Who Am I?

Weekend Update 05-07-2011

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 05-07-2011

David Bazan. Wolves at the Door. ‘Nuff said.

This post captures my reaction to the celebratory response to bin Laden’s death well, especially in the long quote from St. Cyril of Alexandria. Given the way our world gets twisted I have no intrinsic problem accepting that assassinating one man might indeed be the lesser evil, just as sometimes defending your country in a time of war might be the lesser evil. But we need to be clear. Killing another human being is always evil, even when necessary. And it’s not evil simply because it ends a life. Taking a life damages those who do it. Celebrating death perpetuates the cycle of vengeance rather than healing it. And from a Christian perspective, evil is a perversion of God’s good creation and always produces ripple effects that we cannot control and which may not appear to be directly connected to the act itself. It’s very easy for us to celebrate evil as if it were good. Fr. Stephen’s post on the Hard Reality of the Kingdom of God captures that truth well.

And of course Republicans now claiming that torture “works”. This debunks that idea. In fact, most of what you get from torture is useless and false. People will tend to say whatever the torturer wants in order to make it stop. Still, the fact that we have a political party in our country that continues to try to justify torture makes me sick.

This post on the hiddenness of God captures the essence of what I’ve described as the veil between heaven and earth. God allows us space and freedom within himself so that we might learn to love.

This is a good post on the art of understanding meat labels in the US. Unfortunately, they do their best to make it hard to know what you’re buying. If we had an FDA and USDA that were actually focused on protecting and informing consumers that might be different.

Yes, a Monsanto employee wrote the rules at the FDA allowing Monsanto to determine the “safety” of its own GMO products. Where there is independent evidence, it tends to show that their “food products” are not actually safe. That’s why much of the world bans them. We don’t even accurately label them.

And if you think the USDA is acting in our interest, check this out.

And yes. I’ve said all along that we need to make banking a boring profession again. Of course, the American people seemed primed to believe blatant, unconcealed lies by Republicans. It’s not even a very good bait and switch. Any two-bit con man could do better. But strangely it seems that too many of us are the most gullible sorts of marks. PT Barnum would be having a field day.

Yes, it would be nice if some of our politicians actually focused on the real problem of unemployment. Well, something more than Paul Ryan’s magic budget fairy approach of declaring it will simply get better.

A TEDx talk that explores that asks, “Why is there time?” from a cosmological perspective.

Beware of online filter bubbles.

Ryan’s plan for health care includes an individual mandate similar to the one in the Affordable Care Act. I would ask if anyone can say hypocrite, but honestly is there still anyone out there so utterly clueless as to believe a word that comes out of a Republican’s mouth these days? I’ll note his “plan” removes the regulations in the ACA, removes the group protections and cost-sharing, and dismantles Medicare. Every independent and non-partisan group that has analyzed it says that it leads to less accessible health care and ever-spiraling health care costs. Essentially it’s a disaster. But you can’t even make a disaster sort of work without some form of collective “mandate.” The ACA is the decades-old Republican plan for health care reform. I can’t figure out if the Democrats are just too inept to make that clear or if the American people are really as stupid as the past couple of years (in particular) have made us look.

There are times I’m proud to be a Texan. And then there are those times I’m not.

Surely it’s not a surprise that Republicans in Congress are completely out of touch with at least the bottom 90% of Americans? Somehow they can still get a surprising number of them to vote for them. Racism is a major factor here in the South. Not sure about the rest of the country.

It’s surprising, but even in our day and ideological climate, facts can still sometimes win people over. Read the story of a somewhat prominent climate change convert.

I’ll close with Personal Jesus (the Stargate Mix).

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