Friday 29th July 2016

Religion and virtue



The mass killings in Orlando last night have me thinking of religion. Muslims murder Jews, Christians and gays to promote their religion. Christians murder Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews and abortion clinic workers and gays to promote their religion. Hindus and Buddhists skin each other alive to promote their religions. Jews murder Muslims and anyone else that gets in their way to promote their religion. In Ireland Catholics murder Protestants and Protestants murder Catholics to promote their religions.  Both Catholic and Protestant churches everywhere hide the truth about horrible sexual abuses against children to protect their religions. In the American south the evangelical churches are hand in glove with the violence and hatred of the KKK. In Indiana and several other states, the born again Christians expend enormous energy and money to murder, bully and deny human rights to gays and lesbians and POOR women seeking legal abortions. Everywhere on the planet religious organizations hoard obscene wealth while innocent children starve and millions go without basic amenities or health care. 

My questions are,

#1. Why do we give these religious groups tax free status?

# 2. Where in the Hell do these people get off, speaking ill of atheists? 


Ron Nesler thinking about religion and virtue from good old New Harmony, Indiana

Muhammad Ali

muhammed-ali-2012 one

muhammad_ali_TWO dr._king_ap_imgMohammad Ali was the first public figure to speak out against the Vietnam war. As a Vietnam vet, that alone makes him a hero in my book. But, there are other heroic stands he made.  If you weren't around back then, it is hard to understand. .A nation of sheep were being herded into an unjust and bloody war, and at the same moment, African Americans were being denied the right to vote and to use public accomodations. Ali stood up for what was right on all fronts. He was a man, not a sheep, this Muhammad Ali!

I salute Muhammad Ali, and I respect his memory.


Today, I heard some folks speaking in a very disrespecting manner of Ali, saying that he was a draft dodger. That is pure baloney, Ali was a conscientious objector and an open opponent of the Vietnam war. He was a bold man of principle, who stood up for what he believed was morally right, and he took his lumps for doing it, as a man should do. His conscientious objection to the Vietnam war cost him four of the best years of his career. He paid his dues for standing up for principles, and never flinced. I point this out as a Vietnam vet myself. If you want to attack draft dodgers, try Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. They both used money and political influence to evade military service for selfish reasons. They did it secretively, and there is no defense for their self serving cowardice.  They did not stand up against the war, like Ali, they just pulled strings to protect their own cowardly hides. There is no comparison between the upfront opposition to the war of Ali, and the selfish draft dodging of those two weasels. Mohammad Ali possessed more honor and dignity than any Americam politician can claim. You may quote this old Army Sarge on that.


Mass Incarceration

How NOT to Fix Crime Problems.

The View From New Harmony

The View From New Harmony

What an election year for political junkies like me! The whole political world from left to right is in good healthy upheaval. The establishment is under attack from both the left and the right. Don't you just love it? It gives me hope that honest tangible changes may actually happen. And that maybe some of our career political parasites may end up out on their money grubbing asses.

For the first time in my memory, all issues are out on the table for discussion this year from campaign reform to mass incarceration to whether or not we should continue to wage endless wars around the globe. Everything is up for debate, and you can thank Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump for forcing the discussions. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter, but I am also grateful for Donald Trump, because just like Sanders, he is forcing people out in the open with their ideas. I find a lot of the ideas of the Trump supporters pretty repulsive, but since they exist in the minds of my fellow Americans, it is better to put them out into the sunlight of public discussion than it is to pretend they don't exist. Good morning America, let us open up and talk!

Out of all of the conversations that Sanders and Trump have opened up, I am thinking about criminal justice reform this morning. Here is my opinion on criminal justice reform. What we are doing now — mass incarceration of non violent offenders– is a dismal failure from both social and economic points of view. Long term rehabilitation of non violent criminals is a far less costly for the taxpayers than is long term incarceration. The problem is that incarceration has become a juicy profitable plum for corporations and police forces. The right wing corporatists sell the idea of long term incarceration to the voters by peddling it as "revenge," and all human beings love us some revenge down deep in our skevie little hearts. But this revenge is a social and economic cancer on our society. It changes the non violent offenders in processes into violent offenders on down the road. Anyone who is not completely stupid or blind can see that mass incarceration feeds joblessness and hopelessness, eats up huge amounts of tax dollars and, and does not by any measure "work." Mass incarceration doesn't protect people, it creates more dangers of violent crime for us. Mass incarceration doesn't save money, it is bankrupting us.  If we did away with mass incarceration, we would lose that wonderful feeling of revenge we get with it. But without mass incarceration, we would cut costs and improve results.


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