Archive for the ‘Hobby Lobby’ category

Choice And Chance

June 1, 2016

The 2016 Presidential race will probably boil down to voters’ making a choice and taking a chance. Trump supporters are sure their candidate will make a difference and can apply his business moxie to the tough problems of government. Trump supporters choice is clear but it seems they lack any comprehension of what a chance they are taking.

Hillary Clinton supporters also will make a choice and will do so for some clear reasons, like Supreme Court nominations, executive protection for women and gay rights and sensible immigration reform. Clinton fans do not also realize how much of a chance they are taking with the Clinton approach to neutralizing the far right attack dogs and what that might do to exaggerate the partisan divide already at hand.

One would think that the pro-Hillary message will eventually penetrate the Sanders supporters’ heads. Regardless of how much Sanders people love Bernie, sitting out the 2016 election will likely lead to a GOP victory and the loss of the Supreme Court, repeal of Obamacare, encouragement of anti-gay, anti-choice, and anti-immigrant legislation, all points Sanders’ supporters would support.

While there is less reason to believe Hillary will break up the big banks, unlike Sanders stump speeches, breaking up the big banks is not a risk-free proposition. And with a GOP controlled House, there is no chance for campaign financing reform.

Donald Trump is for sure crazy as a fox. He demonstrates manifestations which are unsuited for the Presidency… but one can not be sure what the “real” Donald really is. The odds that the Donald will suddenly change once he were elected President would seem diminishingly low. The chance lays beyond Trump’s rhetoric which is suitable (designed?) for capturing news media headlines.  Where is the substance?  Would he do the same when events do not go well as President?

Clinton is not crazy (like Trump) but is for sure calculating. With a team of advisors and strategists, Hillary will not represent chance on Supreme Court nominees, support for women, gay rights, and comprehensive immigration reform.

On other matters, however, Hillary could be prone to see which way the weathervane is pointing before taking action.

What is clear is that Clinton will deliver a better set of Supreme Court nominees than Trump if one considers Citizens United and Hobby Lobby wrong headed decisions.

So it would appear the 2016 Presidential election will be between two flawed candidates, both intelligent but a bit opaque about how they will govern. The election is clearly about “make your choice and take your chance”.

What’s Sam Harris About?

October 14, 2014

Sam Harris is build as one of America’s leading atheist. He, like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, argue eloquently about the internal illogic of religious traditions. The “God Illusion” and “God Is Not Great” are two popular books by Dawkins and Hitchen. Now, Harris is in print again with “Waking Up, A Guide To Spirituality Without Religion”.

As a consequence, Harris is on tour making radio and television talk shows appearances.

One of the “hooks” Harris is using to gain attention is a thoughtful position on Islam and in particular, the extremists that are making headlines. Harris makes a convincing point that the extremism the world sees in al Qaeda and ISIS (and many other similar groups) as well as mainstream groups like Muslim Brotherhood or the leading clerics in Iran, Pakistan, and even Indonesia, is baked into Islam through the Koran.

Harris points to the high percent of UK muslims who endorsed punishment for the Danish cartoonist who depicted Allah unfavorably as a sign of wide spread misdirection.  Harris lays the blame on the Koran and those who preach it.

Harris has two points.

First, Islam is far more dangerous as a religious tradition than what we see from ISIS. Psychopaths can be found in any religion and extremist groups like ISIS are predominated with socially unstable people. The greater risks associated with Islam is the belief in Islam is the only true religion, and the systematic subjugation of women and homosexuals. (Hmmm, I think I have heard similar views with Christians in America.)

Second, whatever worldly peacefulness one claims to find by following a devote Islamic life can be found with other non-religious meditative means.

Harris is a main stream progressive so to hear him speak like Archie Bunker about Muslims catches one by surprise. Harris’s arguments, however, are filled with data and references.

One may not buy all of Harris’ argument.  Never the less, one is, minimally, compelled to see the wisdom of separating church and State.

I wonders how our Supreme Court could allow any religious group to claim a “right” which in effect denies someone else a service they might otherwise have been entitled.

Et tu Hobby Lobby.