I once again call on all those “millions of responsible gun owners” out there that I keep hearing about every time there’s a gun atrocity in the news, and we are told that, in response, we are not supposed to even, maybe, consider, possibly, talking a little about, hypothetically, adjusting both our laws and our attitudes toward firearms in order to make the populace more murderous, lest we find ourselves slandering these “millions of responsible gun owners.”
Here’s my request. Rid yourself of Wayne LaPierre as a national spokesman.
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre has heard and read what the media is saying about the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide and thinks an element is missing. “The one thing missing in that equation is that woman owning a gun so she could have saved her life from that murderer,” LaPierre told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.
It’s just autonomic with this clown now. I’m not entirely sure he’s alive. He chatters out these talking-points which, in this case, happen to be ever cheesier than usual because, as we have learned as the investigation of the unspeakable tragedy in Kansas City proceeds, is that, not only did Kasandra Perkins have her own guns, she also knew how to use them.
It’s governor Brownback who should repent for not representing all Kansans in favor of just the fundamentalist Christian ones.
The Secular Coalition for America today condemned Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to issue an overtly religious proclamation and take part in an upcoming event sponsored by organizations that seek to replace the nation’s secular government with Christian theology.
In the official proclamation for Brownback’s “Day of Restoration,” the Republican governor urged citizens to “collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us.” In conjunction with the proclamation, Brownback released a video in anticipation of the upcoming “Reign Down” prayer rally to take place on Saturday, December 8, in Topeka.
“It’s unconscionable that Gov. Brownback, who was elected to serve all citizens, has decided to use his position in government to further a religious ideology,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director for the Secular Coalition for America. “It is not lawmakers’ jobs to tell citizens to pray or to promote religion.”
Described as day of “worship and prayer,” “Reign Down” is sponsored by the several government-affiliated groups and leaders, including the Congressional Prayer Caucus and Republican Rep. Trent Franks.
Brownback has been involved in other events that insert religion into government. In August of 2011, he spoke and delivered a prayer at Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally. He also has ties to several key leaders in the Dominionist movement-which seeks to govern the United States with Christian theology-including Lou Engle, a sponsor of “Reign Down.”
It quickly became one of the most popular buzz words coined during the 2012 Presidential campaign and played perfectly into the Republican narrative that Barack Obama was weak on economic policy.
To make this point in a simple fashion, the GOP boiled it down to a single, oft repeated talking point:
Obama hurts job creators.
Like a spreading flame, the term quickly spread across the media and pretty could soon could be found just about everywhere.
The concept came from basic deductive reasoning: Companies create jobs at the direction of the people who run them, therefore the people who run companies are responsible for creating jobs. If we make life easier for them, they will in turn hire more workers and the economy as a whole will benefit
It made perfect sense…except it was wrong.
Firstly, it seemed to rely heavily on the principle that a central priority for companies was to create jobs.
Let’s clear this up right now: Businesses do not exist to create jobs, they exist to MAKE MONEY.
If you run a small company and you can make $500 000 profit with only two employees but only $300 000 profit with three, are you really going to hire someone new? Absolutely not.
And if government lowers taxes, thereby putting more money in your pocket, are you going to hire someone? No. You’re going to take your $500 000 profit plus whatever extra you get from the tax break and continue chugging along with two employees. Why? Because that approach is making you most the money.
The second flaw in the “job creators” concept is that it seems often rooted in the notion that every wealthy person is by default, a job creator.
Let’s say my name is Wilford T. Broomington IV, I am a wealthy individual and hold sizable investments in a number of companies. Am I a job creator? No.
I am not invested in the companies to make jobs, I am invested in them to make money. Since I sit on the board of directors at some of these companies, I do have a say in operational matters, but I am not the primary decision maker when it comes to hiring employees at those companies.
A company is going to do whatever is necessary to maximize profits. This almost never means hiring workers. It means cutting benefits, cutting wages, reducing spending on supplies, maximizing productivity and output from existing employees.
It can also mean laying off employees, the exact opposite of what supposed “job creators” should be doing.
But the question still remains: Who are the real job creators?
The answer is simple: We are.
You and me and everyone like us.
Know why? Because we control demand for products and services and where higher demand exists, more jobs will be created to handle that demand.
Think about it, a small business that can handle 50 orders a week with 3 employees would, more than likely, not be able to handle 500 in a week without additional help. Hence, jobs would be created.
The easier it is for the average joe to buy things, the more disposable income he has, the easier it is to boost demand and create strong conditions for job creation.
There’s really no other way to do it. Companies hire primarily because they simply can’t meet current needs with their existing workforce. It’s economics 101.
