Is Your Government Moral Per Se?

Recently, in defending the Administration’s immigration practices, Attorney General Sessions said:

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.”

It’s not the first time the Bible and, in particular, the Apostle Paul, has been used to justify governmental action and quell dissent. For a long time, slavery was the beneficiary of such moral reasoning.

Having been reared in the Christian faith, I find such reasoning ludicrous. After all, it was the state that executed the leader of this faith tradition and it was the state that executed Paul. The suggestion that Jesus thought one should always obey the government or any human authority for that matter is ridiculous on its face. Continue reading

When Your Time Has Passed

There comes a time. At least for most people. When their time has passed. When there’s nothing left to do. When they are alone.

I see it every week when I visit a friend who lives in a nursing home down the street from our house. It’s a nice nursing home. Six cottages. Each has no more than 12 residents. Most are in wheelchairs or use walkers. Many are hard of hearing. Some have a tenuous grip on reality.

Yesterday, when visiting my friend, one of the ladies, who’s in her late 90s, obviously wanted to engage me as I walked by on my way to my friend’s room. This lady is often sitting alone in the living area. I always say hello and perhaps have a brief exchange. But yesterday was different. I could tell she wanted to talk. Continue reading

Should You Delete Your Social Media?

Jaron Lanier, regarded by some as the father of virtual reality, was interviewed about the hazards of social media. The interview is well worth your time, particularly if you’re a parent. It can be found here.

An interesting comment is Lanier’s contention that President Trump’s addiction to Twitter has not served him well. I can believe it.

As much as I enjoy following some experts and others on Twitter, I am not at all sure the positives outweigh the negatives. I’m off Facebook and LinkedIn and frequently consider pulling the plug on Twitter, too.

In any case, listen to what Lanier has to say. And if you really want to treat yourself, read Lanier’s book Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality. It’s a gem.

Are Republicans Stupid? Immoral? Or Both?

The poll of roughly 1,000 adults aged 18 and over was conducted June 14-15, shortly after President Trump’s historic summit with the North Korea dictator. According to the results, 19 percent of Republicans indicated they had a favorable view of Kim . . . . That compared slightly better than the perception of Pelosi, who had a 17 percent favorable, 72 percent unfavorable rating among self-identified Republicans. – The Daily Beast

That’s right: Republicans have a more favorable opinion of the dictator who’s tortured and executed his own people for political reasons, and who has held innocent Americans and others against their will (in one case, resulting in the death of an American man), than they do of one of the leaders of the opposition party, Ms. Pelosi. That’s how far it has gone. That’s how stupid or immoral some of these people are. Continue reading

Cities and Travel

We returned last night from four days in New York City. The main purpose of this trip was to see the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But we were fortunate: dear friends from Chester County, Pennsylvania drove up to spend some time with us. On top of that, your grandmother and I saw some sights we’d never seen.

Our trip made me wonder why we don’t visit NYC more often. Continue reading

Increased Alienation and Desperation

This is perhaps the most disturbing graphic I’ve seen in a long time:

The CDC reported last week that:

  • Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in the U.S. in 2016.
  • Suicide rates went up more than 30% in half of the states since 1999.

There’s something wrong in America. Sure, there’s plenty right, too. But when tens of thousands of our fellow Americans decide to take their own lives, then there’s definitely something seriously wrong.

I wouldn’t attempt to address the reasons for this tragedy in a blog post. There’s no way I could do it justice. So my comments will be personal. And only personal. Continue reading

America Has Lost Its Soul

“He trusts me and I trust him.” Donald Trump speaking about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

This comes on the heels of Mr. Trump slandering Canada’s prime minister (publicly calling him a liar) and one of Trump’s top aides saying there was a “special place in hell” for people like Mr. Trudeau.

As for the ruthless Korean dictator, Trump said the dictator was “very open and very honorable.” That’s just a taste of the praise heaped on Kim by Trump.

Of course, if you were born in North Korea, the dictator might look different to you. He rules with an iron fist. People aren’t free to travel and there’s no such thing as freedom of speech.

Many were allowed to starve to death during famines. Many are interned for political purposes and tortured. Executions are used for political purposes. In short, the man is a ruthless dictator who is hostile to every democratic principle embedded within the U.S. Constitution. Yet he’s the man our leader admires and adores. And the leaders of democratic nations receive Trump’s contempt and scorn.

This is the leader you elected, America.

America has lost its soul, and it’s far from certain it will ever be able to reclaim it.

P.S. Meanwhile, North Korea and China played Trump like a fiddle.