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My wife is trying to start a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Lexington Ky. The mayor is a democrat and since it won't happen for at least 2 years at the national level we need to move at the local level. If you are from Lexington KY or know someone from there please sign/forward this petition

http://www.change.org/...

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Tue Oct 21, 2014 at 06:46 AM PDT

RIP Gough Whitlam

by grazorblade

I don't normally get emotional about the death of public figures. I admire people who feel enough empathy for people they have never met other than through a television screen to grieve their passing. When Robin Williams died I hugged those who grieved, but internally I reacted the same way as I did every other time a public figure I never met or encountered died - I went about my day. But as I am writing this memorial for a man I not only never had the pleasure of meeting, but served his term in office a decade before I was even born, I am unsuccessfully choking back tears. Why? Because Gough Whitlam made it possible to be a morally fulfilled Australian patriot. He changed Australia for the better more in 3 years in office than every other prime minister has in 111 years combined. He transformed his country more than the combined contribution to their own country of every single American president. In fact I struggle to find a left wing leader in history whose legacy compares to his. What is more, he did it in three short years (three!) in a country that elects conservative governments far more frequently than even the USA. The left has lost one of their greatest reformers today. His achievements after the jump

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Ben Carson's recent comments have gotten a lot of press recently. If you missed them he basically claimed that God told him that America should have a flat tax and that poor people are not being taxed enough. It is astonishing how often the Bible is used as an excuse to make life harder for the poor. Unfortunately this can often succeed because the rebuttals to these arguments are often made in generalities. Here below I give a list of what the Bible says about how and when to help the poor and specifically deal with republican claims on this subject. Feel free to use this list and these verses regardless of your personal beliefs

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You've heard it before right? If we keep on "feeding the beast" (as Reagan would put it) and helping poor people, the Government will suddenly transform like a warewolf into a socialist dictatorship.

One problem - this is not how communist dictatorships formed. They were generally fuedal societies that were violently overthrown by a revolution of angry, desperate poor people and their authority was replaced, deliberately, by a one party state.

Ok fine, so there isn't really a historical precident for the welfare warewolf. But surely if the government keeps helping poor people we will eventually turn out to be a monster, won't we? Well I can't answer that question (how do you answer stupid?) but I can talk about how far other countries have gone in helping the poor without (shock horror) awakening the welfare warewolf.

In my home country of Australia, minimum wage is over $15 an hour and in practical terms around $20 an hour. We have universal healthcare, the top marginal tax rate is 45% and the tax free threshold is about $20000 dollars a year. We have a price on carbon, permanent welfare (that only ceases if you stop applying for jobs), unions several times larger (adjusted for population) and more powerful than those in the USA, a 37.5 hour working week with significant bonuses for any overtime or weekends worked and a minimum of 4 weeks holiday a year. I could go on but you get the picture.

Guess what? Australia is one of the most right wing countries in the western world. So chances are, if a welfare warewolf exists, America is no where near waking it up.

more after the jump

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