Saturday, February 05, 2005

Jonah Goldberg Embarrasses Himself

"Jonah Goldberg knows absolutely nothing about Iraq."

- Juan Cole

Jonah Goldberg Embarrasses Himself

You may have already seen this, but I didn't want any of you to miss this beauty of a post by Juan Cole. He aptly takes on Jonah Goldberg, who has, (true to form), embarrassed himself once again. As Markos has said, I'm surely glad Juan's on 'our side'!

There's more from Professor Cole HERE, where he quotes a James Wolcott blogpost about the situation. He includes this: Oh my God! He actually said it! (Goldberg replied to this comment from Juan Cole's reader at the National Review website):
"But if you actually do get an oppurtunity [sic] to verbally castrate this weasel, ask him if he truly meant "In the weeks prior to the war to liberate Afghanistan, a good friend of mine would ask me almost every day, "Why aren't we killing people yet?" And I never had a good answer for him. Because one of the most important and vital things the United States could do after 9/11 was to kill people." '

He looks to be of military age. Ask him why his sorry a** isn't in the kill zone."]
Goldberg actually says,
"For the record, I did in fact mean it. I wrote it here. As for why my sorry a** isn't in the kill zone, lots of people think this is a searingly pertinent question. No answer I could give -- I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry, are a few -- ever seem to suffice."
Goldberg helped send nearly 1500 brave Americans to their deaths and helped maim over 10,000, not to mention all the innocent Iraqi civilians he helped get killed. He helped dragoon 140,000 US troops in Iraq. And he does not have the courage of his convictions. His excuse is that he couldn't afford to take the pay cut!"


Goldberg must feel like a real ass after all this, even if his overblown ego would never allow him to admit it.

The Worship of the Market God

The Worship of the
Market God

How we lose spirit, moral value, tradition, and democracy

Reading Nick Lewis' fantastic blog, I came across an article I could not resist reading in its entirety - even on a sunny Saturday afternoon when the outdoor sky was beckoning. It's called The Market as God, written for The Atlantic in 1999. It's theme is timeless, and deals with a strange theological crossover discussion. It speaks of "the religion of The Market" in contrast and comparison to the traditional religions. One of the most interesting comments made by the author, Harvey Cox, makes an all-important distinction between what I see as the differences between the view of Conservatives and Left-leaning people:
"..for all the religions of the world, however they may differ from one another, the religion of The Market has become the most formidable rival, the more so because it is rarely recognized as a religion. The traditional religions and the religion of the global market, as we have seen, hold radically different views of nature. In Christianity and Judaism, for example, "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and all that dwell therein." The Creator appoints human beings as stewards and gardeners *(see UPDATE below)* but, as it were, retains title to the earth. Other faiths have similar ideas. In The Market religion, however, human beings, more particularly those with money, own anything they buy and -within certain limits- can dispose of anything as they choose."
I would venture to say that Conservatives, for all their talk about their adherence to God's principles in a traditionally religious sense, are worshipping the gods of The Market before their traditional Gods. (Isn't that a major breach of some Commandment? Yes, I think it is).

In some ways, The Market religion represents values which directly oppose traditionally religious principles.
."In Catholic theology, through what is called "transubstantiation," ordinary bread and wine become vehicles of the holy. In the mass of The Market a reverse process occurs. Things that have been held sacred transmute into interchangeable items for sale."
Sounds incredibly shallow in spirit, doesn't it?

Enter philosophy and economist-theologians who justify The Market's ways to men:
".."process theology," a relatively contemporary trend influenced by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. In this school although God wills to possess the classic attributes, He does not yet possess them in full, but is definitely moving in that direction. This conjecture is of immense help to theologians for obvious reasons. It answers the bothersome puzzle of theodicy: why a lot of bad things happen that an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God-especially a benevolent one-would not countenance. Process theology also seems to offer considerable comfort to the theologians of The Market. It helps to explain the dislocation, pain, and disorientation that are the result of transitions from economic heterodoxy to free markets."

