Weekend Update 03-10-2012

93% of the income gains in the first year of the recovery went to the top 1%. The inequality has now gotten so severe that 47% of income goes to the top 10%, with 20% of all income going to the top 1%. That’s not sustainable.

States of Depression. I find this particular comparison fascinating since I remember that last great recession during the early years of Reagan’s first term quite well. I was a teen parent struggling to survive in what was at that time the worst recession since the Great Depression. (Our current Lesser Depression has since taken its place in that spot.) It was over the course of that Reagan era recovery that I both joined the Army National Guard and entered federal civil service, both of which turned out to be pretty good choices, even if I can’t claim they were particularly well thought out at the time. When you’re struggling just to feed your family, pay for shelter, and keep the lights on, you don’t tend to do “career planning.” That’s a luxury reserved for those in a more secure position.

The Christian Crisis. I deeply appreciate Fr. Stephen’s words in this post. “Private spirituality is culturally meaningless.” And it’s ultimately largely meaningless in our formation. I have been deeply shaped from an early age to pick and choose the things I believe and practice. Ultimately, though, such an approach cannot truly transform us. Certainly we can change aspects of ourselves and shift even deeply embedded habits. But that’s no different, fundamentally, than breaking the grip of smoking tobacco — something I’ve also done. But once we reach the limit of our will, we’re done. “The tragedy in this crisis is primarily spiritual – for the Church is not an optional Christian reality. There is no authentic Christianity apart from Church. As difficult as it may be for some to accept – the Church is what the Christian life looks like. It is possible to “extract” a form of Christianity from within the New Testament and make of it a private practice – but this is a misuse of Scripture. The New Testament is the Church’s book from beginning to end.” I’m more convinced than ever that his description is true.

And this is another really good post by Fr. Ernesto, this time on the latest Rush Limbaugh example of crude hate speech.

The Real Moral Problem. The post sums it up pretty well. Two generations of Republicans, first under Reagan and then again under George W. Bush were the first Americans to saddle the country and their children with massive debt in order to give tax cuts to themselves. And graphs clearly outlining that there hasn’t been any vast rise in profligate spending. We’re in a revenue crisis that Republicans like Romney want to make even worse so they can give themselves big tax cuts.

70% of supermarket beef contains “pink slime.” Yuck. Definitely stick with organic.

11 year old gives a TEDx talk on the evils of industrialized farming and genetically modified foods and knocks it out of the park.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nndEZBQ9bds&feature=share

Paul Gilding: The Earth Is Full — It’s a good presentation summarizing our currently available data. The problem is there’s no evidence that we’re capable of acting in any effective way to avoid a collapse.

Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice. If you haven’t watched this, you really should.

On being wrong. The miracle of your mind isn’t that you can see the world as it is, but that you can see the world as it isn’t.

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