Informed Citizenry, Progressive Analysis, Commentary and Rants
Spandan has given me the opportunity to share some of my thoughts and ideas. I spend a lot of time in thought and something that I have given a lot of thought to is the human condition. Due to the human condition we have basic human needs and I understand one of those needs as being the need to feel safe.
As an infant it is vitally important to be provided with a sense of safety in order to develop into becoming a healthy adult. When you feel safe you feel at ease and are therefore in a better position to be at your best. When you don’t feel safe you are tense and are likely to feel the need to defend yourself from that which you perceive has caused you to feel unsafe.
Humanity as a group has created a world in which it is impossible to feel safe. We have created a world in which we have to compete for access to basic human needs. If you are a winner in this competition it’s possible to have access to way more than you need and if you are a loser in this competition it’s possible you won’t survive.
The inequity and disparity that is the outcome of existing in a world of competition creates a great tension which has the potential of exploding into a war between those who have nothing and who are therefore fighting for survival and those who want to protect themselves from those who they believe want to take away that which they have in excess.
If a war were to break out that war has the potential to grow and become a major war and due to the technology of today that war could become a nuclear war and a nuclear war would destroy all live on planet earth for millions of years.
We are headed down a path and when you are headed down a path it’s a good idea to be aware of where that path is leading otherwise you might end up somewhere you would not prefer to be. Right now humanity as a group is headed down the path of self destruction.
Early in President Obama’s first term he was given the Nobel Peace Prize. The expected reaction to this took place with most people saying he didn’t deserve it yet and probably would never deserve it. So why did the committee award him this prize? Was it because he wasn’t GWB? Was it because they hoped he would work towards peace? Was it because of his work in the senate? I guess only the committee knows why they gave him the award.
A short time ago I got an email from Dennis Kucinich saying that I should contact my representatives and tell them not to give the president any more war powers as we have had enough war. I would agree that we have had enough war but that’s not the question. The question is how can we end war. The idea Mr. Kucinich has seems to me to be like what would happen if you tried to lose weight by going on a starvation diet. You might lose weight but you’re likely to get sick and then put it all back on because it’s not a healthy balanced approach. You aren’t helping if by trying to solve one problem you create another.
Creating peace in a world that is at war is difficult and requires someone to have an understanding of many issues in order to make it possible to do more good than harm. From my perspective President Obama is a man who possess a great deal of understanding of a vast range of issues and he has the awareness of the vital need to move in the direction of peace.
The path that humanity as a group is on at this time is the path towards self destruction so it’s clear that we need to take a different path. On the path that we have been on we have seen ourselves as separate competing against each other for survival. In order to get on a different path we are going to have to change our fundamental understanding of ourselves. We are going to have to understand ourselves as One which is the reality.
We are profoundly interwoven, interconnected and interdependent. You can understand this if you observe a tree. If you pull the tree from the ground it will die. It is only able to thrive as a tree through it’s connection to the whole of life. The reality of this tree helps to prove that we are One. When you look into the eyes of “the other” you are looking into your own eyes because we are One. Therefore when anyone hurts the whole of humanity hurts because we are One.
It’s possible to not realize that or feel that because we have cut ourselves off and separated ourselves through creating a world in which we need to compete for survival therefore we have been creating a world in which no one can feel safe.
In order to understand and experience ourselves as One it is necessary to have an open heart. When you live in a predatory world that we experience today it is very difficult to live with an open heart as that is seen as as sign of weakness by those who are looking to exploit those who they perceive as weak.
United we stand and divided we fall is not just a nice slogan or idea, it represents one of the basic laws of life. In Oneness we thrive and in separation we self destruct. This is the reality that we must face in a sober way. President Obama is working on earning that Nobel Peace Prize although in observing the man winning that prize is not what is important. My sense is that he is looking towards the day that the Nobel Peace Prize would be given to humanity as a group because we have decided to take a path that is different than the path we are on today.
A comment worth noting from the above article:
Oops. Indiana Governor Mike Pence is probably facepalming right about now.
