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A Pagan's Blog

A Pagan's Blog

Social and Political Theory Archives

Defeating the right while keeping our soul: Lessons from Limbaugh

posted by Gus diZerega

We have seen a major victory among the forces of decency in our country.  Not only has Rush Limbaugh now lost 141 advertisers.   Better yet, a great many have indicated they want no association with right wing hate radio. They […]

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Social Values, Social Wellness: What Works?

posted by Gus diZerega

I just came across a study of the broader impact of the deep cultural split between “red” and “blue” ways of living in the US.  I think it adds to the evidence that Pagan spirituality is part of the leading […]

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Nihilism in America

posted by Gus diZerega

Paul Krugman has a fascinating column in today’s NYT demonstrating that Mitt Romney’s stump speech is 100% lies.  Not one true statement of substance in it.  Not one. This means that Romney believes in absolutely nothing he is willing to […]

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Thoughts on Ron Paul

posted by Gus diZerega

Ron Paul is an interesting presidential candidate, a frustrating mix of the very good with the very bad, arriving in the form of a man who actually seems to believe something and is willing to tell prospective voters things that […]

Megyn Kelly, entitlements, and the hopeful nature of conservative morality

posted by Gus diZerega

Last night Jon Stewart targeted  Megyn Kelly’s passionate defense of maternity leave once she returned to Fox after giving birth.  Kelly was spot on in every respect save one, one that Stewart memorably pointed out. 

Pagans and Conservatism

posted by Gus diZerega

I’ve been nearly overwhelmed with discussions over at Patheos after I responded to some folks request for me to discuss “Can a Pagan be a Conservative?”  I wish they had not used the subtitle they did, but it certainly helped […]

Ethics of the Universal Potlatch

posted by Gus diZerega

My first Patheos post has been put up.   Again, Patheos will have little essays addressing the various implications of Pagan spirituality but I hope no purely political analysis. But as readers will see, I intend that many will have […]

Of Love, Power and America

posted by Gus diZerega

The passionate discussion and often insightful responses my 4thof July post unleashed has forced me to think more deeply about the issues it raised. In the process I have tried to place my argument in a more explicitly spiritual framework, […]

Donald Trump and the promise of diversity

posted by Gus diZerega

I was inspired to write this blog by Steve Weinstein’s post on Crooks and Liars. There he observed “I live in the middle of Los Angeles. Gay people are everywhere and considered as normal as anyone else. Black people too. […]

Bolivia adopting “Law of Mother Earth” recognizing Nature as having Her own rights

posted by Gus diZerega

Bolivia is preparing to boldly go where no one has gone before, although Ecuador started the ball rolling.  Asof this writing Ecuador is on the verge of passing a kind of Bill of Rights for Nature, a series of laws called […]

Individuality and Coercion

posted by Gus diZerega

I had planned to post a series of essays on how we as Pagans can look at the horrors around us and see that they do not reflect badly on the sacred. However, several of my readers expressed concerns over […]

The importance and need for initiation in America

posted by Gus diZerega

The issue of initiation in modern America was a major theme yesterday in a book group to which I belong.  We had been discussing  Barry Spector’s Madness at the Gates of the City. Spector uses a Jungian polytheistic approach to […]

The “crazification factor” of 27%

posted by Gus diZerega

I just read a delightful (in a black humored sort of way) post up at Balloon Juice.  It offers a way to calculate the number of “crazies” on the political right, people for whom no fact or logic will work […]

Why it doesn’t excuse the right that Jared Loughner acted alone

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATE I & II As I have been reading discussions about what happened in Arizona, over and over again those on the right or those not wanting to admit we have a genuine problem in this country claim Jared Loughner […]

China’s honey scam and economic logic at its worst

posted by Gus diZerega

Bees are under considerable threat these days, and we are not sure whether it is due to one or two pathogens  or maybe to a complex series of interrelationships. Two recent discussions of possibly very complex relations are in Wired […]

The Pope’s excuses for pedophilia and what it means

posted by Gus diZerega

F. A. Hayek, a famous but little understood economist sheds light on one of the scandals of our time.  There is a well deserved outrage building over the current Pope’s blaming “the 1970s” for rampant pedophilia and child molestation by Vatican […]

Why majority vote rules will address important weaknesses in our country

posted by Gus diZerega

This post addresses some questions readers asked in a previous one.   Today a majority of Americans are thoroughly fed up with both major parties, with the Republicans even more than with the Democrats.  Yet these toxic dinosaurs run no […]

Obama’s teaching moment for Americans

posted by Gus diZerega

Barack Obama has provided a lesson in American reality to many people who once thought the Democrats were still in some sense like the Democrats who passed Civil Rights legislation and earlier, the New Deal.  That party died.  It was […]

