Loved this piece. This is classic NPR. Listen carefully…unbiased? Please.
NPR interview with Joe Mackall, author of a new book, Plain Secrets, a look at Ohio’s Swartzentruber Amish community.
I have witnessed the community in action many times over the years. The community takes care of everybody within it from the cradle to the grave. My wife and I have chastised ourselves for not being involved enough in our community of neighbors, friends, and colleagues. The Amish have taught us something about what it means to watch out for each other. When we had a family of skunks living under our shed, Samuel came over unannounced on a ninety-degree day after a long afternoon spent working on his chicken coop. He parked his two plow horses and his wagon in our driveway. He dug up dirt to use as a barrier, so the skunks wouldn’t be able to escape once the smoke bombs went off. By the time he left to do his evening chores, his shirt was drenched and he had helped a helpless English friend. Their dedication to community often stretches well beyond their own.
I watched a PBS documentary tonight which critiqued a number of aspects of the modern American college.
Many of the points are legitimate but they ultimately make the point that the public bears a social responsibility to pay for higher education and if we don’t dire consequences will follow. I happen to think private land ownership is an important aspect for a healthy society. Does society bear a social responsibility to give citizens who can not afford it otherwise land? As I watched I tried to listen to the arguments being made in terms of “land” instead of “education” and it was obvious that this would sound absurd to viewers, but since most of them were hearing “education” I am sure the arguments seemed reasonable.
“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”
“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”
“Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.”
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
“Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.”
“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth! ”
Technorati Tags: government
This week and last I have been working my way through Carl Truman audio.
I am also listening to Conversations with the Emerging Church from a conference at Biola a few years ago. I found the conference after listening to an interview with Dave Horner from the str.org. The interview helps put the conference audio in context. You can download the audio for the conference from the link below.
I have to say both are higher than average for me on the interest scale and I think worth listening to if you have room on the mp3 player.
Also not sure if you are aware of this site, basically cliff notes. I have found that the analysis is very fair minded and very thorough. Since I am at least 20 years behind on my intake of good literature I thought this might be a good way to get up to speed and help determine what I want to read first. I went through Brave New World last week which was very informative since it is referred to by Neil Postman as well as other cultural critics. Postman makes the case that we live more in the world portrayed by Huxley in Brave New World than we do the world portrayed by in 1984 by Orwell, an easy case to make really. Warning about Brave New World, they make some pretty racy references in describing the promiscuous culture of the brave new world but nothing too explicit in the notes.
Finally, I got through about half of the White Horse Inn from this week and it was better than average (it is always pretty good) but this week they hit on some very good points and I think they hit on them in an appropriate manner.
Putting aside theology for a second, if you want to listen to some great music, I just discovered some fellows by the name of The Clancy Brothers. Apparently they are largely responsible for popularizing Irish Folk music and they influenced guys like Dillon and Bono. This is some really great stuff.
My favorite is http://youtube.com/watch?v=d6gX_52aCWQ
Downhill from here…
If you need to kill a few brain cells, loved Napoleon Dynamite and promise you won’t think less of me then you will love watching this guy
voted off the first episode of Pirate Master. The show can be viewed online at