Security – and Moral Bankruptcy

there is no way in which a country can satisfy the craving for absolute security “No way.” No way. As in not possible in this world. but it can easily bankrupt itself, morally and economically, in attempting to reach that illusory goal through arms alone. – President (& General) Dwight D. Eisenhower In other words, you can’t buy enough guns (etc) to make yourself safe. But you can go completely nuts trying. Eisenhower quoted by Brian McLaren in Everything Must Change, p 167.   … Continue reading

Reducing Joy to Self-Indulgence – Using Our Freedom Destructively

In many respects, Americans are freer today than ever before, with more Americans than ever before enjoying unencumbered access to the promise of American life. I’m quoting Andrew J. Bacevich, retired US Army colonel, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, writing about American freedom, and values in American life today.* He’s arguing that we’ve used our freedoms to become self-indulgent and arrogant, and to try to force the rest of the world to support that self-indulgence and arrogance. … Continue reading

Shallow and Insulting Reactions from Christians About the Election …

Did you see the recent comment from “Donna”? It stirred me up! Come on people! Christian integrity and humility should compel you to allow that those who voted for Obama are NOT thereby proven to be ignorant or reprobate! I know that my response refers to the behavior and attitudes of the “religious right” as if they could be sterotyped. But in fact, in my experience, these problems VERY consistently show up in people who get their input from those sources – they are stereotypical responses. On the other hand my experience with Christian Democrats shows them almost always to be much more welcoming and open to information and to real discussion. Here’s my response (The numbered headlines are quotes from Donna’s comment.): … Continue reading

Worship of Idols (like Greed) is Deadly

From an AP article at the Atlanta Journal Constitution site, on Friday October 24, 2008: Wall Street joined stock markets around the world in a huge selloff Friday, sending major market indexes to their lowest levels in more than five years on the belief that a punishing economic recession is at hand. The market has been coming back up. But a lot of damage has been done. I have a couple of questions: 1. What should be a Christian’s attitude as things seem to be – at least to some extent – falling apart? I wrote about that recently. 2. Is there any value in placing blame? Let’s talk about that. … Continue reading

And Now? Hard Times and Good News.

Bad News Warren Buffett, the widely respected Omaha multi-billionaire, used the phrase “Pearl Harbor” to describe the significance of our nation’s current economic crisis, a phrase he has never before used about the economy. Many other very reputable people feel the same way. “Pearl Harbor” was a very damaging air attack on our forces in Hawaii and it got us involved in World War II. It was a surprise, deadly, and very frightening It took a demanding and costly effort, but we did pull out of it. The sense of things now seems to be that again we are in for some rough years, … Continue reading

$25 Billion to Save 25,000 Children

It’s extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion dollars to save 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases. – Bono Thanks to enewsletter from Sojourners for the quote. One would hope that this bailout will contribute to some children eating better, … Continue reading

Greed and Financial Crisis, Now and in 1929

Once and Future Crash(es) In 1954 John Kenneth Galbraith published The Great Crash: 1929, analyzing the stock market crash of late 1929, with suggestions about preventing its recurrence. [Quotes are from the 1961 Riverside Press edition.] It shows the high intelligence, serious economic analysis, and the touch of humor that is characteristic of his work. Rationalization He said that a new “speculative rampage” in the future (for example, now) would require some sort of rationalization. Since the results of the rampage of the 1920s were so horrendous, no one would want to be accused of setting us up for a replay. So they have to rationalize. And part of that future rationalization will be to explain why we need less regulation and oversight of financial institutions and of the markets. (Here you should be thinking “Reagonomics.”) … Continue reading

Pre-Marital Counseling – We Could Probably All Use Some. [a book review]

Through I now and then get review copies of books newly or nearly published, in exchange for writing a review. This is one of those. It’s not very political, to say the least, but it does have a lot to do with humans living in society together. The book is Essentials of Premarital Counseling: Creating Compatible Couples, by Sandra L. Ceren, Loving Healing Press, 2008 I enjoyed reading this book, profited from it, and will certainly use it as a reference, and to help me keep perspective in my own counseling situations. … Continue reading

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House. … the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights: one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public, and the other of ends-justify-the-means brutality sponsored by counterinsurgency specialists. Normally the specialists carry out their actions in remote locations with little notice in the national press. That allows the public to sustain its faith in a just America, while hard-nosed security and economic interests are still protected in secret. -Robert Parry, investigative reporter and author … Continue reading