From Jane Goodall to parasites, Christopher Hitchens and Henry Kissinger

posted by Gus diZerega

Trust me – there is a connection Every other Wednesday I spend the morning in a kind of salon where a bunch of us get together to discuss various aspects of science.  One is a retired physicist, another a geologist, […]

Why Wikileaks’ enemies are the enemies of humanity (whether they intend it or not)

posted by Gus diZerega

Human life differs from the rest of earthly life in one crucial respect: biological evolution has largely taken second place to cultural evolution.  Cultural evolution enables adaptations within a single generation that would take thousands of generations if brought about […]

Wikileaks’ Vision

posted by Gus diZerega

Wikileaks and Julian Assange have certainly caught the attention of the world, for which I applaud them.  Looking around, I discovered Assange has his own blog, and it is well worth looking through.  One of his most fascinating essays is […]

Honoring the Pomo and what doing so can teach us all

posted by Gus diZerega

(Revised and deepened) This month has been Pomo Honoring Month  in Sebastopol, and yesterday I went to see Hinthel Gaahnula (Talking Indian) a film produced by James BlueWolf giving a narrative history of the Clear Lake Pomo from shortly before contact […]

The Abstract and Concrete: Modernity, Abortion and Death

posted by Gus diZerega

People who equate a small collection of cells with a baby evidence a very modern world view, one which places an abstraction in front of concrete reality.  This elevation of abstraction is a defining feature of the modern world, one […]

Class War in America

posted by Gus diZerega

Three (now four) recent posts on the web have brought home the truth of the class war being waged in this country – by the corporate and financial aristocracy of privileged chislers against everyone else – with a cheering section […]

Koran Burning and the Logic of Empire

posted by Gus diZerega

General Petraeus has warned that if Korans are burned by Sauronic bigots our troops will be in greater danger.  This has ignited a fascinating debate over at Huffingtonpost as to whether these imbeciles have the right to burn the book. […]

The New Yorker, the Kochs, and Me (mostly not me)

posted by Gus diZerega

Weeks ago I was called by Jane Mayer, a writer for The New Yorker asking me questions about the Koch (pronounced ‘Coke’) brothers Charles and David.  She was doing an investigative piece on their political influence, had seen my Beliefnet […]

Of Power, Violence, and the American Soul at Risk

posted by Gus diZerega

In Europe before World War One Jews were better integrated into German society than almost anywhere else on the continent.  There were lots of intermarriages as well.  In Bosnia Christians and Muslims lived together peacefully under Tito’s Communist rule, far […]

Empathy and Political Beliefs

posted by Gus diZerega

Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who went to prison for serious corruption (he took in $2.4 million in bribes) was an ultra-right wing Republican congressman.  A few years behind bars have turned him into an advocate of prison reform.  In addition he […]

Of Burqas and Mosques, Teachers and Firemen

posted by Gus diZerega

The  “Ground Zero” mosque debate in the US and the burqa debate in Europe both highlight a tension embedded in the middle of modern democratic thinking, one that I have been grappling with for years: How does the well-being of […]

Vaccines, War and Remembrance

posted by Gus diZerega

Daily Kos has a fascinating story on the rapid increase in whooping cough cases in California in 2004, a spike apparently correlated county by county with the number of children whose parents chose not to have them vaccinated.  This increase  […]

Al Franken’s Wonderful Speech on ‘Conservative’ Legal Degeneracy

posted by Gus diZerega

Al Franken gave a thoughtful and disturbing speech to the American Constitution Society on the legal and moral bankruptcy of the Federalist Society and ‘conservative’ jurisprudence.  Anyone who believes that ‘conservatism’ as it currently exists has anything to do with […]

A Meditation on the Ethical Side of Energy Production

posted by Gus diZerega

The growing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by BP, coming on the heels of Massey Energy’s crimes in America’s coal fields  and our rape of Iraq bring us face to face with the question of whether we have […]

Further Thoughts on Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men”

posted by Gus diZerega

The issues raised by some of Hanna Rosin’s critics, including the much respected and admired Echdine, forced me to study The End of Men with questions somewhat different than I first did.  The result was worth it, and far too […]

The End of Men? Fascinating Changes Occurring Around Us

posted by Gus diZerega

I have just read and then printed out for further study a fascinating article Stephan Schwarz alerted me to by Hanna Rosin on “The End of Men.”  The article starts out with an account of the strange things now happening […]

The meaning of this week’s primaries

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATE below This week’s primaries reveal a fascinating division appearing within both major political parties.  In the process I hope one truth has finally become clear to any progressively minded American, and I would hope to any Pagan who has […]

A Pagan Perspective on Rand Paul, Civil Rights, and Libertarianism

posted by Gus diZerega

For a former libertarian such as myself Rand Paul’s attack on Civil Rights legislation is to be expected, except perhaps for its political idiocy.  For that latter quality I am grateful because it weakens his candidacy.  But there are interesting […]

