Tag Archives: politics

It’s no wonder we don’t defend the land where we live. We don’t live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.

Derrick Jensen

We were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness—embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television. This would seem to lead to a simple conclusion: that we all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas.

Howard Zinn

The laws of capitalism, which are blind and are invisible to ordinary people, act upon the individual without he or she being aware of it. One sees only the vastness of a seemingly infinite horizon ahead. That is how it is painted by capitalist propagandists who purport to draw a lesson from the example of Rockefeller—whether or not it is true—about the possibilities of individual success. The amount of poverty and suffering required for a Rockefeller to emerge, and the amount of depravity entailed in the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible for the popular forces to expose this clearly…. It is a contest among wolves. One can win only at the cost of the failure of others.

Che Guevara

‎I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.

Sister Joan Chittister, Catholic Nun

I know that health reform politics gets covered as a mainstream partisan thing and the fight over reproductive rights, abortion access, and contraception is treated as a ladies thing, sort of a side bar issue. This is where they come together. Republicans are against the government forcing you to buy health insurance. Republicans say they want the government out of the health care business. Republicans don’t want government telling people what to do when it comes to their health. That’s a very awkward message to be trying to peddle when they are trying to achieve complete regulation down to specific medical procedures of every pregnancy in their jurisdiction.

Rachel Maddow

Aside from the problem of responding to people “telling us that fighting for our rights is unattractive” by saying that it is “hot as hell” (still thinking within the binary that hotness is what’s really important here), this is pretty great.

The worker always has the right to leave his employer, but has he the means to do so? And if he does quit him, is it in order to lead a free existence, in which he will have no master but himself? No, he does it in order to sell himself to another employer. He is driven to it by the same hunger which forced him to sell himself to the first employer. Thus the worker’s liberty, so much exalted by the economists, jurists, and bourgeois republicans, is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means for its possible realization, and consequently it is only a fictitious liberty, an utter falsehood. The truth is that the whole life of the worker is simply a continuous and dismaying succession of terms of serfdom—voluntary from the juridical point of view but compulsory in the economic sense—broken up by momentarily brief interludes of freedom accompanied by starvation; in other words, it is real slavery.

Mikhail Bakunin

People are only mean when they’re threatened… and that’s what our culture does. That’s what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself.

Morrie Schwartz (via Mitch Albom), Tuesdays With Morrie

We’ve got a form of brainwashing going on in our country…. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that’s what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. MORE IS GOOD. MORE IS GOOD. We repeat it–and have it repeated to us–over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all this, he has no perspective on what’s really important anymore.

Morrie Schwartz (via Mitch Albom), Tuesdays With Morrie

A rant about food

This morning we ate at a standard-American family restaurant. It was pretty bad, and left me feeling gross and vaguely gut-sick. My kid barely ate his food, and I couldn’t blame him; it tasted like chemicals. I know I am especially sensitive, but I am reminded just how processed and removed-from-the-source the typical American diet has become. The priority–and the standard–is what’s the cheapest and easiest to produce, and what has the longest shelf-life. But regardless of what the propaganda says, modern food science does not consider the effects on our health–long- or short-term (or the environment, which is another rant entirely).

And I’m annoyed that even talking about good food is considered so bourgeois; that wanting–god forbid expecting–fresh, healthy, REAL food is somehow yuppity. It doesn’t seem to matter, initiatives going on that are trying to make good food more accessible, because crap-food just gets cheaper, and that’s all people care about. It doesn’t seem to matter, that a high consumption of crap-food is bad for you, because it’s good for the economy–it keeps people working for peanuts (NPI), it keeps money running to the top, and it keeps people sick, which keeps pharmaceutical and health-insurance companies hugely profitable and powerful. No wonder we get scoffed at when when question food science–it’s a threat to the status quo, as defined by capitalism.

The White Savior Industrial Complex

The White Savior Industrial Complex

If you watch advertisements, or cruise the supermarket shelves, you can’t fail to notice that everything is anti-bacterial now, as if common household bacteria have suddenly become as exotic and deadly and Ebola.

It’s a great marketing coup, but potentially a dangerous one. In our enthusiasm for all things anti-bacterial we are, thanks to the law of natural selection, breeding even more deadly forms of bacteria that laugh at our anti-bacterial handsoap. Just as with the overuse of pesticides and antibiotics, the overuse of anti-bacterial products assures that only the fittest bacteria survive, thereby selecting out ever more virulent strains with each new generation.

For this reason, in 2000, the American Medical Association recommended that the practice of common antimicrobials to household products be discontinued. Of course, no one listened to them.

And in our quest for antiseptic environments we lose the low-key exposures to both friendly and not-so-friendly bacteria that keep our immune systems in good working order. This is not to say we should wallow in filth, but it may well be healthier to wallow in a mud hole than in a vat of antiseptic gel.

