Politics, Economics, and Religion


Politics, Economics, and Religion

Religion has so many connections to political and economic beliefs, there needs to be a place to identify linkages, problems, goals, options, action plans and evaluation criteria.  

Members: 121
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What is the purpose of life?

An eternal question, what is the purpose of life?, occupied philosophers’ thoughts throughout history. Stone pictographs reveal even primitive peoples reflected on this query. Each one has the capacity to define his or her personal thinking about politics, economics and religion.

Discussion Forum

Overton Window shifted toward burn everything down

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck on Tuesday. 3 Replies

"Breitbart's whole goal was to burn everything down...and Trump has gone full Breitbart."Ben Shapiro ( former Breitbart editor-at-large,  who has become a vociferous critic)…Continue

Tags: far-right echo-chamber overtakes national voice

Bill Maher on Donald Trump

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by tom sarbeck Oct 15. 8 Replies

Bill Maher has spared nothing on his Real Time program in repeatedly eviscerating Drumpf in every last available way.  Those assessments are usually focused on one particular aspect of Drumpf's behavior or personality, but to borrow from…Continue

Tags: Bill Maher, asshole, Drumpf, Donald Trump

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Comment by Grinning Cat on August 26, 2016 at 9:07am

Joseph, thanks for pointing out the (not-so-)hidden agendas behind many calls for "small government" and "states' rights"... many of the "states' rights" folks would be overjoyed to have the federal government supersede state law when it would support their own privilege!

Comment by Joseph P on August 26, 2016 at 7:23am

Also, what do you mean about dictatorial people trying to get governmental positions?  Do you think that the Postmaster General is lording over her power over shipping in the US?  Oh, wait, we have UPS, FedEx, DHL ...

And we've had the Republican Congress trying and failing to destroy the USPS.  I don't think the Postmaster General is feeling particularly powerful right now.

Do you think that the head of the EPA is in it for the power?  No, I'm pretty sure that she is running the EPA out of a sincere desire to preserve the environment.

Or did you mean people like Senators and Congressmen?  They're going to find ways to throw their weight around no matter how many governmental agencies they manage to strip down to the bare bones.  If anything, those sorts will end up throwing all of those functions off to their corporate donors.

Personally, I have more faith in a governmental agency that is at least supposed to be accountable to the citizens of the country.  Corporations are only accountable to their shareholders.  We need governmental regulation to bring those corporations to heel, when they get out of control.

Another problem that I have is with the Libertarian party itself.  The current heads of the party are trying to break things down to the state level, as much as possible.  In other words ... States Rights.

We remember what that term involves, right?  Electoral laws to suppress the vote of minorities would stand unchallenged, such as the one here in North Carolina which just got struck down by the federal government.  State-level theocracies would be allowed to flourish.  State-level laws against homosexuality would be reinstated, including the sorts of sodomy laws that Lawrence v. Texas struck down.  Gay marriage would be unrecognized in well over half of the states in the country.  Abortion would be banned in well over half of the states in the country.

People trying to break down government to the smallest, most local unit possible are often doing so because they've lost to more progressive laws and rulings at the federal level.  They want to roll things back to a more regressive state of affairs, in as many states of the country as possible.  Considering that the more regressive states also tend to be the largest, most rural states, that would give them probably well over 3/4ths of the country, by unit of landmass.

Comment by Joseph P on August 26, 2016 at 5:17am

When you guys speak of shrinking "big government," what exactly are you talking about?  Are you talking about reversing the Affordable Care Act?  Are you talking about Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security?  The EPA?

Are you talking about the Department of Transportation, which actually needs MORE money, so they can rebuild many of the bridges in the country which are in danger of falling down?  Are you talking about rules and regulations, such as the ones here in North Carolina which require that everyone have liability insurance on their car, so you aren't screwed if someone hits you with it?  Do you want to get rid of the minimum wage laws?

People throw out the word "big government," which is a classic Fox News catch-phrase, but they never seem to know exactly what they mean by it.  You're aware that most government programs are there to help poor people and maintain necessary infrastructure, right?

What exactly do you want to shrink?  Because strangely, when the supposed small-government types actually start doing it, they tend to start with the programs that help poor people, because apparently income-inequality in this country isn't bad enough already.

