Philosophy | Politics | Religion

Author: Fred Page 1 of 6

A podium

A Coalition Led House of Representatives

2023 House Speaker Election

Let’s get provocative!!  What would a coalition House look like and how might it work?

Per government rules, a Speaker of the House must be elected with a majority of votes from congresspeople, and in 2023, if all members of the House were present and did not vote present, the number of votes needed was 218. 

The House elected a Speaker in January 2023 with Republicans having 222 seats and the vast majority wanted Representative Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker. They got their wish but it wasn’t pretty.  The process exposed the split within the Party and reminded everybody of the contentiousness that grew from the 2020 Presidential election but had been brewing for at least 10 years. A 20 member House caucus of which 18 were Republican 2020 election deniers refused to vote for McCarthy, causing the election to repeat multiple times for the first time in over a century.

Often there needs to be a problem before change can wiggle into existence and we witnessed a problem that may have multiple solutions but for now I am talking about a coalition solution.

It took 15 rounds before McCarthy was elected.  McCarthy’s concessions to the GOP dissidents were significant and could ultimately cut his tenure as speaker short. McCarthy agreed to restore a rule allowing a single Republican member to call for a vote to depose him as speaker, the same rule that led to John Boehner’s decision to resign as speaker in 2015.

The 20 House members throwing a roadblock to the election of a House Speaker were part of the Freedom Caucus formally known as Tea Baggers/Tea Party.  It was the Tea Baggers that would attend Democrats’ “meet your congressman” meetings after President Obama was first elected and shouted down the speakers.

While McCarthy’s victory gave him the speaker’s gavel there is little that he or the House can accomplish with the Senate and Presidency held by the Democratic party.  Therefore the House and Republicans will have to settle for multiple partisan investigations.

McCarthy and moderate Republicans will most likely need Democrats votes to overcome the group of 20  who have shown disdain with government spending and raising the debt ceiling.  Even with Democrats help, McCarthy will have to deal with the deals he cut on spending with those 20 not to mention that he would have to compromise with Democrats to get their help.

A coalition controlled House would need a new Speaker.  Why?  To start fresh and marginalize each Party’s hard liners.

Should a Speaker of the House be an election denier?  I don’t think so nor should any of the 147 Representatives and Senators who went along with the mob and voted to reject the electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania be in office.  The constitutional officer second in line to the Presidency should not be someone who tried to overturn the last election for the Presidency.

McCarthy was a steady defender of former president Donald Trump for most of his time as majority leader and minority leader. After Biden won the 2020 presidential election, McCarthy supported Trump’s false denial of Biden’s victory and participated in efforts to overturn the results, and while he condemned the January 6 United States Capitol attack in its immediate aftermath, blaming Trump for the riot and saying the 2020 election was legitimate, he  later walked back these comments and reconcile with Trump.

I think the best path forward given the tendency of that gang of 20 is to elect a Speaker that Democrats would help elect and keep the gang of 20 on the sidelines, off committees, and eventually out of Congress.  There are some election deniers that are not in that gang of 20 and they too should be kept off committees.  America needs to move forward and the election deniers are a boat anchor.

To this end, why not do it with a bang?  I would like to see Adam Kinzinger elected as Speaker of the House.

He served as a United States representative from Illinois from 2011 to 2023. A member of the Republican Party, Kinzinger originally represented Illinois’s 11th congressional district and later Illinois’s 16th congressional district. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.

After President Donald Trump was defeated in the 2020 presidential election, Kinzinger became known for his vocal opposition to Trump’s claims of voter fraud and attempts to overturn the results. Kinzinger was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment, and one of only two Republicans to vote to create a select committee to investigate the 2021 United States Capitol attack, to which he was subsequently appointed.

On October 29, 2021, Kinzinger announced that he would not seek reelection to Congress in 2022, after redistricting placed him and another Republican incumbent in the same district.

If Republicans truly want to move on from President Trump then this would be a bold and powerful way of doing so.  It would send a message that the Republican Party is back and no longer hijacked by whatever it was that took the Party away from its roots.

Kinzinger is not a liberal.  He is a Republican. Republicans should not be afraid of him.  Since Republicans now control, sort of, the House, maybe Democrats should find someone they can work with and if that is Kinzinger, they too should not be afraid of him.  He won’t give Democrats everything they want but maybe together they can accomplish something other than investigations and denying the results of the 2020 election.

