There is never enough money, never enough profits, never enough war and greed to satisfy American corporations. The big corporations in the U.S. have squeezed to get every last drop out of our economy. They have shipped millions and millions of American jobs overseas, usually to someplace where they can pay slave wages, get away with horrid working conditions, and twist the morals and ethics of producing their ill-gotten goods anyway they can. Products, once safely made by Americans, now arrive from foreign workplaces loaded with mercury, lead, viruses, etc. It is sad and disgusting but true.
While European corporations send much of similar work over to backward nations and places where they can get cheap labor, far more of their industrial out-put remains in Germany, Sweden, etc. They make a handsome profit, but not an ungodly one. Greed has not gripped European corporations as it has American corporations.
Whether you believe the Bible is literally the word of God, or that it is inspired by God, if you "proclaim" yourself to be a Christian, there are some obvious things about the words of Jesus of Nazareth that seem never to find their way into today's greedy reality. If you are not Christian, then it is important that you know what you have mistakenly been led to think. People were generally illiterate over the past 2000 years, and they needed to have the Bible "interpreted" to them. While we are no longer illiterate people, we still blindly depend on others to tell us what is in the Bible. Read it yourself.
Here is what Jesus has been reported to have actually said in His most famous sermon. It is offered in plain words. It is easy to understand. It was meant for the people, not a self-grandizing clergy. It was not set up to be interpreted or given other meanings. It is Jesus talking straight and plain.
When you make out your Christmas or holiday gift list, check it twice. In the midst of the great greed era, it is often overlooked as to what motivated this season of giving. It might help to remember the Three Magi traveling huge distances to bring gifts to a humble child in the most meager of settings. There is a star over your head this season, and it is there to have you think of gifts for those who are without many gifts. Here are some suggestions that cost little or no money...
A Muslim family. As people generalize and pass judgment on all Muslims, extend a hand of kindness. Overcoming this sort of prejudice and bigotry is needed. Rise above all that, and show compassion.
Yes, I am truly disappointed in President Obama's capitulation to the wealthiest and greediest American representatives. He has wasted his mandate, given to him in a resounding election result in 2008. While the health care reform was a miniscule start, he went downhill since that time. While I understand the odds that were stacked against him by the ruling class in America, and the horrible economic disaster he inherited from former President George W. Bush, and two wars, nevertheless his timid handling of matters has been a disappointment. We now are adding almost a trillion dollars in additional debt, gave the wealthiest Americans some tax and other breaks, and in the end Obama himself will be blamed for the disasterous lengthening of our economic woes. The economy was improving slowly but steadily, and he has now surrendered to the greediest factions in American society. Sad.
The wealthy, ruling class in the United States have purchased benefits for themselves that are being used to destroy the American economy and further burdening the poor and middle class with the bill. No longer are workers being paid a wage that allows them to buy the products produced by American corporations in slave labor nations. No longer can middle class people afford to send their children to the college or university of their choice. And if the financial and banking community makes mistakes, they are given tax money to get their economic footing back and give huge bonuses to the executives who caused the mistakes. No longer is there a rule of the majority because information that would accurately inform Americans is being presented by lies and distortions by the puppets of the rich. And when elections are carried out, the information is purchased by the wealthiest Americans. Example...
The beliefs that many of us carry about Jesus of Nazareth and the Holy Bible express themselves in a wide spetrum of unfounded conclusions and misreadings of history and the Bible itself. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we might want to reflect on our own "interpretations" ...
Jesus was born sometime between 2 B.C. and 4 B.C. and He was crucified around 30 A.D.
#1. "When Hajji Juma Khan was arrested and transported to New York to face charges under a new U.S. narco-terrorism law in 2008, federal prosecutors described him as perhaps the biggest and most dangerous drug lord in Afghanistan, a shadowy figure who had helped the Taliban...'
"What the government did not say was that Jima Khan also was a longtime American informer, who provided information about the Taliban, Afghan corruption and other drug traffickers. CIA officers and Drug Enforcement Administration agents relied on him as a valued source for years..." [from column by James Risen in the N.Y. Times]
Finally we have another civil rights milestone achieved. The repeal of the demeaning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" requirement was a long time coming, but credit President Barack Obama from using ethics, morality, and wisdom to put to rest this insult to a segment of Americans. It was the right thing to do. The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, most commanders of the major military branches, former military leaders, and people with a healthy take on civil rights came forward to support this action. The Secretary of Defense also supported the action, and he will take the lead in implementing the change.
A word of caution. There are always people who will resist change. There are always bigots who hold immovable perspectives. There are clergy who will point to Paul's comments on sexual orientation, though in Paul's time there were no civil rights protections and homosexual activities were seen as always beting one person taking physical advantage of others, especially children. There are people who are just downright negative about almost everything. There are those who hold strong feelings against anyone who is not from their clique in life. There are those who look to take advantage of any political possibility. There are those who think that sexual orientation is a "choice" and not something inherent from birth. And there are those who follow bigoted leaders who "instruct" them on how to think.
How about a few zingers from me to get things rolling? The following may be over-the-top, but even when I write middle-of-the-road, objective blogs it gets negative, hostile, irrational reactions from the left and the right. So, before the year 2010 ends, let me clean out my closet, hang out some dirty laundry, and hopefully have some fun with a mind-clearing list of no-holds-barred wishes...
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the gang should be put in the dock and made to respond to the charges against them for illegally starting a war in Iraq with lies, trumped-up charges, withholding information from Congress, carrying out long-desired wishes to "conquer" Iraq, losing a trapped Osama bin Laden because of it, illegal and behind-the-scenes favors given to the Saudis, and giving war corporation friends like Hallibuton free reign to steal and misappropriate tens of billions of dollars.