Due to Republicans and their discriminatory “Religious Freedom” law, marijuana users will now be able to build a mid-west sanctuary where they can light up all the joints they desire without fear of harassment by the police. And there isn’t a thing the police can do about it because they would be violating the religious beliefs of a group of people, which is now protected by the law.
Bill Levin is the founder of the First Church of Cannabis and he filed paperwork with the Indiana Secretary of State to open the church before the ink from Pence’s signature was even dry on the RFRA he signed on Thursday. And it was a Mary Jane miracle as he received approval from the state, which he immediately announced on his Facebook page.
Folks…. I have GOOD NEWS. Together we will Pray as CANNATAERIANS.
WELCOME TO MY CHURCH!
THE FIRST CHURCH OF CANNABIS INC. – Status: Approved by Secretary of State of Indiana – “Congratulations your registration has been approved!”
Now we begin to accomplish our goals of Love,Understanding and Good Health.
Levin also added,
Our first goal is to lease a building to pray in. Creating THE CHURCH.
Ultimately I see a HOUSE OF HEMP built with Love by Hoosiers for all to participate in. We will offer family services to help those in need. We will reach our hands out to those that need it. We will love, honor and respect each other.
We will celebrate “ONE UNIVERSAL LOVE” in our daily lives.
LOVE is the cornerstones of this church. ALL WELCOMED!
So while conservative Christians are having a field day with their hate, Levin and his new church are welcoming everyone and anyone to participate.
And it’s all legal according to attorney Abdul-Hakim Shabazz.
“I would argue that under RFRA, as long as you can show that reefer is part of your religious practices, you got a pretty good shot of getting off scot-free,” Shabazz wrote.
“What ‘compelling interest’ would the state of Indiana have to prohibit me from using marijuana as part of my religious practice? I would argue marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and wine used in religious ceremonies. Marijuana isn’t anymore ‘addictive’ than alcohol and wine is used in some religious ceremonies. And marijuana isn’t any more of a ‘gateway’ drug than the wine used in a religious ceremony will make you go out any buy hard liquor. (At least not on Sunday.)”
In addition, Shabazz pretty much dared Indiana officials to wage war in court, writing that he wants a front seat to watch them make fools out of themselves thanks to the law they enacted.
“I want a front row seat at the trial that we all know is going to happen when all this goes down.”
And there you have it. By passing the RFRA, Indiana inadvertently rolled out the welcome mat for tokers. March Madness may be coming to Indiana, but so is reefer madness and the weed worshipers are ready to start rolling.
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted an image on her official Facebook page, slamming the Affordable Care Act on the fifth anniversary of President Obama signing it into law. She asked constituents to share their Obamacare nightmare stories and well, the response probably wasn’t what she expected. Below are a small sample of the comments constituents left on her page:
My story is that I once knew 7 people who couldn’t get health insurance. Now they all have it, thanks to the ACA and President Obama, and their plans are as good as the one my employer provides–and they pay less for them. Now, that’s not the kind of story you want to hear. You want to hear made-up horror stories. I don’t know anyone with one of those stories.
I work for cancer care northwest. We actually have more patients with insurance and fewer having to choose treatment over bankruptcy. Cathy, I’m a die hard conservative and I’m asking you to stop just slamming Obamacare. Fix it, change it or come up with a better idea! Thanks
With Obamacare, I saved 300 bucks a month premium.. I have more coverage.. I like ObamaCare and can’t wait til we go to the next step… Medicare for ALL.
And now my daughter, diagnosed with MS at age 22, can have insurance. What do you plan to do with her?
My daughter is fighting for her life with stage 3 breast cancer! We are about to enter a second go round of diagnostic procedures and possibly more treatment after two full years of treatment! So yah! The ACA is more than helping! I resent that our rep thinks the only problems involve her personal story!
My whole family now has coverage. The ACA is the cause for this, I work in health care, I have seen the increase in covered patients first hand. The next step is universal coverage, this will truly lower costs and provide the best care. Cathy, you barely work, spend most of your time catering to special interests so you can be re-elected.. All while receiving a large wage and the best health insurance and care. Stop telling us how it doesn’t work while enjoying your tax payer funded care and life.