Here are just a few of the questions that Democrats would have if Kinzinger were Speaker of the House:

  1. Kinzinger might want to repeal Obama Care and replace it with a plan that would greatly increase costs for older Americans.
  2. Kinzinger might not want  to reduce the number of people who can get legal or illegal use of fast firing guns.
  3. Kinzinger might not take aggressive steps to reduce green house emissions.
  4. Kinzinger might not want to financially support the children and mothers that would not be allowed to end a pregnancy.

Wealth and Health; Happiness and Money

Happiness and Money

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”  Albert Einstein

I found peace from learning that lots of money doesn’t increase happiness after reading a 2010 Princeton study that found that happiness plateaus at a household 2010 income of $75,000 a year ($97,500 in 2023) on average in America with some states higher like California ($90,000 now $117,000) and some lower according to a follow up study by the Huffington Post. 

As of October 18, 2022, approximately 33.6% of U.S. households earn $100,000 or more. With that, around one in three households are bringing in a six-figure income. A household can include more than one earner.

While two thirds of America is not as happy as they could be financially, it is still comforting to know that we don’t have to be overly wealthy to be happy.
“We work very hard to reach a goal, anticipating the happiness it will bring. Unfortunately, after a brief fix we quickly slide back to our baseline, ordinary way-of-being and start chasing the next thing we believe will almost certainly—and finally—make us happy.”  Frank T. McAndre

The last words of Steve Jobs –
“I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.

At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.

In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.

It should be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.

God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you; will give strength and light to go ahead.

Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.

What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.  You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.  Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.

Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbors.”

Is it possible to get 50% of Americans to that magic $97,500 level and if so, how?

We would probably need to recreate the structure that existed 40 years ago.  In the late 70’s and early 80’s incomes started growing more slowly for most workers and inequality surged.  After World War II and for the next 30 years, American businesses distributed their profits widely.  Business proudly boasted about how much they paid workers and Uncle Sam.  Suppliers were getting a fair price for their goods.

Then all of a sudden a game of follow the leader raised its head.  Jack Welch and GE began to layoff huge numbers of workers and closed factories.  This resulted in less money going to workers and more to investors.  If someone owned stock they were happy and protective of such businesses.  If someone were a worker, they would take financial hits.  This was coupled with businesses trying to pay as little taxes as possible.

One person, Jack Welsh, started this trend and it snowballed its way through corporate America. Welsh transformed GE from a large employer with a loyal employee into a corporation that made much of its money from its finance division and a non-familial business relationship with workers.  GE became highly successful for a time but that model under-invested in research and development and grew from the outside in by buying other companies.  Not to belabor this but GE wound up breaking up.  As was said earlier, the GE model became a model that was copied over and over due to its initial success.

I am saying there were more than 33.6% of Americans that were happier between the late 40’s and early 70’s because they were treated more as family by their employers and were not stepchild’s to investors. All right that’s said because I wanted to say it.

Repeating again, for the last 40 years shareholder primacy has existed.  The gap between productivity and wages has grown in this period.  Is this about to change?  PayPal is now handing out stock to everyday employees.  One company, GE, started the trend of shareholder over worker so maybe one company (PayPal) can start the trend of worker over shareholder.  Might PayPal or another company step up and stop the race to the bottom with corporate taxes?

If there is to be change that allows more American families to reach that $97,500 then it will happen if American companies can be competitive and profitable while also taking care of their workers like they did between the mid 40’s and mid 70’s.

Religion Basics

Religion–The Good–

Religion is credited with stabilizing the world, supporting the order of things, and creating a coherent understanding of the world and the human place within it.

Religion–The Bad–

Too much blood and treasure have been lost from what is often called religious wars.

Religion–Thomas Jefferson–

“Say nothing of my religion,” Jefferson once said. “It is known to myself and my God alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.”

Jefferson Bible From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was an attempt by Thomas Jefferson to glean the teachings of Jesus from the Christian Gospels. Jefferson wished to extract the doctrine of Jesus by removing sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.



People tend to live longer and be healthier when married.  Why limit who can benefit from that?

Marriage has already expanded well beyond what it may have stereotypically been in the minds of some. For example, some people marry five or more times.  Some marry persons of a different ethnicity. Some marry someone that is 50 years older or younger than themselves.

Instead of thinking of marriage as only sexual or for the purpose of creating children, why not consider marriage as a legal contract between two people for the purpose of support, kinship, love, companionship, respect, and commitment without regard to race, gender, or faith?  How would that be perverted?

