Scenes from the class war (5.29)


"Iniquitas radix malorum." "We are dealing with issues that cannot be solved without the nation spending billions of dollars -- and undergoing a radical redistribution of economic power." "Because conservative economics doesn't actually work. It is a faith based program untethered from reality. The numbers don't add up and it is destructive to societies." "I love how so many folks on one hand acknowledge the reality of deindustrialization -- but on the other hand completely discount … [Read more...]

You think I built this for me?


• Driving in to work last night, the lead stories on the news were flooding in Pensacola, Fla., and the derailing and explosion of an oil train in Lynchburg, Va. If twin disasters had struck, say, Las Vegas and San Francisco yesterday, we'd be knee-deep in the blasphemous theodicies of John Piper and Pat Robertson as they and others like them rushed to link those events to God's specific intervention to punish the specific sins of specific Other People. Be safe, Pensacola and Lynchburg. All … [Read more...]

The high cost of low taxes: Americans don’t want to maintain America


Welcome to the future of "small government." America's infrastructure was once the best in the world. But we didn't want to pay to maintain it. David Cay Johnston: "America's Coming Infrastructure Disaster" For decades, America has scrimped on taking care of the public furniture, endangering people and weakening the economy as bridges rust, roads crumble, dams weaken, and water mains leak. The sudden collapse of an Interstate highway bridge in Minneapolis in 2007, killing 13, and the cracks … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Uwe E. Reinhardt: "America's Mid-20th-Century Infrastructure" Instead of setting about to bring our infrastructure up to 21st-century standards – which might, alas, involve more of the much detested public-sector investment — we angrily and yet meekly suffer for days or weeks without light, heat and transportation, verbally shaking our fists at the power companies but leaving it at that. We are, at most, prepared to stock our households with flashlights and candles and, if we have the … [Read more...]

Obama drops F-bomb: Tells ‘Internet’ to ‘F— off’

"Let me tell you something. F--- off, Internet," President Barack Obama said on July 15 in a speech in Roanoke, Va. He said that. Those are his exact words. Well, those are his exact letters, anyway. And they're in the exact order in which he spoke them. If you want to be a stickler for context, what President Obama actually said was: There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if … [Read more...]

Word of the day: arbitrage

I had to look this one up: ar•bi•trage noun \'är-b∂-,träzh\ 1  : the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets in order to profit from price discrepancies 2  : the purchase of the stock of a takeover target especially with a view to selling it profitably to the raider I'm probably still not confident enough in what that means to try to use this word in conversation. But in the context of the following posts, I think I … [Read more...]

Building bridges (actual, literal bridges)

Here's an illustration that also illustrates why I'm a lousy religion blogger. The illustrious Scot McKnight writes about "Cracks in the Bridge": From a distance the bridge looks healthy, even attractive. Up close, and under the eyes of a careful observer, the bridge has cracks. If the cracks are attended to in the right way at the right time, the bridge can sustain itself — even get stronger. If not attended to, the cracks can bring the bridge down. Marriage is the one-and-only … [Read more...]

All others pay cash: The Shepherd-Balkin Amendment

In other church-state news yesterday, the House of Representatives voted 396-9 to reaffirm that America's "national motto" is still our national motto. That motto, officially adopted in 1956, is "In God We Trust." It replaced what had been up until then America's unofficial motto of "E pluribus unum." Replacing an affirmation of unity amidst diversity with an expression of sectarian faith is, generally speaking, not a Good Thing.* But this symbolic step backwards, redundantly reaffirmed last … [Read more...]