Monday, February 27, 2012

The Re-unification of Church and State

By Tom Kando

It’s becoming curiouser and curiouser. We now have at least one major presidential candidate who preaches the re-unification of Church and State. Rick Santorum has announced that the absolute separation of Church and State is nonsense (and that President Kennedy was wrong in defending that aspect of the 1st amendment). Presumably, Thomas Jefferson and the Constitution are also wrong. Millions of evangelicals appear to support Santorum’s views.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Is Euthanasia Murder? The Netherlands and the United States

By Tom Kando

I’d like to piggy-back on Madeleine’s post, Senior Citizens Visiting Holland Beware!! In that post, she discusses Presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s recent allegation that the Dutch euthanize their elderly against their will. This is not new. My conservative friends have made similar accusations for years.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Senior Citizens Visiting Holland Beware!!

by Madeleine Kando

If you are sixty-five or older and plan to travel to The Netherlands, it is important that you read the following announcement.

It has come to our attention from a very reliable source in the Rick Santorum for President Campaign, that the Dutch Health Care System is now giving geriatric patients lethal injections, whether they are ready to die or not.

Of the Dutch senior citizens who are brave enough to seek medical treatment, ten percent will be euthanized! Unless they wear a wrist band with the words 'DO NOT EUTHANIZE ME' clearly marked in large red letters, the system will make mincemeat out of anyone sixty-five or older.

Senior citizens no longer seek medical care in The Netherlands. They opt to stay at home and rot away rather than go to these Dutch slaughter houses they call hospitals, where an army of overzealous butchers are at the ready, injection needle in hand. Read more...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Vicious Cycle of Debt

By Tom Kando

On Feb. 13, President Obama presented his 2013 budget plan to Congress, calling for $3.8 billion in expenditures. The plan projects an increase in the federal debt of $1.3 trillion in 2012, and another increase of nearly $1 trillion in 2013.

In 2011, the total fed debt was nearly $15 trillion, or just about 100% of US GDP (which is also about $15 trillion). Currently, 7% of the federal budget (about $250 billion) is spent to finance the debt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Sexual and Reproductive Front: In Reverse

By Tom Kando

Maybe the title of my previous post (“Rightward Ho!”) didn’t quite hit the nail on the head. Maybe we are going in reverse -marche arrière! This certainly seems to be the case on the sex and reproductive front. It’s been clear for a long time that Americans have become sexually more conservative.

The high water mark for sexual liberation was in the sixties. It would be absurd to say that a majority of Americans have returned to Puritan values since then, but it is correct to say that most have pulled back from the extreme sexual permissiveness which characterized the Counterculture. Some of this is reasonable, what with AIDS and other new facts, society matures and understands that promiscuity is neither risk-free nor a panacea.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

An Interview with Newt Rontorumney, the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate

By Tom Kando

By August 2012, the GOP has finally settled on its presidential flag bearer. He is Senator Newt Rontorumney. Here are a few excerpts of a conversation he conducted recently with famous TV interviewer Matt Lauer:

Lauer: “Senator Rontorumney, what do you propose to do about the millions of American homeowners who are under water? That is, people who owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth?”

Rontorumney: “Well Matt, you see, it’s all about individual responsibility. If an individual acts responsibly, he’ll be alright.”

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rightward Ho! (Again)

By Tom Kando

I never anticipated the country’s unending rightward movement. When I went to school and taught as a professor, from the 1950s until recently, I assumed that progress, by and large, meant that society gradually becomes more just, more rational, more pragmatic, more democratic, and that people hopefully enjoy increasing material comfort, physical health and the other benefits of science. I assumed that this was the long-term trend, despite some major relapses such as Fascism and Communism. Read more...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Do We Really Want a High Priest in the White House?

by Madeleine Kando

A lifetime ago, back when I still lived in Europe, I was already well acquainted with 'Mormons'. These clean cut young men, with their spotless white shirts and black ties, frequently rang our bell in the heart of Amsterdam. They handed us their glossy pamphlets and the only way to make them leave was to shut the door in their face.

I read somewhere that there are fourteen million Mormons worldwide and that Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Their global distribution is extremely wide-spread. Aside from China, some countries in Africa and most of Greenland Mormons are found pretty much everywhere. Read more...

Friday, February 3, 2012

How Should Children be Raised? Should they be Punished?

By Tom Kando

The physical punishment of children is an issue often joined by politicians and social scientists. Most forms of physical punishment of children are already illegal in some countries (e.g. Sweden) and in some states. In California, rep. Mickey Conroy proposed in 1996 to regulate the parental punishment of children, and in 2006, another State representative proposed to outlaw all spanking.

Can the social sciences shed light on this issue? There is no scientific consensus as to the best forms of parenting, but there is some good research. For example, Murray Strauss at the University of New Hampshire has documented the negative effect of just about any form of physical punishment.