Tea Party Confusion — You Are Not Alone

Here is a revealing quote from someone who the New York Times feels is a Tea Party member worth an interview. SOURCE She states:

“Let’s see. Some days I’m very Randian. I feel like there
shouldn’t be any of those programs, that it should all
be charitable organizations. Sometimes I think, well,
maybe it really should be just state, and there should
be no federal part in it at all. I bounce around in my
solutions to the problem.”

It is good to have such an admission. And it would even be better if everyone did a little thinking about what in the widest sense is our polity.

It would be easy to say that putting everything off on charity is unrealistic. But what people do not think about is that we already do put everything off on charity — on the not-for-profit solution. What we do not do by government we do by not-for-profit efforts including, to be fair, some services that are government operated.

The fact is that without a truly scientific look at what forms work and what do not, all of our rhetoric about solutions is so much smoke.

I can say from years of work in the UN, UNICEF, and other charitable and not-for-profit institutions that, in the macro sense, the mix of solutions we have works abysmally.

Tomorrow we will have a cyber-push on the landmines issue (the hashtag is #banminesusa ) and no doubt this is an example of the salience of charity. But it does not stop nations from strewing these lethal weapons around. And the US is right there among the biggest offenders.

A Randian would condone making the weapons and selling them to the highest bidder but might despise a government that used them. Unless one was a neocon Randian.

My personal solution to the dilemma is to criticize our global system as benign genocide on this blog, to see capitalism and philanthropy as joined at the hip and to denote myself a radical individualist who happens to be, at the moment, for Obama and his program.

I do not for a minute believe Obama is anything other than a highly competent centrist. That is a positive in my book. The author of the words above is working to zap Patty Murray. I like Patty Murray.

And so forth and so on.

Labels are short-cuts for a mentally deprived media. Tea Party is obviously a label which merely points to a lot of radical individualists, some of whom might not know what a Randian is. I doubt they would cut me much slack. Nor I them.


COMMENT ON: New Rule: Stop Saying “Sex Addict” Like It’s a Bad Thing

Damn! Bill Maher. I was just about to write how much I admire the guy. If you can’t have commentary from Mark Twain, Bill is pretty good. And all that.

I envy Bill. He probably got this published on submission, being a celebrity and all. I still have two now out-of-date “blogs” sitting in my HuffPo queue.


After seducing me with the question as to whether sex addiction is really real, Maher booted it by not tackling the question in the body of his note. His note was good stand up, but it doesn’t pass the salient thought test.

I am willing to define addiction as anything that can warrant a diagnosis that some scientists (doctors) will accept and that some feel applies to them enough to warrant seeking help. And to follow that with a suggestion that addiction is. to a large extent a rationalization dressed up as an hypothesis.

Our world thrives on characterization and assumptions about others. Labeling is rife. Choice turns into necessity.

Bill would have done a good thing examining the prevalent use of sex addiction as an explanation for human behavior.

Read the Article I’m commenting on at Huffington Post


COMMENT ON: Jim Bunning Repeatedly Blocks Unemployment Benefits Extension, Tells Dem ‘Tough Shit’

This guy should be taken out to a shack where one of the people he is preventing payment to lives and walk in his or her shoes for a year. This is merely another reason why the party of NO will go down in 2010. No one other than Arnold and a few other non-Senators has had the nerve to challenge the NOness strategy. Though in actuality the President has. Yesterday was merely a repeat of what he said previoously. You want to fight? Wait for 2010 and see who wins.

Read the Article I am commenting on at Huffington Post


In the Near Future: A Groundswell To Insert The Public Option

This is what the next month or six weeks holds. It’s a guess, but from someone who has consistently said that health care would be passed by reconciliation and that it would include a public option.

How this will happen is that there will be such a groundswell for the public option that it will be seen as the most popular element of reform and one that no Republican or Democrat will be willing to reject on pain of losing in 2010.

It will be included on the reconciliation portion of the bill.

The Republicans will be further boxed in and this could mean that some of them will actually break ranks and vote for the final bill.

The result will be to discount the Republican strategy of NO and to give the Democrats the experience and backbone to start getting the Obama agenda done.

There is much more to the Obama agenda. It is a thoughtful and largely centrist program of needed changes. Its underlying element is education and a comprehensive upgrading of all gpvernmental functions to create a leaner and more effective and more admirable national performance.


New WCC Head and The Hermeneutical Conundrum

You may read the inaugural sermon of the new head of the World Council of Churches here.

He says, essentially that there is one sine qua non, without which nothing, bottom line.

“Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

It has ever been thus since the beginning. The canonical gospels lay the basis for the creedal religion of Christianity and the fundamental creeds contain the emphasis that derives from St. Paul’s declension of reality. Which happens to include the earliest text in the New Testament, if not the earliest recorded memories.

So. If I say there is a different understanding of the gospel, I am in a distinct and hardly heeded minority. But I say it anyway.

What Jesus said is why he was killed and it is a message that is palpably universal, just as Paul’s message is palpably in your face and divisive.

Jesus said that the One he called Abba in his daily prayer is near at hand and that this is the gospel or good news. He said that those who repent their wrongdoing and accept the powerful reality of Abba’s presence are capable of ascending to the exalted state of little children who have no airs to put on. He said in short that religion as we have known it, including the religion that would be articulated by Paul, was, and is, kaput.

There is enough to corroborate this point of view on this site. My book on creedal messianism is here. The Kindle edition is here. “The Way of Abba” is here.