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Faith, Justice, and Society

(Photos by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with academics Gary Dorrien, Serene Jones, and Cornel West about what faith traditions can tell us about building a more just society. The trio recently taught a class together, “Christianity and the U.S. Crisis,” at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Gary Dorrien explained his view that democracy is intrinsic to a just society:

“I think that economic democracy is essentially an attempt to serve as a kind of brake on human greed and will to power, which are virtually universal, so I’m not talking about anything that requires some kind of idealistic idea about human nature or what we’re capable of. My main argument is the same that Reinhold Niebuhr had about democracy – that the human capacity for greed makes democracy possible, but it’s precisely the human capacity for evil that makes democracy necessary.”

Serene Jones suggested that communities can help overcome any single individual’s shortcomings:

“Sin, for me, describes the fact that we are born thrown into this world and we are, no matter how hard we try, because of the complexity of how we’re put together, destined to make massive mistakes. The best we can hope for is that we’re in a community of people that continually remind us that, in fact, we don’t understand everything and we are not the center of the universe. That’s sin, the inevitability of that. I think it’s central to democracy – we have checks and balances.”

Cornel West argued that people’s commitment to their faith is best demonstrated in service to others:

“We don’t want to get too obscure in our discourse and not really just put on the table something that’s very simple: how deep is your love? What is the quality of your service to others? Are you concerned about those on the margins, or do we define a catastrophe only when it relates to investment bankers and Wall Street Bankers as opposed to the precious children in chocolate cities or white children in Appalachia or red children in Navajo reservations?... What costs are we willing to actually undergo? You can’t be a Christian if you’re not willing to pick up your cross and, in the end, be crucified on it. That’s the bottom line.”

What do you think?

How does your faith or moral code inform your views about politics and society?


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One more i want to say is, people will give their comment if they are understand what they read. In my opinion, people who read without understand seems won’t give their comment and just type ‘nice post’ or ‘great job’nfl jerseys**

Here's a quote from the censored Urantia Book - I think it is only FAIR to let 99.9% of the world have the same "knowledge" about "god" as the "authorities" supposedly do...make up your own mind as to whether you BELIEVE this or not:

Begin quote
"In short, what God had given men and angels Lucifer would have taken away from them, that is, the divine privilege of participating in the creation of their own destinies and of the destiny of this local system of inhabited worlds.

No being in all the universe has the rightful liberty to deprive any other being of true liberty, the right to love and be loved, the privilege of worshipping God and of serving his fellows."
End quote


You can't have JUSTICE when you don't have FAIRNESS.

SECRECY about who is doing all the social engineering - making up a fantasy world of "isms" in children's textbooks - is NOT "fair".

But certainly a signature move of the morality of the "slackers" - always asking someone else to write a letter to "help" the "president"...what would be fair would be to leave a job that you are so unqualified (and sociopathic) for that you have to ask children to give you ideas about "help"...

Of course, all that they do with the "ideas" of "help" that they thus garnish through deceit is to critique each and every child's letter.

"Slackers" actually BELIEVE that being a critic should be a high-paying job.

Jack Martin wrote, in part, "My markers and paper are on the kitchen table beside my tiny expendable digital video camera, but thanks to correspondence with sad sacks like Anna D. I am overcome with a heavy fatigue and pain and must go back to bed."

GET OUT OF BED YOU LAZY SLUG!

I am NOT a "sad sack" nor am I "alienated" (although all my friends eventually are most comfortable with the conclusion that I am an ALIEN - some kind of cosmic creature that is only pretending to be human - lol). Last I heard, Dr. Ron Paul and the Libertarian party is chugging along. If most people are in the "middle", then it is inertia, the very laws of physics, that will create a new political party to encompass the implementation of common sense.

All "isms" were DELUSIONAL. USA is under psycho-logical attack by THIEVES, drug pushers, and the devil, himself (I'm all for him stepping up to the podium as the Big Giant Head, but he's a COWARD, hence all the spokespeople like Betsy) :-))

You cannot remain a sovreign nation if you cannot provide the basics of life to your own people in a sustainable manner and without dependence on ocean tankers and transport planes running on oil to bring you what you need. Everytime areas of the USA mainland got up and running and had SURPLUS to trade with, the THIEVES came in. Scheesh, nothing NEW in that scheme, is there?

We are ALL locked and loaded now, aren't we? So the thieves have to depend on what now that they REALIZE that the "good" will take the pre-emptive strike shot? "Religion"? Psycho-logical tactics like jewish mother types trying to guilt distinguished and brilliant ADULTS into "civilized" public discourses on TORTURE and then same guilt trip tactic to MANAGE "health care" issues...?! "Political correctness"? Really? That's still working somewhere? Only in the echo chamber of media "news", huh?

I'm all for FOCUSED attention on what "survival" means when the MATH has changed in my lifetime from 3.5 billion to 7 billion people. Food, clothing, shelter, energy, "medicine" - ALL needs are up for a re-configurement. Each region of the country has different natural resources unique to the area. Any form of "government" that is preventing the citizens from developing their natural resources to SURVIVE in the reality of 7 billion (and MORE) is NOT a "government" worthy of the citizens. Hence the NEED for peaceful civil disobedience! We are NOT USSR in our collective souls.

"Global economy" was TRAGICALLY flawed from the first time some restless BRAIN syndrome delusionist THIEF dreamt it up in his dark megalomaniacal heart. Like, duh. The fact that this "global economy" has devolved into a high fructose corn syrup vs. sugar cane "war of terror" is all anyone needs to know before they "fear" the situation...

I am in the situation I am in because of choices that I made along the way. Yes, it's looking tough but I had to prove to myself that there is NO WAY to "get rich" and PROGRESS at the same time. But things are actually looking better for the future for PROGRESS because the middle-majority has stopped listening to MEDIOCRE sociopaths and psychotics on TV and the CENSORED internet.

They did the same math I did. SURVIVAL gets the brain chugging...PROGRESS puts the wind in the sail.

You should have watched some of the funeral service for EMK last night...people bore witness to the FACT that even imperfect people become more when they actually LIVE what they believe. EMK might have only "followed" his Jesus in one way, with one "talent", but just that meager amount was enough to make good things happen.

You need to fall in love with someone new every day, Jack :-))

That someone might be at the rally - so get out of bed you lazy slug!!!

LOL

Robotic (actually remote) cardio-procedures are next, captain rick. 10 angioplasties a day goes to 20, performed at several locations without travel time. A sick patient (but ambulatory) will travel anywhere to get relief if affordable. Patient convenience is not at issue. Is it convenient for the patient to get an invasive but lucrative procedure when medication and lifestyle changes would serve as well?


(I have observed some computer assisted biopsies conducted by nurses and PAs, two were brutal. I think even the staff was traumatized. I really don't want an ISP connection between me and the person holding my life in their hands. How can healing come from a person too aloof to touch you? Maybe I could understand if I were isolated at the South Pole, but so few of us are.)

Thanks for nursing the sick, rick.

I work as a nurse in Atlanta. I enjoyed your show, very informative and depressing. Two major hospitals here are suing a third to keep it from expanding its heart center to include cardiovascular surgery 30 miles away.They say it is duplication of services. I wonder if this just is cut throat competition instead.?
How does that really help patients to have to go a distance for the service in stead of having the surgery close to home.?Just because the plaintiffs don't want thecompetition .

The key word (as per Raymond Williams) in my recent communications is "alienation." Under the contradictions of an extractive situation people lose purpose, see no good coming from their best efforts. Anna D. seems of the most alienated class, right in there with Dr. Ron Paul. The truth is that if life were simple it would be possible to at any moment step outside the medical-industrial complex and deal directly with your doctor in cash for the treatment you both agree upon.(I doubt even Dr. Paul does this.) Our medical system is on borrowed money and time because its object is to extract wealth that doesn't yet exist from the hypothetical nuclear family. Like the hyper-dominant financial sector it can only create debt to keep the updraft of wealth going. People don't buy medical insurance for their health. The poor ignorant things pay the premiums to protect their net worth, their nest eggs, their house and their access to credit (more debt.) We punished a champion like Madoff because he was an independent operator cutting his buddies out of the game, and not because he successfully operated a profitable Ponzi for 3 decades. When the entire world economy is a Pyramid Scheme maybe financial barrons could learn something from Bernie, how to keep it up longer, anyway. If he knew what he was doing, starting with Ruth's father's bankroll, maybe there were days when Bernie was the only person in our society not burdened by alienation. He was our Cheshire Cat!

When one begins to get one's consciousness around our human dilemma it is a feeling akin to Madoff's guilty pleasure. But to keep it to yourself is a crime against humanity. Hoarding wisdom may be worse than hoarding wealth. Yegor Gaidar and Tatyana Zaslavskaya chronicled the collapse of an empire on the same scale as ours. What they hoped would be a change in humanity turned out to be only a change in management.(Russia: Under New Management) The USA is in pending cascade failure just like Russia was before their new Ponzi was implemented.

Now I am not one to oppose pyramid schemes in theory. I am foremost a humanitarian who accepts any faith or fiction that delivers sustenance and relieves suffering. The illusion of progress and the assumption that technology can act successfully in concert with pre-existing nature has been probably the biggest Ponzi scheme ever devised. The problem is that real facts and measures prove it unsustainable. How can it be that Paul Farmer (Partners in Health) treats the sickest people in the world for free while my doctor is having trouble directing enough patients with insurance to his indebted imaging center? Somewhere in there is a sustainable, or at least long-running medical model.

Over time I have served as the personal assistant and ghost writer to several exemplary physicians. One was a wealthy radical libertarian with beliefs in genetic line supremacy and another was a hospital administrator and surgeon. Like anyone 60 years old I have seen medical delivery decline in quality as technology advanced. (At 5 I was chased through my house by Dr. Bailey Weathers as he attempted to give me a shot. Such events no longer occur.) I have studied many aspects of our highly extractive insurance industries. I have involved myself in the study of possible medical reform and have come to believe universal single payer is the best solution under current circumstances because it contradicts a profit motive. Now I'm convinced that because of industrial momentum that reform is not politically feasible.

Moyers report this week confirmed my conclusion that President Barack Obama and other elected officials are just as powerless as I. The system of wealth accumulation has become a juggernaut so much larger than life that it has doomed humanity. Now I know why I feel so much rapport with those Russian theorists from Bukharin to Zaslavskaya. They lied to themselves just as I do. They were not physicians come to heal the political economy but merely chroniclers of human tragedy amidst its demise.

I'm now too depressed to go to Greensboro for today's anti-Nazi protest from 3pm to 6pm in Hamburger Square. I know our problems are all of a piece and that corporate capitalism is the heart of the current crisis. I know there is a difference between corporate ordered activism (astro-turfing) and genuine heart-felt human reaction. If ours were truly an egalitarian politics, pure in spirit, I could carpool with the opposition 90 miles to G-spot and save some gas, but it is not. I would not have a Kaloshnikov automatic rifle or Remington shotgun in my trunk as they might, and I would not receive a stipend, placard or talking points at corporate expense. My markers and paper are on the kitchen table beside my tiny expendable digital video camera, but thanks to correspondence with sad sacks like Anna D. I am overcome with a heavy fatigue and pain and must go back to bed. By noon maybe a computer generated form letter will come from Kay Hagen explaining medical-industrial compex needs. (As Liddy Dole once screamed, "There is no God (but contributions." She was morally wrong but politically correct (in the generic sense).) American politics hoards wisdom; "Doling" out half-truths.

Jack Martin wrote, in part, "What is happening is that I'm having a conversation across time with failed 1990s Russian revolutionaries because I lack access to similar American visionaries."

I have no idea what it is to be of African or Japanese lineage - too foreign to my whole being-ness. I depend on them to tell me what they're about.

I have never met a non-Russian "student" of Mother Russia who comes even close to getting it right about what happened (the disease) that caused the 1912 revolution in Russia. Ditto for the children raised in Stalinist USSR...imagine the "news" they got!

The only reason Tatyana was published in the Washington Post was because she fed what the PhD Rice's wanted to hear. It was not the truth. It couldn't be.

Stalin systematically murdered everyone who he believed had a higher IQ, if you will, than he did.

USA multi-national corporations are stalinistic, not hitleristic. Even the IBMs (Italian Business Men :-)) of "mafiosa" fame will tell you that the Russian "mob" is "scary".

The health care situation is just the teeniest tip of the RUTHLESS iceberg with clinging psychos that "banks" are all about.

USA has its own history to deal with, doesn't it?

Which "euro" groups of immigrants did not head west to take up "living off the land"? Which "euro" groups shot dead people with land in Appalachia (recent PBS documentary)? Who leveraged up 40 times on the total value of ALL real estate in the USA to conduct a "holy war" of terrorism against USA citizens?

If you haven't correctly diagnosed the "spiritual" disease, how can you pretend there's a cure?

Sen. Rockerfeller said yesterday to a cable news bloviator that by studying who EMK was in life, everyone realized who they are NOT like, as writers of legislature - him, EMK.

You have to be "russian" in order to know the truth. It's more like what happened in Japan as depicted in the movie "The Last Samurai"....

Whatever a country becomes after it has efficiently dispatched, through ruthless murder and enforced poverty, its best and noblest gene pool...well, let's look into our future by looking at the countries, today, that never had "noblesse oblige" in its gene pool to begin with...

On the whole continent of Africa, the human being is NOT at the top of the food chain, yet. Humans can't get to the water. The beasts dominate the water supply in the arid areas...and the beasts dominate the eating of the produce of agricultural lands - tougher beasts than ground hogs getting at your potatoes...

One size "ism" is NOT going to work on this crazy planet. There was nothing more DELUSIONAL than "communism" for a place like Russia.

Except maybe a bunch of "capitalists" looking to "communism" for help out of their own poop bed. :-)

AD: Maybe you'd understand my mission better if you knew that I'm reading the "Second Socialist Revolution" by Tatyana Zaslavskaya (1990-first published serially in the Washington Post) critically and in great detail. (We read work by Yegor Gaidar, former Russian Prime Minister, at Figgers about the Soviet collapse and I remained curious about details.) The fascinating part is the moral-spiritual undertone from a Stalinist trained economist, later Gorbachevian sociologist. This article stops time in the hopeful 1990 glasnost-peristroika era. Tatyana thought the two greatest threats were mafiosos and neo-nazis. She failed to account for predatory western banking institutions. This woman is now retired in a small Moscow apartment but then was at the height of her powers. Her foremost career concern was to relieve collective farmers from their alienation.

We too are alienated from our food. We are alienated from our counterproductive employments and our medicine too. Retired war correspondent T.R. Reid traveled the world getting advice, steroids and massages, thinking the American medical market could sell it all. Moyers focus upon the medical-industrial complex comes late in the fragmentation of medical care. Many doctors I see have compartmentalized lives like a mafioso. They are predatory. The ones who don't are on mood altering regimens, and self-medicating to boot. They feel like prey.

Only glasnost and peristroika could relieve alienation and temper predation. At the apex the political economy is turned inward and is hardening like Stalinism. Capitalism (actually global corporate collusion with puppet governments) has doomed us all to cascade failure. In Jerzy Kosinski's "Being There" mysterious presidential contender Chauncey Gardner instructs, "Growth will resume in the Spring as long as the roots are not severed." Well, the roots, pathways to common human sustenance, are being severed. Unless parents still believe in celebrity and sports cloning their children have two viable career ambitions: mafioso or nazi. Which do you prefer; a Don-doctor, or a concentration camp practitioner. Such is alienation.

Note: I do not expect anyone on this blog to read along with me in obscure sources. What is happening is that I'm having a conversation across time with failed 1990s Russian revolutionaries because I lack access to similar American visionaries. Relevant? I'll be the judge.)

Jack Martin wrote, in part, "Moses on the mountaintop=Anna D.
I don't want Canaan if we have to massacre Jericho.
The patriarchal God can pass away without taking all spirituality with him."

I never read the Bible, so I admit to total ignorance about the ancient history you are referring to - sorry. I will look it up, but considering how many versions and interpretations and rewrites there are, I still may not be sure what cultural touchstone you assumed I would know...the Hollywood parting of the seas stuff...?

As for patriarchal gods, Occidental civilization (Europe and some of the Mediterranean regions) have never lacked for women leaders writing on the tablets of civilization.

Christianity's Next Generation (Apostle trained, not Jesus trained) "leader", Paul, was basically a SPIRITUAL misogynist...so, yes, any and all patriarchal systems will self destruct from hormone imbalances and the bisexual civilization will remain :-)

It's going to get stolen back one way or another...

Good luck in constructing the next "reagan" - but can you erase all those tatoos, pay off or kill all the creepy girlfriends, and tear down the hero-worship poster of Mr. Prince of Blackwater fame in time to come off with a world vision that pleases both the Money God worshippers and non-psychos?

Moses on the mountaintop=Anna D.
I don't want Canaan if we have to massacre Jericho.
The patriarchal God can pass away without taking all spirituality with him.
I think Grady's mental patient observation is that traditional theology is not serving humanity well. Making Christian lenses a pre-requisite for getting vision care, as Moyers has sometimes done, is a petty and tragic mistake. (Grady and I have our differences but he has a much higher income. Analyze that, and you'll begin to see where I'm coming from.) I benefited more from Civil Rights legislation (as a poor trash white boy) than many blacks. I read in the new library and attended the opera (at public expense). Hell, I was raised on Social Security after my dad died on the job when I was 9. But you have to exclude the golden age attitude. Johnson fought Vietnam for the wealthy class. Carter was weak and superstitious in the face of tough questioning by opponents, and Clinton turned out to be a better conservative, pro-business Republican than Nixon, far-far better than Eisenhower. Obama seems to be continuing Clintonism. Archaeological evidence indicates Hebrews were enslaved in Babylon, but not Egypt. They were probably seeing Israel for the first time when they escaped bondage. They lived among the Canaanites like the Pueblan refugees among the Navajo (circa 1700). My dear lady, how can one return to something one never had? Except in dreams. Even capitalism can be dammed (Damn Capitalism). It's not nature like Old Man Mississippi, though it is quite muddy and polluted. (Grady, landing at Newark, recommends macoutes go fishing... since they do not trust the EPA either.)

Jack Martin wrote, in part, "All those institutions are twisted and hollow under current circumstances."

Sorry, Jack, but the scientist in me KNOWS that you do not have real data to support this speculative opinion.

The quality of the people who have been scratching and crawling their way to the D.C. to gain access to the rigged slot machine that spews out tax dollars is what you COULD provide hard data for in regards to the level of incompetance that they have displayed which WAS twisted and hollow.

Theft is just theft, Dude.

The pattern of theft under Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II has been the same, hasn't it?

They haven't even been "capitalists". Here's the simple definition of "capitalism" in my dictionary - "An econoomic system characterized by freedom of the market with increasing concentration of private and corporate ownership of production and distribution means, proportionate to increasing accumulation and reinvestment of profits."

Where has the profit reinvestment been going....to the creation of a Big Giant Head "god"? Grady is relieved that "god" is dead. Very charlie mason like 60ish dark side....what about the bag of delusional tricks the money god has been using? THAT hasn't been exposed?

Not so fast, Grady. "Money" is a bigger and badder "god" than any "god" that any religion has conjured up so far. The totalitarian money god is a psycho.

In the crowded marketplaces under the rules of pharoahs and ceasars, there was a slave who just carried one big bell and when a "rich" man gave 20 grosze to a miner cripppled from work begging on the street, the slave rang the bell so that everyone would know that an act of charity had just been committed.

I grew up watching a moon landing, was surrounded by great music and literature and "institutions" of art and "science" a short bus ride away, brand new libraries, and a whole bunch of kids from all countries and cultures wearing the same school uniform and eating the same food. And when I watched the evening news, I was not called "stupid" by Cronkite.

But somewhere else in the USA during this same time, the Tuskegee experiment data was being analyzed.

There are no spinning words and no shrewd and clever propagandists that can twist and spin the FACTS to make it work one more time in the same way.

The "media" needs to stop ringing the bell and needs to stop calling everyone who is NOT in the mirror that they are looking in "stupid, twisted and hollow".

Put the money back, or else that high noon shoot out on Main Street will happen because there IS no other choice. Everyone has the right and the responsibility to save their own life.

I had hoped to justify expenditure of my friend's largess on one final trip to the US West (before the water gives out)but maybe I was being as selfish as Mark Sanford. There was an old lapsed Jesuit named Ivan Illich (born in Serbia)who had a philosophy I think you'd enjoy, Anna. He once walked and biked from central Mexico for a temporary teaching job in Austin, Tx. They asked him there if he needed a bike lock and he said, "Consider the one who needs this bike more than I."

Much of what he said makes sense in the context of the dual economy described by Max F. Wolff on Democracy Now today. (Our wealth gap is widening faster again.) Wolff says universal health delivery, subsidized education and mass transportation are the keys but I can't accept such a simplistic recipe. (It's liberal visionary de rigeur.) All those institutions are twisted and hollow under current circumstances. Wealth gravity dictates that the fruits of labor fall upward. People could build up community alternatives using peaceful disobedience and hard work, but they are being intimidated by media theater. Corporate fascism says: If you build it we will come (AND SCATTER YOU LITTLE ANTHILL TO THE WINDS).

In my town they are using our tax money to build an ornamental clock on Main St. in front of a mural showing a Confederate supply train pulling into the now demolished depot. Someone must have told them that if you spend enough you can turn back time. (Cash for clunkers was another journey through the past.)

Things will all be hard from here on out because the nature that sustains us (external and internal) is failing. No science or religion can stop that process. It's just hard to have to live in a generation, where if you tried to do right, it all went for practical naught.

I went by the farmer's market today and the corn was dry, the tomatoes soft, the melons stunted and the green beans wilted. I chose the oddest things, vegetables grown here but named elsewhere. I just wanted to try anything different. Seasons come to an end, and we have not dried, canned, salted, buried or frozen... we expect Brazil and Chile and Indonesia to share their sustenance. I think they might send the very things we have so eagerly shared with them.

The flu goes around and it comes around. No shots for me. If I get it I want the works.

Anna: Claremont Seminary didn't take. S. Illinois gradschool in Anthro didn't take. Broadcasting didn't take. I spent 40 years as a carpenter until my left hand and hips gave out (right hand was crushed by an abuser at age 16 months, about like a dog paw in use). I earned only $250K total SS wages before taxes in those years because I worked mostly as a volunteer at non-profits,giving it away as I went, and for barter. I promised never to take a job that did more harm than good or to displace another worker, so I quit thousands of times. I'm giving away tools as I wind down. Anything you need? Maybe I have one. Don't cry for me, Evita. I'm satisfied with my struggles and relationships. I had everything I ever dreamed of at one time or another. Right now I'd surrender my right to medical care if I could give it to another. I will not die intubated and tied up, though it may be painful. I do not fear or dread passing as I once did. Comes a time.

Posted by: Jack Martin

I never know what to say when people share such "heart" info with me...too many questions bubble up....all I end up saying is "thanks for sharing" because when it comes to walking off jobs, letting your original solutions flow out like water in a generous spirit, and at one point or another having everything you ever dreamed of in life, I share those life experiences with you, as I'm sure many others also do.

I'm not sure how absolutely I believe that I, too, will one day be dust, but I at least let family and friends know where to bury the dust...so that's progress. Not to mention it was one heck of a hilarious conversation that I would not want to have missed out on having with loved ones. I'm sure the memory of the hilarity will bring a smile to those who were present both at the conversation and at the dust-buster ceremony :-) Something to be said for tragic slavic melancholy that finally trades in tragedy for comedy - it's really funny!

The paradox for certain kinds of "fighters" is knowing when to stop trying to stay alive and let "death" come without struggling against it. I am learning from how friends and family have approached the good-bye moment and in a lot of cases, it became every bit of a rich and important "life" experience as the birth of a child is. We are "born" and we "die".

Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are mass marketed books with inventive "worlds" - "fiction".

Having actually read The Urantia Book - all 2097 pages :-) - I place it in the same category as LOTR and HP for richness of detail.

But unlike the other two, The Uranita Book has been demonized. There is nothing in the contents of the book, itself, that is demonic. Nothing.

With no dog in the fight from the "religious" perspective, I merely bring up the contents in The Urantia Book only when I know, for certain, that the cheklist that is being followed by tyrants and "governments" is NOT one that they were smart enough to have derived themselves.

I have a thing about the fight being fair...

Be well, my friend. Every new day affords each of us many new opportunities to create heaven on earth :-)

I come from that broken up and shipped out to Siberia clan that did NOT know that "paradise" was not possible on earth until someone with a death weapon in my face insisted that earth was going to be "hell", instead.

Still not "buying" it :-)

Anna: Claremont Seminary didn't take. S. Illinois gradschool in Anthro didn't take. Broadcasting didn't take. I spent 40 years as a carpenter until my left hand and hips gave out (right hand was crushed by an abuser at age 16 months, about like a dog paw in use). I earned only $250K total SS wages before taxes in those years because I worked mostly as a volunteer at non-profits,giving it away as I went, and for barter. I promised never to take a job that did more harm than good or to displace another worker, so I quit thousands of times. I'm giving away tools as I wind down. Anything you need? Maybe I have one. Don't cry for me, Evita. I'm satisfied with my struggles and relationships. I had everything I ever dreamed of at one time or another. Right now I'd surrender my right to medical care if I could give it to another. I will not die intubated and tied up, though it may be painful. I do not fear or dread passing as I once did. Comes a time.

So how did I come to the conclusion that only a few of Moyers' viewers have their heads and hearts in the right place. I referred to the work of Steven Lukes on POWER. Evil people spoil discourse by setting narrow agendas, mobilizing bias against caring interests and intimidation. There are also more covert tools of power within media, education and the degradation of humaneness. The result is quiessance and fear amid confusion. Maybe I should have said most viewers are victims and that there are only a few Socratic teachers, that Bill should be a resource to these teachers who take risks. Well, I'm saying that now. Thanks Anna. Sometimes I lose patience. I could work with most of the caring people on this blog despite our differences, but that requires candid honesty.

Captcha: Pa (from little house) & spheres (as in music of the spheres, not Brittainy)

Posted by: Jack Martin

Personally, I don't believe "evil" people have enough noodle POWER to - "setting narrow agendas, mobilizing bias against caring interests and intimidation."

They need a checklist.

But you're right, Jack. They're probably using the checklist WORD found in the "bible", "koran", "kabullah", or Castenada. Words written by man, himself?

Intriguing why Jesus never wrote anything down, isn't it? Maybe he was dyslexic or something...?

Not very subtle censorship of a book, though. Dissing it...?

Semenary school just doesn't carry the "authority about God" status that it used to.

Book burning, however, now THAT was certainly "intimidation" that can make one lusting for "God expert" status yearn for the glory days of the Inquisition.

Well, at least progress is being made....from "chosen people" to mental masturbating agnostics and atheists...I'll take that kind of progress any day! Makes religion and politics two topics no longer taboo for fear of penalty from the "powerful".

Oh yeah, "health care"....NONE of the data about treatment of disease and "genetic" sickness that has been created by insurance companies when they "denied" covering the cost of treatments to boost profit limits to more than what casinos take is SCIENTIFICALLY sound information. There is no medical value to their data.

Anna D., Urantia
Ha-cha-cha-cha-cha!
She's got a trillion of 'em,
Universes that is.

I have done a brief but intense investigation of the Urantia Book. I contacted my experts in Columbia, Mo. and Frostburg, Md. and they said, "no big whoop."
I read parts of the purported manuscript for analysis and kicked it around the Figgers group here in Stanley.

Having analyzed "The Book of Thomas" in detail for seminary I view the 4th or 5th part of Urantia (about Jesus) as inferior in creativity to that 4th or 5th century gnostic reconstruction.(I admire some of the personal values in Thomas but not in the more "Little House on the Prairie"-like Life of Jesus in Urantia. I find the "scientific" portions implausible with great plagarism from published works. (I think plagarism has its constructive and tactical uses.) Urantia seems to be a Creationist substantiation in intent. The doctors at the center of the project were purported psychic skeptics and maybe their little joke got out of hand. Deconstruction of the title word (You-rant-ia) is a strong clue. Reminds me of the old Star Trek riddle about "Why is the Enterprise like toilet paper?" (flies around Uranus) The fact that God lives in Havona (nearly Havana- a popular 1930s thru 50s licentious vacation spot) is another tell-tale joke. I believe the authors read from the Book of Mormon, the Koran and lost gospels as well as science fiction and fact. I would not waste my institute resources on such a pointless project.

Anna D.is probably testing me (us). The scenario is a common one (Edgar Cayce and Betsy Whitfill's hopeful stuff.) You can find plenty of this type of delusional resource at Radiorbit- Mike Hagen, if you like dreaming and tripping, but I have no time for it. It was out of respect for Anna D. that I made this effort but am ashamed of wasting my time. When my son was in his teens he used to come to me with ancient astronaut theories and other such stuff, and I was obligated to hear him out. I have worked on a suicide and mental crisis hotline too, so I have heard most every religious delusion.

I think these "easy ways out" of hard questions strongly resemble the naysayers arguments against disarmament, de-corporatization and universal health care as a human right. I don't want to be cruel to anyone, but some ideas have more creedance.

So how did I come to the conclusion that only a few of Moyers' viewers have their heads and hearts in the right place. I referred to the work of Steven Lukes on POWER. Evil people spoil discourse by setting narrow agendas, mobilizing bias against caring interests and intimidation. There are also more covert tools of power within media, education and the degradation of humaneness. The result is quiessance and fear amid confusion. Maybe I should have said most viewers are victims and that there are only a few Socratic teachers, that Bill should be a resource to these teachers who take risks. Well, I'm saying that now. Thanks Anna. Sometimes I lose patience. I could work with most of the caring people on this blog despite our differences, but that requires candid honesty.

Captcha: Pa (from little house) & spheres (as in music of the spheres, not Brittainy)

Remember this, there is no main stream audience, just butt-licks, somnabulists and cowards. You have only a few viewers with conscious awareness. How about playing to your strength, Bill Moyers and crew?

Posted by: Jack Martin

Curious, Jack, just HOW did you ascertain, with painstaking scientific accuracy because only that kind of "truth" finding must be behind your authoritative assertion, that only a few people have "conscious awareness"?

Do share...

Me? I am NOW definitely creeped out by stalkers from the Urantia Book community showing up here. They had one humdinger of a yeeha time on Urantia blogs censoring me the past eight years....if you really are serious about seeking the "truth", Jack, ask yourself just this one question....how is it possible for incompetant, psychotic and power-mad people to have enough noodle power to organize and suck out the fruit of someone else's labour from every angle of civilization's foundations?

Yup, they couldn't have figured it out for themselves....they are doing the exact opposite of what is written in The Urantia Book....a book, which, btw, WAS actually written by "aliens" and given to a gang of Chicago "intellectuals" in 1934....yes, we are NOT alone here on earth, but we are in quarantine :-)

That's the truth - they are doing the exact OPPOSITE of everything that we could be doing to create "paradise" here on earth...it's only fair to level the playing field when a battle for civilization that was BILLIONS of years in the making is at stake, no?

Don't matter whether you end up liking the book or not, or agreeing with any of it or not (ah, Betsy, you crack me up) more people need to READ it so that the fight is FAIR.

Sister Betsy Whitfill et al: Bill's crew is hanging the marquee, so let me guess. Maybe the Journal needs "a change of pace." Could we see retired General Tony Zinni teaching Bill some "Lessons From the Battlefield" ? (As read from his ghost-written potboiler, which is all over mainstream radio talk shows) Never mind that the military is rapidly growing in uniformed and contracted personnel, or that its budget is the top Congressional priority at a time when the US workforce has officially shrunken 6%, and hours per week are down to about 30. Never mind that enlisted ranks are indentured servants by contract, or that deserters or turncoats can be executed. Never mind that the military fighting force and the bureaucracy already have socialized medicine. Never mind that Zinni's workforce could be hauled about like cattle and separated from family and community under penalty of imprisonment. Never mind that they actually "murder" their competition. Never mind the rampant waste and corruption surrounding the military. Never mind that Zinni was never in charge but theoretically subservient to an elected leadership, and actually obedient to oligarchical need. Yep, that's just the sort of low paid non-union jobs that could maintain the updraft of wealth to the elite. So get him on, Bill, and just sit there like a toad, giving an affirmational rivet from time to time, and admiring how some tailor custom cut a suit for such a hog.

