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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Comments Which Conservative Blogs Block From Their Blogs For January 17, 2018

Jan 12

To Rev Ben Johnson and his blogpost claiming that higher minimum wages increases unemployment. This appeared in the Acton Blog.

As usual, this conservative approach to the problem lacks a broader perspective and awareness of the current system. For such would take an overview of the whole economic system let alone other factors, which are in the system, that would drive up unemployment when raising the minimum wage. We should note that when raising the minimum wage leads to an decrease in employment, only raising the minimum wage is criticized by Johnson. Growing wealth disparity, which, in part, results from not limiting the highest pay one group can make while limiting the minimum wage for another group, is not criticized despite the IMF view that wealth disparity can lower the limit and duration of economic growth (see https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/06/13/editorials/challenge-economic-orthodoxy/#.WllXX7XoSfY ). In addition, the widespread ethic of many businesses to maximize profits is not criticized which should be ironic since the writer of the above article has the title reverend.

Rev Johnson doesn't step outside the economic system in which we live to realize that it is offering low-skilled workers a choice between poverty wages and unemployment while many supporters of that system are demanding that such workers pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Also note that only America's economic system is being used as a frame of reference when examining the relationship between higher minimum wages and employment rates. So we might want to look at some European nations that have higher minimum wages to see how employments rates change. For if higher minimum wages do not cause the increased levels of unemployment in those nations as they do here, then we might realize that something needs to change in our economic system if not the system itself. And we should also note that paying employees poverty wages does help businesses maximize profits since those making such wages get help from government assistance programs that are supported by the same taxes that many businesses do their best to avoid paying. This is business's way of proving that it can have its cake and eat it too.

So we have an economic system that provides the draconian choice for low-skill workers along with a commonly adopted ethic of maximizing one's profits while only the American economic system is evaluated, and Rev. Johnson can only blame higher minimum wages for rising unemployment.

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Jan 13

To Christopher Degroot and his blogpost about the problems with having a lack of self-knowledge. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

There are some good points made here. That what we believe about ourselves falls more in line with what we want to believe than what is true is an excellent point. But that applies not just to individuals but to groups and even whole societies. Should that truth make us leery of saying that America was ever a 'a city on the hill'? Certainly many Native Americans would not  see our nation that way..

And yes, government policies are not the silver bullets that kill the evil inside of us. But that doesn't mean that they can't many times protect others from the evil that is us. That was a point made by Martin Luther King Jr. And who can say that the long-term effect of protective laws does not tend to help people change or develop differently? For many who believe that what is legal is what is moral, can't structural changes partially affect what they think is moral?

There is an evil in all of us. And what is counter intuitive to us religiously conservative Christians is that sometimes, we are the ones who exhibit more evil than unbelievers. In fact, some unbelievers are or become very noble. And that means that unbelievers don't always need us to change. In fact, sometimes, quite the opposite is true.

Yes, we need structural and policy changes that curb the evils in us which hurt others. But we also need to promote what Martin Luther King called a 'person-oriented society' over against a 'thing-oriented society.' In the former, people are counted as being more important than gadgets, profits, and property rights. That should be the minimal moral standard for our society. And if we don't associate the preaching of the Gospel with that moral standard, then either we will misrepresent the Gospel or we will pre-emptively offend people so that they don't want to listen to the Gospel.

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Jan 16

To Rev. Ben Johnson and his blogpost about how King rejected Communism. This appeared in the Acton blog.

We should note that King criticized and eventually rejected Capitalism. His criticisms of Capitalism, which were not just to do the people he hung with and read,  included its own kind of materialism, which King thought was just as destructive as Communism's materialism, Capitalism denied that life was social, which paralleled his criticism of Communism as forgetting that life is individual, and he rejected Capitalism because of how it distributed wealth. He actually favored a democratic socialism because, unlike many of the Left's opponents, he did not suffer from having binary vision when looking at history or the present. Binary vision causes people to see the other side as being a monolith full of  evil.

Furthermore King called for us to workout  a hybrid that included the best of both Communism and Capitalism. BTW, we should note that the form of Capitalism practiced during King's time is not the same form of Capitalism practiced today. What was practiced during King's time included far more government control of the economy than what is practiced in today's nations that embrace, to varying degrees, Neoliberalism. King would have been appalled that we had transitioned from Keynesian form of economics under the Bretton-Woods System to Neoliberalism.

