Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 10/31 - Climate After Growth, Who Will Get Rich From Obamacare?

Thursday, October 31, 2013, 11:34 AM

Economy

The President Wants You to Get Rich on Obamacare (Thomas C.)

Scully then segued to his main point, one he has been making in similarly handsome dining rooms across the country: No matter what investors thought about Obamacare politically — and surely many there did not think much of it — the law was going to make some people very rich. The Affordable Care Act, he said, wasn’t simply a law that mandated insurance for the uninsured. Instead, it would fundamentally transform the basic business model of medicine. With the right understanding of the industry, private-sector markets and bureaucratic rules, savvy investors could help underwrite innovative companies specifically designed to profit from the law. Billions could flow from Washington to Wall Street, indeed.

Ron Paul: The American People Want More Fed Transparency (Herman J.)

When the CNBC anchor accused Dr. Paul of having ulterior motives for supporting an audit the Fed bill – namely the destruction of the Federal Reserve – Dr. Paul had this response: “I don’t want to destroy anything; I want to repeal bad laws and bad monetary policy. My idea is that the Fed will self destruct. It will lose its efficiency when the dollar goes down and it’s no longer the reserve currency of the world.”

Norwegian man buys flat with forgotten $24 bitcoin investment (Arthur Robey)

Koch, now 29 and working as an engineer, only remembered the investment in April of this year when he read an article about the soaring value of bitcoins.

His 5,000 bitcoins were suddenly worth around $690,000 (500,000 euros).

System Reset 2014-2015 (rfuhrmann)

Local government will offer services that are increasingly phantom, as stagnating tax revenues fund benefits for retirees rather than current services. On paper, cities will remain responsible for filling potholes, but in the real world, the potholes will go unfilled. In response, cities will ask taxpayers to approve bonds that cost triple the price of pay-as-you-go pothole filling, as a way to dodge the inevitable conflict between government retirees benefits and taxpayers burdened with decaying streets, schools, etc. and ever-higher taxes.

Man throws away $500K in gold to spite ex-wife (Nervous Nelly)

Jones claims he then tossed the modern-day treasure into a dumpster behind a motel, where he had been living temporarily, later telling the judge he had no money to give his ex-wife, according to the paper.

View to a skill: The next big education player? (westcoastjan)

Mr Feerick says the big difference is who they are trying to reach. It's the academic versus vocational divide being played out in the digital market.

"The people we're helping do not have a huge voice," says Mr Feerick.

Our Invisible Revolution (westcoastjan)

It appears that political ferment is dormant in the United States. This is incorrect. The ideas that sustain the corporate state are swiftly losing their efficacy across the political spectrum. The ideas that are rising to take their place, however, are inchoate. The right has retreated into Christian fascism and a celebration of the gun culture. The left, knocked off balance by decades of fierce state repression in the name of anti-communism, is struggling to rebuild and define itself. Popular revulsion for the ruling elite, however, is nearly universal. It is a question of which ideas will capture the public’s imagination.

QE + Desperation = Higher Gold Prices (GE Christenson)

After several expensive wars and the expansion of social programs the U.S. had created considerable debt. In fact, debt and the money supply had increased so much that inflation became a serious problem in the 1960s. Further, the U.S. trading partners no longer wanted dollars but wanted gold instead since they could see that dollars were being created indiscriminately and were losing their value. Nixon (August 15, 1971) did what was good for the financial industry, severed the remaining connection between the dollar and gold, allowed the money supply and debt to increase to never-seen-before levels, and planted the seeds of self-destruction for the dollar and the US economy.

Greece’s Aggressive Pursuit of Tax Evaders Appears to Collect More Anger Than Money (Nervous Nelly)

But as the confrontation in Archanes shows, the effort to collect taxes has not gone well; having inspectors run out of town is hardly evidence that the rule of law is taking root in the Greek economy. Rather than instilling a sense of fairness, the more aggressive tax collection program in some ways appears to have aggravated the problem. In particular, attempts to cast a broad net have only fueled public anger at the wealthy, who are often seen as the main culprits.

Peter Schiff explains how Austrian economics helps him make money (Herman J.)

Although this sounds counter-productive, Austrian economics teaches that busts are good things because they clean out the system, allow incompetent assets to fail, which in turn allows competent money to come in, buy the failed assets, reorganize and start over from a sounder base. In this way, capitalism is able to operate most effectively, since any asset or business that is not productive enough is wiped out by the marketplace. This system allows only the strong to survive, increasing productivity and growth in an economy which increases the standard of living for a nation. Thus, it can be said that Austrian economics is similar to the way nature uses natural selection to evolve and progress.

How To Plan A Backpacking Trip (outlive)

Once you have narrowed down your answers to these questions, consult maps, guide books, ask friends, and go online to research some possible great hikes. We prefer to hike into lakes that are about 5-7 miles of hiking, are near treeline at high elevations for great views, and seem to be away from highly popular and well-traveled trails. It’s great to be away from crowds in the wilderness! Our favorite places originate on the east side of the Sierras, because you can drive and park at a trailhead and be starting at a high elevation. The trees aren’t quite as dense as the west side, and the views are very dramatic. Be sure to tell your family where you will be going, and the nearest ranger station to your area, in case of an emergency.

Is Nobody Watching Oil Pipeline Safety in the United States? (James S.)

North Dakota's governor said he was frustrated with the way in which federal regulators were monitoring pipeline safety. An oil spill in the west of the state went unnoticed until a farmer discovered it in his field last month. Regulators, the governor said, don't monitor rural areas the same way they do elsewhere. On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, supporters of a controversial pipeline bill say more infrastructure is needed and fast in order to keep up with the oil boom under way in the central United States. That measure, however, does little to allay the safety concerns about the spider web of oil and natural gas pipelines already in place across the country.

Climate After Growth (Charles A.)

In this provocative paper, PCI Executive Director Asher Miller and Transition Movement Founder (and PCI Fellow) Rob Hopkins make a convincing case for why the environmental community must embrace post-growth economics and community resilience in their efforts to address the climate crisis.

Fukushima Amplifies Japanese Energy Import Dependence (James S.)

High energy costs in the near term (the IMF forecasts that the spot price for crude will remain above $100/barrel for 2014) pose a problem for Japan’s trade balance. As Japan imports more fossil fuels, its trade deficit widens (Japan ran a surplus before 2011). This hurts its current account, which has shrunk considerably. While the depreciation of the yen would usually helps by making exports competitive, the IMF’s Article 4 consultation with Japan noted that the weaker yen has yet to improve the current account.

29 Photos That Put All Of Our Struggles In Perspective (westcoastjan)

This photo was taken moments before the Indian child dove into the overflowing Ganges River as it flooded the region during the country's monsoon season in August of 2013. Thousands were left dead or missing in what was only the very beginning of this particular monsoon season.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 10/30/13

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

30 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Bitcoin ‘Dark Wallet’ project launched by creator of the 3-D pri

Bitcoin ‘Dark Wallet’ project launched by creator of the 3-D printed gun

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Jim H
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Dark Wallet

Nice find Sax... thanks for posting!   One Bitcoin = about $215 today.  

Rumors of Bitcoin's demise have been greatly exaggerated  smiley 

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Doug
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dark uses

I heard a story this morning that there is a parallel internet that is visited mostly for criminal purposes, including child porn, drugs, money laundering, maybe even murder for hire. There are supposedly encription devices that make users invisible to authorities.  One of the primary mediums of exchange is bitcoin.  I heard it on TV, so it must be true. ;^)

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It is true

There are several, each having different purposes and popularity. Some are primarily criminal operations, but others are used to avoid censorship in repressive countries. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_DNS_root

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Chris Hedges is losing it

"It appears that political ferment is dormant in the United States. This is incorrect. The ideas that sustain the corporate state are swiftly losing their efficacy across the political spectrum. The ideas that are rising to take their place, however, are inchoate. The right has retreated into Christian fascism and a celebration of the gun culture. The left, knocked off balance by decades of fierce state repression in the name of anti-communism, is struggling to rebuild and define itself. Popular revulsion for the ruling elite, however, is nearly universal. It is a question of which ideas will capture the public’s imagination."

