When the United States was forced into the first partial federal shutdown in 17 years on Tuesday, the outside world watched in almost disbelief. The U.S. government, which purports to be the world’s foremost model for democratic governance, had ground to a temporary halt amidst the drama of partisan squabbling. The international media were seemingly ready to cast blame, and Congressional Republican leaders bore the brunt. From London to Beirut commentators have let rip, sharpening their pens – and their criticism – for one side of the aisle in particular. “There is a frustrating tendency in American political reporting to adopt a position of “both sides-ism” – as in, “both sides” are equally to blame for the nation’s chronic political dysfunction,” writes The Guardian Michael Cohen, before pointing the finger of blame firmly in the direction of the Republican Party. Cohen sees members of the GOP’s right-wing – including Sen. Ted Cruz of recent filibuster fame – as the instigators of this shutdown. He even called Sen. Cruz “the GOP’s self-made monster” in a separate op-ed last week. “That the U.S. will have come to such a pass – for no reason other than the extremism of the Republican Party – is an important reminder of who is blame for the governing dysfunction that has come to define the U.S. democracy today,” he writes.
While Russia Today devoted an entire article to U.S. shutdown comedy, featuring noteworthy images and tweets carrying the #govtshutdown hashtag, photojournalist Lynsey Addario tweeted from India that the shutdown was not being taken too seriously. “I’m in India, and my driver and translator are laughing at U.S. govt shutdown. So much for world’s great superpower. It’s closed,” she said in a Tuesday tweet.
And more. So thanks, Congress. Dimwits.
Alan Simpson – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
We are watching, these days, the GOP eat itself. If ever there were an illustration of Jesus’s ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand’ it is in the behavior of the Republican Party. Lincoln would be totally ashamed. Justifiably. The GOP is acting disgracefully and it deserves to lose every election for the coming decades.
But the Dems shouldn’t rejoice. They are the only other option in our corrupt two party system and so are only going to find themselves winning because people hate them less, not because they are loved or have a better plan.
It’s a tragedy that a country like ours has been reduced to sending to office the vilest and most self serving of the population rather than the cream of the crop. But, as they say, a people get the politicians they deserve. And given America’s present lack of morality and its tendency to exalt perversity to the level of normalcy, it’s unsurprising that we find ourselves saddled with the worst in our politicians, and our politics.
In a quite intelligent essay titled ‘Why my support for abortion was based on love… and lies’, Jennifer Fulwiler writes-
I came to see that our culture’s widespread use and acceptance of contraception had led to this mentality toward sex being the default position. As a society, we’d come to take it for granted that we’re entitled to the pleasurable and bonding aspects of sex — even when we’re in a state of being vehemently opposed to any new life it might produce. The option of abstaining from the act that creates babies when we feel like we’d be unable to care for a baby had been removed from the cultural lexicon. Even if it would be a huge crisis to get pregnant, you have a right to have sex anyway, the cultural wisdom whispered.
Indeed. The fact is, America’s culture of promiscuity is inexorably connected to its culture of death; for when one has no respect for the consequences of one’s actions, one feels free to remove any encumbrance to that imagined freedom- even if that encumbrance is a nascent human being.
Thanks to James Spinti for pointing the essay out on FB.
Just get out. Leave office. You’re incompetent, inept, useless, and wicked. You created, yourselves, the present crisis. And you don’t have the sense to fix it. Get out. Quit. There’s not a one of you worth the minerals you’re made of. Oh, and I’m not paying for your stupidity.
Following is my letter to my Representative and Senators:
You created the present crisis and now, inept, you cannot resolve it. You have made America the laughingstock of the civilized (and uncivilized) world. Please resign. Today. Do the country you claim to love a favor, and tell your colleagues to do likewise.
Very, very sincerely, and really furiously, and I mean every word
Finally. If only President Obama had the courage of the French.
For the first time, Britain and France may recall ambassadors in protest at Israel’s settlement construction. Moves against Israel will be made in next the few days following Netanyahu’s decision to move ahead on construction in E1 and build 3,000 housing units in settlement blocs east of Jerusalem, say senior European diplomats.
Again, if only Obama were as courageous as the French. As. The. French… When did America become less morally respectable than France? Less courageous? This is just sad.
Britain and France are poised to take action − possibly including the unprecedented step of recalling their ambassadors, according to senior European diplomats − in protest at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to move settlement construction ahead in the area known as E1, between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. “This time it won’t just be a condemnation, there will be real action taken against Israel,” a senior European diplomat said.
Finally. It’s time for Netanyahu to suffer the consequences of his arrogance. Good for the Europeans. At least they have the sense to know right from wrong. We used to. We don’t anymore.
The UN General Assembly is expected on Thursday to pass a historic resolution recognizing Palestine within the 1967 borders as a nonmember observer state. At least 150 countries are expected to vote in favor of the resolution. Israel will suffer a humiliating political defeat and find itself isolated along with the United States, Canada, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and, at best, Germany and the Czech Republic.
