J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 08-02-2018

Unlike Obama, Trump Has No Moral Compass

We shall examine both of these dimensions in some detail, but first several paragraphs about the moral compass of President Obama and the values of some of our outstanding previous presidents. In stressing values, Obama followed the example of some of our outstanding presidents. Other scholars have noted other values that motivated FDR. Historian Douglas Brinkley, for example, has written of his strong love of nature, and Robert Dallek’s recent biography indicates that in addition to his ample political skills, FDR adhered to a variety of progressive values. Trump’s appreciation of religion was mainly of the self-help type as preached by Protestant minister Norman Vincent Peale. 

A narcissism that leaves no room for wisdom or other moral values such as humility or empathy. Trump’s lack of a moral center certainly reflects his own personal failings, but the fact that we now have such a president also reflects our own societal failure. Yes we honor Martin Luther King Jr. on his holiday, and twice elected Barack Obama, the son of a black African and white mother as our previous president. Trump reflects these more negative strains of our national life. 

It also mentions Trump’s closeness to lawyer Roy Cohn, one of Sen. Joe McCarthy’s chief aides. Trump’s America is like that of his business interests, a land of real estate wheeling and dealing, of casinos, of beauty pageants, of pro wrestling, of reality TV. It is an America that has bestowed fame on big-mouth media personalities like talk-radio’s Rush Limbaugh and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. Trump’s America is also one with little respect for scientific or other truth. 

If we are ever to rid ourselves of Trumpism and whatever noxious odors it leaves behind, we need not only a more honorable president, but an emphasis on more honorable values such as wisdom, humility, compassion, empathy, tolerance, and truth. 

Keywords: [“value”,”Trump”,”President”]
Source: https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/169156

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Keywords: [“pdf”,”Capitalism”,”Compassionate”]
Source: http://www.luthiersupplycompany.com/compassionate_capitalism_english.pdf

Welfare States

This has become identified, in practice, with the ‘institutional’ model of welfare: the key elements are social protection, and the provision of welfare services on the basis of right. In practice, social welfare in the United Kingdom is very different from this ideal. The post-war German settlement was based on the idea of a ‘social state’, sometimes rendered as a ‘social market economy’. The first, central principle was that economic development was the best way to achieve social welfare. Social protection in France is based on the principle of solidarity: the commitment is declared in the first article of the French Code of Social Security. 

The rights and defined areas of state activity relating to social welfare cover most of the issues that would conventionally be considered part of a welfare state. Federalism has meant that many important functions are held by the States, including public assistance, social care and various health schemes; recent reforms of health care have reinforced that diversity. There are significant departures from the residual model – e.g. state schooling, social insurance, or services for military personnel, veterans and their families, which together provide for more than 72 million people. The provision of social protection in China is a mix of incomplete systems: they include social assistance, partial social insurance and welfare services. 

Social policy in India has been dominated by a plethora of social protection programmes. International aspects of social policy The social policy of the European Union. International organisations like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have been selling a particular brand of economic and social policy to developing countries, and the countries of Eastern Europe, focused on limited government expenditure, selective social services and private provision. 

Keywords: [“Social”,”Welfare”,”state”]
Source: http://www.spicker.uk/social-policy/wstate.htm

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 05-15-2018

Social justice

In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice. Social justice is invoked today while reinterpreting historical figures such as Bartolomé de las Casas, in philosophical debates about differences among human beings, in efforts for gender, racial and social equality, for advocating justice for migrants, prisoners, the environment, and the physically and mentally disabled. Thomas Pogge’s arguments pertain to a standard of social justice that creates human rights deficits. From its founding, Methodism was a Christian social justice movement. The Pope advocated that the role of the State was to promote social justice through the protection of rights, while the Church must speak out on social issues in order to teach correct social principles and ensure class harmony. 

The encyclical Quadragesimo anno of 1931 by Pope Pius XI, encourages a living wage, subsidiarity, and advocates that social justice is a personal virtue as well as an attribute of the social order, saying that society can be just only if individuals and institutions are just. It said that the laity has the specific responsibility of pursuing social justice in civil society and that the church’s active role in social justice should be to inform the debate, using reason and natural law, and also by providing moral and spiritual formation for those involved in politics. The official Catholic doctrine on social justice can be found in the book Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published in 2004 and updated in 2006, by the Pontifical Council Iustitia et Pax. On the other hand, some scholars reject the very idea of social justice as meaningless, religious, self-contradictory, and ideological, believing that to realize any degree of social justice is unfeasible, and that the attempt to do so must destroy all liberty. Sociologist Carl L. 

Bankston has argued that a secular, leftist view of social justice entails viewing the redistribution of goods and resources as based on the rights of disadvantaged categories of people, rather than on compassion or national interest. Social justice is also a concept that is used to describe the movement towards a socially just world, e.g., the Global Justice Movement. Integrating social justice with health inherently reflects the social determinants of health model without discounting the role of the bio-medical model. 

Keywords: [“Social”,”justice”,”right”]
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice

Biography, Presidency, & Facts

Michelle Bachelet, in full Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria,, Chilean politician who served as president of Chile. Bachelet, then a medical student at the University of Chile, was arrested and sent to a secret prison, where she also was tortured. Although Bachelet’s family history made it difficult for her to find employment in Pinochet’s Chile, eventually she joined a medical clinic that treated victims of torture. In 2000 Ricardo Lagos, the candidate of the Coalition of Parties for Democracy, a group of centre and centre-left parties, was inaugurated as Chile’s first socialist president since Salvador Allende in 1973, and Bachelet was appointed health minister. Largely as a result of those successes, Bachelet found herself among the most popular presidents in Chilean history; however, the constitution prevented her from serving a consecutive term. 

In December Bachelet won the runoff decisively to become the first two-time president of Chile since the end of Pinochet’s rule. The common thread in those reforms was Bachelet’s belief that the free-market approach, when applied to social policy, had resulted in very uneven societal benefits and in the persistence of gaping income inequalities-even while Chile’s income per capita had risen from $4,400 in 1990 to almost $22,000 in 2013, according to the World Bank. Bachelet’s administration moved ahead rapidly, introducing dozens of bills, including a tax-reform bill, enacted in September, that increased the corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 27 percent and eliminated a large tax loophole, the so-called FUT, used by wealthy Chilean stockholders to shield corporate income from taxation. Much of the anticipated increase in tax earnings was earmarked to finance Bachelet’s education-reform bill, which included state subsidies to make public higher education free for the poorest 70 percent of Chileans, along with encouraging the creation of more public universities in lieu of private for-profit schools. In 2016, responding to widespread popular protest, Bachelet proposed that Chile’s privately administered pension system be overhauled. 

A commission created by Bachelet reported that some 44 percent of pensioners were living below the poverty level during the period 2007-14. Bachelet’s proposal called for a 5 percent increase in pension payments and for an infusion of about $1.5 billion in state funds into the system, along with an increase in employer contributions. 

Keywords: [“Bachelet”,”Chile”,”president”]
Source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michelle-Bachelet

The Time Machine Themes

As the Time Traveler theorizes, the working class has been pushed underground for so long that it has evolved into a distinct, nocturnal species. Wells tells his Victorian audience to look at its own time, in which the industrial revolution has further divided the classes, and consider the possibility of its turning into the Eloi if capitalism continues to run rampant. One of the major social theories of the late 19th-century adapted Charles Darwin’s theories on evolution to justify 19th-century social stratification between the rich and poor. Social Darwinism ignored this idea and contended that the social environment was much like the cutthroat natural environment, and that those who succeeded were biologically destined to do so and to continue in their march to human perfection. The Time Traveler soon discovers that the advancements of civilization have enfeebled the Eloi; without any pressing requirements for survival, they have become weak, lazy, and stupid. 

While their civilization has seemingly become perfect, they have become decidedly imperfect. The changing environment may not always produce desirable changes in man, and Social Darwinism’s argument that those who succeed in a given environment are naturally superior is not valid. The concept of entropy states that systems tend toward disorder and loss of energy over time, an idea many perceive as contradictory to evolution, since evolution implies that systems grow more ordered in their complexity over time. Ultimately, Wells’s championing of entropy forms his argument against the existence of Social Darwinism; rather than becoming more perfect, we are gradually losing our energy. The White Sphinx is a curious landmark in 802,701 AD. 

The Morlocks stow the Time Machine inside its enclosed bronze pedestal, so it becomes a symbolic and literal barrier for the Time Traveler, much as the sphinx blocked the entrance for the Greek hero Oedipus. The sphinx has a direct relationship to the Time Traveler’s plight; a symbol of futurity and of man’s submission to God, the Egyptian Sphinx faces the rising sun god Ra each day in worship. The TT, on the other hand, must in some ways defy God by embracing rational science as he gains mastery over time, and he must also break into the sphinx to escape from the future and go back in time. 

Keywords: [“Time”,”social”,”environment”]
Source: https://www.gradesaver.com/the-time-machine/study-guide/themes

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 02-06-2018

Capitalism – Curse or Blessing

Karl Marx obviously thought capitalism was a curse and considered that wealth should be controlled by the state for the benefit of all. Communism and capitalism are based on envy and greed respectively. Some questions: Is the way now clear for un-bridled capitalism to take control? Should capitalism be left to its own devices, or does it need to be controlled in some way? Could the world divided into nation states control the multi-national corporations in any realistic way? The “Blessings” of capitalism Large companies can spend money doing research and development which small concerns cannot do. Capitalism does produce wealth though the principal of the wealth “Trickling down” is much disputed. The “Curses” of capitalism The quest for profit only benefits a few share-holders, not workers, consumers, or the community at large. Because capitalism requires continual economic growth, it will inevitably deplete the finite natural resources of the Earth. Capitalism tends to promote inequality, widening the gap between rich and poor. Capitalism benefits from high unemployment to keep wages low and this can be a hidden political agenda. Slavery in its various forms is completely compatible with capitalism, and still exists in many countries of the world. I am particularly concerned that national, and international, laws control the excesses of capitalism and protect the human race from those who would use capitalism to exploit and control.

Keywords: [“capitalism”,”world”,”benefit”]
Source: https://georgedowdell.org/2013/08/19/capitalism-curse-or-blessing

Robert Reich

The Republican establishment’s leading presidential hopefuls know the current upbeat economy isn’t trickling down to most Americans. Since Ronald Reagan moved into the White House, Republican policies have widened inequality. Personal disposable income has grown nearly 6 times more with Democrats in the White House than Republicans. The lion’s share of economic gains over the past thirty-five years has gone to the top regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans inhabit the White House. That’s exactly the point: Since Reagan, Republican policies have nudged it toward big gains at the top and stagnation for everyone else. The last Republican president to deliver broad-based prosperity was Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the 1950s. The gains from growth were so widely shared that the incomes of the poorest fifth actually grew faster than the incomes of the top fifth. Under Reagan, Republican policy lurched in the opposite direction: Lower taxes on top incomes and big wealth, less public investment, and efforts to destroy labor unions. These Reaganomic principles are by now so deeply embedded in the modern Republican Party they’ve come to define it. Because these very principles have contributed to the stagnation of American incomes and the widening gap between the rich and everyone else, Republican aspirants who says they want to reverse widening inequality are faced with an awkward dilemma.

Keywords: [“Republican”,”president”,”income”]
Source: http://robertreich.org/post/108489468160

Growing God’s Economy, Cultivating Compassionate Capitalism

Most of the followers of Q Ideas, and most of the people attending the Gathering emerge out of an Evangelical Christian background. Although I follow Q Ideas online, I normally would not have considered attending their high priced annual gathering. As a liberal, progressive, and self-proclaimed evangelical Methodist, I was intrigued with the conference organizers choice to have the gathering in Portland. Something tells me it is also changing the hearts of thousands of Portland area Evangelical Christians. Through the voice and work of Q Ideas, there is emerging a new vision of what it means to spread the gospel of Jesus; one that recognizes the face of Jesus in the faces of the poor, unemployed, homeless, abused, and hopeless that suffer in the midst of a city of beauty and prosperity. Like the Mayor, I was confronted with my own bias about Evangelical Christians. My impression of the social enterprise segments of the conference is that it is a brand new idea for most of the people who attended. At least the conversation about faith, vocation, compassionate capitalism, and Corporate Social Responsibility has started in the emerging post Evangelical movement. ‘ The Gathering was infused with meaningful questions about the state of the world and rich with ideas for creating a better world. A big thank you to the hosts of Q Ideas for bringing this Gathering to the city of Portland.

Keywords: [“idea”,”Gathering”,”Evangelical”]
Source: https://genesisofhope.wordpress.com

The Compassion of Capitalism

We benefit from the compassion of capitalism and we must help others achieve the same blessings. Google defines compassion as “Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” Sufferings or misfortunes of others – we feel a current state of uneasiness or hardship that we want to improve. How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. We must be able to have sympathy for and identify sufferings of others in order to solve problems and serve others. Sympathy and concern for others form the bedrock of free market exchange. Entrepreneurs play a vital role in identifying the misfortunes of others, putting themselves in others’ shoes, to really experience what they are going through. In a free society, men like Henry Turkel can take their natural born sympathies towards others and aid them in their misfortune. Through his profession, he had many occasions to understand the needs of infants and others who are incapacitated such that they cannot feed themselves.

Keywords: [“other”,”Turkel”,”suffering”]
Source: https://tifwe.org/the-compassion-of-capitalism

JR Test Site News for 01-19-2018

Clinton to Nudge Enlightened Capitalism Along

WASHINGTON – Both nettled and intrigued by Patrick J. Buchanan’s unexpected strength in the Republican primary campaign, President Clinton and his aides are debating how to appeal to voters angry about stagnant wages and corporate layoffs-and whether to propose new programs to encourage good “Corporate citizenship.” Democrat Bill Clinton would rather run as a champion of enlightened capitalism. So although some Democrats-including his own secretary of Labor, Robert B. Reich-have proposed a novel corporate tax break for firms that treat their workers well, Clinton is keeping the idea at arm’s length for now. In an interview with The Times, Clinton said he had “Encouraged” Reich to explore tax breaks and other means of encouraging good corporate conduct, but added carefully that he has not decided whether to pursue the idea. Instead, Clinton said, he plans to “Highlight” companies that pay their employees well, share their profits, provide good benefits and offer retraining for laid-off workers-in hopes of inspiring other firms to follow suit. “How do you keep the good things about this economy and still try to restore some sense of common obligation, some sense of the social compact, some sense that there is a covenant between the working people of America and those who employ them?” he asked rhetorically. “There are many successful companies that go out of their way to give their employees continuous education and training so that if anything ever should happen to them, they’ll be more prepared to get a good job if they have to change jobs.” As a result, White House aides said they are preparing a series of visits by the president to companies with exemplary benefit and training programs-including United Technologies Corp., the Connecticut defense contractor that has funded large-scale retraining for displaced workers, and Starbucks Corp., the chic Seattle coffee roaster with an innovative employee stock-ownership plan. Clinton is likely to invite chief executives to a White House conference on “Corporate citizenship” later this year, patterned loosely after his meeting with television executives last week to discuss ways to reduce violence in children’s programming. The issues also share another factor: In an era of budget-cutting, Clinton is looking for actions he can take without spending federal money. In the case of job retraining, a central part of the president’s original economic program, he is asking corporations to spend more of their money because the Republican-led Congress cut his request for $5.2 billion in funding this year almost in half. Aides said Clinton is reluctant to move beyond jawboning too quickly, for several reasons. One is a desire to avoid any hint of “Corporate bashing,” which the president sees as a sure political loser for a Democrat trying to capture the political center. “Corporate bashing doesn’t take you anywhere,” warned Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, general chairman of the Democratic Party. Another is concern that by responding too visibly to the wave of blue-collar anger that has buoyed Buchanan, the president might appear to give the Republican credit for a theme that Democrats-including Clinton-have sounded for years.

Keywords: [“Clinton”,”corporate”,”President”]
Source: http://articles.latimes.com/1996-03-03/news/mn-42558_1_enlightened-capitalism

Gods and Profits: How Capitalism and Christianity Aligned in America

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the pastors and politicians Kruse profiles, the disparity between the Christian ethos and the spirit of capitalism is now little more than a periodic left-Christian cri de coeur. What happened to the anti-capitalist Christianity of yesteryear? Consider the robust Christian socialist movements of the late nineteenth century, which flourished under Victorians like John Ruskin and William Morris. It’s a question worth pursuing because, as Aschoff demonstrates in her new journalistic set of case studies, the narratives that prop up capitalism are not stable. Narratives, both critical and supportive, are necessary for capitalism, because criticism forces it “To evolve and temporarily resolve some of its contradictions … thus preserving it as a system for the long haul.” “Indeed,” Aschoff notes, “Capital’s ability to periodically present a new set of legitimating principles that facilitate the willing participation of society accounts for its remarkable longevity despite periodic bouts of deep crisis.” Capitalism is a system that is in a constant state of re-explaining itself, producing stories that present it as necessary despite its failures and stories that cast it in a positive light despite shifts in popular sentiment. Each of them, Aschoff argues, tells a different story with the same outcome: to patch up leaks in capitalism and advance its shuddering bulk for one more day. In each of Aschoff’s careful considerations of capitalism’s storytellers, glimmers of the past pro-capitalist Christian crusades shine through. Capitalism’s narratives, Aschoff implicitly reveals, always cannibalize their predecessors, repackaging old stories to shore up discontent. In other words, the prophets of capitalism have a way of using the workable parts of older pro-capitalist narratives to meet the needs of changing audiences, while shedding the vestigial bits. As religiosity drops off in the United States, replaced either by faithlessness or individual spirituality, capitalism will have to reformat its defenses to match those proclivities, rather than catering purely to committed Christians. If the Christian ethos has suffered any great harm from its recruitment in support of capitalism, it has been the tamping down of a uniquely anti-capitalist, revolutionary sentiment in the Gospel. Within the Catholic tradition, criticism of capitalism is perfectly common: It is only in the U.S. context, beset by a curious interlude of manufactured hypercapitalist Christianity, that the Pope’s economics seem jarring. If the Christian story is the latest to be shucked aside by capital, then Christianity might find itself slipping the grip of a rather oppressive relationship. American Christians would then be free to offer up a genuinely revolutionary Christian politics: one that neither seeks to bolster capitalism blatantly nor offer meager patches for its systemic problems. Having a historical perspective on the ways in which Christianity was co-opted in service of each of those purposes could help new Christian activists avoid the pitfalls of the recent past. Perhaps Christianity’s long rendezvous with capitalism has been a necessary crucible, and one that may be sputtering toward its end.

Keywords: [“capitalism”,”Christian”,”Aschoff”]
Source: https://newrepublic.com/article/121564/gods-and-profits-how…