Instead of trying to repeal it why don’t you improve it? Our local rural clinics are packed daily with people who have needed healthcare for years!! it is a godsend. It is pitiful this nation does not have healthcare for all and that doesn’t mean the EMERGENCY room!!
Thanks to the ACA, my cousin was able to get affordable insurance despite her preexisting condition. So grateful.
I think we should repeal Obamacare, and replace it … with universal socialized medicine – like the rest of the industrialized nations of the world.
Hello Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers!I work as the facilitator of a task force that is overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington State. I have learned that the ACA is helping people who did not previously have health insurance get it. It is helping bring down medical costs. It is improving the quality of care. It is improving experiences of both patients and their families.
I work with doctors, nurses, hospital and clinic managers, non-profit service providers, citizens-at-large. Each of them can site an improvement they would like to make to the Act. But whether they are Republican or Democrat, from urban or rural areas, powerful or not, they all say the ACA is working.
Can’t you and your Republican colleagues stop trying to repeal this Act and work to make it even more effective? Please?
Obama Care saved us when my husband was unemployed and we couldn’t afford coverage. We might have been ruined without it. My husband could not have had the eye surgery needed after an accident. So grateful.
We now have patients that can see a doctor in the clinic on time rather than waiting till they are too ill ACA is saving lives and you are too stupid to realize that. Get your political view out of the way and see what is happening in our community because you have shown again and again it is not your community. I see that your son has downs but not everyone in our community has it so get done with this supporting downs to the neglect of everything else.
My plans are intact, premiums have increased as always, but what seems to be a lesser rate, my plan was not cancelled, I did not lose my doctor, I have not experienced reduced work hours, and it’s actually freed me from the chains of employer based being the ONLY path to coverage. #FEARMONGER
Those are just a small sample of the hundreds or even thousands of comments left on her Facebook page. It is damn clear that her constituents are loving the Affordable Care Act. Will she take their comments to heart and abandon attempts to take insurance coverage away from her constituents?
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO SCOUT FINCH ON THU MAR 26, 2015 AT 07:33 AM PDT.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) on Sunday insisted that people on the Internet had conspired to create a “misunderstanding” that a so-called “religious freedom” law was about denying services to LGBT people. But at the same time, he repeatedly refused to answer if it effectively gave Christians a legal defense for discriminating against same-sex couples.
“I understand that there’s been a tremendous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding around this bill, and I’m just determined — and I appreciate the time on your program — I’m just determined to clarify this,” Pence told ABC’s George Stephanopolous.
“So this is a yes or no question,” the ABC host noted. “Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?”
Pence, however said that the purpose of the bill that he signed was to “empower” religious people.
And this was a pattern that would be repeated over the next 20 minutes: Stephanopolous asking if the bill allowed anti-LGBT discrimination, followed by Pence dodging the question.
“And so yes or no, if a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?” Stephanopolous asked. “Yes or no?”
“This is where this debate has gone, with misinformation,” Pence replied. “There’s been shameless rhetoric about my state and about this law and about its intention all over the Internet. People are trying to make it about one particular issue. And now you’re doing that, as well.”
“That was one of your supporters who was talking about the bill right there,” Stephanopolous pressed. “It said it would protect a Christian florist who — against any kind of punishment. Is that true or not?”
“George, look, the issue here is, you know, is tolerance a two way street or not?” Pence opined. “I mean, you know, there’s a lot of talk about tolerance in this country today having to do with people on the left. But here Indiana, steps forward to protect the constitutional rights and privileges of freedom of religion for people of faith and families of faith in our state and this avalanche of intolerance that’s been poured on our state is just outrageous.”
“So when you say tolerance is a two way street, does that mean that Christians who want to refuse service or people of any other faith who want to refuse service to gays and lesbians, that it’s now legal in the state of Indiana?” the ABC host tried again.
And again, Pence deflected: “I’m telling you, George, it is a red herring and I think it’s deeply troubling to millions of Americans and, frankly, people all across the state of Indiana who feel troubled about government overreach.”
The Indiana governor added that he had no plans to add protections for LGBT people to the state’s civil rights laws. But officials had been “been doing our level best, George, to correct the gross mischaracterization of this law that has been spread all over the country by many in the media.”