As the vote approaches, more and more Western democracies are announcing that they will vote in favor of the resolution. “The situation is very serious. We are going to get hit and be almost completely alone,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said. Eleven members of the European Union have announced their support for the Palestinian move: France, Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Malta, Ireland and Greece. Norway and Switzerland, which are not members of the EU, have also declared their support.
Good for the E.U.
Meanwhile, the United States is opposing the Palestinian move to the last minute. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Middle East Special Envoy David Hale met yesterday with PA President Mahmoud Abbas at his hotel in New York; they told him of the U.S. opposition and asked him to reconsider.
Shame on the U.S. It’s moral cowardice alone which leads the U.S. to preach democracy except when it collides with Israeli policy.
Many lament the low wages paid workers at places like Wal Mart and yet those same people want to pay low prices for things they themselves buy. Here’s a fact, America:
You can’t have high wages when you only want to pay low prices. Or, to say it a bit differently, Americans want high wages but inexpensive products.
Sorry, America, you can’t have it both ways. Either fork over more of your money to buy more expensive products from factories paying higher wages or shut up about the plight of the poor. You’re the ones keeping them poor!!!!!!
Hating America and burning American flags because a dim witted film maker has insulted your religion is like burning the flag of the United Nations because a cat ran into the road and you hit a dog swerving to avoid it.
- Palestinians Rising Up? (blogs.the-american-interest.com)
Everyone will doubtless be sharing their remembrances today. I shan’t. Oh it’s not that I don’t remember the day, I do. It’s emblazoned on my memory as few things are. Instead, I’ll be pondering what our country has accomplished since then.
We invaded Iraq, lost thousands more of our own young people, and who knows how many Iraqis died. We invaded Afganistan and are still mired down there, where thousands more of our children have died along with many thousand more Afghanis. Neither country can be counted a true friend to the U.S. in spite of the fact that we spend more on them than we do on our own people. We provide them medical care, but not our own citizens. We build them schools and roads and we can’t afford to build our own.
We are no safer now than we were on September 10th, 2001. Our enemies are still plotting to destroy us but do they really need to try all that hard? We seem to be doing a pretty good job destroying ourselves, since we keep electing the same incompetent politicians to lead us down the path of economic armageddon.
We’re paying more for everything thanks to our wars and the higher cost of oil, the fuel that drives us and by which we are driven in nearly every policy decision we make.
And I’ve not yet even mentioned the continuing moral decay of our citizenry; a people for whom good is evil and sin is celebrated and depravity is exalted more than righteousness.
In sum, the only thing that really changed on 9/11 is that thousands died and tens of thousands more have died in the wake of that event. We are no better as a people. We haven’t been improved by our disasters. We haven’t learned the lessons of history and we are, therefore, doomed to repeat it.
Here are the top ten beggar states living off the American taxpayer:
And the largest beggar nation receiving the most American money? No surprise here at all:
Looks like we love Africa and the Middle East and have no use for Asia. Or maybe the Asians aren’t the sort of folk who have their hands out all the time.
Anyway, add up all that foreign aid flushed down foreign toilets and enriching foreign dictators and just imagine how many schools, roads, and hospitals we could construct and how many of our own people could find meaningful well paying jobs.
Our ship of state is captained by imbeciles. That’s why we’ve run aground and are taking on water.
The United States was the biggest provider of weapons to other countries, last year. In terms of how much money it moved, it tripled its 2010 purchases and moved $66.3 billion worth of arms.
According to a Congressional Research Service report (pdf), that is the biggest amount in the history of the United States and most of it comes from sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
The New York Times reports:
“The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales overseas totaled nearly $31 billion.
“A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — to purchase American weapons at record levels.
“These Gulf states do not share a border with Iran, and their arms purchases focused on expensive warplanes and complex missile defense systems.”
Saudi Arabia, the report concludes, bought about $33.7 billion worth of weapons. $33.4 billion were purchased from the United States. India followed with $6.9 billion and the United Arab Emirates came in third with $4.5 billion.
Russia, by the way, was the second biggest seller with $4.8 billion in agreements.
And that, dear friends, is why there will NEVER be peace in this world. There’s too much money to be made from war. The people ‘in charge’ are the people behind, supported by, and interested in the military-industrial complex. And they always will be, because that’s where the money is and money is the god of this age. If you believe otherwise you are either blind or a fool.
Connecticut state police say a 7-year-old boy accidentally shot his adult neighbor in the chest using the man’s own handgun. Police say 52-year-old Anthony Joseph Delucia’s gunshot wound is not life-threatening. He was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, where he was in stable condition. Authorities have not said how the boy got ahold of the gun or what led to the shooting Friday in Prospect.