We should also note a specific quote from King that was spoken during his speech against the Vietnam War and addresses the kind of morality embraced during his time and, even more so, today:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

We should note two things from this quote. That with Neoliberalism, society has become even more thing-oriented than it was when King was living. Second, the problems of racism, materialism, and militarism cannot be solved for as long as we are a thing-oriented society. That means that despite all of our talk about eliminating racism, we not only need good laws, we need to undergo that moral revolution King spoke about.



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Worst Part Of Trump's Latest Gaffe

The title of this article runs a serious risk of being ambiguous. For who knows what Trump will say before this article is posted? But the latest, greatest Trump gaffe has to do with him preferring immigrants from Norway to those from 'shithole' countries like Haiti, El Salvador and those in Africa. The term 'shithole' takes on a personal nature once people from one area are preferred over people from other areas. And racism rears its ugly head when there are racial differences between the preferred people and the unpreferred people. Here we should note that the education of the immigrants coming here from Africa is at least comparable to that of natural born American citizens (click here).

The reactions to Trump's comment are quite predictable. There is justifiable condemnation from his opponents and regret or lamenting from his allies. Paul Ryan called Trump's comments 'unfortunate' and 'unhelpful' indicating that Trump's depiction of people from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa inconvenienced him more than it showed disrespect for the people from those areas. Btw, Ryan's description of Trump's gaffe is similar to Obama's description of the Iraq invasion as a 'dumb war' and a 'rash war'  (click here). The similarities rest in the fact that just as Ryan never really condemned the racism in Trump's gaffe, Obama never characterized the invasion of Iraq as being immoral. 


But the worst part of Trump's gaffe is not the racism despite how intolerable that is. The worst part of Trump's gaffe is that it reduces the significance of immigrants to their net effect on America as a market place. In short, Trump's gaffe denies the intrinsic value of people whether they are from shithole countries or Norway, and it judges people on the extrinsic value of what they can provide to the market. People have little to no intrinsic value according to Trump's statement and, like the racism implied in his gaffe, that seems not to bother Ryan and some other Republicans at all.

Some business people have a difficult time realizing that there is a world outside of the business world. Everything is about commerce to them--note that it is about commerce, not economics. When I suggested to a friend who owns some businesses in Oklahoma that our current form of capitalism denies the intrinsic value of people, he immediately said that the free market fairly values people. Apparently, my friend did not know the definition of the word 'intrinsic,' but he was eager to clear today's capitalism of all charges.


What is painfully evident by Trump's gaffe and the damage control or even defense of his comment provided by his supporters is that our government will soon be passing domestic policies based on the belief that a person's value to society is more and more determined by what they have to offer to the free market. And we should note that the free market is not a democratic venue. For democratic venues promote an equality among all its participants by counting one vote per person. The free market, on the other hand, counts one vote per dollar. Thus, those who have the most dollars have the most control over the market. And in a country where one's value is becoming increasingly more determined by what one has to offer to the market, one's value is becoming more and more determined by what one has to offer to those with the most control over the market.

At this point, since today, not the day this article is posted,  is Martin Luther King Jr. day, we should close with a quote from him (click here for the source):

 I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.




Monday, January 15, 2018

ONIM For January 15, 2018

10 Best Fact Checking Sites Found Here.

If you are not sure about the validity of a news story linked to below, you can use  mediabiasfactcheck.com to check out the credibility of the source of most of the stories linked to here.


Christian News 

World News
 
Israel-Palestine News
 
Donald Trump News
 
Pick(s) Of The Litter


 

Friday, January 12, 2018

What Are The Ties That Bind White Evangelicals To Republicans

Why do so many Evangelicals vote for Republicans, even for Republicans like Donald Trump and Roy Moore despite their checkered pasts or the allegations made against them? This is a question that Jemar Tisby (clich here for a bio), who is from The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, attempted asked in a recent article.

Tisby ends up giving a partial answer to the question in a blogpost from The Witness (click here for the article). Citing the book Divided By Faith, by Michael Emerson And Christian Smith, he identifies 3 'cultural tools' from a 'religio-cultural tookit' that seem to draw Evangelicals to the Republican Party and its candidates. Those tools or ideas are 'accountable freewill individualism, relationalism, and anti-structuralism.' What we will find when reflecting on the definitions of those terms is that the third term naturally follows the combination of the first two terms. In addition, evangelicals are not totally consistent in their thought here. And what else we discover is that while Tisby's article provides some very useful information, it does give an exhaustive list of reasons why Evangelicals tend to vote for Republican candidates.

