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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: 103
Latest Activity: 10 hours ago

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

"Tax Free" - a Music Video by Betty Bowers, Music by Joni Mitchell

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller on Sunday. 5 Replies

I can hear it now: "Wait a minute!  What is a music video doing in a group called, 'Politics, Economics and Religion?'  Betty Bowers is more about satire and parody than any of those issues.  Shouldn't this be in another group?"And I have to answer…Continue

Tags: church, Tax Free, Joni Mitchell, Betty Bowers

Controversial Recovering From Religion Hotline a Hot Commodity

Started by Bertold Brautigan. Last reply by Loren Miller on Thursday. 4 Replies

According to Valerie Tarico, business is hot and heavy at the new Recovering from Religion Hotline. If so, this is…Continue

Tags: escaping religion

Using the Legal System to Fight Factory Farms - Michele Merkel (TEDxManhattan)

Started by Loren Miller on Thursday. 0 Replies

Think your food and/or farming isn't political?  Think again.  Michele Merkel has been up against the corporate factory farm system, initially with the EPA and later as an independent campaigner when the EPA caved to corporate pressure.  In the…Continue

Tags: EPA, farms, factory, , Michele, Merkel", TED

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Comment by Joan Denoo on March 26, 2015 at 4:37pm

Loren, doesn't it feel like living on a roller coaster. We go along, enjoying the ride, watching the scenery, paying no particular attention to whether the nuts and bolts of the coaster work properly. All is cool, we feel so in charge of our lives, not a care in the world and that lovely climb to the top! One can see forever from there. 

Then whosh! fully engaged, eyes wide open, wind flashing past our ears, our mouths and noses unable to take in air and all we can do is scream. 

Well my grandmothers were at the same place on their roller coaster as we are right now. 

Who will be authors of our stories? Who will go crazy and who will commit suicide? Who will be prepared and ready for a rough ride? Who will come through it a little wiser and stronger and grateful to be alive? 

We live in interesting times. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 26, 2015 at 4:30pm

Tom, insightful bit of research!
"School histories have a different purpose: to make kids proud of America, willing to pay taxes and die in wars."

I guess that is where grandmothers and grandfathers come in. We can remember. Our memories, filled with facts of frauds, can tell different stories than our children's textbooks. 

I love the idea behind USA. It never lived to its rhetoric. I wonder, can we small band of people love the idea enough to live it and enjoy it and participate in whatever ways we can attempt to bring our country to its height.
As for myself, I intend be honest, steadfast, grateful for all that I have and especially all those people in my life, and grateful for those things for which I worked. 

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 26, 2015 at 4:29pm

This idea of Michael Moore's, in particular, bears repeating!

"If there is a call for war, and if we are to invade another nation, I will declare as commander in chief that the first to be sent into combat must be the conscripted adult offspring of all members of Congress, the president and the president’s cabinet (and then, in order, the children of the CEOs of the Fortune 500, all military contractors and the top media executives). This should reduce the number of wars considerably."

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on March 26, 2015 at 4:08pm
Comment by tom sarbeck on March 13, 2015 at 6:33am

If you do not know of the subsidies (taxpayer money) the government gives to businesses, do not read what follows. I don't want to wreck your innocence.

The "Free Market" label serves a purpose: it conceals the truth that from America's earliest years markets have been subsidized by taxpayers.

The first subsidy was the Revolution itself. Its costs paid by taxpayers, those in the business of selling land benefited.

Before the Revolution England had held the western lands (the Appalachians) for the Indians who lived there. With England out of the picture, the lands became available for development.

The Yazoo Land Fraud was next. The Wikipedia article doesn't tell of the years-long battle by a few members of Congress (the Tertium Quid) to prevent the costs being passed to taxpayers.

America's "free enterprise" system has always been, and it remains, a subsidy enterprise system. Today, the 99% subsidize the 1%.

I found parts of the story in histories of Congress: Asher Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representatives and Galloway's history of Congress. School histories have a different purpose: to make kids proud of America, willing to pay taxes and die in wars.

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 12, 2015 at 10:40pm

Why Economists Cling to Discredited Ideas

"Free-market theory may be at odds with reality, but it fits the needs of the rich and the powerful.

"Despite the practical failures of free-market economics, too many mainstream economists have continued to embrace simplistic ideas about how the economy works. Such ideas are often rooted more in ideology than in evidence. These beliefs and the policies that follow led directly to the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. They also centrally contributed to the nation’s subpar performance beginning in the late 1970s, and to our widening inequality. They continue to endanger America’s economic health."

"Science is universally true. The premise of economics as science was a great cover for conservative ideology. But one-size-fits-all economics, which best describes economic advice over the past 30 years, is a practical failure. Anti-government economics failed, pure and simple.

"Only a little seems to be changing. Targeting absurdly low inflation rates is still alive. One wonders whether regulation of finance will ever be adequate. The pressure for globalization is over-simplified, where one-size-fits-all policies are particularly damaging. We need economists who revise their theories based on evidence, but there is little room for reformers—few prestigious universities make space for heterodox thinking.

"It is hard to be optimistic about economics. Being an economist has become a career, though not an intellectual profession. Money talks loudly in their academic hallways, and a small-government philosophy still rules the nation, despite the calamities that began in 2008."

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 12, 2015 at 12:55pm

The Letter: Top 5 Similarities of GOP and Iran Hard Liners

"And, of course, Obama is right that the right wing of the Republican Party has things in common with hard liners in Iran."

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 12, 2015 at 12:44pm

An Open Letter to 47 Republican Senators of the United States of Am...

This letter, written by Will Saletan, pinpoints similarities between our nations.
"In Iran, all educational institutions are governed by our Cultural Revolution Council, which safeguards the faith of the people. We have been unable to locate such a council in your federal government. However, we recently learned that the state board of education in Sen. Cruz’s state, Texas, controls through its purchasing power the content of textbooks throughout your country. The board has used this power to limit the teaching of evolution and promote the celebration of your country as a Christian nation. Our cultural council protects Islam in the same way."

Some in the USA "promote the celebration of your country as a Christian nation.  Muslim 'cultural council protects Islam in the same way.'" 

Comment by Loren Miller on March 3, 2015 at 9:50am

The problem with Howard Zinn's words is that they collide head-on with the reality as described and accurately predicted by the movie Network.  The world has become a business, but instead of every citizen owning a share of stock, the various ownerships have been glommed up by the 1%, and they are loathe to relinquish their holdings.  This is further exacerbated by citizens who are disinterested in their citizenship.  They vote irregularly if they vote at all, and rather than keep informed in order to understand the state of their country and their place in it, they are distracted by the "wires and lights in a box" which Edward R. Murrow warned us about half a century ago.

We need an involved citizenry to solve this problem, but before we can even do that, we need to shake them out of their torpor and get them to care that there is a problem, even as Howard Beale tried in the above-mentioned film.  Problem is, Beale was killed for his efforts.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on March 3, 2015 at 8:14am

The Rude Pundit's piece today is about Phil Robertson bringing Duck Dynasty wisdom to CPAC. It's not like we don't already know this, but he summed the situation up nicely.

The point here is not just to beat up on a rich man in redneck drag, a kind of cracker minstrel pushed out to dispense crazed backwoods wisdom. It's also to say that the crowd that embraced him (and right-wing websites were overjoyed with his speech) is never going to be won over by "logic" or "facts" or anything that we believe can be used to convince people. They are invested in a monolithic lie that some kind of Christian morality will make everything better.

 
 
 

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