Today is my son's 17th birthday. My son is named John after his Great-Great-Grandfather and his Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather. My son has Autism. My son is my hero and this blog is dedicated to him ... and to Him for giving me such a Great son ... and 2 other Great children. Regardless of where I am financially when I die, I've been blessed.
From today's Washington Post Wonkblogger Emily Badger:
President Obama on how Fox News teaches the middle class to demonize the poor
If we're being totally honest about why we haven't found more political will to attack poverty in the U.S., the obstacle isn't mere apathy. It's not simply that we don't prioritize the poor, or devote enough money to lifting them up, or demand of our politicians that they talk about poverty more often. Those would be problems of ambivalence — of not caring enough.
In reality, the hurdle is higher than that: Much of our political rhetoric doesn't simply disregard the poor, it actively disdains them. It treats them as takers, freeloaders, deadbeats. As morally weak and gleefully dependent. And like many narratives that are true in the rare anecdote but false on the whole, this one requires a whole lot of breathless storytelling.
"There’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been 'who are you mad at if you’re struggling, if you’re working but you don’t seem to be getting ahead?'" President Obama said Tuesday at a summit on poverty hosted by Georgetown's Initiative on Catholic Thought and Social Life. "Over the last 40 years, I think there's been an effort to either make folks be mad at folks at the top, or be mad at folks at the bottom."
The latter strategy has been remarkably potent of late.
"I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges — leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving — got traction," Obama said. "Look, it’s still being propagated. If you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu. They will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. 'I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone, whatever.' And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up."
This is a specific jab at Fox News (Obama also went on to indict the media at large). But his point is larger than a political potshot at the network. There's a deep tradition in America of agitating those who aren't well-off against people who have it even worse (picture poor whites in the pre-Civil Rights South directing their ire at blacks who had even less).
The reality is that we'd all be better off — the middle-class included — if poor communities had more opportunity, if poor children didn't grow up to need food stamps, if poor men had the kind of work that enabled them to be stable fathers. In the long run, alleviating poverty (through, say, investment in early childhood education) is actually cheaper than paying for all of its products (in teens who enter the costly criminal justice system, or families who rely on emergency-room care). And that's good for anyone who's a taxpayer and wants their money well-spent.
That is, for the most part, not the conversation we're having while we argue about what poor people buy with food stamps or how the safety net makes them lazy. We fight instead about whether the poor even deserve aid and not what smart programs delivering it should look like. We'll never get to the second question if so many of us are still fuming over the first one. Obama is right to wonder aloud about who keeps posing it, hinting over and over that the answer — do the poor even deserve our help? — is "no."
And now the Biblical Commentary:
While Fox News holds a divinity contest at Liberty University to anoint the Republican presidential candidate who represents themselves as the most extremely, vehemently, outrageously, and overwhelmingly evangelical Christian, Rupert Murdoch is secretly trying to copyright the Holy Bible so he can discard the Top 7 Foxnews-most-disdained Scriptures that he feels are counterintuitive, counterproductive or just plain irrelevant with today's SWAGR (So We All Get Rich) ideology:
Mt.19:16-30 Rich Young Man
Mk.11:15-19 Cleansing of the Temple
Lk.19:1-10 Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Lk.21:1-4 The Poor Widow’s Contribution
1Tim6:17-19 Right Use of Wealth
Jas5:1-6 Warning to the Rich
This coincides with Fox News' anti-christian message from those who carry a yellow flag with a serpent on it. Their "FINAL SOLUTION" is: 1) Degrading Social Security, Medicare and Welfare, 2) Not increasing the minimum wage, 3)Not expanding Medicaid, 4)Trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act, 5)Fighting Immigration Reform, 6)Denying climate change, and 7) Ultimately driving out, with poverty or death, those that they deem to be undesirable or inferior. From the Old Testament through the Epistles, God tells us 9 times to love thy neighbor as thyself; however, the GOP lives on a plain that's the polar opposite to God's wishes. The same plain that existed in 20th century B.C. Genesis 19:23-25
But all is not lost since the 7th Scripture is so prophetic and so powerful that Rupert breaks out in boils and sores when he reads or hears it (See 2Thes.2:1-17). He's currently working with NewsCorp HR to develop a new policy forbidding his employees from uttering or writing the words "Pope Francis", "Holy Father", "Holy Orders", "St. Peter", "Pontif", "pontificate", "@pontifex", "Vicar of Christ", "climate change", "global warming", "St. Paul of Tarsus", "greed" (unless used in a positive context), "Judgement" (we'll just refer to that as a "performance review"...nobody takes those seriously) and worst of all, "idolatry". Violation of this edict will result in a scourging at the soon-to-be-erected pillar outside the NewsCorp building at 47th and 6th in Midtown.
The 7th Scripture I refer to is:
2Tim3:1-5 The Dangers of the Last Days. 1But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. 2People will be SELF-CENTERED and LOVERS OF MONEY, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, 3callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, HATING WHAT IS GOOD, 4traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5as they MAKE A PRETENSE FOR RELIGION BUT DENY ITS POWER. REJECT THEM.
I think we're there people ... Just to be on the safe side, repent (1Jn1:9-10), humble yourself before the Lord and give Him glory (Lk.9:23), and help the poor (Jas.2:17).
Mt.19:21-22 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect,* go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
* [19:21] If you wish to be perfect: to be perfect is demanded of all Christians; see Mt 5:48. In the case of this man, it involves selling his possessions and giving to the poor; only so can he follow Jesus.
Are you the sad or the happy "young man”? It's probably a good time for a little self-reflection because God tells us 6 times that He will come like “a thief in the night” and He means it: Mt.24:42-44, Lk.12:39-40, 1Thes5:1-3, 2Ptr3:8-10, Rev.3:3, Rev.16:15.
Author G.R. Miller, utilizing his engineering and project management experiences in the fossil fuels energy sectors and guidance from God, takes a pragmatic approach of part preterism, part symbolism and part literalism in decoding the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He exhibits a Climate Change connection through scripture, commentary and illustrations.