What is accountable freewill individualism? According to the book Tisby cites, it is that each person is totally accountable for their actions because the reasons for one's actions can be reduced solely to the exercise of one's own freewill. Thus, neither institutions nor society's structures for our choices and thus can control what we choose to do. Every choice we make is due solely to how we exercise our free will. That idea is rooted in the belief that we are totally accountable for our sins and thus answerable to God for what we have either done or not done.

So when it comes to explaining why people commit the sins they do, all the blame goes to the individual and that there is no context that helps explain why we choose what we do. Thus, the person who has lived in deprivation and has been exploited their whole life is as free from a past that includes the impact of institutions and societal structures when it comes to choosing what and what not to do as a person who has lived in privilege and has enjoyed a comfortable life.

If we stopped right there, we would fail to notice that evangelicals do not regard family life as having no or a minimal effect on the decisions we make. That is why evangelicals invest a lot in learning about the impact that different parenting styles and kinds of families can have on children. And since the family is considered a social structure, this shows an inconsistency in this belief by Evangelicalst. In fact, one of the objections of Christians to things from the legalization of same-sex marriage to a Bolshevik (a.k.a., Communist) state is that things interfere with the kind of family life which Evangelicals believe God intended each person to have.


There is an out for this inconsistency that allows for an appreciation of the effect that families and other relationships can have on our lives. That is what the second term addresses. Relationalism identifies people's basic problem as coming from 'broken interpersonal relationships, especially one's relationship with God. These broken relationships cause a separation from God. And separation from God and others are the root cause for all of our social problems.' And thus, restoring these relationships, starting with our relationship to God by faith in Christ, is the only solution to our problems.

Once we sufficiently understand the first two terms, we see that the third term, anti-structuralism, logically follows the ideas from the first two terms. In anti-structuralism, there is the fear that our decisions and problems are, in any degree, the fault of our institutions and societal structures. For assigning any blame to them is seen as  rationalizing or excusing our bad choices by blaming someone or something else besides ourselves Thus, those who have been victims of racial injustice, as Tisby points out, or we could also include economic exploitation, have only one explanation for the wrongs they have committed: personal choice. Here, institutions and societal structures cannot share the blame in any way shape or form.

Perhaps for different reasons that White Evangelicals have, the Republican Party has traditionally and most strongly stood against expanding institutions and social structures that would help those who are neglected or exploited by what maintains the status quo.And Tisby asks why White Evangelicals have embraced a set of religious beliefs that keeps them so loyal to the Republican Party while other Christians groups, who share the same basic beliefs, have shown that they are independent of the Republican Party.

Tisby does well in noting the 3 tools of accountable freewill individualism, relationalism, and anti-structuralism and partly describing what they are. But we should note that he is unclear as to whether other Christian groups besides White Evangelicals share the same cultural toolkit. And we should also note that the 1st and 3rd belief or tool is not necessarily Christian or religious. How our nation reacted to the 9/11 terrorist attacks demonstrated that. Much of the nation didn't want to hear that those attacks could have been a result of blowback from U.S. foreign policies. Thus, regardless of what those attackers had witnessed or experienced from U.S. foreign policy, to blame U.S. foreign policy for the attacks is to make an excuse for their atrocities. 

And what is being asked here is whether these 3 cultural tools or ideas are syncretisms, rather than expressions of religious faith only, that result from many White Evangelicals trying to merge some social/political ideologies or group identifications with their Christianity. And thus most White Evangelicals have embraced a political party whose platforms best reflect those tools. That is a question, whether or not we believe in those 3 tools or ideas,  that all Christians, not just White Evangelicals, must ask ourselves lest we too have created syncretisms from attempting to merge our own pet ideologies and group identifications with our faith.



 



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For January 10, 2018

Jan 5

To Sean Fitzpatrick and his blogpost containing his analysis of the Luke Skywalker character in the movie The Last Jedi. In that analysis, Fitzpatrick expressed frustration with how the movie did not portray Luke as the kind of hero Fitzpatrick wanted him to be. Fitzpatrick blamed post modernism for that faulty portrayal of Luke. This appeared in the Imaginative Conservative blog.