I've always admired Chris Hedges' writing ability but his statement regarding Christian fascism is an example of left leaning Christianophobic hatred.  Surely, with all that's going on, he can find a better whipping boy than the Christian faith.  Fascist?  Hardly.  It's obvious he suffers from PTSD from his flat emotional affect and his experiences as a war correspondent but statements such as this are simply uncalled for.  Maybe when one traces the lineage of leftist beliefs from Karl Marx to Antonio Gramsci to Saul Alinsky and observes to whom Alinksy dedicated his book, Rules for Radicals, one begins to understand the source of such statements. 

From the dedication of Rules fo Radicals by Saul Alinsky.

"“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history... the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

 

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thc0655
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Hedges

Can someone help direct me to Hedges similar comments made about Catholic, Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist extremists, fascists or whatever?  I'm interested to see if he sees dangerous subgroups within all religious groups, or if it's just evangelical and/or conservative Christianity we should be concerned about.

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governing is the issue, not christianity

thc0655-

I'm interested to see if he sees dangerous subgroups within all religious groups, or if it's just evangelical and/or conservative Christianity we should be concerned about.

So if and when the more enthusiastic Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, or Buddhists start to become a serious influence in a political party in the US, then at that point the question becomes interesting to me.  Since that's not the case, I don't share your interest in investigating that particular aspect of Chris Hedges belief system.

If extreme Muslim groups started to become a serious influence in - say - the democratic party, and as proof of their influence they started to have the ability to force Democrats to start imposing litmus tests for judge appointments based on aspects of Sharia law, I'd have some really serious heartburn about them too.

My personal concern over the effective ability to impose a relatively harsh version of religion-based law on the rest of us is totally non-denominational.

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"Permission" is the issue

Gee, Dave, it seems to me that what you're really saying is it's a matter of whose values are going to be "allowed" to influence public policy (governance) and who will give that permission.  I guess what you're saying is that people who are adherents of theistic belief systems are welcome to their private beliefs, but when they try to influence public policy then they may be excluded because they are "dangerous."  (By that I mean dangerous to the status quo and non-theistic value systems.)  So Hindus, and others, can believe and do whatever they want until they threaten to actually influence how the ship of state is steered.

Frankly, Dave, I'm not really interested in Hedges' beliefs in this area. I think I have him pegged pretty accurately. I was mostly interested in YOUR value system (and those of my other friends on this site) who seem to largely hold non-theistic value systems and get heartburn at the same spots as you do. 

I say we trust the people. Let them ALL have their say. Let them ALL try to influence public policy and public opinion. I say let's trust the process in that those who want to outlaw every Bible translation but the King James or want to condemn Shiites to second class citizenship under law will be overwhelmed by the rest of us who want a truly free, just, and properous society for all, and are quite content to live and let live.

Tom

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Ao

I think Chris Hedges was referring to Christian groups like the Domionists who have apparently been infiltrating the military and government of the US. with the intent to take over the government in a coup. They will then get the country ready for the return of the Messiah by imposing Christianity as the state religion. At least, that's my take after reading an article about them. They have come up in the news recently because Senator Ted Cruz's father is a member of such an evangelical group.Some became concerned that the Senator's determination to shut down the government was a reflection of his religious beliefs and that health care was a convenient excuse. Their supposed goal is to destroy the US government and impose one that reflects their beliefs.

I don't have the impression that Hedges is anti-Christian, but he is concerned about the radical nature of the far right groups. The son of a Presbyterian minister and with a graduate degree in divinity from Harvard, he has the background to alert the public to their motives and strategies. In their case, I believe he feels they are using Christianity to gain secular power, not exactly something Christ advocated. So his attack is not against regular Christians at all. It's the abuse of Christianity that he objects to.

Is he a progressive? Sure. That doesn't mean he's anti-Christian. Groups like the Domionists have a specific agenda. He is pointing out what their agenda would mean for the country. Extremists of any kind want to impose their beliefs on others. Personally, I find the views and aims of the Domionists, if true, to be frightening. As I do any group that seeks to impose their religious beliefs on an entire populace. This country is based on a separation between church and state for a reason.

I see this sort of thing as an expression of the end of Empire. People are looking for answers as to why their country is changing for the worse. They are looking to blame someone and fingers are pointing in every direction. I suspect we will see more of this sort of thing as the grip of collapse continues to tighten. Our collective narcissism is such that we would rather look outside of ourselves for a target for our anger than look inside at our own behaviors. A neo-Nazi group has gained some power in Greece. They have attacked immigrants making them the source of all ills in the country. Such movement towards fascism is just one of the manifestations of collapse. We are witnesses to failures on every level of society.

Joyce

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the secular state

thc-

I guess what you're saying is that people who are adherents of theistic belief systems are welcome to their private beliefs, but when they try to influence public policy then they may be excluded because they are "dangerous."

Half true.  Exercise of private beliefs must be protected.  At the same time, I definitely prefer the idea of a secular state.  I believe secular leadership (not to be confused with an atheistic leadership - athesists can be just as intolerant as anyone else) tends to be more tolerant of a wide variety of belief systems, and I believe that leads to a greater degree of peace and tolerance in the society.  Practically speaking, I have no idea how one could go about excluding people who are zealots intent on governing from a strict interpretation of their particular religious text - but I do think having policy set largely on the basis of religious thought (rather than driven more by science, data, the understanding of the rational world, etc) is problematic.  I found American Theocracy to be compelling reading.  And I understand what Chris Hedges means when he talks about fascism.

So it follows that attempts by particular groups to impose their religious belief and/or religious-legal systems on the rest of the country are disagreeable to me.  And I'd prefer the Constitution protected me from their attempts to do so.

I was mostly interested in YOUR value system (and those of my other friends on this site) who seem to largely hold non-theistic value systems...

You are interested in my value system?

Ok, put simply, I believe in God and Free Will.   "In God We Trust" is just about as much God as I want to see in government.  Anything else is an infringement on my Free Will.

 

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abuse by misrepresentation
jdye51 wrote:

I think Chris Hedges was referring to Christian groups like the Domionists who have apparently been infiltrating the military and government of the US. with the intent to take over the government in a coup. They will then get the country ready for the return of the Messiah by imposing Christianity as the state religion. At least, that's my take after reading an article about them. They have come up in the news recently because Senator Ted Cruz's father is a member of such an evangelical group.Some became concerned that the Senator's determination to shut down the government was a reflection of his religious beliefs and that health care was a convenient excuse. Their supposed goal is to destroy the US government and impose one that reflects their beliefs.

I don't have the impression that Hedges is anti-Christian, but he is concerned about the radical nature of the far right groups. The son of a Presbyterian minister and with a graduate degree in divinity from Harvard, he has the background to alert the public to their motives and strategies. In their case, I believe he feels they are using Christianity to gain secular power, not exactly something Christ advocated. So his attack is not against regular Christians at all. It's the abuse of Christianity that he objects to.

I

Joyce,

Then it would behoove him to be more specific about the particular Christian group he is referencing.

Regarding your second paragraph, the human psyche is such that it can often turn virulently against the very thing it once embraced and loved.  Ever see a Hollywood couple swear undying and everlasting love for one another only to tear one another to shreds in the courts a couple of years later?  Also, please refer to my post above about Stalin.  There have been others of this ilk as well.

I think also think it would behoove Hedges to be more concerned about the present POTUS who professed to be a Christian (when it was politically expedient to do so) but in sympathy, seems to be more Muslim, and in philosophical orientation as expressed by his actions, seems to be more in allegiance with the atheistic communism/socialism of mother, father, mentor (Frank Marshall Davis), friend (Bill Ayers), etc.  Pretending one is a Christian when one is not ... now that's what I'd call an abuse of Christianity. 

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my apologies for the duplications

I'm clicking once and getting posted twice.  Can I get some help if possible?  Weird things happening.  I had 3000 e-mails wiped early this week and the next day, the hard drive was fried.  This is my 3rd hard drive in a year on the computer I use to post and e-mail politically sensitive items.  Interesting that none of our five other computers hooked up to the Internet have had a hard drive failure any time recently.  Also, three computers not hooked up to the Internet (and Faraday cage protected) have had zero problems.   

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Ao

So . . . Ao. Clearly you have some strong opinions about this topic.

