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10 Oct 2017: Daily Homily (Compromise in Politics) and Tweets

The United States is rightfully proud of it’s origins. There is an underlying premise in the tweets from that country that comes from the First Amendment of their constitution – that they have freedom of speech. It’s a premise that all of us who live in democracies based on Enlightenment ideals rely on.

But politics is broken in the US. It’s been getting worse for years. Those in power have no incentive to change and those without power have little ability to do anything. There are multiple issues, and it would take a book and far more knowledge than I have to discuss them all.

One of them is the failure of many politicians to do what politicians should do: compromise. Politicians are elected to represent all their constituents. Their job is to negotiate and cooperate with other representatives to run the country. Politics is the art of compromise.

But compromise is not what many of them do. Politicians who look out for their constituents, like those Republicans who regularly voted against the disastrous GOP Healthcare bills, are being vilified. There were other GOP politicians whose choice would have been to vote against those bills too, but they didn’t need to stand up, so didn’t.

Other politicians do the opposite of what they are there to do. They take a “my way or the highway” approach on every piece of legislation. As a result, virtually nothing gets done. “Compromise” has become a dirty word, a sign of weakness.

If they got together and did their jobs their collective knowledge could produce some good legislation. But it’s not going to happen in the current atmosphere.

It would help, too, if money didn’t have such a big influence on how politicians vote. But discussion of that opens up a hole new can of worms …

Political Tweets

One of my pet peeves about the US (and other) political systems is that they aren’t fair. In the US, gerrymandering is a major problem and few politicians are ethical enough to do anything about it. Both major parties do it, but there’s one that’s much worse than the other. Guess which one?

 

Is the majority of the GOP completely heartless or just lacking in a conscience? I thought they were all buddies of Jesus? How would this move go down with him (if he was real)?

 

VP Mike Pence’s political stunt was disgusting!

 

And this is disgusting as well as just plain scary. I thought when I wrote about the North Korea situation a couple of months ago that his UN Ambassador, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense had him under control. But he can’t control himself and he’s putting the whole world at risk.

Human Rights Tweets

Some more on the tragedy continuing to unfold with the Rohingya.
(Trigger Warning: This video is very distressing. It includes video of children who drowned.)

These a$$hole$ are at it again.

 

As well as the usual “You will not replace us” and other racist ignorance, apparently they have a new chant in their repertoire. “Russia is our friend.” Now where does that come from I wonder? (Sarcasm alert!)

 

This man and his mother are supporting White Wednesdays in Iran. The mother says she wants to continue to wear the hijab herself, but thinks women should have the choice whether or not to wear it. Good on her!

 

This is an old tweet, but it has an important message. It explains why it’s tough saying no.

 

Weather Tweets

While the US Republican party continues to deny climate change, Californians are dying in yet another wildfire.

Entertainment Tweets

I get that nervous feeling in my loins just looking at this pic! And how did he get down?

 

Look at those two women in the background! What are they thinking? One’s even doing the 1960s equivalent of clutching her pearls!

 

Art Tweets

Watch it emerge …

 

Science Tweets

Here we go again! Science is cool!

 

This is really interesting, and has the potential to revolutionize weight loss and dieting. Science as done it again! If you want to lose weight, I recommend you read the short article in the link.

Paleontology Tweets

Very cool!

 

Space Tweets

How black holes grow.

 

Know your nebulae.

Scenic Tweets

This is something I’ve always wanted to know, but never bothered to find out. My curiosity is now satisfied!

 

I’d love to live on a island. (Yes, I know I already do. You know what I mean.)

 

These are lovely. I especially love mosaics.

Other Animals Tweets

Great job guys!

 

This baby squirrel needs its mum!

 

Marine Tweets

How cool is this?!

 

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: Sea otters are so cute!

 

Octopus doing a great job of nabbing its meal.

 

Reptile Tweets

Look what this lizard does when you wave at it!

 

 

Bird Tweets

That’s one way to keep warm!

 

The colours of Mandarin ducks are gorgeous.

 

 

Here’s a rare and beautiful sight – an albino owlet.

 

Cat Tweets

Such a sweetie!

 

 

I’d love to know what these two are up to!

 

 

Maine Coons seem to be getting a lot of attention on Twitter lately. No, that’s not a complaint!

 

 

What lovely blue eyes!

 

 

Magnificent.