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

Religion and Spirituality

Okay, enough about politics for awhile.  If we don’t want to talk politics then maybe the next best thing is religion.  So, here goes.  The following are things I think I know or at one time thought I knew.

I accept that religion cannot do for me what I fail to do.  I believe the spirit of the Bible, Koran, Gita, etc. live on forever and it is best that I stay away from groups that study and quote literal interpretations of our great religious books that tend to divide us instead of bringing us together in harmony.

I understand that If I were to ask who has the truest teachings of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, Krishna respectively the answer would depend on who I asked.  I recognize the divine-Consciousness, whether it is through Jesus, or Buddha, or Mohammed, or Moses, or Krishna etc. is personal and it is the person that stays tuned to their chosen one without forcing themselves on others that is nearest to the divine-Consciousness.

I understand that the highest aim of religion is self knowledge and therefore I need to be introspective.  I know that my evolvement ends when I have closed attachment to the old that prohibits me from opening to the new.  I believe at the core of all religions there is unity and harmony—that interpretations differentiate religions and divide.  Religion should be able to teach us and guide us into ways to unite globally and open us to allowing God and his love to come into our lives.

I know that everything on earth has a vibration including myself.  When I evolve I better tune my vibration to the divine vibration.  It might help to think of tuning forks.  When a tuning fork is struck it vibrates to its tuned note and causes other tuning forks of the same note to vibrate leaving other forks tuned to other notes silent.  I want to vibrate only to the more evolved notes.

I am  aware there are millions of solar systems moving around in space and like our solar system might move through energy/vibration zones described in our  oldest religions and am aware that these zones were given characteristics tied to their Sanskrit names as follows. Kali Yuga is the most primitive zone. Dwapara Yuga is a more modern zone having more spirituality.  Treta Yuga is a very advanced and evolved zone.  Satya Yuga is the Golden zone where love and peace and divine connection exist everywhere.  Daiva Yuga is the zone that begins the return back through the less evolved previous zones.  According  to our  oldest religions, Earth spends a few thousand years getting into and out of each of these zones.  Earth is about to enter Treta Yuga.   Sanskrit is regarded as the ancient language in Hinduism, where it was used as a means of communication and dialogue by the Hindu Celestial Gods, and then by the Indo-Aryans. Sanskrit is also widely used in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.

Becoming Spiritual

I treat my relationship to God, or the God-Force, as a partnership and less as a child-parent relationship.  I understand there is co-creation and I have personal responsibility, that a small but powerful piece of God or the God-force is within me and that it is not God’s will that makes me healthy or ill for instance; it is the creative power of being positive or negative.  I understand my tendencies to be positive or negative come from my subconscious mind and memories stored in my cells.  In regards to illness, wanting to live is not near as powerful as wanting to heal, for living implies getting back to what I was doing and healing implies confronting my life openly and honestly which leads to an organic cleansing of my inner self.

I know if my mind dwells upon spiritual things it becomes spiritual.  If my mind dwells upon self-indulgences, self-aggrandizement, self-exaltation, selfishness in any form it becomes that. In each instance, it is what I do that defines who I am.   I know I am worthy and guilt and fear do not serve me.  I should not dwell on whether I was right or wrong in the past and instead ask does what I do now and in the future truly fit with my definition of who I want to be which, requires me to define in advance the person I want to be.  To choose what is best for me requires wisdom; to choose what is most efficient for me requires deciding if I want to be an artist or cowboy.

I know I should spend more time with more evolved persons.  I can begin to see and make in myself the goodness I see in another and likewise the bad. I need to recognize good and praise and honor it in others.  I know I can simply bring my body to meetings, seminars, and workshops where I can let it hang out with evolving people.

I believe my spiritual guide(s) will help get information to me one way or another.  That is why it is so important to learn to tune into my intuition, inner guidance, gut instinct.  I can fine-tune my ability to receive spiritual guidance.  I feel it in my chest.  I know I have to be careful to not confuse my habits and instincts which have led to my tendencies with my guidance.

I know that as I awaken to a stronger degree of personal responsibility I become another vibration for peace on this planet.  I believe my initiative toward becoming and staying healthy helps me become peaceful and self empowered.

The Power of Understanding

I define reincarnation as the process of learning who I truly am and discovering my true ultimate goal.  I should stay in the present.  I realize changing and evolving takes time, is a step-by-step process, and that I will limp through life if I don’t place all my weight on my current step before I take my next step.

