Friday, July 21, 2006

"Christian" Products – Cashing In On God

A story in the Los Angeles Times gives insight into the growing market segment for Christian Products. With everything from "Virtuous Woman" perfume to Gospel Golf Balls, the International Christian Retail Show has everything you need to buy to be "Christian".

In today’s, bottom line society it is no wonder that faith is being merchandised like a NFL team. People today don’t want to think about their faith; they just want to get it in instant form complete with bumper sticker slogans. To me, this is really a revealing aspect of what some people call Christianity.

Forgive me if I draw comparisons to the moneychangers in the Temple, but the huge multi-million dollar Christian Products Industry seems a bit blasphemous. The sale of "Scripture Candy" with bible verses printed on the wrapper cheapens the Word into a Joe Bazooka gimmick. Low cut tight fitting T-shirts for girls with catchy Jesus slogans would seem to send a mixed message at best.

Where does it lead? Well the problem with the current Christian phenomenon is summed up well by Political Scientist Alan Wolfe who sees the Christian merchandising trend as a way for believers to "create a parallel universe, one that allows Christians to withdraw from the world instead of engaging it as Christ commanded."

Maybe I am a little more cynical. I see it as a way for marketers to cash in on yet another fad. I suspect if there was a sudden upsurge in interest in the teachings of Buddha, they would be selling "Inner Peace" mood rings instead of crosses.

Having a few things around to remind you of the message of Christ is not a bad thing, but turning that message into he latest version of a Pet Rock seems less than faithful to Jesus’ teachings.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Senate Leaves All Children Behind

In a stunning move coinciding with President Bush speaking at the NAACP, the Senate Appropriations Committee froze funds for the popular and effective Project Head Start . Additionally, the No Child Left Behind funding which was scheduled for $25 billion received only half that ammount.

What can I say? This is so ridiculous a move it defies comment. My only thought is that this is part of what would appear to be a systematic gutting of public education in America by the Neo-cons.

Why? Well my guess is so that rich people can send their kids to private schools on voucher money and the rest of the common rabble will receive what amounts to “Bantu Education”. That infamous system was set up by the former South African regime to assure a class of semi-educated laborers who would know just enough to do their job without questioning authority.

Ok, so it does not defy comment.

Bush Sexually Harasses German Leader

In a move that could be construed as sexual harassment in the workplace, President Bush showed his lack of tack and diplomatic savvy by giving German Chancellor Merkle an uninvited shoulder rub. Though this kind of activity may seem harmless, it sends a clear message to other countries. The United States considers you under our care. When you’re tired from all that diplomatic work, we can sooth you. Far from a comforting message it tells other leaders and countries the patriarchic attitude President Bush has toward them. He is "daddy" and they are in effect "children".

That is not the kind of message that builds coalitions or confidence in our leadership and attitude toward other countries. The patriarchal attitude is one that permeated US foreign policy for decades and pretty much ended after the Spanish American War. It is an attitude born of the old European colonial days where white people brought "civilization" to the "lesser races." It is the same attitude that the current administration has and demonstrates so well in the Middle East. And we wonder why other countries hate us?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ann Coulter Threatens NYT With Fake Anthrax - Why No Arrest?

I guess that if you are a neo-con wacko like Ann Coulter you can do just about anything in this country. Last time I checked, sending stuff through the mail that was designed to appear like Anthrax was just about as illegal as sending the real thing. Ann "widow bashing" Coulter now claims responsibility for sending the NYT an envelope of white powder which caused a bit of a panic for the paper and law enforcement. Coulter has made statements in the past that would get any other us Citizen locked up for terroristic threats, but since she is the darling of the neo-cons, no dice for Ann.

Enough of this crap! Coulter is not just a loose cannon; she is encouraging the wack-jobs that listen to her to commit criminal acts. Where is the Justice Department or Homeland Security? Arrest her and do a little interrogation to find out what she really knows. Of course that would be futile, since she is full of hot air.

Smokey Joe Barton Tells A Pack Of Lies Again

Once again Smokey Joe, the man with so many ties to the pollution industries presents the Congress with a pack of lies in the form of a "report" that supposedly discredits global warming. In reality it is a document compiled by a statistician whose work has not been peer-reviewed and has been previously discredited.

Joe Barton (R-TX) believes in Bush’s doctrine of, "you gotta keep repeating things over and over again… to catapult the propaganda". It’s time to catapult these Bozo’s out of Washington.

One has to wonder what they think they can do by continuing to lie to the American people. I guess they don’t live in the same reality and feel that global warming can be avoided with enough power and money. Or maybe they are planning a long space voyage to another world where they can pollute and destroy for another few thousand years.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bush Proposes Cutting Medicare Payments

How would you define compassion? Would it be to cut 20 to 30% of payments for complex medical procedures for Medicare patients? But of course, those old people need to learn to stretch a dollar. As long as we keep coddling them with assistance for medical expenses they will just keep getting sick. So in a move typical of compassionate conservatism the Bush administration is seeking to cut payments to hospitals under Medicare by 20 to 30%.

Hospital administrators and doctors say it will have a devastating effect on the care and wellbeing of the elderly. The government claims its all ni the name of being more accurate. Who do you believe? Well since just about everything else this administration has said has turned out to be a lie, I think for once I trust the doctors.

Cutting Medicare costs before an election? Did these guys have a stroke or are they trying to loose?

Either way, I sincerely hope the Democrats make a point of this and can use it for political gain. We must regain the House and Senate and stop this neo-con leviathan from destroying our country.