 

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38 Responses to “10 Oct 2017: Daily Homily (Compromise in Politics) and Tweets”

  1. j.a.m. says:

    Politicians don’t “run the country”, thank God. For the most part, the country gets on splendidly without them. Checks and balances protect us from political passions and limit the mischief politicians can get up to. The sound of politicians “doing nothing” is the sound of 320 million Americans making America awesome.

    • So who made all the laws? Who got the streets built and maintained? What about the schools that educate people so they’re fit to work. Who pays the military?

      With a non-functioning government, the country falls into chaos and anarchy. Anyone who thinks that would be better is seriously deluded.

      • Mark R. says:

        Anyone who thinks that would be better is seriously deluded. uh…you know you’re talking to an evangelical Trump supporter, right?

      • j.a.m. says:

        I hear Obama’s notorious “You didn’t build that!” spiel coming on! I’ll bite.

        Who made all the laws? In a republic, the people make all the laws. (You really should try it, you’ll like it!)

        Who got the streets built and maintained? The taxpayers (i.e., those productive citizens who by their own ingenuity and exertions create the wealth that politicians like to spread around).

        Schools? Those that offer a complete education — preparing students for life, not just for work — are funded by benefactors and parents. Meanwhile taxpayers, regrettably, are saddled with propping up the failing government school monopoly.

        Who pays our superb service members? Again, it’s Joe and Judy Taxpayer.

        Note that you resort to an ad absurdum argument, as if the alternative to unlimited government is not limited government, but total anarchy.

        And note that the principle of limited government is the most consequential idea emanating from the Enlightenment, a frequent subject of chatter on this site.

        • Linda Calhoun says:

          “Meanwhile taxpayers, regrettably, are saddled with propping up the failing government school monopoly.”

          Several recent analyses of charter schools (with NO regulation whatsoever) show that they are doing much worse than public schools.

          When the charter school system is siphoning off money from the overall public school system, and when they are able to reject students at will, it’s easy to say that the public school system is failing, but a lot more difficult to offer constructive solutions.

          For-profit schools are not the answer. I have a friend who recently researched a program that she was interested in. Our public university that offered the program charged annual tuition of $12,500. The private, for-profit school in the same city that offered the program charged annual tuition of $22,500. For the SAME program. And, what were the students getting for that extra ten grand a year? Nothing. The money was going into the pockets of investors. Plus, in order to get into the public university, students had to demonstrate an ability to do the work. To get into the private school, they just had to demonstrate an ability to pay, meaning that the graduates that the private school turns out are probably going to be less competent. The graduation rates are not comparable, either. The dropout rate for the private program is quite a bit higher.

          I have several friends who are, or were, teachers. The denigration that is directed at those dedicated, hard-working, caring people is not deserved. They are in a tough situation, not made any better by ugly, pointless politics.

          So, instead of snarking about public schools, how about offering some positive ideas? Lots of “parents and benefactors” can’t afford private schools for their kids. And lots of private schools don’t offer anything more than indoctrination anyway.

          Years ago I had a friend with a business in which her office was adorned with many little posters with sayings on them. My absolute favorite of all of them said, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”
          Maybe if we put some actual, real money into public education, commensurate with how much we pretend to value education, we’d get really great people wanting to be teachers, and we’d get really great results to match.

          L

          • J.a.m knows all this. All this stuff and more was pointed out when I wrote about the fact that the US is sliding down international league tables for education and why. He’s trotting out the same arguments he did then – arguments which you, me, and several others refuted over and over again. The problem is that Republicans and health, he thinks only those who can afford to pay deserve good education. It’s a result of believing that God will provide and poor people deserve to be poor and got that way because they are lazy, criminal, or both. As I don’t have to tell you, it’s another danger of believing you’re so wonderful God has arranged for your soul to be born into your circumstances. And atheists are supposedly the arrogant ones!

          • j.a.m. says:

            @HH: Honestly, where do you get this stuff?

        • Yes, the taxpayers all contribute so everyone can be looked after for the good of the whole society. That’s the point. No one gets to say that some of the laws don’t apply to them. Except rich people and religious conservatives of course. You’d be the first person complaining if Muslims wanted to use Sharia courts in the US instead of ordinary courts, and you’d be right. So how come Muslims can be forced to follow laws that are against their religion but those who oppose contraception can’t?

          It’s against the culture of some peoples for daughters to date who they want. If their daughter rebels, murdering her is an acceptable response. Does that mean that for those people, murder in that situation is okay?

