The news cycle seems to be spinning out of control, so I'm just grabbing a couple of things:
Good lead article in The Sunday NYT:
Mormons have a long tradition of achieveing [sic] success by sharing secular versions of their tenets, said Matthew Bowen, author of The Mormon People, citing Stephen R. Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," which he called the Latter-Day Saint Theology repackaged as career advice."
I glanced over at a summary of Seven Habits on Wikipedia, and I thought it was terrible advice unless balanced by notions of community and caring, whether religious or not. For sure you can't strip religion out of such a Machiavellian plan of action without sounding soulless. And this could be exactly Romney's problem. By operating in the secular world as a person who is perceived as 100% success driven he gives the impression of soullessness. I, as a secular person, do respect and favor the notion of religion as a private matter. But the Mormons are not just private: they are secretive. They worship at the altar of success and, as a chosen people, expect god to favor them with riches.
Furthermore, if business and religion are the important things to Romney, where does that leave government? And that being the case, why does he want to be President?
Providing a contrast to this, I was with a group of Jehovah's Witnesses yesterday at a graduation party, and they touched me with their humility and earnestness. Most of them are not successful, struggling actually. Many of them were Spanish speaking. For them, material success is secondary to righteousness. And they are inclusive, welcoming people of all races and nationalities. To my way of thinking they are completely wrongheaded in their beliefs, but they avoid doing evil. They don't believe in government either, although they use government services like everyone else, and they don't vote. For which I am grateful.
in the NYT by Campbell Brown really chapped my hide, as Twisty would put it. (For those of you not in the know, nothing is classier than having a name that is two last names.)
She is pushing the meme that women care only about the state of the economy. Well, I'm a woman, and I care about a lot of issues that are not directly related to the economy. She slams that Obama campaign vid, The Life of Julia, which several young women on Melissa's Sunday show thought was highly relevant to their lives. They want to succeed, and they need government help reaching their goals. Not everyone has family to fall back on, let alone an affluent family, and family values based on making a virtue of necessity (a way of thinking that is constantly pushed on women ) don't move me much.
Her anecdotes about women making a go of it selling stuff on eBay and so on, getting by with the help of their families and "not wanting it any other way" made me think, "Campbell Brown is either a fool or a tool." I for one am glad I don't have to struggle. And I am sure Campbell Brown doesn't have to struggle much, either. All she has to do is write a dumb article and the NYT publishes it and pays her for her "work."
Below is Melissa talking to these youthful feminists about the Julia vid and other matters.
I was also annoyed to see a picture in the NYT Kindle version I get of Medea Benjamin of Code Pink holding a sign protesting the NATO summit in Chicago that did not identify her or her organization. (Can't find it anywhere on the 'net, either.) I also saw a scurrilous web site I won't link to with a lot of Photoshopped or possibly staged pix of Code Pink Women supposedly carrying signs saying, "Kill the Troops" and so on. Some people are stooping so low these days they probably have to live underground. I am hoping for a regeneration of the Peace Movement, but as Benjamin says, 9-11 really damaged it. The cause of peace is in trouble everywhere. It's on the streets now, though, in Chicago, and we have a long, hot summer ahead of us, probably the hottest ever.
Well, I have to go to the SS office today to inform them that I am alive for the time being, so I can continue to collect my Swiss social security.
Have a lovely day, everyone.
(Revised due to various Type Pad problems)