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 25, 2016 at 8:26am

Tom, that man you know is a definite wakkadoodle.  

I like how Penn trashes Trump in the end of his video.  I have problems with all politicians, but I would vote for any of them before Trump.  He's worse than all of them put together.

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 25, 2016 at 8:12am

Idaho, given that bureaucrats want to grow their "empires", their power and their salaries, shrinking government has to be a constant effort.

The question is, how far to shrink it.

One man I know, intelligent enough to be non-religious, an expert in TV and movie audio, and a pipe organ devotee, told me he wants to shut down every department in California's government.

I asked him to tell me the names of the five he most wants to shut down and he refused to answer.

"You're a Tea Partier, aren't you?" I teased. He grinned.

I like him because he was a valuable ally in a recent contest with an authoritarian narcissist who won election to a local government body. We the people won; the narcissist lost and moved away.

He just told me he hates Hillary and will vote for Donald.

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 25, 2016 at 6:51am

Thanks Joan.  I like the way Penn brings it down to a level that I can mostly understand.  

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 25, 2016 at 6:45am

I've never read anything by Ayn Rand, so I don't know what she says.  I just like quite a bit of what present day Libertarians say, Such as Penn Gillette.  

I don't fully understand everything he or they say because I've not studied government well enough.  I just mainly think smaller government is a good idea.

One reason I think It's a good idea is because it looks to me like the history of the world shows that dictatorial people are always looking to force everyone else to do what they want them to do, so they try to get into governmental positions, where they will have the force of the government behind them.  To me, it seems a smaller government would make it harder for government officials to become dictatorial.

Daniel, it appears to me, that in the last half of the video, Penn backs-off of pie in the sky talk, a becomes more practical.

Comment by tom sarbeck on August 25, 2016 at 5:26am

... I kind of flinched. ... Gillette has more "heart".

Joan, if a skilled sociopath sets his or her sights on you, you will more than flinch. Those who are smart enough to avoid prisons have the skills to romance anyone out of anything. It's why they do so well in activities that require persuasion: sales, politics, military leadership, and especially in romance.

Comment by Joseph P on August 25, 2016 at 1:09am

Yes, Joan, I'm referring to Penn Jillette.

You're missing the larger picture.  He held up the example of a girl who got accepted to Stamford but who instead chose to get pregnant and flip burgers.

His example is pure bullshit.  That does not happen.  Someone who applied to and got accepted to Stamford is not going to decide to go and flip burgers instead.  No, it isn't an example of how people make bad choices.  It's insane, over-the-top, and complete nonsense.

The reason that he throws out an absurd example like that is because he's heavily implying that everyone who ends up flipping burgers, living in poverty, has similarly thrown away amazing opportunities to live fabulous lives of profound meaning and wealth.  That is not the case.

Most people working minimum wage jobs or working barely above minimum wage simply have not had the opportunities to do better or didn't recognize those opportunities when they arrived.  After all, how many apparent opportunities are actually hidden traps which will ruin someone's life?  We see examples of people who go in excess of a hundred-thousand dollars into debt for a degree that won't provide the kind of income that will allow for even a subsistence lifestyle, never mind ever paying off those student loans?

If someone dies during their college education or shortly after, any private loans for which the parents cosigned will not be discharged with the death of the primary signer.  Sometimes, the loan-holder will even demand immediate payment in full, upon the death of the student, seizing the parents' homes and other assets and garnishing wages.  That can ruin the lives of the parents with the recently-dead child.

Some of these people living in poverty don't have the foundational education, having grown up in poverty with a horrible home life.  Some simply don't have the raw intellect.  Many people end up in horrible circumstances, at no fault of their own, and Penn would leave them to live in poverty and possibly starve to death, since privately-run poverty relief is never enough.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 25, 2016 at 12:45am

Daniel, you experienced Gillette's comments very differently than I. 

I always write my responses before I read the others' and then read what others write. Sometimes I change my mind and make adjustments in what I publish. I enjoy when differences of opinions come up. In this case, I stand by my enthusiasm for the article and welcome any comments anyone has. 



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