In "Sicko" Tony Benn (retired British MP) ,marvels to Michael Moore how voters tolerate a game in which 1% at the top own 80% of everything, and make the rules by intimidation, brainwashing and structural violence. They show those comnust art films here in Washington, unlike down in Charlotte. I saw "In the Loop" ($7.50) at the E-street Cinema, so I know. It was some tapwater about how Bushites used British operatives to amplify false intelligence about Iraq, so the profiteering could expand. It was a comedy they said. You were supposed to laugh. Even the truth can demoralize.

Maybe we can't get universal health care or any other justice because mouthy leadership (Moyers, elected representatives, and organizers like me) are unwilling to take sufficient personal risks to inspire the public. (One guy named Chris Hedges seems right on the edge, and I'm watching him. He's a "Man On a Wire" like Phillip Petite.)
Everbody's tire is flat on one side. I'm labeled a communist, and people think Betsy Whitfill and Ravi Batra are two types of new age Hindus. Bill Moyers has some F's on his report card too, but we had hope he could kick his success addiction. Nobody's perfect. Remember this, there is no main stream audience, just butt-licks, somnabulists and cowards. You have only a few viewers with conscious awareness. How about playing to your strength, Bill Moyers and crew?

It is not the case that, as R. Reno wrote, "Competition is essential to social progress',..". Competition is merely a tool invented to make people work harder..to motivate people to produce more so that they will create more money. Competition is merely a commercial tool. It seems to be essential because those that use the tool desire ever more money and don't want to settle for less money. In addition, as we now know, any idea which leads to making more money is supported, advocated by our institutions (even religious). This fact is what underlies the current worldwide crisis. Commercialism has us all by the throat, threatening us with chaos even as it creates more chaos.

Grady Lee Howard's "prayer" says it all.

I asserteth the Holy Fatherhood of Santa, especially for those born in September and October. Readeth Thee the Holy Writ:
"He sees you when you're sleeping, and knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake." (No faking orgasms with this guy!)
So you see the seeds of the Panopticon State were laid long ago in Holiday Marketing.
"Hurry Santa, bring some health insurance to me..."

The question will be for churches, you can't have a prosperity gospel anymore. The prosperity's gone.... You can't have a market spirituality and an imperial religiosity because the empire's in trouble.... And the market is no longer a model, at all. So where do we go? Transitional moment. This is a moment of the interregnum. (Cornell West, PBS, Faith, Justice, and Society)

Competition is essential to social progress, but competition, unregulated, breeds violence…. Present-day profit-motivated economics is doomed unless profit motives can be augmented by service motives. Ruthless competition based on narrow-minded self-interest is ultimately destructive of even those things which it seeks to maintain. Exclusive and self-serving profit motivation is incompatible with Christian ideals--much more incompatible with the teachings of Jesus. (The Urantia Book, p. 805.1; 805.5)

When material achievement outruns the evolution of worship-wisdom, then does civilization contain within itself the seeds of retrogression; and unless buttressed by the swift augmentation of experiential wisdom, such human societies will recede from high but premature levels of attainment, and the "dark ages" of the interregnum of wisdom will bear witness to the inexorable restoration of the imbalance between self-liberty and self-control. (The Urantia Book, p. 1302.3)

Violence comes in many forms; it is systemic violence against persons when they are unjustly denied access to health care because profits are put above people. When the system of predatory capitalism builds in such abuses and injustice perpetrated against the people, than the system itself is evil. They profit on the backs of the poor and disenfranchised; those who have no voice in Washington.

Whether we are speaking of the health care crisis or the financial banking and mortgage crisis, the root cause is one of maladjusted values and lack of experiential and spiritual wisdom. There is a common thread running through the Old Testament prophets right up to Jesus’ cleansing of the temple of the money changers that cries out against such unjust usury and abuse of political and economic power for unfair predatory profits that grind the poor ( and now the middle class) to dust:

This cleansing of the temple discloses the Master's attitude toward commercializing the practices of religion as well as his detestation of all forms of unfairness and profiteering at the expense of the poor and the unlearned. This episode also demonstrates that Jesus did not look with approval upon the refusal to employ force to protect the majority of any given human group against the unfair and enslaving practices of unjust minorities who may be able to entrench themselves behind political, financial, or ecclesiastical power. Shrewd, wicked, and designing men are not to be permitted to organize themselves for the exploitation and oppression of those who, because of their idealism, are not disposed to resort to force for self-protection or for the furtherance of their laudable life projects. (The Urantia Book, p. 1891.1)

See: http://www.philosophyofliving.org/fogbom/content/urantiaBook/en-US/xml/173.paper.en-US.xml#173:1:1

My faith and moral code inpacts and informs everything aspect of my life, politics, society, and self.

My journey may not be quite like everyone else's. I am working to rid myself of the religious backage that kept me from seeing truth in its splendor and ugliness. I can recall when my religion was more akin with following a party line. There was no thinking. We were told by the leadership what side we should be on and what position was just and Christian. It felt like religion was a form of spiritual lobotomy. It took away deep thought and contemplation. Others would do the thinking for me.

Today, thank God, I am making a real effort to think about my faith and what my Lord, Jesus Christ is saying and showing me.

It trully is a re-birth experience.

I no longer rely on pundits or theologians but on my direct relationship with the One and Only.

The Community of Faith

Henry Gomez

Where would we be without strong 'Christian' values? 'Faith' groups support EX Miss Calif. even though she posed for racy photos - no problem. Republican Governors committing adultery while badgering others who do the same - no problem. Intentionally lying (Bush and Fallwell against McCain and his wife in 2000) no problem. Supporting a war (Iraq)idiot Bush started off lies that kills our military men and women - no problem.

How pathetic of 'conservative' book house Regency to release a book around CHRISTMAS time on behalf of EX Miss Calif. who failed to fulfill her end of the bargain, not to mention have racy photos taken of herself. Conservatives no doubt will back a hussy lazy girl just because she is against gay marriage. No biggie that she didn't do the job she was supposed to do. No biggie that she posed for nude/semi-nude photos.
Numbskull EX Miss Calif. was stripped of her title because she didn't fulfill her obligations. No Work No Title. Dah!

Interesting how 'Faith' groups have only SOME morals and obey SOME of the commandments. 'Faith' groups are not trying to stop Mormons from having several wives (adultery and perversion there). Plus, forcing underaged girls to marry old men - Disgusting! Funny how some people are allowed to have more than one spouse while some aren't even allowed just one - doesn't seem fair or right. Is the definition of marriage - Between Man and Woman and Woman and Woman? 'Faith' groups supported Bush who LIED to start a war in Iraq which resulted in and continues to result in American Soldiers deaths. 'Faith' groups supported McCain who had multiple affairs while married to his first wife.

I am sure ALL 'Faith' groups people who supported Bush's corrupt war in Iraq, made their children join the military. Otherwise, I can't imagine how disappointed Bushwackers must be in their children who decided to go to college and not join the military.

Somehow the idea of a "full reserve system" seems to have a correspondence to another one that keeps try'n to creep into my head...that the money supply should reflect value that's out there. For instance (maybe Michael L can tell me where I'm wrong), if the 3 Gorges dam broke in China should China subtract yen out of the big basket? Well, that seems to have some bearing vaguely in my mind to the question of full reserve vs fractional reserve.

Michael L, after seeing this Alternet article
http://www.alternet.org/politics/141373/a_dark_hole_of_democracy:_how_the_fed_prints_money_out_of_thin_air/?comments=view&cID=1264134&pID=1264114

...I fear I'm gonna have to try to read that disputed one at Wikipedia "Criticism of the Fractional...

V. Greentree wrote, in part, "And I speculated what will eventually happen to bring change: that a sufficient number of young people, of the next generation, will get really angry when they finally realize how badly their antecedents, the previous leaders who were supposed to think about the future, have screwed them."

I dunno. Seems like the generations born into ready-made prosperity have a lot less imagination and know-how to improve the civilization. They seem to know just how to consume it after they steal the identity of those who built it. Which in itself is BORING enough, but then they go and pressure "technology" to assist them in creating a "society" of endless mind games and power grabs. But all they have come up with in the way of evolving "government", "religion", "art" and "justice" is the IDEA to go over to your neighbor's house to spy on what food your neighbor has in their pantry, collect that "data", feed it into their "computers" and JUDGE whether the neighbor deserves "health" care.

The generation weaned on micro chips is a micro-managing morass.

Kennedy got off the U-Boat and said, "We're going to the moon". He was assassinated.

Before the whole pre-fab schtick gets going about how "moral" was the plan to go to the moon, let me point out that kids who watched the moon landing had some fun with the "arts" and produced shows like Star Trek Next Generation and the Prime Directive. I recommend the episode "The Drumline". Still very current ideas about "justice".

It never was the "cult", if you will, of moon-walkers who sucked all they could out of other "cultures". Moon-walkers were not slave-based. Besides, they had all the gas they needed to fuel their ride :-)

But you're right, these are VERY different times. I was raised with a math formula that was building a "future" for a world population that is HALF of what it is today. Bottom line is that there IS a certain number of human beings, that once surpassed, over-rides what the planet, itself, is programed to provide for in the way of clean water and air, as well as provide the occassional seasons of largesse to prevent dire famine.

The moon-walkers DID have all those basic details of life taken care of before they tested the next boundry. They finished the "honey do" list before they went off to play :-))

I guess we could discuss the IDEA why generations born into comfort could not come up with anything better than "holy war" and micro-managing the choices their neighbors make when they buy crackers...?

You're quoting FDR, VG, and that is an encouragement to many of us here.

Over at newcafe.org we were discussing "Do Civilizations Collapse?"

Right now, though, I'd recommend Kucinich's site and forums
http://www.kucinich.us

"Nurses Praise House Vote to Permit State Single-Payer Laws"
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/07/18-1

Who are the hirelings?

http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2009/07/07/rise_of_the_machines/index.html

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/blog/labels/Goldman%20Sachs.html

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/141214/matt_taibbi% 3A_goldman_sachs_has_made_fools_of_us_all_%28video%29_/

Last week, boys and girls, we learned that we're not going to get meaningful healthcare, because the Health Industry is too powerful. But, of course, we already knew that. This week we learn, it's the industries that stand to lose money with a strong, emissions bill that are running the show. But we knew that too.

Last week I wrote in and wondered "how long can this go on?" I can't imagine that it will go on indefinitely. Although we good people have been hashing and pointing out for a long time, I am getting tired of it: nothing changes. And I guess I am getting tired of listening to all the getting-us-nowhere-really discussion and counter-debate. I'm sorry, but I'm getting cynical in my advancin' years.

But as I said, "This can't go on indefinitely." And I speculated what will eventually happen to bring change: that a sufficient number of young people, of the next generation, will get really angry when they finally realize how badly their antecedents, the previous leaders who were supposed to think about the future, have screwed them. It probably won't be as nice as that revolt of the 60s, unfortunately, but these are different times.

By the way, this is what FDR said in his '36 nomination speech:
"Concentration of power in all embracing corporations . . . represents private enterprise become a kind of private goverment which is a power unto itself--a regimentation of other people's money and other people's lives"

Guess corporations weren't as powerful then as they are now.

Society lets things go by that may seem insignificant but the underlying message of such things is quite offensive.

Posted by: Jake

"Society" may not be letting offensive things "go by".

When you look at the "fine print" in the byzantine-ly (is that a real word? :-))complex laws concocted by Senator Graham and the whole kit and kaboodle of the "legislative" branch, the "corporation" has "god-given" rights.

Once the "legislative" branch is settled about "god" being a man-made fiction for the most part, it's flummoxing why their logic gymnastics do not continue along the same balance beam into considering that the "corporation" (or wha'ever) is ALSO a man-made construct so it can't be any less fictional than "god".

We can all see, now, why HUMAN "justice" is on hold, at best.

Unshakeable object has met the unmovable force :-)

Or to put it another way, a new age twist on the classic Mexican stand-off....

Anna, I am glad you mentioned the bank commercial proudly featuring the grinning fool exploiting children, even if make believe. It did not amuse me in the least. That is surely the company to avoid at all costs. People need to get busy and protest as they would have years ago. Society lets things go by that may seem insignificant but the underlying message of such things is quite offensive.

There have certainly been enough war and peace cycles of activity in the USA to ascertain that the peace cycle - its character and duration - depends almost exclusively on what the "warriors" apply themselves to AFTER the war. Do they go back to progress in civilization building?

The FEMA exercise is being conducted in Region VI - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Here's hoping that the people in those states haven't taken a dive off the sanity boat. If the rabble has been roused and are willing to engage in this "pretend war" exercise as if it is a REAL "war", then you'll be giving a SECRET cabal just what they want - an excuse to slap the whole country into some kind of emergency lockdown.

So my suggestion is to grab the lawn chair, go sit on the porches or in street cafes and act like its a hollowood production - bunch of people playing soldier. You know, like all those Civil War recreation parties that are part of the regional flavor of Region VI for tourists :-)

Well, in case anyone was still in doubt - ala one of those Ally Bank commercials where they irritate the poor children actors (talk about child abuse) with stunts of trickery - The Supreme Court ain't what it used to be. Neither is "justice".

Souter resigned - thought the paperwork was preventing him from fulfilling his potention as a human being. Enter his replacement - the modern version of "honey, can you type?"

"Yes sir. I have a 17 year history of using the fine print correctly 97% of the time".

"Just watch your temperment, Missy."

Man, I would have loved to give unrehearsed answers to Senator Graham's questions - especially the ones regarding 911 and military law. What an opportunity missed, on Senator Graham's part in the judge the judge morality play to discuss habeus corpus EVEN IN TIMES OF WAR - and the ignored ghost in the room - "torture".

There are soaring intellects who perceive justice above and beyond the well settled issues of human millenia regarding murder to get booty and power - "not fair" is what the law used to be....but those intellects are NOT going to be allowed in to the club - ever again.

I miss Judge Sandra Day O'Conner...she resigned, also....hmmmm, some public people DO still have a personal line in the sand they won't cross....a soul damage line....

Have fun watching the "war" games in Region VI!

The more things change, the more they stay the same. From head of the horse association to head of FEMA under Bush....from Zoo Keeper to head of the Federal Office of Personnel Management under Obama....

"Honey, can YOU type?"

Jake wrote, in part, "FEMA has announced on their website a nationwide terrorist exercise is planned for July 27-31, 2009 and they will be utilizing foreign troops to police citizens."

In the USA, after WWII, the warriors came back home and beat their swords back into ploughshares, so to speak. Meaning they transferred their skills into aviation, engineering, architecture, emergency response to natural disasters, agriculture, medicine, etc.

Looks like the 187,000 "contractors" who were employed in Iraq are going to "protect" their business. The only way they can rationalize this stuff is to JUDGE that USA civilians are a counter-revolutionary "force" that threaten THEIR job security as mercenaries.

Stalin did this in Russia - round up and kill everyone who is a "threat" to your power because they are more ethical, intelligent, educated and self-governing than you are. This is not new "war" tactics - same ol' same ol' machiavellian empire politics of the ruthless and the tyrants they serve.

Stalin got rid of 35 million.

With so many foreign country mercenaries participating in this USA exercise, who knows?

Very sci-fi in a way, no? A new kind of "human" is being evolved.

Recently, a National Parks Park Ranger died after he conducted an autopsy on a mountain lion. The "southwest" territory of USA is still a place where "mother nature" has a few tricks up her sleeve that will level the playing field between the good, bad and ugly. Nothing personal, it's just "business" - "nature's" business is definitely an equal opportunity employer.

Faith, Justice and Society??
Faith in most christian denominations teaches followers to sit back, turn the other cheek, do as you are told and God will do the rest. That is exactly what they are doing. Go along to get along as paid clergy told the victims of Katrina. This planet does not matter for it is going to be destroyed anyway. To hell with the rest of civilization!

Justice? Watch the news.

Society? FEMA has announced on their website a nationwide terrorist exercise is planned for July 27-31, 2009 and they will be utilizing foreign troops to police citizens. You have not heard any of this yet on the media but here is a good link with all the information.

http://targetfreedom.typepad.com/targetfreedom/2009/06/femawebpagemartiallawforeigntroops.html

Mr. Chadd wrote, in part, "We as humans on Earth at this point in time are facing the need for fundamental change in the very way we live and understand our place in the fabric of nature."

I agree. But in order to do this, we need DATA that has not been deliberately corrupted before it was fed into the computer.

LaBait tells us we need to figure out what we want...indeed. I have figured it out - I am NOT a number in their Supreme Micro Chip math formula which is simply this: More misery for others = more money for me.

There is no such thing as "modern warfare". War is savage "social" medicine. The only thing about war and the modern version of "holy war" is that the BEST HUMANS are being eliminated.

Too bad Mrs. Clinton was not elected President. Women would have trusted her enough to work with her by provided strategies for stopping the slaughter of the best human stock. As is, female war strategists KNOW that female strategies, if provided for the "modern" war lords would be used to elimiinate the "messenger" first. We ain't gonna be the "moll" to the bankster.

Yet another reason RELIGION was supposed to be separate from "state". War strategy is neither "holy" nor is it "modern".

This was by far one of your weaker episodes. For years I have been trying to focus on the rambling, kinetic prose of the "Great" Princeton sage, Cornell West. As always, he presents a lyrical journey though disjointed thoughts, mixed metaphors, and egotistical allusions to his own great insights. I can see now why Harvard was willing to let him go. That dangling scarf and Angela Davis-like afro seem to be more theatrical props than the indifferent trappings of a real scholar. May I suggest that you invite someone of the caliber of Susan Jacoby to your next journey through. . . whatever you were trying to link Social Christianity to?

Everything "defined" in articles cited in the search linked below is not "social justice." Dark navy blue rectangles indicate available for free reading.
http://www.resurgence.org/sitesearch.cgi?go=Go&keywords=justice+defined

a search simply of "social justice" at Resurgence
http://www.resurgence.org/sitesearch.cgi?keywords=social+justice

Don't be too convergent, Michael L. In whichever direction you may have a fine walk.
http://books.google.com/books?id=YXkmnmu_ru0C&pg=PA220&dq=merton+%22in+whichever+direction%22&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&as_brr=0&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html

"We as a society are not just facing the day to day issue's like health care, the war, financial collapse or environmental decay." Michael Chadd

Justice, for instance, is facing the issues (including "good work"...what we do).

Sound the alarm, the Pope has spoken!!!

The Vatican has produced many less-than-average pretend economists over the centuries (and that's saying it charitably). Just because His Holiness makes a declarative statement does not mean that his statement is true, therefore. Non sequitors can only get us so far without ridicule.

Again, if you want to hawk social justice you had better define it, especially for yourself. If you can't identify your goals, well....

Defining one's terms is an epistemological obligation brought about through argumentation. Its logic 101, not differential calculus.

I was inspired to comment after listening to your discussion on the journal with Cornell West, Gary Dorrien and Serena Jones. I'd like to say that I enjoyed the discussion as I have enjoyed nearly all your Journal programs.
One perception I came away with listening to this discussion. Is that although discussing the events and situations of this time in history in a philosophical, historical or broad way may be great and enjoyable discussion, it does not get right to the nuts and bolts of the causes of our current situation. Thus does not readily lead to the solutions and the acceptance and active embrace of the solutions. Everyday people are both the most effected and have the most to gain by real change. It would seem to me that as Cornell West so eloquently presents, it is very important to be very verbally honest and talk in simple direct on the ground terms. Who is most effected by the corrupt health care, financial and general inequity in our society. What are the most just solutions. Although it is easy to say these issues are very complicated, that they not easily explained and that there are no simple solutions. The fact is the problems we face are very simple, and the solutions are very simple, what is difficult and complicated is that the solutions are inconvenient. Real major change to the fabric of society is inconvenient to most segments of the society. Except perhaps the people at the bottom who have no where to go but up and up is usually the result of major change. We as a society are not just facing the day to day issue's like health care, the war, financial collapse or environmental decay. We as humans on Earth at this point in time are facing the need for fundamental change in the very way we live and understand our place in the fabric of nature. It is quite clear that if a fundamental and very profound change does not happen in how humans see themselves and how they live, the time of modern humans as we know them will self destruct.
The solutions to our problems today are simple, but the will to make the major changes required to apply the simple solutions are inconvenient. Fairness, justice, empathy, compassion, love, these are the roots that can harness the simple solutions. We are currently living in a world in short supply of these simple prerequisites for the solutions we need.
It appears from my reading of things that most truly progressive thinkers today know that we are at this precipice. We either throw out the rules and ways we have been living by and make this major shift or we are toast. We will not reach a reasonable chance for humans to live sustainably on Earth with out a complete shift in direction. The will to make this complete change in direction must come from not just the arenas of power but also from the everyday people everywhere.

Michael Chadd
Bellingham, WA

David H wrote, in part, "Hands on caregivers in the present system are so whooped to begin with they might be unable to take a volunteer under their wing."

Maybe it's an urban lengend, but one tribe's solution to a caregiver "problem" was to throw the wife on top of the funeral pyre of her husband.

IDEAS about how to thin the herd will always be with us. In another tribe, the "caregiver" might have protested the other tribe's ideology by crafting a spear, or bow and arrows, or whatever :-) and participated in herd thinning by taking a few of the mob coming to throw her into the fire with her into the next life. Seems only fair to thin the herd from both sides of the equation.

When it comes to the elderly, you have to deal with the reality that it cannot be one women per elderly adult. A baby is small in size and the mother can do it alone. An adult varies in size and sometimes it might take up to six "caregivers" to change the diaper. So that tribe that threw the "caregiver" into the pyre was stupid in its selfishness.

The tribe with armed "caregivers" participating in thinning the herd ideologies by taking out some of the selfish mob will probably win out over millenia if they stick to their plan. Especially if they follow the number one rule of defense - don't sell your weapons to your FRIENDS or your enemies.

Have not had a chance to read the Pope's encyclical, yet. Hoping he makes the connection between the atonement doctrine and greed....?

If you study Obamas Healthcare program, he wants to keep Privet Insurance Companies and beef up the HMO system so it does a better job at cutting costs and wast. He wants everyone without insurance to buy insurance and pluged into the HMO system. He calls it a public privet program but it's not. It's 100% privet. Study what Hitler did. He cut healthcare cost in order to finance his war. Under his T4 HMO system, doctors were forced to deny treatment to people in order to cut costs and wast. People with chronic disease, elderly, handicap, mentally ill, poor people were considered to expensive to treat and labeled as lives not worthy to be lived. So, they were killed and a fake death certificate was given to the family. This insanity led to the death camps. In the Nuremberg trials, Doctors were executed for going along with this insanity. It's in the history books. Its hard to swallow. But, It happened. Obama is going down that same road. support: LaRouchepac

You people have no concept of what "by any means necessary" means. West might remember. Moyers might as well.
All your pseudo-intellectual ramblings and pontificating propaganda means NOTHING on the street.
There is no faith. It's a lie. There are no morals. More lies. There is only day after day. Live or die. Eat or no. I get what I need, or I take what I need. Stay off the streets.

Thanks for not losing track of the thread, chmoore (at least my idea of one valid thread that the discussion could have given rise to).

Good one, D.C.

Was Jack Martin right about Michael? 1SG (ret) Williams thought he might be. Yeah, and he might just be the man Jack described. Or he might not be that man, and might simply be some survival-of-the-fittest zealot trying to trump up some gleaming erudite vinyl siding, leaning on Ayn Rand's novel [call this the "lone presumptive zealot" theory]. Or he might be an LPZ at heart who's reinforcing his zeal with some PR firm's playbook to boot. At any rate, we go forward. People have continued to show up here lambasting the war against the poor--that is what is encourgaging to me. In fact, as more and more show up I begin to feel sad that more who could whip up a defense like Michael's do not show up. Why don't they? The Journal is shredding their assumptions like nothing else--they should be here.

We're not "venturing into flesh and blood economics"? Might that have something to do with the health care expedition in Wise, Va Wendell Potter discussed last night? How bout what Bill said at the end of the show...?...

"But when the insiders in Washington finish tearing worthy intentions apart and devouring flesh from bone, none of these reforms happen."

Michael says he'd like one of us to define "social justice." Is it worth the effort? Would I simply be running off into his labrynth? Am I obligated to do so? Well, one of the first relevant aspects of the social gospel as far as I can see is that it provides a description of the world that is non-deterministic and that is accurate. It is true we have an obligation to act (and perhaps define terms for our critics at some moments). But, do we also have a right to share a description of the world? Do we have the right to read the truth about this world we live in as well as the right to try to change it by whatever act of kindness or by whatever long-shot coalition? It seems that we do (nominally we certainly do in the sense of the freedom of speech, though we begin to wonder at times if there is any likelihood a precedent has been established that will guarantee the thread of a true description will continue on). Trickle-downers (like many pro-life "activists" for instance) arbitrarily stipulate their little corral of hot button issues (and in fact ignore what should be the triage of concerns relative to the "flesh and blood" that's out there). Day and night we hear them harping (if we come near some one cable channel or another), and any minute we anticipate a crescendo...that'll even go beyond items like convincing Obama HMO CEOs will stick to their word. At any rate, those who cannot embrace their hot button positions are damned, plain and simple.

But when anyone with sense tries to discern where a person is coming from, is this the way we go about things? No.

Now, when it comes to the social gospel, Michael or anyone else might understandibly come up with a question about what guides ones action. For me it seems that what Dinah said 7/9 must be right for some, while what Paul Silver said at Friday 9:41 P in The Journal's Friday healthcare comments might be appropriate for others. Let some shoot for the mountain top. Let some go for causes piecemeal as they arise. There is no reason for me to judge individuals. Let the Great Spirit judge. There is no reason for me to speculate about what aspect of justice all women or any man in particular should absolutely be sure not to forget. Let the Great Spirit judge.

Social justice is just where society has not lost track of its mission. It's mission is to enable quality of life for its members, as in those clips of patients leaving Canadian and British hospitals The Journal included from Moore's flick last night. Alas, those left out in the US are either not visible in Wobegone (strong women, good looking men, etc) or are deemed visible enough if we're forced to read about their incorrigibility.

An interesting little book...

"The Politics of God and the Politics of Man"
by Jacques Ellul
http://books.google.com/books?id=st7XLbluPD8C&output=html

[Checking the link, suddenly it's only a preview instead of the whole thing. BTW, personally I cannot endorse anarchy, and I cannot believe reports Ellul "endorsed" it until I actually read his last book myself.]

There are two "books" with "war against the poor" in their titles. One by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and one by Richard J. Barnet [Barnet's was pamphlet size]. This is what is happening, far more camouflaged than nazism's scapegoating. It was described AFAIC in Christopher Lasch's "The Revolt of the Elites" [compare with Rand's title/theme], but not favorably. Camouflaged with an unspoken, somewhat global endorsement that "shock doctrine" has a right to cull the herd [there is a machinelike aspect to this with apparent design lacking, but the culling is nevertheless not significantly protested by the powers that be]. The pope himself said on July 6 or 7 that greed has brought about the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Lasch and Ellul passed from this world near to each other in time. I think perhaps something heavy meant to dawn on me when I heard Ellul had gone. And I think I put off the recognition then, but now that Richard Barnet has left us the full meaning is coming home. What happens when seers like these are gone? The world that allowed them a voice was at least right side up to that extent. As time passes some of us must ask ourselves if we can be vehicles to any degree for the message that went before. In my case this means for my mother too and...a number of conservative relatives as well. Though these conservatives could not side with me before...they did not understand that the whole force of their lives has to be summed up (by now anyway) at the very least...as not in conjunction with this war. Shoot, there are millions of people of that generation who've made their comments after hearing the latest lowdown from Bill Moyers or Jim Lehrer for that matter. But we over estimate the ease with which we post here--many of that generation cannot go through these hoops. We've scooted along on the digital highway (so proud of our pile of toys), but who has bothered to make sure we get the real message they meant to give? Transmitting frivolous texts everyday in this land probably eats up the equivalent of tons of coal, but what those
shut-ins and quasi shut-ins who kept this country goin while we grew up have to say...is I gather sorely unmanifest. So, in a manner of speaking, our time is up. If we tried to make sure their lives end up registering, there'll be little left for anything else. But that's ok; beyond the context we're sometimes obsessed with...they registered where it counts.

allenwrench, to make my comments extremely short re the jobs theme...the problem I see with a solution-paradigm is that, for example, CNAs would have to get some solidarity going with the lady bountifuls.

When people write here that everyone should do more for the cause and write less, I catch myself wondering how much they have to do out there in the present system now themselves. It's some kind of mechanism where everyone is burnt out. How convenient for the trickle downers. [Do you think, folks, I haven't considered that this feature is actually desired by the trickle-downers? No, I have thought of this, friends.] After Bill's remarks last night I was tryin to think of new slogans...Moratorium on the Bull System (MOTBS; mat means tired in Vietnamese).

At any rate, you have the people that arrive at Habitat sites a hundred strong. How would you get them involved in easing caregivers' burdens for instance? [I've done framing, but right here I'm talking about the real work.] Well, the system is set up such that it's too inconvenient to even be considered. But, if it wanted to change...what then? Hands on caregivers in the present system are so whooped to begin with they might be unable to take a volunteer under their wing. Just explaining the liabilities is a task that would tax a professor. No...one gets that knowledge via osmosis. You see, in this land there is lots of duplicity. Legislators talk up group homes as opposed to state institutions, but then you find out they personally own group homes on the side! They all talk bring'n back manufacturing, but when it comes to photovoltaics or another CCC growing organic produce they slink back.
They got nothing.

Michael seems to think that people should be motivated mainly to make a pile of money, but the total sense of the function of society or mission seems to be lacking.

Yeah, the chimes chime, but there's little left for the countless accused, misused, strung out ones and worse.

Just heard that the Pope has put out a 30,000 word "encyclical" that addresses "the economy".

Any self-promoting abecedarian is aware of how the meaning of words has been so tortured that we merely indulge in acarpous speech on many a religious blog.

Played a rip-roaring game of "Balderdash" recently and I stuck with selecting "a" words from the dictionary...so I may not be using the word "acarpous" correctly, but as an abecedarian, that's okay :-))

Wondering what kind of spiritual succor can be found in the 30,000 words?

The letter the senator from Nevada sent to his ex-mistress was mind-boggling. What "religion" told him he's beiing noble by confessing that he used a woman as a thing? Imagine if the ex-mistress was with child after his "use". The Senator still ends up being holier-than-thou because he is, after all, against the morning after pill...faith, justice and society?

Beware the mono issue fanatics...

We all have a choice. We also live in a society that punishes people who won't play the game with tyrants.

There's a deep psycho-logical reason why "christianity", in the authoritative hands of tyrants, has been boiled down to celebrating the murder of an innocent man.

Economy IS a science, not some metaphysical juju machination indicating special favor from a "god" that is bought through mindlessly following an atonement doctrine.

We have free will. "Religion" was supposed to help us deal with it in a way that brings out the GOOD in us all.

Allen Wrench,
The defining moment is when we please ourselves and not others and the others retaliate.
There is a cause and effect relationship when ever people interact.
We depend on other people for many things. When we drive down the street, we depend on other people staying on their own side of the road.
Sociopaths who have no concern for other people's welfare are a threat to everyone including themselves. Because of cause and effect, what goes around comes around and we become the victims of our own complacency.
We are living on a volcano with a core high above the peak and are being told to continue business as usual. When the stones come raining down they will assure people that help is on the way and they are sorry that so many people died. When it is all over the next ploy is bury the dead and get back to normal until the next disaster.
Without a sense of concern for other people and action to prevent disaters, we might just as well be mechanical robots.

