December 10, 2018

Poverty is no Mystery

By Glenn

High poverty states/countries all try to tax the poor instead of the wealthy. The wealthy come up with a variety of excuses to avoid their responsibly to society. The results have been the same for the last 4000 years of civilization. The only way to create a middle class society is to remove the burdens and obstacles for wage earners and to create ladders of opportunity. Needless to say, conservative States like Louisiana and Oklahoma have a history of “doing it wrong.” The progressive era in Texas created stronger institutions, but they too are under assault.

December 3, 2018

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and the Power of Myth

By Glenn

Bill Moyers introduced Dr. Joseph Campbell to the “general public” in the 1988 PBS series the Power of Myth. Campbell dazzled the audience with exotic mythological tales as well as the fundamental similarities among the world’s seemingly diverse traditions. The interviews revealed Campbell’s’s life-long quest to understand the human experience. He is most famous for his model of a hero which his published works explain in detail: The Hero with A Thousand Faces, 1949; The Masks of God, 4 Volumes, 1959. Myths speak to the experience of “life” or the power of the universe. Campbell explained that life is a journey taken by a hero (Gilgamesh, Moses, Jesus, Buddha) and follows a predictable pattern–departure (birth), struggle/fulfillment (death), and return (rebirth). The hero provides ordinary humans with guidelines of how to succeed on the journey, from childhood through adolescence to maturity. The old-self must die before the new-self can emerge.

Campbell lamented the absence of myth in the contemporary world, but he simply looked in the wrong place. Most academicians look down on popular culture and even dismiss cartoons as children’s entertainment. Remember, however, that Homer’s Iliad did not begin as the object of professorial study. The 1964 animated television program Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer provides a wonderful example of a hero and of an American myth which continues to touch millions of children each year. On the surface it tells the simple story of a reindeer who saved Christmas. I think it gained widespread popularity, however, because on a deeper level it touched on the major issues of the civil rights movement with elegance and directness. The hero pattern conveyed the message of racial and political cooperation in a sublime fashion, moving the hearts and minds of countless children and their parents. Campbell’s model then provides a thesis and the outline for analyzing Rudolph.

Read the rest of this entry »

October 16, 2018

Wage Theft and Tax Cuts

By Glenn

There is no question. This is wage theft. Republicans took your wage taxes and gave it away as corporate and investment tax cuts. Now, McConnell wants to cut your pre-paid services.

June 30, 2018

“You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

By Glenn

Pretty clear isn’t it?

“You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 22:21

How did this get warped into “Separate their families and throw the children in prison.”

Greed and cruelty. Thank Ayn Rand. Thank You Milton Friedman. Thank you Frederick Hayek. You taught American conservatives that compassion and mercy are a weakness.

All of the Law and the Prophets teach that compassion and mercy are our only salvation, in this world and the world to come. “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.'”

No they won’t.

March 23, 2018

Modern Conservatism: fiscally, morally and socially bankrupt

By Glenn

One more time. If you consider yourself a conservative, fine. You need to know that Donald Trump is the embodiment of Modern Conservatism. He is vulgar. He is anti intellectual. He is a bully. He is fiscally, morally and socially bankrupt.

You can see the same conservatism in action if you look at the Red States: Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Kansas etc. Modern conservatism has worshiped the selfishness of Ayn Rand and could care less about the common good. Everything is predicated toward the Will to Power.

If you want change, then you better hold your nose and vote for a Democrat. If you want more of this foolishness, then vote for these proud sociopaths.

Our public schools, our veterans, our Social Security, our Medicare and our safety all hang in the balance.

“So long as Republicans hold the congressional majority, they will not act to meaningfully constrain, or even oversee, the president. That choice represents an epic gamble for November—and beyond.”

March 23, 2018

The Preventive War Lie

By Glenn

Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution says “Congress shall have power to … declare War”. If Donald goes to war, he will be in violation of the US Constitution. His advisors are trying to spin their illegal activity as a “preventive war.” Starting a war has never prevented one.

We haven’t finished paying for George W. Bush’s failure in Iraq. Now, these war mongers want a new war. All they know is death and destruction.

February 8, 2018

My Brother’s Keeper

By Glenn

If you have to ask, you probably already know the answer.  When Cain asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?,” he knew the answer.  He knew his jealousy was wrong.  Cain simply wanted more at the expense of his brother.  This is a cautionary tale.  Hurting others to get more often leaves us with less.

Many Americans justifiably fear losing their healthcare coverage.  Insurance companies continue to rake in billions of dollars in profits as patients receive less care.  Conservative voters, however, lashed out and demanded Congress take away coverage from 32 million Americans who gained insurance under ObamaCare.  Unfortunately, rural voters are on the verge of finding out much they have to lose by lashing out.

Community Health Centers, non-profit clinics in underserved areas, are on the budget chopping block.  Paris, Copper, Bonham and several other North Texas communities have a center.  Across the state these clinics serve 1.3 million Texans.  The cost of care depends upon a patient’s ability to pay.  The clinics welcome those with insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the uninsured.  Federal money makes up the difference between what a patient can afford and what the services cost.  Without federal grants these clinics would close.

Community Health Centers help individuals at all stages of life from pregnancy to senior care.  They have parenting classes that teach moms and dads how to care for their own child.  The centers offer nutrition classes to help people prevent and reduce the damage of diabetes.  Texans can also receive lifesaving screenings for killers like cancer.

Community Health Centers are attractive to employees.  Doctors can pay off student loans faster.  They have access to Federal lawsuit protect for all work done for the clinic.  The Federal Tort Claims Act provides them with a lawyer at no cost if they are sued.  The grants also pay for continuing education.  This benefit keeps doctors up to date and patients safe. It really is a win-win.

Failure to reach a budget deal in Washington threatens the health and lives of Texans.  Conservative politicians and voters do not want to fund public health care options.  This attitude has put Community Health Centers on the chopping block.  Unless more caring voices speak out, the least among us will watch in vain as their doctors and nurses pack up and leave town.

We are left then with that age old question: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  Do we care if the least among us go without?   Be careful before you answer.  Like Cain, you might find yourself with less also.  If conservatives are successful now, they plan on turning their attention to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.  Your neighbors might just decide that you can do more with less just like the patients in the Community Health Centers.