Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Huckabee, Eyes Diverted

Mike Huckabee is not giving up.   After arguing the Newton, Ct. shooting spree ensued because "we've systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee went back on Fox News Saturday and clarified

It's far more than just taking prayer or Bible reading out of the schools. It's that fact that people sue a city so we're not confronted with a manger scene or a Christmas carol, and lawsuits are filed to remove a cross that's a memorial to fallen soldiers. Churches and Christian-owned businesses are told to surrender their values under the edict of government orders to provide tax funded abortion pills. We carefully and intentionally stop saying things are 'sinful' and we call them 'disorders.' Sometimes we even say they are normal. And, to get to where we have to abandon bedrock moral truths, then we are asked, well 'where was God?' And I respond that, as I see it, we've escorted Him right out of our culture and we've marched Him off the public square and then we express our  surprise that a culture without Him actually reflects what it has become...

Riddle me this:  If we have "escorted Him right out of our culture," what has He been replaced with?

Of course, as Think Progress points out, there is no "government funded abortion pills," inasmuch as the Affordable Care Act does not provide abortifacients.  Further, the mandate in the ACA that health insurance companies provide birth control services without a co-pay reduces unwanted pregnancy and abortion, the latter outcome which, presumably, Mr. Huckabee would support.

But Huckabee's larger point is about the larger culture: God has been abandoned, aided and abetted by government.    So we'll play that game and concede, for argument's sake, that violence has wracked our nation because "bedrock moral truths" have been abandoned.   Earlier this year, The New York Times reported

In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.

The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico.

Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”

The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.

Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.

Neither American nor Mexican law enforcement officials were notified. None of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s leaders were disciplined. Indeed, its chief executive, Eduardo Castro-Wright, identified by the former executive as the driving force behind years of bribery, was promoted to vice chairman of Wal-Mart in 2008. Until this article, the allegations and Wal-Mart’s investigation had never been publicly disclosed.

But The Times’s examination uncovered a prolonged struggle at the highest levels of Wal-Mart, a struggle that pitted the company’s much publicized commitment to the highest moral and ethical standards against its relentless pursuit of growth.

Under fire from labor critics, worried about press leaks and facing a sagging stock price, Wal-Mart’s leaders recognized that the allegations could have devastating consequences, documents and interviews show. 

Hint of bribery and obstruction of justice insufficient?   Wal-Mart has long been known for varied abuses, especially of employees.  Most recently

In the midst of worker strikes in several cities and the looming threat of a mass employee walkout on Black Friday (one of the busiest shopping days of the year), the world's largest retailer has been hit with a class action lawsuit affecting temporary workers in the Chicago area.

The filing accuses Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and two temporary staffing agencies in the region - Labor Ready Midwest Inc. and QPS Employment Group, Inc. -  of breaking minimum wage and overtime laws for temp workers by making them show up early and work through lunch breaks. The lawsuit also alleges that Walmart failed to pay contracted workers the requisite four hours minimum in wages.

But at least they have jobs (such as they are), some conservatives will protest.  Late in the recent presidential campaign, Mitt Romney was outraged- outraged! that Jeep "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build jeeps in China.  That was grossly misleading, as well as a subtle swipe at "Italians."  But in 2007 the Economic Policy Institute found

The world’s biggest retailer, U.S.-based Wal-Mart was responsible for $27 billion in U.S. imports from China in 2006 and 11% of the growth of the total U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2006. Wal-Mart’s trade deficit with China alone eliminated nearly 200,000 U.S. jobs in this period.

The manufacturing sector and its workers were hardest hit by the growth of Wal-Mart’s imports. Wal-Mart’s increased trade deficit with China eliminated 133,000 manufacturing jobs, 68% of those jobs lost from Wal-Mart’s imports. Jobs in the manufacturing sector pay higher wages and provide better benefits than most other industries, especially for workers with less than a college education.

China has achieved its rapidly growing trade surpluses by purchasing more than $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury bills and other government securities over the past few years in order to artificially and illegally reduce the value of its currency and thereby lower the cost of its exports to the United States and other countries. It has also repressed the labor rights of its workers and suppressed their wages, making its products artificially cheap and further subsidizing its exports. Wal-Mart has aided China’s abuse of labor rights and its violations of internally recognized norms of fair trade behavior by providing a vast and growing conduit for the distribution of artificially cheap and subsidized Chinese exports to the United States.

But this isn't a post about Wal-Mart, owned by a family with the combined wealth of fully 41.5% of the American people.   It already has been exposed as an emperor with no clothes. Instead, consider that once upon a time, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was attacked by the corporate front Club for Growth and responded by labeling it the "Club for Greed."  That Mike Huckabee was not only more humane than the current one, but also sounded a lot less foolish.   That Mike Huckabee remembered

Do not lay up for yourselves measures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal... No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and money.

If Mike Huckabee wants to target sin in a "culture without Him," he ought to address a corporate culture whose love of mammon is its top value, and which has expelled God with no help from government.

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