Environmentalism, NeoPaganism and EcoFascism: Here We Go Again

posted by Gus diZerega

I recently have come across some arguments about a supposed “eco-fascist” threat to America.  It is usually paired with claims that Paganism has fascist implications.  Both the secular Left and the classical liberal and religious Right have been making these […]

Rewriting History and Cultural Destruction

posted by Gus diZerega

It turns out that in 1980, when Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter for President, Republican leaders worked behind the back of the US Government to obstruct negotiations to free American hostages held in Teheran.  Carter’s failure to achieve release helped […]

A Pagan Take on Recent Disasters and the Value of the World

posted by Gus diZerega

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico raises a question that has been raised in other contexts over the last year or so: has the scale of things we attempt as a society come to exceed our ability […]

On Seeing the World

posted by Gus diZerega

Rod Dreher at Crunchy Con has a thoughtful post about the nature of reality and how we perceive it that should interest all Pagans.

The Case for the Corporate Death Penalty

posted by Gus diZerega

This was a response to  comment on the immediately preceding post.  It suggests a practical way of bringing corporations under the law without depending on corrupt politicians who have been bought off.  The recent actions by Massey Energy, Goldman Sachs, […]

On Jeremy Rifkin, Empathy, and Spirit

posted by Gus diZerega

Yesterday I went to a book group gathering to discuss Jeremy Rifkin’s monumental new book, The Empathetic Civilization. What follows are insights I developed in preparation for that gathering that I think will interest many Pagans concerned with the deeper […]

A Wonderful Essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates

posted by Gus diZerega

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Ghost of Bobby Lee says so much that I have always wanted to say about being an American, and he says it so much better.  Nothing Pagan here, it is universal.

The Catholic Sex Scandal, Monotheism, and Organizational Pathology

posted by Gus diZerega

IMPORTANT UPDATE below At a Good Friday service in the Vatican and attended by Pope Benedict, preacher Father Raniero Cantalamessa compared the current scandals over sexual abuse by Church officials with “the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.” To say this is […]

The Spiritual Side of Last Night’s Victory

posted by Gus diZerega

There was a spiritual dimension to the victory of health care reform last night.  One that decent people of any religion can celebrate. A precedent was set that may help reverse a deep misunderstanding of the nature of democratic government, […]

The Reason for So Many Lies Over Health Care Reform

posted by Gus diZerega

I have been perplexed at the vicious intensity of Republican and ‘conservative’ attacks on health care reform, even in its rather minimal form.  They have lied about “death panels,”  lied about their interest in “bipartisanship,” lied about its impact on […]

A Brief Field Guide to American Political Terms

posted by Gus diZerega

Pharaohdux raised some important questions about how we think about politics.  The issue is important because if we can no longer communicate reasonably clearly abut politics, about all we have left is either to yell at one another, or avoid […]

Corruption in Religious Organizations

posted by Gus diZerega

A major theme in my understanding of religion and spirituality is that religious organizations are not so much a means to grow in genuine spirituality, as they enable many people to come together and engage in spiritual practice as a […]

This Blog’s Vision, Culture War, and an Undercover Atheist

posted by Gus diZerega

This blog is an active participant in the Culture War being waged in the US.  But I often find myself in a strange position, as many other Pagans likely do.  I frequently seem to shift sides.  I want to describe […]

Individuality, Freedom, and Superiority: Returning to Ayn Rand’s Problems

posted by Gus diZerega

Because this Rand issue has played such an important part in my own intellectual and moral history, and because my discovery of the Hickman stuff helped solve a puzzle for me about the contemporary political right, I will answer the […]

Ayn Rand, the Philosophy of Freedom, and a Serial Killer

posted by Gus diZerega

This will be a very personal post.  I have just come across a very disturbing article: a description of conservative and libertarian heroine Ayn Rand’s early and passionate admiration of a serial killer because of his lack of empathy towards […]

Back From the North

posted by Gus diZerega

Back from wonderful Vancouver, British Columbia, my favorite city.  I got there as the last tourists visiting for the Olympics were departing,  parking was becoming available again, and life began returning to normal.  I was there for non-Pagan reasons – […]

Iraq and Losing the American Soul

posted by Gus diZerega

Like people, no country is all good and no country is all bad.  Great heroism can occur in the worst of times and great evils can happen among the most enlightened of peoples.  That said, the impact of some countries has […]

American Power Breeds Ignorance

posted by Gus diZerega

The “war” between certain kinds of religion and science is continuing unabated.  The village atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris use this kind of thing to lambast religion in general, just as Christian Fundamentalists give all kinds of […]

My Reply to Rombald About the Security of American Freedom

posted by Gus diZerega

In a comment on my “Spiritual Warrior” post Rombald suggested I was too concerned about the longevity of America’s religious liberty.  Here is my answer, because to do the issue credit took me beyond a simple reply. 

