Showing posts from June, 2011

Dear Republicans,

Republicans of conscience, May 19 The Republican Party used to be an honorable party, but today it is corrupted by the Tea Party. I promised to write about Republicans of conscience. Here are a few. David Frum, conservative journalist and former speechwriter for George W. Bush , is angry at “conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio” who whip Republicans into “such a frenzy that deal-making [is] impossible.” He points out that the Health Care Act, what the right calls “Obamacare”: “. . . builds on ideas developed at the [conservative] Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.” So what Republicans of today denounce as “socialism” is a rather conservative Health Care Act largely based on Republican ideas. David Stockman, the budget director responsible for engineering the Reagan tax cuts, the largest in American history, now says all the Bush tax cuts should be eliminated—even those on the mi

Bobby McFerrin & Bishop Regina

Bobby McFerrin defies patriarchy , June 20, 2011 Bobby McFerrin, a ten-time Grammy winner who improvises in various musical traditions, was interviewed by Krista Tippett. We got to talking about the heavy patriarchal element of, you know, religion . . . I thought, well let me write something with the feminine gender . . . because when we think about God's love it should encompass, you know, the mother and father . . . the feelings of a man, the feelings of a woman. They are different, you know. . . . I just wanted to remind people . . . some of them might not have had great relationships with their dads. And also mothers too, you know; some of them don't have great relationships with their mothers. But sometimes we forget just the feminine element in religious service. And I just wanted to bring that out. He brought out the feminine when he set Psalm 23 to song: The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need, She makes me lie down in green meadows, Beside the still waters, She

Astrophysics spiritual

Lord Martin Rees, cosmologist, astrophysicist, and recent past president of Great Britain's scientific Royal Society, is an atheist, but for me Krista Tippett’s conversation with him held more spiritual meaning than a typical church service does. He has little interest in science versus religion battles, but his reflections on scientific discoveries imply the existence of spiritual reality. Rees said, There's evidence, which has come about in the last 10 years or so, that even empty space, when you take away all the dark matter and all the atoms, still exerts a kind of force. It exerts a sort of push or tension on everything. Immediately I think of spiritual reality, which physical science ignores but for which it has encountered evidence since the dawn of the quantum age. In the manner typical of scientists, this possibility never occurs to Lord Rees. He speculates about purely physical possibilities. This therefore means that even empty space has a kind of structure, and we

"Free" enterprise?

When I started this subject a month ago, I thought I’d have two posts. This is six posts later. I can’t stop stewing about this. “America, land of the free” sounds hollow today, and “Free enterprise” sounds hollow. The misnamed “free” market actually enslaves most when it grants unlimited power to the already powerful—those with hundreds of millions to invest, not in job-making enterprises, but in more-money-making ventures for themselves alone. Money is power. We see money power flaunted when Congress dismantles regulations on industry, when it grants tax privileges to the wealthy, when it fails in fairness. Unregulated, the market lets some people exploit others, acting out the truism, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” We need reasonable regulation to limit power, rules to govern the game of buy and sell. Undeniably, our society presently fails in this: massive inequalities; crumbling infrastructure; education and health services in trouble; underfunded police and fire departme