What Sean Fitzpatrick seems to have missed in the latest portrayal of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi is that Lukei's reluctance to continue being a hero indicated an idealism just as much, if not more, as a turn to post modernism and losing belief in his own superiority. For in failing in how he reacted to Kylo Ren, Luke saw himself, as well as the rest of the Jedi, as complete failures. Guilt for being imperfect haunted Luke. Evidence of this interpretation can be found in what motivated Luke to re-enter the fight: it was Yoda's words. Yoda told Luke that along with teaching others how to use The Force, sharing one's own failures was part of training Jedi Knights. Thus, contrary to what his guilt told him, Luke was qualified to teach those with The Force how to become Jedi Knights.

Authoritarianism loves idealism, even if it admits that the ideal isn't real. It still embraces it. It still sees it as a necessary part of one's beliefs especially those beliefs in one's own or a hero's superiority. And thus authoritarianism results in a denial of either a hero's failures or the significance of given failures. Otherwise, heroes cannot be considered to be superior to others. Idealism embraces that kind of black-white, all-or-nothing thinking. Thus, one failure can mean complete darkness for those who embrace such thinking. This was Luke's dilemma. He was an idealist who could not deny how he failed Kylo Ren. Fitzpatrick wanted Luke to be able to deny the significance of his failure with Ren so he could see himself as being superior to others. And that is the real difference between what Fitzpatrick wanted Luke Skywalker to be and how the movie portrayed him.

Fitzpatrick doesn't see the harmful black-white, all-or-nothing thinking that is a part of idealism and authoritarianism. Nor does he see the harmful effects of believing that one's heroes are superior to others. That might be because he is too involved with authoritarianism himself. His embrace of authoritarianism might be why Fitzpatrick wants to blame post modernism for Luke's loss of confidence as portrayed in the movie. But to do that, one must cut the movie short. One must stop the movie before Yoda convinces Luke to re-enter fray.

In addition, if what I wrote about idealism, and thus authoritarianism by extension, is true when I said 'idealism embraces black-white or all-or-nothing thinking,' then Fitzpatrick's frustration with how the movie portrayed Luke Skywalker provides a window in what he believes about his real life heroes. That is that Fitzpatrick will deny either failures committed by his heroes or the significance of those failures. For to admit to those failures or their significance would disqualify his heroes from being heroes, from being superior to others. And such is a real fear for authoritarians. So perhaps such a fear has led Fitzpatrick to embrace the Dark Side when it comes to promoting some of his heroes.
Another indicator that Fitzpatrick is a bit of an authoritarian is that in talking about Achilles, with whom Fitzpatrick compares the old and new Luke Skywalkers, he never questions the morality of a nation going to war because its queen was kidnapped.


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To Rev Ben Johnson and his blogpost about how Iran and Venezuela were trying to destabilize the West by spreading Socialism. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Socialism will 'degrade the pillars of Western Civilization'? Which form of socialism is being referred to here?  For though there is a greater social consciousness in Islam than in much of Christianity, it is difficult to believe that Iran knows what Socialism from the Marxist tradition is. And I refer to the Marxist tradition because Lenin was mentioned in the article.

One of the key components of Socialism from the Marxist tradition is the idea of the proletariat dictatorship. For without that, according to Marx, there is no socialist transition into the utopia he thought he saw. So when we look at Iran and its government, what would it know about Socialism from the Marxist tradition? Though there have elections, we know that Iran is run by a religious elite. So what would Iran know about Socialism except to fund some organizations that claim to be socialistic.?
As for Maduro and Venezuela, the same question can be asked and has been asked by some leftists. I believe it was at the 2015 Left Forum, there were concerns expressed that Chavez had not really followed through with Socialism because he had not put workers into positions of power and decision making. Yes, people there were happy that resources from profits made by its oil industry were being directed toward the people. But that alone does not make Socialism. That is the very criticism that Rosa Luxemburg leveled at Lenin's regime.  She labeled it a bourgeoisie dictatorship and with good reason. Power was seized by the Central Committee and the local soviets were dismantled. The power structure Lenin employed was a top-down structure used by the bourgeoisie to run their businesses. Furthermore, even some of Lenin's supporters complained about his purges and Lenin himself verbally attacked the Leftists, a.k.a., the real Marxists,  them 'infantile.' We might also note that other important Socialists besides Luxemburg opposed Lenin. And we also have the Mensheviks who walked out of the 2nd Russian Soviet Congress in protest of the Bolsheviks. And yet, despite all of the infighting and divisions and the non-Socialist power structure employed by Lenin, Johnson talks as if Socialism is a monolith after the pattern set by Lenin and was responsible for 100 million deaths even though that number is usually attributed not just to the Soviet Union, but to Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and Red China. And that number includes those killed in wars and famines.

