Recent Articles

Disenfranchised Americans

| July 2, 2016 | 2 Replies

Matt Taibbi sums it up:

Voters in America not only aren’t over-empowered, they’ve for decades now been almost totally disenfranchised, subjects of one of the more brilliant change-suppressing systems ever invented.

We have periodic elections, which leave citizens with the feeling of self-rule. But in reality people are only allowed to choose between candidates carefully screened by wealthy donors. Nobody without a billion dollars and the approval of a half-dozen giant media companies has any chance at high office.

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Republicans and big corporations take over the Democratic Convention

| June 30, 2016 | Reply

From Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani of The Intercept:

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S 2012 platform pledged to “curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests.” But the 2016 convention in Philadelphia will be officially hosted by lobbyists and corporate executives, a number of whom are actively working to undermine progressive policies achieved by President Barack Obama, including health care reform and net neutrality.

Some of the members of the 2016 Democratic National Convention Host Committee, whose job is to organize the logistics and events for the convention, are hardly even Democratic Party stalwarts, given that many have donated and raised thousands of dollars for Republican presidential and congressional candidates this cycle.

The composition of the 15-member Host Committee may appear out of sync with the rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but the reality is that the party, in the form of the Democratic National Committee, has moved decisively to embrace the lobbying industry.

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How can any evangelical tolerate Donald Trump?

How can any evangelical tolerate Donald Trump?

| June 22, 2016 | 6 Replies

Have you ever wondered how evangelicals can tolerate Donald Trump. It’s got to be more than Hate of Hillary, right? This Salon article by VALERIE TARICO suggests that Trump is a spitting image of a prominent Old Testament character.

From Genesis through Revelation, the Bible lays out precisely how people should grovel and sing God’s praises and otherwise kiss up. God wants his adoring followers to beg for things he already knows they need. … And he doesn’t like it at all if anyone pays attention to competing deities. “Thou shalt worship no other god!” he roars, “For the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God!”

[More . . . ]

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Quotes on romance

| May 19, 2016 | 4 Replies

Perhaps it is because I’ve been in the throes of romance for the past 10 months, a relationship that keeps getting better and better, but I’ve been struggling to find words to describe or express my feelings to my beloved. That is why I set out to find some well-crafted quotes on romance, quotes new to me. I found some that are most excellent:

“Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else.”
― Nicholas Sparks

“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: First Part

“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays

“When love is not madness it is not love.”
― Pedro Calderón de la Barca

“Every great love starts with a great story…”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

[more . . . ]

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Abuse of soldiers

| May 19, 2016 | 1 Reply

Quote by Smedley Butler

quote-if-only-more-of-today-s-military-personnel-would-realize-that-they-are-being-used-by-smedley-butler-78-49-98

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

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The stress children put on a marriage

| May 18, 2016 | Reply

The happily ever after trope goes something like this:  Love, marriage, children, happiness.   However, that is not what the statistics show.  “Parents often become more distant and businesslike with each other as they attend to the details of parenting.”  The source of this sad passage is “Decades of Studies Show What Happens to Marriages After Having Kids,” in Fortune Magazine. The statistics show that having children drives a married couple apart more than it brings them more closely together:

The irony is that even as the marital satisfaction of new parents declines, the likelihood of them divorcing also declines. So, having children may make you miserable, but you’ll be miserable together.

Worse still, this decrease in marital satisfaction likely leads to a change in general happiness, because the biggest predictor of overall life satisfaction is one’s satisfaction with their spouse.

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The body as the yardstick for meaning

| May 8, 2016 | Reply

Mark Johnson (of “Metaphors we live By,” written with George Lakoff) gave this excellent talk destroying the notion that meaning is something ethereal and disembodied. Instead, the body is the yardstick for meaning. This talk turns much of traditional epistemology upside down.

Johnson opens the talk with a Billy Collins talk titled “Purity.”

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The ways in which it is expensive to be poor

| May 6, 2016 | 1 Reply

People who are poor get ripped off in many ways that people with money would never tolerate. That is the point of this article at Alternate, 8 Ways Being Poor is Wildly Expensive in America. The sharply higher costs of having a place to live, food to eat and a means of getting around are merely the first 3 of the 8.

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Quotes on dangers of materialism

| May 5, 2016 | 1 Reply

I offer these quotes as a hypocrite who strives to live less in the world of things.  I found many of these on a site called Tentmaker.

It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. –Thoreau 

Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. –Mark Twain

An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. –Pliny the Younger

Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.— Thoreau

Possessions are usually diminished by possession. –Nietzsche

The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury. –Charlie Chaplin

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. –Thoreau

The man who pets a lion may tame it, but the man who coddles the body makes it ravenous.– John Climacus

The most terrible thing about materialism, even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex, alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offer a prospect of deliverance. –Malcolm Muggeridge

All earthly joy begins pleasantly, but at the end it gnaws and kills. –Thomas a’Kempis

You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. –Charles Haddon Spurgeon 

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.–Mahatma Gandhi 

Thousands upon thousands are yearly brought into a state of real poverty by their great anxiety not to be thought of as poor.—Robert Mallett

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. –Jim Elliot

The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world. — B. C. Forbes

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.–D. Elton Trueblood 

Learn to live a life of honest poverty, if you must, and turn to more important matters than transporting gold to your grave. – Credenda

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. — Thoreau

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