Tuesday, 6/24/14, Public Square

it magnifies


by | June 24, 2014 · 6:00 am

16 responses to “Tuesday, 6/24/14, Public Square

  1. By next Monday SCOTUS will deliver decisions on several cases, including the so-called Hobby Lobby case. Here is some interesting reading, not that it will have any impact on what the Supremes rule —

    Will the Supreme Court Ignore the Evidence? Facts vs. Beliefs in the Hobby Lobby Case

    Op-ed: What The Hobby Lobby Ruling May Mean for LGBT People

    12 reasons the Hobby Lobby case should be dismissed

  2. Asher Bob White

    My dilemma with today’s post is as follows. My entire work-life from which I retired was education and I know that schools do an excellent job of education the mass of people “to a point”. Basically, the mass can read, write and do functional math. They understand our geography and our government, basically. How can they be so vulnerable to propaganda and political shenanigans? Is their vulnerability based upon greed or immorality? Why don’t they get it? Or, is it just me?
    That dilemma makes the conversation on this blog and my other reading very important to me. There are smart and kind people, too. And, still, there are too many that appear to be just plain dumb!

    • IMHO – I think people would rather ‘go with the flow’ than to rock the boat.

      Or, maybe better put, to belong to a group than to not belong anywhere?

      And when Republicans wrap their political beliefs into some kind of mandate from God to do the right thing or to lose your soul to eternity in Hell – that is rather strong motivation for people to follow any leader – even a false prophet.

      It takes real courage to stand up to the crowd that you belong to when they are wrong or when they misrepresent and/or outright lie to spew their talking points.

      It takes even more courage to stand up and tell your preacher/priest that he is wrong….

      • http://abcnews.go.com/US/mormon-church-excommunicates-kate-kelly-womens-rights-activists/story?id=24264440


        This is what can happen to people who have the courage to stand up to the preacher and/or church.

      • I have shared this story before – but it illustrates what I was trying to say above as to why people act the way they do..

        I had a Betty Bible who came into the doctor’s office I had worked in for several years and she became the top dog – the Practice Manager.

        In that role – she conducted staff meetings. During one of these meetings, this woman stated directly that this was a Christian office and if you don’t like that, then there is the door (while she pointed to the door).

        I confronted this supervisor and told her that she could not legally say that to our employees. And, I added, that I knew our doctor would never like that to be said to his employees – even though he is a devoutly religious Catholic man.

        Her response to me was ‘why do you hate Jesus?’ From that moment on, this woman made my time at the jobsite a living Hell.

        Not many people are strong enough to put up with that treatment – nor do they want to be known as a Jesus hater.

        I eventually quit that job and told the doctor my reasons (the doctor was a surgeon and only in the office 2 days a week and then he had patients everywhere and was hard to get a hold of to talk)

        My problem was – I truly loved and admired the doctor – so if I had decided to push a harassment suit against this supervisor, the doctor would have been the one that paid the price – not her.

        Besides – my feeling were deeply hurt and it took me a while to even tell the doctor what really happened.

        When I eventually told him – he stated that was not the story that he got from the supervisor (imagine that..) and he fired the supervisor on the spot.

        This was about 15 years ago – and I’ve often wondered what happened to this Betty Bible. But, I’m sure she is alive and well and quite possibly one of those in the Pro Life movement who believes she is doing God’s work.

    • My explanation is there are many people who aren’t interested enough to stay well informed. They’re busy and spend their time with what does interest them. They take the word of people they trust. That person they trust may or may not be well informed, and may have taken the word of someone they trusted. I think this is how misinformation spreads quickly. We all know, including us news junkies, we’re more apt to read and believe what reinforces our opinions. Taking the time to verify information and sources, to really consider new information and to reevaluate our conclusions isn’t the norm, in my opinion.

      Sometimes I fear people vote because it’s the right and honorable thing to do, even tho they have no, little or wrong information to base their vote on. It’s what citizens do — vote. These disinterested and low info voters are pretty much non-factors when times are good and contentment is high. When times are not good, that is when they come out to vote, or vote with more intent (beyond that of a vague sense of civic duty). Some only vote to punish those who are in office. If they elect you, they don’t want to hear from or about you. If they do, then maybe you need to be removed. In a better world voters would give as much consideration to candidates who will represent us in our government as we do to buying a car or cell phone or…

      If ‘things’ are going smoothly — which to those who aren’t interested can mean nothing more than they aren’t hearing much on the evening news — these low-info voters are less likely to vote in new candidates. But if they’re hearing too much on the evening news, and never mind what they’re hearing because to them no news is good news and therefore just being in the news indicates bad news, they’ll vote against the president’s party. That’s how these do-nothing, obstructionist, tea party evangelinut republicans get by with their nonsense.