Jude's Note: Whitehead believed that without God, the cosmic process would not be an orderly, creative process, but only a chaos. Therefore, Cox is telling you that the worshippers of Wall Street are comforted by thinking they are following a "divinely-created" order by their political gods.
Harvey Cox finds at least one major contradiction between the religion of The Market and the traditional religions. It's a contradiction that seems to be insurmountable. He says:
"All of the traditional religions teach that human beings are finite creatures and that there are limits to any earthly enterprise. A Japanese Zen master once said to his disciples as he was dying, "I have learned only one thing in life: how much is enough." He would find no niche in the chapel of The Market, for whom the First Commandment is "There is never enough." Like the proverbial shark that stops moving, The Market that stops expanding dies. That could happen. If it does, then Nietzsche will have been right after all. He will just have had the wrong God in mind."
I asked myself a couple of questions, which were inspired by this article.

What is the value of a human life in the theology of The Market? I worked in the liability insurance industry for many years and, often, I had to calculate the value of a human life. It sounds cold, but it's done every day in The Market. Life is not sacred there. It is simply calculated. If everything is for sale under the rule of The Market, I imagine that nothing can truly be 'sacred' except the monetary units against which we measure life. There's no time for emotion or spiritual venture. At the office, there are only a few things: a calculator, a set of statistics, and bargaining skills, which are required to measure the worth of one human being's entire life.

How do we know The Market's will? Cox says the diviners and seers of The Market's moods are the "high priests of its mysteries". These "high priests" are Wall Street and all who work for its thriving survival. "The Market may work in mysterious ways, "hid from our eyes," but ultimately it knows best."

Because our government so closely relies upon The Market (especially the GOP, but Democrats are also worshippers), much of their work is "hidden from our eyes". They become part of the mystery in a religion of greed. This is Constitutionally anithetical to the right of the American people to an open government and a civic democracy.

In the religion of The Market, the parishioners are lifeless and spiritless. They're easily dissociated with tradition and their extended family in pursuit of the monetary unit that rules over the course of their lives. They are no more than little Red and Blue players on a Checkers board.

When did we sign away our souls in America? Did anyone record the moment when that happened? Did we get a good deal?

Some think Heaven will be their great reward after a devoted life of Market-worship, but that's another religion altogether.


* UPDATE- I give credit where credit is due. In today's Washington Post, we see that some Christians are speaking out for their religious duty of stewardship of the Earth. Could this be a healthy beginning?
"We affirm that God-given dominion is a sacred responsibility to steward the earth and not a license to abuse the creation of which we are a part," said the statement, which has been distributed to 50,000 member churches. "Because clean air, pure water, and adequate resources are crucial to public health and civic order, government has an obligation to protect its citizens from the effects of environmental degradation."

Signatories included highly visible, opinion-swaying evangelical leaders such as Haggard, James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Some of the signatories are to meet in March in Washington to develop a position on global warming, which could place them at odds with the policies of the Bush administration.."

Lies are spread too easily by media

Lies are spread too easily by media

When I went to the Google News headlines page, this headline was the top (World) story:

"Rice says Europe ready to move beyond difference with U-S"

I went to the article,and found that, for all the hype in the headline, the article was a big "nothing".

This is how Americans get fooled into thinking all is well, when in reality,they are being given bad information.

The article with the 'major-headline' (if you can even call it an article) says:
Rice says she's hearing "a desire to move on to the next chapter."

Relations were strained over the war -- partly because of comments from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He referred to France and Germany -- which opposed the war -- as "old Europe."

What an incomplete piece of shite. An almost total absence of factual investigation. And it's a "top story"...a "big headline".

After reading it, I thought about how Condoleeza Rice has lied through the gap in her teeth about the reasons we went to Iraq. I thought about how she scared Americans about the threat of mushroom clouds coming at Saddam's willing and capable hands (another lie).

I thought about how Condoleeza Rice has betrayed America.

I thought about how she lied for President Bush, who has betrayed America's trust.

I wondered, why the hell would Europeans trust the America that is governed by the Bush administration when most of America no longer trusts them?

We tend to forget that our "national interest" is truly interdependent. The Iraq war has severely damaged our own national interest because a Constitutionally sacred trust has been broken by the Bush administration.

You really have to think about what you're being fed by the media these days. I wonder if they know they are perpetuating lies, or if they are simply in need of far better journalistic training and guidance?