The Domionists have been clear about their agenda. They want to take over the government and then do away with it while imposing their version of Christianity on the American people. How is this any different from the radical Islamists who want to impose their religious views on their people? We are a diverse population in the US and declaring Christianity as the state religion would not go over well even with most Christians. I'm guessing you would not be in favor of that either. Freedom of religion and all.

I am puzzled when people on the right say the Obama has sympathies towards the Islam religion. I'm not sure where this belief comes from. It doesn't seem to jibe with what he has expressed or how he has acted. Like calling him a socialist when he is a clearly a big supporter of the banks. I suspect you have been drawn in by propaganda by the religious right who maintain that Christianity is being attacked. Now understand that I am not happy with Obama either, but I don't think he is what some people say he is. Time for some critical thinking here.

Let's try to get past the focus on topics like this that divide us. Let's all examine the motivations behind what we're being told by various groups, left or right. What we need to focus on is collapse. We need to focus on things that are truly important like Fukushima and climate change because these are game changers for humanity. Things like politics are distractions from these more important topics. So you don't agree with Chris Hedges - OK. I happen to think he is one of the few independent voices in journalism out there. To me, he is a truth teller about TPTB. We'll agree to disagree on him and other topics. But we agree that collapse is happening, so let's focus on that. Left, right - what do they matter in the face of collapse anyway? We don't have the luxury of squabbling about these things any more.There are more important things to worry about. Like survival.

 

 

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Who gets to say who is a Christian and who is not?

​ao wrote:

I think also think it would behoove Hedges to be more concerned about the present POTUS who professed to be a Christian (when it was politically expedient to do so) but in sympathy, seems to be more Muslim, and in philosophical orientation as expressed by his actions, seems to be more in allegiance with the atheistic communism/socialism of mother, father, mentor (Frank Marshall Davis), friend (Bill Ayers), etc.  Pretending one is a Christian when one is not ... now that's what I'd call an abuse of Christianity. 

Hi ao,

I agree with Joyce that Obama, like Clinton, doesn't do a great job representing the interests of the lower middle class and the poor, the typical economic interest groups that Democrats purport to represent.  The regulatory and policy capture of both parties by big banks and the military-industrial complex is very much a problem.  

I am also very sympathetic to your concerns about 9/11.  And think that we agree on a lot of other issues, ranging from the major problems with the economy and our energy supplies, a belief in a broader view of medicine than the pharmaceutical-medical complex offers us, and the need for a more wholesome way of life.

I do not at all agree with the claim that Obama is not a Christian, that he is secretly supporting Muslims, or that he is secretly a Muslim himself.  These claims lack evidence.

If Obama was a Muslim, that would be OK too, but he's not.  Do you think that only Christians should be in office?

Claims about Obama's religion are xenophobic and similar to nativism. The whole birth certificate faux controversy and the claims that Obama is secretly a Muslim are very much a type bigotry that smacks of nativism.

Obama was born in Hawaii and raised by a white woman of Christian heritage.  His black Kenyan father was in his life for a very short period of time; really only one year (1961-1962).  Neither of his parents seemed to be very religious.

Is Obama a devout Christian?  Well, I don't really know.  He goes to church, but he also has a secular background.  This makes him like Bill Clinton, George Bush I, Gerry Ford, Richard Nixon, LBJ, and Kennedy.  All of those men went to church, but they didn't seem to make Christianity a core aspect of their lives or leadership.  Maybe ditto for Ronald Reagan, but that's a little more complicated.

The only presidents in recent history who have clear evangelical credentials are Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, and Bush 2 converted later, after a prodigal young-adulthood.  Are you going to claim that George Bush 1 or Bill Clinton were not Christians?  In fact, who gets to say who is a Christian and who is not?  Is that the privilege of the evangelical Christian right?

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of quoting some parts of the gospel of Matthew where Jesus speaks about the importance of being peaceful.  This was an emotional response and I apologized for it.  The reason that I needed to apologize for that was that just because my reading of the New Testament suggests to me that Jesus taught non-violence as a core aspect of his message, but it may be that others interpret the New Testament differently.  So, I realized that I was being divisive and self-righteous, and I retracted my claim.

It should not be surprising that many PP readers do not accept an assertion that Barak Obama is not a Christian, that he is secretly favoring Muslims, or that he is a Muslim himself.

Having said all of that, I agree with you on many other issues, and while I definitely struggle with the claim you have made above, I appreciate many of your other posts.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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hi so what are you using for

hi

so what are you using for your faraday protection? i too am losing emails etc...not surprising is it? i have 4 computers and 2 are offline.and of course they are fine.

i just see it as our tax dollars at work.

so again what's your faraday protection.

thanks

fh

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anthropomorphization

humankind reduces that which it can, this especially includes the great body of useful and dangerous scientific knowledge. That which refuses, we lack the will/technology, we make in our image and those images vary with sufficient force to result in great art and horrid destruction.

"God made man in His image, man has been returning the favor ever since." Pascal

robie

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footnote on Phillips

Here's an interview he did last November ostensibly on his new book 1775: A Good Year for Revolution, but with his commentary on our current economic and political crises:

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/28/former_gop_strategist_kevin_phillips_on

I think he gets it more than most.

Doug

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james w douglass in his book,

james w douglass in his book, JFK and the unspeakable, suggests that JFK had a "turning" a teshuvah, a religious experience where he realized we were heading for nuclear annihilation. his refusal to nuke the Russians lead to his assassination instead.

so giving a label of any sort doesn't predict how a persona will respond. i tend to lean toward what jdy51 is saying....at the end of the day what did any of the time spent on this thread do to save the planet or ourselves?

 

 

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jdye51 wrote: So . . . Ao.
jdye51 wrote:

So . . . Ao. Clearly you have some strong opinions about this topic.

The Domionists have been clear about their agenda. They want to take over the government and then do away with it while imposing their version of Christianity on the American people. How is this any different from the radical Islamists who want to impose their religious views on their people? We are a diverse population in the US and declaring Christianity as the state religion would not go over well even with most Christians. I'm guessing you would not be in favor of that either. Freedom of religion and all.

I am puzzled when people on the right say the Obama has sympathies towards the Islam religion. I'm not sure where this belief comes from. It doesn't seem to jibe with what he has expressed or how he has acted. Like calling him a socialist when he is a clearly a big supporter of the banks. I suspect you have been drawn in by propaganda by the religious right who maintain that Christianity is being attacked. Now understand that I am not happy with Obama either, but I don't think he is what some people say he is. Time for some critical thinking here.

Let's try to get past the focus on topics like this that divide us. Let's all examine the motivations behind what we're being told by various groups, left or right. What we need to focus on is collapse. We need to focus on things that are truly important like Fukushima and climate change because these are game changers for humanity. Things like politics are distractions from these more important topics. So you don't agree with Chris Hedges - OK. I happen to think he is one of the few independent voices in journalism out there. To me, he is a truth teller about TPTB. We'll agree to disagree on him and other topics. But we agree that collapse is happening, so let's focus on that. Left, right - what do they matter in the face of collapse anyway? We don't have the luxury of squabbling about these things any more.There are more important things to worry about. Like survival.

 

 

Joyce, 

Believe it or not, I actually agree with Hedges on a number of issues and admire him in a number of ways as I have expressed on this site, probably prior to the time you became a member of PP.  Those issues generally relate to the abuses of TPTB and my admiration relates to his literary prowess.  But I disagree with him on other issues such as his decidedly anti-Christian rhetoric (which crops up in his writings again and again) and his lefitist leanings.  He is most assuredly a leftist and I don't think the answer lies with the left .. or with the right for that matter.  Political extremism has not been productive.   He calls himself a socialist and as such, he is, philosophically at least, leaning in the direction of the communists/socialists who have killed more people in the past century than have been killed in all of the wars of known history prior to that.  As I've stated before, he is an extremely accomplished journalist and one of the best writers I've ever come across and as such, he understands his journalistic responsibility to use precise language and has always done so.  He knows the exact difference between using the term "Christian fascism" and using a possible alternative term such as "Christian <name your radical faction> fascism" but he knowingly and willingly chooses the former. 
 