If we really want to create jobs in this country, we have to look not at giving the wealthy even more, but helping the middle class to grow stronger and helping the lower class build wealth.
If we can do that everybody wins from the lowest parts of the ladder to the highest. Increased demand means more jobs but it also means more sales dollars which in turn means more profits and thus more money in the pockets of the wealthy.
The problem is the “job creators” narrative is not meant as a fiscal policy catchphrase but moreso as a way to generate public sympathy for the wealthy by convincing people that things would be better for them if we just made it easier for already rich people to make more money.
If that doesn’t make sense to you, you’re not alone.
A quick examination of the issues at hand make it obvious the notion is flawed, but most people won’t dig a bit below the surface, they’ll simply buy the talking point that the wealthy need to have more freedom and money because the wealthy own the companies and therefore the wealthy make jobs.
After all, it makes perfect sense.
Except it doesn’t.
Defeated presidential candidate Mitt Romney was a guest ringside Saturday night at the fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Romney also visited with Pacquiao in his dressing room before the fight, wishing him well in the bout.
“Hello Manny. I ran for president. I lost,” Romney told the fighter, according to Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg.
Pacquiao is a congressman in the Philippines, and has said previously he might run one day for the president of his country.
Romney and his wife, Ann, were guests of Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Bill Brady at the fight at the MGM Grand hotel arena. Brady hosted a fundraiser for Romney during the presidential campaign.
Germany’s Roman Catholic church has revealed that at least 66 clergy had been accused of sexually abusing children and adults during a 10-year period, with most of the victims male.
The findings were part of a scientific study ordered after the church was thrown into crisis two years ago when hundreds came forward alleging they had been abused as minors between the 1950s and 80s.
Based on dozens of expert appraisals of Catholic clergy from between 2000 and 2010 submitted by 21 of Germany’s 27 dioceses, it said the clergy had been accused of 576 cases of sexual abuse.
Three-quarters of the 265 alleged targets of abuse were male, the German Bishops’ Conference said, on Friday releasing the report drawn up by three forensic centres for research.
Most of the cases took place between the 1960s and 90s “in a period when a different social awareness and a lower sensitivity to the theme of sexual acts on children and youths still prevailed”, Norbert Leygraf, of the Institute of Forensic Psychiatry at Duisburg-Essen University, said in a statement.
“Understanding has changed in the course of the years both within the Catholic church as well as in society as a whole - today the focus is the greatest possible transparency and effort for quick clarification of cases of abuse,” he said.
The Human Rights Campaign on Thursday called on the Maryland Marriage Alliance to return a $10,000 donation by Michael Peroutka, an alleged active white supremacist and secessionist sympathizer who was one of the three largest individual donors to the campaign against marriage equality in Maryland.
HRC also called on the Maryland Catholic Conference, which played a leading role in founding the Maryland Marriage Alliance, to publicly denounce Peroutka’s donation. Peroutka is an active member of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate, secessionist organization labeled an “explicitly racist” hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
“This is just the latest evidence that no matter how equality opponents try and cloak their work, their efforts are often driven and funded by hate,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “As support for equality becomes increasingly mainstream and funding for our opposition dries up, anti-equality groups are increasingly forced to rely on the donations of a few extremist individuals and groups who often push hateful agendas.”
I’m reading The Fine Print, by David Cay Johnston, right now, and early in the book he shares this anecdote about the treatment of debt in the Code of Hammurabi:
If you could not repay a debt because of circumstances beyond your control, such as a hailstorm flattening a field of grain, you could be excused from your debt—this amounted to an early form of bankruptcy protection. The clay tablet that recorded your debt could be washed, giving you a “clean slate,” a term we use to this day to describe unpaid debts that are forgiven.
The government’s approval of an IDF draft exemption to ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students caused a political uproar Sunday, with harsh criticism leveled at the decision from both the Left and the Right.
The exemption was approved by the ministers following a proposal by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, to renew National Service draft for a limited period.
The exemption means to resolve the issue, following the expiration of Tal Law. The government voted in favor of special National Service guidelines that will circumvent a High Court of Justice ruling on the matter and will see some 1,300 yeshiva students join the National Service in lieu of enlisting in the army.
The case against the American Front white-supremacy movement in Osceola County has been reduced to just three remaining defendants.
In all, 14 people were accused this spring in one of the largest U.S. domestic-terrorism cases in more than a decade.
Since then, one defendant was sentenced to prison and 10 others received probation or their charges were dropped without explanation.
Most recently, all charges were dropped Friday against Verlin Lewis, who was identified by prosecutors as head of the American Front’s north Florida chapter, and another member.
Neither Lewis nor this attorney Steven Tinsley of Kissimmee could be reached for comment.