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.  

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  • Loren Miller

    Joan, the problem with the dominators is that there are plenty of people who WANT to be dominated, who want to be told what to think and what to do.  We see this with the church "Shepherd - sheep" model all the time.  Here, the only difference is that the milieu is political rather than religious ... at least in places.

    I have said for a long time that it is the self-possessed person who can take care of him or herself, without dependence on dominants or submissives.

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    Feeding More From Less

    "Worried about the finite resources available to a growing population, there is fear among some that we are headed toward famine and starvation in a world where population exceeds the earth’s carrying capacity.

    "A similar concern was demonstrated by Thomas Malthus 200 years ago. Population grows exponentially, Malthus explained, while food production grows at the slower arithmetic rate. Everything else the same, starvation would be indisputable."

  • Joan Denoo

    Income inequality

    How much richer are the richest 20% than the poorest 20%?

    See Page 4. 

    Health and Social Problems are Worse in More Unequal Countries 

    See Page 6

    Notice USA is at the top right hand of the matrix. 

    Child Well-being is Better in More Equal Rich Countries

    See Page 8

    Levels of Trust are Higher in More Equal Rich Countries

    Page 10

    Levels of Trust are Higher in More Equal USA States 

    Page 11

    Prevalence of Mental Illness is Higher in More Unequal Rich Countries

    Page 12

    This study looks at important social, economic, and political factors in unequal countries and states. Worthy of knowing. 

  • Loren Miller

    Joan, one Dr. Albert A. Bartlett has held forth in a series of YouTube videos on the whole overpopulation / strain on resources issue some time back.  I'm pretty sure I posted it elsewhere on A|N, but here it is again.  Worth your time

  • Joan Denoo

    It's the Inequality, Stupid

    Average Household Income before taxes/change in share of income after taxes

    Winners: The super-rich have grabbed the bulk of the past three decades' gains.

  • Joan Denoo

    Yes! Yes! Yes! This old chap is a wonder to behold. Looking at him, a 16 year old or 60 year old might pass him buy, but to their own detriment. You may/probably were the one that introduced him to me a long time ago. 
    I know everyone is getting fed up with my graphs, but frankly I don't give  a gnat's eyebrow. This stuff needs to be seen, understood, and thought about. Sorry to impose the old stuff on you Loren, just remember that I am more than economics charts and growls every now and then.

  • Joan Denoo

    Greg, yes, these "qualities critical to well-being: compassion, attentiveness, unconditional love, consistency (but not a foolish consistency), calmness and rationality" lead to healthier living. 

    When a child, born into a family that highly values obedience, submission and self-sacrifice, reveals some easily question those values and reject them. Some struggle to live to those criteria and in my opinion create stress that borders on mental illness. "Wanting to please" offers very little toward flourishing.

    Just as effective parents create an environment of lower stress, it also empowers individuals to think, take action, and be pro-active. Government has the same responsibility, it seems to me, whether local or federal; create an environment that encourages flourishing of individuals and business, even as it limits exploitation of people and resources. 

    Therefore, I would support efforts to be self-sufficient and independent. 

  • AgeOfAtheists14

  • Joan Denoo

    Capitalism is Terrific, but Our Corrupted, Bastardized, Crony Capit...

    Woody Brock "on the state of our capitalism: Under true capitalism, no agent has any bargaining power whatsoever. The notion of 4 investment bankers taking a private plane to Washington tomake sure that leverage would be tripled in April 2004 in exchange ..., is outrageous and scandalous and they all should be in jail. Adam Smith wouldn't roll in his grave; he would gyrate."

  • Joan Denoo

    Woody Brock - Beyond Democratic Capitalism.mov

    This is a surprise; I was expecting a crotchety old professor, and find him to be awake, aware, articulate, and I like what he says. 

    "Dr. Brock has worked closely with Professor Mordecai Kurz of Stanford University in developing the new theory of Rational Beliefs that is now replacing the classical theory of "Efficient Markets." This theory explains for the first time the way in which history rhymes but does not repeat itself."

  • Joan Denoo

    "Dr. Doom" Predicts Global Economic Storm 

    submitted byHumptydumptytribe

    Nouriel Roubini, "Dr. Doom"

    Nouriel Roubini says ‘perfect storm’ may threaten global economy

     

     

     

     

     

  • Joan Denoo

    Humptydumptytribe, interesting fellow from Central Texas, reading, Oct 22, 2012 newspapers. He talks about "fiscal cliff". 