DC Eddy writes:

Amego,
It is essential to convince people that there is a problem and what is the best solution to the problem. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off screaming the sky is falling is to no avail without workable solutions.

---------------------------

Yes, running round scared and confused is bad DC. Fear is for those not prepared. And to prepared for something one must first define the issue. And defining the problem is half the battle.

This is what keeps Americans from fighting back with their useless 'Tea Parties' they have to voice complaints ... all they can do is talk.

But when it comes down to it, modern people are not self sufficient enough to strike the capitalist system and must succumb to every whim of the government.

You presuppose that all problems a be solved nice and tidy though DC Eddy. Much of the pop may have to die off to make life livable within a reduced means within natures boundaries.

http://dieoff.org/

Check out 'One-Second After'

http://www.onesecondafter.com/

And for mock-ups that could happen from a number of threats not brought up in that book...


NATURAL THREATS

Natural Disasters on and from the Earth
Short Term and Regional
-Severe Storms, Wind, Lightening
-Hurricanes, Typhoons, Cyclones, Superstorms
-Tornados
-Tsunami/Tidal Waves
-Floods
-Fires - Forest/Brush
-Landslides
-Sinkholes
-Drought (Dust Bowl)
-Earthquake
-Volcano
-Animal caused famine (ie. locusts)
-Disease, Plague, Pandemics coming from nature (ie. bird flu)

Long Term / Climate Change
-Global Warming
-Ice Caps Melting, Oceans rising
-Ozone Loss/UV Damage
-Gulf stream changes, climate shift
-Global Cooling/Ice Age
-Global Pole Shift

Natural Disasters from Beyond the Earth and not caused by man
-Asteroid or Comet Impact
-Black Holes/Worm Holes
-Solar Flares/Coronal Ejections/Gamma Burst
-Alien Invasion, non-intelligent (Andromeda Strain, virus, bacteria)
-Alien Invasion intelligent life (War of the Worlds Scenario)
-Religious End of the World (Anti-Christ, Second Coming, etc.)

MAN MADE THREATS
Man-made Accidental Disasters
-Nuclear Reactor Disaster
-Chemical Disaster
-Biological Disaster
-Fires
-Grid failures, failures in technology that bring down services
-Climate change caused by mankind
-Genetic Engineering gone wrong GMO fears
-Nanobots gone wrong the gray goo, replicants, Blob scenario
-Artificial computers smarter than man Cylons, Terminator

Wars, Acts of Terrorism (Intentional Acts)
-Nuclear weapons
-Biological Weapons (small pox, anthrax, ricin, etc.)
-Chemical Weapons (never gas, mustard gas etc.)
-Conventional explosives/weapons
-Cyber attack attack by software control
-Individual levels such as identity theft
-"Fire sale" attacks which bring down the grid
-EMP attack – or anything that takes out electronic hardware, computers

Government, Economic
-Progressive Loss of Freedoms to Individuals
-Big Brother fears, NAIS for humans, implanted micro-chips
-Economic Collapse breakdowns, depression, hyper-inflation
-Social or Government Collapse/Revolution
-World socialism, World Government take over, World Dictator
-Conspiracy theories coming true
-Corporate controlled World

List from SRT:


I look at my everyday life and what I need to live, then I look at the unknown and think about what could be.

My survival mentor says to prepare for the unthinkable one must first think the unthinkable.

All this has to be done within reason.

But what is reasonable for one, is unreasonable for another...so we should remember we only have to please ourselves with our efforts.


Amego,
It is essential to convince people that there is a problem and what is the best solution to the problem. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off screaming the sky is falling is to no avail without workable solutions.
Right now, we need to rework our economic system to support the demand side of economics so that the demand side of economics can support the supply side of economics. This is the only way that economics works.
Funds must be made available to work out all other current critical problems. We also need to get our representatives out of the pocket of lobbyists'. No more wheeling and dealing.
We are doing self-destruct with our corrupt government and unrealistic system of economics. Our enemies are enjoying our foolishness.
Communications is an essential element of crisis management. Without knowledgeable input we are wasting our time, money and resources. We have a serious problem with so called "experts" that are incompetent to the point of disaster.

Here's the major REALITY that religions of authority are increasingly hysterical about burying as a factor of "survival".

People CHOOSE to behave like a white blood cell or like a cancer cell. People are NOT programmed to be either one or the other. They CHOOSE it.

Life is motion. If $$$ is the symbol people created, then it needs to keep flowing like blood in the veins and arteries to feed ALL the vital organs, not just some Supreme's liver.

Love of power ALWAYS results in a personality disorder that is ANTI-social. Not to mention a personality that is INCOMPETANT through lack of education.

[ '' We have become the author of our destiny. We need to take a deep breath and do what is necessary to change those things which do not work and work together for a better life experience. - - '] Posted by: D. C. Eddy


Once again, sounds all nice & 'peachy' !!
Folks, the point is, we can all sit on our behines and spit out high-falutin verbose pecans on this web site OR get out to Washington and give our elected Reps and this 'missing-in-action' POTUS, a dose of daily reality - -


Starting form the birth of this nation, women's rights, civil rights and freedom - - ALL WERE WON BY 'A-C-T-I-V-S-M' IN THE END; true, words came first and then it was backed up by A-C-T-I-O-N !!!!!

['' - - The series outlines the framework for a new Human economy and a peaceful revolution out of poverty and struggle and into a legendary age of peace and abundance.You're invited to join in this peaceful revolution and include your friends so, we can take this viral and see for ourselves that, we're ready for this happier and freer existence.] Posted by: rev. kelly florez


All that sounds nice & peachy; would you mind Rev, going over to Congress and the White House for a special screening ?? THEY ARE THE FOLKS who need to be BRAUGHT DOWN TO EARTH and BE MADE TO FACE ''REALITY'' on the ground, amongst us, the ''ordinary'' people, who by the way, PUT THEM IN OFFICE, TO BEGIN WITH !!!!!!

Now for some wise words from the Mahatma - -

Many could forgo heavy meals, a full wardrobe or a fine house; it is the ego they cannot forgo.

Religion is not what you will get after reading all the scriptures in the world. It is not really what is grasped by the grain. It is a heart grasp.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Faith must be enforced by reason. When faith becomes blind it dies.

No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.

There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.

All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul.

Michael Labeit, you obviously hold the view that capitalism is not only secularly good, but morally good as well; and that the market will fix things.

I'm sure we'll never change each other's minds. I would say there's advantages to capitalist private ownership. I've worked as a trade-skill private contractor and gained satisfaction from it.

There's also disadvantages. If your idea of a moral system is "...a social system where the people and the legal system respect the rights to liberty and private property", then you have to have accountability.

Accountability includes that the government have an actual plan for eventualities that it in effect authorizes.

We’ve heard Geithner, Bernanke and others tell congressional hearings that they didn’t have the “tools” to unwind failures as big as AIG, Citi and others, so bailouts were necessary. Except that the government repealed Glass Stegall (via reps we of course elected) and de-regulated in other ways.

Also, a number of the bailout recipients are companies resulting from mergers and leveraged buyouts which the government approved.

Basically, the right and left hands of the government are not communicating. There’s no disaster plan. No merger should ever be approved if theres no “tools” to unwind it, if or when it blows up.

The view from the economic right, that the “market will fix it”, is an illusion. It depends on what “fix” means. Money is like water, in that it finds it’s own level. Today it is doing exactly that - just not in a way anyone wants.

I'm not, as you say, intimidated by big-ness. However, the entire world economy IS initimidated, actually bullied, when mega-corps base their investments on nothing but a prayer, and then expect everyone else to pay for the failure. No doubt the government approval for a lot of these leveraged buyout mergers resulted from some creative lobbying leverage applied to the government.

Whether water finding it’s own level amounts to a fix, depends on whether you’re standing at the top of a hydroelectric dam, or the bottom of a hurricane ravaged levee.

Bottom line - ALL moral systems require accountability. Theologically, this means to be accountable to God by loving others as ourselves. Secularly, it means answering to the rights and needs of everyone; and to do that, there has to be a disaster plan.

'' - It is part of natural law as well and is imbedded in our instinct.'' Posted by: allenwrench

True and it is known by that old-fashioned word, ''selfishness'', an excess of which leads to 'age old' GREED, SELF-CETERDNESS, EGOTISM, VANITY, VAIN-GLORY, APATHY, LACK of EMPATHY etc, etc - - in short, the ROOT of ALL PROBLEMS !!!!!!!

Forgot to mention Neil...

In my local they are stealing iron sewer grates, manhole covers and platinum rich catalytic coverters under the cars.

When your house is empty or up for sale you may have the plumbing ripped out from copper thieves.

They even stole the copper electric cables at a kids baseball field.

And locking gas caps wont help, they crawl under the car punch holes in the tank and drain the gas.

And times are still good...what will it be like down the road?

In Richard Heinberg's book 'Power-Down' he contrasts the survivalist mentality with that of the preservationist.

The wiki on this topic:

"A survivalist is a person who anticipates and prepares for a future disruption in local, regional or worldwide social or political order."

"Preservationism...as a term distinguishing between survivalist groups who wish merely to survive a collapse of civilization, and communities who wish to preserve as much of human culture as is possible in the event of collapse."

(link removed - censored)

Mr. Heinberg talked about a gene bank founded by Nikolai Vavilov in Russia and the dedicated preservationists that guarded the seed and gene pool. He went on to say how 9 of the scientists and workers starved to death because they refused to eat the seeds and tubers in the gene bank.

Now, I don't know if a few seeds or tubers would have made much difference in their surviving. But I can say a survivalist would have eaten the first one to die. While their efforts were most admirable, we can say their life was not an enviable one for us to emulate. And in the end they failed miserably at self preservation and survival.

Mr. Heinberg brings up a good point though, balancing the two areas of survival with preservation. For we may well survive, but if we do not preserve a semblance of a somewhat livable world to survive in, we may not wish to survive in what remains.

There is a famous saying: "First you get rich...then you get holy."

This applies especially to our topic at hand. Our first instinct is to survive. The foundation of our survivalist attitude is grounded in mental preparedness, knowing we have the tools and skill to survive. Then, once we have a semblance of peace, knowing we can survive with our skill level and necessities of survival, we can work on community and preservation.

This is how it has always been with a drowning man...we save ourselves first and others second. And if we balk at natures way...both men drown. It is part of natural law as well and is imbedded in our instinct.


Posted by: Neil

I have no faith or moral code. Politics and society stripped them from me. My only desire is to survive, by any means necessary.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have been trying to get my posts through all week to Hugh and they have been blocked due to a refusal of allowing my links. Why don't you loosen up on the iron grip Moyer and allow some free speech here?

Survival will become more and more important to us all as our world decomposes Neil. Now the trend is towards part time labor so the capitalists don't have to shell out med pay or sick leave or offer a puny retirement contribution.

And as far as retirement contributions? They are on the way out anyway. Many companies are dropping them.

I was talking to a sh** shoveler the other day (a trash man). I asked him where his partner was. He said they dropped him and the driver does it all now. He moves the truck, gets out loads the trash, gets back in and drives on. He said they used to have a driver and 2 loaders. Then they cut back to a driver and loader. Now it is just one guy that does it all.

When I asked if the company was worried they would burn him out in the freezing snowy icy winter or hot humid summers doing it all, this is what he siad..."When I can't do it any longer there is a line of guys a mile long waiting to take my place."

That is how our world is headed Neil.

BTW, am not looking down on the sh** shovelers - I'm one too. Not a trash man, but laborer, so no disrespect intended.

If faith can be related to confidence then, you could argue that the Human-We is having a collective crisis of confidence. Confidence in our own capacity to change what's not working in our social structures.

Check out this video series:
Announcing the release of:

"Professor Max Trinitys Triclke-Up Global Economics and The 250 Boycott"



A series of six short films debuting on YouTube on July4th, 2009.
The movies will be released one at a time with a new segment
coming out every 4 days. The series outlines the framework for a new Human economy and a peaceful revolution out of poverty and struggle and into a legendary age of peace and abundance.

You're invited to join in this peaceful revolution and include your friends so, we can take this viral and see for ourselves that, we're ready for this happier and freer existence.
I most humbly request your partcipation

Release Dates:


Part 1: "The Global Economy" July 4th,
Part 2: "The 250Boycott " July 8th,
Part 3: "Democracy Tax" July 12th,
Part 4: "Spiritual Food" July 16th,
Part 5: "Peaceful Engines" July 20th,
Part 6: "The Philosophy" July 24th

Peace


How can we expect to live in a place called heaven when we are creating hell on earth?
We need to define our terms if we are going to envision a best possible world. Love is opposed to greed and maliciousness and yet greed and maliciousness is what our society promotes. It is no small miracle that life on earth is not based on the survival of the fittest or the fattest. If it were, we would have been extinct a long time ago.
We need the necessary paradigm shift to provide the attitudes and systems to build a better society based on compassion and efficiency. We can no longer depend on good will or trial and error. We have become the author of our destiny. We need to take a deep breath and do what is necessary to change those things which do not work and work together for a better life experience.

Jesus speaks for Christianity, not these people.

I have no faith or moral code. Politics and society stripped them from me. My only desire is to survive, by any means necessary.

I'm terribly interested in how this prescription of "love" and "social justice" will manifest itself politico-economically. Hasn't it occurred to anyone that the "all we need is love" argument is flagrantly vague and ambiguous??? It seems the forum concensus is that the economic crisis was caused by a deficit of love, so what is involved politico-economically by filling this deficit?

Seriously, all this love blather is a convenient method of arguing around the issue and avoiding the obligation of making serious public policy proposals.

"I won't have to argue whether the government should increase or decrease spending, whether we should have price inflation or price deflation, whether we should aim for capitalism, socialism, or a "third way" as long as I can snipe from the distant boundary of ethics with "love" rounds I'm safe from scrutiny and ridicule."

Its this mentality that discourages people here from venturing into flesh and blood economics.

I also would like to see (a request not a demand, obviously) someone other than myself to define "social justice." Individuals within these fora use that term incessantly without bothering to identify its proximate genus or its specific differentia, i.e., its characteristics. I've already mentioned that its my belief that "social justice" is a euphemism for the advocacy of enhancing the authority of the state to intervene in the lives of the American people via increasing the size and scope of wealth redistribution and, subsequently, the welfare state, increasing the power of monetary authorities to manufacture and impose fiat money, etc.

Social justice in essence would be ‘heaven on earth’; a place of equality, truth, freedom, peace, love and everlasting growth. A state entirely dependent on the manner one person treats another; on personal character strength; on personal freedom from an oppressive mentality. This was the exemplification of Jesus; was the eventuality to which our founders opened the door. To carefully consider our course we could conclude this IDEAL mindset is in fact what is real; as it tediously brings illusions and tyrannical states to an end. Our ascent was not some sort of overall conscious evolution; but flowed out from the heart of the people in western civilization. It was the capacity to love that brought us together; and to share thought has been our means of growth. Not reverence for human authority,-- not religious or secular; but personal prayer, convictions and perseverance made the difference.

Steve Hamm wrote, in part, "But I do believe in the power of love. To me, that power, and only that power, has the capacity to change the direction we are heading."

Well, then, Steve, since "love" is just a chemical brew in the brain, all you need to do to rule the world is provide the "love" chemical brew to everyone.

Problem solved.


Cornel West covered the bases when he said: "In the end, there is a truth, and one of those truths is, we are prone toward corruption, misuse of power, abuse of reputation and so forth and so on."

To me, the essential ingredient of this statement underscores the challenge any and all religions have that base their doctrine on the concept of "love". If "we are prone toward..." then, until there is a vocal, active and real majority of believers in the precept of love, we will continued to be ruled by the opposing forces of greed, fear, hate, revenge, lust (for power) and so on.

First, each of us must get it - at our individual levels - and be willing to do what we can to incorporate within ourselves our capacity to nurture love, compassion, generosity, and those behaviors that manifest what we could say are the highest moral values of spirituality.

Following that we have to seek out those persons who've accomplished the same internal processes and combine our energies to attain critical mass because it is only by achieving that critical mass that society will reflect the change in values which are needed to effect reorganizing the way we value our lives and the world in which we live.

I’m not a religious person. In fact, I’m an atheist. I believe this moment is all we have or will ever have. I don’t believe in any “Supreme Being”. No Judge Deity. No afterlife. But I do believe in the power of love. To me, that power, and only that power, has the capacity to change the direction we are heading.

However, as implied by what Cornel said in the quote above, we first must overcome the tendencies to which we are prone and nurture those spiritual forces within each of our selves before we can ever become a just, caring, and fully responsible society.

Religion is not a necessary ingredient to achieve that state of being. Sadly, from the current state of ecological, economical, and ecumenical affairs, it is apparent that a religious approach has only served the function of reminding us of our shortcomings in successfully achieving the “Golden Rule”. We have been preaching western religious doctrine for millennia and we still have Iraqs and Rwandas, racism and greed, inquisitions and torture, terrorism and oppression.

The many are still ruled by the few. The politics of power still dominate the power of love. To change any of that we must explore the internal geography of our being and establish whether nor not love is the value we hold highest.

Hugh writes:

"If I remember correctly, the Food Bank of NYC reported a few months ago that fully half of New York's people are reporting having trouble paying for food!'

_________________________

Irrespective of affordability, what you call 'food' is getting to be more poisonous and unhealthy as the days go by. Most of what people eats comes from factories and has its start in the scientist's test tubes. Our food supply has degenerated unbelievably in recent years and getting worse every day that goes by. A societies well-being is based on healthy food that the farmer produces

Forget the fact that the greedy capitalists have ruined society and the so-called American Dream. If the poison food does not drive us crazy, the salty and unnatural food combinations and nutritionally bankrupt content will do the job.

Let me give you an example of how our food supply has degenerated in jus one area - potatoes. Look at this photo:

i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/DSC02545pot.jpg

Both potatoes were stored in my root cellar for 6 months. The white potato is a KB home grown bursting with vitality and life. The red potato is a 'Green Giant' store bought - basically an embalmed potato.

How does Green Giant make them devoid of life? Well, that's a trade secret they wont disclose. Some say radiation other say chemicals. Whatever process they use we can see there is a big difference between natural versus commercial potatoes.

Why don't they market an all natural potato instead of the embalmed stuff?

Cost.

You would have lots of waste as the tatters sprout on the shelves. The food you call unfavorable by many would be even higher and more out of reach. (BTW, nothing wrong with eating sprouted potatoes as long as they are not green or squishy. Just break the sprouts off, eat the potato...and plant the sprouts!)

I'm lucky, I got a small 1/2 acre piece of land so can grow some of my own. But the people in the congested cities have to depend on what they are fed. I just tore out some of my front lawn to expand my food growing area.

Many of the fruits being marketed nowadays taste like rubber and seem to rot before they ripen. They have no fragrance that nature had one time instilled in them. The fruits from Chile are really scary to eat...might as well say they were made in some factory in China.

When I was a kid growing up in L.A. we could pick apricots from a tree in the alley and they had fabulous flavor and fragrance even when somewhat green. What do you get now with apricots...tasteless rubber for $3 a pound.

The peaches have lost their fuzz since they are picked green, buffed and waxed with poisons and anti fungals. You can't wash it off either. Soak a buffed peach in water and you will get a rainbow oil slick on the surface of the water composed of poison...no matter how many times you rinse it. Sure you can peel it to get at the poisonous rubber that is on the inside.

Edible landscaping will be most important to feeding us.

I think we have a real food crisis brewing for the world. Not enough young farmers replacing the old, we will run low of fertilizer as the NG dries up and that food which is grown is devoid of nutrition and not healthy. And to make matter worse, fewer people can even afford to buy produce.

If that was not enough, rainwater runoff from all the concrete jungles we have built is fouling our waters. When you combine this with all the hormones, antibiotics (from people pissing them out) and PCB's that make their way into our water supply it is mutating the frogs to have 5 or 6 legs and become hermaphrodites as well as some fish to exhibit hermaphrodite tendencies.

With the recent food shortages in the news I have to wonder as Richard Heinberg brought up "Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?"

"The average American farmer is 55 to 60 years old. The proportion of full time farmers younger than 35 years of age has dropped from 15.9% in 1982 to 5.8% in 2002. Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?" from "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg

"Amish farmers can't compete in conventual agriculture farming. 40 years ago 90% to 95% of the Amish were farmers. Today less than 10% are farmers." From: "How the Amish Survive" DVD

And even if the farmers keep up with production, many people cannot afford the high prices of produce. At Krogers a butternut squash was $7, a large apple was $1.85, a rutabaga was $3, an artichoke near $5 and a lemon was $1.35, a bag of cherries was $14.75, ONE organic yam was $8.25. (All prices were various times throughout the year of 2008)

And these high priced produce are being offered when times are still relatively good What will this stuff sell for when gas is $10 or $15 a gallon? As people buy less produce due to affordability issues and the produce stops selling and rots on the shelves, the farmers will grow less produce that just rots unsold and less potential farmers will be entering that field.

We have been worshiping the wrong God all these years. We should have been making farmers our God. We should have been worshiping the organic farmer and doing everything we could to make their life a better one and kiss their asses for producing healthy and nutritious food for us.

I enjoyed this show. I like Cornel West. He could make the directions for setting up a VCR inspiring. As for the question at the top of this page: the only thing that keeps me from becoming a right-wing Imperial nutjob is Jesus. I am male, educated, healthy, heterosexual, employed, and living in a leafy-green and lily white suburb of Boston. What's not to love about the American Empire? But, as Dr. West put it, as Christians, we are called to view the world from the perspective of the least of these. Jesus' words about the sheep and the goats keep me humble, and drag me back from my own selfishness, indifference, and self-serving truths about how the world is. Also (and hopefully not inappropriately), that Serene Jones is damn pretty.

It is quite simple and straightforward really, and not 'rocket-science' for God's sake !

Of course the guests on the show wanted to sound erudite and hence all the highfalutin, 'philosophying' rhetoric and mumbo-jumbo 'theorising' etc, etc - -

The bottomline is, the elected Reps turn out to be selfish, greedy SOBs and if they are not to begin with [as in the case of BHO ?], turns into one, once elected and gets 'drunk' on power, popularity and the prestige of office !! [ funny how quickly they forget, how, ''we the people'' put them there - - ]

The real curse of our ''democratic'' society is the Corporate-Pimps [aka lobbyists] who have always tried to shut-out the 'ordinary' people like us.

The fundamental teachings of Christ and TRUE Christianity are COMPLETELY INCOMPATABLE with Capitalistic traditions and TRUE Democracy has NOTHING to do with it - -

It is ''We The People'' and a Government ''OF The People'', '' FOR The People'' etc, etc, REMEMBER ??

I don't find the word ''Corporation'' or ''WallStreet'' mentioned anywhere in the 'founding' documents !!!!!!!!!!!

There is no religious freedom in the USA anymore, because religious freedom IS freedom of speech. LaBait is freely allowed to continue internet slapping by censoring the answer I gave him!

Let me guess, The Zionists (are THEY a "religion"?) did not clue in the Prez before he went to "corrupt" Russia, did they?

And what about the fact that all the "christians" in Iraq had to flee for their lives after USA, a "christian" nation, invaded Iraq...?

And nice obliteration of the 911 scandal in NYC - the "developers" walked away from the rebuilding...

Best one-liner came from "Sully" to Katie when she asked the pilot - "Did you pray?". He answered, "I figured that the passengers were taking care of the praying, I had to take care of the plane."

LaBait slapped: "In response to my proposition that the cause behind the sea of foreclosures and unwise credit transactions was government intervention into the economy Anna D writes,

"This is the SMALLEST part of the FULL scheme and you know it and I know it."

Like hell it is. You grossly underestimate the folly of politicians and the socio-economic ruin they are capable of reaping. Don't extend bureaucrats so much credit. You break your promise to stop "rambling" and then accuse me of being disingenuous!?!

Well, what occupies the vacancy within the rest of the "full scheme?"

I answered YOUR question about the "full scheme". Imagine how many other people there are who KNOW about the "hoax".

The faith in America is much stronger than the media would like for the average American to believe. Maybe the media should let some conservatives guide them to some interviews that reflect the truth about this fact rather than always putting their own slant on the matter. Faith in God is always pictured as a relilgion. It is not. It has nothing to do with religion it has everything to do with the Who we have faith in. It is certainly not the new direction the current governing body is heading. Our faith is clearly visible in the Constitution of America. In the T-Parties taking place around this great nation. It should be noted how many Obama supporters are rethinking thier vote back last November. I am still proud to claim to be an Ameriacan citizen and not a world citizen. I still believe America is a Christian Nation. It pains me that the liberal media has portrade America in such an ugly manner to the world.

Can you get a list of bankers, money managers, mortgage brokers, and wall street members that caused this great financial depression? With technology this is an easy list for you to collect and publish on your site. It's not a long one I'm sure of it, maybe around two or three thousand dishonest individuals. These humans were not thinking of anything else but what they learned in their MBA courses in American Universities. I know they learned "greed is good" from wall street members in getting their MBA, but the unemployed can help them focus on making better decisions. This list would be of great value to a couple of hundred million of us here American for the name and shame game.

This has to be one of the best and most spiritually challenging discussions offered by the Journal ever! Thank you, Bill. And thank you, Gary, Serene and Cornal.

Once upon a time I could use the jack that came with a Renault I had to physically crank the engine...which proved helpful on a couple occasions. Maybe that's a better analogy.

Your argument, Michael, seems to suggest a malevolent circle. I don't know if you really believe it, but you're maintaining here there was no need to try to get some credit going again. You say the stimulus money will increase our national debt (and that is true in regard to every dollar the banks cannot pay back). But, Michael, that does not preclude the need for a good crank or two. [One does need to crank though. Put'n 666 in the tank will not get it.] At any rate, I do look forward to someone showing up here who can finess a better explanation as to why a crank does not = a circle.

"Religion" has nothing to do with economic theories? That's probably true, but the faith of the social gospel does, like it or not. We're a little obligated (as long as we're here) to at least scan all these rants if for nothing else than to determine the quality of the malarkie the trickle downers are estimating will "stick" (to us). Cause it's something we gotta live with.

Hmm...temperance. Moderation. It does seem intemperate religious sects cannot help but demand theocracy. Not the ones that are enlightened IMO. Moderation will accept separation of church and state. Now, check this: a few who enshrine "the invisible hand" mouth separation for the church, but when it comes to economic policy...hey, they want it there too! No policy!Trouble is that their idea of separation in regard to economics is really a lot like the sects and denominations who desire the law of the land to reflect their particular theology in a one to one correspondence. But we gotta tell'em...separation is for church and state, not for the trickle down religion and state. Not for economy and state. It doesn't apply. You don't get to let supply side sit apart claiming it's just doing its thing, while in reality the only way it can do its thing is by stealing everyone's pensions.

David H,

The economy does NOT require a "jump start." Our current economic crisis is not analogus to a stalled car. The problem is that mal-investments exists within the economy, mal-investments that must be removed. Imagine if Michael Phelps began a race fatigued by lack of sleep. Your economic suggestion to our economic problems is analogus to dealing with Phelps's problem by giving him caffeine pills. The short-term boost will end in full exhaustion. He needs sleep; we need the liquidation of mal-investments.

Robert St. George writes,

"Capitalism has had its chance both by evolution and perforce. And, it has failed mankind miserably."

Tremendous job proving your statement. I guess we are to take your claims as true without scrutiny.

I've said this before. Imagine if our legal system were governed in such a lousy way where allegations were presumed true without an appeal to evidence. You can't just spout a claim without offering something, anything, to buttress it.

I knew that the points being made were familiar and when I visited the Union web site, I found out why. Black Liberation Theology 101. Damn the democracy, the Constitution, the Declaraton of Independence, share the wealth, take somebody elses, we are in a horrible country. My God did not say all of that and it is sad that these misguided socialists - including Moyers - lie to say He does. It smacks of George Soros. I am just sorry that this snow job is believed by those with a pure heart but misplaced trust. Some animals are more equal than others - that describes Moyers and the rest of his panel. He needs to have a disclaimer in his shows telling his intent.

I thought it was a stimulating, informative, and very timely discussion. I'm amazed at all the armchair experts out there with critical comments that are totally irrelevant to the reality of the situation. Capitalism has had its chance both by evolution and perforce. And, it has failed mankind miserably. The problem with religion, as the man said, is that it has never been tried, being hijacked by individuals and philosophies over the years. All you critics out there... this is not about you and what you may think. Religion is not a noun, it is a verb. it surpasses and preempts the complicated web you have spun that exists between your ears. If you think it is an organization you have missed it all, lock, stock and barrel. Religion as a word suffers from the lame assumption that it has nothing to do with this world but rather a hypothetical next. However, it is here and it is now. it is not theory; it is reality and, no, it has nothing to do with the chiseled theories collected here in the form of rants about economics and organized religion. The reality of religion is that it includes every excited electron in the universe evolving on several levels to a unifying whole that can be given many names. The paucity of language serves to confuse and divide in this respect. Thought, organized into theory, has more to do with the organizer than the organized. Conclusions in this respect are insular reflections bordering on the solipsistic rather than the universal let alone cosmic. Any perception that does not unify, clarify and join together disparate elements of an evolving universe is, to borrow a phrase from Walter Pater, "to sleep before evening". The test of truth regarding the direction of collected thought or as it is known in some circles, theory, is whether all inclusiveness is the result. Personally, I am tired, no, make that annoyed with the innumerable scholars out there who all have an opinionated theory that ultimately stakes out their path to truth or justice or whatever. If it doesn't include everyone; If it isn't scrupulously fair to everyone; then it doesn't exist.

There are many definitions of the "good". How, then, can so many people cause so much death and destruction in the name of doing "good", and not see that the end does not justify the means?

Adam W wrote: "However, many people need an example or model of what good is; a.k.a. Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, we're mass producing a concept of good through churches across the nation. Ultimately, it still seeks the 'good' version of anything."

Typo error in post below, sorry.

Meant to say...Kuttner's July 6 phrase "deserving borrowers"

But the "borrowed money," Michael, is going for a jump start to get everything over a hump. In "theory" it should be going directly to the very problem you're trying to address!

"The first place to look is the Fed's lending facilities which have provided trillions of dollars in loans and US Treasuries for dodgy mortgage-backed collateral. These loans are not collecting dust in company vaults, but are being used for speculation in the stock market. Unfortunately, Bernanke refuses to say which financial institutions have gotten the loans, or how much they have borrowed, or even what type of toxic garbage that's been taken in exchange."
from "Is the Fed Juicing the Stock Market?" By Mike Whitney 6/29
http://www.gnhealth.com/GNeconomyarticles1.php

Boy, I'd like to see others talking about the evidence for that (TARP bucks to The Street). "Trillions" is vague. It's 3 trillion.

"The government needs a Roosevelt-scale mortgage refinancing program with one goal--to keep people from losing their homes. As Morgenson reports, when a bank forecloses, it loses about 63 percent of the loan value. Wouldn't it be better to reduce the monthly payments by 63 percent, and allow people to keep their homes?"
Robert Kuttner 7/6/09
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/06-9

Kuttner's phrase yesterday "deserving borrows" I have a hunch is crucial. For instance, how bout a
Roosevelt-scale program to hire people at a good wage to tend organic agricultural produce. Let the cubicle zeitgeist go join the dinosaurs. Being local such a program would cut shipping (petroleum) dependence. Free transportation to work, guaranteed SS and/or pension, single-payer healthcare available (and to everyone). Make it so massive...millions could do it. One result...fewer entities competing for loans to build prisons (resources going nowhere). Just a thought.

Stuff for little people to do you say? Little believers? Ok. Fine. But little people can also speak truth to power. Little people can also work to restore the sanity that was in DC in the Eisenhower years (the Vietnam lesson had yet to be learned, but at least corporations got taxed).

on the run now [message bd cold turkey's got me on it], David

"goods and services"

You're right, D.C. True, conservatism's pumped up ponzi schemes. They never saw what was going on in speculation. They just believed it was the unfettered "invisible hand." A myth it was and that is all. Now they've offshored production of the "goods."

