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Posts Tagged ‘economics’

A Change is Gonna Come

Posted by Andy D. on October 21, 2008

Seal released a timely new video cover of the 60’s civil rights theme of Sam Cooke’s, “A Change is Gonna Come.”

For you freethinkers, there is a great agnostic line in the lyrics: “It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die. I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky.”

Here is today’s up-to-date polling from a fascinating and fun website intrade. Yes, you may trade the election.

I wouldn’t bet on Sen. McCain and yet I am saddened that we probably won’t be giving Indiana’s 11 electoral votes to Sen. Barack Obama.  I do remember a couple weeks back that Indiana was leaning blue which surprised the heck out of me so maybe it is tighter than this.  Who knows?

What I am certain of is that I will not underestimate the right-wing talk radio for the rest of the election.  I bet it gets very ugly because they are desperate and McCain/Palin are not running a consistent message.  The ad hominem unpatriotic attacks are all around and I think this may be the year that America has had enough of swift boating and voter scandals.  Palin is saying there are pro-America types of states and small towns.  So city people in blue states are not American?  America is smarter than that.  McCain’s choice of Palin is what took my vote off the table.  If McCain had chosen Sen. Joe Lieberman that would have been “mavericky” and impressed me.  Instead he chose Palin’s decisiveness and it is politics as usual.  McCain made a deal with the religous right to give them their judges even though I don’t think he is all that religious. Could you image if it was Thompson or Huckabee running now?  Even McCain would be an improvement over Bush and his anti-science politics.  Yet, could you imagine Palin as President?  Yikes!

One can be pro-business, pro-science, pro-civil liberties and be a moderate Republican.  Science education is the most important tool for innovation and we need to invest in it and fight the Religious Right’s anti-intellectualism campaign.  We need another space race like what happened when Sputnik launched which killed the creation science movement.  It is one thing to be ignorant but it is something much worse to be proud of it.

Fiscal conservatives are great such as Sandra Day O’Connor and Barry Goldwater.   These types need to take the Republican party back from these power hungry religious types who want to legislate their beliefs on everyone if they ever want to get my vote again.  How unpatriotic!  Too many of our young men and women have died for all of us to have freedom of conscience.  We need to deal with the “actual” problems on this material earth.  You know the one we all agree exists!  Let’s send a message to the far right kooks that America is not going to take it anymore.  Even if we cannot win Indiana (which there is still a chance) let’s send a LOUD message through the popular vote to the James Dobsons (who surprise, surprise, flip-flopped  on McCain) that enough is enough.

I will say Barack is an interesting mix between JFK and Barry Goldwater and he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago which is Milton Friedman’s shareholder is everything economics.  He knows how important the market is.  He ran the Harvard Law Review with Federalist Society people (who think the post-Civil War 14th Amendment was a mistake and most decisions should be state’s rights) and he survived.  He didn’t play favorites in that position like others thought he would.  That is 180 degrees different than Bush or Palin and he doesn’t surround himself with yes men.  He has left and right leaning economic policies and here is a great article explaining it.  For you fiscal conservative moderate Republicans, it’s Ok, the water is fine. The economy will be fine under Democrats.  It certainly cannot do as bad as Bush and his failed kingdom presidency.  Please, get out and vote!

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Oil Prices, Climate Change, Objective Morality, and Evangelicals.

Posted by Andy D. on June 24, 2008

It certainly feels like fate when all of above have woven themselves together in my mind recently. That is how our pattern seeking minds work. I will talk more on personal relationships next week. I want to get these ideas into our zeitgeist while they are fresh.

Let’s start with crazy stuff. I shit you not. This appeared in the Journal Gazette:

Evangelicals question global warming
A coalition of conservative evangelical leaders wants to enlist 1 million Christians to sign a statement questioning whether human-caused global warming is a real threat and arguing that restrictive environmental policies harm poor people.
The “We Get It!” campaign is the latest development in an ongoing disagreement among evangelicals about climate change.The campaign’s materials argue that “recent, slight warming” is an unproven threat that could lead to restrictions in energy use and drive up the cost of energy and food for the world’s poor.

Can someone tell me what evangelicalism has to do with science? If some of those evangelical leaders are scientists or are economists, then they might have something helpful to contribute; clearly, they do not get it! If they have scientists then speak the science and not under the label evangelical and be open for criticism. Reality and evangelicals do not mix considering their hatred of biology, cosmology, geology and other sciences. Ironically, they will even enjoy the benefits of these sciences such as medical care and then credit God afterwards. These people may destroy the planet and it would be a big joke if it were not so common. The driving forces of this movement are the conservative think tanks. 90% of all books against the science of climate change have roots in conservative think tanks. (This reminds me of a bizarro world in which gay scientists isolate the Christian gene).

The topic of this weeks Enlightenment show is about ethics and morality. Ethics are derived from biological anthropology such as reciprocal altruism in animals. The Golden Rule and empathy are selected for and not against in evolution. Plus, we can overcome our urge to reproduce (selfish genes) and seek other pursuits such as learning and love. Stay tuned for more on that subject and watch the website for the show.

Apologists say non-theists have no objective moral code. Where do they pick and choose to follow the good bits of the Bible but ignore the nasty bits? (Is that still objective absolutism? There are Christians that are on both sides of abortion, capital punishment, homosexual marriage, embryonic stem cell research, etc).

Religion completely destroys any sense of objective morality. It gets the whole thing upside down. Look at the climate change mentality above. A naturalistic cosmic worldview sees the planet as an entire complicated ecosystem (Biosphere) and how vulnerable it is for us. (The planet will be fine without us). Religion says the entire universe was built for us. Can they be any more arrogant? Plus, all humans are wicked and sex is ugly. Yet, we are made like God. Come on, who designs a sewage system in the reproductive playground? Religions scapegoat their sins. Is that moral? Don’t get me started on the horrors of lying to kids about dinosaurs being on Noah’s Ark and calling that science and building a museum to ignorance tax-free.

This is exactly what Bill Cooke described about the lack of morality in religion in this very good debate with Wiliam Lane Craig. (Thanks to Debunking Christianity for the link and you will have to go to u-tube for the whole thing).

Back to global burning, I was listening to WOWO because I like to listen to them say silly things around lunchtime. Rush Limbaugh was going on and on about letting us drill on our coastline. I thought for once, we were going to let the market fix our problems like they preach so well. (I am a fan of Adam Smith) Yet, here is the right wing thinking short term by saying let’s just drill here in our coastlines. That is one way to handle it, but only short term. With oil being expensive we will have to change our ways, infrastructure and increase demand from alternative energy sources. That is good for the planet and good for energy independence. Isn’t that the market forces with that supply and demand stuff? This happened before in 1979 and 1983 with our power plants getting away from oil. However, OPEC now has demand from China and India so they do not have to respond to the US. I thought higher energy independence and climate changed were linked. Here is a very good article from The Economist saying that the two are now being separated politically. The right wing wants to reduce foreign dependence but doesn’t pay any attention to climate change. This explains Rush and the we get it campaign from above. Morality and good stewardship is thrown away by not paying attention to the total economic cost including the environment and only the nominal gain.

Let’s embrace this market change for both energy prices and environment. The right wing seems to count out American ingenuity and innovation. Even McCain said we should be thinking nuclear. I agree. (Richard Carrier just wrote a cool blog on McCain’s u-tube problem). Science and Technology are more important than ever and businesses are already thinking green and the trend will continue.

Here is an interesting take on oil prices and it really isn’t so bad. Green that isn’t economical such as biofuels is not the way to go until the scientists figure out a way to make it viable. It is driving up costs for no environmental or economical reasons currently. By the market keeping oil prices up compared to “normal”, we will see more R&D work done on alternatives, and decrease demand. Both are good for the environment and energy independence but apparently we have to fight for this.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »