Sunday, February 23, 2014

Science v. Belief; or Not!

David Brooks’ opinion (expressed via: Sidney Awards Highlight Conflicts in Belief and Science; published in the Austin American Statesman’s Viewpoints) attempts to support the right wing ideologues’ insistence that there is conflict twixt belief and science; there is not. 

Brooks oversimplifies, as conservatives are wont to do, and imagines a one or the other version of reality.  Beliefs can explain all, but can not be checked using an independently verifiable proof.  Science (facts) can be checked via said proofs, but can not (as yet) explain everything.

Facts require no belief and beliefs require no facts, but neither functions well alone.  Belief, once proven, becomes fact; as Alchemy morphed, through experimentation, to become Chemistry. 

D v R_Family Planning

A Democrat sees family planning, a Republican sees abortion.

A Democrat sees women’s preventative health care, a Republican sees abortion.

A Democrat sees treatment of feminine disorders, a Republican sees abortion.

This is what happens when your whole Republican committee on women’s health is grumpy, older, white men!

@Wealth and

The root of government is the organization of society. The root of politics and politicians, in government, is power. Power is a means to wealth. Knowledge is the offset and access to both power and wealth.

That is why some seeking or protecting wealth and power often seek knowledge as well. Others abhor knowledge's ability to stymy pursuit, or protection, of wealth and power.

It is in the best interests of any society to educate everyone, because potential can't be known till it can be expressed.

None but government has the means and motivation to accomplish the education of everyone. It is a large, expensive and long term (from pre-k to post Doctoral) investment that for-profit businesses will not undertake.

Even if you aren't in, and don't have children or grand children, etc... needing education, it is still in your best interest to invest in the type of society that can happen only when everyone is educated as well as is possible. That is the only type of society that has a history of shared, reasonably universal success.

Govt., “of, by and for the people,” is the ideal, but in TX it is not the fact.

Of the people...  A TX legislator has a salary of $7,200 per year; a salary nobody can live on. You work 140 days, every other year, with the occasional 30 day, mandatory, special session. How many employers allow an individual the flexibility to accommodate that schedule; make a sufficient second income? 

None.  It helps to be independently wealthy. 

If you are a legislator long enough you can qualify for a retirement pension, based on a judge’s salary! 

Who can retire on, say, 80% of $7,200 a year? 


By the people... If a Texan wants to vote you must have one, of a specific and limited kind, of picture id. If you don't have such an id, and/or you don't have the specific document needed to attain said id, the state offers no assistance. The cost and travel involved in getting your picture id are going to be all yours! All to solve the problem of voter fraud that, study after study has discovered, happens a very small fraction of 1% of the time votes are made in person.

If you want to communicate, especially if you want to visit in person, with your candidate or legislator (or any other elected official) it helps to be a campaign donor; the larger the donation the better the odds.

Who is easily able to participate in the day to day functions of government in TX?

It helps to be wealthy, generous, older, white and male!

For the people... Corporations are legally defined as people. As the owner of a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) I know it to be my property; not a person in any way, shape or form. 

Political contributions are protected as free speech, not as paid access to elected officials that it actually is. Political Action Committees are tax exempt entities that can collect large amounts of money, from anonymous donors, for political expenditures. If you don't have enough money, to compete with those who do, for the attention of your candidates and elected officials, oh well.

Tough luck!

This must change! 

Give, “Hope and Change,” a Chance... and a Push!   

Help Turn Texas Blue!