Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The End of the American Republic?

In the interest of getting this posted quickly, I am abbreviating my comments for now. Suffice it to say I regard this as an important review of three recent books of note. You should find the review and the books interesting to say the least.


http://www.truthout.org/1227091

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christianity vs. Wall Street

Upon this holy day of the Christian calendar I compare and contrast the luminosity and generosity of the world's greatest religion with the normal way of doing business in the country supposedly its greatest exponent -- the United States.

Last evening I read a poem which describes what a Christian life should be like. Here is the poem:

Salvation is:
liberation from evil,
the defeat of the devil,
the transfiguration of man,
living authentically,
putting on Christ,
the restoration of the image of God in man,
participating in the life of God,
restoration of communion with God,
incorruption,
receiving the Holy Spirit,
becoming temples of the Holy Spirit,
forgiveness of sins,
ascending to the throne of God,
participating in the kingdom of God,
being by grace what God is by nature,
the destruction of death,
seeing the light,
being in a process of growth that never ends,
living life the way God meant it to be.*


I doubt there has ever been a more succinct description of the Christian life or salvation.

Compare what is being said here to the way business is done in America or any other place. How close do the men and women of Wall Street come to this description? Not only are they not close, they are not even in the same world. Too often, I have not followed this description myself, though I have not been a Wall Street tycoon.

It is not too much to hope that in coming years, the way of doing business so common for so long can be reformed. But let us be clear about just what is wrong and what our goals are. The poem above can be a start as we leave Christmas Day.




* from Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life by Anthony M. Coniaris

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Notable Speech by Pres. John F. Kennedy on the Press

Here is audio of a remarkable talk given by President John F. Kennedy to the press on the freedoms enjoyed by the press and on their responsibilities. Here is no whiner, denouncing the press for being critical of his Administration. Here is, instead, a mature statesman virtually imploring the press to point out his Administration's errors. As a wise man once said, says the President,
an error only becomes a mistake when we refuse to admit it.

Compare and contrast this talk with attitudes shown by recent Presidents, including the present one. Surely this is a speech worthy of admiration and emulation. (This audio is five minutes in length.)



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A December Anniversary

Ten days ago today America marked an important anniversary. To my knowledge there were no parades, no speeches, no Congressional resolutions, no Democratic Party pronouncements. Have we such a marked case of amnesia that no one remembers what happened on December 12, 2000?

Perhaps the date has jogged your memory as it was on that date that an egregious Supreme Court decision, one denounced by hundreds of law professors around the country, effectively handed the Presidency to George W. Bush, even though he had garnered a half million fewer votes than Albert Gore, Jr.

This disastrous and nefarious decision gave us a President who, among other things: failed to protect America from attack on September 11, 2001; led us into an unjustified and costly war in Iraq resulting in thousands of deaths of U.S. servicemen; led us into a war now over eight years long in Afghanistan; and created policies which led to huge budget deficits. The list of disasters is long -- too long for this post.

And where is G. W. Bush now? What will his legacy be? His will be a legacy of failure and serious damage to America's reputation and interests. But greater still will be the legacy of the Rehnquist Supreme Court, five of whose members acted as a fascist cabal to deny the choice of the American people.

***

For a scholarly and passionate study of the election of 2000 and its aftermath, I highly recommend The Betrayal of America by the esteemed prosecutor and author Vincent Bugliosi.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Remembering the Needy

My local radio station is filled with commercials from businesses using the Christmas holiday to promote themselves. For many years and I others in the Christian community have been critical of this practice.

And in one way the main problem is not so much one of commission as one of omission. In harsh economic times, certainly local businesses have every right to promote themselves. But through the commercialization of local radio, the needs of those who cannot buy time are seldom heard. Yes, there are exceptions. The Salvation Army has been audible, promoting not so much themselves as the needs of the destitute.

But in the main, we hear a babbling stream of commercials for fine art work displayed with available holiday decorations and tasty chocolates, delectable holiday dinners at expensive restaurants, and the like. The picture is clear.

So perhaps the Internet can once again provide some balance. Let us continue to remember the less fortunate, knowing that many of us are only a few steps away from such a fate.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Right Resurgent?

Some months ago I could see there was a danger of a right-wing resurgence in the United States. With Barrack Obama's popularity already sagging and the economy refusing to improve the lot of every-day Americans, it was obvious to me a political vacuum was being created. (Because this seemed rather crazy at the time, I held my opinion back.)

Now comes an interesting column from the Socialist Worker web site. While I don't agree with every point made, I see this article as extremely valuable. I plan to say more in a future revision of this post or a completely new post.



http://socialistworker.org/2009/12/04/can-the-right-come-back

Friday, December 04, 2009

Results of Continental Congress 2009

Tonight I begin posting some of the documents to emerge from the Continental Congress of 2009, recently held near Chicago, Illinois. This important Congress brought together elected delegates from nearly every state for more than a week of deliberations. As you read these documents I believe you will get a sense of what the Congress has achieved, and with it I hope you gain a new sense of hope for our country.

(Note: members of the Continental Congress advocate peaceful means only.)


Articles of Freedom of Continental Congress 2009

Preamble

In defense of a free people, the time has come to reassert our God-given natural rights and cast off tyranny.

Let the facts reveal - the federal Government of the United States of America, which was instituted to protect the rights of individual citizens, instead - threatens our Life, Liberty, and Property through usurpations of the Constitution; and emboldened by our own lack of responsibility and due diligence in these matters, has exceeded its mandate, and abandoned those Founding Principles which have made our nation exceptional;

Our servant government has undertaken these unconstitutional actions in direct violation of their enumerated duties, to the detriment of the People's Liberty and the Sovereignty of our Republic;

Over many years and spanning multiple political administrations, the People who have, in good conscience, attempted to deliberate our grievances and voice our dissent against these offensive actions through both petition and assembly, have been maligned and ignored with contempt;

The people of the several States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, justly alarmed at these arbitrary and unconstitutional actions, have elected, constituted, and appointed Delegates to meet, and sit in general Congress in the city of St. Charles, Illinois.

Whereupon these Delegates, as duly-elected representatives of the several States, have gathered in defense of Divine Justice, Liberty, and the principles of limited government, and we stand in clear recognition of the Supreme Law of the land - the Constitution for the United States of America.

Therefore, We demand that Government immediately re-establish Constitutional Rule of Law, lest the People be forced to do so themselves; and we hereby serve notice that in the defense of Freedom and Liberty there shall be NO COMPROMISE to which we shall ever yield.

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