Mountaintop Removal Destroys Town

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Rev. Jim Wallis on Government Cuts

As a Jew, I thoroughly share the sentiments of Rev. Jim Wallis.  The TaNaKh and rabbinic tradition command us to take care of the poor and marginalized.  That why we are told not to plough the corners of our fields.  When the Hebrew Bible and the rabbis talk about caring for the needy, they refer to communities and governments.  The structures envisioned in those texts are governmental, and they *require* (not merely suggest) a society take the needy into account.  This tradition does not focus on voluntary acts and association, but on political structures that create a just society.  Those who try to convert these into free-market scenarios, which advocate economic commitments that are solely private, do not understand what the texts actually say.  Those who know the Hebrew and the history should start articulating the true nature of this tradition, which demands that governments protect those in need.

http://blog.sojo.net/2011/03/24/fast-pray-and-act-new-threats-to-the-poor/#disqus_thread

 

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A Review of the Net Neutrality Debate

http://lifehacker.com/5720407/an-introduction-to-net-neutrality-what-it-is-what-it-means-for-you-and-what-you-can-do-about-it?utm_source=Lifehacker+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4306c49fc7-UA-142218-1&utm_medium=email

An excellent review. The internet is key medium of information and news exchange for coming decades. Corporate attempts to control the flow will limit freedom and transparency. Government regulations have their limitations and dangers, but the power of corporate control is much more harmful and pernicious.  (Via Gary Yarus)

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Jon Stewart as Change Agent

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/business/media/27stewart.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

We often think of comedy and satire as letting off steam or entertainment.  However, a brilliant comedian can use them and his laugh pulpit to shame those who would deny our commitment to the suffering heroes of September 11, 2001, and to push the government to honor its promise to those who protect and defend our nation.

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Outsourcing

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_overseas_hiring

If we want to alter this trend, the US will have to improve its educational levels and make sure that corporations pay their fair share of taxes (which they are not because of loopholes).

The decline of educational quality in the US is part of the reason for this.

The other is cheap labor in developing countries.  Corporations are able to take advantage of this labor without suffering financial consequences in the US.  However, corporations should contribute sufficiently to the national community that makes it possible for them to exist and thrive.  Otherwise we will not be able to maintain our standard of living and quality of life.

The rise of transnational actors like multinational corporations and the decline of the power of nation states has negative consequences such as this, but it also promises new kinds of structures through which humans will govern themselves.  Corporations have their own interests, and communities have theirs.  Just as corporations protect themselves, communities will have to do the same.  Corporations are driven by economic goals, but communities have moral concerns.  This divergence in interest will inevitably force communities to find others ways of asserting themselves, as national governments find themselves unable to act.  These communities may exist as places, but they may also form as virtual entities.   Instead of looking at a global map with nations, we may be beginning to see the emergence of another kind of map with different governing entities.

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World Progress: The Joy of Statistics

For those frustrated with politics and bad news, take a look at this video.  It shows the general trend of the world toward healthier and more prosperous societies. Countries are converging, and the world is improving.  Thanks to Nelson French for this video!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

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Vanessa’s Wedding

From Dianne Bazell:  A Jewish family celebration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgZ4ZTTfKO8

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High-Power Repairman

http://www.tvkim.com/watch/116/kims-picks-high-power-repairman
I found this moving. This high power repairman is one of those people that makes possible the lives we live. We often forget that, what we take for granted, requires others to have complex skills and courage

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Meaningful Conversation

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/talk-deeply-be-happy/
Substantive conversation and talking deeply leads to greater happiness. I have always seen meaningful discussion as the core of teaching and wisdom (which should be the goal of all learning)

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