An Outside View of US Health Care Reform Efforts

Here’s an Australian paper quoting today from a speech by the French President (Nicolas Sarkozy) at Columbia University (New York City). Welcome to the club of states who don’t turn their back on the sick and the poor The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them … is something astonishing to us. … 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

Government by Fear and Hysteria? Where?

Phil Johnson over at Seeing the Forest sees one of the important differences between these two campaigns for the Presidency. Compare the reaction of Obama and his campaign to last nights “that one” comment by McCain, to McCain and his campaign’s reaction to Obama saying that McCain’s policies put “lipstick on a pig.” Basically the Obama reaction was to ignore it, while the McCain campaign and supporting Republican noise machine went into a several-day hissy fit. I was visiting with a college student recently who told me it seems to him that our government is constantly trying to scare us to death … 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

Don’t Forward Lying Emails About Public Figures Like Obama – It’s Not a Christian Thing To Do.

I. Waves of Slander I don’t have statistics, but we all know there’s a lot of falsehood circulating freely online. An email arrives with frightening accusations or innuendos and the reader gets frightened (as was intended) and forwards the email to warn others of the great danger revealed. But what if the email is one of the mostly false ones? How should we react if we’re not entirely sure of it’s truthfulness? After all, when we accept at face value lies about a person, group, or situation, and repeat those lies, we have put ourselves in a very bad place – we have become gossips and slanderers. Slander, you may have heard, is not a Bible virtue,

Why All The Fuss? People Are Getting Really Tired of It.

A lot of us have been surprised that the recent sex scandal in Congress has been getting so much attention. I don’t think it’s the pedophilia and cover-up that’s the really energizing factor. What I keep hearing is that people have finally just had enough. I hear things like “This has gone way too far.” “These people think they can do anything and they will never be held accountable.” “Top level Republicans seem to share almost none of my values – and I’ve been a conservative all my life.” It’s a domino effect – like a giant tower of dominoes has been built

The Perfect Scandal (Update) – Foley

Glenn Greenwald on the perfect scandal: The perfection of this scandal lies in its substance, not its theatrics … This scandal has resonated so powerfully because it is shining such a powerful light on the towering hubris, utter lack of intellectual and ethical integrity, and deeply engrained corruption … Continue reading

Gonzales Vote Looming: Call the Nice Voice

The Gonzales confirmation vote is coming up soon, AND we still have the freedom to call and make suggestions to our Senators. When you call, a nice voice will answer. Tell that nice voice something like “I would like the Senator to know that I am strongly opposed to the idea of Alberto Gonzales becoming Attorney General.” Elaborate as seems appropriate to you. I added that he is not an honest man, he does not respect the rule of law, and this nomination is an embarrassment to this nation. Be courteous; … Continue reading

McCain on Gay Marriage Amendment Fuss

“Value a man who speaks the truth,” the ancient proverb says.(1) In that case we need to value Sen. John McCain. The current radicals running the Republican party into the wall (again and again) are making a major mockery of themselves in the Senate over this gay marriage amendment thing. Do they realize how silly and entertaining they really are? Well, it WOULD be silly and entertaining if they were not being so irresponsible. They neglect and avoid their utterly crucial duties up there in order to play transparent political games. … Continue reading