Monday, October 15, 2007

Rapture Ready

I didn’t do much writing over the summer, but I still tried to keep up with events. Here are four more items to ponder.

No End in Sight
And no end in the planning stages either. You can watch the trailer at:

I won’t try to summarize the entire film here, but I can give you something of its flavor. When U.S. occupying forces took no action to protect Iraqi museums, many irreplaceable treasures of antiquity were stolen. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rather infamously explained it all away by saying that “stuff happens.” His indifference to the looting of a culture speaks volumes — in English or Arabic.

That indifference extends all the way down to security contractors muscling their way through Iraq. The film includes a video taken by “security contractors” through the back window of their car as they drove around Baghdad randomly shooting at cars behind them. Hey, it was fun! The shooters even added a rock music sound track.

This is the story of garbage — the garbage we dump, the garbage we breathe, the garbage we eat, the garbage we pay for, the garbage we generate to process garbage, etc. Watch the trailer at:

As the saying goes: Out of sight, out of mind. That’s definitely true of trash. To see what you’re missing, go to

and see the work of Chris Jordan. His images make the magnitude of our consumption crisis all too clear.

(Below: detail from Chris Jordan’s picture of 2,000,000 plastic bottles, the number used in the United States every five minutes.)

But of course, after the Second Coming, we won’t have to worry about trash, either in the form of plastic bottles or non-believers.

Rapture Ready
What god wants and who he wants to do it to are critical to the protection of Israel so it can be destroyed in Armageddon when Jesus returns — or something like that. Visit

and watch Max Blumenthal’s film about the conference of Christians United for Israel. Senator Rick Santorum was there, along with former Representative Tom Delay. Asked about the Second Coming, Delay replied, “I live for it. I hope it comes tomorrow.” Senator Joseph Lieberman called C.U.F.I. founder John Hagee a modern-day Moses. Apparently, the Christians United for Israel believe the modern day Pharaoh is in Iran. To them, the conclusion is obvious. To me, the conclusion is terrifying.


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Water, Water Everywhere

I know I haven’t written much recently. I spent a lot of my summer painting instead. Generally speaking, painting is much more spiritually rewarding than reading the news. Nevertheless, I was still paying attention. Here is one of the topics that caught my eye.

You think water is nature’s gift to life? Why do you hate capitalism so much? Learn more at:

I haven’t seen Thirst, but the details online are provocative. I was reminded of another documentary, The Corporation, which touched on the issue of water rights. In 2000, Bolivia tried to privatize the water supply of its third largest city, Cochabamba, by selling the system to a consortium of foreign companies, including Bechtel in the U.S. The poor in Cochabamba, living on $2 a day, would have to pay one fourth of their income for water. The contract was so broadly worded that it effectively outlawed the collection of rain water for drinking. Proponents claimed such an interpretation of the law was unenforceable. Alas, the enforceability of a given law often depends on the number of police available, not the idiocy of the law. Riots ensued; some people died; and the government backed down.

Privatizing water is all the rage these days. Last July, I found this snippet of news (left) on Democracy Now!

In August, my older brother informed me of another news item involving water — the letters “PWS” which appear on labels of Aquafina, bottled water from Pepsi. PWS stands for Public Water Source. Aquafina is municipal water in convenient (?) plastic bottles with only a modest mark-up of 7000%.

Water is essential for life; but the number of people on earth continues to rise, and the amount of clean, fresh water continues to fall. Is water a right? Or is it just another commodity?