Johnson might be interested in learning that libertarian Socialism does not even believe in the state. But despite that and what was mentioned above, again, Socialism/Communism are responsible for 100 million deaths and Iran and Venezuela are doing what they can to spread Socialism to the West to destabilize it. What Johnson doesn't mention is that Iran has been threatened with military action and even war by either the US or Israel for the last 20+ years. The US has military bases surrounding Iran on both its western and eastern borders. This is not to exonerate Iran. It is a religious dictatorship. But if Iran was trying to destabilize the West, wouldn't that just be an example of turnaround being fair play? Something similar could be said about Venezuela since it was alleged that the 2002 coup that attempted to overthrow Chavez was supported by the US. The coup failed when the people gathered in too big of a mass for the military to respond in order to oppose the coup. It is also suspected that the US has played a role in destabilizing Venezuela. So again, if Venezuela wanted to spread Socialism to the West to destabilize it, would it not be just another example of turnaround is fair play?

Besides, not all Socialists and forms of Socialism eliminate religion in public life. However, US trained military or paramilitary troops had attacked Liberation Theology advocates and priests in Central America during the 1980s. What does that say about the US and its relationship to religion. And of course, even in Lenin's day, there were Socialists who called to the Church to join their struggle against the exploitation of workers in Russia.The article by Johnson lacks precision in order for it to be informative of any real threat to the West. It cannot adequately identify Socialism as well as it ignores the context that conflicts between the US and the governments of Iran and Venezuela provide. The above is nothing more than persuasion piece that relies on the lack of details and an emotional appeal.


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Jan 6

To Joe Carter and his blogpost that supplies information that he thinks people should know about raising the minimum wage. This appeared in the Acton blog.

It's so easy for some conservatives to criticize the idea of raising the minimum wage, if not the idea of having the minimum wage itself, while regarding their own economic ideologies as being above reproach. And that is the problem here. Our current economic system is regarded by some as a kind of Biblical canon while we weigh the tradeoffs of raising the minimum wage. And if keeping the minimum wage low benefits those with wealth to the detriment of those who live on the minimum wage, then we can say that these same conservatives are merely supporting those with wealth rather than giving a fair assessment of the minimum wage.

Chris Rock had an excellent insight on the minimum wage while reflecting back on when he was paid minimum wage. He said something to the effect that when an employer paid him minimum wage, it was like the employer is saying  that he/she would pay him even less per hour if he/she was allowed--so much for the intrinsic value of the worker. And when we consider the ever widening gap between the pay of the CEO and the not even lowest paid workers of many major companies, we see how the worker is being devalued more and more by our economic system. On average, the CEO at 350 of the top companies makes 271 times the amount made by the average worker in the same company (see  http://fortune.com/2017/07/20/ceo-pay-ratio-2016/ ) and that amount sometimes reaches more than 1,000 times what the median worker makes (see https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ceo-worker-pay-gap_us_55ddc3c7e4b0a40aa3acd1c9 ).

But CEOs are not the only competition  workers face in getting a slice of the pie from the companies they work for. Many top companies also must show that they are maximizing the ROI for their investors. In fact, investors, many of whom never put a dime into the companies they invest in, are seen as having a higher claim on a company's wealth than its workers have.
And thus we come to the argument expressed by Carter and supported by others that too high an increase in the minimum wage could cost workers their jobs. And when we consider that many companies use government assistance programs to subsidize their payrolls while doing all they can to reduce or avoid paying taxes some of which support those assistance programs, we see that to not be able to step back and critically look at one's own economic ideology and the current economic system is akin to being the proverbial bull in the china shop. In addition, when Carter states that 'Almost all economist agree that significant increases to the minimum wage or attempts to bring it in line with a “living wage” (e.g., $12-15 an hour) would lead to significant increases in unemployment,' he is disingenuously saying that the economic system that gives many workers a choice between employment with poverty wages or unemployed is above reproach.

