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Comments made by Eddieboy

Freeway Lids Hold Hope Of Reconnecting Neighborhoods


A pleasant euphemism. What if we substituted some things:

"A gunshot to the head does not actually destroy the head. It just redefines its shape and capabilities."

I'm sure those at the losing end of the deal feel quite differently. I'm way too young to have ever known Little Italy in its heyday. I highly doubt all the slick restaurants there now (ones I used to deliver food to) are an adequate substitute for the networks of organic relationships that were disrupted. People are more than economic widgets or Lego blocks to be shuffled around at the will of people with suits and big dreams.

April 26, 2012 at 6:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Local Man Explains What He Learned During "Journey of Gratitude"

Offering thanks for the good times is easy. Offering thanks for the thorny, nasty, awkward stuff is an exercise in graceful living, and involves wandering into places of vulnerability all over again. But it does constitute a spiritual victory to embrace the whole experience of life and hold the painful stuff as closely as the things that are welcome experiences. Living as though both ends of the continuum have something to teach us will lead one to feelings of gratitude, because everything counts, eventually.

November 16, 2010 at 7:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Are You For Or Against The Proposed Plan To Expand Interstate 5?

Hasn't anyone watched the 2003 DVD, The End of Suburbia?

I've been here my whole life and so far, I've not seen any expanded freeway, or new freeway that hasn't been filled in a rather short time. The simple problem is that we have too many cars. TOO. MANY. CARS. How much money is about to be spent on building yesterday's transportation infrastructure when what we need is a cultural re-conditioning to use cars more wisely. Oh, I know that flies in the face of the me-first culture. But other behavioral conditioning has been done by public service announcements. In the face of peak oil and climate change, we simply can't do things the old way. I wonder if people realize the huge range of social problems that arise from car use and dependency, and if the virtues of limiting car use will ever be made clear before we are forced to change by larger, world circumstances.

All this is hopeless in a nation/state/city of people who act solely as individuals seeking their own pleasures. If that isn't addressed, no technology or industry or infrastructure will ever change things. Each of us has to examine our role and adjust accordingly.

November 14, 2010 at 12:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Removing Electoral Detritus

Maybe the candidates themselves need to go out and clean up their own garbage. In some cases, that might be the extent of the valuable public service they have to offer.

November 13, 2010 at 11:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Ethics Forum: Should We Use Technology To Fight Global Warming?

What hubris, ideas like these. I actually got a sick feeling in my gut upon hearing this interview. Isn't technology heaped upon technology how we got into this mess? ---The mess of worrying about how our planet is on the verge of becoming an unlivable place? Haven't we already been trusting in one techno-messiah after another? I can't see how we'd get this one any more right, and I fear that we could get it horribly wrong. All this because we can't buck the myth of progress; i.e., we can't let go of the underlying belief in endless growth and activity that has ramped us up to this point over the last 250 years or so (Industrial period).

Nature will deal with us, and maybe finally disabuse us of such notions as those we've lived by for these last couple centuries. Ideas like this geo-engineering stuff are like the delusions of madmen who can't bear to adjust to a new and hard reality: the industrial era party is over. Paradoxically, such a thing as peak oil, troubling though it is, is one of the things we need to finally undermine the recklessness and wishful thinking that has passed for modern life. Eventually the floor will fail beneath this whole structure. Will we have the sense to recognize it and face the new reality?

October 3, 2010 at 2:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Gospels Collide

Now, safely away from the drama in the week before the proposed Koran burning, BBC News has a rather amusing and irritating interview with Terry Jones. It was nice to hear the BBC interviewer calling TJ on his double-speak and "logic." It makes you laugh and want to throw rotten fruit at once. (Friday, Oct 1)

October 3, 2010 at 1:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Bible And Homosexuality

Athiests... two types, as I see it... Athiests are people who don't adopt the language that is used in the religious life. I find their vocabulary kind of stiff and dry and their reductionism to be rather boring and pointless, even if at one level or another they can marvel just the same at what a grand thing our world and life is. They might say there is no God, but that doesn't square with my awareness that there is, from my own life circumstances. But they don't think of there being a god in the sky. Neither do I. There are many other ways to indicate the presence and action of the ineffable in one's life, society, and so on. The god in the sky thing is yesterday...