James O’Keefe, Conservatism, Racism and a Religious Connection

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATE below New conservative folk hero James O’Keefe is turning out to have been a long time habitué of white supremacist gatherings and an associate of anti-Semites and racists according to a new report at Salon.  If so he is […]

Cool New 28th Constitutional Amendment Proposed

posted by Gus diZerega

A constitutional amendment that both conservatives and liberals can support, and that would do worlds of good, might seem to good to be true, but Juan Enriquez has come up with a winner.  A proposed 28th Amendment states Congress shall […]

Supreme Court, Corporations, and Nihilism

posted by Gus diZerega

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON IMPEACHMENT BELOW The Supreme Court’s ruling allowing corporations to spend as much money as they want influencing elections is a horrifying example of how conservative sociopaths differ from any Pagan perspective, and why ALL religious people should […]

John Mackey of Whole Foods, Libertarian Blindness, and New Age Spirituality

posted by Gus diZerega

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, is at it again, using his version of libertarianism to deny global warming.  It is a false crisis that responding to would impoverish and enslave us.  Even a writer who has long defended him […]

What to do?

posted by Gus diZerega

Some readers have asked me, given the previous blog, what to do.  Certainly a reasonable question.  I made a quick answer in the comments, here’s a more considered post with five suggestions, the first able to be implemented today.  

Joe Lieberman as a sign of America’s moral and spiritual collapse

posted by Gus diZerega

What follows is a rant.  I cannot help it, as I saw Joe Lieberman’s sanctimonious face grinning at me on site after site yesterday.

Liberalism: A Pagan Perspective, Part III.

posted by Gus diZerega

This final section is where I think the bigger picture of how a Pagan perspective helps the modern world better address its problems comes together.  Look below the fold if you like political theory…

Liberalism: A Pagan Perspective, Part II.

posted by Gus diZerega

Liberals have often been accused of relying on an overly individualistic idea of who we are.  Liberals answer they are well aware we have social sides, but they (and their ritics) rarely question the nature of the individual self.  I […]

A Pagan Take on Liberalism, Part I.

posted by Gus diZerega

The political posts that have often filled this blog have led me bit by bit into wondering how a Pagan perspective, taken seriously, changes the way we think about politics and society.  The more I delved into this, the more […]

A Pagan Take on Conservatism’s Contribution to Modern Irrationality. Part I.

posted by Gus diZerega

The argument I am making about modernity’s intimate connection to nihilism and irrationality is in many respects a classic conservative argument.  Yet conservatism is as infected with the virus of nihilism as the strains of modernity it perceptively criticizes.  (This […]

Secular Modernity’s Own Struggle with Irrationality – A Pagan View, Part I.

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATE below. Robert Mathiesen makes a very important point in his comment on my Fundamentalism and Irrationality post, one this blog might have failed to emphasize adequately because it’s complex and because the ‘Christian’ Right is louder right now.  This […]

The Fundamentalist Sources of American Irrationalism?

posted by Gus diZerega

I just came across a fascinating anecdote that might shed light on something that has long fascinated and horrified me about my country.  At a recent town-hall meeting in Iowa a local weekly quizzed attendees as to whether or not […]

America and Fascism: Part 2 of an Important Post by Sara Robinson

posted by Gus diZerega

As I promised, here is Part 2 of Robinson’s post. In it she discusses what people can do in the short run to forestall things getting further out of hand than they are.  She promises a Part 3, that will […]

Holding People Responsible: Mackey and the Whole Foods Boycott

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATE – links added. As often happens here, the issue I wanted to discuss has been all but lost from sight by issues my readers would rather discuss.  My argument as to why from a PAGAN perspective one should boycott […]

Paganism, Fascism, and America, Part 2 of 2

posted by Gus diZerega

For most people the appeal of fascism is first and foremost to feel powerful, particularly to dominate those they blame for their sense of themselves being exploited.  But unlike many movements against oppression, fascist movements do not target those had […]

American Patriotism

posted by Gus diZerega

Sebastopol had its annual fireworks show last night, on the 3rd.  (That way people can take in even more fireworks nearby, on July 4.)  Analy high school’s athletic field and bleachers were filled by hordes of happy spectators celebrating our […]

California’s Budgetary Crisis and Its Solution

posted by Gus diZerega

California is entering into a financial abyss, an abyss of its own creation.  The budgetary disaster that is eliminating health care and summer school for thousands of children, closing state parks, and leading to state workers and small businesses being […]

Why Private Auto Insurance Works for Everybody and Private Health Insurance Does Not

posted by Gus diZerega

I am amazed that I have heard so little as to why the purely private option no longer works for medical insurance and never will again.  The reason lies in the very logic of capitalism and the market.  While right […]