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    Shadow Money's Top 10 Candidates

    Let me see if I get this straight, wealth comes from productivity of the USA worker, profit is claimed by owners of capital, who use those excess profits to undermine democratic processes and then wonder why the income gap is growing exponentially?

  • AgeOfAtheists14

  • Joan Denoo

    Atheism means being value-neutral with one specific claim, there is no evidence of god or gods. Atheism defines an idea, meaning and implication about ways one conducts one’s life.

     

    Atheists and atheist organizations should not be value-neutral. I believe there is no evidence of god, that I have a right to exist and flourish, that I have a right to think and belong in a community and act to protect my rights. I am a part of a magnificent universe and am conscious of it.

     

    I have a right to live in peace, without intrusion or imposition by others until and unless I want them to be part of my life. I welcome those who value expressing their ideas, and I want them part of my life. For those who would tell me what and how to think, who impose their values on me, and who perceive me as less-than they, I want nothing to do with them. For those who discount me, trivialize, put-down, or demonize me, there are 7,075,032,851 other human beings from whom I can choose my companions. 

    Even as I claim these rights for myself, I claim them for all others as well. 

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    Stiglitz: "Shocking" how Obama, Romney are avoiding housing crisis ...

    Because of these and other financial reasons, I did not vote for Obama. He does not want to offend banks, and lets homeowners and their families suffer. Foreclosures that should not have happened results in gross offenses and no one has been prosecuted. 

  • Joan Denoo

    Florence Jenkins massacres Mozart

    I can't figure out if laughing or crying is the best remedy for Jenkins and politics.  

    Thanks Chris Breman, I'm sharing. 

  • AgeOfAtheists14

    yeah but have they bought the kids?~ hence the push from religitards offshore..

  • Joan Denoo

    The Costs of Capitalism's Crisis: Who Will Pay?

    "Austerity?" "Fiscally conservative?" both imply the people who will pay are those who produced the goods and services, not the banks and corporations that created the crisis. Sound familiar? Does it sound fair? How much more austere can you be? 

    The outrage heard around the world: 

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    "We need a law to stop candidates needing ALOT of money to stand for office in the first place." That is exactly the way I read events. Obama received big BIG $ from corporations for his first election, and getting much less now. Obama says exactly the right words, speaks from his heart, means to be a good president, but the forces against him are way too high, our government is now an aoligarchy and will not change until and unless the people demand change. As long as there are people who believe the lies and distortions, they continue to live in denial and delude themselves. 
    I wonder where Obama's economic principles lay, after all he did pump more money into rescuing the banks instead of the homeowner or students with debts. After coming into office Obama codified into law things that were counter to his rhetoric. Was it because he agreed with what he signed? or was forced to sign? or was confused? You decide:

    Obama enabled a “Foreclosure Crisis that is actually the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.  It has been planned by insiders for decades, and NO insiders have been prosecuted.”

    http://hofj.org/default.asp.pg-CrisisCrusade

     

    Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law.

    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/15/obama_to_sign_indefinite_detention_...

     

    Obama “embraced deficit hawkery.”
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/barack-obama-the-great-decei... 

     

    Obama authorized killing Ben Laden

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/quotes/ownwords.asp

     

    Obama authorized drone attacks on Afghanistan & Pakistan ... “193 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009”.

    http://www.cjr.org/feature/covering_obamas_secret_war.php?page=all

     

    Obama authorized support for Syrian rebels to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/report-president-ob...

     

    Obama enables USA to become a “surveillance state, with not only government agencies but private data miners watching and recording our lives.”

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12209-the-dirty-dozen-the-top-12-...

     



     

  • Joan Denoo

    Guitarzeroh Freethinker, thank you for that lovely video of the children and their song. I reposted with attribution to you. 

  • Joan Denoo

    6 Top Economists Explain Which President Is More Likely to Speed th...

    Which President is more likely to speed the next financial crisis?

     

    1. Joseph Stiglitz: “Romney’s criticism was totally wrong.”

     

    2. William Lazonick: “Romney administration is the nation's best chance of destroying the American dream.”

     

    3. Gar Alperovitz: “Romney clearly would be more likely to hasten the next financial crisis.”

     

    4. Dean Baker: “Romney doesn't take any restraints on the banking system seriously. 

     

    5. James K. Galbraith: “Under the Democrats, the coming campaign for 'fiscal responsibility' might just be bad enough to push the financial sector back over the edge. Still, that's not a reason to vote for Romney."

     

    6. Thomas Ferguson: “I’d say that under either man a future banking crisis is a serious risk, but that under Romney the likelihood is even higher."

