Faith & Quakes: Examines the question of theodicy that has puzzled philosophers from Plato to Barbara Ehrenreich: if God is all-good and all-powerful, how can evil exist? Gives a brief history, including St. Iranaeus, St. Augustine, and Alfred Whitehead, and proposes a new answer to “Are people born wicked, or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?”
Demonstrates why the catastrophe in Haiti is an effect of empire, not God. Compares the US military invasion, ala Katrina, to the responses of Iceland, France, Italy, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Senegal,
and Palestine. Presents Haiti’s history in opposing colonialism and the ways they’ve paid for this “deal with the devil” – crushing embargoes, onerous debts, brutal dictatorships, and free-market famines. Suggests that Papa Bush and Baby Bush have more to do with Haiti’s tragedy than God.
- “Celestial Music” by Louise Gluck
Songs and/or Music Videos:
- “Because It’s There” by Michael Hedges
- “Freewill” by Rush
- “The Saints Are Coming” by U2 and Green Day
- “The Problem of Evil: A Challenge to God’s Existence?” by A2
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Climate Debt: Relates statistics about per capita carbon emissions to national debt burdens. Suggests that instead of charging “rich” countries a climate debt, we absolve all national debts – saving the global South 200 billion a year. Proposes a US plan for counties to keep 2% of their own income tax for every 2% the county lowers its carbon emissions. This would promote local sovereignty, defund the military, and lower emissions 20% by 2020, 40% by 2030, or even 80% by 2050.
Recommends that Evo Morales, Naomi Klein, Vendana Shiva, and Desmond Tutu read Barabara Ehrenreich, to understand why Americans aren’t rolling in the dough. Uses the case study of Firestone and Mittal Steel in Liberia to explain odious debt, vulture funds, and liability sheltering. From Clinton Callahan’s article, “Beware the Psychopath, My Son,” extrapolates that corporations are, by definition, psychopaths as persons without conscience or culpability.
- Mary Oliver, “Almost a Conversation”
- Marge Piercy, “The Seven of Pentacles”
Songs and/or Music Videos:
- Alpha Yaya Diallo, “Bambara Blues,”
- Seize the Day, “The Price of Petrol”
Embedded PDF Files:
- Global Witness, “Heavy Mittal”
- UK Guardian Datablog, “Carbon Emissions Per Person, By Country”
- Dr. Kevin Barrett, “Twilight of the Psychopaths”
- Silvia Cattori, “Trick of the Psychopath’s Trade”
- Fun and lively interview with Barbara Ehrenreich. They discuss magical thinking in religion and business, ‘tit for tat’ in cancer fundraising, how the office has been outsourced to the home, and the danger of shooting the messenger. Tereza relates two stories of being fired for not being a “can-do girl,” and asks whether all middle-managers have become “can-do girls” in this musical chairs jobless market.