          Or what about the sort of evil bastard who rapes his own 10 yo daughter? Should he have the right to force her to give birth because, you know, religion?

          Why this obsession with contraception? What about treatment for STDs? And I note you still haven’t answered my question about medication for erectile dysfunction. Or are you like most religious who believes they have a greater right to tell others what to do when “others” = “women”?

          • Linda Calhoun says:

            A question I have for all religious people, to which I have never received a straight answer is: Why is it when somebody does it to you it’s discrimination, but when you do it to somebody else it’s exercising your religious freedom?

            L

          • j.a.m. says:

            Huh? What?

          • j.a.m. says:

            It’s a matter of balancing competing rights and interests, similar to many other situations in the law. The test should simply be that the state may only infringe conscience rights when it 1) has a compelling interest to do so, and 2) is using the least restrictive means possible to further that compelling interest.

            A democratic, pluralistic, egalitarian society naturally would make the broadest possible allowance for the right of conscience, rather than seek to minimize it, wouldn’t you agree?

          • It’s a pity that you don’t apply that logic when it comes to contraception or abortion or same-sex marriage. It apparently only suits you when it comes to guns.

          • j.a.m. says:

            Not at all. As far as I am concerned — believe any fool thing you like, just leave me and other innocent third parties out of it. I have no interest in whether a couple uses artificial contraception (as long as they don’t ask me to pay for abortifacients, or indirectly to subsidize the abortion industry). I don’t care if somebody sits around concocting novel ways of rearranging the facts of life (as long as they don’t expect my approbation or compel me to go along with their ideology).

            When it comes to the right to life, if the state fails in its primary duty to protect that right, then it has no legitimacy or raison d’être.

  2. Diane G. says:

    I don’t know why the Democrats aren’t far more outraged by the gerrymandering (which, as you say, is a factor in many more Republican districts than Democratic ones) and the Electoral College, which will always, always, ALWAYS favor the R’s! All those low population ag-oriented states!

    If the shoe were on the other foot you can bet the R’s would be clamoring for action.

    • One of the few people who seems to be doing anything about it is Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s what he’s working on these days.

      There’s also a computer programme that’s been developed that can apparently decide whether a district has been gerrymandered to take that decision away from judges who can be accused of making a political decision in the US. There’s the case of the district before SCOTUS where I think it’s being used. It will be a step forward if it proves useful.

      Most modern democracies don’t have gerrymandering. We all have independent electoral commissions whose job includes drawing electorate boundaries.

      • j.a.m. says:

        By “modern” I assume you mean that sovereignty is vested in the people, and not in a divinely-ordained royal personage in a jewel-encrusted hat.

    • nicky says:

      I don’t know why they aren’t far more outraged at the clear prima facie evidence of electoral fraud in the last presidential election.

      • Diane G. says:

        Same here! And it keeps getting worse and worse, what with all the expose’s coming out about Russian interference! Just read a story today about ads that supposedly featured American blacks endorsing Trump–turns out they were Russian blacks…! (Now I’d imagine that tactic didn’t cause much of the black vote to move to Trump, but still…)

  3. Linda Calhoun says:

    “Is the majority of the GOP completely heartless or just lacking in a conscience? I thought they were all buddies of Jesus? How would this move go down with him (if he was real)?”

    The most fundamental difference between progressives and conservatives is that progressives see empathy as a skill, and conservatives see empathy as a weakness. Yes, conservatives, most of them, anyway, feel empathy, but when they do, they see it as a character flaw to be overcome, in favor of “toughness”.

    It is a difference that will never be bridged.

    As far as “Jesus”, imagine that you are someone whose greatest pleasure comes from watching other people suffer. I estimate this at about 40% of people, or at least of Americans. This percentage may be more or less, depending on the particular society. You really don’t want to face the fact that you’re a sadistic pig. Now, along comes Christianity, which tells you that suffering is good for you, that it will bring you to Jesus if you suffer. So, when you want other people to suffer, you’re really a good, loving person, not a sadistic pig. If they suffer and come to Jesus, they will have eternal life!!

    Ick.

    Add to all that that in America, the primary cultural value is greed. So we now have the blatant plundering of the treasury by appointed officials treating themselves to luxury travel at taxpayers’ expense, the President regularly violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution, and the attempted, and many times successful, dismantling of the social safety net in order to give a huge tax cut to the most rich citizens who don’t need it.

