• what does that mean and is it important? It means that perhaps, even though the temptation to generalize may be strong, its not a good path.

    First thing, the whole concept of a GOP depends on there being a single party called the GOP. Clearly, to me, there is an inner circle and outer circle, with completely different goals and mores..

    The moralistic, Christianist shell is for the uninitiated.. those who must be lied to. The outer circle, whatever. Those the propaganda is for.

    The inner circle is fundamentally amoral, but pragmatic in typical narcissistic way. These are the people who put their power and welfare above everybody and every other thing in the world. They look at the desired endpoint.. their dominating the world.. and cook up a path to it, via a multilevel, reality distortion field..

    Welcome to our nightmare...

    Greed is evil..

  • maternity leave - during which time they receive full pay.. so they can nurse properly (essential for the immune system and for properly developing the brain of an infant - for many reasons) and then they are strongly encouraged to take a second year at 80% pay - After that, they have free childcare.. staffed by specialists.. professionals.. many of whom have PhDs in child psychology and development..

    Some may scoff.. but it works.. Swedish women are not afraid to have children. It won't ruin their lives like it does here for so many.

    The real reasons the right wants to force people to have unwanted children are many. The adoption industry, and the money it makes for churches.. (billions) a need for a certain level of unwanted children to provide desperate young people with few other options - for the 'all volunteer' military.. etc.

    I was an unwanted child and the stories I could tell you..  Nobody should have to go through it..

  • Not in an ER, thankfully, but similar.. ($400 for a 'surgery' that literally took one second, that was not felt, and that was undertaken by my doctor in the midst of a sentence that I understood to be a pitch for a new product, not a use of it...

    And this was from a doctor who I always thought was a fairly progressive guy.

    Luckily, he billed the wrong insurance, which bounced, or I never might have realized it.

    So, me, for all of my talk about how much I hate the health insurance companies, etc. is actually trying to (in this case) save them some money and bring some sanity into this situation..  

    But he isn't returning my calls. BTW, his deceptionist told me that I am not the first to be outraged by this particular billing..

  • I wasn't talking about external faith.. I meant PRIVATE internal faith.. which you can define anyway you want..

    I'm sorry if I ramble too much.. I just write what comes into my head.. I admit it.. its like therapy for me.. If you think its excessive, let me know..  

    At least for me, it is relevant.. But others might not think so. (too nonlinear?)

  • is an ESSENTIAL survival trait.

    If the natural sciences have taught us anything it is that. To adapt to a changing landscape, rather than to try to hold back (or turn back) the clock.. as the GOP is doing, seem to me to be dooming us to rapid social disintegration as the social contract holding this nation together unravels.

    Its as if, suddenly, everyone in this country was being asked to accept being paid in IOUs, while THEY still had to pay their bills. Thats what the GOP is doing.. sort of a giant bait and switch, a con game..

    Trying to return to a 19th century world of rule by contract law with its implicit lie of 'free choice' (when people really have few real choices) is just too much of a BigLie to take. They won't get away with this, but they are blind to see what they are doing because it would require a level of self-awareness that most of their people have spent a lifetime avoiding - they are pre-selected by their willingness to drink the KoolAid of greed..

    When you already have everything, you have nowhere to go but down.. thats how they see it.. They see America and the world as a zero-sum game.. with the only way they 'win' is by others losing..

    Thankfully, though, Jesus didn't see it that way.. if you doubt me on that, read that story about the wedding feast in which Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.. or the ones where he turned water into wine. I think He was telling us that that was the true nature of the universe.. a world of abundance, not scarcity. But to get to where He was, we need to EVOLVE..   To survive, we need to EVOLVE out of our GREED. Because - isn't it OBVIOUS? Our greed now has the potential to DESTROY us..  UTTERLY destroy us NOW, with the GOAL IN SIGHT.

    A society that makes a decision not to evolve.. is making a decision not to survive..

    Something to think about..

    Life is like a spacewalk.. untethered..

    We all need to LOSE OUR FEAR and LET GO...

    have faith.. THAT is the real test of faith... trust in others.. Its all we have got..

  • Real Christians, in my book, care FAR more about the poor than any of the GOP leadership does.

    You don't have to look very far into the Bible to see that Christianity, despite the thousands of years of MEN trying to pervert and bend it to support their power-grabbing, is fundamentally about sharing, mutual respect and LOVE of others, honesty, and a sense of WONDER at this world that God has GIVEN us to PROTECT.

    Those values clash with the GOPs militarist doctrine of preemptive strikes and world resource domination..

    Christianity is a viable, successful FAITH because human beings over a very long time, have recognized the TRUTH in that message of LOVE.