“I mean, frankly, some of the media coverage of this has been shameless and reckless,” he insisted. “The online attacks against the people of our state, I’m just not going to stand for it.”
Pence said that he would be open to a bill that “amplifies” the current law, but “we’re not going to change this law.”
“A final question, a final yes or no question, Governor,” Stephanopolous pushed. “Do you think it should be legal in the state of Indiana to discriminate against gays or lesbians?”
“It’s a yes or no question,” the host added.
“Hoosiers don’t believe in discrimination,” Pence insisted. “I mean this is not about discrimination. This is about protecting the religious liberty of every Hoosier of every faith.”
“We’re going to continue to explain it to people that don’t understand it. And in — and if possible, we will find a way to amplify what this bill really is in a legislative process. But I stand by this law,” he concluded. “I’m proud that Indiana has adopted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
Thanks Ted for dropping this and other great news items in my inbox. I’m using the following item because my reaction to that article was, “OMG!”
Every time a Republican sneaks an unrelated rider into a law, it’s a guarantee that someone will get screwed. Art Pope’s Republicans in North Carolina included last minute anti-choice provisions in a motorcycle safety bill. Often, but not always, these riders come in at the last possible moment. It’s the political version of the frowned upon court room tactic of unfair surprise. Unfair because opponents don’t have a chance to research the provision and the public doesn’t have a chance to comment at all.
This was one of those riders. This time, the targets are college students who Republicans clearly want to disenfranchise because they tend to vote Democrat.
This time, Republicans in Ohio snuck a vote suppression rider into a transportation budget bill in an effort to disenfranchise out of state students.
The new language in the bill will have these students convert to an Ohio driver’s license, register their cars with Ohio plates and assume a few other costs that would raise their out-of-pocket expenses to an estimated $100.
This amounts to pricing young, mostly Democratic voters, out of the franchise. According to Cleveland, 116,000 college students will have to pay what amounts to a poll tax.
Of course, the rider’s sponsor claims there is nothing to see here. It’s all about regulating vehicle registration laws. The fact that this will also make it harder to vote for college students (who tend to vote Democrat) is just the cherry on top.
“Don’t throw the synthetic baby out with the bathwater,” said Bill Maher on Friday.
During his “New Rules” segment on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the talk show host took some time to call out liberals for attacking other liberals. Maher ran through a number of topics, including Elton John’s boycott of Dolce and Gabbana over comments on gay adoption and in vitro fertilization, backlash The Economist got over a cover and a college president who was forced to apologize for sending out an email that said “all lives matter” instead of “Black lives matter.”
“What is the point of attacking people who are 95 percent on your side?” said Maher, later adding, “I see atheists and agnostics bitching at each other. Why is this even a thing? Do you believe in a talking snake? Me neither. We’re on the same team.”
“Real Time with Bill Maher” airs Fridays at 10:00 p.m. ET on HBO.
Meet the Press: Erin Bowen (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University); Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Adel A. Al-Jubeir; Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq/Chief U.S. Negotiator on Nuclear Disarmament Christopher Hill; Ted Kennedy’s WidowVictoria Kennedy; Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI); Roundtable: Kathleen Parker (Washington Post), Joe Scarborough (MSNBC), Sam Stein (Huffington Post) and Neera Tanden (Center for American Progress).
Face the Nation: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC); Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R); “Ted Kennedy’s Legacy” Panel: Sen. John McCain(R-AZ), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME); Roundtable: Dan Balz (Washington Post), Manu Raju(Politico), Scott Conroy (Huffington Post) and Nancy Cordes (CBS News).
This Week: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D); Ted Kennedy’s Widow Victoria Kennedy; Roundtable: Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), Republican Strategist Matthew Dowd and Fareed Zakaria (CNN).
Fox News Sunday: Former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina; Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Carol Lee (Wall Street Journal), Matt Kibbe (FreedomWorks) and Former Sen.Evan Bayh (D-IN).
State of the Union: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH); Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Others TBD.
I was scrolling downward on a social media app and saw ONLY the headline first. I was afraid it was going to be bloody and ugly. I laughed so loudly when I saw the complete picture.
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)