The Gross National Debt

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Just when you thought it was safe to quit thinking...

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Item: SCOTUS is weighing in, again, on prayer. This time the High School is looking at prayer before council meetings. I  note, as has every other story on this subject, the Supreme Court daily sessions are opened with an invocation to God.

Nina Totenburg reports. She also points out some stuff a lot of people (me included) didn't know about when prayer is part of a public government gathering. One thing which prior SCOTUS decisions pretty much do is kick atheists pretty hard. If prayer, where allowed, offends atheists, tough.

Is this fair? Yep. There is nothing in the Constitution which protects anyone from being offended. The right to offend is greater than the right to not be offended. Rowan Atkinson.

Your rights are no greater nor less than my rights, that includes the right to free speech.

As an ordained minister in two denominations, I am frequently called on to give prayer before various elected board meetings in my county. Other ministers are also called upon. We're gonna keep doing this regardless of what SCOTUS decides.

It's my understanding that if SCOTUS rules against such prayer and we keep doing it, we'll be considered in contempt of the Supreme Court. I have no problem with that. I have held the High Court in contempt for quite a while now.

What would happen if a Satanist, Moslem, Buddhist, Flying Spaghetti Monsterist, Atheist etc wishes to pray? Lay on MacDuff. More power to 'em.

•••

Secessionist movements are gaining ground. I am not kidding. While this measure tanked, I can see it being tried in other places. I can also see it, eventually, winning. Just to be clear, such a movement would require approval of that state's legislature and Congress.

Here's the problem. It's an economic divide. Look at every state where this kind of discussion takes place. California, Florida, Georgia, Colorado. The part of the state wanting to break away is the rural part of the state. The most common given reasons are:

• Lack of representation

• Unresponsive to the needs of the rural areas

• Concentration of services in urban region

How true are these? 1) Not. Representation is divided among population. 2) See No. 1. 3) See No. 1.

Further compounding this problem is the distribute of tax dollars. If you look at the rural areas of these states, they get MORE tax money spent on programs, services and resources per capita than the urban areas.

If the rural areas do split off and become separate states, they will be forced to rely on their own resources. It's gonna hurt. A lot.

•••

Twitter, a company that has not made a profit since its founding, is going public. Apparently the Dot Com bust taught people nothing.

•••


The federal health care mandate, so touted and supported by people who believe in government-led redistribution of wealth, is sending people to for-profit companies to buy coverage. Insurance companies are, by and large, owned by rich people.

The federal mandate is going to make rich people richer.

The irony is magnificent.

•••

More states have joined the same-chromosomal-status-may-wed bandwagon. What has YET to be decided anywhere is the fundamental question. Is marriage a function of the state or is marriage a function of religion. SCOTUS has pointed toward it being a state function?

Those who point to the Separation of Church and State (Yo Mary), have a problem reconciling this, I image. A marriage license is the only state-issued permit I know of which may be authorized by someone who has not received government-sponsored or government-endorsed training.

•••

Jesse "You're A Racist" Jackson is saying Georgia's Stand Your Ground law is racist. He points to how he says the law has been unevenly applied in court. Ah. Call the law racist and forget it's juries, lawyers and judges who implement the law.

•••

Cognitive dissonance continues to climb. From this week's Wiregrass Farmer, an editorial:

Should someone who kills children be arrested? Prosecuted? Should someone who kills innocent adults likewise be arrested and jailed?

If someone threw a bomb into your house or your neighborhood, what would you do?
Should the person responsible for killing children, adults and dropping bombs in neighborhoods be allowed to lead a country?

"According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the CIA has conducted 378 strikes in the program’s 10-year history. Of those, 326 are classified as “Obama strikes.” The total number of people killed by drones is estimated at 2,528 to 3,648. Civilian casualties are estimated at 416 to 948, with 168 to 200 of those being children. As many as another 1,545 are estimated to have been injured in those strikes. "

Still have the same answers to the above questions?

•••
He has no beard...

In a continuing effort to keep up with the United States, Canada finally has a mayor caught on tape smoking crack. Canucks across the Great White North cheered massively as the stupidity gap between the two nations closed imperceptibly.

Upon noticing that Rob Ford and NJ Governor Chris Christie are each approximately the size of Rhode Island, Canucks cheered a bit louder, happy that poutine is responsible for closing yet another gap.

•••


In a continuing effort to avoid making decisions, citizens continue to hand the power of thought over to the government. Make no mistake. This is about the power of thought.

Rather than make a decision to shop places which pay their employees a good salary, Americans demand to shop at places which pay employees poorly. Then, they blame it on the companies and demand government intervene.

•••

Having legalized marijuana, Washington has seen the number of people hauled off to hospitals for a THC blood check zoom upward. The only people surprised about this are the ones hauled off to have blood drawn. Washington is expected to see a boost to taxes as weed now is legal and can be taxed.

Cats and dogs are fraternizing in the streets. Baptists are marrying Catholics and potholes are not being filled as the breakdown of the social order continues to accelerate. Canada is considering shipping in emergency supplies of Ron Ford.

•••

The joys of Socialized medicine. Georgia, where I live, has not agreed to participate in the federal health insurance insanity. As such the federal government is taking over a predicted expansion in Medicaid rolls. When the fed quits this and Medicaid payments plummet, more doctors are going to quit taking Medicaid. Many already don't take it because the payments aren't enough.

What will happen to the po' folks? Emergency room care. More importantly, what will happen to already overstressed and underfunded hospitals? They'll close the ER. Then what? What about communities with no hospital, like mine? The 6 Ps apply.

Prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

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