether we all have to be in this together, and to pay more taxes to promote economic recovery, not just the middle class, but also the wealthy! This will be a battle worth fighting when Congress comes back after Labor Day!

A Horrifying Scenario: A Tea Party Republican Congress And President–What It Would Portend!

Any sane, centrist oriented American, who might be disgusted with and frustrated by how the federal government is working these days, and therefore is tempted to join the Tea Party Movement that has taken over the Republican Party in the House of Representatives and in many state governorships, needs to realize what would happen if the Right wing tilt that began in the midterm elections of 2010 went all the way to a dominant Tea Party Republican House of Representatives, Senate, and a President Perry or Bachmann!

The purpose is not to promote horror and fear, but to make people realize, based on the agenda of the Tea Party Movement, what would happen without any barrier in the way, such as one of the legislative bodies or the Presidency being in the hands of the Democrats.

In no special order, the following would be likely:

1. The repeal of the Obama Health Care Plan in its entirety
2. The privatization of Medicare over ten years
3. The cutting of Social Security benefits over time
4. No government assistance for home owners in trouble on their mortgages
5. No federal limits on greenhouse gases, and the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, and therefore no limits on strip mining of coal or regulations on oil drilling
6. A “war” on labor unions, and the elimination of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, plus the end of the minimum wage laws
7. The elimination of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and lack of regulation of big business and banking, regarding consumer rights, including the right to lawsuits for malpractice or discrimination
8. The cutting back or elimination of the federal Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, and Health and Human Services, or agencies within those cabinet agencies at the least, as well as the Federal Reserve Board
9. Promotion of anti abortion legislation to end legal abortions
10.Enactment of laws to discriminate against gays, and return “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military
11. Restrictions on immigration, and deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants
12. Promotion of Christianity in all areas of government institutions and activities
13. Refusal to raise the debt level, and ruthless cutting of government programs to deal with the elderly, the poor, racial minorities, and the disabled instead
14. Further cutting of taxes on the wealthy and corporations
15. Promotion of a right wing based education system in the areas of science and history in the schools
16. End of funding for National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting System.
17. Cutbacks on civil rights enforcement for African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, and native Americans, and total end of affirmative action programs
18. Growing hostility and confrontations with the Islamic world, as part of the Christian crusade against Muslims
19. Civil liberties limitations in the name of public safety against domestic terrorism, including against social media and public demonstrations of protest against government policies
20. Making the Supreme Court more right wing than it is now, guaranteeing the longevity of conservative Republican Tea Party policies for a generation or more

Can anyone reading this list NOT be terrified at the thought of a Tea Party Republican dominant Congress and President?

This is why it is ESSENTIAL that at the worst, we have a divided Congress as we had under President Ronald Reagan from 1981-1987, with a Democratic House and Republican Senate and Republican President, with the House under Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill preventing the worst excesses of the Reagan agenda, and in the process, actually making Reagan look a lot better in history than he would have without a Democratic House of Representatives.

And based on the present situation we face, it is clear that it would be better to have a Democratic House and Republican Senate, the opposite of what we have now, as the House has greater impact and control over spending and the budget. A Republican Senate, as has occurred five times in the past century, is far less negative and destructive than the present experience with a Republican House!

While hating to think of a Republican Senate, it seems likely now with only four seats needed to gain control, while for the Democrats, regaining 25 seats for a majority in the House, seems more than likely to occur!

So a split government the opposite of what we have now might be the best scenario, if not an all Democratic controlled Congress and President, to avoid the nightmare of a Tea Party Republican dominated government!

The Frightening Conflict Between Science And Religion In The Republican Party: The Threat To America’s Future!

As the Presidential campaign of 2012 evolves, a frightening conflict between science and religion is developing in the Republican competition for President, as it has already in the party in Congress.

On the issue of global warming and climate change, only Jon Huntsman consistently, and Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a wavering way, endorse there is a problem. Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain totally deny it, even with the oncoming Hurricane Irene, on top of drought, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters worldwide at a rapidly increasing rate, and the warmest temperatures continuing to set records, along with extremes of winter weather which also indicate the earth is changing rapidly.

Only Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney accept evolution over creationism, another example of the refusal of Republicans to accept the knowledge offered by scientific evidence. Instead, they accept that the earth is not old, and that mankind walked with dinosaurs only a few thousand years ago, a totally preposterous concept!

The Republican Party is becoming more beholden to evangelical Christianity and its anti science mentality!

We discover now that Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are connected to a “Dominionism” movement, which claims there are demons affecting the arts and entertainment, business, the family, government, media, religion, and education.

The recent Perry religious rally was led by ministers who believe the above. The aims of these activists is to promote anti gay rights, anti abortion, anti Islamic policies, along with opposition to social safety nets, which take away the domain of Christianity. Also, part of their agenda is to convert Jews as part of the process of the “end times” when Jesus will return to the earth. The same group has been involved in anti gay activism and retribution against gays in Uganda in East Africa!

Face the facts! Christian Dominionism wishes to replace American law with the strictures of the Old Testament, including support for the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion and being a non believer!

It is no different in its extremism than other religious fundamentalist movements, such as Shiite Muslims in Iran or Sunni Wahabis in the Arab world!

The Christian Dominionists have also promoted a justification of slavery in the South, and have distorted history through a Confederate view of the Civil War and race relations!

Under the name New Apostolic Reformation, the movement is on to elect Perry or Bachmann to promote a theocratic state!

This attack on science and promotion of an extreme strain of Christian fundamentalism is an assault on all of the tenets of the Bill of Rights and the meaning of the Constitution. Instead of separation of church and state, instead, we could be facing a future of a theocratic fanaticism led by a reckless, dangerous leader such as Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann!

And don’t think for a minute that Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, or Newt Gingrich are any better choices, as they also are promoters of theocracy in different ways!

It is ironic that only the two Mormons in the race–Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney–considered not to be Christians by these theocratic zealots, actually believe in science and separation of church and state!

What a crazy, whacko situation this nation faces in this clash between science and religion for the hearts and minds of the American people, in the midst of an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression!