Thursday, March 19, 2009
Mississippi is at the top of the spiritualistic list
We Mississippians hear a lot of negative news about being at the bottom of the materialistic lists. We should take pride in being at the top of the spiritualistic lists.
Mississippi, according to a recent Gallup poll, is the most religious state in the nation. Eighty-five percent of Mississippi answered yes to the question, “Is religion an important part of your daily life?”
New England and the West Coast were a lot less religious than the South. Interestingly, the religious beliefs correlate with the last presidential elections. Those states voting for Obama were less religious.
Previous surveys have shown Mississippi is also the most generous state, leading the nation in charitable giving as a percent of income.
Think about this for a moment. We live in the most generous, spiritual state in the nation. What could be more wonderful than that? The spirit is so much more important than money. That’s where we excel.
It is also interesting to note that charitable giving also correlates with the recent presidential elections. Those states with the least generosity voted for Obama.
The grossly generalized, stingy atheists live in the blue states and generous believers in the red states.
The poll results pose some interesting questions. Are Mississippians less affluent because we are generous and give all our money away? Are we less affluent because we care more about the spirit than the flesh? Are we less affluent because we don’t need money to make us happy and have no need to join the rat race?
One bit of good news, the United States as a whole is still a nation of believers, with 65 percent stating religion is important in their daily lives.
The Legislature is still throwing money at companies to lure them to Mississippi. A new bill proposes to give a $25 million grant to an aerospace company in Iuka.
When are we going to learn? The role of government is to maintain order, pick up the garbage and pave the streets. It is not to hand out freebies to whatever company has the best lobbyists. The government should not play favorites. It should offer the same incentives to all companies. Not only are these handouts bad economic policy, they lay the groundwork for corruption, as the beef plant disaster illustrates.
This new concept of using tax dollars as free seed capital has created a new breed of entrepreneur-lobbyists who work both sides of the private-public aisle.
Readers may remember my series last summer on the poor mother who is rotting in federal prison for eight years on a wetlands violation. She has a two-year-old son.
This poor woman, Robbie Lucas, had never been in trouble with the law.
She was selling lots part time for her father and got caught up in the most outrageous abuse of federal power I have yet witnessed in my journalism career.
The EPA determined that the land was “wetlands” even though the U.S. Supreme Court can’t even figure out a definition for wetlands. One of the leading wetlands experts in the United States said this lady’s horrendous conviction makes him fear for the future of the country.
Gov. Haley Barbour, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, Sen. Thad Cochran and even the federal prosecutor who tried the case sent a letter to President Bush asking for clemency for this poor mother. Their pleas went unanswered and she remains in prison.
Can you imagine? By far the longest sentence in history for a wetlands violation meted out to an innocent bystander, yet our president ignores the clemency pleas of the most important leaders of our state - and the prosecutor of the case!
Robbie Lucas wrote a letter recently to John McGowan, who has been at the forefront of seeking her release from prison. She writes, “I cannot express in words how painful this journey has been. The stress of being indicted, the two-month fiasco of a trial. Then being separated from my family and most of all my baby son Lucas, who was only one year, one month and 25 days old. It is very hard for me, a God-fearing, voting, proud citizen to understand how this injustice can occur in the United States of America.
“I am innocent and have never broken the law except a speeding ticket which was cleared from my record in the early 1990s. I am a victim in this situation and my family and my baby son. The true crime is that an innocent mother is in federal prison. . . This is what happens when a so-called jury of your peers is allowed to hear and decide the fate of a case with absolutely no understanding of the subject matter. When a trial goes on and on and jurors think why would the government be after them if they weren’t guilty. This is the justice system but it is anything but just.
“I am a registered nurse and a school teacher. I have raised money for many good causes all my life. I am a community leader and a volunteer. I have prayed and cried and cried. I can only hope and pray everyone’s efforts on my behalf come to fruition.”
There is no parole in the federal system, even though Robbie Lucas had a spotless record prior to this travesty of justice. Eight years because she and her father decide to fight the EPA in court rather than kowtowing to their unreasonable, totalitarian demands. It is a tragedy indeed.
Since Obama’s election, the market and the economy has dropped 30 percent. Half the stock market decline and job losses have occurred since Obama’s election.
When the stock market crashed in 1929, President Hoover was blamed for the Great Depression. But Democrat Franklin Roosevelt presided over eight of the 11 years of depression. Only the war stopped the economic decline.
Like Roosevelt, Obama’s policies are making a bad situation worse: raising corporate taxes; raising the capital gains tax; opposing nuclear energy; stifling oil and gas production; giving a trillion dollars to bureaucrats; taxing charitable donations; cancelling our missile defense program; socializing medicine and busting the budget.
Solar and wind power provide less than two percent of our nation’s power. To think these “green” technologies are going to replace fossil fuels in the near future is delusional.
Obama may be a nice fellow and a great speaker, but his policies are fundamentally flawed and thus doomed. Consequently, this recession will be prolonged.
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