The country that turned its back on science

Posted on January 22nd, 2008 in General by Robert Miller

Yesterday, the US stockmarket was closed, while others throughout the World went into a tumble, losing a very substantial part of their net worth. The Honk Kong market lost 5.49% of its total value on Monday and another 8% today. These markets anticipate that the US is in a recession. Investors and the public alike are waiting nervously for the New York Stock Exchange to open today, not knowing what kind of day to expect, but investors anticipate that perhaps the largest drop since the depression may take place before the market closes (in a panic-stricken move, the Fed has, just this morning, shaved the interest rate by 3/4% to 3.5%, but banks have already shown huge losses over the past few months). None of the signs are good in our economy and the way we have been supporting our consumer-based economy in the past decade makes you wonder whether we have many more logs to put on the fire. How is it that the most advanced scientific and technological country in the world had, until recently, its main economic engine run by Americans buying and selling their homes to each other? If that simple fact alone didn’t alarm you and send a disconcerting ripple through your cortex and brainstem, then you must be a real estate agent.

Martin Luther King

Posted on January 21st, 2008 in Culture,Politics by Robert Miller

Juan Cole has written an eloquent piece about Martin Luther King and his emphasis on separating the political process of establishing peace, often claimed by politicians while they are bombing other countries (as Johnson was during the Vietnam War, or as Bush does in Iraq, while claiming that military actions are the instrument for bringing peace to the Middle East), from the more certain peace-producing process–that of using peaceful means for the purpose of establishing peaceful conditions. Since Martin Luther King, no other figure in America has been able to effectively interweave the concept of peace with the process of achieving it through peaceful, not violent acts. That gift he gave to us is rarely opened and it must seem odd to just about anyone, that the more we move towards a Christian fundamentalist viewpoint, the more violently we engage those with whom we have differences. Will Christian fundamentalism be the driving force for the weaponization of space?

Jesus Camp and Ted Haggard

Posted on January 20th, 2008 in Culture,Entertainment,Film,Religion by Robert Miller

In the documentary film “Jesus Camp” by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, one sees an alarming side of radical Christian fundamentalism. Children, at very young ages (below 13 and preferably between 7 and 9), are taken to evangelical summer camps (the documentary shows a camp in North Dakota) where they are exposed to an intense form of indoctrination to ward off society’s evil secular influence and produce young people better prepared to live a life committed to Christ and the word of God, as given to us from the Bible, but strictly interpreted by the evangelicals: it is a Christian madrassa. “ “Extreme liberals who look at this should be quaking in their boots,” declares Pastor Becky Fischer with jovial satisfaction in the riveting documentary.” I would say any Democrat or any other Christian would be concerned about the kind of indoctrination you see in these camps, aimed at producing “God’s Army” for the future takeover of America. It is alarming if for no other reason than the fact that they idolize G.W. Bush as a president who is out to fulfill their destiny to make the United States a nation living under the evangelical banner. A super life-sized cardboard image of GW is presented, prayed to and thanked for bringing their quest into a form of political reality. Special inspirational sessions are given on the pure evil of abortion and the children get introduced to other true evils of the world, which is just about everything else not emphasized in the camp. It is an inoculation program to protect the Jesus Camp children from falling victim to the devil that is trying to consume the world.

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