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].

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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, July 26, 2018

Is a living wage so unreasonable?

liv·ing wage /liviNG ˈwāj/bnoun

  1. a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.

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The Economist says: "America's minimum wage has long been low by international standards, equaling just 38% of the median wage in 2011, close to the lowest in... Congress changes it only occasionally, and in the interim inflation eats away its value. The wage was last raised, to $7.25 per hour, in 2009. Since then its real value has slipped back to where it was in 1998."   read more States That Raised Minimum Wage See Faster Job Growth, Report Says

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“What retailer wouldn’t want to be Costco Wholesale Corp. Costco has a strong customer following, loyal employees and makes money without even selling a single product.”   Read more: Walmart Will Never Be Costco 


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"Walmart told analysts last year that the company has captured 18 percent of the SNAP market," it reads. "Using that figure, we estimate that the company accounted for $13.5 billion out of $76 billion in food stamp sales in 2013."  read more Report: Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistance

zz2Walmart’s CEO is making bank.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Walmart disclosed that CEO Doug McMillon’s compensation for fiscal 2018 was $22.8 million — a figure that is 1,188 times the annual total compensation of its median associate. (The median salary for that role — which includes more than 2 million workers — in fiscal 2018 was $19,177.)


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Russia vs. Bengazi

by Glenn Littrell

Sometimes it is very disheartening to see how some peoples thought processes work. How we process information and make judgments, and form opinion reveals how we use and apply critical thought and how we apply critical thought usually shows whether or not we are hypocritical or consistent in how we make judgments, form opinions, lead our lives, raise our children, etc.

Do we have consistent moral codes, creeds, and behaviors? Do we form opinions based on thought out and tested methods? Do we practice or espouse rules of life to our children that stand up in all situations and make consistent sense across the board in real life? Are our rules for life well thought out and consistent rules that are tempered with compassion and foresight.

OR,

Do we pick our morality from a hodgepodge of situations? Are our rules for life, justice, and behavior varied by the whim of what pleases us at the moment, serves our emotional feeling, or our own pleasure? Are our rules for life based on situational ethics that falter or grow with our emotional and personal whim or fancy?

Concerning the issue of Russian meddling post on Facebook:012

I would like to hope your question is rhetorical or that you're just trying to stir the pot.

If you truly believe that the meddling is no big deal because it didn't actually change the outcome of the election then I suppose that you feel drunk driving is only a problem when it results in injury? (No harm, no foul)

If you believe the outcome of the election was inevitable, that he would have won anyway, then I suppose you feel the rule of law only applies when it is applied to support your opinion or change the outcome in your favor? (The end justifies the means)

If you believe that 'everybody does it' makes it right I suppose things like date rape, theft, drugs, perjury, etc., are OK if they're common, or perceived to be common events? (If your friends jumped off a cliff would you?)

So your moral code, sense of right and wrong, the lessons you teach your children through words or deeds are:

  • No harm, no foul.
  • The end justifies the means.
  • If your friends jumped off a cliff, it alright if you do.

Now you continue your use of 'situational ethics' when you choose to ignore the fact that it was your saintly Trump who raised the issue of election meddling (until he won) and threatened criminal action and investigation before the election. A master of loose and inconsistent ethics.

The irony of calling for the stop of the investigation, not a conclusion, because it has drawn on for 'so long':

  • After we endured 4 years and 10 investigations over Benghazi with what results?
  • Before that, the Republican'ts spent 40 million over 4 years to prove a man would lie about having an affair. (Bill Clinton).

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I don't recall one of the people now calling for an end to the current investigation registering the same complaint before 2016.

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NOTE: Since Nixon the Republicans have controlled the Presidency a year and a half longer than the Democrats, yet the Republicans constantly complain about the Democrats ruining America as if they were never in power to change or fix things. Whether you consider the Republicans blameless or not you should to consider that:

  • The Republicans have succeeded in little by their own account.
  • If it doesn’t concern defense contracts or tax cuts for the wealthy there are few Republican accomplishments in regard to successful legislation.

As an independent bleeding-moderate I tend to vote left-of-center on most issues not by party, but by issues as I’ve never belonged to either party. It is my observation that Democrats tend to campaign for things… change and progress, and Republicans tend to campaign against things, only citing their policy’s and not their accomplishments, which are few.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Remember when…

by Glenn Littrell

Many people tend to look nostalgically at the past as being all roses and ice cream in comparison to their dissatisfaction with the here and now, always lamenting back to when we drank straight from the water hose, were supposedly watched over by neighbors, and the streetlight was our guide to when it was time to go home. But do these selective memories reflect better times? Or just better moments? Nostalgia

Yes, we weren't required to wear a seatbelt, but the impact of a child standing in the front seat being launched into the dashboard at a moderate speed of 15 miles an hour led to devastating results. Yes, we could say what we wanted if we were in the right group, or if we were the biggest person in the room. Back when we could be verbal bullies and obnoxious people was that a worthy character trait to want to return to? Where the good old days so grand when segregation, racism, sexism we're so prevalent. Was it such a great time?

Nostalgia has a place in some context but not all context.

It seems to me that nostalgic memories are usually subject to wishful thinking whether it be the memories of an optimist or pessimist.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Patriotism is not a contest:

4thjulyiconAll too often when events like going to war, 9-11, holidays, or controversial issues like school prayer or flag burning comes to the front of the national stage, Patriotism all of a sudden becomes a “contest”. A chest thumping, foot stomping, in your face, holier than thou, "if you disagree with me you must not be patriotic", contest.

Unfortunately, as the extremist churn out their one-sided messages many of us get caught up in the ‘Patriotism as a contest syndrome’, falling in line behind over-simplified slogans and catchphrases that galvanize us more to that slogan’s single issue than to our real, more well-rounded beliefs. This ‘patriotism as a contest syndrome’ only serves to divide us and prevent us from having educated discussions, solutions, or compromise.  This form of “sunshine patriotism” is just as damaging now as it was during the early days of our American Revolution.

imageA common argument that is put forth by the extremist, and picked up by the moderates, is that soldiers served, fought, or died for the right to protest as if this meant that protesters were doing a disservice to those soldiers. This is a prime example of single-issue rhetoric being used to distort the argument. Yes, soldiers served, fought, or died for the anti-war protestors right to demonstrate, and the pro-war protesters right to demonstrate, and for all our rights, the right to vote, and the right to bear arms, the right to representation, and many more rights.  Not all soldiers who have served were of a single mind, political belief or religious persuasion.  Many were not volunteers and some served reluctantly.

        Because they served, fought, or died for our rights, those rights are now our responsibilities. We have a responsibility to vote, to bear arms in times of conflict, to participate in the process of representation. We also have a responsibility to exercise our freedom of speech in its many forms and when our conscience dictates that we must speak out for or against something, it is our responsibility to do so. These rights and responsibilities are not limited to those who only fall on a certain side of an issue.

When the framers of the constitution defined some of these rights, they could not foresee what the future might hold for these rights and responsibilities. They could not have seen the developments in firearms that would make assault weapons capable of discharging hundreds of rounds a minute, nor could they foresee technological advances that would make pornography so easily available. When they framed the Constitution, however, they were aware of the potentially deadly and criminal use of firearms, and pornography did exist in their times.

Well aware of potential abuse or misuse of our many rights, they saw these rights as inalienable, and they weighed these inalienable rights against the consequences and defined those consequences as tyranny.

They included the rights to free speech and assembly knowing full well that it could lead to criticism of the government. They included them because they had seen and exercised these rights in their fight for freedom by a demonstration against the government through speech, flag burning, demonstration, and armed insurrection and through prayer to their god. They spoke for the separation of church and state not because they were atheist or unreligious, but because they were religious men and had seen first hand the evils of allowing one to influence the other.

They chose the acknowledgment of these inalienable rights over the choice of tyranny because the extreme use of one is favorable over the slightest existence of the other. When we disagree with the actions or anticipated decisions of our government, it is our obligation as a matter of conscience to express that disagreement; it is our right and responsibility. Legal discord and assembly are as American as apple pie. 

‘Patriotism as a contest’ is a despicable display of ignorance and disrespect for our constitution and those who died for it. Patriotism is not flag waving and chest beating and shouting down those who disagree with us. Patriotism is the defense and preservation of our Constitution and should be preceded by service, civic involvement, and conviction to our responsibilities and our neighbor’s rights. The willingness to defend to the death the rights of our neighbors in spite of our differences, that is an example of Patriotism

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