AZspot

blue bits. red rocks.
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…despite what conservatives may think, there is no “magical” force that creates shared prosperity and wealth in capitalist societies. Piketty goes on to warn that if we don’t address America’s wealth inequality epidemic quickly, America could end up with the most top-heavy society it’s ever seen. Even worse than the Gilded Age. Conservatives Are Scared Straight by a Frenchman

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Stop somewhere. And begin the thousand-year-long process of knowing that place. Wendell Berry

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The Motion Picture Production Code has not aged well because no moral code ages well. Every attempt to codify morality that goes beyond “love is the fulfillment of the law” or “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind” is bound to be shaped by all of the blindnesses and the assumptions of the people and the age that produced it. So every moral code will therefore have omissions and oversights, and will also include horrors that have no business being included. And just like in the MPPC’s list of “Don’ts,” those omissions and horrible admissions will wind up skewing even the good bits that might seem unrelated to them. Whenever you question the “traditional morality” of any moral code that’s not aging well, you’ll be accused of lawless anarchy and antinomianism. “So you think anything goes” they say. They don’t mean it as a question, so they won’t wait for, or allow, an answer. And thus they’ll never understand the point. The point isn’t that we should once and for all destroy all moral codes. The point is that we should perpetually be destroying them so that we can perpetually replace them. When moral codes codify immorality

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That there is no consequence to massacring foreigners, our criminal rulers have long known, but they also know that when Pentagon guns are turned on Americans, a good portion of the world will break out in cheers, just as we’ve whooped and hollered as our tax-paid munitions splattered their loved ones. When blood darkens our streets, our victims will dance in theirs, no doubt, so why are our trans-fat asses still parked at this sad cul-de-sac as that day of reckoning looms? When you’re broke, though, it’s hard to move a mile, much less out of the country, so many of us will simply escape into our private universe, inside our various screens, and ignore, as best we can, increasingly ugly reality. Moreover, some still believe there is no serious decline, while others that a unified fight is possible. Postcard from the End of America: Bensalem

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In a perfect world, the most well-informed and intelligent among us would be leading the government and creating unselfish legislation. But human nature makes that option literally impossible. So why compare our current government to one that is impossible? We might as well compare our government to the system at Hogwarts in which the best wizard is in charge. That’s just as impossible as a fair government run by elites. As citizens, our only protection from the abuse of government power is the skill and objectivity of the watchdog press. How’s that working out so far? Scott Adams

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Discipleship is supposed to be the bread and butter of Christian community. What it’s supposed to mean is each Christian’s journey of spiritual growth under the mentorship of more seasoned Christians. This is supposed to happen in local communities in ways that are developed organically in their unique contexts. But in recent years, a monster Christian publishing industry has emerged which desperately needs to sell its books and videos in order to grow, thus constituting what I would call a “discipleship industrial complex.” In order to keep growing, the discipleship industrial complex manipulates pastors and church leaders into thinking that their own intuitions and guidance from the Holy Spirit in their local contexts aren’t good enough. They need to use trusted resources like Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life if they want to get results. Pretty soon, these trusted resources are depended upon for everything from children’s Christmas pageants to stewardship campaigns. It’s kind of similar to farmers who buy the security of Monsanto’s patented, genetically modified seeds. The FDA has officially declared that there’s nothing wrong with genetically modified corn. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with genetically modified discipleship either. There’s just nothing personal about it. Six ways that capitalism fails the church

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What if a group of armed american Muslims had challenged the federal government and threatened to shoot federal officers for trying to enforce the law? What if a group of Black or Hispanic activists had shown up with rifles to block enforcement of a federal law? What would Fox News and Drudge Report and other conservative outlets and Republican politicians be saying? What would they be demanding the government do in response? Just imagine. Nullification, The Bundy Ranch And Right-Wing Lawlessness

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I’ve been laughing my way through the Cliven Bundy fiasco because, as Jamelle Bouie suggests, there may be no better example of racist privilege than the right to flout the government’s authority and then back its agents down at gunpoint. Ta-Nehisi Coates

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