Archive for the ‘Big Questions’ Category

Quote of the week

We cannot have peace if we are only concerned with peace. War is not an accident. It is the logical outcome of a certain way of life. If we want to attack war, we have to attack that way of life. — A.J. Muste I think this is another facet of the earlier wisdom about […]

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

My son and I attended the Anzac Day parade and memorial service on the hill in our village today. Moving. There are big questions about our culture’s mix of the military and the ecclesiastical, but they can wait for another day. This song, first sung to me by my friend Ben in NYC, was in […]

Of trumpets

In response to Perry’s comment: “Anyone who finds it necessary to self-proclaim their religious virtue should be treated with great caution” Yes Perry, I agree – your litmus test is useful. But context is everything. A “mask” of self proclaimed virtue in business (or, more accurately, SALES, like the spruikers we discuss here occasionally) can […]

Live by the ethical assumptions of your market – or change your soul?

Liars Poker and The Big Short author Michael Lewis responds to the SEC’s fraud charges against Goldman Sachs on Bloomberg … The Bond Market Will Never Be The Same After Goldman First para: If you happen to be sitting on the Goldman Sachs bond-trading floor life must feel horribly unfair. You did nothing worse than […]

The ethical answer is to side with the victim

A nice example of thinking it through to journalistic integrity from Andy Ihnatko on the rumour and scuttlebutt about the possibly stolen ‘new 4th generation iPhone’ that was ‘found in a bar’. [cough splutter] Key quote: Let’s get back to my original question: what would I have done? We’ll never know for sure. But I […]

Scarlett Johansson actualizing ‘Black Widow’

Returning to our occasional theme of the essentially derivative nature of art. If you recall, in January in a post called ‘Nothing new under the sun…‘ we discussed the serious inspirational debt the character of  ‘Black Widow’ in the comic series Ironman owed to the portrayal by Diana Rigg of  Mrs Emma Peel in the […]

OK, so it’s not just priests who seek to cover sin…

The most telling omission in this paper is that the word “fraud” does not appear. But the world knows that the collapse of the financial system had, at its core, the largest financial fraud of all time. That fraud was in the origination, the rating, the underwriting and the issuance of credit default swaps against […]

There’s something about a cover-up that offends us …

God told me to cover sin? Remember this guy: I always seek to “cover” another’s sin. I try and focus on the good in others and hide their faults. It is simply trying to obey several specific bible verses. … Well I had one particular situation where I knew things that were not right and […]

Google ‘leaves’ China over censorship

Good on Google for deciding that censorship was dodgy. It was always, always dodgy,* but perhaps the ‘commercial imperative’ had driven the free-thinkers at Google to submerge their outrage. ( — which is NOT a long term strategy, as we have discussed in relation to an example closer to home.) From the Google blog today: A […]

Eloquent beyond words

The image in that last post reminded me: I stood in front of this sculpture in NYC a few years ago on my way to see Leonard Cohen in concert at the Place des Arts in Montreal. (Not my first trip to New York.) Its power exceeds and surpasses logical argument … if you’re open […]

How dangerous is Facebook?

Tech columnist for The Independent Rhodri Marsden, prompted by the jailing in the UK of a serial rapist/murderer who groomed his latest teenage victim through Facebook,* reflects … What is it about these sites that’s creating such a problem? First, they’re extraordinarily popular with young people. Facebook is second only to Google in terms of […]

Quote of the week

If you want peace, work for justice. — Pope Paul VI I don’t quote many popes. But he had a point.

When propaganda turns into ‘demonizing’ …

Sometimes a zealot can go ‘too far’ …. even for his/her own supporters. I’ve seen it in political debate. I’ve seen it in business. The ‘object’ of the exercise — the debate, the contest of ideas — becomes somehow personal, and the ‘campaign’ can start to lose focus. It can be like a blood lust […]

“God was telling me the other day …” Oh yes?

Interesting bits of news on the “God was telling me” front today First, an even greedier-than-usual fundraising effort at Destiny Church appears to have sparked an ‘exodus’ — a step too far for their Brisbane pastor and his flock, according to news reports. TV3 News reported it last night, and the NZ Herald chimed in… […]

Keith Olbermann: ‘My Father Asked Me To Kill Him’ (VIDEO)

This is a worthwhile (and pretty tough) lead-in to a conversation about US healthcare reform and the “death panel” lies that are still swirling (fed by lobbyists and cynical attention-seeking politicians) … (via Huffington Post) “Last Friday night, my father asked me to kill him.” Keith Olbermann opened his emotional Special Comment on health care […]