Sunday Sermon: Shifting World-Views

The first moment where I started to wonder was in 6th or 7th grade social studies. We had a textbook about “geography” which included some geopolitics; a picture on one page of Uncle Sam sitting in a circle with characteristic (even stereotypical) kids of various ethnicities. It wasn’t quite as bad as that the kid from Africa had a bone through his nose – not quite. The caption read “Americans want to be friends with everyone.” And when the page was turned, the picture was of a Red Army soldier in WWII uniform, with a ppsh tommygun held at port arms, “The Soviets want to rule the world.”

[Read more…]

Sunday Sermon: On Secret Diplomacy

Elsewhere I have implied that the US, UK, Russia, and China are (to some degree or another) oligarchies masquerading as democracies. They probably could be ordered on a scale from greater to lesser – but that’s a debate for another day. Today, we’re going to consider some of Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus as reported by Will Durant in Story of Philosophy. [amazon]

[Read more…]

See This Movie (Movie Review: Threads)

Warning: War, Death

Administrative note: I made an error attributing the movie and confused a different movie with a release of the same film under a different name. Explanation is [here] – in order to reduce confusion, I have done an edit-pass. If you see comments about how I am talking about the wrong movie, they are correct with respect to the initial version of this posting. Sorry about the confusion!

I don’t know if I have the necessary skill to convey how upsetting this topic is. I wish I could borrow the skills of Orpheus from somewhere, and get other people to watch it, get angry and scared, and – do something. I don’t even know what we can do, trapped as we are in the reality of nationalism and out-of-control militarism.

Threads is about the horrible deaths our political leaders have prepared for us.

If you don’t like spoilers, don’t read any further. But there’s really nothing to spoil. You already know roughly what happens.

[Read more…]