Uncommon Sense

March 5, 2019

SCOTUS … Wandering … Wandering

Filed under: Politics,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 11:32 am
Tags: , , ,

The US Supreme Court decided to stay out of a case from New Jersey about taxpayer funding of the historical preservation of churches. This leaves in place a decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court that held the denial of state funds to religious establishments did not violate the church’s free exercise rights.

Of course, the unwise and unwary justices couldn’t leave well enough alone:

“At some point, this court will need to decide whether governments that distribute historic preservation funds may deny funds to religious organizations simply because the organizations are religious. … [B]arring religious organizations because they are religious from a general historic preservation grants program is pure discrimination against religion.” Justice Brett Kavanaugh

He says “discrimination” as if it were wrong. In this case discrimination is right. The word “discrimination” has taken on as a primary meaning of discriminating for illegal reasons, such as racial or age discrimination in hiring. But the word just means being able to recognize a distinction; to differentiate. In the justice’s case, he is supposed to discriminate between actions the government is legally allowed to take and actions the government is not. If I may quote from the First Amendment to the Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;. . .”

Since the adoption of that amendment, the courts have ruled over and over that the government cannot use funds in support of any religion and that this rule applies to the states as well as the federal government. So, according to the Constitution, the SCOTUS is supposed to discriminate between funds spent legally and funds spent illegally, in this case “in support of any religion.”

So, in response to Justice Kavanaugh’s “is pure discrimination against religion.” Yes, thank you, for recognizing what the Constitution stipulates we must do. You have finally recognized your duty and my hope is that you continue to discriminate for the Constitution as you have sworn to do.


December 24, 2013

The New Racism

Since the delights of overtly demeaning those with skins darker than ours has become highly unacceptable, racism has had to go underground. It has gone underground so far that some refer to our now “post-racial” society, still others state that it is the talk of race that must stop to finally eradicate the last vestiges of racism.

O . . . M . . . G. . . .

The racism of today is on clear display and in some ways more cruel than that of the past. At least we aren’t lynching people right and left, instead we doom them to lives of poverty and frustration. African-Americans aren’t “niggers” anymore, they are just shiftless and lazy . . . and unemployed.

The major objection of the non-wealthy conservative set is that their tax monies are being redistributed to unworthy people, people who need to get out and get a job and support themselves instead of laying around living off of the dole. Of course, there is some truth connected to their fantasies, a few grains of sand on their beach that fit their criteria, but mostly they are flat out wrong.

How did this happen? Well, it didn’t happen by accident. Consider that when Franklin Roosevelt signed the unemployment insurance law into being, that agricultural wage workers and live-in domestic servants were excluded from such benefits. What rationale could be had for these exclusions? Do ag workers, working for pay, not work hard? Domestic servants who live with their employers lose their housing as well as their paycheck if they are “let go” (nice euphemism). Why were they excluded? Could it have been that somewhere near 80% of all such workers at that time were black and that Roosevelt needed his Southern Democrats (the “Dixiecrats,” a telling label) to get the law passed?

Is it an accident that white ex-cons are more likely to be hired for a job than African-Americans? Is it an accident that relatively minor non-violent lawbreaking comes with very long sentences, yet rich white kids who kill four people with a pickup truck get probation at what constitutes a resort? Is it an accident that white people can “stand their ground” and shoot and kill unarmed black people, people that they deliberately stalked to put themselves in harm’s way? Currently a greater number of African-Americans are in jail than were slaves in 1850. If you are black, you will get a sentence serving more years than if you are white, for the same crime . . . always.

Is it an accident that white millionaire farmers get large federal agricultural subsidies protected but poor people get their food stamps cut? Is it an accident that if the word “welfare” or “poverty” are mentioned on TV news shows, it is almost always accompanied by video footage of black people? Black people constitute on 9% of the U.S. population and if every single one of them were poor (they are not) they would not constitute a majority of the poor, so why are blacks shown many times more often than whites in such coverage?

The largest recipient group benefiting from the social safety net in this country is elderly white women (they live longer than men and are younger when married and live longer than black men and black women) but Social Security is still under attack, even though it has a 2+ trillion dollar surplus, is solvent for the next twenty years “as-is,” and simple adjustments could make it solvent for the foreseeable future. Why? Could it be the conservative view that all “welfare” is going mostly to unworthy black people? Could it not? I am not willing to concede that some of our conservative lawmakers have honest policy objections based upon reality; you may if you wish.

Racism is woven so tightly into the fabric of our culture that it is hard to see unless you look closely.

Look closely.


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