The whole question of 'how' to create a more-just society is preceeded by none other than Plato's Republic: The Forms. The short version (for those who've served in the NG or Reserves IN HONDURAS); Plato said, let's look at the purest form of Good/Justice Good/Equality and begin to address the ways we can move society towards a better place. Nothing new in either the question or concept being discussed here today. Furthermore, any institution which furthers the concept of good should and must be considered: churches and God. Religious zealot? Nope, I am too liberal to be sucked in. However, many people need an example or model of what good is; a.k.a. Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, we're mass producing a concept of good through churches across the nation. Ultimately, it still seeks the 'good' version of anything. Hopefully, those who've served in HONDURAS as a NG/Reserve can grasp the concept and not feel so pretentious about their point of view.

1SG (ret) Williams

How does your faith or moral code inform your views about politics and society?
People's views on politics and society are based on experience and education.
Also, nature and nurture are involved.
Faith comes in many forms.
Many people but their faith in what they are informed by economists and scientists. People's views are usually a reflection of what they are taught. Getting people to think for themselves is a difficult task.
Unfortunately,
conservativism became the god economists worshiped. Just like evolution became the god of scientists. No amount of rational thought could penetrate their defense. They both ignored reality at a great cost. One undermined our economy and the other undermined our moral values.
The following quote is how economics should function.
"The creation of money was a seminal historic event; so was the subsequent invention of finance -- the saving and investing of money. Without them, we could never have moved beyond barter to a modern economy based on specialization and building for the future."
Economics is not a game; it is system that makes civilization possible.
Ethical principle, such as justice and equity are not a religion; they are the basis for functional human relations. The human advantage is their common bond need for goods and services. Efficient economics is essential to that result. Otherwise, there is much death and destruction in a system of survival of the fittest.

David H writes,

"I can understand gov borrowing to get the wheels of industry (what industry?) going and for public works which bolsters employment now and in future...but to assert we simply need the money out there...money formerly loaned out by investment banks for whatever weirdness they chose...floating around for everything to work right is a concept I confess I don't quite understand."

Government borrowing causes a crowding out effect against private borrowers. Government borrowing increases interest rates as increasing demand for loanable funds increases the price of loanable funds, making loanable funds more expensive for private individuals and businesses. To add insult to injury, the government pays off its creditors with tax dollars, so after the government is finished making credit more expensive for you, it slaps you with a bill. Governments deal with this phenomenon by sanctioning fiat credit expansion, but this merely replaces the problem of expensive credit with the greater problem of perpetual price inflation.

Public works and government spending to create jobs necessarily drains funds from the private sector. If the government pays some to build a dam for instance, that money now is denied towards the production of something else. We should heed the advice of economist Henry Hazlitt who beseeched people to not only to understand what seen but also to understand what's not seen in political economy. Government intervention has deleterious effects that few witness but that economic theory makes all too lucid.

In addition to this, government spending is almost always wasteful because governments typically subsidize those things which the free-markets won't. Free-markets only finance ventures aimed at satisfying consumer demand so when governments steal from the private sector in order to subsidize their own ventures, you can bet those ventures serve next to no consumer demand. If they did, the market would finance them.

So what good does government spending on jobs do if such spending satisfies no or little consumer demand and simultaneously denies private businesses adequate funds to make investments that actually will satisfy consumer demand? Examples of useless public works abound throughout history. In addition to this, increased taxation which is necessary to increase public works reduces production as it erodes the incentive to produce in the first place. This is why per capita Swedish productivity can't hold a candle to per capita American productivity.

And why should the government spend to "create jobs?" Is a man morally entitled to a job because he lacks one? Who will be forced to pay for the financial obligations imposed by his "right" to a job? The economic impracticality of government spending on jobs stems from its immorality. The moral is the practical and the immoral is the impractical.

Regarding deregulation, I've already posted an entire roster of information proving regulations have increased. Walter Williams, George Reisman, and Richard M. Salsman have written much on this subject.

On learning new things from Keynesians, you speak for yourself, I can assure you.

Stealing from Peter to pay Paul never works.

All right, all right...don't bring down the guilt trip--I'll be outta here soon enough (just ridin in on some soup ya know).

Newcomers, please skip this money talk, and just say what's on your heart you came here to say. Anyway, to the regulars...apologies. Ellen Brown [last link in my prior post] didn't say the Federal Reserve is a private entity [it is a government entity with private components]. That was misleading on my part. She basically said it will not give us the cure because in doing so the nature of how the whole system operates and especially what looks to me like the heretofore unappreciated medicine show like aspect of private banks [with 'securitized loan markets that barely existed two decades ago' now having the biggest share in "creating" new money]. That latter facet in brackets hadn't been such a big issue of course until the no holes barred de-reg atmosphere failed to check the granting of multitudinous subprime mortgages [yeah, ML is gonna come back yet again with all his obfuscation and say the ole altruist gov forced them to to do those loans]...which were then securitized into bundles, etc, etc. Maybe some other deleterious feature would have contaminated mutual funds and other bundles of other things if there hadn't been the subprimes to do it, but I don't really know enough about the subj to imagine them. Well, it was stupid and now our major new money injecting mechanism is shut down (but wow, I was just as wrong as Michael about too much money lying around). Yep, ya learn something new everyday (I'll go with Brown provisionally). But it does seem amazing...the Fed won't inject the money, cause we'd find out exactly what Brown is saying? To tell you the truth, it wasn't till recently that I understood so much of the creation was in private hands. I also thought that new money had to be backed by something (that the "faith" had to be based on a halfway reasonable anticipation of new infra/tech in the pipe eg)...but I should have realized that when there aren't enough jobs with good wages the cyber cash forked over to the home builder (future payments of the mortgagees) was never gonna materialize! Then again, maybe Brown means it would be a shock for us to realize that the money the bank gives the builder does not represent anything that currently exists (but believing it did might have precluded me from worrying over loans originating bucks that would drive down the value of mine without having any value of their own for 30 yrs).

I can understand gov borrowing to get the wheels of industry (what industry?) going and for public works which bolsters employment now and in future...but to assert we simply need the money out there...money formerly loaned out by investment banks for whatever weirdness they chose...floating around for everything to work right is a concept I confess I don't quite understand. Brown says that missing component has to be put back. One thing she says that seems out of place is that revealing that loan-money-is-new-money-out-of-nowhere will shock people. Yeah, it'll shock but I don't quite see how Congress or the Fed replacing it will make this awareness any more intense (does she mean we'll accept a huge deficit sadly when we realize the present can't move forward without it?). It does seem reasonable to my old way of thinking that injecting more will reduce it's value, but there might be some factor I don't understand (perhaps having something to do with everything predicated on growth). Hmm...maybe I'll have to return to Palley [The Making of a Depression IIRC], Meltzer, and Soddy articles/bks. The best and shortest book by Frederick Soddy (ole Lesh told me) is one I discovered is not there for free reading at Google, though another one is.

Anna-in-Idaho, did you ever think you might have that cruisemobile of yours too crammed full'o stuff? Next thrift store you come across maybe you could pull over and ...unpack! Rustle up some dagone passengers for cry'n out loud! [same goes for you, David H]

A friend of mine and I used to have a phrase for an agreement..."creed wave." If it was getting dark and you said "creed wave" before drop'n in but continued to wait for more waves after that...it was considered that you were creating an inconvenience.

So, shoving off now t'check out chores list...

CREED WAVE!




PS Jack, in his book about the shadow John A. Sanford maintains there's evidence the doctrine of the coming of the antichrist did not appear in the earliest and/or most reliable accounts.

PSS "All of this flap about the Fed driving the economy into hyperinflation because it is creating money on its books reflects a fundamental misconception about how our money and banking system actually works." Ellen Brown
http://isiria.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/the-retreat-of-the-shadow-lenders-why-deflation-and-not-inflation-is-the-order-of-the-day/

Hmm...interesting. You say, Michael, the Fed is gov meddling...and Brown sez it's the private sector having wrested the money-making-power from gov [the people] where it belongs.

Jack Martin writes,

"Were you really in Honduras? Are you in the Nat. Guard or Reserves? What is your "profession?" I really don't want your fictitious answers. You are what you claim to be, I guess, in the same way you claim Ayn Rand was a philosopher. I think even feeble Alan Greenspan would deny that to Andrea Mitchell at this point. I can tell from reactions when I get pretty close to correct analysis. You were cruising for it Michael, because you were incapable of discussing the subject matter Bill Moyers was presenting. (Too self-centered, I suppose.)"

Fictitious? Apparently the only thing fictitious has been your exquisite interpretation of my Honduras excursion. Well, the following incomplete disjunctive syllogism is valid and sound:

-Guard or Reserve (exclusive "or")
-Not Guard
Therefore....

Perhaps you are capable of unearthing the conclusion.

Feeble Alan Greenspan would deny many things including his participation in causing the economic crisis. Would you extend him that credit too or only when it comes to his views on Ayn Rand, i.e., when it suits your agenda. As far as discussing Mr. Moyers subjects are concerned, I refer you to nearly all of my points. "Social gospel" has dire epistemological, ethical, and economic implications, implications which I have raised gratuitously.

Sue you!?! I don't want your money. Its a matter of avoiding sloppy argumentative habits, like misrepresentations, ad hominems over arguing to the point, etc.
And George Constanza's little attempt to defraud taxpayers is made possible by the very existence of taxpayer financed job loss benefits, otherwise known as subsidized unemployment, no doubt a piece of the socio-economic pie of the "social gospel."

Jack Martin further writes,

"You were a perfect example (from your writings) of a macoute, and I couldn't resist."

Ad hominem abusives are last ditch "arguments" employed by those who are neither able nor willing to address aforementioned facts.

Free will AFAIC is as mysterious as consciousness itself. Granted, there is much to debate about how a social gospel motivated idea works it's way to preeminence in our contemplation or into a priority of conscious agenda...or much to debate re how a resolve becomes an action. But the origin of such a thought...and all thoughts...is mysterious to begin with. It's as mysterous as determining what's in consciousness besides the discursive ("not mind, not Buddha, not things"). To me, free will is just the same.

The social gospel is an idea? [Is it destined like subatomic particles (thanks to HUP) to remain outside the spotlight?] Ideas, ideas, ideas. Thoughts. I go back to Merwin. I'll deal with ideas. I'll give'em their due. I've give them some time for a little wrestling match. Your words vs my words. I have X amount of time alloted for same. Life goes on, and what can we say...ideas are not a part of it? The little match of your words vs mine...not a part? They must be a part, though
not the whole of it. And when we wrestle with ideas...we are betting on the long, long, long, long haul. Are we expecting the world to stand to attention? No. Ideas are just out there. Mainstream's ideas (words) issue forth from out of a cesspool. Along comes Moyers and three academics with something different. But they come with the long haul in mind. Sure, our Friday nights aren't totally devoted to fun seeking...and we think about all the kilowatts burned up in broadcasting the show over the land. We are focused and the coal is burn'n and the turbines are turn'n and everybody we see in our near perfectly digitalized images are talking almost in prime time. But. But, the rest of the folks are playing video games, Jack. I can't fault Moyers' guests for sitting there in the prime of life calmly (not always calmly) talking about action that will benefit the world. They've just got this slot while everyone else is playing video games. They might not be setting themselves on fire, but at least they're investing something in the long haul. If we're abdicating ideas we're just assenting to the
thought-intention: yes, go ahead with that last nail in U.S. academe's coffin (the rest are already in). But why assent?

I can't be faulting the churches all the time either. Like ideas, they're just out there. Just out there like the monastaries of old China ripped this way and that by every little jot and tittle imaginable. In terms of China, who's words remain? Those who jumped from one to the other. They're just part of life. Some feeble person goes on Sunday and remembers someone who used to sit over there who started the first integrated day care center in the county, who remembers the sacrifice of others from the same place who helped her when her husband headed down for the Keys. Faith-over-time...it leaves its saga, its tradition. Its memory of random acts. All the abbots can't be activists. Christ had no place to lay his head, but his followers can retreat back to where the comatose can be comforable sure; the followers of every other avatar have done the same. There's always the chance, though, that new absurdities within the group might spark some to speak of older characters who for sure wouldn't have been prey.

There is much that you said, Jack, that people can at least critique or go forward from. They have the option to do so. Moyers has provided the space here. I'll admit what does seem a little strange is that out of all the thousands and thousands of people that watched the show it's little ole ignorant moi who's here defending Keynes along with what...one other guy? Let the people act...that's fine. Let'em write too. Let'em get down to the real nitty gritty of the facts worth knowing, clarifying, and memorizing. Then...there's the vegetables to plant too, and the house to clean, and those in wheelchairs to roll, and the calls to congresspersons to make.

Thus endeth David H's vacation. See you guys'n gals in a spell.

Were you really in Honduras? Are you in the Nat. Guard or Reserves? What is your "profession?" I really don't want your fictitious answers. You are what you claim to be, I guess, in the same way you claim Ayn Rand was a philosopher. I think even feeble Alan Greenspan would deny that to Andrea Mitchell at this point. I can tell from reactions when I get pretty close to correct analysis. You were cruising for it Michael, because you were incapable of discussing the subject matter Bill Moyers was presenting. (Too self-centered, I suppose.) You were a perfect example (from your writings) of a macoute, and I couldn't resist.

You don't have any idea if I am real or where or what I am, and you're gonna sue me for libel? (Know what a proxy server is? They're good for Iran and China too.)And you "wanted to be my 'latex salesman'!" "Vandelay Industries, Vandelay Industries, Vandelay Industries." Be careful impersonating a WHINSEC graduate.

For a deeper secular discussion of the failure of the Moyers consciousness method one must go back to the 1971 publication of "The Homeless Mind" by Peter Berger, Hans Kellner and Brigette Berger. If Bill (or Michael Winship) had read it they'd understand how a tepid social gospel produces a blind alley. Why, Cornell, must we preserve Barack's "sacred family" when so many of ours are being torn apart? Is it a fetish like emulating a happy billionaire? (Even Bob S. MacNamara had more soul than that!" I wish Obama an Errol Morris documentary in 2048.)

Michael said: "One could easily reverse what you suggest and hold that Keynesian policies help caused WW2 even though the General Theory was published in 1936." etc, etc, etc

It's easy if you don't mind the hassle of straping on blinders. If you reverse it, you have to relegate the horror of the WWI aftermath to something minor and forgetable (and by association the war itself). The last sentence in that Wiki selection of mine down there should be the first fact on all SOL lists. And the second should be that Keynes alluded to at least possibly dire eventualities.

Now I am wondering what the real deal is.

Jack Martin writes,

"Jack Martin writes,

"He has been to Honduras recently with the National Guard to teach counterinsurgency engineering and sees the imminent defeat of Bolivarian Democracy. It is the LaBeit type who would bring a coup home, to sanitize away the contradictions of unregulated neo-Liberalism. His Obama is not sacred but belongs in a can, especially if he cramps the style of the overlords. I bring up LaBeit because he illustrates the power of imposed ideology through institutions and the multi-faceted imposition of concentrated political and economic power. He writes not only because he is brainwashed, but to seek approval and favor with great men. He is not susceptible to a social gospel, and works to ridicule and intimidate those who are. (Who or how he is paid for this Heculean effort I am not sure.)"

Brilliant job slandering my position as well as my vocation. Nowhere in my latest blog post do I indicate that I:

-am in the National Guard. (false)
-taught "counterinsurgency engineering" to the Honduran military. (false)

You certainly have a wild imagination coupled with a seemingly libelous tendency so I would be on my guard if I were you.

You write that I am "brainwashed," that I illustrate the power of "imposed ideology." Well, premiseless arguments are appropriate for ad hominems but they find no place within the dialectic method. No, I am not susceptible to the "social gospel" or "social justice" because such terms are euphemisms for the doctrine of systematic government coercion. Left-liberal Christians advocate the forced redistribution of wealth as well as the imposition of obstructive regulatory rules of social conduct on the free-market and dress these methods up in vague and ambiguous concepts. I guess "social love" is administered by government coercive statutes. No, I refuse to be conned by the leviathan state and to acquiesce to the statist authority in Washington.

Finally, the term "neoliberalism," I have found is an anti-concept, in philosopher Ayn Rand's words, a term with an epistemologically corrupt connotation used to discredit and replace a legitimate concept within our lexicon. Critics of neoliberalism identify problems caused by corporatism, not by capitalism. Subsidies to American farmers, export dumping of artificially cheap agricultural products, the IMF, the WTO, the World Bank, NAFTA, etc - all corporatist problems. All are financed by tax dollars, i.e., violations of private property rights, the essence of capitalism.

Shrill, unhinged, melodramatic blather is no substitute for serious argumentation."

Here is a "rump jury" of progressive believers passing judgment on the American people and the institutions that hold them captive. This "gang of 4" possesses an illusion of free will for themselves if not for the masses. To dispel this error I would need a financial accounting of their entire careers (and possibly of their forebears). Without such accounting of income and career path I can only speculate about their "values." I would like them to demonstrate through their unselfish actions how they are able to see through the experiential lens of working poor and dispossessed people. I doubt they really see....

Chancellor Serene Jones (child of an academic dynasty) says her students come from grocery stocking in Texas, from a missile destroyer in the Arabian Sea. How do they manage the $18K tuition at UTS (plus living expenses in NYC, personal responsibilities, and previous debt, often educational), especially if they will wind up soup kitchen zealots and underlings in the not for profit sector. It takes 6-8 years to accomplish such a doctoral synthesis, much of it spent in long hours of reading and re-examination. How will such indentured ones fashion a post-Christian, even a post-Capitalist alternative?

We can write off Cornell West for he is truly Evangelical and seeks no Earthly justice beyond attitude. (Sometimes I think the same of Moyers.)Hip-hop and smooth jazz don't seem to have inspired Barack Obama to action. What I must ask Dorrien and Jones is which has priority, Capitalism (of any sort to harness base emotions like greed) or Christian love (agape) to temper these forces. These two are mistaking their insightful status as free will. I submit to you that if they believe what they say, why do they not act, but only talk (mildly)?

Their colleague Richard Rorty's grandpa, Walter Rauschenbusch was mentioned as the founder of the Social Gospel. What is the Social Gospel but a body of apologetic philosophy never tested by action? Reinie Neibuhr himself gradually eroded away from these tenants as temporary prosperity flooded over the USA after WWII, so where have these ideas ever taken Christianity? (My apologies to the exceptional Deitrich Bonehoffer and Miles Horton, who tested their private social gospels gloriously.)

There is a second mistaken assumption endemic to the Journal, that Christian belief is somehow precedent to social justice. Just as father Rauschenbusch abandoned the inerrancy of the King James Bible as foolish, we are late in abandoning the sadism in Christian theology, and the blood oath to punish non-believers that goes with it. Even old Walt Rauscehenbusch saw the Christ sacrifice myth as exemplary, and not transactional, in his time, but yet the nails come out at Easter like fireworks on the 4th of July (hollow spectacles). People like me leave church membership for a reason; It feels like a concrete block chained to our well-intentioned legs. It would seem that in a world where religion is mostly a social control tool of oligarchical interests great minds would abandon ship. But here sit complacent intellectuals (who should by all logic be a vanguard) counting their retirement and plotting their grandchildren's careers, asses glued to minor celebrity, the tenured chair or the emcee post. I guess I just don't get it.

Michael LaBeit, the coroner of non-greedy ideas (see his link), would call them Pied Pipers. His heart is too hard for their silliness. He has been to Honduras recently with the National Guard to teach counterinsurgency engineering and sees the imminent defeat of Bolivarian Democracy. It is the LaBeit type who would bring a coup home, to sanitize away the contradictions of unregulated neo-Liberalism. His Obama is not sacred but belongs in a can, especially if he cramps the style of the overlords. I bring up LaBeit because he illustrates the power of imposed ideology through institutions and the multi-faceted imposition of concentrated political and economic power. He writes not only because he is brainwashed, but to seek approval and favor with great men. He is not susceptible to a social gospel, and works to ridicule and intimidate those who are. (Who or how he is paid for this Heculean effort I am not sure.)

Ours is a government that perpetuates cruelty and injustice for the economic advantage of a small minority at home and abroad. In the mono-viable world, without a third way or even a second way (as Dorrien describes), brand USA is the all-powerful and increasingly cut-throat model. The tempering institutions within government and religion are helpless shams in the face of corporate power. LaBeit, as a soldier of that power, illustrates the suicidal dilemma well, for he continues to hope for a spacious ranch house and a Chevy Malibu, while polar bears drown and corroded nuclear reactors leak, while working families in the "richest country on Earth" plead at food banks, while seafood becomes a poisonous delicacy and Obama compromises. There are billions of desperate delusional LaBeit's now around the planet who will not awaken without help until it becomes too late. (I often refer to the noble Lakota ghost dance.)

But Michael LaBeit, pitiful as he seems, broadcasts a half-truth we must admit, that the self-interested intelligensia leads from the remote rear (Christian or not)and will not supply anything more than speculative rhetoric. (You will not meet them on the ground in Honduras, taking the plantations back for the Amerindians.) And why should they when they have so much invested in their education, their status and their legacies? Who validates these things? Why the oligarchy itself.(Not the God they give lip service.)

I submit that people's basic needs haven't changed, except as the oligarchy has distorted them for profit, and that even the Romans (AD) lived in a post-Christian era.

Truly, a reckoning Millenium is at hand, Christain or not, and certainly with the potential for violent collapse unable to be depicted in a long disproven holy text. So why are the myths and the texts necessary in a bald-faced world? Get real, Bill Moyers!

As I watched this show, I could not help thinking that the dialogue ran parallel to some discussion on the social impacts of an addiction. I’m not totally sure how the identity of this addiction could be framed into something that might make sense, but “Turbo Capitalism” might be perhaps a bit too loaded. The essential issue (implicitly posed by Serene Jones) seems to be: within a particular community and economy, how much wealth does one really need in order to find happiness?

David H,

One could easily reverse what you suggest and hold that Keynesian policies help caused WW2 even though the General Theory was published in 1936. Hoover's and FDR's reaction to the stock market crisis was to enact Keynesian-like policies. Both increased spending to unprecendented levels, subsidized failed firms, prevented the market from enacting necessary price deflation, etc. Smoot-Hawley obliterated global trade and contributed to global depression, while European regimes used similar FDRian policies. Depression brings economic distress which brings social disgruntlement which gives people like Hitler opportunities.

Weimar-induced hyperinflation (which is where we are headed ultimately unless the Fed is toppled) was probably the most significant factor that furthered the influence of future Nazism and even though Keynes prefered less to zero reparations over more, he still was an inflationist.

In response to my proposition that the cause behind the sea of foreclosures and unwise credit transactions was government intervention into the economy Anna D writes,

"This is the SMALLEST part of the FULL scheme and you know it and I know it."

Like hell it is. You grossly underestimate the folly of politicians and the socio-economic ruin they are capable of reaping. Don't extend bureaucrats so much credit. You break your promise to stop "rambling" and then accuse me of being disingenuous!?!

Well, what occupies the vacancy within the rest of the "full scheme?"

David H writes,

"Look at the Dollars&Sense link and check how a Nobel Laureate says to fix the bad banks."

I seriously hope the "Nobel Laureate" plug wasn't intended to impress me.

That list of laureates is replete with Keynesians, neoclassicals, collectivists, and other brains who have prostrated themselves before the altar of government and who have endorsed the most reprehensible economic policies. Take Krugman - the blogosphere exploded a few weeks ago when direct quotes of his explicitly promoting a governmentally induced housing bubble a few years ago surfaced. Google it if you'd like. Krugman is an anti-economist.

Now Vernon Smith, Friedrich A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman...they have my respect as economists but the list of laureates resembles what we have in the military called the "BJ award" if you know what I mean.

Regarding the alleged trillions "insured" by swaps....I don't know. I don't know how much money is out there. I don't know what proportion of it is electronic and what is paper. Most of it must be eMoney because that's even easier to create ex nihilo. All I know is that there's too much money and not enough wealth. Thank Greenspan and Bernanke for that, among others.

Folks, inspite of all the gobledegook remember that the Marshall Plan in Japan was Keynesian. I gather Iraq is not going to get much of a Marshall Plan.

below from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economic_Consequences_of_the_Peace


"Keynes quickly established a reputation as one of the Treasury's most able men and travelled to the Versailles Conference as an advisor to the British Government. In preparation for the conference, he argued that there should be no reparations or that, at worst, German reparations should be limited to £2,000 million. [War Cabinet committee had come up with £24 billion...one trillion in today's terms] He considered that there should be a general forgiveness of war debts which he considered would benefit Britain. Lastly, Keynes wanted the US Government to launch a vast credit program to restore Europe to prosperity as soon as possible...

[snip]

...Keynes general concern was that the Versailles conference should set the conditions for economic recovery. However, the conference focussed on borders and national security. Reparations were set at a level that Keynes perceived would ruin Europe, Woodrow Wilson refused to countenance forgiveness of war debts and Wilson would not even let the US Treasury officials discuss the credit program.

[snip]

...Keynes ended with this ominous warning.

'But who can say how much is endurable, or in what direction men will seek at last to escape from their misfortunes?'

The economic mess in Germany laid the foundation for the rise of Hitler."


To Whom Ever,
The subjects of two e-mails received one after the other.
July 4, 2009; A Day to Celebrate and Aspire.
July 5, 2009; News Alert: Judge Approves Plan to Sell GM Assets.

When do we recognize incongruous?

"Incongruous 3. not consistent with what is logical,customary or correct; inappropriate; an incongruous cheerfulness for such a somber occasion."

When do we understand the word democratic?

Democratic. 3. Believing in or practicing social equality; a proper democratic scorn for bloated dukes and lords.

The American Heritage Dictionary.

When do we "cut to the chase", face reality and do what is necessary to solve our problems?
The American Dream is fast becoming an American Nightmare.

CDSs are said to represent (insure) 75 trillion dollar's worth of assets. The original notion of the stimulus back in Oct or Nov was quivalent to one one hundredth of this amount.

This was supposed to be the cost of a jump start. They talked about buying toxic CDSs, but we never heard a dollar amt, say, applicable if we had to buy'em all. When the non-wonks began to understand how many might go bad, then we began to hear less talk of buying the toxic stuff. Look at the Dollars&Sense link and check how a Nobel Laureate says to fix the bad banks.

Nevertheless...Bloomberg (pub) has stated $3 trillion is committed already. I guess the last time the Fed injected three thousand billion out there in a yr's time media didn't bother to tell us about it? [Keep in mind if all these CDSs go bad the 3 trillion Sheila Bair and Kucinich and I are so worried about...equals a sum that is a mere 4% of that exposure.]

Okay, now I'll be done - after this one, I "promise" :-))

Mr Labeit wrote, in part, "The government campaign to extend loanable funds to uncreditworthy people in the pursuit of greater homeownership gave the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Administration, and the litany of other regulatory agencies I mentioned earlier the impetus to coerce moneylenders to reduce their standards for credit distribution."

This is the SMALLEST part of the FULL scheme and you know it and I know it. It certainly won't be lost on David that you DID address his disbelief about not having the "data" to know when to turn on the screws - the last year of the Bush presidency. What a surprise!

However, Mr. Labeit, thank you for not begging for "forgiveness" with a bible in hand and rather continuing with the talking points from the well-diagnosed arena of delusional hubris that is the "devil" we've all come to "know" and "love" in the years 2001-2009.

My congresspeople lost 6 million from the city coffers of its 45,000 citizens in the magic poof of the Lehman "crash". Like I said before, said congresspeople just passed a law that allows them to walk into the smokeless bars armed with a gun. I don't go to bars :-) Could care less about what goes on in bars or in the churches they go to the next morning for "forgiveness".

That LOST 6 million was from 45,000 people paying heavy CITY fees for a sewer system that would protect the section of the Colorado River where Los Angeles draws its city water from for its millions of inhabitants.

Since we also are talking about who's "legislature" is craziest under a different topic, here's a moment of crazy for ya.

Because of loyalty to partisan politics, the CITY is not applying for infrastructure funding from the new administration to finish the sewer project. Probably because so many people would SEE this time that they wouldn't be "investing" the "stimulus" at home. A couple of new dachas on the West bank, maybe? Or pay off a Dubai dude? Is the Baghdad "vatican" completed?

Anyhoo...

Six million is a lot of money for a city of MAYBE 45,000 (they're grumbling about the census already) mostly fixed income people. THE PLAN was always to take it ALL. Please stop lying. Please.

Before anyone gets their knickers in a bunch about "what will the rest of the world think", they're only getting nervous because it turns out Americans are NOT all that "stupid". We were DRUGGED into being "stupid". After all, "love" is only a chemical brew in the brain and we all "love" to try and get the USA born and bred "neighbor" to be homeless. Not sure if there is ANY civilization left inthe world that is made up of people who DO NOT take joy in watching everyone's face get smashed in by the macoutes of the Supreme Chip.

David H writes,

"As Kuttner and Krugman and others have argued, the theory of the stimulus was sound. But repeats due to bad implementation or whatever were anticipated early on."

This reminds me of socialists I have encountered in the past who say that Russian collectivism failed because of bad administration and organization and that socialism can work but with more committed central planners and better procedures. The nature of the beast remains the same, regardless if it manifests itself in the form of $700 billion or $7 trillion. During a recession, savings must go up (time preferences must decrease), interest rates must increase, and government spending must plummet. Spending prolongs the pain of adjustment by providing financial support to those enterprises which are not satisfying consumer demand. If I'm not mistaken, you glossed over this as well.
Keynesians believe we should subsidize these failing companies in order to save and create jobs. But what good is it to create jobs if they waste scarce productive factors. The government can pay people to dig holes and pay others to fill those holes but it will only lengthen the recession. How about we invade Pakistan? Wouldn't this be a military Keynesian's wet dream. Imagine the jobs created by such military spending.... Please.

This is especially worse if the Keynesians in charge decide to stimulate the market through monetary inflation, for such a policy merely sows the seeds of the next recession, hence business CYCLE.

When in doubt, slap ink on paper and tell em to spend it, right???

David H further writes,

"Michael, am I wrong or have you never once typed "credit default swaps" here? You won't address the fact that free as the wind blows banks slash brokerage houses have racked up a debt that far exceeds cumulative Fed injections over quite some time...all of which could conceivably (in theory) be laid upon the backs of tax payers [if repeat rescue ops/stimuli return again and again]."

You're aware of the quantity of Fed monetary injections into the market? I didn't know this information was available. Given that the Fed stopped measuring M3, won't allow camera monitoring of its meetings, is subject to no audit, and doesn't have its budget supervised by any congressional oversight committee (even the CIA has its budget examined by Congress) accurate information on what the Fed truly does is as classified as the president's doomsday codes. So propositions claiming such knowledge should be approached skeptically to say the least. All we know is that the Fed orders the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to print billions and that the Fed sanctions banks to engage in fractional-reserve banking, a most uncapitalistic activity that's inherently inflationary.

Credit default swaps??? What about them? The payoffs to the buyers in credit default swap contracts are the result of bankruptcies, business declines, downgrades in credit ratings, or restructuring. The bankruptcies that occur in a recession are necessary in order to cleanse the market of mal-investments but the mal-investments exist because of fractional-reserve banking in our fiat based monetary economy. You create a mystery where none exists.

I found this to be one of Bill Moyers' best programs yet. However, I do have a few critiques to offer.

First, Serene Jones seemed to think that there was a role of the churches to encourage Christians to focus on qenuine desires. To wit:
"It's in the churches that another kind of desire should have been being crafted. That's where you can get people in their bones and really begin to force the question of, what is it that you want? What makes you happy?

The churches are already preaching on this issue but not from the prophetic stance that Cornell West articulated so well. Rather, they use an individualistic theraputic model to persaude their congregations, devoid of ethics or social responsibility for those on the margins of society!

I also noted with interest that Jones has an "impassioned sense that progressive Christianity may well just simply disappear". Unfortunately none of the panelists nor Moyers picked up on this very cogent point. I fear that she is correct in her fears. of which many examples could be given.