Barbara McGraw on Religion in America

posted by Gus diZerega

Last week I went with a Pagan friend to the Marin Interfaith Council’s meeting, to hear Barbara McGraw give a talk on church and state in America.  McGraw is author of Rediscovering America’s Sacred Ground,  a very good discussion of […]

Atheists as Unusually Moral?

posted by Gus diZerega

I was intrigued with the finding in the Pew poll that those Americans who did NOT go to church were the most opposed to torture.  Over 60 percent of white evangelical Protestants supported torture, the highest percent of ll groups […]

Spirituality and Empathy

posted by Gus diZerega

We now have quite strong statistical evidence that conservative Republicans are way out of step with the rest of the country with regard to how they see empathy as a virtue.  Daily Kos commissioned two polls, with fascinating findings, here  […]

On the Virtues of Not Always Being Nice

posted by Gus diZerega

A few blog commentators have wondered whether I might be walking close to the line, or even stepping over it, in describing the enablers of murder as moral monsters who are committing treason against the United States.  I appreciate their […]

Thoughts on Reading Derrick Jensen

posted by Gus diZerega

When I first was made to know, in no uncertain terms, that the earth and everything in it was vastly more sentient than I had ever imagined, I looked long and hard for writings that could shed more light on […]

Atheists, Christians, and Pagans

posted by Gus diZerega

The recent plethora of books by militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens is beginning to generate a good deal of return fire from people writing within the Christian tradition, either as sophisticated adherents or writers […]

Is this Blog Too Political?

posted by Gus diZerega

I have been taken to task for my curt response to Mike who responded to my post on John Boehner and torture.  My reply has grown to being a small post of its own that I hope will interest a […]

Thoughts on Power and Spirit

posted by Gus diZerega

Trying to integrate spirituality and politics as this blog attempts gets frustrating.  Real frustrating.  Politics is a little context compared to spirit, but it can so easily come to dominate our attention. It’s sort of like when I hit my […]

Beck, Bachmann, Tribalism and Terrorism

posted by Gus diZerega

Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, and others like the are seeking to destroy the United States by replacing citizenship with tribalism.  I do not think most of them intend this consequence, but they are so intoxicated by their self-righteousness […]

Gay Marriage in Iowa

posted by Gus diZerega

While I suspect Iowa’s Supreme Court ruling went well beyond the current moral capacities of many of that state’s citizens, their unanimous ruling establishing the right of gay marriage is a wonderful one.  And as usual, the culture warriors are […]

More on Organizational Corruption

posted by Gus diZerega

The New York Times today has an article on how key members of the American Catholic hierarchy had been warned by their own experts as early as 1952 not to reinstate pedophile priests because they could not be cured, and […]

Insights on Our Economic Crisis

posted by Gus diZerega

Glen Greenwald over at Salon has an important post  for anyone interested in understanding our economic crisis, and the shortcomings even Democrats have in dealing with it.  George Bush treated this country like a banana republic.  But Argentina might be […]

Thoughts Inspired by the AIG scandal

posted by Gus diZerega

The latest scandal with AIG, the upcoming paying $165 million in bonuses to executives managing a company needing the largest taxpayer financed bailout in world history.  To make matters worse, some recipients of this money are in the very unit […]

The Perils of Pagan Clergy: First Argument

posted by Gus diZerega

This is my first post on the issue of why I am very skeptical of having a Pagan clergy.  I will come at it on an angle. To have an official ‘clergy’ is to have some organizational structure with authority […]

Religious Right Leader Sees the Light

posted by Gus diZerega

Courtesy the Huffington Post, this piece by Frank Schaeffer is worth the read.

Obama Returns us to the Rule of Law

posted by Gus diZerega

Because I was very critical of President Obama’s  trying to defend some of the twisted logic and even more twisted morals of the Bush administration regarding the fate of innocent people tortured under American authority, I want to praise, praise. […]

Pagan Insights on Conservative Political Hypocrisy

posted by Gus diZerega

I have long been perplexed, and more than perplexed, by the seeming contradiction between the more intelligent right wingers’ stirring defenses of ‘freedom,’ ‘the rule of law,’ and ‘small government’ and their cheer-leading for George Bush, who under-mined these values […]

Corporate Sociopaths and Decent People

posted by Gus diZerega

Pantheacon coverage will return shortly – I gotta catch a plane. Markets are wonderful means by which people can make voluntary exchanges.  They are indispensable servants.  But when they become our masters all values are subordinated to enabling the most […]

The Spiritual Virtue in Buying Locally

posted by Gus diZerega

For me, one of the hardest things about being a Pagan is living in a society where nothing has value in itself.  Our world is believed to be made up of things – people occasionally exempted unless they are in […]

Emergent Order in Science, Society and the Sacred

posted by Gus diZerega

I’ve been spending the weekend at a conference on spontaneous orders, also known as complex adaptive, emergent, or self-organizing systems.  In the human world what those terms, and some equivalent ones, point to is how certain kinds of order can […]