I make a distinction between people who are open to wonder while addressing it as something different than I or any other religious person might, in whatever tradition. I differentiate that from people who live without a sense that there is any reason for cooperation, humility, compassion and all those other things that make life bearable. There are certainly those who profess no religion but live by convictions that religious practitioners might agree with, and those who profess religious belief outwardly but live as if they are the center and circumference of things. Such we would call hypocrites. Some of these people are dangerous. Dubya and his conservative Christian posse comes to mind.

King may have been influenced by a gay athiest, but as a Christian pastor first and foremost, he was centrally influenced by the narratives of liberation and prophetic demands of justice that come straight out of the Hebrew scriptures, and that are not just rehashed but lived in the life of Jesus centuries later. I know there are plenty of people who might like to separate King's life and work from its religious roots, but that is really not possible, and to do so would cast him as a man with his own agenda, which is not true. He was on the shoulders of those ancient giants.

February 15, 2010 at 8:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Bible And Homosexuality

...They also don't give equal weight to other Levitical laws concerning economic arrangements that would give poor and dispossessed people a mechanism for having viable lives in a hard world. Lev. 25 has some great stuff to inspire community-based economics of abundance instead of the economics of scarcity, hoarding, accumulation. Now THAT would be something that might do the world some good. Even laws such as those in Lev. 19:9-10 and 13 would be subversive to our present order. They are the ones that say one can't strip all the profitability from a field, instead that something must be left (by design) for those who can't play in the mainstream economic order (poor, foreigner, widow), or that, in v. 13, laborers must be paid daily. That alone might cause some needed upset.

Granted some of Leviticus seems hopelessly out of date and should rightly be left aside. But some of it has a level of consciousness about it that would be healthy to tap into. Subversive even, for our present day. If people like to think that there is NO place in political discourse for "religion" (always used as a disparaging blanket term, it seems), then one must be prepared to ignore the wellsprings that fueled MLK, Jr. and Gandhi and Walter Rauchenbusch and many others. The ethical root of our present non-violent resolution to conflict and disorder lie in the ancient religions, like it or not. All the consciousness we need to get out of our worldwide mess is in one or the other of the religions that emerged 2000 years ago and more. But one can't get there with shallow and surface-level readings of the texts, particularly the ones that themselves are not very evolved.

Scripture is like love. It has the power to hurt and the power to heal. Paradox.

February 15, 2010 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is America A Christian Nation?

What I mean is if you let the crazy stuff ask a question of you, and you dare to meet it and consider it--how it speaks to you, what if any relevance it has today, etc-- then you can move accordingly. Obviously stoning people has passed out of use as a form of discipline, but many other texts are thorny just the same and require us to weigh them just the same, to see if or how they can inform our lives now. Interpretation is everything. Discernment is the key to interpretation. Does it make better people of us?

January 25, 2010 at 6:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Is America A Christian Nation?

"If more people at least became agnostic in their beliefs it would put a stop to having religion wreck our world and our personal lives. AND as a culture and country we'd finally get our priorities straight."

Maybe so, but if more people got to the heart of their religion and got past the surface reading, then we might accomplish the same. If those readings don't lead to transformation into better people then they have been read wrong. The people who get their priorities straight are the ones who have done the deep work, the wrestling with texts like these troubling ones that keep coming up.

This type of text needs to always be weighed because the truth in it is not always in the literal expression. So it takes more work than many are prepared to do to draw the healthy and humanizing meaning from them. Fundamentalists of all stripes really don't do that work because they do not wish to have transformative relationships with the Bible, Koran or anything else.

It is the difference between turning to a book for answers (a more fundamentalist leaning) and turning to it for questions. If you consult the text and let it ask you questions, you can use it to open you up. Harsh texts are the ones that confront the reader with the uglier side of our nature, the stuff we are uncomfortable with. Either you can shrug your shoulders and say 'well, that's the way we are, so that is the way I must be too,' or you can really explore what a better response it.

"We'd stop the pointless wars, and we would have healthcare and education and better cohesion as a people. Then as Americans we could really say that this country is without a doubt the best place in the world to live. "

I don't think that is the case. It doesn't follow that a religion free place would automatically give us that cohesion. Our civic religion really is capitalism, and that is far from a mechanism to bring cohesion or war. And, the Bible goes to great lengths to challenge our tendency toward inequality, love of power, and social disintegration, so maybe there is a place for it, eh? Bad reading of holy texts will get you bad results. Good reading will get you good results. Our problems don't result from the existence of the Bible or what it says. They result from our understanding of it, or lack thereof.

January 24, 2010 at 7:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )