Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

Post from FaceBook may not be viewable if not signed into FaceBook.
I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

…unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me…

by Glenn Littrell
re-posted from 2015
(UPDATE: Fact Check Video added)

About 2000 years ago a young, middle eastern mother to be, along with her husband (who was not the father of her child) sought refuge from the elements in a small town. The only available shelter was a manger, where her baby was born.

Later, the mother, her baby, and her husband, fled oppression and death, seeking compassion, justice and refuge in another country where they lived for many years.

When the family returned to their homeland many years later the baby, now a young man, preached forgiveness, compassion, and said: “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

imageAs we struggle with the desire to call ourselves a ‘Christian Nation’ we continually avoid behavior that would demonstrate a Christian spirit. Where other countries are being flooded with millions of refugees we are excoriating our principles and beliefs in the face of tyranny and oppression, fighting over not whether to offer 10,000 refugees safe haven, but over whether to allow safe haven for any of the 4 million refugees. Families, men, women, or children.

While choosing to ignore actions that would be considered of a Christian nature, we are also ignoring and advocating actions that totally ignore our own constitution and its processes.

childimmigrationGovernors are threatening to close state borders, demanding tracking, restrictions, and identification of Syrian/Muslim refugees. Politicians are demanding the same, additionally calling for a new ‘Iron Curtain’ on our southern border and a new ‘Berlin Wall’ between us and free Europe. Ignoring our constitution and Judeo/Christian ethics in the name of fear mongering to obtain better poll numbers and eventual political victories.

Where we once claimed to be a great country because of the opportunity we offered, the morals we aspired to, and the equality we preached, we now demonstrate the darker nature of our past. A past that we deny. A past of greatness that also included atrocities that we seek to hide and to minimalize.

imageA part of that past that we are repeating now is easy to discover and identify, a past that is directly related to events that have stained our international image and produced hostilities that still haunt us. People of other country’s don’t hate us because they envy us. Jealousy does not inspire people to become suicide bombers, nor is violent attacks a normal response to envy. Envy might lead people to want to take what we have, but these jihadist are not after what we’ve got… they want to destroy what we have. Their hatred is born out of fear, vengeance and real or perceived wrongs committed in the past.

This is not to say they are justified, but it is to say there is a history to their fear and hatred. It is not something that just appeared. We can not right all past wrongs, we cannot dispel all misconceptions, and we are probably beyond sitting down with terrorist for a mutually beneficial discussion until one-side has been beaten the other into submission.

imageWith our enemies we are forced into a military option. Unfortunately our allies, especially our Muslim allies, in the region prefer that our soldiers lead the charge to protect them. Saudi Arabia, a country with a quarter-of-a-million man standing Army, has not taken a military lead in the region or taken in one Syrian refugee.

Whatever the military option becomes without the participation of the Gulf States we will just be digging into another quagmire… like was pointed out by the naysayers in 2003.

But even with a successful Military solution we will continue to be the target of scorn from marginalized middle eastern Muslims and their sympathizers. Even if a military solution beats down all jihadist and we pull completely out of the region, avoiding the ‘quagmire’, we will forever be linked to the atrocities of this war and past transgressions. Unless we seek and obtain a political solution, whatever that may be, we will continue to be the target of militant jihadist for generations… just like now and in the past.

Whatever the military solution, and the political solution, the key to any success short or long term, is winning the hearts and minds of moderate Muslims, especially young Muslims. But how are we ever going to do that if we can’t even do it with the Muslims in our country. We seem intent on doing everything we can to enrage, denigrate, alienate and discriminate against Muslims, all Muslims from all nations and ethnicities, here and abroad, immigrant and American born.

CLeftEven before the current anti-Syrian sentiments we continually made Muslims (even non-Muslims who by appearance we see as Muslims) the victims of discrimination, physical and religious attacks, and marginalization.

imageOur need for political hatefulness, designated enemies and scapegoats has turned us into a nation of ‘ugly Americans’. A designation that use to be used solely by other nations to describe our international behavior. More and more the ‘ugly American’ label being used to describe our internal behavior.

This is not our first bout with xenophobia, racism, religious intolerance, ethnic condemnation, and the accompanying oppressive hate and fear. There are many examples, but one particularly relevant to this current controversy is the story of the MS St. Louis. While today we claim a national love and affection for the Jewish state of Israel, in 1939 we were less than hospitable to a mere 908 Jewish refugees. The result was that many ended back in Germany during the Holocaust and the Germans had another example of international hatred for the Jews:

“The MS St. Louis was a German ocean liner most notable for a single voyage in 1939, in which her captain, Gustav Schröder (a German), tried to find homes for 908 Jewish refugees from Germany. After they were denied entry to Cuba, the United States and Canada, they were finally accepted in various European countries, which were later engulfed in World War II. Historians have estimated that, after their return to Europe, approximately a quarter of the ship's passengers died in death camps.”              Wikipedia

Just like the Germans tried to use our apathy to justify their genocide, the Jihadist will use the frightened, anti-refugee behavior to influence discouraged moderate Muslims, both here and abroad, as a strong recruitment tool.

It seems that as time passes the phrases such as “…give me your tired…”,  “…that all Men are created equal…”, and “…So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets…” are less grand and meaningful than in the past. Lady Liberty now gives the ‘stiff-arm’ to the huddled masses of the world and our ‘so-called’ Christian ethics take a back seat to political expedience, fear and hate.

“Paris, 1948: A couple and their toddler arrive in Paris from Budapest. The toddler is me. My parents have survived the horrors of the Holocaust - the camps; the pitiless deaths of their parents, spouses, children, siblings; the loss of their property and livelihoods. The Communist Iron Curtain drops and my mother has again been imprisoned. After she is released, my family takes one suitcase and flees to France. Paris becomes our place for healing. My parents and I wait in France - for years - for the precious papers that allow us to emigrate to the U.S. The passenger manifest on the ship that brings us across the Atlantic lists our nationality as "Stateless." We are refugees.”

“…The Paris tragedy has become politicized [in America] - and I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed that the country that laid out a welcome mat for my family has elected officials who so readily want to slam the door shut on the victims of the worst humanitarian crisis since the Holocaust. Some even want to impose a religious test on resettlement, all in the name of "national security." What they're really doing, whether by intent or ignorance, is fanning the flames of xenophobia and Islamophobia. It reminds me of some of the most shameful episodes of U.S. history: the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; and the refusal to allow the passengers of the St. Louis to disembark in an American port, sending them back to Europe - many to their deaths.”

see also:

Paris attacks: 'I will not give you the gift of hating you'

originally posted 11-20-2015
updated 11-21-2015

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mitch McConnell filed cloture on a drug corporation handout


“We may have defeated Trumpcare, but that doesn't mean Senate Republicans are done trying to exploit the American people. Sen. Mitch McConnell just filed cloture on the OPEN Act, which is an $11.6 billion handout to prescription drug corporations. We're delivering your signatures to every Senate office this week--we need you behind us!

Stand with Social Security Works to oppose another billion dollar giveaway to drug corporations and say no to big pharma monopolies.

You can read more abut the OPEN Act in our original email below.

Thank you,

Alex Lawson
Social Security Works



In 1983, Congress passed a law aimed at spurring innovation for drugs that treat rare diseases, offering tax credits and monopolies as incentives. But, as they so often do, pharmaceutical corporations immediately turned the law into yet another way to extract money from the people’s pockets. A year’s treatment can cost people with rare diseases more than a house.

Pharmaceutical corporations’ ravenous hunger for profits leads to Social Security benefits that are increasingly eroded by medical co-pays and out of pocket expenses. And Congress has a new handout on the way.

Stand with Social Security Works to oppose another billion dollar giveaway to drug corporations and say no to big pharma monopolies.

The greed of the drug companies is boundless. Now, their Washington lobbyists are pushing a new bill―the Orphan Product Extensions Now (OPEN) Act―which would grant drug manufacturers six additional months of exclusivity, the monopoly power that allows the companies to charge as much as they like.

It’s estimated that this new law would cost patients and taxpayers up to $11.6 billion over 10 years―padding the pockets of the greedy pharmaceutical industry and ensuring that we continue to pay the highest drug prices in the world!

Former Congressman Henry Waxman of California, the author of the 1982 Orphan Drug Act, had this to say about how drug companies are manipulating the system:
“We’re seeing the Orphan Drug Act used in ways that we never anticipated when the law was adopted. In the way people use the word ‘orphan status,’ it’s almost becoming a synonym for a monopoly price.”

Stand with Social Security Works to oppose the OPEN Act, yet another billion dollar giveaway to big pharma corporations.

If passed, the bill would allow drug companies to repurpose drugs that are already on the market, giving them “orphan” status. For patients this means competing drugs that might lower prices would be kept off the market, leading to budget busting drug prices for even longer for the people.
Instead of padding the insurance company profits, Congress should be focusing on bills that rein in abuses by drug companies, and make sure people can afford the health care they need.

Together, we’re fighting the greedy pharmaceutical industry and their powerful Washington lobbyists. “

Thank you,

Michael Phelan
Social Security Works


Search This Blog