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2014-10-27_07-45-26The Republican leaders really didn’t want Roosevelt as President. As a young Bull Moose Republican in politics, TR had angered top GOP honchos by refusing to appoint Republicans to bureaucratic positions. Party bosses Mark Hanna and Thomas Platt were able to “kick Roosevelt upstairs” as the vice presidential nominee in 1900 for the incumbent President, William McKinley. Roosevelt agreed because he was thinking of running for President in 1904. No one thought that Roosevelt would take over for McKinley later in 1901.

SOURCE: 10 little-known facts about President Theodore Roosevelt – Yahoo News.

I must admit up front that Teddy Roosevelt is my kind of Republican. He and Abe Lincoln, both Republicans, are two of my heroes. What happened to the GOP that they have moved so far right of their original founders? If someone like Teddy came along in the GOP today I would jump at the chance to vote for him but given the crop of 2016 likely candidates that seems very far from reality right now.

I am currently reading albeit slowly for some reason ( maybe I am just relishing each words of the author)  a book about Teddy by Doris Kearns Goodwin so the quote above did not surprise me too much. I am sure that if Teddy were around today the current GOP would tar and feather him if they got a chance, kind of like they did with Colin Powell. Teddy Roosevelt was plain and simple a progressive Republican.  I know that combination of words are total foreign to us a hundred years later. Teddy, even though he was part of the New York aristocracy always felt a kinship with the guy that struggled to take care of his family.

Teddy fought the then Republican establishment throughout his political career. None of them liked him too much because he was just too unpredictable when it came to making decisions between the rich and the poor. He simply sided with the poor much too often for them. Deja Vu all over again right? Almost from the beginning he was very popular with the masses of people. They loved his bravado and showmanship. One of the reasons that Teddy was so popular was that he made it almost his life’s purpose to make good friends among the reporters and media of his day. They simply loved him and therefore wrote many favorable things about him.

Like all my heroes Teddy had his dark side. He loved killing things and to some degree that also included people. He often said his most pleasant memories were of his war time on San Juan Hill in Cuba. It seems he simply got a huge rush from extinguishing life. But as usual we have to take some bad to get the good from our heroes.

Our Most Deadly Trait…

February 25, 2015 — 2 Comments

2015-02-23_08-14-51While being shown around, Uyanwah asked Hawking which human shortcoming he would most like to change, and which trait he’d enhance.

Hawking chose aggression and warned that a nuclear war could end civilization and possibly the human race. We need to replace aggression with empathy, which “brings us together in a peaceful loving state,” he said.

SOURCE: Stephen Hawking Warns That Aggression Could ‘Destroy Us All’.

I want to admit up front that I am not much of a fan of Steven Hawking. Maybe it is his avowed atheism or maybe it is because most of what he says is really without any provable foundation, it seems it is all pretty much speculation. But I will admit that the guy has overcome some extreme obstacles in his life and I greatly admire him for that.

When I read that he thinks our human aggression is the deadliest of human traits I had to yell “Right On”.  We are a testosterone driven society, well actually world. There is way too much chest thumping and too little empathy about us. That is one of the reasons I wouldn’t mind if women took over all the leadership positions in the world!  There are too many people who celebrate a person who got such a rush in killing hundreds of people from afar that he signed up again and again so he could continue to do just that.  We should be celebrating the peacemakers not the warriors and certainly not the most extreme “rush” seeking warriors.

I simply can’t understand why empathy is such a hard sell to many in today’s world.  It is such a fundamental part of me I just can’t see how anyone can lack empathy for their fellow human beings? I would love to have a choice of candidates who I can vote in national elections but since the GOP is just so filled with those who seem to be either indifferent or ambivalent to empathy that brand is often not available to me. Without empathy what are we but a bunch of narcissists out totally for ourselves.

Thanks Stephen for bring up this topic. Maybe as a result a few others will finally understand that empathy is important…

Let’s delve a little more into Scott Walker’s comments on the most recent personal attack on President Obama. Here are some words from Mark Ambinder over at the Week.

