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September 30, 2014

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ISIS Sex Trafficking

Haleh Esfandiari is the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She describes how the so-called “Islamic State” fills its coffers by sex trafficking, among other things. To say the least, accusations of “Western decadence” from this organization ring hollow. Some say its administration is more efficient than before, but at what price?

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September 29, 2014

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Two items

 Item Number One:
     A shout-out to all prowling the Northeastern United States in October.  The Inter-Religious Eco-Justice Network will be holding its second interfaith Climate Stewardship Conference from October 12-13 in West Hartford, Connecticut. Follow this link to learn more about it — and then sign up. I will be a “panelist” in one of the many work shops, which makes me sound very important.  Terri Eikel, a veritable energy-packed human dynamo even when it’s not National Coffee Day, heads up IREJN. I sit on the organization’s board of directors, which means I pretend I can give her orders when, in fact, she spins me and others around while doing her light-speed cartwheels.
     Here’s a picture of Terri at the recent climate march in New York.  She’s behind the sign to the left.  If you think she looks like the individual to her right, it’s due to the amazing coincidence that Mindy is Terri’s identical twin — so if you see Terri at the conference and, yet, she looks a little bit different, it’s Mindy.  Not Terri.
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Item Number Two:

I thought my eyes were deceiving me. About four hundred thousand people marched in New York City on September 21st — the largest single protest ever held on climate change — with similar events occurring in 166 countries. Yet my local paper, the Journal Inquirer of Manchester, CT, didn’t mention it on September 22. Not even a news brief.  Meanwhile, the paper had space for an all-important brief about a ranger being arrested for poaching in South Africa, a story about a police chief in a small New Hampshire town getting a restraining order, and a story about the US Navy’s plan to restore a historic prison in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. There was a long one about holding back dust mite dung and that stop-the-press feature on “6 simple routines for healthy hair and skin.” But, apparently, THE JOURNAL INQUIRER (which, to be fair, is one of the few remaining snappy papers that doesn’t mainly feature fluff) said nothing about a historic march in New York.

Letters to the editor can be sent here: letters@journalinquirer.com

To clarify: This isn’t a criticism of the general media. The event made the front page in countless outlets; this is a criticism of the Journal Inquirer, specifically, which publishes under the motto: “The JI tells it like it is.  Somebody has to.”  It is primarily a local paper but it carries national and international news — which means it has no excuse.

I was once in the business and I can hear the replies: “We’re local … we were understaffed on Sunday … we didn’t have space for it … other news outlets handled it … we’re an afternoon paper …”

Nonsense. The editors could have chased the story via the “local angle.” Send a reporter with local groups, interview them, and splash it across the page.

As it was, JI readers were told nothing. Apparently, it was a non-event.

Here is some aerial footage of the non-event event:

Letters to the editor

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September 19, 2014

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A dinna unnerstan! (I don’t understand!)

Personally, I’m glad the United Kingdom will remain “united,” but I couldn’t resist this re-posting:

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September 15, 2014

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Ca-ching: Human-induced climate change spells doom for spirituality and business

It’s a strange harmony. Wall Street powerhouses now chime with robed clerics in an offbeat tune: Ruining our atmosphere is not only immoral, it’s bad for the S&P 500. What’s next? Will the executives and clergy swap portfolio tips for divestment brochures at the People’s Climate March on September 21 in New York City?

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September 1, 2014

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The real message of Genesis …

My suspicions have always nagged: Does the creationism-evolutionism debate totally miss the point? Let’s chill. Let’s listen to the message of Genesis 1-3,

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August 24, 2014

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“The Ocean Is Dying”

A new Netflix documentary portrays the the life of Dr. Sylvia Earle, who broke through the gender barrier fifty years ago and has been studying the ocean ever since.

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August 20, 2014

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Praying for Iraq

The traditional answer to pacifism is the so-called “Just War” argument. It’s a classic case of bad branding. Pacifists look like peacemakers while “Just War” advocates look like they’re arguing for war.

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August 2, 2014

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Why pastors look like twisted pretzels

It’s a verified fact: Anyone signing up for the professional ministry is nuts. Don’t waste time on those psychological tests. If they apply, they’re cracked. That would be me. I’ve been throwing myself into the kind of work that lands people on the operating table for 25 years. It’s American Anxiety Employment on steroids. I’m loopy.

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July 14, 2014

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How Democrats Snatch Defeat From The Jaws of Victory

Let’s ask the real election-year question: Why isn’t the Democratic Party poised with forks and knives, ready for November’s sizzling elephant steak? Republican popularity spirals amid denials of verified science, yet there’s genuine fear of a GOP Senate takeover. We should be dreaming of 1964, when Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses after routing Goldwater.

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May 28, 2014

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Solar Freakin’ Roadways

Since two independent teams of scientists independently concluded that ice sheets in West Antarctica are past the tipping point — behaving independently from ostrich-in-the-sand dreams — maybe it’s time we get independent in our thinking. A possible path toward such independence (play the video) …

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