Lee Lybarger, elder
First Presbyterian Church
Delaware, OH

Anna, I've rambled way too much myself. Perhaps we could both just try writing our congresspersons for a spell, and see if we come back here less longwinded.

I hear ya, Hugh. I hear ya, f.

Yeah, they're circling the wagons, but it's us who are in trouble.

Michael, am I wrong or have you never once typed "credit default swaps" here? You won't address the fact that free as the wind blows banks slash brokerage houses have racked up a debt that far exceeds cumulative Fed injections over quite some time...all of which could conceivably (in theory) be laid upon the backs of tax payers [if repeat rescue ops/stimuli return again and again].

I'm not gonna argue with you any more about who dropped in the new cash that reduced the value of the net kit & kaboodle. The astute here probably wonder I'm obsessing about the obvious. I would however like to correct an impression I may have given that I accept as inevitable...that we US citizens must and will be forced to pay for all things toxic.

As Kuttner and Krugman and others have argued, the theory of the stimulus was sound. But repeats due to bad implementation or whatever were anticipated early on. Re next link: It is claimed (IIRC) combined bailouts of
Bear Stearns, Freddie, Fannie, and AIG will cost us $5 trillion
(doubling the national debt...to $10 trillion). 9/17/08
http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=09-17-2008&view=storyview

below by Robert Scheer...

"The IG's office already has opened 20 criminal fraud investigations into the $700 billion program, which is now well on its way to a $3 trillion obligation, and the IG predicts many more are coming." Robert Scheer http://www.dollarsandsense.org/blog/labels/TARP%20program.html

originally from Bloomberg...

"The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, isn't large enough to recapitalize the banking system, and the administration hasn't been direct in addressing that shortfall, he said. Stiglitz said there are conflicts of interest at the White House because some of Obama's advisers have close ties to Wall Street.

'We don't have enough money, they don't want to go back to Congress, and they don't want to do it in an open way and they don't want to get control' of the banks, a set of constraints that will guarantee failure, Stiglitz said." [emphasis mine] http://www.dollarsandsense.org/blog/labels/TARP%20program.html

Thus, if we continue to add commitments to make up for absent terms Stiglitz outlines, it seems conceivable US citizens will shell out for everything out there toxic...and I'd win the wager. But do we have to accept such a course? Why?

IOW I don't wanna win the wager I made at down there at 7:01.




Yeah, I hear you friends...the whole thrust of what those with faith can contribute might very well lie outside the hope that all this'll get squared away. Don't worry folks, I see that light.

Last night was reading Edward F. Edinger about the ego-Self axis. The whole story of Job for Edinger was a metaphor for developments involving the latter. This can be true AFAIC, but from my POV the Great Spirit can also remain the actual Great Spirit [which renders me completely hopeless in the minds of many agnostics]. The "Self" according to Jung...the "Self" according to Ramana Maharshi...concepts out there on different streets in the global village...and Eleanor's right that there's no commandment to stay inside all day.

David H writes,

"out of all those lending institutions none had access to a database that could predict when the various income tiers would have to accept foreclosures en masse? They didn't have that information? I find it hard to believe."

I addressed this previously. The government campaign to extend loanable funds to uncreditworthy people in the pursuit of greater homeownership gave the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Administration, and the litany of other regulatory agencies I mentioned earlier the impetus to coerce moneylenders to reduce their standards for credit distribution. Non-compliance promised heavy fines and discrimination accusations from the federal government. Thus institutional moneylenders gave mortgage loans to uncreditworthy recipients. In a free-market, governments may not force moneylenders to reduce their credit distribution standards and subsequently force moneylenders to incurr increased default risk. Perverse incentives lead to destructive actions. Perverse government incentives forced moneylenders to engage in destructive actions. What good does database information do if Uncle Sam will fine you for using it to guide your actions? Force suspends the mind and, as a result, rationality.

On a free-market, competition ensures businesses don't take such unnecessary risks and buries those foolish enough to do so. The error lies in allowing government, an institution bound by virtually no financial constraints and in possession of the authority to use force, to coerce others.

David H quotes,

"Today, 99.99% of our money is created by private banks when they make loans. This includes the Federal Reserve, a private banking corporation, which orders Federal Reserve Notes to be printed, and then lends them to the U.S. government. Only coins are actually created by the government itself. Coins compose only about 1-10,000th of the M3 money supply, and Federal Reserve Notes compose about 3% of it. All of the rest is created by banks as loans, something they do by simply writing numbers into accounts."

Again, the Federal Reserve was created by a 1913 act of Congress, has its charter routinely renewed by Congress, and has its chairman appointed by the president. Once banks become members, they become shills for government backed monetary inflation, tools of the state regardless if they possess the appearance of being "private." The Fed possesses a congressionally granted monopoly on the production and issuance of banknotes and money and benefits from congressionally supported legal tender laws which force all creditors to accept debt repayment in dollars, the very money the Fed has a monopoly to produce and issue.

Under a free-market everything the Fed does now would be illegal. Money production and issuance would be the province of any entrepreneur who wanted to enter the profession and not monopolized by Washington bureaucrats.
The quote you provide from Kuttner is pure Keynesianism and always leads to further unemployment and price inflation when applied genuinely because increased government spending prevents the recession from liquidating failed businesses, businesses that are not satisfying consumer demand and thus are wasting scarce productive factors. People need to save during recessions and governments must allow price deflation if they wish to shorten the recession as much as possible. The central banking artificial credit expansion encourages firms to make mal-investments by saturating the market with credit and giving entrepreneurs the false impression that consumers are saving and therefore more eager for future goods over present goods. The recession liquidates those mal-investments. Government stimulus gives money to, among others, those businesses who are not satisfying consumer demand. Stimulus ends up subsidizing failing enterprises. I again recommend Dr. Jesus Huerta de Soto's book "Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles" free in pdf form at mises.org.

Neither did recovery come in the form of WW2 during the 1940s as Kuttner suggests. According to this logic, we should wage wars whenever we are in dire economic straits. WW2 was a complete economic waste (its political merit is a somewhat different story) because it reallocated scarce goods and resources away from the production of homes, cars, food, and clothing and towards the administration of conflict and the manufacture of armaments which have no post-war economic value. War may be necessary (wars of self-defense are morally obligatory in my opinion) but they are never "productive." Wars destroy all the basic factors of production - land, labour, and capital goods - and this destroys the consumer goods those factors would have created had they been preserved.

If I remember correctly, the Food Bank of NYC reported a few months ago that fully half of New York's people are reporting having trouble paying for food!

Does anyone believe that any member of the Bloomberg administration or, more importantly, the Obama administration is paying attention or cares at all about the tales of Americans going hungry?

They show no sign of it. None at all (excepting the thin words they offer).

When will Obama care? Bloomberg will buy his way to a third term? When will he care? When when when?

What kind of government is this that wrings its hands over the losses of billionaires (who are reduced to a few hundreds of millions at most), but ignores the millions who are going hungry, who can afford no healthcare, and who can barely afford shelter?

Since this is the weekend of American Independence celebrations, let us consider: The American colonists had far fewer complaints against King George than many tens of millions of Americans rightly have today against the federal, state and city governments.

The social gospel was preached: but in those congregations inclined to hear it, though not necessarily to implement it. I was a member of a congregation in the 1970's to whom a religious preached that gospel and eventually was disinvited.
Let those who have ears, hear.

Michael, you say "altruism" commanded service to the needy, but I ask...out of all those lending institutions none had access to a database that could predict when the various income tiers would have to accept foreclosures en masse? They didn't have that information? I find it hard to believe. But that's another issue.

Hate to get off on a tangent and bore everybody to death, but, in case you folks haven't noticed...an Ayn-Rand-fan on board is trying to say Keynes was wrong [rhymes with "brains," John Maynard IIRC]. To be helpful in this world IMO those with faith are gonna have to learn what an absolute rejection of Keynes' approach boils down to...a Main Street to Mean Street zeitgeist switcheroo plain and simple. The rich road warriors circle the wagons. Of course, some credible criticisms of Federal Reserve commitments with the stimulus did pop up when it became plainer how the very first effects would pan out...coming from Kucinich, Bair, Meltzer (sp?), etc. One nice thing at least...no one can say there aren't any prolific, true blue de-reg endorsers in this mix!We've got both sides.

this...

"The Constitution states, 'Congress shall have the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.' This power has been abdicated to private bankers. Today, 99.99% of our money is created by private banks when they make loans. This includes the Federal Reserve, a private banking corporation, which orders Federal Reserve Notes to be printed, and then lends them to the U.S. government. Only coins are actually created by the government itself. Coins compose only about 1-10,000th of the M3 money supply, and Federal Reserve Notes compose about 3% of it. All of the rest is created by banks as loans, something they do by simply writing numbers into accounts." http://opengov.ideascale.com/akira/dtd/3648-4049

and this from Robert Kuttner...

"It is a matter of basic macroeconomics that new outlays that are offset by other budget cuts or tax increases provide no net stimulus...

...In the financial collapse of the Great Depression, Roosevelt turned to previously unknown peacetime deficit spending of around 4 to 6 percent of GDP. It turned out that this level of pump priming was necessary but not sufficient to fully restore prosperity. On the eve of the wartime mobilization, unemployment had been cut only in half, from a peak of 25 percent to about 12 percent. The economy kept slipping back into recessions. Full recovery came only with the even greater deficit-financed government spending of World War II, which peaked at 30 percent of GDP.

We are not in another Great Depression, and we don't need a recovery program on the scale of World War II. But we will need increased deficits, at least for a year or two until we are on the road to recovery." Robert Kuttner
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/106204/can_obama_be_fdr/?page=entire

That was then, THIS is now. I don't know, Michael if THIS latter link backs up your contentions or not [haven't finished reading it myself but it seems current and full of new significant twists]. I know Sheila Bair was concerned about further committments by the Fed IIRC to the tune of around a trillion and a half or some such....beyond TARP's original 700B was it(?)...when there was no provision for many struggling with ballooning rates to get any assistance at all. One thing I'd wager on though...just as the credit default swaps went toxic those hummers suddenly "created" a heck of a lot more virtual-money tax payers will someday have to come up with than the Fed had created via their injections, say, for the 10 yrs previous.

And now China grows disenchanted with our T-Notes.


Last ramble, I promise :-)

And I rest my case, a case lost in the blizzard of posts that buried it with propaganda “details” conjured up in the continuing attempt to PRETEND we weren’t all robbed. Who knew a show about “Faith, Justice, and Society” was going to be another bully pulpit provided for liars, thieves, and murderers to use the bible to turn the tables, spiritually, on the imperfections of the people who were robbed. Honestly, if some of these prevaricators had been raised by wolves they would have gotten a better education in REAL pack-survival ethics. Scheeesh.

Jesus never wrote anything down. Jesus never said he was God. Jesus did not believe in the atonement doctrine and because he didn’t, he was crucified for it. Yes, boys and girls, Jesus has been misquoted and taken out of context for 2000 years. Go figure. Thank God that the Roman Pilate wrote his verdict of Jesus down, at least. Not guilty.

Since I mentioned watching the Lewis Black 2006 show called “Screwed” on the Comedy Channel after watching this Journal episode, I should have also noted that I tuned in to the show BEFORE the Journal on my local PBS station and on that show McLaughlin interviewed the author of the flippant article in a New Youk magazine called “So what are you taking?” or something in a similar street vernacular version. A certain sub-culture in the melting pot of the 5 boroughs has taken to self-medicating themselves with pharmaceuticals which they swap at the endless parade of cocktail parties they attend. In their hyper-intellectual world of reading genetic code with the same zeal as fortune tellers read the lines on a human palm (and with the same amount of “data” to back up the “reading”, I might add), they believe that “love” is a chemical state which can be achieved with the proper medication.

In the spirit of “service”, my dear Betty Whitfill, what you wrote struck me as just such a self-medication issue, especially this line - “The structures of our lives are now empty forms, devoid of life-giving energy. The only movement left in them is the twitching which releases the pent up motion of collapse.” Yikes, Betsy! Go to your “doc” right away! You are seriously depressed.

Bottom line problem with the purely materialistic approach to solving the enigma of POVERTY re-creation is simply this – if a human being KNOWS that they do not have the MIND power, with or without pharmaceuticals, to alter sub-atomic spin with pure megalomaniacal thought – then they should also acknowledge that even if they did control atomic spin, their thoughts could never “create” a cactus as a necessary sub-form elemental to the rise of the biology that culminate as “human”. Ta Da! We have to admit we could not create ourselves. Can we do that? Sure. But only when we stop trying to convince somebody else of our all-knowingness for no other reason than to get them to slave for us for free.

It’s also ironic that the people who believe in polis “magic” are so efficient at using computer software to do so much identity theft. What a unique generational contribution to society – “identity theft”! Yes, it is a cause for optimism to have more people question the “identity” of Jesus.

However, I’ve reached my limit (it took SO MUCH effort to bring me to the end of the line that I do NOT need to be forgiven, I need a medal for lasting this long) with contemplating the motives behind the mind of every culture’s social outliers. I insist on some kind of “government”, “justice” and respect for “labor” that liberates me to acknowledge the mysterious existence of a cactus instead of listening to WHY no human being is perfect enough to invent a cactus, only “creative” enough to keep finding new ways to kill a cactus, sell it or steal it, and write books about what Jesus supposedly said about cacti that was recently found at an archeological dig.

For everyone’s “intellectual” consideration during this media-manic, compulsive and increasingly hysterical attempt to re-establish psychotics in charge of social engineering, stop making it so much worse than it needs to be to get back to OUR COLLECTIVE SANE civilization by censoring intelligent sarcasm. Fer cryin’ out loud, don’t you want your 30 year old diaper changed? If you don’t then we’ll just have to institutionalize YOU, force a clean diaper on you, let you blog about “god” without censorship, and grant you all sorts of other personal freedoms you think you need to find perfection, but us adults in the world can’t let you continue to rob, kill and cheat in the name of "religion".

For the secret book censors, this chaos is your doing – yours and yours alone. Guess where your “justice” is going to come from since 99.9% of the world has no clue what you have done with your censorship? It’s in your censored book – look it up. Before I get in trouble with wagging tongues that follow Betsy and the light in the sky – “justice” is not only in human hands. I’m just smart enough to know I can’t deliver justice the way it needs to be delivered – as a super-human, perfect ruling to people like you who practice AND TEACH iniquity as a “religion”.

To one of the economic macro people, David H – here’s a giggle for you. The IRS is requesting information from ME that Computershare refuses to share with ME about a stock holding I have that goes back to the 1960s. Hmmm, any free advice on what to say to the IRS, besides telling the unqualified IRS appartchik that it’s HER job to find out how I was robbed, not to try and tax me for the original 1960s amount that I managed to get my hands onto before it got sucked into some INSANE financial instrument…? But that’s what they really want, right? The ORIGINAL 1960s amount? They want it ALL, right? The ORIGINAL has already been taxed twice, maybe even thrice, is a one-time buy out amount in lieu of a pension to begin with, and had 50% sucked out during the silicone valley bust….economics IS NOT a game….but since California can issue IOUs, I guess we all can….same as printing up our own paper money since the computer gave it ALL to the Supreme Chip in the sky…

Other option, ala drug-controlled love-religion, seems to be to do nothing in the way of progress and BASIC life-maintenance that we’ve been doing until the Big Giant Head figures out that we all figured out that we could not rebuild New Orleans because all the “building” was going on you-know-where.

And THAT stunt, my friends, can’t be called “sharing the love”, can it? That’s definitely TAKING the “love” and INSULTING the person with a quote from the bible, Koran or Kabbulah that says if I, Anna D, was perfect enough I would have SHARED my labor with them and they would not have to have taken it from me. Tragic mistake was that they sent the rich man’s idiot son to say that crap to people like me who are REFUGEES from the WWII Armageddon. How many Armageddons do they have planned?

Yes, I am still in control of the swell of injustice in me ONLY because I can be sarcastic about such UGLY hypocrisy being called “religion”. I also believe that a person who hates you even though you never did anything to hurt them, mano et mano, is crazy.

We NEED to have fewer and fewer crazy vengeance people in GOVERNMENT.

Until all the religionists of authority acknowledge God as their SPIRITUAL FATHER, religion and her “church” ARE just temple harlots in Caesar’s orgy chamber. I won’t go so far as to say this Journal episode was about grudgingly admitting that we know that it’s a harlot and we’re just haggling about the rate to charge for the “service”.

I will, however, kindly request that multi-national corporations do not use quotes from a holy book about “god” in MY outdoor, under the starry-sky “church” when rationalizing reinventing slave labor without any HOPE for the kind of “charity” that the original “Christians” called barter and equity.

I’ll let you know, David H, if the IRS can recreate the paper trail details of my 1960’s stock (electronics, no less – talk about ironic). If IRS chooses not to disturb the “devil” with a request for the details that will get them off my back, well, then we’ll talk about WHY they won’t and about what authority they think that they have for taking more out of me in “taxes” than ever existed in my name to begin with…or more than was ever the plan to pay me over a LIFETIME….we’re talking 3 grand – less than pennies in trillion-based salaries distribution.

Only a “government” BY and FOR some gang of vengeance-seeking “religionists” would devote so much time and effort to stomping on its own WORK POOR! Especially when they KNOW we never had it to begin with as my case proves!

Patience used up…want justice need justice…so I’m signing off to get BRILLIANTLY sarcastic in an undisclosed location with people who DO still “love” each other without help from money, “fire” power, booze, pot, sex, drugs, or rock n roll. DO NOT TRESPASS.

The local pols made smoking a cigarette in the bars illegal, but legalized allowing guns in the bar…waiting for the next wave of consequences - a privately owned bar suing the local pols to bring back cigarettes to the bar because cigarettes are the only "thing" that will keep out the clean and green neo-wha’evers looking to gun down neo-Wyatt for telling them that they have to stop playing video games with REALITY….

“such a life on such a planet”….

Good ones, Patti & Eleanor!

allenwrench worded something very succinctly about everyone avoiding shoveling s___ jobs (July 4, 2009 6:47 AM). You don't see this avoidance phenomenon explored much as a prime mover in the US economy but...why shouldn't we? We don't see it explored enough as a phenomenon even related-to indirectly. BTW, working at a dairy IMO should not be a bad job. Didn't love it when I did it many yars ago, though compared to the cube jobs of today it was complete rapture. If I could get the same slot now with health insurance, a decent wage, retirement plus hills and ridable-waves nearby...I might do it again! If we opted more to dairy to get protein I wonder what the net effect on green house gases would be.

Anyway, would like to see more discussion on sanely rendering bad jobs better...or, or for example, a question like: Is loathing of the current nurse's status making HMOs rich and demolishing our businesses who have to pay those who manage the small number out there? Shouldn't people be demanding more nursing slots with better pay and benefits?

Mr. Moyers and staff-

Many thanks for your hard work in presenting the best journalism of our time. My wife and I watch frequently and appreciate the perspectives that you engage on your program.

In response to the three academics that were on July 3rd, I would applaud the comment made by Prof. Jones in that we are entering a "post- christian" age. At this point, I will be up front about my bias in that I am a former Christian now turned universalist/agnostic. In fact, I earned an M.Div. in seminary and spent 12 years of my life serving churches as a pastor within what is a mainline protestant denomination. Although my former tradition claimed to seek social justice, it- like all other institutions- sought first and foremost the accumulation of power. Long story short, total loyalty to the institution was demanded. So, after nearly 20 years of service in theologically related fields, I believe the decline of organized religion is a hopeful thing. The reality is that every individual has to form their own belief system. Therefore, everyone is responsible for their own spirituality. Community can be a great gift- but not if it leads to institutionalism and certainly not if it hinders an individual's right of self determination. Thanks again for sharing this stimulating discussion.
-Jim

Thank you bill for another thought provoking show. I am afraid however that historians will look back on these days as the early dawning of a new dark ages and that as hard as you and your quests tried to make sense of it all and provide leadership, it will not stave off the coming disaster that will last many generations.
I am sorry for these times.

Referring to the interview with Cornel West, Serene Jones, and Gary Dorrien:
This was probably the first time since my youth that I could relate to what Christians were saying. I always saw the "empire building" Christian leaders and knew that Christianity couldn't be real. On top of that I have explored some of the writings of biblical historians and cannot believe that Christ was what is commonly believed. So I just ignored the Christian movement and preferred some version of God more akin to Joseph Campbell's version where God is in all living things and is not an entity with a gender that is out there watching and pulling strings.

Hearing West, Jones and Dorrien talk made me want to find a way to reconcile the Jesus that I know and the Christianity these people profess.

Bill Moyers,
Our broken vessel no longer holds water...
we need to rethink our system of economics and provide the necessary funds to support the needs and desires of our country.
People need to have sufficient funds available to support the needs of themselves, their society and their environment. Otherwise; we will self-destruct through our own ignorance. Economics is not a game; it is the mainstay of civilization.

Theories and faiths are uncertain at best, and truth the only absolute.
What a waste this uncertainty is, when it is only truth that will solve our problems and set the universe free. Truth is the Way and so much more simple and beautiful than thought.
Be true, Be absolute, Be certain, Be One, Be free, or
Simply Just Be,

=
MJA

Bill, Remember when the prophet Daniel asked why the book must be closed and is told "Go thy way Daniel... "?
Well the book has come open in these end times as prophesied. All religion has corrupted the divine way by the work of the adversary. YHWH desires relationship and abhors religion. And his name IS NOT god!
But our politically correct tolerance, secular humanism, and preachers who preach for money are leading us straight to Armageddon.
Unless we return to the instruction of the Torah, no political mumbo-jumbo will save us.
Read The Science of God and other works to realize the authenticity of our creator. Call me nuts, but do your research. Your voice can reach many.

Dear Mr. Moyers:

Finally, a journalist finds the pathway to peace and justice through intelligent dialogue. The Creator God left human beings in charge of his earthly creation. We have screwed it up pretty badly.
Perhaps it is not too late to turn back to God and realize that our human will power leads only to destruction. But the debate must be expanded to include all the people on the margins, who have been told, by so-called believers through the centuries of time, that God does not love them.

This concept of an "Ours Only God", regardless of its theological origins, has developed into a crisis within monotheism. All of God's children must be included in this discussion if we are to change the course of history and move onto the path of economic justice.

I contributed here last night as to the prospect of a post-Christian society Serene Jones touched on. I'd like to add a reference to this subject of faith, justice and society. "The Gift, Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property" by Lewis Hyde, New York, 1983. 'Creativity in a market-oriented society' as Gift commerce seems to be a close reality to economic democracy and a refocusing of our society onto those being ravaged by our present system of greed.

Looks like the whole discussion is being turned into a debate about the pros and cons of Capitalism. Personally, I prefer the barter system. We're not limited to a choice between Capitalism and Socialism. To me these are ashes to ashes, dust to dust issues anyway.

What grabbed me about the show was a new concept of justice. I believe in justice, truth, good triumphing over evil and all those nice concepts... but I have them at a distance, like in the sweet by and by. Maybe it'll happen someday.
Cornel West said, "Justice is what love looks like in public."
Serene Jones said, "Justice is nothing but love with legs."
This is a boots on the ground kind of justice, not the sweet by and by. It's a call to action. That's new to me.

As a society, I feel we've become so downtrodden it's hard to mobilize. Many are too broke to travel, too busy (can't get time off work), maybe too old or too sick. Or maybe the outrage at injustice hasn't stirred us enough yet.

Christians face the dilemma of "being in the world but not of it", meaning we don't share it's values. This discussion hits the nail on the head, right down to how we think, what we stand for, what we value most, and how we live today to create a more just society. What comes to mind is the Scripture, "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind". (Maybe not word for word, but the idea is there.) That is where the battle is: our minds.

Remember how Al Gore was mocked for saying: When faced with an important decision, he asked himself, "What would Jesus do?" This was considered ridiculous and archaic for a man who was about to lead our country.
But was it?
What would Jesus do?
Probably about what he did 2000 years ago: heal the sick, feed the masses and teach speaking the truth in love. And He'd probably hang out with the marginalized. Cornel West mentioned the servant being the greatest among you. It's the "last shall be first and the first shall be last" concept. Aren't we all trying to "get ahead"?
Could this kind of old/new thinking be possible in today's world? Just putting it out there is paving the way. Social change may be a slow moving machine, but any steps to a more just society are steps in the right direction.
Will justice win? Maybe in the sweet by and by.

David H posts the following quote:

"Not only is virtually the entire money supply created privately by banks, but a mere handful of very big banks is responsible for a massive investment scheme known as 'derivatives,' which now tallies in at hundreds of trillions of dollars. The banking system has been contrived so that these big banks always get bailed out by the taxpayers from their risky ventures, but the scheme has reached its mathematical limits."

The Federal Reserve extends its influence to private banks far and wide. According to About.com's section on banking,

"All banks incorporated under a national charter are required to become members of the Federal Reserve System. Banks incorporated under a state charter may apply for membership."

Moreover, the federal government, which is supposed to protect private property, sanctions fractional- reserve banking, the practice of issuing fully redeemable bank demand deposit vouchers in excess of existing demand deposit cash reserves. The government, including the Fed, allows banks to take depositor's money and loan it out to third parties in violation of monetary-irregular deposit contracts. On the free-market, such fractional reserve banking and contract violations would be explicitly illegal. If the government legally allows me to defraud others, my criminal activity is "private" but therefore blaming the free-market for my actions would be completely erroneous. Private banks do creates tons of money ex nihilo. But not only are the biggest offenders members of the Federal Reserve system, the Fed allows banks in general to create fiat money from nothing. So the government is still the prime suspect. Fiat money would not exist on a free-market, only commodity money and backed paper money substitutes.

David H posts another quote:

"This financial crisis was caused by calculated deregulation and the gross negligence of the Bush administration and congressional conservatives. We are in this mess today because of the deregulatory policies and negligent leadership of President George W. Bush, his financial regulatory officials, and congressional conservatives such as Phil Gramm. The Bush solution: cut regulations First, Bush and the conservative mantra of deregulation encouraged the explosion of risky new financial products, and blocked them from common-sense oversight and regulation."

Deregulatory!?! Maybe I need to repost what I posted earlier.

According to economist Dr. George Reisman,

"as of the end of 2007, the last full year for which data are available, the Federal Register contained fully seventy-three thousand pages of detailed government regulations. This is an increase of more than ten thousand pages since 1978, the very years during which our system, according to....The New York Times....has been "tilted in favor of business deregulation and against new rules." Under laissez-faire capitalism, there would be no Federal Register. The activities of the remaining government departments and their subdivisions would be controlled exclusively by duly enacted legislation, not the rule-making of unelected government officials."

According to economist Dr. Walter Williams,

"The Federal Register, which lists new regulations, annually averaged 72,844 pages between 1977 and 1980. During the Reagan years, the average fell to 54,335. During the Bush I years, they rose to 59,527, to 71,590 during the Clinton years and rose to a record of 75,526 during the Bush II years. Employees in government regulatory agencies grew from 146,139 in 1980 to 238,351 in 2007, a 63 percent increase. In the banking and finance industries, regulatory spending between 1980 and 2007 almost tripled, rising from $725 million to $2.07 billion. So here's my question: What are we to make of congressmen, talking heads and news media people who tell us the financial meltdown is a result of deregulation and free markets? Are they ignorant, stupid or venal?"

Need I mention that Bush signed Sarbanes-Oxley, legislation that significantly increased the regulatory authority of the federal government. He signed No Child Left Behind and doubled the size of the Dept. of Education. He signed Broadcast Decency and Enforcement and enhanced the power of the FCC.

Regarding the housing debacle economist Dr. Richard M. Salsman writes,

"Given the broad scope of government intervention in the U.S. home mortgage sector through the GSEs, the maze of other agencies—such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO)—and the cascade of Congressional acts—such as the Fair Housing Act (1968), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974), the Community Reinvestment Act (1977), the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (1975), the National Affordable Housing Act (1990), the Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act (1994), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (1994), and the American Dream Down Payment Act (2003)—it is simply ludicrous for anyone today to speak of the U.S. mortgage sector as having been a fully “free” market before the latest crisis. Only more ludicrous is the claim that the few free elements still remaining, but not the interventions, caused the crisis. Armed with its allegedly “noble” goal of increasing home ownership for the needy, the U.S. government has riddled the mortgage market with perverse incentives and unjust interventions that either compel or induce banks to lend to less-than-creditworthy borrowers, and thus to put themselves at greater risk of insolvency.....Altruism has motivated the utter debasement of lending standards in the past decade. Mortgage lenders joked that the Bush administration’s crazed push to increase home ownership among blacks and Hispanics led to a proliferation of so-called “NINJA” loans—those granted to borrowers with “No Income, No Job, or Assets.” Altruism commands service to the needy—and NINJA “borrowers” fit the bill perfectly. Highlighting the legal-coercive backing of Washington’s altruistic credit policies, the Federal Reserve Bank has for years distributed a booklet to mortgage lenders—Closing the Gap: A Guide to Equal Opportunity Lending—which includes sidebar reminders that fines and jail terms await those found to be deficient in fighting “discrimination” by lending to the less-than-creditworthy. The booklet, still distributed today, derides as “arbitrary and unreasonable” such traditional credit standards as a 20 percent down payment (or loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent), an above-par credit score, a history of paying one’s bills on time, and a steady job yielding an income sufficient to make monthly mortgage payments."

Regulations increased my good man, not decreased. This is one of the reasons why so many free-market liberals hate Bush.

Watch out folks, that financial maya's get'n woven all over again round here.

Tell me how it is, Michael, AIG didn't create whole trainloads of money themselves. To the best of my understanding TARP
hasn't gone to pay off a whole slew of credit default swaps yet. But when the sum of $700 billion was arrived at, isn't it true that Paulson's aim was to pay off holders of this strange and somewhat unheard of insurance [unheard of among the proles] for which AIG had virtually no collateral? Good luck, there was/is $75 trillion worth of instruments/assets insured. [using what I'm estimating as a conservative figure] IOW that $75 trillion was not out there (that the treasury thought it should start print'n up post crash) before the contracts were made for the CDSs.

this...

Not only is virtually the entire money supply created privately by banks, but a mere handful of very big banks is responsible for a massive investment scheme known as 'derivatives,' which now tallies in at hundreds of trillions of dollars. The banking system has been contrived so that these big banks always get bailed out by the taxpayers from their risky ventures, but the scheme has reached its mathematical limits. [emphasis mine] http://www.webofdebt.com/

and this...

This financial crisis was caused by calculated deregulation and the gross negligence of the Bush administration and congressional conservatives. We are in this mess today because of the deregulatory policies and negligent leadership of President George W. Bush, his financial regulatory officials, and congressional conservatives such as Phil Gramm. The Bush solution: cut regulations

First, Bush and the conservative mantra of deregulation encouraged the explosion of risky new financial products, and blocked them from common-sense oversight and regulation.
http://howdidthishappen.org/facts/

I've summed up the thing once before in these words elsewhere: The entities that bought the mortgages from the banks got payments for yrs of billions. But the folks that made'm when foreclosed on got nothing. The buyers of the homes signed, cause the loaners painted pictures of refinancing opportunities comin down the pike that amounted to mythology. The loaners could have gathered the correct info to project the actual payback. Instead they encouraged stretching the info. They got the fees. They needed the fees, cause on the whole US biz was not in the black enough vis a vis overseas...not generating enough black. They were allowed to do this because of Republican championed de-regulation. Clinton had to complyto survive, though this was almost not enough.

If we abandon compassion and humanity towards our fellow man and do not strive for a nation that respects humanity and life on Earth, we will devour ourselves. Europe has seemed to grasp this and has raised the bar for all of their people for the most part. Those nations that have not are contributing to misery, death and global destruction. As Wall Street takes trilions while the majority suffers we can say that, as a nation, we have lost the controls that enables humanity and compassion for all of our people to survive.

