Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Reality of Jerusalem



President Trump honored a campaign pledge on Wednesday when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision is hardly the radical policy departure that critics claim, and Mr. Trump accompanied it with an embrace of the two-state solution for Palestine that Presidents of both parties have long supported.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Why The Nazis Loved America


By James Whitman 
March 21, 2017
IDEAS
Whitman is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School and the author most recently of Hitler's American Model.
To say America today is verging on Nazism feels like scaremongering. Yes, white nationalism lives in the White House. Yes, President Donald Trump leans authoritarian. Yes, the alt-right says many ugly things. But for all the economic pains of many Americans, there is no Great Depression gnawing away at democracy’s foundations. No paramilitary force is killing people in the streets. Fascism and Nazism have not arrived in the United States.
But there is a different and instructive story to be told about America and the Nazis that raises unsettling questions about what is going on today — and what Nazism means to the U.S.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ray Bradbury and the moronic influence of television interview

Even those of us who've never read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 know it as a searing indictment of government censorship. Or at least we think we know it, and besides, what else could the story of a dystopian future where America has outlawed books whose main character burns the few remaining, secreted-away volumes to earn his living be about? It turns out that Bradbury himself had other ideas about the meaning of his best-known novel, and in the last years of his life he tried publicly to correct the prevailing interpretation — and to his mind, the incorrect one. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE>

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pray for Trump-a Morally Unqualified Leader


Today we will inaugurate a man to the presidency of the United States who is morally unqualified to be there. This is important to say just now because not to see it and feel it will add to the collapsing vision of leadership that enabled him to be nominated and elected. 
Not only that, but if we do not see and feel the nature and weight of this sorrow, we will not know how to pray for his presidency or speak as sojourners and exiles whose pattern of life is defined in heaven, not by the mood of the culture.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Why English is such a great language for puns

Away With Words: An Irreverent Tour Through the World of Pun Competitions. By Joe Berkowitz. Harper Perennial; 273 pages; $15.99 and £8.99.

LAST week’s issue of this paper contained the following headlines: “Rooms for improvement” (in a story about British housing); “Though Mooch is taken, Mooch abides” (on the firing of Anthony Scaramucci); and “LIBOR pains” (on interbank loan rates). The Economist is not alone in its taste for wordplay. Our colleagues at the Financial Times routinely sneak subtle jokes into their headlines (July 17th: “Why China’s global shipping ambitions will not easily be contained”) while those at the tabloids indulge themselves more obviously. On the arrest of a famous golfer for drink-driving: “DUI of the Tiger”.READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Book Review: The Prophetic Imagination that Trumps Business-as-usual



The Prophetic Imagination, by Dr. Walter Brueggeman, has sold over one million copies in its second printing and deservedly so. Now, more than ever, we need to closely examine the biblically historical power of language to counter culture a status quo, populist mindset that abnegates an alternative reality which offers the Creator's freedom through anguish and energizing, unlimited force.

Students (and admirers) of language need not be theologically inclined in order to appreciate the Chomsky-like tone regarding the hegemony of cautionary and hopeful prophecy as outlined in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as pointed out by Brueggemann. It's still the articulate, anguished scream of the little man against the powers that be which foresee destruction yet offer visionary change in the face of, what the author labels, 'royal consciousness', as personified in the struggle between the Moses of Exodus and the Pharaoh of an oppressive Egypt against the Hebrews in the ancient Middle East and, to a final extant, Jesus Christ against the Jews and their failure to perceive the spirit behind the Law, the spirit of agape love, as given to Moses and the Israelites. In effect, it's a bold step out of the the Hegelian Dialectic, which modern philosophers such as Marx refer to, and a grand entrance into another dimensional geopolitical world tension that resolves itself solely through the Creator's will and purpose--a firmament long ago established outside of time and space before the foundations of kingdoms and governments where laid.

Some things will never change like absolute governmental power that inevitably trends toward blind and merciless oppression of society's marginalized. But Brueggeman, like Chomsky, examines the tour de force manifested by powerful (and prophetic) forces of imagination that wield language as a new construct versus reality in the everyday life of an established regime that necessarily must be deaf to the pleas of poverty and helplessness, because if rulers acknowledge the chinks in their armor of authority, they will be forced to admit that imperfection inevitably can and must lead to change and, quite often, revolution.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Jerusalem of the East: The American Christians of Pyongang, 1895-1942



North Korea, known to Americans for the totalitarian rule of the family of Kim Il Sung and a decades-long pursuit of nuclear weapons, once was the center of Christianity in Northeast Asia, its capital Pyongyang renowned among American Christians in Asia as the “Jerusalem of the East.” This forgotten era, which lasted for half a century from the late 19th Century to 1942, has renewed relevance in the 21st Century as reports of underground Christianity come from North Korea and while the grip of the regime on society weakens.