Corporate Media vs the Internet

posted by Gus diZerega

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether newspapers as they currently exist can survive the age of the internet.  I want to suggest that no, they won’t, and further, that this is a good thing.  A very […]

Fascinating New Research on Rationality and Powerlessness

posted by Gus diZerega

One of my favorite blogs, Balloon Juice, brought my attention to an article reporting research demonstrating that a perception of personal powerlessness leads to a greater tendency towards superstition, conspiracy theories, and false conclusions.  I think this has enormous implications […]

Thoughts on the Crisis in American Conservatism

posted by Gus diZerega

I have recently seen many discussions by conservatives, real and feigned, attempting to analyze the collapse of the Republican Party at the polls and the apparent repudiation of ‘conservatism’, with no sign of any improvement in the next elections in […]

My Articles Are Up Again

posted by Gus diZerega

One reason I wanted this site was to serve as a place where much of my published work could be made easily available.  Some hacker removed it a while ago and left junk.  It has taken me a while to […]

The Tragedy of Classical Liberalism

posted by Gus diZerega

               All wars suffer casualties on both sides.  Worse, there is always substantial collateral damage.  The wars against liberal civilization, both hot and cold, that punctuated the Twentieth Century were no exception.  Liberalism emerged triumphant, […]

Thoughts on the Election I.

posted by Gus diZerega

George Bush has left a fearful wreckage behind him.  Most of those who will read this blog will think of our constitution, justice system, military, foreign policy, health policy, and environmental policy as examples, and you will not be wrong.  […]

Talk on Politics and Spirituality

posted by Gus diZerega

Friday July 25 I will be giving a talk at Many Rivers Books and Tea in Sebastopol. California. The talk is titled The Divine Feminine and the Crisis of Modernity. This talk interprets the contemporary political and social crisis in […]

Ethics and the Death Penalty

posted by Gus diZerega

The following was on Atrios today. A Dallas man who spent more than 27 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit was freed Tuesday, after being incarcerated longer than any other wrongfully convicted U.S. inmate cleared by DNA […]

The Crisis in Our Ruling Elite

posted by Gus diZerega

The Bush years have increasingly worried me that our political system has entered into terminal old age, where members of a self-perpetuating ruling elite become fixated on their perks and privileges while utterly losing touch with the rest of the […]

Corporations and the Media

posted by Gus diZerega

Courtesy of Glenn Greenwald at Salon, we find that the corporate media has reported on the major issues facing Americans with the following emphasis: In the past two weeks, the following events transpired. A Department of Justice memo, authored by […]

Heretical Thoughts About Taxes

posted by Gus diZerega

I will appreciate it if anyone has thoughtful criticisms of the following. Ideologues unconcerned with actual events need not waste their (and my) time. We have seen that Wall Street has both helped itself to enormously disproportionate incomes due to […]

Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela and the Democratic Peace

posted by Gus diZerega

One of the most important developments in the modern world is the rise of democracies to becoming the dominant part of the world’s population, and economic and military power. The chief reason this unprecedented development is important is that only […]

CALL FOR PAPERS

posted by Gus diZerega

The Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Orders at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation is seeking papers exploring the theme “ORDERS AND BORDERS” for its Second Conference on Emergent Order and Society Selected papers will be presented at a conference […]

Deep Ecology, Paganism, and Fascism Revisited

posted by Gus diZerega

Some time ago The Pomegranate, a Pagan academic journal, printed an attack on Paganism and deep ecology by Bookchinite Peter Staudenmaier: “Fascist Ecology: The ‘Green Wing” of the Nazi party and its Historical Antecedents.” Staudenmaier’s article appeared in issue No. […]

The New Fifth Column

posted by Gus diZerega

The photograph on the right is of a Moslem suicide bomber, holding a Koran. But the photograph on the left is of US soldiers holding a Bible. The similarity is not accidental. All see themselves as warriors for God. Jason […]

Jamie Leigh Jones and the Crisis of Classical Liberalism

posted by Gus diZerega

The obvious failings of our court system have encouraged some free market theorists to support binding arbitration a more efficient alternative. In doing so many of the greates failings of classical liberal thought come to a head: its lack of […]

When Religion Matters in the Wrong Place II.

posted by Gus diZerega

While Huckabee and Romney are teaching religious bigotry, a more painful but also more hopeful story emerged from New York City, where some of their spiritual students attempted putting their attitudes into practice. Walter Adler was with his girlfriend and […]

When Religion Matters In the Wrong Place I.

posted by Gus diZerega

Today I saw two related stories, one awful, but also inspiring, the other disgusting, but expected. I will make two separate posts from them, but they belong together The disgusting-but-expected one is the current dust up between Southern Baptist minister […]

