Articles, excerpts June, July 2015

Creative thinking

Facebook and the Decline of Ideas By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, Aug. 14, 2011 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/08/facebook-and-decline-ideas Neal Gabler writes today that we no longer care much about big, exciting ideas, the kind that we used to hear from Albert Einstein, Reinhold Niebuhr, Daniel Bell, Betty Friedan, Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould. “We are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.”

Environment

Pope Francis Gets the Moral Framing Right: Global Warming Is Where the Practical and the Moral Meet By George Lakoff, Huffington Post, 06/25/2015  environmental issues are moral issues.

On Climate, Humanity Must Rise Up Against ‘Collective Shrug of Fatalism’ By Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams, March 06, 2015… the movement we need is already in the streets; in the courts; in the classrooms; even in the halls of power – we just need to find each other. One way or another, everything is going to change. And for a brief time, the nature of that change, is still up to us.”

Civilization

Extreme-Right Is Keeping American in Dark Ages: Michael Moore “the policies in this country have been driven by the Christian right. They took over and they turned this country into the dark ages and we’re so far behind now with science, education, health care, everything.” 10/28/14 http://www.greenvillegazette.com/famous-director-extreme-right-is-keeping-american-in-dark-ages/

Culture

Neil Gabler on How Pop Culture Influences Political Expectations, by Neal Gabler, Bill Moyers.com,February 24, 2012

 Capitalism

Chris Hedges Explains How Mega Corporations and Banks Have Obliterated Capitalism, video — CSPAN Miami Book Fair, July 8, 2015 It’s no mistake, it did not happen by accident, that our economic and environmental livelihoods are in turmoil. It is a direct result of an economy and a culture that turns everything into a commodity which can be bought, sold and destroyed for the right price.      

Economic justice – labor

How Unions Improve the Lives of Every Worker by Laura Reyes, Secretary-Treasurer, AFSCME, Huffington Post.com

Reason

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem SolvingConfirmation Bias and YOU By DAVID LEONHARDT, New York Times JULY 2, 2015 … what psychologists and economists call confirmation bias. Not only are people more likely to believe information that fits their pre-existing beliefs, but they’re also more likely to go looking for such information. This experiment is a version of one that the English psychologist Peter Cathcart Wason used in a seminal 1960 paper on confirmation bias. (He used the even simpler 2, 4 and 6, rather than our 2, 4 and 8.) …Most of us can quickly come up with other forms of confirmation bias — and yet the examples we prefer tend to be, themselves, examples of confirmation bias. If you’re politically liberal, maybe you’re thinking of the way that many conservatives ignore strong evidence of global warming and its consequences and instead glom onto weaker contrary evidence. Liberals are less likely to recall the many incorrect predictions over the decades, often strident and often from the left, that population growth would create widespread food shortages. It hasn’t….

Democracy

What the Declaration of Independence Really Claimed By Randy Barnett, Washington Post, July 4, 2015

Politics

Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders Are The Souls Of Their Parties By Akira Watts, reverbpress.com July 2015  … Sanders is an independent and Trump is an opportunist. Still each manages to epitomize, respectively, the Democratic and Republican parties Sanders, I would argue, represents what the Democratic Party once was and what it could once more become. His populist rhetoric hearkens back to FDR’s New Deal and the optimism of JFK.  His seemingly radical and “socialist” ideas are widely supported by American voters: …Donald Trump is the raging narcissistic id of the Republican Party. Sanders, I would argue, represents what the Democratic Party once was and what it could once more become. His populist rhetoric hearkens back to FDR’s New Deal and the optimism of JFK.  His seemingly radical and “socialist” ideas are widely supported by American voters:…

As Democrats Move Left, Republicans Have Moved Dangerously To The Extreme Right Ryan Denson, June 28, 2015

America’s story

Elizabeth Warren tells progressives, ‘Our values are America’s values’ by Ned Resnikoff @resnikof,   AlJazeera.com, July 17, 2015

What the Declaration of Independence Really Claimed By Randy Barnett, Washington Post, July 4, 2015

Moral politics

The Supreme Court Just Gave American Evangelicals a Gift, by Ed Cyzewski, June 26, 2015 / Evangelicals are tenacious, persistent, and driven when they want to fight for a cause. The problem is that American evangelicals have been swept up in fighting for the wrong cause for a long time…. I see Jesus pointing us toward the issues that pertain to the most basic aspects of human dignity: food, shelter, clothing, justice, and sickness:… we [Evangelicals] have always had financial resources, competent charities, and passionate workers who are more than willing to travel to the ends of the earth to fulfill the very words of Jesus. If we collectively gave these most basic causes just a fraction of the time and energy that we had devoted to fighting same sex marriage, who knows how many thousands or millions of lives could have been saved….We aren’t called to fight against someone. We aren’t called to litigation. We are called to fight for everyone—especially those suffering in the most basic ways. The longer we engage in legal fights against same sex marriage, the more apparent it becomes that we’d rather throw ourselves into any losing cause than obey the most basic commands of Jesus. Let’s take our tenacity, energy, and resources and throw them into serving the people who are suffering the most in this world.

Elizabeth Warren tells progressives, ‘Our values are America’s values’ by Ned Resnikoff @resnikof,   AlJazeera.com, July 17, 2015

Pope Francis Gets the Moral Framing Right: Global Warming Is Where the Practical and the Moral Meet By George Lakoff, Huffington Post, 06/25/2015 3:40 pm EDT environmental issues are moral issues.

Comments are closed.