    As such, we need to understand that the GOP is just trying to take advantage of Christianity in their wedge game.. and ultimately, they will caast it aside and reveal their true colors..

    This greed beast eats its own young.. Its not a question of if, its a question of when..

    You can see this mentality in their Katrina response.. They are setting it up to fail..

    Any sane individual can see that the answer is SHARING - the age-old human response to crisis.. But sharing is ANATHEMA to the greedmongers.. so they are PARALYZED..

    It won't end well...

  • Its an unfortunate fact of history that it was not uncommon for many of those children to be eaten...

    Seriously...

    Thats how bad things were in the places I mentioned. People go crazy when they don't have enough to eat.

    Really crazy.

    Its absolutely heartbreaking.

    We desperately need a global community memory project to collect the stories of people who went through eras of extreme governmental cruelty or genocide before they die.. Otherwise we WILL forget. We ARE forgetting. Which is just what they want.

  • The car, oil and tire companies bought up local light-rail (trolley) systems all around the nation during the 20th century - and destroyed them. Some have said that they did a similar thing with trains.. with the idea of making the US totally dependent on them. This is also probably why the big oil companies and the Cheney administration is so against renewable energy.. like solar power.. Its not centrally controllable..

    They must be very concerned that in the inevitable shift away from a 'job based' economy to one based on individual task-oriented employment, (at much lower levels than in the 19th century because of the demise of many skilled crafts due to commoditization) people will become more difficult to control (since they wont have jobs and we probably at that point wont have public schools either, there being so few jobs that need workers)

    See the destruction of the remaining parts of the rail system in that context and its really distressing..

  • about those periods in (especially) Chinese and Russian films of the period..

    Train stations are where poor parents took their children to try to give them to rich - well-connected people who might be traveling away.. to save their lives..

    Knowing that they, WITHOUT PERMISSION TO TRAVEL, were going to die of starvation.

    In North Korea, they have regular sweeps of the train stations - to pick up corpses of those who have died during the night..

    It happens in India too... or did, during the British Raj.. during famines..

    You people are so naiive..

  • to carry food, materials for whatever remaining industry we still have, and (perhaps at that point starving) people, it will be vitally important...

    Thats the VERY POSSIBLE outcome here, for those who are not too brainwashed to see it...

    The government may also institute 'triage' programs 'writing off' big parts of the country in the case of nuclear war, civil unrest, disease, etc.

    Without gas, and with internal passports, railroads become the last way to get out of areas that could become death traps.

    Read up a bit on Stalin's forced collectivization of the Ukraine and Mao's "Great Leap Forward" famines in China during 1958-1962. These were two of the greatest disasters in human history and both were under statist, extremely thoughtless and selfish bureaucracies run by narcissists - who, like all narcissists - had lost all perspective and sanity - like the 'government by the elite', i.e. the 'republic' that the  extreme right is trying to shove down our throats.

    (Note their continued downplaying of the word 'democracy' and up-playing of the word 'republic' to see where they intend to take us.. BTW.)

  • comment on a post more on FEMA... over 8 years ago
    ha ha.. NOT
  • I think is the correct term.. Or 'Piratize'.. as in 'to steal, shamelessly'
  • comment on a post Bush Cronies on Amtrak Board: Start Carving It Up over 8 years ago
    for domestic travel?

    That is the net effect of the 'Real ID Act'. Domestic passports have traditionally been used by totalitarian governments to prevent people without official residence in the restricted urban areas from entering them in times of regional famine or civil unrest.

    I also think that we need to preserve railroads because they are the most energy-efficient way of moving freight. Lets not forget how important that could become.

    If we do not pursue alternative energy sources, as we have been sort of indenial about the need for them for some inexplicable reason..and gasoline becomes prohibitively expensive, we will desperately need railroads and public transportation - or millions of Americans could find themselves marooned in rural areas without the means to travel at all, let alone work.

    Thanks George... Or Dick...

  • of all medical expenditures in the US!!!

    For 'administrative costs'.

    So, right off the top, with single payer, we would save a huge chunk of money.. almost a third!

    That could insure all of the uninsured in America, I'd guess..

    What the hell is wrong with this country? Are we insane?

  • comment on a post what would $300 billion buy over 8 years ago
    I would think...

    800 billion..

    Thats a lot of healthcare dollars.. schools, roads, energy subsidies for poor folks..

    If we spent even a fraction of it on RESEARCH ON CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY.. we wouldn't be in this mess..

    And why did we support Saddam in the first place?
    Or the Shah or Iran, while we are at it...

    Blowback - when we end up paying, and paying and paying for the mistakes of past US  support of criminal fascist regimes..

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