Time Magazine Hides the Truth, Suppresses Criticism of Its Lies

posted by Gus diZerega

My post is short – but this link from Glenn Greenwald at Salon explains all that needs explaining. The mainstream corporate media is one of the greatest threats to the survival of American democracy. Every day its behavior demonstrates why […]

Victoria Hale,The Market Place and the Market Order

posted by Gus diZerega

Pop!Tech 2007, like Pop!Tech 2006, offered a wonderful array of creative people doing fascinating and vitally important work in that realm where society, culture, and technology come together. One of the most important at many levels was a talk given […]

American Political Sclerosis, Pt. I

posted by Gus diZerega

http://www.peterkuper.com/stock_jpgs_j/images/dissent_j.jpg UPDATED 11/15, 11/29 I’ve been thinking about the following for some time. Not many links right now, but there likely will be. And as I do I will update and move this post forward. Historically governments generally lasted between […]

Cool Questions for Conservatives

posted by Gus diZerega

My favorite “hard science” blog, by physicist and science fiction writer David Brin, has the following questions anyone should ask conservatives who claim to love their country: “* WOULD YOUR HACKLES RAISE IF IT WERE DEMOCRATS WHO… “…insist that it […]

Iran and Nuclear Weapons

posted by Gus diZerega

All the blustering over Iran and the bomb encourages Americans to think that Iran’s getting nuclear weapons is a disaster for the United States. The argument is not just wrong, it is stupidly wrong. First, there already is an Islamic […]

Oligarchy at Work in the Culture of Mammon

posted by Gus diZerega

The Washington Post has just reported the infant formula industry hired Republican lobbyists to dampen a federal government campaign to increase breast feeding in the US. Early breast feeding is connected with lower rates of asthma and diabetes, but also […]

News, the Web, and the Gift Economy

posted by Gus diZerega

One of the most interesting things intellectually about the rise of the net is how the gift economy is pushing into turf long dominated by the commodity economy. See here and here. Today this is particularly the case with news, […]

Bees, Place, Death and Agribusiness

posted by Gus diZerega

http://www.getcalhoun.com/news/ccgazette/ccgissue1/HoneyGoodForAllergies!.htm Last week I had the opportunity to taste three different local Sonoma County honeys. I was amazed at the differences between them. One even tasted strongly of butterscotch! Apparently honey is powerfully influenced by the nectar bees use in […]

Left and Right Revisited – and an Insight From Zeus

posted by Gus diZerega

www.eggtempera.com/bergt/leda.html Update: Aug. 13. In the post below I suggested the key issue underlying the seeming confusions over what the political “Left” and political “Right” mean is their different evaluations of hierarchy. I became interested in this issue while trying […]

The Political Meaning of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’

posted by Gus diZerega

(Update on Aug. 5) The terms “Left” and “Right” first arose during the French Revolution. At the time they had very distinct meanings as to political loyalties. Since then the terms have remained but their meanings have become progressively more […]

When in the Course of Human Events…

posted by Gus diZerega

Last October I heard Juan Enriquez give a stimulating talk on why national identity was a brand name loyalty to which could never taken for granted. I blogged about his talk here. The July/August issue of Orion has a wonderful […]

Al Gore and the Chilean Sea Bass

posted by Gus diZerega

The radical right rarely takes people on concerning the facts of an issue because so often the facts rebut their positions. Character assassination is so much more fun. The latest smear by those who thinking caring for the well being […]

Rachel Carson, Science, and the Right Wing

posted by Gus diZerega

Rachel Carson has never been forgiven by the chemical industry or the right wing for her efforts to educate the public on the downside of trying to solve pest problems with DDT. When I was invited to attend a meeting […]

Patriotism – True and False

posted by Gus diZerega

A 3700 mile drive gives a person a lot of time to think without much interruption. And that’s about the distance I drove from far upstate New York to my present landing in Sonoma County, California. Among all those thoughts […]

Capitalism 3.0 – A Wonderful Book

posted by Gus diZerega

For many of us who are deeply concerned with environmental issues the most frustrating part of our struggle is that while public opinion is largely in our favor, the modern world’s basic institutions are biased against us. They dance to […]

Juan Enriquez and the Break Up of Nations

posted by Gus diZerega

Politically, perhaps the most important talk given at Pop!tech was Juan Enriquez on “Transformation in Power Systems.” Enriquez is a businessman, academician, and best selling author. Curently he is chairman and CEO of Biotechonomy, a company researching and assisting startups […]

Conservatism and Faux-Masculinity

posted by Gus diZerega

The contemporary “conservative” right is an expression of pathological patriarchy. This movement makes the most extreme case for subordinating women and feminine values to their supposedly manly way of life. But, and in a grim sort of way this is […]

Global Warming and the Growing Intellectual Bankruptcy of Libertarianism

posted by Gus diZerega

UPDATES BELOW. A California friend sent me the following post by Don Boudreaux, chair of the Dept. of Economics at Virginia’s George Mason University. Boudreaux had sent it to the Washington Times, apparently in response to an editorial. Cool reception […]