I, for one, will not allow him to spout this hatred for I know where it comes from and I know where it is going.  You made a patronizing statement about critical thinking but you don't seem to understand that this is a chess game comprised not of one move but of many in series and sequence, each one leading to the next.  Christians are undergoing greater persecution globally than at any time in history including during the time of the Roman Empire.  Christians are being unjustly targeted as potential terrorists when they are among the most law abiding citizens in this country.  Even the military is beginning to target Christians. 
http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/military-warned-evangelicals-no-1-threat/ 
Statements such as his are only adding fuel to the fire.  I know what I say won't stop this persecution from growing to historical levels but my conscience won't let me stand by and do nothing either.    
 
You don't think Obama has sympathies towards the Muslim religion?  Here's just one site that should keep you busy for a few weeks. 
http://www.akdart.com/obama17.html 
Frankly, I'm amazed by how naive the majority of the American public is and how blind they are to what is going on.  I suspect the various dumbing down, numbing, pacifying, propagandizing, etc. efforts are working.  In viewing what he has done to this country in the time he has been POTUS, one has to come to the conclusion that either he is a complete idiot or he is something else.  Well he's definitely not a complete idiot so that leaves one to draw the other conclusion.  Ostensibly, he is our leader but security clearance levels show that he is not the one in control and is but an obliging puppet to the puppet masters.  If one poses the hypothetical question of, "If one were going to take down this country and everything it stands for, what would one do and how would one disguise it", one is inevitably drawn to the conclusion that one would do exactly what he and his puppet masters are doing.  It is masterful and it is succeeding thanks to the gullibility of a public that has the critical thinking skills of a Labrador puppy.  Lenin was dead-on accurate when referring to them as "the useful idiots".  And history shows us that the useful idiots are inevitably betrayed and destroyed by the very one they put in power. 
 
You don't seem to understand that one can be a socialist and purport to be for the common man with the left hand while at the same time courting and using the power elite with the right hand.  Hitler did this exact thing expertly.  Obama and his puppet masters are presently extracting wealth largely from the middle class and distributing it both up and down the socio-economic y-axis.  Distributing it down the axis to the lower classes ensures having them as a collectively powerful and dominant voting block to legitimize and sustain one's position of power.  Distributing it up the axis ensures having the economic and financial power and clout of the elite at one's disposal.  In the meantime, the middle class withers away and with it, the strength and foundation of the country. 
 
In terms of focusing on collapse, I question the wisdom of your perspective.  I don't see collapse happening as much as I see orchestrated chaos.  There's a difference.  And saying that politics is a distraction from more important issues belies your statement of "time for some critical thinking here".  It's politics that has produced and enabled such catastrophes as Fukushima and climate warming/change (that word shift reminds me of the liberal/progressive shift and other word shifts common to the political extremists, especially those on the left but also those on the right).  Did you happen to read the study by Jim Stone on Fukushima to understand the source of ?event?  And regarding climate warming/change/confusion (WCC), do you realize that the weather is changing, not only on earth but also on every other planet in the solar system and the sun as well.  Do you realize the whole carbon credit proposal (supposed justified by climate W) was a wealth extraction scheme of the power elite?  Do you realize, for example, that a good part of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet is not coming from atmospheric temperature change but from the thinness of the earth's crust beneath that land mass and the increasing heat generating from beneath?  Do you realize much of the heat generated by the earth comes from radioactive decay?  And do you think climate WCC is causing the magnet poles of the earth to shift position at progressively increasing speed  and that climate WCC is causing progressively increasing seismic and volcanic activity?  There are more steps to connecting the dots but I've leave that for you to research.  Talk about game changers. 
 
So frankly Joyce, I'm not focused on collapse and I'm not worried about survival.  Living and thriving is my orientation.  And doing so in an eternal rather than a temporal sense is even more important.  Unity is important but secondary to the former and not at the cost of compromising what is of utmost value.  YMMV.      

 

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treebeard
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Each of Us

Is doing the important work that we need to do.  We all understand that our cultural institutions are in serious decay whether they be political, religious, social, or economic.  In a sense all the things that we value at a deeper level are under attack in one way or another.  There are those of good heart, whether they consider themselves religious fundamentalists, atheists, spiritualists, political activists, scientists, secular humanists that are trying to preserve what good they see in the world from the decay and extremism that they see around them.

I am very much heartened by the search that I see in just about everyone here for common ground.  What a privilege it is to be part of a community of both passionate and thoughtful folks that are thinking about the serious issues that face us.

Are we saving the world here, I think so. Each of us puts forth our thoughts, the very act of which helps us clarify what we are thinking, and then gets thoughtful and passionate responses. That processes helps us articulate more effectively with others in our lives the concerns that we have and gives more passion and direction to the things that we are doing.

It is also a salve against the constant stream of propaganda that we all must endure on an ongoing basis.  As much as we may try to isolate ourselves from it, it is always there.  Hats off to everyone here that take the time to share their passions and thoughts.

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ao
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Posts: 2220
the future belongs to those who prepare for it today
HughK wrote:

​ao wrote:

I think also think it would behoove Hedges to be more concerned about the present POTUS who professed to be a Christian (when it was politically expedient to do so) but in sympathy, seems to be more Muslim, and in philosophical orientation as expressed by his actions, seems to be more in allegiance with the atheistic communism/socialism of mother, father, mentor (Frank Marshall Davis), friend (Bill Ayers), etc.  Pretending one is a Christian when one is not ... now that's what I'd call an abuse of Christianity. 

Hi ao,

I agree with Joyce that Obama, like Clinton, doesn't do a great job representing the interests of the lower middle class and the poor, the typical economic interest groups that Democrats purport to represent.  The regulatory and policy capture of both parties by big banks and the military-industrial complex is very much a problem.  

I am also very sympathetic to your concerns about 9/11.  And think that we agree on a lot of other issues, ranging from the major problems with the economy and our energy supplies, a belief in a broader view of medicine than the pharmaceutical-medical complex offers us, and the need for a more wholesome way of life.

I do not at all agree with the claim that Obama is not a Christian, that he is secretly supporting Muslims, or that he is secretly a Muslim himself.  These claims lack evidence.

If Obama was a Muslim, that would be OK too, but he's not.  Do you think that only Christians should be in office?

Claims about Obama's religion are xenophobic and similar to nativism. The whole birth certificate faux controversy and the claims that Obama is secretly a Muslim are very much a type bigotry that smacks of nativism.

Obama was born in Hawaii and raised by a white woman of Christian heritage.  His black Kenyan father was in his life for a very short period of time; really only one year (1961-1962).  Neither of his parents seemed to be very religious.

Is Obama a devout Christian?  Well, I don't really know.  He goes to church, but he also has a secular background.  This makes him like Bill Clinton, George Bush I, Gerry Ford, Richard Nixon, LBJ, and Kennedy.  All of those men went to church, but they didn't seem to make Christianity a core aspect of their lives or leadership.  Maybe ditto for Ronald Reagan, but that's a little more complicated.

The only presidents in recent history who have clear evangelical credentials are Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, and Bush 2 converted later, after a prodigal young-adulthood.  Are you going to claim that George Bush 1 or Bill Clinton were not Christians?  In fact, who gets to say who is a Christian and who is not?  Is that the privilege of the evangelical Christian right?

A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of quoting some parts of the gospel of Matthew where Jesus speaks about the importance of being peaceful.  This was an emotional response and I apologized for it.  The reason that I needed to apologize for that was that just because my reading of the New Testament suggests to me that Jesus taught non-violence as a core aspect of his message, but it may be that others interpret the New Testament differently.  So, I realized that I was being divisive and self-righteous, and I retracted my claim.

It should not be surprising that many PP readers do not accept an assertion that Barak Obama is not a Christian, that he is secretly favoring Muslims, or that he is a Muslim himself.

Having said all of that, I agree with you on many other issues, and while I definitely struggle with the claim you have made above, I appreciate many of your other posts.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

Hugh,

I refer you to the post I made to Joyce for your "evidence".   BTW, I hear that claim about "lacking evidence" made for almost everything nowadays despite often overwhelming reality to the contrary.  It's becoming a rather tired cliche that has lost its meaning and effectiveness.

But when you make statements like this

"Do you think that only Christians should be in office?"

it's really difficult to go forward with a serious discussion.