Our resistance to the planet’s destruction—this resistance is often called environmentalism—is of course servile to the core. Our activism consists almost exclusively of begging those in power to go against the requirements and rewards of this omnicidal economic and political and cultural system and do the right thing, something we know they will never do with any consistency, something we know they cannot do with any consistency, because to do so would cause the entire economic system (based as it is functionally upon unsustainable and exploitative activities) to implode. We never demand they do the right thing. And we certainly never force them to do the right thing.

Derrick Jensen

(And we never take “them” out of “our activism.”)

So the myth in our society is that people are competitive by nature and that they are individualistic and that they’re selfish. The real reality is quite the opposite. We have certain human needs. The only way that you can talk about human nature concretely is by recognizing that there are certain human needs. We have a human need for companionship and for close contact, to be loved, to be attached to, to be accepted, to be seen, to be received for who we are. If those needs are met, we develop into people who are compassionate and cooperative and who have empathy for other people. So… the opposite, that we often see in our society, is in fact, a distortion of human nature precisely because so few people have their needs met.

Dr. Gabor Maté

I don’t care if people call me a radical, a rebel, a red, a revolutionary, an outsider, an outlaw, a Bolshevik, an anarchist, a nihilist, or even a left conservative, but please don’t ever call me a liberal.

Norman Mailer

The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and considers each person to be of infinite value and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and redeemed. Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God and has an eternal destiny. (Genesis 1:27) Sacredness is not conferred, nor can it be taken away by human agreement.

The Salvation Army deplores society’s ready acceptance of abortion, which reflects insufficient concern for vulnerable persons, including the unborn. (Psalms 82:3-4)

The Salvation Army holds to the Christian ideals of chastity before marriage and fidelity within the marriage relationship and, consistent with these ideals, supports measures to prevent crisis pregnancies. It is opposed to abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection or for any reason of mere convenience to avoid the responsibility for conception. Therefore, when an unwanted pregnancy occurs, The Salvation Army advises that the situation be accepted and that the pregnancy be carried to term, and offers supportive help and assistance with planning.

The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Such decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration, with appropriate involvement of the woman’s family and pastoral, medical and other counsel. A woman in these circumstances needs acceptance, love and compassion.

When an abortion has taken place, The Salvation Army will continue to show love and compassion and to offer its services and fellowship to those involved.

The Salvation Army holds a positive view of human sexuality. Where a man and a woman love each other, sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. However, in the Christian view, sexual intimacy is not essential to a healthy, full, and rich life. Apart from marriage, the scriptural standard is celibacy.

Sexual attraction to the same sex is a matter of profound complexity. Whatever the causes may be, attempts to deny its reality or to marginalize those of a same-sex orientation have not been helpful. The Salvation Army does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself. Homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, requires individual responsibility and must be guided by the light of scriptural teaching.

Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.

Likewise, there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation. The Salvation Army opposes any such abuse.

In keeping with these convictions, the services of The Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation. The fellowship of Salvation Army worship is open to all sincere seekers of faith in Christ, and membership in The Salvation Army church body is open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline.

The Salvation Army affirms the New Testament standard of marriage, which is the loving union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. Marriage is the first institution ordained by God (Genesis 2:24), and His Word establishes its significance (Matthew 19:4-6).

Marriage is the only proper context for sexual intimacy. Scripture demands abstinence before, and faithfulness within, marriage. Marriage is more than a private commitment of a couple to live together; it requires formal vows exchanged before God and others/other people. Marriage reflects the relationship of Christ and His Church. It is a loving, mutually respectful union intended for life (Ephesians 5:21-33). Marriage provides the optimal environment for the welfare of children and contributes to the stability of society.

The Salvation Army promotes a culture that properly values marriage. People thinking of getting married should seek the wise counsel of others, prayerfully discerning God’s will. Husbands and wives must not take their relationship for granted but should work to nurture and safeguard their union. Troubled marriages can often be healed with the assistance of skilled professional counselors and pastoral care. The Salvation Army offers a variety of resources to strengthen and support marriages.

The Salvation Army is committed to promoting, strengthening and protecting God’s institution of marriage.

Salvation Army – who are you giving to?

It’s not all bad. I’m just saying. The more we know.

If you’ve got stuff to donate, especially clothes and the like, I recommend finding a local place, like a shelter, some place that helps folks directly, without judgment. Not always easy to find, trust me I know. But there are places, and local spaces are the best in my opinion, and worth building a relationship with. If you’d like to hear more about my personal experience with this, please contact me here.

Modern schools and universities push students into habits of depersonalized learning, alienation from nature and sexuality, obedience to hierarchy, fear of authority, self-objectification, and chilling competitiveness. These character traits are the essence of the twisted personality-type of modern industrialism. They are precisely the character traits needed to maintain a social system that is utterly out of touch with nature, sexuality, and real human needs.

Arthur Evans

No More Free Infant Formula At RI Hospitals : NPR

No More Free Infant Formula At RI Hospitals : NPR