One could also add to Carter's quote that it is wrong. Over 100 economists, with some from Ivy League schools while some are from other prestigious schools like MIT, the University of California Berkley, Penn State, Michigan State, NYU, and USC, all of which are top 100 economic schools, dispute Carter's claim as they call for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 (see http://www.epi.org/economists-in-support-of-15-by-2024/ ).
Now I am not writing as one who supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Why? Because such legislation overlooks another serious problem that workers in low wage jobs and employers face. That problem is that there is too little communication between the two about each other's needs and too little power given to workers in determining  work issues like pay. To have the government set the minimum wage at $15 per hour eliminates the need for employers and employees to talk to each other face to face about each others' needs. And robbing employers and employees the opportunity of communicating face to face with each other prevents employers and employees from have a chance to be more vested in each other. Requiring that companies raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour does not give workers a greater voice in how the workplace should be conducted. Setting the minimum wage too high doesn't empower workers, it empowers the government.

Instead of the government raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, it should set its sights on a more modest increase while requiring companies and workers to negotiate wages higher than the modest increase. The divides between employer and employee is not just in pay, it are in communication and in power. Automatically raising the minimum wage too high does nothing to close those divides.In addition, many companies must realize that the divide between the pay of its top employees and the average employee increases wealth disparity and that, according to the IMF, hurts economic growth.
 





Tuesday, January 9, 2018

It Is Both The Best And Worst Of Times For Nonviolent Revolutionaries

While discussing today's world with a friend over lunch, my friend asked how I think things are going. I gave a bipolar answer: it is both a time of opportunity as well as a time of deep discouragement.

For those who read the blogpost on my wanting two nonviolent revolutions for Christmas (click here for the article), you will remember that I saw a need for two distinct revolutions: a structural revolution and a revolution of personal morals. The structural revolution is one that needs a great deal of coordination with others and participation in a number of national movements which do not yet exist. For the structural revolution requires that we significantly change our political and economic systems. The personal moral revolution needed is expressed in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. as he spoke against the Vietnam War (click here for the source):
I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

This moral revolution can be entered into anytime we are with friends, enemies, or strangers: though it should not be the only thing we talk about. We can participate in this moral revolution as individuals. It requires no collaboration with others or coordination with groups of people around the world. We simply need to point out King's words to others and let the chips fall where they may.
Thus, in terms of opportunities in which to participate, we are like a person who, for whatever reason, jumped out of his/her boat into an ocean of opportunities. We have ample chances to talk about the need for a moral revolution and that is the good news. We can, at almost anytime we desire, talk to people about the importance of counting people, whoever they are, as being more important than our gadgets (prophetically written for millennials?), profits, and property rights.

Now for the bad news: people are too apathetic to care. The hold of things on the lives of many people around us is terribly strong. Many people walk along in a trance provided that they have or believe they can get the things they want. This attachment to things makes them picture that they live on islands that are cutoff from the unpleasant parts of the world. This island living is what they want and they seem interested in only participating in those activities that maintain the status quo for them. But this island dream should cause us to think of the words of Rachel Corrie as she wrote in the book of her journal entries, Let Me Stand Alone:
all islands are the symbol of unenlightened desire

Though the opportunities to participate in this moral revolution are vast, the current going against the message is strong. Thus the return on our participation, in most cases, is small at best. But small returns are to be celebrated rather than to become a reason to surrender and join the crowd. We should note that it is the accumulation of small returns that can eventually, if not now, turn the tide. And that is what we can't lose sight of. To take advantage of our opportunities is to practice hope. To bypass our opportunities is to give in to despair by joining the crowd that values the present enjoyment of things over both the present and future welfare of people.



Monday, January 8, 2018

ONIM For January 8, 2018

10 Best Fact Checking Sites Found Here.

If you are not sure about the validity of a news story linked to below, you can use  mediabiasfactcheck.com to check out the credibility of the source of most of the stories linked to here.


Christian News 

 
World News

Israel-Palestine News


Donald Trump News
 
Pick(s) Of The Litter