I feel somewhat--a lone voice in the wilderness--after reading the blogs posted above. I was saddenened and bewildered after watching the program with three 'progressive' (liberal) theologians who don't remotely...'get it'.
The views expressed were devoid of any meaningful theological reasoning or comment--for encouraging readers spiritually.
(Another 'gospel-free' godless PBS program.)

Their "God" would seem an ethereal vague concept. Sin was equally questioned as to any meaningful definition or statement.
(Much their own words.)
It is no wonder Americans are rejecting 'cultural Christianity' of the righteous right--and the languishing liberal left--in favor of "New Age" nonsence.
Most of the blogs are also disappointing as to their reasoning. The program caused me to run a gamut of emotions; none uplifting or positive for 'living the Christian life'--and fulfilling the command to love God and others, or having a servant heart for others. Iam glad I do not get my faith driven doctrine from PBS. I prefer a Biblical view of grace. (Sorry-I am speaking 'greek' to most of you.) Read Galatians One and Two.

Moyers usually offers thought provoking programs allowing for examining one's belief system (mindset). The program was nearly 100% devoted to philosophy, political, financial, and all the other usual 'stuff' of secular humanism's liberal 'gospel'.

Apostle Paul would go ballistic with the pseudo gospel--of Moyers et al. Meaningless and seemingly pride derived and driven pseudo intellectualism.

I close with a "Pauline" question: "What part of grace don't you guys get!"
(A paraphrase of Pauls amazed words to 'foolish Galatians' at their sucking-up and chowing down 'another gospel'. Paul 'double accursed' those teaching 'another gospel'.)
Liberalism is not the cure for legalism!

Frank Hammerschmidt, St.Joseph Michigan

IMO the double slit experiment and string theory (yes, a theory but a powerful theory) sort of re-arrange things. Other perspectives pertinent from my POV do not need pasting over and over--look for my post of 4/23/09 10:07 PM in the idols & ideals discussion.

Michael Labeit writes:

"If religion is based upon faith, its claims must be designated as faith-claims. But faith-claims are, by definition, allegations offered without evidence. Since they are offered without evidence, why should one believe that they are true, i.e., that they correspond with the facts of reality? The discussions of Christ, the cross, and love were just as Mr. Moyers described - very presumptuous. How can religion be an effective method if it holds as a primary uncritical belief?"

-------------------------------------------

Absolutely Michael.

When it comes to faith...faith must always be based on the fact of a 'first see-ER' or 'first contact' that is telling the truth.

We do not come up with ideas to base faith on all on our own.

All religious faith is based on someone else's reports.

If this persons report is based on lies, than the faith must evaporate.

But we should always remember that religion is based on faith and not fact, so we must be careful about putting our religious guesses on others that do not believe in the faith.

The truth stands on it own and does not need massaging for it to be true. To get at the truth, all we need is test through practical application.

We can even 'Test God' though such means if you can detach your 'blind faith' and replace it with a 'rational mind' for a moment.

I'm sure God wont mind if you ask a few question? Would God send you to hell for inquiring as to his goodness?

Would you send another to everlasting torture just for asking a question?

How much more good is God than you or I, so don't be worried if your true vision of God is as you imagine God to be...all loving..all good.

We can ask the question Would the 'ideal' of a perfect, all loving God approve of the Hebrew and Christian God Yahweh?

No, the ideal of God would not approve of God if the old testament is a true accounting of Yahweh. The evidence shows that the God of the monotheists as written in the bible is a man made story, whether it is the story of Jesus or the God Yahweh of the Hebrews.

I write this after being a Catholic for 50+ years. What caused my change in heart about God? Was it God's refusal to answer a self centered prayer...No. Was it all the evil in the world...No. My change in heart with my belief in God came from 'real study' of the dogma and the books claimed to be the written words of God with a desire to get closer to God.

But, the more I studied, the further from God my studies took me. But this is only a by product of the study of truth, for if the study leads to a certain direction one must follow it, if one is truth based. And if one is not truth based one makes up fantasy and excuses and lives a delusional life.

If we look at logical and philosophical arguments for God they add up to zero as each one of these arguments can be argued for or against God

Ontological Argument +
Ontological Argument (--)
Cosmological Argument +
Cosmological Argument (--)
Teleological Argument +
Teleological Argument (--)
-----------------------------------------
Total = ZERO

As such, we need to look deeper into what the various religions of the monotheist say to find the truth. There are four books claiming to be the word of God. they are the Old Testament, New Testament, Qur'an and the Book of Mormon. (OT, NT, Q and BOM) All these books conflict, yet all claim to be the perfect word of God? Why doesn't God make clear which one of these books to follow so there is no misunderstanding? After all, a mistake in direction yield everlasting torture in hell? Since God wont answer, we will have to answer for God by asking some questions to get at the truth that God was invented by man. In short we will judge God by the ideals of God. Then we can see clearly these words of God were not written by an all perfect and all loving, all good God but were just written by men claiming to be God.

Some religious advocates say it is presumptuous of anyone to 'judge' God. But, such persons also judge God when they say God is good? In order to judge something good it must still be judged? From my studies, I have judged God as a creation or fantasy of man's mind and a God that would refuse to tell the direction for a person to take and then take joy in torturing that person for a mistake that the person could not avoid is definitely bad.

God was no always so silent with direction. If we go back to the OT we can see God communicated extensively with the Hebrews. God directed them specifically with how to design and build things and how to worship him through burnt offerings and penance. God was very detailed with his directions about unclean women during menses and how the Hebrews should keep their slaves. All quotes courtesy of http://www.evilbible.com/ (BTW, they banned me from their forums...so much for freethinkers.)

"When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." Exodus 21:20-21

God approving of slavery? God not approving of the Egyptians keeping slaves yet is OK for the Hebrews to keep slaves? Again not a perfect God. If we read further we will see God very bigoted and condemning of all other nationalities except his chosen people the Hebrews. What makes the world think such a bigoted God would accept them when God had such hatred for others he supposedly created?

If we go to more modern times and the Christian dogma where God offered his son to be tortured and killed in order for God to forgive our sins? What do we do when we forgive another? Do we kill our son or daughter or just forgive? How much more a perfect God could have just forgiven us without killing his son? But God seemed to emphasize the killing children in his words to his faithful as we can see in these OT quotes.

"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." Ezekiel 9:5-7

"The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children." Hosea 9:11-16

"Suppose a man has a stubborn, rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. In such cases, the father and mother must take the son before the leaders of the town. They must declare: 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a worthless drunkard.' Then all the men of the town must stone him to death. In this way, you will cleanse this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid." Deuteronomy 21:18-21

What happened to this vocal God that seemed to die with the authors of the Old Testament, for no one ever hears a peep from God? Did God die with the writers? BTW, if God was a perfect designer, should he have not made women 'unclean' and not have menses and that way God could have saved some breath and cut his 600+ commandants to the Hebrew down by one? See: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~adamgosp/otcomm.htm

God even commanded the people how to bake bread, (with human excrement) discriminate against the handicapped, kill the faithful of other religions and how much money to pay to rape young women.

Each day prepare your bread as you would barley cakes. While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread. For this is what the LORD says: "Israel will eat defiled bread in the Gentile lands, where I will banish them!" Then I said, "O Sovereign LORD, must I be defiled by using human dung? For I have never been defiled before. From the time I was a child until now I have never eaten any animal that died of sickness or that I found dead. And I have never eaten any of the animals that our laws forbid." "All right," the LORD said. "You may bake your bread with cow dung instead of human dung." Ezekiel 4:12-15

"No one whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may be admitted into the community of the Lord." Deuteronomy 23:2

"If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." Deuteronomy 22:28-29

"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst." Deuteronomy 13:7-12

Yes, the writers for God's word will be able to show you how the God they claim to be perfect is not perfect and just an extension of imperfect man's mind. If you read the bible with an open mind that is logical and rational you will see this for yourself. It is only when we make excuses for God that God is relieved from being a true God.

In the OT it says God is a 'jealous God' and requires worship.

"You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their father's wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation" Exodus 20:4-5

Once someone 'requires' anything outside themselves the persons peace will be disturbed. Yet the popular belief that God is perfect...the two (jealousy and perfection) don't go together. In addition such a God would not pass the peace test. If the God did not receive worship the God's peace would be disturbed from having demands and not getting those demands fulfilled. Then the God would have its peace disturbed even further by torturing the person for everlasting eternity since that person did not provide the worship the God demanded. Does all this smack of a perfect being, perfectly at peace or just man impersonating God

See:

http://jesusneverexisted.org/jne/forum/index.php?topic=133.0

You see, many people do with religion and their religious fixations the same as the compulsive gambler does with their fantasy.

Excerpt From: Gamblers Anonymous pamphlet "The dream world of a compulsive gambler." A lot of time is spent creating images of great and wonderful things they are going to do as soon as they make "the big win."... No one can convince them that their great schemes will not come true. They believe they will, for without this dream world, life for them would not be tolerable.

The truth is that which does not change. Man made religion is always changing. This phenomena of putting a spin on truth goes back to the earliest formations of the church when it was voted on by presumptuous individuals as to how to describe God and the trinity. You see it was all voted on and the proponent that had the 'best spin' on it got the credit for Nicene Creed. But in reality no one has a clew about this subject. Want a modern day example of such spiritual sickness, spin and lies?

"Roman Catholic Church Considers Abolishing Limbo Theory" A commission that met at the Vatican last week is expected to recommend to Pope Benedict XVI that the teaching of limbo be dropped. The Roman Catholic Church may abolish the concept of limbo – the place some Catholics believe the spirit of babies go if they die before being baptized

Snip from: http://www.christianpost.com/article/20051209/22492.htm

But it is impossible to have a rational discussion with most religious devotees when they insist on irrationality as their first line of defense. We are rational beings, logical beings, yet belief in God can only come about through irrational, non logical thought. Would a God that created rational, logical beings require such beings to follow irrational fantasy in order to believe in him?

An example? While discussing fossils and ancient coal with a Christian he claimed that fossils and ancient coal are not really old and 'planted by the devil' to trick people from believing in God? this also recalls the book of Enoch, a book that was left out of the bible by the powers that decided what went into it when it was first formed. This book described many fantastic claims about how Eve was tricked by the devil masquerading as an angel.

Would God create such subterfuge as planted fake fossils in order to trick his loved ones only to condom them to burning and torture for all eternity in hell because they cannot find out the rational and logical truth? Yes, such an unjust God would if your God is that of a sickly, delusional, religious devotee that believe is such fantasy.

Even when we discuss the story of Jesus, is it rational for God to have to kill his only begotten son in order to forgive us? What do we do when we forgive another? Do we kill our mother, son or daughter in order to forgive another person? Yet, Christians cling to this fantasy. Jesus was never born on December 25 and in fact there is no evidence Jesus was ever born at all. Christians adopted Christmas from the pagan December 25 holiday in order to promote their own agenda, just as they did with Halloween.

Mr. Moyers:

Finally, someone is asking the right questions, the first questions, the most important questions, getting to the heart of the matter, pointing toward the solutions... the state of Christianity, who the Elite Puppet Masters are, who is responsible for the current oppressive realities?

I could write a book on each of these questions. But I want to focus on the key question. What is wrong with Christianity today? Jesus died to reunite people to God. Yet, your guest stated that many "Progressive Christians" ask themselves whether there is a God.

It amazes me that all Christians can't point to moments of meeting with God in unquestionable ways. I have had many such meetings. I know that God is no respector of persons. Maybe, and I'm pretty sure this is it, "You shall find Me when you search for Me with your whole heart."

Reaching out to God with ones WHOLE HEART is the key to having that experience. I am not one who seeks to define "salvation" as that meeting. Jesus talks about people who don't recognize Him "in that day", who don't know to even look for Jesus to come. Yet, He tells them, "Enter into the joy of your Lord. For I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink..."

Besides, the nature of "salvation" is totally missunderstood by Christianity today. Jesus defined "Eternal Life" as knowing God and His Son Whom He hath sent." Nothing else is salvation despite the many mythological "salvations" designed by various cults of Christianity. Defining a different "Eternal Life" is no more authorized than defining a division in the "Body of Christ". They are both "anathama" to God.

The Chrisitianity of today has definitely lost its way. But the truth is very near. "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." Jesus taught us to pray this, therefore I must consider that He saw it as a possibility and even an objective of His disciples. If it could only happen upon His return, why would He teach us to pray it?

Even your illustrious guests seem to fall prey to some of the modern Myths, as in errors, of today's Christianity. Jesus came to take away the "Sins of the World", to make of all men One Nation, One Tribe. The Kingdom of Heaven comes not with observation. But I believe it is coming, much more than we can see right now. There is an awakening. It is my hope that the destruction of Revelations is but one Prophesied potential ending, just as Nineva's destruction was prophesied. Yet, they repented, "turned around", and God repented of their destruction.
Though much of that Revelations destruction has already been fulfilled.

It had not occurred to me that even those Satanic Elite's who manipulate this world to the oppression of so many, might yet repent and be converted. Maybe they will realize that after they have eliminated the 6 Billion in their plans, they will not be spared either because their Satanic Master seeks to destroy man in order to damage God. Perhaps if we all wake up and uncover their nakedness, their sin, their evil works; maybe they will change. But whether they change or not; we must change their power over us and install a new paradigm, one that reflects the Kingdom of Heaven such as that described in Joel.

Christians must remember that at various times in Biblical History, there was much right with the world. When Israel first entered the "promise land" there were no sick among them and they were free. Every man did as he pleased and there were Judges to handle disputes. That is a pretty free society.

Thank you, for keeping the heat on. Though he is very likable, Obama has not delivered the change he promised. So, far he looks to be the new Bush with a little more compassion for the poor. That is a little better, but not acceptable change.

How many Arabs would Jesus bomb? How many 3rd world children would Jesus let starve, or go thirsty, or without sanitation to protect them from diseases? "How dwelleth the Love of God in you, if you see your brother in need and minister not unto him?" "He that Loveth knoweth God. He that Loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is Love."

Someone sold "the Church" the "American Dream". What place has the true Church, the body of Christ, seeking first the "American Dream" and after that the "Kingdom of Heaven"? Wealth is not sin unless you seek it ahead of the "Kindom of Heaven". But one must be ever vigilant and honest with oneself to make sure this condition isn't the case. So often it is and has been in American Christianity.

Charles Michael Couch

Mary Ann writes,

"But of course, religion causes more problems than it cures. It would be more appropriate to ask atheists why society is such a mess. You would get a more pragmatic response."

As an avowed secular rationalist I share your contempt of religion wholeheartedly but my agreement with your proposed solution is seriously qualified. Atheists can be as morally fraudulent as the religious.

------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, humans are predisposed to creating gods to look to for help.

http://www.godfinder.org/

The facts are this: when people are devoid of religion...they generally stink as humans.

Sure atheist can succeed at pointing to the flaws of religious thought, but they have nothing to replace the flaws with.

So theists choose the lesser of two evils while on earth, with the hopes of hitting the jackpot in the hereafter.

When atheists become successes at 'the religion of humanity,' they may become more successful at replacing theist based religion.

Until that time..."a mans mind may be likened to a garden which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless 'weed seeds' will fall therein and will continue to produce their kind." ~ James Allen

And religion does a good job at controlling the weeds.

I jumped out of my chair and shouted “Hallelujah!” when I heard Serene Jones speak favorably of the prospect of a coming post-Christian society. Yet she fell short of truly embracing one. She instead used Calvin and the Reformation to illustrate the “…coming to the end of some structures of religiosity.” Let’s not have some changes. Let’s really have what she said a breath earlier, the “best” of Christianity “…when it gets completely undone.” I would see post-Christian as what Thomas Paine called completely undone as ”Creation” the true and only extent of God’s gifts – the rain, the sun, the air we breathe, the water we drink, etc., and our minds to reason things and use reasonably and commonly. The others at the table spoke of all this too, but still within the context of religion. When the final bells toll the last breath of religion and faith in myths in this world, that’s when humanity will finally be free. We all will then do the things everyone at the table wishes for but cannot quite get there because they too still have a stake in religion.

Sister Penny wrote:

"I am amazed at the number of negative comments about your July 3 program. I am a Catholic Sister and I found it exciting. I kept cheering "yes! yes!" Thank you for having the courage to air this program."

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Sister:

There is no such thing as negative or positive attitudes. What is viewed as negative to one person may be viewed as positive to another.

There are no such things as 'opinionated' - 'provocative' 'controversial' subjects.

These are only subjective and prejudicial states of mind.

Russell Cromwell tells us - "With the same material one man builds a palace and another only a hovel." So we must allow people to build as they choose.

If one sticks to: true, false or don't know in one's replies they can avoid this trap by arguing facts and not personalities.

Joseph DeLassus writes,

"I thought I made that clear. I don't consider your "facts" facts. It's ideological propaganda that belongs to the 19th century. The question is what is the way forward for the 21st century? It seems clear that neither laissez-faire style capitalism nor command style socialism is the answer"

You don't consider Fed monetary inflation important? What about the recurrence of of artificial booms and recessionary busts engineered by Fed fiat bank credit expansion? Morally hazardous housing legislation forcibly reducing credit-rating and other financial standards for receiving mortgage loans doesn't concern you? If the Treasury decides to bestow upon you the duty of paying off its liabilities to the Chinese, that gives you no pause? If the government redistributes trillions to powerful labour unions and politically connected businesses, you can't be concerned? Perhaps its because they are inconvenient to the anti-markey mentality. These are the facts I presented yet you say they are part of propaganda. Propaganda is the deliberate overemphasis of some facts coupled with the underemphasis and omission of other facts. Given the widespread assumption that laissez-faire capitalism caused the crisis, a single counterexample verifying the non-existence of laissez-faire preceeding the crisis is enough to refute the aforementioned assumption because you cannot blame a phenomenon for having caused an effect if that phenomenon was non-existent to being with.

Now you say laissez-faire capitalism is not the ideal social system. Well, on what grounds? I offered my take on the instrinsic superiority of private firms in a free-market over government firms. Private firms in a free-market are governed by the possibility of profits and losses. Government firms are not because their losses are compensated with tax dollars and government firms are given the privleges of special monopolies.

All I've heard thus far is, essentially "capitalism sucks" but zero argumentative substantiation.

Laissez-faire was approached at the end of the 19th century, but ever since the rise of anti-trust special interest law and the Federal Reserve what has failed is the Keynesian welfarist/warfarist state, not capitalism. Address the facts.

Posted by: Michael Labeit | July 4, 2009 5:16 PM

===========================
I thought I made that clear. I don't consider your "facts" facts. It's ideological propaganda that belongs to the 19th century. The question is what is the way forward for the 21st century? It seems clear that neither laissez-faire style capitalism nor command style socialism is the answer.

Mary Ann writes,

"But of course, religion causes more problems than it cures. It would be more appropriate to ask atheists why society is such a mess. You would get a more pragmatic response."

As an avowed secular rationalist I share your contempt of religion wholeheartedly but my agreement with your proposed solution is seriously qualified. Atheists can be as morally fraudulent as the religious.

Thanks Bill for July 2, 2009 show. The three
religious scholars were very interesting and recognize the need for change of the organized religions. The U.S. and Canada have tried to separate church and state, very unsuccessfully in the U.S. The real church behind the state in the U.S. is the philosophy of Wall Street, icons, rituals and all.
If there really was a Jesus and he tried to boot the money lenders out of the church he got what Wall Street would do to dissenters now. The working class is being crucified.
Your panel talked about a new spirit among people in the seminaries now. I hope so. Recently, I read the 'Gospel of the Redman' (Copyright 1963 by Julia M. Seton) in which the spirituality of the First Nations people is presented. We have a lot to undo. It really doesn't matter what religion, they all talk of their relationship to a higher power, HUMANITY. In the twelve step programs, we say, "G-Good O-Orderly D-Direction". GOD

Very disappointing program.
Why Bill thinks religion can cure what ails us is not a surprise as he comes from a Baptist background.
But of course, religion causes more problems than it cures.
It would be more appropriate to ask atheists why society is such a mess. You would get a more pragmatic response.

I found the Bill Moyers Journal last evening stimulating and provocative though sadly limited in scope. The conversation between Dorrien, Jones and West, while touching on the human capacity to be motivated by both good and evil, in my view failed to address what I consider the central issue of our time.

As a storyteller, I approach everything as a story.

For several thousand years most humans have been living out a story that goes something like this: As humans, we are separate from all other life forms, our job is to multiply, use other life forms to promote our needs and destroy any “enemies” who may get in our way. Humans, the story goes, are in charge and superior to all other life forms. The results of following this path have led us to a point today at which we are immersed in chaos and destruction on many fronts. It is increasingly obvious to more and more people that the path (story) we have been following has led to a dead end. But people of all persuasions are wondering, where do we go now?
In recent years certain philosophers and theologians, such as the late Thomas Berry, have been calling for “a new story.” Where do stories come from? If we pay attention to the findings of cutting-edge scientists and look around us at other life forms, we can accept and embody a very different version of reality: Humans are simply one species here on Earth, inextricably connected to and interdependent on our co-inhabitants. The millions of species of life on planet Earth, our scientists keep demonstrating, depend on intricate and exquisite collaboration—except for the human species.
I would dearly love to see a Bill Moyers Journal devoted to addressing this existential question. I find many young people (as well as some of their teachers and mentors) resonate with the notion of finding a new story from which to build our individual and collective lives. Surely it is high time we moved away from rearranging the worn out, obsolete assumptions and institutions and began a serious dialogue about creating a positive, healthy, inclusive future based on a very new story of our place on planet Earth.
Jane Hughes Gignoux

Joseph DeLassus writes,

"The "facts and statistics" presented above just goes to show that any preconceived point of view can be supported these days on the internet. A serious person will consider all the evidence from all sides and recognize propaganda for what it is. Laissez-faire capitalism has just suffered a major set back. The cure is not more laissez-faire capitalism"

I list a sizeable repetoire of facts identifying various government interventionist agencies, policies, and laws that violate the essence of laissez-faire capitalism, conclude logically that laissez-faire capitalism therefore does not exist, and Joseph DaLassus calls my conclusion "preconceived." What is preconceived here is the opposition towards the free-market, opposition based upon faux arguments and old superstitions preconceived without a sincere analysis of the legal and economic facts at hand. Laissez-faire was approached at the end of the 19th century, but ever since the rise of anti-trust special interest law and the Federal Reserve what has failed is the Keynesian welfarist/warfarist state, not capitalism. Address the facts.

Where can I locate the interview with Ruth Cury that was on July 3, 2008?

I watch Bill Moyers Journal every Friday night and was very interested in last night's show. I know there is a book coming out in August written by Dr. Dean Shrock and called "Why Love Heals." All three of your panelists and Bill ought to read this book.

Denis Neville writes,

"Market triumphalism has been refuted by reality, just as conservatism was completely discredited by the Wall Street crash of 1929."

The Wall Street crash of 1929 came as a result of a massive increase in the money supply perpetrated by the Federal Reserve through its policy of fiat, artificial bank credit expansion. No society can have a central bank, a government monopoly on the production and issuance of money and banknotes, and remain a free-market capitalist society simultaneously and in the same respect - it is a contradiction. You give me the awful (I hate to have to say this) impression that you haven't read a decent book on economics or on the logical method. "America's Great Depression" written by Dr. Murray Rothbard (http://mises.org/rothbard/agd.pdf) and "Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles" written by Dr. Jesus Huerta de Soto (http://mises.org/books/desoto.pdf) offer the best theoretical approaches towards an understanding of business cycles that I know of.

Market triumphalism would entail the opposition to central banking and the advocacy of private banking, not the reverse.

Conservatism, well now conservatism I agree is defunct intellectually. However, do not confuse free market liberalism with conservatism. The former is as distinct from the latter as it is from left-liberalism. Conservatism champions military adventurism and religiously inspired legislation aimed at dismissing homosexual marriage contracts, banning abortion, and upholding FCC decency standards (speech regulation).

Denis Neville further writes,

"Market populism has had the ultimate orgy of debt and credit."

The "orgy of debt and credit" is a phenomenon of government. Its the Federal Reserve that's printing new amounts of loanable funds daily and its the Treasury that's selling bonds and other debt instruments to the Chinese, simultaneously debasing the purchasing power of your dollar as well as involuntarily burdening you and your children with debt. You had better love the free market because it won't rob you of your savings and threaten your children financially.

Denis Neville further writes,

"What is it we mean America to be? Does America still mean what we always though it meant? The Pilgrims in the Mayflower Compact agreed to a mutual responsibility for the well-being of one another, even if meeting that responsibility clashed with their private interests. That basic social contract – responsibility for each other and for the common good - is at the heart of our nation."

The story of the Pilgrims is not a metaphor for the broader American experience. The Pilgrims also subscribed to religious fundamentalism - should we follow suit? Hardly. The Founding Fathers, by contrast, were a group largely of liberal Christians, deists, and skeptics. While the Pilgrims were motivated by religiously inspired altruism, the Founders were inspired by egoism, (The Declaration's "right to the pursuit of happiness").

And notice the intellectual precision of the Declaration, as author Ayn Rand has noted in the past. They correctly recognized our right to PURSUE happiness, not our "right" TO happiness. You have every right to guide your life by your own independent judgment and to keep and control the product of your labour. But you do not have the right to be provided with material values against the will of the providers, i.e., the right to impose involuntary obligations on another who has not transgressed upon your genuine individual rights.

Excuse me, by I neither agreed to the Mayflower Compact nor have I signed any "social contract," yet you nevertheless want me to be bound by the terms and conditions of these agreements, agreements that I have neither participated in nor wish to!?! If that is not a rape and butchery of contract law, I don't know what is.

Who is to pay for your "social safety net?" Who is to be hustled and roughed up by the IRS to finance this venture of yours? Who will have regular deductions to his income so that others may have free money?

I guess "social justice" = involuntary servitude.

This totally made sense. I was getting goosebumps from the concept being shared.
This is what the creator would expect and nothing less from each and every one of us. I can see.... showing your love and currage by taking action-not surprisingly- is not a popular concept to all.

Bill, I've never sent a post before, but the subject and those who came to represent it compelled me to do so. Only once did I hear the name of Jesus mentioned. These guests all came from a "Christian" Theological Seminary and yet they didn't propose true Christian solutions.

Look, Jesus Christ is the center of the Christian faith. He claimed to be God. He died for that claim. He claimed to be the only way to God. If Christ was not God, then he is either a liar or a lunatic. The Christian faith stands or falls on Him. If his claims were false, then we need to junk Christianity. Who wants to follow a liar or a crazy man!

However, I believe Jesus lived the life of love. He showed what true justice looks like. He showed us what faith in Him and his Father were all about. To claim to be Christian and then go off and dismiss his life and teachings is a contradiction. Man in his own strength and ability will never solve the problems we face and yet that is what I heard all night. It takes a reliance on God to accomplish this.

I know many of us Christians have failed those around us by our hypocrisy. I am deeply saddened by many of our religious and political leaders who have claimed to be a follower of Christ, and then failed to live up to His teachings. The world simply dismisses it as a sham.

I hope in the future you will continue the discussion on this subject by bringing in those who can speak from a true Christian perspective.

The "greed argument" is the poor man's explanation for economic crises. Gary Dorrien, Serene Jones, and Cornel West all acknowledged the alleged moral fault of capitalism without seriously addressing the economic facts and figures at hand.

None of the above economic and legal phenomena could exist under a hypothetical state of laissez-faire capitaism, as they all involve a use of force against liberty and private property. Any honest attempt at announcing that laissez-faire capitalism is to blame for the current economic contraction must take into account the facts and statistics presented above.

Posted by: Michael Labeit | July 3, 2009 10:47 PM
======================

The "facts and statistics" presented above just goes to show that any preconceived point of view can be supported these days on the internet. A serious person will consider all the evidence from all sides and recognize propaganda for what it is. Laissez-faire capitalism has just suffered a major set back. The cure is not more laissez-faire capitalism

Way to go Bill for standing up to Cornell West's insufferable and overbearing jibber jabber.

I watch the Bill Moyers Journal almost every Friday night, and find it interesting, stimulating, and informative. However, last night, I literally could not make heads or tails out of what the 3 panelists were saying. Maybe it's just that I am not a Christian, and as a Jew, matters of faith pale beside matters of practicality: How does one live a good and honest life, and contribute to making the world a better place? (More just, more fair for more people.) This has not much, if anything, to do with faith, and everything to do with deeds. I listened carefully to each of the panelists' comments, and I did not get a sense that any of them was addressing this question. The only thing that made sense was the information about the food pantry crisis at the end.

How is possible to have a discussion about Christianity with 3 Theologic Seminary academics and never mention Jesus, the Bible, forgiveness, repect for life or Faith? If what they said about Christianity is all there is to it, the hell with it!

>>
Taking pot shots at Wall Street is a coward's way.

Ok, how bout the philosophy of Wall Street?

"The pernicious idea that democracy lies in the choice between competing brands and the freedom to accumulate vast sums of personal wealth at the expense of others has collapsed." Chris Hedges 6/30
http://www.alternet.org/story/140997/the_corporate_media_state_has_deformed_american_culture_--_time_to_fight_back/

Yeah, good ole Lewis Sinclair.

Stop smelling the coffee, Bill, and drink some.

I almost always enjoy Cornel West; I always look forward to hearing or reading him. This panel was my first contact with the other two guests.

Something bothers me about the tone, however; maybe it is because all were so hopeful. I have gotten used to expecting little in terms of justice in the great USofA.

Bill, I wish you would have pushed a little harder on the question, “Where has the social gospel been for the last 30-40 years, maybe even since the deaths of JFK, MLK, and RFK.” The deeper issue is the extent to which American Protestantism reflects our society rather than lights it up.

The suggestion that we can look forward to a more authentic commitment to Christian moral teachings from a leaner movement sounds logical. But I doubt that congregations will lose their supply of aluminum siding salesmen looking for customers and predatory men looking for women.

At the moment, all the action is at the extremes of the rational scientific atheists and Radical Orthodoxy, both of which offer slippery simplifications surrounded by advertising slogans. While I have nothing against love (so long as it resists the temptation to the idolatry of love is God, rather than the reverse) I heard too little about the sacrifices in the name of love. Maybe that’s an indication that love is as much the problem as it is the answer.

The structures of our lives are now empty forms, devoid of life-giving energy. The only movement left in them is the twitching which releases the pent up motion of collapse.

Yet, within the chaos lie the seeds of transformational renewal. We still live, we still have our common basic needs:
food, shelter healthcare and education. Those needs must be met, and therein lies the basis for a new civilization. "Take your brother's need as the measure of your action, and solve the problems of the world" says Maitreya. How simple, how compassionate, how loving is this suggestion.

The question arises as to how to motivate people to look beyond their selfish interests and to cooperatively contribute to a greater good. There are two great Laws of life: the Law of Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect or Karma. These two govern our lives whether we like it or not. As with the Law of Gravity, we may choose to ignore them but sooner or later we will suffer the consequences of our thoughts, our choices and our deeds by experiencing the effects of those thoughts and choices. If we don't experience those effects in this lifetime, we will in a future lifetime on this planet. We eventually learn to be totally harmless..not necessarily because we are "great saints", but because we don't want to be harmed in return.

Leaders have more responsibility and therefore generate more Karma than most of us, for their choices affect millions of people. Politicians likewise are in highly responsible positions. They would be wise to adhere to democracy's rules of serving the public rather than using the public to serve themselves. They will be held accountable sooner or later. In international relations, the same simple laws apply. Countries which attack, invade, steal from others will be attacked, invaded and will lose through theft, if not from without then from within.

Now that we stand amid the rubble of the past, looking for a treasure here, a
familiar remnant there, we must raise our heads and look up, look out to the sky for there is a great sign in the heavens. Literally hundreds of people, more and more each day, from all points of the globe, are discovering a brilliant light in the sky. It pulsates, it moves, it twinkles, it changes colors. Only once before in man's history, at the birth of Jesus, has such a sign been given. It is meant as a call to all men and women of whatever tradition, that a new Teacher is about to begin His public mission.

