Showing posts from February, 2009

Michelle & Barack

Whatever the new administration’s success in handling the multiple crises it inherited, one aspect of Obama’s presence impresses me. I don’t like Obamamania but what I see of this pair makes me think, “All right. If young people need to swoon over celebs, let it be over this First Marriage.” When they met, she was his mentor. He doesn’t mind that for a while she made more money than he. At the Inaugural Ball, he rests his head on her shoulder, eyes closed. He writes that calling home to crow over a Senate victory, he’s told by Michelle to buy ant traps on the way home. He would never cheat on her because “Michelle would kick my butt.” He calls her his rock. When I watched Michelle and Barack on 60 Minutes, I marveled at their healthy marriage, but later I couldn’t quote any particular words they spoke as evidence of that. The difference between theirs and the usual marriage of male politicians was in their body language, their manner of exchange with each other and with the interviewer

Resistance to Darwin

I got back yesterday from a three-day stay in a hospital. Forced physical inactivity fertilizes my mind, so I’m full of ideas. But first I invite you to my opinion piece published yesterday: New economic thinking “I hope we don’t restore our economy to the way it was. . . . By next Christmas I want, not an uptick in retail sales, but a wiser and more sober population of Americans.” NPR featured Darwin in a thoughtful series celebrating his 200th birthday. One story told of a student who stormed out of a biology lesson, saying bitterly, “I am not kin to a monkey.” Darwin displaced humans as the pinnacle of creation, our God-image not the one true one. This was a blow similar to Copernicus’ blow in displacing the earth as the center of the universe. It’s humbling to be put in place alongside others of our kind. The same bitterness infects Christians upon learning that our religion is not the pinnacle of religions. Today most well-educated Christians have no problem with evolution, seein

After election elation

Someone called me after my bedtime and worried aloud about the country, a worry that also has preoccupied me lately. Many months ago when an Obama presidency became more and more certain, I steeled myself for disappointment that was sure to follow. Obama appointees seem to have been tax evaders. Obama will pull out of Iraq as promised, but is stumbling toward a worse quagmire in Afghanistan. Obama economic gurus were part of the finance industry that got us into this mess. Obama closes Guantanamo but allows the possibility of secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that torture. CIA to keep renditions tool . Disillusionment. Here are some reality checks: • Radical reform bubbles up from the grassroots when people are ready for it. In the civil rights revolution, John and Robert Kennedy responded to demonstrators in the street. Civil rights for women resulted from gentler pressure, and today civil rights are slowly coming for gays, as those "on top," the so