‘Ahold’ of a gun… Ok anyway, I can tell you exactly how he got hold of it- it wasn’t put away where he couldn’t. Guns aren’t toys. Except in America, that is, where folk love, just dearly love, to play with them and caress them and kiss them and love them and leave them out where any 7 year old can use them…
So once more American policy in the Middle East allows us to shoot ourselves in the foot whilst wasting billions of tax dollars to do it. Well done, US Government.
Iraqi banking institutions have been helping Iran sidestep regulations imposed by the United States, said American officials. The country’s cozy relationship with Iran little more than eight months after American troops left Iraqi soil has caused concern among American leaders, and Obama placed a call to Iraq’s prime minister recently after learning that Iranian supply planes were passing through Iraqi airspace en route to Syria.
Who’s in charge in Washington? No one intelligent, that’s for sure.
You know you’re living in a culture of celebrity when the Twitter for the president of the United States ranks No. 6, trailing behind rock stars Justin Bieber and Katy Perry by millions of followers. But have celebrities always trumped achievers for public attention?
University of South Carolina sociologist Patrick Nolan decided to test the notion that public fascination with celebrities had grown during the 20th century while interest in achievers or producers such as scientists, inventors or industrialists and religious figures had waned. Using The New York Times obituaries as a cultural barometer, he analyzed 100 years of obits from 1900 — 2000, working from the newspaper’s “notable deaths” section. The results of his study, “Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Apotheosis of Celebrities in 20th-century America,” appear in the summer issue of the sociological journal Sociation Today.
“Most striking are the simultaneous increases in celebrity obituaries and declines in religious obituaries. They document the increasing secularization and hedonism of American culture at a time when personal income was rising and public concern was shifting away from the basic issues of survival,” Nolan said. “The magnitude of these trends is seismic. While the Greeks may have looked to their gods for guidance and entertainment, we’ve turned increasingly to our celebrities — entertainers and athletes.”
Comparing percentages of obits in the various occupations to employment in those industries revealed a disproportionate amount of celebrity obits in the fields of entertainment and sports. The finding clearly documented a trend toward secular hedonism, he said.
This only confirms what I’ve been saying for a long time- when a theologian or biblical scholar dies the media hardly ever notice; but when a celeb or jock breaks wind, the media can’t get enough of covering it.
Hedonism and entertainment- it’s all our world cares about.
Police took a man into custody Monday after “multiple people” were shot near Texas A&M University, a police official said. Several law enforcement officers were among the people shot, Rhonda Seaton of the College Station Police Department told CNN. She didn’t have information on how many people were shot or their conditions. She said a person identified as the gunman was in custody. The shooting happened about one block from campus, Seaton said.
You reap what you sow. Individually and societally. What more is there to say? Our country isn’t willing to change its policies and our population isn’t willing to change itself. So, there you have it. No point really in praying that things will change as I fear that what God spoke to Jeremiah he also speaks to us (and I’m more and more convinced of it every day) :
Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. – Jer 11:14
Lest anyone any longer opine that America is a Christian nation.
De-Christianization, you say? To which I reply, yes. When scripture no longer even guides the moral and ethical choices of ‘Christians’ the fact of de-christianization is made plain. If America were a Christian nation, its citizens would be guided by the teachings of the Bible. It isn’t. They aren’t.
So, if you call me during the game, don’t be surprised if I ignore you. Because I will be watching, raptly.
Thanks, healthcare and insurance lobbies. We’re dead last in the industrialized world for quality of health care.
Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday. The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries — Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.
“As an American it just bothers me that with all of our know-how, all of our wealth, that we are not assuring that people who need healthcare can get it,” Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis told reporters in a telephone briefing. Previous reports by the nonprofit fund, which conducts research into healthcare performance and promotes changes in the U.S. system, have been heavily used by policymakers and politicians pressing for healthcare reform.
America is #1 yet again! In greed driven poor service and high costs. Ain’t it great! we don’t need decent health care at a reasonable price. Let’s all just pay our premiums and shut up and die – just as long as the CEO of Big Health Care can ride in a new jet every year.
What is it? It’s this:
The truth [about this tragedy] is made worse by the reality that no one—really no one—anywhere on the political spectrum has the courage to speak out about the madness of unleashed guns and what they do to American life. That includes the President, whose consoling message managed to avoid the issue of why these killings take place. Of course, we don’t know, and perhaps never will, what exactly “made him” do what he did; but we know how he did it. Those who fight for the right of every madman and every criminal to have as many people-killing weapons as they want share moral responsibility for what happened last night—as they will when it happens again. And it will happen again.
As I’ve said for years. And still our cowardly politicians are too spineless to stand up for what’s right and not what will fill their campaign coffers. The ugly, ugly truth about America is that our leaders don’t deserve the title because when we need their leadership most, they lie fallow like piles of manure on a field of flies.