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The Wrath of God


Fri, Jan 20th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

“I don’t care what people are saying uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day,” New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin said in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech on Tuesday. “This city will be a majority African-American city. It’s the way God wants it to be.”

Now, in fairness to Nagin, he later explained that you get chocolate by mixing dark chocolate and white, meaning that he wanted a diverse population.

But also in his speech, Nagin said “God is mad at America,” in part because he does not approve “of us being in Iraq under false pretenses.”

“He is sending hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it is destroying and putting stress on this country,” Nagin said.

He said God is “upset at black America also.”

“We are not taking care of ourselves. We are not taking care of our women, and we are not taking care of our children when you have a community where 70 percent of its children are being born to one parent.”

Nagin has borrowed a chapter out of evangelist Pat Robertson’s book. A few weeks ago Robertson reacted to news of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke when he said on his “700 Club” TV program, “God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,’ and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.”’ “This is God’s punishment for “dividing God’s land.”

I am always stupefied when I hear people like Nagin and Robertson invoking God’s wrath as if they have some kind of personal connection to the divine that the rest of us don’t.

For Nagin and Robertson, God is an Old Testament figure right out of Noah’s Ark, one dimensional and full of retribution and anger.

Nagin’s plea is as a besieged leader of a community that has hit dirt bottom. And he does feel like Noah trying to man the boats.

While Nagin’s plight is psychological, Robertson’s disbelief, on the other hand, is political, making for good television for listeners devoid of the ability to think for themselves.

Nagin, Robertson, and even President Bush, whose God told him it was alright to invade Iraq, would do well to move on from the Old Testament’s pestilence, floods and war, to the New Testament. There they wi .....
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The oldest profession

Fri, Jan 6th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

If we were in Washington, D.C. right now, we could probably hear the swoosh sounds of emails being deleted and the brrrr of faxes and other correspondence being shredded.

Those fat cats we elected are running for cover with the ..... 
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A call for help

Fri, Jan 6th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

At 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 15th Jacob and Sarah Byler looked out their window and saw flames consuming the roof of their farm machinery and furniture making shop. Immediately two of the oldest boys ran barefoot a quarter a mile to the neighbor ..... 
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More analysis from less data: an oxymoron?

Fri, Dec 30th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The Federal EPA proposes to change the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) programs reporting requirements to reduce the “burden” on industry and business despite being unable to demonstrate significant complaints from business and industry. They propose t ..... 
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Life must be lived as we go along

Fri, Dec 30th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The end of the year is as good a time as any for reflection. One year comes to an end, another begins. Perhaps, we are worn out on the one hand - 365 days of good and bad all piled up into an exhaustive collection of events. And, yet, on the other ha ..... 
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Bush-enomics and the value of human life

Fri, Dec 16th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

“I would say 30,000 more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis,” President George W. Bush said matter of factly last Monday in response to a question of how many Iraqis have died in the war. “ ..... 
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Nature’s Toys

Fri, Dec 16th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

At this time of the year, when people labor over their Christmas lists, I think looking into your heart and asking what is really important you find that being together and sharing should be at the top of your list.

This collec ..... 
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Minnesota school funding falls $1 billion short

Fri, Dec 9th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Financial experts announced last week that based upon the educational resources needed to meet federal law and state standards for student achievement, Minnesota schools are underfunded by nearly $1 billion annually.

The study, ..... 
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We can’t wait much longer to fix Congress

Fri, Dec 9th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

I am a great fan of Congress. It is, to my mind, the American institution that best represents our democracy and guards our freedoms.  Without it, there is no way for our nation to guarantee freedom, ensure that the passions ..... 
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