Forgive my frankness but my sense is that you know about as little about this issue as you did about the gun issue in America.

Look at the state of this country and its citizens and their rights when Obama entered office and look at it all now.  Perhaps you should remove yourself from the artificial environment of a Swiss boarding school and come back and take a look at the heartland of America.  If you don't see the difference, there's little I can do to heighten your awareness.

I have a busy weekend ahead so I may very well not post additional information on this subject.  In closing, to you and others, I would leave you with the thought that this is a cosmic chess game and if you want to win, think many moves ahead.  When as I child in the late 1950s and early 1960s and I learned from my mother about the importance of environmental preservation, very few others thought it of any importance.  When I developed an interest in holistic health in the late 1970s, very few professionals thought it of any significance (but it's given me the financial and health independence I have today).  When I learned survival techniques in the 1980s, not many others were interested (but they've helped me get a leg up on things).  When I bought gold and silver in 2001, most others could be less interested (but it saved my portfolio).  The point is, one shouldn't allow oneself to be dragged along by the inertia of the masses or overly influenced by the vicissitudes of the day or swept along by the panic of the moment.  One has to be mindful of the past, grounded in the present, and focused on the future.  

 

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today

Malcolm X 

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ferralhen
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ao you write: I, for one,

ao

you write: I, for one, will not allow him to spout this hatred for I know where it comes from and I know where it is going. for a man who claims such immense knowledge of things so what are you doing about that? i am failing to see how your post does that, but you are certainly welcome to point out to me my shortcomings,,,,even though you don't know me. perhaps you know joyce? if so might that not be more appropriate to send her a PM?

 

you also say: So frankly Joyce, I'm not focused on collapse and I'm not worried about survival. Living and thriving is my orientation. And doing so in an eternal rather than a temporal sense is even more important.

sounds like you don't care how much your thriving ruins this earth...i'm taken aback at your lack.i thought md's were to first do no harm.

you could have saved me alot of my time by just writing this. i guess you don't depend on O2 to thrive , or radiation has no affect on you, or your water can have heavy metals in it and it doesn't affect. you? do you know obama? seems you have alot to say...about him.... seems you have a lot to say period..perhaps .therapy, a better for this conversation ?

why so hostile?

fh

 

 

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ao
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hen pecking projection
ferralhen wrote:

sounds like you don't care how much your thriving ruins this earth...i'm taken aback at your lack.i thought md's were to first do no harm.

ferralhen,

You've just done something that is done time and time again on this site and something I loathe.  You've put words in my mouth.  Go back and read my post, carefully, and tell me where there is anything about my thriving and ruining the earth as a consequence.  You are projecting what you think (or perhaps wish) I am saying and doing,  I've been involved in environmentalism for over 5 decades (since I was a child) but I also understand how many of Lenin's "useful idiots" have been played via this cause.  

How about you?  What are you doing about ionizing radiation, O2, heavy metals, etc.?  Do you put your money, time, and sweat where your mouth is or are you tucked away just taking care of ferralhen?  Regardless, please refrain from talking about something which you know nothing about, i.e. exactly what I am doing with my life.  Sounds like you're a bit judgmental and quick to accuse with no basis in fact.  While the environmental threats you mention are very real and very dangerous, chances are with what is coming, you will die at the hand of your fellow man, of disease, of intentionally created problems, or from a cataclysmic event far before you die of unintentional environmental causes.  

Furthermore, I haven't harmed anyone and I'm not an MD.  Never said I was ... more projection on your part.  Which is just another thing you are wrong about.  And being a sinful human being, I have a hard time not being hostile when addressed with posts such as yours and ignorance of blatantly obvious situations that are leading to increasingly widespread suffering.  Unlike Jesus Christ, I'm not perfect. That's why I need Him and recognize that need.  YMMV.  

    

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HughK
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Posts: 760
ao wrote:I refer you to the
ao wrote:

I refer you to the post I made to Joyce for your "evidence".   BTW, I hear that claim about "lacking evidence" made for almost everything nowadays despite often overwhelming reality to the contrary.  It's becoming a rather tired cliche that has lost its meaning and effectiveness.

But when you make statements like this

"Do you think that only Christians should be in office?"

it's really difficult to go forward with a serious discussion.

Forgive my frankness but my sense is that you know about as little about this issue as you did about the gun issue in America.

Look at the state of this country and its citizens and their rights when Obama entered office and look at it all now.  Perhaps you should remove yourself from the artificial environment of a Swiss boarding school and come back and take a look at the heartland of America.  If you don't see the difference, there's little I can do to heighten your awareness.

I have a busy weekend ahead so I may very well not post additional information on this subject.  In closing, to you and others, I would leave you with the thought that this is a cosmic chess game and if you want to win, think many moves ahead.  When as I child in the late 1950s and early 1960s and I learned from my mother about the importance of environmental preservation, very few others thought it of any importance.  When I developed an interest in holistic health in the late 1970s, very few professionals thought it of any significance (but it's given me the financial and health independence I have today).  When I learned survival techniques in the 1980s, not many others were interested (but they've helped me get a leg up on things).  When I bought gold and silver in 2001, most others could be less interested (but it saved my portfolio).  The point is, one shouldn't allow oneself to be dragged along by the inertia of the masses or overly influenced by the vicissitudes of the day or swept along by the panic of the moment.  One has to be mindful of the past, grounded in the present, and focused on the future.  

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today

Malcolm X 

Hi again, ao,

First, your point about my question "do you think that only Christians should be in office" is a fair point.  When I wrote that, there was something nagging in the back of my mind that it was probably a sort of rhetorical projection, me setting up a straw man, so I'm sorry for that.

Second, it's interesting that you use my recognition that I knew little about the gun issue initially, and recognized that other people had some good points as a flaw.  That's your prerogative; I will let others on the site decide for themselves if recognizing that one is wrong about certain issues and changes his mind after learning more is a positive or negative trait in a discussion forum.

Third, regarding my status as an American citizen residing in Switzerland and working at a boarding school, if I was in any way ashamed of that or thought that it somehow disqualified me from participating in political discourse regarding the United States, I would not have revealed that.  In fact, I have made a conscious choice to be fairly open about who and where I am because it brings more context to the conversations that I have here.  I would welcome you to share more about yourself as well, and I will certainly not use it against you, as you have tried to do with info that I have shared.

But, no worries, I can deal with it.  So, is the fact that I live at a Swiss boarding school somehow blinding me to the terrible things that Obama has done in "the heartland" of America?   I'm from the heartland, as I spent my whole childhood in Columbia Missouri.  I also spent 8 years in Western North Carolina, 4 in Asheville and 4 of them in the rural far West of the state, near the TN and GA borders.  I lived in rural Maine for 3 years too, and was based out of rural Vermont for 2 and I spent two years in San Antonio, Texas.  I still go back to Missouri to visit my family and of course I have friends all over the US. 

So, I'm still in reasonably good touch with what's happening in the US and I don't see a lot of evidence that Obama is ruining America.  On the other hand, I do see a lot of evidence that Obama is continuing with many policies carried out by previous presidents and that there is certainly a worrisome rise of executive power, of connection between the financial industry and government, and set of fiscal and monetary policies which naively try to treat symptoms of economic woe while at the same time exacerbating the underlying disease.  In other words, Obama is just another modern president, and while on a level of superficial taste and preference, I prefer him to George Bush, on a deeper level there seems to be a lot of institutional inertia which makes these two very different men seem to govern in a similar manner on many levels.

As far as this link, which you offered as evidence that Obama was secretly favoring Muslims: http://www.akdart.com/obama17.html

well, all I can say is, seriously, dude?  

Here is one example of what I mean:

Obama to Rohani: May God be with you.  "Have a nice day" — this is how Iranian President Hassan Rohani concluded his phone conversation with US President Barack Obama, the first direct contact between leaders of the two nations in over three decades.  A message on Rohani's Twitter page, which has since been deleted, stated that Obama answered in Farsi by saying "khodahafez" to indicate goodbye, whose literal meaning is "may God be with you."

As evidence that Obama is secretly supporting Muslims, this is problematic on many levels.  For example, the English word "goodbye" also comes from the term "God be with you."  Aside from the fact that this should be obvious, here is the etymology of goodbye.    Here is the page on khoda hafez.