I should dive deeper within self. I can experience more joy in my life if I could just understand more about what this life is about and why it is shared with the people I share it with.  I know I have a hand in creating my dramas and that I wear my past actions and thoughts on my face, create my challenges, and bring to me the people that surround me.  I realize likeness attracts likeness—that good things come to happy people including other happy people, that angry sarcastic negative people collect other angry sarcastic negative people.  I shall look around, observe, and see who I am collecting around me.

I know I should not judge the right or wrong of others based on my own current values as if they were the right and perfect ones for everyone at any time and I will not require others to define themselves according to my current terms.

I know it is wise to understand the situation and the needs and wants of others before I bother getting my needs explained; I succeed when I serve before seeking to be served; and I get to serve when others accept that I understand and want to serve and not just be served.

I know that the more I chase the more allusive the prey whereas acting and thinking like the person I want to become produces that in my experience.   I know I should not have to have a little more time, money, or love before I allow myself to smile often.  I can choose to be happy or sad, angry or peaceful, hateful or loving, forgiving or revengeful.

A winding path across the woods

Political Party and Christianity Adherents

Originally Posted two years ago.

This is probably a stretch but the purpose is to just get the reader thinking about locked in political party adherence anyway.

We didn’t have political parties when Washington was President.  They gradually formed as we were trying to figure out what our fledgling country needed from Washington DC such as a central bank and national policy.  We are still arguing today about the role of central government versus states rights.  We even had a massive Civil War over the direction of America.

The conditions of Christianity’s expansion were diverse.  Communities from Jerusalem to Rome were established.  The expansion was not supported by political or economic means.  It spread rapidly even under persecution and did so without real textual or organizational controls.

Jesus was a rural itinerant preacher but the first people that called themselves Christians were urban, living in the big cities in the Roman Empire.  The growth of Christianity involved a linguistic transition from Aramaic to Greek and it involved a a cultural transition from a predominantly Jewish culture to a predominantly Greco-Roman culture, and finally, it involved a demographic transition from being a movement among Jews to an ever-increasing movement among non-Jews or Gentiles.

The thirteen original colonies that came together through compromise to form a nation were populated by adventurers from France, England, The Netherlands, and Barbados.  The latter dominating the southern colonies with strong convictions for aristocracy and slavery.  A diverse group to say the least.  All this was laid on top of a native population free from Europe’s centuries of war and imperialism.

Christianity was also diverse from the beginning because of all these transitions, shortage of written word and organization, and how rapidly it spread.  Everywhere Christianity appeared, it was something slightly different.

Today there are Christian adherents all over the world but the meaning of being Christian perhaps still differs from place to place.  For some it is all about the Crucifixion and for others the emphasis is the Resurrection and it seems like it is what one believes that is most important.

Sometimes Christians misconstrue other religious traditions because Christians believe questions like “what do we profess”, “what do we think”, “what are our convictions”, are important to other religions.  But for some religions what is most important is what they do.  They don’t ask “what do I believe”.  Instead they ask “what is it that we are doing” and “what are our practices”.

Is it that much of a stretch to compare Christianity adherents to political party adherents in that perhaps being a Republican means something different from state to state or from person to person and likewise to adherents of the democratic party?

Progressives in both Parties understand that material prosperity without spirituality leads to greed, lack of inner and outer peace, and war and that spirituality without material development leads to poverty and famine. 

What does it mean to be a Republican? Lincoln, a Republican with full agreement if not pressure from Northern Democrats, freed the slaves.  Is this the same Party that has been making it difficult to impossible for blacks to vote? 

Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act resulted in a huge migration of Southern Democrats into the Republican Party which has had a profound effect on both Parties through addition to the Republican Party and subtraction to the Democratic Party.

In 2008 the Tea Party, now called the Freedom Caucus, became part of the Republican Party.  The Freedom Caucus is very conservative and wants to balance the budget by reducing entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Affordable Health Care Plan, etc. 

Do Republicans accurately define what it means to be a member of the Democratic Party and vice versa? Do we as Americans have enough in common that we can recognize those things instead of what we seem dead set to see negatively in the party they are not adherents of?

What does it mean to be a Republican or a Democrat?  Has it always been the same?  Has being an adherent always been in your best interest?  When might it not have been?  Why are you so stubbornly tied to one of the Parties?

Jesus had a distinctive appeal to the outcasts.  He did not address himself to the religious elite among the people, but rather to the outcasts.  “Blessed are you poor,” rather than “you rich.”  His ministry was characterized by an open-table fellowship with sinners and tax collectors, people who were outcasts among the Jewish people. 