     

    ~ Lynn Parramore

     

  • Joan Denoo

    Violent Agriculture Part 1

    Violent Agriculture Part 2

    Violent Agriculture Part 3

    "Vandana Shiva discusses agriculture, biodiversity, sustainability, and the importance of making peace with the Earth. Shiva, a philosopher, activist, author, and eco feminist, is trained as a physicist, and is particularly interested in quantum mechanics and biotechnology. In Part 1 of her presentation, Shiva discusses her entry into the sciences, which eventually put her on a path of environmental activism. She emphasizes that we must not fall prey to a monocultural, mechanistic framework of thinking, which leads to the degradation of the planet."

  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    Romney's Halloween by Cartoonist Dave Horsey 

  • Joan Denoo

    A woman can't get pregnant, by cartoonist Dave Horsey 

  • Joan Denoo

    I am pessimistic in the short run about our political life in the USA and on the Earth; Working with civil rights groups such as with blacks, Native Americans and women, I recognize how far we have come but how far we have to go on all these fronts. Now we have the added struggle to protect the environment and fight against a renewal of a class society. I am only becoming acutely aware of GLBT human rights issues. 
    Many of the people I love most dearly have not a clue what these issues are all about and the most common things I hear from loved ones are: "don't be so negative", or "look on the positive side", or "get over it and get on with your life". 

    The Roman Catholic church and the far right Protestant churchs seem to be joining together to make a powerful coalition to put religious dogma into our civic affairs and that can only mean trouble for GLBT and blacks and atheists and women and the poor. Fascist rule doesn't have to happen. Hitler didn't have to happen, nor did Mussolini.


    Giving money in the amounts you and I can give is just throwing money down a deep hole in the ground. We can't match the millions pouring in from those who have vast amounts of unearned income. Using money on robocalls doesn't seem like a good investment to me; I don't answer my phone these days and let the answering machine pick up whatever comes in. I can stay in touch with people via internet better anyway. 

    Equality and compassion are my two main issues; they aren't going to happen, yet. There are not enough people in real pain, yet. Perhaps such things will not come in our generation. 

    So, where does that leave you and me and others who care about the things we care about? One thing I know for sure, an individual can't make powerful changes alone, even as I realize the really great changes in human enterprise has come about because of some leader that is able to inspire and motivate others toward a common goal. People like Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rosa Parks, and Sally Ride.

  • Joan Denoo

    This nation needs a serious overhaul to its economic and political processes. Austerity is not the answer to what is happening and what needs to happen. The ones who caused the economic collapse have not been held accountable for their crimes, even if you claim no crimes have been committed. You signed away privacy rights and thus taking farther down the road to benefit the oligarchs. Furthermore, you enabled a “Foreclosure Crisis that is actually the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.  It has been planned by insiders for decades, and NO insiders have been prosecuted.”

    http://hofj.org/default.asp.pg-CrisisCrusade

     

    Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law.

    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/15/obama_to_sign_indefinite_detention_...

     

    Obama “embraced deficit hawkery.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/barack-obama-the-great-decei... 

     

    Obama authorized killing Ben Laden

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/quotes/ownwords.asp

     

    Obama authorized drone attacks on Afghanistan & Pakistan ... “193 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009”.

    http://www.cjr.org/feature/covering_obamas_secret_war.php?page=all

     

    Obama authorized support for Syrian rebels to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/report-president-ob...

     

    Obama enables USA to become a “surveillance state, with not only government agencies but private data miners watching and recording our lives.”

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12209-the-dirty-dozen-the-top-12-...

    I did not vote for you because I don't think your principles stand up to scrutiny. Clearly you are a nice man, wonderful husband and father and great model for young people coming up. You are just plain wrong in your economic philosophy. 

    Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    Jill Stein Endorsements

    Dorli Rainey 2012 Endorses Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for POTUS

    Dorli Rainey 2011 the face of the Occupy protests after it went viral on the Internet. Covered in pepper spray, the 84-year-old woman looks both shaken and determined as she walks through the crowd at the Occupy Seattle protests, November 2011. 

  • AgeOfAtheists14

    funny but not really.. 'religion' .. politics.. = bs..
    neither can hold up to modern day standards of knowledge.. and I don't mean corporate lackey stuff.. .   .? megh. i voted! : )
    many places in the world you cant.

  • Joan Denoo

    @Guitarzeroh Freethinker, yes, "religion and politics = bs", and I would add economics. They all exist as constructs fabricated out of the minds of human beings/male mostly, and signify power over, domination, exploitation, manipulation and reflect greed to feed egos. I don't like any of them for those reasons, but like a miller to a flame, they attract me. 