Then, let's assume that khoda hafez wasn't a common word for goodbye, which it is.  Let's assume it was an extra-respectful word used to say goodbye to shia clerics and that it meant, "God be with you."  So what?  It's a diplomatic call.  That's diplomacy.  

The next level on which this is problematic, of course, is the level on which we buy in to the idea that Iran is our enemy.  Iran only became our enemy once they had a revolution and installed a nationalistic (and Islamic) regime that stood up to the US and the UK  because of all of the nasty stuff that first the UK and then the US did in Iran for 50 years while we were getting oil on the cheap from them.  I have taught students from several different countries, including Iran.  I think I've gotten to know about 10 Persians quite well since I first started working here, and I've known another dozen or so more distantly.  They are all different, that's for sure.  And guess what, they're a lot like other teenagers, be they Russian, American, Venezuelan, Turkish, or Japanese teenagers.  If you want to know more about what I have learned about Iran, or Iranian people, feel free to ask.  

Other paragraphs on the site you linked are similarly specious.  This is another reason why it doesn't matter quite so much where were all are now as far as being in touch with the heartland, or knowing what's actually happening.  People anywhere can read web pages like the one you supplied, and therefore - if they accept that type of information as good evidence - be misled.  People anywhere can also read more reliable source of information, although I certainly concede that sometimes it's hard to tell what's reliable and what's not.

And this leads me to connect the "Obama is a muslim" meme to your concerns about 9/11, which I share, the war on terror, and the recent middle east wars.  Whether or not one agrees with the official story of 9/11, one clear result was to increase the hatred of all Muslims by some sectors of the American population.  Hence, one of my students in Maine justified the War in Iraq by saying, "they attacked us first," in spite of the fact that none of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein - a secular Baathist -  didn't support the Islamic al-Qaeda.  Fear and hatred of Muslims is one of the things that the powers that be need in order to engage in continued wars in the middle east, which seem very clearly to be about energy resources much more than about anything else.  So, why feed this fear and suspicion?  As far as I am concerned, it only fuels the war machine.

As far as Obama being a secret atheist, well, was Benjamin Franklin secretly an atheist?  He certainly wasn't an evangelical, and is deism really Christianity, or is it just a flavor of secular humanism?  I am currently reading a book on the US Constitutional Convention and one thing that I have noticed is that the men who were there came from many different religious backgrounds.  Some were pretty devout, and some were quite secular.  That sounds a lot like American presidents today.  What's the problem?

OK, that's all I have.  I should have spent less time here, and more time reading Hall's Energy and the Wealth of Nations, so I'll get back to that now.  

Still no hard feelings, ao, but the claim that Obama secretly supports Islam is a dubious and divisive claim that merits a response.

Cheers,

Hugh

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westcoastjan
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late to the party...

Wow, some strong discussion here - a typical result that comes from making a martini out of politics and religion. How that martini tastes is dependent on the many diverse ingredients that can go into it, and of course whether or not it is shaken or stirred.

Not to make light of a serious discussion though... I did like Hugh's point with regard to being open to differing perspectives:

Second, it's interesting that you use my recognition that I knew little about the gun issue initially, and recognized that other people had some good points as a flaw.  That's your prerogative; I will let others on the site decide for themselves if recognizing that one is wrong about certain issues and changes his mind after learning more is a positive or negative trait in a discussion forum.

Having an open mind is critical to intelligent, productive debate. Changing one's point of view in the face of new information is a sign of maturity. It is not a weakness but rather a strength. Who among us would not like to see Bernanke entertain a differing point of view?!? Or Obama?!? or Harper?!? Or any of the other big wigs who are calling the shots?

On the contrary, I think that those who hold steadfast to their viewpoints, come hell or high water, are (inadvertently or not) closing themselves to taking in and trying to understand the perspectives of another. Nothing in our modern day media is above reproach. Perhaps we tend to gravitate towards that which resonates with our own particular set of beliefs. That is okay. But I do think we need to acknowledge that sometimes things are 50 shades of grey, where nothing in so far as information goes can be believed with a certainty and is therefore suspect.

If that is truly the case, it is pretty tough to believe anything we read. So our fall back becomes the beliefs we know and were raised with. For some those beliefs are indisputable and unquestionable. Others are more open to review and questioning of that which they hold near and dear.

I think it is the people who are open to questioning that are going to help us find our way out of this mess.

Jan

 

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lunableu22
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Posts: 41
Jan wrote: Who among us would

Jan wrote:

Who among us would not like to see Bernanke entertain a differing point of view?!? Or Obama?!? or Harper?!? Or any of the other big wigs who are calling the shots?

This statement could be read to support ao's contention that the PTB are actually puppets.  They cannot entertain other POVs since they aren't writing the script.  Furthermore, those who stray from the script end up like JFK. And when our "leaders" are invoking "god" to each other, (remember Jamie Dimon...what if he meant that literally?)  I wonder who the god they are invoking might be.  Certainly not Jesus or Buddha.

 

ao's picture
ao
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Posts: 2220
HughK wrote:ao wrote:I
HughK wrote:
ao wrote:

I refer you to the post I made to Joyce for your "evidence".   BTW, I hear that claim about "lacking evidence" made for almost everything nowadays despite often overwhelming reality to the contrary.  It's becoming a rather tired cliche that has lost its meaning and effectiveness.

But when you make statements like this

"Do you think that only Christians should be in office?"

it's really difficult to go forward with a serious discussion.

Forgive my frankness but my sense is that you know about as little about this issue as you did about the gun issue in America.

Look at the state of this country and its citizens and their rights when Obama entered office and look at it all now.  Perhaps you should remove yourself from the artificial environment of a Swiss boarding school and come back and take a look at the heartland of America.  If you don't see the difference, there's little I can do to heighten your awareness.

I have a busy weekend ahead so I may very well not post additional information on this subject.  In closing, to you and others, I would leave you with the thought that this is a cosmic chess game and if you want to win, think many moves ahead.  When as I child in the late 1950s and early 1960s and I learned from my mother about the importance of environmental preservation, very few others thought it of any importance.  When I developed an interest in holistic health in the late 1970s, very few professionals thought it of any significance (but it's given me the financial and health independence I have today).  When I learned survival techniques in the 1980s, not many others were interested (but they've helped me get a leg up on things).  When I bought gold and silver in 2001, most others could be less interested (but it saved my portfolio).  The point is, one shouldn't allow oneself to be dragged along by the inertia of the masses or overly influenced by the vicissitudes of the day or swept along by the panic of the moment.  One has to be mindful of the past, grounded in the present, and focused on the future.  

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today

Malcolm X 

Hi again, ao,

First, your point about my question "do you think that only Christians should be in office" is a fair point.  When I wrote that, there was something nagging in the back of my mind that it was probably a sort of rhetorical projection, me setting up a straw man, so I'm sorry for that.

Second, it's interesting that you use my recognition that I knew little about the gun issue initially, and recognized that other people had some good points as a flaw.  That's your prerogative; I will let others on the site decide for themselves if recognizing that one is wrong about certain issues and changes his mind after learning more is a positive or negative trait in a discussion forum.

Third, regarding my status as an American citizen residing in Switzerland and working at a boarding school, if I was in any way ashamed of that or thought that it somehow disqualified me from participating in political discourse regarding the United States, I would not have revealed that.  In fact, I have made a conscious choice to be fairly open about who and where I am because it brings more context to the conversations that I have here.  I would welcome you to share more about yourself as well, and I will certainly not use it against you, as you have tried to do with info that I have shared.

But, no worries, I can deal with it.  So, is the fact that I live at a Swiss boarding school somehow blinding me to the terrible things that Obama has done in "the heartland" of America?   I'm from the heartland, as I spent my whole childhood in Columbia Missouri.  I also spent 8 years in Western North Carolina, 4 in Asheville and 4 of them in the rural far West of the state, near the TN and GA borders.  I lived in rural Maine for 3 years too, and was based out of rural Vermont for 2 and I spent two years in San Antonio, Texas.  I still go back to Missouri to visit my family and of course I have friends all over the US. 

