Thursday, July 3, 2008

The American Dream


Rush Limbaugh gets $400 million or so over the next 8 years or so....

Work hard, be a productive member of society, provide for your family with an honest day's work? You pathetic loser sucker!

Limbaugh is reported to have said once, "You are worth what you earn!" So by Limbaugh's standards most people, including members of the armed forces, are relatively worthless....wait a minute....they do treat most people including the armed forces like worthless meat, so I can't accuse them of hypocrisy in deed (just in word/propaganda), in that instance.

But anyway, it is all a matter of supply and demand....... hey, the people/consumers decide.....if there wasn't a market for it, it wouldn't flourish.....etc...etc...etc. Correct?

Funny thing is, powerful narcotic drugs and pornography are also billion dollar industries. But Rush and his ilk support wars against these things. If there wasn't a demand, there would be such rewards for the supply, correct?

But I guess spreading and perpetuating hatred and bigotry across generations is A-OK so long as there is a stupid muthafrakin consumer for it. Hey, it worked for organized religion for centuries, so why just pick on Limbaugh, huh?

And while I'm commenting, let me add this....Barack Obama is for FISA, for the supreme court gun ruling, for the death penalty, wants to expand 'faith-based' initiatives (9/11 was a faith-based initiative, you know), and now apparently he will be willing to reconsider his position on withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. AND HE'S THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATE.

Congratulations Rush. It is indeed your goddamned country.


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Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde said...

Doood. I was expecting a tack back to center for the general, but this is way over the top. Faith-based stuff in the government????? Has he lost his senses?

I gave him a donation just before all of this broke and now I want to take (some of) it back. Still, though....better than McCain. But I am pissed off. Saw you took down the O logo....

Anonymoustache said...

You summed it up pretty well there Dr.J.
Yeah, we still need him to win over McCain so we may not completely lose the supreme court. And I'll support him in the general election. But the day after his FISA comments I figured I'd take down his logo for a few days as a small, symbolic, inconsequential protest. The shit he has pulled in the subsequent days relegated the logo from the day-to-day status down to the 15-day DL and then down to the IR. We hope it will heal sufficiently to make it to the general election season.
He is making the same kind of blunders that cost Gore the election. He is pandering to a segment of the public that will simply not vote for him---they who are constantly looking for reasons not to vote for him.
Maybe he'll also pick a "centrist" sleazebucket running-mate like Liebermann and complete the debacle.
We shall see.

Robb said...

1. Limbaugh was so against powerful narcotics that he actually tried to take all the oxycontin off of the streets single handedly. How dare you call him a hypocrite! He's a friggin' vigilante!

2. I happen to think that a faith-based initiative program is a good idea, if done right. Why build a government-centric infrastructure to address social ills that already have private groups that are working on them - or should we just ignore them? (The 9/11 joke is cute, V, but hardly analogous.) Having said that, I'm not down with allowing religious tests for employment, etc. in these groups who are funded by the government. They can't expect a total no-gtrinds arrangement.

How would this be any different than funding the Red Cross?

Anonymoustache said...

Good point about Limbaugh.

As for funding faith-based groups for social work---BAD IDEA.
It only gives these cults more publicity and helps them recruit the most vulnerable people into their nonsensical ways. The disadvantaged and the unfortunate and the exploited are precisely the best recruiting grounds for organizations like Al Qaeda. And for organized religion. No need to provide govt money to support their recruitment. And spare me the argument that these groups do it out of altruism and not out of political interest---practically all of organized religion is primarily about politics ("my view is correct, so join me!") and not spirituality.
Besides, the govt already helps out religious groups plenty by not taxing them on billions of dollars every year.

Robb said...

The problem here is that your argument is basically: religion = bad. There's not a lot more here than cliched stereotypes about religion.

BTW, al Qaeda doesn't do social programs. Hamas, Hizbullah, the Muslim Brotherhood all do. Just FYI for any future straw men you wish to build.

Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde said...

I agree with anonymoustache--but it's not about religion being Evil, it's about the government and religion not interfering with each other. You know, all amendment-like and such.

When the gov't gives money to a religious program it is therefore NOT giving money to some other religious programs--forcing the gov't to make choices about which religious programs, and ergo which religions, it supports. That's the end of religious freedom right there.

Robb said...

What if the decisions of which groups to give aid to are based on common sense? (I am of course talking about in the future, not the current administration.) What if the money actually goes to help people in need and is used more efficiently than it would be disbursed by a government bureaucracy?

Does the end result (helping people) matter or just the ideology?

Anonymoustache said...