Religious extremes of any denomination are evil.
Torture, preemptive war, political earmarks (theft),
uncontrolled capitalism (greed) and the need to impose there will on everyone will lead to our destruction.
This country was founded on personal freedoms, responsibility and a separation of church and State.

Unless someone interviews the author of "Crazy for God", we're not going to save the "church" from its current role as temple harlot to a self-serving "elite".

USA is swamped by pharisaism (a fictional character, Dr. Zhivago, correctly diagnosed that peculiar form of madness)in exactly the same way Russia was after the Revolution.

Jesus never wrote anything down into a book even though he was, by all accounts, especially by his enemies, a well educated and literate man.
Food for thought, no?

There was more that was "real" about "religion" in the rerun of the 2006 comedic act put on by Lewis Black in his show called "Screwed" that I watched after Bill's show than there was in this Journal episode. Definitely not one of the best Journals - but hey, no one is perfect :-)

Get the author on who wrote "Crazy for God". THAT should be interesting.

Terrific show. Those that have problems understanding Cornell West might want to work on listening skills, with a dictionary nearby. As for the topic and the treatment, I was moved by the speaking out, finally, by "christians".
Charity, love, "how deep is your love", decency are so absent for the past 30-45 years. Scams prevail: whether Ponzi, derivatives, phony IPO's, wholly corrupt politicians in bed with Pharma, Oil, Weapons makers, Real Estate, anyone with the abitity to pad the campaign banks of those with awful haircuts and expensive suits, in short, bribery. Usurious credit rates when banks borrow for nothing. Read Matt Taibbi's latest in Rolling Stone, or Simon Johnson's "Quiet Coup".

We live in a country where lying has become the new truth. Torture, murder, eavesdropping by government, no healthcare for those that can't pony up the necessary $. We had better take heed the words of these 4 folks and countless (though not on Main Stream Media) others such as Chomsky, Zinn, Goodman , Roy, Hudson, Greider, Gandhi,and King, not Matthews, Friedman, Obama, or just about any Repub or Dem with the exception of Sanders, Kucinich, Flake, Lee, and a few others. The rest are wholly owned subsidiaries of someone.

Serene, with or without "original sin", echoed the idea that , left to our own devices we will be corrupted by greed, obscene self interest, and crushing our fellowman/country.

We must take a new path. Keep digging deep into our souls Bill, and thanks.

I am profoundly grateful to PBS for Bill Moyers and all of the educational shows offered to us as gifts. I find it a rare opportunity at this stage of life for continued instruction and debate among people of depth and intelligence.
I recall that the crises in the 1960's while I was at University, inspired people of DIVERSE groups to come together; people from different races, classes,and disciplines
met together regularly. Some had interacted for the first time to come together and form an overview of what our real needs are in order to try to solve problems with a new spirit of creative input.
What I see lacking at this moment in time is such a dialogue that will include simultaneously those concerned with global warming, with basics like food and health care, with new ideas for Wall Street and industry within an ethical context of greater human evolution. We have people talking amongst themselves, but they need to talk to each other and release habitual expectations for silence, for openness to possibilities rather than polemics.
I hear when Wall street speaks great fear that the old system is dying perhaps to be replaced by a more European model that allows for more government programs including health care. This is just part of the picture, but worth exploring. So too do people who speak of climate change need to communicate with business for a new set of industries and involve the young especially.
Crisis and challenge seem to be calling upon us to express our ideals of love in action. If PBS wants to continue this thread of teaching through a mixture of groups exchanging ideas I think many would be grateful.
In our time the challenges include more than economics and ethics also our planetary life and balance.

If anyone could I think Bill Moyers and PBS could pull together a series of shows in which people come together to explore this collective call regularly and people who rarely speak to each other would surely open a new door.

I'm glad the semenarians at Union are so great and questioning the exsistence of God. The guests were articulate and highly educated. But really, none of that is trickling down to the pulpit or the people in the pews.
But really, as a former Catholic who had such hope and worked so hard in her early life, Christianity and religon are leading the pack in what is wrong with this country and the world.
At this point I just want to lead as ethical a life as I can. I teach in a university and my students can't read and are either ruled by their religions and/or struggling to live without any spiritual or moral grounding.
Please put on real commentators, and no more guests hawking their wares. the poverty of this country has been in great show for a week as the news media shows hour after hour of the life and times of a little boy who never grew up and hit the big time and is revered as a success and spiritual leader to the
impoverished.

I wasn't able to follow your theories about "original sin" as pertains to "checks and balances." Nor could I quite understand your obsession with Wall Street.

If you want to study the source of evil in America, a good place to start would be California proposition 13. Far more evil proceeds from the sort of selfish mob mentality that results in such pseudo populist rabble rousing as prop 13.

The real threat to America comes from the middle class, not Wall Street. Wasn't it the middle class who supported Hitler in Germany?

Where is your courage? If you really want to speak truth to power, speak up against middle class boobocracy, like H.L. Menken and Lewis Sinclair.

Taking pot shots at Wall Street is a coward's way. Wall Street can't hurt you. The hostility of the middle class boob can ruin you.

Notice: Equating single-payer with Nazism will not fly. Government provided healthcare is not a spectacular failure. Public option combined with fifteen hundred private options has gone down as a failure.

Clint, so far the Wall Street firm and bank bailouts strike me as about 70% non-Keynesian. One hundred percent Keynesian to me would be, for instance, setting up the apparatus to quickly, radically, and broadly adjust mortgage payback rates and/or grant debt forgiveness. Of course we need CCC type work, a good example of which would have been tasks along side the South Central Farmers. In fact, it's a perfect example. Few in gov get this. So simple, but so radical. Where would the opportunities be for fat, cushy jobs? Not enough. This I'll give to all the bad mouthers of gov [but remember, it's only our current gov paradigm, not something eternal]. There is no stating of this problem adequately. I can accept huge "fat" layers of bureacracy, but I also advocate a transition to the simpler approaches utilized during the Great Depression. A paycheck for agricultural work, ration boards, etc. The transition from even something like "social entrepeneurship" to something more centralized to me seems like it must take place. Maybe I'm wrong on that. But for sure...all the I-me-mine trips must cease. All the new answers-to-everything and their schtick must cease. We're all used to it. Yr after yr in come the new window dressings, rap-downs, pep talks, power points. Then, five yrs later...yet another version. IMO we need to get practical. Man, Ellul used to imply technique had gotten too left brained, but nowadays in the USA it's more like ya gotta have some medicine show song and dance. The people Bill Moyers interviews are different.

Great posts IMO by: Bradley, Denis, Linda Piera-Avila, Varda Burns, Gene, pbs watcher, ch, Paul Harris at 1:03 AM, and by many others.

Lorraine Lyneborg, your post really grabs me--it's so interesting. There's not enough (AFAICS) psychoanalysis of advertising technique around these days...like Vance Packard in the olden times. Are people afraid to spill the beans ahora...any of'em? Or is everything today just a matter of outright sex? That's what one friend of mine thinks, but I still wonder if there's a missing Packard out there...that could shed light on details.

I was encouraged by West's inclusion of law-unto-themselves writers. I get discouraged and depressed thinking about elderly shut-ins, for instance, who hang on to the notion that real Christians must have the
anti-abortion badge on at all times...and must be bad mouthing gays all the time. What a sad and stupid notion of triage. Let's pray for those poor souls. They do not understand the world into which they were born...and the triage that should be in place here. They still believe we are not fighting for a pipeline in Afghanistan. Did some one say it's hegemony or survival? They still believe it's the hegemony's consumption of fuel, resources, tax dollars, and China-loans that'll help us survive!

Nothing's pat. If anyone wants to read about the variety of takes on original sin in the Christian faith, check out "Adam, Eve, & the Serpent" by Elaine Pagels. There is every variety you can think of, and some are no less rational than ones from the East (some from the East strike moi as not unreasonable). There has been dissent re "born in moral filth and sin." Personally, I do believe in karma and reincarnation, but I think I'm beginning to understand the opportunity of a quicker exit (off the wheel) described by Jesus. [I wonder though why Camus, heavy rebel that he was, didn't maintain more of an interest in it.] No one's saying subscribe to Xian beliefs without reason, at least in my camp. Micheal, liberal Xian social activists are your worst nightmare because you tag them with the worst aspects of religion and politics. In the current context, however, I can safely say you are absolutely wrong in regard to the political end of that characterization. Our woes today are payback for the most jack-leg, ego inflationary excuse for "economic philosophy" conceivable in a world where so much info enables the real deal to be discerned so easily. This zealous psuedo-economic dogma and this dogma alone is the cause of it all. For cry'n out loud, they rated outright ponzi schemes as the most desirable investments! Get real! In my opinion you'd profit greatly by resolving to read everything by William Greider you can get your hands on (perhaps begin with "Who Will Tell the People?" and go forward). A little Naomi Klein wouldn't hurt either. I humbly ask you to ease up on the slack you grant corporate democracy...and to consider if the "mob" behind it hasn't endorsed a very irrational religion/zeitgeist itself. And how bout letting faith folks have at least one show, since in some contexts and regarding some social problems, they're the ones that end up speaking out.

Please, no more Christian (or Muslim or Hindu or whatever religious bent) "pundits" on your show. It's enough that they preach to their gullible flock(sheep?). Once people accept religious myths as truth they lose their ability to reason objectively.

I am amazed at the number of negative comments about your July 3 program. I am a Catholic Sister and I found it exciting. I kept cheering "yes! yes!" Thank you for having the courage to air this program.

Between W.S. Merwin last week and Cornel West this week, what a tale of two cities. Merwin left me empty; tranquil, peaceful. West with the flailing of arms and exaggerated speech reminded me of Limbaugh on the left. Being vs. Having. Erich Fromm was prophetic in “To Have or To Be.” Merwin moved me to write poetry. I used to be a Christian missionary in the Amazon, but West reminded me why I left the “cracked vessel” faith to follow down the same path as Merton.
Thank you William. Thank you Cornel.

JG Adams
Humble Texas

bill, in all my years of watching you this is maybe the most trite and disappointing show yet. this show was just smug ivory tower liberals trying to sound thoughtful with pseudointellectual platitudes that reflect no serious thought about religion, capitalism, or what people should actually to do make things change. i know you can do better but its been diminishing returns lately and i will not be donating to pbs this year or probably ever again.

Your feature about the good works of food banks could not erase for me the image of three religious zealots rubbing their hands with glee over the distress of so many people.

The Emerging Church needs to be an unrelenting voice for adult supervision of capitalism.

The open market economy is not a moral or ideal system but it is the only one we have. The best market economy is one where all economic and political forces reach a sort of equilibrium. Open markets adapt better to the changing conditions of the marketplace. There is a flexibility of response not possible in the straight jacket of a state socialist model. A state socialist structure devolves into the tyranny of a party politics oligarchy. Ideally, you want a society counterbalanced by the voter, government bureaucrat, political party, reform politician, small entrepreneur, captain of industry, labor unions, and the unaffiliated independent thinker. All forces should get something of what they want. But the dirty little secret is that nobody will be satisfied. That's what makes democracies.

Michael Labeit where have you been the last year or so? Following the wayward pied piper of the unfettered free market it appears. According to this doctrine of supercharged conservatism, only when we commit ourselves fully, only when we give it all to the market, will our voices be heard; only then will we the huddled masses be empowered. We must trust the market implicitly and allow the market to dictate every aspect of our existence.

The sooner we recognize and confront this claptrap with the true language of economic democracy the better we off we will be.

Market triumphalism has been refuted by reality, just as conservatism was completely discredited by the Wall Street crash of 1929. In the global free market, there is a variation on Gresham’s Law - bad capitalism tends to drive out good. If we are Rome, Wall Street is our Coliseum. Market populism has had the ultimate orgy of debt and credit. Arrogant corporations under extreme capitalism have redistributed wealth to heights previously unknown, while at the same time paying workers next to nothing, outsourcing jobs, dismantling the social safety net, etc., “all on our behalf.”


Command and control liberalism? This is delusional stuff.

Many Americans have taken steep financial falls through no fault of their own from which they are having a terrible time recovering, while being whipsawed by financial sources beyond their control. Don’t worry. Free markets can solve problems, even social problems, better than government.

What is it we mean America to be? Does America still mean what we always though it meant? The Pilgrims in the Mayflower Compact agreed to a mutual responsibility for the well-being of one another, even if meeting that responsibility clashed with their private interests. That basic social contract – responsibility for each other and for the common good - is at the heart of our nation.

Over the last 25 years, this has changed. Under the economic doctrine of free market and personal responsibility, each of us is now expected to rise or fall as our talents and luck dictate. Gone is the original idea that the bounty of our nation should be shared, and those who worked and played by the rules should be able to depend on some minimum of protection against bad times and personal misfortune. As a result, the social safety net that families could once rely on to protect them from the forces of the market economy have been eliminated or severely reduced.

The defining challenge of our time, as you so eloquently discussed last night, is restoring that sense of mutual responsibility embodied in the Mayflower Compact and reestablishing those values that constitute the heart of what it means to be an American.

Capitalism puts money and profit first

Socialism (supposedly) puts people first.

We can see the results of pure capitalism in our world. The profits go to capitalists and the losses get socialized by the general public taxpayers.

And if by chance the taxpayer finds this unreasonable and refuses to support the capitalist they get their property seized and go to jail.

Not much different from the serfs and lords of the middle ages.

I use the word 'supposedly' with reference to socialism putting the people first, for the reason that imperfect humans are applying the rules and ego and money still get in the way of selfless socialist decisions.

What is capitalism missing to make things right in America? The show touched on this when it mentioned social ethics.

But...why would any capitalist work towards social ethics? To do so would require one to be a socialist and not a capitalist?

Why would a capitalist rather do good than make money? Ethics cost money and it is money that drives the capitalist and not social love as the black Prof kept trying to underscore.

Yes, it would be nice if we all loved one another and put others first. But such thoughts can only be conjured up in starry eyed Christians.

For the truth is we cannot force others to love. All we have to do is look at the divorce figures in the US to confirm that.

As our world changes, it will be important to 'think right' is one wishes to survive and wishful thinking must be put away with.

Here is the thing about Jesus.

Throughout history NO ONE that ever wrote about Jesus ever met Jesus. Jesus started with Paul's visualization or dream of Jesus decades after Jesus' suppose life and death and it all mushroomed from there.

The story of Jesus is all based on one man's dream of Jesus. So let me repeat, NO ONE that ever wrote about Jesus ever met Jesus. EVERYTHING written about Jesus is ALL just hearsay and wishful thinking.

I have to wonder if the Christians realized that Jesus was not born on Dec 25 and his birthday was just 'created out of thin air' by the church to replace the pagans solstice holiday - doesn't that start to make you wonder about the rest of the lies we have been told?

Look to where the idea of the trinity came from...The First Council of Nicea. A group of political aspirants got together hundreds of years after Jesus' supposed life to vote on who had the 'best spin' to adopt for the official dogma of the church. These guys had no recollection to the truth, they were just concerned with what 'sounded best' to their ego.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

And this tradition of creating truth out of lies is carried down to present day.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20051209/22492.htm

Now I'm not against Christian worship. Although I am an agnostic freethinker, I was a Christian for 50 years myself and subscribe to freedom of worship.

And the Christians goal of helping thy neighbor and charity is a good goal to strive for. But I believe the Christians motto should change to 'we worship along the lines of the myth of Jesus' and not confuse faith with fact. I look to Jesus as the Taoist scholars look to Lao Tzu...a myth...but a myth containing wisdom.

Now Buddhism and yoga are full of the same myths and overblown hype as the rest of the man-made religions. It is our job through sift through the mess of lies we have been handed and see 'by testing' what works and what does not work in our quest for spiritual growth.

Getting back to the capitalists...

To develop social ethics one must ask the question of good versus money.

For instance should I move my operations to India or China and make 50% more money? Or should I keep the people in my town employed even though we will only turn a small profit or break even?

When you put money as your god the question is easy to answer - you move operations overseas, you make products that are unhealthy or shoddy, you rob people of their retirement.

In short, you do whatever it takes 'to stay ahead of the wolf pack' as the TV commercial proclaims to make lots of green dollar bills to bow down to.

Even the so called selfless communist governments get weighed down with egocentric, greedy leaders. So don't think I am proclaiming communism as the fix all here.

If one is selfless such as ants or bees communism's works fine. It is only when selfishness is injected that communism fails miserably.

The reason the ideal of communism fails is because imperfect humans have to apply the perfect ideals. Same goes with our imperfect democratic elected leaders. But the problem is not so much that we elect imperfect leaders, the problem is that we have no overnight committee to change the wrongs that they do.

In our future, Americans may find themselves to lean more to a community based life, As the crude dries up, resources dwindle the gov may find it hard to help all those in need. Localized groups and communes of sorts may be all we have to turn to.

I will say for communism to be fair minded and even handed, all workers would periodically exchange jobs (best they could) from top to bottom. That way favoritism would not be such a problem.

But who wants to go from the ivory tower to shoveling shit, so lets get real - we are dealing with human egos here.

And even if we wish to 'try' and do good, one cannot replace highly skilled workers with the shit shoveler. So no matter how we slice it, there will always be exceptions to the rule.

If there was a 'cap on capitalism' then once the CEO reached his or her cap of 2 million or 5 million or whatever, maybe they would start think of others and what good can we do for the whole of society? As of now, the only thing they think of is how to make more money at the expense of others.

Once the market place starts rewarding social ethics then the capitalists may adopt the skills that get rewarded. But it would take a topsy-turvy world for this to happen.

The stocks of companies that 'do good' and make little or no money would have to rise. And the stocks that make lots of money and do evil or social harm would have to flounder.

Imagine that...well, guess it only works in one's imagination?


ChMoore writes,

"The show touched on the idea of capitalism gone awry. Capitalism is not inherently good or bad, any more than any other 'ism. It's simply defined as privately owned means of production."

I would rather say that capitalism is a moral system to the extent that it is a social system where the people and the legal system respect the rights to liberty and private property. Imagine what it would mean to say that such a system were no more moral than say communism, socialism, or fascism, systems that DEMAND the abolition of liberty and private property rights in theory and practice. Just compare historical records. If capitalism is no better or worse than any other "ism," than you wouldn't have a problem dwelling under communism or socialism or fascism or anarchism, right?

That the means of production are privately owned under capitalism presumes many things, including the social recognition of the rights to liberty and private property, for productive factors could not be privately owned if individual rights were not recognized.

ChMoore further writes,

"When we become as dependent as we are on mega-corps and mega-banks, private ownership has no meaning, because the ownership is in the hands of a small fraction, while the rest of us actually own little or nothing. At that point, we lose our right to keep the government accountable to us. Who are the lawmakers going to listen to, the mega-entities, or the rest of us virtual nobodies?"

Why does the size of a business intimidate you? Its the nature of a business, not its structure, that determines whether it is a threat. Businesses that grow in size due to past success in satisfying consumer demand are to be enthusiastically welcomed. Businesses that grow in size due to subsidies should be lambasted.

Mulp writes,

"Here are the marches on Washington that I would expect to see if the young people really were a committed generation:
- marches for energy sustainability
- health care for all marches
- college or trade school for all marches
- sustainable healthy food marches
- anti-war marches"

Healthcare for all? Education for all? At who's expense?

Consumer goods do not fall from the sky - they are the product of a combination of productive factors or producer goods (land, labour, and capital goods). I get the impression that mulp believes that a man is entitled to a material value merely because he lacks it. But is this true? I completely disagree. Consumer goods require producers for their existence. If some are entitled, by right, to consumer goods, who will be forced to fulfill the obligations imposed by those "rights?" Since consumer goods must be produced, a right to be provided with consumer goods means a right to the product of the mind and of the effort of another. This is otherwise known as slavery.

What if the taxpayers refuse to pay for your right to be provided with healthcare or with a college education? Will you lobby for their arrest. What if the taxpayers want to keep what they have earned, i.e., their private property. Who are you to say that some should be forced to pay for the healthcare and education of others?

All in the name of social justice.

Since no one to my knowledge has defined social justice on this forum, I'll take a stab at it and state that social justice as employed on this forum is a euphemism for the advocacy of the use of coercive legal instruments to orchestrate the redistribution of wealth, plain and simple - in a word, the tried and failed political economy of left-liberalism.

The Right calls torture "enhanced interrogation" and the Left calls government theft "social justice." !?!

If you want good healthcare, good education, good food, and no frivolous wars (surely you don't oppose wars of self-defense) rely upon the market, not the government. On the free-market, you are a customer, a person who's demand entrepreneur's seek to satisfy so as to encourage further business. Private firms run far more efficiently than government firms because private firms on the free-market are exposed to and governed by the profit and loss system. On the market, the survival of a business is contingent upon its performance in satisfying consumer demand.

By contrast, to the government you are not a customer. You are a subject who must relinquish his money through taxes and inflation. Government firms tend to be inefficient because they are not exposed to and governed by the profit and loss system. The survival of government is not contingent upon its performance. The state can continue to pass detrimental laws, engage in massively wasteful wars, can fail to properly defend individual rights and still remain in power because all its expenses can be paid with taxes, with stolen funds.

"How does your faith or moral code inform your views about politics and society?"

As a youth, I went to a Catholic elementary school. In spite of the cranky nuns running the place, I have to admit there were one or two useful things I learned.

One time in the confessional, I asked Father Cavanaugh how I could have been born with original sin, if at birth I hadn't done anything yet. He told me that it's not really about having already sinned at birth, but that we are all imperfect, and we all have the potential to sin. That's why we need to learn forgiveness.

Because catachism and other standard subjects were taught in the same class, I formed a mental association between the ideals of Christianity and the ideals of our American democratically elected republic.

Basically I continue to believe that the idea of a universal moral code common to all monotheistic religions is synonymous with the principals of fairness and justice for all which are part of our constitution.

Naturally I was young enough to accept all this idealism without question. Of course I'm not naive enough to think we're actually going to accomplish all this - it will always be a work in progress. But the ideals are what motivate us in the right direction.

Though we'll never be perfect, if we're going to progress in the direction of fairness and justice for all, we'll have to also be accountable to each other. We talk about the rule of law, but laws are not for their own sake, they're supposed to have the purpose that each one of us is for all, and all of us are for each one of us.

The show touched on the idea of capitalism gone awry. Capitalism is not inherently good or bad, any more than any other 'ism. It's simply defined as privately owned means of production. That does not automatically mean an oligarchy has the right to own a 90% piece of the pie.

When we become as dependent as we are on mega-corps and mega-banks, private ownership has no meaning, because the ownership is in the hands of a small fraction, while the rest of us actually own little or nothing. At that point, we lose our right to keep the government accountable to us. Who are the lawmakers going to listen to, the mega-entities, or the rest of us virtual nobodies?

The problem is not that mega-entities are too big to fail. There are too many eggs in too few baskets. The problem today is that they are too big to AVOID failure. They're priveleged-few big-ness, is essentially their failure, and in turn our failure.

Why are you looking to Obama for leadership on social justice when delivering the votes for the future requires social injustice compromise.

The extension of unemployment, expansion of food programs, sickcare assistance were limited and required tax cut bribes to those who don't need them to get the votes to pass.

Sure, times are tough and January and February were cold, but that didn't stop the marches on Washington in the past.

FDR was spurred to action by the prospects of hundreds of thousands of vets doing a bonus march on Washington.

Eisenhower, JFK, were spurred by marches, and most important, the marches gave LBJ the leverage to twist arms.

But be prepared for the arm twisting to oust Obama and the Democrats from Washington just as they did LBJ.

Here are the marches on Washington that I would expect to see if the young people really were a committed generation:
- marches for energy sustainability
- health care for all marches
- college or trade school for all marches
- sustainable healthy food marches
- anti-war marches

Each of those is a component of social justice which Obama is furthering in the context of a political climate that constrains his freedom due to those checks and balances, which most of congress checked by the political pundits who give more coverage to political scandals and rambling news conferences than to reasoned debates on the issues.

Only Obama makes the argument that doing the right thing on energy will create jobs, with every voice saying that replacing oil with labor will cost jobs.

How about a million job seekers marching on Washington promising to march shoulder to shoulder around the Hill until they have assurance that jobs will be waiting for them when they get home.

Paul Harris writes,

"Weren't Hitler and his crew the perfect bedmates for turbo-capitalists? Or do turbo-capitalists have morals over and above acquisition and power? Do turbo-capitalists have to believe in democracy? I think not."

Its no coincidence that the word "Nazi" was an abbreviation for National Socialist Worker's Party. Read the Party's 25 points. The Nazis called for the nationalization of trusts or large businesses, legally enforced profit-sharing in large industries, eminent domain applied to farmland, the abolition of land rent and speculation, government provided education, government provided healthcare, and the fulfillment of the "Common good before individual good," all classic interventionist measures that have been spectacular failures. Again I ask, how is this capitalistic? Capitalism is the legal recognition of negative liberty and private property rights, not whatever one wishes it to be. It has a specific identity.

By "turbo-capitalists" I take it Paul refers to advocates of laissez-faire capitalism, of which I am one. No, a free-market liberal does not believe in pure democracy, in rule by the majority (cracy = rule by, demos = the masses). Rule by the majority runs the risk of becoming the tyranny of the majority because if the majority possesses absolute political power, this means that all things are subordinate to the wishes of the majority. Thus if the majority wishes to stone homosexuals, who is to oppose this in a democracy - who is to contradict the majority? Limited democracy serves the purpose of choosing political leaders, but that's it. Pure democracy is morally corrupt for the same reason that the argumentum ad populum is a fallacy. Just as Aristotle discovered that the truth of a declarative statement is not contingent upon its popularity, so the Founding Fathers realized that the morality of a policy was not contingent upon its public support. Just because a majority claims a political measure is moral and should be adopted does not mean that that measure indeed actually IS moral or that it actually should be adopted. Those who call for such democracy call for mob rule.

DEAR MR. MOYER,

REGARDING YOUR JULY 3, 2009 BROADCAST,
IT WOULD APPEAR TO ME THAT ONE WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SEEKER OF TRUTH WOULD APPROACH ONE MOST CLOSE TO IT.
I NOTICED YOU DID NOT HOST PROPHET BISHOP H. WALKER AS A MEMBER OF YOUR PANEL OF "EXPERTS" ON THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT OF YOUR TOPIC.
BISHOP H. WALKER IS MOST NOTABLY THE BEST SOURCE, AND WEALTH OF CREDIBLE INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT OF CHRISTIANITY KNOWN TO EXIST IN THIS GENERATION, AND VINEYARD. YET, YOU SELECT SUBSTANDARD SOURCES TO PARLEY, AND ANNOTATE THE TOPIC OF YOUR SHOW IN A MAZE OF INCONCLUSIVE, UNFOUNDED, AND UNFRUITFUL RHETORIC. USING MISINTERPRETED, PERIODIC BIBLICAL CLICHE`S TO STRESS BLASPHEMOUS POINTS WAS MOST HORRENDOUS.
WHY? "TRUTH SEEKER", WHY?
OR ARE YOU NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN TRUTH?

BISHOP H. WALKER CAN BE CONTACTED AT TRUE LIGHT PENTECOST CHURCH, 121 OLD CONVERSE RD., SPARTANBURG, SC. 29307, (864)579-0025, OR prophetwalker@sc.rr.com

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO SEEK HIM OUT, AND PUT HIM ON YOUR SHOW. HOW RIVITING, HOW ENLIGHTENING, AND HOW TRUTHFULL IT WILL BE.

VERY TRULY,

RACHEL RODGERS

Serene Jones pointed out that there is a new surge of a moral conscience young people. I feel that this is true whether or not you are of a particular faith or do not define your moral conscience in any religious terms.

How did this all come about that we are becoming a more morally conscious society? I do not feel that it is the economic crisis that has caused this, but that it is a result of the simple fact that we were asked by the Obama campaign to add our voices to ideological discussions abut democracy and our society. Empowered in this way, we had to awaken what Serene and Cornel described as our true "wants" as individuals and as members of society, A desire to create a world and a self that fits our moral conscience is a very powerful need that can become stifled if it has no voice, power, or outlet. The Obama campaign awakened this voice in many of us. It is odd that in being so empowered, we sometimes confused our voices with his and did not always listen to what he told us about himself. Some who are sometimes disappointed and go back and listen to old campaign speeches are surprised to discover that they were never misled by him, but stopped listening to him as they became involved in their own internal moral discussions. Being internal, they are not constrained by any need to be practical with regards to the outside wold and our current society. Obama is both an idealist, and as a leader, he is also a pragmatist. He wants the ideal to actually have a way to become reality. If we want the ideal of our moral conscience to equal what is politically pragmatic, than we ALL need to continue to be a voice for morality. We cannot sit back and criticize Obama and blame him for doing his best to move us forward towards social justice with the current tools and social climate he has to work with. If we want the our pragmatic reality to equal an ideal social morality then we must all do this together to change the social climate. I believe this is why we have been given this voice. Not to undermine best efforts - but to create a climate of possibility.

World markets were on the verge of collapse - there was no choice but to stabilize these large financial institutions.

I saw an earlier post from Donald M about "still being a Christian" if he had heard this 15 years ago...I can relate to the feeling but can assume that Donald really is a good Christian who was let down by his church's lack of leadership on the moral questions of the day which should have been the universal rights and truths which Christ talked about and championed. Let's face it - a real Christian would be lynched in God-land for being a communist, or hippie...there are so many masquerading as Christian who give lip service to Christ whilst pounding people with copies of the old testament and fomenting hate in His name...the fundamentalists over here are just as bad as the fundamentalists over there...we just need to expose them with the light of honest discourse which Bill Moyers does so brilliantly. If I HAD to tithe, I'd choose PBS! Thank God for them! But wait, them are us! Thanks y'all!

I enjoyed this, if you get a chance watch my IFC Short Film of the Month Winner, a mini documentary about a rebel activist priest who fought for social justice and fair housing while often ruffling the Church's feathers.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1007584286579&saved

Three years ago the City of Los Angeles evicted the South Central Farmers who were growing food to feed themselves on the largest urban farm in the U.S., located in the poorest and most polluted zip code in the county. Their 14 acre farm was across the street from the regional Los Angeles Food Bank. The land remains idle to this day, slated to become a warehouse for Forever 21. How ironic in this time of want that poor people who were growing food to feed themselves were denied that ability and that the values of a greedy developer, a sweatshop labor corporation, its campaign contribution recipient mayor and gentrification deluded councilwoman held sway over social and environmental justice. The South Central Farmers had and continue to possess the skills we all need to learn to be able to grow food to feed ourselves as the price of food and its transportation grows out of reach for more and more people. First we must as a society, as the theologians on tonight's show so eloquently stated, re-align our values to prioritize community, sharing, caring and respect for the living world, including other humans. As an old Cree proverb goes, after the last fish is gone, how will you eat money?

The earlier Darwinian "laissez-faire" turbo-capitalist proponents better hope there's a soup kitchen or food bank in their neighborhood when their corporate masters chuck them for a worker from Singapore. Supra-national corporations will soon be beyond anyone's control...they'll probably get in bed with the Chinese and follow the Hitler-Germany formula where businesses do what they want as long as they support the Fuhrer. Weren't Hitler and his crew the perfect bedmates for turbo-capitalists? Or do turbo-capitalists have morals over and above acquisition and power? Do turbo-capitalists have to believe in democracy? I think not.

In the discussion about hunger in America, I wish there was also mention of the one billion people on our planet who are chronically hungry! And the causes of that hunger connected with the U.S. government subsidy to U.S. farmers, which undermines subsistence farmers in so many poorer countries.

This was by far the best program this year. If I had heard these people 15 years ago I still might be Christian.

In a media that too often ignores the truth, it was nice to hear the truth spoken about in terms any open minded believer or non-believer should be able to accept. God Bless you for bringing these great minds on your show...

All I saw and heard of this Fridays discussion were four self-deluded people who assume we live in a human world still. But we actually live in a world described by GeorgeOrwell, Aldous Huxley and many other so-called sci-fi writers who recognized the future would be run by corporations. Corportations are the only real superhuman entities that exist, given the rights and provileges of a super person by the Supreme Court rule the modern world, and the Congress and all departments of government are mearly puppets of the corporations wih the strings pulled by 15,000 lobbyists.