So, I'm still in reasonably good touch with what's happening in the US and I don't see a lot of evidence that Obama is ruining America.  On the other hand, I do see a lot of evidence that Obama is continuing with many policies carried out by previous presidents and that there is certainly a worrisome rise of executive power, of connection between the financial industry and government, and set of fiscal and monetary policies which naively try to treat symptoms of economic woe while at the same time exacerbating the underlying disease.  In other words, Obama is just another modern president, and while on a level of superficial taste and preference, I prefer him to George Bush, on a deeper level there seems to be a lot of institutional inertia which makes these two very different men seem to govern in a similar manner on many levels.

As far as this link, which you offered as evidence that Obama was secretly favoring Muslims: http://www.akdart.com/obama17.html

well, all I can say is, seriously, dude?  

Here is one example of what I mean:

Obama to Rohani: May God be with you.  "Have a nice day" — this is how Iranian President Hassan Rohani concluded his phone conversation with US President Barack Obama, the first direct contact between leaders of the two nations in over three decades.  A message on Rohani's Twitter page, which has since been deleted, stated that Obama answered in Farsi by saying "khodahafez" to indicate goodbye, whose literal meaning is "may God be with you."

As evidence that Obama is secretly supporting Muslims, this is problematic on many levels.  For example, the English word "goodbye" also comes from the term "God be with you."  Aside from the fact that this should be obvious, here is the etymology of goodbye.    Here is the page on khoda hafez.

Then, let's assume that khoda hafez wasn't a common word for goodbye, which it is.  Let's assume it was an extra-respectful word used to say goodbye to shia clerics and that it meant, "God be with you."  So what?  It's a diplomatic call.  That's diplomacy.  

The next level on which this is problematic, of course, is the level on which we buy in to the idea that Iran is our enemy.  Iran only became our enemy once they had a revolution and installed a nationalistic (and Islamic) regime that stood up to the US and the UK  because of all of the nasty stuff that first the UK and then the US did in Iran for 50 years while we were getting oil on the cheap from them.  I have taught students from several different countries, including Iran.  I think I've gotten to know about 10 Persians quite well since I first started working here, and I've known another dozen or so more distantly.  They are all different, that's for sure.  And guess what, they're a lot like other teenagers, be they Russian, American, Venezuelan, Turkish, or Japanese teenagers.  If you want to know more about what I have learned about Iran, or Iranian people, feel free to ask.  

Other paragraphs on the site you linked are similarly specious.  This is another reason why it doesn't matter quite so much where were all are now as far as being in touch with the heartland, or knowing what's actually happening.  People anywhere can read web pages like the one you supplied, and therefore - if they accept that type of information as good evidence - be misled.  People anywhere can also read more reliable source of information, although I certainly concede that sometimes it's hard to tell what's reliable and what's not.

And this leads me to connect the "Obama is a muslim" meme to your concerns about 9/11, which I share, the war on terror, and the recent middle east wars.  Whether or not one agrees with the official story of 9/11, one clear result was to increase the hatred of all Muslims by some sectors of the American population.  Hence, one of my students in Maine justified the War in Iraq by saying, "they attacked us first," in spite of the fact that none of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein - a secular Baathist -  didn't support the Islamic al-Qaeda.  Fear and hatred of Muslims is one of the things that the powers that be need in order to engage in continued wars in the middle east, which seem very clearly to be about energy resources much more than about anything else.  So, why feed this fear and suspicion?  As far as I am concerned, it only fuels the war machine.

As far as Obama being a secret atheist, well, was Benjamin Franklin secretly an atheist?  He certainly wasn't an evangelical, and is deism really Christianity, or is it just a flavor of secular humanism?  I am currently reading a book on the US Constitutional Convention and one thing that I have noticed is that the men who were there came from many different religious backgrounds.  Some were pretty devout, and some were quite secular.  That sounds a lot like American presidents today.  What's the problem?

OK, that's all I have.  I should have spent less time here, and more time reading Hall's Energy and the Wealth of Nations, so I'll get back to that now.  

Still no hard feelings, ao, but the claim that Obama secretly supports Islam is a dubious and divisive claim that merits a response.

Cheers,

Hugh

[Moderator's note: This post is a violation of our forum guidelines.  Its tone does not reflect the level of civility and personal courtesy that we expect to see on the forums, particularly from veteran users.  Corrective action will be undertaken with this user.]

Hi again, [Hugh],

First, your point about my question "do you think that only Christians should be in office" is a fair point.  When I wrote that, there was something nagging in the back of my mind that it was probably a sort of rhetorical projection, me setting up a straw man, so I'm sorry for that.

It’s nice that you apologize but since you’ve apologized previously regarding similar past behavior, the apologies begin to ring a bit hollow.  There’s an innocent-little-me, passive aggressive nature to that shtick when it pops up too many times.  You set up the same straw man below  with the non sequitur  segueing into the Iran issue.

Second, it's interesting that you use my recognition that I knew little about the gun issue initially, and recognized that other people had some good points as a flaw.  That's your prerogative; I will let others on the site decide for themselves if recognizing that one is wrong about certain issues and changes his mind after learning more is a positive or negative trait in a discussion forum.

No Hugh, I didn’t say anything about a flaw.  Those are your words.  I pointed out that you waded into the discussion acting as if you were knowledgeable on the subject when, in fact, you knew very little.  This is not the first time you have done this.  I pointed it out because past behavior predicts future behavior and it leads me to question your credibility on subsequent issues when you wade into them in the same manner.  If you think that’s a flaw, that’s your own judgment, not mine.

Third, regarding my status as an American citizen residing in Switzerland and working at a boarding school, if I was in any way ashamed of that or thought that it somehow disqualified me from participating in political discourse regarding the United States, I would not have revealed that.  In fact, I have made a conscious choice to be fairly open about who and where I am because it brings more context to the conversations that I have here.  I would welcome you to share more about yourself as well, and I will certainly not use it against you, as you have tried to do with info that I have shared.

Did I say you should be ashamed about working in a Swiss boarding school?  Again, those are your words, not mine.  I actually think it’s a pretty interesting activity but teaching the children of folks affluent enough to send their children to school in a Swiss boarding school is a little removed from the experience of most of us here in America.  Being removed from the day-to-day life in America, I would expect your perception of things here would not have the same clarity as those who are experiencing it day to day on a first hand basis.

But, no worries, I can deal with it.  So, is the fact that I live at a Swiss boarding school somehow blinding me to the terrible things that Obama has done in "the heartland" of America?   I'm from the heartland, as I spent my whole childhood in Columbia Missouri.  I also spent 8 years in Western North Carolina, 4 in Asheville and 4 of them in the rural far West of the state, near the TN and GA borders.  I lived in rural Maine for 3 years too, and was based out of rural Vermont for 2 and I spent two years in San Antonio, Texas.  I still go back to Missouri to visit my family and of course I have friends all over the US. 

I’m glad you can deal with it.  If you would be unable to, I’d be concerned about you being that the issue is of no great significance and should be of little ultimate concern.  Spending your childhood in the heartland is vastly different from consistently spending the last few years there.  The fact that you seemed to have had an itinerant adulthood  isn’t necessarily a qualification for perceptiveness regarding the economic and political situation in the country. 

So, I'm still in reasonably good touch with what's happening in the US and I don't see a lot of evidence that Obama is ruining America.  On the other hand, I do see a lot of evidence that Obama is continuing with many policies carried out by previous presidents and that there is certainly a worrisome rise of executive power, of connection between the financial industry and government, and set of fiscal and monetary policies which naively try to treat symptoms of economic woe while at the same time exacerbating the underlying disease.  In other words, Obama is just another modern president, and while on a level of superficial taste and preference, I prefer him to George Bush, on a deeper level there seems to be a lot of institutional inertia which makes these two very different men seem to govern in a similar manner on many levels.

If you don’t see that Obama is ruining America, I have grave concerns about your sensory acuity and overall  awareness level.  The fact that he is rapidly becoming one of the most despised presidents in modern history is not because things are all nice and wonderful.  He’s not just another modern president.  He’s distinctly different from virtually every other modern president in a host of ways, the most important of which is the fact that  virtually all the individuals influencing him during his  formative years were leftist, particularly Frank Marshall Davis, a card carrying member of the American communist party.   He was also raised in a Muslim environment (which is of no significance in terms of what his religion is or is not but is of great significance when he is preferential in his treatment of Muslims over Christians).  He also apparently is bisexual  which is his personal business also but hiding those experiences means he leaves himself open for potential blackmail which is a national security risk.  His educational records are a mystery.  If you can find original ones online, please pass them on.  I could go on and on.   Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary, 2016 Obama’s America,  scratches the surface but it goes way beyond that.  