Robb, Dr.J,
And I will not (and don't need to) take the argument to religion itself (If I comment on religion itself I will risk, one way or another, having a chunk of people dismiss a substantial argument off-hand). My contention is that the organizations of religion are not trustworthy in any altruistic sense. They are businesses, run like businesses, which stockpile wealth in all forms to further their agenda. Only, they are tax-free.
And it is not merely a question of which faith-based programs are supported and which are not---it is more fundamental than that---it is a matter that ANY faith-based programs are supported at all.
Of course, all organizations have agendas. But the agenda of religious organizations (God/religion) is ultimately in direct violation of the separation of church and state. Ergo, it is not just a bad idea but possibly unconstitutional as well to use religious organizations as agents of govt-sponsored activity.
And even if you had 'safeguards' to ensure that the money was being used exclusively for social programs etc---well basically then you are funding what faith-based organizations should do anyway, and by funding that, you are freeing up their money that should/could have been used for such purposes to now be used to further each organization's particular agenda (which could include self-promotion and recruitment). So then you are enabling, albeit indirectly, religious initiatives that the state has no business furthering. (For this reason I happen to interpret the no-tax-for-religion provision as a violation of the church/state separation. But anyway.)
Finally, I don't give a rat's ass whether Hamas sponsors social programs while Al Qaeda doesn't---the point is that whether by providing money, shelter, food, or a "life-mission", organizations with agendas recruit those who are behind the 8-ball in life. All I'm saying is that faith-based organizations are no different. Just because anyone may subscribe to the views of any particular one, doesn't make it worthy of state support. They all prey on the vulnerable and the govt should absolutely not enable this shit, directly or indirectly.

Finally, two more rebuttals:
As for the 'bureaucracy' argument---there is no evidence that faith-based (or even non-faith based charities) operate with more efficiency than all govt organizations;
As for the noble question of "Does the end result (helping people) matter or just the ideology?"---I submit you ask that of faith-based organizations first! When faith-based organizations stop building multi-billion opulent empires in lieu of putting that money to better use, when faith-based organizations will help people who don't subscribe to their agenda (like, for instance, when religious groups unreservedly take up for the less fortunate who happen to be LGBT)...and so on....then we'll talk. One thing's for least with a govt agency, non-discrimination can be established as part of policy, with recourses and repercussions if violated; with a religious group there's no such accountability --- you are however assured that some kind of supercilious self-righteousness cloaked in some "word of god" argument will be part of policy.

Robb said...

There are two problems here:

1. You are conflating all religious organizations with Televangelists. "[M]ulti-billion opulent empires" are not the norm for most churches. The food or blood drives that we do at our church for example have no opulence associated with them in any way. Furthermore, I have delivered groceries to people and I can say from personal experience that there is no evangelizing going on. (Not bragging, I didn't want to do it but I'm married to Mother freakin' Theresa.) And how exactly do you proselytize by donating blood? I guess all of us nefarious religious types think our holy blood will convert the masses so we can exploit them for their sweet, sweet cash!

2. "They all prey on the vulnerable" - I completely reject this assertion and, again, you are making a broad generalization about religion (i.e., religion = bad).

I think the tax exemption is a question about which reasonable people can disagree, as is the idea of faith based initiatives, and even the question of whether or not the government should be in the charity business in the first place. However, religion shouldn't be a disqualifying factor for anything anymore than it should be a qualifying one.

The real question is not whether or not there is a religious test for these organizations receiving government aid (which, to your constituitionality argument, they should not be excluded from because they are religious) but rather, is there a political test - that would be unconstitutional. Ask Jim Wallis how much play he got with the White House after he vocally opposed the Iraq War. And the government can link anti-discriminatory requirements to any aid - they've been doing it to private Universities who receive federal money for decades. The point is it CAN be done right. Implementation is the key.

Finally, I can't believe anyone who has dealt with NIH would question the painful slowness of the government.

PS: I point out the al Qaeda/Hamas point for your edification so that your future straw men will stand up better to people who don't know any better (i.e., not me), so suck it. And it really is an important point in how the different groups operate and why al Qaeda is burning itself out and Hamas and the MB have gained political (read: real) power.

PPS: Happy 4th, brother. Love ya. We're going to go see Kev and Jen in a couple of weeks. I'll try to give you a call from out there.

Anonymoustache said...

1. Re my conflating all religious groups with televangelists --- maybe you should consider the possibility that you're unfairly extending the anecdotal (good) experiences of your circle to the entire industry of organized religion. The mafia served many people well; they were still the mafia.
2. Sure I know it can be done correctly. Anything can be done correctly. The govt can link anti-discriminatory requirements to anything. The key IS implementation.
And when the child-molesting pedophiles from all those churches actually see deserved jail-time, then I'll consider the possibility that anything connected to religion can, in reality, actually be adjudicated fairly and sensiblyin this country. Or anywhere else for that matter.
3. I did not build a straw man---my point was about recruitment, not about what businesses the recruiters were in. And they do all prey on the vulnerable. I stand by my claim as strongly as you reject my assertion.
4. A very happy 4th to you all too, man. I just got done burning money, in the form of fireworks, for an hour. But this was S's first real fireworks---and seeing her thrill made it worthwhile. Say hi to Kev and Jen for me--I'll try and talk to all of you then too.
Ol' D-Dub was in town just as I left for the 'Burgh last week--bummer, I missed him. Figures. And he'd left me a bunch of messages on every freakin' phone too, just to rub it in!