  • Joan Denoo

    Nonpartisan Tax Report Withdrawn After G.O.P. Protest

    WASHINGTON — The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording.

    Alex Wong/Getty Images

    Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, center, and other Republicans raised concerns with an economic report that questions a central tenet of conservative economic theory.

    The decision, made in late September against the advice of the agency’s economic team leadership, drew almost no notice at the time. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, cited the study a week and a half after it was withdrawn in a speech on tax policy at the National Press Club.

    But it could actually draw new attention to the report, which questions the premise that lowering the top marginal tax rate stimulates economic growth and job creation.

    “This has hues of a banana republic,” Mr. Schumer said. “They didn’t like a report, and instead of rebutting it, they had them take it down.”

  • Grinning Cat

    Thanks, Joan, for a "must-read" article!

    Nonpartisan Tax Report Withdrawn After G.O.P. Protest

    Some noteworthy bits from the NYTimes piece: (ellipses and emphases mine)

    When their math doesn’t add up, Republicans claim that their vague version of economic growth will somehow magically make up the difference. And when that is refuted, they’re left with nothing more to lean on than charges of bias against nonpartisan experts,” said Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

    Jared Bernstein, a former economist for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. ... said the analysis did examine policy time lags and controlled for several outside factors, including monetary policy.

    “This sounds to me like a complete political hit job and another example of people who don’t like the results and try to use backdoor ways to suppress them,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this, and frankly, it makes me worried.”

    copy of the withdrawn report is available at the NYTimes' link. Its summary states:

    ... the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.

  • Grinning Cat

    That's one more reason for U.S. voters to try to put Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress tomorrow!

    Perhaps the overwhelming issue is that Republicans are much more complicit in threatening human survival on this planet for the sake of short-term profits. This is not a "lesser of two weevils" choice, not a time to risk the presidency or the Senate or House for the sake of a third party!

    [donkey from Pam's Clipart; weevil from Bay of Fundie]

  • Steph S.

    Great posts here! Catching up! I'm enjoying all the links and graphics.
  • Joan Denoo

    Human (thanks Tony Carroll)

  • Joan Denoo

    The Nation is Divided, Not between Whites and Minorities, But betwe...

    I like this woman's report. 

    Among whites, Obama won 39% of the vote—down from 43 % four years ago.

    Among women, Obama won 55%, with an 11% advantage.

    Of ages 18 to 24, Obama won 60% of voters.

    Among Latinos, Obama won with a 44-point advantage.

    Among Latinos, Romney won 27 % of the Hispanic vote, down from the 31 % who voted for the Republican candidate four years ago.

    Of African-Americans, Obama won 93%.

    Of Asians, Obama won 73% (who now make up 3% of the electorate.)

    In the rust belt, Obama carried that section with Democratic Party’s old blue-collar base, which is largely white

    Romney carried two groups: Americans over 65 and white men.

    Romney’s cohort is made up of the people who ran this country in the 1980s. His supporters represent the past.

    Obama won among the young people, Latinos and women who will shape this nation’s future. They will be our leaders.

    "We have reached an inflection point in our history."

  • Grinning Cat

    Apropos politics and economics, at least: Jeff Stahler on the election (Nov. 8 cartoon)

  • Joan Denoo

     The 2012 election represents a profound mandate for change the president must not now squander. Franklin Roosevelt  became the true champion of the working people in his second term and it could salvage the historic legacy of this president as well.

    In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, the single most knowledgeable and effective exponent of consumer protection from financial industry scams, soundly beat Sen. Scott Brown, a champion of financial deregulation.

    In Ohio, Sherrod Brown, the Democratic senator from Ohio who sponsored legislation that would break up the too big to fail banks, also won decisively, defeating banker-backed Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.

    Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig,

    Here is a new beginning that hold the potential to turn this country around. If we continue with oligarchs running our country, we have no country. 

  • Joan Denoo

    Grinning Cat, great cartoon! Just imagine, not being to buy office with money!

  • Steph S.

    Love that graphic Grinning Cat. 

    I hope he accomplishes some real change Joan.

  • Ruth Anthony-Gardner

  • Joan Denoo

    Ancient Egypt had a rich history, vibrant enterprises, rich traditions, complex social structures, large armies and a booming economy as told in their petroglyphs, traditions and myths.

  • Joan Denoo

    Put Elizabeth Warren on the Banking Committee!

    We need people on the banking committee who understand finance and the good of the entire population, not just those who vote for greed.