We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We should all be very glad that we have a Democratic president right now; otherwise the news would be terrible. We would be seeing a rash of horrible and depressing stories in the newspapers about strategic failure, with unremitting second guessing and belittling of a president who agonized for months before the surge and then saw his plan fail. We’d be hearing non-stop reports in the media about the incompetent and klutzy leader who torpedoed his own policy by announcing a withdrawal date; the man who tried to please everybody and do everything—and failed at all he tried.
I would ban advocating banning free speech-restricting measures as a thought crime, punishable by mandatory tolerance training in a multicultural-approved setting. Followers of the Prophet, PBUH, are entitled to exemption, however.
I was afraid that this link would be to an article along the same lines as Kinky's criticism. (i.e.: she ate with tax collectors and sinners). There is a wing of atheism that gets really bent out of shape if people are recognized for efforts do good things, when the efforts are for "wrong" reasons such as concern for other people's immortal souls.
But it was not at all critical of Mother Theresa, it just raised the point that in the physical realm economic freedom has done much more for more the general welfare than all of the works of Mother Theresa's convents and hospices.
I look at much of last week's domestic political news reporting and with my personal filters keep reading candidates, editorialists, and interviewers saying very clearly "you hate the poor if you don't work to put more shackles on businesses." It is becoming harder and harder for me to consider them misguided rather than evil.
Most rich people who "give" huge sums of money to charities get huge benefits from that gift. Because of a "quirk" in our tax law when Romney, Gates, Gore or any billionaire gives millions to a charity WE the taxpayer are an unwilling contributer to the charity as well. The "quirk" should be fixed and cahritable gifts should no longer be tax deductible. It puzzles me why it ever was except of course that charitable groups control a large segment of the vote and get special treatment. However I would prefer it if these billionaires gave only their money away and not mine and were required to give from their after tax income.
My Uncle Bob is a Jesuit. He was always kind and helpful to me for some reason although he did not have a lot of patience for the rest of the family (with the exception of my Grandparents). Never quite figured out why. He was the one who taught me how to fly fish, he insisted on music and piano lessons (seven years worth in fact) and encouraged me at every opportunity not to give up even though at the time I was having a lot of trouble reading (I was considered an idiot savant at one point because of my ability with mathematics). He's been on History Channel shows as an expert on this or that. He was a huge influence in my life and in some ways still is. Amazing guy.
I asked him once, kind of half joking, if he thought that Jesus was ever married. I'll never forget it - he looked at me with this "are you kidding" kind of look and said "He is a young Jewish man living at the dawn of modern history surrounded by more cultural and ethnic tradition than you can imagine - of course he was married."
He's retired now although he is still very active in the church - he travels around filling in at different parishes, still teaches high school science (biology) and math, is irascible as ever and I think I'm going to give him a call right now - haven't talked to him in a long time.