      The ‘not well informed’ (by choice), don’t want to spend time on politics. They vote when politics or economic circumstances, in some shape or another, make unwelcome intrusions into their lives. They are reactive. Generally, they punish political courage (although on the upside, they also punish ideological rigidity and overreaching), because they don’t like being forced to confront problems, or to listen to the gripes of the politically obsessed.

      • I think it is a combination of things. As the veteran that helped to form the IAVA group stated when he was guest panelist recently on the Bill Maher t.v. show – it would be nice to have people who were actual experts and/or fact checkers in the presence of any political debate.

        He used the example of the Iraq War. He noticed that these politicians and political talkers are those who have NEVER been to Iraq. How the world would they know what it was really like and what was really going on?

        Let’s face it – Dick Cheney ran the Iraq War with the help of George W. Bush and his NeoCon buddies – but did Dick Cheney ever serve in the military?

        How about the overpaid GOP mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh? Did he ever serve in the military?

        But this guy’s point is – we need experts – ie fact checkers – when we are sitting around and debating as to what this country needs to do – or not to do in some cases.

      • http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2014/06/17/q-a-with-iraq-and-afghanistan-veterans-of-america.html?page=all
        This is the guy that started the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) that I referenced above.

        This guy sounds like a sensible and down-to-earth man that simply wants to do the best he/we can to help our country with the multitude of problems we are facing today.

      • Please reads this article – Paul Riecker specifically mentions how hard his group had to fight to get the post 9/11 G.I. bill passed. Do you remember this?

        Is this the time I actually heard John McCain get up in the Senate and say that not all veterans deserve the benefits such as college tuitition, health care, etc.


        We have had a volunteer military since Vietnam War and then McCain had the nerve to say that not all veterans deserve the benefits.

        Hey – John – why don’t we all decide to take away your veterans benefits – shall we?

  3. I also think the average American is so damn busy trying to survive in this economy that they have given up on the idea that their vote makes any difference.

    Too many times – the two political parties appear to the be same side of the same nasty coin.

    But since Obama got into office, I do think the Republicans have displayed their very nasty and mean-spirited side and perhaps that is why polls show Americans trust the Democrats more than the Republicans.

    Let’s not forget – the Congress approval rating is at an abysmal 7% rating. But this could be due to the Do-Nothing Congress, which engulfs both parties.

  4. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/18/1307914/-IT-expert-Darrell-Issa-explained-how-the-Bush-White-House-lost-22-million-emails#

    When you hear of Republican Darrell Issa bemoaning and denouncing the IRS officials for losing those emails – let’s not forget what this same Darrell Issa said of George W. Bush’s Dream Team back in 2008 when they lost 22 million emails.

    This is one of those times I wish the veteran from IAVA – Paul Riecker – had his wish of having a fact checker and/or expert in the room when these politicians do their partisan hacking …..

    I’m more than sick and tired of Republicans publicly stating that these IRS officials are lying and/or are hostile witnesses. I’ve seen more than one Republican actually accuse these IRS officials of all kinds of misdeeds – some even criminal – without offering absolute no evidence.

    And where is there the truth police when you need them?

  5. A hundred years of American politics, in one GIF
    If you want to understand the evolution of American politics over the past 100 years, you could do a lot worse than watching the GIF above, which shows party control by Congressional district from 1918 to 2012.


  6. Senator Thad Cochran won his primary run-off race against the Tea Party guy. Of course this Tea Party guy is a State Senator and a radio talk host.

    I guess radio talk host gig was up for the chopping block if he managed to get into the Senate?

    This Tea Party guy proudly stated he would stand right with Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul if he was elected to the Senate.

    Wow – now there is a scary thought.

    BTW – I learned today that Mississippi gets 49.8 percent of their revenue from the federal government.

    Hey – since this Tea Party guy guy 49 percent compared to Thad Cochran’s 51 percent – why don’t we just cut that federal government portion down by half and see how those Tea Party folks like it….