2015-02-24_08-07-58When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) told a reporter that he did not know whether President Obama is a Christian, he revealed himself to have a pretty jaded view of his own party’s base voters — that they are populist resentment collectors who can only make sense of the Obama presidency by attributing its genesis to conspiracies and malevolence….

The issue is not simply that Walker’s non-response response endorsed a falsehood. It’s that Walker knew the allegation was false and pretended that it wasn’t. Walker knows better, as does (let’s hope) any sentient politician. So he was lying. He does know whether Obama is a Christian. His lie was pure bait; a lure he put together to show he shares a sensibility with a particularly rapacious part of the Republican primary voting base. So far as bait goes, it’s cheap, unimaginative, and unworthy of a smarter politician.

If Walker feels he needs to go after the hungry carp in the GOP, he’s not as steady and confident as he seems. His word choices diminish his character. The GOP is ready for an adult. Adult politicians aren’t passive-aggressive.

SOURCE: Scott Walker’s warped view of his own party.

As I mentioned in my post this morning I give more sensibility to the GOP base than Mr. Walker seems to. He seems to go all the way to the gutter fringe of the GOP to keep friends. I know those hate-mongering folks hang out on the edge of the GOP but they are certainly not the base and certainly don’t deserve any pandering from someone who thinks they have the qualifications to be president of our great country.

I hear comments that these sort of gotcha questions have no place in our election process but  I think they give us folks who are not intimately familiar with a potential candidate a snapshot of the person’s character and action under pressure. Plainly speaking to me Scott Walker blew it…

Despite the Loud Minority…

February 20, 2015 — 2 Comments

2015-02-05_08-24-50Despite a loud minority, most of the U.S. has moved on. Last year, seven states accounted for 80 percent of all executions. And it is even more evident when you look at counties. More than half of death penalty convictions originate in 2 percent of the counties in the U.S.

More and more Christians are troubled that 85 percent of executions take place in the Bible Belt. A 2014 poll showed that millennial Christians are overwhelmingly against the death penalty, and only 5 percent of Americans think Jesus would favor it…..

It feels like we have death-fatigue.

Perhaps it is no surprise that alongside constant stories of death from Paris and Nigeria to Ferguson and NY, there is a surge of opposition to the death penalty in the U.S. It just feels strange to protest another ISIS beheading and then watch another botched execution in the U.S 

Revolution is in the air — and the revolution is about how life matters. Let’s say no to death —  from ISIS to Texas.

SOURCE:  Checking Pulse on the Death Penalty | Shane Claiborne | Red Letter Christians.

It never fails to amaze me that so much that I think is wrong with our country is because of small minorities. Democracy is supposed to be about majority rule, or at least a form of it. How can we let 2 percent of the counties in the U.S. hand out over 50 percent of our execution orders. I am even more ashamed that 85 percent of execution are in the so-called Christian Bible Belt, that is primarily the southern states.  This seems totally without any sense when only 5 percent of us think that Jesus would favor executions. Aren’t we Christians supposed to look to Jesus on how to be in our lives?

It is heartening to see though that Christian millennials are overwhelmingly against the death penalty. That says that soon, maybe within a generation, this execution trend will finally end. It seems strange that the United State is in an alliance with China, and the Middle East in allowing the state to execute its citizens. Everyone else in the world has abolished it.  Being pro-life is about being for life and against human generated death in all it forms.

Small minorities that are primarily due to the very low population northern desert states along with their bible belt co-conspirators are responsible for holding up all forms of gun control. It seems they would rather see a “Newton” occur weekly rather than giving up their guns in any way shape or form.

But as Shane Claiborne says in his article above we should all rejoice that the death penalty is perhaps in its last stages. I can only pray that everyone who calls themselves Christian take up the Bible once in a while and concentrate on the words of Jesus found in it. He brought us the new covenant from God and showed us how to implement it by his personal life practices. When we listen to those words we can in no way be anything but pro-life in all regards and that certainly includes murders caused by our love of guns and the death penalty.