  • Which Party’s adherents are most like Jesus? 
  • Which Party wants tax cuts for the rich? 
  • Which Party wants to cut or privatize Medicare and cut Social Security benefits to reduce deficit spending?
  • Which Party increases spending into the Military Industrial Complex that along with tax cuts creates deficit spending?
  • Which Party spent a trillion dollars on the Iraq War and paid for it with debt?
  • Would Jesus want to protect the environment and stop global warming?  Which Party more closely agrees with Jesus on the environment and global warming?
  • Evangelicals seem to want freedoms to not serve the LGBTQ community or allow them to marry or adopt.  Does that come from Leviticus and the Old Testament or from Jesus and the New Testament? 

James Mattis, a four star US marine corps general and served as Trumps Secretary of State, said that Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.   Accept this as true or not but admit we are divided more now than we were 5 years ago.


I created this website to share my thoughts on life and lately it has been too much about politics so let’s get back to original intent and think about how love affects our potential.  Love is what makes this world work.  Without it we would fall apart.  The more we open to it the more we are.  We open to love by allowing ourselves to feel pain.  If I feel pain over the departure of a friend or loved one, is it rooted in love or confused with love?  If I feel the pain of emptiness where is the love in that?  If I am suffering the pain of ridicule, lambasting, shame, where does my suffering to all this open me to love?  And, if I feel the pain of being less than I want to be, what does love have to do with that?

Asking the question is a perfect start.  Whatever we allow and accept becomes glued to us.  If anything breaks free from that glue we tend to allow and accept something else to take their place because we are magnets—we draw things to us and we allow what we draw to us to stick. They stick to us, they stick to each other.  What sticks to us starves or feeds our potential.  What is sticking to you?

Pain always wants to stick on us and then victim comes along and sticks to the pain.  Anger loves pain and victim and sticks to the victim that is sticking to the pain.  Pain and victim and anger and revenge have found homes on many of us starving our potential.

We want to attract right things to us.  Interestingly, our conscious mind naturally fears not being right.  Subconsciously or emotionally we naturally fear not being accepted.  Physically, we naturally fear physical and emotional pain.

If love sticks to us it is because love uniquely sticks to love.  Power sticks to love and force sticks to fear.  If we attract other things like control, self-interest, fear, hate, jealousy, ownership, and the like, we feel pain as we go through life’s situations.  The pain helps us understand what is sticking to us.

We need to recognize the pain and understand it.  There are ways of doing this but it starts with a decision to change, a decision that has no grey areas, a pure black or white decision.  So write that decision with black ink on white paper so we can clearly see it.

I am changing!

I am evolving!

The first step is recognizing that pain is our signal that we need to change something, we might not know what to change yet, but we do know that our next step is to start exploring.

We might already consciously know what it is we need to do or think differently, or we might need our subconscious minds to help us figure it out.  There is so much power in our subconscious minds where there is an unlimited amount of information about us.

Clouds against a blue sky

Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice

A Choice Perspective–

Seemed like a good idea to let this Post resurface.  It was originally posted well over a year ago and again several months ago due to the new Texas law concerning abortions.  Here we go again now that there is a draft paper that has been released by Chief Justice Roberts indicating the Supreme Court might overturn Roe vs Wade.  

This perspective is not intended to nudge anybody toward being pro-life or pro-choice.  At best, I hope it might make someone less of a single issue voter. 

Obviously humans can make physical bodies as can all animals but some will argue that there may be a lack of humility to say that humans also create ever lasting souls that temporarily inhabit those bodies.

For those that believe the everlasting soul or spirit is not created from the human egg and seed but instead by the Divine, might they be allowed to believe that the soul is not created upon conception?

To them the termination of a pregnancy might not be terminating a soul or spirit because they do not have the power to terminate something that is everlasting or something that has yet to inhabit a fetus.

Accepting that someone has the right to believe that is what freedom of religion is about. At the turn of the 21st Century there were  28,000,000 people in the United States that claim to be non-adherents of any religious tradition. A 2015 Gallop Pole showed that half of Americans consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as “pro-life.”  Today, 69% of America supports Roe vs Wade.

If a woman does not want to give birth to a fetus for health and financial reasons and is legally forced to give birth, who should pay for the cost of growing that child?  If a fetus is a person at 6 weeks pregnant, is that when the child support starts?  Is that also when you can’t deport the mother because she is carrying a US citizen?  Can a 6 week fetus be insured so that a miscarry is paid for?  