    Yes, gerrymandering, Russian interference, etc. have had their effect. But, the bottom line is that Republicans vote, and Democrats don’t. So, we’re pretty much getting what we deserve.

    L

    • j.a.m. says:

      Why are leftists so obsessed with elaborate self-justification schemes? Why the deep-seated need to imagine themselves as more virtuous than everybody else? It’s hilarious but also a bit creepy.

      • Linda Calhoun says:

        “Why are leftists so obsessed with elaborate self-justification schemes?”

        Huh? What?

        • j.a.m. says:

          “[THEY are] completely heartless or just lacking in a conscience”
          “[WE] see empathy as a skill, and [THEY] see empathy as a weakness”
          “[THEY] see [empathy] as a character flaw to be overcome”
          “[THEIR] greatest pleasure comes from watching other people suffer. [THEY ARE] sadistic pig[s].”
          “Christianity… tells you that suffering is good for you”
          “[THEIR] primary cultural value is greed…but WE are pure”

          • Diane G. says:

            This is getting really close to classic troll-dom. I, for one, am going to stop feeding the troll.

          • When your greatest desire is to go to heaven where you’re capable of living in joy knowing some people are burning in hell for ETERNITY just because they don’t acknowledge not just the same god as you, but the same version of that god (which they might not even know about), then yes, THEY is perfectly appropriate.

          • j.a.m. says:

            @HH: Why so cross? Perhaps it would be a good time to give our overwrought imaginations a wee breather?

    • Diane G. says:

      Linda, hear, hear!

  4. Lee Knuth says:

    To change the political landscape of the US will be difficult. People need to realize that what is happening now is not good for them and the country. They need to vote to change it.

    • j.a.m. says:

      We did vote to change it in the last election.

      • No, you didn’t. The people voted for Clinton by a 3 million majority. The electoral college voted Trump.

        • j.a.m. says:

          Perfectly ridiculous comeback. It’s like saying that you really won the lottery, it’s just that you were off by one number. Or that a convict isn’t really guilty, because only 12 people said so.

          • No, it’s not. Do you not understand how your electoral system works? It is not until the people in the Electoral College vote that the presidency is decided. You know perfectly well that Clinton won the popular vote, which would give her the presidency in most countries.

            And I have had the experience of getting 5/6 numbers in the lottery. I never thought of myself as winning, and never dwelt on the fact that I didn’t win. Trump, on the other hand, apparently hands out red and blue coloured maps of the US showing which counties he won, and is still campaigning. He appears very insecure to me.

            If he was a real leader he’d get on with unifying his country instead of continually creating new divisions.

  5. Federico Bär says:

    @Linda Calhoun: Your last sentence confirms the saying that all populations have the governments they deserve.
    .-

  6. Mark R. says:

    Where the great wall ends reminds me of the Wall in Game of Thrones…also ending in the sea. But now the undead dragon burned it down! nooooooo The last season should be a hoot. Do you watch?…maybe I’m getting you confused with Diana MacPherson on WEIT.

    Animals waving is oddly satisfying and hilarious. I wonder if the lizard thinks noms are coming.

    Re. brain cells that control appetite. I know someone who is a care taker of a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome. It’s a genetic disorder where the brain can’t tell if you are full. Therefore you are always hungry; she has to be monitored 24-7 to make sure she’s engaged and not eating. I couldn’t imagine the horrors of that. Yet another inexplicable affliction that undermines the bullshit of theodicy.

    And to answer your question: “Is the majority of the GOP completely heartless or just lacking in a conscience?” First I would say the “majority” is around 100%, so there’s that. Second, they are both heartless and lacking a conscience; heart and conscientiousness are deep flaws for those who worship at the feet of the rich.

    • I watched GoT when it first started, and loved it. Then they started charging extra for the channel it’s on and it was really expensive, so I didn’t get it. I bought the DVDs instead, but I’ve only got the first 4 seasons and and I’ve only watched 1½ seasons. I keep having to start from the beginning again because it’s so long since I watched it. I also DVR a lot of stuff and I won’t let myself watch DVDs until I’ve watched everything I’ve DVR’d, which is why the DVDs don’t get watched,

  7. Linda Calhoun says:

    j.a.m. says:
    12TH OCTOBER 2017 AT 8:03 AM
    “Huh? What?”

    Thank you for your sarcastic response. I still have a perfect score of not getting a straight answer; you just beautifully illustrated my point.

    L

  8. Autumn Cote says:

    Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wroete. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

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