GETTING SHORTER AND SHORTER
Now that I'm enrolled in an algebra class and may be in math courses for several quarters ahead, I must either cut back from three days a week or shorten my posts. I really "do" have to do all 100 exercises at the end of each section if I'm to keep up. I think, as my blog back log diminishes, I'll start making shorter entries but maintain the three times a week schedule (I almost wrote "tomes" as in three "tomes" a week).
MISHANDLING THE CHINA CHALLENGE
In a NEWSWEEK (Aug. 15, 2005) article titled, "Mishandling the China Challenge", Fareed Zakaria writes:
"China's growth strategy has been different from that of Japan. When Japan rose to power, it did so in a predatory fashion, pushing its products and investments in other countries but keeping its own market closed. China has done the opposite, opening itself up to foreign trade and investment. The result is that growth in countries from Brazil to Australia increasingly depends on the Chinese market. China is making itself indispensable to the world. Even India, which is wary of China's rise and is a counterweight to it, will not ignore this reality. In three years its largest trading partner will be China, displacing the United States of America.
"The Bush administration does not seem to know how to handle this new challenge. Donald Rumsfeld, fresh from wrecking U.S.-European relations over the last three years, has decided to try his hand at Asian affairs. He's off to a characteristically clumsy start. Rumsfeld made a speech in Singapore recently where he complained about China's rising military budget. It's a cause for concern, but Rumsfeld handled it crudely, producing a backlash."
Can you imagine this Bush regime which has made us enemies all around the globe handling anything with tact or in a way to make America safer or more secure? Now Bush has got Bolton in at the UN, and we know what that's going to lead to. Duck, Iran! You're next in line as bully boy Bush and his odds bodkins boys swashbuckle around the world like so many empire builders at the end of days, making things ever worse for America as she begins the inevitable decline which all super powers face. We need friends now, Bushyhead, not enemies. What an idiot.
SHIFTING THE BLAME
[Open quote] As the journal of theology Concilium wrote last year, the roots of Christian culture in Europe are tangled around some very ugly history, including centuries of religious wars and, more recently, the Holocaust: "Even though full-blown Nazism was an atheistic and anti-Christian ideology, the fact remains that European nations, East and West, colluded in the destruction of their Jewish citizenry." Given such history, it's not altogether surprising that, as Concilium put it, "Christianity is for most Europeans a part of Europe's distant past and not much more." [Close quote] —from an article by Christopher Dickey in NEWSWEEK, Aug. 15, 2005
Last time I looked, Hitler and Mussolini were both Christians and spoke often of Jesus and Christianity. I know us atheists have to take responsibility for Mao and Stalin, but let's not be shoving off the whole Second World War onto atheists. Besides, in these modern times, I'd say the worst troubles on this globe are caused by the most devout of religious men and women, Moslem, Christian and Jew. The rest of us learned something from the past, I guess.
ANOTHER OF MY LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
For a quarter century, America’s been careening toward “Republican religion”, and we should evaluate the results.
Are we still the most modern, forward-looking nation on the globe, the most financially sound, liberal-hearted nation ever? Is America still the world leader in science, on the cutting edge of scientific research? Is our educational system the best in the world? Are we turning out world class students, fitted for the technologically and scientifically challenging future? Is the gap between rich and poor shrinking? Is our middle-class increasing in numbers and in wealth? Are we still considered by the democratic nations of the world to be the most peace-loving power among them? Is America as widely respected as before?
Most importantly, after decades of increasing “born again” leadership, are we a united America, at peace with one another and sharing a common sense of American destiny? Are minority beliefs valued? Are we certain that government won’t meddle in our personal choices and religious affairs while working diligently to increase the common economic good?
No? Why? Look around the globe and observe that fanatical religious leadership generally impoverishes rather than enriches nations, and ask yourself, “Should religiosity be the business of our government?”
"What do I know about sex? I'm a married man." —Tom Clancy