Would a person considering abortion be less frightened of the challenges of giving birth if the the Federal government invested in child care and preschool?  Investments that created a child care entitlement for most children from birth through age five and universal pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds, which provided significant increases to access for families and children, improved the quality of the programs, and increased pay and support for providers?

If the mother can’t provide a safe and nourishing environment or have the means to feed and clothe the child, should she be legally forced to put the baby up for adoption or instead try to raise the child in a homeless situation?

Most of the time people have an image in their heads about a circumstance, like the circumstance of a pregnant woman. Here is an image you might not have thought about.  In 1950, the world population was about 2.5 billion.  In 2000, it was about 6 billion.  The United Nations estimates the world population will eventually level out at 11 billion people in 2150.  Large numbers of the world’s population continue to live in severe poverty.  In 1997 1.3 billion people had incomes below $1 per day.  These people, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, East and Southeast Asia, on the Indian subcontinent, and in Haiti, lived very near the margin of subsistence.  Some of the most extreme poverty is found on the outskirts of rapidly growing cities in developing countries.  In many parts of the world, people have moved to urban areas in search of work.  Often, they must live in slums, in makeshift dwellings without sanitation or running water.  Is the intensity of your right-to-life position consistent regardless of the circumstance of the pregnant woman?

Most of us  want to make our own choices regardless of how difficult they are.  People who would be good parents would have a very difficult time deciding to abort a fetus.  It would be a traumatic decision that could haunt them for life.  They do not need others to add to that trauma.

The longer a woman is pregnant the less likely she is to abort.  Something drastically has to change for a woman who has carried a fetus into late term for her to decide to abort the fetus.  That decision is probably excruciatingly painful and personal.

Pro-Choice supports access to safe and legal abortion if for no other reason than to prevent women from seeking back ally abortions.  And yes, coat hangers were used, still are, and will be again in direct relationship to the availability of safe,sanitary, and professional clinics.

Women are different than men.  They can give birth.  They need access to effective birth control and emergency contraception, and reproductive health services.  Why would a man want to take that away from them?

Men, if you were the one that carried the fetus, would that change your opinion about life vs choice?

Are you still a single issue voter?

Black Lives Matter

California Liberal

I have moved around the country a little bit and have called California, Arizona, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Washington home.  I lived in Idaho for three months as well but never owned a home there and therefore have never called Idaho home.  Outside of California, there seems to be animosity toward California and Californians. Animosity is too weak of a word to describe what I have heard from many many people.  Some hate the whole idea of California.

Outside of work, I meet more people playing golf.  I usually join a league when I don’t know enough golfers to make a foursome that want to play about as often as I do.  I think there are many more conservatives that play golf than liberals.  It seems like that anyway.  I have to admit, politics doesn’t come up that much during a round of golf and that is usually for the best.  People have so much in common that it makes it easy for us to be with each other, laugh a little, joke a little–until politics gets in the way.

Why do conservatives have such a bad opinion of liberals?  Polls show that we agree on over 50% of the issues.  Having a low opinion of Californians ignores the fact that California has the fifth-largest economy in the world and has been the main engine for American growth for the last 50 years.  It is not sufficiently acknowledged just how immense the California economy is.

How can California be this successful if it is full of lazy low character people?  If not viewed as lazy then maybe California is viewed as having an open, experimental culture.  But it is that open, experimental culture that has long attracted entrepreneurs and it has contributed to the movie, tech and aerospace industries flourishing there.

According to Forbes, there are 724 billionaires in the United States, and California is home to 189 — roughly a quarter of the total.

California politics is dominated by the Democratic party.  It seems to be working.

Six Political Parties

None of us fit entirely in one of the two major Parties.  And yet we tend to vote straight Party tickets as if we did.  If we were to answer questions about where we stand on 20 issues we might find ourselves in one of six Parties.  That would be a good thing and maybe the only way we escape the chains that keep us from working together.  Try it here:

A black and white picture of women

I Have A Dream | MLK

Some might not like this speech or for that matter, like MLK but it is hard to dismiss his accomplishments and the environment they were accomplished.  If one hates him then perhaps they should ask themselves what they have done with their lives.

Full Transcript |Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.| I Have A Dream: Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men — yes, Black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.

We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.

And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, when will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.

We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: for whites only.

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right down in Alabama little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.

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