As far as this link, which you offered as evidence that Obama was secretly favoring Muslims:http://www.akdart.com/obama17.html

well, all I can say is, seriously, dude?

I would respectfully ask you not to “dude” me.  Many individuals of my generation find that way of addressing someone distinctly offensive including myself. 

Here is one example of what I mean:

Obama to Rohani: May God be with you.  "Have a nice day" — this is how Iranian President Hassan Rohani concluded his phone conversation with US President Barack Obama, the first direct contact between leaders of the two nations in over three decades.  A message on Rohani's Twitter page, which has since been deleted, stated that Obama answered in Farsi by saying "khodahafez" to indicate goodbye, whose literal meaning is "may God be with you."

 

As evidence that Obama is secretly supporting Muslims, this is problematic on many levels.  For example, the English word "goodbye" also comes from the term "God be with you."  Aside from the fact that this should be obvious, here is the etymology of goodbye.    Here is the page on khoda hafez.

 

This is an example of cherry picking at its very worst.  It would be hard to find a more trite example on that site.  You were obviously very selective and chose to ignore far more substantative information.  Also, there are a plethora of other sites on the issue if you’d chose to explore the topic.

Then, let's assume that khoda hafez wasn't a common word for goodbye, which it is.  Let's assume it was an extra-respectful word used to say goodbye to shia clerics and that it meant, "God be with you."  So what?  It's a diplomatic call.  That's diplomacy.  

The next level on which this is problematic, of course, is the level on which we buy in to the idea that Iran is our enemy.  Iran only became our enemy once they had a revolution and installed a nationalistic (and Islamic) regime that stood up to the US and the UK  because of all of the nasty stuff that first the UK and then the US did in Iran for 50 years while we were getting oil on the cheap from them.  I have taught students from several different countries, including Iran.  I think I've gotten to know about 10 Persians quite well since I first started working here, and I've known another dozen or so more distantly.  They are all different, that's for sure.  And guess what, they're a lot like other teenagers, be they Russian, American, Venezuelan, Turkish, or Japanese teenagers.  If you want to know more about what I have learned about Iran, or Iranian people, feel free to ask.

This is yet another non sequitur into a straw man. No place were we discussing Iran.  And even farther from the discussion is the issue of the Persian people.  And thank you for your somewhat patronizing offer but I’m well acquainted with the history of both ancient Persia and modern Iran and the Persian people including  the geopolitical issues related to Mosaddegh and the Shah.  And whether you realize it or not, the reason that people are essentially the same all over the world is that they were all created in the image of God by God.  I number Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists, and even a Wiccan and a Pagan among acquaintances and  friends.  I’ve treated patients from many different religions and dozens of different countries (especially when I worked in Manhattan) and travelled quite a bit as well so you don’t have any monopoly on international exposure. 

Other paragraphs on the site you linked are similarly specious.  This is another reason why it doesn't matter quite so much where were all are now as far as being in touch with the heartland, or knowing what's actually happening.  People anywhere can read web pages like the one you supplied, and therefore - if they accept that type of information as good evidence - be misled.  People anywhere can also read more reliable source of information, although I certainly concede that sometimes it's hard to tell what's reliable and what's not.

Nice broad brush use here.  If you were genuinely interested in exploring rather than refuting the issue, you’d find website after website on the issue.

And this leads me to connect the "Obama is a muslim" meme to your concerns about 9/11, which I share, the war on terror, and the recent middle east wars.  Whether or not one agrees with the official story of 9/11, one clear result was to increase the hatred of all Muslims by some sectors of the American population.  Hence, one of my students in Maine justified the War in Iraq by saying, "they attacked us first," in spite of the fact that none of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein - a secular Baathist -  didn't support the Islamic al-Qaeda.  Fear and hatred of Muslims is one of the things that the powers that be need in order to engage in continued wars in the middle east, which seem very clearly to be about energy resources much more than about anything else.  So, why feed this fear and suspicion?  As far as I am concerned, it only fuels the war machine.

And now you slide in the Muslim hate angle, another straw man and always a tried and true fallback position of the left (straight out of the Luciferian Rules for Radicals).  If you read my post free of pre-determined prejudicial bias, you’d see that there is nothing on that issue.  And as an aside, you could have shed light on the matter by describing the difference between Muslims and  Islamists, an subject you carefully chose to ignore.  I’m not anti-Muslim but I am indeed anti-Islamist.  I’m sure you can have some fun with that.

As far as Obama being a secret atheist, well, was Benjamin Franklin secretly an atheist?  He certainly wasn't an evangelical, and is deism really Christianity, or is it just a flavor of secular humanism?  I am currently reading a book on the US Constitutional Convention and one thing that I have noticed is that the men who were there came from many different religious backgrounds.  Some were pretty devout, and some were quite secular.  That sounds a lot like American presidents today.  What's the problem?

So deism and secular humanism are the same?  Talk about specious.  The problem isn’t about different religions or different anything else.  The problem is about misrepresentation, deception, and lying.   

Again, no one said anything about secret atheist.  But being steeped in communism in his formative years and  communism being anti-God, one certainly wonders.  Actually, he is all things to all people, a human chameleon in the truest sense of the word.  This chameleon nature is the central casting dream of a political party since he can be all things to all people and attract the widest voter demographic.  He is black, he is white; he is foreign raised yet now living in American, he was raised at times by a single mother and at other times by a married one, he was steeped in communism/socialism in his youth but now backs capitalists in his adulthood, his mentor was a Communist with a capital ‘C” but now he is a Democrat, he attended a Muslim  school as a youth and a Christian church as an adult, his memoirs are ostensibly self written but seem to be identical to the writing style of his Weather Underground bomb making and  bomb exploding radical leftist good friend Bill Ayers, he appears to be the faithful husband and family man yet there is suppressed evidence that suggests bi-sexual behavior, he can speak near perfect English but slip into African-American dialect as the need arises,  he doesn’t want to offend Muslims and goes out of his way to treat them with kid gloves but he is completely comfortable with offending Christians and allowing them to be persecuted around the world  with nary a single word uttered to their defense, etc.   Quite franky, I don’t know who or what he is but I’m sure, given enough time, he can morph into just about anything that gathers votes.

OK, that's all I have.  I should have spent less time here, and more time reading Hall's Energy and the Wealth of Nations, so I'll get back to that now.  

And this was a near complete waste of my time but since I’m fed up with the bird dogging behavior and  micro-dissection of my posts, I felt this type of response was necessary. 

Still no hard feelings, ao, but the claim that Obama secretly supports Islam is a dubious and divisive claim that merits a response.

Let’s go back to the very start of all this.

I said:

I think also think it would behoove Hedges to be more concerned about the present POTUS who professed to be a Christian (when it was politically expedient to do so) but in sympathy, seems to be more Muslim, and in philosophical orientation as expressed by his actions, seems to be more in allegiance with the atheistic communism/socialism of mother, father, mentor (Frank Marshall Davis), friend (Bill Ayers), etc.

You said:

I do not at all agree with the claim that Obama is not a Christian, that he is secretly supporting Muslims, or that he is secretly a Muslim himself. 

There is a difference between what I said and what you imply I said.  As I said to someone else, I loathe having words put in my mouth. 

 And he is not secretly doing anything on this issue.  He is openly supportive of Muslims and is devoid of support for almost anything Christian.  He is very concerned about offending Muslims but completely comfortable with offending Christians.  As POTUS, he should demonstrate impartiality regardless of religion, race, or any other distinction yet he does not do this and even makes racist comments in his memoirs.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/07/obama-the-racis.html

I find such behavior shameful in a president of the United States.  YMMV

Cheers,

[ao]

[Moderator's note: This post is a violation of our forum guidelines.  Its tone does not reflect the level of civility and personal courtesy that we expect to see on the forums, particularly from veteran users.  Corrective action will be undertaken with this user.]

 

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