Wouldn’t it be great if more of us, and I include myself, came up with solutions? These folks are.
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The kingdom of heaven is not, for the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth, a piece of real estate for the single saved soul; it is a communal vision of what could be and what should be. It is a vision of a time when all debts are forgiven, when we stop judging others, when we not only wear our traditions on our sleeve, but we also hold them in our hearts and minds and enact them with all our strength.
–Amy-Jill Levine, The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus
- The Woman Jesus Adored – “Why do we continue to assume that Jesus never felt such feelings? Never walked the streets with Mary’s name in his mind, the scent of and her perfume in his hair? We know the most astonishing of his miracles, the raising of Lazarus, for which John says the authorities chose to kill him, was done for love of her.”
- A Brief History of Happiness – “But the GDP is an untrustworthy measure. It gauges economic activity, whether or not that activity means improvements. Dig a strip mine and sell the metals, minerals, or coal, and the GDP will thank you—even if you pollute the drinking water for thousands. Raise fresh food in your garden, share it with friends and with the local homeless shelter, and stay healthy and happy, and the GDP doesn’t budge.”
- Your Phone Was Made By Slaves – “We think of Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck as the origin of our iPhones, or imagine a local funeral director carving a loved one’s name into a tombstone. Whether we are grilling shrimp for our friends or buying T-shirts for our children we generally think of these things as beginning where we first encountered them, at the shop, at the mall, in the grocery store. But just as each of us is deeper than our surface, just as each of us has a story to tell, so do the tools and toys and food and rings and phones that tie us together. Slaves are producing many of the things we buy, and in the process they are forced to destroy our shared environment, increase global warming, and wipe out protected species.”
- The Tory Project is Bust – “The origins of conservatism’s modern incoherence lie with Thatcher. Whatever your view of her influence, she was different from her predecessors in her degree of intellectuality. She was unusually interested in ideas. Groomed by Chicago economists, she believed that Britain, robbed of the easy commercial advantages of its imperial reach, could thenceforth only prosper if it became competitive with China, with Japan, with America and with Germany. For this reason, in 1979, a crackpot theory called monetarism was briefly put into practice and allowed to wreak the havoc that destroyed one fifth of British industry.”
- The Eviction Economy – “Landlords … aren’t making money in trailer parks or ghettos in spite of their poverty but because of it. Depressed property values offer lower mortgage payments and tax bills. In poor areas of the cities, rents are lower, too — but not by much. In 2010, the average monthly rent in Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods was only $50 less than the citywide median.”
- How the Internet Flips Elections – “The technology that now surrounds us is not just a harmless toy; it has also made possible undetectable and untraceable manipulations of entire populations – manipulations that have no precedent in human history and that are currently well beyond the scope of existing regulations and laws.”
- An excellent consideration from Yes! Magazine of how sex ed fails to account for the needs of young love and intimacy and how it impacts boys. – “American boys end up paying a price for a culture that does not support their needs for intimacy. For the issue is that while boys crave closeness, they are expected to act as if they are emotionally invulnerable. Among the American boys I interviewed, I observed a conflict between their desires and the prevailing masculinity norms—if they admit to valuing romantic love, they risk being viewed as unmasculine.”
- The Story that’s Destroying the World – “The new story is about giving some things up, things like insecurity, stress, violence, poverty, loneliness, disconnection, a lack of community and meaning – all those things that make life miserable for so many in the world. All of that we are ready to give up.” – Includes links to several documentary films and articles about alternative human narratives.
- “Ghost Governments” – John Oliver on Special Districts. I love this quote: “Government: sports for nerds.”
- Yiddish Folk Songs of the Holocaust – a fascinating find in the Ukrainian National Library.
- Trump is Loki.
What is with some people?
From the article:
To make it worse, Stephen Fincher, Republican of Tennessee, then quoted Matthew 26, arguing the “poor will always be with us” in his defense of cuts to the food stamps program.
Here’s some news for you, Congressman Fincher, that text doesn’t mean ‘be sure you keep some people poor.’ And Congressman Conaway, Matthew 25 has no “opt out” clause that means you don’t have to vote for programs to feed the poor because “individuals” and “churches” will take care of it.
“Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”