One for the Money...Two for the Show

I haven’t posted in a while. To be honest with you, I’ve really found nothing that has made me want to “post.” But in the last couple of days, the election of a Senator in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is running has caused me to want to post.

Politics is a dirty thing. Name calling, accusations, mudslinging, are the “standard.” You have to have a thick skin to be in that field. Sarah Palin is one who really shouldn’t. Her skin is very very thin. But this isn’t about her.

As you know, I’m an atheist. I have been one since age six. I guess that makes me what is “wrong” with America and the world. In some arenas I can only assume that I am the “root” of all “evil.” But that also means I don’t vote for a candidate due to their religion or religious views. Nor do I accept a candidate for public office that has a religious leader backing them. You can then safely assume that I am a firm believer in the “Separation of Church and State.”

Now as of late the concept of “Separation of Church and State” has been debated. Many attribute it to Thomas Jefferson. But the concept was around long before Mr. Jefferson was born. It wasn’t anything new Mr. Jefferson created. But that oddly enough, is ever brought up.

But has caused me to post has to do with Rand Paul one time beliefs and actions. The actions were something he did while in college. His belief was a form of Buddhism. Now, I’m in no way a Rand Paul supporter. I currently live in his father’s congressional district here in Texas.

What I am posting about is not about Rand’s politics, but the fact that his opponent has gone after his onetime “beliefs.”

What a sad state of affairs we are in. Rand’s political views or economic views are not important. But his onetime religious views are. In our country the Constitution and Bill of Rights state that there shall not be a “religious” test for office. This fixing on Rand’s onetime religious practice is or should be a non-issue in the election. But then, when you are dealing with a group filled with angry people, anything you can direct their angry at, especially if it is one of their own candidates, I guess it is a good thing.

I think such actions are total “clap trap.” And as an American I think we, the people, ought to expect better from those who seek public office. And what’s more, I think it is time we began to demand better.

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Comment by Glen Rosenberg on October 25, 2010 at 10:27pm
Jim, I agree.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on October 25, 2010 at 8:20pm
Glen, you asked, “What about jurors?”
You've hit on another of my irritants with the state of the nation. Lawyers can manipulate jury selection (with the aid of experts) so that only the most biased and/or stupid remain in the chosen 12 which, I don't believe, was what the founders had in mind when they said the accused should judged by “an impartial jury” (nothing mentioned about peers) . Such a jury will never be selected by the advocates in the trial.
Jurors should be trained professionals that understand rules of evidence, reasonable doubt, judicial instruction, evidence significances and that are untainted by local media attention (at least in major felony trials). Bringing in jurors would be much cheaper than the cost of the jury selection circus - and attendant lawyer fees.
Juries would be selected from a pool of trained jurors without lawyer involvement . This, IMO, would render the best level of justice.
But then, no one has called for my opinion.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on October 22, 2010 at 8:58pm
Jim, What about jurors? Anyway it is clearly insanity to permit the yahoos to run the show. In my vision we would test more than knowledge, also values and critical thinking. I have had this idea for a long time and never seen it suggested in the media.
I am not sure whether candidates would have a first amendment claim. The oath of office point is inapposite, I think.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on October 22, 2010 at 5:46pm
Glen, I don't see a qualification test as an imposition of "compelled" speech any more than is an oath of office. Legislators are the only professionals that do not have to demonstrate, either by education or training, any qualifications for their position.
As a teacher I not only had to have a degree and required education classes, I had to be re-certified and have additional education every 5 years - and I was not making decision about war and the nation's welfare. Morons have been running the country into the dirt for to long. Running for office is a volentary choice, being assured the candidate is smarter than a warthog seems a reasonable expectation.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on October 22, 2010 at 10:41am
Rick, There has been a lot of scrutiny of the US Chamber of Commerce as to it's relevancy to state and local chapters. The national organization is dominated by 45 large corporations who do little or nothing for the locals. That makes their claims of 30,000 members fairly empty.
Comment by Rick on October 21, 2010 at 4:28pm
As a follow up.... this weeks issue of Bloomberg talks about the Tea Party and how businesses are now taking a much closer look at their candidates.
The worry the various business and chambers of commerce are having is that if enough of these individuals were elected, how would business in the US suffer.
It is a read worth while.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on October 21, 2010 at 2:48pm
Jim, I was thinking that the issue would be whether requiring a test infringes on speech as a form of "compelled" speech.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on October 21, 2010 at 2:28pm
Actually the scheme I posit would be consistent with the Constitution which states, "The House of Representatives shall be composed of membesr chosen every second year..." Chosen, does not imply that the choice be by general election.
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on October 20, 2010 at 8:48pm
That sounds like a variation of Plato's philosopher kings.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on October 20, 2010 at 8:23pm
In my fantasy government (a sort of egalitarian mandarin system) there would be no elections. Any citizen could volenter to hold public office. The volenters would take a series of tests of not just knowledge but also critical thinking skills until the upper 2 or 3 % are identified. From that pool of the 2 or 3 %, those who will serve would be picked at random.

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