Bill Moyers, please quite giving lip-service to the unreal self-delusions and give voice to thos who really have the courage to speak truth to power, the corporation.

Didn't Jimmy Carter get pounded like a communist on Wall Street for suggesting that America suffered from a spiritual malaise? Obviously his thought: materialism had left us empty...Jimmy knew the truth but couldn't say it clearly enough...the right-wing was already hounding him for a possible $30 billion deficit and his lack of "manly" leadership...poor Jimmy, he was always right but slammed for speaking the truth...the right wing has cowed honest conversation about real values for far too long and liberals have been shamefully cowardly by not speaking their minds...bravo to the Union Theological Seminary for posing the same ethical question 30 years later. Our greed and spiritual malaise have left us fat and unhappy and ready to blame anyone but ourselves for letting the military-industrial complex suck us dry. "Too big to fail" has opened the corporate-welfare floodgates even wider; the pigs at the trough have been blaming the poor for being poor and resenting the "unAmerican" socialism that tries to feed them. And all the while we wave the flag and wonder why Michelle Obama says "I was finally proud of my country"...our country is one of amazing promises and amazing failures to allow people to question its actions...the yahoos like Rush are allowed their positions because moderate Republicans are showing the same flimsy backbones that liberals showed when running from their name-tag in the '70s and '80s. An as a laxed Catholic, I'll "Michelle" the pope if he really lambastes us for rampant "feed the rich" capitalism...I'll again be proud to have been a Catholic. Bill Moyers sure stokes me up every Friday. Bravo Bill!

i would like to see the discussion about the morality of our desires and greed placed in the context of "free tv" brought to us by madison avenue and especially within the implications of neuromarketing. the sophistication of of neural science now being exploited by neuromarketing takes individual moral choices out of the question. now we are faced with the truly appalling manipulation of unsuspecting and very
vulnerable ordinary people by the same
greedy people who told americans it
was the patriotic duty to spend america out of the small recession that preceeded this mess.
the "electonic herd"

All that education, and not a lick of sense . . .

I am pleased and gratified that there are still some like-minded liberals around at the Union Theological Seminary to whom the word "values" doesn't necessarily mean credit scores and property ratings. I'm even more hopeful when I hear about a papal letter calling Obama to task over giving in to special interests with rampant bailouts instead of lifting up the poor and the hungry. Mr. Moyers might be considered premature in denigrating keynesian efforts to boost the economy with bailouts and government spending. I happen to agree with Mr. Moyers that the oligarchic culture of greed over human life in Washigton and on Wall Street is selfish and dangerous, but not for the same reasons. The incestuous system of lobbying and gerrymandering has led to an unprecedented concentration of wealth and influence in the hands of minor percentage of the world population. The world industrial complex is magnifying the problem with an uneven collection of machiavellian trade and oligarchic monetary arrangments. Historically this would simply mean that it was about time for another humanist revolution with a new set of winners and losers. The real ongoing crisis is not fiscal, political, or even environmental. The most serious problem facing everyone today is the unprecedented overpopulation of humans coming in the next century. Efforts to resist the normal biological control mechanisms of overpopulation are not sustainable. Eventually humanity will choke on its own refuse. Before that, nature will strike back at us in a hundred ways. The swine flu pandemic combined with a world food shortage is just a foreshadowing. The birth rates of caucasians like myself are down in many countries suffering economic disruption from globalization with more populous developing countries. Russia, Japan, Israel, even the US has declining numbers of certain populations. I believe that this also has a biological basis. The jury is still out on what illegal migrants will do when they continue to be enslaved and disenfranchised. Educated insular peoples sense that it is time to step aside for developing populations when social pressures and downward mobility are constantly increasing. I have already given up my own hopes for family, home, and hearth in this future of acid oceans and youth potions for the super-wealthy with hi-tech surveillance and economic enslavement for the poor. My own career is abortive and stagnant. With the exception of universal sundries like wireless internet, I am destitute. There is no touted "entrepreneurial spirit" in my America to lift people up, just a legacy of stagnant wages and dead promises. Perhaps if the 20% unemployed legals in the US all throw away our real citizen cards and agree to labor fraudulently for $4/hour, our futures would start to look brighter? We could hardly do worse than the present narcissistic oligarchs will, and we'd get to have all the hopes and babies we want to again.

I am pleased and gratified that there are still some like-minded liberals around at the Union Theological Seminary to whom the word "values" doesn't necessarily mean credit scores and property ratings. I'm even more hopeful when I hear about a papal letter calling Obama to task over giving in to special interests with rampant bailouts instead of lifting up the poor and the hungry. Mr. Moyers might be considered premature in denigrating keynesian efforts to boost the economy with bailouts and government spending. I happen to agree with Mr. Moyers that the oligarchic culture of greed over human life in Washigton and on Wall Street is selfish and dangerous, but not for the same reasons. The incestuous system of lobbying and gerrymandering has led to an unprecedented concentration of wealth and influence in the hands of

What we need is an adopt-a-food-pantry program for the executives of the companies that received federal bailouts Can you imagine what 10% of their compensation packages could do for these institutions struggling to help people who end the month with two halves of green peppers in their refrigerators?

Thank you for your segment on food banks. It made me cry. I am Co-Chair of the food pantry at my church and this brought home just how important our work is. We used to stock every 4 to 6 weeks and now we are stocking every week. I have worked on social justice and civil rights issues for at least 40 years and continue that work to bring economic self-sufficiency to women.

Thank you! As a Christian I have been struggling in my faith for a few years now. I've been embarrassed by the propensity to judge instead of to love. As an academic I have wondered how I could share my version of my faith with students that I thought had skewed the teachings of Christ. This broadcast has renewed my spirit and heart. I wish I could've taken the class! Maybe they will offer a 'correspondence' version for gleeful aficionadoes!

And another thing....

Thomas Friedman is no "turbo" capitalist. He is a Keynesian believer in central banking artificial credit expansion, budget deficits, and corporate welfare. A true "turbo" capitalist abhors these things.

Harriet Hiller writes,

"Thanks for opening the conversation about the now obvious destructiveness of America's capitalistic society, Obama's now obvious allegiance to its powerful proponents and the necessity for us, the people, to use our voice and take on-going action in order to create a just and equitable society for all of us."

What proponents of capitalism are you identifying? Obama's policies mirror the interventionist policies of FDR and LBJ. He has redistributed TRILLIONS of dollars towards the agenda of corporate welfare (TARP, Reinvestment and Recovery of 2008). He is keeping housing prices artificially high. He supports central banking and has engaged in unprecedented monetary inflation through Bernanke and Geithner by rapidly expanding the money supply. He wants taxpayer funded "universal" health insurance. He supports cap and trade. He is borrowing billions from overseas, debt which will be paid by YOU the taxpayer out of your own private property. The National Taxpayer's Union has failed Obama every year he was in Congress, branding him an advocate of progressive taxation and running budget deficits.

This resembles the economic policies of Mussolini and Woodrow Wilson. What capitalism are you talking about? Capitalism is NOT whatever the rich do, or whatever Washington does, or whatever America has. It has a specific nature.

Stunning! Stimulating! Thought-provoking! Enormously encouraging! An hour a week is not enough.

The fault of our predicament is not, as some believe, the market economy and globalization which in the past 20 years has singlehandedly lifted many of the world's poor into the realms of the middle class and working class to the greatest degree in history (with acute backsliding in the recent economic downturn). The problem is twofold. Boom and bust cycles and the decline of the labor movement in the western world. I will not go into the control of economic cycles as that would take a book. To be brief, however, (very brief) one of the major reasons for the recent economic downturn was due to overborrowing by the financial industry. The other problem has been the advantage that the world financial system has had over the labor movement worldwide due to the the pro-business sentiments of most of the world's government which tended to unbalance the playing field and make it impossible to organize. This is starting to change over the last decade due to the internationalizing of labor unions and the increasing pressure of European governments and public. This should reestablish the power balance between big business and labor in the coming years. Another hopeful sign is the establishment or reestablishment of government responsibility for its citizens. With Universal Health Care a possibility in the United States and the return to a social safety net in China (while not the Iron Rice Bowl it is an improvement). With better economic regulation (and I do mean better not overregulation) and more social responsibility and economic power balancing, things are looking up.

I found this program thought provoking. To the other commenter, Gary Dorrien DID mention Niebuhr...at least twice (because I was waiting for an RN reference too;).

I'd have loved the discussion to sidebar on the moral and ethical ambiguities of wealthy nation states choosing NOT to cover the least of its people with basic preventitive health care. Perhaps that's another show.

Thanks for opening the conversation about the now obvious destructiveness of America's capitalistic society, Obama's now obvious allegiance to its powerful proponents and the necessity for us, the people, to use our voice and take on-going action in order to create a just and equitable society for all of us. ALL of us. Hopefully, Obama will discover his courage to go against the insiders and create real change.

It seems as if the commentators on Mr. Moyer's show endorse the notion that America possesses some sort of unregulated capitalism. This assumption pervades the mainstream media as well as contemporary mainstream politico-economic thought yet it couldn't be further from the truth. I have encountered this assertion time and time again from professors, students, friends, conservatives, and liberals believe it needs to be critiqued if real economic recovery is to be achieved.

Capitalism is a social system based upon the right to private property where all producer and consumer goods are owned by private individuals. The right to private property is that which sanctions the freedom to fully control the material product of one's mind and labour. The free-market refers to the network of voluntary exchanges of goods and ownership titles over goods by consenting individuals.

Anything that contradicts these descriptions of capitalism and of the free-market cannot logically be labelled as "capitalistic" or "market-based." Since free-market capitalism is based upon the recognition of the right to private property, as well as the broader corollary right to negative liberty which sanctions the freedom to guide one's life in accordance with one's own personal, independent judgment, without which the right to private property is useless - since free-market capitalism is based upon the recognition of these rights, that which obstructs the exercise of such rights contradicts the essence of free-market capitalism.

The only thing that can violate the rights of negative liberty and private property is force, specifically the initiation of physical force or the threat of such force. Since rights sanction and define a man's freedom of action within society, anything that abolishes or impedes that freedom of action cannot be regarded as "capitalistic." Since coercive aggression, the use of compulsion against another who has not done the same, is what violates the rights of negative liberty and private property, it is coercive aggression that is outlawed under free-market capitalism. All else is legal. Thus, for example, while murder, theft, and fraud are all illegal under capitalism, using and selling drugs, prostitution, and selling trans fat (for us New Yorkers anyway) would all be decriminalized. The former acts are all coercive while the latter are all voluntary. The freedom sanctioned by rights under capitalism refers simply to the absence of coercive aggression. Government under capitalism would be strictly limited and tasked merely with defending individual rights from coercive aggression.

Given all this, the following facts contradict the claim that America is governed by true capitalism because they all identify instances of systematic infringement of the rights of negative liberty (or simply "liberty") and private property by government through the institution of coercive aggression:

Observe these facts from economist Dr. George Reisman,

-"Government spending in the United States currently equals more than forty percent of national income, i.e., the sum of all wages and salaries and profits and interest earned in the country. This is without counting any of the massive off-budget spending such as that on account of the government enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Nor does it count any of the recent spending on assorted "bailouts." What this means is that substantially more than forty dollars of every one hundred dollars of output are appropriated by the government against the will of the individual citizens who produce that output."

-"There are presently fifteen federal cabinet departments, nine of which exist for the very purpose of respectively interfering with housing, transportation, healthcare, education, energy, mining, agriculture, labor, and commerce, and virtually all of which nowadays routinely ride roughshod over one or more important aspects of the economic freedom of the individual. Under laissez-faire capitalism, eleven of the fifteen cabinet departments would cease to exist and only the departments of justice, defense, state, and treasury would remain. Within those departments, moreover, further reductions would be made, such as the abolition of the IRS in the Treasury Department and the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice."

-"The economic interference of today's cabinet departments is reinforced and amplified by more than one hundred federal agencies and commissions, the most well known of which include, besides the IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the FBI and CIA, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA, FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH, and NASA. Under laissez-faire capitalism, all such agencies and commissions would be done away with, with the exception of the FBI, which would be reduced to the legitimate functions of counterespionage and combating crimes against person or property that take place across state lines."

-"To complete this catalog of government interference and its trampling of any vestige of laissez faire, as of the end of 2007, the last full year for which data are available, the Federal Register contained fully seventy-three thousand pages of detailed government regulations. This is an increase of more than ten thousand pages since 1978, the very years during which our system, according to....The New York Times....has been "tilted in favor of business deregulation and against new rules." Under laissez-faire capitalism, there would be no Federal Register. The activities of the remaining government departments and their subdivisions would be controlled exclusively by duly enacted legislation, not the rule-making of unelected government officials."

Economist Dr. Walter William writes,

"The Federal Register, which lists new regulations, annually averaged 72,844 pages between 1977 and 1980. During the Reagan years, the average fell to 54,335. During the Bush I years, they rose to 59,527, to 71,590 during the Clinton years and rose to a record of 75,526 during the Bush II years. Employees in government regulatory agencies grew from 146,139 in 1980 to 238,351 in 2007, a 63 percent increase. In the banking and finance industries, regulatory spending between 1980 and 2007 almost tripled, rising from $725 million to $2.07 billion. So here's my question: What are we to make of congressmen, talking heads and news media people who tell us the financial meltdown is a result of deregulation and free markets? Are they ignorant, stupid or venal?"

Economist Dr. Richard M. Salsman writes that

"Given the broad scope of government intervention in the U.S. home mortgage sector through the GSEs, the maze of other agencies—such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO)—and the cascade of Congressional acts—such as the Fair Housing Act (1968), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974), the Community Reinvestment Act (1977), the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (1975), the National Affordable Housing Act (1990), the Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act (1994), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (1994), and the American Dream Down Payment Act (2003)—it is simply ludicrous for anyone today to speak of the U.S. mortgage sector as having been a fully “free” market before the latest crisis."

Salsman further proclaims that

"Mortgage lenders joked that the Bush administration’s crazed push to increase home ownership among blacks and Hispanics led to a proliferation of so-called “NINJA” loans—those granted to borrowers with “No Income, No Job, or Assets.”"

He also notes that as a result of government meddling into the economy,

"the concept of “moral hazard”—whereby a public policy necessarily engenders risky and reckless behavior by people and companies that otherwise simply would not arise (or not arise systemically) in a free market—is nearly ubiquitous."

The "predatory lending" that so many on the political left lament is easy to understand as a product of government intervention. The aim of government for the past few decades has been to promote home ownership. Moneylenders give loanable funds only to those they deem are creditworthy, i.e., to those who are capable of repaying the principal plus interest. Whites tend to be more creditworthy than blacks and Hispanics, for a variety of reasons. Naturally, thus moneylenders are more likely to grant loanable funds to whites than they are to minorities. While this decision is based upon the principle of creditworthiness, given the government's decades-long favoritist stance towards borrowers, this decision to lend more often to whites has been misconstrued as racial discrimination against minorities when in fact it actually was prudent financial discrimination. Thus the impetus to government has been to levy fines on those lenders who allegedly engaged in racial discrimination and, as a result, the only way lenders could have avoided such fines was to pursue a policy of "predatory lending" and adhere to the government's homeownership aspirations.

Indeed, as Salsman understands,

"Highlighting the legal-coercive backing of Washington’s altruistic credit policies, the Federal Reserve Bank has for years distributed a booklet to mortgage lenders—Closing the Gap: A Guide to Equal Opportunity Lending—which includes sidebar reminders that fines and jail terms await those found to be deficient in fighting “discrimination” by lending to the less-than-creditworthy. The booklet, still distributed today, derides as “arbitrary and unreasonable” such traditional credit standards as a 20 percent down payment (or loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent), an above-par credit score, a history of paying one’s bills on time, and a steady job yielding an income sufficient to make monthly mortgage payments" and that

"In order to “close the gap” and “achieve the American dream,” “subprime” mortgages were extended to those with poor credit histories and those who put down little or no equity, leaving neither a collateral cushion for lenders nor an incentive for borrowers to repay their loans if house prices declined below the loan value. “Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac” further encouraged the expansion of subprime mortgage loans by encouraging loan originators to package them into instruments called “mortgage-backed securities” for sale either directly to the taxpayer-backed GSEs or to private investors with a GSE guarantee—a process known as “securitization.” The GSEs then pressured rating agencies such as Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s to assign top grades to these low-grade securities in order to entice financial institutions throughout the world to purchase them. Because banks and mortgage firms were encouraged by the GSEs to sell their home mortgages shortly after originating them—in the process collecting rich fees and then jettisoning the consequences of borrowers defaulting on their loans—they became far less concerned about the quality of their borrowers or their loans."

Its a pity that such meager attention has been given to the primary role the Federal Reserve system has had in causing the current recession. The Fed, first of all, is an institution that possesses a monopoly on the production and issuance of banknotes and money, making it literally a socialist enterprise. It was created by a 1913 act of Congress, its charter is routinely renewed by Congress, and its chairman is appointed by the president, so there is no denying its nature as a government manifestation. The Fed's policy of fiat bank credit expansion and artificially low interest rates engineered by Alan Greenspan and Benjamin Bernanke made the emergence of the economic crisis a certainty by fooling entrepreneurs into believing that consumers had lower time preferences than they actually did, i.e., that consumers were more future-oriented than they actually were, thus giving them the incentive to acquire productive factors and produce for a future, non-existent demand. When the unprofitability of these business ventures becomes socially recognized, it becomes necessary to inaugurate a recession, general business decline which allows prices and costs to fall, and firms to abandon and/or liquidate costly assets such excess labour, capital goods, and real estate. The recession is a necessary market adjustment but its central banking credit expansion which makes recessions necessary in the first place. Further, our government is prolonging the current recession by spending trillions on failed and/or unprofitable ventures, keeping home prices and wages artificially high, and discouraging savings. In addition to this, Fed bank credit expansion creates price inflation, a macroeconomic problem experienced by individuals at the end of Mr. Moyer's show. I encourage viewers to read Dr. Murray Rothbard's "America's Great Depression" to get an accurate account of business cycle theory and its application to an analysis of the Great Depression which occurred as the result of yet another Fed credit expansion. A full pdf version is available for free at mises.org under the literature section. A more comprehensive theoretical and historical approach towards the business cycle is offered by Dr. Jesus Huerta de Soto in his text "Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles." It too is freely available in pdf form at mises.org under the literature section.

The "greed argument" is the poor man's explanation for economic crises. Gary Dorrien, Serene Jones, and Cornel West all acknowledged the alleged moral fault of capitalism without seriously addressing the economic facts and figures at hand.

None of the above economic and legal phenomena could exist under a hypothetical state of laissez-faire capitaism, as they all involve a use of force against liberty and private property. Any honest attempt at announcing that laissez-faire capitalism is to blame for the current economic contraction must take into account the facts and statistics presented above.

Bill Moyers, thank you for tonight's show, Faith, Justice and Society. I felt that I was taken back to my roots, a call to practical, redemptive ministry. In following that call, I received my Master Divinity, and then, I received a M.Ed. in Counselor Education. I am a school counselor and have worked, primarily in high poverty schools. It is easy to become focused on the work, providing services to students and families, and loose sight of the fundamental Christian values and beliefs that carry me, daily. I appreciated the thoughtful, sometimes passionate, discussion that was grounded in Christian Theology, Philosophy and Biblical understanding. Many thanks!

I think it is ill-advised to assert that we as a people can find moral or politico-economic advice from the philosophy of religion. Religion has as its epistemology the doctrine of faith, belief without evidence or in defiance of the evidence. How can one take another seriously if that other holds faith as his method?

The trio who appeared on Mr. Moyer's show made very sweeping categorical propositions regarding morality, the existence of a divine consciousness, sin, etc. For instance Serene Jones flirted with the idea that human immorality was "inevitable" and suggested that she believed in a version of Original Sin, the theological doctrine that
holds that humans are, at the very least, tainted by moral depravity, that they are born in sin. While I'm sure it was not her intent, such a claim can be considered very insulting by some. For example, she neither knows me nor my convictions yet has the gumption to claim that I born in some form of wickedness. Scholar Christopher Hitchens notes that it is a common fetish among religions to assert that humans are born in moral filth and sin and that we should be ashamed of our sexuality and of our existence. I think if we are to conquer harsh economic times, we should first develop a philosophy of self-respect that first recognizes our worthiness of economic prosperity.

How is it that Christians can extol the virtue of humility and simultaneously make the most categorical declarative statements? Again, as stressed above, the approach of religion is faith. We are told to subscribe to its claims without a critical method, without ratiocinative scrutiny. If this is the case, why should one believe in a religious proposition? If religion is based upon faith, its claims must be designated as faith-claims. But faith-claims are, by definition, allegations offered without evidence. Since they are offered without evidence, why should one believe that they are true, i.e., that they correspond with the facts of reality? The discussions of Christ, the cross, and love were just as Mr. Moyers described - very presumptuous. How can religion be an effective method if it holds as a primary uncritical belief?

Gushy, "love-transcends-all" discussion is no substitute for rigourous argumentation.

The discussion of alleged economic solutions was as mistaken in my mind. The assumption of the night was the moral supremacy of democracy. Do West, Jones, and Dorrien know waht democracy is? Genuine democracy is rule by the majority (cracy = rule by, demos = the masses). How is this a substitute for our current version of corporatism? Rule by the majority runs the risk of becoming the "tyranny of the majority," a fact that was only briefly mentioned in the discussion. Democracy runs the risk of becoming the tyranny of the majority because when the majority rules the political process absolutely, all things become subordinate to majority rule including freedom of speech, private property, due process, etc. Cornel West says he is a great admirer of Socrates. Does he not know that Socrates was murdered by a democratic vote in Athens for "corrupting the youth" with his speech? The Nazis, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood can all thank democratic elections for their political power. If humans are morally flawed, why would democracy be a preferred form of social organization over oligarchy?

Too many assumptions, not enough logical reasoning.

As to the question of faith or moral code, I find more morality and human solidarity in the teachings of Thomas Paine, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, and the like over any "christian" nation. If we would spend our sundays learning how to think instead of what to hate and tithe to your local hospitals and schools we would have a better future than what we are looking at now. I find people use their faith as an excuse to not grow up and take responsibility for their choices and actions. Their god told them what to think verse I choose to think this way. As they put it, As a child I thought as a child, I reasoned as a child, but once I became a man, I put away childish things. Only a child can use the excuse, my dad told me to do this, or in their case, their god.

The people of our nation cannot endure this climate of economic terrorism much longer and prosper. As Kucinich said during the election."This is not about right or left, this is about up or down," And it looks like down to me. To see so many suffer while our goverment stands by doing nothing while throwing trillions at Wall Street makes my heart ache. We must not reelect those who don't work for us. Thank you Bill Moyers. You are a shinning light in a sea of darkness.

Very good show. Lively & timely discussions from your guests. All Americans need to listen to this show especially my fellow South Carolinians as we work through the Mark Stanford leadership crisis.

Where is the food bank information?

I could have written many of the comments here before I sat through the program, admittedly enthralled. Afterwards, even as a nonbeliever, I think D.C. Eddy nailed it.
As for the guests, if I had the time I would love to be a student at UTS under Serene Jones, I intend to read Gary Darrien's books -- but at the end, what am I looking to do? Volunteer locally. Cornel West -- despite baggage and style -- is right: it's all about the service. Who knew the Bee Gees already had figured it out 30 years ago?

Finally Christianity might itself reflect the more prophetic message of the Beatitudes and the notion that neither love or salvation can be separated from social justice. Such a separation, so prominent in right wing Christianity, enables the very kind of greed wrapped in patriotism that I hope will at least be budged off center by our current distress. Never, however, underestimate the power of denial, one form of the original sin that President Jones defined so succinctly.

I was very impressed with today's guest panel. It takes deep thought as to what they are trying to tell viewers. A true Christian is supposed to behave "Christ-like" and care about your neighbor. In this whirlwind society, rat-race, buy more, debt is ok, we don't necessarily know the in(s) and out(s) of the financial system (repealing Glass Stegall, subprime, hedge funds, unfunded derivatives, out-sourcing) which spelled doom to near 10%-12% of unemployed Americans) and whoever is in charge, we trusted blindly but these legal authorities (men/women representing investment banks, SEC, politicians- who collectively have architected new rules of capitalism, clever language, and involving the whole world in this morally corrupt behavior of get-rich quick schemes, no matter if only a few benefit, and the masses suffer. If you are an instrument of the system, does your deep conscious make you disgusted that you are an instrument in guile. That is what the panel is trying to get across---it'll take LOVE and INTELLECT-- to create and raise awareness of change. As evidenced by Bill's look back at the food bank 2008 story, it's just getting worse. Americans do want to work -- but somehow the political, financial machine -- the oligarchy is has the stranglehold on our nation. As discussed in the show, it will take courage and the collective will and COURAGE of the American people to make these changes. As noted, the Obama change is tempered by the think-tank that is part of the machine. As we move into the next decade, will the U.S. be able to take care of its own, not burn up food for bio-fuels, revive manufacturing, industry, and give Americans jobs -- and show some concern for its local community. Not just think that -- well, I'm working and have financial security and healthcare, so everyone else is lazy. As the numbers start to shift, one will realize that the job is not guaranteed, and it takes one illness, death, to become on of the marginal people. You must LOVE and CARE enough to see the difference

Bill,

Good show (but the food bank link should be but wasn't accessible & updated 2008)

The program addressed core issues that are pressing especially the root causes avoided in financial corp's, commercial media; "love" as a missing ingredient may overstate "compassion" may be more on mark a main theme offered to us by the Dalai Lama our most bright human light, read "World's in Harmony" : )

So what is the cure for greed, not the current maldistribution of Obama dollars to the have's.

I think you & your guests agree the voice of the have not's is "us" we need to take to the message to the streets & everywhere we are for peace & justice...

Bruce
tred lightly, dream boldly, protest tirelessly
change the path

Thank you PBS for this wonderful show on Faith, Justice and Society. This is the first time I have seen something on TV where christians were supporting that our society must help take care of eachother. Also, each speaker had different personalities and view points which added value and gave me much food for thought. Also, as an Obama supporter, we must give him time. I believe in him and he can't change everything overnight. History will show that his presidency was a pivotal societal change for the good of our country.
Rhonda Barnes from Florida

I also emailed Bill Moyers this comment: I just want the leftover food from catered events to be put to use, as 20 - 40% of it is thrown away, even after employees take their share home. I would like Mr. Moyers to ask City Harvest, City Council and the Mayor of New York City why there is not a collection system in place for catered events. I know I save time and money bringing food home, so let's start giving some to people who truly need it! And don't give me the "sanitation liability" excuse: if I eat it, anyone can eat it!

thanks Bill Moyers, for once again making me think, and forprying open my heart.

Well Done Sir,
ellen morton
wausau, wi

Cornell West really gives me pause. His analysis and strident comments strike me as so tendentious as to be beneath what I thought were the standards of a school like Princeton. His agenda is clear, and in age of Obama, tired.

Thank you. Please CANCEL my request,written today 7/3/09
Went to your web site and found the information.
Your program is "priceless '
Thank you, again.
Thelma Beshgetoorian

Your piece on Food pantries and your wrap up essay that followed hit the mark. As to the roundtable, well ...

Disappointing ... particularly Cornell West: rambling, incomprehensible, more interested in what he had to say than in finding out whether anyone could follow him, or had anything else to say. I can see why Summers, as President of Harvard, had a problem with this man

i don't consider this program navel gazing but it does lack something. There seems to be nothing we as general American citizens can do to galvanize these to the country as did Dorothy Day and the Berrigan Brothers.PBS has fallen and the energy and commitment just isn't there. I try to watch but many times get lost in the words. Focus groups would be nice for face to face interaction which I think provides more energy for all these so timely if not depressing issues. Hope would be a good topic.

WHAT? The POPE-the head of the powerful and wealthy Roman Catholic church- is going to plead for the equal distribution of wealth? Too funny...

"The Science of Christian Economy" is must reading for those who would be Christians and who would actually SOLVE the evil of the present mass-murderous system. Or more recent writings of Lyndon LaRouche, such as "Economic Science, in Short."

What .a pile of crap.Everyone on this show is busy patting themselves on the back and collecting a paycheck. No one is addressing the real hurdles facing our democracy, Controlled media and sell out politicians. Come on PBS, please accept some leadership.
Sincerly,
Steve

The first 30 mins of this I heard nothing at all that made any sense whatever. They seem to understand nothing about economics, religion, philosophy, psychology, history OR politics. Nothing about Adam Smith or Chistianity, love, progressives, democracy, even Reinhold Neibuhr. Not to mention business, itself. At that point the discussion turned to Barrack Obama and here West pointed a finger at Larry Summers, but he doesn't seem to know what is wrong about Summers. Then the Union president attempted to tackle Moyer's question of reformation astonishingly missing the point that that movement was fundamentally a rejection of the established Church's relativity and duplicity in favor of self-reliance and philosophic truth. Moyer's said later that this was the focus of Union's curriculum, but it wasn't evident here. If I were in their class or classes I'd be asking for my money back. West isn't a scholar, he's a pop star. To all of them I suggest they go back and read the New England Theology. Ppl who want to know a little about this subject I humbly offer the past two years of comments I've posted here and in Charlie Rose's blog.

What a pile of crap this show was. Everyone patting each other on the back about how great they are. when no one addresses the important issues. All our news comes from a few sources and all our politicians are for sale. So are our intellectuals for that matter.
Sincerly,
Steve

My faith, which is internal but came from my mother, leads me to help people find their relatives buried in the public cemetery on Hart Island.

This is where all the people that Cornell West speaks about are buried in. in the prsion system even thought they are mostly infants. Their stories are fascinating.

Your guests are correct. The way to learn to understand through listening.

There is nothing for me to add but a thank you. Professor Dorrien is one of my favorite writers.

With dissension on the rise both in the United States and abroad it seems fitting Pax Christi has decided to honor retired Bishop Leroy Matthiesen with their prestigious national award later this month. The organization represents peace and justice activists globally.

President Obama, Congress and the Iranian religious zealots could all significantly learn from his example. These leaders are faced with civil discord of their own making which could become volatile if not addressed passively. As we pause to celebrate America's independence let's remember what it means to be truly free of the man-made tyranny imposed by money, greed and international corporations.

Peace,
Cosmic

Annie posted...
"It makes me so sad -- an hour a week on the airwaves that could be truly edifying but instead it's mostly just - sorry for the disrespect here - navel-gazing."

My read on "navel gazing" is it is a good idea to check the navel now and then to see if it is still attached to mother nurture and we do not think for ourselves.

Democracy depends on people creating their own destiny and not being slaves to ideologies or doctrines.

It is ironic that so called Christians finally get a voice in government and then they support greed, torture and preemptive war based on lies and fear. Now we have an economic disaster and they support the rich and greedy instead of the poor and needy. All of this is in opposition to the teachings of Christ.

Democracy is intended to be pertaining to "encompassing, or promoting the interests of the people" according to the American Heritage Dictionary not for the benefit of the rich and powerful.
Christ did not intend that we be sheep to the slaughter. He intended that we have life and that abundant.
Thanks to bad choices; people are not perfect and require checks and balances to maintain justice and equity. My moral code tells me that government is responsible for the quality of people's lives and that people must be treated with love and respect.

The truth is, I get an e-mail every Thursday about what's on the Journal this week and it rarely inspires me to tune in. The media world is spilling over with "voices" and "public thinkers" but there is a screaming hole where actual journalism used to be. "Now" used to have journalism under Mr. Moyers (now THAT was appointment TV), but this program is all opinion, informed perhaps, but still, it's just another point of view.
It makes me so sad -- an hour a week on the airwaves that could be truly edifying but instead it's mostly just - sorry for the disrespect here - navel-gazing.
I'll keep reading my weekly e-alerts -- maybe this show will surprise me one of these days.

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