David Brin’s take on Adam Smith and Modern Conservatives

posted by Gus diZerega

David Brin, my favorite militant secularist, has some wise words on politics today on his blog. (Other than his usual little poke at the spiritual. But that is another discussion.) Among them are: All you have to do is imagine […]

Musings After a Period of Silence

posted by Gus diZerega

My blog has been silent for a while. First was the end of the semester rush, as papers, exams, and deadline piled on. Winter break then took me to Maine and Quebec, where I learned to ski (barely) at a […]

Steward Brand I: Environmentalism and Civil Society

posted by Gus diZerega

Stewart Brand is one of the most fascinating thinkers and doers to arise form the 60s. From his early involvement with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, here and here, to his editing the Whole Earth Catalog and Co-Evolution Quarterly […]

Discussion of the Democratic Peace Proposition

posted by Gus diZerega

Over at Liberty and Power I’ve started a discussion as to whether there is such a thing as the democratic peace – that democracies are unique among forms of government in that they do not fight wars with one another. […]

American Liberalism

posted by Gus diZerega

One of the greatest losses to clear thinking in America has been the demonization of the term “liberal.” All that is best in America is entirely the outcome of or compatible with liberal values and liberal political principles. The Declaration […]

Thomas Barnett and a world transformed

posted by Gus diZerega

Many Pop!Tech participants found Thomas Barnett’s presentation the most exciting of the conference. I am more critical for reasons to be explained below, but his was among the best overviews on America’s future place in the world that I have […]

The Big Lie and the Threat of American Totalitarianism

posted by Gus diZerega

What follows is the basis of a talk I will give at a teach in here at St. Lawrence University Friday, Nov, 3, as a part of a Save Our Constitution gathering of students, faculty, and members of the Canton […]

Pop!Tech 2007

posted by Gus diZerega

Last week, from October 18 to 21, I was a participant at Pop!Tech’s 10th annual meeting in Camden, Maine. For those who do not know, and most do not, Pop!Tech was initiated by Bob Metcalfe and John Sculley to explore […]

Neoconservatism III: Bad Judgment and Bad Motives

posted by Gus diZerega

Bad Judgment added to Bad theory Those seeking to remake the world need to be able to judge wisely. Unfortunately we are not blessed to have such leadership. Bill Kristol’s judgment on matters of war and peace is akin to […]

Neoconservatism II: Democracy at the Point of a Gun

posted by Gus diZerega

Societies cannot be simply rebuilt into the form we want. Democratic societies require a foundation of attitudes and beliefs that penetrate deeply into their culture. Even Thomas Jefferson, probably among the most enthusiastic of democrats, wrote soberly and perceptively of […]

Neoconservatism I: Neocons as Anti-American

posted by Gus diZerega

This is the first of a three part post on Neoconservatives, democracy, and war. Neoconservatives have gotten our country into unprecedented trouble, and seem intent on expanding the scope of their errors and crimes still further. In their vision of […]

The Internet and the Public Good

posted by Gus diZerega

Recent years have seen the mainstream media’s ability to serve the public by keeping tabs on Washington wither under the combination of corporate priorities, over paid and lazy talking heads, and sophisticated manipulation by the President’s media managers. It had […]

Liberalism, Libertarianism, and the Challenge of Emergent Order

posted by Gus diZerega

I plan to write several essays on how emergent order changes the context and character of liberal thought. These essays will not be scholarly in that they will not have footnotes and the like. Instead, here and in some posts […]

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More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting A Pagans Blog. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: The Latest on Pagan and Earth-Based Religions Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 9:39:40am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Earth Day and the Sacredness of the Earth
I think Earth Day is a particularly important moment for contemplation and commitment by us Pagans.  Often American Christian critics accuse us of “pantheism,” and in a important respect they are right.  We do find the sacred, most of us, ...

posted 11:57:03am Apr. 20, 2012 | read full post »

Instructive examples on why interfaith work is a good idea
I deeply believe the problems in our country are more of the heart than of the head. Here are some youtubes courtesy of John Morehead of the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy on Facebook. They speak more eloquently ...

posted 1:08:25pm Apr. 12, 2012 | read full post »

The controversy over Pink Slime - and what it means.
The controversy over pink slime is helping educate Americans to the fact that corporations are as beneficial to agriculture as they are to politics. Tom Laskawy put it pithily: “What pink slime represents is an open admission by the food ...

posted 4:03:07pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »

How the "war on religion' backfired into a war on women
Here  is a really good article by Tina DuPuy on how the Republicans got themselves into such a mess with America's more intelligent women.  Left undiscussed is how the extreme pathological masculinity of both their deity and their leaders made ...

posted 12:12:35pm Apr. 11, 2012 | read full post »

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